We Missed National Book Day? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Apparently we here (well, me, haven’t talked to the others) missed National Book Day which was 2 or 3 days ago. Mea Culpa!  Of course, every day here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is book day but I like to think we help to celebrate books every chance we get!  So I went looking for the actual information and found out lots about book celebrations throughout the year and  all over the world.  Pretty cool stuff actually.

And of course, thought you all should know about it.  So here it is.  And it helps me to remember that September is National Literacy Month.  We normally see Charity Anthologies appear to help support LGBTQIA youth in need during that month. LGBTQIA shelters, local PFLAG Youth YA libraries (yep, they exist), and so much more.  September will be here before you know it. So if you have any local shelters (addresses etc) to contribute, please send them in.  We keep a list going.

Book Day Celebrations – Days-Weeks and Months! These are the approximate dates as they can change every year:)

  • World Book Days by country
  • January is National Book Month
  • Third full week in January is National Book Week
  • Last full week in January is Celebrity Read a Book Week
  • February 23 – Printed Book Day
  • March 2 – Unesco World Book Day
  • March 2 – UK World Book Day
  • March 28 – Children’s Picture Book Day
  • April 2 – International Children’s Book Day
  • April 16 – Book-of-the-Month Club Birthday
  • April 23 – World Book Days by country
  • April 3 through May 6 – Children’s Book Week
  • June is AudioBook Month
  • September is National Literacy Month
  • September is when the annual 2 day National Book Festival is held
  • American Library Association (ALA) Banned Book Week is the last week of September
  • October is National Book Month per National Book Foundation
  • October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month
  • First full week in October is Great Books Week
  • December is Read a New Book Month

Saturday things Redux!

We sent out a call for reviewers.  Check out the post here.  And then contact either Stella or myself about reviewing for us. If you love books, this is the place to be!

Review Redux!  I reviewed Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan on Saturday.  I think it’s her finest story yet.  And it’s a tough one to read on many levels.  Three men, a triad, lost everything, when they drove drunk after graduating from university.  That subject matter alone will get people.  It cost them their future in rugby due to disabilities, and each other due to a deep abiding guilt, shame, rage, and more.  This is the story back to each other.  Just amazing.  Did I say it was only 130 pagesI have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.

Representation and Romance Stories.

We’ve been talking about the increasing LGBTQIA representation in fiction and here are some of the comments from two of our readers:

H.B. “I have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.”

Ami: “As an asexual and aromantic reader, it warms my heart that ACE/ARO have started to be represented in romantic fiction.

Having said that, I still feel that it is mostly focused ONLY in the LGBTQIA books or genre. In my own opinion, it’s not enough. Yes, ACE falls in the queer spectrum, but there are a number of ACE who also identify themselves as heteroromantic asexuals. I guess until I see more ace representatives in MF romance, not just Queer romance, I still think there’s room of improvements.

Lately, I see more “diversity” in mainstream romance more focused on race — meaning representing non-White people. I think it’ll be nice to see more MF romance with trans* as well, or heteroromantic pansexual, or even bisexual in MF romance.”

 

I agree with you both.  I want to see diversity as the norm, not as something we need to point at as a goal.  Or even to the point its past mentioning.  Wouldn’t that  be lovely?

Alas and alac…I can’t even get through an audiobook where someone states things like “acting like a teenage girl”.  Really?  Maybe teenagers, yes.  But   can’t we at least bury the sexist phrases?  I’m so done with stuff like that. “Maning up” “Acting like a girl”….all the poisonous ways we demean the sexes, divide the genders.  So maybe we still have a long way to go in a lot of ways.  But I will take whatever forward motion however miniscule.  Positivity!

Sigh.

Now to this  week at the blog.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 12:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • We Missed National Book Day?

Monday, August 13:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brooke
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Liv Olteano
  • Release Blitz – Michelle Woody’s Merrick The Art Thief
  • Release Day Blitz To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • An Alisa Review An Arranged Mating by Jane Wallace-Knight
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love in Spades (Four Kings Security #1) by Charlie Cochet and  Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders#3) by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)

Tuesday, August 14:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Calculated Magic by SJD Peterson
  • Release Blitz – Sky Full Of Mysteries – Rick R Reed
  • Release Blitz – Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) – Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Alisa Review:Exercising Restraint (Different Dynamics #2) by Tamir Drake
  • A VVivacious Review : Sky Full Of Mysteries by Rick R Reed
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Super for You Bad for Me by Asta Idonea

Wednesday, August 15:

  • Something About Us by Riley Hart Release Blitz
  • Series Review Tour for Revving It Up Series by W.S. Long
  • Review Tour – Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz –  Boyfriend Or Bust by Claire Castle
  • A MelanieM Review: Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • An Ali  Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown #10) by Marshall Thornton

Thursday, August 16:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: To See The Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • DSP Publications Promo Jayne Lockwood
  • Promo Jackie North on Shoulder Season (World of Love)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Love You so Hard (Love You So Stories #1) by Tara Lain and Narrator: Ry Forest / Stephen Kurpis (Vitruvian Sound)
  • A MelanieM Review:  Shotgun Bastards and Other Stories by Andrea Speed

Friday, August 17:

  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • DSP Promo Charley Descoteaux
  • Blog Tour Don’t Let Go by Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Tempt Me by Remmy Duchene
  • A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (Love Letters #3) by Anyta Sunday

Saturday, August 18:

  • Blog Tour for Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood
  • A MelanieM Review: Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Mammoth! (Repeating History #3) by Dakota Chase

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

In what might be their most dangerous adventure so far, Grant and Ash are sent back in time ten thousand years to recover a mammoth talisman for their teacher, Merlin. Life is a struggle in the Stone Age, and if they want to eat, they’ll have to learn to use spears, track animals, and build fires without the benefit of matches.

Most importantly, they must recover the artifact so they can get back to their own time, but it won’t be easy. They’ll need to reunite two warring tribes, help a boy around their age prove his worth, and demonstrate their own courage on a deadly mammoth hunt. In this harsh and unforgiving world, hate and suspicion are as prevalent as they are in modern times, but understanding and acceptance can also be found if they know where to look.

Well, this series just keeps getting better and better.  This time Merlin sends the boys, Grant and Ash, back 10,000 years in pursuit of a bone carving worn around the neck.  This time the boys face the most dangerous challenges of their lives and just find out how resourceful they can really be when their lives depend upon it.

Dakota Chase just absolutely amazed me here.  The author took meticulous research about the Ice Age, cultures, flora and fauna and these resilient young men and turned it into a heartwarming, sometimes hair-raising adventure that truly belongs up on the big screen.

From the moment Ash and Grant tumbled onto the sandy beach in Virginia and realized belatedly that their outfits belonged  not in cosplay or a carnival but in an era where the passing giant sloth lived, we were off on an incredible adventure into the past.  Chase brings Ice Age Virginia, the tribes that lived there, their daily lives as the author imagines it (beautifully and vividly) to life.  You walk with Rabbit, Ash, and “Grass” through every aspect of the Bison Tribes lives. You see how precarious it is and yet how real it feels.

Like the boys who get caught up in the Tribe’s politics, drama, and need for survival which includes a rivalry with another tribe and  a hunt for the mighty mammoths, a big element in the storyline.  This was a story I couldn’t put down.  Told from Ash’s pov, again the author’s stays perfectly within Ash’s age and yes, character.  He’s far from  perfect.  Stubborn, argumentative, sticking his foot in his mouth, and blurting out the wrong thing at the very worst time happens far too often.  And Ash knows it.  And isn’t happy that’s a trait of his.  Lack of self control is something he’s working on.  Both boys have their issues but together they make quite the team.

That’s the other thing.  Each of them show personal growth, they support and communicate with each other, and even find time for an occasional stolen kiss.

This story, this series and these two young men have me totally hooked.  I can’t wait to see where Merlin send them next.

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design.  Once again, an excellent job.  Recreates the feel of the old time covers of the old adventure books and pulls you in with the design and feel of the graphics.  love it.

Sales Links:   Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages

Expected publication: August 7th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN139781640806719
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Repeating History :

Representation and Romance Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Representation and Romance Stories.

 

Last week I went to brunch with some of my MD/VA/DC group of LGBTQIA authors, publishers, bloggers, and readers.  It’s a lively group and after a while some of the discussion turned to how the Asch community was represented in the fiction released at the certain publisher.  The overall feeling was that the asexual community (given that is a broad spectrum itself) was well represented in our opinion (not so in an author’s not in attendance which is what sparked the conversation).

Wow, how things have changed in just a short time.  I can remember when that really wasn’t the case.

There was a time not that long ago where all the stories were strictly M/M or F/F, no  bi, no trans, no asch, no intersex, pansexual, or any of the quilt bag spectrum as my friend J. Scott Coatsworth calls it .

Now that has changed. Or at least I feel it has.  I’m reading more and more stories where happily the Quiltbag community is well represented.  More stories, outstanding and moving stories that feature main characters that fall anywhere along the LGBTQIA lineup…not just the L and the G.

