A Free Dreamer Review: Adder and Willow (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #6) by Sam Burns

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Fletcher Lane has a problem. His boyfriend’s parents are coming for a visit, and they want to meet up. He’s ready to commit, so what happens if his prospective in-laws don’t like him? And how is he supposed to keep Rowan Harbor’s unique nature a secret when he might be the worst liar ever born?

To make matters worse, when he finds and helps two strangers stuck on the road, it leads him to a new threat: the man who’s been terrorizing the town has set events into motion that endanger more than just Rowan Harbor. Can Fletcher and his friends stop him before there’s nothing but a smoking crater where the Oregon coastline used to be?

In case you’re wondering, no, “Adder and Willow” is not a standalone. You have to start with book one to fully understand and enjoy all the other books in the series.

So far, Sean and Jesse were my favourite couple of the series. But after this book, Fletcher and Conner are definitely giving them a run for their money. They’re so wonderful together and I really love their dynamic. And Fletecher’s fox form is so adorable.

Their first book ended with them just starting to date and “Adder and Willow” starts with them as an established couple of a few months. I can see how some people might be disappointed by that but personally, I really like established couples. And there’s still a lot of serious relationship building happening. Meeting the parents is always an important turning point and there were also a few other things happening with serious impact on their relationship.

We get a lot of Fantasy action this time around and I absolutely loved it. I was so hooked, I just couldn’t put the book down and finished it in two sittings. It would have been one, if I hadn’t started reading so late at night. And we get to see more of Oak, so yay! I won’t go into any more details to avoid spoilers. Just know that you’re in for one hell of a ride this time around.

There’s quite a bit of character development happening as well. Fletcher has some serious growing and changing to do and by the end, he’s well on the way to overcoming his troubles. Conner is such a wonderful boyfriend and together, they’re absolutely perfect.

Honestly, “Adder and Willow” is easily my favourite book of the entire series so far. It felt like a whole new level of worldbuilding happened and we get a pretty detailed look into how magic works in this universe. I like how this series doesn’t just focus on the couples but also keeps showing us glimpses into the lives of the other residents.

So, yeah, this was awesome. If you liked the fantasy elements in the previous books, you’ll love “Adder and Willow”.

The cover by Melanie Farlow is pretty awful. It looks horribly fake and just really doesn’t fit the awesome story at all. I don’t think there are any mountains around Rowan Harbor to actually go hiking in, like the cover seems to imply.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book details:

Kindle Edition,155 pages

Published October 11th 2018

The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series

Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

A Caryn Review Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This book had tremendous potential, and I’m sorry I could not give it a higher rating, but as I’ve seen with some of this author’s other works, I felt that there was a lack of editing that could have made it a truly great read.

The setting of the book is an alternate reality where the lijun – beings who have an animal and human spirits and are thus shape shifters – coexist with humans, but secretly.  Although it is not entirely clear, it seems the societal origin of the lijun is Japanese, although the American lijun have native roots.  The world building was a bit incomplete in my opinion, and though there was a fairly extensive glossary at the beginning of the book, I found the necessity of its existence detracted from the book – I would have preferred either fewer Japanese (or perhaps they were made up specifically for this story?) words, or that they would have been introduced in an organic way where the glossary was not necessary.  I am also assuming that a lot of the societal norms of the lijun were Japanese, but again, it is not clear if that was Japanese or specific to this world.  It felt to me that the authors were assuming a greater understanding of Japanese culture than the average reader would necessarily have, and I found myself either a little confused, or just glossing over those sections.

Haru Tanaka was a satislit – a “bride-son”, raised to be bartered in marriage to a different clan for financial and social prestige.  They (Haru is agender) were from Japan, whose lijun community was very traditional and sanctioned outdated ideas like arranged marriage.  Haru was absolutely opposed to what they felt was essentially a family intent to sell them into slavery, and their rebellion broke out in various mischievous ways, culminating in drunkenly leading a group of children and teenagers to completely trash the buffet and hotel pool during an important international conference of lijun.  What should have been complete humiliation to their clan was averted when a wealthy American lijun, Tally Bastille, saw and spoke to Haru and fell in love.  He recognized Haru as his em’halafi, his soul-mate, the destined love of his life, and he approached Haru’s family to arrange a match.

A huge complicating factor is that Haru is an otter lijun, known for being playful and social, and Tally is a serpent lijun, frightening to just about every other clan.  The fact that Tally is wealthy, and is the leader of the Wisconsin lijun (all animal types) is also intimidating to Haru, even though they were raised to be the co-leader of a clan – there were a terms for these positions but I think those would be superfluous for a review.  Haru willfully saw only the negative aspects of Tally, despite all evidence to the contrary.  It wasn’t until after the marriage was legally consummated that Haru told Tally how they really felt – financially and legally obligated to do everything Tally wanted, including sex, and that Haru would never feel equal to Tally, nor would they reciprocate the feelings of em’halafi.  Tally was devastated.

Despite all my frustrations with the world building, the lack of explanation of some of the attitudes of the Japanese lijun (and also the occasional inconsistencies with Haru’s gender – “he” and “him” still snuck in there despite his agender status, another thing that careful editing would have corrected), I still found myself drawn into the building relationship between Haru and Tally.  Tally’s unfailing patience and selflessness eventually convinced Haru of his sincerity, but it was certainly hard won, and the outside challenges – especially the mystery of the murder during the engagement party – were actually very well done and pushed the story as well as their relationship forward.  The book started slowly, as I was bogged down in an unfamiliar culture without adequate explanation, but once I caught up, I really enjoyed it.  Despite the drawbacks, I would still recommend the book, and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Cover art by Emmy@studioenp is a really lovely representation of the human forms of the two protagonists, but I think it would have been nice to have a hint of their animal forms as well.

