A MelanieM Review: T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Tad bounces around in time and watches mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people—he’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is a fun-loving drama queen. He’s an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams, but despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and they start a friendship that shapes them both and may last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

I readily admit I struggled with this review for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu.  It is at times incredibly moving and at others very narratively dry and drawn out.  It can swing from the haunting and angst to the  huh and almost boring.  It can be lyrical and yes, downright mundane.  So how to meld the two?

It’s hard because I hold this writer in high esteem.  His other works, like The Calling or The Reunion are amazing examples of writing and high flights of literacy. I see moments of those here, especially in that Prologue.

For those of you out there for whom 9/11, even the words, is still that enormous traumatic tragedy that wounds you still, leaves you in tears.  Well, that Prologue will be hard to read.  It was for me.  That is the sort of writing I expect from this author.

But it’s not sustained as the point of view switches from the Angel of Death (one of many) to Doug, a hairdresser and Drag Queen.  For some reason, Doug is the character that removes the life from the story rather than sparks it.  It really should be the other way around.  Doug should have the pizazz, the zing, and heft as it were to carry this story.  And in my opinion, Doug just doesn’t.  At least not until the end.  At the end?  Everything suddenly came together with a twist and I was bawling my eyes out.

But for about one third or more of the story something was missing. The very life that TAD found so special, so precious, so worth sacrificing for. And  I couldn’t help by feel that the author did;t telegraph that in his characters or storyline.  He came close in certain scenes.  But never enough of them strung together.  The novel felt “talked to”, or drawn out when it should have felt lively.

There is no romance between the main  characters here.  It’s not that sort of story.  Doug does find love, a romantic love.  And love does abide. It’s just of another kind.

And that ending?  Well, yes, as I said, many, many tissues and a twist I didn’t see coming.  So well worth it.    If only I hadn’t had to “walk : a long, sometimes long trail to get there.

I love drag queens, I love terrific endings, and the writing of this author.  But all together in this story.  I’m still puzzling that one out.  I;ll  leave it up to you.


Cover art: Natasha Snow.  What a great cover. Full of elements pertaining to the storyline and visually captivating.

Sales Links

NineStar Press | Goodreads

Book Details:

Expected publication: September 23rd 2019 by NineStar Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL https://ninestarpress.com/product/tad/

Need A New Story? Check our the Tour for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu (excerpt) a MM paranormal/alternate universe novel!


The Angel of Death

M.D Neu has a new MM paranormal/alternate universe book out: T.A.D – The Angel of Death.

Tad loves bouncing around in time and watching mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people. He’s an Angel of Death.

Doug is fun loving and a drama queen. Despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction. He’s also an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams.

When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his angel wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and the two start a friendship that will shape them both and last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?

NineStar Press | Goodreads



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The Angel of Death

Doug glanced up at the big void where the buildings once stood.

How could anyone do that? All those people, and for what? Thank God, no one I know was there. Thank goodness, Garret’s train was running late. Even from across the river, seeing the buildings fall, one minute there, the next not, awful. Not knowing if Garret was alive or dead. The not knowing was awful, and it seemed to last forever. Then getting his call when the phones were back up. It was a relief. Still, the not knowing? Horrible. How do survivors do it?

Doug shuddered. He had to look away before he started to cry again. That day. The world wasn’t the same. How could it be? Would it ever be the same again? He swiped at his eyes, keeping the tears he was trying to hold back from dropping. He caught his reflection in one of the storefront windows and fussed with his blond spiky hair.

One year.

The months right after the attack had been hell for everyone. People from all over the world sent support and offered help. But New York was moving on, as it should. They already had seven different architects offering new designs to fill the empty skyline. Mayor Giuliani was doing everything he could for the city, and there was even talk of him running for president.

Doug checked his flip phone and picked up his pace. He was running late. He shouldn’t have spent the night at Tim’s, but leaving such a sexy guy was no easy task. Not to mention they might have partied too much.

I doubt that is even possible. You can never party too much.

There was a large group of mourners, and he had to step to the side to let them pass. He took a deep cleansing breath, pushing all thoughts from his mind, and started walking again. He rushed past the families and friends heading to Ground Zero. Now he had to hustle to make it to work. He’d gotten lucky no one he was familiar with was killed. Still, every time he thought about the attack and looked up at the twin lights filling the night sky, he wanted to cry.


Why President Bush didn’t blow up the whole of the Middle East after the attack, Doug would never understand. Instead, the president sent troops to Afghanistan, searching for Osama bin Laden and taking out Al-Qaeda.

Just as long as they find and kill the monsters who did this to us.

