My Thankful List? Great Editors! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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On My Thankful List? Great Editors!

As we countdown to Thanksgiving, I start thinking about things I’m grateful for.  It’s not always the usual things on everyone else’s lists.  The oddest or not so odd things pop up every day that can make me grateful for various and sundry items that might not get mentioned around the turkey table come Thanksgiving. So I thought I might bring up a few starting with a doozy that struck me yesterday (and almost every day at this blog).

Editors!

I’m absolutely, stupendously, over the moon grateful to every great editor out there still  squinting at every submitted manuscript and soon to be released books they have before them, working furiously to make sure that what is finally accepted/or released, if that, is worthy of both the author and publisher as well as the reader’s emotional (and monetary) input.  Someone who throughout the process with their red pen/pencil/marker/sword of blood/ cuts a swath through any writer’s purple prose, dense narrative, self involved point of view (goddess help me, the “I, I, I, I, I’s”), the love of tricks over substance, and cliche over depth.  That’s without even getting a start on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Damn why is the umlaut there?  I know wherefore art thou umlaut and it’s not  (insert curse word) there!

Don’t even get me started on word choice! Argh!  The help some writers have needed here!  There’s apparently a whole bunch of people out there with nary of clue about words and their definitions, just picking them willy nilly out of the air!  Miss Malaprops Indeed!

Poor overworked editors!  In the larger publishing houses, jobs are broken down into smaller sections, some of which I listed below:

Developmental editor—As detailed above, the developmental editor helps the writer from the idea stage through the final draft. He may suggest topics, help with research, verify facts, and plan the structure of the manuscript. He works through successive drafts with the writer. He’s as concerned with the structure of a manuscript as much as he is the words and meaning.*

Substantive editor—Helps a writer improve his fiction manuscript by focusing on story elements, plot, characterization, dialogue, order of scenes, point of view, voice, setting, word choice, sentence construction and syntax, and pace—anything that could improve the strength of the manuscript.

And Copy Editors that do fact checking as well as all the other things I listed above, line item elements such as spelling, etc..

But for smaller publishers and Editing services (proofreaders and copy editors), how many of those are rolled into one or two people?

I sometimes cringe when I read an acknowledgement or forward from a writer that talks about friends that read the manuscript and told them to publish it.  The writer thanks them for their loving support and encouragement.  I mentally think “that’s terrific”, and then hope that author also found a editor too.   Sigh.  Oh the perils of self publishing.  Or even a publishing house as well.  A editor doesn’t always mean a good or great editor.  Again my kudos to all you great ones out there!

Some err towards being a friend and  middling copy checker.  Nuh uh.  And trust me, that can do far more harm once that book hits release time.

How many reviews have you all read that said needed a editor or better editor?  Yep! So true.  There’s a reason for that.

What exactly is the role of an editor anyway?  Well, here is a definition I found repeated several blogs:

An editor polishes and refines, [they] direct the focus of the story or article or movie along a particular course. [They] cut out what doesn’t fit, what is nonessential to the purpose of the story. They enhance the major points, drawing attention to places where the audience should focus.

Some of that is almost guaranteed to make a writer gnash their teeth, weep tears, and pull out some hairs.  No one wants to cut words, sentences, characters, or even whole parts of plots to have a book make sense. Yet that’s an editor’s job if that’s what it takes to make the story cleaner, polished, and substantially a finer story. And the author a better writer.  It’s a process.

Again, when you say you hired a editor, what did you hire?  Or did you hire a Proofreader?  Not the same as any good or great editor will tell you.  Each and everyone has a job to do.  Hire the right one for the right job.

Really someone should have stopped these headers, right? Or placement?

One of my favorite blogs is called the Blood Red Pencil which focus’ on writing and, of course, editing.   If you are as fond of the subject as I am  check out the link below:

Blood-Red Pencil: Do Editors Use Red Pencils?

 

As to what launched this week’s post, well, it’s Thanksgiving.  I’m just going to say I’m so grateful to each and everyone one of you  overworked, gorgeous, and absolutely fabulous editors who have provided such incredible help to the authors and their stories I’ve read all through the years!  I appreciate your hard work, I hope if you’re in the States you have a great Thanksgiving, or weekend if you’re abroad.  Kudos to you all!  A big Mwah!

Thoughts anyone?

Now onto this week’s books and tours.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 Sunday, November 18:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Comply by Lee Manarte
  • Review Tour and Giveaway for  Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Heat for Sale by Blake Moreno
  • My Thankful List? Great Editors!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 19:

  • Release Blitz To Be Honest by S. M. James
  • Sale Blitz for 2 Robert Winter Titles
  • BLOG TOUR Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles Book 2) by AG Carothers
  • An Alisa Review: Date from Hell by Gareth Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Lost and Found (Dave&Carter) by Quin Perin
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles #2) by A.G. Carothers
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Finn by Angel Martinez

Tuesday, November 20:

  • Kaje Harper on Fair Isn’t Life
  • BLOG TOUR The Billionaire’s Wish by Geoffrey Knight
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Crossroads (Skins #4)
  • A MelanieM Review The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3) by Don Allmon
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Quenched in Blood (Asheville Arcana #3) by Ari McKay
  • A Caryn Review:Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  His Consort by Mary Calmes

Wednesday, November 21:

  • Review Tour Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
  • BLOG TOUR Broken Halos by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • Release Blitz – Joanna Chambers – Mr Winterbourne’s
  • A Lucy Review: His Christmas Sweater by CM VAlencourt
  • An Ashlez Review : Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Claire Castle
  • A Stella Review: Accidentally On Purpose by JM Snyder
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Alpha Heat (Heat of Love #2) by Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Thursday, November 22: Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Book Blast – Polyamory on Trial by Jude Tresswell
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: The Burning Magus by Don Allmon
  • An Alisa Review: A Fated Bond by T.L. West
  • A MelanieM Review:  Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1) by Pia Foxhall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt

Friday, November 23:

  • Review Tour – LA Witt – The Husband Gambit
  • Release Blitz – Pia Foxhall – Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1)
  • Release Blitz Tour – Jay Northcote – Stuck With You
  • An Ali Release Day Review: My Regelence Rake (The Sci-Regency #3) by J.L. Langley
  • A MelanieM Review:  The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez

Saturday, November 24:

  • Tour The Cub Club by Ardy Kelly
  • Release Blitz with ARC Reviews – Lost and Found by Quin Perin
  • Judith/Oz by Lily Morton Release Blitz and Review
  • A MelanieM Review: Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The Editor’s Blog

Review Tour and Giveaway for Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 192 pages
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Heat can be sold but love is earned.


In a world where omegas sell their heats for profit, Adrien is a university student in need of funding. With no family to fall back on, he reluctantly allows the university’s matcher to offer his virgin heat for auction online. Anxious, but aware this is the reality of life for all omegas, Adrien hopes whoever wins his heat will be kind.


Heath—a wealthy, older alpha—is rocked by the young man’s resemblance to his dead lover, Nathan. When Heath discovers Adrien is Nathan’s lost son from his first heat years before they met, he becomes obsessed with the idea of reclaiming a piece of Nathan.


Heath buys Adrien’s heat with only one motivation: to impregnate Adrien, claim the child, and move on. But their undeniable passion shocks him. Adrien doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, mysterious stranger he’s pledged his body to, but he’s soon swept away in the heat of the moment and surrenders to Heath entirely.


Once Adrien is pregnant, Heath secrets him away to his immense and secluded home. As the birth draws near, Heath grows to love Adrien for the man he is, not just for his connection to Nathan. Unaware of Heath’s past with his omega parent and coming to depend on him heart and soul, Adrien begins to fall as well.


But as their love blossoms, Nathan’s shadow looms. Can Heath keep his new love and the child they’ve made together once Adrien discovers his secrets?


Heat for Sale is a stand-alone m/m erotic romance by Leta Blake, writing as Blake Moreno. Infused with a du Maurier Rebecca-style secret, it features a well-realized omegaverse, an age-gap, dominance and submission, heats, knotting, and scorching hot scenes.


Author Bio


Blake Moreno explores the darker side of erotic romance. Married to a hot tech nerd, educated in BDSM, and attracted to twinks and twunks alike, Moreno embraces taboo explorations. Come along on a quest for intensity and deep emotion. Don’t fear the dark.


Discover more about Blake on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blakemorenodarkink/


Blake Moreno is an alternate pen name of the author Leta Blake.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here. We definitely recommend it.

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Release Blitz and Giveaway – Comply by Lee Manarte

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 217 pages
 
Cover Design: Jay Aheer @ Simply Defined Art
 
Blurb
 

“The world is a cruel place…”


No one believes that more than I do. My name is Declan Forester, and I am a Zedian. Part of a different species born with miraculous gifts from the gods, only the humans don’t see it that way. They see us as something to be tamed.



After being captured by the humans and stripped of my abilities, I have little left. With my life in shambles, my thoughts are haunted by my human tormenter. Dr. Adam Davenport. A human male that is everything nightmares are made of. 


Now, his unwilling captive in a government-run facility, I am forced to obey his every demand, or be punished. Caught up in a web of lies about gods, the push to help a hot redhead, my high running desires and, oh yeah, the pending apocalypse, I find myself falling apart. And Adam may be the only one to save me…if I comply.

 
Author Bio
 

“Writing has always been my passion. I love to entertain others through the worlds I create. I encourage others to follow their passions, live their dreams, and write. I hope you all enjoy what I write and gain the courage to express yourself.”


~Lee has a bachelor’s in media and communications, is a huge nerd and loves to write about sexy men loving men. Come check her out on Facebook and chat!

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Looking For A New Christmas Romance? Check Out Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Claire Castle (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 34,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Claire Castle
 
Blurb
 

Colton Dawson is miserable this holiday season. Those he’d loved the most are no longer in his life. With one disappointment after another, how can he possibly get into the Christmas spirit? Maybe a change of scenery—a new place to put down roots—is just what he needs for a second chance to find some happiness.


Winterbourne Vale is only too happy to help his much-loved aunt and uncle run their café in Canada while on his short December break—even if it means leaving his home in the United Kingdom. After a defeated-looking Colton walks into the café, Winter is determined to lift his spirits.


Can Colton and Winter’s Christmas happiness continue long after the gifts are unwrapped and the decorations are stowed away?


Walking in a Winter Wonderland is holiday treat filled with special ornaments and glistening snow, hot tea and cold-weather kisses, along with some sexy shenanigans and plenty of holiday cheer. 

Claire Castle grew up surrounded by books. She has loved reading for her whole life. Her true love is romance and HEAs. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found wearing comfortable leggings, drinking mocha and petting her west highland terrier. She loves collecting awesome mugs and paperbacks of her favorite stories.


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New Release Blitz for Irresistible Indigo (D’Vaire #9) by Jessamyn Kingley (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Irresistible Indigo (D’Vaire, Book 9)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Genre/s: M/M Fantasy Romance, M/M Paranormal Romance

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

A young wizard, a noble duke, and the potion that changes D’Vaire forever.

Since arriving at the Draconis Court of D’Vaire at the age of sixteen, Idris has done everything he can think of to make his new family proud of him. After five years of challenging work, he is finally poised to reach the highest rank within the Spectra Wizardry. The only glaring thing missing is his mate. While he may be young, Idris wants to share his heart with his other half, so he asks Fate to send him a nice dragon who will be kind to him and his familiar. He does not want to be demanding but Idris knows without him he won’t be complete.

Duke Macardle “Mac” Stenetdraconis’s days are centered around his amazing grandparents who raised him. When his grandfather suggests he apply for a new duke position at Court D’Vaire, he is intrigued. It is a place that has opened its doors as a sanctuary and he’s drawn to the idea of helping others. When he arrives, he finds himself with a small dragon familiar on his lap. Minutes later, the owner of that familiar saunters through the door and Mac’s heart is instantly hooked on the irresistible wizard. Determined to make Idris his, the pair soon find themselves tested by life. Their love turns out to the anchor Mac cannot do without while Idris opens the door to a new future for his family.

Excerpt

“Does anyone have a ball or anything?” Mac asked.

Idris lifted a hand and within seconds, an indigo sphere appeared. He tossed it to Mac, who bounced it in Greggory’s direction. When the familiar used his head to return it, Roger flew off his shoulder and landed on the floor, so he could play too. Two of the young men Mac was sworn to protect were sitting at a round table placed in the office designed for Delaney and Idris. The sorcerers were painstakingly going through the two boxes of warlock books and scrolls found in the Arch Lich’s library. Dra’Kaedan insisted the two get first crack at everything since they were still seeking research ideas. Duff was presumably in his room working on his own studies.

It left Mac with barely anything to do. When Mac discovered how little he knew of sorcery, he went to Aleksander and explained his problem. He wasn’t content to spend his days sitting around. If he was going to oversee the protection of two wizards, he needed to be able to assist them in some way. Aleksander agreed and called the Prism Wizard. Vadimas was receptive to the problem, and Mac was expecting his own box, full of basic magic books, to arrive soon. He might not be able to cast but he could learn, and he was determined to be an asset to Delaney and Idris. If they weren’t trying to reach the pinnacle of their education and power, he would’ve asked them for help, but Mac wasn’t going to get in their way.

In the meantime, Mac could be close to them and entertain the cute dragons who were taking to playing with the ball Idris provided with enthusiasm. He tossed it again and cringed as the two familiars crashed into each other and wiped out. “Sorry, guys,” he offered. Growls were hurled in his direction, but they allowed him to help them off the floor and both waited patiently until he threw their toy again.

“I think I might’ve found something interesting,” Idris announced.

“What is it, sweetheart?”

“It’s written in archaic warlock. I need Dra’Kaedan to translate some of this. It’s a language I’m still learning, but what I can read is really intriguing.”

“Are you going to tell us why?” Delaney inquired.

“Not until I’m sure I am reading this right,” Idris remarked as he stood. “I’m going to go find him.”

“I’m coming too,” Delaney said.

“We’ll play ball later,” Mac told his scaly friends. Roger soared up to his shoulder as soon as Mac was on his feet, and Greggory flew behind them all as they headed toward the office down the hall which housed the Coven of Warlocks. Inside they found Dra’Kaedan, his twin, and his familiar.

“Do you have a minute, Dra’Kaedan?” Idris asked with the scroll held protectively in his hand.

“For you guys, always. What’s up?”

“I found something I can only read parts of. Can you translate the rest?”

Dra’Kaedan took it from Idris’s hand. The small blond’s eyes grew wide with shock as they moved down the parchment in his grasp. When he was finished, he handed it to his brother. Dre’Kariston’s reaction was the same as his twin’s; then it was passed to Renny.

“This can’t be real,” Renny declared when he was done. “I mean really. This can’t be fucking real. How’s this possible? Because if it is, my brain’s going to explode.”

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website 

Follow her on Facebook

She loves to engage with readers there.

 Author Links

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five

copies of any ebook (reader’s choice) from the D’Vaire series (1 – 8)

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Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway – The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 95,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: L.A. Witt
 
Blurb
 

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.


Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.


The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.


Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.


Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.

Author Bio

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

Website: http://www.gallagherwitt.com
E-mail: gallagherwitt@gmail.com
Twitter: @GallagherWitt
Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com

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It’s Here! Check Out the New Release Hawaii Five Uh-Oh (Plummet to Soar Series Bk #2 )by Z.A. Maxfield (excerpt and giveaway)

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The highly anticipated second installment in the Plummet to Soar Series is now available! 
Hawaii Five Uh-Oh 
(Plummet to Soar Series Bk #2)
by Z.A. Maxfield
 
Blurb:
Sarcastic cop Theo Hsu returns home to Hawai‘i after realizing he wants more from his life, and also, less. He hopes to reconnect with his past and make amends with his mother, who remarried a cool, distant man, leaving Theo unsure where he stands.
It doesn’t take him long to figure out where he wants to stand, though: right next to his childhood best friend, tattooed detective Koa Palapiti. Theo would like to upgrade their relationship, but Koa is putting out some seriously mixed signals. It’s a mystery Theo can’t let go, but just as they start to connect, kidnapping, murder, and a deadly game with international stakes get in the way. Koa wants to keep Theo out of it, and if it comes to a choice between him and Koa’s partner, Freddie Ortiz, Theo doesn’t like his chances.
But even if Koa wants to push him out of the investigation, and his life, Theo still has a few tricks up his sleeve. It’ll take all his special gifts, ingenuity, risk-taking, family ties—and even some kinky undercover work—to save the day… and the man he never should’ve let get away.
Available for purchase at
Excerpt 

“Theophilus Hsu.” A voice from behind him made him halt and turn. At the sight that greeted him, his heart sank.

“Kekoa Palapiti. Wow. Nice to see you. God. What a coincidence—” A horrible thought occurred to him. “Wait—”

“Your mother sent me to pick you up.” And just like that, paradise got lost. “She was worried she wouldn’t be up to lifting your baggage.”

Kekoa Lani Palapiti—next-door neighbor, childhood friend, and secret lifelong thirst trap made that sound like “psychological” baggage. As if he thought Theo had a lot of that particular thing.

Theo shrugged. Christ. “I can lift my own luggage. She could have called. I’d have taken a cab.”

“So next time tell her you got cash to throw away. Save me a trip.”

Theo turned away and swiped his card in the cart machine. “Next time.”

Theo knew his mother well enough to know she’d forced this meeting for the sake of expedience. Without it, who knew how long it would have taken him to get the nerve to talk to Koa. Still, it felt forced and ridiculous, and now they were both only going along because she wanted it and they loved her.

Aren’t we?

Koa helped him shoulder his bags onto the cart. His scent filled Theo’s nostrils with the smell of rain on taro leaves.

“Follow me.” Koa turned and started walking.

Theo had no choice but to grab the cart and follow.

On the way to the parking garage, he focused on Koa’s thick, broad shoulders, his narrow hips. His boy had grown up as fine as promised. Mom’s photographs didn’t do him justice, but then a photograph couldn’t convey the swagger of a born badass like Koa. He hadn’t lost that arrogance. If anything, he wore it like armor now.

“So, you didn’t like Big Lake?” he asked.

There was no easy answer for that. “Bear Lake was where I lived specifically, and… no. Not really. I liked some parts.”

“Like what?”

Since Koa seemed to ask for form’s sake, Theo didn’t actually have to oblige him with an answer. Nevertheless, he spoke truthfully. “It was pretty.” He’d enjoyed driving in the darkness along roads where the trees looked like ice-covered ghosts. “People are as nice as they say.”

“You’ll be joining the HPD?”

“Yep.” He’d applied to and been accepted by the Honolulu Police Department. It wasn’t a lateral move, but he’d move up quickly if he showed initiative. He didn’t care. New life, new dreams. He might not even stay on the force if he found something that he wanted to do more. He might go back to school….

“Te?”

Theo blinked and found they’d stopped at a pedestrian crossing. The sound of his old nickname slid over his spine, dazing him momentarily. Obviously Koa had asked a question and now he waited for an answer. “I’m sorry, I was lost in space or something.”

“I said, I was sorry about your dad. I meant to send a card, but you know how it is….”

“Likewise,” Theo offered, since Koa’s parents had both passed fairly recently, a few months apart. “I was really sorry to hear about your folks.”

Koa shrugged again.

Theo asked, “You still living in the Sugar Shack?”

“Where else?” A sly smile found Koa’s lips at the reminder. Whether it was the shared memory or evidence Theo still had some local knowledge, Koa thawed visibly on hearing their nickname for the odd wreck of a house the Palapitis had called home.

Theo let his thoughts out. “I’ma miss your mom, brah. Even more than the candy.”

They paused for a moment of silence for the woman whose homemade chocolates, caramels, fudge, and nut brittles were so completely off-the-charts delicious, her friends had forced her into business.

“Can’t bring Mom back,” Koa said. “Auntie Lala makes the candy now, she’s got Mom’s recipes. Been a while since I cooked sugar.”

“I can imagine.” A detective probably had little time to cook. “So. Work. Ma says you got your shield now? Must be good, huh?”

“What’s good?” Koa gave an eye roll. “You know how it is. There are bad guys everywhere, dirty money flows, but the economy sucks, and assholes think Hawai‘i is their private playground to shit on.”

The muscles in Koa’s jaw flexed. Mnh. You could open a coconut with a jaw like Koa’s.

“I see your new hobby is optimism. That’s so nice.”

Theo figured he’d see Koa again, but he wasn’t prepared for the jolt of desire that shot through him every time he got a fresh look at how well he’d turned out. He had tats and piercings and a sweet scruffy soul patch. A warm, if mostly hidden, grin.

Koa rubbed at his chin. “Sorry. Had a bad night. Caught a body.”

“And my mother still tapped you to haul me in? She is shameless.”

“What do you mean?” Koa frowned at him.

“She’s been bugging me about getting together with old friends. You know what?” He motioned between them. “I think this is a playdate.”

“I think she knew her car would flip over with all your crap.” He motioned for Theo to stay on the curb. “Wait here, I’ll come around and pick you up.”

“I can walk.”

“Don’t be an ass.” He slipped his Oakleys on. Same kind Theo wore, different color. Figured—they always had the same taste. “Wait here.”

Koa loped across the street and into a parking garage with such easy grace. He’d grown up sleek and fast and powerful. A detective with—if Theo’s mother’s few phone conversations were to be believed—a consistent, statistically high solve rate. His mother was fixated on making sure they got reacquainted, but he hadn’t realized how determined she was. He’d expected her to give him a day or two.

He and Koa were childhood friends. Blood brothers. Theo had been on the cusp of adolescence and ready to confess that, for him, the feelings went much deeper. He’d even started writing stories about two boys having adventures and sharing them with Koa as a way to let off that prepubescent steam, when his dad decided it wasn’t enough to just divorce his mom—the two of them had to leave the islands and start fresh somewhere else. Just the men.

He and Koa were strangers now. But he’d still call Kekoa Palapiti his first love.

Theo slipped his shades on and waited until Koa pulled up to the curb in a massive black SUV with tinted windows. Magnetic door signs read Ohana Sugar Magic and featured Auntie Lala’s smiling face. Together they threw his bags into the back. Koa let the SUV idle while Theo ditched the cart.

“I can’t believe you paid money for a cart.” Koa laughed at him when he returned and got in. “That’s, like… the uncoolest thing I think I’ve ever seen. Three suitcases that roll and you shell out for a cart. Buy a bungee cord.”

“You’re one to talk. Whose big bad SUV has his auntie Lala’s face on the doors? That’s some fierce shit, brah.”

“It is when Lala’s driving it with candy in the back.”

Theo let him have his fun. “Mom tells me there’s no Mrs. Palapiti.”

“My mother was Mrs. Palapiti. Until she passed.” He threw an inquisitive glance Theo’s way. “She’d give you a ration for bailing on your mom’s wedding. But I get why you didn’t go.”

“Do you?” Theo’s dad had been killed the week before the wedding. Nothing anyone could have done for him. Even so, Theo hadn’t been able to make himself go to his mother’s wedding while his dad was in the morgue—his body still evidence of a crime. By the time they’d laid him to rest, his mother was back from her honeymoon in Bali and it didn’t matter as much anymore. After that, he just kept putting off meeting his mother’s new family for one valid reason after another.

“Your mother understood,” Koa told him. “She doesn’t expect a person to grieve a certain way.”

Theo knew that. He wanted to point out that he knew his mother too, but he only asked, “What keeps you busy these days?”

“Work. Training. I dance because your mom would kill me if I stopped, but I don’t really have time now. Just charity shit when I can.”

“Mom says dance keeps her young. Something must.” At nearly sixty, his mother still looked to be in her midthirties. He hoped it was genetic. She loved hula and his dad had hated it. He said if Theo could learn to dance, he could learn to fight, and enrolled him in martial arts as soon as he could walk.

“It keeps me in shape.” Koa slid a glance Theo’s way. “You’re looking good. What keeps you in shape?”

“Subzero temperatures and Midwestern food.”

“Isn’t the food pretty calorie dense up there.”

“Not if you don’t like it.”

“You always were a picky eater.” Koa chuckled. “I guess you don’t surf much either.”

“You can surf the Lakes, you know.” Theo gave him the look he deserved for being an asshole. People did surf in the Great Lakes. But they were airheads who came from Norway or something. Their ancestors had probably mated with reindeer and polar bears. On their behalf, he pointed out, “The waves are best in winter.”

Koa glanced his way. “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

I never did it,” Theo admitted. “I’m saying it’s theoretically possible.”

Silence stretched out between them again. It was a long ride, and as Koa drove, Theo flew his hand out the window and marked the buildings he remembered. So much had changed. He’d changed.

When they pulled into Theo’s mother’s driveway, Koa turned to him. “I hope you don’t mind, I don’t have time to come in. Say hi to your mom.”

“Okay.” Disappointment warred with relief in Theo’s heart. Relief came out a winner. The last thing he needed was disinterested bystanders. “Pop the locks, I’ll just get my things from the back.”

He stepped down, went around, and hauled his things out. From the outside pocket of the lightest one, he pulled a signed copy of Plummet to Soar. He’d put it there to give to his mother because he’d assumed she’d pick him up. He had other gifts for her, so it didn’t matter.

“Hey, brother.” He smiled awkwardly and waved for Koa to roll down the window. “Present for you.”

“Mahalo. Really?” Surprised, he took it and gave it a quick perusal. “Hey, it’s autographed to you. You sure?”

Theo nodded. “That book changed a lot of things for me. I hope you enjoy it.”

Koa’s dark eyes—when he lifted his gaze—held some earnest question Theo couldn’t begin to answer. They widened. “I don’t suppose you ever figured out what happened at the end of that thing you were writing…?”

“You remember that shit?” He said the words like Sheesh, who remembers? As if he hadn’t just been thinking that very thing. Obviously now he understood what those ridiculous stories were, but at the time?

Looking back, Theo blushed with shame.

Koa gave his lower lip a quick nibble. Theo’s dick sat up and got ready to beg. Down, boy. “I think when last I read, our plucky heroes were in a Malay prison.” Koa glanced at him. “Sentenced for a crime they didn’t commit.”

“Tunneling their way to freedom.” Theo nodded. “One of those boys always got himself jammed up, and the other saved the day.”

“Well, you write what you know.” Koa was laughing at him.

Theo didn’t take lead and he wasn’t much of a follower. Sidekick was more his style. But in those stupid stories, he always, always saved the day. Maybe with Koa he’d wanted to try taking the lead….

Koa asked, “Wasn’t one of them about to be caned?”

“Yeah?” Theo admitted hoarsely. At the time, news stories of corporal punishment—as applied to dumb Westerners in places like Malaysia and Taiwan—had fired his imagination, for a lot of reasons. Some not so wholesome.

Koa snorted. “You dug writing that dark shit. The beatings. The extra, extra tight male bonding. Admit it.”

“Hell yeah.” Motherfucker. You went there. I cannot believe you went there the second you saw him again. “I never finished writing any of those. But there’s always time, you know?”

Koa glanced over again. This time, unmistakably, he checked Theo out. “Maybe you should.”

Holy mother. Had Koa just…?

Did he just…?

Koa’s SUV was well clear of his mother’s property before Theo had the words to respond.

Plummet To Soar Series
Plummet To Soar
Bk 2
 
 
Available for purchase at 
 
 
About The Author
Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.
If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”
Readers can visit ZAM at her
 
 
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Release Blitz &; Review Tour – Mr Frosty Pants by Leta Blake (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 90,000 word approx.
 
Cover Design: Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Can true love warm his frozen heart?


When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.


Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog—and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling—Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.


Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart? Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero, childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and steamy mm first times.



November 16Joyfully Jay, November 19 Gay Book Reviews, November 22Love Bytes, November 28The Novel Approach, November 30Bayou Book Junkie


Author Bio


Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for A Vampire’s Heart (Ellowyn Found #1) by Kayleigh Sky

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKAvailable exclusive to Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 98,551 words
 
Publisher: Kiss Drunk Books
Blurb
 

Vampires live.


And they hunger…


Otto Jones, a cop assigned to the seemingly random murder of a vampire, would rather hide out in the nearest bar than waste his time on a dead vamp. He hates the bloodthirsty demons. But when the king of the vampires commands him to work with one of the lesser princes and find the killer, he has no choice.


Prince Jessamine Senera is ready to sacrifice his happiness in a loveless marriage for his family’s benefit… but not yet. He dreams of adventure, excitement, and true love. He lives on romance novels and detective stories and wishes he could drink synthetic blood like every other vampire. But he can’t. He needs human blood to survive and is hated by vampires and humans alike.


As Otto and Jessa draw closer to an entity that doesn’t want to be discovered, Otto finds the heart he thought long dead opening to the romance-loving Jessa. No good can possibly come from falling in love with a vampire, but when a shadowy assailant attacks Jessa, Otto will descend into the darkest pit of the earth to rescue him.


If you like vampires, mythical and urban settings, intense suspense, and happy ever after, then you’ll love this first book in the dark and mysterious Ellowyn Found trilogy!


A Vampire’s Heart is a stand-alone paranormal dystopian noir romance with a satisfying conclusion to the love story and a central mystery that weaves the trilogy together.

A
So… About me. I’ve never run a marathon or scaled Mt. Everest. I’ve never scuba dived or sky dived. I’ve surfed though. That was fun. I have six tattoos, and I really love ink. I also love all plants. Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers. If you’ve never see a zinnia, look it up. Very pretty. It’s an old-timey plant but super easy to grow. Anyway, the big thing I do is write m/m erotic romance. But as much as I love romance and sex, I really love going deep into the dark with my characters. What are their wounds? How can I peel them raw and drag them into the light? This leads to some fairly dark stories sometimes, but even the dark ones come with humor. I think the contradictions in people are ripe for hilarious scene setups. I need humor and light in my life—otherwise, I go into some pretty dark places myself. I live with only one cat now—I once had thirteen. That was crazy. I take up most of the things I research for my characters—photography, tarot, and jewelry making for example. I even bought a recorder once because Ori from Jesus Kid played one. I love that part of my job. I also love to walk and lift weights. I’m not a big fan of yoga—just throwing that out there. So far, all of my characters embody something of me, and all of my characters have given me something of them. But no matter what the struggle is from book to book, love always wins out. I’m strong on plot, strong on character, stronger on love. You can count on happily ever after from me every time. I write my stories to open hearts and uplift spirits. Love matters. It counts. And it’s for everyone.


Peace.


Website: http://www.kayleighsky.com
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/kayleigh.sky.writer
Kayleigh’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1770182486372453/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/kayleighsky/766385570110391
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/skyboundlove
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kayleighsky/
Kayleigh’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cmLIpP
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/kayleigh.sky.writer
Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/author/kayleighsky
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kayleigh-sky

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Release Blitz for A Kiss Before Christmas by A E Ryecart (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: A Kiss Before Christmas

Author:  A E Ryecart

Publisher: A E Ryecart

Cover Artist: Tammy Clark

Genre/s: Contemporary gay romance, Christmas story

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Length:  37,200 approx words

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: 15th November 2018

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

Christmas is looming and Jack De Lacy needs a solution to one hell of a fix.

Dumped by his boyfriend in favour of his best friend, Jack’s been busy bragging about the hot new man in his life.

A hot new man who doesn’t exist.

With an important function to attend where he’ll come face-to-face with his ex, Jack knows he’ll be a laughing stock when his boasts are exposed as nothing more than wishful thinking. He’s desperate but time, like his options, is running out.

Rory Kincaid is scared he won’t last another night sleeping rough on London’s frozen, snowbound streets. With all the homeless shelters full, Rory seeks refuge in the first empty doorway he stumbles across.

Finding Rory shivering in the sub-zero temperatures, Jack can no more send him away than kick a puppy out into the cold. A shower, shave and hot drink later, and the grubby street kid is transformed into a beautiful young man.

As the attraction between them grows, so does a plan that will get Jack out of the mess he’s in and give Rory a warm, safe home for Christmas. Sweet and adorable, Rory will make a great fake boyfriend for the holidays – the problem is, neither Jack nor Rory is sure where the make believe ends and the truth begins.

Warning: this 37k novella contains a camp Christmas tree, a drag queen Christmas fairy called Doris, way too many jugs of eggnog, a closet posh boy, and the sweetest Kiss Before Christmas ever.

Excerpt

Jack swung around. “Wait.”

The kid stopped and looked back over his shoulder, his body braced against the buffeting snow.

What am I doing? It was madness, but the feeling that he was kicking a puppy or leaving a kitten in a bag to die, weighed on Jack.

“You can come upstairs and have a have a cup of tea while you wait out the worst of the weather.” What the hell have I just done?

The kid shifted his weight from one already soaked foot to the other. “No, but thanks. I’ve caused you enough bother already. And you gave me some money – thank you. I’ll go—”

“I might be able to run to a sandwich as well.” What next? A bed for the night?

“I don’t know. . .”

“Well, make your mind up, and do it now. I’m not standing out here freezing my bollocks off for much longer. A cup of tea and a sandwich is the offer, and then you’re on your way. Take it or leave it.”

Jack turned and unlocked the door, the warmth from the hallway a welcome caress against his cold skin. It had been a rash offer but a good one on a night like this. Well, the kid had turned it down, so he’d have to take his chances on the streets.

“Yes. Please. If you’re sure?”

Jack looked over his shoulder. The wind had picked up, and huge snowflakes swirled around. Enough snow had already fallen to cover the black-and-white-tiled path, and it wouldn’t be long before there was a whole lot more. Jack jerked his head, and the boy retraced his steps, following Jack inside and up the stairs.

“No offence, but you really smell.” The words tumbled from Jack’s mouth, his nose wrinkling as he closed the door to his top-floor flat. The kid had only just walked over the threshold, but he was already stinking the place out. In the cold, outdoor air, Jack hadn’t smelled the tangy, ripe aroma but up close and in the warm. . . He sniffed and coughed as his throat closed up. Christ, it was horrible. He’d offered food and drink, but a shower was top of the list.

“Sorry, but I’ve run out of my usual cologne, so I’ve had to splash on Eau de Homeless.”

Jack froze, his arms half in, half out of his coat sleeves. He stared down at the stranger, the stinking, smelly stranger he’d let into his home. And what was the kid doing? Giving him lip. Which Jack knew he deserved. He carried on peeling off his coat and hung it on a hook on the wall. Yep, he’d deserved the comeback because he hadn’t been exactly tactful.

“Sorry. That was a bit – well, you know.” Jack glanced at the kid, but the brief flare of spirit had been doused, leaving him as cowering as he had been on the doorstep. “Look, I’ll sort you out a towel and some clean clothes. I’ve got some old clothes I was going to take to the charity shop, but you might as well have them. I’ll get you a spare razor, too.” Old enough for dark scruff to shadow his skin, Jack thought, so maybe not such a kid after all. Jack turned away, then stopped. A vital piece of information had been omitted.

“I’m Jack, by the way. What’s your name?”

“Rory.”

About the Author

I love all kinds of MM romance and gay fiction, but I especially like contemporary stories.  Born and raised in London, the city is part of my DNA so I like to set many of my stories in and around present-day London, providing the perfect, metropolitan backdrop to the main action. I write at home, in the gym, in cafés – in fact any place I can find a good coffee!

Author Links

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Facebook

Twitter

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of 2 copies of the ebook of A Kiss Before Christmas.

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