Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Genre! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Genre!

 

As the heat continues here and across most of the midwest and eastern coast, it’s a perfect time for reading.  Series or standalones as we started to talk about last week.  Our poll is running almost neck and neck as far as preferences are concerned.  So we are leaving it up another week to see if we can tip the scales.

Me?  Series are a given.  Love having more than one story to dig deep into.  Doesn’t matter if it’s two more, three more or, be still my heart, seven or more stories, to love in a series.  I know how hard that must be for a author to sustain.  But as Yoda would say, love them I do.

Does it matter whether the series is fantasy or science fiction or supernatural or contemporary?  Not a whit!  I love them all.  Bring them forth!!!!!

Although I do wonder if one type of series is easier to sustain than another but that’s a question for authors.   If you are listening, please feel free to chime in.

Summer reading in the past was always a time for the big blockbuster books (along with the big blockbuster movies).  You’d lug the heavy hardback bestsellers to the beach in your carryall, the Michael Crichton’s, the latest Stephen King,  Mario Puzo, Danielle Steele, ….and now it’s Kindles and and more authors than I can happily name.

Back then the genre didn’t matter much.  Swinging from the horror of King to the romance of Nora Roberts to the intrigue of James Patterson to the fantasy of J.K. Rowling, we read it all any time of the year, but especially during the summer.    So it has never seemed to matter what genre we read.

Or does it?

Poll time times 2!

Turns out I’m also listening to my stories too.  Another wonderful way to get through this heatwave when looking outside and watching the weeds grow is your only choice.  Lightening my mood this week was the audio for Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator.  I adored this.  A perfect summer read  or audio in every way!  Funny,, sweet, lighthearted and adorable.  Catch my review on Saturday.

A Participation gold star and $10 Amazon gift card will be handed out next Sunday!

Have a great week and stay cool.  Happy Reading and Listening to all.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

 

Sunday, July 21:

  • Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Tropes!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Blog Tour Guest Post – Heidi Cullinan ‘s Doctor’s Orders

Monday, July 22:

  • Book Blitz – The Positions Of Love Collection – JM Snyder
  • PROMO Michael Vance Gurley + Giveaway
  • Review Tour – Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes
  • A Lucy Review The Positions Of Love Collection by JM Snyder
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Anhaga by Lisa Henry
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review : Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3)  by Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes

Tuesday, July 23:

  • Review Tour -Cold Pressed (Seacroft #2) by Allison Temple
  • BLITZ The Exile Prince by Isabelle Adler
  • BLOG TOUR Breakaway by Charlie Novak
  • A Stella Review : Cold Pressed (Seacroft #2) by Allison Temple
  • An Ashlez Review: Julie the Pianist (Miss Baxter’s Girls Book 1) by Davina Lee
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Four ( Love By Numbers #2) by Tia Fielding
  • A MelanieM Releases Day Review: Absolute Heart (Infernal Instruments of the Dragon #1) by Michael Vance Gurley

Wednesday, July 24:

  • TOUR The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
  • Review Tour – What Lies Beneath – RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Review : What Lies Beneath (Lancaster Falls Trilogy #1) by R.J. Scott
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Enough by Matthew J Metzger
  • An Ashlez Review: Anise the Snowboarder (Miss Baxter’s Girls Book 2) by Davina Lee
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:Anhaga by Lisa Henry

Thursday, July 25:

  • Release Blitz  – Trusting The Elements – Elle Keaton
  • RELEASE BLITZ Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • RELEASE BLITZ Eminently Elf (D’Vaire, Book 13) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • BLOG TOUR Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • An Alisa Review Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review Pack Strap Carry (Carry Me #9) by Charlie Richards

Friday, July 26:

  • Review Tour – Eli Easton – How To Run With The Wolves
  • Lisa Henry on Writing and Anhaga
  • BLOG TOUR Intoxicating by Onley James
  • A MelanieM Review:  Stand In Place by Mary Calmes
  • A Stella Review:How to Run with the Wolves (Howl at the Moon #5) by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Review Close to Home (Finding Home #3) by Carly Marie

Saturday, July 27:

  • TOUR Ignite by Drake and Elliott
  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator)

Standalone or Part of a Series? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Standalone or Part of a Series?

Ok, all of you know, it’s usually something I’m reading or just read that sets off a topic for my Sunday blog, and that’s the case again today.  Actually I’m surprised this hasn’t come up before now because I feel pretty strongly about it.  And that’s whether a book is labeled a standalone story or is part of a series.  And should a reader know that in advance of picking up a book to read.

My answer is yes, let the reader know.

Give your reader as much information about your story to make an informed guess as to whether to go and read the previous stories or to jump into the middle or, as I just did without any inkling, end up at the end of a trilogy that killed off a main character.  Was I happy?  Uh no.  This while giving happy endings to characters I had no idea who they were but apparently had stories that preceded this one.

How did I find that out?  Because while the title and blurb gave no indication that this novel was part of a series and the finale, when I went looking for  (hopefully) stories or notes that would indicate that the author would have new books coming to resolve this ending (there were ways given the nature of this book), instead I found reviews for the others in the series.  I was flummoxed.  Looking over each title, none indicated it was a part of a series/trilogy.  Yet the two characters in books one and two only get their resolution in the third novel.  One actually dies in his story. So uh, without reading them, what is their ending like? Got to be cliffhangers.

How do you feel about picking up stories you think are standalone only to find  that they are part of a series?

Sometimes it hasn’t mattered.  I have come in many times in the middle of contemporary series that feature multiple couples throughout the stories and pictured up the other books with no problem.  It depends I think on the narrative and overall arc.  I’m trying to think if I have done the same with a fantasy or paranormal series, and the answer is probably given the sheer amount of books I’ve read.  But again, I’ve already noted in my review that said novel or story, unlike whatever the blurb has said, isn’t a standalone, that its a part of a group of tales to be read in the order they were written.

I just did that with a Josh Lanyon book (The Art of Murders series) and a Ana Newfolk book from her Made In series.  The foundation and universe is the series each author has painstakingly created for their stories. Especially in Josh Lanyon’s case where The Art of Murders is a brilliant labyrinth of twisted psychology, deep emotions, and murder mysteries. Separating one out of the mix?  Can’t and shouldn’t be done.  In fact, the number of series where you shouldn’t come into the middle far out number the ones where it probably wouldn’t matter so much.  That’s like falling into the middle of Abigail Roux’s fabulous Cut & Run series with Ty Grady  and Zane Garrett.  You could do it but why would you? Or Amy Lane’s Fish Out of Water Series or or or…

So why do it at all?  Why say standalone if they really aren’t?

Hmmmm. Well, probably to sell stories for one.

People are less likely to commit to a series than they are to one story.  Well not me.  I love series.  But others, probably. Ok poll time let’s find out.

 

I can’t wait to see how this turns out.  How do people really feel about reading one book. One or  three or more?  For me it’s the more the merrier honestly.

Unless I come in on the end and they have killed off a major character with no hope of revival.  Sigh.

