Sean Michael on Wild Scenes, Gary Stues, and his new release ‘Educating the Professor’

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Educating the Professor by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press   |   Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael here today in our interview chair talking about writing, characters, and his new release, Educating The Professor.  Welcome, Sean.

 

 

 

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for interviewing me today.

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I think the Gary Stu phenomena is more about inserting a perfect vision of oneself into a story rather than one’s experiences.

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

My favorite genre to read has always been sci-fi and fantasy, but I also read a lot of romance as a teenager and beyond. I used to read a Harlequin every night before going to sleep during university – it was a way to turn my brain off from school work and let it settle. So yeah, I’d say it carried into my choice of writing genre.

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I actually find I do just the opposite – the more the characters are hurting, the faster I write. I hate it when they’re hurting and I have to write as quickly as possible to get them to a good place.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Absolutely. There’s enough sadness and negativity in the world. I want my HFN and HEA.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I think I answered that above 😉

  • If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I think we don’t need the nitty gritty details of a character – the number of bowel movements he needs, stuff like that. But I think flaws make a character more real, more believable. And often more loveable.

  • What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

I don’t know – I think I pretty much go ahead and include all the wild stuff in a lot of my stories…

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

Somewhere that I could hear and see the waves of the ocean.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write about love and happy endings because there is so much going on in the world and so much of it is negative. I want to write about people finding their happily ever.

What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m working on a story featuring a triplet – his brothers will also be getting their stories. And I’m working on a little something for Valentine’s Day.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

 

Blurb:

Kenneth Brannigan is a small-town history professor. He’s happy with his life, loves the classes he teaches, and lives in a tiny apartment in a converted house with his best friend, Tim, next door. He’s still recovering from a bad breakup and is content to stick to his comfortable routine. It’s Tim who insists he come to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer.

At the mixer, Kenn meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. Dave is drawn immediately to Kenn and is thrilled when Kenn offers to show him the best pizza place in town. One meal leads to two, which leads to Dave and Kenn spending most of their free time together… and Kenn loosening his self-imposed rules regarding dating and sex for some kinky fun.

Kenn’s ex isn’t going to just let Kenn be, though, and the happier Kenn is with Dave, the less the ex likes it. Will Kenn continue to run away from his past, or will his relationship with Dave help him face it head-on?

 

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

A MelanieM Review: Gage (Trenton Security #3) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.

Young didn’t equal lost.

Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?

I know going in what to expect from one of these interconnected stories.  Damaged men who don’t think they deserve love, perhaps someone who already loves them, a case that needs to be investigated and many of our couples from the series and stories that orbit each other, serving as friends and extended families. Yet within this framework, J.M. Dabney brings new characters or rather familiar characters to the front for a closer examination and revelations.  We get to see where their damage came from, their past histories revealed, and who, most often, has drawn their attention and maybe even love.

The author also folds into their stories important current international elements such as child trafficking and slavery that makes our headlines daily and puts a face to the horror in Cameron in the daughter that is missing,   Through Alex we feel his pain, panic , and outright despair at ever finding her, if not alive, then whole.

While the investigation is frantically intensifying for Cameron (and the author horrifIcally details why the searchers have such a short frame of time to accomplish their goals), Gage and Derrick are working through a minefield of emotions themselves about each other.

There is enough material here for Gage to be twice as long.  I wanted more to be frank.  More of the high wire act that was the investigation and suspenseful search for Cameron.  That has me in knots every step of the way.  And then, almost as a second story, the romance and dynamics that was playing out between Gage and Derrick.  That involves all the voilence and extreme angst of Gage’s background which he hadn’t quite worked through and still required, as he acknowledged, the needs of a therapist, to help him.

In that respect this is very much a HFN, which realistically all you could expect.

There is Daddy kink, bdsm, D/s.  and for people with  triggers… beating, domestic violence, self harm such as cutting, and mention of suicide.

J.M. Dabney’s books, especially in these series are dark, gritty, and  not for the faint hearted.  I prefer them that way.  They are true to these wounded men and the situations around them.

I have listed all the connected series below.  It helps to obtain a sense of community and who all the people and couples are that are mentioned here or appear in the scenes.

I recommend them all.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  I love that cover by Reese Dante, That is my idea of Gage.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

184 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
Edition Language English
Series Trenton Security #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1) by Jeff Adams and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Well, I’m almost at a loss for words for this review.  First of all, I listened to the audiobook and kudos to John Solo for a great job portraying a variety of voices, both male and female, especially given the MCs were teenagers.

Second, I must be honest in that I thought the story ended rather abruptly.  I knew it was first in a series but I didn’t realize so many threads would remain open when the book ended. And suddenly it was over.

And third, the plot was incredibly complex as it dealt with computer programming, coding, and electronic communication. The espionage business is alive and well in this story. So kudos to the author for a complicated and interesting plot.

