Check Out the New Release Blitz for Where Song Replaces Silence by Layla Dorine

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Title: Where Song Replaces Silence

Author: Layla Dorine

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 22, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 33300

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, abduction, anger, Brownies, faeries, gay, hurt/comfort, mythical creatures, nymphs

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Synopsis

Raze halts his midnight joy ride to give chase to twinkling lights that appear in the road before him and then lead him deep into a forest, where he falls into another world. There, magic is real, wishes are granted, and no one is considered odd or out of place.

Raze has never fit in anywhere in his own world and uses his angry attitude to keep others at bay and mask his anxieties and fears in this new place. A dangerous combination in Loas, where rudeness is frowned upon and foul language can land him in a dungeon.

Rurin, an inhabitant of Loas, tries to teach Raze about their world, its magic and its residents, but he faces Raze’s stubborn resistance at every turn. Bitter about his past, pessimistic about his future, Raze sees what could be, but he struggles to accept it. In the meantime, his encounters with the Fae range from hostile sarcasm to potential danger. While he attempts to keep the promises he’s made to Rurin and follow the rules laid out for him, Raze grows more and more curious about the place where he’s landed. It’s too bad he keeps making poor choices.

As the connection between them grows, Rurin works to keep Raze from being banished, but Raze may be cast out of the Loas before he has the opportunity to discover the true reason he was led there in the first place.

Excerpt

Where Song Replaces Silence
Layla Dorine © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Heavy, the steady thud, thud, thud of the base rocked the back windows, and poured from the open driver’s side where the scent of rain flowed freely, mist lightly splashing on Raze’s face. “Four Rusted Horses” blared from a radio cranked so high the rain-covered glass vibrated with the force of the speakers’ efforts.

Thud, thud, thud, “forbidden…” Raze growled along, more snarl than song. Thud, thud, thud, “heaven…” Every word committed to memory. Thud, thud, thud, “useless…” Despite the slickness of the road, he drove with just two fingers, his free hand tapping out a beat on the shifter. Thud, thud, thud, “hell…” Glowing red numbers on the dash flipped from 2:59 to 3:00, the witching hour, the night so dark the headlights struggled to pierce the dim and fog.

The old Charger’s purr was a gospel choir of spark plugs and gears. His steel and chrome baby was the only thing in life Raze worked hard to care for. Some might even say he worshipped her power and speed, stroked her like a lover, and spent more than one night curled against the supple leather of her seats. He called her Rhea, after Saturn’s second largest moon. As a kid, he’d had a collection of beautiful photos of the ringed planet.

For most, this might have been motivation to aim high, study astrophysics or astronomy, anything that might put them closer to the cosmos. Not Raze. If he was behind the wheel, space and time were irrelevant; the world shrank, melted, and faded away. The song reached its crescendo, and he drummed along, eyes half closed as he pressed harder on the gas, felt the wind snarl and tug at his hair—sharp, like cold teeth. Tensing, he belted out the final verse, barely keeping Rhea on the road.

Exhilaration warred with exhaustion, the miles piling up for hours. A quick glance at the dash showed the gas tank was drifting below a fourth, dangerous territory when he had no clue where to find the nearest station. Common sense said he should have stopped at the last place he saw, but the rebel flags in the window made him wary. He’d always had a tough time understanding how people could hate someone so absolutely over something as simple as the color of their skin.

His own varied, based on how much time he spent in the sun. Most days, his skin glowed like the beach at sunrise, the sand shimmering a glowing golden hue. In the summer, though, his skin grew three shades darker, and if he wasn’t careful, a crop of freckles would appear splattered across his nose. He hated them as much as he hated the odd, three-toned hues of his hair, and how, no matter how many times he dyed the messy mane, he could never quite get his locks to turn out one color.

The long strands needed another treatment, the rich reds were like blood and rubies, or at least, that’s how a multitude of people had described the color over the years. A few, being kind, had likened the shade to fall leaves or a sunset, but kindness hadn’t been a common occurrence growing up. His so-called oddities had always made others uncomfortable. Funny, but ever since he’d learned the meaning of normal the idea had freaked the hell outta him. One of the many reasons he was still drifting.

Shit!