But I can see publishers or authors wanting to put their stories out there and making them as accessible to readers as possible, even if (in my opinion)that’s labeling them as a standalone when they aren’t (again my opinion) or lumping them under a bazillion of genre tags.  Ok, how many times lately have you seen a story labeled as a sci fy fantasy paranormal supernatural romance?  It’s a cat and bunny romance, you are already there.

Head desk!

Well that’s a topic for another Sunday.

Anyhoo, back to my topic.  How do you feel about standalones and series?  Write in and let me know.  There’s a $10 Amazon gift card waiting for a lucky reader chosen among the replies. And please take our poll, I’m dying to see our answers!

Oh and as to the book that set this all off?  I’m reviewing it later this month.  See if you all can guess which one it is. lol

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 14:

  • Standalone or Part of a Series? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • SALE BLITZ – RYKER – RJ SCOTT & V.L. LOCEY

Monday, July 15:

  • REVIEW TOUR Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3) – MJ O’Shea
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – The Series of Fates by C.C. Dado
  • Release Blitz – Alison Temple – Cold Pressed
  • An Alisa Review :Denying Fate (A Series of Fates #1) by C.C. Dado
  • A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3)  by MJ O’Shea

Tuesday, July 16:

  • Review Tour Request – C.F. White – Love & Tea Bags
  • Tour for “Serpent’s Teardrop” by Mary Rundle
  • Blog Post – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • Book Blitz  – WS Long – Revving It Up Box Set
  • A Stella Review: Love & Tea Bags (Pink Rock Series #1) by C.F. White
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Warm Heart (Search and Rescue #1) by Amy Lane

Wednesday, July 17:

  • Cover Reveal, – Joanna Chambers – Gentleman Wolf
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – Lucky Town by Morgan Brice
  • PROMO M.D. Grimm
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Lucky Town (Badlands #1.5) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club #2) by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, July 18:

  • R GREY PROMO ON Oasis
  • Release Blitz Signal – Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes – Patron Of Mercy
  • Release blitz Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • BLOG TOUR Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • An Alisa Review: Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • A Caryn Review: Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (Dancing with the Lion #1) by Jeanne Reames

Friday, July 19:

  • Release Blitz  – What Lies Beneath – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz – Hanna Dare – Black Sky Morning
  • Release Blitz – Eli Easton – How To Run With The Wolves
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Kneading You by CS Poe
  • A MelanieM Review: Séance on a Summer’s Night by Josh Lanyon

Saturday, July 20:

  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa
  • A Lucy Review: 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris

Lou Hoffmann on Horses, Characters, and the new release Dragon’s Rise (The Sun Child Chronicles #4) (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Dragon’s Rise (The Sun Child Chronicles #4) by Lou Hoffmann

Harmony Ink Press
Publication: July 9th 2019

Cover Art: Catt Ford

Buy Links:

Harmony Ink Press |  Amazon ebook |  Amazon paperback|   B&N ebookB&N paperback |  Kobo | iTunes/iBooks |  Books 2 Read Universal Link (ebooks) 

 

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Lou Hoffman here today on tour for the latest novel in The Sun Child Chronicles, Dragon’s Rise. Welcome, Lou!

 

Five Fabulous Horses from The Sun Child Chronicles

Hi, I’m Lou Hoffmann, author of The Sun Child Chronicles. I love writing these stories, because they take my imaginings and run with them. One of the very best parts of the fantasy worlds Lucky (the main character) inhabits is the variety of animals he encounters. I’ve always loved horses, seriously. At fourteen, as a city girl growing up in Los Angeles County, I used to walk over an hour on Saturday to get to a riding stable so I could spend the lunch money I’d saved all week on a ride. Sometimes I’d muck stalls so I could ride longer. 😊 So I’m happy that the world Lucky lives in most of the time is a world where horses are the major mode of transportation. By the way, these aren’t listed in order of most loved. I’m really terrible at choosing favorites of anything at all. I just love them all.

  • Windrunner: A white horse, one of the many trained by Lucky’s warrior uncle Han Shieth. Quite old by the time Lucky meets him, he’s now known as Windy, for reasons that aren’t necessarily complimentary. Still, he’s a wise old fellow, and Lucky’s very helpful friend on a snowy, scary adventure in Wraith Queen’s Veil.
  • Sherah: The wizard Thurlock’s “legendary” silver-gray mare. She’s always there when Thurlock needs her, comes when he whistles even from what seems miles away. She has a moment or two of fame in each of the books, but perhaps her greatest ride is the one she took Thurlock and Han on so they could team up to beat the great Sahlamahn. Find that wild ride in Key of Behliseth.
  • Simarrohn: This is Han Shieth’s personal ride, a mare that’s always in his corner. It probably makes things easier that Han can communicate mentally with most animals (including Sim), but most of the time, he doesn’t even have to use that talent. Sim knows what’s needed and delivers. She in a lot of scenes throughout the books, but one of the ones I love is where she and Sherah take Han and Thurlock on a magical ride to put the wizard’s blessing on the troops. It happens in Ciarrah’s Light.
  • Zefrehl: Zef is Lucky’s ride, when what he needs is an ordinary horse. She’s fast and sure-footed and good-natured, and she takes Lucky wherever he wants to go. In Ciarrah’s Light, she helped Lucky dodge an early death with her quick moves escaping an ambush on the trail to Nedhra City.
  • K’ormahk:  As far as fantastic horses go, K’ormahk is one of the most fantastic ever. He’s got an unbreakable bond with Lucky so strong that Lucky’s “call” can bring him flying—that’s right, he’s winged—from unknowable distances, from places that aren’t even in the same world. He’s blacker than midnight, and powerful, and he takes excellent care of his passengers even as he flies them through the stars, like he did for Lucky and Han in Wraith Queen’s Veil. But he’s a warhorse too, bravely flying Lucky and his boyfriend Rio into a battle in Dragon’s Rise, not shying from arrows and swords, zombies and wraiths, dragons, or even strangely deadly aliens.

Thanks for joining me! Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, and good luck with the drawing! I hope to see you along the way as I celebrate this release! See the schedule in this blog post: http://queerlyya.rainbow-gate.com/dragons-rise-release-schedule-of-events-blog-tour-giveaway-facebook-party-book-signings/

 

Blurb

Sequel to Ciarrah’s Light
The Sun Child Chronicles: Book Four

Five days after his sixteenth birthday, Lucky—or Luccan, as he’s known in the Sunlands of Ethra—cut down a horde of wraiths with the help of his magical, living blade, Ciarrah. Then they ended the worst undead of all—Lucky’s mother, Liliana, or rather the evil creature she had become. Now he needs a chance to rest, but he can’t catch a break. The otherworld invaders want to take Ethra as their new home, and one defeat hasn’t even slowed them down.