What must that mean for the Quiltbag readers to see their reflections in fiction?  Finally?  I can only begin to imagine.

I know some are better represented that others. But overall I feel the move is for inclusion.  Diversity.  And not just in science fiction which is where I first saw and still see a huge amount of LGBTQIA stories that  have  beings of various sexualities, genders, and accepting societies (logical right?) Plus I do read a lot of stories.  So maybe I’m biased.

What do you all think?  How is the LGBTQIA community represented in fiction today?  In romance stories?  How has it progressed?  Is one sector more represented over others and why do you think that is?  Where do you see improvements?  Where the least?

Is there stories you have read that have made an impact on you?  What are they?

Tell me how you feel….I really want to know….

 

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words….

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

Sunday, August 5:

  • Release Blitz – The Selkie Prince’s Fated Mate by J.J. Masters
  • Representation and Romance Stories.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 6:

  • BLITZ Death Days by Lia Cooper
  • Series Recap Blitz – Montana Series – RJ Scott
  • Blog Tour: Hard to Hold by Jaclyn Quinn
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Risk Taker (Mixed Messages #3) by Lily Morton
  • A MelanieM Review: Savior (415 Ink #2) by Rhys Ford
  • A MelanieM Review: Hard to Hold (Haven’s Cove #3) by Jaclyn Quinn

Tuesday, August 7:

  • Blog Post – Brave For You – Crystal Lacy
  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga
  • DSP Promo Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster
  • An Alisa Review Step Into Love (Taboo Love #2) by Lili Draguer
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Mammoth! (Repeating History #3) by Dakota Chase
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Truth & Betrayal by KC Wells

Wednesday, August 8:

  • BLITZ 2230: The Perfect Year by CM Corett
  • DSP Cover Reveal Chapman Brown
  • Release Blitz  – Goal Line – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • DSP Promo K.A. Mitchell
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rainbow Rodeo by BA Tortuga
  • A Jeri Review: A Dangerous Dance (Haven Hart Universe #3by Davidson King
  • A MelanieM Pre-release Review: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow  

Thursday, August 9:

  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • Harmony Promo Dakota Chase on Mammouth and Repeating History
  • Release Blitz – Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • Taught by Tarilyn Sparks Release Day Blitz
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • A Lila Review: Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel
  • An Ali Review: Love It Like You Stole It by Ki Brightly

Friday, August 10:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Andrew Grey
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Brian Lancaster on The MIssing Ingredient
  • In the Spotlight: The Long Way Around by Quinn Anderson
  • Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch Author Blog
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Shoulder Season (World of Love) by Jackie North
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Be Still My Heart (Four Kings Security Book 2) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review : Unscripted Love (Road to Blissville #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Saturday, August 11:

  • Release Blitz – KA Merikan’s Gray’s Shadow (Kings of Hell MC)
  • A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

 

A MelanieM Review: Hammer of the Witch (Repeating History #2) by Dakota Chase

Standard

Rating: 5 stars ot of 5

Repeating History: Book Two

History isn’t dead when you’re living it.

Ash and Grant are about to learn why it was called the Dark Ages, when Merlin, in the guise of their teacher, once again sends them time traveling to reclaim one of the antiquities their prank destroyed: a book called the Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of the Witches, which was used to persecute and kill innocent people throughout medieval Europe.

They’ll need to keep their heads down and their wits about them in a Germany ruled by the iron fist of the Inquisition, where anyone who is different is dragged off to horrifying prisons, tortured to confession, and ultimately killed in the worst way imaginable. But it won’t be easy to navigate a frightening and brutal time, secure Merlin’s book, and make it home without attracting attention.

After having successfully procured the Eye of Ra from its source, the boy Pharaoh Tut, in ancient Egypt, it now time for their next retrieval.  Something far more malevolent.  And their experiences will be far different from the luxury and ease into society they had with Tut.

No, with  Hammer of the Witch, Dakota Chase has Merlin sends our rambunctious duo back to medieval times and witch hunts.  The item they seek for Merlin?  The book a means for identifying and punishing witches.  Instead of perfumed and painted people on the Nile, Chase gives us the harsh reality of the times in medieval Germany.  The plague, the unsanitary conditions, the indentured poor whose servitude gets longer due to the dubious circumstances under which they work…its all there.  Add to that the greed of the landowners combined with the religious fervor of Inquisition…and no one is safe from the cry of “witch”.

This is what Ash and Grant face as they travel back to Germany to search out and steal the Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of the Witches.  Chase once again unforgettably brings these times alive for the boys and us.  The reality  of the clothes (a shock to them both) and the fear the strangers are met with.  Worse yet, the burning bodies that greet them in the square once they get to the city.  Yes, this a grittier story, the harsh reality of the witch hunts hits an emotional punch right to the heart with each victim (young and old) declared guilty of witchcraft.

