Alex Standish on Writing, Research and her release ‘Changing Tides’ (guest blog and excerpt)

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Changing Tides by Alex Standish
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Buy link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Alex Standish today on her Changing Tides tour. Welcome, Alex!

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Hey, guys!

Thank you so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today, I appreciate it. Great name for a blog, by the way. 

One of my favorite things about writing is doing research. For Changing Tides, I spent hours looking through books, watching TV shows and movies, and browsing through the internet. I love researching because I always learn something new, and obviously, it makes the story better, more real, if you will.

With Changing Tides, I learned a lot about the Caribbean Sea and islands, about pirate garb and weaponry, and especially about ships. The naval battles were particularly challenging, but I had a blast writing them, and I’ve got to say I’m quite pleased with the end result. It was difficult to let go when it was done and I’m going to miss my pirates very much.

Blurb 

While most pirates sail in search of riches, Captain Devon Hall, the infamous Phantom of the Caribbean, is driven by vengeance. Devon has sworn to put an end to the corrupt governor of Jamaica and break the ruthless man’s stranglehold in the Caribbean.

When Devon is wounded and stranded on land, an unlikely rescuer comes to his aid. Brett Campbell is nothing like his uncle, the governor, and his goals are not so different from Devon’s. Brett longs for freedom, but his obligations to protect those under his uncle’s control keep him from fleeing. Throwing in with Devon might increase both their chances of success—and survival.

When the governor’s attempts to destroy Devon escalate and place Brett in danger and in the hands of the ruthless and depraved pirate Captain Blackburn, Devon must risk everything to save the man he loves and repay his enemies.

All Devon’s ever wanted is his ship, his freedom, friends who stand by his side through thick and thin, and someone to love. But facing dangers at sea and on land, Devon wonders if they will live to enjoy it all.

Excerpt

On their fourth day at sea, a day after releasing the cruiser’s crew as promised, they spotted the Skull.

Devon coldly studied their formidable adversary. With its fifteen hundred tons of impressive bulk and its numerous artilleries, he knew they were in for a fight. The British cruiser was a good ship, fast, but would not be able to withstand much punishment.

Devon took a deep breath, trying to control his heartbeat. He wanted nothing more than to open fire on the other ship. But as desperate as he was to catch Blackburn, Devon couldn’t risk Brett getting hurt in the resulting melee.

“What are you planning?” Cody asked, a slight quiver in his voice betraying his anxiety.

As fierce and determined as Cody was, sometimes it was easy for Devon to forget just how new to this whole life he was.

“They have got more firepower than we do. And I don’t want to jeopardize Brett’s life, or ours, for that matter.”

“We could keep following them, wait until dark, and then use the cutters to overtake their ship,” Cody said. “Maybe they won’t spot us until it’s too late.”

Devon grinned at him. “We will make a pirate out of you yet.”

Suddenly, there was a flash of light from Blackburn’s ship, and seconds later a large cannonball whistled through the cruiser’s masts.

“They have seen us, Captain,” John shouted.

Devon closed his eyes for a moment, sending a silent apology to Brett. Knowing they had to return fire or be destroyed, he turned to his men.

“Battle stations.” Devon watched the men rush below deck to take their positions while the artillerymen aimed the cannons and firelocks. “Fire,” he ordered.

About the Author

Alex Standish lives in Lisbon, Portugal, a beautiful and sunny country in Europe. She loves to read, travel, listen to good music, rock the vacuum cleaner like Freddie Mercury, and hang out with her friends. When she’s not at her day job or trying to win the lottery, she’s typing away at her laptop, Probie, writing homoerotic romance. She’s a multigenre author, striving to create engaging plotlines and characters that could stand on their own and hopefully tug at one’s heartstrings. In the last eight years, Alex has written one short story and three novels.

