Check Out the Series Review Tour for Fairground Attractions Series by L M Somerton

Standard

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

FAIRGROUND ATTRACTIONS

Zach, Stevie, Adam and Garth are four friends spending their summer break from university working at the local amusement park. A shared interest in kink brought them together though their personalities and preferences are as varied as the rides they run. The last thing they expect is to be drawn into a world where the thrills are more about danger and death than an adrenalin rush.

Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, M/M BDSM Thriller

 Heat Rating: 4 flames

The stories are best read in order.     

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Ghost Train

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Art: Erin Dameron-Hill

Length: 20 337 words/ 84 pages

Release Date: November 13, 2018

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M BDSM / thriller

Add on Goodreads

The ride of your life could be your last

Blurb

Garth’s summer job running the ghost train at the local amusement park is supposed to be a stress-free way to earn some much-needed cash. His Goth looks are a bonus as far as his boss is concerned. The sunshine is a stark contrast to the macabre, spooky scenes inside the ride, but when one of the corpses proves to be more realistic than it should be, shadows are cast on the summer.

Clem sees potential in the moody fairground assistant with spiky hair and pretty blue eyes. He can’t wait to explore Garth’s submissive nature. But Clem isn’t quite what he seems and he might be all that stands between Garth and a violent death. Earning Garth’s trust won’t be easy in a world where secrets can mean survival.

Buy Links

Pride Publishing  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon US

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Merry-Go-Round

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Art: Erin Dameron-Hill

Length: 21 056 words/ 86 pages

Release Date: February 26, 2019

Genre/s: MM BDSM contemporary / thriller

Add on Goodreads

Even the brightest places have shadows.

Blurb

Stevie is sweet and shy—the only hint of an independent spirit comes from his lilac hair. For years he’s harboured a crush on his best friend, Adam, who is everything Stevie isn’t. The problem? When it comes to love, Adam is a bit slow on the uptake.

On top of that, Stevie fears the escaped killer known as Harlequin is targeting his friends, and clings to his role managing the merry-go-round for some semblance of normality. But someone is watching from shadows even the summer sun can’t penetrate.

Realising that life can be all too short, Adam takes steps to ensure that Stevie will be his. All his protective instincts kick in when Stevie attracts some unwanted—and very dangerous—attention, but he can’t take care of him alone. The group of friends needs to band together because the bright lights and whirling horses of the merry-go-round won’t be enough to keep Stevie alive. Some killers are far too good at hiding in plain sight.

Buy Links

Pride Publishing  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon US

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Helter Skelter

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Art: Erin Dameron-Hill

Length: 22 697 words/ 93 pages

Release Date:  July 30, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary MM BDSM / thriller

Add on Goodreads

Life can slide out of control when you least expect it.

Blurb

Of his group of friends, Zach is the only one yet to find his kinky-ever-after. The contract killer, Harlequin, is still on the loose, Zach’s dad is ill, a result of the stress caused by knowing the family amusement park is being used as an exchange point by drug runners, and Zach is faced with problems much tougher than the mathematical equations he’s used to.

Daniel Raynott has had his eye on Zach for some time. Now that Zach is no longer in his class at the university, he can act on his instincts and give Zach the guidance he desperately needs. As a Dom, Daniel demands obedience. As a man, he falls hard for Zach’s vulnerable innocence.

A boring summer has a lot of appeal, but Zach has about as much control over events as he does a trip down the helter skelter. He finds himself in danger more than once. Will Daniel be able to protect him or will the holiday season culminate in tragedy?

Buy Links

Pride Publishing  |  Amazon UK  | Amazon US

 

 

Excerpt 1 – 18+, from Helter Skelter

“Turn around,” Daniel said. “Bend over the bench.”

Zach stared at him. The expression he got in return was implacable.

“You can always use your safe word.”

Slowly, an internal debate raging in his mind about the wisdom of his actions, Zach did as he was told. The top of the bench cushioned his body. He shifted his feet wider apart for more stability. It felt strange to have his arms loose and dangling so he grasped the handle set in the side of the bench. He wondered if Daniel would tie him down and the thought made him grip the ring harder, palms sweating. When Daniel touched him, he gasped.

“Try to relax. We are going to take this as slow as you need. I’m not going to restrain you—you don’t even need to think about your safe word. You can just stand up and walk away if this gets too much.”

“If what gets too much, Sir?”

Daniel stroked his back, then his arse, resting his hand on the curve of his butt. “I’m going to paddle you, give you something else to think about other than your dad. The pain will focus your thoughts.” He undid Zach’s jeans then pushed them down to his thighs. “I’d prefer to do this with you naked but that might be a step too far for today.” Zach’s underwear went next, the fabric catching on his erection as Daniel rolled the cotton shorts down.

Zach trembled and his breathing sped up. He can see my arse. He’s going to spank it. Oh my God. The tip of his cock brushed the side of the spanking bench.

“Stunning.” Daniel stroked Zach’s backside. He pushed a finger between his cheeks to brush his hole and Zach’s mind blanked. “I’ll start slowly. The heat will build before it becomes painful.”

