So Squirrels. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

So… Squirrels

 

So as I counted down the days until Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words went on hiatus, I had things to do and wanted everything to go in a tidy, organized manner.  So of course, everything rapidly descended into chaos.  The dishwasher broke down, I had to deal with family RL issues, and then there were squirrels.  Well, a squirrel.  In the house.  For an extended stay.

Looks around.

I think he or she is finally gone.  Of course, with this one, you just don’t know.

Had squirrels in the house before.  Some brought in via the many animals, furkids who have lived here over the years.  Moles, voles, shrews, chipmunks, and the occasional field mouse have all made it in as the unfortunate “living gifts or toys” from various cats and dogs over the years.  Most actually made it back outside.  Then there are the visitors down through the chimney., that wonderful artificial “tree hollow” that has seen so many over the decades (my father built this house).

Most of the squirrels and I have come to a tried and true method when they arrive into the family room that way.  I open the back doors into the yard and boom, out they go.  No drama, all very  neat and quick.  I had assumed we, the squirrel community and I had an agreement on this. All very civilized of course.

But it seems in every small group there exists a rebel.  One who goes left, when all the others go right.  That is the squirrel who came down the chimney several days ago.

They did not go right out the door into the yard.  Nooooooo.  They went  left.  Dashing madly up the stairs into the living room where my tubby little dog awaited!  With glee!  They then proceeded to zoom around many levels of house, levels of rooms, well the squirrel did, tubby didn’t.  Then it happened.  I lost track of the squirrel.  And it went stealth.  No chattering, nothing.

And its scent was everywhere so said dog couldn’t find him.  Although to be fair my sausage with a head gave it his all.  All day and all night tracking the now quiet and unmoving squirrel. I had looked with my trusty flashlight.  The next day, we had a sighting!  And then it went quickly hiding until located once more. I mean is this squirrel a secret Russian operative?

Found!  Unbelievably in the closet full of Christmas Nutcrackers (honestly who writes these things) in the library, up behind all those boxes.  Couldn’t get to it and that squirrel wasn’t coming out.  So new tactic.  Call Animal Control with the nets to come and get it to release.  Right? Nope. I should have remembered.  Unless it’s actually in a trap, nope.  Back to square one. My own method.  While I was pondering what to do, Rambo squirrel made a move, busted out of the louvered door closet and out of the library for another round of madcap chasing.  Door propped up, and again I didn’t see it go out.

Sigh.

Tubby is investigating my desk in the library and the closet as I write this.  No idea if the squirrel is out or in.  Time will tell.

Good news, my little dog has had more exercise than if he’d had a zillion Peloton workouts.  Yay squirrel.

Honestly, I think its out, don’t you? 😬

In the meantime, I am thinking the hiatus will be more like me making intermittent reviews and ramblings until we are back fulltime in June 2020.  Too many books to talk about and apparently things to say.

So stay tuned, more on this later on.

 

 

 

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

Sunday, January 26:

  • So Squirrels. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 27:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – The Edge Of The World
  • A MelanieM Review: The Edge of the World by Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Review: Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen

Tuesday, January 28:

  • Book Blast – Earnest Ink by Alex Hall
  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady:Howling on Hold by EJ Russell
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4) by Morgan Brice

Wednesday, January 29:

  • REòEASE BLITZ Bound to Liberty by Kai Tyler
  • Release Blitz – Hold Me Up by Colette Davison
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Stay Lucky by Leta Blake
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review Asylum by Julian Burnes

Thursday, January 30:

  • BLITZ Better Than Beginnings by Lane Hayes
  • Tour: BL Dayhoff on The Right Move
  • A MelanieM Review: Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4) by Morgan Brice
  • A Free Dreamer Review Out of Time (Out of Time #5) by C.B. Lewis
  • A MelanieM Review:Howling on Hold by EJ Russell

Friday, January 31:

  • Blog Tour – Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4) by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz – Say It (Fascination Series Book 1) by Sky McCoy
  • Release Blitz with ARC Reviews – Fight For This by Suki Fleet
  • A MelanieM Review: Head in the Game by Jeff Adams
  • A MelanieM Audio Review:All I Want Is You by DJ Jamison and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

Saturday, February 1:

  • So What Happens Next?

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Fade In (A Tales of Bryant Romance) by V.L. Locey

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/3awaK2B Amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/2NSlNJU Universal Link:  https://books2read.com/FadeInTOB
 
Length: 34,000 words approx.
 
Cover Reveal: Meredith Russell
 
Tales Of Bryant Series 



Book #1 – Tales of Bryant – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Nine Small Sips – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 
Blurb
 

Will Devon and Caiden discover that their new love is a wrap after the filming ends?