Social media info: http://www.facebook.com/xanderstandish

Blog Tour Schedule

August 9 – MM Good Book Reviews https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/

August 14 – My Fiction Nook http://myfictionnook.com/

August 15 – Alpha Book Reviews https://alphabookclub.org/

August 16 – Happily Ever Chapter https://www.facebook.com/happilyeverchapter

August 17 – Love Bytes http://www.lovebytesreviews.com/

August 18 – The Novel Approach http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/

August 21 – Open Skye Book Reviews http://openskyebookreviews.com/

August 22 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com/

August 23 – Dreamspinner Press Blog http://blog.dreamspinnerpress.com/

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

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Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues

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

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

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

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

 

Fantasy Titles Recommended – 

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

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

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

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

This Week At Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 20:

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

Monday, August 21:

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

Tuesday, August 22:

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

Wednesday, August 23:

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

Thursday, August 24:

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

Friday, August 25:

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

Saturday, August 26:

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

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour: A Cambridge Fellows Mystery novella (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries) by Charlie Cochrane

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being given a mystery to solve. But what happens when you have to defend your greatest enemy on a charge of murder?

I’m a huge fan of Charlie Cochrane.  Her love of history and her ability to bring various eras to life vividly and memorably on the page can be seen no where better than her Cambridge Fellows Mysteries.  In this series, her remarkable characters Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith meet in St. Bride’s College, Cambridge, England, 1905.  That was their first story Lessons in Love.  From that start, we watch these two men grow, sometimes falter, mature, and continue to love each other through the years and history that follows.  The last book release was Lessons for Sleeping Dogs (Cambridge Fellows #12) and the year was 1921, setting Cambridge. Of course, they are at their beloved St. Bride’s College, a place that’s kept their secret and them safe all these years.

Their greatest enemy here? Well, that would be their neighboring college next to them…one so dastardly that the name is often never spoken.  Especially since its Head has been involved in several imbroglios and a nasty encounter with a beloved member of their small group of friends.  Now their are being asked to investigate whether one of their worst enemies could actually be innocent of murder?

What follows is a charming, complicated (it’s Jonty and Orlando of course) murder investigation.  It will touch on many past elements and stark realities about that era.  Soldiers in what we now call PTSD from the war being one of them,  Jonty’s past abuse as a child, and others are all threads included here. If you are unfamiliar with the series, they might slip by you without a much of a trace.  But if you are, they deepen much of the poignancy that flows here.  Jonty and Orlando have been together 20 years at this point, a lovely measure of time.  Yet still the fear of being caught out hangs over them and they are always cautious with themselves and their relationship.

The author bring’s us into Jonty and Orlando’s lives again gently, her conversations with them flows with the language and usage of words of the times yet it never feels forced or hard to read.  Indeed, its warm, welcoming, and easy.  After all these stories, it feels like  walking into the drawing room again and seeing old friends.  What a joy.   The story flew by all too quickly and it was another case closed before I knew it.

I hope Charlie Cochrane never closes the books on her Cambridge Fellows Mysteries.  I hope Jonty and Orlando never really get so old that they can’t go sleuthing together and that St. Bride’s will always be waiting for them when they return home.  Unfamiliar with the series?  Start today with Lessons in Love and work your way through.  There’s some real heartbreakers in the series but don’t worry.  The sun continues to shine on them both.  This is proof and a great story to boot.

Cover Illustration by Alex Beecroft is utterly charming and perfect for the story. Had no idea this talented author was an artist as well.

Buy links:    Amazon | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 82 pages
Expected publication: August 14th 2017 by The Right Chair Press
ASINB073Z3LL3K

Charlie Cochrane On Her Obsessions with Pre/Post 1900’s and ‘Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour’ (Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway)

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Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour:
A Cambridge Fellows Mystery novella (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries)
by Charlie Cochrane
Alex Beecroft  (Illustrator)

Buy links:    Amazon | Amazon UK  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Charlie Cochrane here today with her new Cambridge Fellows Mysteries story, Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour! Welcome back, Charlie! 

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Charlie Cochrane on Her Obsession with Pre and Post 1900’s

I’m obsessed with the era either side of 1900. To the extent that if I buy (or borrow from the library) any new books set in the era I have to smuggle them into the house in a plain brown wrapper or my daughters tell me off. I try to pretend they’re for research purposes (I write many of my stories in the Edwardian/WWI era) but that’s stretching the truth. It’s the characters who fascinate me.  Sassoon, Owen, Brooke, Graves, Gurney and the rest – I can lap up both their works and their life stories.