Doug couldn’t help but stop again and glance up to where the twin towers once stood. He quickly wiped at his eyes. “I need to get out of here.” He moved over to the brick façade and leaned against the wall as more people passed him, heading to the memorial ceremony.

“So much suffering and for what?” Doug mumbled. He started walking again, taking a deep breath and trying to avoid the crowds. A woman in a dark jacket passed him and bumped his shoulder, causing him to step closer to an alley. She didn’t bother saying anything; however, Doug thought she said something about his size. He caught his reflection again. He hated how everything made him feel so fat. Nothing he wore looked right on him. Even the baggy pants still made him look fat and messy. He would need to start at the gym if he wanted to continue dating Tim and keep up with his partying. He frowned.

At least I have good hair.

He played with the spikes of his hair.

“It’s my fault,” a gruff voice whispered from behind him.

Doug startled and turned around, but no one was there. He glanced over to the dumpster.

Sitting there, a raggedy black man, with kinky hair in desperate need of a cut and wash, stared at him. The man had the most beautiful green eyes Doug had ever seen. The rich tones of his skin really made his eyes pop, quite possibly the unkempt man’s best feature. The man was in shambles, and tears streamed down his dirty cheeks.

The anniversary affects everyone.

“I did this,” the man groaned through his sobs. “And now I’m being punished.”

Doug wasn’t sure what to do or say. Should he walk away and get to the salon? Leave what appeared to be the crazy homeless guy alone? Could he do that now that they made eye contact? Could he do that today of all days? The man needed help. The man needed a shower and clean clothes. Perhaps, if he talked to him, that would be enough…well, the talk and ten bucks.

That’s what Shannon would do. Talk to him and give him money. Shannon was such a kind soul, and I need to be more like him, more like he was. To honor him. Just like my drag name. Maybe Miss Enshannon needs to be more. I need to be more.

Doug’s heart ached at the memories of Shannon and how wonderful he was. When he picked his drag name there was no doubt on what it would be, but to honor someone you loved had to be more than using their name.

“It’s not your fault.” He knelt close to the man, still keeping his distance just in case. “It was the work of terrorists. They killed all those people, not you.”

“I should have stopped them. I should have done more,” the dirty man moaned.

“Oh, baby, no one could have done more,” Doug offered. Some people thought the government knew about the attack beforehand and the president allowed it to happen. Doug didn’t buy it. Why anyone listened to these people was beyond him, but they did. He just wished they would shut up and crawl back under the rocks they came from. They weren’t helping anyone, and in the long run, their remarks and comments only hurt people more.

“Now, I’m being punished. They sent me here and took my wings,” the man whispered.

Was this guy a pilot? Oh, that would be awful. I bet he was supposed to fly one of the planes, and he couldn’t take it. Survivor’s guilt.

Author Bio

M.D. Neu

M.D. Neu is a queer Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.

Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.

When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric his husband of twenty plus years.

Author Website: http://www.mdneu.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/mdneuauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Writer_MDNeu

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormdneu/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17206592.M_D_Neu

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-neu/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M-D-Neu/e/B076FK1S14/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Kel’s Keeper by KC Wells


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I enjoyed this story of twenty-four-year-old Kel Taylor, home from school for semester break when tragedy strikes his family, and he’s left without his parents. His next-door neighbor, Luc Bryant, steps in to help him, and Kel virtually moves in with the silver fox as he becomes dependent on the older man. Luc is forty-OKseven, runs a software development business from home, and has a crush on Kel ever since Kel reached maturity. Luc is a caretaker, a loving, giving person so it’s no hardship at all for him to help Kel, and when they each learn the other is gay and they are attracted to each other, their relationship becomes more. 

And here’s where I had my first negative reaction: I was a bit put off by how quickly they went from zero to full-on penetrative sex. Kel was raised by a preacher father and very zealously religious family, including his grandfather who is a missionary. He’s still a virgin, even though he knows he’s gay. I would have liked to see his intimacy with Luc develop slowly, with a little frottage, blow jobs, hand jobs, kissing, and more before they have anal sex. But in one night they went all the way. Granted, the scene was hot. After all, this is KC Wells. Still…

During the rest of the time that summer their relationship continues to grow. Luc stresses the importance of truth and full disclosure; he reinforces Kel’s behavior with assigned tasks; they go out to eat and out to Kel’s first gay club, Luc explaining and answering all Kel’s questions. But they both realize they love the other and yet neither admits it out loud. And not only that, they both perpetuate the idea that Kel will go back to school and possibly move away. Then there’s the daddy issue. Luc wants his boy to be his forever, with all that encompasses. He wants to take care of Kel, guide him, discipline him, etc. And he wants to be Kel’s Daddy. But daddies are barely mentioned in the early chapters of the story. Yes, Kel learns what they are, mostly by watching porn videos, but I had hoped Luc would explain that his own dream is to have a boy who can freely call him Daddy and let him be his Daddy in every way. And that’s where the story fell short for me. I wanted it. Luc wanted it. Kel wanted it. But nothing happened until the end of the story. So although my impression was this story was about Daddy kink, it really wasn’t, not to me. 