Weddings, champagne, and slow dancing. It’s a lethal combination and one that has led film student Devon Maxwell into one awkward predicament. Brought in at the last minute to help his friends Isamu and Brian during their Bryant Park wedding, Devon was not prepared for Caiden Dell to sweep into his life. The spark of attraction between him and the hip film executive was instantaneous. That spark led them right into Caiden’s big bed for a night of pleasure that Devon will never be able to duplicate no matter how many takes life gives him.


To make things even more complicated, Caiden offers the recently vacated job of office intern to him. He’d be a fool to turn down an offer to work at Budgie in the Dell, the hottest LGBT film production company in the Big Apple. Looks as if Devon’s hopes of working in film are about to come true. He’s ready for days filled with tiring shoots, long hours, and irate actors. He just never dreamed his nights would overflow with passion, laughter, and whispers shared with a gorgeous, older lover.

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


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.


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

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Join Us for the New Release Blitz for Winter Masquerade by Kevin Klehr (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title: Winter Masquerade

Author: Kevin Klehr

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 20, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 32800

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT Romance fantasy, gay, party, musicians, mythical creatures, trial, judge, alternative universe

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Ferris wakes on the Sea Queen, an enchanted cruise ship sailing on a chocolate sea. He has no idea how he got here, but he desperately wants to go home to his boyfriend.

The alchemist is the only person who can help Ferris, but he’s been kidnapped. The ransom is high tea with scones and jam.

Meanwhile, the passengers are gearing up for the Winter Masquerade, a ball where love and magic reign.

With a murderous musician, an absent boyfriend, and a mystical party, Ferris soon learns that Wednesday is not the day to fall in love.

Excerpt

Winter Masquerade
Kevin Klehr © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Pitch black. Then candlelight. One lonely flame lit the face of a plump-faced man in a robe.

“How did I get here?” I asked.

“That’s not important right now,” the monk replied. “It’s where you’re going.” He reached for a journal, which sat on the stool to his right, and set the candle in its place. He flipped several pages and held it to the flame. “Are you fond of voyages?”

I shook like nervous prey. “I really need to know how I got here.”

“You’re a troubled man in need of rest and recreation. And a healthy dose of self-reflection.”

“But—”

“I wish you’d stop asking questions. You’ve never bothered listening to those who’ve responded.”

Harmonious chants filled the silence. These men’s voices calmed me, even though a dozen questions still needed answering.

Another light appeared coming from a round window. I shuffled toward it. There I was in the dark on the other side. I lay sleeping.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his husband, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

His tall tales explore unrequited love in the theatre district of the Afterlife, romance between a dreamer and a realist, and a dystopian city addicted to social media.

His first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, spawned a secondary character named Guy. Many readers argue that Guy, the insecure gay angel, is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. His popularity surprised the author. The third in this series, Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, scored a Rainbow Award (judged by fans of queer fiction) for Best Gay Alternative Universe/Reality novel.

So, with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Vimeo

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

Love a Time Travel Story? Check Out the Blitz for Out of Time (Out of Time #5) by C.B. Lewis (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title: Out of Time

Series: Out of Time, Book Five

Author: C.B. Lewis

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 20, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 113100

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT science fiction, time travel, gay, bisexual, asexual, British, dirty talk, family drama, PTSD, panic attack, unending innuendo and teasing

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

For Ben Sanders—traitor, thief, and temporal orphan—time is running out.

After three years as a fugitive, with the police task force led by Lysander O’Donohue and Jacob Ofori hot on his heels, Ben has to resort to desperate measures to evade capture and find the key to locating his missing father, lost in time for over two decades. With secrets and conspiracies at every turn, the net grows ever tighter around him.

Haunted by the people he betrayed, the loved ones he left behind, and the lives he ruined, it’s too late to stop now. But no matter what Ben does, there’s no escaping his past.

With this exciting conclusion to the Out of Time series, it is recommended to read the first four books for full enjoyment.

Excerpt

Out of Time
C.B. Lewis © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The house was unnaturally quiet.

It looked the same as usual: portraits of a family—mother and baby, father and toddler—on the walls, a scatter of Lego and jigsaw puzzles on the floor, a forgotten coat slung over the bannister at the top of the stairs.

The man walked onwards towards the staircase.

It was too quiet.

All he had to do was call out and break the silence, but he couldn’t.

Run and hide.

That was what his dad had told him. He had done what he was told.

The front door was cracked open, a thin slice of pale morning light cutting across the patterned tiles on the hall floor. It stretched on towards the lab, which was impossible. The sun was too high for it to stretch so far.

