A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Ever After by Riley Hart & Christina Lee


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is a sweet fairy tale so well done that I was left feeling warm and fuzzy and somewhat in love with the characters in the same way I did when I was a child and first heard the story of Sleeping Beauty and her prince.  The authors created a timeless world in which a man loving a man was not unheard of but was considered unacceptable.  But it was not punishable by death, and by the end of the story, readers could hold out hope that in this particular magical kingdom same sex love might become so much the norm that it wouldn’t even be remarked upon.  If Prince Merrick gets his wish, that may well happen. 

Merrick is under a lot of pressure from his family to choose a bride so that he can ensure the future of the kingdom.  The only one who seems to support him in his hesitation to choose just anyone without being in love with them is his sister.  In fact, throughout the story, she’s his champion, even arranging for several intriguing plot points that throw him in the path of his one true love. 

Cassius is a simple man, devoted to his family and excited by the prospect of being chosen as valet to Prince Merrick.  Promoted through the ranks rather quickly, he doesn’t have a lot of friends and he’s never told his family of his preference for men.  When he gets to know the real Prince Merrick, he discovers a young man who truly cares about others and who has an artist’s soul.  Merrick enjoys the little things in life and appreciates the beauty of nature more than the beauty of his family’s pompous surroundings.  He’s like no other and certainly not like Cas had imagined the future king would be.

Merrick and Cas fall in love over the course of weeks together.  It’s all the little everyday things Merrick does for Cas—like taking him riding, or encouraging him in his story and poetry writing, and eventually making a stop to meet Cas’s family.  Merrick loves Cas’s beautiful nature and the heart of a poet.  He admires his humility and, of course, the two eventually become romantically involved, though they know their days together are numbered.  Cas has already made up his mind that he’ll leave Merrick’s service once the prince chooses a bride at the Winter Solstice Ball. 

The fairy tale plot thickens as the prince sees his love from across the room.   But as should happen in any good fairy tale, his love runs, leaving both heartbroken.  Of course, the authors wouldn’t leave us there and we do eventually get a happily ever after, but it’s the sweetness of reading their adventure that makes this story most memorable.  And make no mistake—there’s no major drama or heartache in this one.  It’s purely sweet—as in a magical fairy tale. 

Kudos to both authors for bringing us this story and, on a personal note, for giving me one more memorable fairy tale to add to my favorites list.  I highly recommend this to those who want to simply go away to a sweet place, daydream to their heart’s content, and end the day on a happy note.    


Cover art is a caricature depiction of Prince Merrick offering his hand to Cassius at the Winter Solstice Ball.  The outfits exactly match the descriptions in the book. It’s colorful, sweet, and exactly right for this story. 

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Detail:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 262 pages
Published February 26th 2018 by Christina Lee and Riley Hart
Original TitleEver After
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Review: Family Matters (Brandywine Investigations #4-5) by Angel Martinez


Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

With his career firmly established and his reputation as a successful PI growing, Hades should have the perfect life with his human lover, his faithful ferryman, his dogs and the parts of his family still speaking to him. But murder and chaos are never far away for death lords as his nephew Dionysus and his oldest friend Charon are drawn into the maelstrom.

Includes: Books, Bulls, & Bacchanals: Brandywine Investigations #4 Midwinter Dancing: Brandywine Investigations #4.5 Pack Up the Moon: Brandywine Investigations #5

With Angel Martinez’s fertile imagination, she has created a universe in which Lord Hades gets a divorce, gets kicked out of the underworld and starts a detective agency.  Of course, there’s so much more to it than that.  It involves so many gods and goddesses hanging out in the “real world” as well as on the Olympic plain, all doing their thing.  It’s fun, it’s a madhouse of murder and mystery and the author often turns well-known mythology on it’s head time after time.  Yes, it’s also absolutely marvelous great times.

I’ve taken the two stories that make up Family Matters separately.  They both take place in the Brandywine Investigations universe and have some of the same characters, in that Dio and Leander, along with Hades and Ti makes appearances in Pack Up the Moon.

Books, Bulls, & Bacchanals: Brandywine Investigations #4: Rating: 5 stars

Everyone assumes life’s one big party for Dionysus, but even the god of wine and orgies has problems. His anger management issues are out of control, and his siblings suggest a visit to the Eternal Library to find a cure. The library of the gods is a strange and confounding place, though, one that Dionysus has avoided for centuries, and his certainty that the library hates him is confirmed when a killer strikes during his visit.

Life as the only librarian is blissfully peaceful for Leander, giving him the security and quiet he so desperately needs. Considered a monster as a child, Leander’s memories of his imprisonment in the Labyrinth left deeply carved emotional scars. But when a young woman is murdered in his library, he needs to emerge from his self-imposed seclusion to help find the killer who might still stalk the hallways.

Forced to keep company with Dionysus, Leander swings between whether the unpredictable and charming little god will keep him safe or drive him to distraction before the killer is found.