The first blow was little more than a tap. Zach sighed as Daniel built a rhythm, placing the strikes evenly on each arse cheek.

“Nice and pink now. Very pretty.”

The impact increased, creating a deep-seated ache. Zach clenched his glutes, craving more. As if sensing his need, Daniel landed a blow on the crease between arse and thigh. Zach sucked in his breath.

“Too much?”

“No, Sir. More please.” Zach lost himself in sensation as endorphins flooded his system. He humped the side of the bench, desperate for friction, and sobbed, overwhelmed by the revelation that he took pleasure from pain.

 

About the Author

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 and 2018 Golden Flogger Awards for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards.

 

Author Links

Pride Publishing 

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Queer Romance Ink

Instagram

MeWe

 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

➜ Sign up to become a tour host here

 

End of Pride Month and the History of Stonewall Inn .This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

End of Pride Month and the History of The Stonewall Inn

 

 

Located on Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village, the now historic Stonewall Inn opened in 1967 in New York City.  Owned by the mafia (as was many of the gay nightclubs), it was operated as a restaurant previously but now served as a gay bar serving illegal liquor for the mob and paying protection money in monthly payoffs to local cops to keep the raids down.  Down but not stopped.  In those days, dressing as the opposite sex was illegal and carried jail time, not just harassment and beatings.  And the Stonewall Inn was heavily frequented by drag queens, transgendered people, crossdressers., and lesbians who dressed “male” or butch. The last was important because some say it was a lesbian who threw the first punch at a cop that night in retaliation over the brutal treatment of another patron. But because there are so few images and differing accounts, the truth might never be know.  Others say it was a transgendered person and others still a drag queen. Although the Inn itself could not be called a fancy establishment, it’s decor not the best, it’s dance floor and  atmosphere, that despite police raids, let people feel free to be themselves, kept the place alive and packed.  Of course, the liquor helped too.

But the raids were growing more frequent and City Hall had orders to shut down Stonewall Inn for good.  Courtesy of history.com (see that link for enlarged narrative) is the timeline of the explosion that followed that decision:

A Stonewall Riot Timeline :

June 24, 1969: Police arrest Stonewall employees, confiscate alcohol

June 27-28, 1969: Stonewall crowd erupts after police arrest and rough up patrons.

Early hours of June 28, 1969: Transgender women* (other accounts have this as drag queens or crossdressers) resist arrest. Bottles are thrown at police.

Close to 4 a.m. June 28, 1969: Police retreat and barricade themselves inside Stonewall.

June 28-29: Stonewall reopens, supporters gather. Police beat and tear gas crowd

June 29-July 1, 1969: Stonewall becomes gathering point for LGBT activists.

July 2, 1969: Gay activists protest newspaper coverage.

The beginning of the Gay Pride Movement has been ignited!

Today, The Stonewall Inn remains a place of LGBTQIA history and a gathering spot for all, where everyone can be themselves.  Only now it’s legal,  the right hard fought on this spot. A sign erected lest people forget.  Not that they are likely too.  There are parades, and books, and vids, and movies and more ready to remind us.  Especially now at the 50 year anniversary of Stonewall.

Here are some links you might want to visit:

The Stonewall Inn: The People, Place and Lasting Significance of ...

The Night the Stonewall Inn Became a Proud Shrine – The New York …

50 Years Ago the Stonewall Riots Sparked a Movement That Lead to …

And books to read:

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America, by Martin Duberman

The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History, by Marc Stein

The Stonewall Reader, edited by New York Public Library with Edmund White

We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown 

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets, by Gayle E. Pitman

What Was Stonewall?, by Nico Medina, Who HQ, and Jake Murray

 

I hope you’ll visit some of those links and enjoy some of those remarkable books.  Martin Duberman’s was reviewed here and the stories of the  individuals in the movement made a big impact on me.

Paul Richmond, an amazing artist some of you may recognize only through his covers for Dreamspinner Press or other of it’s houses, is doing this month.  Over at his facebook page Paul Richmond Studio , every day this month, Paul has taken a different LGBT artist, past or present. and highlighted their works. He has talked about why this artist has meant so much to him, or perhaps the struggles this artist has had to go through.  The journey through different eras, artistic lives and styles has been a revelation!  Paul’s LGBT Artist of the Day has continued.  If you have missed a artist or day, its not too late!  Head over to Paul’s FB page and start your introduction to some jaw dropping artwork and artists.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Pride Month!  We have highlighted NHL Hockey for Everyone efforts with absolute delight, we have had great recommendations for stories, showcased Paul Richmond and LGBTQIA artists and finishing up with The Stonewall Inn.  How has your Pride Month been?

This is where I will also wish everyone in the US and expats abroad a happy and safe Fourth of July!