Sales Links:

Pride Publishing | Pride Publishing (print) | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Kobo | iBooks | QueeRomance Ink | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


 

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 246 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786516701
Edition LanguageEnglish

Lou Hoffmann on Research, Writing, and her new novel Ciarrah’s Light (The Sun Child Chronicles #3) (author interview, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Ciarrah’s Light (The Sun Child Chronicles #3) by Lou Hoffmann
Harmony Ink Press
Cover art: Catt Ford

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Dreamspinner Press   | Amazon paperback: (Link not yet available—will update)  |  B&N paperback: (Link not yet available—will update)  | Books 2 Read Universal Link (ebooks):

https://www.books2read.com/Ciarrahs-Light-by-Lou-Hoffmann

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lou Hoffman here today talking about the latest release from Harmony Ink Press. Welcome, Lou.

 

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Lou Hoffmann ~

*How much of yourself goes into a character?

Every character is me. That’s a cliché, but I think there’s a fair-sized chunk of truth at its core. We can’t write what we can’t imagine, and our imaginings are made up of everything we’ve experienced, whether through life, reading, observation, even dreaming. Every writer does things differently, so I’m speaking only for myself. With that in mind, for main characters, if I tried to make them up piece by piece—filling out a character sheet, or the like—they’d feel less authentic to me, and so probably to the reader. There are some fantastical characters in The Sun Child Chronicles, but they came more or less whole cloth to the story, and it was in writing the story that the characters were more fully revealed.

The first time I imagined the wizard Thurlock, for instance, he was old, and cantankerous, and simultaneously awesomely powerful and a bit bumbling. In my mind, he looked and acted pretty much exactly then as he does now. Is Thurlock me? Well, I’m certainly no wizard and I’m not a thousand years old, but I do know what it’s like to be the one who has to figure things out, the one who has to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and save the day. And, like Thurlock, I know what it’s like to succeed at that, I know what it’s like to fail, and I know what it’s like to have salvation come from an unexpected source. He’s not me, but he’s made out of parts of me, with a bunch of wonderment and imagination in the mix, and I know him in the same way I know myself—in one long journey of discovery.

One more word about characters being revealed through story, though. It’s not one-sided. The character also reveals the story. The more I know about the story, the more I see the character acting within it. The more I know about the character, the more they show me the story.

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

Short answers all in a row: 1) no, it doesn’t play a role in which genre I write, 2) yes I enjoy research, but also 3) yes I like making up worlds and cultures.

I can’t choose between research and making things up, and in my thinking the difference isn’t exactly crystal. Anytime a writer makes fiction, they are making up a world. It doesn’t matter how closely it resembles the mundane world we all live in. The minute you impose fictional characters and fictional events upon that world, it becomes fictional, and will have to be bent and shaped in places to accommodate the story and characters. So even with contemporary fiction, the writer is imagining a world that doesn’t exist.

Also, for me at least, it’s never proven true that fantasy requires less research than contemporary settings. In non-fantasy genres, if the setting you want is a contemporary or historical city, you research where things are and what they look like, what the weather is like, perhaps what people have lived there, major events or cultural facts, etc. To write a fantasy city, you might have to research what kinds of weather patterns might exist in a geography such as the one you’re writing, what kind of building material might be suited to the environment, what kinds of transportation might be available in a pre-mechanized society. Sure, you’re going to embellish that, but for readers to relate to the story it needs to be grounded in human experience, in what feels possible, even if it isn’t.

In creating the Sun Child Chronicles, I’ve had an interesting situation, in that the Earth in the story and the second world, Ethra, have a lot in common, because they came from the same root—a world in which the seeds of cultural and technological evolution had already begun to grow before it split into two worlds. The new worlds developed at different rates—time actually moves differently too, and unpredictably. In many ways, Ethra resembles a historical, pre-industrial earth. So a lot of research goes into creating the trappings—clothing, occupations, means of transportation, activities, food, facilities. homes, streets, arts—basically everything, just as if I was writing a historical. The result doesn’t match a historical earth, exactly, but it feels familiar in the same way history does.

Then an added layer of research has to do with making the magic itself credible within the story. One item on that agenda, for instance, had to do with the “twin blades” which are first introduced in Key of Behliseth, and gain importance throughout the story, as the title Ciarrah’s Light might indicate. The origin story about these sentient daggers is pure fancy.  The research came into play especially when I was determining what kind of stone might realistically be expected to produce the kind of “personality” each of these weapons have. I settled on obsidian for Ciarrah, the black blade—sharp, dark, strong, reflective. The other blade, Niamh, is amber, a smooth stone with a silky surface, soft, often preserving the stuff of life within it.

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

I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it that way, but now that I do, I think the answer is an obvious yes. I read a lot as a child and teen—cleaned out the library at my middle school, for instance—so naturally my reading included all sorts of genres. My favorites were often fantastical—like Wind in the Willows, the Borrowers, and A Wrinkle in Time in elementary school. And at that age my “real world” was so small that often stories that were not fantasy felt fantastical anyway. When I was a teen, I read Lord of the Rings, Gormenghast, Earthsea, as well as a good deal of sci-fi. Most of that wasn’t from the school library—my older brother passed his books down to me. In retrospect, those early literary loves certainly must have had a hand in creating my love of writing fantasy.

What’s next for you as an author?

The Sun Child Chronicles has three more books coming in the series proper: Dragon’s Rise, which is written and contracted for Summer 2019, and Kaynenh’s Triad and Suth Chiell’s Conquest in progress. I’m excited about the idea of some shorter, standalone stories that delve into the back story of the Sun Child, perhaps starring Zhevi, a young soldier, or L’Aria, a very exceptional magical girl, or maybe the story of a younger Han Shieth—gay man, perfect uncle, and fantastic warrior that he is in the series books. I’m right now putting together a synopsis for a brand-new series featuring a young woman as the central character, but with a wide cast of characters. Temporarily, I’m calling the series The Ashvale. We’ll see if that sticks.

Thank you for having me on STARW!

Readers, I hope you’ll check out Ciarrah’s Light, and enter the giveaway more than once. Several ways to enter, including the “Why I love fantasy…” poll. Thanks for reading!

Blurb

Sequel to Wraith Queen’s Veil
The Sun Child Chronicles: Book Three

Luccan, future Suth Chiell of the Ethran Sunlands, also known as Lucky, has reached the end of a months-long adventure and gained much. Now he wants nothing more than to relax and recover at home. His mother’s apparition has other ideas, and dark dreams drag Lucky further and further into unconsciousness until he’s nearly dead. With help from Lucky’s sentient obsidian blade, Ciarrah, he makes it back to the light, only to find his country is in deep distress, and it’s getting deeper.

