A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love in Spades (Four Kings Security #1) by Charlie Cochet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When the cards are stacked against you, the Kings will even the odds.

Ex-Special Forces soldier Anston “Ace” Sharpe is fighting a different battle these days—one involving the world of private security across the state of Florida. As part owner of Four Kings Security, Ace and his fellow Kings tackle everything from armed transport and investigations to cyber intelligence and executive protection. Cocky, fearless, and brash, Ace isn’t afraid to take risks.

After years of working alongside his father, Colton Connolly is ready to take the helm at Connolly Maritime, but his father’s retirement is put on hold when Colton begins receiving death threats. If that isn’t bad enough, his father signs a contract with Four Kings Security to provide Colton with round-the-clock protection, despite his adamant refusal. Colton’s life has been turned upside down, the last thing he needs is a shadow, especially in the form of infuriating, sexy-as-sin Ace Sharpe, who seems to be on a mission to drive Colton mad.

Sparks fly the moment Colton and Ace meet on a sultry night club dance floor. But getting involved with a client, even one as fiery and beautiful as Colton Connolly, is a line Ace is unwilling to cross. Colton might be attracted to Ace, but he’d been burned before. He might be willing to put his life in Ace’s hands, but not his heart.

As the Florida nights heat up, so does their passion, and Ace and Colton are faced with a difficult choice—take the plunge and risk it all, or play it safe and walk away?

If Ace can keep a deadly threat from robbing Colton of a future….

Charlie Cochet’s stories are usually piled on my TBR list, so getting to listen to them is a wonderful way for me to enjoy this author’s writing.  Love in Spades is the first in Cochet’s new Four Kings Security series and based on my total enjoyment in this story, I’m highly anticipating the next tale to be released.

The four kings of the series are ex-military men, a tight band of brothers, who have gone into the security business together after their military service ended.  The “kings” tag each  is given comes from the deck of cards and the full story behind the names is slowly revealed over the course of this action/adventure tale.

The first “King” up to get his story and HEA is Anston “Ace” Sharpe.  The Four Kings Security firm is well known in high circules for their discretion, superb ability to get things done, high  attention to detail, and 100 percent accuracy.  They get the job done. So their skills are known and wanted by corporations and individuals around the world.  Their newest assignment is one  Colton Connolly, who’s father has hired them to guard him against every increasing threats.  To say Colton is resistant to their hiring and protection, is mild indeed.

Cochet does the meet and clash of personalities beautifully between Ace and Colton.  The dialog sparkles and pops with testosterone and sex, the scenes snap with instant attraction, irritation, and amusement, and the characters solidify before our eyes. Or should that be  ears?

This push and pull between the two men continues throughout the story as they learn to work together as discover more of each other’s pasts as well.  This is where the reader learns more about the Four Kings start up, revelations about Ace’s past along with his “brothers” like Lucky, Red, and King.

I want to stop for a moment and talk about the amazing job that Greg Boudreaux does as a narrator.  He swings between characters so easily, capturing different personalities with changes in voices,even accents and languages, that you would think you were listening to multiple actors, and not just one.  I have to laugh out loud at his “Lucky”, I can see him so clearly, from his love of clothes to his accent.  But it’s also Red, King, Laz, and other important (and even strong fleeting characters) that Boudreaux voices so well that makes an impact on the reader and pulls this story forcibly together as an audiobook.

As the mystery unfold as to who is stalking Colton and the passion intensifies between the men, the action ramps up. The suspense and action go up tenfold, with Greg Boudreaux keeping pace, making our pulse race with anticipation and a little fear.

The final scenes are just out of control. I just loved them.  I did nothing but lay in bed  listening to this story unfold and hoping for the best outcome.  Which came of course.

Terrific ending.  Great story.  Love, love the narrator.  Now I can’t wait to see what the next King brings.  I’m gong to wait for the audio version.  This has quite spoiled me.

I highly recommend it.  For all you fans of Charlie Cochet, I’m sure you will have picked up the eBook first.  For M/M action/adventure romance, if you haven’t done so, I recommend this version too.  I just loved it.

Cover art is perfect for the character of Ace.  It’s eye  catching and works for the story too.