I absolutely loved this story.  Here again the author takes two well known mythological figures Dionysus and the Minotaur and puts her own spin on their characters, personalities, and back histories.   Personally, I like her take on them  better.  Dio as he’s called is a slightly damaged, loving chaos god whose brain was scrambled by what you might call an acid trip.  He wants to be loved and accepted for who he is.  Hard when part of that includes orgiastic events that he needs to feed his life force.  For too many lovers, that’s been  breaking point along with a certain impossible to contain destructive anger.  One that explodes when he finds his human assistant dead in the Underworld Library.

Leander, head librarian at The Eternal Library, is the Minotaur.  However, here, instead of a fierce monster, he was an abused teenager, unjustly imprisoned by his family and betrayed by Theseus.  He’s a figure of utter shyness, poignancy, with a good measure of PTSD thrown in.  All in a huge minotaur’s body.  All he wants is his books, his garden, and to be left alone with his red panda assistants (so  fantastically  adorable).   But one murder, several robberies, and that’s quite impossible.

The authors characterizations, wonderful plot, sweet romance, and all the suspense make this a 5 star romp that both endearing and edge of your seat exciting.  Loved it.

Pack Up the Moon: Brandywine Investigations #5 Rating 4.5 stars out of 5

Charon, Hades’ ferryman of the Dead across the River Styx, has watched Hades himself and several of Hades’ nephews all find love.  And quietly wished for love himself.  To pass in the normal world, he runs Stygian Funeral Home when he isn’t helping solve mysteries with Lord  Hades.  Then it happens, he has a run in with the raccoon demi god Azeban and his crow Kaukont and everything starts to go terribly wrong.  Or right after a very mixed up fashion even for a Chaos god.  With the world and all its souls hanging in the balance, can love and a ton of goddesses and Chaos gods save the day?

Chary, that wonderful Chaos god who has appeared in all the stories, now gets his own romance.  Long overdue and I’m so happy with the results.  No less than the utter end of the Death Lords and the World could be at stake here.  And the resolution and unlikeliest of heroes is also a Raccoon.  Well, a raccoon god and a crow.  There’s  the Martinez humor, a great deal of pathos in two characters who never thought they’d find love and do with each other, near death experiences, and a wonderful drum dance of goddesses and this story came very close to perfection.    Perhaps I wanted a little more comeuppance for the evil deeds done but maybe that ‘s not possible when you are talking about gods.

If you love mythology, Angel Martinez and her wild takes on everything from murder mysteries to every known god pantheon there is, this is the universe and stories for you.  Grab them all up while you are at it.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art: Rebeckah Murray.  I like this cover.  Clearly different from the norm.  That Leander and Dio on the front.  I liked it.

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 502 pages
Published February 28th 2018 by Mischief Corner Books
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Brandywine Investigations #4-5

Please note: Books, Bulls & Bacchanals has been re-edited with a few story adjustments for this edition.

A Free Dreamer: Review: The Seeds of Dissolution (Dissolution Cycle #1) by William C. Tracy


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

On a bright August day, the sun disappears.

Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten alien cultures—where he meets Rilan and Origon, two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.

But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.

The Dissolution is coming.

“The Seeds of Dissolution” is brilliant, to put it simply. It has everything I love in a book and I’m so glad I didn’t let the relationship dynamic put me off.

First of all, the world building was incredibly well done. Anybody who’s read a few of my reviews knows it’s hard to impress me with that. I have very, very high expectations of Fantasy and SciFi authors and William C. Tracy fulfilled them all. I’ve read countless books that deal with magic in one way or another, but never before have I come across anything like this. I’ve seen magic by colours a couple of times, but never by music before. It was a very unique and interesting approach.

The author did a brilliant job of slowly introducing all the different species and really making them all appear distinct and unique. I really enjoyed getting to know the Nether and its inhabitants together with Sam. There were a few drawings throughout the book and they really helped my imagination along.

Over the course of the story, we get to know characters from a few of the different species closer. The character cast was actually quite large, but they all had a very distinct voice. We get four three different POVs, but it’s immediately obvious who’s head we’re in at any given moment.

Our main protagonist is Sam. I really liked him. He’s so not your average fantasy hero. He suffers from crippling anxiety attacks, brought on by his agoraphobia and social phobia. That he still makes himself get up every time made him an extremely strong person to me. Far more than any typically perfect fantasy hero you happen across all the time.

The main plot of this book is definitely the fantasy. The romance plays a very minor part overall. This is just the type of book I want to see way more of: a brilliant plot with an MC who just so happens to be homosexual (or bisexual, as in Sam’s case). It’s incredibly difficult to find a really good fantasy novel with a protagonist who isn’t straight. There’s plenty of M/M romance with fantasy out there, but it’s just not the same. I grew up reading epic fantasy novels and I’m still not much of a romance reader, so this book had me extremely pleased. Thank you, dear author!