 

The wizard Thurlock, Lucky’s dragon-kin uncle Han, and other friends help him muddle through as he becomes the channel for prophecy. War erupts in the Sunlands, and in a battle against wraiths created by the advanced science of a dying world, Lucky plays a key role. Physical weapons can’t stop the enemy, but Ciarrah’s light can, and only Lucky can wield it. With the help of his winged horse, his boyfriend, and Thurlock, Lucky sets out to prevent his mother’s shade from wreaking any more havoc. But will stopping her end the horrors facing his world?

Excerpt

___________________________

Lucky 

The path from the valley floor up to the top of the ridge wasn’t at all horse-friendly, so he left Zef to graze at the bottom. He enjoyed the physical exertion of climbing. It pushed worries further toward the back of his mind, and by the time he got to the top he was feeling more lighthearted than he had at any time since leaving Morrow’s farm—which had been either weeks or months ago, depending on whose time you counted by.

Lucky walked along the ridge toward the northern end. The ridge was bare of tall trees there except for the single oak that gave it its name. Probably the upthrust granite that formed most of the upland on this end, coupled with constant crosswinds sluicing down from the hills on all sides, kept all but the strongest of trees to a low, aromatic scrub. Once there had been more tall, broad trees, though, or at least one more. A long-ago fallen log made a perfect bench for someone who wanted to enjoy those breezes, take in the panoramic view, and be alone with his thoughts.

Lucky settled onto the log and looked out over the Behlvale, which stretched miles across, and many more miles long in both directions. It seemed vast, and the solitude of it peaceful. But after a few minutes of gratefully breathing air he didn’t have to share with anyone, he admitted that honestly, he didn’t want to be alone. He wanted to be with Rio.

Rio, the youngest of Stable Master Morrow’s seven sons, was the only real boyfriend Lucky had ever had, and he hoped it would stay that way. He was young, and who could know what would happen? He could have lots of boyfriends before it was all over. But he loved Rio—loved for real—and Rio loved him back, and Lucky didn’t want to move on. If keeping what he and Rio had meant missing him and being lonely, he was willing to do it.

That didn’t mean he had to like it, though. He remembered running his hands through Rio’s thick black curls, caressing his cheek with its maturing black beard, kissing him. He thought about looking into Rio’s eyes, putting an I love you into real words, walking with him and holding hands. When he imagined these things, he thought he felt an echoing ping against his heart, and he decided to believe Rio was thinking of him too.

It wasn’t more than seconds before the sweet joy of that thought turned into blue loneliness, but minutes passed before he realized that the darkness creeping into the corner of his vision to the northwest wasn’t the product of his sorrowful reverie. Peering into the distance, he saw several men moving about in a place where a series of tall, narrow stones stood in no discernible pattern. One man wore white robes, and magic disturbed the air around him like a vaguely purple heat mirage. Where the man faced and gestured, pillars and curtains of shadow were taking shape, anchored in or suspended from the stones, billowing and blossoming like fountains from the ground.

And they looked hauntingly, alarmingly familiar.

“Uncle Han? Can you hear me? It’s important!

Series description:

Cursed and exiled to Earth by a witch, Lucky has only his name, a pocketful of strange items, and the destiny to become the Sun Child and lead his world through its darkest time. In an epic adventure full of dragons, shifters, talismans, magic, alien enemies, shifting time, and wars waged for survival, humanity’s only hope is one young man’s unquenchable strength, spirit, and heart.

About the Author

Lou Hoffmann, a mother and grandmother now, has carried on her love affair with books for more than half a century, and she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things: music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) Proud to be a bisexual, biracial woman (of European and Native American descent), Lou considers every person a treasure not to be taken for granted. In her life, she’s seen the world’s willingness to embrace differences change, change back, and change again in dozens of ways, but she has great hope for the world the youth of today will create. She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age, sexuality, and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart.

Author Links:

Visit her on her blog: http://www.queerlyya.rainbow-gate.com

Like her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LouHoffmannBooks/

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lou_Hoffmann

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Review Tour and Giveaway – Adder and Willow (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #6) by Sam Burns

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length:
45,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect

The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series

Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Fletcher Lane has a problem. His boyfriend’s parents are coming for a visit, and they want to meet up. He’s ready to commit, so what happens if his prospective in-laws don’t like him? And how is he supposed to keep Rowan Harbor’s unique nature a secret when he might be the worst liar ever born?

To make matters worse, when he finds and helps two strangers stuck on the road, it leads him to a new threat: the man who’s been terrorizing the town has set events into motion that endanger more than just Rowan Harbor. Can Fletcher and his friends stop him before there’s nothing but a smoking crater where the Oregon coastline used to be?

 

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Road Words 5 stars out of 5 review here.

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

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M.D. Grimm on the Need to Write and the new SyFy Saga ‘Leopold (Saga of the Bold People #1)’ (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Leopold

Leopold (Saga of the Bold People #1)

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host M.D. Grimm here today on tour for their latest release, Leopold.  Welcome!

✒︎

Discovery of the need to Write by M.D. Grimm

Good day folks!

Thanks for joining me to celebrate my newest release, Leopold (Saga of the Bold People 1). It is an m/m romance sci-fi epic, and it’s the first book of a 6-book saga. I am super excited to finally release this bad boy that’s taken me around eight years to revise and edit.

I realized I wanted to write in the second grade. No joke. We had a silly assignment to write a short story (1 page long) using all or most of the words the teacher provided on the blackboard. I loved it way too much. Every time there was a story-writing assignment, no matter how silly or simple, I leapt on it, giving all the effort I could muster. I started writing really short stories off and on, and then I entered middle school and became a voracious reader.

