A Lucy Audio Review Finding Love:The Perfect Size for You by Lily G. Blunt and Sean Crisden (Narrator)

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Rating:3 stars out of 5

A male escort takes on an inexperienced client and breaks the first rule of rent boys: don’t get attached.

After updating his Rent Boy blog profile, well-endowed porn star Ty receives a text from a sexually inexperienced client. Andy, the client, asks Ty to provide him with the necessary know-how so should he ever get a date with the guy he’s attracted to, he’ll be fully prepared.

Little does Ty know that this hookup will lead to a friendship that will subsequently change his life.

This is a short story, 70 pages long and just over an hour on audio.  The length and the amount of sex work against it because there isn’t a whole lot of time to feel the connection between these two.  I could see them as friends but I didn’t see them as partners. 

Andy was the highlight of the story for me.  He’s young looking and nerdy to the point that when Ty shows up for their paid hookup Ty believes him to be the son of the man who hired him.  Whoops!  Andy wants to become well versed in the art of sex so he can woo and win the guy he’s been lusting after. Ty, as a rent boy and porn star with the title mentioned perfectly sized big dick, is the one he hires.

There is a lot of sex here as is to be expected due to the subject matter and the scenes were good enough that I actually listened and didn’t skim.  There’s a couple times I did roll my eyes with things but all in all, the friendship development was believable.  The biggest change is Ty’s, from total focus on money to realizing there is something more important. 

This ends with a HFN and one that I was dissatisfied with.  Others may not mind it as much but combined with the fact that I didn’t feel these guys as a couple anyway, I didn’t see this as a long term thing.

Narration is by Sean Crisden, a favorite of mine and as always he does a wonderful job differentiating voices and making the story come to life.

Available FREE in the Romance Package

Audible US

Audible UK

Audio Details:

Audible Audio, 2 pages
Published May 16th 2016 by Lily G Blunt (first published January 28th 2014)
Original TitleThe Perfect Size for You
ASINB01FMUK0B6
Edition Language English

An Alisa Audio Review: If I Ever (Hell or High Water #4) by SE Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Some ghosts refuse to stay buried . . .

Prophet and Tom have been through the wringer more times than they can count, both as partners in the field and in life. Yet despite it all, they’ve built something great together. But now they need to protect it again: Prophet’s old nemesis, John Morse, is back and threatening everything he loves.

Prophet is driven enough to take John down alone, and with a chance to do exactly that on the table, he runs with it, risking himself in the process. But trusting Tom to help him is so much more than mission critical.

It’s the final stand, and with Tom and his team behind him, Prophet’s in for the fight of his life. Then a figure from his past goes missing, and the consequence of an old mission rears its head. As complications and destruction mount all around them, getting out alive becomes the most important mission of their lives.

It’s been over three and a half years since I read the last book in this series and over five since the last book was released.  Which makes it a little hard to get into the story when I don’t remember everything that happened in earlier books and I’m not sure I would enjoy them as much as I did then if this story was any indication.

There was so much going on along with all the secrets I had trouble keeping up with what was going on.  I know I liked Prophet and Tom’s relationship in the previous books but throughout this whole book they were pushing each other away and then suddenly pulling them back and all the sex scenes seemed to be displays of dominance.  And I hate to say it but I felt no investment in them taking down all the different bad guys that kept popping up.

Mark Larchmont’s narration was nice but didn’t help me keep track of the story but I’m pretty sure it’s more of the writing and the seemingly endless jumping from place to place and character to character.  I also didn’t feel the character’s emotions through his portrayal of their voices and I know it didn’t help that there were so many people to keep track of. I will definitely give him another shot in the future to see if his narration lends better to a different author.

I like the cover art by LC Chase, though the tattoo shown is described in a different location.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 8 hrs 33 min

Published: April 12, 2019 by Riptide

Edition Language: English

Series: Hell or High Water #4

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

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More on Universe Building and Differing Frameworks

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thoughts from H.B. on the matter:

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

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

 

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

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

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 19:

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

Monday, May 20:

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

Tuesday, May 21:

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

Wednesday, May 22:

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

Thursday, May 23:

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

Friday, May 24:

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

Saturday, May 25:

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

An Ali Audio Review: Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1) by L.J. Hayward and Rowan Scott (Narrator)

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Rating:4 out of 5 stars

Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.

Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.

A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.

This was a fast paced adventure story about two spies on opposite sides of a case. Maybe. Or maybe they’re on the same side but they don’t know it. All they know is they can’t stand each other. Maybe. Or maybe they actually love each other……..