Audiobook Sales Links:

Audible.com 💛 Amazon 💛 iTune

Audiobook Details:

7 hours, 52 mins

Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published June 20th 2018 by Charlie Cochet (first published April 21st 2018)
Original TitleLove in Spades
ASINB07DVXHWYT
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Love-in-Spades-Audiobook/B07DVXHWYT
SeriesFour Kings Security #1
CharactersAnston “Ace” Sharpe, Ward “King” Kingston, Russell “Red” McKinley, Eduardo “Lucky” Alejandro Morales, Jacopo “Jack” Lorenzo Constantino, Sacha “Joker” Wilder

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders#3) by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating 4 stars out of 5

Aspiring orchestra conductor Marshall is exhausted after months of auditions without a single job offer. When a friend recommends a change of scenery in the form of a dude ranch run by former bull rider Indigo Santana, Marshall heads there for a break.

Indigo and Marshall are immediately attracted, but Indigo’s confidence is shot after an injury ended his rodeo career, and he walks with a slight limp. He hasn’t been anywhere near a bull since he was hurt, and his personality makes for a pretty gruff host for a dude ranch. He’d really rather be bull riding, and the only reason he keeps guests is because his family ranch is all but bankrupt.

Though mismatched on the outside, the hearts of these two men know a kindred spirit and romance is in the air during the short time they spend together. Marshall is so relaxed, in fact, that music comes to him and he composes an orchestra movement that brings his love of both the ranch and Indigo together.

Unfortunately, he’s offered a position in New York, and with encouragement from Indigo, he decides to take it, breaking up the couple before they have a chance to get solid. Naturally, Andrew Grey finds a way to get them to see what they are missing and to come together for an HEA that underlines the importance of love and family.

