October’s Scary Joys and Frights! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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October’s Scary Joys and Frights!

This week’s topic came to me because one of my friends has been sending out pictures of her house that she’s getting ready for Halloween.  Now she and her family are renown for how their house shows.  It looks as though it was professionally knocked out and produced by someone in Hollywood.  Nope, just in the wonderfully warped brain by my friend and her family.  This year?  They are adding actors.  Most likely returned son and his soon to be husband lol.  People come from miles around to see her  place and trick or treat there.  And be scared the beejazus out of!    It takes months of  planning and they start over a month in advance to lay out the decorations and wiring.  It’s’ clearly a joy for all involved.  I’ll see if she posts a vid this year and bring it to you.

She’s not alone.

Halloween has become one of the most popular holidays in the U.S.  We decorate our houses, planning way in advance, and we plan, and coordinate our costumes too.  Parties galore happen all over the place, and streets like  Georgetown flow with Ironman and Scarlet Witch,  Thors and WonderWoman.  You name it, the costume is there, and probably some you can’t.  That’s great too.  People feel free to express themselves, free their imaginations…sometimes it’s much easier to be yourself under a wig and behind a mask  Took a turn there didn’t I?

The unexpected.  That’s always to be found at Halloween as well.  Never forget it’s origins.  More on that to come next Sunday.

Until then let’s enjoy people’s efforts to get into the spirit of Halloween this year.  Do you know someone who goes 100 percent when decorating for Halloween?  Are you one of those people?  I know I am!  And I need more pumpkins to carve…

Some of the readers recommendations for frightful reads?  Let’s see what they have in store for us!

From H.B.:

I don’t usually read horror or psychological thrillers. Those are things I rather watch. But I have read a few books that have ran chills down my spine:
The Rats by James Herbert
My Boyfriend’s Back by Elliot Cooper
Buried Desires 1-2 by Ofelia Gränd and Amy Spector
Silent Woods by Ofelia Gränd
The Deadly Sugar Collection by Ofelia Gränd
The Snowflake by Ofelia Gränd (will be in Buried Desire 3 releasing this week, which i received the ARC of)

I think a story that is written with an ominous tone and reference things like murder,death or torture as if it’s a everyday occurrence in people’s lives is chilling. If it becomes too gruesome it just becomes hard to read also.

From Purple Reader:

Boy, you really do like Oct; plenty of good ideas. As are the ones from H.B. Like H.B., I’ve not made my tbr-for-Oct list yet, but here are some more I’d rec from two authors you’ve mentioned:
If you like John Inman like I do, definitely rec Spirit, and:
– Sunset Lake
– The Boys on the Mountain
If you love Jordan L. Hawk like I do, also rec. Hainted, and:
– Restless Spirits (Spirits #1)
– Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin #2)

What makes a story go Boo for You?  And which ones have?

You have until the end of the month to get your recs into us.  I’m sure the authors and publishers will be releasing titles all month.  Let us know what new ones you find.  We will be doing the same.  Gift certs will be given out in our Horror or Boo For You Title Rec Giveaway!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 14:

  • Release Blitz: Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
  • Blog Tour Savor Me (Kitchen Gods #3) by Beth Bolden
  • October’s Scary Joys and Frights!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 15:

  • Release Blitz Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • Release Blitz – – His To Save (The Candy Cane Club #2) by Ari McKay
  • Dreamspun Promo Cari Z. on Handle with Care
  • A VVivacious Review: Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
  • A Lucy Review: Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Devil Take Me Anthology

Tuesday, October 16:

  • Release Day Blitz Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) by Anyta Sunday
  • Review Tour – Lone Wolf by Anna Martin
  • Promo BA Tortuga
  • A MelanieM Releases Day Review: Calculated Magic by SJD Peterson
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: Handle With Care by Cari Z
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain) by Parker Williams
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lone Wolf by Anna Martin

Wednesday, October 17:

  • Tour for Soulbound by Archer Kay Leah
  • Release Blitz – Roads Series by Garrett Leigh
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Baylin Crow – Fling
  • TOUR Leopold Author: M.D. Grimm
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Yakuza (Guns and Roses #1) by Lilia Blanc
  • A Lila Review: Rebuilding Hope (Kindred #1) by Jessie G.

Thursday, October 18:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • Review Tour Boy Shattered by Eli Easton
  • BLOG TOUR Commitment Collection Box Set by Karen Botha
  • Promo TOUR for Parker Williams and  Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain)
  • A Lucy Prerelease Review: Harmonious Hearts 2018
  • A Stella Review: Savor Me by Beth Bolden
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton

Friday, October 19:

  • Review Tour – Sam Burns’ Adder and Willow
  • Release Blitz – Sarah Hadley Brook’s Gateway To Love
  • Promo BL Morticia
  • Harmony Promo Lou Hoffmann
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • A Free Dreamer  Review: Adder and Willow (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #6) by Sam Burns
  • A Caryn Review:  Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay

Saturday, October 20:

  • Release Blitz Tour – Blake Moreno – Heat For Sale (writing Leta Blake) Signal Boost
  • A BeeJay Review: Escaping Solitude (Escape Trilogy #2) by Sara Dobie Bauer

 

 

 

What Makes A Scary Story? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What Makes A Scary Story?