That being said, it is still a lovely romance and great story, with lots of hurt-comfort, recovery from grief, coming out, growing up, and falling in love. I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy age gap romance.

The cover, designed by Meredith Russell, features an older man gazing down at a young man sporting a chest tattoo. Both men exactly match the descriptions of the MCs in this story. 

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2019
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels


Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Young gay professional Cabot MacCrae has been in love with his sexy best friend, Lloyd, since high school. They’re in perfect sync on almost everything. The only problem is that Lloyd is straight.

Cabot resigned himself long ago to pining hopelessly. Then Lloyd, a roofer, takes a bad fall and injures his collarbone. When he needs some TLC, there’s no question that Cabot will be the one to nurse his friend back to health. But Lloyd’s scantily clad presence in Cabot’s house brings out Cabot’s old longings.

But when Lloyd’s well-meaning mother and aunt fix Cabot up with a blind date, Lloyd reacts like a jealous boyfriend. Lloyd’s reaction makes Cabot wonder if those longings are as unrequited as he’s always assumed. What if Lloyd has been pining for him all these years? Has Cabot just been clueless all along?

This was a nice story though I hated that they continued to make it out that Cabot was clueless about what was going through Lloyd’s head while Lloyd wasn’t able to vocalize his own desires either.  I liked that Cabot and Lloyd have stayed such great friends since they were in school.

I liked both of these guys and even though we say everything through Cabot’s eyes I could see people trying to hint to him about Lloyd and Lloyd’s joking around but I understood his viewpoint of not wanting to possibly screw up their friendship.  I don’t know if Lloyd thought his joking and kinda flirting would work but I get why it didn’t.  I did hate that Lloyd’s mom put him in such a bad situation trying to get him fixed up with someone that was essentially a jerk.

The only reason I went with 3 stars instead of 4 is that I hated that they tried to make out that it was all because Cabot wasn’t paying attention was why him and Lloyd weren’t together.

I really like the cover art by Natasha Snow and the pie that is so important in the story.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 25,900 words

Published: September 16, 2019 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-951057-38-1

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Pure Dumb Luck by Dahlia Donovan


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

When two small-town country dudes win the lottery, they finally find the courage to speak their truth.

An unexpected adventure follows.

Linwood “Woody” Robinson has a routine. He works for his baby brother in construction, buys three lottery tickets every week, and lusts after his best friend from high school. He’s done the same thing for twenty years.

Eddison “Eddie” Howard owns the only gas station in their small South Carolina town, sells lottery tickets, and lusts after his best friend from afar. They joke around but never speak their truth. He knows they’re cowards but can’t seem to find the courage to bridge the gulf between them.

And then they win eighty million dollars.

Life changes.

They go from never talking about their feelings to facing the world together.

Can anything pull them apart?

Pure Dumb Luck by Dahlia Donovan is a sweet, contemporary romance from one of my favorite authors.  A story on the shorter side, it goes quickly, especially as the two men have been in love with each other since they were teenagers, although they never really acted on it.  So you have a, more or less, established relationship that moves into a next stage during a series of trips around the world.  It’s cute, full of romance, not much angst (a tiny bit) and a nice cast of secondary characters.

Things I especially enjoyed was the fact that this was an older couple, the men having known each other for years.  But that same element also made me wish for more of their past history, perhaps scenes or a more solid foundation for their relationship to spring into a full born deep love that’s seen here.  They apparently have loved each other for 20 years yet it takes a win and a kiss for all that to come pouring out?

I wanted to know more about them.  Instead I actually got too much of a travelogue.  Too much hiking or whatever they were doing when all I wanted was more of their dynamics or interaction. Dahlia Donovan is excellent at layered characters and interesting relationships and I was looking forward to a couple who had delayed theirs 20 years.  Instead I got a tour.

Yes, parts of this story was undoubtedly endearing and some scenes were sweet.  But I still wanted more depth.  Or perhaps a balance between travel and relationship that  felt was missing.