John Solo does a great job narrating this story with a wide variety of vocalizations, both male and female. He swept me along with this tale of the West, and I definitely recommend it to others to enjoy in the audio format.

~~~

The cover by LC Chase depicts the upper body of a young man in dress shirt and vest with a dreamy look on his face and there’s a handsome cowboy standing behind the young man. A small photo of a bull rider in the bottom left pane completes the view. The cover is perfect for this story and it gives readers an idea of how Marshall and Indigo look.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Release Date Jul 17, 2018
Type Novels
Length 8:26

An Alisa Review: An Arranged Mating by Jane Wallace-Knight

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Hunter White left home as soon as he was able. Coming back to take over as alpha, Hunter learned of the serious debt his father had left the pack with. Desperate to save them, Hunter entered into a deal with a powerful vampire. The nest leader would pay off all the pack’s debts, on one condition—Hunter had to take a vampire for a mate.

Vampire Aeron Lyons had been in some serious scrapes during his unnaturally long life, but nothing came close to this. Being given to an alpha werewolf, like he was some sort of bargaining chip, wasn’t what Aeron wanted for his life, but he wasn’t dumb enough to say no to a man like Ken Roberts.

Resigning himself to join a pack who already dislikes him on principal, Aeron has no idea how rocky the road ahead will be or how he’s going to spend the rest of his life with a man who hates him.

So interesting concept, Hunter is trying to do what is right for his pack but is getting push back from many.  Aeron owes his life to Ken Roberts and when he says jump Aeron does even if it means moving to a backwater town where everyone hates him.  They both come to find there is a bunch of back stabbing going on and have to find out how to combat it.

Aeron and Hunter are both in a situation they don’t want to be in but quickly find they can make it work.  They actually connect pretty fast and want to protect the other and have to take down a few people for that to happen but they do it together.  I liked this story but felt that it was rushed and couldn’t quite connect with the characters.  It felt like they were putting up a front to others most of the time and I didn’t see the real them much.

The cover art by Harris Channing is nice and gives a nice visual for the story.

Sales Link: Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Book Details:

ebook, 126 pages

Published: July 12, 2018 by Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

ISBN13: 9781642433081

Edition Language: English

Liv Olteano with a Character Q & A and more for Star-Crossed Lover (excerpt and giveaway)

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Star-Crossed Lover (Dreamcatchers #2) by Liv Olteano
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and  Paperback |  Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Goodreads Link

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Liv Olteano here today on tour for her new release Star-crossed Lover. Liv has a   Q & A with Taka, a wonderful excerpt and a giveaway for all to enter.  Welcome, Liv.

 

Q&A with Taka from Star-crossed Lover by Liv Olteano

Interviewer: Is it fair to say that you’re pretty old?

Taka: *glares* No. “Pretty experienced” would be fair.

Interviewer: *clears throat* Right. Of course. Sorry about that. So you’ve been around for a while.

Taka: Since World War II, in fact. Yes.

Interviewer: How do you think the world has changed since then?

Taka: Oh, how hasn’t it changed? I suppose there are the woes of modern life, like speeding up everything – whether it’s suited for speed or not –, avoidance of human contact via social networks, access to unlimited information with lesser and lesser interest in actually getting informed and properly study a topic. You can always find things that are wrong with people and society by and large, in any time and place.

But I like to focus on the positive side. Technology has evolved in a staggering pace. For someone like me, who’s been around during this whole process of development, it’s almost miraculous in fact. Science has made giant leaps. Any kind of progress demands sacrifice.

Interviewer: What’s your favorite part of the world as it is today?

Taka: Oh, that’s an easy answer: technology in all its forms. I love my laptop, smart phone, tablet – all of it. And Ginger. He’s definitely among my top 5 things about the world today. *grins*

Ginger elbows him in the ribs. “So I’m not your no.1 fav? We’ll have words, you and I.”

Interviewer: I hope I’m not creating any tension between you guys!

Taka: Nothing can create tension between us, unless it’s sexual tension.

Interviewer: Well! I think that about wraps it up for us today.

Taka: *chuckles and leaves, taking Ginger by the hand*

Interviewer: “I strongly suspect I’ve just been played to end this earlier than agreed upon.”

Blurb:

A love worth crossing the stars for.

Taka has been a dreamcatcher and part of Team 32 for over six decades, but nobody has tempted him like Ginger—a dancer at club Zee. Too bad dreamcatchers aren’t allowed to have meaningful relationships with regular people. His willpower proves a finite resource, though, when a mission at the club means spending much more time around Ginger.

Ginger’s infatuation with Taka is unwavering. When he proves to have some paranormal skills of his own, he earns himself a place on the team—if he wants it. His decision will change his life—not to mention Taka’s—irrevocably.

But living in the now could prove an issue for a man who has as much history as Taka. Can Ginger’s determination help him make his way into Taka’s heart?

 

Excerpt

“It was broad daylight when I walked into club Zee, but as soon as I got inside, darkness embraced me.

It was rehearsal time for many of the dancers, and the bar was open. During the day you could go in, have your drinks, and watch some rehearsals—all without an entrance fee. Dancers didn’t wear their flamboyant outfits for rehearsal, though since some of them wore considerably less clothing, one might say it was an even better sight. The single- and two-dancer-wide mini stages sprinkled all through the tall and semidark room were black, and so were the floors. Laser lights glided down the dancers’ bodies at night. During rehearsal they had modest colorful lights moving about now and then. There was something more playful than sensual about the mood during the day, and I liked that better.

I also rarely had the time to stop by during the night, considering my “working hours” as a dreamcatcher. Hunting spaga—our enemies—was a nighttime job, since they attacked people in their sleep to steal away their life force and induce nightmares in the process. Our fierce spirit guide Asibikaashi—the Spider Woman and Spirit Mother we lovingly called Aashi for short—asked we be ready to go out on mission from about ten in the evening to close to sunup. Having a curfew after more than six decades of service might have seemed embarrassing, but since I was a long-lived man that looked barely a day older than forty, I kept my ego in check. Some embarrassments you got used to. Like living with my teammates: Claw, our team leader and the oldest dreamcatcher I knew personally; Drew, the annoying one of our two new team members and the muscle of our team; and Drew’s mate and strangely all-around nice guy, Angelo. We were Team 32, operating in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. Regular people couldn’t know about us, or it would make them likelier targets for the spaga. Hanging around people made them likelier targets too. It was best for everyone for us to keep as much distance as we could. But visiting club Zee was a habit I couldn’t shake. In my mind, I made up for it by casting spider magic–fueled protections on the club and people here. As I knew pretty well after all my years of dreamcatcher service, there was no such thing as a perfect shield or protection against the spaga. The reason they chose sleepers as targets was that they were more vulnerable then, but there was no such thing as impenetrable security regardless of circumstances.

Club Zee was pretty popular during the day, and more so at night. Though at night there was pulsing, throbbing, bang-your-brains-out music, during the day the DJ played a different kind of tune. The soft notes of a rock ballad poured out from the speakers, giving the dancers who were practicing a sort of languorousness to their movements. The slower pace made every muscle of their bodies stand out as they moved.

My gaze sought him out before I could stop it. He was never hard to spot. His russet hair, coupled with the soft glow of the spotlight aimed at him, made the sweat on his body look like honey dripping down the corded sinew. For some inexplicable reason, he whipped his head around as if my stare had poked him in the ribs. His gaze shot to mine over the floor, locating me with laser-like precision despite the light and dark effects in the club. I could see the corner of his lips tilting up slowly. It was a lazy, provocative grin that spoke of satisfaction at the attention I couldn’t stop giving him each time I stopped by. He tilted his chin ever so slightly upward and moved his hips with the kind of smoothness that only a serpent should possess. No creature with bones in their body should be able to wiggle like that. This guy would be the death of me, I was pretty sure.

It took a considerable conscious effort to look at anything but him. A fan of self-discipline, I put in that effort and looked away.

I could sense Ginger’s gaze following me as I moved across the floor. I felt it like sticky, warm fingers constantly rubbing over my skin. No matter how long he’d practice from this point on, I knew his gaze would be aimed at me. His focus was a missile that ignited my awareness and arousal, even from this far away. My loins throbbed almost painfully.

If I were a poet or a bard, I might write poems and songs about all the things that simply laying eyes on him did to me. But though I appreciated poetry and music, Ginger’s effect on me had to be kept a secret—from him, first and foremost. In the little hours of morning, after a mission was done but before sleep would take over, I could lie in my bed and contemplate at leisure the sea of desire for and thoughts of him that I nearly drowned in every day; I could examine how that sea eroded away my will to not have him, and how my longing for him grew deeper and more tormenting with each grain of sand lost. Wave after wave of fantasies tormented me. Dreams of what could be but wouldn’t almost pulled me under. If anything, seeing him helped me keep my head on straight—while I was in his presence, that was. As soon as I was without it, I felt adrift in dark waters, shaken by cruel and relentless storms. ”

Want to read more from Chapter 1? Check out the book on the Dreamspinner Press site (Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/star-crossed-lover-by-liv-olteano-9740-b ) and hit the Read an Excerpt button right beneath the cover xD

 

About Liv Olteano:

Liv Olteano is a voracious reader, music lover, and coffee addict extraordinaire. And occasional geek. Okay, more than occasional.

She believes stories are the best kind of magic there is. And life would be horrible without magic. Her hobbies include losing herself in the minds and souls of characters, giving up countless nights of sleep to get to know said characters, and trying to introduce them to the world. Sometimes they appreciate her efforts. The process would probably go quicker if they’d bring her a cup of coffee now and then when stopping by. Characters—what can you do, right?

Liv has a penchant for quirky stories and is a reverent lover of diversity. She can be found loitering around the Internet at odd hours and being generally awkward and goofy at all times.

Links:

http://liv.liviaolteano.com

http://blog.liviaolteano.com/

https://twitter.com/LiviaOlteano

https://www.facebook.com/LiviaOlteano

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6952513.Liv_Olteano

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/zZ7T9

Giveaway

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Release Day Blitz for To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen (excerpt and giveaway)