 

Ancient wizard Thurlock continues to help Lucky learn about his unique magic as they travel together, but when they reach the capital city, they find few allies and too many Sunlandian traitors. They’re forced to flee, but their discouraged spirits lift when they’re joined on the road by an old wizard friend of Thurlock’s and some new young allies. Lucky has armies, friends, family, shifters, dragons, a faithful dog, a winged horse, and magical tools on his side. But when war comes like a great storm, hurling at him everything from zombies to hateful wizards to twisted drakes, can he hope to prevail—or even survive?

Excerpt

An hour, Lucky thought. Two days ago I fought in a battle with aliens and dead people and… ended my mother’s nightmare. Yesterday I went to a meeting where I found out people still hate me. Today I had a bit of not-fishing with Han, a game of Skippers with Cook, and a game of Skies with Aunt Rose, and now I have one hour before I have to leave. My boyfriend’s gone home, one of my best friends is missing, my other best friend is on a mission, and my dog isn’t even here.

Lemon Martinez apparently had taken pity on him for once, though. He purred comfortingly—and uncharacteristically—curled into a loose spiral of gray fluff next to Lucky on a sun-washed flat rock in a quiet corner of the Behlvale. Not far away, a worker was singing a rhythmic song, maybe keeping time with the movements of rake or hoe in the Sisterhold’s kitchen garden. Much closer, a pair of hand-sized golden dragonflies flashed in and out of the sunlight, their wings making a droning hum over the splash and bubble of the creek.

“Springborn.” Lucky had just that day learned the name of the creek, and now he announced it to Lemon, who didn’t seem to care.

The whole scene could, Lucky supposed, be called idyllic, a word he’d also recently learned. Be that as it may, he wasn’t in the mood for peace and country sunshine. He didn’t want to leave the Sisterhold. Not yet. He had questions he wanted answers to, and he felt pretty darn sure that at best he’d come back from Nedhra City with more questions instead. At worst… he didn’t want to think about it.

Fidgeting, he drew the Black Blade from its sheath, which was hooked to his belt at the moment, and squinted at the violet gleam echoing the sunlight deep inside the obsidian. It brought to mind another afternoon in the sun, and he realized one of his questions could be answered then and there.

“Ciarrah.” Lucky mentally called the blade’s name and waited no more than a second for her response.

“Blade-keeper?”

“Remember when we were playing… um, I mean practicing sword stuff?”

“I’m a rock, Blade-keeper. Memories are embedded in me.”

“Is that a yes?”

There was no way to know for sure if Ciarrah was doing the equivalent of an eye-roll, but somehow Lucky thought she might be. He smiled at the idea before communicating, mostly just being stubborn, “Well? Is it?”

When Ciarrah answered, her “voice” had a lilt that might have been laughter. “Yes, young Light-wielder, I remember all that has happened to me and all that I have been told or shown over these last thousands of years, beginning with the day I first met our great ancestress Naht’kah.”

“Naht’kah, the dragon? The one I read about in that book? Isn’t that just a… story?”

“Oh, but there is no such thing, Luccan, as ‘just’ a story! In stories lie the greatest truth. Sometimes it’s hidden in fictions, but sometimes at the core of a legend is the true account of what has come to pass. Naht’kah is quite real.”

“You mean was?”

“She lives. You may meet her one day.”

Why that idea should freak him out, Lucky wasn’t sure. So many crazy impossible things had happened in the last year, what was one more? Still…. He began his usual comforting chant out loud. “Normal, normal, nor—” He stopped and shook his head, then gave himself an order. “Never mind! Nothing is normal. I mean everything is normal. I mean whether it’s normal or not, it is what it is, and no use pretending different.

About the Author

 

Lou Hoffmann, a mother and grandmother now, has carried on her love affair with books for more than half a century, and she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things: music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) Proud to be a bisexual, biracial woman (of European and Native American descent), Lou considers every person a treasure not to be taken for granted. In her life, she’s seen the world’s willingness to embrace differences change, change back, and change again in dozens of ways, but she has great hope for the world the youth of today will create. She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age, sexuality, and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart.

Author Links:

Visit her on her blog: http://www.queerlyya.rainbow-gate.com

Like her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LouHoffmannBooks/

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lou_Hoffmann

Check out her Amazon Author Page: http://queerlyya.rainbow-gate.com/ciarrahs-light-event-schedule-get-blog-tour-links-here/

Giveaway

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4059d62419/?

Its Officially Summer! What are You Reading ? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s Officially Summer! What are You Reading ?

Now that the fireworks of the 4th are over, it feels like summer has officially begun.  People have set off on their vacations, schools are out, and roads, rails, and airports heading towards the mountains, beaches, and other places to play and restore your soul are full.  Along with the normal list of sunscreen, casual clothes and perhaps swimwear, we normally carry along our books to read.  It used to be a bag of paperbacks, with the occasional hardback if it was the latest release (yes, I am dating myself).  Now it’s our eReader, our Kindles and Nooks, our IPads or Phones with whatever book app you might be using like iGoogle or iApple.  So many ways of taking our books along these days.

Of course, we might want to lie in the sun and listen to our stories!  Again, there are more apps there to choose from these days.  And so many great narrators.  I have my favorites.  Do you?  right now I’m making my way through Morgan Brice’s Witchbane stories on audio featuring the excellent Kale Williams as the narrator.  I can’t wait to work my way through each and every one.  There’s so much to be said to be lying back and letting a story flow over you while the sun relaxes you!  Ok, back to the blog! lol

Or any combination of eBook or audio.  That works!  And that are great stories out there right now.  If you are a fan of m/m hockey romances, then you might know that the wonderful Harrisburg Railers series by RJ Scott and VL Locey has just released its final story in Save the Date. Yep, done.  Don’t know the series?  It makes great summer reading, all nine stories.  And a new series (connected by the son of one of the main characters) will start later on towards the end of the summer. I myself intend to read some of those hockey stories I never got to on our M/M Hockey Romance list found here.  Especially those of Jeff Adams and Samantha Wayland!  Turns out my boys of summer play hockey! lol

I found out that Mell Eight has two new stories out over at Less Than Three Press I have to go check out and Josh Lanyon also has two new novels I plan on reading.  Heidi Cullinan has a trilogy I’m just finishing and and and….yes, it is truly summer.

What books are on your list to read?  What are you reading now? And how are you reading them?

Let us know…..