I did enjoy it and the reading went quickly as I said.  It was a nice, sweet story.  And I always love seeing a older couple get their HEA.

Cover art:  Well at least one half of the couple looks like they could be the right age.  Cute and eye catching.

Sales Links:Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

Book Details:

ebook, 129 pages
Published September 28th 2019 by Hot Tree Publishing

Love a Contemporary Romance? Check Out the Tour for “Pure Dumb Luck” by Dahlia Donovan (excerpt and giveaway)


Pure Dumb Luck

Dahlia Donovan has a new contemporary MM romance out: Pure Dumb Luck.

When two small-town country dudes win the lottery, they finally find the courage to speak their truth.

An unexpected adventure follows.

Linwood “Woody” Robinson has a routine. He works for his baby brother in construction, buys three lottery tickets every week, and lusts after his best friend from high school. He’s done the same thing for twenty years.

Eddison “Eddie” Howard owns the only gas station in their small South Carolina town, sells lottery tickets, and lusts after his best friend from afar. They joke around but never speak their truth. He knows they’re cowards but can’t seem to find the courage to bridge the gulf between them.

And then they win eighty million dollars.

Life changes.

They go from never talking about their feelings to facing the world together.

Can anything pull them apart?

Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


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Pure Dumb Luck meme - Dahlia Donovan

“Go inside. Buy your lottery tickets. Shoot the shit—all calm and natural-like.” Woody gripped the steering wheel of his pickup truck tightly, trying to talk himself into getting out of it. A familiar pep talk. Familiar and oft repeated. “You’ve known Eddie since elementary school. You’ve been staring at his ass since he played quarterback to your running back in junior high. No point in getting all fucking weird around him now.”

Patting the bobblehead football player on his dashboard for good luck, Woody reluctantly slipped out of his truck. He slammed the door and plastered a grin on his face. Lottery tickets wouldn’t buy themselves.

And Eddie had already seen his truck. If he ran away now, he’d never hear the end of it. The temptation to get back into his vehicle was strong.


This is not even close to the hardest part of your day.

Except it had definitely become the most difficult daily event. Woody had never considered himself a coward, yet every single morning, he walked into the gas station to see his best friend, the person he’d been in love with for years, and said nothing beyond small talk.

He never told the truth of the ache in his heart growing too painful to ignore. He couldn’t. What if Eddie rejected him?

“Your usual?”

Woody grinned at Eddie, who ran thefamily-ownedgas station in their little country town nestled in the middle of a national forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains. “You know me. Boring as shit. I’m consistent, at least.”

“One large coffee, one pack of powdered donuts, and three lottery tickets. Two for you, one for me.” Eddie rolled his dark brown eyes and held out a large hand for the card Woody held out to him. “You never change, dude. You’ve been doing this for twenty years—since high school. I know Coach said you were full of dumb luck, but I don’t think he meant with the Mega Millions.”

“Have a little faith, Eddie.” He grabbed both his breakfast and the lottery tickets, winking at his oldest friend, who hadn’t changed much in the thirty years since they’d known each other. Still as fucking hot as the day I first saw him in the shower at the gym. His warm brown skin had glistened under the shower. Maybe stop thinking about Eddie naked in the middle of the gas station. “We still on for fishing this weekend?”

“Unless you get lucky with your numbers. If you do, we’ll go fishing on a yacht instead of your granddaddy’s rickety old boat.” He tapped a finger against the ticket stub in Woody’s hand. “Go on. Get your ass out of here. You’re ruining the atmosphere. Plus, I like watching you leave.”

For the past twenty years, they’d danced around each other. Woody had given up on anything happening between them outside of harmless flirting. Maybe it was too clichéd—two former jocks who fell in love on the football field finally getting their chance in their late thirties.

It sounded like a cheesy movie plot.

The only way I’m getting lucky at this point is with the lottery tickets.

And I’m all out of luck with that as well.

Author Bio

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

Author Website: https://dahliadonovan.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/dahliadonovan

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/DahliaDonovan

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dahliadonovanauthor/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8184061.Dahlia_Donovan

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/dahlia-donovan/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dahlia-Donovan/e/B00KFNZFHU/

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It’s Here! The Release Blitz and Giveaway for Coast To Coast (Arizona Raptors #1) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey



Length: 57,412 words 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

When opposites attract, it’s not just the team that’s in for a shake-up.