During my college years, I collected ideas but didn’t write, due to time and mental capacity restraints. However, during my study abroad in Ireland one summer I wrote a short m/m romance titled “A Giant’s Friend.” It became my first published book. Granted, it got mixed reviews, and some nasty negative reviews, but I was still proud of it (it has since been re-pubbed in my anthology “Guardians of a Giant’s Treasure”). I submitted my second story to Dreamspinner Press, and it received better reviews than the first. That story was “Psychic Moon,” the first book in my The Shifters series.

It was only after several more submissions and releases that I started to get a feel for this “writing thing” that I do. I’m still learning and growing and each story is an opportunity to flex my muscles and challenge myself. I’m still learning my own style of writing and what characters and situations I tend toward.

Leopold came out of the blue one fine summer day. He beamed his thoughts into my mind, and I was off to the races. Unfortunately, I wasn’t equipped to write his story correctly the first time so after years (!) and countless edits and re-writes I finally know he’s ready to be released.

Now I have to jump on book two. I never do anything the easy way. Counting Leopold, I am now currently working on four series simultaneously. And I work 40 hours a week at my day job. Shot me now.

I have three stories contracted with Dreamspinner Press for 2019: a vampire story, the latest shifter book (#13), and the prequel to “On Wings of Thunder.”

Until next time,

May dragons guard your dreams,

M.D. Grimm

✒︎

M.D. Grimm has a new MM sci fi book out:

How does a human survive in an alien dominated InterGalactic Community? By becoming an assassin, of course.

At least, that’s what Leopold thought when he became an assassin for the elite. Pretending to be an alien known as Voidstriker, Leopold feeds his appetite for vengeance, killing aliens as well as taking their money. It’s a win-win to his mind. That is, until a bounty is placed upon his head.

With his true identity now revealed to the IG Community, Leopold knows it’s only a matter of time before the powerful family members of his victims come for blood. Far worse is the fact that the one who put the bounty on his head, is the one he most fears.

A routine job three cycles ago brought him face-to-face with Mastrodai, a prince of the powerful Mrrog Nation. Not only did Leopold—accidentally—destroy part of Mastrodai’s moon, but one glimpse of the mighty alien had him feeling desire for the first time in his life. He ran, and like predator after prey, Mastrodai never stopped hunting him.

Leopold is convinced that Mastrodai wants bloody revenge. But when he finally confronts the mrrog, he is stunned to realize Mastrodai wants something very different. Something surprisingly intimate—the one thing that scares Leopold more than torture.

Amazon | Smashwords


Giveaway

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Excerpt

Leopold meme

I climbed out the broken window onto the platform and tried to activate my holo-cuffs again. After several failed attempts, I realized they weren’t going to help me. Damn things were shit! Swallowing my curses, I jammed on my helmet and started to climb down. By the third floor, the ladder had been broken. I would need to jump. Fantastic. Three levels down. If I landed slightly wrong I would at worst break something, at best sprain something. I had no choice. My helmet impeded by vision so I took it off. I dangled it from my fingertips for a moment before letting it drop. To me, the sound it made upon impact was like a crack of thunder, but it was merely a thud. I took a deep breath and crawled down as much of the ladder as I could, and hung there a moment, gauging my descent.

One, two… three.I let go and hit the ground on my feet and rolled, taking off most of the pressure. It jarred me, but nothing sprained or broke. Success!

I stood, about to grab my helmet, when I saw figures coming toward the mouth of the alley. I froze. I recognized them. They were mrrogs, and that meant he couldn’t be too far behind.

I shivered violently, demanding my legs to move. It took them a moment before they finally got the idea. I crouched slowly on the ground before moving silently backward. One foot, one hand, one foot… on and on until I reached the other end of the alley. I kept myself against the wall, in the shadows, and knew they hadn’t seen me. They were too busy contemplating my land cruiser. If they tried to deactivate the security system it would blow them up, along with the cruz. I would lose my baby, yes, but I would rather it be trash then have it in their hands.

I reached the end of the alley and continued to crouch until I turned the corner, and was out of their line of vision. My heart thundered annoyingly in my ears, and I bowed my head, steadying my breathing. Okay, my cruz was screwed. I couldn’t open fire on them without alerting everyone in the vicinity. I couldn’t run the distance to my ship and needed another way to get to it. I would have to steal a transport.

Great, I had a plan, such as it was. I stood, took two steps back for good measure, and ran into something. I stilled. It wasn’t a building and it wasn’t a transport as I was on the bloody sidewalk. No, it was a body. My heart fluttered, and I knew who it was without a doubt. My body knew, my damn, traitorous body. I could feel his heat pump against my own cold body, and I felt his chest move as he breathed. How did I not sense him behind me? My mouth opened in a silent scream because I knew this was it, I was caught. I shouted mentally at my legs to move but it was as if they were rooted to the blasted ground.

A small breeze blew from behind me, behind us, and I caught his scent. My stupid cock jumped to attention. Kill me now, please. He smelled wonderful. I wanted to close my eyes and wallow in it without any other thought in my head. I wanted to melt against him and have those strong arms—

My eyes had nearly closed when I popped them open. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move. I tracked the large arm, covered in a black sleeve, and the golden hand as it lifted and came toward me. My legs finally kicked into action, and I ducked agilely and rolled under his raised arm before straightening, and running faster than I ever had in my life. I heard him shout out orders in a deep voice. I realized it was the first time I’d ever heard him speak. Despite the situation, I thought he had a lovely voice. I jerked out of that stupid thought when I heard rapid footsteps behind me. Was he chasingme?

I glanced behind, saw the truth in those blazing yellow eyes, in that golden face, and pumped my legs faster. I wove and dodged around large trash bins, unable to keep myself from glancing back. Mastrodai simply leapt overthe trash bins, landing on his hands, and continuing on all fours to chase me, quickly gaining ground.

Shit, shit, shit!

Clouds rolled in overhead, and the moon grew darker, mistier. I needed to lose him. How? His large nose indicated his overdeveloped scent glands, and the way his eyes glimmered in the dark, when I dared another look behind, told me he had no problem hunting in the shadows.

I was so dead.

Recognizing the buildings around me, I swerved sharply to my right and raced down several narrow alleyways. The confined spaces forced him to throttle his boosters. He was still way too damn agile for someone his size, but he couldn’t use his full speed in the alleys unless he wanted to run into a wall. The turns forced him to slow down just enough, and more and more I was starting to lose sight of him whenever I glanced back.