 

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 7:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – 9 Willow Street
  • Blog Tour – Andrew Grey Heart Unbroken
  • It’s Officially Summer! What are You Reading ?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 8:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Another Dance by L. A. Ashton
  • BLITZ Through the Tears by Leigh M. Lorien
  • HARMONY INK Lou Hoffmann on Dragon’s Rise
  • PROMO Steven Harper
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Home Improvement by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Palm Trees and Paparazzi by J.C. Long

Tuesday, July 9:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • Release Blitz – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • DSP PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Through the Tears by Leigh M. Lorien

Wednesday, July 10:

  • Release Blitz – V.L. Locey – Shake The Stars
  • Promo : Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky on Crossing Nuwa: Escape
  • Book Blast – Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder
  • A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

Thursday, July 11:

  • Cover Reveal Eminently Elf (D’Vaire, Book 13) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • Release Blitz – Rich Kids by Quin Perin
  • BLOG TOUR Triple Threat by Davidson King
  • Blog Tour – Made In Lisbon by Ana Newfolk
  • A MelanieM Review:  Made in Paris (Made In #3) by Ana Newfolk
  • A Melanie M Review :Made In Lisbon (Made In #5) by Ana Newfolk

Friday, July 12:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Intoxicating by Onley James
  • Review Tour – Sam Burns – Salmon and The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8)
  • PROMO Tara Lain on Home Improvement
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Salmon and The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8) by Sam Burns
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  The Doctor’s Date by Heidi Cullinan
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Jaeger’s Lost and Found by Ofelia Gränd

Saturday, July 13:

  • Elyse Springer on  World Turned Upside Down
  • A MelanieM Review:The Monuments Men Murders (The Art of Murder #4) by Josh Lanyon

End of Pride Month and the History of Stonewall Inn .This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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End of Pride Month and the History of The Stonewall Inn

 

 

Located on Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village, the now historic Stonewall Inn opened in 1967 in New York City.  Owned by the mafia (as was many of the gay nightclubs), it was operated as a restaurant previously but now served as a gay bar serving illegal liquor for the mob and paying protection money in monthly payoffs to local cops to keep the raids down.  Down but not stopped.  In those days, dressing as the opposite sex was illegal and carried jail time, not just harassment and beatings.  And the Stonewall Inn was heavily frequented by drag queens, transgendered people, crossdressers., and lesbians who dressed “male” or butch. The last was important because some say it was a lesbian who threw the first punch at a cop that night in retaliation over the brutal treatment of another patron. But because there are so few images and differing accounts, the truth might never be know.  Others say it was a transgendered person and others still a drag queen. Although the Inn itself could not be called a fancy establishment, it’s decor not the best, it’s dance floor and  atmosphere, that despite police raids, let people feel free to be themselves, kept the place alive and packed.  Of course, the liquor helped too.

But the raids were growing more frequent and City Hall had orders to shut down Stonewall Inn for good.  Courtesy of history.com (see that link for enlarged narrative) is the timeline of the explosion that followed that decision:

A Stonewall Riot Timeline :

June 24, 1969: Police arrest Stonewall employees, confiscate alcohol

June 27-28, 1969: Stonewall crowd erupts after police arrest and rough up patrons.

Early hours of June 28, 1969: Transgender women* (other accounts have this as drag queens or crossdressers) resist arrest. Bottles are thrown at police.

Close to 4 a.m. June 28, 1969: Police retreat and barricade themselves inside Stonewall.

June 28-29: Stonewall reopens, supporters gather. Police beat and tear gas crowd

June 29-July 1, 1969: Stonewall becomes gathering point for LGBT activists.

July 2, 1969: Gay activists protest newspaper coverage.

The beginning of the Gay Pride Movement has been ignited!

Today, The Stonewall Inn remains a place of LGBTQIA history and a gathering spot for all, where everyone can be themselves.  Only now it’s legal,  the right hard fought on this spot. A sign erected lest people forget.  Not that they are likely too.  There are parades, and books, and vids, and movies and more ready to remind us.  Especially now at the 50 year anniversary of Stonewall.

Here are some links you might want to visit:

The Stonewall Inn: The People, Place and Lasting Significance of ...

The Night the Stonewall Inn Became a Proud Shrine – The New York …

50 Years Ago the Stonewall Riots Sparked a Movement That Lead to …

And books to read:

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America, by Martin Duberman

The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History, by Marc Stein

The Stonewall Reader, edited by New York Public Library with Edmund White

We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown 

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets, by Gayle E. Pitman

What Was Stonewall?, by Nico Medina, Who HQ, and Jake Murray

 

I hope you’ll visit some of those links and enjoy some of those remarkable books.  Martin Duberman’s was reviewed here and the stories of the  individuals in the movement made a big impact on me.

Paul Richmond, an amazing artist some of you may recognize only through his covers for Dreamspinner Press or other of it’s houses, is doing this month.  Over at his facebook page Paul Richmond Studio , every day this month, Paul has taken a different LGBT artist, past or present. and highlighted their works. He has talked about why this artist has meant so much to him, or perhaps the struggles this artist has had to go through.  The journey through different eras, artistic lives and styles has been a revelation!  Paul’s LGBT Artist of the Day has continued.  If you have missed a artist or day, its not too late!  Head over to Paul’s FB page and start your introduction to some jaw dropping artwork and artists.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Pride Month!  We have highlighted NHL Hockey for Everyone efforts with absolute delight, we have had great recommendations for stories, showcased Paul Richmond and LGBTQIA artists and finishing up with The Stonewall Inn.  How has your Pride Month been?

This is where I will also wish everyone in the US and expats abroad a happy and safe Fourth of July!

 

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 30:

  • New Release Blitz for Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • End of Pride Month and the History of Stonewall Inn
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 1:

  • Blog Post – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • BLOG TOUR Change of Heart by KM Neuhold
  • Release Blitz  – Amy Tasukada – Yakuza Path Box Set
  • A MelanieM Review: Ammo and Enchiladas by BA Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Tea by Matthew J. Metzger

Tuesday, July 2:

  • BLITZ Palm Trees and Paparazzi by J.C. Long
  • Release Blitz – Ruby Moone – Eyeliner and Lace
  • Review Tour for Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Review:  Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4) by J. Leigh Bailey
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Importance of Being Kevin by Steven Harper

Wednesday, July 3:

  • Release Blitz – I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour
  • BLITZ Where the Night Reigns by Emilie Lucadamo
  •  PROMO BA Tortuga on Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga
  • Blog Post – LA Bryce – Love, Trust & Secrets
  • A Stella Review : I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga

Thursday, July 4th:

  • DSP PROMO j. leigh bailey and Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4)
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burns – Salmon & The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle)
  • Release Blitz  – MATED by Tricia Owens
  • TOUR DANCING WITH THE LION: BECOMING by Jeanne Reames
  • An Alisa Review Waited So Long by JM Dabney
  • Reviews – MATED by Tricia Owens

Friday, July 5:

  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Recipe For Romance
  • PROMO Victoria Milne
  • Release Blitz – Espejos (South Texas Lore 1) by Michael War
  • A Lila Review: Espejos (South Texas Lore 1) by Michael War
  • A MelanieM Review: Recipe for Romance (Recipe for Romance #1-4) by Ari McKay
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Never a Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton

Saturday, July 6:

  • Release Blitz  Tour – Michael Mandrake – Death’s Angel
  • A MelanieM Review: Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan

Pride Month Continues with Drag Queens! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Pride Month Continues with Drag Queens!

On June 27, 1969 and into June 28 at midnight, the NYC police entered the Stonewall Inn which was tightly packed that hot summer night.  They had been harrassing the clientele before but this time was different.  The night before, the police conducted a raid, arresting employees and taking away the Inn’s illegal stash of liquor.  Now they were back.  This time, arresting now only the regular patrons but targeting the drag queens and cross-dressing clientele because “masquerading” as a member of the opposite sex was a crime.  The objective was to shutdown the Stonewall Inn permanently.