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To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Length: Print – 243 pages. Ebook – 295 pages.

Subgenre: Science fiction, western

Reader warnings: past and present violence, and references to past abuse.

For a full list of tags, visit: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/to-see-the-sun and click on “Additional Details”

Links:

Riptide Publishing: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/to-see-the-sun

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/829052

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-see-the-sun-kelly-jensen/1128691285?ean=2940162126768

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/to-see-the-sun

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-see-the-sun/id1383776817?mt=11

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/See-Sun-Kelly-Jensen/dp/162649830X/

Book synopsis:

Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?

Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.

Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.

Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.

Excerpt:

Bram pushed up from the table. “I’m going to make tea. Want some?”

“I can make it.”

“Sit. I didn’t ship you all the way out here to wait on me.”

“What did you ship me out here for?”

Bram didn’t answer, and the question burned the back of his neck as he performed the mundane task of making the tea. He selected an herbal blend, his favorite, and spooned desiccated leaves, fruit peel, and flower heads into the diffusing chamber at the center of a battered metal pot. He could program the beverage machine, but he preferred to make tea the old-fashioned way. Leaves and hot water. Sometimes the process of a thing was as important as the result.

He reached toward the shelf of mugs and stopped as a hand touched his shoulder. Warm breath ghosted across the cooling skin at the back of his neck, reigniting his blush. Bram let his fingers catch on the edge of the shelf and rest there, and tipped his head forward. Gael moved closer, the heat of his body evident now as he leaned in.

Lips met the back of his neck in a soft kiss. A small quake shifted the muscles beneath Bram’s skin, his body making ready to turn. He held still a moment longer before following another long-held urge, turning slowly—so slowly—until they were face to face. Well, until his mouth was level with Gael’s forehead. Bram pressed a kiss there, one as gentle as the touch of lips to the back of his neck.

“I didn’t bring you out here for this, either,” he murmured.

“Yes, you did.”

Bram took hold of Gael’s slim shoulders. “Not just this.” And not like this.

In answer, Gael lifted his face, offering up his mouth. Bram’s resolve lasted about a second longer than he thought it might before he bent to taste those lips. They’d been interrupted twice now. No longer.

Gael’s lips were so soft, melting beneath his, opening—though Bram didn’t take the invitation right away. He kissed both lips, together and separately. He tasted them, the scent of Gael mingling with the bitter tang of the outside air. Gael made a small sound: a whimper or a moan. Bram deepened the kiss, still resisting the temptation of Gael’s tongue. He didn’t want to fall all in, lose himself.

Then he was there, falling, his lips and hands operating independently of thought. He craved the warmth of Gael’s skin and wanted to compare it to the feel of his tongue. See if he moved the same way—gently, teasingly. Gael seemed as wrapped up in the kiss as Bram. He shifted, constantly, swaying into Bram, hooking his hands into the back pockets of Bram’s work pants.

Blood shot south to pulse in his cock, leaving Bram in that almost-forgotten state of arousal—somewhere between thought and thoughtlessness. He teetered there, reveling in the anticipation, and let his imagination roam. Oh, to touch Gael’s skin, to taste him. To hear the sounds he’d make when aroused, when brought to climax, when drifting in the aftermath. Would he be loud? Would he be shy and sweet?

A soft click sounded behind him. The tea. Blinking as though roused from a dream, Bram pulled back. Gael leaned in immediately, following him. He kissed Bram’s neck and ground his hips forward. Bram tugged Gael’s hands from his pockets, regret making his movements clumsy.

Gael tipped his head back. “What are you doing?”

“The tea is ready.”

One long, slow blink. “What?”

“The tea.” Bram was still holding Gael’s hands, and stupidly, he didn’t want to let go. But he did so he could turn and collect the mugs. Pick up the pot.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“No.”

“Then why did we stop?”

Bram had to consider his answer because he didn’t really know, not in a way he could express in words. It would have been so easy to keep going. To have had something fast and dirty in the kitchen, or to have picked Gael up and carried him to the bedroom.

Gael followed him into the HV room and sat beside him on the couch. Waited quietly while Bram poured the tea and handed over one of the mugs. Picking up the other mug, Bram thought a little more. Wrapped his fingers around the warm composite of ceramic and plastic and searched for just the right words.

“We’ve got time.” Bram raised the mug to his lips, but decided the tea was still too hot to take a sip. “Doesn’t all have to happen in one night.”

About Kelly Jensen:

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Author Blog | Author Website | Pinterest | Tumblr | Join the newsletter

 

Giveaway

 

Enter the Giveaway:

Prize: Enter to win any back catalog Chaos Station ebook by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke or paperback of Always and Forever: A Chaos Station Collection by Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke. Open internationally.

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Cover Reveal for Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brooke

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 Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht http://brookealbrechtstudio.com

Release Date: October 19, 2018

Buy Link:  Dreamspinner Press eBook

 

 

 

About Gateway To Love

 

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….

 

Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.

 

He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.

 

As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?

 

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States. 

Category: Contemporary, New Adult, States of Love (Missouri)

Pages: 98 (ebook)

About the Author

 

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland someday and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.

 

Website: http://www.sarahhadleybrookwrites.com

Email: contact@sarahhadleybrookwrites.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarahhadleybrookwrites

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SHadleyBrook

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/SarahHadleyBrook

Release Blitz for Merrick The Art Thief by Michelle Woody (excerpt)

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Length: 56,030 words 
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Brilliant art thief Merrick Davidson can steal anything, except Grant Silvan’s heart. Merrick has to keep Grant at arm’s length for fear of revealing his secret. When Merrick’s biggest rival exposes his secret to Grant, the rejected lover returns to win back his relationship with Merrick, but there are obstacles to overcome.


Wyatt Silvan, Grant’s father and Merrick’s employer, is after the famous seven Xanderclied paintings, which all contain clues to a treasure. If Merrick succeeds in obtaining all the paintings and find the treasure, he can retire as an art thief and start a normal, uncomplicated life with Grant.


Together, they hunt the paintings from art galleries to private collections, from city to city, dodging bullets and escaping from life threatening attacks. With danger all around and the FBI on their tails, will Wyatt and Merrick find the paintings and treasure they are looking for? Will Merrick realize love is the biggest treasure of it all, before it is too late?


Excerpt


Rhonda and Grant stood at the end of the hallway, looking around.


Merrick caught Rhonda’s gaze.


“There you are.” Rhonda approached him with Grant following.


“What’s wrong?”


“I don’t like this.” Rhonda leaned close. “I told him you two would look less suspicious with the family around.”


“Oh boy.” Merrick rubbed his chin as he glanced down the hall in hopes Wyatt would be there.


Wyatt’s voice came through the earpiece. “Honey, I can hear you.”


“Where are you?” Rhonda started toward the desk.


“We’ll look around. Bye.” Merrick removed his earpiece. “Let’s try the second floor.”


“Are they fighting?”


“Probably.”


“I’ve never heard them fight.”


Merrick pursed his lips. “Let’s just look for the painting.”


They took the sprawling cream-colored marble stairs to the second floor. The landing branched out to their left and right, walls on both sides lined with framed paintings and photographs. They started down the hall to their right. Only three people moved past the works of art and didn’t seem to pay Merrick and Grant any attention.


Beside him, Grant fidgeted with his watch. He wanted to hold Grant’s hand, to enjoy the stroll through the museum. How nice it’d be if there was no stress or danger, only the feel of Grant’s soft hand, his arm resting against Merrick’s as they walked.


After they passed several paintings, Merrick grinned, bowed his head.


“What?”


He glanced at the security cameras in the corners, then at Grant. “You’re distracting me.”


“I’m not doing anything.”


“You are.”


Grant smiled.


Merrick stared into Grant’s eyes for several breaths. The blue reminded him of the ocean; inviting and healing.


Grant lowered his voice. “Can my dad hear us?”


“Oh.” He looked at the earpiece in his hand. “Maybe.”


Grant nodded as he walked on.


Merrick fell into step beside him, forcing his attention to the art, even though he could feel Grant’s looks.


Grant moved closer so their arms touched. He wrapped his pinkie around Merrick’s, grinning as he turned his gaze away from Merrick.


The simple contact rushed through him. His fantasies of a life with Grant weren’t coming close to how wonderful it felt to really have him at his side.


Grant stopped them. “You’re blushing.”


“See? Distracting.”


Behind Grant, two sets of double doors led to a room where paintings in vivid colors of blues and reds flanked Xanderclied’s Despair. He took Grant’s hand. “Let’s look in here.”


As they stepped through the doorway, Merrick studied the rectangular room. With the recent thefts of Xanderclied works, the upgraded security around Despair wasn’t surprising. A wire ran from the bottom of the canvas, probably attached to a motion-activated alarm. Cameras aimed down from each corner of the room. At the two doorways, nestled into the high ceiling, were roll cages, which Merrick presumed were set to drop once the motion alarm was triggered. It was daunting, but nothing they couldn’t handle. What troubled him was whatever trick Jordan had waiting for them.


Grant faced the door, sliding his arm through Merrick’s. “I’m so nervous.”


“Relax. Nothing is going to happen right now.”


Grant caught his breath. “I’ve seen that guy before.”


Merrick glanced at the doorway, finding it empty. “Who?”


A red-haired man with a bushy beard walked along the far side of the hall. Merrick had seen him before, too. He was the flirt from the Cunningham opening. Why was he there, today of all days? Was he a part of Jordan’s game?


Merrick gripped Grant’s hand as he slid his earpiece back into place. “Guys, we have a problem.”

 
Author Bio


Michelle Woody lives in Springfield, Missouri. Her other titles include Riley, winner of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Award for Gay/Lesbian Fiction, The Scarecrow’s Kiss, and Figment of the Heart.


For more information, please visit michellewoody.com.
Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

We Missed National Book Day? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Apparently we here (well, me, haven’t talked to the others) missed National Book Day which was 2 or 3 days ago. Mea Culpa!  Of course, every day here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is book day but I like to think we help to celebrate books every chance we get!  So I went looking for the actual information and found out lots about book celebrations throughout the year and  all over the world.  Pretty cool stuff actually.