When a stipulation in his father’s will throws Mark back into a family that disowned him, he has only two things on his mind; buying his way out of contractual obligations and running in the opposite direction as fast as he can. When neither option pans out, he finds he is now a one third owner of the struggling Arizona Raptors hockey team, and that is just about the worst thing he could have happened to him. Not only does he hate hockey, but the Raptors are a bottom-of-the-league team, rife with jealousies and anger in a locker room that only knows self-pity. How is he supposed to help turn things around when the only way to start fixing things is to form an alliance with the estranged siblings he’d run from fifteen years earlier?

Then there’s Rowen Carmichael, a stubborn, opinionated, irritating man with superiority issues and questionable taste in music. Butting heads with Rowen, who he’d never even wanted to hire in the first place, is one thing, but there is no way in hell that he will allow the growing attraction to the new coach become anything more. Until with everything on the line, he has to make decisions that will change his life forever.

After years of collegiate coaching, Rowen is given an offer that he simply can’t refuse, although perhaps he should. When he’s presented with the chance to take one of the worst teams in the league and mold them into a future cup contender, the challenge is just too alluring to pass up. He leaves his beloved Ontario behind and moves west to the arid city of Tucson where he is faced with a broken team, shoddy management, and players overflowing with resentment and bigotry.

Never in his twenty years of hockey has he ever seen such a raging dumpster fire of an organization. Yet there’s something about this team and this city that compels him to roll up his sleeves and start dismantling. He has his eye on a new associate coach that’s bound to makes waves, and several key players who should be sent packing. Now all he has to do is convince the new owners of the team that his choices are for the best. If only Mark Westman-Reid, one of three siblings who now own the Raptors, wasn’t so damned rock-headed, so damned snooty, and so damned appealing his job might be a bit easier.

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she 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 links below:

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, 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, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.


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Cover Reveal for “Dog Tagged” by James Brock


Dog Tagged

James Brock has a new MM Military Romance out, and we have the cover reveal for “Dog Tagged.”

Drill Sergeant Clay Norris has his military life running right on schedule. Career focused he appreciates that he joined up when his sexuality is at least acknowledged under Don’t Ask, Don’t tell, even if he doesn’t get to act on his urges as much as he likes.

In formation with his new trainee group he locks eyes with Chevrolet Banks and his life, their lives, are changed forever.

Dog Tagged is an insta love military romance based on real life incidents.

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


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Dog tagged meme

What also became clear to me in my short time with the fun, cute guy was that I had fallen so hard for Private Chevy Banks that I couldn’t get him out of my head even standing next to this walking hard-on.

I did let the hot salesman give me a quick kiss on the cheek in the changing room and tried to forget the warmth of his lips as I headed out to the clubs and got some dance and further drink on, always bearing in mind that I was an officer now and had some decorum to maintain.

Okay, all that means is that I got pretty wasted.

And that I danced with all comers. I was quickly stripped out of that cute little shirt salesman Evan had put me in, my training ripped body giving me pick of the litter. Not last call litter, not still breathing and leftover litter. Porn star guys (REAL porn star guys) were fighting over me, actual pushing and shoving, it was quite the scene, the knot of men who had surrounded this former Drill Instructor.

At some point I looked up to see the smiling face of Evan the clerk from the clothing store next to me, an arm thrown protectively thrown around my shoulder. His sweet smile was the brightest of the lot, I latched onto him like an octopus gripping a clam.

I have no idea how long the revelry went on or how I got back to the hotel.

Let alone what might have happened there.

The next morning I woke not feeling well at all. Slick with sweat, sick to my stomach I rolled my head on the pillow slowly, not knowing what kind of guy I was going to find next to me. Thankfully the pillow was empty, as was the bed, although the blankets were mussed enough to let me know someone had recently nested there. Carefully lifting myself I checked the floor and was relieved to see no other bodies in the room.

But at that moment the bathroom door opened and a figure came out.

Evan, blond and sunny, cute as the night before in tattered jean and a faded green t shirt with a cracked and worn logo on it stepped into the darkened room.

“Hey buster, didn’t think you’d be up for a while,” he said with a giggle in his voice.

Flopping down onto the chair across the room he slipped his feet into athletic shoes and laced them. “Or should I be calling you Lieutenant Buster?” he added with a nod toward my dress uniform hanging neatly in the closet.

“Just call me a time machine man, I wanna go back about twelve hours and start over again.” I sighed from the bed. “What the fuck happened….”

“What didn’t happen is the better question,” Even said evenly. “you were wined and dined, if you count the bag of Dorito’s you were given to strap on like a feed bag dining, given drinks and very nearly given drugs and taken to other clubs and there was talk of taking you to that skeezy bath house connected to the dance club, but you wouldn’t go anywhere without me once I had been spotted. You seemed to be quite taken with modest little moi and since I refused to go to that bathhouse everyone was trying to get you to go to I finally got you back here where there were more drinks and salty snacks then there was some crying….” he trailed off. “I’ve ordered room service for you; hope you don’t mind.”