Okay, you might say, that’s all very well setting a context for your writing but how does the romantic element work in?  The simple answer is that Siegfried Sassoon was gay, Wilfred Owen was gay, Rupert Brooke and Robert Graves had experienced homosexual encounters/longings, Vera Brittain’s brother Edward might have sacrificed himself in the line as he was under suspicion of sexual relations with his soldiers…the list goes on. Scratch the surface of almost any of the WWI poets and you find some connection (personal or through friends) to what would have been, at the time, a deliberately hidden world of gay men.

It’s a strange era, with a bit of a dichotomous feel. On the one hand the disgrace of Oscar Wilde would still have been sharp in the nation’s memory but Robert Ross, Wilde’s lover and staunch supporter, still had a sort of coterie in London where several of these poets congregated. (Owen, whose one extant letter to Sassoon suggests he was in love with him, got drawn into this network after meeting Sassoon at Craiglockhart.)

Inevitably, given the illegal status of homosexual relationships, cover ups were ripe. Edward Brittain’s commanding officer kept the story of his impending enquiry secret until he was attacked in print by Vera Brittain. Sassoon’s autobiographical novels skirt around his sexuality and he destroyed some of Owen’s letters to him for which the poet’s brother Harold was grateful. Harold did much (through both his own biography of his brother and destroying much of Wilfred’s correspondence) to sanitise the poet’s image; I wonder what he thought about Wilfred’s poem on the subject of rent boys, “Who is the God of Canongate”?

Because of the secrecy gay men had to live under, mysteries remain, some of which we may never be able to solve. Did Edward Brittain deliberately choose death in combat over disgrace? Was Wilfred Owen seduced by Charles Scott Moncrieff? Was the death by drowning of Michael Llewelyn Davies part of a suicide pact? How can we understand the lives of gay men at a century’s remove? Read the most up to date biographies, clearly, especially those which rely on first hand sources. (Dominic Hibberd’s “Wilfred Owen a new biography” is one of my brown paper wrapped books.)  Access correspondence from the time, and look at the changing drafts of the poems. Read the finished poems themselves, with the gift of hindsight. Maybe you’ll end up like me, so inspired by the tales you’ve heard that you’ll want to write about the era.

Title: Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour (m/m mystery)

Blurb:

Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being given a mystery to solve. But what happens when you have to defend your greatest enemy on a charge of murder?

Excerpt:

Cambridge 1922 

“Owens? Owens?” Orlando Coppersmith’s voice sounded louder, and clearer, from his chair in the Senior Common Room at St Bride’s than it had ever sounded before. And with good cause.

“Steady on, old man. We’re in enough of a state of shock without you making sufficient noise to wake the dead.” Jonty Stewart smiled at his friend’s uncharacteristic outburst. Although friendship would hardly be the most accurate way to describe their relationship. Even the description “lovers, companions, colleagues and partners in solving crime” didn’t quite cover the depth of the bond they’d build up in nigh on twenty years. If their hair bore the odd silver thread, their ardour hadn’t cooled.

“Wake the dead or, harder still, wake some of the dons,” Dr. Panesar agreed, mischievously.

“Good point, Dr. P.” Jonty sniggered. “Some of them give the impression they’ve been asleep since 1913.”

A quick glance around the oak panelled room supported his assertion. St. Bride’s may have been one of the most forward looking of the Cambridge colleges, embracing the fact the year was 1922 rather than pretending it was still 1622, but some aspects of the university, including crusty old dons, seemed to be an immutable fixture.

“In which case,” Orlando pointed out, “we’d have ten years of history to explain to them, much of it unpleasant, let alone this latest scandal. St. Bride’s men being asked to defend Owens. What is the world coming to?”

About the Author

Because Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her mystery novels include the Edwardian era Cambridge Fellows series, and the contemporary Lindenshaw Mysteries. Multi-published, she has titles with Carina, Riptide, Lethe and Bold Strokes, among others.

A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie regularly appears at literary festivals and at reader and author conferences with The Deadly Dames.

www.charliecochrane.co.uk

Giveaway

Comment below for the chance to win an audio copy of Lessons in Love. One winner to be drawn from total comments from all blog tour stops.