The story goes back and forth, from chapter to chapter, from past to present. The author keeps you guessing about what happened then and what’s happening now. All you know for sure is that these two are great together and their sexual tension jumps off the pages.

This was a new author for me and I’m really glad I tried this book. It was super good and super entertaining. The story is filled with car chases, shoot outs, blowing up bad guys, some sexy times and the best camel a boy could ever have (Sheila!!). This would make a great movie. As it is, it made a great book. It’s different and really has a bit of everything in it. Good plot that’s not too confusing, great MC’s, some action and adventure and lot’s of feelz. I highly recommend this for those of you who like romantic suspense stories.

The audiobook was narrated by Rowan Scott who I had never listened to before.  I thought he was really good and I very much enjoyed his performance. His voice was great and I never had a problem figuring out which mc was talking. I thought he did a good job on the side characters also. I will definitely listen to this narrator again soon.
Cover art by L.C. Chase:  I love the cover for this book as well as the rest of the series.  They are striking and they really stand out. The compliment each other and are perfect for the vibe of the story.
Audio Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing |Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Audio Details:
Audiobook, 11 pages
Published April 11th 2019 (first published February 26th 2018)
Original Title Where Death Meets the Devil
ASINB07QF57V9C
Edition Language English
SeriesDeath and the Devil #1

Tiny Stories and Tiny Universes! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Tiny Stories and Tiny Universes!

If you look at cable or even Amazon, you will see people consumed with the notion of tiny houses.  Amazon actually sold out of the tiny houses they sell online (yes, you can buy an entire tiny house for assembly at Amazon, several types actually) within hours! Some are looking to downsize their carbon footprint and go  small, others are obsessed with the technology and preciseness that goes into the tiny houses.  As I was watching and pondering life in one the other day, it sort of meshed together with thoughts I have been having about short stories and universe building.

My question …for myself and for all of you is…how much of universe building can you fit into a tiny story?

And how much is needed?

It’s like asking how much stuff do you really need inside a tiny house?  What’s actually necessary and what isn’t?

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories recently, fantasy and contemporary, many a part of a series.  And while the world building hasn’t been nearly as central to the contemporary series, in the fantasy stories in some cases, the authors have resorted to other options for their overall series world building.   The authors have zeroed in on creating an atmosphere and framework for that particular story but left the series foundation out in the individual shorts.  Same for the contemporary series.  They were all loosely connected, importantly so in some cases, but no one foundation novel for the entire series.  The reader sort of compiles it themselves, story by story, caching each tiny detail away to pull out as needed.

Just as spare it seems to me like living in a tiny house.  Only what is absolutely necessary, nothing extraneous.  Need something more?  Give directions and point them down the road…..Like to a Glossary that details everything. I have seen this used in more than one series and it’s absolutely a necessity to keep track of a series cultures, histories, religions etc, especially when the series is incredibly complex and layered.  So I am not decrying it’s use just hoping it’s not standing in for world building within the story completely.  Unless it has to be.  I think I’m flummoxed here.

Can you build a universe within a tiny story and does it need it?

And how much can you realistically do?

 

And consider this, some of the steps that might go into building your own fictional world:

  • Draw a map of your world
  • Make a history of your world
  • Include the flora and fauna for your world, what climates support them, complete natural history which will impact your other beings
  • Include your world’s background, (governments, politics, religion, cultures, infrastructures, etc.)
  • Create outlines for the above.

Whew!  Didn’t even through in mythology, my fav!  I can hear that tiny house screaming “get out, no room”! lol

I am dying to know everyone’s thoughts here.  Readers, authors, everyone, please chime in!  And tell me what you all think of tiny houses!  Did you know you could buy them on Amazon?  I hadn’t a clue! lol

Happy Sunday!  Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there!  Happy Reading and Listening!

And now to our week ahead!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 12:

  • Tiny Stories and Tiny Universes!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review:Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) by Annabeth Albert

Monday, May 13:

  • Review Tour – GB Gordon – Match Grade (Criminal Delights)
  • RELEASE BLITZ Healing Glass by Jackie Keswick
  • PROMO Angel Martinez on The Mage on The Hill
  • An Alisa Review Unexpected Journey by JD Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chained (Bureau #4) by Kim Fielding
  • A Ali Review : Match Grade – Criminal Delights: Assassins by G.B. Gordon
  • An Ali Audio Review Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1) by L.J. Hayward and Rowan Scott (Narrator)

Tuesday, May 14:

  • TOUR Once Upon A Wolf” by Hurri Cosmo
  • BLITZ At the Trough by Adam Knight
  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • An Alisa Review Once Upon A Wolf by Hurri Cosmo
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Why We Fight (At First Sight #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: ​ Alcatraz! (Repeating History #4) by Dakota Chase
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Wednesday, May 15:

  • Book Blast Last Loose End by K R Allen
  • Cover Reveal, for Nine Small Sips (Tales Of Bryant #2) by V.L. Locey
  • DSP PROMO Tara Lain
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Cowboys Don’t Samba (Cowboys Don’t #3) by Tara Lain
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: Why We Fight (At First Sight #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rook by T. Strange
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Gideon (Finding Home #3) by Lily Morton

Thursday, May 16:

  • Release Blitz for Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour
  • RELEASE BLITZ – No Ordinary Drakeling by Jessamyn Kingley
  • Release Blitz – Not Gonna Lie by S. M. James
  • A Stella Review: Made For You by Anyta Sunday
  • A Lila Review: Healing Glass (Gifted Guilds, #1) by Jackie Keswick
  • A Free Dreamer Review: At the Trough by Adam Knight

Friday, May 17:

  • Retro Review Tour – Made In Manhattan by Ana Newfolk
  • Release Blitz Sean Azinsalt – It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights)
  • BLITZ A Cordial Agreement by Ryan Loveless
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: A Cordial Agreement by Ryan Loveless
  • A MelanieM Review: Made in Manhattan (Made In #2) by Ana Newfolk
  • A MelanieM Review: Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : American Fairytale (Dreamers #2) by Adriana Herrera

Saturday, May 18:

  • Release Blitz for DJ Jamison’s Surprise Groom
  • Release Blitz – Under the Jasmine Flowers by W.S. Long
  • A MelanieM Review:  Surprise Groom (Marital Bliss #1) by D.J. Jamison
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Healing Glass (Gifted Guilds, #1) by Jackie Keswick

A MelanieM Audio Review: Witchbane (Witchbane #1) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Seth Tanner and his brother Jesse’s fun evening debunking local urban legends ends with Jesse’s gruesome murder. Seth vows revenge on Jesse’s killer – too bad the murderer has been dead for a hundred years. Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual killings that feed the power of a dark warlock’s immortal witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on stopping Jackson Malone from becoming the next victim. He’s used to risking his neck. He never intended to risk his heart.

Witchbane (Witchbane #1) by Morgan Brice was a terrific paranormal romance by an author I was familiar with from his other supernatural hunter series, Badlands, which is loosely connected to this one. In fact, it was that couple and series that sent me looking to read Witchbane and check out this couple.

Starting the story in the past, with the death of Jesse, it a powerful start because you immediately love the connection with the brothers as the characterizations are so strong.  From there we flash forward to the present and the years past.  Seth, alone, family torm from him in every way possible, now living a new reality that includes fighting against murderers and criminals who aren’t human or who are using magic to commit their crimes.

The plot which is fascinating, ties his haunted, painful past to his current mission to find and save Jackson Malone from the same fate as his brother.  I thought the entire motive behind the murders was clever and it kept me thinking and so many options up in the air about people and future storylines.  It’s a storyline that potentially can keep on giving.

The many surprises here in the plot vie with the layered characterizations and I was completely invested in both the couple and the suspense filled plot!  Morgan Brice does a terrific job of incorporating just the right local spooky location, in this case places like the Victorian Gothic Pump House in the James River Park in Richmond, VA where the  book takes place.  Normall the author also uses more of the individual “Southern” spirits and monsters, having them make appearances as they often do in the Badlands series.  But here it’s mostly ghosts, some Grims, witches, warlocks, and the Ultimate baddie!  They all, of course, were more than enough here, for cause for alarm.  But I missed the local supernatural quality and hope to see it in the future stories.  That really raises the bar in the other series when you bring in the local superstitions and legends then brings them to life.

The relationship between Seth and Even (aka Sonny which threw me at first) is a complicated one and suffers because of lack of communication.  While I always wish my mcs would “adult up” here, in this case, given each man’s poor relationship history, this is almost a given.   Still frustrating but understandable. There is a lot of hot sex, a lot of action, tons of suspense, and a very realistic HFN.  These two have a lot to figure out and a new start in front of them.

Kale Williams does such a top job narrating here.  He switches characters effortlessly, giving each a unique and easily identifiable personality.  His tones are rich and made this audiobook a joy to listen to even when I was on the edge of my seat, panicking over the fate of our main characters.  In short, just a great all around experience.  I can’t wait to listen to the next one in the series.  And I’m definitely recommending this one and this narrator to all who love to listen to supernatural romances.

Cover art is wonderful and a perfect representation of the couple, Seth in front.

 

Buy Links

Audible US

Audible UK

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio
Published March 29th 2019 by Tantor Audio (first published February 19th 2018)
Original Title Witchbane
ASINB07PZZ85DP
Edition Language English
Series Witchbane #1

An Ali Audio Review Audio Review: Falling Down by Eli Easton and Michael Stellman (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

I wasn’t too sure about this book when I requested it. I really like this author’s work but I don’t generally read stories about MC’s younger than college age. I’m glad I ended up trying it though because I really enjoyed this.
The blurb does a good job explaining the gist of the plot and I think it’s important to note that Josh has suicidal ideation at various places in the book in case that is an issue for you.
I found the story to be melancholy at first but it quickly gives way to hopefulness.  Both of the MC’s find fresh starts with each other and they blossom with each other’s support.
I thought the writing was very good and I found myself drawn in from the very first page. I loved both of the main characters as well as the side characters.
This story was narrated by Michael Stellman who was a new narrator for me. I thought he did an excellent job and his narration really added to the emotion of the story. He is definitely on my radar now and I will be looking for his work to listen to again.
 
Overall I felt this was a very good audiobook. Both the plot of the story and the narration were excellent.  
Cover art: Tiferet Designs.  Gorgeous new cover just pulls your eye to it and the lone figure speaks to the story.  Wonderful job.
 
Audio Details:
Length: 7hrs 33mins
Audiobook, 8 pages
Published April 17th 2019 by Pinkerton Road LLC (first published November 9th 2016)
Original Title Falling Down
ASINB 07QMTYK5Z
setting New Hampshire (United States)

Love Audio Stories? Check Out the Audio Review Tour and Giveaway for Falling Down by Eli Easton and and Michael Stellman (Narrator)

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Length: 7hrs 33mins
 
Narrated By: Michael Stellman
 
Cover Design: Tiferet Design
 
Blurb
 

Josh finds himself homeless at 18, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.


Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.


Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.


The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?


Trigger warning: Suicidal thoughts

 

About Eli


Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.


Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.


In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.


Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at eli@elieaston.com

 

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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We love our audio stories and definitely recommend it.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo also known as the ‘Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla’ is heavily celebrated here in the US, but not all may know exactly what that day stands for.  Some may think it’s the date of Mexico’s Independence.  Not true.  It actually celebrates a victory in battle over the French.

From the Britannica:

“When in 1861 Mexico declared a temporary moratorium on the repayment of foreign debts, English, Spanish, and French troops invaded the country. By April 1862 the English and Spanish had withdrawn, but the French, with the support of wealthy landowners, remained in an attempt to establish a monarchy under Maximilian of Austria and to curb U.S. power in North America. On May 5, 1862, a poorly equipped mestizo and Zapotec force under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French troops at the Battle of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City; about 1,000 French troops were killed. Although the fighting continued and the French were not driven out for another five years, the victory at Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination. The city, which was later renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, is the site of a museum devoted to the battle, and the battlefield itself is maintained as a park.”

However, according to some references, once the holiday got associated with a certain alcohol, namely tequila, it really took off and it’s widely celebrated today outside Mexico.  So happy Cinco de Mayo!  Hence, the many Margaritas flowing today!

For more about Cinco de Mayo, check out the History Channel link here.

Cinco de Mayo – HISTORY

 HEA or HFN?

Now a little more about last week’s post on HFN or HEA, we heard from H.B on the subject:

H.B. “It’s hard to say and I guess depends on the characters and the way the story goes for me. I agree that a HEA has to have stability but I think the same standard can be applied to HFN stories. I guess a HEA story for me has to have details that make me believe the characters are committed to each other, solid within their relationship no matter the situation, will have each other backs, be supportive and not waver and is willing to fight when the going gets tough. In a nutshell, the author has to sell to me that the characters are deeply in love and that they’ve met “the one” and won’t let the person go if sh*t hits the fan and each fight to keep the other in the relationship.”

It was also on my mind as I was reading a new Rhys Ford story, the first in a new series the author has coming out (yes, just terrific).  The first book ends, of course, on a HFN, which i s the only way the story could end.  It was realistic, perfect, and made me immediately want to reach for the next story….which wasn’t there! lol.  But once again, it made me realize, as did the absolutely splendid story 717 miles by Sophia Soames that sometimes a HFN is the only way to end a novel.  That a HEA would be not only be unrealistic but would even ruin the story.

I also read far too many stories where a HEA was forced onto a story where a HFN would have been a far better fit.  Haven’t you?  A rushed ending?  Or a rushed relationship?  Just to get a ending that perhaps the author thought their readers wanted to read …heading off happily ever after…before they were actually ready for it.

How do you all feel about that?  You ok with it in your stories?  Or does that turn what could have been a great book into a meh book for you?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Meanwhile here is our week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 5:

  • Happy Cinco de Mayo! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A Lucy Review:  The Accidental Baker by Clare London
  • A VVivacious Review: The King’s Fear (The Brass Machine #2) by Isaac Grisham

Monday, May 6:

  • Release Blitz – The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman (Duke & Dandy #1) by Zakarrie C.
  • Blog Tour – The King’s Fear (The Brass Machine #2) by Isaac Grisham
  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote ‘s Mud & Lace
  • A Lucy Review: Lyin’ Ryan by Kim Davis
  • An Alisa Review :The Love Left Behind by Daniel de Lorne
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place #4) by Jay Northcote

Tuesday, May 7:

  • Blog Post – Bryan T Clark – Escaping Camp Roosevelt
  • Blog Tour  for The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin
  • Audio Review Tour for Falling Down by Eli Easton and and Michael Stellman (Narrator)
  • A Lila Review: Starting from Zero by Lane Hayes
  • A MelanieM Review:The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin
  • An Ali Audio Review Audio Review:  Falling Down by Eli Easton and Michael Stellman (Narrator)
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez

Wednesday, May 8:

  • Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs’ Wounded Soul
  • RELEASE BLITZ for The #lovehim Series Box Set by S. M. James
  • Morgan James Promo on Love Conventions
  • An Alisa Review: A New Leash on Life by Deirdre O’Dare
  • An Ali G Release Day Review: Love Conventions by Morgan James
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Wounded Soul by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Proper English by K.J. Charles

Thursday, May 9:

  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – Witchbane by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes – Prisoner Of Shadows
  • DSP PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Review: Where Song Replaces Silence by Layla Dorine
  • A Stella Review: Made for You (Love and Family #2) by Anyta Sunday
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Witchbane (Witchbane #1) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)
  • A Lila Review: A Cordial Agreement by Ryan Loveless

Friday, May 10:

  • Release Blitz – Michael Mandrake – Love Kills (Criminal Delights)
  • Review Tour for Bryan T. Clark’s Escaping Camp Roosevelt
  • An Alisa Review : Escaping Camp Roosevelt by Bryan T. Clark
  • A Stella Review: How to Heal (Lovestrong #5) by Susan Hawke
  • A Lucy Review To Be Continued (#lovehim #6) by S. M. James
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Man-Eater by Katey Hawthorne

Saturday, May 11:

  • Blog Tour – SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life Healing by Kerry Ashton
  • A MelanieM Review: The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer #1) by Kasia Bacon

HFN Or HEA? What Makes a Story a HEA for You? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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HFN Or HEA? What Makes a Story a HEA for You?

 

Here we are sailing into May.  Hard to believe, right?  Weather is still all topsy turvy with Spring blossoms vying with snowflakes depending upon where you live.  Here its’ winds and pollen, blossoms and varying temperatures.  All of which makes staying indoors and reading or listening a great way to spend the time.

Which segues into this Sunday’s topic.  HFN Or HEA?  What makes a story a HEA or HFN for you?  That came up last night as I finished reading a story I wanted to review this week.  It ended on a great note.  There was a proposal, the couple was definitely in love (yes, having declared it previously), but no wedding.  Just a proposal.  Also there is a child in the mix, that while a custody battle was semi settled, there wasn’t a permanent solution figured out.  Just a “feeling” that everything was going to work out in the end.  New job, etc.  It got me thinking.  How would I classify that ending?  I believe that author has it as a HEA.  And in many ways I can see that.  They are a committed couple, engaged.  They see themselves as a family unit going forward so yes, ok.

But….for me, there is also a lot of things still “up in the air” so to speak.  Elements in their lives that need settling before I might consider this a HEA.  Maybe more stability …I just don’t know why the feeling of that HEA totally escaped me here.  But it did.  Perhaps since we get to see progress of other couple from the story here, this might carry through to the third novel.  The author has a way of progressing her characters through her series, maturing the relationships or letting the readers see a progression in bits and pieces.

But again, it got me thinking why does one ending leave me so completely satisfied with the fate and relationship for a couple and another , nodding in recognition of a HFN?  And before I continue further I should say that HFN means Happy For Now and HEA means Happily Ever After.  Sign, sometimes I just assume people know what those terms mean.  HFN is where the couple might face an uncertain future, it could be temporary with a HEA still in play.  But life always manages to throw in obstacles in the path to HEA so for me HFN has always felt a more realistic choice in some cases however my heart wants a HEA for everyone.

I mean can you have a HEA after a short amount a time?  I’m talking about stories where the couples meet, fall in love in a week or two and have a HEA?  Possible?  Maybe ….or maybe not.  Maybe a HFN feels more authentic.

What makes a HEA feel real to you?

For me it’s where I have been on the journey with the couple to find their HEA, the relationship dynamics and characters felt real and believable.  I’ve watched the romance grow in depth, from stage to stage until everything comes to a culmination that says they made it, they are an established couple with a future ahead of them that we can and do believe in.  It’s golden (even if certain authors are then going to put them through the wringer lol).   Eventually we know they will toddle off together happy as rainbow clams.

But that’s me.  What’s your definition?  What elements have to be in play for a story to be a HEA for you ?  Or a HFN?  Let me know….a gift cert will be in your future.  Cut off date in 2 weeks time.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 28:

  • HFN Or HEA? What Makes a Story a HEA for You? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book Blitz – Clare London’s The Accidental Baker

Monday, April 29:

  • Review Tour – Love Is A Walk In The Park – V.L. Locey & Stephanie Locey
  • Review Tour – Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz for Annabelle Jacobs ‘ Wounded Soul
  • DSP PROMO Amanda Meuwissen on Coming Up for Air
  • An Ashlez Review: Sweating Lies – Criminal Delights: Taken (Lies #1) by Emma Jaye
  • A MelanieM Review: Anthony, Earl of Crofton by Rebecca Cohen
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Love Is A Walk In The Park by V.L. Locey & Stephanie Locey

Tuesday. April 30:

  • PROMO Mourning Dove by R.R. Campbell
  • Blog Tour – Sweating Lies – Criminal Delights: Taken  Lies #1) by Emma Jaye
  • Blog Tour – Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • An Alisa Review: Rescued by Love by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Coming Up for Air by Amanda Meuwissen
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Murder Most Lovely (Lacetown Murder Mysteries #1) by Hank Edwards and, Deanna Wadsworth
  • A MelanieM Review: Don’t Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon

Wednesday, May 1:

  • Review Tour – Montana Sky (Montana #6) by RJ Scott
  • Review Tour – Lillian Francis – Under The Radar
  • Release Blitz – Bryan T. Clark – Escaping Camp Roosevelt
  • Release Blitz Made For You by Anyta Sunday
  • A MelanieM Review : Under The Radar by Lillian Francis
  • A Lucy Review: All My Fault by Michael Gouda
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Montana Sky (Montana #6) by RJ Scott

Thursday, May 2:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: RUNNING ON EMPTY, a Havoc novel by SE Jakes
  • Release Blitz – 717 miles by Sophia Soames
  • DSP PROMO Murder Most Lovely by Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth
  • Blog Post – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard (Glasgow Lads 4.5)
  • An Ali Review:Starting from Zero by Lane Hayes
  • A MelanieM Review :717 miles by Sophia Soames
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Destructive Forces by Harry F. Rey

Friday, May 3:

  • The Doctor’s Secret by Heidi Cullinan Tour
  • Blog Tour – Unimaginable by Iyana Jenna
  • Release Blitz – GB Gordon – Match Grade (Criminal Delights)
  • An Alisa Review: Unimaginable by Iyana Jenna
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Covet Thy Neighbor (Tucker Springs #4) by L.A. Witt
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Dangerous Times by Isobelle Winter
  • A MelanieM Review:The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Saturday, May 4  May the Fourth Be With You!:

  • HARMONY INK PROMO Gina Harris and Anne Key
  • A MelanieM Review: Arctic Wild (Frozen Hearts #2) by Annabeth Albert