Theo is a high school hockey player whose parents are both spies. Though only sixteen, his genius is more than welcome in their organization—TOS: Tactical Operational Support—and he’s their go-to guy when the electronics get complex. His code name is Winger, and in this installment, Winger is called upon to stop whatever group is behind the plot to deactivate the tracking devices each agent has implanted. Things go from bad to worse when they find the devices have been taken over and the enemy is using them to mind-control the agents. And that includes Winger’s dad who goes missing. Amidst the espionage plot, Theo and his boyfriend Eddie try to find alone time, though Eddie is injured, while stopping a kidnapping attempt on Theo.  The plot is very complex with mystery, romance, and lots of computer geek speak.

I’d recommend it to those who enjoy a YA story, especially when mixed with espionage and intrigue.

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson.    The cover is a close-up of a young man’s face and superimposed on the background of that is a computer grid, no doubt in recognition of his talents. It’s gray in tone so not very attractive.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audio Details:

Audible Audio, length 6.22 hrs
Published December 12th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 17th 2017)
Series Codename: Winger #1

An Alisa Review: Omega Teacher’s Secret (Men of Meadowfall #5) by Anna Wineheart

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Saddled with debt and a crippling self-esteem, Professor Ian McMillan has struggled for decades with his demons. But that isn’t his biggest secret–seven years ago, he spent his heat with an alpha he shouldn’t have… his student.

Nothing should’ve come out of it. Except Ian conceived, and his baby’s father… is also the department head’s son. Under the threat of losing his job, Ian made a choice: keep his child, and sever all contact with Brad.

With no inkling of the baby he left, Brad Saxon graduated from college and joined the Meadowfall fire department, making mistakes along the way. Lives have been lost at his hands, and the guilt he carries is suffocating. How can he protect an omega, when he’s failed others before?

But Brad can’t forget about the omega from years ago–Ian, with his soft smiles and yearning eyes. When Brad enrolls in a Master’s course hoping to see his professor again, he finds something he doesn’t expect: Ian’s in heat. This time, there’s a child with him… a little girl with Brad’s eyes.

When Brad reaches out and Ian conceives again, the embers between them kindle back to life. Brad makes the decision to stay. As the sparks between them grow, will Ian and Brad heal each other, or will their pasts come to tear them apart?

This was another great book in this series.  Ian has been running himself ragged keeping up with his job and taking care of his daughter and her health problems.  Brad has never moved on from the one older Omega from years earlier and when he finds him again he finds even more reasons to stay.

Both of these guys have crappy family lives.  Brad’s dad is a jerk and is the one who kept these two apart and pushes them apart again.  Ian’s mom essentially hated him while doting on his brothers, I just has trouble understanding how they and his dad allowed him to be treated that way though it doesn’t seem he has any relationship with any of them.

I felt for both of them and neither seemed to really have any support, a friend or two but nothing to keep them going.  I loved Gwen and how dedicated they are to her.  I loved watching Brad work hard to show Ian how wonderful he is.

I love the cover art, how well it works for the story and the visuals of the characters.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 402 pages

Publication: October 30, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Men of Meadowfall #5

A Jeri Review: Rewind by Rowan Shaw

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

I am always drawn to stories with a hearing impaired character. Although Enzo is deaf, he does have a cochlear implant- but he doesn’t wear that all of the time. And from the perspective of another hearing impaired person, a lot of it was spot on. But not all.
Enzo and Florian were boyfriends in high school until a hate crime led to Enzo losing his hearing and Florian losing his home when his parents found out he was dating a boy. By chance they meet again about 8 years later and are immediately drawn together.
I really liked a lot of this story, but while some things were lacking, others were really overdone. There were a lot of different things that the author was trying to make a point on. Being deaf, French sign language, being bisexual, being thrown out for being gay, hate crimes committed against them, etc, etc. There would have been more impact if only 2 or 3 of those were highlighted and explored more.
Enzo also went from hearing to deaf as an 18 year old. That is seriously traumatic and he acts like it is no big deal. He never laments what he has lost and how much has changed. He just shrugs it off. Lots of people talking at once and he can’t understand them. Oh well, he will just sit quietly. No, sorry. You’ll be upset that you can’t communicate, but you also don’t want to make a big deal of it.
I did enjoy the love story between Enzo and Florian. It was really sweet and loving and just so obvious how much they loved each other. How broken they both were by their “break up” which really wasn’t even their fault.
There were also some unanswered questions. And while one of those will be answered in the next book, there are at least 2 big ones that iare central to Enzo and Florian each that I don’t see getting answered in the next since they aren’t the main characters.
Generic cover. Would have been nice to see the model wearing a cochlear implant or have a scar on his face.
Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, First, 350 pages
Expected publication: March 2019
Original Title Rewind
Edition Language English

Andrew Demcak on Writing, Characters, and his new release Darkfeather (The Elusive Spark #3) by Andrew Demcak (guest blog)

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Darkfeather (The Elusive Spark #3) by Andrew Demcak

Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Demcak here today talking about his latest novel Darkfeather.  Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview  with Andrew DemcakDarkfeather (Harmony Ink Press, 2019.)