Something wasn’t right.

The stairs creaked underfoot as he crept down. The tiles in the hall were cold. His clothes were soaked. He didn’t remember why. They were wet, and he was cold, and it was all too quiet.

He saw—did he?—the body. A sheet. A shoe on a foot from under it. He saw it. A glimpse. He walked closer, and the sheet was still there. He reached out and grabbed the sheet to see the face of the one who did it.

There was nothing there. No one. The sheet fell from his numb fingers, vanishing before it hit the floor, and he walked onwards.

The door was open, no longer secret. They had cleaned the bloodstains, but he’d heard them talking quietly when they thought he couldn’t hear, and the handprints were back, smeared on the wall. Whose? He didn’t know.

Light shone up from the basement. The walls were white where they weren’t red. It wasn’t silent down there. The electric crackle of power hummed around him as he made his way down. It should all have been bigger. When he was there the first time, it all seemed so much bigger. He remembered the crackle, too, and knew what it meant.

Their secret, something no one had ever known.

He crossed the floor of the laboratory, ignoring the computers and the information all over them. The sound was coming from the next room, and he knew what he was going to see.

The temporal gate connected, blazing with light. The man standing before it, barely more than a silhouette.

“We’re running out of time.”

The voice was familiar, but it was wrong too, not the voice he remembered. Too many years without. Too many years of his memories being worn away. He couldn’t remember it now, not exactly, not the intonation, not the lilt or the accent.

He tried to speak, but his throat was closing up. He reached out towards his father, trying to catch him before he did what he always did. His fingers passed through his father’s shoulder as if it was nothing more than a shadow; then his father stepped through the gate. The world blazed white, dazzling him.

“No!” He ran towards the gate only to collide with a solid wall. Wall on all sides. Enclosed. Trapped. He was somewhere safe. Safe and closed and dark and alone until Dad came for him. The door was sealed and there was no way out, and in the dark he screamed—

Ben Sanders jolted, sitting bolt upright, panting. Iron bands squeezed his chest. He twisted frantically towards the glowing nightlight on the stool beside his bed. Staring at it, he counted down from thirty until his heartbeat evened out, and he could breathe again. He always kept the lighting low throughout the studio in case the nightlight failed. A shaft of white cracked through the ajar bathroom door. Not dark. Never dark.

His sheets clung to him, soaked with sweat. He pushed them aside and got out of the bed on unsteady legs. It took more effort than he liked to make it to the bathroom. He sank to the floor to sit by the toilet. The porcelain was cold as he propped his elbow on the seat, his fingers sinking into his sweat-matted hair.

Every night, it was getting worse. He knew why. How could he not? With every day that went by, he took another step closer to the day that would ruin his life. Time, time, time. That was what it came down to.

His stomach clenched, and he vomited, acid burning in his throat.

Any day now.

He got up and filled a glass of water at the sink. His reflection seemed more like someone half-dead, pale, with deep shadows beneath his eyes. He needed to rest, but not now. Not with his heart still pounding and the faint echo of his father’s voice lingering in his ears.

There was still so much to do.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

C.B. Lewis is small, Scottish and writes pretty much anywhere, any time. She loves to travel and tends to bring home at least four new plot bunnies from every trip she goes on. She’s very excited to continue the adventures of the Out of Time series.

Facebook | Tumblr

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

And Still More 2019 Best Of Lists and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

And Still More 2019 Best Of Lists

Here we are mid January and the cold is upon us. After mid temperatures, it is finally feeling like winter here.  Our look at last year’s wonderful stories continues this week with our reviewer Alisa’s choices for her Best of 2019.  Check them out below:

From Our Reviewer Alisa:

 

2019 Best ebooks

Blood Wine by Aimer Boyz

Kept in the Dark by Charlie Cochet

The Hands We’re Given by O.E. Tearmann

Surviving the Shadows by Miranda Turner

Mason’s Run by Mellanie Rourke

All or Nothing by Riina Y.T.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Andi James and Lila Wilde

The Sweetest Thing by E.M. Denning

At Home by Carly Marie

His Two Alphas by Anna Wineheart

Best audiobooks

Untamed by Carly Marie, narrator Bolton Hill

Homeward Bound by HJ Welch, narrator Nick Russo

Mr. Frosty Pants by Leta Blake, narrator John Solo

Nothing Special V by AE Via, narrator Aiden Snow

The Swap by Annabella Michaels, narrator Michael Pauley

Best Series

Finding Home by Carly Marie

Davey’s Rules by Susi Hawke

My Truth by Ann Grech

Brotherhood of Ormarr by Jacki James, Michelle Frost, Steph Marie, Bobbie Rayne, Michele Notaro and Sammi Cee