Instead, as we all know, the crowd erupted into a riot.  Accounts differ over what exactly started it.  Some say it was a drag queen who threw the first punch after the  ” police roughed up a woman dressed in masculine attire (believed to be lesbian activist Stormé DeLarverie)”.  Others say it was a cross dressing person of color. Either way, history was made that night and the fight for LGBT rights flew into the spotlight and into motion.

Drag Queens (and drag culture) …those fierce, wonderful, gorgeous magnificent forces to be reckoned with are present everywhere now.  From fiction to tv to Broadway!  From it being a crime to be fabulous and yourself in 1969 to being celebrated on the popular RuPaul’s Drag Race to appearing on Broadway in the terrific show “Cher” and everything in between, Drag Queens in every shape and variety are helping others and LGBTQIA rights move forward just as they did all those years ago.

Now I’m a huge fan of this show.  I love seeing all the different expressions of Drag that the Queens reveal each season.  Some are traditional some are extreme, some fall in between comedy and sultry.  But all are showing us something amazing, something so wonderful and brave about themselves.  Their stories are often as fierce as they are.  And heartbreaking as well.

Love Drag Queens?  Check to see if you have local drag shows to support or if any of your favorite drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming to town in a show! Or check out some of these links below:

12 Types Of Drag Queens – Drag Official

The History Of Drag Queens And The Evolution Of Drag

Diva Royale Drag Queen Show | Drag Shows | RuPaul Drag Queens …


I love to read about them in my M/M fiction too.

Some of my favorite stories feature or include drag queens.  I mean how do you not love Arthur from John Inman’s The Belladonna Arms series?  He’s the heart of the series and that apartment building!

So yes, you know what I’m leading up to .  Drag Queen M/M Recommendations!

Here are some of mine.

Drag Queen M/M Recommendations

The Belladonna Arms (5 books)by John Inman

Queens of the Apocalypse by Rob Rosen

Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen

The Queen & the Homo Jock King (At First Sight #2) by T.J. Klune

Bad Dogs and Drag Queens (Rose and Thorne #1) by Julie Lynn Hayes

Kev Series by Liam Livings (from Suze)

Freak (The F-Word 2) by E. Davies (all recs from HB)
A Dirty Drag Collection (Dirty Drag 1, 2, 3) by Kyle Adams
What The Lady Wants by D.C. Juris
Sylver and Steele series by Mimi Riser
Le Jazz Hot by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Appearing Nightly (Icon Men 2) by Cat Grant
Max & Skyler Series by Acer Adamson
Dressed to Thrill by Kimberly Gardner
Rayne’s Wild Ride by Jambrea Jo Jones
Leather+Lace (Opposites Attract 2) by A.B. Gayle

Embraced in Gold by T.A. Chase (also know by these titles Embrace My Reflection/ Bring Him Gold)
Lucky Starflowers (Steel City 5) by Kate Pavelle
Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain
Finally Fallen (The Dark Angels 3) by Z. Allora
A King’s Ransom by Aislinn Kerry
My Girl (Captivated Lovers 3) by Stormy Glenn
Chyna Doll (Horizons 4) by Mickie B. Ashling

Lola Dances by Victor J. Banis — no longer on MLR, but can get a paperback from Amazon and BnN

Who We Are by Nicola Haken
Let’s Hear It for the Boy by T.A. Webb  (all from our reviewer Chaos Moondrawn)

I know I have left out so many stories.  Please help me fill in that list.  Send me the books and stories I’ve left out and lets see those drag queens represented!

Books on Stonewall: Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, by David Carter

And just in case you missed it from last week, here is the updated list of our

M/M Hockey Recommendations:

Stick Side (2 books) by Amy Aislin

The Harrisburg Railers Series by RJ Scott and VL Locey

Owatonna U Hockey Series by RJ Scott and VL Locey (3 books)

Cayuga Cougars series by VL Locey

Point Shot (3 books) by V.L. Locey

Colors of Love (3 books) by V.L. Locey

Game Changers (2 books) by Rachel Reid

Hat Trick (3 books) by Samantha Wayland*

Thanks a Lot, John LeClair by Johanna Parkhurst
Buzz by E. Davies (tho Cam health prevents him from playing hockey)
Charming as Puck by Pippa Grant
Heart in Hand by Salifiable

Thank you, HB, for the additions to our hockey recs!

Special Note:  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 16:

  • BLOG TOUR Melting For You by A.M. Arthur
  • Pride Month Continues! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 17:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Kiss Me Again
  • RELEASE BLITZ Change of Heart by KM Neuhold
  • PROMO Ashlyn Kane on Fake Dating the Prince
  • An Alisa Review : Kiss Me Again by  Garrett Leigh
  • A Stella Review: Melting For You (Neighborhood Shindig #1) by A.M. Arthur
  • A MelanieM Review: Tales of Bryant (Tales Of Bryant #1) by V.L. Locey

Tuesday, June 18:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Waited So Long by JM Dabney
  • Release Blitz – Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World, Book 3) by Nat Kennedy
  • Book Blast with Reviews – NoX by Adrienne Wilder
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fake Dating the Prince by Ashlyn Kane
  • A MelanieM Review: NoX by Adrienne Wilder

Wednesday, June 19:

  • Review Tour –  Nine Small Sips (A Tales Of Bryant Park #2) by V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz – Who We Used to Be (Do-Over Series, Book 1) by Dara Nelson
  • A MelanieM Review: Nine Small Sips (A Tales Of Bryant Park #2) by V.L. Locey
  • An Alisa Review: Eeli (Brotherhood of Ormarr #3) by Steph Marie and Bobbie Rayne

Thursday, June 20:

  • Release Blitz Tour – Jay Northcote – Nothing Special
  • Release Blitz  – K.A. Merikan – Their Obsession (Four Mercenaries #2)
  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote and Michael Pauley (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review:Close to Home (Sawyer’s Ferry #4) by Cate Ashwood

Friday, June 21:

  • Review Tour for Single (Single Dads #1) by R.J. Scott
  • Release Blitz Signal Tour –  – A Foreign Country (Mr & Mr Detective Story #2) by Alex Jane
  • Release Blitz Impossible Things by Beth Bolden
  • A MelanieM Review: Killer Reunion (Donald Strachey Mystery #16) by Richard Stevenson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Single (Single Dads #1) by R.J. Scott

Saturday, June 22:

  • Release Blitz for – Beyond The Curtain – TL Travis
  • A MelanieM Review:Love in Every Season by Charlie Cochrane

Tom Early on Writing, Characters, and his new release ‘The Final Season (Seasons Rising #3) 

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The Final Season (Seasons Rising #3) by Tom Early

Harmony Ink Press
Published June 11th 2019

Cover Artist: Sadie Thompson; Cover Design by Paul Richmond

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

 

✒︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Tom Early

How much of yourself goes into a character?

