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

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Best of 2017’s Coming In!

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

Best in Books in 2017

From Ali:

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

From Alisa:

Here are my top books for 2017.
 

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

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

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

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

Best of 2017 Giveaway

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

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

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 10:

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

Monday, December 11:

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

Tuesday, December 12:

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

Wednesday, December 13:

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

Thursday, December 14:

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

Friday, December 15:

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

Saturday, December 16:

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

 

 

 

 

Release Blitz for Ruby Moone’s The Mistletoe Kiss ( giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 26,600 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb


By 1816, widowed bookseller Lawrence Fenton has spent a lonely lifetime hiding who he is. He has convinced himself his feelings for his far too young, gorgeous, but troubled assistant Christy Shaw are nothing more than pride in his protégé and concern for his plight.

Christy’s life involves walking fine lines: one between his mother and his abusive stepfather, one where he must keep his needs hidden, and hardest of all, one where he must keep his feelings for his serious employer to himself.

Lame since birth, Lawrence cannot imagine anyone wanting him, least of all Christy. But when Christy’s life threatens to spiral out of control, Lawrence steps in. Then Christy’s emotions spill over into a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Will Lawrence be able to face the long-buried truth about himself and keep Christy by his side?


 

Author Bio
 

Ruby lives in Lancashire in the northwest of England. All through school she was told she would never get anywhere if she didn’t stop daydreaming. Eventually it occurred to her to write down the daydreams, and voilà! The beautiful men in her head came to life. Ruby writes historical and contemporary gay romance but has a definite weakness for handsome men in billowing white shirts, breeches, and cravats. Oh, and she loves tea. Lots of tea.



Facebook – Ruby Moone
Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter
Website and Blog – www.rubymoone.com
Email ñ rubymoone@gmail.com

Giveaway

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December,Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s December.

Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017

At the end of the year, it’s time to look back and reflect on everything and everyone that made an impact on us this year.  Instead of remembering what was lacking in 2017, better to remember on those things and people that made life better for us…all of us in 2017 and make note here.

I’m not talking just books this year but people too.  This year saw the passing of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words reviewer Paul Berg, someone who’s lively presence here in his reviews and in my emails telling me about his backgammon tournaments I still miss. This  year we also lost author Eric Arvin after a long illness, thankfully his amazing stories ensures his incredible mind, heart, and imagination will always be with us.  Those two people were just the main two that I was thinking of when writing about those that have made such a lasting impact on me this year.

And not just people.  Many of the older LGBT publishing houses closed or have announced they are closing.  That includes Loose ID on Friday after 13 years in operation.  They join Samhain Publishing, Torquere Press, Musa Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Wilde City Press, ARe (All Romance eBooks), and others that temporarily escapes me.  All gone or on the way out.    That represents a hosts of authors, editors, cover artists….so many people working to bring LGBTQIA stories to us where before our choices were slim to almost zero.  I don’t think I need to tell you that the competition is the primary reason.  I know they will tell you the same.

I think of all the first time authors who were cared for by these presses, helped to craft their stories and then given a place for us to find them long before Amazon ever cared about our niche fiction and its readers.  How they will all be missed but what an amazing impact they left behind. For that alone, they should be remembered.

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

Now, this week more Advent Release Day Reviews and holiday stories, along with our regular release day reviews, tours and giveaways.  Something for everyone!  Happy Reading.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, December 3:

  • Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017
  • Romeo Preminger on Thiago
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: The Peppermint Schnapps Predicament by Clare London
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Thiago by Romeo Preminger
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Laugh Cry Repeat by John Inman

Monday, December 4:

  • Dyeing to be Loved by Aimee Nicole Walker Audio Tour
  • Review Tour – Joanna Chambers’  Merry & Bright
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Regret Me Not by Amy Lane
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers by Brandon Witt
  • An Ali Review:  Merry & Bright by Joanna Chambers

Tuesday, December 5:

  • Dreamspinner Press Promo Tara Lain on Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6)
  • INTERLUDE TOUR If the Fates Allow Holiday Anthology
  • Spotlight on Only With You by JD Chambers
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Junkyard Heart by Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Salvaging Claus Day by J. Alan Veerkamp
  • A MelanieM Review: The Botanist (The Sin Bin #3) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Review: If the Fates Allow Holiday Anthology
  • An Alisa Review: My Choice, My Chance by Taylor Rylan

Wednesday, December 6:

  • DSP Publications Promo David C. Dawson
  • Release Blitz for Love Happens Anyway  by RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz for Raven by HJ Perry
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: ​Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6) by Tara Lain
  • A Stella Advent Release Day Review: The Mature Man’s Guide to Surviving Change by Chris Scully
  • An Alisa Review: Corey’s Christmas Bundle (Atherton Pack 5) by Toni Griffin

Thursday, December 7:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Julia Talbot
  • Spotlight on Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz for Jesus Kid by Kayleigh Sky
  • Release Blitz for On Your Knees, Prospect by KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: An Open Window by Rick R. Reed
  • A MelanieM Review: Hurricane (Stormy Weather #3)  by B.A. Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back #3) by Felice Stevens and Kale Williams (Narrator)

Friday, December 8:

  • Amy Lane on Writing, Books, and her release Regret Me Not
  • Solstice Prince by SJ Himes Blog Tour
  • Review Tour : Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A MelanieM Review:Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Once Bitten (A Darker Hollow #2) by Shannon West and T.S. McKinney
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

Saturday, December 9:

  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Pining for Perfect by Ki Brightly
  • Blog Tour Snow Falling by Davidson King
  • Release Blitz for Ruby Moone’s The Mistletoe Kiss 

 

 

Publisher Loose Id is Closing

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Publisher Loose Id is Closing

An announcement came out yesterday on Facebook from Loose Id that after 13 years, they are closing up.  It seems that like Samhain Publishing, Wilde City Press, and others before it, the cost of competition and doing business is just too high.  Such a shame to lose such another class act in our world of LGBT stories.  They will be missed.

If you have any books or want any books from authors there, make sure you get them before the May deadline.  And you might want to stop by their Facebook page and drop them a note if you feel so inclined.

This is Loose ID’s notice:

All things, it’s said, must come to an end. For Loose Id, that time has come. Rather than risk the reputation and goodwill that we have worked very hard to build, on May 7, 2018, we’ll be closing our doors for good. We want to thank all of our authors, artists, editors, employees, customers and friends for your help making this company a success.

This is not a decision made in haste, panic or financial distress. The market has changed over the past few years, and a four-person company can no longer compete effectively with the Amazon mega-store. As of this message, we are closed for submissions.

We want to assure you, our customers and friends, that authors and staff are being paid, purchases will be honored, and we will remain in constant communication throughout the closing process. We will do our best to monitor social media during this busy time, but if you have questions, email through our satisfaction@loose-id.com email will be the best channel. We will be compiling questions from that account to repost for everyone’s convenience.

Thirteen years, more than three thousand titles and four hundred authors, and uncountable smiles–it’s been a hell of a ride. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for sharing this journey.

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: High Test by Elizabeth Noble

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The coffee is rich. Hayden isn’t. But Neal doesn’t need to know that—yet.

Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing architect, Neal Kirchner, a successful older man from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.

The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.

High Test by Elizabeth Noble is a sweet contemporary romance from Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Desires line.  While not exactly Cinderfella, it does have the rich man/poor man trope down  as part of the storyline.  Student Hayden Owens meets older rich Neal Kirchner at his university function for his department.  Their attraction is mutual and a relationship is built over a succession of dates.

The author’s characterizations are solid and multidimensional. We immediately like both men and understand the attraction between them, the age difference notwithstanding.  The same goes for the vast disparity in station and income…we are able to see the imbalance through the descriptions of Neal’s attire, house, etc. but his mannerisms are such, that he gently makes that fade away in his actions towards Hayden.  This is a lovely romance and their interactions and personal dynamics as they work their way towards a relationship will have you rooting for the couple.

There is some drama as there should be and then a wonderful finale.  All ends well and downright as romantically as you would have hoped for. Such a sweet, warm hearted read that I can’t help but smile as I recommend it to all lovers of romantic stories.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  I love the cover art and the character it represents.  Just perfect.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 202 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635339642
Edition Language English

On the Cadge -Relaunched Lessons series blog tour with Charlie Cochrane

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On the Cadge -Relaunched Lessons Series

with Charlie Cochrane

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Charlie Cochrane as she relaunches one of my favorite series, her Cambridge Fellows Mysteries (aka the Jonty and Orlando stories).  This author has always mixed historical accuracy with a wonderful way with her dialog and settings that kept the feel of her stories deeply settled within the era while never feeling like a dusty history lesson.  No she brings Edwardian, WWI, and posts WWI England alive as well as one of the most delightful (and long established) couples you will want to meet.

Here’s some more thoughts from the author herself….

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Charlie Cochrane

When did you start writing?

I’ve always had times I’ve scribbled down stories, most of them pretty naff. As a teenager I wrote what I guess would be called slashy fanfic these days and there are not adjectives sufficient to describe how truly awful it was. As I’ve matured, so has my ability with a tale. I hope.

From your books do you have one you like best?

That’s like picking a favourite child – an impossible task. However (and I hope my daughters don’t read this, because they always want to know, “Who’s the favourite?”) However, I’d have to confess that the Cambridge Fellows books will always have a special place in my heart as they were the first full length tales I had published and the two main characters are so easy to write.

Are you character or plot driven?

Character, all the time. My idea of a well developed, extensive plot plan would be “Two blokes, Cornwall” or something similar. I just write and see who comes along and where we get. It sometimes feels like watching (or listening to) a series on television or radio, and discovering the story as it goes along. The beauty of modern writing, word processing and the like, is that if I get down the line and the story changes, I can go back over and make things work very easily.

So, if any characters develop at a tangent, I tend to go with them and see what transpires. I only rein them in if they throw the story too far out of kilter. Sometimes they make the story far more interesting than it was going to be!

If you were in a tight corner and had to rely on one of your characters to save you, which would it be and why?

Ruddy Norah – I’m not sure I’d trust any of them! Certainly not Dr. Panesar, who’s a running secondary character in the Cambridge Fellows books. He’d be bound to make things worse by blowing us up or something. Ariadne Peters, from the same books, is a repository of common sense and Jonty Stewart would certainly  keep us all amused no matter how deep the clart we found ourselves  in. Perhaps I’d have to plump for Jonty’s father, who gives the impression of being capable of dealing with any problem, intellectual or moral. With Campbell, the Newfoundland dog from my contemporary mystery series, the Lindenshaw books, to provide the muscular back up.

If you had no constraints of time and a guarantee of publication, what book would you write?

Can I borrow other people’s characters to play with? I want to write a story where real and fictional characters living in the same area meet and work together to make the world a better place. Imagine the fun if Wilfred Owen and Brother Cadfael teamed up to solve mysteries. Imagine the deep philosophical conversations they’d have at the same time.

 What are your favourite books?

I’ll give you two.

The Charioteer. The writing is wonderful; Mary Renault has an economy of language that every author could learn from – she says more with a simple word like “quite” than most people could in a whole page. I re-read it all the way through at least once a year and dip in and out of it, reading a few pages or scenes, on an almost monthly basis. “Charlie, you’re a sad woman,” you cry, and I might have to agree with you, but it’s like listening to a favourite piece of music. You want to hear that again and again so why not read a particularly pleasing piece of prose as many times as you still find it pleasing?

Death at the President’s Lodging. Michael Innes is more loquacious than Renault, but he’s just as dab a hand at characterization. This murder mystery is also one of the most convoluted I’ve ever read, while being scrupulously fair to the reader. It’s also another annual re-read, especially for the joy of the occasionally (unintentionally?) slashy scene.

And now a confession – I have both of these books in audio version. Now I can top up my re-reads with the occasional “relisten”. I’m sure they inspire both the romantic and mystery elements of my writing.

Cambridge Fellows Series (13 books)

There are 13 primary works and 15 total works in the Cambridge Fellows Series

If the men of St. Bride’s College knew what Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith got up to behind closed doors, the scandal would rock early-20th-century Cambridge to its core. But the truth is, when they’re not busy teaching literature and mathematics, the most daring thing about them isn’t their love for each other—it’s their hobby of amateur sleuthing.

Because wherever Jonty and Orlando go, trouble seems to find them. Sunny, genial Jonty and prickly, taciturn Orlando may seem like opposites. But their balance serves them well as they sift through clues to crimes, and sort through their own emotions to grow closer. But at the end of the day, they always find the truth . . . and their way home together.

The first book in the series: St. Bride’s College, Cambridge, England, 1905. When Jonty Stewart takes up a teaching post at the college where he studied, the handsome and outgoing young man acts as a catalyst for change within the archaic institution. He also has a catalytic effect on Orlando Coppersmith. Orlando is a brilliant, introverted mathematician with very little experience of life outside the college walls. He strikes up an alliance with the outgoing Jonty, and soon finds himself having feelings hes never experienced before. Before long their friendship blossoms into more than either man had hoped and they enter into a clandestine relationship. Their romance is complicated when a series of murders is discovered within St. Brides. All of the victims have one thing in common, a penchant for men. While acting as the eyes and ears for the police, a mixture of logic and luck leads them to a confrontation with the murderer can they survive it?

 Lessons in Desire (Book 2, Cambridge Fellows Mysteries)

Lessons in Desire is the second book in the gripping Cambridge Fellows series by Charlie Cochrane. Set in Edwardian England, it explores engrossing mysteries and heartfelt gay romances, all set in the historical walls of Cambridge University.”

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077B7S8F5

 

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.

Website: http://www.charliecochrane.co.uk

Blog: https://charliecochrane.wordpress.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18

Twitter: https://twitter.com/charliecochrane

GR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2727135.Charlie_Cochrane

November Draws to a Close and The Things We Are Grateful For. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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November Draws to a Close and The Things We Are Grateful For

 

We have had many wonderful comments from our readers this month on books, series, and authors they are grateful for and love.  I too have mentioned authors and books that I have discovered and have continued to love over the course of this year and the past ones.  New authors to me have made me instant fans with their incredible characters and stories that grabbed at my heart and mind.  They included J.M. Dabney (all 3 series), Dahlia Donovan (who’s series I’m just starting to review), and of course Lindsay Black of the Saturday Barbie series.  Her Author Discovery is up later this morning.

Plus there are all the wonderful authors I continue to grab up on just the whiff of a new release and their name:  Rhys Ford, B.A. Tortuga, Megan Derr, Amy Lane, Carol Cummings, Mary Calmes, Charlie Cochrane, Alex Beecroft, Heidi Cullinan, RJ Scott, Alexis Hall just to name a tiny few in no particular order….

Plus several of my favorite series came to a close this year in fantastic form….I’ll talk more about them in December for our end of the year lists but I have to mention Tere Michael’s Faith, Love, & Devotion series as well as Kaje Harper’s Building Forever which finished off her trilogy.  So many incredible authors, so much talent and heart to be grateful for.  Look for our December Year End Lists for more of both!

Plus I’m going to make a special notation here.  I’m reviewing a very special book this week: Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay.  It left my heart bruised, me in tears most of the time, and finally curled up around my Kindle, holding it tight, full of love and hope for the special men and their brave love the story told about.  Nothing prepares you for the power of this story, certainly not the title or the synopsis.  Run, immediately and grab this one up!  Yes, I’m definitely grateful for Watermelon Kisses and Freddy Mackay.

So let’s finish up our What We Are Thankful For Month with some last thoughts and comments from our readers:

From Lennis:

I’m always grateful when an author continues a favorite series, so this year has been great. A few new to me authors also broke through and then I had to play catch-up!
James Buchanan, The Family Eternal, 5th in the Deputy Joe series
Alexis Hall, How To Bang A Billionaire
Santino Hassell, Illegal Contact
Jex Lane, Broken 3rd in the Beautiful Monsters series
Lily Morton, Rule Breaker
Riley Hart, Depth Of Field
Megan Derr, The Tale Of The Lost Star, 3rd in the Tales Of The High Court series
TJ Klune, A Destiny of Dragons, 2nd in the Tales From Verania series

From Waxapplelover:

I have found some great authors and new genres to try this year. I may have not liked them all, but there were a few that were so amazing that I was glad I got over whatever fear I had. Also, I am grateful for the chance to re-read old favorites and find out that I still love them, that things haven’t changed with time and having read more books.

Off the top of my head, I’m so glad I tried Strays by Garrett Leigh.

Didi: 

I have a bit of obsession with UK-setting books ;-), so I’m thankful for the Porthkennack universe and the various authors and genre of the book. It’s been wonderful following each and every stories.

Ami:

I am also grateful for book covers that not always featuring naked torso men *lol*. Yes, for that I am grateful and thankful for the cover artists like Natasha Snow. She is amazing.

And finishing up with Purple Reader:

Indeed, Happy Thanksgiving to all. I’ll have to check out Black, and to go along with the idea of a debut, I’ve got one I was thankful to have read:
– A Love Like Blood, by Victor Yates.
It was one of the best debuts I have read, and the Lammy it got in 2016 for best debut was well deserved. It was brave, diverse, unique and artistic in a story that challenged and ultimately moved me.

And thank you, H.B., a special Happy Holidays to you too.

We here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words are especially grateful for all our readers and hope you all had and have a wonderful holidays.  We chose the following readers to be given $10 gift certificates:  Lennis, Ami, Ana, Waxapplelover, and Didi.  A new giveaway starts next week!  Meanwhile thank you all again!

If the winners will contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com with the email address they use, we will sort out your gift certificate immediately.

 

Now this week we also start in with our reviews of the Dreamspinner Advent stories.  What are they you say?  Read all about it below.  In fact be prepared to start our holiday story bombardment….contemporary, scifi, paranormal….holiday stories come in all genres and we will be reviewing them!

2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers Series (31 books)

There are 31 primary works and 31 total works in the 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers Series and we are reviewing them all.  One a day, every day until the end of the month…be on the lookout for them until the title Advent Release Day Review and the reviewer:

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most….

The holidays are a time when bigger often means better, and meals are huge, decorations are over-the-top, and elaborate gifts and grand gestures are one way to show affection. But beneath all the pomp and ceremony, after the grandiose presents have been unwrapped, the stocking stuffers are still waiting to add that final sparkle to the perfect celebration. Even the tiniest trinkets can be gems when they’re chosen with love, and like a good love story, they are held close to the heart and treasured for years to come. The festivities don’t have to end after the feasts and gift exchanges. Dig a little deeper for romantic stocking stuffers both naughty and nice.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 26:

  • November Draws to a Close and The Things We Are Grateful For.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Author  Discovery:  Lindsey Black
  • Release Blitz – Secret Santa – Jay Northcote

Monday, November 27:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Ken Harrison
  • TOUR Curses, Foiled Again by Sera Trevor
  • On the Cadge -Relaunched Lessons series blog tour with Charlie Cochrane
  • A Caryn Review: Citywide by Santino Hassell
  • An Alisa Review: But To Love More by Foster Bridget Cassidy
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Romance Redefined by SJD Peterson

Tuesday, November 28:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parish
  • Release Blitz for Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs
  • Dreamspinner Promo Kris T. Bethke on Hearts and Hazelnuts 
  • A Jeri Review: A Sniper’s Devotion (Cuffs, Collars and Love #5) by Christa Tomlinson
  • A MelanieM Review: Junkyard Heart (A Porthkennack novel) by Garrett Leigh
  • A Stella Review: Hard Fight by Laura N. Andrews
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp. #1) by C.C. Bridges

Wednesday, November 29:

  • Review Tour –Texas Gift (Texas #8) by R.J. Scott
  • Review Tour:  Jackie Keswick’s Undercover Star 
  • A MelanieM Review: Texas Gift (Texas #8) by R.J. Scott
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Hearts and Hazelnuts (States of Love) by Kris T. Bethke
  • An Alisa Review: Guardian of Magic by Dominique Frost
  • A MelanieM Review: Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay (Mischief holiday story)

Thursday, November 30:

  • Dreamspinner Promo CC Bridges
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Infamous by Jenny Holiday
  • SERIES BLAST – Hunter Dane and Camden Snow Series by Adira August
  • A MelanieM Review: The Caretaker (The Sin Bin #2) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Review: Officer Charming and the Prince Who Wooed Him by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Alisa Review: Resurrected (Alpha’s Warlock #2) by Kris Sawyer

Friday, December 1:

  • Release Blitz: Sloan Johnson’s Inseparable
  • Release Blitz for Deep Edge (Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • Release Blitz Audiobook Tour: To Love and To Cherish by Addison Albright
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: Dear Ruth by Kim Fielding❄️
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: High Test by Elizabeth Noble
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Fangs and Catnip (Dead and Breakfast #1) by Julia Talbot

Saturday, December 2:

  • Release Blitz – Keira Andrews’ In Case Of Emergency
  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: O Hell, All Ye Shoppers by Louisa Masters❄️

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Sharing What We Are Thankful For In Books Month

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

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

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

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

♡From Ana:

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

♡From Didi:

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

♡From Jen:

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

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

Thankful for Giveaway

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

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

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 12:

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

Monday, November 13:

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

Tuesday, November 14:

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

Wednesday, November 15:

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

Thursday, November 16:

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

Friday, November 17:

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

Saturday, November 18:

  • Tour for Heart Unheard by Andrew Grey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: The Valet by S.J. Foxx

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

After scandalising his family name, wealthy brat Hugo is kicked out of his parent’s home in NYC, and tossed into the English countryside. There, he must live with his extended family and learn what it means to be a “gentleman,” or be cut off and left without his inheritance.

Brattish, reckless, and out of control, it seems that Hugo may never learn his manners. That is, until he meets his match: a stoic, no-nonsense valet, Sebastian.

Hugo and Sebastian are swept up in a forbidden fling, and they play a game of power.

Can Sebastian get a handle on his master? Or will Hugo’s foolishness leave him penniless?

I enjoy historical fiction and that includes historical romance.  I love it when the author get an era factually correct and then draws me into it, making the times and characters come alive for me.  And I think for the most part S.J. Foxx did that in The Valet.  Set in 1900’s England,  Foxx gives you a very “Upstairs, Downstairs” world of the very rich in England into which tumbles an American cousin called Hugo.

Hugo is the very essence of entitlement and selfishness.  His deeds back home have gotten him banished to England and only if he “turns into an English gentleman”, leaving his caddish ways behind can he hope to return home and claim his own wealth.  Foxx does a great job in giving us Huge the Brat supreme, which he is for most of the story. Too much in my estimation because I absolutely disliked this character.  His personality and likability was so low that I had trouble seeing what attracted Sebastian to him.  If the author had made Hugo Sebastian’s ticket out of England instead of there being an actual emotional tie this book would have made far more sense to me.

So throwing the romance aspect aside because that didn’t work for me, what I thought was interesting (and wished had been enlarged) was “downstairs” or working person element here, including the one that shows  up towards the end of the story.  The imbalance of power and lack of rights is clearly demonstrated here.  Status and money rule and its impact on the lives is reflected accurately in this story.  However, I felt about the romance, this element of The Valet is well done and the writing carries with it emotional heft.

If you like historical fiction, then you might like The Valet as an addition to the stories you have read so far.  I thought the writing was well done, and the author’s take on the times clear and concise.

Cover art by Natasha Snow suits the story well.

Sales Links: 

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 30th 2017 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781947904125
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://ninestarpress.com/product/the-valet/

Anna Butler Scarabs, Inspiration and her latest release The Jackal’s House ( Lancaster’s Luck #2) (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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The Jackal’s House ( Lancaster’s Luck#2) by Anna Butler
Dreamspinner Press

Publication Date: 30 October 2017
Cover Artist: Reese Dante,Illustrator (Map): Margaret Warner

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press ebook  |  Dreamspinner Press paperback

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk  |  Kobo  | Apple iBooks

Kobo 

B&N  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is  happy to have Anna Butler here today on her tour for The Jackal’s House. Welcome, Anna.

✒︎

The Tickle Of Scarabs’ Feet by Anna Butler

You might have thought I got scarabs out of my system with the first Rafe and Ned book, The Gilded Scarab, but no, not quite. I couldn’t see how to set a book in Aegypt and not include the most mystical beetle of all somewhere. Scarabs are so quintessentially Egyptian, Rafe himself remarks, “I was fated to be haunted by the damned things.” So in The Jackal’s House I gave him a couple of experiences of my own where scarabs are concerned. One was rather sad, when my first ever live scarab ended up as a lizard’s lunch, so we won’t revisit that here. That’s rather too strong a reminder of how death is the prevailing characteristic of Ancient Egypt!

Instead, here’s something more heartwarming.

Years ago, in Sakkara, after walking around Djoser’s step pyramid and laying my hand on five thousand years given physical shape, after the cool of the Serapeum where bulls were once feted as gods and mummified like pharaohs, there was a tomb on the desert fringe. I don’t remember now whose tomb it was. Some Old Kingdom noble whose coloured statue still sat in the niche, the serdab, where once his family laid offerings of food and wine. In the doorway to his tomb, in a shallow depression in the sand, the scarabs ran and scuttled. They’re big and black. I was the only member of our group who picked one up and let it sit there, filling the palm of my hand. I’ll admit right now I was a little bit worried that it would bite—those beetles have big jaws. But it didn’t. It just sat there, quite patiently, waiting for me to be done playing. And when I set it down again, and tilted my hand to let it run off back onto the sand. I laughed. Maybe slightly from relief at being unbitten, but mostly because its legs and feet tickled the skin of my palm as it went.

I love beetles. They’re the gems of the insect world, their bodies showing an astonishing range of colour and pattern, often in rich,

jewel colours: ruby red, sapphire, a glorious emerald green. Admittedly, the dull black sacred scarabs of Egypt don’t quite fall into that category, but they have deserts and pyramids on their side instead. They’re emblematic of sand, the Nile, and skies that are the colour of beaten copper at noon—mysterious, a symbol of the romance of ancient Egypt. I can forgive them for being a little dull to look at.

I’m in poetic mood today, for some reason. My husband and I visited Egypt for our first wedding anniversary and now I’ve been writing about archaeological expeditions there, I’ve been thinking a lot about that trip to Egypt. So much of it is in my heart and memory, and certainly one highlight was a big black beetle that consented to sit on my hand for a moment.

You know, I’m not surprised that so much of my writing has a scarab running through it. Scarabs symbolise rebirth and new chances and starting again. Scarabs are about never giving in and how each morning the scarab lifts the disc of the sun up on its wide wings to signal the start of a new day.

That’s not a bad philosophy to live by. Or to write by.

And their feet tickle. You can’t ask better than that.

About The Book

Something is stalking the Aegyptian night and endangering the archaeologists excavating the mysterious temple ruins in Abydos. But is it a vengeful ancient spirit or a very modern conspiracy…

Rafe Lancaster’s relationship with Gallowglass First Heir, Ned Winter, flourishes over the summer of 1900, and when Rafe’s House encourages him to join Ned’s next archaeological expedition, he sees a chance for it to deepen further. Since all the Houses of the Britannic Imperium, Rafe’s included, view assassination as a convenient solution to most problems, he packs his aether pistol—just in case.

Trouble finds them in Abydos. Rafe and Ned begin to wonder if they’re facing opposition to the Temple of Seti being disturbed. What begins as tricks and pranks escalates to attacks and death, while the figure of the Dog—the jackal-headed god Anubis, ruler of death—casts a long shadow over the desert sands. Destruction follows in his wake as he returns to reclaim his place in Abydos. Can Rafe and Ned stand against both the god and House plots when the life of Ned’s son is on the line?

Genre: Steampunk adventure m/m romance
Wordcount: c111,600
Sequel to The Gilded Scarab

About The Series

The Gilded Scarab

The Jackal’s House

Lancaster’s Luck is set in a steampunk world where, at the turn of the 20th century, the eight powerful Convocation Houses are the de facto rulers of the Britannic Imperium. In this world of politics and assassins, a world powered by luminiferous aether and phlogiston and where aeroships fill the skies, Captain Rafe Lancaster, late of Her Majesty’s Imperial Aero Corps, buys a coffee house in one of the little streets near the Britannic Museum in Bloomsbury.

So begins the romantic steampunk adventures which have Rafe, a member of Minor House Stravaigor, scrambling over Londinium’s rooftops on a sultry summer night or facing dire peril in the pitch dark of an Aegyptian night. And all the while, sharing the danger is the man he loves: Ned Winter, First Heir of Convocation House Gallowglass, the most powerful House in the entire Imperium.

Find out more about the Lancaster’s Luck books and the world of Rafe and Ned

Excerpt

We didn’t stay up late. It was barely ten when we headed up to our rooms on the second floor, trailed by Sam and Hugh. Todd was out at the aerodrome, keeping watch with his men over the Brunel.

“I’ll be glad to get back to the dig tomorrow,” Ned said. “Come and have a cigar and some brandy, Rafe.”

Which invitation I was quick to accept, as you might imagine. Hugh gave me a knowing grin and went off to his own room with nary a backward glance. Ned’s room, beside mine, overlooked the Ezbekieh Gardens. Sam had left the floor-to-ceiling windows open when we went down to dinner, the billowing muslin curtains filtering the sounds and smells of the Cairo night. The faint scent of woodsmoke and tarry aether rolled in as an autocar went by on its way to the Abdeen Palace where the Khedive held court.

Sam was suddenly the perfect servant. He brought Ned and me glasses of a fine champagne cognac and a box of fragrant cigars before moving on silent feet to close the window shutters against the night and light the lamp on a small table near the bed. The little screw-valve at the side of the globe squeaked as he turned it clockwise to open the pipe, the luminiferous aether hissing louder than a snake at the zoo when someone taps the glass sides of its terrarium. Sam adjusted each lamp to a warm glow inside the big glass globe by passing his hand over it. The lightning in the globe sprang into life, crackling and spitting as it followed his palm. He was careful not to make the room too bright, leaving thick dark shadows inhabiting the corners.

“I’ve locked the outer door, and I’ll sleep in there.” He nodded to a sort of anteroom that led to the main corridor. “I’ll close the door, but keep the noise down. I don’t want to hear nothing. G’night.”

It was difficult not to laugh. Dear Sam. I felt really quite mellow toward him, a sentiment he’d no doubt resent intensely. Ned grinned at me as soon as the door closed behind Sam, and dear Lord, but I just had to kiss him. Couldn’t help myself.

We took our time getting down to our skin. It wasn’t something to be rushed. Aesop’s tortoise had it almost right: less haste, more pleasure.

For a while I was content with kisses, Ned’s face so close that drowning in those hazel eyes was a real possibility. The touch of Ned’s tongue against mine had me making rather embarrassingly soft noises in the back of my throat. You know, getting lost for all eternity in those kisses, in the feel of Ned’s body pressed against mine… I couldn’t think of anything finer.

Our jackets were on the floor somewhere, long abandoned. Now all my attention was on tugging Ned’s shirt out from his trousers and running my hands up underneath it and over the heated skin beneath. Ned moaned and bucked his hips so hard that, laughing, I pulled my mouth from his. “Ah, you liked that, did you?”

Ned moistened his lips and pulled me in closer. “It wasn’t entirely disagreeable.”

Pfft!

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Enter the Rafflecoptor draw for

1st prize—$25 or equivalent Amazon gift card

2nd prize—a signed paperback of the first Lancaster’s Luck book, the Gilded Scarab.

Raffelcoptor code: Raffelcoptor link if can’t embed code: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a6cd54479/?

About Anna

Anna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.