Is it an outright gore fest?  Or is it the chill that builds?  The scream that shatters the night?  Or the quiet that settles softly, quickly before it becomes apparent all noises have ceased…except for the sounds of someone breathing?

If you are talking about a romance with a touch of the dread, is one member of the couple in  danger or both? Contemporary, paranormal, supernatural or does it even matter?  Does it have clowns?  *Shudders*

What’s your cuppa chilling horror?  Do you even have one?

Mine have always been the latter, no not clowns, never clowns.  A twist on the normal where suddenly things are just a little bit off, then come a skittering of beetles….enough to send shivers up your spine but not enough to make you put down the story.  That’s why I have always loved the lyrical, almost poetic works like Lily or Earthly Concerns by Xavier Axelson where the horror is quiet and unearthly. Or The Reunion by M.D. Neu which layer by layer slowly unfolded a remarkable truth.

Other reviewers here  have loved the scary tales that John Inman has occasionally written.  Others fall into the shifter romances which for me aren’t really horror or scary tbh.

What are your criteria for a story to fall into a horror or scare genre?  I was scanning through various writing blogs  and most agree that there are 8 elements for horror:

8 Elements Of A Horror Story
  • Gothic elements. Things put in a story meant to scare you.
  • Monster. Antagonist.
  • Protagonist. Someone who battles the monster.
  • Motivation. Why the monster is what it is.
  • Setting/atmosphere. Over all feeling you get.
  • Foreshadowing. Gives clue on what is going to happen.
  • Mood. The readers feeling as they are reading the story.
  • Suspense.

Amazing how that can apply to contemporary stories where the monsters are human beings who do the most atrocious things. Real monsters are everywhere unfortunately.  However, back to things that go bump in the night.

Most of us don’t think about this when reading our stories.  We think about the end product.  How did we feel reading the story?  Did we get the shivers?  Were we concerning for the couple/person involved?  Did the events/ending upset us?  Did the tale continue to linger with us long after the story was done?  I think we can agree that most great monsters and stories live on and on because their creators have done their job extremely well and their stories continue to resonate generation after generation.  Just look at Frankenstein and Dracula!

So getting back to our current stories or just plain stories.  Which ones have continued to resonate with you?  Or what new ones have found a home in your collection?

What makes a story go Boo for You?  And which ones have?

You have until the end of the month to get your recs into us.  I’m sure the authors and publishers will be releasing titles all month.  Let us know what new ones you find.  We will be doing the same.  Gift certs will be given out in our Horror or Boo For You Title Rec Giveaway!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 7:

  • What Makes A Scary Story?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • BLOG TOUR: Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G
  • Release Blitz: BURN (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice

Monday, October 8:

  • Book Blast – A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  TOO HOT! by Avery Giles
  • Blog Tour Date His Instant Family by Rheland Richmond
  • A Lucy Review: A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke
  • An Alisa Review: Square One (Under The Uniform #7) by JJ Harper
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2) by Layla Reyne
  • An Ashlez Review: Murderous Twins by Edward Kendrick

Tuesday, October 9:

  • BLOG TOUR Craft Brews by Layla Reyne
  • Hearts Untouched by Andrew Grey Book Tour
  • Release Blitz – Lone Wolf – Anna Martin
  • Release Blitz –  From The Ashes by C.M. Valencourt
  • An Alisa Review: Ginger and the Wolf by Kerry McBoyd
  • A Free Dreamer Review: SYN Consulting (Dragon War Chronicles #1) by A.G. Carothers
  • A Caryn Review: Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall

Wednesday, October 10:

  • Review Tour – Leta Blake – Any Given Lifetime
  • New Release Blitz: Out in the End Zone by Lane Hayes
  •  Promo David C. Dawson
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Untouched (Hearts Entwined #3) by Andrew Grey
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Texas Charm (Aberrant Magic series#6) by Lyn Gala
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

Thursday, October 11:

  • Release Blitz – Take It All – Steamy Encounters Collection by Quin Perin
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burns’ Adder and Willow
  •  Promo Andrew Grey
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Long Black Cadillac by BA Tortuga
  • A MelanieM Review: Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Lila Review: His Pagan Love by Wayne Mansfield
  • A Stella Review: Falling Into Love by Nell Iris & Kris T Bethke

Friday, October 12:

  • Release Blitz – Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • Dreamspun Promo SJD Peterson
  • Review Tour – Neve Wilder’s Center Of Gravity
  • A MelanieM Review: Love’s Trials (Revolutionary Heart #2) by Janice Jarrell
  • An Ali Review: Sadistic Sherlock (Ward Security #4) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
  • A MelanieM Review: Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) by Neve Wilder

Saturday, October 13:

  • A Stella Release Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas
  • Blog Post Request – Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) by Neve Wilder

A Lila Audiobook Review: Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico) by BA Tortuga and Narrator: Dorian Bane

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.

Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows, because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.

When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ, or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there—if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.

The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.

But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?

Cowboy in the Crosshairs is a western comedy with a second chance love story at its center. Everything from Wacey’s name, and those of his siblings, to his mishaps with TJ, added to the comedic style the author often uses. If you are looking for drama, this book is not it.

What it really is… an escape from a traditional cowboy romance. It’s about rodeo, family legacy, and missed opportunities. It’s easy to cheer for Wacey and TJ, and the whole cast added to the out of the ordinary story. I enjoyed their families and their crazy neighbors.

The author did an excellent job bringing the story full circle from the moment the main characters saw each other again, to the hints of their life together after their HEA. The easy love between Wacey and TJ was refreshing and how much they enjoyed each other kept the reader engaged.

This is a good start to a new series. A bit out of the ordinary, but good enough for an easy read day.

I’m not a big fan of Dorian Bane and this narration didn’t help the cause. Yes, it was western, but it took away from the characters. Some of them were too much of a stereotype. I felt like I was listening to The Dukes of Hazzards’ narrator; it worked in some areas, but others were ridiculous.

The cover by Bree Archer fits the story and the series. I’m not sure if the cowboy is Wacey or TJ, though.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 6 hours 23 minutes
Published: August 16, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07GJ3VGS2
Edition Language: English

Series: Turquoise, New Mexico
Book #1: Cowboy in the Crosshairs

Falling Frightfully Into October! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Falling Frightfully Into October!

 

How I love this month! Or to be more specifically the month of October, only days away!  It’s a time of changing leaves, the arrival of fall, hopefully a crispness of air, and of course, that favorite  of holidays Halloween!  All Hallows Eve. More about the holiday later this month.  But it’s also time to think about all those lovely stories that carry a tinge of horror, a bite of fright, or a element of scare!

So all month I’ll be recommending series and stories to read.  I hope you will be chiming in too.  We need our Frightening Reads Recommendations!

So to get us started heres some that I’ve rec’d from the past:

From Missouri Dalton, author of the recent releases

The Hanged Man’s Ghost (The Night Wars, #1)
The Night Shift (The Night Wars #2)
The Hellfire Legacy

Guidebook Series

Vampirism And You! (Guidebook 01) ~ my review here
Necromancy and You (Guidebook 02) ~ my review here

Pretty Monsters coverPeek A Boo coverTriple Feature coverJosh of the Damned The Final Checkout

Author Andrea Speed:

Josh of the Damned Series – humor and the Supernatural -killer combo along with outstanding covers

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #1 (Josh of the Damned #3) by Andrea Speed
Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned, #1)
Peek-a-Boo (Josh of the Damned, #2)
Night of the Dust Bunnies (Josh of the Damned, #3.5)
Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout (Josh of the Damned #4)
Merry Christmas, Josh! (Josh of the Damned #4.5)
Josh of the Damned: The Complete Collection

The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric Arvin

And finally, two short tales of such lyrical elegance and narrative poetry I read them over and over in admiration.   These should be on everyone’s must read list!

End Street Detectives by RJ Scott and Amber Kell

Lily by Xavier Axelson

Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall

Now from some previous years recommendations:

In A Dark Wood civerKraken coverWinter Kills coverDown cover

 

 

 

 

 

In a Dark Wood by Josh Lanyon: If you want something scary-creepy to make you cower under the blankets and double-check the doors and windows. Look no further. Who knew Lanyon could rival King, in this I see the making of the Master of M/M horror. And this horror buff wants more of this style of writing from Lanyon please.

Winter: Haunted Heart by Josh Lanyon: For those who want more of haunted-creepy, Lanyon has you covered there as well. Check out this lovely ghostly mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. The audio version’s narrator is excellent if you’re into audiobooks.

Kraken by M. Caspian: Ready for the creature feature now guys? Then check this one out. It takes creepy to a whole new level. You know the slimy, make-your-skin crawl kind. *shiver*

Down by Ally Blue: Features violence and death trapped seven fathoms below the deep. Creatures with glowing purple eyes and sharp teeth and a horror that could annihilate the human race-EEK! Tantalizing beginning and an ending that circled nicely back to it. The author’s writing style didn’t work well for me personally, but many others loved it and the story is most certainly eerie and quite unique.

