Of Frost and Winter Readings. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Frost and Winter Readings

On days like the ones we’ve had recently, when the winds blow cold and snow puts a pristine layer of white over everything within sight, one  of the first things that pops into my mind is the poem of Robert Frost~ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.  It’s one of those poems that, from the moment I first read it, has continued to resonate with me.  Especially that last stanza…

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I’m probably not alone in that. Those words have a way of circling around in my head, along with the imagery they produce.
There’s something about a winter atmosphere, an artic location for a story that can render a tale so memorable if for no other reason that for our own body memories an author is able to call upon when describing scenes and  writing chilling passages that evoke shivers and make us remember to curl up deeper into our blankets, seeking the warmth against the cold of a winter night.  Several authors whose stories made an arctic landscape vivid and coldly beautiful jump to mind including Megan Derr (Frostwick, The Prince of the Moon, Chaos (The Lost Gods #5, and many more), RJ Scott (The Christmas Throwaway, A Reason to Stay, and more as her agents, safe houses and blizzards are a great combination),Jamie Fessenden (A Viking for Yule), Freddy MacKay (Snow on Spirit Bridge, Chestnuts Roasting Anthology), Amy Lane ( Turkey in the Snow, Winter Ball, The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critter – the whole series actually, and more ), Marie Sexton (Winter Oranges), Heidi Cullinan (Minnesota Christmas series). And that’s just a few that snapped right into my head.
What winter tales made you crawl closer to the fire?  Which stories brought the howl of the cold arctic winds swirling about your home and body even though you live in the warmer climes?  You know how Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words loves our lists! So here’s your Winter List Challenge!  What’s your Most Memorable Winter Stories?  From now until the end of the month, get in your recommendations!  We will pick a winner or two to receive a gift card of $10.  Make sure you include your name and email address where you can be reached.  So bring on the Brrrrrs and the Winter Recommendations!  Contest ends January 28 at mid.
Now for this week’s reviews and  tours!  Happy Reading and stay warm!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 21:

  • Of Frost and Winter Readings.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 22:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Kris T. Bethke
  • BLITZ To Seek and To Find by Tamryn Eradani
  • TOUR The Calling by MD Neu
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Barricade by Lindsey Black
  • A MelanieM Review: Open Net (Cayuga Cougars #2) by V.L. Locey
  • A Stella Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and JH Knight

Tuesday, January 23:

  • Release Blitz – Why I Need You by Colette Davison
  • Release Blitz Tour – Meg Harding’s  Contour
  • Release Tour for:La Famiglia (A Men of Gilead Novel) by Deanna Wadsworth
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: La Famiglia (The Men of Gilead # 2 ) by Deanna Wadsworth
  • A Stella Review:  Motorcycle Man by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church and Narrator: Dorian Bane

Wednesday, January 24:

  • Blog Tour Seeing Red: Interlude by T.C. Orton
  • DSP Promo Deanna Wadsworth on La Famiglia (A Men of Gilead Novel)
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Dream (Skins #1)
  • A Caryn Review: The Law of Love by Fyn Alexander
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Man Eater (Kanaan & Tilney #2) by Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Way with You (Memories with The Breakfast Club) by Lane Hayes

Thursday, January 25:

  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Two Man Station by Lisa Henry
  • Tour: Sound of Silence by Mia Kerick and Raine O’Tierney.
  • A MelanieM Review: Why I Need You by Colette Davison
  • An Alisa Review: Waking the Prince by Shawn Lane
  • A MelanieM Review: Knightsgift by J. Hepburn

Friday, January 26:

  • Release Blitz for LOVE TIMES FIVE by Lily G
  • Sounds of Silence Tour –
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Home is Where You Are ( States of Love ) by Emjay Haze
  • A Lila Review:  An Actor’s Guide to Romance by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead
  • A MelanieM Review: And God Belched by Rob Rosen

Saturday, January 27:

  • A MelanieM Review: Velvet Claw by L.J. Hamlin

 

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Spun! by JL Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

With friends like these . . .

An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.

Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?

Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.

Spun! by JL Merrow won the Rainbow Award for Best Romantic Comedy in 2017 and with this outstanding audiobook, should have won that category as well.  Mark Steadman has zoomed up my list of narrators I just love to listen too and this audiobook and series is a prime example why.

Mark Steadman’s lively and articulate narration makes JL Merrow’s comedy romance all bright and heartwarmingly alive!  It’s in his many voices that easily separate the characters for you and for all the sweeping inflections and yes, ear for regional “dialects” that brings this story into the 5 star status as a audiobook as well as a novel.

Oh this story!  I loved David back when he made his appearance in Out! along with his bear Gregory.  He’s such a kind and sympathetic soul and you wanted him to find someone who wanted him back for his wonderful, flamboyant, empathetic, self. Who knew he would find it in a postman?

That would be postman Rory Deamer, father to two, and soon to be having the surprise lodger of his life.  Spun! is a lovely slow burn of a romance which works because we get to watch these two men connect over their shared love of Dr. Who and the fact they both can’t cook, bonding, talking….I just loved it.

And David?  Well, we enjoyed his friendship with Mark’s daughter so it’s no surprise to see his interactions and relationships build with Rory’s kids here.  It’s as much a part of the story as their romance and it should be because they are forming a family.

There’s miscommunications and misunderstandings abounding everywhere towards the end.  Enough to  make you  want to crack some heads together.  But the sheer joy of this romance, the absolute “rightness” of Rory and David finding love with each other?  It’s perfect.  And just  one more  reason I love visiting Shamwell so.

I love this audiobook.  What a great way to  spend the hours!  Read it, listen to it!  In fact, grab up the whole audiobook collection!  I recommend them all.

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  These simple but eye catching covers work for the characters and series.

Audiobook Details:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon, Audible, iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, Listening Time: 7 hrs. 44 min

Published November 29th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published July 1st 2017)
Original TitleSpun!
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Shamwell Tales #4
Literary AwardsRainbow Award for Best Bisexual – Romantic Comedy & Suspence & Nominee for Best Bisexual Book (2017)

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

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Heartbreak, Heartterriers, And A Tale of Two Winstons

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

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

WinstonII home

 

A Tale of Two Winstons

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Melanie, his name is Winston.”

“What?”

“His name is Winston!!!!!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Winston finally in his forever home.WinstonII asleep

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 14:

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

Monday, January 15:

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

Tuesday, January 16:

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

Wednesday, January 17:

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

Thursday, January 18:

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

Friday, January 19:

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

Saturday, January 20:

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

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Freckles by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.

Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.

But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!

He can be the owner of a small dog.

I love, love, loved it.  Carter has been slaving away at his job doing his best to have regular human contact but until he Is suddenly given his little ball of fur he realizes just how wrong his priorities were.  Sandy just adores animals and wants to help Carter see that taking care of a dog is something he can do.

We get to see both characters’ points of view which allows us to see the story through their eyes and connect with them more.  I loved how Sandy could see through Carter’s uptight appearance and to the man underneath and his and Alexis’s unwavering support for Carter to make some significant changes in his life.  Carter has never really had anyone care for his wants before and he is amazed when it happens with Sandy.

Nick J Russo did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I could just feel the characters’ emotions happy and sad while listening.  The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on.

I love the cover art by LC Chase and it is adorable and I love the visual of Freckles.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 4 hrs 10 min

Published: December 4, 2017 (ebook first published November 14, 2016) by Riptide

Edition Language: English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists by Angel Martinez and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A poltergeist haunts Taro, dogging his international travels. It washes glasses, puts dishes away, and even dusts. At least he hopes it’s a cleaning-obsessed poltergeist and not his own anxieties burbling over into neat freak fits he doesn’t remember. When his property manager suggests he call paranormal expert, Jack Montrose, Taro’s skeptical but desperate enough to try even a ghost hunter.

Jack’s arrival crushes Taro’s hopes of a dashing Van Helsing-style hero. Instead of an invincible hunter, he gets Ichabod Crane. As the paranormal puzzles multiply and Jack begins to suggest the entity might not be a ghostly one, Taro adds a budding friendship with Jack to his pile of anxieties. It’s a race to see whether Taro’s poltergeist or his relationship with the obviously-not-ace Jack will reach maximum strangeness first.

Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists never pulled me in. Taro’s self-reprieves take too much of the initial part of the story for me to feel compelled by his story. The initial meeting with his family and the subsequential travels were rushed and almost identical. I understand the author was trying to set the plot of the story, but I kept waiting for something interesting to happen.

The trips were almost like a list of places he visited were the same “magical cleaning” happening. He was always tired and lonely but the minimal interactions with others and his internal dialogue didn’t make me want to know more about his situation or his past.

Getting to know Jack was hard too; especially from Taro’s perspective. Perhaps a little more information was needed to sympathize with him and their relationship. Their main conversation about their differences was a bit awkward and it was hard to believe in them and their future.

Overall, it is a nice story, with the author’s natural fun and quirky writing. It just not great.

I didn’t enjoy Michael Pauley’s narration. Yes, the voices were distinct but it was more of a performance than a narration. It was hard to get into the story without feeling as if the whole thing was being forced. It had an unnatural quality that made me want to take breaks when listening to the story.

The cover by L.C. Chase is a cute representation of the story’s main plot and it has a ghostly feel that fits well.

Sales Links:  Mischief | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Michael Pauley
Length: 4 hours 2 minutes
Published: November 15, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Mischief Corner Books
ASIN: B077GDKWBC
Edition Language: English

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

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Polar Vortex. Bombogenesis. Thundersnow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about the giveaway at the end of the post.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 7:

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

Monday, January 8:

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

Tuesday, January 9:

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

Wednesday, January 10:

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

Thursday, January 11:

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

Friday, January 12:

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

Saturday, January 13:

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

 

 

 

 

 

Best of 2017 Giveaway

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

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

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C and Ezekiel Robison (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they’re perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

Smitty’s Sheriff was a story I both a slow time getting into and warming up to.  The rambling introduction to Richard, and , honestly imo, his quick to judgement attitude towards Todd and others, made him a character that was hard to connect with. It wasn’t that Cardeno C hadn’t made him a believable human being, no, he was that all right.  It was that I just didn’t like him very much.

That took a while to come and it was lukewarm at best.  How does someone look at another person after three years and not think they’ve had a chance to change and grow?  No, this character seems happier with his personal judgements right up until the end. Poor Todd carries the burden of this relationship, which is odd because the story seems to be that Todd needs structure and is too “scattered” without someone to look after him.  Which is strange because other than the total breakdown in communication here, Todd was doing great on trying to make it work.  Go figure.

Loved Todd.  Todd had my heart.  His misjudgement, imo, was picking the Sheriff.  Oh well.  The heart wants what the author says the heart wants.  And clearly Todd wants Richard.  It takes a while, more major miscommunication ensues til I wanted to throttle them both and then the air clears and they get their HEA or HFN, depending upon how you look at it.

The narration of Ezekiel Robison also took a while to warm up.  It started out a little bland and atonal.  You had to work at differentiating what characters were talking at the time.  However, about a third, maybe less, into the story, that changed, and the narration took a decided turn for the better.  Robison eased into each character, assuming their personality, and gave them voice with a strength I wish he had assumed at the beginning of the story.  By the end I  forgot it was one narrator, listening to the multiple personalities that came across as the story flowed.  I’ll certainly look for more stories narrated by him.

Overall, I enjoyed the listening experience, mostly due to the narrator and the character of Todd.  I liked seeing him get his HEA.  If you love May-December romances, Cardeno C, and contemporary loves, check out this audiobook, It’s short and sweet.

Cover art is  adorable and works for the characters and storyline.

Sales Links: Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 3 hours and 19 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook

Audiobook, Unabridged, 4 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by The Romance Authors, LLC (first published July 17th 2017)
ASINB074CMKHWK
SeriesHope #3 settingArizona (United States)

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Vows Box Audiobook Set by Addison Albright and David Gilmore (Narrator)

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Length: 17hrs 26mins
 
Narrator: David Gilmore
 
Blurb
 

‘Til Death Do Us Part: Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream, but their worlds are shattered when Henry’s plane crashes and he’s presumed dead. But Henry survives undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive, as well? When Henry and Sam face an accidental estrangement, and Henry is assumed dead, can their love endure the trials of one’s fight for survival, and the other’s new love interest? When Henry is rescued, will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?


From This Day Forward: Henry and Sam are enjoying life after Henry’s rescue. With their nightmare separation behind them, Henry and Sam are anxious to renew both the intensity of their former intimacies — now hampered by having a curious and still apprehensive child sharing their home — and their commitment to one another. Will they be able to move their love forward now that they are together again?


Okay, Then: Sam and Henry’s first date/encounter is mentioned in flashback in ‘Til Death Do Us Part,but this short story fleshes it out. Relive the moment they first connect while on a research trip in Honiara in the Solomon Islands.


To Love and To Cherish: Jilted by his fiancÈ Sam just weeks before their wedding, Nash Marinoís outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual way? Now thatís another story entirely. When Nashís marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after a memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nashís new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

 

Author Bio


Addison Albright lives in the middle of the USA with two peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, French fries, ìopen window weather,î cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.


eMail: addison.albright@gmail.com
Website/Blog: https://authoraddisonalbright.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AddisonAlbright
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/addison.albright.profile
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AddisonAlbright
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/addisonalbright/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/addison-albright
Queeromance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/addison-albright/

Giveaway

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An Ali Audiobook Review: The Bone Orchard by Abigail Roux and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

After leaving a trail of terror and death in his wake, the notorious “Missouri” Boone Jennings finally meets his match in San Francisco when US marshal Ambrose Shaw catches up to him. The story of his capture, and the marshal’s bravery, has already become legend back east by the time Pinkerton inspector Ezra Johns gets off the train from New York City to testify in the murderer’s trial.

When Ambrose is unable to give witness to the evils he’s seen, Ezra becomes their lone hope for putting Jennings in a noose. But if Ezra thinks that’s his biggest problem, he’s got plenty to learn about life—and the afterlife—in the spirited West.

Fortunately, Ambrose is there to assist, and more than happy to oblige Ezra—in the courtroom or the bedroom. He spent his life bringing justice to the Wild West, and if he has a say in it, that’s how he’ll be spending his death too.

Ezra is confused about the lawman that says they’ll share a room, even more so when he realizes that Ambrose is a ghost.  Falling for someone he can’t spend his life with was never the plan but circumstances surprise them both.

We see this story from both characters’ points of view which gives us a chance to learn about and understand them both.  I’m not quite sure what I think about the afterlife as being never-ending here on earth but these two get to spend it together and continue protecting innocents.  They make the best of their circumstances and I felt that their romance wasn’t the main focus in this story which gave it a different feel from most books I read.

Nick Russo did a wonderful job narrating this story.  He did a great job of showing the characters’ emotions in his reading of the story.  It helped with connecting to the characters even more than the story already did.

Cover art by Simoné is gives a great visual of the setting for this story.

Sales Links:   Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 3hrs 20min

Published October 20, 2017 by Riptide Publishing

Edition Language: English

A Kai Audiobook Review: Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys #1) by Brandon Witt and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

Well guys, I really liked this story! It had some characteristics that I tend to when reading an MM, since as: not slow paced, good characters, involving plot… So basically this one would be a killer, right? Well, for the most part yes, but then it was a little rushed sometimes and also in the end there were things missing. I guess it was a HFN story, but I was so expecting a HEA in this one.
 I liked the characters complexity and loved to see them growing in an out of the relationship. I also liked the supporting characters and I can’t wait to see their own stories.
The narrative was truly well done. Dominic Carlos did an amazing work giving life to the characters and transporting me to this novella’s world in no time.
If you are looking for a fast paced, interesting, fluid and low angst story, I recommend this one. 
Have a good reading and happy 2018 for all!
Cover artist: Angsty G.  Love the bright cover, its perfect!

Sales Link:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:
 
Series: Mary’s Boys: Book 1
Written by: Brandon Witt
Narrator: Dominic Carlos
Release Date: November 22, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Length: 3 hours, 30 minutes