And of course, thought you all should know about it.  So here it is.  And it helps me to remember that September is National Literacy Month.  We normally see Charity Anthologies appear to help support LGBTQIA youth in need during that month. LGBTQIA shelters, local PFLAG Youth YA libraries (yep, they exist), and so much more.  September will be here before you know it. So if you have any local shelters (addresses etc) to contribute, please send them in.  We keep a list going.

Book Day Celebrations – Days-Weeks and Months! These are the approximate dates as they can change every year:)

  • World Book Days by country
  • January is National Book Month
  • Third full week in January is National Book Week
  • Last full week in January is Celebrity Read a Book Week
  • February 23 – Printed Book Day
  • March 2 – Unesco World Book Day
  • March 2 – UK World Book Day
  • March 28 – Children’s Picture Book Day
  • April 2 – International Children’s Book Day
  • April 16 – Book-of-the-Month Club Birthday
  • April 23 – World Book Days by country
  • April 3 through May 6 – Children’s Book Week
  • June is AudioBook Month
  • September is National Literacy Month
  • September is when the annual 2 day National Book Festival is held
  • American Library Association (ALA) Banned Book Week is the last week of September
  • October is National Book Month per National Book Foundation
  • October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month
  • First full week in October is Great Books Week
  • December is Read a New Book Month

Saturday things Redux!

We sent out a call for reviewers.  Check out the post here.  And then contact either Stella or myself about reviewing for us. If you love books, this is the place to be!

Review Redux!  I reviewed Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan on Saturday.  I think it’s her finest story yet.  And it’s a tough one to read on many levels.  Three men, a triad, lost everything, when they drove drunk after graduating from university.  That subject matter alone will get people.  It cost them their future in rugby due to disabilities, and each other due to a deep abiding guilt, shame, rage, and more.  This is the story back to each other.  Just amazing.  Did I say it was only 130 pagesI have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.

Representation and Romance Stories.

We’ve been talking about the increasing LGBTQIA representation in fiction and here are some of the comments from two of our readers:

H.B. “I have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.”

Ami: “As an asexual and aromantic reader, it warms my heart that ACE/ARO have started to be represented in romantic fiction.

Having said that, I still feel that it is mostly focused ONLY in the LGBTQIA books or genre. In my own opinion, it’s not enough. Yes, ACE falls in the queer spectrum, but there are a number of ACE who also identify themselves as heteroromantic asexuals. I guess until I see more ace representatives in MF romance, not just Queer romance, I still think there’s room of improvements.

Lately, I see more “diversity” in mainstream romance more focused on race — meaning representing non-White people. I think it’ll be nice to see more MF romance with trans* as well, or heteroromantic pansexual, or even bisexual in MF romance.”

 

I agree with you both.  I want to see diversity as the norm, not as something we need to point at as a goal.  Or even to the point its past mentioning.  Wouldn’t that  be lovely?

Alas and alac…I can’t even get through an audiobook where someone states things like “acting like a teenage girl”.  Really?  Maybe teenagers, yes.  But   can’t we at least bury the sexist phrases?  I’m so done with stuff like that. “Maning up” “Acting like a girl”….all the poisonous ways we demean the sexes, divide the genders.  So maybe we still have a long way to go in a lot of ways.  But I will take whatever forward motion however miniscule.  Positivity!

Sigh.

Now to this  week at the blog.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 12:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • We Missed National Book Day?

Monday, August 13:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brooke
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Liv Olteano
  • Release Blitz – Michelle Woody’s Merrick The Art Thief
  • Release Day Blitz To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • An Alisa Review An Arranged Mating by Jane Wallace-Knight
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love in Spades (Four Kings Security #1) by Charlie Cochet and  Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders#3) by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)

Tuesday, August 14:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Calculated Magic by SJD Peterson
  • Release Blitz – Sky Full Of Mysteries – Rick R Reed
  • Release Blitz – Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) – Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Alisa Review:Exercising Restraint (Different Dynamics #2) by Tamir Drake
  • A VVivacious Review : Sky Full Of Mysteries by Rick R Reed
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Super for You Bad for Me by Asta Idonea

Wednesday, August 15:

  • Something About Us by Riley Hart Release Blitz
  • Series Review Tour for Revving It Up Series by W.S. Long
  • Review Tour – Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz –  Boyfriend Or Bust by Claire Castle
  • A MelanieM Review: Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • An Ali  Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown #10) by Marshall Thornton

Thursday, August 16:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: To See The Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • DSP Publications Promo Jayne Lockwood
  • Promo Jackie North on Shoulder Season (World of Love)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Love You so Hard (Love You So Stories #1) by Tara Lain and Narrator: Ry Forest / Stephen Kurpis (Vitruvian Sound)