Long story short, “The Seeds of Dissolution” is brilliant fantasy. If you are, like me, a lover of epic fantasy with serious world building, then I’m sure you’ll love this unique approach of magic. If, however, you’re just looking for a nice romance novel with a bit of fantasy, keep looking.

Oh, this was also my first ever MMF book and I actually hesitated before picking it up just because of the relationship dynamic. I am SO glad I decided to diversify my reading habits a while ago. I think “The Seeds of Dissolution” will very likely end up being one of the best books of the year for me. And the best part: This is only part one and there are two more books that are set in the same world (but aren’t part of the series). Gonna read those very soon!

The cover is pretty cool. It looks very mysterious. Love those black flowers.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book details: Kindle Edition, 436 pages

Published December 19th 2017 by Space Wizard Science Fantasy

The Time is Right for Gay Superheroes. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words


The Time is Right for Gay Superheroes

Does Black Panther’s Success

Open the Door for a Queer Superhero?

Black Panther
Hollywood is celebrating the remarkable breakthrough box office performance of Marvel’s Black Panther, the first entry in the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature a black leading character, and indeed, a mostly-black cast. Part of the shock and awe felt within the industry when it comes to Black Panther comes from the history of black superheroes in films: There just aren’t very many, …
Read more

Clearly, others were thinking along the same lines.  My friend and author J. Scott Coatsworth posted this story at his terrific site QueerSciFi (David Reddish – Full Story at LGBTQ Nation)   

From your recommendations, finds and links,  yes, there are gay superheroes out there in many forms and formats, yet few have made it through to the mainstream media yet as did Black Panther this year.  The Pride, the picture at the top of the page is from The Pride comic by Joe Glass.  It’s a small press comic series based in based in Treorchy, Wales.  Started in 2011, the first 8 page story formed about a superhero team consisting of FabMan, Angel, Bear, Frost, Sapphire, Twink, White Trash, Wolf and Cub.  I’ll let you guess who is who. Published sporadically through the years, it’s returning this year with Issue five of The Pride Adventures.  Look for more information here.

Just as Black Panther , and the call  #WakandaForever has become an affirmation of self, the beginning of a movement.  Of joy, of recognition, of belief, of strength.  If one movie…one comic has had, and continues to have the power to do all that for people of color.  What would gay comic heroes be able to do for the LGBT nation?

Clearly, we need our gay superheroes just as badly as Black Panther and Wakanda is needed and is now being treasured and loved  everywhere. Netflix series Jessica Jones comes to mind, but that’s hardly mainstream, although I love it so.  Where will it come from and when?  I have no idea but with Black Panther I hope I’m seeing a sea change, one that’s already brought us Wonder Woman and now will bring us a  LGBT superhero where we can see a representation like no other before…#LGBTsuperhero #PrideForever.

LGBT Superhero Giveaway

Further Recommendations from our Readers and Winner Announcement:


don’t think I’ve read many stories with actual superheroes (the ones with super powers and a suit) would be:
Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero by Alex Gabriel.

Purple Reader:

Thanks for the links and other recs, especially the reference to graphics. I remembered a few more, including one graphic. Most are on those links, but these are the ones I’ve read and enjoyed:
– EARTH 2, VOL 1 by James Robinson, et al – graphic, simple plot, but a visual thrill w gay Green Lantern.
– LOVESICK GODS by Amanda Meuwissen – new one, framed around greek mythology.
– THE DIVISION by C.C. Bridges – part-time superheroes (one closeted, other has a crush) team up against alien invasion.
– EDDIE & SHADOW series by Skylar Jaye – heck, why not a son of superheroes being sub to a Dom supervillain.
– and it’s been mentioned, but I liked it too – LOVE FOR THE COLD-BLOODED, OR THE PART-TIME EVIL MINION’S GUIDE TO ACCIDENTALLY DATING A SUPERHERO by Alex Gabriel – yep, that’s the title, nuf said.


Superheroes are some of my favorite reading. Definitely Skylar Jaye’s Eddie and its sequel Shadow. Cari Z’s Panopolis series, Where’s There’s Smoke, Where There’s Fire, and Where There’s a Will are wonderful reading. Alexis Hall has a superb short in the Winter Rain anthology, Behind the Masks. Dreamspinner had a really nice anthology, Men of Steel, that has since gone out of print sadly. In YA, Hero by Perry Moore is on my keeper shelf. Also, Superior by Jessica Lack is a novella that delighted me. Refraction by Hayden Scott is another YA that I really enjoyed.

Thank you all for some great links and recs.  You all rock as always.  This is a topic close to my heart as if you all haven’t guessed already.  A huge geek I always had stacks of comic books at home (guess who’s mother tossed them..something I’ve never recovered from), seeing the resurgence of Black Panther and its impact has brought me to tears more than once.  The thought of what a gay superhero  could do for the LGBT youth and well, all the LGBT community?  Leaves me speechless….

Happy March.  Our winners are Purple Reader and Carolyn.  Please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandrogueword@gmail.com and she will help to get your gift certs to you.  Congratulations.  New giveaway coming up soon!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 4:

  • Cover Reveal for Lost Souls Found by Kris T. Bethke (giveaway)
  • BG Thomas on One NIght Stands, Writing and his new release  Orange (guest post)
  • The Time is Right for Gay Superheroes. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, March 5

  • DSP Promo Laura Lascarso
  • Hard To Let Go by Jaclyn Quinn Blog Tour
  • Release Blitz – Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris
  • A Jeri Review: The Time of My Life by Nora Phoenix
  • A MelanieM Review: A Matter of Justice (Hong Kong Nights Book 3) by J.C. Long
  • A Stella Review:  If Ever I Cease to Love You by Shawn Bailey
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Chief’s Mess (Anchor Point #3) by L.A. Witt and (Narrated by Nick J. Russo)

Tuesday, March 6:

  • COVER REVEAL BLITZ Invitation to The Blues (Small Change #2) by Roan
  • BLOG TOUR Unraveled by K.M. Neuhold
  • Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney Release Day Blog Tour
  • VLOG TOUR The Time of My Life by Nora Phoenix
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso
  • A Free Dreamer Review:Finding Sanctuary (The Hampton Road Club #6) by Morticia Knight
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico #1) by B.A. Tortuga

Wednesday, March 7:

  • BLOG TOUR – Skater Boy by A.E. Wasp
  • RELEASE BLITZ Off-Campus Setup by Maria Vickers
  • Review Tour  for Winter Cowboy (Whisper Ridge, Wyoming #1) by R.J. Scott
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: The Pick Up by Allison Temple
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Winter Cowboy (Whisper Ridge, Wyoming #1) by R.J. Scott
  • A MelanieM Review: The Calling by MD Neu
  • An Alisa Review: Switching Places By Morticia Knight

Thursday, March 8:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo BA Tortuga
  • Harmony Promo Russell J. Sanders on Titanic Summer
  • INDIGO BLITZ Leaning Into the Fall (Audio) by Lane Hayes
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review:  Runner by Parker Williams
  • A MelanieM Review: Hard to Let Go (Haven’s Cove #1) by Jaclyn Quinn
  • An Ali Review: Closer by F.E. Feeley Jr.

Friday, March 9:

  • INDIGO TOUR Waking Oisin by Grace Kilian Delaney
  • Release Blitz: Art by Adonis by Kris Sawyer
  • Review Tour for Annabelle Jacobs’ Bitten By The Alpha
  • A Caryn Review: Room for Recovery (Hearts and Health #4) by D.J. Jamison
  • A MelanieM Review : Bitten By The Alpha (Regent’s Park Pack #4) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart of Glass (Lawyers in Love #3) by Ari McKay

Saturday, March 10:

  • A MelanieM Review Art by Adonis by KRIS SAWYER

Ever After by Riley Hart & Christina Lee Release Day Blitz (excerpt)


 Ever After RDB Banner





RELEASE DATE: 02.28.18

Ever After Cover 





As next in line for the Evergreen crown, Prince Merrick Davendall’s future involves ruling, marriage, and producing an heir of his own. But he’s long been tormented by desires that are far from princely. Especially when the beautiful Cassius is promoted to be his new valet, and Merrick is struck by a longing like never before—a longing to know him far beyond royal and servant.

After his father’s passing, Cassius Havendale’s sole duty is to provide for his family. A promotion to serve a pampered prince is something he endures only for their sake. Surely Prince Merrick has no understanding of true suffering of the common people, nor could he possibly understand what it’s like to desperately desire something he cannot have.

Except the prince is not at all what Cassius imagined. Kind, humorous, and caring to those in need, he also shares Cassius’ affinity for the arts. In fact, Merrick understands his deepest vulnerabilities in a most remarkable way.

As their affection deepens, the underlying tension between them becomes unbearable and they’re unable to ignore it any longer. But when the queen prepares a lavish ball with all the eligible ladies in the land in attendance, Merrick must fulfill his obligations to his country, and Cassius has the needs of his family to consider. They’ve long known their stolen moments would have to come to an end, but are they ready to give up one another and the idea of a happily-ever-after?


Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EesPFd



Gay Couple Love Home Concept



“Now you are all set,” Cassius remarked, slipping the national Evergreen sash over Merrick’s neck and adjusting it over his shoulder.

Merrick was entertaining the Duke of Cairn this morning for brunch. The king would be joining them this afternoon for ice fishing on the property. Apparently, the royal family of Cairn were avid fishermen, and when the king mentioned it a few weeks back on his visit, Merrick’s father told them about Evergreen’s abundance of freshwater trout. Merrick did not exactly enjoy the sport, but Cairn was Evergreen’s closest ally, and it was important to entertain them properly while they discussed pressing matters, including Merrick’s royal visit to their lovely countryside in the coming months.

“At breakfast I overheard the cooks going on about how handsome the duke is,” Cassius mentioned casually as he smoothed down Merrick’s coat and then picked at some lint on the lapel.

The change in topic threw Merrick, and when he did not respond, Cassius glanced up curiously at him. Merrick smirked as he wrapped his hands around Cassius’s waist and pulled him closer. “You are jealous.”

“Of course not!” he declared as his neck turned beet red. “I was only relaying the gossip in the castle.”

“Hmmm, that’s very peculiar since you’ve never seemed to be affected by gossip before,” Merrick remarked, backing him against the wardrobe, the innocent look in Cassius’s eyes completely charming.

“What are you doing?” Cassius asked, his gaze flashing toward the closed chamber door.

“I don’t give a flying fig whether the duke is handsome or not. I have never paid him any mind.” Merrick kissed his cheek. “What I do know is that a stunning man is standing before me, driving me completely mad. And I long to take his prick into my mouth.”

Cassius gasped and swayed toward him. Merrick wondered if Cassius felt just as feverish after spending such a sweet and intense moment in the woods the other day. He only dreamed to know more of him before it was too late.

“It is all I thought about last evening after you left me in the parlor room with the conservation committee,” Merrick added with a groan as he gripped the waistband of Cassius’s trousers. “I want you in my bed every night. In my arms. But I know it is an empty wish.”

“We…shouldn’t,” Cassius replied in a gruff voice even as he sank against Merrick, his prick already hard as the steel jousting stick on display in the Great Hall. “You make it quite difficult to properly concentrate on my duties.”

Merrick drew back immediately, searching Cassius’s eyes. “I am sorry. I do not want you to feel any sort of regret.”

“Never.” Cassius grasped Merrick’s hand and placed it against the bulge beneath his zipper. “But now I shall go around all day with the front of my pants uncomfortably tight while you socialize with the handsome duke.”

Merrick hissed and then promptly dropped to his knees before the valet.

Riley logo banner

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.

She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.

Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.






Christina Lee Logo

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.




A Free Dreamer Review: Celestia by J.D Evergreen


Rating: 1 star out of 5

Celestia has just lost its king to a suspicious illness. The king’s death has thrown the realm into chaos and a dark mage uses their power to influence the citizens, brainwashing them to do his bidding. A war is started, and it is left to Taliah and her friends to restore the rightful heir to the throne and stop the dark powers that fight against them.
But to win Taliah will have to risk everything…

An adventure that will force her to:
Learn something that can’t be taught, Fight a creature no one knows exists, And discover an heir no one can find.

Every turn she makes unravels an intricate plot designed to corrupt and control the people of her world. And Taliah finds herself surrounded by brainwashed people who are shadows of what they once were.

One false step will corrupt her mind forever and destroy the last hope of their quest for freedom.

A war,
A mystery,
A romance,
And a journey that will change the fate of a world.

Join the story! Scroll up now to buy!

This book is very hard to review for me. Normally, I always finish a book I get for a review, no matter how much I dislike it. But “Celestia” was an exception, sadly. There was just no way I could possibly finish this book. And not because I hated it so much, but simply because the text is not fit for publication.

This is a prime example of the pitfalls of self-publishing. There’s no objective quality control, anybody can publish whatever they want. In this case, the editing was non-existent. The story starts in past tense, but switches to present tense after a few lines. And then it just keeps switching back and forth. Often, one sentence starts in past tense and ends in present tense. Within the first 5%, I encountered at least one plot hole. At that point, I just had to give up. I tried, I really did, but the text as it is, is unfit for publication and unreadable.

It’s such a shame, because I do believe “Celestia” has potential. Otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to read it in the first place. If there ever is a properly edited version of this book, I would love to give it a try again.

This proves once again that professional editing is NOT optional. There’s a reason why every somewhat decent publisher relies on professional editors. Even world-bestselling authors need editors. Proper spelling and grammar is the very least any published text should offer. The occasional typo can be forgiven but anything more than that seriously takes away from the enjoyment of reading. In this case, the lack of editing made it impossible to even read the book.

Cover: The cover is beautiful, a real eye-catcher. I love it.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book details: ebook, 254 pages

Published February 1st 2018 by J.D Evergreen

A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Exodus ( Heaven Corp #2) by CC Bridges


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Henry “Hank” Abraham’s privileged status in the floating city of Heaven lets him flout Morality Laws that control the lives of others. But when he wakes up in the arms of another stranger, only bodyguard Ian Caldwell’s quick thinking saves his life.

