Release Blitz for Claw Marks & Card Games (Stallion Ridge #2) by Maz Maddox (excerpt)


Book Title: Claw Marks & Card Games (Stallion Ridge #2)

Author: Maz Maddox

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Shaleah Poster

Genre/s: m/m romance, paranormal, western, action/adventure

Length: 74 000 words

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Release Date: October 1, 2018

Can be read as stand-alone story.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 


Cooper Woodlock is a man who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Between his gambling debt and being a widowed father, he can never seem to get Lady Luck back on his side.

Desperate for a winning hand, Cooper starts hitting saloons and tempting fate in order to keep the blood thirsty Spades at bay.

When a black clad gunslinger enters the game promising a slice of freedom, Cooper realizes all too late what he is actually playing for.


His cards were a sure thing. He was winning. He was about to double his winnings, and it was making his stomach dance, even as he kept his face schooled. This would ease the tension in his shoulders for a good month after tonight. The Spades would be off his back, and he could figure out his job situation. Hell, he’d even get Marybell some sweets to celebrate. His daughter deserved something nice. 

This beautiful stranger not only saved his life, but was also about to make some of his troubles ease for a little while. As their cards were tossed onto the table and Cooper drank in the sight of each hand, a cold pit formed in his gut. 

He had lost.


All the winnings of the night were swallowed up by one goddamn game. Cold sank into his bones as the blood drained from his face, his eyes locked on Gunner’s winning spread. The man didn’t make a move to collect everything. Instead he sat back and pulled a rolled cigarette from his vest and put it between his teeth.

“Guess you were right about your luck,” he said casually, striking a match and lighting his cigarette. The flare of the fire close to his face made his green eyes seem to glow as he focused them on Cooper’s devastated face.

“Fuck,” Cooper whispered, putting his head in his hands, fisting some of his hair in heartbreak. He had been so damn close to getting some peace in his life, and he blew it all in one stupid game of chance. Hell, he had almost died for that pot, and now it was all gone.

Smoke curled around Gunner’s face as he exhaled some smoke from his lips. “Win it back.”

Cooper shook his head, pulling his glasses off to rub at his tired eyes. “I ain’t got it in me. Not after all this.” Cooper huffed. “My head’s turned inside out, and my stomach’s in knots.”

“You have a chance to not leave empty-handed.” 

Cooper glanced up as Gunner reached into his pocket, taking out a stack of rolled bills and tossing it onto the table. If Cooper’s jaw was able to reach the floor, it would have bounced off his boots. That stack was probably hundreds of dollars. Hundreds. Something that would actually put a real dent in what he owed the Spades and give him and Marybell a slice of life back.

Working some saliva back into his cottonmouth, Cooper finally croaked, “I ain’t got that much to wager.”

“What else do you have to wager?” Gunner asked, pulling from his cigarette, his tone deceptively calm. Cooper narrowed his eyes and pulled his glasses back on, sitting up taller to not look so defeated. 

“What are you asking me, exactly?”

About the Author

Maz is an m/m romance fanatic, dabbles in yaoi, adores dinosaurs and writes romance stories with a healthy heaping of adventure mixed in.

When she’s not pairing up Centaurs with bank robbers, she’s plotting new stories and sending inappropriate texts to her friends.

Author Links



Twitter: @mazmaddox  


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A Free Dreamer Review: Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 

One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.

Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual murders that feed the witch-disciples’ power, and he saves Evan Malone, one of the warlock’s potential victims. Neither Seth nor Evan expected to fall in love, but when the dust settles, they find themselves on the run and on the road together, heading toward Pittsburgh, on the trail of the next killer.

Seth wonders whether Evan will come to regret his choice to stay together, now that he’s living the reality of Seth’s nomadic life and the risks that come with it. He wants Evan to stay, but he’s afraid that Evan would be better off without him, living a normal life. Evan’s whole world has been upended, but there’s one thing he’s sure of, his love for Seth. Evan worries that he’s a liability, not yet able to hold his own in Seth’s rough-and-tumble world, but determined to do whatever necessary to have Seth’s back. On the way to face the next warlock, supernatural threats abound, forcing them to learn to fight as a team.

Fate and danger threw them together. But once the adrenaline fades, will love last?

