A Lila Release Day Review: The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts #2) by Charlie Cochet

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.

Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs—in Rayner’s arms.

The Foxling Soldati is a perfect combination of longing, love, and sweet nothings. All the encounters between Toka and Rayner showed how much they cared for each other, even before they realized the depths of their love. It was refreshing to read how they interact, not only with each other but we those around them–including those that wanted to harm them.

It’s not often that a sequel is better than the first book in the series, but in this case, it is true. Perhaps because we already know the world, their customs, and the characters making it easier to concentrate on the plot and the romance instead of trying to place the story.  All the extra details just add to a well-built world.

The story has excruciating moments in which the reader fears for Toka, Rayner, and the future they want to build together. But the author did an excellent job keeping the scenes to the point and the overall plot simple and intense.

The ending fits the romance and the drama in the story. Overall, this is great short to read between stories–with lots of aww moments and cheering for the underdog. A very cute love story.

The cover by L.C. Chase is beautiful and perfect for the story. Toka’s depiction matches the characteristic mentioned in the story well. The colors matched the previous book and we get to see Toka’s and Rayner’s shifted forms too.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

ebook, 102 pages
Published: August 16, 2017, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781635336597
Edition Language: English

Series: Soldati Hearts
Book #1: The Soldati Prince
Book #2: The Foxling Soldati

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Guardian (Aisling #1) by Carole Cummings

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Aisling Trilogy: Book One

As he pursues a man who is not what he seems, Constable Dallin Brayden learns the lines between enemy and ally, truth and deception, and conscience and obedience are not only blurred, but malleable.

 

Constable Dallin Brayden knows who he is, what he’s about, and he doesn’t believe in Fate. “Wilfred Calder” has no idea who he is or what he’s about, and he’s been running from Fate for as long as he can remember. When Wil flees after witnessing a murder, it’s Dallin’s job to pursue him. Along the way, he’s pulled into a maelstrom of ancient myth, fanatical religion, and the delicate politics of a shaky truce between two perpetually warring countries—all of which rests on the slender shoulders of the man he knows is not Wilfred Calder.

 

Even Dallin’s success proves a hollow victory. Wil is vengeful, rebellious, and lethal, and his tale of magic and betrayal rocks the carefully constructed foundations of Dallin’s world. Suspicious and only half believing, Dallin must question not only his own integrity and his half-forgotten past, but the morality and motives of everyone around him—including those who hold his own country’s fate in their hands.

I’m going to come out and say I gave this 5 stars despite the ending.  Guardian is just that good.  The first in Carole Cummings’ Aisling Trilogy, it doesn’t so much end as stop, clearly waiting for the next story to take over.  No cliffhanger, just a cessation more or less in the storyline.  Argh as they say.

But everything that comes before that ending? Just outstanding!  From the incredible world building to the nuanced characters full of anguished pasts and unimaginable pain to a present to comes with a slow buildup of suspense and a flight of terror against faceless enemies, this story is one you cannot put down.

And it starts off  so calmly with our introduction to Dallin Brayden, an orphan whose fate is tied up with the man he’s about to meet.  All the characters here are densely layered,  with revelations about who they are peeled back over the course of the story. Dallin’s character is imminently likable and that only increases the more we get to know him.  His own doubts and confusions let us understand him while the innate goodness Cummings has written into his personality makes him an anchor for us to connect with.  Then there’s Wil. Oh, my, there are hardly any words for Wil.  You must meet him, go along the journey here with him to begin to understand why you will fall in love with him so.  And fear for him.

Cummings is building a complex mythology here along with her relationships and cultures.  It all works to a stunning detail.  I’m so tempted to wait until the last two books are out and read through the entire trilogy to the end.  I don’t think I can handle another ending like that.  Just too frustrating as this story is that good and I want to know how it  ends!  You will too.  You decide what sort of reader you are.  Can you handle a story one book at a time?  If so, then pick this up and get started on the Trilogy and a couple you’ll want to meet.  If you are someone who wants to know how it will all end, you might want to wait until all three books are out and read them all together.  Either way,  I’m in line for the next one to come out!  This author has me hooked on Aisling!

Cover Artist: Anne Cain.  I’m not sure I’m a fan of this cover.  It fits in a way, just a matter of taste.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 285 pages
Expected publication: August 15th 2017 by DSP Publications
ASIN B073Q8GV1G

Ravon Silvius on Characters, Writing and The Storm Lords (DSP PUBLICATIONS Author Guest Tour)

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The Storm Lords by Ravon Silvius
DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Where you can find the book 

DSP Publications |  Amazon  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ravon Silvius here talking about writing, characters and their latest fantasy release, The Storm Lords. Welcome, Ravon.

♦︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview With Ravon Silvius

Hello everyone, Ravon Silvius here! Thanks so much for interviewing me! I’m here to promote my newest book as well as talk about my career as a writer!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Honestly? Very little. My life is rather boring and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, so nothing much of my life makes it into my stories. The one thing that might make it in is my curiosity–I’m a researcher in my day job, so some of my characters will likely have a healthy scientific interest.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

Interesting question. I think sometimes having real life experiences influence things is for the better. In The Storm Lords, Rowen is mute, and if I was also mute I maybe could have written him even more accurately. Having real experiences to fall back on can often make those experiences feel more real and tangible to the reader. But I could also argue that you don’t necessarily need real life experience to write about something, especially in fantasy. After all, I’ve never summoned a storm, but I can still write about Kristoff using his power. It depends on context, I think.