“Wait. Wait, wait.” I said using a nearly Drill Sergeant size voice as the handsome young man stood, “I need the whole story.”

About that time there was a knock at the door; Evan let room service in, signing the check. “You are a good tipper, just so you know,” he grinned while pushing the tray of food over toward me on the bed then pouring coffee. He motioned for me to eat then sat back down. “I was going out anyway so when I closed up I came over to the club and there you were, gaily lit as a Christmas tree and surrounded by faeries more headstrong and stubborn than Tinkerbell all out to get a piece of the hottest man in the city. Not the bar, the city. And I’m not just saying that because I am the one who ended up sleeping with you.”

I guess I looked up at him like a deer in head lights.

“Stop, don’t flatter me. I’ve got it going on but I’m not ripped like you. Word was out that there was a military hottie on the hoof in the club and every muscle queen and gym bunny in town showed up to audition as your hook-up for the night. I think guys were flying in from LA and San Francisco trying to get to you,” the blond smiled.

“So you brought me back here and we….” I said, mouth full of egg. The food was going down smoother than I expected it would.

“I didn’t get in the way of your fun too much, I just kept an eye on you. Until they started to undress you and began offering you pills, powders and potions.”

I felt myself shudder and freeze.

“Don’t worry. I didn’t let them. I just brought you back here, where you insisted on another drink or ten. Then you got weepy and I held you and let you talk about a car until you fell asleep. I dunno, everyone has a kink or two, but I’ve never heard anyone rhapsodize about a vehicle the way you went on and on about your Chevy last night.”

I was really embarrassed then.

I let a silence settle between us before taking a sip of scalding hot coffee and replying.

“Not a car, a guy,” I whispered.

“I fell off a turnip truck but that was a long time ago,” he smirked while reaching over and snagging a crisp piece of bacon off my plate and began chewing on it, “I figured as much.” Evan said with true kindness in his voice. “I had a brother in the Army and knew you were just blowing off some steam. Those wolves would have eaten you and I like to think someone would have looked after my brother the same way. Nothing happened between us.”

“That would have been the best part of the night it sounds like,” I managed, no longer interested in the food.

“You were a hot mess, but I am very glad you are alright. Now I’ve gotta go to work. If you are in town for a while here is my card.” With that Evan produced a business card with his name, number and e mail on it. “Use it at will.” he slipped the card on the breakfast tray then slid his arms around my body, giving me a very nice hug.

“Leaving tomorrow, but some other time without question.”

Stopping at the closet on his way out he reached in and touched the sleeve of my dress uniform.

“Are you going over?”


There was a slight pause before he broke his eyes form the uniform.

“Be safe. E mail and let me know how you are. Promise?”

“Promise, and thanks. Is your brother back?” there was a pause before Evan answered Yesin such a quiet way that I knew the way his brother had come home.

“I’m sorry,” was all I had time to say before the cute blond turned and gave me a wan smile and slipped out of the room.

Author Bio

James Brock is an Amazon number one best selling author, with fifteen M/M romance novels published and two family autobiographies.

Once upon a time he sold comedy to Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller, was published in every gay men’s magazine on the market (when there was a market, those dinosaurs were killed off by DVD, which were in turn eaten by streaming and on demand…), the Seattle Gay News and Seattle Standard and essays with the late great Alyson Publications.

James lives in Seattle.

Author Website: JamesBrockBooks.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Men-Overboard-100109810041126/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesbrockbooks

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It’s Almost the Chilling Time as October Arrives. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words


It’s Almost the Chilling Time as October Arrives

Hard to believe but October begins this week, sailing in on the wings of honking geese and the quizzical head turns of praying mantises still looming large in my somewhat overgrown garden. Pumpkins have appeared in the farmers markets and grocery stores alike as have the Halloween costume and candy aisles now full of all things scary or politically pertinent.

That also heralds the release of seasonal LGBT horror stories, often short or on the novelette size, looking to ride the wave of holiday horror.  I always look forward to whatever new authors or old appear at this time.  This is how I found the quite marvelous MD Neu who  I have continued to track through the writer’s many releases at NineStar Press.   Fingers crossed I’m that lucky again.