Again the question arises, how much of history, if any, can they change?

The writing is so well done, the era so well researched, that I was one hundred percent emotionally invested in that question along with Ash and Grant.  I felt for these people living under these heinous conditions, waiting for their loved ones to be hauled away  at any moment to be burned alive at the stake.

Hammer of the Witch is an emotional, intelligent adventure.  Thrilling, somber, and one hell of a story for Ash, Grant, and the reader.  And it ends as it should with not all of our questions answered, just the big ones.

I love this series and can’t wait for Mammouth.  What are the boys going to do with the I wonder?  And yes, I highly recommend this and the first story as well.  Read them in the order they are written.

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design.  I love these covers for this story and the series.  They have an old time design feel about them that you might have seen on the old boy adventure novels.  Yet there’s movement in the art work, along with a chilling feel with the color tone.  Marvelous.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
Original TitleHammer of the Witch
ISBN139781640800953
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRepeating History:

How Did It Get to August? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

How Did It Get to August?

Truly, how did it get to be August already?  It seems to be that only a short while ago I was writing about the 4th of July and July topics and here we are tumbling into the first week of August.  Oh the dogs days of summer are upon us and I hadn’t even realized it.

Of course, that could be because it’s been pouring and flooding it instead of the heat beating down on us like the Dog Star Sirius is supposed to do.  Oh I know its doing that out west and I’m sorry.  But here in Maryland we are drenched as July was the wettest one recorded in history.

So this week we finish up with our Romance Do’s and Don’ts.

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway Concludes…..

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Wonderful comments and we decided to reward them both with gift certificates.  Are winners are HB and Ami!  Here are the winning comments:

From Ami:

Ami on what makes a story a success:

Hmmm, this is very subjective question… because every “successful” romance book can speak to me in a different way. It can be interesting places, or family of choice, or simply popular trope done right.

But I think if I truly think about the books that I love, it will ALWAYS return to characters. I have to feel invested to the characters development, themselves or the relationship. The trope can be hashed and rehashed, the setting mundane, the story simply about day-to-day life, no spectacular thing happen to them (except maybe falling in love). But once the characters hook me, THEN, it becomes magic.

What deflates the romance quicker than you can say boom <<

Well, I always love that “wooing” part of romance, you know? Where the characters take time to know each other, and try to romance one another. What deflates romance quicker for me is the instant-love or well, the instant-lust/instant-attraction. I am a sucker for slow burn. Anything quick just kills the book for me most of the time.

From H.B.:

Do’s: Well this isn’t really an easy question to answer this week. I have a tendency to like a majority of the books I give a read. I think the major draw of a book for me is the character building, their personality and development. Great banter and world building are a plus

Don’t’s:

Like Ami, I too, love to see the wooing part but I’m not adverse to seeing a instant love or instant attraction read. For me, I think that finding out the that one of the characters isn’t being sincere with their feeling or is willing to humiliate/isn’t willing to stand up for their love interest to save themselves is a turn off.

Next week we will start talking about what topics or elements you feel get great coverage from publishers  and which you think are still overlooked.

Until then. Have a great week, congratulations to our winners, and happy reading!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 29:

  • How Did It Get to August? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Audio Tour Love in Spades by Charlie Cochet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

Monday, July 30:

  • Blog Tour Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne
  • Cover Reveal – Melanie Hansen – Loving A Warrior
  • Release Blitz – Dawn by T.A. Creech
  • Blog Post for DJ Jamison’s Hearts & Health Volume 2
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Blood and Eternity (Blood #3) by Shira Anthony
  • A MelanieM Review: Hammer of the Witch (Repeating History #2) by Dakota Chase
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2)  by L.A. Witt and Cari Z. with Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Tuesday, July 31:

  • RELEASE DAY BLITZ LOVE LETTERS by Anyta Sunday
  • Release Day Blitz: The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean by Tara Lain
  • Release Blitz – Won’t Feel A Thing by CF White
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blood and Eternity (Blood #3) by Shira Anthony
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Ravensong (Green Creek #2)  by T.J. Klune
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean (The Middlemark Mysteries #1) by Tara Lain

Wednesday, August 1:

  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga
  • BLITZ Push Me Pull Me by Amanda Rhodes
  • Book Blitz – Sandine Tomas – The Music Of Love
  • A Lucy Review Admiring Ash (LOVE LETTERS #1) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady  Review: Just Julian (Romeo & Julian) by Markus Harwood-Jones
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Romeo for Real (Romeo & Julian) by Markus Harwood-Jones

