A MelanieM Review: The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains #3) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

When Captain Pendleton needs an emergency fiancée, who better to turn to than his male best friend? After all, for Amadeo Orsini, life’s one long, happy drag!

Captain Ambrose “Pen” Pendleton might have distinguished himself on the battlefield at Waterloo but since he’s come home to civvy street, he’s struggled to make his mark.

Pen dreams of becoming a playwright but his ambitious father has other ideas, including a trophy wife and a new job in America. If he’s to stand a hope of staying in England and pursuing his dream, Pen needs to find a fiancée fast.

Amadeo Orsini never made it as a leading man, but as a leading lady he’s the toast of the continental stage. Now Cosima is about to face her most challenging role yet, that of Captain Pendleton’s secret amour.

With the help of a talking theatrical parrot who never forgets his lines, Orsini throws on his best frock, slaps on the rouge and sets out to save Pen from the clutches of Miss Harriet Tarbottom and her scheming parents.

As friendship turns into love, will the captain be able to write a happy ending for himself and Orsini before the curtain falls?

 

The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains #3) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead is a delicious surprise romp of a romance, totally in keeping with the theatrics in the title.  I am new to this series, Captivating Captains, but it made no matter.  Because this story certainly held me in its delightful sway from start to finish.

Here the friends to lovers trope is giving a merry ride when one of the friend’s assumes gown and heels to save his best friend from a loveless, business based marriage.  That Orsini is already the toast of the town as a gorgeous lady?  Makes it that much easier.  Or does it when the attraction looms large between them.

The language and manner in which the feelings pour out feels right for the era the book is situated in.  The characters are lovingly created, all sprightly and vivid.  They avoid being shallow, the author giving them depth of feeling with past histories like Pen’s PTSD from the recent war he has returned from and the parents (to be revealed) he is so fond of.  There is even a parrot to steal the show (the real show on stage) and the story, as well as a mystery to solve.

Plus a relationship and romance and marriage to carry off.  Yes this story has a full checklist but it makes a fun journey and a very entertaining quick read for it all.

If, at the end, you have to suspend a tad more belief with a slight roll of the eye, well that’s alright.  It’s all been done with a great wink, a audacious kiss to the cheek, and a knowing smile. Isn’t that fun delicious romps are all about?

Want to have a good time?  Spend it with the Captivating Captain of The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains #3) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead. I definitely recommend it.

Cover art is perfect for the characters , the story and even has the parrot.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786518354
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Captivating Captains #3

The Captivating Captains Series

The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper

The Captain and the Cricketer

The Captain and the Theatrical

Qualifications of a Perfect Romance Novel Continues and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Qualifications of a Perfect Romance Novel Continues

Thoughts on what makes the perfect romance novel continues into this Sunday with some of our readers chiming in on favorite books and their own romance book qualifications.  I’ve been thinking a lot about it myself this last week, mentally shuffling over titles and thinking about what made them so powerful and so lasting…

One thing, one factor that appears and vanishes like a will o’ the wisp from story to story is, oddly enough, humor.  Some are bereft of it.  There is no levity to be found in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, two stories that left a great impact on me to the point I can quote sentences and passages from each of them.  Pride and the Prejudice by Jane Austen?  Or Sense and Sensibility?  What humor there is is gentle or should that be upper class?

But I have also read romances that have left me crying with laughter, lighthearted and filled with love for the story and couple.  See Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston for the most recent story.  Or going back?  Arabella by Georgette Heyer (or anything by Georgette Heyer (M/F Regency Romance).  Amy Lane’s series often veer from the hilarious to the angst full on a dime, breaking our hearts in the bargain.  Don’t get me started on one of my favorite series of hers, The Granby Knitting Series.  There are the wonderful historic romances of WWI of Charlie Cochrane and her inestimable Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart in her Cambridge Fellows series that spans decades in a relationship and major changes in England and the world around it.  This series has a deep, abiding place in my heart.

