A Julia Review :Thirteen Mercies, Three Kills by Liv Olteano

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Watching her father’s termination, twenty-year-old Cristina Mera Richards decides to kill the reaper Edgar Verner. Verner is the resident alkemist of New Bayou, though, and since alkemists are immortal, killing him won’t be easy. But the harvesters are destroying the hovertown one citizen at a time. Edgar Verner must be stopped.

Cristina Mera has a gift for seeing and hearing ghosts. She escorts souls out of bodies ravaged by the withering sickness, taking away their pain. Her gifts are unique. Once it’s clear she’s a changeling, Verner becomes more than interested in having her by his side.

Mysterious Wanderer Alkemist Nikola Skazat is the solution to Cristina Mera’s problems—a delightful and charming one, since Nikola is a woman unlike any Cristina Mera has ever met. Becoming Nikola’s apprentice instead of Verner’s finally gives Cristina Mera the opportunity she needs to save her hovertown. It also puts her heart in high gear, gives her butterflies, and just might get her killed.

Thirteen Mercies, Three Kills by Liv Olteano is a dystopian novel with elements of Steampunk, Fantasy and Science-Fiction.

What got me hooked right away was the intriguing setting and worldbuilding. Taking place in the future after a nuclear fallout, humans are reduced to living in hovering settlements shielded from the toxic world outside and ruled over by alkemists who process the souls of citizens in order to keep the platforms afloat. First, I thought that this novel would gear mostly towards the Fantasy-genre because of the protagonist’s ability to have Death do her bidding and help sick people pass on peacefully. However, later on, as the origin behind the hovertowns was revealed, the story seemed to edge closer towards Sci-Fi.

I quite liked the protagonist Cristina Mera. She’s strong-willed, brave and knows what she wants. I also rather enjoyed seeing that she made no secret of her immediate attraction for Nikola. Her abilities were quite astounding, and I wished you could have seen a bit more of her interactions with the people she performed her so-called “mercies” on as well as their family members.

Nikola Skazat was the one I took an immediate liking to. From her mannerisms to her clothing style and her profession, she was a particularly intriguing character and I could understand why Cristina became fascinated with her right away. She projected the image of a confident woman who had already seen a lot in her lifetime and felt secure in who she was. I would have very much liked to learn more about her skills as well as seeing her teach some of those to her new apprentice. Still, I did enjoy the dynamic between the two women.

While both the setting and main characters were rather intriguing, and the plot showed potential as well, there were some parts of this novel that bothered me. For one, the first half of the story seemed to be more detailed than the second one and especially the ending felt rather rushed. The same goes for the final confrontation with Verner which fell sort of flat. The plan to take him down seemed not particularly well thought out and while the characters said so themselves, it made me wonder why they didn’t even try to come up with a few more precautions. It all seemed rather ill-advised considering that this operation had apparently been in the making for quite some time.

There were also some potentially very interesting characters like Verner’s liquidator – a type of assassin – or the leader of a rebellious group I would have liked to learn more about.

All in all, this novel showed great potential and some very good writing. Due to the way some elements were handled – particularly the fight with Verner – I sadly cannot give it as high of a rating as I would have liked. But I will definitely be on the lookout for future works by this author (including a sequel to this one) since there were quite some inspired ideas and concepts in there that just needed to be further explored and polished.

The cover design by Catt Ford features a beautiful artwork of Cristina Mera and caught my eye right away.

Sales Links:

      

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages

Published June 13, 2017

by Harmony Ink Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-419-7

Edition Language: English

Heartbreak, Hearthounds, And A Tale of Two Winstons. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Heartbreak, Heartterriers, And A Tale of Two Winstons

My heart is breaking this Sunday.  On Friday, after what was supposed to be a routine visit to the vet, for annual shots and to check out a cough, I found out that my redoubtable terrier, Winston has an aggressive tumor in the spleen, a cancer that’s already metastasized to his lungs. Prognosis is most likely one week.  This from a boy who was after a skunk, and racing the fence with a deer only days ago.  I’m in complete shock and utterly devastated.  He’s my heart terrier, my boon companion.  I was sure I would have him for at least 10 more years as I had the Winston before.  But its not to be and by this time next Sunday, my Winston will be gone.

So, because I’m in pieces and I need to spend as much time as I can with him, I’m re-posting this morning A Tale of Two Winstons, the journey of how this magnificent Winston came into my life.  Oh, he will always be a part of my heart. He’ll be so missed.

WinstonII home

 

A Tale of Two Winstons

 

Somethings are just meant to be, no explanation, no rational reason, they just are.  Somewhere a song is sung, a ripple forms in the water, a door closes, a window opens, and a dog finds its way back to its forever home.

It’s been a week to the day that Winston died, and this household has been a very changed, quiet place.  The dogs have been upset and grieving as have I.  Then this morning we woke to the smell of gas.  Flinging open the windows, we called the gas hotline and quickly the emergency crew arrived to locate the source and shut down the gas line.  It was a small issue, one quickly resolved but it meant that we were all home for the day, an unlikely occurrence. We had food we intended to donate to the local animal shelter and now had the time to do it. I checked the computer for address and hours of operation for the Montgomery County Humane Society.

There on the website was a picture that riveted me.  Up for adoption, dog 151 who looked remarkably like Winston.  I tucked that picture into my head, gathered up the food and we left for the shelter.  I checked in and we waited for our name to be called to state our business.  Upon hearing my name, I approached the desk and they gave me a slip, asked what dog I wanted to see and directed me to the back towards the kennels.  I didn’t correct them.

Through the door, past kennels full of dogs needing homes.  I averted my eyes, my heart sore.  We approached a cage, I looked down and nearly fainted.  There he stood, tail waving, face open and smiling, his entire body shaking in happiness – Dog 151.  He looked just like Winston, almost identical.  The attendant hooked him up to a leash and we took him outside, all the while telling us he just came in yesterday.  He was neutered, 4 years old, and had been rehomed twice.  We looked at him, he looked at us, and I heard myself saying “we want him, we want to adopt him”.  There was never a moments hesitation.

She handed us a slip of paper.  How can something so flimsy carry such weight?  It meant that he was taken.  How I hated leaving him there in the kennels while the routine paperwork had to be filed.

There were pages to fill out, and pages of information about him to be received.  Instead of having to wait for an interview, somehow someone was available to interview us immediately instead of the usual waiting period.  We sat and waited for our name to be called,  looking over the paperwork.  I was focused on the staff,  when I heard my name called out.

“Melanie, his name is Winston.”

“What?”

“His name is Winston!!!!!”

Disbelieving, I looked at the paper she was holding up.  There, plain as day, next to the name for the dog being given up was the word Winston.  Dog 151 was Winston.   The tears that had been threatening from the moment I saw him spilled over.  The staff asked about the tears and the story of Winston poured out.  Even they thought the series of events unlikely.  The wonderful person who was our adoption counselor. Addie Soares who interviewed us had Winston brought in and he was as much a part of the interview process as we were. Sitting at our feet, body wagging a mile a minute, it was clear to all we were a family.  We talked some more and then she asked if we wanted to take him home today.  The answer was a resounding “yes”.

We had been warned he would likely bolt because of past issues so they gave us all new tags, harness and collar.  We keep a leash in the car just in case a dog needs to be rescued.  Out to the jeep we went.  Winston took one look at the car and leaped for the seat.  The ride home was a breeze as he sat safe and interested in my lap.  Then we were home.  Questions formed in my mind.  What would Willow and Kirby think?

I shouldn’t have worried. Willow kissed him, and Winston kissed her back.  Kirby came running up, happy to greet him.  Turns out Winston was just as overjoyed to see Kirby.  We employed the usual tactics to introduce new dogs to each other but really we needn’t have bothered.  Much sniffing ensued, much licking ensured, much peeing ensued, and they were fine.  So were we, again.