  • Fay is fun. He was one of the first characters I’d ever written, and he is, at this point, rather like who I might be if my time past high school went very differently. The rest are their own, with aspects from other people I admire or am intrigued by that I went and snagged like a magpie and built a character around.

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?

  • I’m not sure it matters, really. If it’s enjoyable to read, what’s the point in saying a character is too perfect? (That said, if the character is enjoyable to read, that probably isn’t a problem).

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?

  • For sure! Characters often have minds of their own, and when I hit a hard scene, they like to scatter and hide until it stops smarting. I have to tempt them out sometimes to finish the scene; it’s a fun time. Usually if it happens, it’s about a week for them to come back, but I’ve hit patches with a hard ending that I had to put aside for months, and eventually realized I was being told this needed to be rewritten.

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

  • This series has had all the covers done by my childhood friend, who’s credited on the inside cover of the book. They work with me to make covers that we feel accurately reflect the core concept of the book! And wow, what wonders they’ve made…

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

  • I’m proudest of The Final Season, because I wasn’t sure if I could write it. It gets at a feeling I’ve had very strongly for a while, of… the sense that just because you have been on a path for a long time, doesn’t mean that you are bound to it. Especially if the actions or expectations of others are what placed you on that path to begin with. It isn’t giving up to realize you aren’t who you are when you started on an ambition. And that’s okay. This last book is about that feeling.

What’s next for you as an author?

  • Good question! I have a fun book called The Kingdom and the Crow, which is YA Fantasy, and follows an assassin named Jasper who’s having a bit of an identity crisis in the middle of a world-ending conspiracy. I don’t know what will happen with it yet, but I’m hopeful. I’m also working on another novel that more or less is my take on deconstructing some of the story beats of the Ancient Greek concept of a “Hero’s Journey”. It is, unsurprisingly, a romance. A witchy one. We’ll see what happens.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

  • Good lord, no. I believe it was Patrick Rothfuss in one of his books that said it is a beautiful thing to love “because”, but a rare and powerful thing to love “despite”. I think some of the greatest love stories out there include characters who are terribly flawed, but find ways to be loved, and to love, and to find a measure of peace despite it all.

   

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.

  • Oh my. Yes. Several. The Final Season has one. Not much of it survived, but parts of it exist near the beginning. They tend to be a little bit more embarrassing than I usually am able to write.

 

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

  • The Edinburgh Botanics is a lovely place to write! Big garden, lovely café, quiet and surrounded by nature. I like ambient noise and people around me when I write, so quieter but active places like that are my favorite.

 

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

  • I write for me, and to help others like me. We could all use more of ourselves in stories. And we could all use the reminder that no matter what, it’s worth it to keep trying.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

If you find out, please do let me know. I’m terribly curious.

 

Sequel to The Doorway God

Fay is no longer a boy haunted by the spirit of Winter—he is now the embodiment of the cruelest Season. If he thought access to the immense power that grants him would make his life easier, he couldn’t be more wrong.

 

The return of the Seasons is tearing Gaia—the magical realm that mirrors Earth—apart as factions form to either take advantage of the shift in power, fight against it, or use it to spur societal change. Terrifying enemies emerge to face Fay and the other Seasons, even as the Seasons plan their own battle strategy.

 

Fay, Sam, Tyler, and their friends and allies are facing a final test unlike any other. To survive the chaos unleashed on his world, Fay will have to choose what to hold on to and what can be sacrificed.

About the Author

Tom Early is a native Bostonian, coffee addict, and gay disaster. When he’s not off doing weatherly things for work, he can be found writing, talking about his characters with anyone who’ll listen, and giving impromptu lectures on the importance of representation in genre fiction, especially fantasy. There is a nonzero chance that he is actually a dog.

Jeff Adams on Writing a Teen on the Run in “Netminder (Codename: Winger #4)” (guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

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Netminder (Codename: Winger #4) by Jeff Adams

Harmony Ink Press
Published May 28th 2019
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Buy Links:

Harmony Ink Press |  Amazon |  Barnes & Noble |  Google Play  | iBooks  |  Kobo 

Jeff Adams on Writing a Teen on the Run in “Netminder (Codename: Winger #4)”

High school hockey player/computer genius/covert agent Theo Reese has been through a lot in the Codename: Winger series—from going on his first field mission, being injured in the line of duty and wondering who he can trust. In Netminder, the final book in the series, he’s forced to institute emergency protocols that he and his parents never thought they’d use.

He ends up on the run and cutoff.

Writing Theo on the run was interesting. He’s an agent with limited experience who has to be careful with every move because he has no idea what might happen. At the same time, he’s needs to find shelter for the night where he can try to figure out his next move. Of course he’s also a teenager without all the experience of an adult agent so he must work to keep his emotions in check.

The on-the-run element makes Netminder the most action packed installment of the series. Theo’s on a mission from the very start of the book—even if he doesn’t realize immediately what that mission actually is.

If you’ve been reading the series, I hope you find the conclusion satisfying. If you’re considering starting the series it’s a great time because Tracker Hacker, which is book one, is on sale during June 2019 for 99cents for the ebook. You’ll find that deal at all ebook outlets.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt that features Theo attempting to get a hotel room just a few hours after he took off from home on his bike.

Excerpt

The hotel looked decent. Surprisingly, it had a bike rack near the front door, which was even under an overhang. Now I wouldn’t have to talk them into allowing me to bring the bike to the room, so it didn’t get further soaked.

I took off the helmet and hung it off the handlebars. Looking around, I tried to take in everything as I ran my hand through my hair to dry it out as best I could. I pulled the lock from my pack and secured the bike.

Putting on my best confident look, I slung the pack over one shoulder, took my helmet in hand, and went for the door. The lobby was warm and made me shudder. I hadn’t realized how cold I’d become.

“Good evening, how can I—” The woman at the front desk stopped short as she looked up and saw my disheveled state. “Goodness. You got caught out in it. How can I help you? Checking in?”

She looked unsure, but at least she wasn’t telling me to get out as I dripped on the tiled floor. “I hope you’ve got a room. I was out cycling, trying to beat the storm and failed.”

I tried not to let my teeth chatter and sound like it was normal for someone to be on a bike on a night like this as if they were headed somewhere even farther away. It didn’t help that I looked my age. Some of my classmates could easily pass as college age, but I looked like a high schooler. Usually I didn’t care, but tonight I needed to sell being older.

“I have some rooms available, yes.” She continued to sound unsure. “I’m sorry, but I have to ask, are you over eighteen? I can’t give a room to a minor.”

I smiled, wanting it to look like I got this all the time. “Oh, yes, of course. Let me get you my ID and credit card.”

Dropping my backpack to the floor so it would only add water to the existing puddle, I retrieved the wallet with my fake driver’s license and the cards. The Massachusetts driver’s license identified me as Jason Robert Karr, age eighteen, along with a MasterCard that would get me through this transaction. Before I stood I slipped my regular wallet into the pack since I didn’t know when I’d be Theo Reese again.