Of course, the Mary Sue/Gary Stu question comes up if you write a character based entirely on yourself, and never portray the character in a bad light. Think of self-inserts in fanfics. I’ve never done that, thankfully. Like I said above, if I wrote a character based on myself, it would be a really boring character.

 

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

A bit of both. Writing fantasy is fun because you can do anything, but things also have to make sense within the world. For The Storm Lords, I made up the cultures and geography and magic system and everything about the world, but I did do research on weather systems and how they could conceivably work. There’s a lot of fantasy, but I think having the most fantastical things (summoned storms) feel somewhat real (like using the proper terminology and the basics behind how hot and cold fronts work) makes the story more immersive. I think the general rule with fantasy, though, is that you can do and make up anything as long as its consistent within its own world. 

For science fiction, a bit more research is usually required, of course. For my sci fi stories, I did a lot of research on space travel and what sort of cybernetic enhancements might make it easier. I also looked up a lot of information on the theory of a space elevator for my upcoming anthology collection featuring cyborg erotica. 

 

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

As a kid, I read a lot of animal fantasy–things like Watership Down or TailChaser’s Song. I liked the fantasy aspect and the uniqueness of the animal world. As I got older, I started reading more traditional fantasies–things like Wheel of Time and Valdemar. I got into science fiction even later than that, with books by Ben Bova. I enjoy reading almost anything, but my favorites have always been genre. Its both escapist and gives people a caricatured look at the world, with genre writing sometimes able to tackle subjects in an oblique, interesting way. The Enforcers series is like that, a look at inequality in a world with those who can use magic and those who can’t. Plus, who wouldn’t want magic to be real?

 

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I always have a rough idea in my head of where I want a story to end up, so I don’t often run into a problem where I don’t know where the story is going to go. I did have a slight problem while writing the Storm Lords where Rowen’s motivation for a while was to ignore his memories of his old home and strive to forget it. It was an unhealthy way to deal with what he had lost, and it had to come back and bite him–but that part was hard to write!

 

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?


I prefer Happy For Now over Happily Ever After. With HEA, I always wonder “What’s next,” especially with younger characters. Nothing stays happy forever. Maybe that’s a cynical way of thinking, but HFN feels more realistic, like the story we see is a part of a character’s life and not their entire existence. It makes the characters feel more real.I think the saddest story I wrote was Remembrance–it was very much a HFN, with the characters finding love, but the reader knows the world is going to end sooner rather than later. But I liked  ending it that way–the characters’ story was complete, but they and the world they live in had more in it to experience. I like leaving things a bit open for readers to imagine the future.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?


Ebooks are the future! In all seriousness, though, I love Ebooks. As a child and teenager, my only options were the hardcover books in book stores, and while I found a lot of my favorites this way, I also began noticing quite early on that a lot of them were very derivative. You’d see a lot of the same stories over and over, and what was worse, books came out so slow, and I read so fast, that I often couldn’t find new books in my favorite genres! 

Ebooks changed all that. I can go to Amazon and find unique works, either self-published or put out by publishers like DSP, who cater to my exact tastes (like genre with healthy doses of romance!). Ebooks can be released more quickly, and give authors who may not have been discovered traditionally a chance to shine. Of course, I still like paperback, but I am very glad Ebooks have made their mark. 

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)


It depends on the cover. I am not a visual person, so I usually just fill out the cover art form and let the artist do their thing. Most of the time I’m happy with whatever they provide–cover artists are good at their job! I will usually provide a sentence or two of things I’d like to see–with the Enforcers series, for example, I usually request steampunky-type things, and for The Storm Lords I requested a storm somewhere in the art. I think it turned out great! 

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

This is a tough question! I love all of my work, from the shortest of the cyborg erotica stories to my longest work, the entire WaterLord trilogy. If I had to pick an absolute favorite, it would likely be Remembrance, which was discussed above. Its a science fiction story set in the future of a dying world, and it follows Aldric, a soldier who’s been traveling since the war ended. Its very bleak, but I think its a beautiful story.

Of course, I also love The Storm Lords, my most recent book from DSP. I love Rowen and Kristoff, and I hope others do too!

 

What’s next for you as an author?

 I have a few things coming out soon, and a few other things in development. Book 8 of the Enforcers Series, Allies, is coming out soon. Coming in October is an anthology of erotic short stories featuring cyborgs–there are 6 stories, all very hot. And of course, The Storm Lords has just come out! Check it out if you like fantasy with M/M romance. 

In the works I have book 9 of the Enforcers series, which will likely finish the series. I’m also working on a paranormal story feature a vampire. And finally, I hope to write the sequel to Freshman Blues, my first book with Dreamspinner.

Book Blurb:

The Storm Lords

The heat took everything from Rowen: his parents, his voice when the local cure for heatstroke poisoned him, and the trust of his fellow villagers, who branded him a water thief. It would have claimed his life when he was deemed unworthy of precious resources and left in the sun to die, had not a strange man named Kristoff ridden in on the wind and told Rowen he had power. 

Rowen works hard to become a Storm Lord, one of a secret magical group that brings storms to break the heat waves overtaking their world. But Rowen is starting his training at a disadvantage since he cannot speak and is much older than the other novices. The desire to please Kristoff inspires him to persevere even more than the threat of being sent back to his village to die should he fail. Still, he cannot gather rain, and when his abilities manifest, they are unlike anything known to the Storm Lords. Unless Kristoff can help him control his deadly powers, the entire world will be in danger.

Kristoff might be among the mightiest of the Storm Lords, but he’s never been a mentor before. For a chance to be with Rowen, he’s willing to risk everything.

About the author:

Ravon Silvius lives in a tiny apartment with two tiny cats in a tiny town in the United States. Despite the cramped living quarters, Ravon enjoys coming up with big ideas for novels, with some plots coming from Ravon’s findings as a neuroscience researcher and others coming purely from Ravon’s imagination.

Where you can find me:

My website: ravonsilvius.blogspot.com

My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ravon.silvius

I’m on twitter too, sometimes: https://twitter.com/ravonsilvius

And please check out my goodreads page!

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4897217.Ravon_Silvius

Cover Reveal Blitz: Cataclysmic Shift (The Aloysius Tales Series #3) by Tara Lain (excerpt)

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Cat or man? Duty or love? 

Who prevails after the great cataclysmic shift?Check out the brand new cover for the 2nd Edition of CATACLYSMIC SHIFT!

 

Cataclysmic Shift
(The Aloysius Tales Series, Bk #3)
by Tara Lain
Blurb:
Super cat, Aloysius, may be the most powerful witch’s familiar in the world, but when he takes a blast at the hand of an evil witch he loses it all — power, memory, and his feline form — to become the ethereal human beauty, Alain Bellarose. When Alain wakes up naked on the floor surrounded by dogs and cats, his eyes first set upon Luke Elliott, the handsome and mysterious veterinarian. Suddenly, the prospect of being human doesn’t seem so bad.
Luke has a lot to hide and he likes animals way more than people, but he can’t resist the flamboyant boy who washes his face with the side of his hand and tries to lick his own privates! The loss of Aloysius depletes the power of the Witch Master, Killian Barth, and that of his “secret weapon” Sammy and leaves their coven sitting ducks for two very nasty females. When Alain discovers that he’s really a powerful cat, he’s faced with the ultimate choice. To protect his community, or stay with the man he loves.
Available for pre-order at

 

Also available in paperback
 
Release Date: 
September 13th 2017 
Excerpt

 

Excerpt  – Cataclysmic Shift; To the vet

Blaine stroked the silky black fur and looked up at Killian with pleading eyes. “Okay, baby, do your stuff. Make him well.”

Killian took a breath. He placed both hands on the slim body. Only a small spark of life force pulsed, but it was steady. Thank gods. “He took a strong hit. Those females are very powerful.” Sadly, without Aloysius, Killian was less so.

With focus, he ran a ripple of energy into the cat. “Come on, guy.” The strong heart beat faster, but his eyes didn’t open. Al was a mighty creature. Even that huge hit shouldn’t have been able to keep him down.

Another stream of energy flowed from Killian’s hands and his mind.

Blaine frowned. “Why isn’t he waking up?”

“I don’t know, darling.” Killian closed his eyes and focused on the still point that was Aloysiusness. Odd. Somehow changed. Oh gods. Al had to be okay. The world’s most powerful familiar could not be put down. He couldn’t be.

“My God, Professor. What happened to your cat?”

Killian’s eyes flew open. Hells, he’d forgotten where they were. The next class was coming in. He looked up at the girl who often sat in the front row of his witchcraft class. “Hello, Miss Eberle. He fell and got injured. He’s alive but unconscious.”

She knelt down, her pretty face a study in sympathy. “Oh no, he’s such a wonderful cat. He has to be okay.”

“Yes, he does have to be okay. Dr. Genneau and I are going to take good care of him.”

She looked up with tears glistening. “Take him to the vet right away.”

“Uh, yes. Yes, we will.” He reached down and carefully picked up Al’s limp body. Blaine huddled beside him, and they started walking toward the side door where Blaine had come in. Students gathered around and murmured their hopes and wishes. Funny, that was what some of them called him—Mr. Wishes. Al was a very popular cat at the university.

Moving slowly, they finally got to Killian’s car in the back lot. Thank gods he hadn’t brought the motorcycle today. Blaine climbed into the passenger seat, and Killian laid Aloysius on his lap. Tears dripped off Blaine’s chin. Not much made Blaine cry.

Killian petted Blaine’s head and then Al’s soft side. He knelt beside the car and laid his head on Blaine’s leg, beside the cat. “He’s alive. And he’s so powerful, Blaine. He has to be all right.” But what in the hells to do?

Blaine wiped a tear from his cheek. “That girl had an idea. He’s a cat. Maybe we should take him to a vet?”

Killian raised his head. “But he’s not a cat.”

“He has a cat’s body. There’s a guy in my men’s group who’s a vet. Young, but he seems real capable and compassionate. I could call him.”

Killian’s eyes widened. “Take a witch’s familiar to a vet?”

 

The Aloysius Tales Series
 
Book #1
Spell Cat
Available for purchase at
         
Also available in paperback
 
Bk #2

 

Brush With Catastrophe 
Available for purchase at
         
Also available in paperback
Grab the first two books in the series and get all caught up before the release of Cataclysmic Shift!
About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
You can find Tara at Lain

               

Presented By

Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums

Ah, mid August.  Usually, that boring time of the month when the temperatures are heating up, vacations may be winding down, school is only weeks away…a time of calm, normally before things start up again.  The heat makes you slow down, the winds are becalmed, leaving ships drifting in the seas….

But all now seems in turmoil around us, I shy away from the news, the media (living in the Metro area makes this almost impossible) making want to cringe or more from what I hear being relayed daily.  Never did I think our country would come to this.  I admit to feeling incredibly disheartened these days.  Enough to long for those boring summer  doldrums of old.  And it wasn’t even that long ago that things seemed so promising.

Like the fresh start of summer every year.  Those days are always so full of promise, things we want to do in our time off, places to visit, things to accomplish maybe, or just relaxation, perhaps.  By mid-August, reality sets in as Autumn starts to peep around the corner, bringing another season, the arrival of Fall, and the closure of another summer.  Was it everything we hoped for?  Like a summer romance, it rarely is but the memories can remain golden if looked at in the right light.  So I’m wondering how we will remember this summer?  In what light, will we hold up these memories?  It’s too early to say.  I do know that now I’m looking forward to fall, to clear away the summer doldrums for the briskness of the fall air and the promise of a new clarity.  We can hope, can’t we?

In the meantime, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words accumulations of lists go on!

We are still working on our Fantasy Rec lists.  You all know?  I forgot the Supernatural/Paranormal lists, so those may have to come next.  But for now, lets concentrate on the Fantasy ones.  Our Giveaway runs until August 26~

(Extra note:  We are still looking for reviewers, please contact us if you know of anyone or want to review for us yourself.  Write to us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com)

Fantasy Titles to be Added To:

Purple Reader starts off our recs with this from last week’s rec list (I stuck it here, because it seemed to fit):
Readers Recs:

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

Send in your recs  for your favorite fantasy book/ or series!  Don’t forget to add your email address where we can reach you if chosen to receive our gift certificate of $10.

Again, gift certificates to a reader chosen at random who left a comment along with their email address where they can be reached if chosen.
Contest ends at midnight on 8/26.  That’s two weeks to get your recommendations in!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 13:

  • Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 14:

  • Cover Reveal Blitz: Cataclysmic Shift by Tara Lain
  • DSP PUBLICATIONS TOUR: Ravon Silvius on The Storm Lords
  • Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour and Giveaway
  • Review Tour – Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Bone to Pick by TA Moore
  • An Ali Review: As Big As The Sky by Amy Aislin
  • A MelanieM Review: Lavender by Xavier Axelson
  • A MelanieM Review: Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane

Tuesday, August 15:

  • Dreamspinner Promo: Yvonne Trent on Coasting (States of Love Story)
  • TOUR: The One Thing I know by Keelan Ellis
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway for Three Player Game (Bluewater Bay) by Jaime Samms
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Guardian (Aisling #1) by Carole Cummings
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, August 16:

  • Book Blitz – Misha Paige – Beast of a Time (Hellbound Hound #1)
  • TOUR King of the Fire Dancers by S.T. Sterlings
  • Review Tour – Clare London’s Peep Show
  • A Caryn Review: Peep Show by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Pre Release Review: Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
  • A Lila Release Day Review:  The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts #2) by Charlie Cochet

Thursday, August 17:

  • Cover Reveal for Mel Gough’s A World Apart
  • Review Tour – RJ Scott – Gabriel (Legacy #2)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
  • Andrew Grey on Ebb and Flow (Guest Post)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Gabriel (Legacy Ranch #2) by R.J. Scott
  • A MelanieM Review: Glamour Thieves by Don Allmon

Friday, August 18:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Tara Lain’s Fool of Main Beach
  • Tour: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere’ M. Fishback
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Jay Northcote’s Tops Down Bottoms Up
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review:  Northern Star by Ethan Day and Jason Frazier (Narrator)
  • A VVivacious Review: Weekend Getaway (Daniel and Ryan #7) by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: Grounded by Aidan Wayne

Saturday, August 19:

  • Release Blitz – Getting Through – J.S. Finley
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Shax’s War (Brimstone #3 by Angel Martinez and Vance Bastian (Narrator)

 

 

A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: The Heart of the Lost Star (Tales of the High Court #3) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Kamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can’t meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he’s secretly loved for years.

Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom look almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he’s always seen, but never really noticed.

Megan Derr is one of my favorite fantasy authors.  Her Lost Gods series remain at the top of my list of books and series to recommend.  Derr continues to demonstrate why I love her so with series and books like Tales of the High Court and The Heart of the Lost Star, the third story in the series.

Derr has built such an incredible universe through three stories now, threading through more mythology, cultural facts and world geography in each one, enriching each stories foundation, and enlarging our knowledge of the world these characters live in.  Even of the characters themselves.  Here gender isn’t assigned by physiology but chosen by the child when they feel  comfortable enough to choose.  And no parent has the right to force the child to live otherwise.  So Kamir, a male, can bear children, with his own twins of age to choose their own gender and it’s a lovely easy fact of life.

What’s not so easy is how they were born, and Kamir’s ex-husband’s treatment of Kamir and the children.  That is an element here that’s unfortunately too familiar even within a fantasy setting.  But Derr has created in Kamir a truly remarkable character, vulnerable, yet strong in his perseverance, graceful and kind.  Trust me, you’ll fall under Kamir’s spell just as Jader does.  Kamir has a complicated life, one he’s trying to uncomplicate himself, although love has a way of throwing in one more unexpected entanglement.  The same goes for Jader, an adopted Islander who’s now risen to a top position within the Kingdom.  Last thing he expects is his attraction to Kamir and his children, then events happen that throws Jader into turmoil…and more complications ensue for all.

At times this will seem like separate stories, one for Jader who is undergoing his own journey, one for Kamir who is fighting his own battles, and then one for them as a couple. All three stories are emotionally tumultuous, fraught with danger and suspense for each individual and the couple, and yet so full of love, especially towards the end, when it all pays off.  It’s full of adventure, high court politics (never a good thing), and passion.  In other words, a stunning great tale!

And yes we see something of the couples from the other stories as well, a trend I hope will continue because I want to see more of Kamir and Jader too.

If you can’t tell by now this is a book and series I highly recommend.  The writing is fluid and dynamic!  The characters memorable and the situations charged full of action and emotion.  I can’t wait for the next book to appear.  Neither will you once you get started!  Enjoy!

Cover art by JohnCoulthart.com  Love the covers.  It brands the series and works for the story.

Pre sales link:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon to come

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: August 23rd 2017 by Less Than Three
ISBN 1684310601 (ISBN13: 9781684310609)
Edition Language English
Series: Tales of the High Court  (add to Goodreads)

Its Here! Of Gods and Monsters: Komainu (Of Gods and Monsters #3) by Wulf Francú Godgluck

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Of Gods and Monsters: Komainu (Of Gods and Monsters #3) 

by Wulf Francú Godgluck

Blurb: 

Hades

His innocence was the fire that blighted the deepest dark, but even he can’t save the King from a past stained so black, the devil won’t even touch it.

Years creep up on you, like a rotting hand: cold and wet, it will drag you down into your grave.

Life will hand you eternity only to rip it away from you.

Love will slaughter you in the most beautiful way and still manage to nail you in the ass, bareback, when you see him choose the heart of another man.

But Death… He is a patient soul. He waits, and he waits, and he waits.

‘Cause the bastard knows he will always have the last laugh when he knocks at the door.

Kemono

Memories were all I had, all I had clung to as my heart turned to stone and finally to dust.

Now he is mine and I will hold him, and I will kiss him. We will dance and we will laugh, and we will cry… We will be human together…

I did not know heaven until I knew him.

There is no greater power that can tear and rip your world apart as when their lips finally kiss yours again.

But being human comes at a fatal price.

Sometimes you have to let go of the hand you hold onto so tightly that it brought pain, because that is the only way you can save them from Death.

Rex

Why did she take them away, hand them back, then force me to choose?

Is love really that cruel, that she would enjoy tormenting you as you watch the two men you love with your whole heart, kill each other…?

And then, my worst fear, my deepest darkest nightmare became a living breathing thing.

Death had come to take from us what we could never replace.  

Excerpt: HADES

It had been no fuckin’ blow to his balls when the thought had clawed within Hades’ head, that if—and that was big fuckin’ if—they would have found their Rex dea—gone… He and Kemono…would have… had something. Wouldn’t be a fuckin’ relationship, Hades didn’t love the fucker, he didn’t believe he could ever love the Jap. But… They would always have a part of Rex within each other. Be there for one another in their own fucked-up way out of mutual respect in memory of their gatito.

But now… Fuck, Hades didn’t want to force his little to choose, and it scared him, ’cause if Rex chose the Jap, there was nothing left to live for. Nothing left to prevent el cucuy from completely consuming the small morsel of Breno el Oscuro that remained.

Nothing.

They couldn’t share Rex, as possessive and aggressive as Hades and Kemono battled for dominance between themselves, it was a thousand times more terminal when it came to Rex.

One of them would have to be the better man…and walk away.

And Hades had already decided for both of them whom it would motherfuckin’ be.

Excerpt: REX

“I could fuck you over this counter,” Haywood brought his face inches from Rex’s own, a glare spitting embers of heat, “right now for this evidence.” Haywood’s hands slammed down on the counter, pinned on either side of Rex’s thighs, the muscles in those arms balled tight with frustration. “One kiss, kid…” Haywood’s hot breath danced against Rex’s skin, making it break out in icy pebbles. “That’s all I ask, all we ever fucking wanted from you since the first time we saw you dancing in Diablo.”

Rex swallowed hard. He could play the game, set the teasing to scorching, but he couldn’t betray his bruised heart.

Instead he turned his head when Haywood came in for the kill.

“Fuck!” the man groaned, heated air flaring along Rex’s neck as he sniffed him instead. Nose and scruff tingled Rex’s skin when Haywood skimmed his lips to Rex’s ear. “Who hurt you, baby?”

“A very, very bad man,” Rex said coldly.

Excerpt: Kemono

He’d never had that, never even touched Rex other than that single instance when he had stroked Rex’s broken lip before the boy had hugged him, stealing a single febrile kiss. A memory so ancient, yet it held the power to hollow-out Kemono’s darkest nightmares and give him an ephemeral glimpse of nirvana. The thought of simply cuddling with the boy made acid guzzle through his veins, he didn’t know how…to hold Rex that close to him.

It was one thing to touch a man, fuck them while you held them down as they withered under you, or have their lips on your cock as you gripped them by the hair using their throat.

It was a ruinous sentiment to touch and hold close, for the first time in your life, the man who owned your heart and soul.

He was too terrified to even speak to him.

Because the words Kemono needed to say would never be enough to apologize, but not saying anything would be worse.

He was a large disturbing man, a strong, brutal monster, whose hands only knew annihilation, afraid to touch an angel, because Rex’s touch would be more fatal to Kemono than any cicatrix he had received.

Word count is: 101388

Page count is: 259

About the Author

Wulf Francú Godgluck

They come to me in the night, creeping into my head. Their voices are all different, their stories all dissimilar, but they keep saying the same thing…

“Show us, tell us, bring us into your world, and make us known.”

Then I sit and they take over. They tell their tales of love, loss and sinister misfortune. Not all of them get a happy ending, but they are pleased when their part is written.

I sometimes find myself lost in my own mind; a world very similar to our own yet so different. Things don’t go bump in the night— they squeal and crawl under your skin, making you grind your teeth, and making your stomach turn over and putting your nerves on edge. Then there’s the drama. Oh, the drama!

Wulf Francú Godgluck hails from South Africa. His work is not for the faint-hearted! In his books you’ll find… all the beasties with their nasty claws and teeth, and some you didn’t even know existed.

But the monsters aren’t all real.

Some live inside us. Who knows what he will make you discover about yourself, lurking in your heart, behind the closed walls in the deep, black recesses where no light penetrates?

Wulf will steal your heart and never give it back. More than likely, he’ll pin it to the wall with a bobbypin and sit there sipping his tea while you writhe and squeal on the floor…

STILL sure you want to read a Wulf Godgluck book?

Proceed at your own peril.

Contact & Media Info

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Ari McKay on Their New Novel & Series. Check out ‘Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay (guest post and excerpt)

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Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

 

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press AmazonBarnes & Noble 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ari McKay here again talking fae, werewolves and romance with their latest novel Out of the Ashes! Welcome!

✒︎

Hi, everyone! A big thank you to our hosts here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting us today, and to you for joining us! Ari here again, bringing you an excerpt from our latest release, Out of the Ashes, the debut novel of the Dreamspun Beyond line and book one of our new series, Asheville Arcana! To say we are excited is definitely an understatement! We’ve been looking forward to this for months, and we’re over the moon that it’s finally here!!!

Out of the Ashes is a love story, and a mystery, and a drama, and a comedy, all built around a world where the creatures of myth and legend exist beside but unknown to the mortal world. We wanted to build a unique setting that was all our own, one where elves and dwarves, werewolves and wizards, ghosts and vampires and demons all play a part. At the same time, though, we had to balance our world building with the strictures of length and structure of the Dreamspun Beyond line, and we hope you enjoy this story, and that we give you enough of a glimpse of the bigger picture to make you want to come back for more! I’ve talked a lot in other places about how and why we came to this story, so today I want to just leave you with a taste of what we have to offer, to hopefully entice you into giving us a try! Enjoy!

MOST nights, Arden slept like a baby. Once his head hit the pillow, he was out like a light. Unless, of course, someone was sharing his bed, which happened with less frequency over the last ten years or so. He still had an active social life, but he’d begun working longer hours after building his second resort, the Hilltop. When he felt the need for intimacy, he tended to gravitate toward Whimsy and Julian and one or two other longtime partners, rather than jumping in to find someone new and exciting.

But after having dinner with Whimsy, Arden had kissed his friend good night and gone to bed alone. He told himself it was because he’d had a busy day, and the next day promised to be even worse, but the fact was that he couldn’t sleep for thinking about Eli Hammond.

The werewolf was gorgeous—there was no denying it. With a positively leonine mane of dark, sun-streaked blond hair and crystal-blue eyes, Eli was enough to make even someone as used to beauty as Arden sit up and take notice. He was also huge and buff, and Arden was desperately curious to see what Eli looked like naked, although his imagination insisted on supplying plenty of images to taunt him. But it was more than just his stunning looks that appealed to Arden, and more, even, than the tragedy of Eli’s plight. There was something special about Eli, and Arden felt drawn to him like a moth to flame.

Arden had, of course, noticed Eli’s aura at once, and it had nearly knocked him out of his seat. Not all supernaturals could see auras, but Arden, like his father, had been born with the gift. Other supernaturals—such as Julian—learned to do it after a great deal of study and meditation, but most couldn’t see them at all. And what Arden saw was stunning.

Every creature had a unique aura, determined both by what they were and who they were. Vampires, like Julian, all had a misty, silvery aura with different shapes and tones based on their age and if they were a good, bad, or neutral type of person. Elves tended toward golden, and dryads, not surprisingly, were usually green. Werewolves had deep crimson auras, but while the core of Eli’s had been red where Arden observed it close to his body, it quickly became a beautiful, multihued halo that was almost like looking at the sun. No one Arden had ever seen had looked so bright, and that was part of why he’d known he had to help Eli, no matter what the council or anyone else said about it.

But thoughts of Eli kept Arden awake most of the night. He felt himself pulled to the werewolf, as though there was an invisible connection between them. It was odd, but Arden found himself wanting to go check on Eli in the middle of the night, to make certain he was all right and didn’t need anything. Which was probably stupid, considering that Eli was an alpha werewolf who could obviously take care of himself quite well. Eli would probably think there was something very wrong with Arden wanting to cuddle up to him, run his fingers through Eli’s hair, and just be close to him.

He finally gave up trying to sleep and went to his office, immersing himself in paperwork until his watch beeped at him at his normal waking time. Taking himself off to the kitchen, he ordered up an enormous breakfast of bacon, sausage, ham, fried eggs, hash browns, grits, and toast. When the cook had prepared the tray, he picked it up and carried it out to Eli’s cabin, balancing it carefully as he knocked on the door.

A few moments later, Eli opened the door. His long, wavy hair was a sleep-tousled mess falling around his broad shoulders, and he wore only a pair of jeans that rode low on his hips. His chest and feet were bare, giving Arden an unhindered look at the sculpted pecs and washboard abs that had been hidden beneath his clothes yesterday.

Eli blinked sleepily at Arden and rubbed his neatly trimmed beard, but when he saw the loaded tray, his eyes widened with surprise.

“I didn’t order breakfast.”

For a long moment Arden couldn’t speak; it wasn’t every day that he got to see a warm, sleepy, nearly naked hunk of buff hotness up close. In fact, he couldn’t remember ever seeing anyone as gorgeous as Eli before in the whole of his three hundred and six years of life.

Thanks so much!

Arionrhod and McKay

BLURB:

In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.

Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.

Except for one man.

As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.

About Ari McKay

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

CONTACTS:

Of Recs Lists, Summer Reading and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Recs Lists and Summer Reading

August is here and people are off on vacation or thinking off where to head off to for their summer getaways before the fall arrives.  And that means, packing books to take with you.  Whether it’s stacking your eReaders full of the latest in new arrivals or old favorites, or stashing away those treasured hardbound or paperbacks in your luggage or knapsacks, it’s time to look over lists and make some choices.  That’s what all these wonderful recs have been leading up to…books you haven’t read yet, might have overlooked, or just plain want to read again during your vacation (note to self, start rereading Megan Derr’s Lost Gods series again asap)!  I hope we can keep adding to these lists all year long.  Plus more lists to rec to come!

I still have books to rec rattling around my brain in both categories so don’t be surprised to see these lists popping back up. Ugh, I need to be more organized here and add as I read.  Like that’s going to happen….

However, we had so many wonderful lists and books rec’d to us that we are choosing a reader in each category to receive a gift card. Here are our randomly chosen winners from each category:

Winner of the Gift Card is:

  • Historical:  moondrawn (if moondrawn does not contact us within 5 days a new winner will be chosen)
  • Science Fiction:  H.B.

🎉 Will each winner please write to Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com and she will handle giving your your gift card.  Thanks!🎉

Part II – Soldiers/Warriors ~ Historical and Science Fiction Recommendations

There are so many wonderful stories that involve the past and the future with warriors and soldiers.  Let’s start our next series of lists.  Whether the author is Charlie Cochrane or Aleksandr Voinov, their stories will have you under their spells of soldiers past and future.

Science Fiction – Readers Recs

Angel’s Feather (Flyer Chronicles 1) by Alina Popescu
Mate of the Tyger Prince series by Shannon West
THIRDS series by Charlie Cochet
The Interscission Project series by Arshad Ahsanuddin
Body Option by Talya Andor

Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara (Science Fiction)
Memory of Scorpions series by Aleksandr Voinov (Science Fiction)
The Borders War (5 books) by S.A. McAuley (Science Fiction)
Astrid Amara’s Policy of Lies series (A Policy of Lies & Trustworthy)
Strength of the Pack (The Tameness of the Wolf #1) by Kendall McKenna
The Sci-Regency series by JL Langley
The Hellgate series by Mel Keegan
Chaos Station series by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Dark Space series by Lisa Henry.

Historical/Other 

Lost In Time by A.L. Lester
The Pompeiian Horse by Gabbo De La Parra
The Lion of Palmyra by Julia von Rist
Semper Fi by Keira Andrews
Unnatural by Joanna Chambers
A Minor Inconvenience by Sarah Granger
On Wings of Song by Anne Barwell
Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper
The Prince He Loved by Michael Barnette
Promises Made Under Fire 
by Charlie Cochrane (historical)/
Lovers in Arms by Osiris Brackhaus
Royal Navy series by Lee Rowan
Captain’s Surrender by Alex Beecroft
The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara (historicalfantasy)

KJ Charles’s new Green Men series (Spectred Isle) historical paranormal
All Lessons Learned (Cambridge Fellows, #8) by Charlie Cochrane (devastating, but series must be read in order)
Lessons for Survivors (Cambridge Fellows, #9) by Charlie Cochrane (same note as above)
Seven Summer Nights by Harper Fox
The Soldier’s Scandal by Cat Sebastian.
Think of England by KJ Charles
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance by Charlie Cochet
Pirates of the Narrow Seas by M. Kei
Purgatory by Jeff Mann
Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy
The Lonely War by Alan Chin.

Fantasy Fiction Recommendation Time – Recs Part III

Fantasy Fiction Rec Time!  I have to admit fantasy fiction is one of my favorite types of fiction to read.  It takes me away to other worlds, introduced me to Fae, trolls, dwarfs, dragons! I’ve set sail across oceans and climbed mountains with so many authors and never has my thirst for this genre been quenched.

Some of my favorites?

The Lost Gods (5 books) by Megan Derr  5 stars every single one.
Endangered Fae Series (4 books, 2 stories) by Angel Martinez
No Ocean Too Deep by Leona Carver

Hidden Gem (3 books) by Lissa Kasey
So that’s just a beginning of some of mine just “off the cuff” as they say.  What are yours?

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

Send in your recs  for your favorite fantasy book/ or series!  Don’t forget to add your email address where we can reach you if chosen to receive our gift certificate of $10.

Purple Reader starts off our recs with this from last week’s rec list (I stuck it here, because it seemed to fit):
Readers Recs:
Again, gift certificates to a reader chosen at random who left a comment along with their email address where they can be reached if chosen.
Contest ends at midnight on 8/26.  That’s two weeks to get your recommendations in!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Now onto this week and our tours/giveaways and reviews!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 6:

  • Of Recs Lists and Summer Reading
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 7:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ava Hayden on The Valentine’s Day Resolution
  • Release and Review Tour: The Rhubarb Patch by Deanna Wadsworth
  • RELEASE BLITZ and Giveaway: Weekend Getaway by Tamryn Eradani
  • A MelanieM Review: The Rhubarb Patch by Deanna Wadsworth
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Permanent Ink (Art & Soul #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Nothing in Common, Except … by Edward Kendrick

Tuesday, August 8:

  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR Absolutely Almost Perfect by Lissa Reed
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Making It by Christine d’Abo
  • Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan Release Day Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: Love on the Boil (Love On # 5) by Neil Plakcy
  • A MelanieM Review: Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: The Storm Lords by Ravon Silvius

Wednesday,  August 9:

  • Blog Post – Patricia Logan – Thunder & Lightning
  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Out of the Ashes
  • REVIEW TOUR Roaring Waters (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #3) by CJ Baty
  • An Alisa Review: Roaring Waters (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #3) by CJ Baty
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Wheat Kings and Pretty Things by C.S. Wiley
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Setting the Hook (Love’s Charter #1) by Andrew Grey and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Get a Grip (Bluewater Bay #19) by L.A. Witt

Thursday, August 10:

  • Release Blitz – KA Merikan – My Dark Knight (Kings Of Hell MC #2)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Jo Ramsey
  • A Jeri Review: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
  • A Lila Review: Elemental Hope (Warlocks #2) by L.M. Somerton
  • A MelanieM Review: House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh
  • An Alisa Review: Needing Seth by Shawn Lane

Friday, August 11:

  • Felice Stevens Audio Tour and Review for After the Fire
  • BLOG TOUR Chasing Ghosts by M.K. Hardy
  • BLOG TOUR Dali by E.M. Hamill
  • Review Tour – KC Wells’ Satin (A Material World #2)
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A Ali Audiobook Review:  After the Fire by Felice Stevens
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Satin (A Material World #2) by KC Wells

Saturday, August 12:

  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – Cinnamon Eyes
  • A MelanieM Review: The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr

An Ali Review: Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) by K.J. Charles

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 Rating: 4 out 5 stars
 Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense…except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.

Randolph is the last of an ancient line of arcanists, commanding deep secrets and extraordinary powers as he struggles to fulfil his family duties in a war-torn world. He knows there’s something odd going on with the haunted-looking man who keeps turning up in all the wrong places. The only question for Randolph is whether Saul is victim or villain.

Saul hasn’t trusted anyone in a long time. But as the supernatural threat grows, along with the desire between them, he’ll need to believe in evasive, enraging, devastatingly attractive Randolph. Because he may be the only man who can save Saul’s life—or his soul.
This was a spooky tale that drew me in from beginning.  This is set in the same world as the Simon Feximal stories and takes place a bit down the road time wise. Randolph is good friends with Simon and Robert’s adopted son Sam who is now grown up.  The time period is the 1920’s and the author does a very good job with the world building and setting up the imagery of what’s going on in this society.  The end of the first world war has recently happened and the country is going through numerous changes.  In addition there has been a supernatural war that occurred alongside the world war.  All of the characters have suffered loss in one way or the other as a result.
I enjoyed both Saul and Randolph as main characters.  I found their banter very entertaining.  They exasperate each other during their first few meetings but soon they can not fight the attraction they feel towards each other.  This author always does a good job with the hurt/comfort trope and this story was another example.  Saul has a lot of emotional pain and really no one he can turn to in his life.  This relationship with Randall not only gives him love, but it gives him a group of people who accept him and offer him friendship.  It was a touching thing to watch unfold.
There’s a lot going on in this and there are multiple legends and paranormal creatures that are introduced.  Some of the things I had heard of before and others I had not.  I’m not sure if that is because the author made them up or if it is because I am from the US and may not know the UK legends.  Either way they were entertaining and I can not wait to see what happens with this new band of friends and their quest to keep the city safe from paranormal activity.
Cover by Lexiconic Design:  I really like the cover and I think it perfectly fits the time period of the story and sets the atmosphere of what’s to come in the story.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 271 pages
Expected publication: August 3rd 2017 by KJC Books
ISBN139780995799073
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesGreen Men #1