Bid Bad Wolves by Queenie Wise

 

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 19:

  • And Still More 2019 Best Of Lists and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday,January 20:

  • Cover Reveal Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4) by Morgan Brice
  • Review Tour – Served with a Twist by Jet Lupin
  • BLITZ Out of Time by C.B. Lewis
  • An Alisa Review Forbidden Bond by Lee Colgin
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Time Turns (Out of Time #4) by C.B. Lewis

Tuesday, January 21:

  • Release blitz Adam Bomb by Kilby Blades
  • BLITZ Winter Masquerade by Kevin Klehr
  • An Alisa Review Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by Miski Harris
  • A MelanieM Review The Edge of the World by Garrett Leigh

Wednesday. January 22:

  • Release Blitz – Fade In (A Tales of Bryant Romance) – V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz – Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4) by Morgan Brice
  • A Melanie Review Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters
  • A Melanie Review Fade In (Tales of Bryant #3) by V.L. Locey

Thursday, January 23:

  • Release Festivities for Powder & Pavlova by Jay Hogan
  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rescuing Kyle Special Forces: Operation Alpha by Lynn Michaels
  • An Alisa Audio Review:All the Way to Shore (Stories from the Shore #1) by CJane Elliott, Tim McKiernan (Narrator)

Friday, January 24:

  • Release Blitz Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen
  • Blog Tour – Hathornatum (Pleletus #1) by Taylin Clavelli
  • A Stella Review: Powder and Pavlova (Southern Lights #1) by Jay Hogan
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Hathornatum (Pleletus #1) by Taylin Clavelli

Saturday, January 25:

  • A MelanieM Audio Review:All I Want Is You by DJ Jamison and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

Don’t Miss Out on the Release Blitz and Giveaway for The Edge Of The World by Garrett Leigh

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Shay Maloney is living his dream—on tour with his pirate/folk-rock band. But you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’re from, and that’s where moody filmmaker and researcher Ollie Pietruska comes in.


The band’s management persuades Shay to let a television company film a documentary about his roots beyond his adoptive Irish family, and Ollie comes into his life knowing more about Shay than Shay’s ever known about himself.


But while Ollie holds the key to Shay’s past, he’s also hiding deep scars. Even as the hardships of the tour bring them closer, Ollie’s demons threaten the blossoming romance. They might both reach the breaking point before Ollie realises he’s been standing on the edge of the world for too long, and it’s Shay who holds the key to his future.


A friends-to-lovers, rock star, road-tripping romance, with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

EJ Russell On Oregon Locations and her new release Howling on Hold by EJ Russell (guest blog and giveaway)

Standard

Howling on Hold by E.J. Russell

Riptide Publishing

Published January 13th 2020
Cover Art: L.C.Chase

Sales Links:

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

Around Oregon by E.J. Russell

I’ve been an Oregon resident for—*checks watch*—almost thirty years now, and have lived in the same spot in the country outside Portland for twenty-nine years this month. (You’ll note I didn’t say I’ve lived in the same house, because the house we moved into isn’t the house we live in now. We’ve done two different remodels—neither one of which is completely finished, but I digress…)

Because I love Oregon and it’s what I know best, most of my books are set here. In fact, there’s only one—Tested in Fire—that’s not (if you don’t count the occasional side trip into Faerie, Sheol, or the Welsh Underworld). Consequently, there are some places and/or iconic objects that show up in Howling on Hold that have appeared in other books as well.

In no particular order…

Voodoo Doughnuts

I dare anyone to walk through the Portland International Airport and not spot at least one person carrying Voodoo Doughnuts’ signature pink box. I took this photo on the Amtrak train between Portland and Seattle, so even our neighbors to the immediate north can’t seem to resist the magic that’s in the hole. That pink box makes a cameo appearance in Howling on Hold, as it did in Stumptown Spirits. In Wolf’s Clothing, the doughnuts emerged from the box when Christophe brought them to Trent as a peace offering. Maple-bacon bars, anyone? (BTW, Voodoo has extended its reach beyond Oregon—they’ve now got stores in Denver, Orlando, Austin, and Hollywood!)

Forest Park

Portland is known for its urban green spaces, and Forest Park is one of the most well-known and extensive. In Howling on Hold, Tanner sees the park as a refuge, but in Stumptown Spirits, it had a more sinister edge as the sight of a legendary ghost war. Trent revisits the park in Wolf’s Clothing despite  the panic it triggers. In Cutie and the Beast, David, Alun, and Mal enter Faerie from the park, and in Bad Boy’s Bard, Niall and Gareth emerge from Faerie into the park, where David has to rescue them outside the Audubon Society. I took this picture of Balch Creek in Forest Park the day my Curmudgeonly Husband and I toured the Witch’s Castle (the site of the ghost war)—it’s similar to the terrain Tanner negotiates in Howling on Hold.