Slamming on the brakes, he jerked the wheel, sending Rhea spinning through the dancing green-gold figure appearing out of nowhere, swathed in a halo of lights. Somehow, despite the rows of waving trees, he got Rhea stopped without clipping one. His throat hurt, and his chest was pounding, lungs heaving as he sucked in air. Breathing and trying to relax the death grip on the wheel at the same time was a struggle. His fingers ached. Stiff and cramping, they refused to cooperate, no matter how hard he focused. Shaking, he collapsed against the wheel, the weight of his body sounding the horn, the echo a forlorn cry above the howling wind.

Shit shit shit shit shit

The only word he could formulate, shit, a mantra, running through his brain. There hadn’t been a thud. He hadn’t felt one, hadn’t heard one, meaning he’d missed them, right?

He didn’t want to look, but he knew he had to. Maybe they’d tripped, fallen, dived out of the way, rolled. They could be hurt, but not as bad as if he’d struck them with nearly two tons of metal. Swallowing, he told himself to man up, jerked his fingers free of their grip on the wheel, and sucked in a deep breath as he fumbled in the darkness for his phone. Three bars. Good, he could get them help if they needed it.

He fumbled with the door, got it open on the second try, and practically fell getting out, his body rebelling with every movement. For a moment, he stood in darkness, disoriented as he tried to figure out which direction he’d been coming from. When he spotted the twinkling green lights over the road, he blinked and stumble staggered toward the glowing apparition, watching the fragments of gold swirl and take shape, hovering, the form human, but not.

The fuck?

About fifty feet away, he could hear laughter, a mocking, teasing jangle of bell-like notes.

“You missed me, you missed me.”

Huh?

Squinting, he struggled to assess the situation, even as the words continued.

“Now you gotta kiss me.”

Oh, hell no. Either he was hallucinating, or he’d smacked his head on something. Either way, he was gonna wake up in a few minutes to darkness, a whining engine, and a pounding headache even the best painkillers wouldn’t cure.

Scrubbing a hand over his face, he pressed his fingertips against his temples, counting to ten, but the laughter and singsong words continued.

“You think this is funny!” he roared, hands dropping to his sides, fingers curling into fists. He took a step forward and then another. “You could have gotten me killed; you could have fucked up my car; how fuckin’ stupid do you have to be, playing games out here in the middle of nowhere! Do you get off on fucking with people, huh? I swear to god, if there is a fuckin’ piston outta place in Rhea, you’re gonna pay to have her fixed.”

The laughter grew, even as he stalked the light. Only when he was within grasping range did it turn and flee toward the forest, glancing back every now and again to taunt him more.

“You can run, run, run, but when you’re done, you will never catch me.”

“Oh, you better believe Imma catch you, and when I do, Imma beat the sparkle offa you!” he screamed, crashing through the underbrush after it. It occurred to him, as he slipped and floundered, like as not, he was chasing swamp gas or some fucked-up idea of a joke involving holograms and projectors. They were probably sitting in a tree laughing at his stupidity. Didn’t stop him from continuing to give chase.

Tripping, he landed facedown in prickly brambles.

“FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!”

Yowling, he carefully tried to detangle himself while the laughter continued to grate on his nerves.

“Clumsy, aren’t we? My, my, my, that’s a very fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”

“Me? You’re the one who led me into this crap.”

“If you’d been faster, or smarter, perhaps you’d have used your wings, instead of stumbling around like a blind Alp-luachra searching for its next joint.”

“Wish I was sitting somewhere warm and dry smokin’ a joint right about now,” he grumbled beneath his breath, even as the sparkling flake of glittery light continued to cackle, twinkling like a firefly with every high-pitched note.

“Ah, but your wishes matter little to me. I lack the ability to grant them, and even if I could, I wouldn’t, until we’ve finished our game, though you are a poor, poor chaser. Perhaps you would be a better seeker. Shall I hide and see if you can find me?”

“Please don’t; actually, no, wait; please do. Yeah, that’s brilliant. You go hide, and I’ll come find you…in a century or two.”

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Layla Dorine lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest

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An Alisa Review: For the Love of a Unicorn (Legendary Shifters #1) by Catherine Lievens

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Legendary shifters are hunted and used, but some people are ready to do anything to keep them safe.

Sam has been living in the forest since his parents were killed and his brother taken because of what they were—unicorn shifters. He hasn’t approached the wolf pack living nearby because he doesn’t know if he can trust them, but when he meets a wolf at the stream and realizes they’re mates, he knows he will have to get over that distrust.