Now we are all ensconced on the bed, watching The Voice, and the dogs are sleeping peacefully next to us on the bed as well.  This is why king sized beds were invented.  Winston’s feet are moving in his sleep, his brows moving in tandem.  His slumber is full of dreams. Willow is curled up on her pillow and Kirby is doing his normal imitation of a teenage boy, unmoving and splayed out.  We are at peace, and we are whole once more.

There are certainly differences between them as it should be.  One is not the other.  One is not the replacement for the other, and their differences are to be celebrated.  This Winston has a long undocked tail, and a wide open personality.  This Winston lacks the arduous back history of my other Winston.  That Winston was wary of new circumstances, never taking treats or unfamiliar food.  This Winston took two treats immediately and then looked for more.  But there are also similarities.  The huge personality that says I will not give in, that persistent nature, hearty spirit and indomitable soul.

He is sleeping on his back now, at ease in posture and attitude.  Winston knows he is home.

They had asked us if we intended to keep the name Winston.  I looked at him, and thought of all the things that came together for us to become a family, and replied “yes, that is his name.”  He is Winston, a different Winston but Winston none the less.  Different but equal.

A song is sung, a wing beats on the wind, a direction is chosen, ripples form and a dog comes home just as another leaves.  Who is to say how these patterns are formed, and the paths chosen?   Somehow I know this was meant to be and Winston is smiling down upon us.  I will always love my Winston and miss him.  I will celebrate and welcome this Winston’s homecoming.

One is mourned and one is found.  A home is made whole as is a heart.  I swear I hear a song and a bark in the air…..

Here is Winston finally in his forever home.WinstonII asleep

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 14:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Cover Reveal for LOVE TIMES FIVE by Lily G Blunt

Monday, January 15:

  • Review Tour – Lost In Time – A.L. Lester
  • BLITZ Beneath the Surface by Rebecca Langham
  • BLITZ Life After Humanity by Gillian St. Kevern
  • A Caryn Review: Lost In Time by A.L. Lester
  • A Stella Review: Friends and Lovers by Tinnean
  • An Ali Review:  A Purple Winter by Mel Bossa

Tuesday, January 16:

  • Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks Tour
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Jeff Adams and Will Knauss VIDEO
  • DSP GUEST POST BA TORTUGA ON Fighting Addiction
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fighting Addiction (Fighting Addiction) by B.A. Tortuga
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Beneath This Mask (Enhanced #3) by Victoria Sue
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Ghost of a Chance (Requiem Inc. #1) by Kris T. Bethke

Wednesday, January 17:

  • Cover Reveal for Selina Kray’s In Wild Lemon Groves
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway for Tribute Act by Joanna Chambers
  • Blog tour for Resist and Triumph charity anthology
  • An Ali Review: Two Man Station (Emergency Services #1) by Lisa Henry
  • A MelanieM Review:  Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8) by Joanna Chambers
  • A Stella Review:The Fortune Hunter by Bonnie Dee

Thursday, January 18:

  • DSP Promo Amy Spector
  • Release Day Blitz A Way with You by Lane Hayes
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Romantic Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Julia Review :Thirteen Mercies, Three Kills by Liv Olteano
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Spun! by JL Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)
  • A Stella Pre Release Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and J.H. Knight

Friday, January 19:

  • Book Blast – The Loss of Self – An Intimate Autobiography by Alek Martin
  • Release Blitz – The Station – Keira Andrews
  • Review Tour – Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) – V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Review: Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey
  • An Ali Review: An Amy Lane Christmas by Amy Lane (bundle)

Saturday, January 20:

  • A MelanieM Review: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker
 

Of Polar Vortexes. Bombogenesis and Thundersnow. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Polar Vortex. Bombogenesis. Thundersnow!

Yes, this is the week the weather took over Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!  So cold my keyboard (ok, my fingers) just about froze!  Six degrees here and they are calling for much colder weather to come!  Nope, Maryland is officially known as The Temperate State.  Nothing temperate about these temperatures!  In fact the whole East Coast is frozen from Niagara Falls to Tallahassee, Florida.   Snow is falling in Texas to Florida. Iguanas are dropping like hail near the Everglades.  And the Meteorologists are having a field day, either defending or denying the use of some of the words I’ve used above.  Especially bombogenesis!  That one caused a howl!

Nice to see language and words with the power to make things pop on a daily basis!  You can find the definitions of these terms and others like seiche and haboob here.  Terrific article but I’m more interested in the way these words flew about the media.  People got downright Twitterpated!  There’s a polar bombogenesis coming! RUN!!!!!!! To the grocery store or the liquor store or wherever one runs.  But run!  Not sure where they thought we were going?  Alaska?  Because it’s downright warmer there then here.  How about “bomb cyclone”?  Heard that one too!  What terms have you been hearing?  How have you been coping with the cold, if at all?  Maybe you are one of the luckier ones and live outside the “frozen zone”, what advice, other than “Let It Go” (runs and hides) would you have for us?

I’ve been taking the cold by staying inside with the dogs and reading (and binging Netflix I confess).  The cold (a 2 degree morning today) is good for that.  Luckily I’ve had some wonderful stories for company.  Charlie Cochrane’s Lindenshaw Mysteries (a cozy if ever there was one) is on it’s third installment.  Just terrific.  Plus I have some old favorites I’m discussing below.  What are you all reading during this “bomb cyclone”? Or winter hurricane?  What tales are keeping you warm? More about that later….

Now, onto this week.  There are some very special books we are reviewing this week, some with starts that go way back! This week I’m finishing up a trilogy that started in 2009.  That would be Astrid Amara’s wonderful Bellskis series.  One came out in holiday season 2009, then another during the holiday in 2011, and then…nothing.  I was bereft!  I loved this series and couple!  Then the news that Loose id was closing and the final story arrived.  Wedding Bellskis!  Be still my heart.  All three are reviewed this week.  Astrid Amara’s trilogy combines  murder, mystery, Hanukkah, a sometimes rocky romance, and a couple to remember.  Check them out!

Next up?  Another story  with it’s start years ago.  That would be Laura Baumbach’s Genetic Snare.  How many of you science fiction lovers remember the first story?   That would be Details of the Hunt (Details #1) by Laura Baumbach published back in 2006 (2007).  Honestly I can’t remember which year I read but I think it was 2006.  A long time!  Anyway, then she announced there would be a sequel….which never came.  Which because she was busy establishing MLR Press among other things.  Now, years later, we are finally getting that story!  There’s a time traveled pirate, a huge alien who talks like a film noir gangster, suspense, and alien tentacle sex..sort of.  Yes, it works but you really need to read both books.

Finally there’s Amy Tasukada’s Yakusa Path series.  The third book is out and I’m reviewing it this week.  It was one of my Best of 2017 and it looks as though it will be on my 2018 list as well.  Just amazing.  So if you don’t mind gritty, brilliant, bloody fiction, check out One Thousand Cranes (Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada.  Again you will need the entire series.

All that and so much more!  There’s a few more holiday stories and audiobook reviews and everything in between.  Plus giveaways, author interviews, and guest posts!  Stay with us, stay warm, and stay safe….