I let my own nose lead me to the large, festering trash pile set along a creek with questionable cleanliness. Trash was rarely collected this far out and, in this case, it would prove to be my savior. Granted, I enjoyed being clean, but survival called for disgusting measures, at times.

After a few more turns, I burst out in the opening and dashed to the trash. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and dove inside. Eewwww!I swam through the garbage and shut down my mind from speculating what it consisted of. After what felt like forever, I popped out the other end and sucked in a gigantic breath of the foulest air I’d ever tasted. That would kill his ability to track me, no matter how powerful his nose. Without stopping, I rolled forward and dropped to the ground. I didn’t look behind for Mastrodai before staggering toward the creek and jumping it. The water was swift and sure and carried me farther down the city.

I managed to lose him for now, but it wasn’t over, yet. Not even close.

The hunt was on.


Author Bio

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=md+grimm

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

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Fantasy Spotlight Special for Soulbound (The Republic #4) by Archer Kay Leah (Playlist, Excerpt and Giveaway!)

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Soulbound

Soulbound (The Republic #4)

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Archer Kay Leah here today on tour for their latest story in The Republic series, Soulbound. Archer has brought along a Soulbound Playlist for all our readers to enjoy. Check it out below.

 

Soulbound Playlist – The Loving, the Hopeful, and the Sensual

Welcome, everyone! I’m Archer Kay Leah, author of LGTBQA+ romances with a fantastical kick (and sometimes even sci fi). Thanks for dropping by, and many thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today! ❤

One of the things I adore most is music, from way back in the times of Gregorian chant and before that all the way up to what’s new right now. Seriously, it’s my addiction, and it blends with my writing in a big way. Some authors prefer silence or shows/movies while they write, but I’m one who needs the right tunes on hand to ground me in the right moods and feelings while the creative process happens.

In a previous stop on the tour, I shared the major themes from the playlist for Soulbound, but today I’m sharing other sounds of the book, including love songs, the more hope-inspired tracks, and a few sensual tracks that hogged the limelight for a bit… or for at least a quarter of the book, actually.

Darren Hayes — Insatiable

First up is this sensual, seductive track from the lead singer of Savage Garden. The mood, tempo, and (most of) the lyrics are so perfect for Mayr and Tash. They’re a couple that doesn’t want to keep their hands off each other, or lips, or any part of the body, to be honest. They’re happiest when they’re left alone in the same room and just being them, no expectations, no judgment, no nothing to get in the way. This is a song for those who can’t get enough of intimate moments.

Ed Sheeran — Give Me Love

One of my favourite Ed Sheeran songs! I love how it’s put together, with a beautiful blend of music, vocal, and lyric. I can’t help but sing along, with a bit of my heart just sort of being tossed out with it. If Mayr and Tash ever decided to dance together, this would be a song they’d choose. The overall sound is definitely them, even though the lyrics don’t completely match up, but it works well with the constant yearning they have for each other. There’s the soft and tender part of the song, but then towards the end, it goes a bit harder, more… insistent, and plays out into a gentle, pleading end. Then the track switches over into “The Parting Glass,” an old, traditional piece that I also enjoy.

In some ways, this song would’ve been more suited for the second book in the series, Four, where Mayr and Tash first met. Though I think there’s a place for it here, because sometimes — at least in the beginning — even when they have each other, they pine for more because they haven’t quite reached the full force of their relationship. That comes with time, effort, and the willingness to finally surrender completely to what they have.

Enigma — Age of Loneliness & Enigma — Carly’s Song (Remix)

Two versions of the same song that I’ve loved since I was a teenager. Then again, it’s Enigma, which I adore. (It was because of an Enigma album that I fell in love with Gregorian chant!)

This song is a sensual, sexy piece in terms of sound and vibe. It’s always in my repertoire while writing romances or anything with intimate elements, particularly for sex scenes and even sparring scenes. With the original version of the song, “Age of Loneliness,” the rhythm and key kills me, the drums and beats are perfect, the vocals are entrancing and diverse like the music itself, and the way the different tracks are blended together is brilliant, with awesome timing of particular sounds that make the song special. It’s a feast for the ears and brain, one I feed off while writing and really sink into. “Carly’s Song (Remix)” is no less captivating, with its own sound, but never losing that sensual flavour. There were a few scenes in Soulbound that called for both versions, which I tended to alternate. Fun. Times.

Enigma — Return to Innocence

More Enigma, but this one was for the hope it speaks to. The encouragement. Courage. Self-acceptance and being true to oneself, no matter what others think. This song is uplifting, beautiful. It not only brings me to tears, it gives me goosebumps. There have been times when my confidence and self-esteem have hit terrible lows or grief and loss have hit so hard, I’ve cried-sung my way through this a few times to feel better. The music video is also a piece of art, with stunning images that tell a touching story.

This was great for Soulbound when Tash needed a boost of hope. Being in his head… sometimes it’s rough, and his soul just hurts. There are days where he hates himself, hates what he’s done, and fears the future. But there are bright moments, too, where he’s swept away into happy thoughts and devotion and things smooth out for a while, because he’s finding his redemption and peace in those around him. There were other scenes, too, where this song worked perfectly, though I can’t really talk about them without spoilers!

Joseph Trapanese (Insurgent Soundtrack) — Amity

Here’s one of my favourite pieces from the Insurgent soundtrack (second movie of the Divergent franchise), though I love the whole soundtrack, to be honest. Joseph Trapanese is a composer I’ve quickly come to treasure because he’s amazing. “Amity” is only one of his beautiful pieces, where everything is finely placed, the music is wonderfully played, there’s movement, there’s emotion, and it gives me wicked chills, right down through my legs. It makes my heart ache, my eyes tear up, and there’s a powerful force that comes through via the string ensemble, brief instances of percussion, the purr of the bass line, and other sounds mixed in.

With all of that, this song was great for scenes when characters were dealing with heavy emotions and tough choices. When their emotions were being pushed too far, but they kept holding onto hope and the will the fight. It’s a piece that conveys (to me, at least) strength, vulnerability, and determination.