Frederic didn’t expect to meet his mate in the forest where the pack lives, and he certainly didn’t expect his mate to be a unicorn shifter. Sam is, though, and he comes with complications and problems—and Frederic is willing to take them all on.

Sam is wary and doesn’t know how to trust, but he hopes having the pack’s help means he can finally look for his brother. He doesn’t know where to start, though, so using himself as bait for the men who killed his parents sounds like a good idea.

Until it doesn’t.

I really enjoyed this story.  Sam has been living alone and in fear since losing his family when by chance he runs into his mate he runs before he even realizes the significance of that meeting.  Frederic is so happy and is willing to do anything to help Sam and make him feel safe.

Sam was a little reluctant but it doesn’t take too long for him to want to complete his mating, the joys of a mate bond.  I understood how both of these two were feeling and how they were able to work though their feelings and fears.  I loved how supportive the other pack members and alpha were to both of these guys and how they all wanted to give Sam the stability and support he needed.  Rescuing Sam’s brother was a great ending and in typical fashion of this author, he meets his mate, time to wait for the next book.

The cover art by Angela Waters is nice and I liked the visuals of both of their animal halves.

Sales Links: eXtasy Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 115 pages

Published: March 8, 2019 by eXtasy Books

ISBN: 9781487424145

Edition Language: English

Series: Legendary Shifters #1

Love Fantasy? Check Out the Release Blitz for The Gathering Storm (Juxtan #2) by Tricia Owens (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Gathering Storm (Book 2 of Juxtan)

Author: Tricia Owens

Publisher:  Self-Published

Cover Artist: Tricia Owens

Genre/s: Fantasy, M/M romance

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 50 000 words

Release Date: April 22, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

After betraying the only man he ever loved, Hadrian ni Leyanon waits for death amid the ruins of a sorcerous battle. Before that can happen he is recruited by the Council of Elders which governs the use of magick in Juxtan. The Council needs him to track down his evil sorcerer father and force him to face a justice they aren’t powerful enough to inflict on their own. Wracked with guilt, Hadrian agrees to join the mage-led mission in the hopes it will allow him to redeem himself. But when Caled, the handsome mercenary whom Hadrian betrayed, insists on joining the mission, too, Hadrian discovers that redemption needs to come from the man who hates him most.

This book was previously published as The Gathering.

 

Excerpt

The mercenary tightened his fingers around Hadrian’s wrist in response. For a brief instant Hadrian was transported back in time, when Caled held his arm this way because he was leading Hadrian back to the Bell and Buckle for a midday roll and they were trying to be discreet while excitement quickening their pulses. The memory was so sharp and the ache it caused so painful that Hadrian let out a whimper of longing before he could stop himself.

Caled turned his head at the sound, his glorious blue eyes still full of a hate that seemed to age him. But there was something else which lurked in those sapphire depths, something…

“Please,” Hadrian said, the word holding a thousand meanings―it was up to Caled to decide which interpretation to take. “Please.”

Caled had brought them to a mudroom off the main entrance that afforded some privacy. In the semi-darkness, surrounded by hanging cloaks and furs, Caled released Hadrian’s arm and turned around. He herded Hadrian back against the nearest wall, Hadrian clumsily moving his feet out of the way to avoid being stepped on.

“It’s too late for that,” Caled told him grimly. “It’s too late for pleas, for forgiveness. It’s too late, Hadrian.”

Hadrian found himself pressed into the scratchy fabric of wool cloaks. Damp mud on their hems brushed the backs of his bare calves, making him shiver at the cold. But if he needed heat, all he needed to do was look into Caled’s eyes.

“I understand you’re going to kill me,” Hadrian began, his voice stronger than he expected. “I deserve your justice.” The lines around Caled’s eyes deepened. “But I want you to know, Caled. I want you to know―it wasn’t a deception. What we shared―it was real. It was real for me.”

 

About the Author

Tricia Owens has been writing m/m fiction since 2000, after stumbling onto the term ‘slash’ and thinking it referred to horror stories. She is the author of the Sin City, A Pirate’s Life for Me, and Juxtapose City series, among several others. She lives in Las Vegas.

 

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Happy Easter, Eostre to All That Celebrate. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Happy Easter, Eostre to All That Celebrate

Happy Easter to everyone that is celebrating today.  For me it brings memories of Easter eggs, the smell of vinegar and Paas Dye kits.  How I loved dying Easter eggs.  The vibrant colors, the wax crayons, the surprise as they came out of the dye baths…those shaky little wire contraptions that came with the kits so flimsy when used that soon gave way to spoons !  Oh my!

Although associated with Christianity today, Easter eggs predate that religion going back to pagan rituals and the coming of Spring.  Eggs being of course a sign of fertility and renewal.  Some scholars believe that the pagan customs were adopted by priests and other Christian heads of that religion to help convert the population.  Whether true or not, the brightly coloring of the eggs started in the past in Medieval Europe and Asia.

I still see those kits in the store but people have clued me into egg spinners, natural leaf prints (so cool), tie dyed eggs (hey, man), Cool Whip eggs (need to investigate that one), plus so many more options plus the whole natural dyes that involve onion skins!

Leaf Print Eggs

 

Cool Whip Eggs

 

Tie dyed eggs!

Is it too late for an adult to get into the action without kids? lol.  These make me want to grab for several cartons of eggs and have at it.  Plastic eggs or the thought of them just don’t do it for me.

Anyway, it’s short, colorful and sweet this week.  Happy Easter to all who are celebrating.  Happy Egg Coloring and Egg Finding!  Happy Eostre and Happy Spring!

Greek Easter eggs dyed with onion skins

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 21:

  • BLOG TOUR Thirst For You by Jaclyn Quinn
  • Release Blitz How to Heal by Susan Hawke
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 22:

  • Review Tour – Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
  • Review Tour – Ruby Moone – Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2)
  • Release Blitz – The Gathering Storm by Tricia Owens
  • An Alisa Review : Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone
  • A VVivacious Review: Don’t Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Wrong Way Home by K.A. Merikan
  • A MelanieM Review: Descendant by Mychael Black

Tuesday, April 23:

  • Release Blitz Crossing The Touchline – Jay Hogan
  • Release Blitz – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • BLITZ Destructive Forces by Harry F. Rey
  • An Alisa Review: For the Love of a Unicorn (Legendary Shifters #1) by Catherine Lievens
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Innocence & Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Burden (Love, Unexpected #2) by KC Wells
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Wednesday, April 24:

  • Release Blitz  for Montana Sky (Montana #6) – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz for Love Is A Walk In The Park by V.L. Locey & Stephanie Locey
  • TOUR Mucklucked” by James Brock
  • BLITZ Where Song Replaces Silence by Layla Dorine
  • An Alisa Review:How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke
  • A MelanieM Review: Upside Down by NR Walker
  • A Lila Review: Love, Again by H.D. Nels

Thursday, April 25:

  • Release Blitz for Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – Mud & Lace
  • Review Tour – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen and TJ Clark (Narrator)
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Play Hard by Avery Cockburn

Friday, April 26:

  • Review Tour – Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • Review Tour – Alex Jane – Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession
  • Release Blitz Don’t Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon
  • An Alisa Review: Living on a Dare (Shore Thing #1) by Grace Kilian Delaney
  • A Lucy Review: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton
  • An Ashlez Review : Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession) by Alex Jane

Saturday, April 27:

  • A MelanieM Review: Game Changer (Game Changers #1) by Rachel Reid

An Ali Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Grady Hunter has a vampire infestation on his hands in the town of Shady Pines but he’s been deserted by those best suited to help. After enlisting Chris Reed, a techno-mage, they find the vampires might only be the tip of a deadly iceberg.

Returning home from his dream travels, Ethan Roam is eager to experiment with his newly discovered powers. But Ethan isn’t the only familiar arrival in Grady’s life. As more reminders of his dark past crop up daily, Grady and Ethan are swept up in a mystery of cosmic proportions.

Grady must fight to keep an ever-evolving Ethan on his side while being challenged by the ghosts of his past.

This was an interesting urban fantasy type story.  I did not notice this was the second book in the series when I requested to review it and I think that negatively affected my enjoyment.  There was a lot going on and a lot of characters and I was struggling to follow along.  It was not that it was badly written it was just that I had not read the first book.  Completely on me, not the author.
That being said I did enjoy this.  The author has created some interesting and unique characters and I enjoyed their various relationships with each other.  It’s action packed and entertaining from the very first page.  I liked Ethan and Grady together and I enjoyed their romance.  The side characters all added to the story and I felt they enhanced the overall story.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy paranormal romances.  I do not recommend that this be read as a standalone though. You’ll be able to follow along as I did but I think you’ll miss some of the emotional connections.
Cover:  The cover was done by Natasha Snow and I love it.  I think the colors are really eye catching and the cover fits the overall vibe of the story really well.
Book Details;
ebook, 188 pages
Published April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press (first published April 14th 2017)
ASINB07PXQYNRJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag

So I was sort of at a loss as to what to write about this week, my thoughts were all over the place.  And as usual, it came to me through a conglomeration of pictures, hits to the heart, books, people, and just moments in the weirdness that is my mind.

What all clashed together?  Well, it started with this quote from a story I’m reviewing next week from NR Walker.  It’s called Upside Down. If you haven’t read it, run out and grab it now.  I’ll be reviewing it later on.

 “Asexuality is defined by the absence of something.”

 

Boom!  What a way to start a novel and to set off an astonishing inner monologue by a character who’s intelligent,endearing, compex, and seeking answers to his sexuality. And not happy with the article he’s been reading. Of course, he hasn’t exactly finished it as his best friend and fellow librarian will later point out.   But it prompts a discussion over the fact that he feels that as a person he doesn’t feel that he’ should be defined by an absence of anything.  What follows is an extraordinarily well written story about  one man’s journey towards understanding  his asexuality,  two men in love,and their heartwarming romance and path to HEA which includes a daily bus ride, a Soup Crew and a cast to carry your heart.  One of my two 5 star reads in a week.

And for this blog and many others a story with characters that are Ace is standard, just part of the LGBTQIA spectrum we read and review.  Genderqueer, Non-binary, and Genderfluid , Pansexual, Aromantic, Intersex, our reviews (along with the books we are offered) have expanded far beyond what this blog first began with.

I couldn’t be happier or sadder that it took so long.

When Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words first took its first baby steps years ago, all our stories (I was at first the only reviewer as the owner), the only stories primarily out there were M/M.  Slowly I remember one or two transexual  short stories trickling in, a couple of bisexual characters in others that people angrily fought over in reviews on GRs and here because bisexuality  was still so poorly understood by some writers that they still considered it that “way station” to gayness, instead of a legitimate sexuality all its own.

But for the most part, M/M, with the F/F fiction for the most part not being carried along side.

Now things have changed.  We do read and review the spectrum.  Yes, perhaps, it’s still heavy on one or several sides, but we are getting better as does our choices of books  sent in to read and review.  That’s grown steadily larger too.  Perhaps to to ePublishing, eBooks?  I don’t know, but grown it has as Yoda would say.

It’s not just our stories but the change is reflected in the authors who mirror the rainbow of stories we read and review.

You wondered what else sparked this all things Rainbow?  This…I have someone at the Star Wars con and they posted this pic..

 

Our stories have always been full of geeky nerds we love to fall in love with and one recent story I read even featured a Con, with an enormous amounts of fans.  If its Star Wars, can it’s fans of any shape, size, color, or sexuality be far behind?  I think not.

I guess from a Pride Squadron to a librarian looking for answers to a YA #lovehim series that continues to astonish me, the full spectrum of the Rainbow hit me full force this week, as did a bit of “wow I’m so happy we’ve come so far”.

I know we have a long way to go but as it’s pouring outside and I’m looking forward to setting in with another book this afternoon (and GoT tonight).  I’m still so happy at the strides made ….steps forward are still that.  Movement ahead.  And that’s where I’m focused!

What are your thoughts on all this?

And btw?  I’m both Star Wars AND Star Trek! lol  Just don’t ask me which Captain….we don’t have that much time!

Now for our schedule this coming week!  There be dragons ahead tonight!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 14:

  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz for Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone (excerpt and giveaway)

Monday, April 15:

  • DSP PROMO LaQuette on Under His Protection
  • DSP PROMO Royal Blue
  • Release Blitz – Ace in the Picture by Jude Tresswell
  • Release Blitz – Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • An Ashlez Review: Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • A Stella Review: Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • A MelanieM Review:To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James

Tuesday, April 16:

  • Release Blitz – Lillian Francis – Under The Radar
  • Blog Tour – Strokes on a Canvas by H. Lewis-Foster
  • Blog Tour – Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • An Ashlez Review: Catastrophe by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A Stella Review: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

Wednesday, April 17:

  • Release Blitz – Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
  • Release Blitz  – Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London
  • An Alisa Review: Coming Home Finding Home #2) by Carly Marie
  • A Stella Review: Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London

Thursday, April 18:

  • Sale Blitz for Love & Family Book 1: TABOO FOR YOU
  • Cover Reveal for  Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz for – Tainted Love by T.S. Hunter
  • An Alisa Review: Because of Sam by J.D. Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1) by T.S. Hunter
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Playing in the Dark (Glasgow Lads #4)  by Avery Cockburn

Friday, April 19:

  • Series Blitz/Review Tour – Holeshot Series – Lynn Michaels
  • Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes Book  Blitz
  • Release Blitz Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • An Alisa Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz
  • An Ali Review: The Holeshot (Book #1) by Lynn Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review:  This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger

Saturday, April 20:

  • Release Blitz – Alex Jane – Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession)
  • A MelanieM Review: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

A Free Dreamer Review: Soulstealers by Jacqueline Rohrbach

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Arnaka Skytree grew up believing she was chosen to bring new magic to the world. As the heir to the cult of druids responsible for keeping their floating palace habitable for the wealthy aristocracy, she’s expected to wield her power as those before her did: by culling the souls of peasant women.

But when Arnaka learns more about the source of her magic, and that her best friend’s soul will be harvested, she embarks on a journey to end the barbarous practice and to restore a long-forgotten harmonious system of magic practiced by the original druids. Along the way, she discovers she’s not the only girl chosen to restore balance to their world—many others have powerful magic inside, and with them, she will tear the floating palace from the sky so everyone can live in the sun—out of the shadow of the eclipse.

NineStaPress has published many brilliant Fantasy novels. Sadly, “Soulstealers” was not one of them.

I can’t even say what exactly I didn’t like about this book. For some reason, it just didn’t work for me at all.

I didn’t feel any sort of connection to Arnaka, other than vague annoyance at times. I didn’t care at all for any of the minor characters. And I didn’t care too much about the plot. I felt a vague disconnection, occasionally broken by vague annoyance. I started skipping paragraphs and only reading the dialogue somewhere around the 60% mark.

There was some worldbuilding and while the idea of druids harnessing souls as a source for magic is not something I’ve come across before, it all felt a bit generic. I missed depth, like religion. There’s talk of a “merciful goddess”, but there’s no explanation of any kind of religion or religious practice other than that. I thought it odd that this was a patriarchal society, when men didn’t have magic and there was apparently a female god.

Since I didn’t care about any of the characters, I really didn’t feel the connection between Arnaka and her love-interest. I’d actually expected a different love-interest, since she expressed feelings toward that girl. But it turned into a sort of enemies-to-lovers trope, which I don’t like under the best of circumstances. It also felt a bit sudden, which might be due to my skimming. And the way they behaved somehow didn’t really fit with their previous characterization.

The editing could have been a little more thorough as well. While there weren’t any obvious grammar/spelling mistakes, there were other inconsistencies. For the first 20% or so, souls are judged “devious”. And then, all of a sudden, it’s “deviant” souls, only to switch back to “devious” somewhere toward the end. There were also several instances, where the women traced “ruins” instead of “runes”.

365 pages isn’t all that long for a Fantasy novel and I’m usually a fast reader. But it took me ages to finish this book, because I kept getting distracted all the time. It just couldn’t hold my interest for any length of time.

Overall, “Soulstealers” just didn’t work for me at all. Which annoys me, because I have yet to find a F/F story that I actually really like and that just doesn’t make sense. The pairing shouldn’t matter, if it’s not primarily a love story. But I often have trouble with female MCs in fiction, so maybe this just isn’t my kind of thing.

The cover by Chelsea Geter is okay, though I think the woman on the cover doesn’t look like a 16-year-old.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 365 pages

Published April 1st 2019 by NineStar Press

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

At age eighteen, when they become marriageable, all royal children in the Thousand Kingdoms must either go questing to rescue another royal or be hidden away to await rescue themselves. Some go the traditional route of princes rescuing princesses, but not all princes want to be rescuers…and some would rather rescue other princes.

Then there’s Prince Gerald, who has no interest in getting married at all. When he refuses to choose a role as either rescuer or rescuee, his royal parents choose for him and have him magicked away to a distant tower to await a spouse.

Gerald, however, is having none of it. He recruits his guardian dragon and a would-be rescuer and soon the trio is dashing to all corners of the united kingdoms on a quest to overturn the entire system.

Well, I just love this story!  New author and new fantasy story all in one.  Love it when that happens.  Especially when the author manages to take several standard fantasy elements and give them their own take.  Here Logan uses the familiar knight quest/damsel in distress/rescue as a major element, along with the dragon that guards the tower.  And promptly turns all said elements on their narrative heads to my total entertainment and joy.

It starts with Prince Gerald, who’s mothers, the Queens want him to get married.  That’s right the Queens.  In this world, the many kingdoms have apparently long come accustomed to various sexualities and their pairings.  Marriages made between men, women, gender fluid people…like Princex…all good and accepted.  But there’s one last huge area not understood or even thought of….that of being asexual.  That is Gerald and his current problem because he doesn’t want to get married and can’t seem to get anyone to listen to him to understand exactly why this is so deeply affecting him.  He doesn’t feel the way they do.  He doesn’t understand everyone being a “sexual” being nor does he want a sexual marriage and that’s want is being forced on him and whoever he marries.

Logan, using Gerald as our point of view, brings us into his heart, mind, and frustration over the lack of empathy and the poignancy of his situation.  Which only gets worse.  Then unexpectedly through Gerald’s kindness and intelligence, gets better.  For not only himself, but for several species that had been forced into servitude, including dragons, and wholes generations of new young royals coming of age.  In other words, Gerald and a small group of friends become heroes.

And it will start by Gerald saving himself.  Really, doesn’t get any better than that.

Logan does a superb job of world building, crafting the characters and creating the rigid political structures that have led to the situation all have found themselves in.  I found myself totally invested in every aspect of this story.  I was rooting for them all to succeed while admiring different aspects of the author’s storytelling.

There is a small group of royal friends and a sapient dragon, several quests of their own making, and a remarkable ending.  Yes, this is a character and troop of characters to root for.  Especially as I thought the author did an excellent job with bringing Gerald’s pain and frustration over his asexuality to light to those around him, including the readers.  What hurt and was perhaps realistic was still a matter of total understanding from those closest to Gerald at the end of his asexuality.  That he might not ever get all the approval or total acceptance he was hoping for.  That it would have to be enough…for now.

And it was.  You have to read the book to understand that.  There’s hope and Gerald was leaving to go where he wanted, on a path of his own making.  Sort of perfect.  Just like this story.

Yes, I definitely recommend this story for YA fantasy lovers or just lovers of fantasy.  There is no heat level as you can imagine.  But lots of adventure and plenty to cheer about.  Dragons and heroes or every sort!

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  I think Natasha Snow is just nailing her covers including this one.  Perfect from the dragon to the setting. Love it.

Sales links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781950412419
Edition Language English

A Lila Audio Review: Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray. When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.

To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?

Salt Magic, Skin Magic is a magical adventure that intrigues the reader from the very start. The more we learn about the characters, the more complicated they get. Their identities are intrinsically attached to the settings and the turn of events. And all senses get engage as the author paints a vivid picture of Thornby’s and Blake’s lives. 

The magical elements mixed with the historical period and the hot but sweet romance set the frame for a story that goes beyond the main characters. All the relationships and friendships are relevant to the plot. As well as the locations in which the characters meet and live. 

The magical system created by the author is interesting and refreshing. It has some common elements to ground it, but the additions give it credibility. The pacing is also well crafted and it has the right amount of backstory and interesting spins to move the action forward.

I did want more answers. The end, as with any other good story, felt a bit rushed. Plus, we don’t get the answers to all the turns and twists the author introduced us. But this doesn’t take much from the story. 

Joel Leslie is one of my favorite narrators and the main reason I selected to review this book. The blurb was interesting and I knew Joel will make it exceptional. 

The cover makes more sense after reading the story. It’s not one that would have made me pick up the book, though. 

Sales Links:  TantoriTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Joel Leslie
Length: 9 hours and 14 minutes

Published: February 12, 2019 (Audio Edition) by Tantor Audio
ASIN: B07N44S2BC
Edition Language: English

Location as a Main Character. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Location as a Main Character

I may have talked on this topic before but once again it struck me as I read several stories this past couple of weeks how impactful a location can be in a novel.  When done in a certain manner, well researched and folded into the story in a way that feels natural and powerful, the setting of a novel can become almost another main character.  It asserts a strong personality over the characters, their burgeoning relationship, and sometimes even their ending.

The setting can contain not only geographical limitations or expanse, barriers or doors to freedom for the couple.  In some locations is can be full of cultural  or religious overlays along with family implications that will play out throughout the storyline.  All that can come from setting your novel at a certain destination.  Like say South Korea, or Japan, or any place in the Middle East Or how about Alaska or parts of the outback in Australia?  Or planting trees in parts of the wilderness in Canada?  Or maybe a vineyard in Brazil?   All those  All of those are settings in novels that I have read.

In a recent case, the location and use of culture in the storyline saved the novel for me as I was less invested in the main couple and more committed to the secondary characters and the people around them.   Creating a setting that feels real, authentic is key to pulling in your readers and giving your characters a firm foundation for their lives and new romance.

Off the top of my head I can think of authors who gift of the vernacular and ties to certain locations have made an indelible impression on me with their characters, and stories, in some cases series.  There’s Neil S. Plakcy with his incredible Mahu series (Hawaii), BA Tortuga (any of her Texas series), NR Walker’s Red Dirt Heart series (Australia), Amy Tasukada’s brilliant The Yakusa’s Path (Japan), Marshall Thornton’s Boystown (Chicago), and that’s just for starters.  As soon as I hit post, I’m sure my brain will be flooded with a ton more along with a bunch of personal smh’s.

That’s not including the amazing historical novels of Elin Gregory or Charlie Cochrane, among others who bring eras along with towns vibrantly alive.

Through these stories I have walked through places and towns in Iceland I can’t pronounce and always hoped to see.  The authors have made me see them.  I’ve visited temples of the Sun in Mexico and walked in the burning heat to amazing places in the outback in Australia.  I’ve witnessed the Southern Star and the Aurora Borealis up in the Arctic Circle.  All thanks to authors who made me feel as though I’ve been there, through great details, gorgeous descriptions, and fantastic writing.

What stories or authors have done that for you?  Taken you places, made you see them, feel them, along with the characters and their relationship?

Tell us, and let us go along for the journey as well.

The most recent books were:

The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn – South Korea

Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert – Alaska

So, again what are yours?  I can’t wait to find out…..

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words….it’s Cherry Blossom Festival time here so that’s what I’m leaving you all with…

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 7:

  • Location as a Main Character.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 8:

  • PROMO Hunter by Dez Schwartz
  • PROMO Sean Michael
  • An Alisa Audio Review Model Investigator (Haven Investigations #3) by Lissa Kasey and Brian Hutchison (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Wicked Games (Queen City Rogues #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Lila Audio Review: Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Tuesday, April 9:

  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • BLOG TOUR Laws of Attraction by JP Sayle
  • PROMO Royal Rescue by A. Alex
  • A Stella Review : Cowboy Seeks Husband by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Perilous Hearts (Deviant Hearts #3) by A.E. Ryecart
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Inked Music by Sean Michael

Wednesday, April 10:

  • Review Tour – Marina Vivancos – Honeythorn
  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • Book Blast Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) by M.E. Parker
  • An Ashlez Review: Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) y M.E. Parker
  • A Stella Review : Honeythorn by  Marina Vivancos
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Soft Place to Fall by BA Tortuga
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Soulstealers by Jacqueline Rohrbach

Thursday, April 11:

  • TOUR THE DOCTOR TAKES A DETOUR by Bren Christopher
  • PROMO Mickie B. Ashling
  • Release Blitz – Trusting Him by L M Somerton
  • An Ali  Review: Trusting Him by L M Somerton
  • A MelanieM Review: The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Fracture (Unbreakable Bonds #6) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
  • A Lila Audio Review:Trick Roller (Seven of Spades #2) by Cordelia Kingsbridge, Wyatt Baker (narrator)

Friday, April 12:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Jude
  • Book Blast – Always Ours: An MMM Menage Romance by J.P. James
  • BLITZ Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov
  • An Ali Review : Jude by  Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Review: Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Impacted! (Bay Area Professionals) by Mickie B. Ashling

Saturday, April 13:

  • PROMO Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes
  • A MelanieM Review:For The Win (#lovehim #2.5) by S.M. James