April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April.

So I went looking for the history of April Fool’s Day and found that people couldn’t agree on where it came from.  It’s practiced not only in America and Canada but also in Western Europe, a practice dating back to romans and All Fools’ Day.  Others  argue for its beginning having started with the “appearance” of the New Year which fell on April 1st for the Romans and Hindus.  It also comes close to the Spring Equinox, March 21 which during Medieval Times also started the beginning the the new year with the feast of the Annunciation.

A newspaper’s April Fool Joke and History:

Constantine and Kugel

Another explanation of the origins of April Fools’ Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.

“In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”

This explanation was brought to the public’s attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.

Yes, they’d been pranked.

More searches brought up more explanations, never the same, mind you.  Even better for a day all about jokes and prianks.

Here’s some more:

The Origin of “Fool’s Errands”

According to Roman myth, the god Pluto abducted Proserpina to the underworld. Her mother Ceres only heard her daughter’s voice echo and searched for her in vain. The fruitless search is believed by some to have inspired the tradition of “fool’s errands”, practical jokes where people are asked to complete an impossible or imaginary task.

All Fool’s Day in British Folklore

British folklore links April Fool’s Day to the town of Gotham in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the king placed his foot upon to become public property. So when Gotham’s citizens heard that King John planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the king heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of fools engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish. As a result, the king declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment.

April Fool’s Pranks

April 1 is a day for practical jokes in many countries around the world. The simplest jokes may involve children who tell each other that their shoelaces are undone and then cry out “April Fool!” when the victims glance at their feet. Some April Fool’s jokes publicized in the media include:

  • In 2002, British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement in The Sun, announcing a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot’. The ad explained that the carrots were engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side. When fully cooked, these holes would cause the carrot to whistle.
  • In the early 1960s there was only one television channel in Sweden, broadcast in black and white. As an April Fool’s joke, it was announced on the news that viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception by pulling a nylon stocking over their screen.
  • In 1934, many American newspapers, including The New York Times, printed a photograph of a man flying through the air, supported by a device powered only by the breath from his lungs. Accompanying articles excitedly described this miraculous new invention

 

And Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’ April Fool’s Day Joke?  Well, it’s still March, the 31st to be exact.  April starts tomorrow!  We just didn’t want to miss out on the fun!

Happy April Fool’s a day early!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 31:

  • Release Blitz – This Is Not A Love Story – Suki Fleet
  • April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 1 ~ April Fool’s Day:

  • Review Tour – Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey (
  • Blog Tour Better Be Sure by Andrew Gallo
  • T. Neilson on Yes, Chef(Amuse Bouche #2)
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Yes, Chef (Amuse Bouche #2) by T. Neilson
  • An Ashlez Review: OFF THE ICE by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • A MelanieM Review:  Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Audio review The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril #1) by Kim Fielding and Drew Bacca (Narrator)

Tuesday, April 2:

  • SPEAK NO EVIL by J.R. Gray Blog Tour
  • Release Blitz – Shane K Morton – Fault Lines
  • BLOG TOUR At A Stranger’s Mercy by Brittany Cournoyer
  • An Alisa Review: Radical Hearts (Deviant Hearts #2) by A E Ryecart
  • An Ali Review Frost by Isabelle Adler
  • A Free Dreamer Lust and Other Drugs (Mytho #1) by TJ Nichols
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Speak No Evil by J.R. Gray

Wednesday, April 3:

  • Review Tour  – Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory
  • Release Blitz – – Honeythorn by Marina Vivancos
  • PROMO Soulstealers by Jacqueline Rohrbach
  • Cover Reveal, – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • PROMO Sloan Johnson on Kindred Spirit
  • An Ali Audio Review Handle with Care by Cari Z and John Solo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Hearts of Fire (Chevalier #1) by Kay Doherty
  • A Caryn Review:   Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory

Thursday, April 4:

  • Snow Storm by Davidson King Blog Tour
  • PROMO Asher Quinn
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn
  • A MelanieM Review:No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes
  • An ALisa Audio Review Romancing the Undercover Millionaire (Romancing the… #3) by Clare London and Seb Yarick (narrator)

Friday, April 5

  • Review Tour – Quinn Ward – Kiss Me, Daddy
  • PROMO TJ Nichols
  • Blog and Review Tour Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Review: Copper Creek (Sawyer’s Ferry #3) by Cate Ashwood
  • An Alisa Review: Kiss Me, Daddy (Club 83 #1) by Quinn Ward
  • A MelanieM Review: Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert

Saturday, April 6:

  • BOOK BLAST – The Selkie Prince’s Secret Baby (The Royal Alphas ) by JJ Masters
  • A MelanieM Review: The Ghost Had An Early Checkout by Josh Lanyon

Need a New Contemporary Romance? Check out the Book Blast for The Handyman’s History (The Handyman #4) by Nick Poff (excerpt and giveaway)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Handyman’s History (The Handyman series, book 4)

Author: Nick Poff

Publisher: Old Spruce Productions/Self-Published 

Genre/s:  Contemporary gay fiction/romance

Trope/s: Gay couple building a relationship in a small town

Themes: Facing the past to create a better future

Heat Rating:  2 flames  

Length:  336 pages

Release Date, February 6, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Tagline

Handyman Ed Stephens is back, exploring the past to build a future with his partner Rick in THE HANDYMAN’S HISTORY.

Blurb

“Sometimes I feel like it’s their world, and we’re allowed to live in it.”

–Gordy Smith in The Handyman’s History

The year since the death of their beloved benefactress Hilda Penfield has been a busy and sometimes stressful one for Handyman Ed Stephens and his partner, Rick Benton. They hope some peace and quiet will return to Penfield Manor after they host the wedding of Rick’s sister Claire to Matt Croasdale. Instead, Ed and Rick both find themselves involved in new activities.

As Rick’s boss, Realtor Vince Cummings, becomes aware of the opportunities available in the sudden expansion of Porterfield, he and Rick become the guiding forces for a major redevelopment project. Meanwhile, Ed’s innocent suggestions regarding the revival of a local festival leads to him becoming a member of the Porterfield Days Association, and the acceptance of additional responsibilities.

It’s Rick’s discovery of a tombstone in a disused town cemetery that sparks Ed’s curiosity about the background of his father’s family. Ed begins to question the relationship he had with his deceased father, and hopes learning some of the Stephens family secrets will enable him to make peace with his unresolved feelings.

The usual cast of suspects is back to both enrich and complicate Ed’s life: His sharp-tongued but supportive mother Norma, his sister Laurie, and housekeeper Effie Maude, who maintains her position at Penfield Manor, and provides amusement for Ed and Rick with her observations and pronouncements. Their best bud Gordy is on the scene as well, struggling to build a relationship in the early years of AIDS. Even Ed gets a taste of the hostility becoming more common as fear of the disease spreads. As Ed deals with the realities of being a gay man in a small town in 1985, he unexpectedly finds support from two unlikely sources, a visually impaired client, and a clergyman new to the town.

The Handyman’s History, with its soundtrack of classic oldies, will take its readers both forward and backward in the continuing saga of Ed and Rick, as their relationship strengthens, matures, and endures.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

Ed looked at him, not really seeing him, thinking back to those Saturday nights spent in the bleachers of the Porterfield gym, hooting and hollering for those perennial losers, the Bobcats. There he was – shy, skinny Ed Stephens, along with Fat Ted, Science Nerd Greg, and Four Eyes Steve, all pretending to be part of the crowd, but knowing the minute they left the Bobcat cheer block they’d be ignored by the cool kids, as usual.

Ed remembered what Gordy had said last weekend: Sometimes I feel as though it’s their world and we’re allowed to live in it.

