Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and surely Love is in the Air!  All those hearts, balloons, and boxes of chocolates and other signs of romance all around are making me think of so many things, like the best love stories in movies and of course, in books (cue the soundtrack to Doctor Zhivago)!  We can all remember the traditional love stories, meaning het of course! I’m sure they are popping into mind even now.  Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere (Arthur got a raw deal I think), Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Paris and Helena,Tristan and Isolde…most ended unhappily I know.  But ah,  how bright their love and passion burned!  We can even think of our happy love movies.  Love Actually is played constantly during the holiday season (love has so many faces).

But how about LGBTQIA love?  Is Brokeback Mountain the first movie that comes to mind?  How about Shelter or Big Eden or Latter Days?  They didn’t have big names attached to them but the romance and love left you smiling instead of feeling torn apart.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day watching!  What’s your recommendations for Valentine’s Day binge watching?

I can remember my very first novel, outside of fanfiction (K/S among others) that was not only M/M but had a happy ending.  That was The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I still have my hardback copy.  It was a revelation.  The idea of m/m romance and love with the possibility of a future in some way. The Catch Trap was published in 1979 which was when I first read it so a future then is markably different then the way in which LGBTQIA romance (and marriage) is regarded today (bigotry not withstanding).  Some of my comfort reads are also my favorite love stories but not all. Some of my favorite couples also had pain, loss and suspense attached to their stories as well.  Here are some of those.

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Some of My Favorite Couples and Their Series in no particular order:

Ty and Zane of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series (some written with Madeleine Urban)

Lucky and Bo of Eden Winter’s Diversion series

Jory and Sam of Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series

Jin and Logan of Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series

Adrien and Jake from The Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon

Jonty and Orlando from Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries

Jim and Griffin as well as Evan and Matt from Tere Michaels’ Faith, Love & Devotion series

And this is without adding in those couples from my comfort list books!  There’s more as well.  Do you have your favorite couples?  Tell me which ones I missed!

Goodreads has its own Listopia: Best Gay/Lesbian Fiction With Happy Endings (140 books).  You might check out this list too.    But back to your favorite couples and your favorite love stories.  What love stories jump into your mind when I say  “Romance”!  That love with a capital L story where “one swims the oceans, fights all the fights, does everything they must to be with the one they love” story.  Give us your list and see if you come up with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day gift card!

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Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.

Yes its time for the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.  Give us your list of either top couples and their story or top love stories with your email address. One random reader will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate by midnight next Sunday, February 18th.  This is a quick contest so get your lists in this week.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

And as a reminder, our Comfort Reads Giveaway also closes on the 17th.  So here is two chances to win a gift certificate.

📚Comfort Reads Giveaway from Last Week!

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Now for this week’s schedule.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 12:

  • Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review:  Flaunt by E. Davies

Monday, February 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Letters from Cupid
  • DSP GUEST POST Tara Lain on Fire Balls
  • Release Day Blitz The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • A Caryn Review: Too Soon For Love by Kimberly Gardner
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Jerricho’s Freedom by Jake C. Wallace
  • A VVivacious Review: The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day):

  • DSP GUEST POST Evelise Archer on Jaeger
  • DSP GUEST POST Lila Leigh Hunter on Dating in Retrospect
  • Jared’s Family by VS Morgan Release Blitz and Giveaway
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Yes, Professor by Renae Kaye
  • A PaulB Review: The Atherton Pack 4 by Toni Griffin
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: Warlock in Training by TJ Nichols

Wednesday, February 15:

  • DSP PUBLICATIONS GUEST POST TJ Nichols on Warlock in Training
  • Release Blitz Clare London – How The Other Half Lives
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The New Wolf (Building the Pack #1) by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blossom of the Samurai by Sedonia Guillone
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

Thursday, February 16:

  • DSP GUEST POST Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia on Wounded Pride
  • Release Day Blitz Learning to Want by Tami Veldura
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Kate Steele
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Hanging The Stars (Half Moon Bay #2) by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Behr Facts (Foothills Pride #3) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Friday, February 17:

  • Suki Fleet – Foxes Tour and Giveaway
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Stella Review: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A Caryn Review: How The Other Half Lives by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Foxes by Suki Fleet

Saturday, February 18:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York
  • A MelanieM Review: Danced Close (Portland Heat, #6) by Annabeth Albert

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HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Jo Ramsey on Midnight Chat (author interview)

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Midnight Chat by Jo Ramsey
H
armony Ink Press
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Available for Purchase at

Harmony Ink Press

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jo Ramsey here today talking about writing and her latest release Midnight Chat. Welcome, Jo, thanks for sitting in our author interview chair this morning.

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  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

It depends on the character. Nearly every main character I write has some aspects of my personality, such as shyness or liking to read or write. Sometimes they have traits I wish I had.

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

To me, a Mary Sue/Gary Stu is a case where an author creates a character who is a perfect human being everyone loves, who may or may not be a representation of who the author wishes they were. I don’t think that’s the same thing as using personal experiences and traits to create a character. My characters are as flawed as I am, and things don’t always go the way they hope they will.

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

Even when an author makes up their own world and culture, I think they need to do some research. They might only use bits and pieces of the research to make up their own thing, but it helps to have some basis in reality. I personally don’t enjoy researching at all, so I write things for which I need as little research as possible, but I always need to look up something or ask someone questions about something.

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

To some extent, yes. When I was a preteen and teenager, I really enjoyed fantasy novels of the type that mostly takes place in the “real world,” where ordinary people end up having extraordinary experiences. Think things like Madeleine L’engle’s A Wrinkle in Time or Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising, which were two of my favorite books from about age 10 on. I write some things like that, but I also tend to write contemporary fiction where there isn’t any fantastic stuff going on, just people living their lives and solving (or not) their problems.

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

My novel Work Boots and Tees, book five of my Deep Secrets and Hope series, was like that. Because of the things the main character, Jim Frankel, had done to others, and the traumas he’d experienced himself, it was an incredibly heart-ripping novel to write. I’m a sexual trauma survivor myself, and there were times when I was writing that book where I triggered myself so badly I had to step back from the computer for a few days. At one point my husband tried to convince me to stop writing the book altogether, but I’m way too stubborn to do that.

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

I don’t exactly choose my covers. I fill out an information sheet for the cover art department, and they send me, usually, three mock-ups to choose from. Unless there’s something really wrong with all three of them, for example showing a character that bears no resemblance to the ones in my book (which has never happened with Harmony Ink Press), I have to choose one of the three.

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

I have more than one favorite. I’m partial to Nail Polish and Feathers because I think Evan Granger is a completely awesome character who doesn’t give a rat’s behind what people think, he’s determined to be himself. I’m also partial to Work Boots and Tees because Jim is a very broken character who nonetheless is trying to make a better life for himself, and he is modeled on several of the boys I worked with when I taught in Maine years ago.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

My latest novel, Midnight Chat, has just released from Harmony Ink Press. (https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/midnight-chat-by-jo-ramsey-448-b). I’m excited about it because it’s based on a song I wrote and recorded, which is available on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes (the song is also called “Midnight Chat), and because I think Mira’s dilemma about how to help Rob is true to what some teens experience when they realize a friend needs more help than they can give. Toward the end of summer 2017, Harmony Ink will re-release my novel Dolphins in the Mud, originally published by a different company in 2012. That’s another novel in which the main character is far out of his element trying to help a friend, as well as keep his family running smoothly.

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About Midnight Chat

For the past two years, since meeting in ninth grade, Mira MacDonald and Rob Stevens have been inseparable best friends. Rob’s struggles with depression, and his reliance on Mira, sometimes make the friendship difficult for Mira, but she wants to support Rob. Especially since he’s the victim of severe bullying at school due to his sexuality. Even though Rob isn’t out, he is gay, and the suspicion is enough for some people to torment him.

Now Mira has her first girlfriend, Talia Acevedo, and Rob’s jealousy is becoming even more of a problem. Rob insists that Talia doesn’t like him and is trying to break up their friendship. Mira tries to stay neutral, but it isn’t easy when Rob’s obsession with her escalates—along with his anger as the harassment gets worse.

One night, during one of their typical midnight text sessions, Rob tells Mira he’s decided to take drastic action at school to stop the bullying once and for all. And if she tries to stop him or tells anyone else, she’ll be first on his target list.

About the Author

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Readers who are interested in knowing more about me are welcome to visit my website, http://www.joramsey.com. I’m also on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/JoRamseyAuthor/, Twitter @JoRamseyYA, and Tumblr, http://www.joramseyya.tumblr.com, and my offspring Phoenix and I have a YouTube channel, Real Life Rising, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeeZBAEzSDIdPf7RS7iNQAQ.

Sherrie Henry on Life, Writing, and her release ‘Flag on the Play’ (HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: interview, excerpt )

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Flag on the Play by Sherrie Henry
H
armony Ink Press
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Cover artist: Alexandria Corza

Available for Purchase at Harmony Ink Press

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sherrie Henry here today.  Welcome, Sherrie!

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Chugging right along! We’re at my third stop for my blog tour to promote my newest release “Flag on the Play.” Thank you Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me!

Check out my question/answer session:

  • How much of yourself goes into a character? 

I think all writers put a little bit of themselves into their characters. It’s like splitting your own personality, bits and pieces go into each character you develop. I think it’s inevitable; it’s been my experience that regardless of how far-fetched the plot, there is still a grounding in reality that reflects our own lives and experiences.

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

No. A Mary (or Gary) Sue in my opinion is a character who’s sole purpose is to save everyone, be the hero, and has no character flaws (or have flaws that are endearing). To me, that’s cheating the reader to create such a perfect character. No one learns anything, there’s no plot or character development in a Mary/Gary Sue. I’m not certain I could create such a character; I’m flawed, thus my characters, who are in some part a reflection of me, are flawed as well.

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

In my most recent novel ‘Flag on the Play’, I interviewed a few gay men on their experiences as a gay teen (as, being female and not gay, I couldn’t draw much from my own childhood!). It gave me tremendous insight into their world and their struggles, which still occur across the country to this day.

I did enjoy doing the interviews and I like research in general. But I also write sci-fi/fantasy, so it’s nice to just let loose and change the laws of physics. LOL

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

I consider myself an eclectic reader which has shaped my writing to an extent. I tend to write what I want, regardless of genre. Whatever fancies me at the time, that’s what comes out. For example, I’m finishing a sci-fi novel and also working on a cookbook. I’m not the type to be pinned to a specific genre!

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

Once, when I had to kill off a major character, I needed some time away from the story as I ended up crying as I typed the death scene. Had to give myself a couple of days away to recover. It was painful, but it was necessary as it advanced the story.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

As life never gives HEAs, I do enjoy reading them in my stories as a change of pace from reality. As I don’t read a lot of books that are parts of series, I don’t typically come across HFNs.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Oh hell yes. I remember sneaking my mom’s Harlequin Romance and Danielle Steele novels as a young teen. I’m not sure to this day if she realized I read them!

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Choosing an English degree as an undergrad. I was exposed to so many different genres and authors during that time. I had always been an avid reader; I remember getting the Scholastic Reader booklets as a kid and ordering all the books I could afford on my allowance. I probably owned a few hundred paperbacks as a child.

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

I certainly like the ebook format; makes reading in bed a lot easier. My Kindle weighs a lot less than hardcover novels and large paperbacks and is much less bulky.

I’m not sure where the ebook is going; because a writer can publish anything and everything they want without going through a traditional publishing company, the ebook has gotten a bad rap. Those ebooks from self-pubbed authors still have a the stigma of bad writing, no editing, and crappy covers. Ebooks are evolving, but I’m not sure for the better. I’m not saying all self-pubbed books are crap, but it’s the perception of the reading audience, myself included. (I’m a trivia buff, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of bad trivia ebooks published.)

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

I typically have an idea of what I want and convey that to the cover artist. A couple of times I’ve had no clue, so the cover artist gave me some drafts and I was able to envision what I wanted.

As an amateur landscape/wildlife photographer, a lot of times I can at least have a very base idea of what I want, at least in the background.

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

As a piece of me is in all my work, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’d have to say my vampire story ‘Traditions.’ The main character is a snarky, sexy, slightly-overwhelmed male vampire surrounded by dysfunctional family and friends. It’s the first in a trilogy and has been submitted for publication. Hope to hear within a month or so!

  • What’s next for you as an author?

Finish my sci-fi novel (about 3-4 chapters to go) and my cookbook, then pick one of the dozen or so WIPs I have on my computer. I’d like to finish at least one more novel this year, if not two. I want to diversify myself; I’ve got two WIPs that are thrillers, which is a new genre for me to be writing.

Thank you, Sherrie, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your answers!  Now more about Sherrie and Flag on the Play.

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About the Author

Sherrie was born and raised in Southern Indiana, in a small farming community. A stop-over at Indiana University in Bloomington to earn bachelors and masters degrees was the next step before she struck out to the big city of Chicago. She has lived in the ‘burbs of the Windy City for the past 19 years, currently residing with her dog Rocky and teaching at the local community college. She is a third-degree black belt in hapkido and is considering a run for a fourth-degree before hanging up the ol’ black belt. Writing and photography are her hobbies, and hopes that she can add travel to her hobbies soon.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSherrieHenry
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/sherriehenry
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AuthorSHenry
Blog: http://sherriehenry.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.sherriehenry.com

Sales link for ‘Flag on the Play’:

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About Flag on the Play

Sixteen-year-old football punter Liam Hartley has come to terms with being gay, but it isn’t something his religious and conservative community will ever accept. He’s isolated in his Midwest town until Cody Williams transfers to his school from Chicago. A proud bisexual young man, Cody shows Liam he isn’t alone—or abnormal—and they soon become more than friends.

Despite the intimate, secret world he shares with Cody, Liam is in pain. The hatred spewed by bigots has an effect on Liam, even if Cody carefully hides their relationship with a pretend girlfriend. Liam is jealous—he doesn’t want to have to share Cody, and he doesn’t want to have to live in shame. Cutting himself seems to be the only way to deal with everything he’s suffering, and things only get worse when Liam and Cody are outed in front of the school. And even if they can make it through the hardship, they know their relationship is destined to end when Cody’s family returns to the city.

Liam can’t go back to facing the hatred and religious judgment by himself. He won’t survive it. Somehow, Liam and Cody must secure a future for both of them, and that means finding a way to stay together.

 Excerpt from ‘Flag on the Play

Liam downed his lemonade. Even though it was fairly cool out, he was sweating profusely. After the tuck-pointing, he volunteered to help cut and haul some wood from the downed trees on the property. He and Cody were sitting in the backyard, enjoying the late afternoon sunshine. Cody’s mom came outside with more to drink.

“You boys finish?” She set the pitcher on the step and sat down next to Liam.

“Yes, ma’am.” Liam refilled his glass.

Marissa laughed. “Please don’t call me ma’am. Makes me feel old.”

“Oh, sorry.”

“No worries. So, Cody said you had some questions you wanted to ask me?”

Liam looked out over the expansive yard. “If you don’t mind.”

“Nope.”

Cody nudged Liam. “Go ahead. She’s a good listener.”

Liam swallowed. “Me and Cody. That’s natural, right?”

Marissa furrowed her brow. “Of course it is.”

“I’ve been taught it’s a great sin and I’m going to hell.”

“Oh, hon, no. Look, I don’t want to sway you from your religion—”

“I’ve lost my religion. I can’t believe in it anymore. I need to know I’m going to be okay. You accept Cody, and me, and us and….” His voice trailed off.

“I’ve been where you are.”

Liam glanced over at her. “Really?”

“Yes. Born into a very Catholic family. But I realized at a very young age, what was coming at me at every Mass was pretty much bullshit. Pardon my language.”

Liam snorted. “I’ve heard worse.” He gave her a smile. “How did you get out of the church?”

“I had to bide my time until high school. I finally sat my parents down and told them I couldn’t believe in what the priest was saying. That any higher power couldn’t hate his or her creations, that he or she would create such inequality. And I was totally against the no birth control thing. That really rubbed me the wrong way. I’d done research at the library—this was back before everything was on the Internet you know—and found that human sexuality isn’t something to be repressed. Not that I condone sleeping around, sex and love need to go hand in hand, but it doesn’t need to be saved for marriage or be something to feel guilty about.”

“So you don’t believe I’m going to hell?”

Marissa gave a little laugh. “Hon, that’s why I love being Wiccan. We don’t believe in hell. Hell is a Christian concept.”

“There’s no heaven or hell?”

“Wiccans, other pagans, some of us believe in what’s called Summerland. A place we go when we die until we are reincarnated. Hell doesn’t exist.”

“But what about people like Hitler, or Stalin? Shouldn’t they be in hell?”

Marissa paused, taking in a long breath and letting it out. “To be honest, I struggle with topics like that. Leaning on my youth teachings, yes, hell would be a good place for such evil. But to reconciling such evil in my Wiccan beliefs—I came to the conclusion that people like that don’t go to Summerland, they just cease to exist, no reincarnation. That their evil energy is dissipated into the universe, forever dissolving out into the reaches of deep space.”

“Wow, that’s profound.”

“Nah, just the way I can deal.”

“So what about the Bible?”

Marissa patted his knee. “The Bible is a book, a good book, but it was written by men, and men are fallible. I don’t like how some people will pick and choose what they want to follow out of it. They should use it as a guidebook, not a rulebook. Use the teachings of doing good deeds, of not throwing the first stone. Of being kind to strangers and helping those in need. That’s what they should take away, not a strict or not-so-strict adherence to rules written in a time when slaves were the norm and women were property to be bartered for.”

“Never thought about it that way.”

“I never did either, until I took a ‘Bible as Literature’ class in college. The discrepancies stood out, the outright contradictions. It was then I solidified my beliefs.” She put her arm around Liam. “I’m not saying to dump all your beliefs, or even change them. I’m just giving you a different perspective. You have to decide what is right for you. Each religion, even mine, has its good points and shortcomings.”

Liam sucked down the rest of his lemonade. “I can’t see any shortcomings with yours.”

“There are. Like the question of evil from before, there’s no consensus. It’s just what I’ve decided to believe. And the threefold rule.”

“Cody told me about it. How can getting threefold of good coming back at you be bad?”

“Because it works the other way as well. If I put bad thoughts or bad deeds out there, bad stuff can come back to me threefold.”

“I don’t see how you can do anything bad.”

“Well, I get angry and anger begets anger. I get angry against people who do bad deeds, like a mother who kills her children. My inclination is to say she deserves the death penalty, but I’m sworn to do no harm.”

“But you wouldn’t be pulling the switch, so to say.”

“No, but I’m putting the bad energy out there by thinking and stating my opinion. It’s like I can feel the negative energy build when I think about situations like that. I have to meditate a lot when news stories such as those are aired, try to diffuse my thoughts. It can be hard work.”

“I would think someone who kills their children doesn’t deserve to live.”

“And you’re not alone, not by a long shot. But doesn’t even your faith say you should forgive the sinner?”

Liam cocked his head. “Yeah.”

“While Wicca doesn’t believe in sin per se, we do believe in forgiveness. To keep up the positive energy so it always outweighs the negative.”

“And how do I deal with messages from my pastor that what I feel is wrong? That I’m damned?”

“You need to forgive your pastor and hope one day he can see the error of his ways. That love is precious, in all its forms.” She turned and gave him a hug. “You aren’t damned. My Cody loves you and so do I.”

Kelly took that moment to come running out of the house and plopped down in Cody’s lap. She shoved a book in Liam’s face. “Story?”

Marissa laughed. “I think you’ve made quite an impression on Kelly as well.” She let Liam go and collected the empty glasses and pitcher. “Guess it’s story time. Once you’re done, you’d probably head home. It’s getting late.”

“Yes, ma-Marissa. And thank you.” He took the book from Kelly and started to read about a fairy princess and her faithful companion, a dragon named Sue.

What Are Your Comfort Reads and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What Are Your Comfort Reads?

I know, I know.   Its February and I could have so much more to talk about.  Its Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Love Stories and so much more. And I may get to those next week. But the truth of the matter is that I’m heart sore these days.  With all the news and politics and a President determined to see us and our rights thrown back to the fifties and nations at war, my heart and head feels like its being plundered, torn into pieces daily.

You do what you can, you speak up, sign petitions, march. But at night or whenever you need it, I know that I need to escape into my books and my comfort reads.

I’ve been falling back into some of my early stories from many authors, ones that have remained my “go to books” when I need that instant book blankey.  Don’t tell me you don’t have those.  A story that means an instant smuggle for you.  So you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.  Let’s see how they mesh if at all.  Some of mine include an entire series:

MelanieM’s Comfort Read’s (partial and constantly growing)

  • Amy Lane’s Keeping Promise Rock
  • Red Dirt Heart Series by N.R. Walker
  • Faith, Love & Devotion Series by Tere Michaels
  • Change of Heart series by Mary Calmes
  • Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell
  • The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye
  • Frog by Mary Calmes
  • No Going Home (Home #1) by T.A. Chase
  • Home Series by T.A. Chase

I think B.A. Tortuga’s new series, The Release, may find its way onto this list.  Too soon yet. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

That’s for starters, ones that just popped up without giving it any thought.  I know there’s more to come.  So pull up yours.  I want to know the stories you reach for when you want to feel good, happy.  We certainly can do with so much more of that these days.

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📚Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Giveaway!📚

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 5:

  • A Free Dreamer Review: Wasted Youth by H.B. Kurtzwilde
  • A MelanieM Review: Calling His Bluff (Club Raven #3) by B.A. Tortuga
  • What Are Your Comfort Reads?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 6:

  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR Storm Season by Pene Henson
  • Cover Reveal for No Regrets by Nicky James (excerpt and giveaway)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Working It by Christine d’Abo (giveaway)
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Wolfmanny by Julia Talbot
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: What Remains by Garrett Leigh and Craig Beck (Narrator)
  • An Ali Review: Working It (Ringside Romance #1) by Christine d’Abo
  • An Alisa Review:  They Walk Among Us by T.A. Chase

Tuesday, February 7:

  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Sherrie Henry on Flag on the Play
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Embers by Kate Sherwood (giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ingela Bohm on The Seventh Flower
  • A Stella Review: Storm Season by Pene Henson
  • A VVivacious Review: The Puritan Pirate by Jules Radcliffe
  • An Ali Review:They Walk Among Us by T.A. Chase
  • A VVivacious Review: THE MUTT: AN ORDER SHORT STORY by Kasia Bacon

Wednesday, February 8:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Julia Talbot on Wolfmanny
  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Jo Ramsey on Midnight Chat
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Fire Balls by Tara Lain
  • A Jeri Review: Off Base by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Release Day Review: The Seventh Flower (World of Love) by Ingela Bohm
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Buyout by Dev Bentham

Thursday, February 9:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Jake C. Wallace on Jerricho’s Freedom
  • DSP GUEST POST:  Dirk Greyson on Darkness Rising
  • A Lila Review:  Tempted to Taste by Shawn Lane
  • A PaulB  Review: Descent of Kings: Books BUNDLE by Maria Albert
  • A Caryn Review: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling by Matthew Robbins
  • An Alisa Review: Fire Triangle by Iyana Jenna

Friday, February 10:

  • *FLAUNT by E Davies 2 week blog tour and giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Dev Bentham on Buyout – A Love Story
  • DSP GUEST POST Mason Thomas on The Shadow Mark
  • Release Day Blitz: Leaning Into Love by Lane Hayes
  • A Paul B Review: Sealed With Acceptance (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #5) by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Jaeger (Order of the Black Knights #4) by Evelise Archer
  • An Ali Release Day Review:  Shifting Views (The Carlisles #4) by Meg Harding

Saturday, February 11:

  • A MelanieM Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform, #2) by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York

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Best of 2016 Lists and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Best of 2016 Lists Continue

Yes, our Best of 2016 Lists roll on.  Our readers have been contributing some wonderful lists of their own and our own reviewers choices still pour in as well.  I have  both for you all today.

The lovely thing is that we don’t have to let go of some of our favorites.  If they are series that haven’t wrapped up, we have new stories to look forward to in 2017.  So many authors spring to mind that we are waiting on new stories in their series:  Jordan L. Hawk, Mary Calmes, Megan Derr, Mell Eight, Rhys Ford…to name a few.  Which authors are you waiting on new stories from?  And which series?  My personal list is endless to be honest.  I added to it with new authors this year including Amelia Faulkner and her Inheritance series.  Don’t know how I missed that and her.  But I did.  My list will be the last to arrive.  This week we hear from Stella, Free Dreamer, and some of our readers on their favorites from 2016.

From Stella

Stella’s BEST BOOKS 2016

Stella’s Best Covers 2016

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His Fairy Godfather by Cate Ashwood and Nico Jaye

The ‘True Love’ Solution by Julie Bozza

Must Like Spinach by Con Riley

Freckles By Amy Lane

When the Dust Settles by Mary Calmes

Murmuration by T.J. Klune

Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne

Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black

 Free Dreamer’s Best Covers of 2016

 

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The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci (Cover artist: Natasha Snow)

Stygian by Santino Hassel (Cover artist: Damonza)

Dreams by Erich James (Cover artist: Paul Richmond)

Love Can’t Conquer by Kim Fielding (Cover artist: Brooke Albrecht)

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FoxesSalt and IronSalt and Iron by Tam MacNeil (Cover artist: AngstyG)

ACID by Wulf Francu Godgluck (Cover artist: Wulf Francu Godgluck)

Foxes by Suki Fleet (Cover artist: AngstyG)

Free Dreamer’s Best Books of 2016:

Stalking Darkness”, “Traitor’s Moon” and “Shadows Return” by Lynn Flewelling

Lima Oscar Victor Echo and The Truth About Everything by Suki Fleet

Salt and Iron by Tam MacNeil

ACID by Wulf Francu Godgluck

Every Day” and “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan

The Hunger Man by Scott D. Pomfret

Love Can’t Conquer by Kim Fielding

O/s by Jane Davitt

Crush by Caitlin Ricci

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Stygian by Santino Hassel

Dark Space by Lisa Henry

The Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson

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And from our Readers….

 

📚Purple Reader :

Thanks for your list, and this has inspired me to think about mine (at least the gay ones, and I like a lot of different subgenres, but not all were out this year).
– Purple Reader, TheWrote
Fav Gay Book Group read: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Fav SciFi: Interscission Project series by Arshad Ahsanuddin
Fav Steampunk: Blue on Black by Carole Cummings
Fav Fantasy: finished the Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling
Fav Paranormal: Widdershins by Jordan Hawk (and a mystery)
Fav M/M Romance: Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez
Fav Gay Romance: My Bare Naked Heart by David Avery
Fav YA: Foxes by Suki Fleet
Fav Mystery: Third Man Out by Richard Stevenson (oldie but goodie)
Fav Western: The Search for Soaring Hawk by Terry O’Reilly
Fav Historical: Frontiers/Man & Beast by Michael Jensen
Fav History/NonFiction: Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality by Debbie Cenziper, Jim Obergefell
Fav paperback/hardcover: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (also a good YA)

📚 H.B:

Thank you for sharing your list Lila! They all sounds great =) Here’s my list:
Made in Marian series by Lucy Lennox
A Kind of Story series by Lane Hayes
How to Be a Normal Person by TJ Klune
Wolfsong by TJ Klune
At First Sight series by TJ Klune
Soaring Hearts by AL Boyd
Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Charlie Cochet
Smoke & Mirror by Charlie Cochet
The Weight of It All by NR Walker
Red River by Cardeno C.
Not a Game by Cardeno C.

~

Trust me, both of you, I’m taking notes of any books and authors I’ve missed!  There’s plenty of time still to get your list in and be entered in our giveaway.  Here’s all you need to be entered.

STRW 2016 Best of Giveaway

We will pick one random reader who leaves a comment with their year end Best of (along with their email addresses) to receive a $10 DSP gift card.   Contest ends January 29, at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 22:

  • Best of 2016 Lists Continue
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 23:

  • DSP GUEST POST Reece Pine on In Your Court
  • Amy Tasukada –Blood Stained Tea Tour
  • Club Raven Blog Tour for BA Tortuga, Julia Talbot, and Kiernan Kelly (3 books, one series)
  • BLOG TOUR People Fish by Medella Kingston
  • A MelanieM Review: Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada
  • An Alisa Review: Twelve Gifts by Casper Graham
  • A Paul Release Day Review: Love in the Line of Fire by Michael Murphy

Tuesday, January 24:

  • DSP GUEST POST J. C. Long on Broadway Babe
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Speakeasy by Suzey Ingold
  • A Paul Review: The Last Dragonet by Shannon West and Susan Scott
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Gaining Trust (Kiss of Leather #5) by Morticia Knight
  • An Ali Review: Duncan Andrew’s mysteries (bundle) by Stephen Osborne
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Wandering Wolves by Mell Eight

 

Wednesday, January 25:

  • RIPTIDE Tour: Whiteout by Elyse Springer (giveaway)
  • Review Tour – Anna Martin – The Impossible Boy
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys, Novella One) by Brandon Witt
  • A Lila Review:  The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin
  • A Stella Review: Whiteout (Seasons of Love #1) by Elyse Springer
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Just like Cats and Dogs by BA Tortuga

Thursday, January 26:

  • Cover Reveal – Sue Brown’s Goodnight My Angel
  • Release Blitz – K.A. Merikan’s Hipster Brothel
  • Max Vos : blog tour for the re release of his novel P.O.W
  • DSP GUEST POST Caleb James on”Exile”
  • DSP GUEST POST BA Tortuga on Just Like Cats and Dogs
  • A Caryn Review:  Hipster Brothel by K.A. Merikan
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Lord or a Thousand Steps by Tara Lain

Friday, January 27:

  • DSP GUEST POST M.J. O’Shea on The Worst Best Man
  • DSP GUEST POST Michaela Grey on Broken Halo
  • A Caryn Pre Release Review: The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan
  • An Alisa Review: Rockin’ the ‘Nog by Michelle King
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Trust Trade by Ki Brightly
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Close to You (Sunshine and Happiness #3) by Skylar M. Cates and Tristan James (Narrator)
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Spell Fall by Jacob Z. Flores

Saturday, January 28:

  • Victoria Sue with a New Release – The Alpha King + Giveaway
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Wandering Wolves by Mell Eight

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A VVivacious Release Day Review: Thanks a Lot, John LeClair by Johanna Parkhurst

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
 
thanks-a-lot-john-leclairEmmitt LaPoint loves playing hockey. Hockey has been his refuge from the world ever since he was little. He is the golden boy of Colby, Vermont what with being the captain of the high school hockey team and having a near perfect GPA but he is also gay.
 
Emmitt finds it hard to reconcile his love for Dusty with his love for hockey because as he knows it there are no gay hockey players in the NHL. But when things between Dusty and him deteriorate, he has to take a stand for what he wants in his life irrespective of what his Dad or the world at large seems to want for him.
 
My only bone to pick with this book is that when it ended I wanted more! Lots more! I almost wish I could read about Emmitt forever.
 
This book was engaging and so very interesting. It was also incredibly well written. One of things I didn’t like about the first book was that it seemed to be composed entirely of facts with very little exposition. Also the lack of exposition made me feel that things in the first book were happening at break neck speed which could have been intentional on the author’s part but it put a dent in my reading experience. So I am delighted to acknowledge that those dents in the first book were completely hammered out in this book. It was just so beautifully written.
 
This story was written in first person and I have realized that first person narratives are especially lovely when you can relate to the narrator and that is what I loved about this book, the fact that it made me fall in love with Emmitt. I pretty much already loved Dusty, Casey and the Mortons but as the first book is mostly focused on Dusty’s life at home, I hadn’t really formed any opinion on Emmitt. So this book was an eye opener for me. One of the things I loved about Emmitt was that he realized that being impressive and courageous can actually be very tiring, even if it comes instinctually to you, when people start to expect it from you. But in this regard I loved what Coach Jackson had to say, I think I fell in love with him over his words.
 
“You think success is some trophy you put on your shelf? Some number you graduate high school with? Success isn’t something you hold up for other people to look at. It’s a life that’s filled with happiness. Hope. Meaning. Things like that. That’s what the goal is. You end up with any of those things, and it won’t matter how many trophies and numbers you have to show off.”
 
This book deals with so many themes but the most consistent theme that runs throughout this book is that of coming out. But don’t let that statement pigeon hole this book for you because it has so much else to teach. One thing I love about the young adult/new adult genre is that I always get to learn something and on that count this book is a treasure trove. And then there was hockey.  Ice Hockey is a sport I have fallen in love with only on the basis of what I have read of it in mm romance novels, I have no idea if I will enjoy its real life counterpart but I am not in any hurry to find out especially because I have really fallen in love with how it is portrayed in these books and especially this one. I love the whole new dimension that sports can add to a story and I loved how that aspect was used in this book.
 
This book is a must read. It is awfully amazing.
 
Cover Art by Anne Cain. I liked the cover but somehow I can’t agree with the choice of the font for the title what with all its sharp edges and the decision to have the title spread over so much of the cover.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook, 204 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2016 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN 1634774299 (ISBN13: 9781634774291)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

Its Time for STRW Flash Fiction Announcements and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Its Time for STRW Flash Fiction Announcements

First of all, thank you to all who sent in entries to our first ever STRW Flash Fiction Writing Month.  We appreciate your participation and all entries will be showcased here.  Putting your thoughts and emotions into words and a story can be one of the more daunting challenges you can attempt.  We are doubly grateful for those that chose to do so and submitted them here.

Flash Fiction or micro stories are supposed to do what all stories do but in a condensed version. Make us think, move us, connect us to the characters, their loves, lives and worlds. All the stories we received did that beautifully.  One made us laugh, several made us sob, one made us shout in recognition of the tumultuous events moved into the realm of science fiction, and and others?  Just moving, imaginative and wonderful in their ability to pull at the heart and mind. Here are the stories in the order they were received.  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words cannot thanks these authors enough for their contributions.

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STRW Flash Fiction Stories and Authors

Master’s Work by Tod Heil  

What Is Left Out By R. R. Angell

Consequences by Andrea Speed

THE SMIRK’S UP By Jenny Tate

Christopher by Ross Common

Magpie King by Leslie Plank

What Weighs Us Down by K.S. Trenten

Sad and Silly Humans by K.S. Trenten

Which brings us to the contest.  We loved them all, to us there was no clear winner.  If we could, we’d declare them all winners and next year the rules will change.  So we thought this year we would let the readers choose.  We included a pole below.  Vote for your favorite story.

Tod Heil, R.R. Angell, Andrea Speed, Jenny Tate,  and Ross Common all have their choice of a $10 gift certificate from Amazon or Dreamspinner Press.  Leslie Plank and K.S. Trenten will have a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate as our thanks for their wonderful entries.  The authors retain the copyrights to their stories.  Stories may not be reprinted or copied without the express permission of the authors.

Now here’s our poll.  For all the wonderful stories, visit our Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Flash Fiction 2016 Page here for all the links.  Note! For the readers who vote: We will gift a $10 DSP gift card to a reader (randomly chosen) who has voted. so readers please leave a comment once you have voted so we can pick someone as well as a email address.  Vote ends on the Winter Solstice, 12/21 at midnight. The author will get the $25 Amazon gift card.

 

Our Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Reviews continue this week and all this month.  Release Day Reviews are flowing off the days of the calendars as well.  Are you looking in anticipation for a certain story?  Check below to see if its included in one of our release day reviews.  If you are a lover of audiobooks as we are, then check out our audiobook reviews which include a number of holiday stories too.  There is so much on our calendar this week that there is something for everyone, from author interviews to RJ Scott’s tour with all her holiday stories!  Don’t miss out on a day with us here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, December 4:

  • Its Time for STRW Flash Fiction Announcements and Showcase
  • Our First Flash Fiction Story
  • In the LGBTQIA Spotlight: Finding Lizzie by Karma Kingsley (guest post, and excerpt)
  • RJ Scott’s Christmas Stories Tour and Giveaway

Monday, December 5:

  • Blog Tour & Giveaway – Operation Better Tomorrow by Brandi Evans
  • Ashavan Doyon on Not 1 but 2 Story Releases (guest post)
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Heated Beat Series by Garrett Leigh
  • A Release Day Review of  Heated Beat  by Garrett Leigh
  • A Barb the Zany  Old Lady Release Day Review: Lost & Found by Rick R. Reed
  • A MelanieM Review:  Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Day 6: Title Surprise

Tuesday, December 6th:

  • Release Day Blitz and Giveaway for for Wrapped Together (Portland Heat #5) by Annabeth Albert
  • Victoria Sue on Five Minutes More (guest post)
  • In Our Author Spotlight: Julia Talbot on Catching Heir (Dreamspinner Press guest blog)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Wrapped Together (Portland Heat #5) by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Review: Heartifact by Aisling “Ash” Mancy
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review Day 6: Title Surprise
  • An Alisa Review: The Perfect Bite by J.D. Walker

Wednesday, December 7th:

  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway: EJ Russell’s Clickbait
  • Review Tour – Heated Beat Series (second book) by Garrett Leigh)
  • Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs’ A Christmas Kiss
  • A MelanieM Review:  A Christmas Kiss by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Stella Advent Calendar Review Day 7: Title Surprise
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Hell Takes a Holiday By Kiernan Kelly
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Seven Minutes by Grace Kilian Delaney

Thursday, December 8th:

  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: AJ Cousin’s Glass Tidings
  • Once Upon a Time in the Weird West Dreamspinner Steampunk Anthology Tour
  • Book Blitz and Giveaway – KC Wells’ Saving Jason
  • In Our Author Spotlight: DSP Author SJD Peterson
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review Day 8: Title Surprise
  • An Alisa Audiobook  Review: Dirty Little Secret (Cabin For Two Series) by Freddy MacKay
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

Friday, December 9th:

  • Tara Lain on Writing and Cowboys Don’t Come Out (author guest blog)
  • Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway: Snow In Montana – RJ Scott
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review Day 9: Title Surprise
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: September by Robert Winter
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Forbidden Mate (Holland Brothers #4) by Toni Griffin
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: What Happens at Christmas by Jay Northcote and Mark Steadman (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: His Fairy Godfather by Cate Ashwood and Nico Jaye

Saturday, December 10th:

  • A Stella Advent Calendar Review Day  10:  Title Surprise
  • Cover Reveal and One Day Book Blast: Tarnished Souls by Dev Bentham

 

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A Caryn Release Day Review: The Santa Hoax by Francis Gideon

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

the-santa-hoaxOne of my favorite things about reading – as opposed to watching TV or movies – is that although an author can give me details about a character’s physical appearance, I can take those details and create a person in my mind who looks, sounds, and moves in the way that seems right to me to fit in the story.  It’s usually a shock to see that same character portrayed by a specific actor/actress, because they are never what I imagined myself.

And that’s what I was thinking about as I read this story about Julian, a trans boy who has just started high school.  His image of himself is never what he sees in the mirror, or in pictures, or in how other people look at him.  If the disconnect is so surprising to me when comparing an imaginary character with an actor portraying that same imaginary character, what must it be like to feel that about yourself?  Every day?  What must it be like to have people call you by a name that is not yours?

Julian Gibson is 14, and just entering high school in Toronto, Canada.  He has felt like a boy since he was old enough to know the difference between boys and girls, but he has only found the words for it in the past few years.  He hasn’t told anyone that he is a boy, and of course is afraid of how they will react.  As he and all the kids around him are entering or moving through puberty, he feels that disconnect between who he is and who he looks like much more acutely, and every day it causes him more distress.  He’s always been the quiet, bookish type, very intelligent, but living more inside his head than anywhere else, and high school is the time when he truly realizes that he will need to learn how to interact with the outside world.  If he doesn’t define himself, others will do it for him, and they will never know who he really is.  He decides that if he can just tell 3 people, that it will become real – yes, he is aware that he’s a little like Pinocchio wanting to be “a real boy” – and now he just needs to find a way to do that.

Those were all the things I loved about the story.  The premise is interesting, the description of Julian’s inner world and the discordance with what happens on the outside is exceptionally well done.  But the plot, well, it’s kind of meh.  I was so frustrated that the conflict is all within Julian’s mind.  When he does start to slowly come out, there was no negativity from others at all.  None, zip, nada.  Everyone not only is supportive, but they also know exactly how to be supportive.  No issues with forgetting to use the correct pronouns, no awkward interactions while reconciling Julian with Julia, and not even any questions like “how does that feel?”  Julian’s girlfriend, who mostly identifies as lesbian, basically just says OK when Julian explains how important it is that she thinks of them as a straight couple, and immediately he is her boyfriend, and that’s that.

The only external conflict had to do with gender specific bathrooms.  Really?  I know that North Carolina made a big deal about that, and the far right continues to make a big deal about it, but I personally think there are many more important discrimination issues facing transgender people.  I say this as a heterosexual, cis-woman, so of course I could be wrong, but I thought the focus on the bathroom issue was disingenuous at best, and a cop-out at worst.

Overall, the book fell short of what I hoped it would be, but it at least made me think more about the internal conflict that any transgender person must feel as they grow up and come to terms with their identity.  And I would definitely want to read a story with transgender teens again in the future.

Cover art, by Alexandria Corza, is also pretty meh.

Sales Links

Harmony Ink Press

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Book Details:

ebook, 254 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2016 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN 1634774272 (ISBN13: 9781634774277)
Edition LanguageEnglish

November is Ending and So Is STRW FF Writing Month ~ This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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November is Ending and So Is STRW FF Writing Month

There are still four days for people to get their entries in.  Four days…to write anywhere from 300 to 1000 words.  What to write about?  Anything and everything.  Any trope, any genre.  From science fiction to contemporary, from romance to horror.  Draw from your feelings about the present day events or something you dream about.  Its up to you.  Its micro fiction…let your thoughts and imagination run free.

Here’s a recap about what flash fiction is:

What is Flash Fiction? Generally speaking its any fiction under 1000 words, although even that seems to vary with definitions from 1200 to 100 words.  Its micro fiction.  Here’s a couple of articles to help you all out:

Earlier our reviewer, Paul B, read and reviewed Flight: Queer Sci Fi’s Third Annual Flash Fiction Contest (QSF Flash Fiction #2), an excellent anthology of flash fiction for science fiction lovers and those who love the short story format.  Flash Fiction, while not new, is steadily gaining in popularity and here is your chance to try your hand at writing a flash fiction story of your own and perhaps make a comment on recent events.

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We will start with our flash fiction entries next week.  So be on the lookout for those announcements and stories!

Remember you have until midnight on November 30th to send in your entries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com!

Here is the link to the post with all the rules .

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~Holiday Stories This Week~

Now also this week, its December!  So its also the beginning of our reviews of Dreamspinner Press’ Advent Calendar stories!  Just like the calendar, we will be reviewing one a day just as they are released!  So if you are a fan as much as we are, stay with us all month long for stories of the holidays in all traditions.2016-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-bah-humbug I’ve highlighted them in blue for easy locating for our readers.  But they aren’t our only holiday stories this week.  We have others like Two Ruined Christmas Eves by Chris McHart, The Santa Hoax by Francis Gideon, and Jay Northcote’s A Family for Christmas just for starters.

Want to know what’s behind these  stories?  The inspiration?  The locations and more?  Check out our author guest blogs where they share insight about their stories, writing and much more!  There’s so much going on this week you won’t want to miss out on a single day!  So stay with us, check out our giveaways as well as our reviews!

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NineStar Press is having its first anniversary today.  And they are giving away a chance for a year of free books!  Leave a comment on their post and check out their website for more information!

Finally, don’t forget to send in those flash fiction!  We’re waiting to hear from you.

two holly berry branches

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, November 27:

  • November is Ending and So Is STRW FF Writing Month
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • NineStar Press’ 1st Anniversary ~ Come Celebrate with Us! (giveaway)

Monday, November 28:

  • The Closet Boy by Sean Micheal – Guest Post
  • Release Day Blitz  for You Are Not Me (’90s Coming of Age, #2) by Leta Blake (giveaway)
  • Two Ruined Christmas Eves by Chris McHart  blog tour and giveaway
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Checking It Twice by Meg Harding
  • A Lila Release Day Review:  The Sorcerer’s Guardian by Antonia Aquilante
  • A PaulB Review: Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation by John H. Ames
  • A Stella Review: A Family For Christmas by Jay Northcote
  • A Stella Review: Two Ruined Christmas Eves by Chris McHart

Tuesday, November 29:

  • In the Spotlight: Frostbitten by Charlotte Stein (Riptide Publishing Tour & Giveaway)
  • Truly a Miracle by Derrick Knight  Excerpt Tour and Giveaway
  • Dreamspinner Press Author Guest Post by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna
  • Retro Review Tour – Serendipity Series – Liam Livings
  • A VVivacious Review: Serendipity Series by Liam Livings
  • An Alisa Review: Not Your Average Man by Edward Kendrick
  • A MelanieM Review: Arctic Fire by Keira Andrews

Wednesday, November 30 (End of the FF Contest!):

  • Riptide Tour: Angel Voices by Rowan Speedwell (giveaway)
  • Review Tour and Giveaway: Julie Bozza’s The ‘True Love’ Solution
  • He’s Behind You  from Series Recap Tour – Treading The Boards Series – Rebecca Cohen
  • A Lila Review:  Enemy of My Enemy (The Executive Office #2) by Tal Bauer
  • A Stella Review: The ‘True Love’ Solution by Julie Bozza
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Where We Belong by Tia Fielding
  • A Paul B Review: Enemy of My Enemy (The Executive Office #2) by Tal Bauer

Thursday, December 1:

  • Nicky and Noah are Back in Drama Cruise (Nicky and Noah Mystery #3) by Joe Cosentino (Release Day Guest Post, and Excerpt)
  • Scotty Cade Guest Blog for Dreamspinner Press
  • Antonia Aquilante on The Sorcerer’s Guardian (Dreamspinner Press Guest Post)
  • An Alisa Review: Architect of Love (Fated Soulmates, #2) by John Charles
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Catching Heir by Julia Talbot
  • A Free Dreamer Advent Calendar Day 1: Title Surprise!
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Santa Hoax by Francis Gideon

Friday, December 2:

  • Harmony Ink Press Guest Post Francis Gideon on Writing and The Santa Hoax
  • Author Guest Blog: Lissa Kasey on Painting with Fire
  • Audiobook tour for Snowed In by Teodora Kostova
  • A Caryb Review: You Are Not Me (’90s Coming of Age, #2) by Leta Blake
  • A Stella Advent Calendar Day 2: Title surprise!
  • An Ali Review: Painting with Fire by Lissa Kasey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue

Saturday, December 3:

  • Wild Bells by Charlie Cochrane Tour Blog
  • A Barb Advent Calendar Day 3: Title Surprise!
  • A MelanieM Review: Elemental Ride by Mell Eight

 

catching-heir-by-julia-talbotwhere-we-belong-by-tia-fieldingenemy-of-my-enemy-by-tal-bauerthe-sorcerers-guardian

Suzanne van Rooyen Shares Thoughts on Writing, and the release of ‘Obscura’ Burning (release day author guest post)

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Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen

Published:  Harmony Ink Press
November 10, 2016

Cover Design: Terry Cronje of Cronje Design Co. http://cronjedesign.com/

Goodreads

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Suzanne van Rooyen here today.  Suzanne agreed to share her thoughts about writing and her latest novel, Obscura Burning.  Welcome, Suzanne, thanks for answering some questions for us.

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  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from? A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

It really depends. Inspiration comes to me from so many different places, but most often it tends to come from art or music. I regularly trawl through Deviantart for images that speak to me or demand a story. I similarly often find myself imagining the backstory or certain songs. Some of those imaginings have turned into stories and some are still waiting to be written.

  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?

I used to be a pantzer, but I’ve come to realize the importance of having an outline, even if it’s just a seven-point plot arc or rough sketch of the protagonist’s character arc. Since I’ve started writing fantasy, planning has become imperative in order to keep track not only of characters and plot, but of all the world-building. These days I rarely start writing without having some kind of plan to work from.

  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

This is an interesting question. I pretty much had this opportunity with Obscura Burning since this is the second edition. Harmony Ink allowed me a round of edits and I was able to rework a few story points, but most importantly, my protagonist. I must’ve been in a pretty dark place when I originally wrote this story because Kyle was so bitter and resentful. I couldn’t really relate to him anymore so, without compromising his core personality, I reworded a few things and let other things affect him to a greater or lesser extent, making him a slightly less unlikeable person – I hope!

  • Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

Hm, I’m not sure. It’s a bit like asking a parent to say who their favourite child is. I have moments where I might prefer one or the other, but I love them all!

  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

Anything and everything by Neil Gaiman. I’d also want the Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater to keep me company. Those two authors are quite easily my favourites.

  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

Both, my mom always read to me at bedtime and I started reading by myself or with my parents from a really young age. Books had a huge impact on my life, one in particular that still haunts me is The Voices of Silence by Bel Mooney about a little girl growing up in Romania at the time of the 1989 revolution.

  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

As a romance novel? Um, I have no idea… I rarely read romance so I’m quite clueless about good titles, but if ever I were to write my memoir or autobiography, I’d want to call it ‘Remember me as a time of day,‘ which is a song title from one of my favourite bands, Explosions in the Sky.

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Blurb

The world’s going to end in fire…and it’s all Kyle’s fault.


Kyle Wolfe’s world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle’s two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle’s friends aren’t all that dead anymore. Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it’s Shira who’s alive…and now they’re friends with benefits.

Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he’s not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He’s pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents’ marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world…

Buy Links

Harmony Ink Press

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Author Bio

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland where she finds the heavy metal soothing and the cold, dark forests inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Author Links