Thursday, August 2:

  • DSP Promo Chris T. Kat
  • Blog Tour – Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • A Lucy Review Begging Ben (LOVE LETTERS #2) by Anyta Sunday
  • An Alisa Review: Blackbird Fly Home– Doyle Global Securities #1 – Kendel Duncan
  • An Alisa Review: Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • A MelanieM Review:  Haka Ever After (The Sin Bin #7)  by Dahlia Donovan

Friday, August 3

  • Cover Reveal RJ Scott’s Second Chance Ranch
  • Review Tour – Fusion by Posy Roberts
  • DSP Promo Shira Anthony on Blood and Eternity (Blood #3)
  • A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (LOVE LETTERS #3) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Stella Review :Fusion (North Star #2) by Posy Roberts
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: The Alpha Prince (Kingdom of Askara #3) by Victoria Sue  and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Saturday, August 4:

  • Book Blitz: Be Still My Heart by Charlie Cochet
  • A MelanieM Review: The Gallery: The Special Exhibits (The Gallery #2) by Megan Derr

 

A MelanieM Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Repeating History: Book One

Both Aston and Grant have a talent for finding trouble—it’s what landed them at the Stanton School for Boys—but this time, their mischief might send them to a completely different world.

When they accidentally destroy their teacher’s priceless archaeological artifacts, he demands they replace them. And since the teacher in question is Merlin, refusing isn’t an option for the two boys. Thanks to Merlin’s magic, they’re about to become time travelers.

The first piece on their list is the Eye of Ra, a mystical amulet belonging to the young King Tut. Ancient Egypt is nothing like Aston and Grant expected, with its war, disease, and lack of modern technology. To survive, they must befriend King Tut and learn to trust him—and each other. In a primitive world, where death and danger wait around every corner, one thing is clear: revisiting history could cost someone their life.

From the moment you meet Aston fidgeting away in a juvenile courtroom, he’s instantly identifiable from his jumbled emotions and thoughts.  Trying to be brave, on the cusp of breaking down in tears as he sits next to a father giving him no support other than his presence, he none the less recognizes the role he’s played in getting himself in this situation.

Yes, he takes absolute responsibility for all his actions, including the stealing the car and joyriding.  The hints as to why Aston is acting up comes later…the anger and pain that’s launching many of his bad decisions and actions stemming from the death of his mother and his abandonment issues.

All these feelings and thoughts are bubbling up inside of him…some clear, some not.  All speaking to his age and maturity levels.  And it makes him so easy to relate to in his fear and brashness.

Even when he lands his third chance and old patterns lead to yet more bad decision making, we get him. And Grant.  When they are pulled into Merlin’s class and circle of control, it’s at their own doing. Or is it?

A fight, a fire, a loss of precious objects of Merlin’s sends the boys on flights through time to retrieve them and return them safely back to Merlin.

Chase has crafted a highly adventurous tale, full of well researched details that add to the journey of Aston and Grant back to ancient Egypt.  The author brings the boy King Tut and his times vividly to life as Ash and Grant precariously befriend the boy Pharaoh, try to change history, and still retrieve the Eye of Ra which hangs around Tut’s neck.  It’s exciting, entertaining, and in many ways bittersweet for us and the boys to find that history can’t be changed no matter how much we wish it too.

Add to all this a burgeoning sort of attraction between Ashton and Grant, and you have the makings of a fantastic series and relationship.  I can’t wait to see where this all goes.

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska, thought it captures the rush of adventure and the magic of the era.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 151 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Harmony Ink Press (first published May 15th 2010)
ASINB06ZYHBBRK
SeriesRepeating History #1

A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!

A romance must have heart.  Seems like such a simple idea.  Such a central idea!  Shouldn’t every romance ideally have heart?  But you would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) at the number of romances I read where the heart of the story, the love, the romance as it were was just left out of them.

Or bled out of it at some point by as aspect of the characters or their  romance or even the ending.

Maybe its the lack of chemistry between the characters that kills it, or the relationship dynamics themselves.  Doormats anyone?  I don’t have enough fingers for the amount of times reviewers have told them they just didn’t “like” either the development of a character or a romance between characters.  That it killed the story for them. No chemistry.

Sometimes its in the initial meeting of the characters.  Gay for me for example (a trope I’m not fond of). You “turned” gay for someone? Ugh no.  I far prefer gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual …those  stories where the person discovering their sexuality whatever that maybe.   Guess we are back to boxes and titles.  And treatments, of course.  That can do it as well.  Take a heart out of a story.