So it begs the question …to humor or not to humor?  Should that be a element in a great romance novel?  Let’s continue to chime in….

And now let’s hear from one of our readers:

H.B. :

I agree with the assessment of whether you can have a great story was too much story and no or not enough sex scenes. Sometimes a story just doesn’t need it to get the idea of intimacy and love across.

I think everyone had one or more books that have stuck with them over the years. I’ve been reading romance for a long time and have plenty that i can still recall the story of without going back and rereading it and still love today.

M/F:
Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard
Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown
A Man to Call My Own by Johanna Lindsey
Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Violet by Lauren Royal

Fantasy:
Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Nine Kingdom series by Lynn Kurland

SCI-FI:
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

LGBT:
Kirith Kirin by Jim Grimsley
Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey
All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic
Dreams of Fire and Gods series by James Erich (YA)
Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux (and Madeleine Urban)
Chronicles of Ylandre by Eresse
A Simple Romance by J.H. Knight
Cethe by Becca Abbott
He Speaks Dead by Adrienne Wilder
Mercury’s Orbit by Lia Black
The Men of Halfway House series by Jaime Reese
all of Anyta Sunday books…

I can name so much more but the list keeps on going.

 

Thanks, HB, and let’s keep the conversation going….what books do you have on your list?  I gave you just a sampling of mine. More to come.  Meanwhile, here is our schedule for this week. Check it out and happy reading and listening!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 11:

  • Qualifications of a Perfect Romance Novel Continues
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 12:

  • Review Tour – Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
  • Release Blitz – RJ Scott & Meredith Russell – Kaden (Boyfriend for Hire )
  • PROMO Amy Lane
  • A Stella Review : Digging Deep by  Jay Hogan
  • An Alisa Review: Anticipating Disaster (Anticipation #1) by Silvia Violet
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ignite (Unbreakable Bonds #7) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Tuesday, August 13:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Wanderlust by Quin Perin
  • Release Blitz – After The Final Curtain – TL Travis
  • New Release & Tour: Here Comes the Son by Dahlia  Donovan
  • Guest Post and Tour – Elyse Springer World Turned Upside Down
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Mischief Maker (Animal Lark #1) by Andi Lee
  • A VVivacious Prerelease Review: Nemesis (Alpha Unit One #2) by Chris T. Kat
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Wednesday, August 14:

  • BLITZ Stray by Nancy J. Hedin
  • PROMO Andi Lee on Mischief Maker (Animal Lark #1)
  • Release Blitz  – Repeat Offence by Jackie Keswick
  • BLOG TOUR Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review: Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • A Vivacious Review Repeat Offence by Jackie Keswick
  • An Alisa Review Anticipating Rejection (Anticipation #2) by Silvia Violet

Thursday, August 15:

  • Cover Reveal for V.L. Locey ‘s The Good Green Earth
  • Book Blitz – – Jesus Kidj by Kayleigh Sky
  • Blog Post – Jay Hogan on Digging Deep
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Exile Prince (The Castaway Prince #2) by Isabelle Adler
  • A Lila Audio Review: Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • AN Alisa Review: Mad About the Boy by Beth Laycock

Friday, August 17:

  • Blog Tour Heart Strain by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee
  • “The Stones of Power” series by M.D. Grimm Tour
  • A MelanieM Review:Save of the Game (Scoring Chances #2) by Avon Gale
  • A Stella Review Release Day Review: Nemesis (Alpha Unit One #2) by Chris T. Kat
  • An Alisa Review Anticipating Temptation (Anticipation #3) by Silvia Violet

Saturday, August 18:

A MelanieM Review: The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe

 

 

The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Perfect Romance Novel and Summer Reading

Last Sunday I started talking about the perfect romance novel because, primarily, I had just read one that if asked I would most certainly take with me to a deserted island. That would be Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston in any format.  That story had everything I look for in a romance story and I’m still basking in the afterglow it has left behind.  It’s one of my top ten this year.