As for favorite scary reads…
Slasherazzi by Daniel A. Kaine

Favorite shifters…
The Tameness of the Wolf series by Kendall McKenna

Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk

Spirit by John Inman

What are you reading this All Hallows Eve?  We will be adding to the list all month long and gift certificates will be given out!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 30:

  • Falling Frightfully Into October!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • New Release Blitz for Sadistic Sherlock (Ward Security #4) by Joceylynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
  • Cover Reveal – Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice
  • A MelanieM Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • A Stella Review The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring (Butterfly Hunter #3) by Julie Bozza

Monday, October 1:

  • Cover Reveal Commitment Collection Box Set by Karen Botha
  • Dreamspun Promo Kim Fielding on The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril)
  • Promo Tara lain on Love You So Special
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Surviving the Apocalypse by Tinnean
  • A Lucy Review From the Ashes by C.M. Valencourt
  • A MelanieM Review: A Taste Of Agapi by Chris Ethan
  • A Stella Review: Holiday Tales from Fairyland by Joe Cosentino

Tuesday, October 2:

  • BLOG TOUR THRALL by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish
  • Blog Tour With a Twist by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn
  • TOUR To Save His Prince by Hurri Cosmo
  •  BLITZ A Dance of Water and Air by Antonia Aquilante
  • A Jeri Review: Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish
  • A Lila Audiobook Review Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico) by BA Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril) by Kim Fielding

Wednesday, October 3:

  • Release Blitz – Claw Marks & Card Games by Maz Maddox
  • Cover Reveal Tour – V.L. Locey – One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5)
  • Review Tour Garrett Leigh – Lucky
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady  Review: Of Sunlight and Stardust by Riley Hart & Christina Lee
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: The Librarian’s Ghost (The Supers #2) by Sean Michael
  • An Ali Review: Lucky by Garrett Leigh
  • A Stella Review: All He Ever Needed by Cate Ashwood

Thursday, October 4:

  • Release Day Blitz Of Sunlight and Stardust by Riley Hart & Christina Lee
  • Spotlight Blog Tour and Giveaway for Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall
  • Release Blitz –  – Center Of Gravity by Neve Wilder
  • Dreamspun Promo Sean Michael
  • An Alisa Review: Promises: The Next Generation (Bounty Hunters #5) by A.E. Via
  • An Ashley Review: The Academy by Quinn Anderson
  • A MelanieM Review : Distant Cousins by Eric Huffbind

Friday, October 5:

  • Consulting: Dragon War Chronicles Book One by AG Carothers Blog Tour
  • Harmony Promo Russell J. Sanders
  • Review Tour – Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey
  • A Free Dreamer Review: BURN (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Of Gallantry and Magic, by Alex Hintermann
  • A MelanieM Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey
  • An Ashley Review The Beach Brat by Louise Collins

Saturday, October 6:

  • Book Blast: The Selkie Prince and His Omega Guard
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – Us Again
  • Release Blitz *signal)Tour – Jay Northcote – Not Just Friends
  • A MelanieM Review: Claw Marks & Card Games (Stallion Ridge #2) by Maz Maddox
  • A Stella Review “no way out” by Eric Alan Westfall

 

 

A Lila Audio Review: His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane and Kenneth Obi (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.

Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now one of Hollywood’s hottest properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing—and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable—on and offscreen.

Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherishes. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset?

His Leading Man is all about indie films and production. A behind the scene, step-by-step path from pre-production to award season. The book does read like the script for an independent movie. It’s one I could see in a Fine Art theater or a small company production. And that’s one of the reasons the story didn’t rate higher for me. The technicalities took away from me getting invested in Steve’s and Drew’s love story.

They did have an interesting chemistry and their personalities gelled well. I like the sass between them and how they worked together to further develop the script. I love the dog, Drew’s over the top personality, and Steve’s smart wit.

There’s not much drama in the story and everything has a simple solution. The secondary characters, especially Steve’s mom, added that humor to the story that made it unique. It’s an interesting story, different from most Dreamspun titles.

Kenneth Obi brings the story to life and adds to the characters. I’m glad he did the narration.

The cover by Bree Archer is generic to the Dreamspun Desires series. Not really enticing, but good enough for the story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Kenneth Obi
Length: 5 hours 22 minutes
Published: August 16, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07GJSKZMN
Edition Language: English

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Guarding His Melody (Enhanced World Standalone) by Victoria Sue

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Guarding His Melody (Enhanced World Standalone) by Victoria Sue

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Jay Aheer

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Victoria Sue here today talking about her latest novel      Guarding His Melody, the latest story and standalone novel in the Enhanced Universe.  Welcome!

♦︎

 

A standalone in the Enhanced World 

Deaf since childhood, Sebastian Armitage had a promising musical future until his dreams were shattered when he transformed at twelve years old. In a world where enhanced humans are terrorized and imprisoned, his life shrinks around him even more as he suffers the torment of his father’s experimental research to enable him to hear.

Gray Darling—struggling with the scars left by his experience in Afghanistan—agrees to provide short-term personal protection when anonymous threats escalate into assault on those closest to Seb.

As the lines between protection and attraction blur, Gray and Seb can’t ignore the intense feelings drawing them together. But secrets and betrayals might prove deadly, unless Gray is willing to risk it all. And Seb must find the strength to make his own future and sing his own song

 

Excerpt

 

“You haven’t shown the cops these.” It was a rhetorical question.

“No,” Seb whispered miserably.

“The detectives need to see them,” Gray insisted. “There’s all sorts of tests they can run, not least DNA if someone was dumb enough to lick the envelopes.”

Seb looked at him incredulously.

“You’d be surprised how stupid people can be,” Gray said. He looked in the file. “Envelopes?”

“I only have the one from today.” He nodded to the trash, and Gray fished it out using the corner of his shirt again, so he didn’t touch it.

“Does anyone know?”

Seb hesitated almost imperceptibly and with a flash of insight, Gray knew. “Arron?” Seb lowered his head, which was as good as an admission.

Gray sat down heavily on the bed, and Seb sank down next to him. Gray tapped Seb’s shoulder, and Seb raised his head, misery stark in his eyes. “How long have they been arriving?”

“Five months,” Seb whispered. “There were two more that I gave to Arron.”

Gray swore quietly to himself. “What did Arron do?”

“He was going to talk to a detective friend of his but said if I stopped the lessons and just lay low for a while, things might smooth over. He said there’s a team of enhanced in Florida—SWAT or something”—Seb frowned—“who are making a lot of waves, and people are getting real nervous.”

“FBI,” Gray corrected.

“Yeah, they saved a judge. Arron says it means things are changing, but that it also paints a target on my back.”

Gray’s heart sank. Not for what had happened to Arron, because as far as he was concerned, the man had been a fool, but Gray didn’t like coincidences even if on the face of things the suicide looked genuine. He didn’t like that Arron seemed to be trying to keep things quiet. Or had he? Had the man told someone else who couldn’t be trusted, and it had gotten him killed? Maybe Gray was misjudging him.

Gray also didn’t like blaming this on some supposed hate group. Not that they weren’t powerful, because he should know and had the scars to prove it. He just wasn’t convinced someone would go to all that trouble to pick on some kid who lived like a recluse because of a scar on his face. He thought it was something much simpler. And in particular, fourteen million of them. He picked up his phone to call Rawlings. It might be an idea to watch both Mrs. Pickering and Seb’s dad while they found out what the actual fuck was going on.

The words to ask Seb why he hadn’t told him were on his lips, and Gray had to forcefully swallow them to stop them escaping. Seb had known him less than one week. He’d known Arron for nearly three years, and Arron had been killed. Seb was blaming himself. He was mired in secrets and enough problems that would drive most people nuts. He was also doing his best to protect himself and didn’t know who to trust. Gray didn’t blame Seb for not telling him.

About the Author

Victoria Sue

Victoria Sue fell in love with love stories as a child when she would hide away with her mom’s library books and dream of the dashing hero coming to rescue her from math homework. She never mastered math but never stopped loving her heroes and decided to give them the happy ever afters they fight so hard for.
She loves reading and writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best—and creating a family for them to adore. Thrilled to hear from her readers, she can be found most days lurking on Facebook where she doesn’t need factor 1000 sun-cream to hide her freckles.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1182647028418709/

 

Giveaway

 

To enter to win, use this link below.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7fc3cf041/?

A MelanieM Audio Review: When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso and Michael Mola (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When they were kids, Chris Mitcham rescued Theo from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that arise at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and his stunted, tenuous relationship with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?

In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with awkward firsts and a few haters, but also the unexpected comfort of a friend turned lover.

I fell hopelessly in love with this story, with Theo from the moment narrator  Michael Mola ushers  us into his gentle, brilliant interpretation of Laura Lascarso’s teenage character discovering his love for his long time best friend just before his birthday and beginning of school.

From the accent, to the confused musings that sound exactly like they would come from a teenager, When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso is that new adult coming out story that hits every high mark you expect in such a novel and rarely get.

The characters are beautifully nuanced, believable, and ones that grab at your heart.  Theo’s home situation rings especially true where the father has a new younger family (also a layered portrait where the new wife is struggling and deserving of our compassion), a twin sister desperate for her father’s approval, and a quietly supportive mother whose Puerto Rican culture has contributed so much  to who Theo is becoming as an adult.  It’s understated in some ways and so much of the character’s foundation at the same time.  A beautiful job by the author and the narrator as seen by the gorgeous accent given to Theo in the audiobook.

In tandem with Theo is Chris, Theo’s best friend,next door neighbor, and the boy he’s in love with.  They’ve been joined at the hip for years, surfing, skateboarding, just being with one another, until now Theo has his “sexual awakening” and knows that it’s Chris that he’s not only attracted to but in love with.  His straight best friend and that causes all sorts of confusion and heartache.

There is so much here in this story much of which I can’t relate without venturing into spoiler territory.  And that would be unfortunate for this is a journey I recommend readers take for themselves as I’m putting this book (and this audio version) on my Best of 2018 List.  The beauty of the friendship and support between Theo and Chris is one to be remembered and treasured.  The strength of Theo as a young man finding his way through coming out and establishing himself as a gay youth to his family, friends, and community is also not to be missed.

Lascarso has done a tremendous job in creating not only a compelling story of teenage young love and relationship dynamics (between love lovers, siblings, and family) but also in making a realistic unfortunate use of the media part of her storyline.  That is something teenagers deal with every day.  It’s almost routine and here the consequences have the same devastating effects.

Reading it?  Brings the issue vividly to life.  Hearing it?  The emotional toll becomes so cuttingly real, so heartbreaking that you immediately think of all the others dealing with the same issues in schools everywhere.

Never fear, the ending is as remarkable as the rest of this story.  How I love it so.

After having listened to the marvelous voice of  Michael Mola, his range of diversity when it comes to the cast of characters of this novel, I can’t imagine just reading When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso.  I highly recommend you listen to the audiobook version and settle in for an outstanding evening of contemporary listening pleasure.  As I said this one is high on my list for Best of for 2018.  After you listen, I believe you will agree as well.

Cover Artist: AngstyG.  Along with the perfect of the writing and the narration, we have the great cover which has major elements from the storyline and is just beautiful to look at.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, Length 07:01:00

Published August 13th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published March 6th 2018)
Original TitleWhen Everything Is Blue
ASINB07G9RJBB7

Final Thoughts on Literary Titles ! and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Final Thoughts on Literary Titles !

Hard to believe that once again September is winding down.  Well, it has been an eventful month.  Hurricanes, flooding, and well, just plain old tons of rain pouring through my communities have a dampening effect  that washed away  my planned thoughts for posted blogs.  Maybe we will see those slip into October, one of my absolute favorite months!

Yes, its still pouring outside even as I type.  This will go down as the wettest two, maybe three months recorded for our area.  The mold being reported is off the charts.  I will try to locate plants that love water for the backyard.  Submergents anyone?

Meanwhile back to some wonderful suggestions for our own literary days of the month.  Remember we had a giveaway going?

This was the contest:

Literary  Event Title Giveaway
If you all were to suggest a Literary Event for the calendar, what would it be?  An International LGBT Romance Story Day?  Triad in Lust Day?    Quiltbag Aliens HEA Day?  Give me some titles for our own special September literary events.  Let’s call it our LGBTQIA Literary  Event Title Giveaway!  Have your title chosen and we will have Stella set you up with a $10 gift card from Dreamspinners.   And here’s what you all came up with.

Here from Purple Reader:

It does look like quite the week lined up. I’ve seen a cpl of Free Lib boxes pop up in my neighborhood here in Chicago, and I had to smile. Some more ideas for days:
– GLBTQ Reads That Surprised You Day
– Older GLBTQ Readers Can Have Fun Too Day
– Read a GLBTQ Book Together Day
– Smile & Touch through Words Day
– Read the Book, Visit the Scene Day
– Honoring GLBTQ Books Where You Live Day
– GLBTQ Books That Changed the World Day
– Ok, I gotta stop this day, lol

From Ami: Read in Public Transportation Day

From H.B.  Donate a Book Day

From  Jen:

If I were to add another literary event to the calendar, it would be “Give a Kid a Book” day because reading meant so much to me as a kid and it means a lot to my kids. Reading can help kids in so many ways.

And also from P.R….Ok, This has been stimulating … and dangerous. Here goes with my imagination (I hope this is what you had in mind, because I had some fun here after not having time to think even scattered thoughts for a while):

Question Mark Day (Never Stop Asking Why)
Readers With Guilty Pleasures Day
Out-of-the-Limelight GLBTQ Genres Day (spreading the love to less popular genres)
Out of Your Comfort Zone Reading Day
Readers Reviewing Reviewers Day (let’s give THEM some feedback!)
Co-Authors Day
Pay It Forward with Words Day

Thank you everyone for participating.  Congratulations to Purple Reader on the winning ….many of them entries!  Please contact Stella about the gift certificate!
  Meanwhile, we have a great week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Great tours, great books (audio and ebook), and did you all notice we slipped in another new reviewer on you?  Welcome, Ashez, our new reviewer to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!
 It’s going to be quite the week.  So don’t miss out on a day of it.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 23:

  • Release Day Blitz for Of Sunlight and Stardust by Riley Hart & Christina Lee (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Final Thoughts on Literary Titles and Our Giveaway
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 24:

  • Dreamspun Bru Baker on Hiding in Plain Sight
  • Review Tour – Darcy by RJ Scott & Meredith Russell
  • BLOG TOUR Ride or Dye by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Counterpoint (Twisted Wishes #2) by Anna Zabo
  • A Stella Review: Of Dreams and Ceremonies (Butterfly Hunter #2) by Julie Bozza
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Darcy (Boyfriend for Hire #1) by R.J. Scott and Meredith Russell

Tuesday, September 25:

  • DSP Promo John Inman+giveaway
  • OWI TOUR grydscaen: beginnings Author: Natsuya Uesugi
  • RIPTIDE TOUR RUNNING BLIND, a Havoc novel by SE Jakes
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Dragonslayer (Twitterlight #1) by Matthew Lang
  • A Lucy Review: Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas

Wednesday, September 26:

  • DSP Publications Matthew Lang on Dragonslayer
  • Review Tour – C.J. Baty – Starting Over
  • The Hunt by J.M. Dabney & Davidson King (Michelle) Blog Tour and Review
  • Blog Tour “no way out” by Eric Alan Westfall
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Guarding His Melody by Victoria Sue
  • A MelanieM Review: The Hunt by J.M. Dabney & Davidson King
  • An Alisa Review: Starting Over (The Knights Club #1) by C.J. Baty

Thursday,  September 27:

  • DSP Promo Xenia Melzer
  • Guarding His Melody (A standalone in the Enhanced World) by Victoria Sue
  • Release Blitz Tour – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey – Ryker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Band Sinister by KJ Charles
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Witchbane by Morgan Brice
  • A Lila Audio Review: His Leading Man Author: Ashlyn Kane and Kenneth Obi (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review:  Falling Into Love by Nell Iris & Kris T Bethke

Friday, September 28:

  • BLOG TOUR COUNTERPOINT by Anna Zabo
  • Exclusive guest post – CJ Baty Starting Over
  • Release Blitz – A Taste of Agapi by Chris Ethani
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Love you so Special by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • A Stella Review: The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring (Butterfly Hunter #3) by Julie Bozza

Saturday, September 29:

  • Release Blitz – Distant Cousins by Eric Huffbind
  • Release Blitz – Keira Andrews – Honeymoon For One

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Set Ablaze by K.C. Burn and Darcy Stark (narrator)

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Rating 3 stars out of 5

This is one of those reviews I hate to do because I liked the story but hated the narration and that dropped my rating. Darcy Stark just does not have the voice(s) to do this story. That’s my personal opinion, of course, but his narration ruined my enjoyment. To be honest, by midpoint, I borrowed the book through the kindle lending feature so I could finish the story by reading it.

Firefighter Hayden Hurst isn’t in the closet, but he’s not one to remind his homophobic friends that their slurs are hurtful. That may be fine for him, but when his friend Miguel’s brother, Jez Bouchet, needs a temporary roommate, Hayden finds out what it is to be out and proud. The young, flamboyant dancer is deeply offended by some of the comments made by Hayden’s friends and vows to leave as soon as he can.

But of course, before that happens, the two act on their attraction for one another and Jez never leaves. In the meantime, his former boyfriend has continued his stalking behavior all the way from New York to LA. A pro hockey player, he’s managed to get himself traded to a West Coast team so he’ll be able to harass Jez nearer to home.

The mess eventually blows up. The guys and Jez’s little pug puppy, Fang, end up together and they all live happily ever after. Not without angst and drama and some hot sex scenes, though.

I’m going to give the author the benefit of doubt and recommend this story to those who enjoy a sweet, sometimes sappy romance, with an element of danger, insta-love, and a cute pug. I enjoyed the last chapters much more than the first that were narrated on audio, so I would not recommend the audio format.

The cover by Jennifer Vance features a handsome firefighter, bare-chested, tattooed and wearing firefighter pants, the suspenders dropped to the sides—a very attractive representation of Hayden.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published August 16th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published April 24th 2018)
ASINB07GHY8HS3
Edition Language English

Hurricanes, Flooding, and Donations! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Hurricanes, Flooding, and Donations!

So I was going to talk more about books, donations, and how literary September was but once again the news and nature turned my attention away from my planned topic.  That would be Hurricane Florence currently battering the eastern coast of the United States, causing flooding at heights never seen before, mass destruction and death.  And more scheduled to come.
For many, we feel closely connected to what’s happening in the Carolinas.  Whether it’s through families, friends, even through favorite authors like Megan Derr, Shira Anthony, Sasha Derr (Less Than Three Press), and more who have been marking themselves safe if not waterlogged and stressed out at home or just through all the pictures that are grabbing at our hearts on the media casts, this storm once again brings home how quickly things can change for people.  From safe and secure to homeless and suffering in a night or a matter of days.  Because of wind and rain, or the power of water flooding into a neighborhood and your home.
Then the calls go out.  What can we do?
So once again, I’m pulling out the Charity Navigator, which help weeds out the scams and scammers to give you the best places to donate should you wish to help where help is so clearly needed:

Relief for Hurricane Florence

Highly-rated charities providing aid and support in the Carolinas

Relief for Hurricane Florence : Charity Navigator

Relief for Hurricane Florence Header Image
Hurricane Florence made landfall as a strong Category 1 storm in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Ahead of the storm, the North and South Carolina coasts were issued mandatory evacuation orders. And, meteorologists continue to warn of the potential for “life-threatening storm surge and rainfall” in the hours and days following the hurricane’s landfall.
The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia made state of emergency declarations for their states earlier this week. More than 1,000 National Guard troops have been deployed ahead of the storm to help with preparations and recovery after the storm hits. Residents that are not being evacuated are being told to prepare for record rainfall, dangerous flooding, and prolonged power outages.
Charity Navigator has compiled a list of highly-rated organizations planning to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. These organizations will provide assistance to the communities affected by the storm. Donors can designate their donations to the cause on the organizations’ websites respectively, or use Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket to complete their donations. Please note, at this time it is not certain that all of these organizations will spend 100% of donations received on Hurricane Florence relief.*
You can find more information about inclusion on this list by visiting our ‘How Can My Charity Be Added To This List?‘ page.
We will return to our literary programming next week hopefully so don’t forget about our giveaway.  In the meantime Happy Reading and stay safe.
Literary  Event Title Giveaway
If you all were to suggest a Literary Event for the calendar, what would it be?  An International LGBT Romance Story Day?  Triad in Lust Day?    Quiltbag Aliens HEA Day?  Give me some titles for our own special September literary events.  Let’s call it our LGBTQIA Literary  Event Title Giveaway!  Have your title chosen and we will have Stella set you up with a $10 gift card from Dreamspinners.  Giveaway runs through September 22.
  Meanwhile, we have a great week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
A new reviewer, Chaos Moondrawn starts in with her first review this week, I’m reviewing the 11th book in the Boystown series from Marshall Thornton,  Lila is reviewing the new C.S. Poe, Barb has the new Cordelia Knightsbridge, and so much more.  It’s going to be quite the week.  So don’t miss out on a day of it.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 16:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Hurricanes, Flooding, and Donations!

Monday, September 16:

  • Harmony Promo Andi Van
  • Review Tour – His Heart Or Mine (The Individualists Series #1) by C S Joyce
  • BLITZ Hurri Cosmo – To Save His Prince
  • An Alisa Review: Homeless in Heaven by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Saddle Up (Clean Slate Ranch #3) by A.M. Arthur
  • A MelanieM Review: His Heart Or Mine (The Individualists Series #1) by C S Joyce
  • A Stella Review:  Love at First Hate (A Porthkennack Novel ) by JL Merrow

Tuesday, September 17:

  • Release Blitz – Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza
  • Release Blitz – C.J. Baty – Starting Over
  • BLITZ Professor Adorkable by Edie Danford
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Savior (415 Ink #2) by Rhys Ford
  • A Lucy Review: The Academy by Quinn Anderson
  • A Stella Review: Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Hiding in Plain Sight (Camp H.O.W.L. #3) by Bru Baker

Wednesday, September 18:

  • Book Blast – Unwrapping His Heart by Karrie George
  • Book Blitz – Sugar Fighter – Charity Parkerson
  • Release Blitz Garrett Leigh – Lucky
  • Release Blitz The Heights by Amy Aislin
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: The Nerd and the Prince (Small-Town Dreams #1) by B.G. Thomas
  • An Ashez Review: Unwrapping His Heart (Hearts on the Line #1) by Karrie George
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Set Ablaze by K.C. Burn and Darcy Stark (narrator)

Thursday, September 20:

  • Blog Tour for Infinite Blue by Natalina Resia
  • DSP Promo Crystel Greene
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway for The Academy by Quinn Anderson
  • An Alisa Review: Professor Adorkable (Domesticated Inc #1) by Edie Danford
  • A MelanieM Review: Infinite Blue by Natalina Resia
  • A Lila Review  The Heights (Lakeshore #1) by Amy Aislin
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Shipped (Until You #1) by Karrie Roman

Friday, September 21:

  • Flash Me by KM Neuhold Blitz Blog Tour
  • Release Blitz – The Heart Dealer (The Individualists Series #2) by C S Joyce
  • Tour – Clancy Nacht – For Immediate Release
  • A Caryn Review : Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez
  • An Alisa Review: Sugar Fighter (Sugar Daddies #1) by Charity Parkerson
  • A MelanieM Review: Flash Me (Heathens Ink #7) by K.M. Neuhold
  • A MelanieM Review: Drifting Sands (The Warfield Mysteries #1) by CJ Baty

Saturday, September 22:

  • TOUR Risking It All by Morningstar Ashley
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Italian Weddings and Funerals (Italian Stallions, #1) by A.J. Llewellyn