Q: If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

A: I write GLBTQ YA paranormal and sci-fi, but romance always creeps in. Darkfeather has my most romantic storylines yet. My longest standing couple, James and Paul, are going to break up when James meets someone new, someone really different, someone who stepped right from the pages of Abominable Snowman Casebook. Kiera and Lumen are going to add a third person to their relationship and become a throuple. My gay aliens, EBE and UBE, were reunited in the previous volume of this series (The Elusive Spark), Alpha Wave, and it felt so good. I like bringing reality to these very fanciful characters, it helps make them believable. I don’t think a character could be so flawed as to be unlovable. That’s what make characters interesting, their flaws. It makes them more like us.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I love loyalty, even blind loyalty. I also love bumblers. I think it’s really sweet to see a bumbler finally do it right and get his guy.  That’s what I did in Darkfeather with my yeti prince, Falling Star.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

Yes – I wrote the beginning of my novel If There’s a Heaven Above (JMS Books) back in 1987, but didn’t look at it again until 2007. It’s a story about my 20-something years in the Los Angeles club/music scene. When I discovered the writing again, I was completely transported to that place and time. I had to write the story and I did.

What’s  the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

I wanted James and Falling Star’s first kiss to be special. It happens in a lake when they are chasing each other underwater. I think I’m the first person to write an underwater yeti kiss, but I hope I’m not the last.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because none of these GLBTQ YA characters or stories existed when I was a teenager in the 1980s. I would have loved to have read them. I’m writing to my 17-year-old self, filling in the emotional blanks, and making up for all that lost time.

Blurb:
James, Keira, Lumen, and Paul—teens with special abilities granted by their alien DNA—bonded over hardship, becoming friends and sometimes more. But now they’re held in Fort Bragg and subjected to painful tests by the evil Dr. Albion, and those ties are coming loose just when they need them the most. Budding romances and family relationships are tested as each teen struggles to choose where to stand and who can be trusted. Reunions with lost family members and the possibility of love with new allies strain already tense relationships, and not every heart will survive unscathed. But the Star Children are the only ones who can command an alien spaceship needed to intercept the Nibiru object—an unidentified celestial mass plummeting toward the planet. If they can’t work together, an unimaginable catastrophe will strike the earth, and they’re the only ones who can stop it.

About the Author

 Andrew Demcak is an American poet and novelist, the author of five poetry collections and six Young Adult novels. His books have been featured by The American Library Association, Verse Daily, The Lambda Literary Foundation, The Best American Poetry, and Poets and Writers. He was a *FINALIST* for the prestigious Dorset Poetry Prizethe Gloria E. Anzaldúa Poetry Prize,  The Crazyhorse Poetry Award, and the Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence in Poetry.

He has a new collection of flash fiction/prose poems coming out from Nomadic Press in 2019 titled Cryptopedia. His newest YA/Teen GLBTQ2-S novel is Darkfeather, The Elusive Spark series, Book 3, (Harmony Ink Press, 2019).  He recently released two other YA/Teen GLBTQ2-S novels, How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl? (Big 23 Press, 2018) which Kirkus Reviews called “An eerily amusing horror tale that will have readers rooting for the characters,” and Alpha Wave, The Elusive Spark series, Book 2, (Harmony Ink Press, 2018). About his Teen GLBTQ Sci-Fi Coming-Out novel, A Little Bit Langston, The Elusive Spark series, Book 1,  Kirkus Reviews raved “This book really … takes its place in the marginalized-will-lead-us genre, as popularized by The Matrix and the X-Men franchises.” His first Young Adult (YA) novel, Ghost Songs, was published March 13, 2014. His first literary novel, If There’s A Heaven Above, was published January 5, 2013 by JMS Books, and was nominated by The American Library Association as an “Outstanding” novel for older Teens (17+). His first play, The Inevitable Crunch Factor, won the Cal Arts’ New Playwrights Series and was cast and produced in a multi-week run. His fourth book of poetry, Night Chant, was published by Lethe Press. His other poetry books are: A Single Hurt Color, GOSS 183::Casa Menendez Press, 2010, Zero Summer, BlazeVOX [Books], NY, 2009 and his first poetry book, Catching Tigers in Red Weather, three candles press, 2007, which was selected by Joan Larkin to win the Three Candles Press Open Book Award.

To reach Andrew:

Author website:  www.andrewdemcak.org
Social media: Twitter: @andrewdemcak,
Facebook: Andrew Demcak, Vero: Andrew D