Or maybe it’s time to reconnect with some old horror or supernatural favorites.    Or favorite writers with some new supernatural stories.  Katey Hawthorne has a new supernatural thriller romance out A Thousand Lifetimes, which i will be reviewing later. Vampires in love.  Oh yes!  And TJ Klune and his great wolfpack?  His latest Heartsong, as well as the new ebooks and paperback versions at Amazon (the rights are finally his and you  can buy those versions at Amazon only knowing he will get the money) for Wolfsong and Ravensong.  What perfect timing!  Join the pack!

Next week I’m hauling out our October recommendations and updating them.  Plus looking at our new October releases we are enjoying.

Until then.  Happy October.  Hope the weather is agreeing with you wherever you are.  Happy reading, and happy listening.

Now to our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 29:

  • Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Post for Into The Deep by Amara Lynn (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)
  • It’s Almost the Chilling Time as October Arrives. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 30:

  • Cover Reveal “Dog Tagged” by James Brock
  • Release Blitz for Coast To Coast (Arizona Raptors #1) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • “Pure Dumb Luck” Dahlia Donovan Tour
  • An Alisa Review Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review: “Pure Dumb Luck” by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Kel’s Keeper by KC Wells

Tuesday, October 1:🎃🎃

  • Review Tour – Clare London – Romancing The Rough Diamond
  • Release Blitz Rules to Break by Susan Hawke
  • Release Blitz – Amalgamated by Becca Seymour
  • Blog Tour for Love on the Hudson by KD Fisher
  • A Stella review: Things Happen That Way (Mann of My Dreams #2) by Tinnean
  • A Lila review I Was A Gay Teenage Zombie by Alison Cybe
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review THE KING’S DRAGON (Fire and Valor #1) by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

Wednesday, October 2:

  • Release Blitz – V.L. Locey – Life According To Liam
  • Release Blitz – Beyond the Surface by Colette Davison
  • Blog Tour “I’ve Got This” by Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review: Wolf, Wy by A.F. Henley
  • A Stella Review :Beyond the Surface by Colette Davison
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: I’ve Got This (Joy Universe #1) by Louisa Masters

Thursday, October 3:

  • TOUR The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe
  • Release Blitz Under Pressure by Lauren Ashley
  • Blog Tour Raven’s Hart by Davidson King
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR -The Rising (Badlands #2) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (Narrator)
  • A Free Dreamer Review The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe
  • A MelanieM Audio Review:The Rising (Badlands #2) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (Narrator)

Friday, October 4:

  • Heart2Heart Anthology, Vol. 3 Tour
  • Book Blast – Daddy Bear : The Complete Series by B.J. Smyth
  • Blog Tour Ride the Whirlwind by Jackie North
  • An Alisa Review: Daddy Bear : The Complete Series by B.J. Smyth
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Space Train by David Bridger
  • A MelanieM Review: Land of Enchantment by Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga

Saturday, October 5:

  • Release Blitz Signal – Ruby Moone – Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3)
  • Release Blitz – Liv Rancourt – Lost and Found
  • A MelanieM Review:Heart2Heart Anthology, Vol. 3
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: American Love Story (Dreamers #3) by Adriana Herrera

Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Post for Into The Deep by Amara Lynn (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)



Exclusive ExcerptWhen he was ready to give up, Lamark finally got a small spark, the beginnings of a fire.


Yuvie jolted from his nap.

Lamark cupped the little flame and blew gently on it to kindle it, then lowered it into the sticks and brush.

Yuvie leaned closer to the flame, staring at it in awe. Of course, he’d never seen fire, Lamark presumed.

“Careful,” he said, waving his hand between the flames and Yuvie’s nose. “It’s hot.”

“It’s hot?” Yuvie repeated and pointed to the fire.

“Aye, I mean—no.” Lamark fumbled for words. He extended his finger towards the fire. “Fire.”


“Aye.” Lamark nodded.

“Fire!” Yuvie reached out his hand and Lamark had to dive to snatch it back from the flames.

“No, it’ll hurt you.” Lamark made a hissing sound to symbolize pain. “Ouch. Hurt.” He hoped Yuvie would understand and not try to touch it again.

“Ouuuch. Hurt! Fire!”

Yuvie still seemed fascinated, likely at both the words and the flames. At the same time, they both seemed to realize just how close their faces were, and that Lamark was still clasping Yuvie’s hand.

Yuvie jumped, and Lamark skittered back to the opposite side of the fire automatically. His heart thumped wildly against his chest at the sudden proximity, and at the thought of scaring off Yuvie. He looked to Yuvie, at his wide-eyed stare and heaving chest, and feared the merman might disappear back into the deep.

“Please don’t go,” Lamark said. Yuvie was tense, as if he’d jump into the water at any moment.

Thankfully after a moment, he seemed to relax and offered Lamark a gentle smile. His golden hair was illuminated by the setting sun on the horizon, and now it was Lamark’s turn to be rapt.

Lamark shook himself out of it and returned his attention to the fire. He skewered the fish on sticks sharpened on a rock, then held them over the flames. Yuvie watched with keen interest as the fish cooked, even trying to touch them a few times, despite Lamark’s multiple discouragements from doing so.

Once the fish was browned and crisp on the outside, Lamark broke the stick into three kabobs and held one out to Yuvie. “Here, now you can touch it.”

Lamark bit into his and gave a moan of satisfaction. After all the time spent getting a fire going, he was famished, and the fish tasted heavenly. Dirt probably would’ve tasted like fine cuisine, as hungry as he’d been. Slaving over sticks and stones to cook the fish had been worth it.

He looked over at Yuvie, laughing when he saw how quickly the merman was gobbling up his fish.

That must mean he liked it. For Yuvie, biting into a raw fish was probably considered normal, and this was likely his first time experiencing a cooked fish.

After Lamark had finished his fish, he had to split the third one with Yuvie, since he stared at it with pleading, ravenous eyes. Yuvie scarfed his half just as quickly as the first fish, then started reaching for Lamark’s half.

“H-Hey!” Lamark laughed and batted him away playfully.

Once they were finished, Lamark stared across the fire at Yuvie. He couldn’t help it. Yuvie was too intriguing not to gawk at. His skin was lean, tanned, and littered with scars, from shoulders to hips, probably from his life deep under the sea fighting with sharks and swordfish, or hunting grey whales, or whatever it was merfolk did. Around his neck were a few necklaces made of shells and coral, vibrant hues of pink and purple and sea green unlike anything Lamark had ever seen. Several shells were woven into his hair. There were small green keyhole limpets, bright orange and pink scallop shells, and tiny golden conches and cockles that almost blended in with the color of Yuvie’s hair.

Lamark was most enraptured by Yuvie’s eyes, which seemed to be ever changing shades of blue, ranging from light to dark. Would Yuvie let him move closer again without flinching? His body leaned forward of its own accord, his hand outstretched, closing in on Yuvie’s cheek. Yuvie showed no sign of retreating, smiling warmly at Lamark at looking back at him.

Lamark leaned in just a little more…

Suddenly the sand shifted, and he went flopping down on his belly. “Ouch,” Lamark groaned. Then the heat of the fire hit him. “Ack!” He flopped about, rolling and patting his shirt to extinguish the flame.

A splash of water hit him, and the flames sizzled out. Lamark sat up, panting and heart pounding. He’d somehow ended up right next to Yuvie in his rolling about.

Yuvie laughed at him and poked his wet, slightly singed shirt. “Afeuy,” he said softly.

A sudden wave crashed into them, knocking Lamark off balance. When the water receded, Yuvie was lying on top of him, nose to nose. Lamark’s face burned at the proximity. Yuvie tilted his head, and his lips, which were surprisingly soft and slick, brushed against Lamark’s.
In an instant the kiss was over, Yuvie jumping off of him and splashing into the water, into the ocean, into the unknown, leaving Lamark blushing, bewildered, and mystified by what had just happened.

Lamark moved his fire out of range of the rising tides, adding sticks to increase the size and keep him warm through the night.
As he lay by the fire, watching the rise and fall of the waves, he wondered if Yuvie would return in the morning.Lamark had a feeling he would, if that parting kiss was anything to go by.
Length: 45,000 words approx.

Luck has never been on Lamark’s side.

After his father’s untimely death, the new captain casts Lamark off the ship, leaving him in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean. Lamark is sure his life is over.

In a stroke of luck, Lamark encounters a merman, who saves him from drowning and brings him to a deserted island. Lamark quickly learns that on this mysterious island, not everything is as it seems, and danger lurks in every nook. This island may very well be the death of him.

Adventure, romance, and maybe some swashbuckling await Lamark, so long as he’s not too lily-livered to venture into the deep…

Into the Deep is a 45k pirate fantasy adventure novel with a heavy helping of slapstick comedy and a sweet, steamy m/m romance.


Amara Lynn has always been a quiet daydreamer. Coming up with characters and worlds since childhood, Amara eventually found an outlet in writing. Amara loves anything to do with pirates, villains and superheroes, and angels and demons.

Amara is addicted to music and gets the most inspiration from moving songs and lyrics. When not writing, Amara usually reads, listens to podcasts, watches anime, plays a video game here and there (but mostly collects them), and takes way too many cat pictures.

Amara is non-binary/enby and queer and uses they/them pronouns.

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