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

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Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fantasy Titles to be Added To:

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

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

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

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

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 13:

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

Monday, August 14:

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

Tuesday, August 15:

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

Wednesday, August 16:

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

Thursday, August 17:

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

Friday, August 18:

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

Saturday, August 19:

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

 

 

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

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Of Recs Lists and Summer Reading

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

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

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

Winner of the Gift Card is:

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

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

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

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

Science Fiction – Readers Recs

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

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

Historical/Other 

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

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

Fantasy Fiction Recommendation Time – Recs Part III

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

Some of my favorites?

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

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

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

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

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

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 6:

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

Monday, August 7:

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

Tuesday, August 8:

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

Wednesday,  August 9:

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

Thursday, August 10:

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

Friday, August 11:

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

Saturday, August 12:

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

A MelanieM Review: Christopher Wild by Kathe Koja

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

“All they that love not tobacco and boys are fools.”

Poet, spy, atheist, smoker, badass: Christopher Marlowe loved whom he pleased, said what he thought, wrote plays that turned London upside down (and blazed the trail that Shakespeare followed)—and was killed at 29, in what the government rushed to call a drunken tavern brawl.

But can a voice so passionate ever die?

Kathe Koja’s literary love affair with Christopher Marlowe takes her fiction across genres and in a whole new direction.

​Go wild.

Christopher Wild by Kathe Koja is a book whose writing exemplifies the phrase “too clever by half”.   Divided into sections, the first part of the tale is Christopher Marlowe’s plague ridden England, where he’s an agent during Elizabethan times, writing his plays and spouting off his views about religion. Oh and having copious amounts of dangerous sex, especially with his boy, Rufus.  All told from Marlowe’s perspective in his Elizabethan English language, dense verbiage and all.  If you are a word aficionado and a lover of Marlowe or English major, then this section and story is written with you in mind.  His poetry, his beginnings, a mystery play supposedly written at the behalf of the Secret Service and his death.  It’s all here…in excruciatingly slow, dense language.  As I read, I swear I despaired of ever getting past a certain percentage.

Part of my issue with this is that I connected more with poor Rufus than I did with Marlowe.  And yes, I’m a fan of Shakespeare.  Not that it should have anything to do with it.  It was that nothing served to connect me emotionally to Marlowe the character.  I could look at the writing intellectually and think, ‘clever, very cleverly done’ and admire the narrative style.  Yet all the while bemoaning the fact that I had to drudge through the rest of the story like so much sludge.

The language only changes moderately when Christopher lands in the future. The prose flows in much the same style, however, letting one admire the phrasing, yet still removing the reader from any emotional connections to the storyline. And again, it was so slow going that I  thought I was never, ever going to finish.  Felt like double the length.   War and Peace felt moderately short compared to this at points.

I think with Christopher Wild, it will depend on what you expect out of this story.  If you as a reader are looking for drama and emotional connections, as I was, this is definitely not the story for you.  If on the other hand, you love history, consider this an imaginative exercise in what might have happened to Christopher Marlowe and his literary works and can appreciate over 300 pages done in this style of writing, well, then, this is certainly the story for you.

I don’t know.  I’ll put this away and perhaps, try to tackle it some other time.  But for now I’m onto other lands and escapades!

Cover art is nice.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Hardcover, eBook, 310 pages
Published 2017 by Roadswell Editions
ISBN139781938263293
Edition LanguageEnglish

Anne Barwell on Bidding Adieu to her series and her release Comes a Horseman’, Sequel to Winter Duet (guest post and giveaway)

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Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3) by Anne Barwell
DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Available for Purchase at DSP Publications

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Anne Barwell here today talking about the writing the series finale, and her latest release Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3).  Welcome, Anne!

✒︎

 

Bidding Adieu by Anne Barwell

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Comes a Horseman, the 3rd and final book in my WWII Echoes Rising series from DSP Publications.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.  DSP Publications also have the ebooks for Shadowboxing (book 1), and Winter Duet (book 2) on sale from 17th July-August 4th.

Although I started writing this series with a clear overall story in mind, part of me still can’t believe I’ve finished the final book.  I first began writing the early draft of Shadowboxing in 2002, but shelved it when the thought of all the research got a little daunting.  After my first novel with Dreamspinner Press, Cat’s Quill, was published in 2011, I dusted off the manuscript for Shadowboxing and started writing again. This time the research felt more doable, and hoping I might have a home for it, I went back to the beginning, edited it heavily, and finished the story.  I was delighted when Dreamspinner wanted to publish it, and ecstatic when it and Winter Duet, book 2 of my renamed Echoes Rising series, were republished by DSP Publications in 2016. 

