A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

It’s no secret that I love unusual fantasy stories. And “The Tiger’s Watch” is definitely unusual. We have Tashi, our genderfluid protagonist, who’s magically bonded to a tiger.

Tashi is a very sweet person. The story is told in first person POV and that worked really well here. I liked Tashi, though they did cry a bit much. Almost a little whiney, but still mostly alright.

Then there’s Xian. He’s the cruel enemy commander who Tashi needs to spy on. He was actually a really interesting person. At first I hated him, because he’s the enemy and he killed Tashi’s friends. But then we see another side of him and I slowly started to like and maybe even understand him. Only for him to once again remind me that he’s a cruel military commander. I was really conflicted about what to think about him.

The gender-fluidity was mostly implied. Tashi is in hiding, so they need to lay low and not draw attention. It’s mostly just them on insisting to be adressed as “they” and not “he”. And sometimes they wish they could wear a dress. It’s sort of implied that they faced some difficult times when they were younger, but now everybody is really very accepting.

The world was really interesting. Some chosen humans magically bond with animals. But the animals choose them, not the other way round. The catch: The humans die when their bonded animal dies. Since most animals have relatively short lifespans, their bonded humans tend to die young too.

The world building was sadly a little lacking. There’s a war between Tashi’s people and Xian’s people that’s been going for a long time apparently. But we never learn why these two peoples actually fight each other. The whole bonding process seemed a little odd too. Why would anybody actually choose to lower their life expectation so drastically?

There wasn’t all that much of a romance plot here. Tashi is very attracted to Xian, but love somebody else. I didn’t quite understand Tashi’s attraction, tbh. I mean, the man killed one of Tashi’s best friends in front of his eyes and he’s responsible for the deaths of many other people. It would have made more sense for Tashi to hate him. And I’m not too fond of love triangles on principle.

Overall, the story felt as if it was just getting started when it ended. The world and the plot are so complex, 180 pages just weren’t anywhere near enough to follow up on all those promising ideas. Which is a real shame, because the author seemed to have so many great ideas.

This is the first part in a new series and I definitely want to read the next instalment. I really hope some of the unanswered questions will be covered in the next part.

The cover by Meghan Moss is absolutely gorgeous. I absolutely love it!

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages
Expected publication: August 22nd 2017 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN139781635334869
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAshes of Gold #1

Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues

Are you at glued to however you watch tv these days when GoT comes on?  That’s Game of Thrones of course.  The lavish, addictive, often dark fantasy series from HBO adapted from George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire, one that’s he still writing, I  might add if you aren’t someone who read the books  first and then started watching the series.  Or lives in Outer Mongolia, although I’m convinced they get GoT there too.  It’s a land where winter’s coming, a woman ride’s a dragon to her destiny, there are terrifying whitewalkers and even scarier queens now sitting on the iron throne.  There’s Tyrion a dwarf who drinks and knows things plus so many mad wonderful, awful, horrific events that have occurred that we stay fastened to this series as though epoxied. You can’t help it.  It’s magnificent.  And its fantasy.  People love fantasy,  From Tolkien to George R. R. Martin, to the stories of our childhood, whether it be Harry Potter or Peter Pan, imagining the impossible or the improbable has always captured our imagination and our attention.

We want to slide into those worlds, those adventures, see those dragons!  How I loved Anne Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series and Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series just to name two that I couldn’t get enough of.   But really I gobbled them all up.  And still do today.  I just finished last week Don Allmon’s Glamour Thieves and another story in Megan Derr’s Tales of the High King, a series Lila loves as well.  Megan Derr can do no wrong in her  fantasy stories.  Just check our our recommendations for her below.

We are still working on our Fantasy Rec lists.  You all know?  I forgot the Supernatural/Paranormal lists, so those may have to come next.  But for now, lets concentrate on the Fantasy ones.  Our Giveaway runs until August 26~you just might see books you never got to or ones you definitely want to reread!

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

 

Fantasy Titles Recommended – 

Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling
Dance with the Devil series by Megan Derr
Charm of Magpies series by KJ Charles
Hexworld series by Jordan L Hawk
Woke Up in a Strange Place  by Eric Arvin
The Druid Stone (Layers of the Otherworld #1) by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Galway Bound (Layers of the Otherworld #1.1) by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk
The Pirate’s Game (Etsey Novels #3) by Heidi Cullinan and
Etsey novels by Heidi Cullinan

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

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

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

This Week At Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 20:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues

Monday, August 21:

  • Book Blitz & Review Tour – JM Dabney – Ghost (Executioners #1)
  • DSP GUEST POST Vivien Dean
  • TOUR The Vampire’s Protege by Damian Serbu
  • TOUR Blended Notes by Lilah Suzanne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna: Book 5) by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Ghost (Executioners #1) by JM Dabney
  • An Alisa Review Wrong Place, Right Time by April Kelley

Tuesday, August 22:

  • DSP GUEST POST Alex Standish for Changing Tides
  • Review Tour – Elin Gregory – The Bones Of Our Fathers
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z.
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts 3) by KC Burn
  • A MelanieM Review: The Bones Of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory
  • A Stella Review: TBD

Wednesday, August 23:

  • Blog Tour *Inhuman Beings by Richard May
  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote’s Tops Down Bottoms Up
  • A Jeri Review: Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote
  • A Lila Review: The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
  • A VVivacious Review: How to Love a Monster by Lyssa Dering
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Coasting by Yvonne Trent

Thursday, August 24:

  • Cover Reveal First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Julia Ember
  • RIPTIDE TOUR The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by EJ Russell
  • An Alisa Review: Dude Mama by Michael P. Thomas
  • A Caryn Review: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere’ M. Fishback
  • A MelanieM Review: One in Vermilion by Kris T. Bethke
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay  (Narrator)

Friday, August 25:

  • TOUR for Grounded by Aidan Wayne
  • Tour and Giveaway for The Runner by Karma Kingsley
  • Retro Tour: Men of London series by Susan Mac Nicol
  • A Lila Review: Conned By Jana Denardo
  • A MelanieM Review: Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove #1) by Annabeth Albert
  • An Ali Review: Love You Senseless (Men of London #1) by Susan Mac Nicol
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

Saturday, August 26:

  • Blog tour FORBIDDEN LUST BY GRAYSON KNIGHT
  • Release Blitz Without A Compass – Helen Juliet
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart #1) by Kay Berrisford

 

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

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Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fantasy Titles to be Added To:

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

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

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

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

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 13:

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

Monday, August 14:

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

Tuesday, August 15:

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

Wednesday, August 16:

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

Thursday, August 17:

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

Friday, August 18:

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

Saturday, August 19:

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

 

 

Jo Ramsey on Characters, Writing, and her release Dolphins in the Mud (Harmony Ink Author Interview)

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Dolphins in the Mud by Jo Ramsey
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Available for Purchase at Harmony Ink Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jo Ramsey here today with an author interview and a new release to share with our readers. Welcome, Jo!

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Jo Ramsey ~

  • 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 be honest, no, I don’t think there’s that tight a line. A Mary Sue/Gary Stu is a character the author wants to be. The one all the other characters love. The one whose many accomplishments leave people in awe. The one who solves the mystery, or drives the entire plot, simply because of their skills and sheer awesomeness. In general, I would suspect that the experiences of a Mary Sue/Gary Stu character aren’t even close to the experiences of the author. They’re the experiences the author wishes they’d had.

An author using their own experiences to inspire a character isn’t the same thing. The character might share personality traits with the author, or with someone the author knows, but isn’t so heavily based on the source that anyone can tell who it is. Also, someone’s real life experiences often aren’t ones where they’ve saved the world and are beloved by all who know them, so an author who uses their own experiences is not likely to be creating a Mary Sue/Gary Stu. Some of my characters share my experiences and/or personality traits, but they’re very definitely their own people.

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

I do not enjoy research at all, so in general I will avoid it whenever possible. I much prefer creating my own worlds, or, with contemporary fiction, writing about characters and situations that are very similar to people and things in my own life.

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

When I was ten, someone gave me a copy of The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. In the book, a typical 11-year-old boy, the youngest in his family, learns that he’s the last of a group that exists to fight evil. The story is heavily inspired by Arthurian legend and mythology, and the idea that someone “normal” and often overlooked could have such amazing things happen to him captured my imagination.

Although nearly all of my books with Harmony Ink Press are contemporary fiction, my heart lies more in writing paranormal/fantasy. Primarily urban fantasy, where someone who is seemingly “normal” and often overlooked has amazing things happen to them. Some of my previous books, all of which are now off the market, followed that basic concept. Fighting evil, even if you don’t believe you can. Learning that you have power and are a hero, even if you’ve spent your entire life being taught otherwise. Even in my contemporary fiction, I incorporate some of those ideas with characters who, rather than fighting evil, fight things like mental illness, bullying, and trauma, and come out as heroes.

  • 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?

When I wrote Work Boots and Tees, the fifth book in my Deep Secrets and Hope series, I had to stop several times. Jim, the main character, is a sexual abuse survivor who, as a teen, sexually assaulted two girls he was dating. In both cases, he didn’t recognize it as assault; they didn’t say no, after all. When he realizes what the girls perceive as having happened, he’s devastated. In his mind, he has become as much a monster as the man who abused him.

I’m also a sexual abuse survivor, and, like Jim, was quite young when it happened. His memories and flashbacks of the abuse hit far too close to home for me. Although my life didn’t go the way Jim’s did, throughout writing his story I could feel the anguish, anger, and fear he experienced. I went much more deeply into his head than I have with almost any other character I’ve written.

Unfortunately this caused me to have more severe PTSD reactions than I had in a while. I had plenty of support from my loved ones and my therapist, but for my own mental health I had to stop working on the book a few times to give my brain a reset before I could continue.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I much prefer happy-for-now. I don’t think happily-ever-after is at all realistic. Even in the best relationships, there is sometimes conflict. And people change over time, so “the one” for you might not be the one five, ten, twenty years down the road. I prefer realistic endings to artificial ones.

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

I have read some romances, though most of my reading is nonfiction at this point. The romances targeted at teens have improved since I was a teen, in my opinion. The ones I remember reading back then were always about a girl having to choose between two boys, and that annoyed me, partly because I couldn’t even get one boy interested in me and partly because I didn’t understand why the girl couldn’t just have both boys so they could all be happy.

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

I think ebooks will become more popular, but I doubt they’ll ever entirely replace hard-copy books. Some people just enjoy holding a physical book in their hands. It’s also a lot easier to highlight or otherwise mark things in a physical book than an ebook. Personally, I think ebooks are great in terms of saving space, but I prefer physical copies.

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

It’s fairly easy for me. My publisher contracts an artist to create the cover based on a form I submit that includes descriptions of the main character(s) and the setting, and I’m sent three versions from which to choose. I choose the one that comes closest to what I’ve envisioned, and feels the most “right” to me.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

That is a good question! I’m currently working on a novel about an abusive relationship between two teenage boys. I think that dating abuse among teenagers happens far more frequently than people realize, and I also believe that abuse between same-sex couples is vastly underrepresented in fiction. Most abusive relationships I’ve seen depicted are between heterosexual couples. I know two teens who were involved in abusive relationships, and I felt it was important to depict.

Readers can always find out more about what I’m working on and what I have coming up by visiting my website, http://www.joramsey.com, or my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/JoRamseyAuthor. They can also check me out on the Harmony Ink Press website, where they’ll find my new release Dolphins in the Mud among other books. https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/dolphins-in-the-mud-by-jo-ramsey-485-b

 

More about Dolphins in the Mud – Blurb

Stranded. Hopeless. Trapped. No one to turn to and no way to reach the freedom just beyond his grasp….

That’s how Chris Talberman feels when his family moves to an isolated New England coastal town and leaves him alone to care for his severely autistic sister, Cece.

Chris knows how the dolphins stranded in the cove near his home must feel—he understands their struggle better than he can express. But the tragic event has a silver lining. It’s there, while chasing his sister, that Chris meets Noah, a boy his age who is as kind and handsome as he is fascinating. Not only has Chris found the friend he needed, but the possibility for love—

Until Chris’s mother abandons the family and Noah reveals his own hidden pain. Now Chris must care for the person he thought would care for him.

Kindle Edition and paperback, 2nd edition, 180 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Harmony Ink Press (first published May 29th 2012)
ASINB071WX1KGR

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

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Of Recs Lists and Summer Reading

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

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

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

Winner of the Gift Card is:

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

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

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

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

Science Fiction – Readers Recs

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

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

Historical/Other 

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

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

Fantasy Fiction Recommendation Time – Recs Part III

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

Some of my favorites?

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

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

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

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

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

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 6:

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

Monday, August 7:

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

Tuesday, August 8:

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

Wednesday,  August 9:

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

Thursday, August 10:

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

Friday, August 11:

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

Saturday, August 12:

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

Really? Can it Be Almost August? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

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Really? Can it Be Almost August?

Really? Can it Be Almost August? Hard to believe and yet, we’re into the dog days of summer clearly with our temperatures rising into the near 100’s and the muggy’s hitting early this year.  It’s hot and oh so steamy outside.  Sirius is rising in the morning, the Dog Star bright in the skies if you’re up early enough.  That’s the brightest first magnitude star we can see and the one that the Dog Days of Summer are named for. Sirius is one star in a group of stars that form the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Greater Dog.” It’s no surprise, then, that the nickname of this big, bold star is Dog Star.

Sirius signaled the beginning of the hot season, which brought drought, disease, and more. Some people believed that the summer swelter was due to the combined heat from Sirius and the Sun. These uncomfortable, unhealthy days were called the dog days, named after the (innocent) Dog Star. It makes sense that the name of the Dog Star, Sirius, means “scorching” in Greek.