Loreena McKennitt — Samain Night

One of my favourite Loreena McKennitt songs (though, okay, I have many). It kept coming up while I wrote, attaching itself to Mayr and Tash whenever they went into sweet and squishy mode. The song really stuck with them, enough that whenever I listen to it now, I associate it with them.

Maybe it’s the harp that did it, with the violin and the guitar and Loreena’s lovely voice. Maybe it was the lyrics and the title which connects to the Celtic Pagan holiday of Samhain (especially since the religion in The Republic series is inspired by Pagan beliefs and practices). Or maybe it’s just because the song is just so pretty and touching and these characters really couldn’t get enough. Either way, this song leaves me gutted with imagery and romantic notions.

Placebo — Running Up That Hill

Yes. Yes, yes, and yes! Sensual. Darkly sexy. Perfect for scenes where things get steamy.

This is only one of the many covers of Kate Bush’s song in my music library (plus Kate’s original and her remake of it, because I LOVE Kate Bush, always have — she’s brilliant), but this version is the only one with this particular feeling to it. It worked with Mayr and Tash so well, I kept playing it over and over and over… It just didn’t want to stop.

The Weeknd — As You Are

Here’s the first of a few songs by The Weeknd that made it to Soulbound‘s playlist because of their sensual groove. More and more, I’m turning to The Weeknd when I need tunes for intimate, romantic, and downright sexy scenes.

For this book, I tended to associate this song with what was going on between Mayr, Tash, and Arieve — all three of them, together, since they all suffer from a similar worry that they aren’t good enough for their lovers. Mayr and Tash have figured themselves out, for the most part, but Arieve hasn’t been as lucky. She’s struggling with her own relationship issues and some of the lyrics remind me of everything they’ve all gone through. This tune had all the right feels in terms of tone, rhythm, mood, and meaning of the song. They really do take each other as they are, challenges and flaws included.

The Weeknd — Love in the Sky

Easily one of my top favourites of The Weeknd’s, which will end up on several of my playlists because the sound of it is just Mmmm, yes, please. It hits all the right notes. The mood is very Mayr and Tash when they’re in hot-and-heavy mode. The lyrics don’t really apply to them, but I don’t care: the groove is where it’s at. Slow, sensual, delicious… It’s kind of (but so completely not) terrible how much a single track can still inspire me even after I’ve listened to it a few hundred times. Though my characters really don’t care, because they’ll make me listen to it a few more hundred times… and I’ll happily sing along.

The Weeknd — Where You Belong

After I heard this song once, I was hooked — still am, won’t lie. It’s got that lovely dark, delicious feel I adore from The Weeknd and I just can’t… stop… listening. Again, this one’s for when Mayr and Tash are alone and best left that way because they’ve gone X-rated. Though I think I may have had this going during that one time, at the tavern…

And with that little nugget, thank you so much for reading! I love hearing from readers, so feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and comments. And if there are any songs that you particularly love, I’d love to hear about them!

 

 

Archer Kay Leah has a new MM/MMF fantasy romance book out:

In a relationship that violates rules and expectations, Mayr and Tash have found their perfect match in each other. Despite their fears and difficult pasts, they hope for a shared future with security and a family. When Mayr’s secret first love, Arieve, proposes they create that family with her, it seems dreams could become reality.

But life is complicated, and so is the delicate balance between duty and love. While Mayr protects the Dahe family at all costs, Tash is determined to succeed as a priest. Both positions require sacrifice, forcing their relationship into painful choices. To make matters worse, criminals lurk in the shadows, seeking revenge on them and those they guard.

The life they want risks losing everything—including Arieve and each other. Even if they can have it all, keeping it may take more than they can give.

Warnings: “Soulbound” contains some explicit content, references to self-harm, suicide, and mentions of suicide-related behavior and intent. This story also contains instances of graphic violence, references to rape and domestic abuse, and depictions and mentions of depression.

About the Series:

With the right people and the right price, the Republic of Kattal can be brought to its knees. But for every line crossed, someone waits on the other side, ready to push back.

Armed and ready to defend their lives, these heroes are not afraid of the fight. They stare adversity in the eye and dance with the darkness within. But in their justice, there is wisdom. In wisdom, there is protection. In it all, there is love. Sometimes it’s a matter of saving a village; sometimes it’s a matter of saving the one they can’t live without. Sometimes it’s just about doing the right thing and learning to love oneself.

Magic may lurk in the shadows. Crime may never sleep. But love doesn’t back down.

Less Than Three Press | Amazon | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK | Amazon International | Bookstrand | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Smashwords | Goodreads


Giveaway

Archer is giving away three $10 Amazon gift cards with this tour – enter to win via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4730/?


Excerpt

Soulbound Meme 2 - Archer Kay Leah

Silence fell, deep with meaning conveyed by long gazes and soft smiles. Why had he expected Aeley to say anything different?

Three loud knocks rapped the door, scaring them both. Cursing under his breath, Mayr opened the door.

Arieve.

Every foul word tumbled back down Mayr’s throat. “Hey.” He leaned against the door, one arm sliding up the side.

In an instant, he tripped on his own feet and stumbled into the door, swinging it open further.

“You can’t possibly be drunk already.” The corners of Arieve’s eyes crinkled with her smile, her glossed lips painted pink like her cheeks. Dark curls and plaits cascaded over her shoulders, the firelight lending a golden hue to the white-blonde streaks in the fringe of hair across her forehead. She held a silver tray, presenting two glass goblets filled with a bluish-purple drink and fragments of gold leaf sprinkled on top. “Otherwise, this might be a bad idea.”

“What’s a bad idea?” Mayr grimaced, his mouth suddenly dry as if filled with pillow stuffing. Quick to recover, he smoothed his shirt, resettled his belts, and slicked back his hair, pretending he meant to be clumsy.

“Your after-dinner drinks. Lira was going to bring them, but I thought I’d save her the trip. She’s having fun trading stories with your mother.” Arieve cleared her throat. “I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation.”

The tray rattled in her hand. The drinks threatened to slosh over the rims.

