A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: A Wish Upon the Stars (Tales From Verania #4) by T.J. Klune and Michael Lesley (Narrator)


Rating: 5+ stars out of 5

To say TJ Klune is a brilliant storyteller is an understatement. Those who don’t believe need to read the Tales from Verania series. The entire series is a magical epic saga and this last installment, the ending of a story that has wound its magic in and out of my heartstrings was the epitome of amazing.  Now, add to that, the absolutely outstanding audiobook narration from the highly talented Michael Lesley, and there’s not even a stitch of room for improvement.  A superb 18 hours and 27 minutes of entertainment!

Sam of Wilds returns from the Dark Woods to find that Prince Justin and Ryan Foxheart, his beloved cornerstone, are leading a resistance movement along with (the dreaded) Lady Tina and, of course, Gary and Tiggy.  The city of Lockes has fallen and dark wizard Myrin is in control. But not for long—Sam and his dragons are back.

Unfortunately, Sam has to face the consequences of running away from the chaos he left behind.  And though he loves Ryan and can’t wait to see him, Gary and Tiggy come back first—and Gary is fit to be tied—though he does get diverted from his tirade by his one true love—Kevin the charming dragon.

I honestly don’t know which of the million or so character voices Michael Lesley used is my favorite.  Topping the list, though, is Kevin, who not only has a deep-toned Scottish accented voice, but what he says is always sexually explicit and totally inappropriate and, of course, hysterically funny.  Second to that is Darren, the fairy king.  Yes, the entire cast of characters from the series makes an appearance at one point or another in this book, and I loved every moment.  Another plus to listening to this on audio is Michael Lesley’s talent in bringing in other sound effects like turning pages in a book, creaking doors, roaring dragons, and tons more.   

The final chapter and epilogue are well worth the wait to get there.  I hope other readers were as surprised as I was by Myrin’s fate and the return of someone special to Sam’s life.  And speaking of Sam’s life…well, maybe not…no spoilers here.  All I can say is don’t miss a chance to listen to this book, no—entire series—on audio. You won’t be disappointed.  Very highly recommended.

Cover by Paul Richmond is a swirling galaxy of stars shaped like a dragon—the perfect depiction for a perfectly wonderful story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 19 pages
Published November 28th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 27th 2018)
Original TitleA Wish Upon the Stars
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTales From Verania #4

A MelanieM Review: Deja Vu by Addison Albright


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Gavin and Matthew just want to get home to enjoy Christmas Eve in their safe, warm apartment. Should they walk or take a cab? But will either option do the trick when Victor, suffering from his holiday blahs, is determined to undermine this happy twosome at every turn?

Years ago, Victor made the unfortunate mistake of coming out to his family on Christmas. Why couldn’t he have picked a random summer day?

Can Victor’s husband Bryan pull him out of his gloomy mood in order to give the popular Gavin and Matthew the merry Christmas they deserve

Deja Vu by Addison Albright is a short holiday tale that employs the format of a story within a story.  Victor is a well-known author and his long term and very happy couple of Gavin and Matthew, characters in his series,  his focus this Christmas Eve.  And not in a good way.  Victor is taking his angst and    pain over losing his family years ago when he came out to them at Christmas for his lover.

The short story alternates between short woeful chapters of what’s happening to Gavin and Matthew vs Victor and his husband in RL.

Albright’s writing is skillfully done.  You actually emphasize with the poor characters meeting their demise over and over due to their author’s, Victor’s, angst. And you adore Victor’s husband, Bryan’s gentle anxiety over their well being and the novel’s ending too.  Within 22 pages Albright creates a loving relationship twice over, both of which you come to care about.

Each couple gets a heartwarming ending, just as you would hope.  Perfect for their holidays and ours.  Short, sweet, and with just that hint of the holiday melancholy that works so well.

If you are looking for a quick holiday read just a bit outside of the normal romances,  definitely recommend this one to all of you.

Cover art is simple but pulls you into an important part of the story.  Well done.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  |    Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 22 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by JMS Books, LLC
Edition Language English

Characters Matthew, Gavin, Victor, Bryan

An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Purrfect Holiday by Jana Denardo


Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Tony Gatti had his life planned: get his veterinarian license and go to work with his dad and uncle. Soon after achieving his goals, he learned the shadows and blurriness in his vision went beyond needing glasses. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic mutation with no cure. With his sight almost gone, he moves into his grandmother’s St. Augustine, Florida, home with his guide dog, Raven, to start life over. Nonna Concetta thinks she knows the perfect job for him. Her vet is looking for someone to destress the cats at a local rescue.

Javier didn’t plan to hire a cute former veterinarian to fill the role of cat cuddler, but Tony couldn’t be more perfect. Worried his attraction is inappropriate and knowing the holiday season always depresses him, Javier wonders if he should ask Tony out, or if he’d just be spreading the gloom to someone who already has enough of his own. But if he takes the plunge, could it turn out to be the best holiday ever?

Ohh, this was so sweet.  Tony and Javier are absolutely perfect for each other.  I was glad that Tony was able to find a way to help animals with his blindness and it brings him into Javier’s life.  Concetta was hilarious and I love how supportive she is of Tony.  Even better was Tony and Concetta give Javier the family he needed at Christmas.

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas.  It’s got that wonderful dog and cat on the cover.  Need I say more? Guy is cute too.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 46 pages

Published: December 26, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

Edition Language: English

An Ashlez Review: The Island Angel by Alex Slorra

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jessica was a successful IT Director, but now she is on the run. Accused of fraud and orchestrating her company’s downfall, she travels as far as the island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland before breaking down.

There, an American, Anna Meyer, takes her in and offers kindness without questions. As they become closer, Jessica soon discovers Anna has her own much bigger problems and a past that comes knocking.

I’d say more 4.5/5 since there were a few slow moments, but holy moly this book was mostly fast paced and intriguing.  I love going into these fast paced books knowing not a whole lot, and I’m so glad I did.  I must say my fav character out of the book had to be Kermit, I honestly have a soft spot for animals in books and Kermit was an absolute joy to read about.  The interaction between the mains (Though kinda instalovey .. like most books) was really sweet and affectionate.

I loved the edition of another individual in their lives to care about, and I have to say the last 80% of the book I could not put it down, I knew things were going to come to a close in an exciting fashion, and they did .. explosion ! BAM kick you in the neck fun.

I never thought anything of the tides in the book (but heck it sounds like a great place to live, I’m a homebody) and the farm/fixer upper/lost soul just warmed my heart!

Definitely worth a read!

Cover – The background behind the girl really told a story, I thought the cover didn’t much need a woman on it, though maybe 2
Sales Links:   NineStar Press | Amazon
Book Details:
Published December 10th 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN13 9781949909630
Edition Language English

Katey Hawthorne on Superpowered Love: Reloaded (author guest blog, excerpt, and giveaway)



Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Katey Hawthorne here today talking about the re-release of her wonderful series Superpowered Love.  Welcome, Katey!



Superpowered Love: Reloaded

Authors rarely get the chance to re-release their very first baby, but I did. A few months back, Less Than Three Press brought my unfinished Superpowered Love series back to life—and once the eight books already finished are out in the world, the series will polish off with three more.

I’ve read comics since I was a little kid, spending my allowance on random issues of The Amazing Spider-Man even through the worst of the Clone Saga. (If you don’t know, be glad.) As I grew older, I started making up my own stories about the superheroes I knew and loved—X-Men, Fantastic Four, Batman and Robin—but they weren’t so much about epic fights over Gotham City as they were weird day-to-day slices of life. Who do they love? What are their quirks? When they get downtime, what do they do to unwind? Can they unwind, and if not, what would it take to get them there?

Not so much the epic battle between good and evil we’ve come to know and love, but something more personal. Something for people like me, who are queer and longing for stories they can relate to on every level, not just via a desire to be on the side of the angels. (Or the Avengers.)

Geeky ass superpowered romance, ahoy. My blog was called “Superpowered Love”, and somehow it became the overarching title for the series via readers. Which might be the coolest thing ever.

Now, eight years later and hopefully a little wiser, I finally get to polish up my first work and make it shine like I wanted—and bring it to a fitting end. Superpowered Love 3: Nobody’s Hero is out today everywhere, and there’s more to come asap:

4: Losing Better on January 20

5: Re-Entry Burn on February 21

6: In Distress on March 20

7: The Playhouse on April 17

8: The Takedown on May 22

So if this little detour into the personal lives of superpowered folks sounds up your alley, follow along on this Reloaded blog tour for excerpts, soundtracks, fun facts, and of course the giveaway! To whet your whistle, check out this exclusive bit from Nobody’s Hero!

Excerpt – When your Mom walks in on a Saturday morning to find a cute boy in your shower, and then leaves without you telling her who he is… said boyfriend gets a little upset.:

[I asked,] “Oh, so if it was your mom, you would’ve just said, ‘Yeah, meet my new boyfriend’?”

“That’s exactly what I would’ve said,” [he replied.]

“And she would’ve been okay with that?”

“Jamie, my mother is the most amazing human being I know. But whether she loves it or hates it doesn’t alter a fact.”

I ran a hand through my hair, pulling on it. All my clever explanations, my smooth excuses deserted me. I just stared at him and wished so, so hard that I could tell him the truth. “She’s not ready to hear it so bluntly. I’m having lunch with her. I’ll talk to her about it then, I swear.”

“Right. She’s not ready.” Then he paused, mouth slightly open, as if having an epiphany.

I had a sick, sinking feeling he had.

Confirmed when he said, “Jesus. Does she even know you’re queer?”

I closed my eyes. “Kellan.”

He took an audible deep breath, and when I opened my eyes again, his hands were spread wide in front of him, chest rising and falling with controlled slowness. He said, in a tight, frightening voice, “Okay. You know what? It’s none of my business. Nothing about you is any of my fucking business.”

I pushed off the door and took a step nearer, reaching out for him. “No, it is. You’re right. Just, you don’t understand.”

“I noticed.” He stormed past me and reached for the doorknob.

“Please, don’t just walk away. Let me explain.”

“I don’t want to talk to you right now.”


“I’ll say something I can’t take back.” He looked over his shoulder, biting his lip, but his eyes still burned hot and dark. “Megan will have to be your shortstop today. Tell everyone I’m sorry.”

“Kellan—” But before I got any farther, he was out the door. He closed it in my face—gently, but it still amped me hard. The charge started in that place deep in my middle, the source of it, and jumped from wire to wire until it raced all through me, begging to get free.

I turned around, let little lightning bolts arc across my hands, jumping from finger to finger. The visible, tangible expression of all my frustration, everything I held inside, everything I wanted to scream from the fucking rooftops.

I shoved one hand forward, sending a bright blue arc from my fingertips, right into the nearest poster frame on my wall. The plastic sizzled; the paper curled in sudden frenzied electrical flames.

I put it out before it set off the alarm and emptied the whole fucking building. Feeling like exactly what I was: a giant fucking five-year-old. Lonely, frustrated, and pathetic.

Shit. And this is why I can’t have nice things.

Or nice boys.

Superpowered Love: Re-loaded! Blog Tour

The Superpowered Love series explores the mixed-up love lives of the “awakened”, humans with awakened thermal or electrical superpowers.


December 26 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

December 27 – Love Bytes

December 28 – My Fiction Nook

December 29 – Boy Meets Boy

January 1 – Joyfully Jay

January 4 – MM Midnight Café

January 7 – Bayou Book Junkie

January 9 – Diverse Reader

January 11 – Eroticaforall.co.uk

Superpowered Love 3: Nobody’s Hero

Jamie Monday lives in two different worlds. With his family, he’s the golden child of awakened superpowered society. He’s meant to do great things and pass on his powers—with the appropriate girl, hand-picked by his mother. He’s already failed at the first, so he can’t bring himself to tell her the wife and children aren’t happening either.

With his friends, he’s the social director and life of the party. He’s also an out gay man with an appetite for quick and easy lays. It’s tough to have a relationship when you’re hiding off-the-charts electrical powers, but Jamie doesn’t mind.

Not until the prickly, paddy rocking, geeky-hot new guy at work shows him what he’s been missing. Kellan’s singular combination of dirty mouth and pure soul makes Jamie spark right from the beginning. But if he’s going to overcome Kelly’s defensive front and reach the gentle heart inside, Jamie will first have to come to terms with his own divided lives.


About the Author:

Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. She lives at http://www.kateyhawthorne.com.

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