How about how the couple goes about their relationship?  Can that suck the life out of the romance for you?  I know it can for me.  See doormat above.

And then there’s the ending.  So many books have crashed and burned on their endings alone.  The “oh, no, they didn’t end it there” stories!  We all have them.  The ones that left us gobsmacked.  And wanting to throw said Kindles and paperbacks across the room, the romance gone, deflating the stories like some sad pinpricked balloon.

And if you can guess a book prompted all this you would be right.  Shakes head.  I keep forgetting they get published like that. No, I’m not going to name it.

So that’s my rant for today. It’s safe to step back into the blog!  What pokes the pin into your books? What deflates the romance quicker than you can say boom? Let me know in the comments. Our giveaway is still going on until next week.

 

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July, 22:

  • Tour – Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed by Quin Perin
  • An Alisa Review – Meik & Sebastian by Quin Perin
  • A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 23:

  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – Zen Alpha by Sionnach Wintergreen
  • Dreamspun Promo Amy Lane on A Fool and His Manny
  • Release Day Blitz Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey
  • A Jeri Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Ardulum: First Don (Ardulum) by J.S. Fields

Tuesday, July 24:

  • Release Blitz – Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • Release Blitz – Fusion by Posy Roberts
  • RELEASE BLITZ Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel
  • A Lucy Review: Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • An Alisa Review: Professor Hot Pants by by Ember-Raine Winters
  • An Alisa Review: Serving Him (The Retreat #1) by L.M. Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor and Philip Alces (Narrator)

Wednesday, July 25:

  • AUDIO Blog TOUR The Eagle and the Fox by Nya Rawlyns
  • DSP Promo Poppy Dennison
  • Release Blitz – Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • Release Blitz with – Serving Him by L M Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review Smoke in the Mirror (Road to Blissville #5) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Thursday, July 26:

  • DSP Promo Kim Fielding on Blyd and Pearce
  • Risk Taker by Lily Morton Release Day Blitz
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat
  • A Lucy Review: Erik the Pink by Matthew J. Metzger

Friday, July 27:

  • Release Blitz – Brave For You – Crystal Lacy
  • Cover Reveal – Mia Kerick Love Spell
  • Impact Flash Fiction Anthology Tour
  • DSP Promo Michaela Grey
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Dark (Expedition 63 #2) by T.A. Creech
  • A MelanieM Review: Impact Flash Fiction Anthology
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review:Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

Saturday, July 28:

  • Release Blitz – DJ Jamison – Hearts & Health Volume 2
  • A MelanieM Review:The End of All Stories (Legends of Badal’Shari #1) by Julia Rosenthal

 

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic? And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Romance Do’s In Your Romance Novels.

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic?

 

Several books I finished this week just furthered my ideas as to what helps launch a romance novel above the mass of romance stories you read or will read over the course of a year or more.  One wasn’t terribly successful in the romance department in my opinion while succeeding wildly in almost every other aspect, while two others had an almost constricted romance that still managed to allow their main characters love shine through along with an unusual storyline that unfolded around them.

Why does one fail while others succeed?  What makes a well done romance novel?  Yes, yes, I know so much can be subjective.  I remember that one write’s advice that I repeated (and still think is awful) on concentrating only on the main characters and leaving secondary characters totally alone.  Insert roll of eyes here.  Because imo a well done supportive cast makes a novel…romance or not.  All of my favorite  stories mention a marvelously done secondary grouping of characters, almost or as memorable as the main ones.

For some authors, they use their stories as love notes to  locations, towns they visited or grew up in or in one instance (Basil, Switzerland) one they live now.  The result can be a superb blending of location, culture, and story.  For others, its some other element…tree planting, apple orchards, a trip to the Sun Temple and Machu Picchu.  This list is endless.  Then there is the fantastical…the marvelous blending of mythologies, cultures, gods, and beasts that can come about when imaginations soar and blend with romances.

All of the above have managed to come together for me in romances that became something splendid, magical…even when the book itself was contemporary or science fiction.  The author or authors wrote and their story spoke to something deep inside of us.

Stories and characters we remember.

What are those books that still speak to you now and why?  What’s so special about them?  I really want to know.