Although this story wasn’t my first published book or series, it was the first thing I’d written that I knew was going to be a novel.  That novel quickly became a three book series, when I realised the story I wanted to tell either needed to be split into a series, or would be one very long book.

I’ve grown attached to these characters, as they’ve been a part of my life for nearly twenty years, and although I’m happy I’ve finally finished telling their story, I’m going to miss them. Despite writing in series, Echoes Rising is the first I’ve finished—although I’m working on completing my others in progress too.  The characters—much like myself—have changed and grown over those years, to the point where I had to rethink some of the scenes in this last story.  They might have worked at the beginning of the series, but these men are no longer the same as they were when they started on this adventure.  They’ve endured many hardships, lost people they cared about, but through it all they’ve built friendships which have impacted their lives. I figure that’s quite an achievement considering that—apart from Matt and Ken—none of them knew each other before the pieces moved into place leading into their mission into German in 1943.

I suspect—considering the strong personalities of these men—that although Echoes Rising is finished, that they’ll find another way to sneak into my writing.  I’m gearing up to set up an author newsletter and will be writing free fiction as a part of that, and Liang is making noises about sneaking into a 1950s murder mystery I want to write.  Matt already has a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in an upcoming release, so watch this space.

After all, these guys are spies, and very practised at getting into places they’re not to be.  I’ll miss the 1940s and WWII as well. I’ve learnt a lot more than I ever thought I would, so maybe other characters from that period still have stories they want to share. Only time will tell.

Finally, I want to thank the readers who have enjoyed reading about my characters’ exploits in WWII. I’ve loved being able to share this series with you. 

Blurb

Echoes Rising Book 3, sequel to Winter Duet

France, 1944

Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.

Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr. Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.

When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options as they fight to keep atomic plans from the Nazis. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher realizes he must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.

Excerpt:

Matt nodded, his lips moving although he did not speak. He was counting, Michel realized, as they pulled away from shore, and using the rhythm of his movement to distract himself from the darkness.

The moon’s light highlighted the waves lapping around the boat—the water seemed to reach toward them before diving back again. Ken and Matt quickly settled into a unified motion, both focused on what they were doing, although Ken glanced at Matt a couple of times.

Frej signaled for Matt and Ken to change direction slightly and rest the oars. They did that for a few moments, letting the boat drift with the current. If Michel squinted, he could see the outline of the bridge in the distance and several shapes moving at either end of it. The guards on duty would hopefully stay focused on the bridge itself and not notice a small rowboat sneaking over the border. The area was well guarded, but as it had been secured for quite some time, they would not be expecting trouble.

On the other side of the boat, Liang quickly turned and leaned over the side. As soon as he started to make a gagging noise he shoved his hand over his mouth to silence it. If his seasickness got any worse, it would be difficult to mask the noise of him vomiting over the side of the boat. He was doing his best to silence his dry heaving, but his hunched posture suggested he felt miserable and unwell.

Frej leaned toward Ken and gestured. Ken nodded, rested the oars again, and then he and Matt changed direction. Matt was still counting under his breath, and he gripped the oar tightly.

“Who’s there?” The shouted question shattered the silence.

Kristopher glanced around, an expression of panic on his face.

Michel put a hand on his arm to calm him but didn’t dare whisper the reassurance he wanted to. He turned around and strained his eyes, trying to find the source of the disruption. Matt and Ken stopped rowing, the boat drifting back the way they’d come, caught by the current.

He heard boots against wood in the distance—the unmistakable sound of men running, probably over the bridge crossing the Rhine south of their position. “No farther or I’ll shoot,” one of them yelled.

Frej got down on the floor of the boat. Michel and Kristopher followed, then Liang. Matt kept hold of his oar, trying to keep it as still as he could. He leaned down into a crouch, as did Ken.

Gunfire sounded from the bridge. A couple of shots in succession before stopping. Michel heard an engine, a vehicle approaching. A door slammed, and then everything went quiet again. Logically he knew the bridge was a good few kilometers away, but Frej was right about noise carrying on the water. If felt too close for comfort.