How fitting then, that the first weekend in August brings another smaller celebration. That of International Beer Day on the 4th,  which is quickly followed on the 5th by International Hangover Day.

What are you going to do  going into August?

Don’t forget we still have our contest going on to rec our fav science fiction and historical warrior/soldier stories….

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

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

Some of my recommendations:

Memory of Scorpions series by Aleksandr Voinov (Science Fiction)

Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara (Science Fiction)

The Borders War (5 books) by S.A. McAuley (Science Fiction)

Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane (historical)

The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara (historical/fantasy)

More on mine later…..more coming!

Comment with recommendations and your email address and  two readers will be picked to receive a $10 gift cert from Dreamspinner Press or Amazon, your choice.  Giveaway ends next Saturday, August 5.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Also Again….

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is still looking for reviewers.  If you want to review or know of anyone who reviews, please let us know.  Contact us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

Sunday,  July 30:

  • Really? Can it Be Almost August?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!
  • An Alisa Review: Stormy Nights by Jonas Duffy

Monday, July 31:

  • Audiobook Review Tour for Personal Secrets by KC Wells
  • DSP PUBLICATIONS TOUR: Anne Barwell on Comes a Horseman Sequel to Winter Duet
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Heat Wave, Seasons of Love book 3, by Elyse Springer.
  • Tour: The Garden by Rosalind Abel / Brandon Witt (exclusive excerpt)
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Personal Secrets (Personal #3) by K.C. Wells
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Chase the Ace (London Lads #1) by Clare London and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Resistance by April Kelley

Tuesday, August 1:

  • DSP GUEST POST Julia Talbot on Sparkle and Shine
  • RELEASE BLITZ Trust with a Chaser by Annabeth Albert
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana) by Ari McKay
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: The Teddy Bear Club (The Teddy Bear Club #1) by Sean Michael
  • A Stella Review: After the Sunset by Lilah Suzanne
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Wrapped in Chains by Cindy Sutherland and Narrator: John Anthony Davis

Wednesday, August 2:

  • DSP GUEST POST Parker Williams on The Runner
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway – RJ Scott’s Gabriel (Legacy #2)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Out of the Ashes
  • A Caryn Review: All Wheel Drive (Bluewater Bay #18) by Z.A. Maxfield
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Plaid Versus Paisley (Fabric Hearts #2) by KC Burn and Narrator: David Ross
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Valentine’s Day Resolution by Ava Hayden

Thursday, August 3:

  • Susan Mac Nicol “Revival” Tour and Giveaway
  • Review Tour: The Necromancer’s Dilemma by S J Himes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) by K.J. Charles
  • A MelanieM Review: Knight Errant (Legends of Osaire Book 2) by T.A. Creech
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1) by K-lee Klein and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: The Necromancer’s Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2) by S.J. Himes and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Friday, August 4:

  • BOOK TOUR Crimson Storm by V.L Moon & J.T Cheyanne
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on The Teddy Bear Club
  • DSP GUEST POST TJ Nichols
  • Blog Tour When Heaven Strikes by F.E Feeley Jr
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water#2) by Amy Lane
  • An Alisa Review: One Heart, One Destiny by Pelaam

Saturday, August 5:

  • Release Blitz for Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky
  • A MelanieM Review: Christopher Wild by Kathe Koja

Annabelle Jay on Writing, YA Fiction, and her latest release ‘Caden’s Comet’, Book Four in The Sun Dragon Series (Harmony Ink Press guest post)

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Caden’s Comet (The Sun Dragon #4) by Annabelle Jay
Harmony Ink Press
Cover artist Stef Masciandaro

Available at Harmony Ink Press

Amazon

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have author Annabelle Jay here today talking about writing, YA fiction and her latest in the Sun Dragon series, Caden’s Comet. Welcome, Annabelle!

🐉

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview

with Annabelle Jay

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I always find this to be a really interesting question, though I’m not very good at answering it. The truth is, I often don’t know how much of myself goes into every character—I think that in some ways my characters all share something with me, and yet at the same time, they’re all very much their own people. Either way, I don’t do it intentionally. Using Caden’s Comet: Book Four in The Sun Dragon Series as an example, I’ve never thought of the main character, Grian, as similar to myself, but when I think about it, I used to have a very defined view of what “true love” meant—that it had to be like the movies—and Grian has to grapple with a prophesy for his own true love that doesn’t work out as he planned. And many of the other characters have shared traits with me—Allanah in Book One, for example, is obsessed with fantasy novels, as am I, and Princess Nimue in Book Three has my love of feminine material objects. So I guess at our emotional cores we’re similar in at least one way, though I’m never consciously writing myself or my own experience. As a side note, I almost never write nonfiction because I prefer to stay away from portraying actual events from my own life. 

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

My style of research is typically “as you go.” I write until I come across something, some fact or detail, that I don’t know—then I research it. For example, I knew almost nothing about Merlin’s backstory and the other characters in his life beyond what I’d seen in movies and shows until I retold Merlin in Merlin’s Moon: Book Two in the Sun Dragon Series. By the end of the book, I’d learned a lot! Even in that situation, though, I used the research as a jumping off point to completely change Merlin’s story to fit my own.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Absolutely. I still love young adult fantasy the most, and it’s almost all of what I write. I especially love Patricia Wrede’s novels, and I see a lot of her inspiration in my dragon books.

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

One thing that I never thought about until I started writing YA books with LGBTQIA+ characters was how teens were actually going to get my books. Then I quickly came to realize that most of them prefer hiding their reading choices from their parents—especially when the teen themselves is LGBTQIA and hasn’t come out yet—which is a decision that ebooks allow for. It’s hard for teens to hide a print book from judgmental parents, but it’s much easier to hide an ebook. It makes me really sad that anyone would need to do that, but it makes me very grateful for the ebook platform. 

How do you choose your covers?  

I am so lucky to have an amazing cover artist, Stef Masciandaro, who does all of my Sun Dragon covers. She is a designer Harmony Ink assigned to me when I first started publishing the series, and I’ve requested her every time since! She somehow takes my ideas for covers and makes them into exactly what I had in mind—only ten times more amazing. I also love that all of the books have the same color scheme for the spine and back, but each front cover dragon is completely unique.

What’s next for you as an author?

Just in the last few weeks I signed contracts for two new books with Harmony Ink—one science fiction novel about cloning and one ebook that’s a dystopia. Of course, like all my books, they have LGBTQIA protagonists. I’m thrilled to have future projects with Harmony Ink once the fifth Sun Dragon book, Luminosity, comes out this January. 

 

Back Cover Blurb

Long ago, in the days before King Roland, the four dragon kingdoms—Ice, Sun, Earth, and Bone—battled for dominion over the bountiful planet Earth. Prince Grian, a young dragon, hid aboard a Sun Dragon ship, traveled to Earth, and met Caden, an Earth Dragon who’d run away from his village. Despite falling in love, destiny’s plans for them turned cruel, and both perished in the war.

The Artists who created the universe could not let this tragic loss of true love go unpunished. They wiped out the race of Sun Dragons, exiled the Bone Dragons to Draman, and banished the Ice Dragons to the North Pole, safely away from the Earth Dragons. Only the rebirth of Grian and Caden could break the curse. One day, the return of their love would usher in an age of peace and prosperity for all dragons.

But when Prince Grian is reborn, he finds reuniting with his soulmate on Earth will be no easy feat. As he searches for his lost love, the Earth Dragon Protection Society, or EDPS, searches for him, ready to kill him when they find him. If Grian can elude the EDPS, he might find that the true love he once had isn’t guaranteed to bloom a second time.

Cover Artist: Stef Masciandaro

 

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/cadens-comet-by-annabelle-jay-483-b

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

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

And Happy Sunday! Playing Catchup! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Happy Sunday!

With new surge suppressor tower installed and many new power cord backups happily put away, this is one happy Sunday!  Now that everything is done, I’m happily typing away, even though storms are gathering with more forecast for tomorrow!  Happiness is backup cords!

We had started in on our recommendations for contemporary  stories involving soldiers/wounded warriors and you all didn’t let us down.  The wonderful recommendations came in and we have listed them below.  Thank you to Didi, Ami, H.B., Suze, Jen, Purple Reader, and Shirley Ann for all your great suggestions.  Please let me know if I let anyone’s out or if you think of any books that should be included after the fact!

Soldiers and Wounded Warriors Rec List Part II–

Annabeth Albert’s Resilient Heart,
Eli Easton’s How to Walk Like A Man,
JL Merrow’s Permanently Legless,
Jordan S Brock’s Change of Address
Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh
Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform
The Sentinel by Eden Winters
The Telling by Eden Winters
Once a Marine by Cat Grant
500 Miles by Parker Williams
Walking Wounded by Lee Rowan.
I’ll be Your Drill ,Soldier by Crystal Rose.
Shell Shocked by Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brook.
Soldier by AKM Miles.
Marathon Cowboys by Sarah Black
Special Forces series by Aleksandr Voinov
The Release series by B.A. Tortuga (3 books)
Manny Get Your Guy by Amy Lane

Honor by Cait Forester, Brian C. Palmer
Be Mine (At Last, The Beloved Series #2) by Stella Starling [series should be read in order]
Alpha Barman by Sue Brown
Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux
Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
Falling Down by Eli Easton
Latakia by J.F. Smith
Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane
Private Truths by C.B. Lewis
The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari by Sarah Black*
The General and the Horse Lord Series by Sarah Black get my vote as well as others
Sidewinder series by Abigail Roux
Marshalls series by Mary Calmes
Tonlet’s Wes’ Denial

Announcement:  The winner of the contemporary section is Shirley Ann!  Stella will be in touch with you about your certificate.

Now on to

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

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

Some of my recommendations:

Memory of Scorpions series by Aleksandr Voinov (Science Fiction)

Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara (Science Fiction)

The Borders War (5 books) by S.A. McAuley (Science Fiction)

Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane (historical)

The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara (historical/fantasy)

More on mine later…..more coming!

Comment with recommendations and your email address and  two readers will be picked to receive a $10 gift cert from Dreamspinner Press or Amazon, your choice.  Giveaway ends next Saturday, August 5.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 23:

  • Annnd Happy Sunday! Playing Catchup~
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 24:

  • DSP GUEST POST Roe Horvat on The Layover
  • Harmony GUEST POST Annabelle Jay on Caden’s Comet: Book Four in The Sun Dragon Series
  • Release Blitz Stormy Nights by Jules Jones, Storm Duffy
  • A MelanieM Review: Force of Nature (Coming About #4) by J.K. Hogan
  • A VVivacious Review: High and Dry (Mate of the Tyger Prince #5) by Shannon West
  • A Kai Audiobook Review: Summer Heat by Jay Northcote and Mark Steadman (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Devotion (Forbes Mates #1) by Grace R. Duncan and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Tuesday, July 25:

  • Treading Water (Forgotten Soldier) by Jessie G Tour _Ena Amanda
  •  Blog Tour *Death by Starlight by Alexis Duran
  • DSP GUEST POST Luca Domani on American in Venice
  • A MelanieM Review: A Place for Dreams by Deja Black
  • An Alisa Review: Rescued by Dakota Storm
  • A Stella Review:  The Garden by Rosalind Abel
  • An Ali Audiobook Review:  A Day Makes by Mary Calmes and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

Wednesday, July 26:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Get a Grip (Bluewater Bay) by LA Witt
  • Audiobook Release Blitz The Necromancer’s Dilemma by S J Himes
  • REVIEW TOUR Up In The Air: Johannesburg by George Loveland
  • An Alisa Review: Up In The Air: Johannesburg by George Loveland
  • A MelanieM Review: Red, White, and a New Beginning by Thomas Grant Bruso
  • A VVivacious Review: That Doesn’t Belong Here by Dan Ackerman
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

Thursday, July 27:

  • Losing My Religion by AS Tucker  Release Tour
  • Release Blitz – Clare London’s Peep Show
  • RELEASE BLITZ Roaring Waters (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #3) by CJ Baty
  • A Stella Review: Spun! by JL Merrow
  • An Ali Prerelease Review: Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) by K.J. Charles
  • A MelanieM Review: Treading Water by Jessie G
  • An Alisa Review: Man Candy (Candy #1) by Amanda Young

Friday, July 28:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) by EJ Russell
  • RELEASE BLITZ Teresias Bound by Rebecca James
  • DSP GUEST POST BA Tortuga on Road Trip, Vol 1
  • Release Tour:Unscripted Love by  Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Caryn Review: Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) by EJ Russell
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Runner by Parker Williams
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Pent Up by Damon Suede and Christopher Kipiniak (Narrator)

Saturday, July 29:

  • A MelanieM Review: Jordan’s Pryde (Pryde Shifter #1) by Giovanna Reaves

An Author’s Interview with Gene Gant of In Time I Dream About You (author guest interview/new book release)

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In Time I Dream About You by Gene Gant
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Gene Gant here today talking about writing, books and In Time I Dream About You, the author’s latest release from Harmony Ink Press!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Very little, if anything at all. I strive to make every character as distinct a person as possible. In the process of writing, each character becomes a separate individual to me, with his or her own personality, history, political views and opinions. As such, they often take off in directions that surprise me, pulling the story in an entirely unexpected direction. I always work from an outline of the plot, but I’m forced to be flexible with it when a character takes control of things. There really isn’t much opportunity for me to insert any of my experiences or personal views under such circumstances. (Although a character occasionally likes my favorite food, reads one of my favorite books, or dresses in a style I personally favor.) Besides, I’m not all that interesting. Readers want compelling characters. Unlike Gavin Goode, for example, I’ve so far lived a fairly uneventful life. Or, as Donald Trump might tweet: BORING.

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

My publisher has a team of artists who work with authors to create covers. They begin with a series of questions to get an understanding of the plot, setting and characters along with the writer’s preferences. Using that information, they prepare two or more drafts of what will eventually become the cover. A great cover has to be eye-catching, convey a general sense of the story’s mood and pull the reader in. I usually go for the one that invokes the biggest emotional response in me, the one that makes me want to jump in and inhabit the world it depicts.

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

Yes, definitely. I’ve always enjoyed fiction across a variety of genres, some of my favorites being contemporary, romance, mystery, fantasy, science fiction and horror. The stories I write fall mostly in the genres I love to read. I sometimes combine genres, as in the case of In Time I Dream About You, which is a blend of romance and science fiction/urban fantasy. Ironically, as a teenager, I read mostly adult novels by the likes of Stephen King, Peter Straub, James Patterson, John Grisham, J.R.R. Tolkien, Eric Jerome Dickey and Sue Grafton. Now, as an adult, I find myself reading an awful lot of—some would say far too much—young adult fiction.   

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

I’ve had to put stories aside for a variety of reasons. Sometimes I lose interest in the main character, which is never a good sign. Occasionally, I discover that an idea just doesn’t come together in the writing and needs to be revamped

In Time I Dream About You actually began as a tale more heavily tilted toward romance than science fiction, with Cato as the main character who falls in love with Gavin while observing him from the future. He knows Gavin dies in a tragic event and is torn between letting history take its course or violating the law against changing the past and saving Gavin. Perhaps a third of the way into the story, I found myself getting stuck. I’d fire up my computer and sit there staring at the screen, unable to write a word. I moved on to another project, unsure whether the story would ever get finished. After a few months, I read through what I’d written so far and realized I was focusing more on Gavin than Cato, because Gavin’s life was resonating more emotionally with me than Cato’s. Once I shifted the point of view to Gavin, I finished the story rather quickly. Gavin’s tale was less romantic than Cato’s would have been, but for me, the heart of the story was with him.

What’s next for you as an author?

At the moment, I’m working on a young adult novel about a lonely fifteen-year-old boy who gets dumped by his girlfriend and is surprised to find himself falling for one of his male teachers.  It’s more of a coming of age story than a romance, with the kid having to face certain truths about himself and the people in his life. I also have this idea percolating in my head about a boy who discovers he is adopted when his birth parents surface unexpectedly in his life, just as he is settling into a relationship with his new boyfriend. Beyond that, I have no other stories planned…yet, I should add. Ideas for stories tend to pop out of the blue on me, and I’m sure it won’t be long before my mind is conjuring up new characters and situations.

Blurb

Gavin Goode, a promising high school athlete with good grades, forfeited his future when he joined a brutal street gang called the Cold Bloods. The gang’s leader, Apache, discovered Gavin is gay and framed him for murder. Now in prison, Gavin faces rape and abuse on a daily basis as gang members there attempt to break him. When his father is critically injured and Gavin reaches his lowest point, a mysterious ally appears. Cato is much more than the guard he seems. He has come from the future, and he possesses the technology to undo everything that’s gone wrong in Gavin’s life.

But meddling in the timeline has dire consequences, and Gavin faces an impossible decision: sacrifice himself and his father, or let thousands of innocents die instead.

About the Author

‘m Tennessean by birth, a resident of Memphis for most of my life. I tried living in a few northern cities after graduating from college, but I couldn’t take the brutal winters, and I missed good ol’ southern barbecue. Now I make my home on a country lane outside of Memphis. When I’m not reading, working out, watching movies or spending time with family and friends, you can find me tapping away at my computer.

Website

Its July, Happy 4th. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Its July, Happy 4th.

Yes, its officially July.  Summer is well under way.  For those of us in the States or celebrating abroad, this is the start of a long weekend extending into next week, Tuesday which is the 4th.  Roads have been packed with people getting away as have the airports and railway stations.  Celebrations and get togethers, picnics and parades, all will be going on this weekend and into next week, ending with fireworks everywhere.  Why the 4th?  John Adams thought it should have been July 2!  And wouldn’t recognize the celebrations on July 4th.

A quick history lesson: “The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.” Thank you, History.com

Also:

John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Happy Fourth of July!  Have a safe and happy weekend.

Also to our neighbors to the north, Happy Canada (Dominion) Day!  The US is not the only one celebrating our independence!  Per our wonderful internet “Canada became self-governing on July 1st, 1867, with the passage of the British North America Act (BNA Act) in the British Parliament. The holiday was originally known as “Dominion Day”. It was changed to Canada Day by the Canadian Parliament on October 27, 1982.”

Did you know? The U.S. and Canada share the largest un-defended border in the world. So congratulations and Happy Canada Day too!

 

Winner Announcement!

~Pride Father’s Day Celebration Giveaway – Last Week~

We wanted you all to give us your best suggestions for books involving LGBTQIA families or LGBT people with children stories.  What a great list of books you presented us with.  Here they are in no particular order….

STRW Great LGBTQIA Dads/Parents/Family Book Recs!

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels
What Remains by Garrett Leigh
Bonfires by Amy Lane
Until September by Chris Scully
Back to You by Chris Scully
Snow & Winter series by C.S. Poe
All’s Fair by Josh Lanyon
Stone and Shell by Lloyd A. Meeker
Good To Know series by DW Marchwell
Shaking the Sugar Tree series by Nick Wilgus
It’s Christmas Everywhere But Here by Liam Livings
Making Ends Meet by SL Armstrong
Just Like This by Taylor Lewis
The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney
Nested Hearts series by Ada Maria Soto
Ranger Station Haven by S.A. Stovall
Faith, Love and Devotion series by Tere Michaels
The Rebuilding Year series by Kaje Harper
But For You by Mary Calmes
The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden
All the Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher
Frog by Mary Calmes (not a dad but mannies count right?) yes they do!
Southern Comfort by Lola Carson
Flaunt by E. Davies
The Harvest series M.A. Church (children don’t show up until the second book and in the spin-off sequel we to see the kids grown and finding their own mates <3)
A Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes
THIRDS by Charlie Cochet (the Dex and Cael’s Tony)
The Mannies series by Amy Lane (and because it also had great dads too)
Road to the Sun by Keira Andrews
Disasterology 101 by Taylor V. Donovan
The Tyack and Frayne Mystery series by Harper Fox

And Fur Kids, just because yes, they count:Pets
Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune
Sinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford
Finding Matt by J.D. Ruskin (no kids, but Bear the dog was awesome, almost the best part of the book).

 

So many great comments and recommendations.  Let me know if you have any more to add to our list!   Thank you all for participating!  New giveaway up next week.

Our winners for this contest are Trix and ami!  Thank you both.  Stella will be in touch with you both about your gift cards!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 2:

  • Its July, Happy 4th.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 3:

  • DSP GUEST POST Amy Lane
  • DSP GUEST POST M.A. Church on Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on Making a Splash
  • A Julia Review:The Last Ranger of Sarn (The Journals of the Huntress Book 1) by Ed Ireland
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: What’s the Use of Wondering? By Kate McMurray
  • A MelanieM Review: Feral Dust Bunnies (Offbeat Crimes #4) by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote and narrated by Mark Steadman

Tuesday, July 4 (Happy Independance Day to all those in the US and abroad)

  • BLOG POST Two-Man Advantage by Leigh Carman
  • Release Blitz Force of Nature (Coming About #4) by J.K. Hogan
  • Release Blitz for  Meg Harding’s Finding Home
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Love and Other Hot Beverages by Laurie Loft
  • A Kai Review: Misdemeanor by CF White
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County #1) by Eli Easton and narrator Will Tulin
  • An Alisa Review: Black Magic Glitterbomb by Sage C. Holloway

Wednesday, July 5:

  • Blitz Tour: Haven’s War by Parker Williams
  • Blog Tour: Burning Boundaries, by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham
  • DSP GUEST POST SJD Peterson on Something’s Brewing at Joe’s
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Ahava Is Love (World of Love) by Avery Duran
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Making a Splash by Sean Michael
  • A Stella Review: Haven’s War (Safe Haven #2) by Parker Williams
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Santa’s Naughty Helper ( Lawyers in Love) by Ari McKay

Thursday, July 6:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Spun! (The Shamwell Tales #4) by J.L. Merrow
  • DSP Publications blog tour Xenia Melzer
  • An Alisa Review: Admiring Jesse by Shawn Lane
  • A MelanieM Review: Behind the Mask by Elizabeth Coldwell
  • A VVivacious Review: Oversight (The Community #2) by Santino Hassell
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Vassily the Beautiful (The ESTO Universe) by Angel Martinez and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

Friday, July 7:

  • DSP GUEST POST Avery Duran on Ahava is Love
  • Release Blitz for Luna David’s Saving Sebastian
  • Release Day Blitz for Lying Eyes by Robert Winter
  • Review Tour for TC Orton ‘s Iudicium
  • A Julia Review: Iudicium by​ T.C Orton
  • A Jeri Review: A Way with Words (Memories with The Breakfast Club ) by Lane Hayes
  • An Alisa Review:  Prise de Fer by A.R. Moler

Saturday, July 8:

A MelanieM Review: The Werecat Trilogy by Andrew J. Peters