Burn” is a novella in the Witchbane series, making this part 1.5. As such, it really doesn’t work as a standalone and you should absolutely read part 1 first.

The thing that probably bothered me most about “Witchbane”, the first book in the series, was the rather sloppy editing. I hate bad editing with a passion. But I’m glad to say that the editing in “Burn” is much, much better.

This novella picks up right after where book one left off. I have a thing for established couples. I like to see what happens after the HEA (or the HFN). “Burn” didn’t disappoint in that regard. Daily life as nomadic hunters of supernatural creatures is hard. Where before, Evan felt like the more insecure one, it’s now Seth who’s struggling to believe in their relationship.

While the relationship is definitely once more a very important part of the story, we now also get to see more actual hunting. We meet several new different creatures and at least one of them was completely new to me. There was also more world building in general, with a more in-depth view into the way magic works in this world. It’s no secret that I have a thing for myths and legends, so I really liked those parts.

There was quite a lot of sex once again. The two occasionally behaved like horny teenagers with very little self-control. It was a bit too much for me at times, tbh.

All in all, I enjoyed “Burn” more than “Witchbane”. It actually made me curious to find out what happens next, so I think I’ll keep reading this series. If you liked the first part of the series, you’ll like this novella too. It’s absolutely worth reading.

The cover is very similar to that of the first part, it has the same spooky look to it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book details:

Kindle Edition, 114 pages

Published September 26th 2018 by Darkwind Press

A MelanieM Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This New Adult book is the first in the Owatonna U Series, a spin off from the best selling Harrisburg Railers Hockey Series.

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

First of all, let me say I adore and am seriously addicted to the Harrisburg Railers series by these same authors.  It’s an ongoing series, and the focus is the Harrisburg Railers Hockey team, where you meet Coach Jared Madsen and genius player and from hockey family royalty Tennant “Ten” Rowe in the first book Changing Lines.  Why is that important?   Because Jared Madsen is Ryker’s dad. And Ten? Well, read both series and find out if you don’t already know.

That’s one warning I do have here. Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey is an adjacent series to the Harrisburg Railers and contains spoilers for that series as it picks up during events happening in and after the Harrisburg Railers story Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6). 

So if you haven’t already read Goal Line, you’ll be shocked and heartbroken by the events here. I’m still in recovery over that book fyi.  So just a flag..

All that said, I’ve loved Ryker throughout the Harrisburg Railers series,  HIs close relationship with his father and Ten was a joy to read.  Now the focus is on him and the fact that he’s has the ability to be as talented a player as Ten.  People are seeing it as he heads off to college and the draft, he has choices to make, while others will be made for him.  And one hockey camp changes his life and opens his eyes to life lived outside his “hockey” bubble when he meets agricultural student Jacob Benson, using hockey to continue his education and save his  family farm.

As I’ve come to expect from these authors, the portraits of these young men at camp and college are realistic and layered.  They are exuberant, youthful, hopeful, serious, just everything you expect young men to be.  Even judgemental…that old not going past the surface thing…that happens all too often and the writers know it and use it.  The authors keep it real from the dialog to the physical contact..the boys jockeying for fun so high energy, all bumping and jumbling around with each other.  We get not only the interactions between Jacob and Ryker, but also all the other teammates that become so important to this couple.

Another moving element?  Jacob’s farm and parents.  Jacob’s deep love for his family farm, his need to save it comes across ini his characters and actions.  The scenes on the farm and his dynamics with his father are tremendous.  I reveled in the later when it comes to the aspect of Ryker.  I won’t spoil that here.  That should be savored.

My only, well, can’t call it an issue, maybe tiny heartbreak, is the HFN, which it has to be at this stage of their lives.  Both are still in the  growth stage, both still have their goals ahead of them. And like the Harrisburg Railers with Jared and Ten, we followed them all through every story, one way or the other as their relationship progressed, even though the stories had other couples at the fore.  I’m grinning in  anticipation and waiting for the next story to release.  That would be for both series!

You can  read one, which I highly recommend, but why would you when you can read both if you haven’t already ?  Make the  Owatonna U Hockey team part of your life along with the Harrisburg Railers.  Become as addicted as I am!  You won’t be sorry.