More about the giveaway at the end of the post.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 7:

  • Of Polar Vortexes. Bombogenesis and Thundersnow.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review: Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1) by Astrid Amara

Monday, January 8:

  • Hannah Carmack on Seven-Sided Spy
  • Blog tour *Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks
  • DSP Promo Ari McKay
  • A Stella Review: Like a Gentleman by Eliot Grayson
  • A MelanieM Review: Beyond The Tunnel by Dan Mitton
  • An Alisa Review: Tangled Up in You by Emily Carrington
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists by Angel Martinez and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Tuesday, January 9:

  • Release Blitz – Lost In Time – A.L. Lester
  • DSP Promo Logan Meredith
  • DSP Promo Z. Allora on The Great Wall
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Bleu Balls (Balls to the Wall #7) by Tara Lain
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Southernmost Murder by C.S. Poe
  • A MelanieM Review: Bring Me the Dead by Becky Black

Wednesday, January 10:

  • Release Blitz – Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz – Forever With You by Londra Laine
  • Review Tour – Amy Tasukada’s One Thousand Cranes
  • A Stella Review: Mended With Gold by Lee Welch
  • A MelanieM Review: A MelanieM Review:  One Thousand Cranes (Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Freckles by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Thursday, January 11:

  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • Harmony Ink Promo Gene Gant
  • Riptide Tour & Giveaway: Relay by Layla Reyne
  • A MelanieM Review: Genetic Snare (Details #2) by Laura Baumbach
  • An Alisa Review: Christmas Kisses at the North Pole by Jessie Pinkham
  • A MelanieM Review: Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2) by Astrid Amara

Friday, January 12:

  • Release Blitz & Review Tour for Rebecca Cohen’s Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo
  • Review Tour for Sam Burns’ Blackbird In The Reeds
  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway: Two Feet Under by Charlie Cochrane
  • A MelanieM Review: Two Feet Under (Lindenshaw Mysteries #3) by Charlie Cochrane
  • A MelanieM Review: Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen
  • A Stella Review: Composing a Family: A Mannies Incorporated Novel by Sean Michael

Saturday, January 13:

  • A MelanieM Review: Magical Rescue (Shifting through the Snow Book 8) by Laura Baumbach
  • A MelanieM Review:Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3) by Astrid Amara

 

 

 

 

 

Best of 2017 Giveaway

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  This week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up! Gift certificates, more than one, for participations and more.

Our Winners are:   Purple Reader, H.B., and Ana!  A $10 Gift Card will be yours.  Happy New Years to all of you and a huge thank you to everyone that provided us with all those lists.  I will be putting up a page with everyone’s 2017 Lists this week so   be on the lookout for that too!  New Giveaway up next week! Yep the Polar Vortex Giveaway!

So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists.

Well, today as we usher out 2017 (and I can’t say I’m entirely sorry to see it go), I will say it’s been a wonderful year in terms of stories, at least for me, and as far as I can tell, for some of you too.  So buckle up, my buttercups, grab something to make lists with, whether it be old fashioned paper and pen or your smartphone or pad, and prepare yourself for some marvelous Best of Lists from readers, reviewers, and myself!

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There have been series that ended this year (and I’m including trilogies here) that were just outstanding, new discoveries made of authors both established and newly published, great stories that cut to the heart of why we read, and series that either started or continued that made us laugh, cry, blew our minds with the author’s creativity and wild imaginations!  Oh the joy of it all!

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Plus the happiness that we here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words have been able to share it all with you and have heard from you in return.  It’s been a very rich year indeed.

Best of

From Our Readers

Lennis:

My Bests:
Best Contemporary is tough. I liked How To Bang A Billionaire by Alexis Hall, Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell, and Rule Breaker by Lily Morton.
Best Fantasy for me would be The Heart of The Lost Star by Megan Derr, Lord Mouse by Mason Thomas, A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune. I wasn’t sure if I should add Broken by Jex Lane to this, or have it be Best Paranormal? Let’s go with that.
Best Science Fiction would be Moro’s Price by M. Crane Hana and Dali by E.M. Hamill.
Best Cover. Natasha Snow has had an awesome year! Controlled Burn and Adrift are some favorites. The Foxling Soldati cover by L.C. Chase and One Last Try cover by Lou Harper are also eye catching.

suze294

My 5* reads from this year
The Executive Office series, Tal Bauer
Sins of the cities series, KJ Charles
Forever Haunt (Jimmy McSwain 5), Adam Carpenter
This Fire Inside, Jordan Nasser
What It Looks Like, Matthew J Metzger
Wolfsong, TJ Klune
Priddys Tale, Harper Fox
Bitter Legacy, Dal Maclean
Switched, NR Walker
The Definitive Albert J Sterne, Julie Bozza
Reaping Fate, AJ Rose

From Ana:

My Bests:
Best Mystery: Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Risky Behavior by LA Witt & Cari Z
Best Audiobook: Femme by Marshall Thornton
Best Cover:Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
Best Contemporary (this is hard to choose, so many good ones): Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling, The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin, Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaugh, Manic Pixie Dream Boy by KA Merikan and Disease by Hans M Hirshchi
Best Dark Theme: Backdoor Politics by CL Mustafic

Amy:

Favorite On-Going Series in 2017

Hexworld by Jordan L. Hawk
Aberrant Magic by Lyn Gala
Offbeat Crimes by Angel Martinez
Bad Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z
Rainbow Cove by Annabeth Albert
Scoring Chances by Avon Gale

and more from Didi:

I’m adding two more lists of mine here, for PNR and May/December (or Age-Gap as one MC’s not into his December yet 😉 ).

Best Paranormal Romance:
– Spectred Isle by KJ Charles
– Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk
– Undertow by Jordan L. Hawk
– The Well by Marie Sexton
– Fraud Twice Felt by JT Hall

Best May/December Romance:
– Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
– Spun! by JL Merrow
– Trust the Chaser by Annabelle Albert
– Risky Behavior by LA Witt & Cari Z (I cheated, it’s more age-gap than May/December, I think)
– Permanent Ink by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

Best of Lists from STRW

 More from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviewers:

 From Lila:

Looking back on my shelves, The Best of 2017 (according to me) are:

January – Chosen Pride by Mary Calmes
February – Red Dirt Heart by N.R. Walker
March – Borrowing Trouble by Kade Boehme
April – Tell Me the Truth by Lisa Oliver
May –  The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
June – The Palisade by Rosalind Abel
July – That Alien Feeling by Alessandra Hazard
August – The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Deer
September – Strange Bedfellows by Cardeno C.
October – Locked in Silence by Sloane Kennedy
November – The Hideaway by Rosalind Abel
December – An Omega for Christmas by L.C. Davis
And some extra mentions:

·         Best Read for STRWBonfires by Amy Lane

MelanieM Best of 2017

Here are my lists, many and long as I warned everyone.  What a year and I still mourn the books I hesitatingly left off.  These are listed in absolutely no particular order excerpt that I was scrambling to look at my notes and books kept popping up here and there….

♥︎Best Contemporary Fiction with Romance

Ghost (Executioners #1) by J.M Dabney
Joker (Executioners #2) by J.M Dabney
Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay
There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt, #2) by Heidi Cullinan
Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
Switched by NR Walker
Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes
Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out #2)
by Sean Kennedy
House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh
Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft
Fair Chance (All’s Fair #3) by Josh Lanyon
Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor
Snowblind by Eli Easton
Who We Are by Nicola Haken
Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black
Rhino Ash by Lindsey Black

Bonfires by Amy Lane
Catch and Release (The Release, #3) by B.A. Tortuga

♥︎Best Contemporary Fiction (not a romance)

Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) by Amy Tasukada

♥︎Best Science Fiction

The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth
Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander
The Jackal’s House (Lancaster’s Luck #2) by Anna Butler – steampunk

 ♥︎Best of Fantasy:

His Mossy Boy (Being(s) in Love#8) by R. Cooper
Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford
The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
Ravens (Inheritance #3) by Amelia Faulkner

♥︎Best Supernatural/Paranormal:

Bitten by Design (Regent’s Park Pack #2) by Annabelle Jacobs
Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Offbeat Crimes #3) by Angel Martinez (actually all the books in this series)

♥︎Best Series:

Aisling Trilogy by Carole Cummings (high fantasy)
The Hawaiians by Meg Amor (contemporary romance)
Offbeat Crimes by Angel Martinez (humor, fantasy, supernatural)
Nicky and Noah Mysteries by Joe Cosentino  (high camp, high humor, mystery)
Inheritance by Amelia Faulkner (fantasy, supernatural)
The Kingdom Series (Vol 1 & 2) by RJ Scott (fantasy)
Rainbow Cove by Annabeth Albert
#gaymers by Annabeth Albert
Being(s) in Love by R. Cooper
The Release series by BA Tortuga
The Sin Bin by Dahlia Donovan (contemporary)
The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada (contemporary fiction) violent, bloody, brilliant, not romance)

 ♥︎Great Series Ending:

Sanctuary Series by RJ Scott
Texas Series by RJ Scott
Mahu by Neil S. Plakcy
All’s Fair by Josh Lanyon
Werecat series by Andrew J. Peters
Holiday with the Bellskis by Astrid Amara
End Street Detectives by RJ Scott (supernatural)

 

♥︎Holiday Series ~ special mention:Holidays with the Bellskis Series by Astrid Amara (final story just out)
Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1) by Astrid Amara
Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2) by Astrid Amara
Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3) by Astrid Amara

♥︎Best Covers:​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania) by TJ Klune, Artist Paul Richmond
Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water#2) by Amy Lane, Artist: Reese Dante
Sunset at Pencarrow (World of Love)
by Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell, Artist: Reese Dante
An Island in the Stars by Susan Laine, Artist:  Anna Sikorska
Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan, Cover art by Natsukoworks, Cover design by Kanaxa Designs.
The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn, Artist Natasha Snow
Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane, Artist: Paul Richmond
Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3) by Anne Barwell, Artist: Reese Dante
A New Way to Dance by Sean Michael, Artist: Anne Squires
The Glamour Thieves by Don Allmon, Artist: Simone
Conned
By Jana Denardo, Artist: Melody Pond
Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander, Artist:Kirby Crow
The Blacksmith Prince by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus, Artist:  Lady Tiferet
Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft, Artist: G.D. Leigh

 

 

 

 

 

♥︎

Well those are my choices and I’m sure I’ve even left a quite of few out.  How did all of your lists come out?  Did you all find some new books to add to your TBR lists on everyone’s Best of Lists?  Winner Announcements to come next week as they would get lost and we need to have something to look forward to!

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!  See you all in 2018!  Happy Reading from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to all of you!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 31- Happy New Eve’s:

  • So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
  • A Stella Advent Release Day Review: Eugene and the Box of Nails by Jaime Samms

Monday, January 1:

  • Book Blitz: Blackwelder 2164 by Christopher D. J
  • BLITZ The Calling by MD Neu
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Reckless Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Operation Green Card by GB Gordon
  • A Kai Audiobook Review: Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Hurricane by BA Tortuga

Tuesday, January 2:

  • Cover Reveal for Shae Connor’s Teaching Ben
  • DSP Promo K.A. Mitchell
  • RIPTIDE TOUR On Solid Ground by Quinn Anderson
  • Tour: A Different Light by Morningstar Ashley
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell
  • A MelanieM Review: Bound by Thorns (Dragon Soul #3) by Sean Michael

Wednesday, January 3:

  • Blog Tour *Won’t Feel A Thing by C.F. White
  • Release Blitz – Bonnie Dee – The Fortune Hunter
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Anne Barwell
  • A VVivacious Review: OBSESSION by Theophilia St. Claire​
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo
  • A MelanieM Review: Wait For Me by Kris Jacen

Thursday, January 4:

  • Release Blitz & Review Tour Request – Sam Burns – Blackbird In The Reeds
  • Sin and Saint by J.M. Dabney RDB, Tour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sin and Saint by J.M. Dabney
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Reckless Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Stella Review: The Best Gift by Shawn Lane
  • An Alisa Review Wolf’s Kiss by Siryn Sueng

Friday, January 5:

  • Dreamspinner Promo: Alix Bekins and Connie Bailey, authors of Song and Key
  • Release Blitz – Vows Box Set – Addison Albright
  • RELEASE BLITZ Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C
  • A Stella Pre Release Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and JH Knight
  • An Alisa Prerelease Review: Forever With You By Londra Laine

Saturday, January 6:

  • A MelanieM Review: Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy

 

 

 

 

RG Thomas on A Father and Son Journey and his new release A Tangle of Secrets (guest blog and tour)

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A Tangle of Secrets (The Town of Superstition #4) by R.G. Thomas
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Buy Links: Harmony Ink PressAmazon |  Apple BookstoreBarnes and NobleKoboGoodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host R.G.Thomas here today on his tour for A Tangle of Secrets. Welcome, R.G.

 

✒︎

A Father and Son Journey

In my young adult fantasy gay romance series The Town of Superstition, the main character Thaddeus Cane has a very close relationship with his father, Nathan. Thaddeus never knew his mother as she died shortly after he was born. His father keeps a photograph of her on the dresser in his bedroom, and each time they move — we meet Thaddeus and Nathan as they’re unpacking for a thirty-second time — he places it in the same spot.

While far from perfect, I wanted the relationship between Thaddeus and his father to be strong and loving. Thaddeus was about to go through a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally, and secrets would be revealed to challenge both him and Nathan. I wanted their relationship to be strong to begin with, and so I didn’t want to go into the details of how Thaddeus came out to his father. Instead, I wanted the fact that Thaddeus was gay to be a non-issue. He hasn’t come out to his father, but Nathan has told him he would not have a problem should he realize he is gay. While the series deals with Thaddeus learning about himself, I wanted the fact that he was gay to be beside the point.

When Thaddeus meets Teofil, the garden gnome who lives next door, he feels an immediate attraction. He’s known for a while that he was gay, but he’s never had a boyfriend or even been kissed before. And when Nathan discovers they are together, it is not the fact that Teofil is a boy that makes him upset, but a number of other things that are revealed within the story.

My father died of a series of strokes back in 2010. My mother is still living and going strong at the age of 87. She has accepted my husband with open arms and supports us in all ways possible. While my relationship with either my mother or father is nothing like that between Thaddeus and Nathan, I did base a lot of the feelings of security and support Thaddeus feels on my experiences growing up. My parents have always supported me and I will always be appreciative of that.

Thaddeus’s journey of self-discovery continues in the latest book of my Town of Superstition series: A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four. In this book, Thaddeus attends Superstition High School, and begins developing a bit of an edge. He gets in trouble at school and at home, arguing with Teofil as well as other people who care about him. These are tough times for Thaddeus as he tries to find a balance between his life as a fledgling wizard and a teenager in high school. It’s been a long road for him during the summer, and his journey is not over yet.

A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four blurb 

Following the conclusion of his greatest adventure, Thaddeus Cane’s life is changing once again. He is finally reunited with his mother—and dealing with her dangerous new powers—and about to start the year at yet another new school. While he contends with making new friends and facing the school bully, Thaddeus’s boyfriend, garden gnome Teofil, spends his time locked in Leopold’s study, reading through the late wizard’s journals for any clues that might lead them to Lucian—Thaddeus’s murderous uncle—or finally give the Rhododendron family some answers about the fate of Teofil’s brother.

As his troubles at home and school mount, Thaddeus’s mood grows dark and he retreats from all those who have supported him in the past. Just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, the Bearagon returns to threaten not only Thaddeus and those he loves, but his new school acquaintances as well. This confrontation brings to light the last secrets from Thaddeus’s past, more than one shocking revelation—and more than one enemy.

Excerpt from A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four

He followed his father out the side door and got into their beat-up Toyota Camry. Thaddeus’s legs bounced impatiently as the engine sputtered and died with each turn of the key. He looked at the clock and closed his eyes, mentally willing the car to start.

Just get out of your father’s loser car and walk to school. What will everyone say when they see you in this heap of junk? The snide inner voice was back, and he tried to ignore it.

“Isn’t there a spell you can use?” Thaddeus asked.

“If there is, I haven’t found it yet,” his father replied. “Celeste needs a tune-up, but I haven’t had the money for it.”

“It’s really late, Dad,” Thaddeus said, trying to keep the impatience and aggravation out of his voice.

“Just give her a little time to warm up. She isn’t used to these early mornings.”

“Celeste is ready for the junkyard,” Thaddeus grumbled.

“Hey now, this car has been good to us for almost as long as you’ve been alive.”

“Yeah, I know.” Thaddeus winced as he shot another look at the clock.

After a few more turns of the key, the engine finally caught.

“There, see?” his father said with a smile. “She’s fine. Here we go.”

The closer his father got to Superstition High, the stronger Thaddeus’s embarrassment grew. Did he really want the kids at his new school to see him get out of this beater car driven by his unemployed father? It was only his second day, and it would give Dixon ammunition to use against him in the halls and at lunch. So much for keeping out of Dixon’s way.

“You can drop me off at the corner,” Thaddeus said. “It might be faster because a lot of cars pull right up in front of the school, and there’s kind of a traffic jam.”

“Looks pretty clear to me,” his father said. “Almost there.”

The squeal of the brakes as his father eased up to curb sounded like the wail of a banshee in Thaddeus’s ears. He shoved the door open before the car had come to a complete stop and jumped out. Kids standing on the steps leading up to the main doors of the school had stopped and turned to look in his direction. Some were grinning or laughing while others started talking excitedly at the sight of him. Thaddeus’s face burned with embarrassment as he ran to put as much distance between himself and that damn car as possible.

His father honked a farewell, and Thaddeus waved without looking around. Before he stepped inside the main doors, Thaddeus glanced back and grimaced when he saw that one of the brake lights on his father’s car was out. With a sigh Thaddeus turned toward the school, adjusted his backpack on his shoulders, and went inside.

About the Author

 

About the Author

R. G. Thomas has been reading books from an early age. As a young gay man, however, he found very few characters with whom he could truly identify. Now that he’s an adult—or at least older than he used to be—he likes to write stories that revolve around gay characters. The Town of Superstition is his YA fantasy gay romance series which includes wizards, witches, and other magical creatures.

When he’s not writing, R. G. Thomas loves to read, go to movies, watch some TV, and putter around in the small suburban patch of ground he calls a yard. He visits his mother once a week, not just for the free cookies, and enjoys spending time with close friends drinking wine and making up ridiculous things that sometimes show up in his books. Although he hates the process of travel, he does enjoy experiencing new places. His dream trip is to one day visit the country of Greece, and he is currently saving his nickels and dimes to make that a reality.

Twenty years ago he met a man who understood and encouraged his strange, creative mind, who made him laugh more often and more freely than anyone else. They were officially married in November of 2015 and today they still laugh often as they live in a suburb just north of Detroit with their two cats who act as both muse and distraction to him while he writes.

 

Social Media :

R. G. Thomas Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/authorrgthomas

R. G. Thomas Twitter: @authorrgthomas

Best of 2017’s Coming In! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Best of 2017’s Coming In!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviewers are chiming in this week.  Ali and Alisa both came up with their Best of 2017 lists for our readers!  Everything from Best Books to Best Covers!  See if some of yours are among their choices.  We want yours too so check out our giveaway just above this week’s schedule.  It’s open all month.
Now for the first of many (we hope) of 2017 Best of Lists this month!

Best in Books in 2017

From Ali:

These were my favorite reads of the year:
  • Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers
  • Everyday History by Alice Archer (although this was written last year so I don’t know if it counts)
  • Dear Mona Lisa by Claire Davis and Al Stewart
  • Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • Loose Cannon by Sidney Bell
  • Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
  • Circle by Garrett Leigh
  • We Three Kings by AF Henley
My favorite covers of the year:
The Poison Within by Kasia Bacon
Kidnapped by the Pirate by Keira Andrews
Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada
Half by Eli Lang
 

From Alisa:

Here are my top books for 2017.
 

2017 Top Novels
Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Christmas Eve Craigslist Killer by Jill Wexler
A Husband for Santa Claus by Missy Welsh
Vampire Claus by Robert Winter
Finding Home by Garrett Leigh
Nerdy Deeds by Tragen Moss
Without a Compass by Helen Juliet
Promises Part 3 by AE Via
Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby

Best Audiobooks of 2017
Until You by TJ Klune, narrator Reese Dante
The Deep of the Cound by Amy Lane, narrator Nick Russo
Kieran by Toni Griffin, narrator Nick Flint
Just Drive by LA Witt, narrator Nick Russo
Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C, narrator Charlie David

Best Series of 2017
Mates Collection by Cardeno C
A Nerd in the Hand by Tragen Moss
The Hollydale Omegas by Susi Hawke
Men of Meadowfall by Anna Wineheart
Ironwrought by Anna Wineheart
Common Powers by Lynn Lorenz
Three Wishes by Sean Michael
Roguefalls by April Kelly
The Omega Auction Chronicles by Kian Rhodes
Devils Pride MC by Jessie G

 
Best covers of 2017:
Best in Show by Kelly Jensen, cover artist Alexandria Corza
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish, cover artist Natasha Snow
Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue, cover artist Paul Richmond
Black Market Blood by Francis Gideon, cover artist AngstyG
Vampire Claus by Robert Winter, cover artist Dar Albert
 

Best of 2017 Giveaway

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  This week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up! Gift certificates, more than one, for participations and more.

Ends on Saturday, December 30th.  So get those lists in and let’s starting comparing!  Happy compiling! Must be 18 years old to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 10:

  • Best of 2017’s Coming In! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Blog Tour – His Taken Omega by L.C. Davis
  • Leaning Into a Wish by Lane Hayes Blog Tour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: The Puzzle Box (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by C.C. Bridges

Monday, December 11:

  • Blog tour *Masked Heart by Chris McHart
  • Blog tour for The Perfect Gift, by Joe Cosentino
  • Review Tour – Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A MelanieM Review: Not Just for Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: An Unlocked Mind (Secrets#2) by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Leaning Into A Wish (Leaning Into Stories #3.5)
    by Lane Hayes

Tuesday, December 12:

  • DSP Promo S.A. Stovall
  • Promotion Tour – Memory of Me by Jess Thomas
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Operation Green Card by GB Gordon
  • A MelanieM Review: The Unexpected Santa (The Sin Bin #5) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Review:  Desperately Seeking Santa by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Poison Marked (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by T.J. Nichol
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Dyeing to be Loved (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, December 13:

  • Blog Tour – Journey to Gaytopia by Joel Craig
  • Review Tour – RJ Scott’s Love Happens Anyway
  • In the Spotlight: Warlock Series By LM Somerton
  • A MelanieM Review:  Love Happens Anyway by RJ Scott
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Secrets and Silk by Nicole Dennis
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Short Order (Foothills Pride #8) by Pat Henshaw
  • A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: The Probability of Mistletoe (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by E.J. Russell

Thursday, December 14:

  • Tour for An Unlocked Mind by K.C. Well and Parker Williams
  • Book Tour – Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy
  • Review Tour – Secret Santa by Jay Northcote
  • An Alisa Review: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: A Timely Gift by Kris T. Bethke
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: (PreRelease Review) Kairos by Mary Calmes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Secret Santa by Jay Northcote

Friday, December 15:

  • Release Blitz – Short Order by Pat Henshaw
  • Review Tour for George Loveland’s On The Third Kiss
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke
  • A Stella Review: ​Cruising by Cate Ashwood
  • An Alisa Review: On The Third Kiss by George Loveland
  • A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: Christmas Grace (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by C.L. Miles

Saturday, December 16:

  • An Ali Advent Release Day Review: An Unexpected Sanctuary (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by Cassie Decker
  • A Barb Advent Release Day Review:  In Case Of Emergency by Keira Andrews

 

 

 

 

Sharing What We Are Thankful For In Books Month – Part 3. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sharing What We Are Thankful For In Books Month – Part 3

Here we are closing in on Thanksgiving (for those of us who live in the U.S. or for U.S. expats everywhere).  As we rush to gather up our makings for our Thanksgiving dinners, head out to join our loved ones, or however you intend to enjoy the holiday, our month long look at things we are thankful for, things we love in books may it be authors, narrators, books, or series is coming to a close as well.

I have several more thoughts from two of our readers as well as some from myself.  In April of this  year, Dreamspinner Press published a debut novel from author Lindsey Black titled Fishy Riot, the first in her Saturday Barbies series.  I found it funny, suspenseful, and downright amazing. I love it when that happens with a new author.  Then just last week, the author released the second story in the series herself Rhino Ash.  And you always wonder if the sequel will live up to the first…and it did.  So I contacted the author, needing to know more about her (Australian), the series, and what makes her write (something I’m very grateful for).  Look for that author discovery coming soon.  Here’s a taste of her bio because I’m grateful for new authors like Lindsey Black:

LINDSEY BLACK lives in Darwin, Australia, where the weather report permanently reads ‘humidity at 100%, only going to get worse’ for ten months of the year and ‘monsoon at 4:00 p.m. for exactly fifteen minutes’ for the remaining two. Between teaching and studying full-time, she escapes this oppressive environment to bushwalk for weeks on end wherever the mobile phone reception has zero bars for as long as possible and the weather report reads something along the lines of ‘blizzard likely.’ …

Free Dreamer also reviewed a new book last week, again another debut novel from Gaia Sol. Echoes of the Gods by Gaia Sol.  She gave it 5 stars.  Did you read that one?  If you love fantasy and mythology as much as F.D. does, there another novel to put on your TBR list.  Ah, how our lists and recommendations lengthen at this time of the year….

So much to be grateful for including our wonderful readers….and we even have another month to go before the year is over.  Here are some of the thoughts of our readers….

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

From

Melanie, Stella, and all the reviewers at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

H.B.:
Thanks for the recs. I’ll have to check them out. I posted my recs last week but going back to check the comment I see it did not take. Here’s a few I would rec:
The Alpha and His Ace by Ana J. Phoenix
Strike Up the Band by Sam Burns
How To Be A Normal Person by TJ Klune
Flaunt by E. Davies
Lessons on Destroying the World by Gene Gant
Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote
Purple Reader:

Thanks for the post and honored you posted my recs. I tend to be lengthy, but there were just so many I was thankful for. As for new authors, I’ll keep this to one:
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. About a gay couple\family in mid-1800s in midst of Civil & Indian Wars. It’s more historical western than m/m romance, and has gotten major literary recognition – Man Booker Prize nom, and won its sister award, Costa Book of the Yr.

What have you discovered or have found this year in books that you are

Thankful for Giveaway

What have you discovered or have found this year in books that you are grateful for?  Write in and let us know.  Short, long, recommendations, however, you would like to tell us.  Let’s hear from all of you.  Leave us your comment of what you are grateful for in books (author, series, books, narrator, cover artist, whatever it may be, along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen. Multiple gift certificates will be handed out the last week of November!  Must be 18 year of age or older to enter.

Apparently I’m thrilled about Australian writers period because N.R. Walker sent me her latest and I’m reviewing it this week

We still have plenty of time left in this month.  So keep those wonderful comments and lists coming.   Now onto this week’s schedule.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 19:

  • Sharing What We Are Thankful For In Books Month – Part 3.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Blog Tour – Vampire Clause by Robert Winter

Monday, November 20:

  • Cover Reveal Short Order by Pat Henshaw
  • Dreamspinner Dreamspun Desires Promo Felicitas Ivey
  • BLITZ For The Love of Samuel by RP Andrews
  • Review Tour – Chris Ethan’s Jingle Spell
  • A Jeri Review: Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • An Ali Review: Psycho Romeo (Ward Security #1) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Tuesday, November 21:

  • A Rumored Affair Tour RABT Book Tours
  • Dreamspinner Dreamspun Desires Promo Kim Fielding
  • Release Blitz Tour for  DJ Jamison’s  Yours For The Holiday
  • A MelanieM Review:The Wanderer (The Sin Bin #1) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A VVivacious Review: A Sniper’s Devotion (Cuffs, Collars and Love #5) by Christa Tomlinson
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: ’Tis the Season​ by Alex Jane and Michael Fell (Narrator)

Wednesday, November 22:

  • Audio Review Tour: Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake
  • Dreamspinner Press Promo for BA Tortuga’s Hurricane
  • Release Blitz for Eli Easton’s Desperately Seeking Santa
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake and John Solo (Narrator)
  • A Julia Review: Ardulum: Second Don by J.S. Fields
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Hurricane by BA Tortuga

Thursday, November 23 – Happy Thanksgiving

  • Dreamspinner Press Promo: Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz – Joanna Chambers – Merry & Bright
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: All of the Above by Quinn Anderson
  • A Caryn Review: Safety Protocols for Human Holidays by Angel Martinez
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Olympia Knife by Alysia Constantine
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Out! (The Shamwell Tales #3) by J.L. Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)

 Friday, November 24:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Sean Michael
  • Release Blitz Tour – Jackie Keswick’s Undercover Star
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Katie Porter
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Tried & True (THIRDS #10) by Charlie Cochet
  • An ALi Review: Watch Point by Cecilia Tan
  • A MelanieM Pre Release Review: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker
  • An Alisa Review: My Forever, My Always (Men of Crooked Bend #1) by Taylor Rylan

Saturday, November 25:

Release Blitz – Make The Yuletide Gay – Various Authors

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Early on Writing, Characters and his novel The Doorway God (Seasons Rising #2) (author interview)

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The Doorway God (Seasons Rising #2) by Tom Early
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Art by Sadie Thompson;
Cover Design by Paul Richmond

Available for Purchase at Harmony Ink Press

Amazon | Google Play | Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tom Early here today in our author’s hot seat answering questions. Welcome, Tom.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Tom Early, author of The Doorway God

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

That depends very much on the character. Fay has a lot of me inside him, which is the result of writing in the first person, living through a similar period of my life at the time, and learning a bit of the rules of writing as I went. Other characters like Sam or Tyler are based mostly off people I know, or amalgamations of traits from people I know very well. But everyone has at least a bit of me inside them, I think.

  • 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?

Not in the least, unless you have a life free of mistakes and such a high opinion of yourself as to think you’re infallible. Fay has a lot of my life experiences in him, in some way or another. A lot of those are mistakes or otherwise embarrassing moments. That does not a Gary Stue make – it just makes him real enough to be relatable.

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

Fantasy is an interesting beast in that regard. I love it because I get to build up a whole lot of worlds and cultures and rules from nothing, but then I need to make sure that it’s internally consistent at all times, and that everything that isn’t fantasy is still believable and follows internal logic. The more you want people to believe in magic, the more the material has to follow the strict rules of physics, and the magic has to follow the rules you’ve clearly set out for it. I end up researching a lot of what I’ve already set down, ironically enough. That, and some basics of hospital and university procedure for certain scenes.

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

Very definitely. I’ve always had a soft spot for fantasy, and that’s never gone away. Nobody who knows me is surprised that that’s the genre I write.

  • 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 haven’t had that happen quite because of hurting, but I have had to put aside ‘in progress’ stories before because I felt I wasn’t quite up to the task at the time. Sometimes because I felt I didn’t have the talent or experience, and other times because the subject matter was something I had to steel myself for, and didn’t feel emotionally up for it at the time.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I love realism, but I’m also a terrible sap. Give me HEA every time, just with acknowledgment that there are always bumps in the road to be dealt with – they just don’t have to be dramatic and spell out an end.

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

I think it’s a very good thing, because it’s affordable and accessible to a lot of people. I don’t think it’s going anywhere, and I’m glad for the chance to see it develop in my own time. I don’t think it spells the end of print books, but there are always growing pains.

  • How do you choose your covers?

When I was young and foolish, I signed a blood pact with a demon. They told me the terms and conditions of the pact, and from there I was directed to an individual known as Sadie, who was then put in charge of my covers from that point onwards. I regret nothing – their art is truly spectacular and suited perfectly to my books. (Check my books for contact information – Sadie’s art isn’t something to be missed)

  • What’s next for you as an author?

Functioning as a human being while finding time to write, I imagine. Beyond that, I’m not sure – I just know that I’m not done writing with the conclusion of Seasons Rising as a series. I hope to stay working with Harmony Ink Press for a long time yet!

  • What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I’m fascinated by people who are nothing like me, especially if I can figure out the core of their personalities. That’s also mostly impossible, but I do my best anyway. Anyone who has the confidence to tackle the world head on and can talk with total strangers without feeling like an alien is someone I would like to get to know better. 

  • Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I once wrote an entire complex of assassins and a city plagued by a name no one could remember how to speak aloud while more than a little drunk. I reread it the next morning and took some choice bits to squirrel away for later, and then deleted the other 70% or so. As it turns out, drunk me likes very much to run with the coolest idea he can think of in the moment… which often happens to be something someone else has written.

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

I do very well in places where I am completely comfortable and not lacking in outside stimulus. Coffee shops tend to work very well for this, especially if I can snag a comfy chair. Give me background people chatter, a sugary caffeinated drink the size of my head, and decent wifi, and I will be more than happy to sit and write away the day for hours.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because writing makes me happy, and because I believe that stories help make the world a happier, more understanding place. There’s a lot going on today that I can’t do a damn thing about. This is something I can do to make a difference in my own way. If I can take care of myself and maybe help others a bit too with my writing, I’m going to do it.

Blurb

The Seasons are coming to Janus University, and Fay’s and Sam’s lives will never be the same.

Through last year’s deadly Trials, Fay and Sam gained admittance to the magical university, and the coming of autumn signals the start of the school year. But both of them have goals beyond their studies. For Fay, it’s finding a way to contain the ancient and evil spirit of Winter, which has no regard for human life. Fay has vowed to never let Winter kill again—but working with the school’s headmaster, Didas, is a risk. Didas cannot see past the potential power he can draw from Fay, and since Fay’s boyfriend and familiar, Tyler, is away at Tufts University, Fay might have to face his possession—and his dreams of four mysterious figures—on his own terms.

While trying to help Fay, Sam seeks information about her mother’s past in the magical world of Gaia, but will she like what she uncovers? To survive, Fay and Sam must make alliances, but it’s harder than ever to tell friend from enemy.

About the Author

Tom Early is currently a student at Tufts University who probably spends more time than is wise reading and writing instead of studying. More often than not, he can be found wrapped in a blanket on the couch forgetting most of the things he was supposed to do that day. 

When not writing, Tom can be found either reading, gaming, drawing, scratching his dog, or bothering his friends. He also frequently forgets that it’s healthy to get more than six hours of sleep a night, and firmly believes that treating coffee as the most important food group makes up for this. If you show him a picture of your dog, he will probably make embarrassingly happy noises and then brag about his own dog. He’s always happy to talk about any of his previous or current writing projects, because people asking him about them reminds him that he should really be writing right now. 

Sharing What We Are Thankful For In Books Month. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sharing What We Are Thankful For In Books Month

It’s mid-November, plenty of time for reflection before the year is out.  I’ve been thinking about all the books I’ve read, the authors, the narrators and cover artists.  There is still weeks ahead for new writers, new stories, and new discoveries to arrive and make their impact on us before 2018 appears!  Such a grand time for looking back and to look forward.

I’ve been starting several series at the end and then scrambling to pick up the stories that came before.  Turns out that journey is one that agrees with me, something I’m grateful to find out about myself.  A sort of literary excavation that I enjoy, tumbling backwards to an origin of characters, couples, and even series arc.  It’s fun, informative, and often gives me insight into the author’s evolution as well as a writer.

This has  happened with J.M. Dabney, now Dahlia Donovan, and RJ Scott, to name a few.  Series are definitely my thing.  I love to sink into a group of stories with a single arc or connection between them.  This year saw several of my favorite series say goodbye (you never really know) with series finales.  I’m grateful for the wonderful way they went out.  More on those towards the end of the month.  Yes, my own list just keeps getting longer.

So for now, let’s hear from some of you….

♡From Ana:

Too Close by R. Phoenix (about domestic violence, really good one)
The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin
Diary of a Teenage Taxidermist by K.A. Merikan
Femme by Marshall Thornton (the audiobook)
Manic Pixie Dream Boy by K.A. Merikan (lovely characters)
Disease: When Life takes an Unexpected Turn by Hans M. Hirschi (this one made me cry like no book had ever done it)
Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Backdoor Politics by C.L. Mustafic
Greenwode by J. Tullos Hennig

♡From Didi:

This year has been a good one for me book-wise. Many of the titles I read agree with me, such LA Witt’s & Cari Z’s Bad Behavior series, Cordelia Kingsbridge’s Kill Game, Cat Sebastian’s The Ruin of A Rake, Neil S. Plakcy’s Angus Green series, Jordan L. Hawk’s Hexslayer, Avon Gale’s & Piper Vaughn’s Off the Ice and Permanent Ink, KJ Charles’ Spectred Isle, Astrid Amara’s Trustworthy, and those (only) to name a few. Not only that, I find awesome books with new-to-me authors like Tal Bauer, TA Moore, Layla Reyne, SA Stovall, Meghan Maslow, and Santino Hassell (I heard praises of their books before but just wasn’t convinced enough to give it a try. Then obviously smack my own head and muttered: how did I miss these for so long!! 😀). With less than two months left on 2017, I’m optimist there are still wonderful books for me to read. Fingers-crossed my good fortune (on reading) extends to next year! 🙂

♡From Jen:

I am thankful for the broad spectrum of sub-genres and diversity of characters.
that are available to read. I am also thankful for audiobooks. I really started listening to them more this year because my job moved my office and I have a long commute now. Audiobooks make it easier to get through.

What have you discovered or have found this year in books that you are

Thankful for Giveaway

What have you discovered or have found this year in books that you are grateful for?  Write in and let us know.  Short, long, recommendations, however, you would like to tell us.  Let’s hear from all of you.  Leave us your comment of what you are grateful for in books (author, series, books, narrator, cover artist, whatever it may be, along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen. Multiple gift certificates will be handed out the last week of November!  Must be 18 year of age or older to enter.

We still have plenty of time left in this month.  So keep those wonderful comments and lists coming.   Now onto this week’s schedule.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 12:

  • Sharing What We Are Thankful For In Books Month
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 13:

  • Tour: Walking on Water by Matthew J. Metzger
  • Review Tour – Sue Brown’s Alpha Chef (JT’s Bar #2)
  • Tour: Blood Drop (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #5) by Jacob Z. Flores
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Braving the Rapids (Rocky Mountain Boys #2 ) by Brandon Witt
  • An Ali Releases Day Review: Broken Sun (City to City #2) by B.D. Roca
  • A Julia Review: Changing Colors by Elyse Springer
  • A  Caryn Review : Alpha Chef (JT’s Bar #2) by Sue Brown

Tuesday, November 14:

  • Breaking Free by A.T. Brennan 3 day release Tour Blitz
  • Wrapped with Love by Beth Bolden Release Day Blitz
  • In The Spotlight: Citywide by Santino Hassell (tour and giveaway)
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Echoes of the Gods by Gaia Sol
  • A MelanieM Review: Wrapped with Love by Beth Bolden
  • A VVivacious Review: How to Domesticate a Russian Bear: A Russian Bear III (Russian Bear #3) by C.B. Conwy

Wednesday, November 15:

  • Cover Reveal: Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz Tour – RJ Scott – TBA
  • Release Blitz – A.T. Brennan – Breaking Free (All In #3)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Ante Up by Kim Fielding
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed By Felicitas Ivey
  • A MelanieM Review: Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) by  RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

Thursday, November 16:

  • DSP Publications Promo Lyn Gala
  • TOUR Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden by Cheryl Headford
  • Tour for Reservations by Kindle Alexander
  • A VVivacious Review: Testing the Limits (Daniel and Ryan #9) by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: Vampire Claus by Robert Winter
  • An Ali Audiob00k Review: Buried Bones (Bones #2) by Kim Fielding and John Solo (Narrator)

Friday, November 17:

  • Embrace the Fire by Felice Stevens Audio Tour
  • Harmony Ink Promo Tom Early
  • Leta Blake’s Smoky Mountain Dreams Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: Rhino Ash (Saturday Barbies #2) by Lindsey Black
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Wild Wild Hex (Hexworld #3.5) by Jordan L. Hawk

Saturday, November 18:

  • Tour for Heart Unheard by Andrew Grey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Adams on the Role of Sexual Identity and his latest story ‘Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1) (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1) by Jeff Adams
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Art by Aaron Anderson

Release Date October 17th 2017

Buy Links: Harmony Ink |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble     | iBooks | Kobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jeff Adams here today on his Tracker Hacker tour.  Welcome, Jeff.

✒︎

One of my goals with the Codename: Winger Young Adult series was to not write a coming out story. In fact, for Theo Reese, the character at the heart of the book, being gay is one of the least interesting things about him. There’s a passing reference in Tracker Hacker that he came out to his parents when he was thirteen and that he was a little worried about saying the words. But other than a little trepidation, his coming out went fine. In fact, if I were to write his coming out it would be a boring story because there was no drama.

Now that he’s sixteen, there are a lot more things for him to be concerned with and caring if anyone knows he’s gay isn’t one of them. Theo is a high school junior, hockey player, computer genius who also works for the same covert agency his parents do. Theo has a boyfriend, too. One who is super important to him even if he can’t spend as much time with Eddie as he’d like.

For this world, I created it as it should be–a place where sexuality and gender identity aren’t things people have to worry about revealing. All that matters is that you’re a good person, good friend, good family member, good employee, good whatever.

I long for the day society catches up to the idea that people can be whoever they want without worrying for their safety. In the Codename: Winger books the main characters inhabit their identities comfortably. There are day this seems like a lofty goal, but I hold out hope we can get there. I loved writing a world where it was already true. I hope you enjoy reading that world as well.

Below is an excerpt showing Eddie and Theo together in this world. After that you’ll find the blurb and buy links if you’d like to pick up a copy of the book. Plus, there’s a Rafflecopter where you can enter for a chance to win a copy. Make sure to stop by the other stops on the tour because the more you enter, the more chances you get to win.

Excerpt

In the following excerpt, we catch up with Theo and Eddie while they’re in Denver. Theo’s playing in a hockey tournament there and Eddie’s shown up unexpectedly. While it’s inconvenient since Theo’s on a mission, they are attending the tournament banquet together. As you’ll see, they behave as any couple might.

Eddie met me in the hallway that led to the ballroom. He was so handsome decked out in a dark purple shirt, black coat, and black jeans. He was almost monochromatic, but the shirt had just enough pop to make a nice contrast. Neither of us liked to dress up. In fact I absolutely shunned it as much as I could. He looked amazing.

“Oh my God, I forgot to check to see if you could be here.” I felt bad that he was all dressed up and might not be able to get in.

“Not to worry.” He pulled out a lanyard and badge from his pocket. He put it around his neck, so he matched me. “I took care of it. You can bring guests, just had to pay fifty bucks. Totally worth it to hang out with you looking all sharp.”

I gave him a quick kiss. Truth was, I needed this. An evening with my boyfriend was a great end to a less-than-stellar day. I’m glad he took the initiative to find out if he could come along.

“Next to you, I’m far from sharp. You look stunning.”

“Dad made me bring something dressy since he’s taking me to some speech tomorrow. I thought it’d be perfect for tonight too.”

“Go Mr. Cochrane.”

Instead of a tournament banquet, I felt like I was going to prom.

Prom? He’d already mentioned that once. Would he ask me? Or should I ask him since he’d asked me to the fall dance? How does that even work when you’re both guys?

“Where’d you go just now? I recognize the look of you solving a problem.”

My face heated. He’d caught me plotting the future.

“Oh man, it’s something good too,” he added. “I haven’t seen you blush in a long time.”

I looked away and willed the blush to fade as I checked out the crowd assembling in the ballroom. It looked like there was an array of guests, from parents to girlfriends.

“Come on.” He reached under my jacket so he could tickle me.

With only the dress shirt between my skin and his fingers, I giggled and squirmed. “Tell me.”

“All right.” I relented since I didn’t want him to go too far with the tickles. “My mind flashed forward to prom and thinking about how great we’ll look.”

A soft, wonderful smile replaced his mischievous look. “Is that your way of asking me to prom?”

“I guess it sorta is, yeah.”

“Cool.”

“Very cool.” And just like that, I had a prom date. “Let’s get some dinner, I’m starving.”

We walked into the ballroom and I looked around, trying to decide where we should sit.

“Theo! Over here.”

It was Jamie sitting a couple of tables away. He waved us over. Other teammates sat at the table, but there were three chairs still open. Most tables had some spaces left, but this was a good choice since Jamie was cool. The other two guys were both defensemen, one was Chuck, but I couldn’t remember the other’s name.

“Hey, Jamie. These free?”

“Yeah, man. Hoping to get a table full of teammates.” He looked at Eddie, and it was obvious he was trying to resolve if Eddie was on our team or not. Given that I didn’t know everyone on sight yet either, I understood his confusion.

“This is my boyfriend, Eddie. He came to town to catch some of the games. Eddie, this is our goalie, Jamie.”

“S’up?” Eddie said with a quick nod of the head. “You were great in that shootout.”

“Thanks, man.”

“And this is Chuck and….” I pushed my brain one more time to see if I could get the name of the other guy, but it wasn’t happening.

“Billy,” he said.

I nodded and we sat down. I attacked the salad in front of me. I’d had a couple of protein bars after the game, but they weren’t enough.

“That’s cool you could come see the games,” Jamie said to Eddie.

“The only person that came with me is my coach.”

Donny joined us. If Eddie was uncomfortable being at a table full of players who were strangers, he didn’t show it. It was different from any gathering we’d had with the team back home, which was usually a party at someone’s house where we could drift around. Here, we couldn’t leave the table.

Dinner was good, but it went on way too long. Eddie was a champ listening to all of the strategy we talked. Donny’s coach had looked at some of the other teams’ play, so we had some intel that we dissected to be ready for tomorrow.

Book Blurb

High school student. Hockey player. Computer whiz kid. Covert agent?

At sixteen Theo Reese is the youngest agent for Tactical Operational Support. His way with computers makes him invaluable. He designs new gadgets, helps agents (including his parents) in the field, and works to keep the TOS network safe. But when a hacker breaches the system TOS uses to track agents, Theo is put to the test like never before.

Thrust from behind the safety of his desk, Theo must go into the field to put a stop to the hack. He’s scared but resolved because one of the missing agents is his father. And just to make it more interesting, he has to keep everything a secret from his boyfriend and teammates.

Can Theo get the job done, save his dad, and make things good with his boyfriend?

 

Giveaway

Someone from each stop on the blog tour will win an ebook and one lucky person from across all the stops will get an autographed paperback (I’ll ship it anywhere in the world).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author

Jeff Adams has written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published. Since then he’s written several shorts and novels.

Jeff lives in rural California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance.

Jeff is the co-host of Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast, a weekly show devoted to gay romance fiction as well as pop culture. New episodes come out every Monday at biggayfictionpodcast.com.

Learn more about Jeff at http://jeffadamswrites.com/