Though Ian’s from the low levels and the labor class, he’s used to dealing with the pampered society of Heaven. He’s assigned to protect Hank while angels, cybernetically modified humans who defend Heaven, investigate the assassination attempt. Doing his job means Ian must ignore his growing interest in Hank. Acting on their mutual attraction would certainly get Ian reprogrammed, something neither of them can afford.

When Hank follows Ian to a popular BDSM club in Downside and his ID chip is lost during a nearly fatal mugging, he finds himself locked out of Heaven. As Ian fights to get them home, rumors of impending war begin to circulate—along with more troubling news that Ian is wanted for Hank’s murder. While struggling to keep the man he has come to love safe, Ian must find out who’s behind the plot and if it’s a catalyst for war or just a convenient excuse.

“Exodus” is part two of the “Heaven Corp” series. I read part one “Angel 1089” over three years ago and have to admit I don’t remember much. But I never had any trouble getting into this book, so “Exodus” works perfectly fine as a stand-alone.

This book was a great mix of two things I love in books: SciFi and BDSM. The world building was really well done and it was to understand the world this was set in. It was kind of creepy , to be honest. I loved all the little details C.C. Bridges worked into her world building. It made the whole universe seem that much more realistic.

I usually don’t read Fantasy that deals with angels because I don’t like reading religious books. But “Heaven Corp.” is a brilliant exception to that rule. There is a god and there are angels, but neither of them has anything to do with religion. God is a God AI and the angels aren’t some mythical beings but people with metal wings that allow them to fly. An ingenious idea and very unique.

The BDSM part was wonderful as well. The dynamic between Hank and Ian was absolutely smoldering with sexual tension. But it was also obvious that they really, really cared for each other and that it wasn’t just about the sex. Ian is such a wonderfully caring and loving Dom. I loved that the relationship wasn’t rushed. It’s a very slow build till they get together but that fit the two of them perfectly. That way, we get to see how their feelings for each other evolve and become deeper.

I loved both of our MCs. At first glance, Hank is your stereotypical bratty and spoiled sub. But when you get to know him better, you get to see beneath that facade. And underneath lies a very likable, intelligent young man, who definitely has his own demons to fight. Since the story gets told from both POVs, we get to know both of them intimately. I took a liking to Ian right from the start.

The plot had me hooked right from the very first page. I finished this book within two days. If not for real life interfering, I probably would have finished this in one sitting. There are so many twists and turns, I was practically breathless from following it all. The balance between romance and Mystery/SciFi plot was perfect in my opinion. Neither takes away from the other.

You don’t need to be a hard-core SciFi fan to enjoy “Exodus”, nor do you need to be a hard-core BDSM or M/M romance fan. There’s a bit of everything and never too much of anything. A perfect mix, if you ask me.

It’s a real shame there are only two books in the series and book one deals with different protagonists. But the ending does leave with me some hope that we’ll see more of this world, if not our protagonists. And it’s high time I read more by this obviously brilliant author.

Read it, you won’t regret it, trust me.

Cover: The cover by L.C. Chase is nice to look at, though I am growing a bit tired of all those naked upper bodies on M/M books of any genre… I do like the background though.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 200 pages
Expected publication: February 28th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 2nd 2014)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Heaven Corp.

Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp., #1)

Exodus (Heaven Corp #2

A MelanieM Review: Apocalypse Alley (Blue Unicorn #2) by Don Allmon


Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Home from a six-month assignment to war-torn East Asia, genetically engineered supersoldier Noah “Comet” Wu just wants to kick back, share a beer, and talk shit with his best friend, JT. But JT’s home has been shot up like a war zoars out of 5ne, and his friend has gone missing.

Comet’s only lead is a smart-mouthed criminal he finds amid the mess. His name’s Buzz Howdy. He’s a con man and a hacker and deserves to be in jail. Or in handcuffs, at least. The only thing the two have in common is JT. Unless you count the steamy glances they’re sneaking at one another. They have those in common too. But that just makes Comet all the more wary.

Despite their mutual distrust, they’ll have to work together to rescue JT before a cyborg assassin gets to him first. Racing down a miserable stretch of road called Apocalypse Alley, they must dodge radioactive spiders, a lonely cannibal, and a killer Buick. They also try to dodge each other. That last bit doesn’t work out so well.

When I last put down  The Glamour Thieves (Blue Unicorn #1), the first story in this amazing series, JT, Austin, and his elf lover were headed to his  home that he shares with the teenage orc he’s mentoring having stirred up more trouble and uncovered even more disturbing information after freeing the virtual intelligence known as the Blue Unicorn.  Trust me, you need to read that story.  One, it’s a dynamite adventure tale and two, without it, you will be lost diving into this one.

I love Apocalypse Alley but the truth is you won’t get a solid foundation of the world or overall series ARC without reading The Glamour Thieves first.  This story and series builds upon each other like building blocks and you can’t enter midway point.  It’s like being dropped on a warped yellow brick road and not knowing you’re headed to Oz.  Not that you’re all that sure of your destination here.  So many twists  and turns await you!

And it all happens at break-neck speed.  What an adrenaline rush.  I had to read it twice to gather together all the story threads and hints I missed the first time.  Props btw to Allmon for creating a character with the name of Urushiol.  As a park naturalist/Ranger, I’m highly familiar with this chemical compound as is anyone who’s come in contact with poison ivy.  I laughed myself silly when I saw that name.  Perfect in every way.  Anyhow, from the moment the story opens we start picking up speed as Comet returns expecting to find JT waiting to pick him up at the airport and  goes looking for him when he doesn’t show.  Each scene as Comet interacts with both Buzz Howdy (we’ve met him before) and others foe and friend gives the readers more information about the man.

Buzz is a known entity but we get into his head and yes heart here.  He falls for  Comet, quick yes, but you can see how and why it happens.

But mostly it’s a race.  A race to keep ahead of some of the worse villains out there, a race to find JT and crew, a race to stay alive…all in heart pounding, white knuckle…go all out scenes.  It’s wildly imaginative, horrifying, and incredibly suspenseful.  Did I say I loved it?  And just when you think it’s safe…a surprising twist shows up at the end that makes you want to go back and read books one and two again to see if there was anyway you could have seen this coming.  And now I need The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3 to come out in the worst possible way.

So, yes, I  absolutely recommend this series.  It’s one wild  ride.  It has great characters, it’s gritty, suspenseful, full of twists and turns and more plots threads then you can shake a VR stick with.  It’s even got love such as it is.  But you need to start with The Glamour Thieves and then to Apocalypse Alley.  I’ll be waiting for you at The Burning Magus!

Cover by: Simoné. I love these covers.  Perfect in everyway from the tone and characters.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 201 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleApocalypse Alley
ISBN 162649665X (ISBN13: 9781626496651)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBlue Unicorn #2

An Alisa Review: Alpha Dragon: Bronaz by Kellan Larkin and Kaz Crowley


Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Bronaz has a family in his best friends at Treasured Ink, the dragon-owned tattoo shop, and a job he loves. But since his twin brother’s death years ago, he’s been reluctant to open himself to anyone—which is hard when he meets his fated mate.

Omega Kuras wants to meet his fated mate and have a baby more than anything. But time is running out, and dating apps aren’t any help. When he meets Bronaz, he’s overjoyed. But what if Bronaz doesn’t feel the same way?

Meanwhile, the dragons of Treasured Ink investigate a dangerous organization targeting mythical shifters. After a friend’s sister is kidnapped by the organization, Bronaz vows to find her—so his friend doesn’t suffer the same fate he did.

As Kuras pushes, Bronaz pulls. Bronaz realizes he can’t ignore the bond pulling them together, but he can’t get hurt again. That’s what love brings. But Kuras is determined to show him love can bring healing too—and that it’s worth everything.

The two have to learn to work together if they’re going to be fated mates. But can Kuras help heal Bronaz’s heart? And will they find the kidnapped shifter before it’s too late?

Kuras spends his days helping pregnant humans and omegas adjust to their pregnancies all while dreaming of his own someday.  Bronaz doesn’t seem to want to make up his mind about their mating and pulls Kuras close just to push him away later.

In this book we go deeper into the mystery that began in the first book and even find some more about the people causing trouble but there is more to be done to fix the problems.  This book had the alpha doing the push and pull instead of the omega like the last book.  I just can’t help but feel like there is something missing from the stories and they end right after the characters fulfill their mating, there just isn’t much about them actually working through their relationship past accepting the mating.

The cover art is nice and continues to follow the pattern for the series.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 145 pages

Publication: February 16, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Treasured Ink #3

Gay Superheroes and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words


Gay Superheroes

Last week I started off the discussion of LGBT Superheroes because of the new film Black Panther and the colossal response that’s its engendered, due in no small part to representation. Of course it helps that its an outstanding movie too. But people of color are seeing themselves represented in a major motion picture in a way that they’ve never seen before and perhaps never been possible before.  Its origin?  A comic called Black Panther.

I don’t think you can underestimate the power of seeing yourself represented…in a book, graphic or not, or on a screen, small or large.  The above section of a comic book panel belongs to a long running comic book called  Life with Archie.  Here’s the full cover:

Amazing isn’t it.  More and more of the regular comics introduced gay characters or had characters come “out of the closet” in recent years.  Anyone remember seeing this Green Lantern panel?


And while the “mainstream” comics have been busy, so have many Quiltbag authors for writing LGBT superhero books and graphic novels.  Yes, it turns out there is a burgeoning niche and demand here.  We want to see gay superheroes too!

Some of the ones I love?

Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered Love series (up to eight books now)
Andrea Speed’s Infected Series (Roan) up to eight books minus the connected series
Light by Nathan Burgoine
Panopolis by Cari Z

Here are some of the wonderful Gay Superhero Recommendations from all of you:

From Jen:

Here are some that I found:
KIM & KIM https://www.comixology.com/Kim-Kim-1/digital-comic/396452
MIDNIGHTER & APOLLO https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnighter_and_Apollo
AMERICA CHAVEZ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_America_(America_Chavez)

And here’s one that I read. It is not quite traditional superheroes, but the kids do battle bad things with magic. MAGIC BOY BASIL https://magicalboybasil.com

From Purple Reader:

Oh boy, now we’re talkin’! I’ll be seeing BP this week, and now you are stoking my love of superheroes even more. I’m looking forward to see what others rec. There’s some fanfic that is decent, as well, as well as gay sidekicks (and then there’s separating out paranormal powers from superhero stories), but here are ones with gay MCs that I’ve read and enjoyed over the years:

– QUEEROES by Bereznai – light-hearted look at gay teens w/ powers. My first such story – me: “What?! There are gay superheroes?!” *faints*.
– HERO by Moore – misfit group of teen superheroes.
– MASKS series by Thorne – another team of YA superheros, still enjoyable.
– BROKEN HEROS series by Perdita – now how about some college superheroes.
– FIERCE by Rosen – or a nerdy college freshman.
– PANOPOLIS series by Cari Z – creative take that has you rooting for the villain.
– WAYNE OF GOTHAM by Hickman – Not the best, but decent for me – it’s a gay Dark Knight after all.
– KING CAGE series by Mike Stop Continues – new & offbeat; urban graffiti superhero.


I think Roan and Holden from “INFECTED” series by Andrea Speed to be LGBTQ superheroes :). I admit I don’t follow comic. Not my cup of tea. So I don’t know much about LGBTQ superhero in comic unless they’re being turned into movie


Deadpool is pansexual. His kiss in 2009 with gay superhero Rictor was the first same-sex kiss in a mainstream Marvel comic. The movie Deadpool 2 will feature a bisexual and polyamorous superhero!


I love this thread and our recommendations and Giveaway continues until March 3rd!

It’s our  LGBTQIA Superhero Hunt Giveaway!

Find stories and LGBTQIA Superheroes!  We will give you all the entire month that’s left.  Must be superhero stories, can be graphic novels (comics).  Giveaway ends March 3 at midnight.  Gift certificates will be given away!  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Let the hunt begin!

And the winner of our Valentine’s Day Giveaway is announced at the very end of today’s blog.  Don’t miss it!


LGBTQIA Superhero Lists You May Not Be Aware Of!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words


Sunday, February 25:

  • Perfect by Felice Stevens Release Day Blitz
  • RELEASE BLITZ for Captive Hearts (Deviant Hearts #1) by A E Ryecart LILY RECEIVED (2 emails)
  • Gay Superheroes and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 26:

  • Bite Me by Beth Bolden BLOG TOUR
  • Blog Post- Katze Snow – Demons & Wolves Series
  • Release Blitz – Closets Are For Clothes – Addison Albright
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z. and Jack Wesley (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review: Bite Me by Beth Bolden
  • An Alisa Review: Alpha Dragon: Bronaz by Kellan Larkin and Kaz Crowley

Tuesday, February 27:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Where Death Meets the Devil by LJ Hayward
  • Release Blitz  – Bitten By The Alpha (Regent’s Park Pack #4) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • NDIGO BLITZ A Matter of Justice by J.C. Long
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Exodus ( Heaven Corp #2) by CC Bridges
  • A MelanieM PreRelease Review: Apocalypse Alley (Blue Unicorn #2) by Don Allmon
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

Wednesday, February 28:

  • DSP Publications Promo Sean Michael
  • Release Blitz RJ Scott – Winter Cowboy
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review:  Runner by Parker Williams and Patrick Zeller (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review :New Heights by Quinn Anderson
  • An Alisa Review: Say Cheese by Michael P. Thomas

Thursday, March 1:

  • Release Blitz – Room For Recovery – DJ Jamison
  • DSP Publications Promo Chris E. Saros
  • BLOG TOUR  Found (Hamilton’s Heroes #1) by Annabella Michaels
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Celestia by J.D Evergreen
  • An Stella Release Day Review: Touch by Remmy Duchene

Friday, March 2:

  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – Pretty In Pink S
  • Hurri Cosmo – Ghost Wolf – Virtual Book Tour
  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway: Apocalypse Alley by Don Allmon
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Pretty In Pink by Jay Northcote
  • A MelanieM Review: Where Death Meets the Devil by LJ Hayward
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Touch by Remmy Duchene

Saturday, March 3:

  • Ever After by Riley Hart & Christina Lee Release Day Blitz
  • Release Blitz CLOSER by F.E. Feeley Jr.


Valentine’s Day Giveaway Winner is H.B.!  Congratulations, H.B.  Contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com and she will arrange to get your gift card to you.