 

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 30:

  • New Release Blitz for Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • End of Pride Month and the History of Stonewall Inn
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 1:

  • Blog Post – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • BLOG TOUR Change of Heart by KM Neuhold
  • Release Blitz  – Amy Tasukada – Yakuza Path Box Set
  • A MelanieM Review: Ammo and Enchiladas by BA Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Tea by Matthew J. Metzger

Tuesday, July 2:

  • BLITZ Palm Trees and Paparazzi by J.C. Long
  • Release Blitz – Ruby Moone – Eyeliner and Lace
  • Review Tour for Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Review:  Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4) by J. Leigh Bailey
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Importance of Being Kevin by Steven Harper

Wednesday, July 3:

  • Release Blitz – I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour
  • BLITZ Where the Night Reigns by Emilie Lucadamo
  •  PROMO BA Tortuga on Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga
  • Blog Post – LA Bryce – Love, Trust & Secrets
  • A Stella Review : I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga

Thursday, July 4th:

  • DSP PROMO j. leigh bailey and Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4)
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burns – Salmon & The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle)
  • Release Blitz  – MATED by Tricia Owens
  • TOUR DANCING WITH THE LION: BECOMING by Jeanne Reames
  • An Alisa Review Waited So Long by JM Dabney
  • Reviews – MATED by Tricia Owens

Friday, July 5:

  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Recipe For Romance
  • PROMO Victoria Milne
  • Release Blitz – Espejos (South Texas Lore 1) by Michael War
  • A Lila Review: Espejos (South Texas Lore 1) by Michael War
  • A MelanieM Review: Recipe for Romance (Recipe for Romance #1-4) by Ari McKay
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Never a Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton

Saturday, July 6:

  • Release Blitz  Tour – Michael Mandrake – Death’s Angel
  • A MelanieM Review: Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan

A MelanieM Review: On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd

Standard

Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.

Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.

As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.

The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.

On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd is such an unexpectedly deep, and emotionally rich journey.  Not of one woman, although Kera Montgomery is the main character who undergoes the most personal growth and development.  So too does the woman who starts out as her adversary and the source of so much of her pain,Aurora., Kera’s deceased husband’s’ ex-mistress.

The writing and characterizations in this story are simply brilliant. Told from the perspective of the “Widow Montgomery”, she is at moments controlled, raw, open, distraught, and as the story moves forward comes a woman of strength, determination, and incredible bravery.  Someone able to go forward and love again, building a future for herself, others and more. But when it starts out she is a woman overwhelmed by the deceit of her husband, buried in grief by his loss, mired down by the weight of responsibility for the huge brood of children she has and and lack of control over his   own future which seems lay in the hands of her father and the bankers of the town which want to pressure her into selling them her home, Ivory Gates.  She’s barely  coping and we are made to feel every tear, every throbbing pressure headache, every lost to depression episode Keri is feeling.

Then the deadly sickness that is sweeping the town invaded her home and her smallest child falls critically ill.  And again, we are in Kera’s heart and head that just as we don’t believe this  woman can stand any further pain, humiliation, or despair, now her youngest child is going to die.  And we are weeping with her.   And raging with her over her feelings of inadequacy and helplessness and the anticipation of yet another crushing deep loss.

It’s rare that I get pulled so fully and deeply into such a character as Kera Montgomery because of, I suppose, her state and, like all others, outward impression of her at the beginning.  Kera inhabits a rigid society that gives women little choice as to their roles in life.  Nice women in society are wives and mothers.  The men manage things, money, estages, society,  and wars. When Kera’s husband, Mori dies in a duel disgraced, he leaves her a widow of 7 children and a large estate she never wanted, Ivory Gates, teetering with looming debts and no pension of her husband’s to use as income.  Bankers are at her door and no one is asking her what she wants to do but her father instead.    She’s feeling invisible, emotionally battered, once more in mourning and feeling betrayed by a husband she loved who never seemed to think about the consequences of his actions.

Grief, helplessness and depression have mired this woman down until her youngest son is struck down and will soon die if nothing is done. It’s that desperation that is the impetus for Kera to finally act, against society and for herself and her son.

To save him she must find a Griffin’s feather and they exist only in one part of the territory.  In the cruelest of ironies, the first person she encounters on the road is her husband’s mistress who’s daughter is critically ill with the same sickness.

The journey then becomes this incredible saga  of multiple complex story threads, magic, and redemption.  Kera must learn to get past her hatred of Aurora, her pain and need for understanding about the affair, there’s forgiveness and personal growth, and so much more than this review can begin to describe.  Really, these women are beyond amazing as is their road to saving their children and finding a new future together.

It is labeled as F/F but the heat level is low, limited to kissing and off scene sex that is not described.

If I had any issues its that it ended a little too pat but what came before was just too magnificent for me to really quibble about that.  The writing and characterizations are just that outstanding.

Honestly, if you love fantasy and some of the best womens characterizations I’ve read this year, pick up On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd.  I highly recommend it.  It’s just a stunner of a story!

Cover art: L.C. Chase.  The cover is a little dark and it does fit parts of the story but it could easily be a contemporary fantasy which this is not.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 316 pages
Published May 27th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title On the Subject of Griffons
ISBN 139781626498822
Edition Language English

Love NonFiction and Romance? Check out the Blog Tour and Giveaway for SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life Healing by Kerry Ashton

Standard

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life 

Healing from the Shame of Religion, Rape, Conversion Therapy & Cancer

Author: Kerry Ashton             

Publisher: Lynn Wolf Enterprises

Cover Artist: Kerry Ashton

Release Date: April 17, 2019

Genres: A Gay Memoir featuring M/M Romance & some hard core sex

Tropes: Forbidden love, Rape, Mormon Religion

Themes: Coming out, Forgiveness, Overcoming Religion, Rape, Police Surveillance & Arrest, Conversion Therapy including Electric Shock Treatments, and a 16-year battle with rare cancer

Heat Rating:  5 flames

There are many erotic passages—most are hardcore, erotic and explicit passages, all M/M. Many deal with scenes of sexual humiliation, degradation, group scenes, S&M and/or the gay male leather scene.

Length: 120 000 words /348 pages incl. 14 pages of B&W photos from author’s private collection.

Add on Goodreads

“A TRIUMPHANT MEMOIR!”  Clarion Books

Blurb                       

The first paragraph of Kerry Ashton’s new memoir explains a lot: “I told this story once as fiction in the 1980s, but this time I tell the truth. I even tell the truth, in #MeToo fashion, about being violently raped by another man when I was 18, with a knife held to my throat—a secret I kept from everyone, including myself, for over 40 years. The rape, like other experiences I endured while a student at Brigham Young University, where I came out in the early 1970s, had a profound impact on my later life. But this story is not so much about my rape or my coming of age at BYU, as it is about the lifelong effects of shame itself, not only about how I internalized and inherited a wounding shame from my Mormon upbringing, but also how I eventually unshamed myself. It is about the journey of a lifetime, finding spiritual growth, self-discovery and healing along the way, while encountering many miraculous events that pushed me forward through darkness toward the light.”

Telling about his experiences during his four years at BYU—the rape, falling in love for the first time, police surveillance, harassment and arrest, while enduring three years of conversion therapy and electric shock treatments—provide the structure of Kerry’s memoir. But intermittently, the author shares memories from his childhood, growing up Mormon in Pocatello, Idaho, and later from his adulthood, as well as from his professional career as an actor and writer, both in L.A. and NYC, describing encounters with Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and Julie Harris, while detailing his experiences with Tennessee Williams and his brief affair with Stephen Sondheim. Lastly, he talks about the 12 years he spent in therapy, about his 16-year battle with cancer, how he eventually rid himself of the shame internalized from his Mormon youth, sharing glimpses into his sexual journey from his innocent youth through S&M and the gay leather scene in mid-life to the loving monogamous relationship he now enjoys.

Buy Links

Author’s Website

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Indie Bound

Excerpt                             

READ PART ONE  HERE

The Holy War, as I have come to think of it, began on a hot day in early September 1971, the day I left Pocatello to drive four hours south to Provo, Utah, to attend Brigham Young University. As in all wars, whether holy or unholy, it would not be without its casualties.

I spent the morning packing things in my ‘56 Chevrolet, parked in the spot on the lawn where our driveway would have been had my parents ever had the money to pave it. A yellow-and-bronze, two- door coupe with cream interior, a huge cream steering wheel, and black dashboard, the car had class, which is why I named it Oscar— after the Academy Awards I hoped to win one day.

As I packed Oscar full of boxes, Dad worked under the hood of the car. Once Oscar was filled with boxes, I sank down on our front lawn. Knowing this would be my last day at home, I tried to capture everything I saw and felt around me: The red of Mom’s roses framing our side porch, the hazy blue of the late morning sky, the large pine tree at the front of our corner lot, and the blue-grey crag of Scout Mountain in the distance, where I had always imagined Santa’s sleigh flew over on Christmas Eve.

Hearing Mom humming in the kitchen as she prepared lunch, everything seemed right in my Latter-Day-Saint world.

Getting up from the grass, I walked over to where Dad was still working under Oscar’s hood. “Everything look okay, Dad?” I asked.

“Oh, sure,” Dad replied in his folksy way. “I just wanted to make sure everything’s good with your car. I don’t want you stranded on the highway.”

Though I had fulfilled every church obligation, I was not the mechanic that Dad had hoped each of his three sons would become. I left mechanical jobs to Dad or to my two older brothers, both married by then.

“I love you, Dad,” I said suddenly. He stopped tinkering with the spark plugs and looked up at me. “I love you, too, son,” he replied, embracing me with a greasy hug.

Mom came out on the side porch just then. Wiping her hands on her apron, she called out to us, “Okay, you two! Lunch is ready!”

I washed my hands at the kitchen sink and let Dad wash his hands in the bathroom. Then I joined Mom at the kitchen table while we waited for Dad.

“Kerry Lynn,” she whispered, stroking my dark brown hair as she often did, “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”

Now a grown-up, or so I thought, I bristled at her calling me by both my given names as it sounded so girlish. But since it was my last day at home, I chose to ignore it.

“With all the kids married,” Mom continued, “and you going off to college, this house is going to feel awfully empty without you.”

“Maybe you and Dad will finally get some peace and quiet,” I kidded. “Maybe now you two can finally go on that second honeymoon you’ve talked about.”

“Maybe,” she said, laughing as she reached out to hold me. “I

love you, Kerry.” As she held me tight, I never wanted to let go. Once Dad joined us at the table, he said a blessing on the food, as we always did in our home.

After the blessing, we tore through the food. Mom had made some of my favorites: Her wonderful potato and egg salad, savory burgers with all the trimmings, and delicious corn-on-the-cob bought fresh from the farmer’s market.

After lunch, we went into the living room where Dad anointed my head with oil, laid his hands upon my head, and gave me a sacred Father’s Blessing—the blessing of a Melchizedek Priesthood Elder— warning me to be “mindful of the Adversary.”

Before I left that day, Dad took a photograph of me standing in front of Oscar. Barely 18 and dressed neatly, at 6’3” and 190 pounds, I was the very image of a conservative, clean-cut, LDS young man who loved his Mormon family, the LDS Church, and his Heavenly Father.

I arrived at Salt Lake City three hours later. From there, it took me another hour driving south on Interstate 15 before I arrived in the city of Provo.

Taking my first glimpse that day of Provo through Oscar’s wide windshield, I could see the white LDS Temple huddled against the Wasatch Mountains, its golden steeple gleaming in the late afternoon sun. Further north, Mount Timpanogos reached heavenward, while a sign at the main entrance to the BYU campus read: “The World Is Our Campus.” In reality, the campus became my world.

Driving north past the immense Cougar Stadium, and then into the foothills just beyond the BYU campus, then turning east and heading toward the mountains, I came to the huge Marriott Sports Arena under construction on my right, and stopped at the light. Once the light turned green, I made a left turn onto Sumac Avenue, climbing dramatically into the foothills, before pulling into the driveway in front of my new off-campus apartment.

About the Author

Raised in Pocatello, Idaho as a Mormon in the heart of Mormon Zion, Kerry attended BYU in the early 70s, where some of the most dramatic events recounted in his memoir took place.

Always interested in pursuing a career as both an actor and writer, Kerry wrote his first play, BUFFALO HEAD NICKELS at the age of 17, and published it at 18. Since then, he has published several works, among them most prominently THE WILDE SPIRIT, a one-man play with music, in which Ashton starred as Oscar Wilde, and also wrote the play’s book, music and lyrics. The play won Kerry critical acclaim for both his writing and performance, and three 1977 L.A. Civic Star Awards for Best Actor, Play and Direction. The play ran for three consecutive seasons in Provincetown, MA from 1990-1992, and was produced Off-Broadway in 1996, winning Kerry a National Award of Merit from ASCAP. The author now makes his home with his partner Victor Ramirez in South Florida. For more info, visit www.KerryAshton.com.

Author Links

Author’s Website & Blog

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

Goodreads

LinkedIn

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of two eBooks of SAINT UNSHAMED

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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

Standard

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

Cover Reveal for In Case You Missed It by S. M. James (excerpt)

Standard

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: In Case You Missed It

Author: S. M. James

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA LGBTQ romance

Heat Rating: 1-2 flames

Release Date: February 12, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Tagline

Brooks measured his life in breaths, until Darien took his breath away.

 

Blurb

Brooks is convinced his life is totally, one hundred percent happy. 

Until Darien tracks him down.

Darien was supposed to be the guy he kissed once and remembered forever, but now he’s back in Brooks’s life, with easy smiles and big ideas.

The first of which … show the homeschooled Brooks everything he’s missed out on. But as the pair work through a spring of playing catch up on life, it becomes obvious to Darien that Brooks has a secret. 

And as things heat up between them, Brooks’s secret might just be Darien’s worst fear.

Because Darien has always lived in the moment. 

But Brooks has always lived for the future he knows is inevitable. 

When life is set to tear them apart, will love be enough to keep them together?

 

Excerpt 

“Yo, Dare!” Cameron shouts.

Darien turns toward us in the bleachers and throws up a little wave. From the corner of my eye, I notice Chelsea pointing at me, and Darien double takes. His expression is almost comical.

Darien tosses his lacrosse stick to the side and jogs over to where we’re sitting. His eyes and smile are so wide he looks deranged, but the happiness radiating from him bathes me in warmth.

When he doesn’t say anything, I step in to fill the awkwardness. “Careful. People might think you’re happy to see me.”

He huffs a laugh, slightly out of breath. “Damn, Brooks. You could have given me some warning.”

I stand up and make my way down the few rows until I’m on the one right above him. The others are watching us creepily and it’s weird to have an audience when he’s looking at me like that. I should keep my distance. I can’t. “Are you surprised?”

“Very. You realize this is something you’ve been missing right? Checking out hot guys at practice. We can theoretically check that off your list.”

I pretend to scan the rest of the team. “Mmm … jocks in their natural habitat. My favorite.”

He whacks me in the stomach. “Mean.”

“You said it.”

“Yeah but you were supposed to say, ‘there’s just one guy I’m here for’.”

“I didn’t realize this thing was scripted,” I say, gripping the metal barrier and leaning down a little.

“Don’t be embarrassed. You’re clearly not as well versed in flirting as I am.”

Finallyyour ego makes sense. Too much flirting, not enough criticism.”

He holds his arms out. “What’s there to critique?”

And with that view of his body—his lean legs and loose shorts and tight t-shirt—I have to agree. Damn … the list of reasons why I should give him up melts away. There’s no walking away from this pull between us.

“Mitreski!” his coach calls, snapping me from my thoughts.

Darien ignores him as he drops his arms and steps closer to me. He reaches up to wrap one of his hands over mine. “Wait for me after practice?”

My mind gets loud with warning. What if he’s sick?

What if I catch it again?

What if I end up in hospital this time?

What if.

What if.

What if … he’s perfect for me? Hope surges in my chest.

What if I tell him everything and he doesn’t walk away? What if I get better? It’s an impossible thought, but when I’m with Darien, he makes me want to entertain infinite impossibilities.

“Mitreski, now!”

“Yes,” I whisper. “I’ll be here.”

Darien’s hand tightens around mine. “I don’t want to let go,” he admits.

“There are some thoughts you’re meant to keep to yourself.” But as he goes to pull away, I catch his fingers between my own. Just for a second. Just long enough to show that while I’ll keep the thought to myself, I don’t want to let go either.

As soon as I release him, he jogs back to his team, and I walk back up the three rows to where the others are sitting.

Heat has surged to my face, my ears, my neck. I’m sure I must be embarrassingly red but no one says a thing about it.

Cameron smiles at me, blue eyes twinkling, and it hits me just how much I love my cousin. He’s always been there for me, looking out for me. He knew I needed this.

I nudge him as Darien and the team set up a practice game. “Thank you.”

Cameron shrugs. “I overhead you two today. It was sickening. Really sappy. I had to get you together again, because no one needs to hear that.”

If Cameron told me why he wanted me to pick him up, I probably wouldn’t have come. I would have used the excuse of Darien being sick, and stayed away, intimidated by the thought of showing up—especially with Chelsea here too.

But as I watch Darien run back and forth, with no clue what the rules are, I feel like I’m lit up from the inside. He scores at one point and I’m practically bursting with pride as we cheer and stomp our feet, making as much noise as possible.

Instead of getting embarrassed, he mock bows, loving the attention.

I lean over to Cameron. “I’m going to tell him.”

He jerks around to look at me, all humor gone. “For real? Brooks, are you sure?”

“You’re the one who said I have to.”

He shrugs. “It’s really not up to me.”

“I know.” I hesitate before letting out a sigh. “But it’s not up to me either. I really like him, but he has the right to know what he’s getting into, before anything happens.”

“I hate to agree with you … but it’s true.”

“I’m a lot to take on.”

No, you’re not. You need to stop seeing yourself as a burden. Fuck, Brooks. You’re always going on about wanting to be treated the same as anyone else, but you need to start treating yourself that way too.”

Cameron’s right. It pisses me off that he’s right so I’m definitely not going to agree, but I note his words. Let them sit, percolate. Soak them into my subconscious. “I have to tell him.” I push as much emphasis as I can into the words, trying to convince myself as much as him. “But I have no clue how.”

“Hey, don’t overthink it. The right moment will come up, and whatever happens from there, happens.”

I watch Darien, wishing the world could just slow and give me endless days of school, and watching practice, and making friends, as I plunge into a world of incomprehensible feelings.

“It’s the ‘whatever’ part I’m afraid of.”

But facing it is inevitable.

 

About the Author 

S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, S. M. is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

Member of SCBWI. 

Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Bookbub

Amazon

Goodreads

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Love a Bit of Horror? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Stalker/s by L.J. Hasbrouck (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title: Stalker/s

Author: L.J. Hasbrouck

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 14, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 113600

Genre: Horror, horror, new adult, gay, trans, post-apocalyptic, zombies, survival, island

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Brian Jameson doesn’t even get a chance to pick a college before a worldwide pandemic breaks out—and his home is Ground Zero. After losing his parents and sister in a whirlwind of devastation, Brian’s war-veteran grandfather takes him under his wing. But when desperate looters attack Brian’s new home, he and his grandfather must flee into a wintery Midwestern wasteland now populated by intelligent infected known as “Stalkers.”

These ghoulish creatures don’t shamble in hordes—they hide in the darkness waiting to strike, teeth bared in ghastly grins. And they laugh while they’re ripping you to shreds.

But with his grandfather’s training, Brian makes it to the home of his estranged childhood friends, twins Louis and Eva. And Brian gets a chance to experience something else he nearly missed: falling in love. Drawn to the determined—and ruthless—Louis, Brian escapes with him in search of an island paradise away from the relentless snow and infected.

But even if they make it there, it may not be the haven they’re hoping for.

Excerpt

Stalker/s
L.J. Hasbrouck © 2019
All Rights Reserved

12/19, Topeka, Kansas

Jameson Residence

1:06 a.m.

The light from Brian Jameson’s tablet danced across his face in varying degrees of intensity: somber blues, soothing greens, and sometimes the alarming tinge of blood-red. The show’s layered soundscape coursed through his earbuds. Drizzling rain enveloped the muted dialogue of two detectives, their shoes crunching against gravel as they hunted an elusive killer. Somewhere offscreen, a gun exploded. Brian’s pulse pounded so hard it blended with the strengthening downpour.

Jesus, I didn’t expect that.

Brian waited for the scene to change, for stunned gasps, for those dainty footsteps to accelerate into a frantic sprint, but the pair of detectives continued their discussion as if they were taking a stroll through a scenic garden.

Brian paused the video and plucked out his earbuds. Silence. Darkness. A small square of light with an image frozen in time tilted against his knees.

Am I going crazy? I swear I heard a gunshot.

Abrupt knocks shook his bedroom door. Brian’s tablet fell to the bed as he swiveled his legs over the edge, muscles tensed—

“Bri! I heard a buncha loud sounds an’ I’m scared!”

Brian clicked his lamp on and rushed to open the door for his younger sister, stumbling over a still-packed suitcase. After he ushered her in, he shut the door. His racing heart slowed as he gripped her fragile shoulders. We might have heard the same thing. Thunder, or maybe fireworks from the redneck neighbors.

“It’ll be okay, Becks. Tell me what happened.”

Becky’s thin eyebrows knit above glistening pale-blue eyes. “A boom woke me up an’ I ran to Mommy and Daddy’s room, but I heard another boom in there an’—”

“Wait—in their room?”

Becky nodded.

Brian jerked his cell phone from the charger. He pressed the “9” from the emergency screen, Becky’s fearful gaze locked on his. A whimper escaped her as footsteps creaked in the hall outside. Shadow sliced the sliver of light beneath the door.

Brian abandoned the phone to reach for the door lock—but someone twisted the knob before he could get to it. A sturdy figure burst in and knocked Brian back. Becky cried, “Daddy!” and flung her arms around their father’s stocky legs. Their mother pushed into the room after him, collapsing to her knees as their father slammed the door and locked it. Brian caught the glint of a gun wrapped in her shaking hand.

While his father paced the room, phone pressed to his ear and daughter wrapped around his legs, Brian guided his mother onto the edge of his bed. Her distant gaze frightened him—she seemed to be looking at something only she could see. A memory, perhaps, something keeping her from the present. Her auburn waves clung to her shoulders in sweat-matted strands. Blood spatter stained the pink and yellow flowers of a nightgown. It framed four crimson gashes gleaming from her porcelain chest.

In the background, Brian’s father spoke to a muffled dispatcher. “My kids are terrified, we’re locked in my son’s bedroom, and there’s a fucking dead guy on my bedroom floor! Why? My wife shot him, that’s why! All I know is I woke up to gunshots, my wife screaming, and some nut springing out of our closet. He scratched her—even tried to bite her! He was out of his mind, stank like…I dunno. I dunno. Can you hurry, please? I’m worried about my wife.”

Brian’s father slumped onto the bed and ran a hand through his close-cropped hair. Becky squeezed between their parents, tiny hands clutching their father’s flannel pajama sleeve while he listened to the dispatcher. His free hand curled into a fist above his bouncing knee, knuckles tightening to white.

Brian’s skin grew clammy. Tingly. He tuned out the sights and sounds around him until they became a blur and buzz, a spinning funhouse tunnel of disorientation. She shot him. This crazy guy that broke in. God, he could’ve come after me and Becks if she hadn’t…

Distracted by the motion of his mother setting the gun on his bedside table, Brian looked at her. He recognized a forced smile he’d seen many times before. “We’ll make it through this one step at a time. We always do.” She glanced down at the bloody slashes, then back up to Brian. “I know this looks nasty, but it’s only a couple of scratches. I’m okay. I promise.”

She pulled Becky to her, giving her the attention their father couldn’t. Despite his muscular build and booming voice, Brian’s father often wilted in stressful situations—like the time he lost his job at the Topeka mall and Brian and his mother found him foaming at the mouth with an empty pill bottle beside his outstretched hand.

Brian’s father lowered his phone and looked at his wife and children, scoffing. “We have to stay in here and wait for them, barricade the door. The dispatcher said we’ll be safe and that we shouldn’t disturb the scene. Can you believe that? They made it sound like you were more of a criminal than the asshole you shot, Ellen!”

“Joel, language.” Brian’s mother covered Becky’s ears. She rested her chin atop Becky’s head and lowered her hands to stroke Becky’s lank hair. Brian’s father sat beside them, staring at the thin blue carpet between his bouncing knees.

“Brian, move your desk in front of the door.”

Any other time, Brian might’ve found his father’s condescension infuriating, but he was happy to have a distraction from the questions stirring within him. He dragged the desk over to the door, hyper-aware and jittery like he’d had too much caffeine.

When he finished, Brian sank onto the foot of his bed. He swept his tablet away, certain he’d never want to finish the episode frozen within it, and curled a quaking hand around his mother’s shoulder. “Mom, tell me what happened. Please.”