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

 

Now for this week’s books and tours.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 15:

  • Smoke in the Mirror by Aimee Nicole Walker Release Blitz
  • Fireworks and Stolen Kisses by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay Tour
  • A MelanieM Review:Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay
  • Romance Do’s And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 16:

  • Drive Shaft by Geoffrey Knight Book Blast
  • Release Blitz – Thief Of Hearts by Ruby Moone
  • Review Tour – Riza Curtis’s The Dragon’s Thief
  • An Alisa Review:  The Dragon’s Thief by Riza Curtis
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Hearts and Flour By Tara Lain/ Ry Forest (narrator), Stephen Kurpis (narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Review:The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara

Tuesday, July 17:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo JS Harker on Soul Bond
  • DSP Promo Tia Fielding
  • Audio Tour for Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Soul Bond by JS Harker
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Soul Bond by JS Harker

Wednesday, July 18:

  • DSP Promo Rayna Vause
  • Release Blitz – Nothing Serious – Jay Northcote
  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Release Blitz
  • A Lucy Review: The Pet Stylist and The Playboy by Rebecca James
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lies That Bind (Boystown #8) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay

Thursday, July 19:

  • In the Spotlight: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point series) by L.A. Witt
  • Blog Post – V.L. Locey – Lost In Indigo
  • DSP Publications Promo August Li
  • An Alisa Review: Tainted Life​ by ​Mel Gough
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Beneath This Mask ( Enhanced World #3) by Victoria Sue and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Friday, July 20:

  • BOOK BLAST – Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • DSP Promo Hudson Lin
  • DSP Promo JL Merrow on Camwolf
  • A Lila Review: The Merchant’s Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6) by Antonia Aquilante
  • A Caryn Review Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • A MelanieM Review: A Trust to Follow (Wild Magics #1) by Diana Waters (
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt

Saturday, July 21:

  • Audio Tour for Someone to Call My Own by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown, #10) by Marshall Thornton

Annabelle Jay on the Inspiration Behind her new release Jesse 2.0 (guest blog and excerpt)

Standard

 

Jesse 2.0 by Annabelle Jay

Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon (not available)

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Annabelle Jay here today talking about her new release Jesse 2.0. Welcome, Annabelle.

 

♦︎

The Inspiration for Jesse 2.0

by Annabelle Jay

On a long car drive on the way back from a wedding, my husband, his friend, and I got into a debate about cloning. If, for example, a painting is reproduced exactly, down to every piece of dust and light damage, is it the same painting? What about when we sleep? If our consciousness stops, and then it starts again, are we still the same person? Is there any difference between that and a teleportation device that disassembles you and puts you back together? Is it different than death?

As I said, it was a very long drive.

Since I’m a fiction writer with an overactive imagination, I decided to explore my own thoughts about cloning in a novel. What if people who are dead could come back to life using the same technology as teleportation, only with the slight change that their bodies have been restarted? Are they the same person?

In the scene from Jesse 2.0 below, you can see most of this conversation play out between Jesse, the cloned character, and Maddy, Jesse’s boyfriend. Maddy has moved on and is dating a girl named Georgia, which complicates things even further.

Is Jesse still Jesse?

Or is he, as the title states, Jesse 2.0?

***

Excerpt

“He didn’t want any mistakes,” he continued. “Took so many pills that even pumping his stomach wouldn’t have worked. He was gone by the time I got there, anyway…. It was like he was a lamp, and someone had just switched him off.”

There were so many things I wanted to say: I’m sorry. I should never have done that to you. I love you.

“The ‘old Jesse’ is me,” I said instead. “We’re the same person.”

“You’re Jesse 2.0,” he corrected.

“No. I’m not.” I tried to think of how to explain this in a way he would understand. “All that happened was that my conscious mind turned off, they made a perfect copy of me, and then my mind turned back on. Think about it this way: If I was a famous painting, and they made a perfect copy of me down to the movement of every brush stroke, wouldn’t I be the same painting as the original?”

“You’d look identical, but the way you were made would be different. As an artist, I’m surprised you’re even making this argument.”

“Of course it would be made differently. But my question is, would it matter? Would the backstory to the painting negate the fact that the paintings are the same painting at that exact moment in time? That they have the same dust engrained in their paint, the same combination of colors, the same fading from light exposure?”

“No—”

“And sure, from that moment of creation on, those two paintings would have different experiences. One might get more light, the other more water… and suddenly they’ve started on two different paths. But the ‘old Jesse,’ as you call him, isn’t alive.”

“So you’re the only painting. The only path the ‘real Jesse’ has gone down. That’s why transporters are made to recreate you on the other side, not actually transport your matter to another place. They’re creating a perfect copy of you at that exact moment in time and destroying the original.”

“Right.”

“That’s insane. I mean, I understand it, logically… but emotionally, I don’t want to believe that an original Monet is the same as a cloned copy.”