  • A MelanieM Review:  Shotgun Bastards and Other Stories by Andrea Speed

Friday, August 17:

  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • DSP Promo Charley Descoteaux
  • Blog Tour Don’t Let Go by Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Tempt Me by Remmy Duchene
  • A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (Love Letters #3) by Anyta Sunday

Saturday, August 18:

  • Blog Tour for Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood
  • A MelanieM Review: Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

—— Reviewers Wanted——

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—— Reviewers Wanted——

 

 

Love to read?  Want to share your opinion with other readers on the stories you’ve read?  Find a new author you absolutely adore?  These are the things we want our reviewers to share with our readers….

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for a few reviewers to join our happy international family of reviewers and wonder if it could be you!  All genres. all book formats, audio and ebook, and all parts of the  Rainbow spectrum….we want you.

Never reviewed before?  Look at one of our reviews  to see the format we use.  It’s also written up under Rating Scale and Review Info.  Send us a sample of a review of a book you’ve recently read to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

Review as little or as much as your schedule allows. We are flexible.  Contact Melanie or Stella at the email address above.

We are happy to answer your questions!

A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

When one drunken night forever scars three best friends, will they ever find a way to pick up the pieces?

Eaten up with guilt, Ivan Black spends ten years hiding from the world. He retreats to his family forge to wallow in misery. Alone. So lonely his heart aches with it.

Wesley Cook and Rolland Spence have been together since university. They struggle through the physical scars of the accident, building a life in the ruins of their dreams. They find happiness but continue to miss their angry ginger Viking—Ivan.

In all the anger of wasted years, the three men find a way to forge a relationship as hot as the fires in the smithy.

I’ve long been a fan of the novels of Dahlia Donovan, but Forged in Fire may be her best story yet.  It is a deeply moving love story between three men who lost each other and their chance at major careers in rugby directly after the university. Young men drove drunk and disastrously crashed, rolling the car, ending their triad through grievous injuries and the guilt one still carries to this day.  That would be the driver Ivan.

All this we learn in bitter bits and pieces one wet, flooded night as the waters rise about the village of Boscastle and Ivan’s family’s forge high on the hill.  It’s over a decade after the accident and “Ivan the Terrible” as his family calls him has fully retreated from life to his forge, shutting off all contact, including the two men who used to mean the most to him.  He’s plagued by memory loss from brain damage, deep guilt, and a deep seated rage that is his legacy from his father, now in prison.  His past not only haunts him but he fights it every second of the day.  And it mostly wins and tears him down.

Ivan is a savage portraiture of a man.  Driven by his demons yet Donovan continues to make us understand him as she reveals more and more of his past and his struggles to get by them.  They include his father who we meet in prison and who Ivan is named after.

But the heart and soul of this story is the dynamics, return of love and relationship of the triad. Born in the rising flood waters in Boscastle, it’s painful, so slow its like slogging through the rising tide, full of anger, resentment, pain, and loss.  They have a decade of issues to work through…even abandonment.  Incredibly, the author also manages to bring in laughter, giggles, light touches, and some incredibly  sexy scenes that show that the pull between all three men isn’t just some surface attraction.  No, it’s cellular.  These men need each other in order to be complete.  Donovan makes us believe it absolutely.  We feel it as much as the men do.

If Ivan is a complete character, so is Wesley Cook and Rolland “Rolly” Spence, who have been together as an existing couple since the accident.  They have returned to get their third, Ivan, and bring him “home”.  Each one of them, so clearly defined and beautifully written that its a joy to meet them and be included in their relationship.  It’s fun to watch and listen to, the dialog shows the ease of a couple who has been together for years as does the sex between them.  Loving, quick, and warmhearted.  Yet still they yearn for Ivan, all prickles and anger who they’ve missed all this time.  And he’s missed them as well.

The emotions here are huge, the growth, the pain, the fear the oozes off of Ivan as he faces his past, his father, his disabilities and even his future, it will scare even you.  Bring tissues.  For 130 pages, this is a big book.

I can’t begin to tell you all how much I love it and the men here.  It will leave a lasting impact.  One incredibly stupid decision and three lives changed forever.  Now we how the aftermath turns out and lives change again.

I highly recommend this story. The writing is incredible, the descriptions vivid and carry such emotional heft, and the characters so real you believe in them and invest in them absolutely.

And for those of you who are wondering, no this is not connected to her Sin Bin series other than a brief mention of Taine Afoa.  It’s completely standalone.

So yes, go pick it up, dive in and lose yourself in these men and their road back to each other.

Cover art: Claire Smith.  I love this artist’s work and this cover is no different.  It’s perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Hot Tree Publishing  | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published July 14th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB07DS6HLPJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

Forged in Flood is a British contemporary M/M/M romance. With heartache, hot men with foul mouths, and plenty of heat, enjoy getting to know Ivan, Wesley, and Roland.