Frej waited a few minutes. “Row,” he whispered urgently. “While they are distracted.”

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rafflecopter giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/96bb1f281/?

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here: https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/comes-a-horseman-blog-tour

July 25 –  MM Good Book Reviews

July 31 –  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

August 1 – Two Men Are Better Than One

August 1 – Top to Bottom Reviews

August 1 – Genre Talk at The Novel Approach Reviews

August 2 –  Love Bytes Reviews

August 3 –  Andrew Q. Gordon

August 3 –  DSP Publications Blog

August 4 –  Nic Starr

August 4 – Alpha Book Club

August 7 –  My Fiction Nook

August 8 –  Divine Magazine

August 9 – Aisling Mancy

August 10 – Lucy Marker

About the Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

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

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Really? Can it Be Almost August?

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

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

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

What are you going to do  going into August?

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

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

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

Some of my recommendations:

Memory of Scorpions series by Aleksandr Voinov (Science Fiction)

Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara (Science Fiction)

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

Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane (historical)

The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara (historical/fantasy)

More on mine later…..more coming!

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

Also Again….

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

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

Sunday,  July 30:

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

Monday, July 31:

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

Tuesday, August 1:

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

Wednesday, August 2:

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

Thursday, August 3:

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

Friday, August 4:

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

Saturday, August 5:

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

An Ali Audiobook Review: The Innocent Auction (Innocent #1) by Victoria Sue and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
London 1810.

Their love was a death sentence.

Deacon, Viscount Carlisle, was aware of the slums and gin-lanes of London. Just as he was aware of the underground traffic that furnished the brothels and bath houses with human innocents. He was also aware that the so-called justice system would hang the accused without much of an attempt at a defense, unless the unfortunate had deep pockets to pay for it.

He just hadn’t expected to be directly involved in any of it.

It started with a plea for help and ended with forbidden love, the love between a Viscount and a stable-boy. An impossible love and a guarantee of the hangman’s noose.

Will Deacon fight for Tom? Will he risk the death sentence and take that fight from the stately halls of his English mansion to the horrors of Newgate Prison and the slums of London?

Or will he realize that if he doesn’t, death will be a welcome end to the loneliness of the sentence he is already living?
 
This story was a mixed bag for me.  I liked Deacon a lot and I enjoyed the overall plot of him inheriting his father’s responsibilities, while trying to fix the horrendous mess he had made.  I found Deacon’s struggle to do right by his employees and township entertaining and I was eager to see how things worked out.  I especially liked the side story revolving around Deacon’s cousin/best friend Beau.  That more than anything, kept me on the edge of my seat.  I loved the relationship between Deacon and Beau.  It was both beautiful and bittersweet and I found myself teary-eyed at one point.
The part of the story that didn’t really work for me was the relationship between Deacon and Tom.  They had an interesting set up and meeting and I liked that part.  Unfortunately when they meet again it’s a total insta-love.  I had a very hard time buying that they would risk all that they had to risk after only meeting a couple of times.  It didn’t seem realistic to me at all.  I wish the author would have spent more time letting us see their relationship develop.  This had the potential to be an excellent book.  That being said, the epilogue was sweet and I was happy to see them get their happily ever after.
This audiobook was narrated by Joel Leslie and I thought he did a very good job.  I listen to this narrator a lot and his English accent books are my favorites of his.  (I’m American and I have no idea if they’re authentic or not though.)  He did a good job with all of the characters and I never struggled to figure out who was speaking.  He also put the appropriate amount of emotion in to the scenes.  
Overall I enjoyed this and would recommend it to others.  I had the above mentioned complaint but I would try this author again and I will probably read the next book in the series.  If you enjoy audiobooks I would also recommend the audio version.
Cover:  I liked this cover but didn’t love it.  It’s a good representation of the beginning of the book but it’s a little too monochromatic for my liking.  It also sets a dark feel for the book which put me off of it for a long time.  I thought it was going to be a very dark, gritty read which it wasn’t.

 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Audiobook Details:

Kindle Edition, 183 pages
Published May 31st 2017 by Victoria Sue (first published December 27th 2015)
Original TitleThe Innocent Auction
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesInnocent #1