AUDIOBOOK TOUR – Tainted Life by Mel Gough and Narrator: Brian Meslar


Book Title: Tainted Life

Author: Mel Gough

Publisher: Self-Published

Narrator: Brian Meslar

Release Date: September 6, 2019

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: One-night-stand turns into more

Themes: Angst, injuries, some violence

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 3 hours and 33 minutes     

Add on Goodreads

  A one-night-stand turns into a love story full of dark secrets.


Metropolitan Police detective Pete Tucker’s world comes crashing down when his wife sues for divorce and sole custody of their only son.

Desperate to forget his sorrows for a while, Pete seeks refuge in a Soho bar where he is approached by a sexy, funny, and clearly interested stranger. Photographer Liam Jackson is just the ticket for one oblivious night of perfect passion.

However, their attraction proves too intense for a one-night-stand. To his surprise, Pete finds that he’s game for something more – but his baggage soon gets in the way. Then Liam’s own dangerous secrets claw their way to the surface, and threaten to derail the budding romance.

Is their growing bond strong enough to weather the violent storms ahead?


Buy Links – Listen to a sample here 

Audible US  |  Audible UK

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 


About the Author 

Mel Gough loves writing about love – but with a twist. Nominated for the 2019 Selfies Awards, her bisexual romantic suspense novel He is Mine is a typical Mel Gough story. She needs her HEA fix, but on the way there will be thorns and fire, and sometimes brimstone. All right, that might be over the top, especially since her stories are firmly based in the real world – though not always in the here and now.

Born in Germany, exploring other realities has been Mel’s siren call since she was young. Books opened up a plethora of worlds, and soon gave her a strong love of the English language. After an MA in Anthropology, field work in the middle of nowhere seemed like one adventure too far, so Mel settled in London, which, to misquote Dr. Johnson, she will never tire of.

Mel loves to bend genres – her romances are gritty and dark, and sometimes there’s a dead body. She’s been told that her prose is beautiful yet disturbingly real. She’s curious about bygone times, and hopes to speculate about the future in one of her next books.

She was once asked “How to tell you’re in a Mel Gough novel”

  • You were either sick or in an accident, or you’re caring for someone who was 
  • You’re bisexual (or your partner is) 
  • Your partner has unusual eyes (probably grey) 
  • Life sucks a lot, but then you meet someone, and things get better 


Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

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Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here


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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Hellion (415 Ink #3) by Rhys Ford

Rating:3.75 stars out of 5

This is the third book in the series featuring five brothers who own a tattoo shop together. The whole series has a strong theme of survival and friends as family, so they would have the best emotional impact if read in order, but there is so much recapping that it’s not necessary. This opposites attract story revolves around SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls and tattoo artist Ivo Rogers. I have to admit I was looking forward to this pairing, so I enjoyed seeing how they first met. It’s not what happens plot wise that is the draw so much as exploring what happens when people put aside their learned behaviors of defense mechanisms and judgment.

While I like both of these characters, most of the words were spent re-weaving a world that was already built. A novel without a lot of plot could have really delved into getting to know Ruan’s partner Maite, or his friend and landlord Cranson, or his boss.

The prose is always beautiful and focused on observations: “There was a simple beauty in an older woman—a purity of the soul having settled down through life, a river-tumbled gemstone run smooth from its journey through the waters and over unforgiving rocks.” Yet, no one is explored with much depth, nor are any of the words used to layer in more information about the other brothers and move their story forward.

About 50% of the way in, it gets real as Ruan and Ivo connect, talking about their professions, which are their lives. Then it grabbed me by the throat and ripped my heart out. While this scene is powerfully emotional, it is a standout. Also, it is way too much, too early, for a couple barely dating who have seen each other a few times. It works because it’s what damaged people do: throw it all out there to see if the other person runs away. Ivo definitely gives Ruan one hell of a test when he shows up at the police station. My complaint is that Ruan don’t seem to lay himself bare as much as Ivo does, which means the reader doesn’t get to know him in the same way. Yes, the books are about the brotherhood, but the person each picks–their person–needs to be as fleshed out as they are. It gives you glimpses of Ivo’s and Ruan’s daily life and how they start to mesh them into one, but I didn’t live and breathe it.

To be fair, I have been really thinking hard about why I’m a little disappointed because I know fans of this series will love this. While I don’t like to compare books, it’s difficult when I just read Ramen Assassin by the same author and it’s just so much more entertaining. This gives a nice, romantic ending that I think will please everyone. There is a bit at the end dealing with James, so the audience knows whose romance is up next.

The cover art is by Reece Notley ( The covers of the series are eye-catching with great models and have a unified look. This isn’t quite how I picture Ivo because of the hair.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, First, 240 pages
Expected publication: September 17th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English
Series 415 Ink #3

415 Ink Series




An Alisa Audio Review: Dirty Mind by Roe Horvat and Vance Bastian (Narrator)

Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career and travels alone—his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex—the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.

When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect.

However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He’s a grown man of twenty-one, clever and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own.

Ugh, so I’m going to preface this with the fact that I have been having a hard time in enjoying books lately, it seems when one thing bugs me it puts me off for the rest and I can’t determine if that’s the case or not with this book.  I think it was a combination of the narrating with the writing though I can’t be 100% sure I wouldn’t enjoy it if I was reading and ebook.  But I spent most of this book rolling my eyes or shaking my head in annoyance.

I felt as though Alex was whiney and immature, for being the “old man”.  He seemed so proud of being a smut writer but was also so ashamed of it too, I get not wanting to tell everyone but he acted as though it was a dirty secret.  Unfortunately the story was told through Alex’s eyes so I was unable to get an accurate read on Christian, everything seemed to be stilted by Alex’s point of view and in the end I just couldn’t really care if they figured everything out.  The whole situation with Christian’s mom was even weirder and all it did was make her sound a bit crazy.

This is my first book narrated by Vance Bastian and unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it.  His narration felt very stilted and uneven and it didn’t help me with the enjoyment of the story at all and actually hurt my enjoyment.

The cover art is okay and I think it works well for the story.

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5 hrs 10 min
Published: August 16, 2019 by Beaten Track Publishing
Edition Language: English

Rowan McAllister on Choosing Cover Art Work and her new release The Priest (Chronicles of the Riftlands #2)

The Priest (Chronicles of the Riftlands #2) by Rowan McAllister

Dreamspinner Press
Published September 10th 2019
Cover Art: Paul Richmond

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Rowan McAllister here today talking about writing, artwork, and her latest story in the Chronicles of the Riftlands series, The Priest. Welcome, Rowan.




Hi there!  Thanks for joining me on stop three of my blog tour! And a big thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting.

On this stop, I answer some interview questions that made me smile. I hope they make you smile too.

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?

Funny you should ask, LOL. The answer is, uh, mostly not. As it says in my bio, I’m a bit of a drinkie as well as a foodie. My hubby and I like to experiment with cocktails all the time, so there have been occasions when I’ve done a bit of drunk-writing, but not often. I’ve threatened it more often than I’ve done it. This is because I usually end up fixing most of it so it’s coherent when I’m sober again. But, I will say, a little alcohol can be a useful tool to get me past some of my hang-ups and out of my shell when necessary. I am by nature a reserved person, the product of a family of quiet, contemplative Michiganders- my husband coincidentally is the same way, also the product of Michiganders. A little booze goes a long way to loosening up some of that reserve, since ‘the feels’ is kind of why we’re here. No one wants to read about two people unable to share their feelings for an entire book, or sharing them in the most reserved, polite, and unimposing terms. Jane Austen aside, I think most modern audiences prefer a bit more meat with their potatoes, a bit more passion than a “I really am quite fond of you,” murmured from a respectful distance. When I need to write the passion, a little bourbon and ginger, gin and tonic, or vodka cocktail greases the wheels. But not too much, otherwise what seemed like a masterpiece through bourbon goggles the night before can look like a second-grade book report the next day. And I don’t think day-drinking is a habit I should probably get into. There are other hobbies that are a little easier on my waistline and my liver, because getting old sucks.

How do you choose your covers?

This particular question is timely since I almost had a cover redo for book one in this series so that we could go a different direction with book two’s cover. The scuttlebutt around the internets and the writing world is that drawn covers are out of fashion. Well, honestly, the hard, cold numbers support it too. On average, books with drawn covers don’t sell as well. As much as I love them, it’s hard to argue with numbers.

Now, I choose my covers to visually represent the feel of my books. I’m a visual artist of sorts on the side, mostly with fiber, so I definitely have opinions on the ‘look’ I want. I see it as an extension of the book itself. Like for my last historical, “We Met in Dreams”, the story was my deep dive into the over-the-top melodrama of the Victorian Gothic, so obviously, I had to have a gothic novel cover- i.e. our hero running away from a spooky house or castle. I don’t make the rules, people. That’s just how it had to be. Now, I didn’t include the white dress because it didn’t seem appropriate to my hero… but I wanted to.

For book one of the Chronicles of the Riftlands, The Wanderer, I chose a drawn cover because it fit the feel of the book so much better than the more intense, photo-realistic covers that are more popular now. The series is my homage to the fantasy novels of my youth and I still have a deep, abiding love for their quirky and unique drawn covers. I likened it to the animated version of the Hobbit from the 70’s vs the darker, live-action remakes of the 2000’s forward. Each has its appeal but the look of the 70’s version fit the feel of my work better.

But then, there the publisher and I were with the second book… and we all have to make a living. I tried with the newer, flashier concepts- with brooding men in black armor and demons with red eyes photoshopped in front of a desolated, fiery landscape. I really did. But they’re just not my style. Lucky for me, Paul Richmond took pity on me and drew the cover for book two, so I didn’t have to compromise this time. Isn’t it pretty? I may have to bow the pressures of the market someday, you know, to actually sell some books… but today is not that day!

What’s next for you as a writer?

The timing worked out that I’m actually just beginning to write book three of this series right when book two is being released. It helps put me in the mindset to talk about my new release since the juices are flowing in a fantasy direction. Between each chronicle in the series, I’m writing something else to keep my eyes fresh. About a month ago, I submitted a new contemporary for consideration that was a bit more of a struggle than I had originally anticipated and therefore took me much longer to finish than I’d planned. But sometimes the muse will not be tamed, and perhaps it will turn out to be a good thing promoting book two at the same time I’m writing book three after all.


The Priest..Chronicles of the Riftlands: Book Two

Brother Tasnerek, one of the infamous Thirty-Six stone bearers, is facing a dangerous crisis of faith after uncovering a secret that could shake the foundations of the Brotherhood of Harot. When Tas is sent to protect a tiny village on the edge of Rassa’s borders from Riftspawn, he struggles to resume his duties, risking his life and the lives of those around him.

Girik has always been an outsider, but to help his sick mother, he agrees to be the village’s offering in a painful ritual deemed necessary by the Brotherhood. But when the priest has a crisis of conscience, Girik offers his help to untangle a web of lies—even if it means getting closer than he ever imagined and committing sacrilege in the process.

With a monster lurking in the forest, a wandering mage mysteriously appearing, and more secrets awakening to unravel the truths of their world, Tas and Girik must make grave decisions. A life without danger seems a far-off hope, but love just might be theirs… if they survive.

About the Author

Rowan McAllister is an unapologetically romantic jack of all trades and a sucker for good food, good cocktails, rich fibers, a great beat, and anything else that indulges the senses. In addition to a continuing love affair with words, she likes to play with textiles, metal, wood, stone, and whatever other interesting scraps of life she can get her hands on. She lives in the woods, on the very edge of suburbia—where civilization drops off and nature takes over—sharing her home with her patient, loving, and grounded husband, three furry rescues, and a whole lot of books, booze, and fabric. Her chosen family is a madcap collection of people as diverse as her interests, all of whom act as her muses in so many ways, and she would be lost without them. Whether her stories have a historical, fantasy, or contemporary setting, they always feature characters who still believe in true love, happy endings, and the oft-underappreciated value of sarcasm.

Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Post for Wolf Lost (The Wolves of Kismet #1) by Sam Burns (excerpt and giveaway)


An excerpt from Wolf Lost. Sawyer is on the run from his former pack, and he’s taken refuge with the Kismet wolves for the night.

He wasn’t sure why the sound woke him, but he came to consciousness suddenly. For a second, his heart tripped in hope that Dez was sneaking into his room, but the alpha wouldn’t do that, and if he would, he wasn’t the man Sawyer thought he was.

Besides, this noise was coming from the door that opened onto a front terrace. An outside door.

He strained his ears and made out two heartbeats. Two flickering pack bonds. The betas who were following him. Apparently one of them knew how to pick locks, because there was a loud click, tumblers turning, and the door opened.

Sawyer sat up in bed and turned to look at them. They froze for a second, but it wasn’t as though Sawyer could fight his way through two beta enforcers.

In that moment, he had very few choices. Let them drag him off, which wasn’t an option at all. Fight, and lose. Or kick up a ruckus and hope that the Kismet pack were light sleepers. They were ex-military—it was normal for them to sleep lightly, right?

He grabbed the edge of the comforter draped over him and threw it up and over the beta’s head, and at the same time, yelled the first thing that came into his head. “Dez!”

There was movement from elsewhere in the house a second later, and a crash after that. He only had to hold them off a moment. He could handle that. The important thing was that unlike this morning, he wasn’t alone.

“Fuck my life,” the guy in the doorway hissed. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

The other beta ripped off the comforter, and glared at Sawyer with flashing yellow eyes. “That’s it. I’m gonna cut this little asshole. Alpha didn’t say he needed to be pretty.”

Without any further warning, he lunged at Sawyer, claws swiping out at his chest. Searing pain followed a second later.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited
Length: 50,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow

An omega on the run.

An alpha fractured.

Sawyer Holt can’t go home. The Alpha who has replaced his father wants to use him as a tool to cement his political power, and Sawyer isn’t interested in marrying his father’s murderer.

Dez Sullivan’s leg may never heal from his last mission in Afghanistan, but he’s getting used to that. What he can’t adapt to are the nightmares and the tremor in his hand that the doctors insist is all in his head. Next to that, being a brand new werewolf seems easy, until Sawyer Holt blows into his life. The omega activates his burgeoning wolf instincts in a new way, and they threaten to overwhelm his common sense.

Both men are in Colorado searching for a new start, a new pack, and the safety they’ve lost. Their meeting is pure Kismet.



Sam Burns wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.
If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.


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