He had certainly felt that way in high school. He wondered if his friends back then felt the same way. Perhaps they did, but Ed was sure it was harder on him because he was toting a secret burden that the others didn’t have. He was trying his best to pretend he wasn’t a homosexual.

“I lied,” he said abruptly. “About those nights at Chef’s Inn; they weren’t a blast. They sucked.”

Rick looked at him seriously. “Oh?”

“Yeah. I never felt comfortable. Not really. I guess I just want to remember them as being a blast, you know?”

“High school,” Rick sighed. “Baby, you’re preaching to the choir, remember? I was so alone back then, so miserable. I don’t even want to think how many times I contemplated suicide. I’m just grateful it’s over with.”

“But don’t you sometimes wish,” Ed persisted, “that it was a blast? We had the best music ever, the cars were cool, and so were the movies and TV shows. It seems like it should have been fun.”

“The music was great,” Rick admitted. “The people at Broad Ripple High, however, were not. I hated it, and I don’t think that makes you or me any different from all those other guys like us. In fact, if there is a homosexual out there who was really happy in high school I hope I never met him, ‘cause I’d probably have to kill him.”

Ed chuckled.

“And about the music, well, we’ve got it. I mean, you’ve still got all your records, and we listen to them all the time because we still love those songs so much. It belongs to us. It’s one thing we were able to salvage from those years. And I think music kind of helps to wash away some of the sadness, you know; kind of like putting rose colored glass on the memories to make them prettier.”

Ed thought about Rick’s words. “That’s pretty good,” he said in admiration.

Rick grinned. “Yeah, it is, isn’t it? Anyway,” he said dropping the newspaper and picking up the book he was currently reading, “I guess that’s how I can compromise the whole thing in my head and not go crazy.”

Ed stood up and stretched, feeling restless. Arnie came into the room, looking for him. Ed picked up the cat and headed for the stairs.

“I thought you’d be going to the den to drool over the guy Solid Gold dancers,” Rick said.

“Eeh. I’m not in the mood for drooling. I think I’ll go upstairs and find something to read.

“Besides,” he said with a leer at Rick. “If I’m patient I still get to have you all to myself tomorrow night.”

Rick’s smile for him was as warm and tender as it ever had been. “It’s a date, baby. Count on it.”

Ed slowly walked upstairs, cradling the cat more for his own comfort than Arnie’s. He was suddenly very tired, but also incredibly grateful that Rick was in his life.

About the Author

Nick Poff lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Handyman’s History is his fourth novel. Learn more about his work at www.nickpoffauthor.com , on Facebook at “Nick Poff Author,” and on Amazon’s Author Central. You can also find him at www.patreon.com/nickpoff.  His short story, Lucky, is available on Amazon Kindle.

 

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: @NickPoff

Amazon 

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Jude by Garrett Leigh

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Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Lucky Series
 
Cash – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Isha has spent the last year watching his BFF get his happily-ever-after. He’s proud of Dom, but…it hurts to see him so free while Isha’s love life is still on lockdown. Only Isha’s ex-wife knows the secret that he’s kept caged for so long—that he’s queer too, and he’s lonely.


Jude’s too chained to his work to notice what he’s missing by being terminally single, but a new face in the village soon catches his attention. City boy Isha is gorgeous, and when he starts to haunt Jude’s reptile shop as well as the hook-up app on his phone, he’s a welcome distraction from Jude’s business problems.


For a control freak like Isha, letting Jude under his skin is an existential meltdown, but Jude’s not in the market to be anyone’s queer crisis, not when he’s facing troubles of his own. Unlocking their lives could push both men apart forever, but it might be a risk worth taking if sharing is the key to their happy future.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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A MelanieM Review: Uncomplicated (Inked #2) by K.M. Neuhold

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Two men with a rocky history, and one with an all-consuming love for both of them.

Sometimes I’m so lonely I swear I can’t breathe. I bring men and women into my bed to chase away the ache, but it never seems to help. I want something real, something lasting, but I’ve never been more afraid of anything in my life. If I have nothing else in my life I can count on, at least I have my best friend, Cas. If I have nothing else in my life that feels solid, at least I have Cas.