I’d had all these same thoughts when I’d woken up at home. I’d panicked, I’d screamed, I’d tried to die all over again. But then they’d realized how to get through to me: They’d shown me two pictures of the same painting and asked me to select the original. Naturally, I couldn’t.

“Think of it another way.” I put my hand out in the dark and found his eyes, then covered them with my hand. “Pretend you’re asleep. Technically, your conscious mind shuts off, right?”

“Right….”

“So really, there’s no difference between falling asleep, being transported, and being brought back to life as a copy. Your mind goes off, time goes by, and then your mind goes on again.”

“I’m not sure that I buy—”

“I know, but think about it. If, while you were sleeping, we made an exact copy of you, that copy would wake up thinking that it’s the original you, right? All it would remember is falling asleep and waking up?”

“Yes….”

“So really, right now, you’re Maddy 1.0. Tomorrow, when you wake up, you’ll be Maddy 1.1. And the next day, Maddy 1.2. At any point during your sleep, HORUS could make a repro of you, destroy the original, and you wouldn’t know the difference. Now that repro is Maddy 1.2, soon to wake up as 1.3.”

He couldn’t seem to think of anything to say to that. I wondered if he wanted to touch me as much as I wanted to touch him, or if his mind was on the college girl back home.

“It’s not the same,” he said finally. “The history matters. The truth matters.”

“Only if you know it.”

Blurb

What would the world be like if anyone who died could come back?

That’s a question that bookworm Maddy Stone never thought he would need to answer. But when he saves a drowning man at the psychiatric facility where he volunteers, he discovers the man is his ex-boyfriend, Jesse, who committed suicide several months before. Jesse tells him that not only was he revived using “reproduction technology,” a type of cloning that relies on the same principals as teleportation, but that the doctor who brought him back was Maddy’s father. There was only one stipulation: Jesse could never talk to Maddy again.

Now, with the help of Georgia, Maddy’s new girlfriend, Maddy and Jesse must escape before their parents track them down. But when Maddy finds out that maybe Jesse—or Jesse 2.0, as Maddy calls him—isn’t the only repro, he must decide whether to continue with his new life or return to the Maddy he was before he knew the truth.

About the Author

If there’s one thing author Annabelle Jay believes with all her heart, it’s that there is no such thing as too many dragons in a book. As fantasy writer with few other hobbies—does being bribed to run with her partner or dancing awkwardly in the kitchen count?—she spends every day following her imagination wherever it leads her.

A hippie born in the wrong decade, Annabelle has a peace sign tattoo and a penchant for hugging trees. Occasionally she takes breaks from her novels to play with her pets: Jon Snow, the albino rabbit who is constantly trying to escape; Stevie, the crested gecko that climbs glass with the hairs on its toes; and Luigi, the green tree python that lives at the foot of her bed despite her best efforts to talk her partner out of the idea.

During her day job as a professor of English, Annabelle is often assumed to be a fellow student playing a prank on the class—that is, until she hands out the syllabus. When people stop mistaking her for a recent high school graduate, she will probably be very sad.

 

Links:

Author’s Website: www.annabellejay.com

Twitter: @AnnabelleAuthor

Instagram: @AnnabelleAuthor

Publisher’s book page: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/jesse-20-by-annabelle-jay-549-b

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14191901.Annabelle_Jay

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Annabelle-Jay-376249719245415

An Ali Audiobook Review: Familiar Angel by Amy Lane and Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Standard
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven Harry to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.

In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

This was an interesting book for this author.  She doesn’t write a lot of paranormal and this is the first one I’ve read by her.  The blurb does a fairly good job explaining the plot of the story.  There’s a lot going on here.  Angels and shapeshifters with magic and daring rescues and some romance.  It was a unique plot line and the adventures were fast paced and entertaining.
 
The problem for me I think was the romance vs plot ratio.  This read much like an urban fiction or fantasy story where a lot of time is spent on world building.  That’s fine with me if I know that going in.  I went into this thinking it was going to be more romance based.  Although this is not marked as being in a series I think it might be.  There seemed to be some romance building for Harry’s brothers.  I enjoyed this enough to check out the next books if it does in fact turn into a series.
 
The audiobook was narrated by Gomez Pugh who I thought did a very good job.  His voice was really good for all of the characters which is saying a lot because there were a lot of characters in this book.  They each had unique voices and I always knew who was speaking.
 
Overall I enjoyed this and would recommend it.  I would especially recommend the audio version.
 
Cover:  The cover was done by Reese Dante and I thought it was nicely done.  It does a good job of representing the plot and main character of the book.
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published June 5th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published October 20th 2017)
Original TitleFamiliar Angel
Edition LanguageEnglish