Mayr steadied the tray. “Thanks for that. This. These.” He offered her an awkward smile and took the goblets. “I’ll let you get back.” So you won’t see me kick my own ass for being completely inappropriate.

“Thanks, Arieve,” Aeley called from her desk.

“You’re welcome.” Arieve hesitated as she lowered the tray. She swayed gently, the rich green layers of her tiered, ruffled skirts moving with her. “I’ll let you finish.”

Before Mayr could say anything else, Arieve hurried down the hall and around the corner.

“I wonder what the mix is this time.” Aeley snatched one goblet to sniff it. “Hint of gaffa nectar, soured pamolea extract, and a bite of fulore. Plus maybe, probably—” another sniff “—syrup from the Sailor’s Sweetheart bush.” She took a sip and nodded. Flakes of gold leaf clung to her top lip. “Not as fun as last night’s concoction, but I could get used to it.”

“That’s what you always say.” Mayr brushed the flakes from Aeley’s lips with his thumb.

Aeley wiped her mouth on her sleeve. “Not always, just a lot. Cook knows her stuff. To be fair, she’s known me since I was three, getting into her puddings and tarts anytime she turned around. I trust that when she serves up a hodgeypodgey drink, it’s got personality.” She tapped her goblet against his. “I’m heading back to our guests. You should, too, considering it’s yourparty. We can resume this conversation later.”

After a kiss to his cheek, Aeley flounced out the door and through the corridor, humming to herself.

Mayr stared into his goblet, watching the gold swirl in an abstract pattern. My stomach. My head. I can’t even…

He set the goblet on Aeley’s desk. He needed Tash’s forgiveness more than he deserved a fancy drink.

As he exited the room, questions assaulted him hard enough to drown the sound of the door latch as it caught. One question practically shouted above all the others: how much had Arieve heard of his conversation with Aeley?

His heartbeat faltered. He was mortified. The door was not impervious to sound. What would Arieve think of him had she heard…

Hey, stupid! It doesn’t matter.Mayr grumbled and hooked his thumbs around the back of his belts. It still comes out to you’re taken and happy, so shut up.Dragging his heels, he wandered through the corridor and turned into the next, towards the ballroom.

Around the corner, Arieve leaned against the wall, head bowed, with her face hidden by her hair. She twined the trailing black laces of her bright green tunic around her fingers and pulled taut, then released them only to repeat the process. The empty tray rested beside her, abandoned against the wall.

“Hey.” Mayr stopped, careful to leave two foot lengths between them. “I thought you went back?” He toyed with his marriage ring, twisting the band nervously. Memories of Tash surged forward, the airy weight of his kisses almost real enough to feel.

“I wanted to wait for you.” Arieve raised her head and offered a tender smile. “I probably won’t get a word in the rest of the night given the company, so I thought…”

She was in his arms before he could reply. Her hug stole his surprise, shredding it until all that remained was stunned.

“Congratulations,” she murmured, her forehead tucked beneath his chin. “He’s got a good heart, solid. You’ve found your match. If the Four could grant me one wish tonight, it’d be for you two to have everything you desire.”

Mayr hesitated, his hands hovering over Arieve’s back. Touching was a bad idea, especially while he kept Tash from the truth. “Thank you.” Quick as he could, he embraced Arieve and pushed her away, feeling worse than the coward he was. “Let’s go back. I need to stop my mother from revealing every baby story she has or everyone’s going to hear about my naked backside and trailing diaper crowns.”

Arieve picked up the tray and started up the hall. “I’m sure Tash is soaking them up as we speak.” She laughed, the joyous sound digging up a dozen memories.

Memories he needed to lock up and burn down.

He followed Arieve and cast his gaze to the ceiling. Please, Reverent Goddesses, get me through tonight. Then let’s talk about strength of will, because one of these days I’m going to have to confess everything and it’ll hurt more than scorching my pride.


Author Bio

Archer Kay Leah was raised in Canada, growing up in a port town at a time when it was starting to become more diverse, both visibly and vocally. Combined with the variety of interests found in Archer’s family and the never-ending need to be creative, this diversity inspired a love for toying with characters and their relationships, exploring new experiences and difficult situations.

Archer most enjoys writing speculative fiction and is engaged in a very particular love affair with fantasy, especially when it is dark and emotionally charged. When not reading and writing for work or play, Archer is a geek with too many hobbies and keeps busy with other creative endeavors, a music addiction, and whatever else comes along. Archer lives in London, Ontario with a bigender partner and rather chatty cat.

Author Website: http://archerkayleah.wordpress.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://facebook.com/archerkayleah

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/archerkayleah

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ArcherKayLeah

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/archer-kay-leah/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/archerkayleah

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A VVivacious Review: Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Vash is a female orc trying to survive the aftermath of Queen Nakuru’s death with her horde of children in tow. As the orcs gain freedom from the Queen’s control they find themselves thrust into an eventuality they wouldn’t have ever even dreamt of had the thought of being free from the Queen’s control ever entered their mind.

Imra is the Champion of the Free Races, the one who ends the life of Queen Nakuru and the one who pledges to create a new world where all species can live and prosper – the elves, the dwarves, the humans and… the orcs.

As Vash and Imra’s paths intersect they forge between themselves a companionship that threatens to be so much more.

This story starts where most fantasy stories end to tell a tale more fantastical than you could ever have imagined.

I truly enjoyed this story, it has a slow beginning but once the story really gets going, I had no way to apply brakes. This was just such a delightful tale and so unique.

Building a village, fostering relationships between species who were at war with each other until most recently seems like tedious work, mind-numbing work with victories few and far between. But the way this tale is told makes you realise that all this mind-numbing toil of working together of uplifting a species that got the short end of the stick is amazing because when there is so much good will and perseverance at play, things are stunning and immersive, almost magical.

I loved how we spend a lot of time in the beginning with Vash to truly experience her journey as she finds herself and begins to truly express herself and as she realizes there is room for a lot of good things in this brave new world. She comes to see her maggots as more and comes to love them in a way she has never let herself before. But what was truly magical was coming to the same realisations as Vash does about just how truly magical freedom is.