And it made me start thinking about the qualities of a perfect romance novel.  What would they be?

Turns out that formula is one that hundreds perhaps thousands of authors are in search of as well.  Many are certain they have it if the articles I found online are any indication.  If that were true, there would be far more perfect novels out there (and maybe there are) then I have come across or read about.  It’s like looking through a telescope.  You can only see so many stars, there’s always some just outside your vision.

But back to what I did find.  Which was fascinating.

One article here at the Huff Post, the writer (a published romance author) lists the following as her requirements for a perfect romance novel:

  • Have a story.
  • Not too much story.
  • Sex
  • The Sum of its Parts

That got me thinking.  Can you have too much story?  Can you have a great romance novel without  sex?  For me the answer is yes and yes.  Especially within the LGBTQIA spectrum and including YA stories. I have read wonderful books where sex is not a component. Upside Down by N.R. Walker, Antisocial and The Roosevelt series by Heidi Cullinan to name a few.  Too much story or too many details?  There’s a difference to me.  A density not in layers but in not being able to know when to let go of the miniscule and the unnecessary.

What do you all think?

Think about Jane Austen for ffs.  Where’s the hot and heavy sex in that?  Climbing gently down off the box.

Ok

So the essential formula for any romance is (and should be updated in this age)

Person Meets Person

Person loses Person

Person Gets Person

Then there’s the plot:

Three of the most popular romance plot devices are:

Friends become lovers
You’re my soulmate, it’s fate
This is my second chance to love again

Then what happens after that?  Narrative magic, depending upon the author.  They choose the setting, the genre, the characters.  They bring their imagination, their own skill base and travels, history, and in some cases ability to research to the story.

And something elusive.  Shrugs.  That ability to add a spark of life, of magic to the page that let’s us, the reader, into something timeless, moving, and sometimes impactful.  Books to remember.

I have those.  I’m sure you all do as well.  What books are sitting on your shelves?  What books have continued to make the greatest impressions?    Are any of them romance novels?  Who are or were the authors?  Let us know!

 

Meanwhile, try to stay cool.  Dog days of summer are upon us.  Bring out the umbrellas, the ice tea, the occasional sprinkler and enjoy your books in every format.    Have a great week.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 4:

  • Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 5

  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
  • Review Tour –  Sword Dance by AJ Demas
  • BLOG TOUR Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Review: The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
  • A Lucy Review : Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote
  • A MelanieM Review : Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Saviors: Duty and Sacrifice 1 (The God Jars Saga #1) by Devon Vesper

Tuesday, August 6:

  • Release Blitz – MJ O’Shea’s Chef In Disguise
  • Release Blitz  Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
  • AUDIO TOUR Out in the Field by Lane Hayes
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) by Jay Hogan
  • A Lucy Review : Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unbroken (Hearts Entwined #4) by Andrew Grey

Wednesday, August 7:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • Release Blitz – Thomas Grant Bruso ‘s The Two Of Us
  • Book Reveal SOULBOUND #3 by Hailey Turner
  • An Alisa Review: Hybrid Incubator by Meraki P. Dark
  • A Stella Review Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble and John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, August 8:

  • PROMO Gene Gant
  • Blog Tour- Small Town Sonata
  • A Stella Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
  • A VVivacious Review: Toy by R Parr
  • An Alisa Review: Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules #1) by Susan Hawke

Friday, August 9:

  • Release Blitz Heel by KM Neuhold
  • Release Blitz  for Release (Rent Boys #1) by A E Ryecart
  • Review Tour – Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:  World Turned Upside Down by Elyse Springer
  • A Lila Audio Review: Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

Saturday, August 10:

  • A MelanieM  Pre Release Review: The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe

 

Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel.