Portland Old Town and the Pearl District

I’ve placed two significant imaginary places from my Mythmatched story universe in downtown Portland. The Bullpen, the shifter bar visited by Casimir in Vampire with Benefits and by Hamish in Demon on the Down-Low is located in Old Town. Chase and the other guys from Portland Howling Residence Seven (aka, the Doghouse) take Tanner to the Bullpen for his twenty-oner party, where, er, hi-jinks ensue.

The Pearl District, the trendier area that got a lot of exposure in the television show Grimm, is where the Supernatural Selection offices were located in Single White Incubus, Vampire With Benefits, and Demon on the Down-Low. In Howling on Hold, those offices have been taken over by Quest Investigations, the private investigation company run by Mal Kendrick (from The Druid Next Door) and Niall O’Tierney (from Bad Boy’s Bard). Chase consults with Quest after the, er, hi-jinks.

What can I say? Once I find a place I like, I can’t resist revisiting! What about you? Any favorite spots that you come back to again and again? (And by the way, fictional spots totally count!)

About Howling on Hold

Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.

That’s why werewolves embark on a Howling: a three-year rite of passage in which they’re sent to a group residence to wrestle with their wolfy instincts and assimilate into the Wider World. But Tanner Araya’s Howling is almost over, and he could be called back to his remote pack at any moment. His twenty-first birthday might be his last chance to act on his strongest instinct and finally kiss Chase Denney.

Chase is RA at the Howling residence affectionately dubbed “the Doghouse,” and he takes his job seriously. So seriously that when he realized he was developing feelings for a resident, he forced himself to keep Tanner at a distance. But now that Tanner’s twenty-one, he’s not Chase’s charge any longer. They could be friends or—if Chase is lucky—something more. At least until they both return to their home packs for good, as tradition demands.

It would take a miracle for them to get together—especially when the other Doghouse werewolves insist on “helping.”

Warning: Many Frisbees are harmed in this story, forgiveness is not always easier than permission, and the five-second rule does not apply.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

About the Mythmatched Universe

Wait . . . Is that . . . No, it couldn’t be. Could it? A fae at the florist? A demon at the deli? A werewolf at the Y?

Humans will never know. They can’t know, or the lives of every supernatural creature on this world—or under it—would be at risk.

So the supes of every nation, culture, and pantheon joined together in uneasy alliance, vowing to keep their society secret in order to survive among humans.

But when you spend every moment hiding your true nature, how can you ever find true love?

Check out the Mythmatched universe today!

 

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com

Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author

Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/


 

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 gift card to Riptide and their pick of an ebook from E.J.’s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 17, 2020. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. For more chances to enter, follow the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

Check Out the New Release Blitz for Unraveling by Rick R. Reed (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Author: Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 13, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68300

Genre: Contemporary LGBT, deep closet, coming out, men with children, virgin, #ownvoices, humorous, EMT

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Randy Kay has the perfect life with his beautiful wife and adorable son. But Randy’s living a lie, untrue to himself and everyone who knows him. He’s gay.

Marriage and fatherhood, which he thought could change him, have failed. He doubts if anyone can love him for who he really is—especially himself.

With his wife’s blessing, he sets out to explore the gay world he’s hidden from all his life.

John Walsh, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, is comfortable in his own skin as a gay man, yet he can never find someone who shares his desire to create a real relationship, a true family.

When Randy and John first spy each other in Chicago’s Boystown, all kinds of alarms go off—some of joy, others of deep-seated fear.

Randy and John must surmount multiple hurdles on the journey to a lasting, meaningful love. Will they succeed or will their chance at love go up in flames, destroyed by missed connections and a lack of self-acceptance?

Excerpt

Unraveling
Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
RANDY

I have my death all planned out.

Unlike the thirty-two years that have gone before, I want my passing to be peaceful and free of the discord and pain I’ve lived with for as long as I can remember. I want it to be easy. Effortless. Guilt-free.

Whether it’s any of those things remains to be seen.

I’ve rented this hotel room at a small boutique hotel off Michigan Avenue. The Crewe House has been standing on this same ground on Oak Street for at least a hundred years. The rooms are small, fussy, and charming, with flocked wallpaper, four-poster beds, and claw-foot tubs and pedestal sinks in their black-and-white bathrooms. It’s charming, and I deserve something nice to gaze at before I close my eyes for good.