Cover art: Meredith Russell.  That’s a perfect representation of Ryker, irrepressible curls and all.  I love it.

Sales Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition
Published September 26th 2018 by Love Lane Books (first published September 22nd 2018)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOwatonna U Hockey #1

An Ashlez Review: The Beach Brat by Louise Collins

Rating:3 stars out of 5

He’s known on the sands as Beach Brat Brody, the arrogant surfer with his group of loyal fans. Finn and his best friend Trent are lifeguards, and Finn has been captivated by Brody since he first saw him surf. He’s hot, skilled, and has Finn’s heart.

He doesn’t just want to know the Beach Brat, but also the man behind the board. But Brody is guarded and gives nothing of himself away. He doesn’t do relationships, and Finn doesn’t do one-night stands.

Encouraged by his friends, Brody tackles a dangerous wave and Finn rushes to save him. The Beach Brat loses his sass and his confidence. Putting aside his broken heart, Finn vows to help Brody get on the board again.

They tackle his fear of the sea together, and Finn catches glimpses of the hidden Brody. His walls come down, and things start to look promising, but Finn has his own demons. Just as him and Brody begin to get close, Finn rushes into the sea for a dangerous rescue that might cost him everything.

I liked it – it didn’t blow my mind though.  I feel sort of conflicted since during the beginning of the book Finn came across as cute/shy boy – and then a bit of the way in his personality completely changed to be more aggressive/self assured – I’m unsure if I was just interpreting him the wrong way (which could totaly be the case) or if it really was a switch.

I got the feeling that Brody was the self assured/young/cocky “beach brat” in the beginning, then he seems more standoffish and shy.  I didn’t mind Brody’s backstory that came out at the end but I felt like it wasn’t that “oomph” that I needed to put the book over the top.

I did like the surfing parts, and the struggle, learning to cope, etc. – overcoming I guess would be the better word.

It’s also a very slow burn – it starts off intense and then it mellows for the rest of the book – I honestly thought that this would be a reverse friend situation – which kind of threw me for a loop.  I did feel a sense of “whiplash” while reading it, both from the personalities/slow progress.

It definitely hits the contemporary mark though so if you’re looking for a MM romantic contemporary this would be a good one.  Especially if you like sea/surfing books.

Cover Art: the cover art 100% fits the story – I do wish the surfboard was bright yellow like in the story though, other than that it’s one spot on cover to describe a book.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 152 pages
Published August 25th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Of Gallantry and Magic by Alex Hintermann

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Sir Tristan, son of a continental hero, is summoned to the court of Schafheim to interview for a novice knight position. After dozens of applications to courts all over the Continent, Lord Schafheim wants to see him. Immediately. But when he arrives for the interview, things start to go wrong: a brash, bearded commoner ties his dragon too close to Sir Tristan’s firebreather and refuses to move it. This same commoner offers to love Tristan in the way he has always desired.

Magic, knights, dragons, and a promise of forbidden love – what could possibly go wrong? Well, for “Of Gallantry and Magic” the answer is a lot. I really thought this book was going to be amazing, but sadly this book was very disappointing.

First of all, I really didn’t like the writing style. It’s supposed to be historical but it just felt so very fake to me. I can’t even say why. From what I can tell, it was mostly accurate and the editing was well done too. But it just really, really bothered me and made it impossible for me to get into the flow of the story. I was constantly distracted and just couldn’t concentrate on the book.

Then, I just couldn’t stand Tristan. He was an ignorant, arrogant, self-important, pompous ass. And whiny. He infuriated me and I just wanted to smack him. Hard.

Because of this, the romance part didn’t work either. I don’t see what that “vexing commoner” saw in the good Sir Tristan. But we don’t learn much about him either. He, like all the other characters, stayed very flat.

The biggest let-down of all was probably the fantasy part. I love dragons. But in close to 200 pages, we only get a couple of scenes with the dragons in them, and not even as the main focus. There was real promise there. The author obviously came up with lots and lots of different dragons, of all shapes and sizes. But instead of really exploring that part of the story, it’s just mentioned in passing and then gets ignored completely for the rest of the book.

As for the actual plot, well, the blurb says it all, really. Not much else actually happens in this story and I’m still not sure what I actually read. I can’t tell you if this was supposed to be a coming-of-age story, an enemies-to-lovers thing or something completely different.

Long story short, I did not like this book. It had great potential but didn’t go anywhere. If you are thinking about buying this book anyway, I’d recommend you to read an excerpt first. If you like the writing style, I think you can like the book.

The cover looks alright. It obviously shows a scene from the book and I think the two men fit the description of the MCs pretty well.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book info: ebook, 196 pages

Published September 15th 2018 by self

A Jeri Review : Distant Cousins by Eric Huffbind

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This was a new to me author. And I hate to say it, but it will be the first and last I read of his. While the premise was ok, and the DNA stuff unique, the writing was just amateurish.
Konnor is a straight up brat. A 30 year old whiny brat. Yes, he had a huge shock. But come on. Act like a 30 year old, not a 13 year old. There was never any introspection at all. He was completely selfish, never once trying to see things from his parents point of view.
And no one- NO ONE- mentions that maybe he doesn’t look like anyone in the family? Or maybe he does and that is odd as well?
When he meets Aaron he is a bit of a bumbling idiot. I get it, Aaron is really David a famous singer. And Aaron doesn’t warn him? But anyway, he continues with the bumbling idiot routine and things get repeated and repeated and repeated.
The story had a completely unnecessary accident in it.
The mystery of who his biological parents are was ‘solved’ way too easily and at the end of the book. There were no false leads, no mystery, no nothing.
I rolled my eyes so much during the reading of this I had to take advil because my eyes hurt.
Sorry, not sorry. This was not a good book.
Cover art: Eric Huffbind.

Sales Links:


Amazon US

Amazon UK


Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published September 28th 2018 by Eric Huffbind
Edition LanguageEnglish

Russell J. Sanders on One World and his new release ‘You Can’t Tell by Looking’ (author guest blog)

You Can’t Tell by Looking by Russell J. Sanders
Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:  Amazon | Harmony Ink Press


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Russell J. Sanders here today on tour for his latest story, You Can’t Tell by Looking.  Welcome, Russell.



One World by

Russell J. Sanders

When I taught high school literature, one of my objectives was to explain what a tragic hero was. For those who may have slept through my lesson, a tragic hero is one who is basically good but through a character flaw is brought down. Think Macbeth, for Shakespeare’s play of the same name is the one where this lesson came. Anyway, my students were tasked with writing an essay about some well-known figure they thought was a tragic hero. This was back in the 90s, long before Saddam Hussein was deposed. But we knew he was a ruthless dictator. I had one young woman, a bright and sunny personality, who chose Hussein as her example. I questioned her choice, but she explained that to her people—she was an Iraqi immigrant—Saddam was a beloved leader until his quest for power got the best of him. I was not sure that was the case, but it was evident she understood the assignment and what a tragic hero was.

And why am I relating this tale now? Lemme ‘splain, as Ricky Ricardo said to Lucy. I prided myself on loving and accepting all my students no matter what their backgrounds were. My job and my desire was to make each and every one of them feel like they mattered, like they had worth. I was supporting my gay students long before being gay was anywhere near acceptable in our school, and in actuality, before I felt comfortable and safe in coming out to them.

I look back, firmly confident I was a good teacher, and yet something was missing. I’d spent a lifetime studying religions, but I’d confined myself to the Judeo/Christian traditions. I could tell you all about the various Protestant sects. I could explain a lot of Catholic practices. And I was quite versed in Judaism. But I knew nothing about Islam. That was as foreign to me as was Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, or any other ism that wasn’t mainstream America. I knew I taught Muslim students, and I was proud that I treated them no different than any others, but I am ashamed to admit that I knew so little of their customs, beliefs, and traditions.

Then the world changed. I found myself surrounded by adults I had thought were sane and rational spouting hatred for Muslims. Wanting to annihilate them before they “got us.” Wanting to exclude them from our country before they could take over. None of this fit my worldview, no matter how narrow it was in regards to Islam.

So I started reading. I started watching documentaries and movies about Muslims. I had to fill myself with as much knowledge about this “exotic” religion as I could. And I found it’s not so strange after all. It’s tenets echo those of every faith. It is, in fact, an Abrahamic religion. What’s that, you say? Abrahamic religions are rooted in Abraham in the Bible. Yep, the Jewish and Christian religions are Abrahamic religions.

Like with every time I fill myself with knowledge, I have a desire to write about it. I explored polygamist cults, and from that was born my novel The Book of Ethan. I became interested in the heinous act of child sexual abuse, and thus Colors was born. My love for Chicago and my desire to examine whether the rich are really different led to Thirteen Therapists. My own teen years and my fascination with the 1960s era birthed All You Need Is Love. A trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a visit to the Titanic Museum there was the basis of Titanic Summer. Special Effect grew out of the lifetime I’ve spent in the theater. It seems whatever I become obsessed with makes itself into my writing.

And so it was with all these things I learned about Islam. I wanted to know if a Muslim teen could be gay and his family be okay with it. I wanted to know if he himself could be okay with it. I wanted to know what would happen if someone in his family was not okay with it. And mostly, I wanted to know what would happen if an outsider, a Protestant boy, fell in love with this Muslim teen.

All that became You Can’t Tell by Looking. I don’t pretend to know everything about Islam. I’ll leave that to the scholars and the practitioners of Islam. There are some who might say it is presumptuous of me to even take on the topic. But my novels reflect the real world, and in this society, we encounter followers of every religion. We may not know we are interacting, but we are. And why is it that we may not know? Because you can’t tell by looking.

Yes, a woman who chooses to wear a hijab or a burka instantly labels herself as Muslim. Other than that, we don’t know if the guy at the checkout counter is Muslim, Catholic, or a Jehovah’s Witness. We make assumptions, and often those assumptions can be wrong. It is only when we get to know the persons we come into contact with that we know their backgrounds and belief systems.

That not knowing and those wrong assumptions are the barriers we live with. The barriers that keep us from being one world. The barriers that create the fear that is insidious. We’ve heard so many times, I’m not racist because my neighbor is African-American, and he is a lovely person. We hear people decry they are not homophobic because one of their friends is gay. Familiarity is a great leveler. But knowing one black man, one gay man doesn’t necessarily mean you are free from prejudice. As loving as I think I am, I, from time to time, feel my own long-repressed, deep-seated prejudice rearing its ugly head.

So many people, terrified of the bombings that have plagued the world, those strikes by crazed Islamic fundamentalists, want to put every Muslim into the same basket. But none of us neatly fits into a basket. We all have our quirks and peccadilloes that set us apart. And yet, the members of the human race are basically good. I truly believe that.

With You Can’t Tell by Looking, I set out to tell a tale where living near Muslims is right and normal, where a Muslim can be gay and unafraid, where we learn from our mistakes, and rejoice that we can embrace each other. That is what You Can’t Tell by Looking is all about. It is not about being Muslim or Protestant; it is about loving each other the way we are.

More about You Can’t Tell by Looking

Gabe Dillon’s life changes when he gazes across his new school’s commons and spies handsome Kerem Uzun, and he wants to know more. Kerem is senior class president. He is mostly very well liked. He comes from a family of doctors, is of Turkish heritage, and he is Muslim.

At first Gabe doesn’t understand the ritual he sees Kerem performing. But as the boys bond, Gabe is eager to learn about Islam. He’s falling in love with a boy who may or may not be gay, a boy whose religion may condemn Gabe’s open homosexuality. 

Complicating the budding relationship is Timur, Kerem’s cousin, who has grown up alongside Kerem as his brother. A family tragedy left Timur homeless, and Kerem’s parents took him in. But as Kerem grows into his own way of looking at life and how it fits into his devout practice of his faith, Timur is becoming more fundamental in his practice of Islam. And he isn’t the only one opposed to the friendship between Kerem and Gabe. Can they forge a lasting relationship amid so many challenges?


Chapter 1


“That is the most gorgeous creature I’ve ever laid eyes on!”

Did I say that out loud? Or did I just think it? Whatever. I’m standing here, at the end of the first day at my new school, gazing across the commons at a guy who is mesmerizing. His slender stature—straight and tall like a soldier and muscled like one as well—says he has the confidence of a lion. His jaw is square, his closely cropped black curls shine, and even this far from him, I see eyes as black as midnight that sparkle as he laughs with his friends. I can’t look away from him.

“So how was your first day?” I hear my cousin’s voice, and I want to respond, but I am entranced by this magnificent specimen across the way. “Gabe?” Shaun is almost shouting in my ear, but I continue to ignore him. “Earth to Gabriel, Earth to Gabriel.” Shaun’s call pounds into me, but it doesn’t break my concentration.

Not taking my eyes off the god I’ve just discovered, I say, “What, Shaun?” trying to keep the annoyance out of my voice.

“What’s up, Gabe? I’m trying to get an update on your first day here, and you’re blowing me off.”

Shaun is right, and to be fair, I shouldn’t be doing this. But my eyes don’t want to leave this vision. They’re glued to the guy.

“Oh, I see, you’ve discovered our resident towelhead.” His use of that disgusting slur rips me away from the object of my attention for a moment.

“Shaun, you know as well as I do name-calling is lower than low. I’m surprised at you.” My cousin and I have never been close, but we’ve been raised in the same family with the same values—or at least I thought so. I’m reasonably certain my aunt, my dad’s sister, would not like hearing her son say what he did.

“Look, Gabe, I’m only calling it like it is. That guy you have the hots for is a Muslim. Is that the term you’d rather I use? Either way, he’s just one jihad away from blowing this school sky-high.”

“Are you kidding me? You really believe that about all Muslims?

That they are all waiting for the chance to strap on a bomb and take out the world?”

“Gabriel, my man, this ain’t the little town you spent your life in until now. We don’t leave our front doors unlocked. We don’t ask just anyone into our lives. We’re cautious. And when someone like him, the one you’re drooling over right now”—he points to the object of my fascination—“is around, you need to be on your guard. No telling what’s going on in his mind.”

I truly want to go off on Shaun right now. He’s being blatantly bigoted, and it pisses me off, but Shaun has been so good to me this past summer. When my dad announced we were moving here and I wouldn’t be graduating from my school back home, leaving the friends I’ve always known, Shaun took it upon himself to make the transition easier for me. He spent the entire summer texting me and skyping with me, trying to get me ready for the day I’d just spent. I stayed with Gram and Pop while Mom and Dad moved here at the beginning of summer.

I’d spent the last three summers teaching little kids how to swim at the Y, and I wasn’t about to give that up. So my parents told me I could live with my grandparents while they got the new house set up and Dad started his new job. He was an insurance salesman in our hometown, but now he’s working at his company’s headquarters here in the city. A big promotion for him. So I didn’t raise much of a ruckus when I was told I’d be moving. And Shaun’s wrong about our “little town.” It has a hundred and fifty thousand residents, give or take a few, so it’s not a tiny place; granted, it’s not as big as this ginormous city.

Anyway, given my status as the new kid and my cousin’s eagerness to make me feel welcome, I had no right to deal with his attitude at the moment. That might come later, if he kept it up.

About the Author

Russell J. Sanders is a man on a quest. In his travels all over the world, he searches out Mexican restaurants. A lifelong Texan, raised on Tex-Mex, he wants to try the enchiladas and other delicacies that pass for Mexican food in the far reaches of the world. He has been pleasantly surprised in Tokyo and Indonesia and left wondering in Rome and a few
other places. Sometimes what the menu says and what you are served is not what is expected. But the joy is in the quest.

Russell’s also on a quest to spread a very important message: love is found in many forms in this world, and being gay or lesbian or bisexual or any other variation is normal, healthy, and wonderful. He wants his novels to bolster the confidence of gay teens and change the minds of or educate further all the others who may stumble upon his prose.

Russell’s writing joins his long career of acting, singing, and teaching, adding to his passions for cooking and reading. He has won awards for his acting and directing and has taught theater to hundreds of teens. He has also taught additional thousands of teenagers the art of writing and the love for literature. He is always in the middle of a good story, whether
reading it or writing it. And he can whip up a delicious meal in minutes.

He does all this with the support of his husband, a man he has loved for over twenty years and married a few years ago. They live happily in Houston, Texas.

Visit my website:

Follow me on Facebook at Russell J. Sanders, author:

Follow me on Twitter: @russelljsanders

Visit my author page on Amazon:

View my book trailers:  (all book trailers use free use public domain images and music)

You Can’t Tell by Looking: 

Special Effect:

The Book of Ethan:


All You Need Is Love:

Titanic Summer:

Blog Tour for SYN Consulting: Dragon War Chronicles Book One by AG Carothers (excerpt and giveaway)

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SYN: Consulting

Dragon War Chronicles, Book 1

A.G. Carothers

Release Date: Aug 17th

Page Count: 189

Gay Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

SYN Cover 


Continue to hide or help save the very kin she’s hidden from?

Welcome to SYN Consulting, the top business strategy consulting firm in Europe, home to a motley crew whose leader has a life changing secret. CEO, Danica Lestrange, is the first female dragon born in the last 800 years. Hidden from the rest of her kin and raised in the human world, she built a life that she would defend until her death.

A devious plan is unearthed while working on a new business deal that could plunge the dragons into another war with the humans. The humans may have forgotten the last dragon-human war, but the dragons have not. Will the war reveal this hidden world to the humans, or will the clans come together to defeat their enemies and maintain their anonymity?

Danica must gather her allies and help the very dragons she’s hidden from her whole life. She can only hope that she’ll be strong enough to protect her chosen family.

This is the first book in a new series about dragons who want nothing more than to live in peace, but refuse to be subjugated. In war there’s also love, and love is blind. Love doesn’t care about gender, race, species (in this case), or sexuality.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual content between consenting adults. The sexual scenes are MM, MF, and MMF. There are romantic relationships depicted that are MM. There is also a high level of explicit language, snark, kink, and possibly bad puns and fart jokes.

This book does end in a cliffhanger. Book 2 will be released in November 2018.





SYN Teaser 2

SYN Teaser 1  


Matthew finished the last bit of his sandwich as he stood up going over to a wall of glass that overlaid the actual wall. The glass was one large computer interface, much like most of the glass in the building from the table they were eating on to elevator walls, to all the glass panel monitors of various sizes. Matt tapped on the panel bringing up several windows and enlarging them so that everyone could see. He pulled a photo of Kollin Olsen and moved it to the center.

He reached back, grabbing his bottle of water. Swallowing a mouthful, he cleared his throat and started his report. “I finished my preliminary research into KleanTech and Global Gas. You’ll never believe who Kollin Olsen is.” Danica was completely occupied with a large mouthful of her sandwich and gestured for him to continue. “He’s the next alpha to the Norwegian Dragon Clan, son of none other than Hafthór Ormsson, making him Jǫkull Ormsson, The Glacier himself.”

“Fuck!” Danica thought, looking over at Xander, who could hear her thought clearly.

“Fuck is right,” he answered out loud.

Danica took another bite of her sandwich and looked around the table at the family she had created, mulling over that bombshell. Matt, thankfully, let her take her time and waited silently while she came to terms with that disturbing news.

These SLIPs who stood by her, supported her, and loved her were, for the lack of a better word, her pack as motley as they were. They were hers to protect as much as they protected her. She thought about that as she continued to eat. Xander placed a hand on her thigh and squeezed it reassuringly. If she took this job, she risked exposure of what she was. With that, she risked not just her life, but all of their lives.

AG Carothers Logo

A.G. Carothers is actually a dragon very cleverly disguised as a human. They are a non-binary author of LGBTQIA Urban/Paranormal Fantasy, who enjoys writing original and entertaining stories. They are very excited to share the worlds they’ve created with you.

A.G. currently lives in Tennessee with their platonic life partner, who is not a dragon. They yearn to live back in Europe and will some day. In their spare time they are addicted to losing themselves in the lovely worlds created by other authors.

A.G. is committed to writing the stories they see in their head without restrictions. Love is blind and doesn’t see gender, race, or sexuality.





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Review Tour and Giveaway – Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey


Buy Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Length: 50,700 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

September 26Urban Smoothie Read, Book Lovers 4Ever, Xtreme Delusions, Jessie G Books, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, OMG Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed, September 28The Blogger Girls, October 1Mirrigold, Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, Love Unchained Book Review, Mainely Stories, October 3My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, October 5Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Making It Happen, Wicked Reads, MM Good Book Reviews, October 10Sarandipity Book Reviews, Padme’s Library, October 12 We Three Queens, Lillian Francis, Bayou Book Junkie


Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We highly recommend it !

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.

She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:

Email RJ (

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.


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