 

One thing summer reading has always meant is relaxation and escapism.  Not for me books that offered the psychologically twisty horror plots or ambiguous endings.  Those get pushed to fall or winter.  Even some of the hard core action adventure may slide a bit, depending on the plot and characters.    Sometimes, I just want to recline and dive into a great fantasy world or romance that carries me away from everything happening in RL, listen to the ocean waves if I happen to be at the beach, and simply savor summer.

It will be gone all too soon as will the summer state of mind.

For me nothing says summer reading better than a romance story.  Two people finding each other, the journey, the temporary heartbreak, the realization of forever love, and then happily ever after.  The story that makes your heart burst and then puts it back together with puppies and sparkes and tissues and everything warm and glowly The novel with characters that pulls you in and you connect with them, and hold them close, and reread their story….over and over.  A story that sometimes turns into your comfort read.  That romance story.

The Perfect Romance Story.

Summer is the exact time for the Perfect Romance story (not that any time of the year isn’t as well).  I found a Perfect Romance story this summer (thank you, Barb, our Zany Old Lady.). I should say I found it through a review here by Barb. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, although I just finished the audio, narrated by Ramón de Ocampo. This book has me wanting the ebook and even the paperback format.

The only problem?  It’s the author’s only story.

For me, it’s everything I want and need in a romance story.  I’ll go into that next week.

But for now.  Do you all have that perfect romance story?  What is it?  What makes it a perfect story for you?

While we are waiting for those answers next week.

Here are the answers from our Polls.  We  are 50/50 about  series and standalone stories.  We don’t care obviously.  About the type of stories?  Well, contemporary runs slightly ahead of SyFy/Fantasy/Other trilogy with Paranormal running last.

Some of the comments from our readers:

H.B.:

“I can go either way. I don’t mind series but I do tend to gravitate towards standalone stories more (because it’s just faster to get through them and find the next exciting read). I usually like to wait till a series is near completion or completed to even start it because I know if I start one and the next book takes months or years to write I will have to go back to re-read the series and for me going back to read 8-10 books just to prepare to read the newest addition to the series is time consuming and not something I want to do for any series I just thought was okay but didn’t quite blow my socks off.

I do want some warning that a book will be a series before I start and whether or not they could be read loosely as standalones or not. As for series that intersect with other series. I don’t really mind them. I’m usually good about reading stories out of order sometimes and connecting them into a time line that will work but can see how it can’t work for others.”

and

Jenf27

|”I love both series and standalone stories. But, I do want to know if I a book is part of a series. I get that sometimes a standalone story turns into a series later due to reader requests or the author’s muse. And that’s cool, but if it is already a series or already planned to be a series, I want to know. One of my especial pet peeves is when a series is convoluted and you can’t tell the reading order. Such as a series within a series or interconnected series. In those cases, it is helpful when the author publishes a reading order.”

So to both of you go a $10 Amazon gift card.  Please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com with the email address to use for your gift card. And Congratulations.

 

So now think about what is your perfect Romance novel, what makes it so, and send it in.  Let’s make that Summer  List of Perfect Love Stories!  Go!

Now here is our week ahead!  Happy reading and listening!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 28:

  • Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

Monday, July 29:

  • BLOG TOUR Rules to Follow by Susan Hawke
  • Review Tour – Trusting The Elements – Elle Keaton
  • Tia Fielding
  • An Alisa Review: Between the Covers Anthology
  • A MelanieM Review:Trusting the Elements (Never Too Late #1) by Elle Keaton
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Mercs and Strippers (Ore 5 #3) by Meraki P. Lyhne

Tuesday, July 30:

  • Review Tour – Alison Temple – Cold Pressed
  • Release Blitz – Tal Bauer
  • Tour Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan
  • PROMO Jess Anastasi
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Shaman of Kupa Piti (Shaman’s Law #1) by A. Nybo
  • A MelanieM Review:Here Comes the Son” by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Release Day Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Beautiful Disaster (Geek Life#3) by Marguerite Labbe

Wednesday, July 31:

  • Book Blast – The Artist’s Boxer by Este Holland
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – Fairground Attractions by L M Somerton
  • PROMO A. Nybo
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review:  Ghost Train by AM Summerton
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rocking Thin Ice by Z. Allora
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (narrator)
  • A Lily Audio Review:Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (narrator)

Thursday, August 1:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Mason’s Run by Mellanie Rourke
  • J.P. Barnaby/Rowan Speedwell on A Pocketful of Stardust
  • Blog Tour –  – Mad About the Boy
  • A MelanieM Review:Where the Night Reigns by Emilie Lucadamo
  • A MelanieM Review: The Hate You Drink by NR Walker

Friday, August 2:

  • PROMO Wendy Quall’s Rockets and Romance
  • PROMO Marguerite Labbe on A Beautiful Disaster
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Rockets and Romance by Wendy Qualls
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Intoxicating (Elite Protection Services #1) by Onley James
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator)

Saturday, August 3:

  • A MelanieM Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale

 

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)

A Caryn Review: Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (Dancing with the Lion #1) by Jeanne Reames

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Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

Focusing on homosexual relationships in historical fiction in the ancient Greek world is not new – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and The Persian Boy by Mary Renault have done so and reached wide audiences – but I am still thrilled to see another entry into this particular area, especially when that relationship is deep, abiding, and meaningful.  There have been centuries of writing and thinking that served to ignore and whitewash what was an important, and beautiful, part of the history of that era.  While there are certainly many parts of the culture that I am glad are no longer accepted – the treatment of women, slavery, constant wars, to name a few – the general acceptance of sexual love between two men (or women) deserves to be remembered and celebrated.

I also have a weak spot for epic stories, and the life of Alexander the Great is certainly a compelling subject.  Dr. Reames added to this book what is a new twist for me – using Hellenic (Greek) nomenclature for names, places, and concepts.  Thus we have Alexandros, Aristoteles, Philippos, etc, instead of the usual westernization of the names, which lends it an additional air of authenticity and interest.  There is a wonderful section where Hephaistion tries to puzzle out whether eros – sexual passion – can exist with true philia – brotherly love  – in his relationship with Alexandros, and the use of the Hellenic terms made me really look at the debate in a deeper way.

The book begins when Alexandros was 13, and newly entering the ranks of the Pages, or the servants of the king, Philoppos of Makedon (Philip of Macedonia).  Even at this young age, Alexandros had to find a balance between being set apart as a prince, and Philoppos’ heir, and yet still one of the youth of Makedonian aristocracy training to become a soldier and officer.  Hephaistion was 17, the youngest and only surviving son of Amyntor, who ran away from his home to Pella against his father’s wishes, and Philippos was more than willing to add him to the ranks of Pages.  Partly because both young men were outsiders in a way, and partly because of their natural intelligence and curiosity, Alexandros  and Hephaistion struck up an unlikely friendship, that deepened over the next few years in the time they spent as part of a select group of young men tutored by Aristoteles.

The coming of age of a prince must necessarily be different from that of other boys, no matter how much Alexandros might want to be like them.  The court of Philippos was full of political machinations, and Philippos himself was a master manipulator.  Alexandros’ mother had her own ambitions for him, and she also used Alexandros as a pawn in the power games she played with her husband.  Surrounded by people who wanted to use him, Alexandros found his friendship with Hephaistion one of the few things he could fully trust and depend upon.  Although their culture was accepting of same sex relationships, these relationships were typically defined with a very particular power dynamic – the older “erastes” was the lover and dominant partner, the younger “eromenos” was the beloved, and submissive.  Alexandros and Hephaistion loved one another, but how could they have that type of relationship when Alexandros was the future king?  (NOTE – by keeping the ages of Alexandros and Hephaistion relatively close together, the author was able to introduce this idea without giving it the creepy connotations of the modern day practice of pederasty, which is pretty much flat out pedophilia from what I’ve read about it.  I have to give the author props for that – even if I don’t know if their relationship was consistent with how the custom was truly practiced)

This book sets up what I expect will continue to be an amazing story.  I know how it ends of course – sometimes isn’t that the worst part of a fictionalized biography? – but I can’t wait to see the rest of the journey between here and there.  There is a large cast of characters, which can be confusing at times, but they are all nuanced, multifaceted people.  Warrior king Philippos; philosopher Aristoteles; priestess/witch/mother Myrtale; as well as the young men tutored by Aristoteles along with Alexandros, all interact in complex ways that seem to drive towards some inevitable destination.  This is definitely a character-driven plot, which is my favorite!  The book ends as Alexandros participates in a venerable ritual that fully initiates him into manhood, a logical completion of Becoming, which makes me truly anticipate the next chapter of Alexandros’ life in Book II:  Rise.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

Cover art by LC Chase captures the ancient setting well, but does not reflect the grand, heroic nature of the characters.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 282 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title Dancing with the Lion: Becoming
ISBN139781626498969
Edition Language English
Series Dancing with the Lion #1
setting ancient Greece

Cover Reveal for Gentleman Wolf by Joanna Chambers

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Release Date: August 26 2019
 
Cover Design: Felix d’Eon
 
Blurb 
 

An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…


Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, has no great wish to return to his home city of Edinburgh, but when he learns that the cruel Duncan MacCormaic is on the Continent and hunting for him, he reluctantly agrees to go into hiding.


Duncan, who held Lindsay in abject captivity for decades after savagely transforming him with his bite, has been trying to find Lindsay since the day he escaped his prison a century before. If Duncan can find him, he has the power to compel Lindsay to obey his every command, so the more distance Lindsay can put between them, the better.


… on a mission…


While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission. All Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems—and there are others who want the papers.


… meets his match


As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

 
About The Author
 

Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.


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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

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

Jeanne Reames on Why He is Alexandros and Not Alexander and her new release Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (giveaway)

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Dancing with the Lion: Becoming by Jeanne Reames

Riptide Publishing
Published June 29th 2019

Cover Art: L.C. Chase
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Xairē! That’s ancient Greek for “Howdy.” [KHAI-rae]

Welcome to my blog tour for Becoming, Book 1 of the Dancing with the Lion duology, about the young Alexander before he became “the Great.” It’s an historical coming-of-age tale with a love story embedded.

 

Best known for conquering most of his known world before the ripe old age of 33, Alexander made even Julius Caesar weep (for not being him). But who was he before his meteoric rise? And how did his best friend and lover, Hephaistion, give him the emotional support needed for him to become Megalexandros (the Great Alexander)?

 

WHY IS HE ALEXANDROS, NOT ALEXANDER?

From the very beginning, I wanted to use Alexander’s real name. I did so for the same reasons I chose to write in his point-of-view in the first place, not in the heads of people all around him.

I want to make him real. “Alexander the Great” is a legend. Alexandros of Macedon, or really Makedon, was a living, breathing human being. That’s who I’m writing about.

Some readers may think it’s “pretentious,” or that I’m making all those weird Greek names harder. But again, I’m not writing about the legend, I’m writing about the boy. And the notion that “Alexander” is easier for English-speakers to say than “Alexandros” strikes me as rather silly. Same thing with Philip and Philippos. Now I might give you that Aristotle is easier than Aristoteles, but for the most part, the name thing affects a bare handful. If readers can handle Hephaistion and Erigyios, I think they can manage Aristoteles! I dislike underestimating or insulting my readers.

ALL these Greek names look strange to English-speakers, and a lot of folks will just gloss name. They’ll become the Eri-guy or Heph, or Leo (for Leonnatos). That’s okay.

My students love to make up nicknames in class for ancient figures, and if people think Greek names appear odd, try Suppiluliuma (a Hittite king). But so fun to say! I get my whole Ancient Near Eastern class to pronounce names together, at once, just so nobody felt stupid for having no clue how to say something that’s six syllables long. At first, they were a bit reluctant, but after the first few times, they really got into it. Suppiluliuma was dubbed “Soupy,” but I think the funniest was “Mega-bus” for Megabyzos, a Persian general.

Obviously, I don’t want to make fun of people’s names, but teaching gives me a good idea of how readers are going to see these. While on the one hand, readers can certainly handle the real Greek, I fully expect a lot of readers will shorten them in their heads. I’m cool with that. (Send me your funny nicknames for them! I love that stuff.)

Yet if readers would like to hear the names, on my website I have audiofiles of me pronouncing them. Sometimes readers can guess, but accents might be a surprise. For instance, with Alexander’s own name, as we say it al-ex-AN-der, most readers probably assume it’s al-ex-AN-dros. It’s actually a-LEX-an-dros.

So if, like me, you love language and hearing the names, pop over to the website and take a listen. Otherwise, as you read, you can pronounce/remember those suckers however works for you!

 

 

Dancing with the Lion Website:

Contains everything from cut scenes, to videoblogs of Macedonia (Northern Greece, where Alexander grew up), to audio pronunciations of those weird Greek names!

https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/DwtL.html

 

For our GIVE-AWAY, I’m going to offer something a bit different. Yes, there’s a $10 gift certificate from Riptide Publishers. BUT, for the lucky winner, you get your very own scene request. Want to see a scene in the novel from a different character’s point-of-view? Want to know what happened after a scene ended, or before it began? Or is there something you’d like to see that wasn’t in the novel? Ask for it! I’ll write it just for you.

 

About Dancing with the Lion: Becoming

 

Two boys, one heroic bond, and the molding of Greece’s greatest son.

 

Before he became known as Alexander the Great, he was Alexandros, the teenage son of the king of Makedon. Rather than living a life of luxury, as prince he has to be better and learn faster than his peers, tackling problems without any help. One such problem involves his increasingly complicated feelings for his new companion, Hephaistion. 

 

When Alexandros and Hephaistion go to study under the philosopher Aristoteles, their evolving relationship becomes even harder to navigate. Strength, competition, and status define one’s fate in their world—a world that seems to have little room for the tenderness growing between them. 

 

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.

 

Now available from Riptide Publishing and where ebooks are sold!

About the series Dancing with the Lion

 

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.

 

Check out the series today!

About Jeanne Reames

 

Jeanne Reames has been scribbling fiction since 6th grade, when her “write a sentence with this vocabulary word” turned into paragraphs, then into stories…and her teacher let her get away with it—even encouraged her! But she wears a few other hats, too, including history professor, graduate program chair, and director of the Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program at her university. She’s written academic articles about Alexander and ancient Macedonia, and does her best to interest undergrads in Greek history by teaching them (et al.) to swear in ancient Greek.

 

Her Website: https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/DwtL.html

On Facebook: facebook.com/jeanne.reames.3

On Instagram: instagram.com/jeannereames

On Twitter: twitter.com/DrReames

 

Giveaway

 

One lucky person will win a $10 voucher for Riptide. But this giveaway also includes something much more personal:

Your very own SCENE.

I’ve committed to write, for the give-away winner, a scene of her/his/their choice.

Would you like to see X scene described from a different character’s POV (point-of-view)?

Or would you like to know what happened just before X scene, or right after?

Or maybe there’s something I didn’t write about at all, but you’d like me to write it for you?

There are some parameters, especially for the third category (write a scene not included). The request is subject to my agreement that the characters would engage in the requested behavior. So keep that in mind. (I wouldn’t write a scene wherein Alexander beat his dog, for instance.)

But I look forward to the winner’s scene challenge!

I have some “cuts scenes” as well as “missing scenes” (in the year between the novels) that will be available on my website (https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_the_Lion/cut_scenes.html) after July 1st

When done, this one will join them.


Each tour stop is a chance to enter by leaving a comment below. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 6, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!