“Maybe being free to be whatever they wanted to be was much, much bigger than she had imagined.”

Imra is a champion who never believed she would be one. She truly finds it hard to believe that she attempted the feats she did let alone was actually successful at them. But even though she finds it hard to believe you realize it from the very beginning that Imra is strongest where it matters, in her heart and mind.

“And when he had been killed, if they had offered to take her home, would she have accepted? The answer she had come up with every single time was no. Even had she known all the horrors that awaited her the answer would have been no. If there was work to be done, she did it, whether it was fixing a fence, or killing a Dark Queen or saving orcs from extinction. She might be shitting her pants the entire way but she would still do it.”

Imra and Vash’s romance is a slow burn magical thing which blossoms in this story as a celebration but I feel it is very well balanced with all the other elements of the story which is very much like a fantasy novel about one unlikely hero on the journey to do the impossible. And as history would tell you I am a sucker for those.

This story was amazing, I found myself constantly teary eyed seeing all these people attempt such marvellous feats to leave a world much better than the one they were born in. There are a whole horde of characters in this book and they are all amazing.

This is an absolutely stunning story.

Cover Art by Anna Tiferet Sikorska. I loved the artwork on the cover and especially loved the font of the main title and how that light just hits you right in the eye. It is pretty amazing.

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published October 13th 2018
ASINB07GVF4ZQ3

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

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October’s Scary Joys and Frights!

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

She’s not alone.

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

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

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

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

From H.B.:

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

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

From Purple Reader:

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

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

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

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 14:

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

Monday, October 15:

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

Tuesday, October 16:

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

Wednesday, October 17:

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

Thursday, October 18:

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

Friday, October 19:

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

Saturday, October 20:

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

 

 

 

Release Blitz for Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Orc Haven

Author: Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Anna Tiferet Sikorska | tiferetdesign.com

Genre/s: Fantasy FF Romance

Heat Rating:  1 flame out of five (A romantic relationship between the couple but no intimate scenes or sexual situations are described in the book. The book fades-to-black before any love scene.)

Length: 73 000 words /225 pages

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: October 13, 2018

Goodreads Link

 

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

The great war is over. The Dark Queen has fallen, slain by a dwarven champion as the prophecies foretold.

Still struggling with her transition from farmer’s daughter to Hero of the Free Races, Irma barters her newfound fame for the power to change things for the betterment of all – including her former enemies.

With the Dark Queen’s death, her subjugated orcs either succumbed to madness or were slain in battle. Only few orcs remain, and Irma has sworn to protect them, to help them find their place among the Free Races. One of them is Vash, a breeding mother from the pits, searching for a new home among the ruins of her old world with a tiny horde of orc children in tow.

When they meet, they discover that despite their differences in size, upbringing and race, they share the same hopes for the future. And while the odds they face seem overwhelming, the feelings growing between them may be strong enough to overcome them all.

From Rainbow-Award-winning authors Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus comes a sweet, happy f/f romantasy that begins where other epic fantasy novels end, a stand-alone novel about courage, hope, and the importance of family.

 

Excerpt

Vash sniffed the pale blue berry. It didn’t smell of much, but that might have been due to the fact that her fingers smelled so much stronger, sour with sweat. Cautiously, she bit into it and nearly spit it out when its sharp taste exploded on her tongue, tangy enough to prick like needles. She had to force herself to keep her mouth closed and wait. It didn’t burn, so that was good. Her only way of telling whether it was poisonous was to trust her instincts, and so far, they had proven surprisingly accurate.

Like those roots she had found her maggots chewing on once. She had told them to keep away, but ‘no’, they just had to. A few hours later, they had been whimpering about their belly aches. They had been lucky nothing worse had happened. They could have died. Or they could have been back in the pits, where they would have been thrashed – first for disobeying and then for whining.

With a shudder, Vash forced that thought away. They were all lucky to have gotten out.

She swallowed the bit of berry and waited for that queasy feeling she got whenever she tried something inedible. Surprisingly few things out here were. The orcs‘  fabled constitution apparently also applied to being able to eat almost anything. Until their escape from the pits, she had never eaten anything but the slop cooked in their huge, grimy kettles. All the food delivered to them from outside went into those pots and was cooked until it didn’t taste of much at all. Even when their guardians had been set on slim rations, they had still received plenty. Vash were more important to the war effort than some stupid grunt that could easily be replaced. Vash were who made those replacements. They were the rarest kind of orc – those who could breed.

Her stomach grumbled angrily, but it was a pang of hunger, not nausea. Vash smiled. The berries were good and there were several bushes of them. A single one didn’t bear many fruits, but all together, they would feed the maggots tonight. And, if she managed to reign them in, they might even have some for tomorrow. She popped the other half into her mouth, and this time, she welcomed the taste. She started picking the bushes clean, gathering the berries into the makeshift bundle she had made of a tattered cloak.

Her own clothes were a ragged mix, the simple, coarse shift she had been wearing in the pits and whatever she had picked up since – a pair of sturdy leather pants that were a little too short, and a thick, padded tunic which she wore over the shift. Her lower arms and her feet were wrapped in rags both for warmth and protection. She’d even found a pair of fitting boots on a corpse a few days ago.

 

 

About the Authors

Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus are a couple currently living their happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of their cat.

Both of them are voracious but picky readers, they love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, they write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of their happiness with their readers.

An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of the duo.

An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website 

Facebook

Twitter: @brackhaus  

Goodreads

 

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Release Blitz and Giveaway – Adder and Willow (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #6) by Sam Burns

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length:
45,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect

The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series

Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Fletcher Lane has a problem. His boyfriend’s parents are coming for a visit, and they want to meet up. He’s ready to commit, so what happens if his prospective in-laws don’t like him? And how is he supposed to keep Rowan Harbor’s unique nature a secret when he might be the worst liar ever born?

To make matters worse, when he finds and helps two strangers stuck on the road, it leads him to a new threat: the man who’s been terrorizing the town has set events into motion that endanger more than just Rowan Harbor. Can Fletcher and his friends stop him before there’s nothing but a smoking crater where the Oregon coastline used to be?


Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

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