I handed over the cards.

She studied them and then smiled apologetically as if sorry for doubting. “Do you have any room preferences, Mr. Karr?”

“Anything with a hot shower is fine.”

She nodded and clicked away on her keyboard. “Checking out in the morning?”

I hadn’t considered that. If I stayed here, I’d have a base of operations and Wi-Fi. If I wanted to get farther from Boston, I should arrange a new ID. Renting a car was tough if you were under twenty-five. I had to figure that out tonight.

“Two days, please.”

She studied her screen. “We can accommodate that.” She typed more, talking as she went. “Are you on a bike trip or something? I saw you ride up.” She gestured at the doors where my bike was visible.

“Yeah.” I wasn’t going to debate the cover she created for me. “It’s been great. Until tonight.”

She smiled and nodded as she ran the card key over the device that coded it for my room.

“You’re all set. Second floor, room two twenty-five. Elevators are just down the hall on your right. We have a continental breakfast served from six to nine. If you need anything tonight, there are vending machines on each floor and there are a couple of places that deliver as well. Can I do anything else for you?”

“Is there a laundry room? It’d be great to dry these things out.” I gestured at my wet clothes.

“Oh yes, of course. On the third floor in the corner.” She pointed. “If you’ve got some cash, I’ll give you some quarters.”

I dug five dollars out of my wallet and traded it.

“Thank you. I wouldn’t have thought of that right off.” She smiled again. I guess somehow I’d charmed her. “Thanks so much for your help.”

Blurb

After a summer that was nothing like he’d planned, teenage secret agent Theo Reese is back to school and to work with Tactical Operational Support’s IT department. His world turns upside down arriving home from hockey practice to a major security breach.

On the run, he soon discovers the TOS network is down and he’s cut off.

As he uses his unique skills to find out what’s happened, Theo discovers the evil agency Blackbird is responsible. A nemesis from Theo’s first field mission is out for him and will stop at nothing to force Theo to help Blackbird realize their goal of taking global control of the internet.

Getting help from some unexpected sources, Theo must stop the internet takeover while trying to keep those closest to him safe.

Author Bio:

Jeff Adams has written stories since he was in middle school and became a published author in 2009 when his first short stories were published. He writes both gay romance and LGBTQ young adult fiction…and there’s usually a hockey player at the center of the story.

Jeff lives in northern California with his husband of more than 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.

He also loves to read, but there isn’t enough space to list out his favorite books.

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

Learn more about jeff at JeffAdamsWrites.com.

Giveaway

Tell me your favorite book or movie featuring an extraordinary teenager? Leave a comment before end of the day on June 5. Two commenters, picked from random, will win an ebook copy of a Codename: Winger book of their choice.

 

Rolling Thunder, Memorial Weekend and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Thoughts on Memorial Day…

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Frye (1932)

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow;
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain;
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush;
I am in the graceful rush.

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

The month of May has always been a month of celebrations, from Mother’s Day to birthdays to important anniversaries. For me and mine, May is a time for family, either by choice or blood, and of any configuration.  For me, it is a time to celebrate those that I love, whether it is their birth, or mine and my sister’s (for my Mother), and anniversaries which helped bring all of us together.  And if the weather cooperates, than even my gardens appear to be celebrating as the azaleas, dogwoods, and all the flowers burst into pastel hues in anticipation of the intense colors of summer.

With all of these emotions and thoughts directed towards celebrating those we love for most of the month, it  seems more than fitting to end May with Memorial Day, a day dedicated to remembrance of those who lost their lives keeping us safe and making it possible to celebrate all those birthdays, and anniversaries of people and  families we hold so dear.  My grandfather is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and this year, we buried my uncle close to him in a ceremony so moving that people were stopped all over the vast landscape as the sounds of the gun salute rang out over the hills and the trumpet played Taps.

Rolling Thunder passes by my parents farm every year on their way into the District and my father, a veteran of the Korean war, goes outside and salutes them as they pass by.  Our media here in the metropolitan area is full of pictures and videos marking the solemn day of remembrance as flags are put at every grave at Arlington and the crowds swell at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as well as that of the World War II one nearby.  If you have never visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then you have not experienced the power and overwhelming sense of loss that pervades that site. The  Wall itself a marker of the high cost of valor and service to our country in the names of the men and women lost reflected back to us.  In that black stone reflection, we see the list of names in chronological order and our own reflections, the recipients of their sacrifice.  For me, never has a memorial to our dead felt so alive, awash in grief, and sorrow and gratitude.Vietnam Vet Memorial

This Memorial Weekend also marks the end to the Rolling Thunder procession, something that started in 1987 when the roar and rumble of hundreds of motorcycles from all over the country entered the capital on Memorial Day wanting accountability for the MIA’s …their name was Rolling Thunder.  Every year since then their number grew as did their chapters from state to state.  No longer just Vietnam veterans,  but  veterans from the Gulf Wars, Iraq, any places where our soldiers served. Rolling Thunder advocates for accountability for the missing in action and prisoners of war from all wars and military engagements.

For me, the roar of the motorcycles passing by is as much a part of Memorial Day as the flags flying.  They say it’s due to the high cost of the parade and security which has been billed to Rolling Thunder the past couple of years and as a non profit organization, something they can no long afford.  Somehow, that seems terribly wrong. So I will enjoy the rumble and roars one last time and try not to think about the quiet times ahead without the flashing and loud cloud of remembrance and patriotism that use to sound the arrival of Memorial Weekend .

Enjoy your Memorial weekend for those of you who live in the US or Americans abroad.  Spare some thoughts and prayers for those now gone and for those they left behind.

Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o’er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking.

-Sir Walter Scott

Arlington Cemetary overview

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 26:

  • Rolling Thunder and Memorial Weekend
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – A.E. Via – Prophesy Book #2: The Bringer of Wrath
  • A Fall in Autumn by Michael G. Williams Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: A Fall in Autumn by Michael G. Williams

Monday, May 27:

  • Review Tour – Sean Azinsalt – It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights)
  • RELEASE BLITZ Keeping Cade by SE Jakes
  • PROMO Amy Lane on String Boys
  • An Ashlez Review : It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights) by Sean Azinsalt
  • A VVivacious Review:It’s in My Blood – Criminal Delights: Obsession  by Sean Azinsaltt
  • A MelanieM Review Uncommon Ground (Aliens in New York #1) by Kelly Jensen
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Hitting the Mark by Aidan Wayne

Tuesday, May 28:

  • Cover Reveal – Come Play: An MM Erotica Charity Anthology
  • PROMO M.D. Grimm
  • Release Blitz – Anna Martin – The Color Of Summer
  • An Ali Release Day Review: String Boys by Amy Lane
  • A Melanie Review Purple Haze (Aliens in New York #2) by Kelly Jensen
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: The Color of Summer by Anna Martin
  • An Ashlez Review:  Match Grade (Criminal Delights) by GB Gordon

Wednesday, May 29:

  • REVIEW TOUR Torn by Rick R Reed
  • Review Tour – Benoit (Owatonna U #3) – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • TOUR Zale by Michelle Frost
  • PROMO Dem Had+Giveaway for Barricades
  • A Vvivacious Review:Eight Lives: (Match Made in Hell #1) by Autumn Breeze
  • A MelanieM Review: Benoit (Owatonna U #3) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • A Lila Review: Torn by Rick R Reed

Thursday, May 30:

  • Release Blitz – Roe Horvat – Adam Only
  • HARMONY INK PRESS PROMO Jeff Adams
  • Blog Tour – Third Time’s The Charm by K. Evan Coles
  • A VVivacious Review Want Me by Neve Wilder
  • A Lucy Review Third Time’s The Charm by K. Evan Coles
  • A MelanieM Review On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd

Friday, May 31:

  • TOUR ON THE SUBJECT OF GRIFFONS by Lindsey Byrd
  • Matchmaking Beyond the Veil by Mara Townsend
  • PROMO Michael Gouda
  • Blog and Review Tour OUT OF THE SHADE by S.A. McAuley
  • A Ali Review: Out of the Shade by S.A. McAuley
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: To the Ends of the Earth by Michael Gouda
  • A Lucy Pre release Review The Reluctant Husband (Goddess-Blessed #2) by Eliot Grayson

Saturday, June 1:

  • Book Blast – Between Bloody Lips by Sai Fox
  • BLOG TOUR Strike a Chord by KM Neuhold
  • A MelanieM Review:  Always With Me by Kris Jacen

More on Universe Building and Differing Frameworks. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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More on Universe Building and Differing Frameworks

 

More stories and more ideas on universe building and the size of the story.  From the tiny to the novella to the full sized novel that can be staggering in scope and size, universe/world building and its importance in the story has been of key interest to me.  As a reader, the world building, the layers, the richness, the imagination that an author pours into their universe for a story or series can enrapture me.  The details they think of, from the many cultures, languages, down to the clothing and food, pull me deeper into their novels and worlds, making it more real, more alive!

For some stories, it’s not just fantasy or science fiction that the author is building a specific universe for, sometimes it’s a contemporary one.  A certain location or family for example.  There it is still that same factors of language, geography, location, etc, that will hold true for fantasy and sci fi. Only whereas in fantasy and scifi you may be creating them, in contemporary they are there to be pulled from.

While I often think the heavier, longer tomes have it easier in world building because just in length alone, the author has the luxury of pages in which to take the time to include the world minutiae their imagination has created for their  characters and universe.  The problem here is often editing out the wealth of joyous overload the author has produced.  Building a complex universe takes a depth of knowledge and outlining, what to leave out is often as hard as what to put in.

But the other end of the spectrum?  The tiny story.  That itty bitty tale that dares you to put in any world building at all.

How to create a world on the top of a pin?  Or a story in 200 or 300 words?  One that feels so complete that you know the world those characters exist in.

Some authors can do it with just a few choice word placements.  Within a paragraph or page, a man mentions his sore throat, a constant illness, and a feeling settles over the story.  You don’t need to know about his viral loads to know he has AIDS, it has only taken some well chosen words and a location and the reader knows exactly who this man is and what he is going through. In a short story.

I so admire the high quality of writing of both authors that can build such stories, in tiny and huge, that have such ability to pull me in.

I figure that’s a lot of editing and heartbreak at work  in both forms in trying to know what to let go of…narratively speaking and what to hold on to.

But in both, for me at least, world building remains a key to unlocking the characters, their situations, and the storyline.  It’s the foundation it all rests upon, small or large.

 

Thoughts from H.B. on the matter:

I think it’s doable and can be well done using a few sentences or even a paragraph or two maybe a page or two. But I guess it depends on the writer but I don’t think authors have to limit themselves to that so I think it’s needless to think about?

As for small houses I know about them. She sheds have become popular of late and there are insurance commercials for it. I think All State actually did one a year or two ago? In china there’s are living quarters called microapartments where the rooms are only like 65-107 square ft or smaller (so enough for a bed and desk or just a bed).

 

We might come back to this topic and flash fiction later on.  As I said I love the subject.  Meanwhile, next week we go back to HEA or HFN which we never wrapped up.

Until then, happy Sunday, happy reading or listening.  And this is our upcoming week at our blog!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 19:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Surprise Groom (Marital Bliss #1) by D.J. Jamison
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : American Fairytale (Dreamers #2) by Adriana Herrera
  • More on Universe Building and Differing Frameworks.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, May 20:

  • Review Tour – – Love Kills (Criminal Delights) by Michael Mandrake
  • RELEASE BLITZ By Way of Pain by JM Dabney
  • PROMO Marie Sexton
  • A MelanieM Review: Modified and Sacred by Jana Denardo
  • A Stella Review:Top Shelf (Seacroft #1) by Allison Temple
  • An Alisa Review: Thirst for You (Beyond the Cove #2) by Jaclyn Quinn
  • An Ashlez Review:Love Kills – Criminal Delights: Serial Killers by Michael Mandrake

Tuesday, May 21:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Torn by Rick R Reed
  • Release Blitz OUT OF THE SHADE by S.A. McAuley
  • BLOG TOUR Seeing Red by Alex Beecroft
  • An Alisa Audio Review: If I Ever (Hell or High Water, #4) by SE Jakes
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Why We Fight (At First Sight #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Redesigning Landry Bishop (Stars from Peril #2) by Kim Fielding
  • A Ali Review : Match Grade – Criminal Delights: Assassins by G.B. Gordon

Wednesday, May 22:

  • TOUR Azaran Jacki James
  • PROMO Kim Fielding
  • BLOG TOUR – The Hierophant’s Daughter  (The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy #1) by M.F. Sullivan
  • An Alisa Review: Lightbearer by L.C. Davis
  • A MelanieM Review Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes
  • A Lucy Audio Review Finding Love: The Perfect Size for You by Lily G. Blunt  and Sean Crisden (Narrator)

Thursday, May 23:

  • DSP PROMO Jodi Payne
  • Blog Tour – T.A.G. You’re Seen by A.G. Carothers
  • An Ashez Review: T.A.G. You’re Seen (The Assassins’ Guild #1) by A.G. Carothers
  • An Alisa Review Love on the Rocks by J.P. Bowie
  • A Free Dreamer Review: The Incredible Real Life Monster Man by L.B. La Vigne
  • A MelanieM Review: Not Gonna Lie (#lovehim #4) by S.M. James

Friday, May 24:

  • BLOG TOUR Want Me by Neve Wilder
  • Blog Tour – Eight Lives: (Match Made in Hell #1) by Autumn Breeze
  • Blog Post – DJ Jamison – Surprise Groom
  • An Alisa Review How to Heal by Susan Hawke
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Barricades by Dem Had

Saturday, May 25:

  • Release Blitz for AE Via – Nothing Special
  • Release Blitz & Signal – Kris Jacen – Always With Me
  • A MelanieM Review:  Always With Me by Kris Jacen