Until one sad smile from a beautiful man tilts my world on its axis.

But Finn is Cas’ ex, and that means he’s off limits, right? What if I could have something permanent, if I’m willing to put my heart on the line? Finn and Cas may have a history, but something tells me the three of us could have a future, if we’re willing to let things get a little complicated.

Uncomplicated is the second story in Inked, a linked saga, to K.M. Neuhold’s Heathens Inks series.  While several of the members of that series and the tattoo shop make important appearances here, it’s not imperative that those novels be read in order to appreciate this story and series.  It would simply be giving you that extra layer of knowledge, lovely but not necessary.

One thing that Neuhold has accomplished here that is important in M/M/M romances is slowly establishing the need and love among all three men for each other. The story starts us off with Cas and Beau, and then slides in Finn (aka Griffin).  We get three points of view here which is necessary because of how their relationship is built, not as a threesome to start off with but as a pairing which will pour naturally into a triad.  But not without some jealousy and just emotional baggage to workout.

There’s of angst and pain between all the men here although I’m sure sure I feel the backhistory for Beau feels compelling enough for the fragility he exhibits.  When he revealed exactly why he’s unable to commit, spend a night alone, has nightmares, none of it added to the scenario of an absent father who cheated along with a older boyfriend who did the same.  Maybe I missed something, but I was expecting childhood abuse, time on the streets, something to explain the extremes in Beau’s personality.  Which I never felt I got.

I thought Beau was lovable but again maybe I missed something here.  The author was on more solid ground with Finn and Cas, their back history and the all around dynamics between the three.  It takes three here because with just Cas and Beau their bar of communication is set at fear.  Fear of losing what they have if they actually talk to each other about how they feel…they love each other.  It takes the appearance of Finn and Beau bringing him into his life  while Cas is on duty to shake things up.

Uncomplicated is moving, hot, and has its moments of suspense.  The characters and storyline make for a very fast read.  A few things bothered me like the name Beau switching to Blue twice (or was it three times.  I don’t think that was a nickname but more like a editing problem that wasn’t caught.  Plus I thought Beau’s backhistory could have used some heft.  But as a triad?  I love these three men!  They are hot, loving, and have great chemistry.

I look forward to seeing the three of them pop up in the next Inked story.

Cover art: Natasha Snow. I’m surprised this is done by this artist, she rarely misses.  It’s a male torso, no ink and no piercings. So really it could be any cover for any novel.  No elements pertaining to this story and I’m so over the half naked thing when done like this.  Total fail.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 243 pages
Published March 11th 2019
ASINB 07PGX3PD9
Edition Language English
Series Inked #2

Unraveled

Uncomplicated

**This is a MMM spin-off of the HEATHENS INK series and there ARE appearances by your favorite Heathens Ink characters. However it CAN be read as a stand alone.

Cover Reveal for Escaping Camp Roosevelt by Bryan T. Clark (giveaway)

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Release Date: May 1 2019
 
Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
 
Length: 87,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Karrie Jax
Blurb
 

“He’s a bad boy—cocky and damaged. So, why can’t I stop thinking about him?”


Broken Dreams
Sociable and unselfish, eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things—his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamed that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, his life is nothing like he could have possibly imagined. Shocked and shattered, Tucker, his mother, and his baby sister now must brave the dangers of a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt.


A Wounded Heart
Homeless since the age of fourteen, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive, and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old, green-eyed Adonis help him to survive. He hides his emotional scars from the world by interacting only with his clients, whose occasional bizarre requests he reluctantly fulfills. Dancer’s past has taught him to trust no one.


A Second Chance
When Tucker and Dancer come face to face on a stormy night, having been thrown together under the same roof, Tucker brings out a feeling in Dancer that he didn’t know still existed in him—desire. Neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. But some scars run deep, causing both Tucker and Dancer to question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line.


Bryan T. Clark is a multi-published, Rainbow Award-winning author and LAMBDA finalist.


*** One hundred percent of the royalties from the first year of this novel’s publication is being donated to the Larkin Street Youth Services/Castro Youth Housing Initiative. The CYHI provides transitional housing in the city of San Francisco, California, for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Fear of being raped, abused, or murdered should not be a part of anyone’s youth.

 

 

Bryan T. Clark is a Lambda Literary finalist and Rainbow Award winning author of gay romance, and contemporary books. He is also a funny, loving, family-oriented, and proud member of the LGBT community. Behind his computer, working on his next novel, Bryan writes romance with an emphasis on moral dilemma. His multicultural characters and riveting plots embody real life, filled with challenges, personal growth, and, of course, what we all desire—love.


In his work, he is known to push the boundaries with brilliantly crafted stories of friendship, love, complicated relationships, and challenges all woven into a hard-earned happily-ever-after.


When Bryan is not writing, he enjoys reading a great book, traveling, lying by a body of water soaking up the sun, and watching a good movie while snuggled up with his husband on the couch with their loyal companion Nettie, the Sheepadoodle.


Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan has made his home and life in the Central Valley of California.


Author’s website: www.btclark.com
Twitter: @BryanTClarkx2
Facebook: BryanTclarkauthor@facebook.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romanceauthor/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7875459.Bryan_T_Clark.com

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Conviction (A New World #2) by M.D. Neu

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is book two in a series and really should be read in order. Mi’ko has made his son Mi’cin’ one of his aides and assigns him the task of helping Todd acclimate to the home they have made for him on the main ship. Not everyone is pleased by Todd being there, either amongst the Nentraee or the humans. Once Todd realizes the enormity of the actual task he has been given, it’s too late. He is now firmly between Nentraee politics and Earth politics. There are people who will do anything to control the world as they see fit, regardless of what the rest of its citizens want. Knowing who to trust is crucial moving forward with the plan for the new settlement. Old friends and old enemies no longer seem to matter as people switch alliances based on those who support the Nentraee being on Earth, and those who don’t. Terrorists come out of the woodwork based on fear and hate.

I liked how other countries were being included in both trade and cultural events. The Nentraee, with the Speakers House, ranking members of the House of the People, and any prominent civilians spread out across the globe in order to quell jealousies and charges of favoritism towards the United States that having Todd aboard created. It’s fun to see the different ships and see Todd’s reactions. The cultural exchanges here make the book more accessible with the focus on education and integration. No longer are the Nentraee going to hold themselves apart and let their enemies control the narrative, making it easier for people to fear and hate them. Humans learn about the holidays of the different clans while the Nentraee learn about Earth holidays. Todd plans a Thanksgiving dinner with his family, Mi’ko’s family, Dan, and people from his old job at CRiNE. With Mi’cin’ asking uncomfortable questions in an effort to understand humans and their traditions, tensions run high. These are the first steps and there will be many awkward encounters as the Nentraee start to visit Earth and humans are allowed to start visiting the ships.

Another reason this book is much more emotionally accessible than the first book is the reader gets to know Todd better as he talks to his dead husband Jerry to help him get through tough situations. He is obviously still working out his grief and feeling lonely. Todd uses Dan and Brad as sounding blocks and touchstones to remember his humanity while he is under stress and living in an alien environment. He also grows close to Mi’cin. Watching Todd and Mi’cin date is sweet and oddly funny. I still feel this is a science fiction book rather than a romance because that is a small part and not the main point or focus. The many points of view help round out the plot; I like getting the insights. I also like the juxtaposition of the female dominated culture vs. our male dominated culture.

Trying to work out where Nentraee people will build their nation is problematic and gets solved in an unexpected way due to security issues and violence. I’ll look forward to how they plan their settlement and continued integration with Earth culture. There is a bit of a plot twist with the Nentraee looking backward and forward at the same time as they worry about losing themselves and their traditions as they accommodate Earth for ease of trade and relations. I am surprised not more was done with the cádo. They are like intelligent medium sized talking dogs and considered good judges of character who pick their own providers. This seems a great way for them to help find humans to trust and work with that isn’t being utilized. There is a major plot point that is a little over the top. While it gives Todd the chance to step up, again, proving the faith Mi’ko has placed in him, it also makes Todd less “everyman” and slides into action hero territory. I would also say that although the focus is Todd, the reader is given so many other points of view that I would like to see those expanded. The end leaves the reader with the sense that the danger is not over so I’ll look forward to the next book.

The cover artist is Natasha Snow. This complements the cover of book one and has that space meets terran feel.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published March 25th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781950412358
Edition Language English
Series A New World :

Contact
Conviction

A VVivacious Review: Red Zone by TS McKinney & Shannon West

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

This was everything I never knew I needed.

This story had me from the get-go, like almost immediately. I had read very little when I decided not to have lunch just so I could continue to read this one. I read it all in one go and never in my wildest expectations did I think I would like this one so much but, I loved it. It was so good. I have been waiting to get my hands on a story such as this and I had no idea how starved I was for a story that would have me hook, line and sinker, all in till the end.

I knew this book was a five-star read when my Kindle pointed out I was 15% done with the story when Chapter 2 began and I was aghast because a story that had only gotten through one chapter and a prologue and was already 15% done was bound to be a short one and I already wanted more with 85% of the book remaining. I swear to god this was the first time I have ever felt this way.

This book was so consuming that the moment I met Kingston I was hooked. Kingston is the guy so afraid to be hurt that he lashes out at everybody near him so that no one can ever get close and lately life has been all kicks for him so, when his nemesis, Memphis Sabine, the guy he lost his quarterback position to wants to help him, he lashes out. Because there is no way he is going to actually help Kingston but when it becomes abundantly clear that Memphis is not going to leave Kingston to his own devices, Kingston is left with no choice but to give in and finally heal.

I feel like Memphis may have been in over his head at least initially, made apparent by his freak-out but once he got his legs under him he was able to steer Kingston to the right decisions and to finally see himself for who he really is.

Okay, I’m not going to lie Kingston and Memphis’ relationship doesn’t start out as the healthiest but I think they correct that, eventually. Also, a lot happens in the span of just two days which might strain some people’s beliefs. But God even knowing that this story has flaws I can’t help but love it. It was so amazing.

These two are brilliant and they have it, they have what it takes to have an amazingly bright relationship. These two have amazing chemistry, something that I have missing quite a bit in my recent reads but these two have it in spades. These two are scorching, absolutely on fire and the sex is off the charts. I mean these two are so so good.

This book does deal with self-harm and I can’t tell if it is dealt with adequately but I feel like it was dealt with in the best possible way for Kingston and this book does it’s best to get him on his feet independent of his relationship with Memphis.

I loved this book so much. It was everything to me, like an oasis in a desert and I live in the desert so that is saying a lot. God, these two just blew my mind. I am just barely controlling myself from squealing, I have it so bad for this one.

Cover Art by E. Keith. I loved the cover, the choice of highlighting the red really ignites the passion this story brings in.

Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook
Published March 15th 2019
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: His Kindred Spirit (States of Love) by Sloan Johnson

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Dane has built his life around not relying on anyone but himself. When he travels from New York City to North Carolina at the request of his estranged, incarcerated father, he learns truths he’d rather not know… along with inheriting a share in his grandfather’s inn. But the place comes with complications, including a man he will have to walk away from—but can’t help falling for.

Brook has only known romance through notes left in a mailbox at the end of the beach. When he’s tasked with showing his boss’s gorgeous nephew what makes Sunset Beach and Bird Island special, he’s compelled to take Dane to his favorite place.

Dane never wanted the inn, but when it’s threatened, he steps up to defend it… and keep the man he’s coming to love by his side and in his life. But first they’ll have to clean up Dane’s uncle’s mess.

I am such a sucker for stories like His Kindred Spirit by Sloan Johnson.   At its heart, a major element is a mailbox on a beach, one full of notebooks where people come to pour out their hearts and then leave them for others to read, a mailbox who’s beginnings are unknown but is now treasured and  a well-known draw for locals and tourists alike.

We hear these “snippets” of the heart as they are read by Dane or Brook, and they grab you, connecting you to the beach, the mailbox, and their story.  It’s a perfect format and it certainly worked its magic on me.

I actually wished this story was longer because the characters, Dane’s especially, deserve a bit more widening of his back family history and more from his Dad.  Given his father’s incarceration, his involvement at the end was too little for my liking.  Dane is too complicated, his personality built on the lack of family and trust, plus the importance of in his life of several other secondary characters would have made an expansion, even a little one, a beneficial one.

As it is, I really enjoyed the story I got.  The evolution of Brook and Dane’s relationship, which also included Dane’s rethinking his life and his ties to the Inn, and the beach where the Mailbox lies.  The idea of re-establishing relationships with a father newly out of jail and a uncle reappearing in his life?  A jumbled mess of emotion that upsets a carefully lived life and Sloan Johnson does a great job in relaying that all through the characters and dialog.

There is a murky element that changes things, provides more drama and suspense, that almost felt out of place here.  I thought the rest of the story had plenty of authentic drama with the family, emotional changes, and the father, without this additional aspect to it.  The fact that it was resolved almost too cleanly and without more bad feelings seems just not that likely, especially given one man’s attitude towards the inn. Someone who feels entitled will always feel entitled.   That dragged the rating down a bit.

Otherwise, I love this story and that Mailbox!  Especially that ending.

If you love contemporary romance, and letters from strangers helping people to their HEA, this is a story for you

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht. Love this cover, it’s got everything, including the mailbox. Perfect.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 131 pages
Expected publication: March 29th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781644051191
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Wanted – Bad Boyfriend (Island Classifieds #1) by T.A. Moore and narrated by Michael Mola

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I loved the blurb for this story as the fake boyfriend trope always intrigues me.  Flynn Delaney, the bad boy mechanic on the island of Ceremony, would make the worst boyfriend possible for Nate, an event coordinator, so to get his mother and friends off his back, Nate sets out to convince Flynn to be his fake love interest.

Only for a while, right? That’s what they all say.  This story followed the standard trope pretty much all the way through with the guys suddenly realizing they didn’t dislike each other at all. In fact, Nate sees something in Flynn that others overlook.  His best friend, Max, however, leads the charge against Flynn, finding no redeeming value in the man and undermining their developing relationship all the way to the end.

Sounds good so far, right? Well, unfortunately, I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a pretty poor job of convincing me to continue with the story. So I uncovered the e-book I bought ages ago, dusted it off, and finished the story by going back and forth between listening and reading. I had to use the book to fill in many of the blanks because the narrator read so fast I couldn’t follow what was happening.

Thankfully, Mr. Mola used two different voices and accents for the MCs, but because of how speedy he spoke, I didn’t enjoy it at all. Add to that the fact he mispronounced multiple words and he gave Max a voice that grated on my ear drums and my nerves.  Let’s say I was happy for the audio to end. 

That being said, I can honestly say I enjoyed the story itself. Both men were appealing and the bad boyfriend turned out to be not such a bad guy at all.  I recommend the book to those who like this trope. Just not the audiobook.

The cover by Reece Notley features a handsome guy looking at a newspaper.  It’s bright and attractive. 

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible | Dreamspinner Press

Audiobook details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 6 hours and 20 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Audible.com Release Date: February 28, 2019
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B07N12W7BK

S.A. Stovall on Writing, Characters, and her new release ‘Modern Gladiator (Modern Gladiator #1)’

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Modern Gladiator (Modern Gladiator #1) by S.A. Stovall

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Kanaxa:

Published March 26th 2019

Sales Links: Barnes&NobleDreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host SA Stovall here today talking about her latest novel, Modern Gladiator.  Welcome!

✒︎

Hello everyone! This is SA Stovall, author of the VICE CITY books, here to bring you my latest release, MODERN GLADIATOR! It’s a romance between a med school student, Corbin, and an up-and-coming UFC fighter, Keon. What I love about this novel is the enemies-to-lovers dynamic. Corbin thinks fighting is a waste of time, and hates that his sister is dating an MMA fighter. But he’s a doctor in his heart, and when Keon shows signs of having a serious injury, he’s determined to help—even if Keon struggles the entire way.

 Our Interview with SA Stovell…..

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I think my biggest influence is other books and video games. The books answer is obvious—I enjoy reading. There are fun and exciting worlds to read about, and some books really blow my mind with the creativity.

And video games. I know this is an unconventional answer, but it’s true. Some video games have an amazing story. Mass Effect, one of my all-time favorites, had an amazing cast of characters living in a world sci-fi setting that I’ll never get over. When I see things like that, it just gets my imagination going. I can’t wait to tell my own stories.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I love ebooks and think they’re great. I love reading on my phone, and I think it’s the way of the future. Keeping a physical library is tough—have you ever tried to move to a new home with 300 books? Awful—but with a kindle or nook or any smart phone, you can have unlimited books. It’s fantastic.

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

I love intensity in any form. People who get passionate, people who struggle to control themselves (either for the good or the bad), and people who clash with others. And I write them all the time! In MODERN GLADIATOR, Keon is passionate about becoming a UFC fighter. He’s so passionate he gets a little intense—and he definitely clashes with the love interest, Corbin. (Though, spoiler alert, he does find a cute way to make up for his outburst).

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

The wildest scene I ever imagined involved a girl cutting out her own heart and replacing it with another. It did make it into the story—it was the climax and ultimately a metaphor. Really awesome, but not in MODERN GLADIATOR.

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

In a city. At night. Every store and restaurant is still open, but most people are asleep. I have my study where I write, and my video games are close, just in case I want to sneak in a game between writing chapters.

A fantasy, I know, but that would be my ideal.

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 it makes me happy, I have a passion for it, and I want to tell so many stories. Sometimes I “explain” how I feel about certain subjects through my stories, but those are incidental to the narrative. I definitely use reading as an escape, so maybe it’s also to get away. Less sure on that.

What’s next for you as a writer?

So much! The sequel to MODERN GLADIATOR, a fantasy novel called KNIGHTMARE ARCANIST, and the sequel to my sci-fi novel, STAR MARQUE RISING. I have lots and lots of books I just can’t stop writing!

About the Author

S.A. Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gameoverstation

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAStovall/

 

BLURB

A prim and proper aspiring doctor and a destitute martial artist—both with hurts to comfort. Each with just the cure the other needs.

Corbin Friel hates mindless sports, especially fighting and boxing. As a medical student, he wants to help others, not watch them beat each other senseless. But his sister, Lala, can’t get enough of rough-and-tumble sporting events, and she drags her brother along whenever she can.

Keon Lynch doesn’t have much going for him. He’s broke, he lives alone in a new state, and he’s estranged from his family. But at least he has his dream—becoming a professional UFC fighter. Keon trains every day, and if he can just score a few more wins, he’ll get his ticket into the ranks of professional competitors.

But an unexplained pain jeopardizes Keon’s dream. During a backstage meet-and-greet, Corbin recognizes the telltale signs of a bone infection, which could cost Keon his leg. Unable to ignore Keon’s situation, Corbin begrudgingly decides to help. And while he gets to know Keon, finding him more desirable with each interaction, Corbin’s ex-boyfriend isn’t pleased with the development….

And he’s determined to keep Corbin for himself, no matter what.

BUY LINKS

https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Gladiator-S-Stovall-ebook/dp/B07NNJ8JJH

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/modern-gladiator-by-sa-stovall-10332-b