I have some sandalwood-scented candles lit, and the fragrance is warm, enveloping. Their soft flicker is the only illumination. Outside, the winter sky darkens early. Dusk’s cobalt blue makes silhouettes of the water towers, train tracks, and buildings to the west of the hotel. Near the horizon the sky is a shade of lavender that mesmerizes me, makes me think of changing my mind. If a sky like this can exist, with its electric bands of color, maybe the world isn’t such a horrible place.

Maybe I can go on.

No.

What else have I done to ease my passage into whatever comes next? I have a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, my favorite champagne, uncorked and resting in a silver ice bucket, filled with melting ice. A flute stands next to it, waiting.

I’ll wash the sleeping pills down with the bubbly.

Before getting into bed, I’ll turn on the cassette I have in my boombox, Abbey Road. I have it queued up to “Golden Slumbers.”

I’ve been carrying this weight for such a long time.

I long for smiles.

At last, I’ll undress and stretch out on the four-poster. I’ll pull the eiderdown duvet loosely over me and close my eyes.

The plan is I will slowly slip under, my brain becoming a soft velvety fog, and I’ll simply fall into the arms of a comforting—and obliterating—slumber.

I will not dream.

It won’t take long.

And I’ll leave a beautiful corpse.

That’s the plan, anyway. Some of my research into this method of offing myself runs counter to this gentle fantasy, but I don’t want to consider the downside of overdosing on strong barbiturates.

I want to go to sleep.

I want to forget the impossibility of being able to become the man I know I should be.

Husband.

Father.

I blink back tears as I sit on the bed, staring out at the deepening twilight. They don’t deserve this: what you’re going to leave them with. I know the voice inside, the one that’s always made me do the right thing, at the expense of my very being, is right. And even though they don’t deserve it, you know they will hurt, of course they will, but in the end, they’ll be better off.

Who wants a husband and father who can’t seem to make himself straight, despite trying therapy, the Catholic Church, the Buddhist faith, self-help groups, and self-help books. A group of pathetic married men meeting once a month and thinking they can change. Nothing works. If I could change, I would.

And since I can’t change, I’m left with three options:

Accept myself as I am. How can I do that? I’d be a failure as a husband, a father, a son, a brother. I’d go on wearing this suffocating mask. I’d continue to live a life that’s essentially a lie.

Everyone who loves me doesn’t even know me.

They love a façade, a projection, a mirage made of wishes, impossible hopes, and self-hatred.

No, acceptance is not an option. It never was.

Second, I could resist. I could knuckle down and brace myself against the attractions I feel, the dreams that pop up in my sleep despite my desperately not wanting them there. I could hold myself back from falling prey to the temptations I feel on the streets, the subway, the locker rooms—everywhere I encounter a beautiful man.

The reason I find myself here is because I can’t resist. Not anymore.

And the third option is simply the one I have to choose—remove myself from the pain. Remove myself from existing as this broken thing that God nor man can fix.

Yes, Violet and Henry both will find a way to move on, and they’ll be happier, more anchored in life without me.

Who needs a gay dad? Or a husband who, deep down, doesn’t want what his wife has to offer? Or worse, a dad who contracts the death sentence of AIDS?

Enough of the grim thoughts. They were not part of my plan. Tonight, I go out peacefully. I’ll shut my eyes and remember things like my joy six years ago when Henry was born and seeing him take his first breath. I shouted, “We got a boy!” and fell into the deepest, most effortless love I’ve ever felt. I’ll remember proposing to Violet when we were both college sophomores and the thrill when she accepted the cheap diamond-chips ring I gave her. Things will be okay now, I remember thinking. I can change.

I really believed that. And I know I love Violet as best I can.

It’s sad when your best simply isn’t good enough.

I reach over for the bottle of sleeping pills on the nightstand. There are thirty of them, and I intend to take them all, two or three at a time. If it takes the whole bottle of champagne to get them down, well, things could be worse. No?

I tip the bottle and look at the tablets against the dark wood, so innocent, yet so lethal.

I’m just reaching for one when there’s a sudden knock on the door. Loud. Forceful. Urgent.

“Randy? Randy? Open up, please.”

The door knob turns as Violet’s voice penetrates the heavy wood of the door, making her sound muffled.

I close my eyes. I could ignore her, hope she goes away.

How did she find out where I was anyway?

She wasn’t supposed to know until she got the letter, the one neatly folded and an arm’s length away on the nightstand.

Pounding. “Please!” Violet calls.

I gather the pills, shoving them back in the bottle, then hide the container in a nightstand drawer.

How will I explain?

I get up, cross the room, and open the door.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

Review Tour and Giveaway for Saving Sean (Seattle Stories #2) by Con Riley

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Seattle Stories 
 

Book #1 – After Ben – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 
Blurb
 

No more running from love…


Nearly a year after being rejected for another man, Seattle paramedic Peter Morse is still pining, so when the one that got away asks him for a favor, he agrees. His mission: track down Sean Reid, the runaway brother of a mutual friend. Peter isn’t thrilled about it—until he finds Sean injured by the side of the road.


Everything about Sean stirs Peter’s protective instincts—saving people is what he lives for—but he never anticipated falling for someone so hell-bent on running from him. On top of his physical wounds, Sean struggles with grief and guilt, and the mess his estranged father left when he died threatens to overwhelm him.


Saving Sean means Peter must let go of his pride and turn to friends and family. Asking for help is a bitter pill for Peter to swallow, but if he can’t, how can he expect Sean to accept his help—and his love—in turn?

 

CON RILEY lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean. Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that make them live and breathe. When not people-watching or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
<script src=”https://widget-

Check Out the Book Blitz for Breaking the Surface (The Outsider Project #2) by Rebecca Langham (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title: Breaking the Surface

Series: The Outsider Project, Book Two

Author: Rebecca Langham

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 13, 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 81300

Genre: Science Fiction LGBT, captivity, interspecies, politics, Sci-fi, teacher, futuristic, lesbian, space

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Alessia is an Outsider—a member of the not-quite-human community that has recently been released from their underground prison. Shortly after their liberation, Alessia is given an ultimatum: obey all the United Earth Alliance’s demands, or her mother will forever remain a hostage—a mother she’d believed dead for fifteen years. Reluctantly, she agrees, though she has no idea what those demands may be or how she will balance her obligations to the UEA with her responsibilities to her people and her family.

As the UEA tightens its grip on humans and Outsiders alike, it becomes clear that meaningful social change will not be possible without a revolution. Alessia and her peers embark on a mission to discover just how far the government is willing to go to maintain their monopoly on power.

What Alessia and her comrades discover, however, goes much deeper than they’d ever anticipated. Who are the Outsiders, really? What secrets of their destiny lay hidden within a top-secret space station? And why are the Outsiders linked to an emerging disease the UEA seems desperate to keep secret? As they delve deeper, it isn’t only Alessia’s identity that will be called into question, but the fate of the entire planet.

Excerpt

Breaking the Surface
Rebecca Langham © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Lydia wanted so badly to pace, to burn away her fear one exaggerated step at a time, but there was nowhere to go, no floor space to haunt. The Camp had been a sanctuary for them all, keeping her friends safe from unwanted attention since they’d taken their first steps as free people, but now it suffocated her. It may have been off-the-grid, but the complex was also small. Too small.

Given the number of people in the control room, she had to settle for crossing her arms over her stomach and gritting her teeth. But even then, she couldn’t silence the dissenting voice in her head. Something wasn’t right. Why would the United Earth Alliance be demanding a meeting so forcefully?

The UEA had been quiet in the two weeks since the Outsiders relocated from the colonies, granting an eerie yet welcome period of radio silence. Now they’d not only made contact, but threatened legal action if Alessia and the Green Hats didn’t acquiesce to an immediate communication with one of the government’s top advisers.

Lydia’s stomach churned.

As though reading her thoughts, Alessia slid her hand into Lydia’s and squeezed her fingers. Lydia forced a weak smile as she turned. “I don’t trust them.”

Alessia’s face—which, more than ever, reminded Lydia of a finely carved alabaster statue— softened.

“Of course not,” she replied, her tone sympathetic yet firm. “But it may not be wise to ignore the request. This could be nothing more than an administrative issue and I don’t want to invite trouble, not so soon after the release.”

“I don’t think you can ignore it, Ly-dee.” Helen swivelled gently in an office chair, forearms resting on her thighs as she considered her daughter. After all those years without Helen’s presence, hearing that fruity voice still managed to surprise her from time to time. Lydia had believed her mother to be dead for years. Finding out she hadn’t died, but rather become a kind of political hacker, was unsettling to say the least.

Life had changed so much in the last nine months. Alessia did not remain trapped beneath the ground, and Helen had re-emerged from the void.

No longer living with her politician father, even Lydia had been partially freed from the web of her old insecurities and frustrations. Sometimes though, it seemed like those frustrations had dissolved only to be replaced by a whole slew of new concerns. It had been a lot to process.

Helen sighed, a little too dramatically. She reached for a cup of tea she’d left cooling on a nearby bench and cradled it between her hands. “We knew they’d get their claws back in sooner or later.”

“Two weeks,” Lydia huffed. “They only waited two weeks. Please can’t we refuse?” The frustration in her voice exposed Lydia’s raw emotional state in a way she wasn’t comfortable with. Until recently, she’d worked hard to present a subdued version of her thoughts to the outside world. With such a prominent father, she’d had to if she had any hope of protecting herself from those who sought to exploit her. Whether it be to splash her personal life about the goss-channels, or to pressure her to influence her father regarding some political issue or another, there had been no shortage of people trying to use Lydia. It had been a kind of self-preservation to surround herself in the dark veil she’d become enveloped in, making it harder for people to really see her. But then Alessia had burst into her life, a quiet yet powerful blaze of light.

Alessia and the other Outsiders had reached right into her and reawakened feelings and sensations she’d muted long ago.

“Is refusing a good idea?” Peleus looked up from where he sat cross-legged on the floor a couple of metres away from Helen. Peleus had been one of her earliest and most faithful followers and friends, embracing her efforts to slowly change culture in the colony by sharing positive stories and messages with the children. “They’re providing accommodations and integration assistance to the four thousand Os who’ve had their entire existence uprooted. Not taking their meeting might give the UEA reason to withdraw support.” As Alessia’s confidante, Peleus’s presence always lent a certain sense of thoughtful tranquillity to a situation.

Alessia pulled Lydia closer until their bodies pressed together, banishing the air between them and soothing Lydia’s nerves a little. They’d barely had time to catch their breath since Release Day. When they had finally pushed their way through the obscenely large crowd of onlookers in Thracia after the ceremony, they’d boarded an air-transport and come directly here to the Green Hat headquarters in Quadrant Four.

Affectionately known by its inhabitants as the Camp, the secure underground complex supported a community of approximately a hundred people. Every one of them had dedicated their lives to undermining the UEA’s ever-worsening abuses of its own laws.

The main control room at the Camp was capacious and circular, with curved desks and ergonomic chairs that hugged the wall. Each workstation offered a user access to the G-Hat virtual network, but to connect with the outside world, one had to utilise the cylindrical, glassy tower in the centre of the room. A reflective pillar when inactive, the hub featured a projector that sent holograms into the middle of the tower as required.

The hub worked much the same way as any Hive wall, but with some modifications helping to prevent hacks into the rest of their system. It was also perfect for situations in which more than one person needed to participate in a communication link. Lydia believed the entire setup was nothing short of spectacular. No doubt they’d been able to develop the untraceable consoles only because of whatever financial support the MacNay Corporation had been providing.

Still, Alessia and Lydia had traded one isolated abode for another. At least this one wasn’t full of protectors or tainted by decades of oppression. Greys had been replaced with blues, locked doors with open spaces, and obstacles with possibilities.

The dormitory was unfortunate, though. Each night, the enticing heat of Alessia’s body rejuvenated Lydia, yet they were acutely aware of the other people sleeping nearby, and so Lydia had accepted the fact they’d have no privacy for the foreseeable future.

In truth, she experienced relief and disappointment in equal measure. They’d only spent a few weeks getting to know one another in the Q4C, after a month of silent glances in crowded corridors. The six months of separation following Lydia’s departure had done little to quiet Lydia’s fears her connection to Alessia wasn’t as strong as she’d thought, that perhaps she’d imagined the whole thing given the immediacy of their attraction. Slowing things down, being with one another without expectation, could be the best way for Lydia to validate the tether between the two of them.

The rest of the refugees had been relocated to government-sponsored accommodations in the major cities of Thracia and New Sydney. Only Peleus and Fermi knew exactly where to find Alessia, and Lydia wanted it to stay that way for the moment, regardless of Alessia’s initial protestations.

The entire world knew Alessia’s face now, and there was no way to predict how she’d be received by the mainstream population or what her own people might expect from her as their de facto leader. Leader.

Lydia rested the side of her face against Alessia’s bicep. Her stomach clenched as she capitulated. “Peleus is right, isn’t he? We should hear them out.”

Alessia kissed the top of Lydia’s head, then nodded. “Yes.” She looked at Lydia’s mother. “Helen, I’m ready.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Don’t miss Book #1 in the The Outsider Project series, Beneath the Surface, available from NineStar Press

Meet the Author

Rebecca Langham lives in the Blue Mountains (Australia) with her partner, three children, and menagerie of pets. A Xenite, a Whovian and all-round general nerd, she’s a lover of science fiction, comic books, and caffeine. When she isn’t teaching History to high schoolers or wrangling children, Rebecca enjoys playing broomball and reading.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2