She nodded, taking in measured breaths as she threaded her fingers through Becky’s auburn curls. Becky took after their mother both in appearance and spirit. Although Brian possessed the same golden-blond hair and tan complexion as his father, he’d also inherited his tendency toward escapism.

His mother kept him going. She kept them all going. Even though she’d been hurt, she still held her daughter to her, still gripped her husband’s hand in hers, still smiled at Brian.

“Someone must’ve broken in while we were at Nana and Poppa’s,” she whispered. “He hid in our closet, waited until we were asleep… I-I don’t know why he attacked me. But I…I had to protect my family, so I…”

She didn’t say anything else. Becky’s unbearable whimpering forced Brian to voice the panic bashing against his skull. “Who the hell was that guy? Was he some homeless guy that broke in to get out of the cold? Why would he hurt Mom?”

“Bri, if I told you what I saw, you and your sister would have nightmares.” Brian’s father finally looked up and met Brian’s gaze. “Your mother and I will already have them, I’m sure of it. All I know is it was self-defense: they’ll clear your mother, get her checked out at a hospital, and we can go back to normal.” His lips tightened into a strained smile. He’d been fighting to earn Brian’s trust back ever since they found him on that locker room floor, but the sacred trust built between parent and child had been shattered irrevocably.

Brian’s eyes fell from his father’s. They drifted into silence and awaited the police. His gut soured and every nerve in his body tingled until the tips of his toes and fingers felt numb. One second, he’d been watching a by-the-numbers police procedural, the next he might as well have been starring in an episode of his own.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Knowledge-seeking animal-lover, supporter of diversity, and OG Floridian. Lifelong gamer who grew up drawing Disney characters, whales, and dinosaurs. Proud INTJ (which I share with the likes of Hannibal Lecter, Batman, and Ellen Ripley).

Twitter | Tumblr

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

A Lucy Review: Midnight Angel by Kevin Klehr

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Dinner is overcooked. The guests haven’t arrived. And Luke is sitting alone at his dining table on New Year’s Eve. He was hoping to romance Nathan, one of the people he invited for this intimate evening meal.

As midnight draws closer, it seems an angel, who has magically appeared in Luke’s apartment, is the only person to drink champagne and watch the fireworks with.

But this angel has other ideas. He’s about to grant Luke the New Year’s Eve party he thought he wanted.

It is highly possible that I will be in the minority about this holiday short but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  At first, I felt bad for Luke, who is sitting at his table with chicken drying out in the oven and no one present at his party.  He has invited his crush, Nate, Nate’s best friend, Lucy, and the annoying guy who has a crush on him, Tim.  As he is sitting wallowing about how now he can’t make his move on Nate, his guardian angel, Guy,  shows up, complete with wings on his back.  I did laugh at Luke’s reaction. 

“What happened?”

“You passed out.  Your face landed squarely on your plate.” 

I do have to mention editing – that sentence in the book reads “…you’re plate…”

So what his angel does is bring him the party he wanted, with Nate and Lucy and Tim.  The thing is, I felt really bad for Tim because I thought Luke was pretty awful to him. “Luke, I’m going home.  I’m making you uncomfortable at your own party, and that’s the last thing I want to do.”   Then I felt like the whole thing was a lecture.  The definition of infatuation, what constitutes stalking and some oddly phrased dialogue.  “I was on my way to another party, but something made me drop in.  It was like a mystical force drove me here.”  It just didn’t fit with the way Tim spoke previously.  And I just kept feeling bad for Tim.  “A better body, but  not the one I craved.”  It’s fantasy yes, but it’s convoluted about Luke’s feelings.  I just didn’t get any feel of a connection.  It’s a beginning, maybe, so hopeful. 

The cover design is the standard NineStar Press is using for their holiday collection.  It is pretty but not specific to this story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 10th 2018 by NineStar Press
Original Title Midnight Angel
ISBN 139781949909616
Edition Language English

A Free Dreamer Review: Forbidden Pursuits (The Galactic Captains #2) by Harry F. Rey

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When Daeron’s mother is offered a risky but lucrative job—rescuing an experimental galinium scientist from Aldegar—the lost loves lurking in her past mean she must send Daeron away to the other end of the galaxy; to the father he’s never met on the Kyleri Empire’s capital, Jiwani.

On Jiwani, the heir to the galaxy’s most powerful empire Prince Osvai balances deference to rigid Kyleri customs with his desire to explore the forbidden secrets of the Royal Baths, and the dark desires no prince should have.

But when a mysterious stranger from the Outer Verge turns up to work with his ambitious Uncle Viscamon, Osvai’s temptations lead him into a web of intrigue that could change the Galactic Balance forever.

As Sanya, Daeron and Osvai pursue their forbidden desires, they become entwined in a galactic power struggle stretching from the frozen tundra of Jansen to the searing memories of Captain Ales’ lost homeworld, Teva.

They’ll soon discover all love has consequence, and the more forbidden the desires, the more deadly the pursuits.

After the brilliant first installment of the series, I was really looking forward to “Forbidden Pursuits”.

I’m not sure if this works as a standalone, tbh. You probably shouldn’t have too much trouble following the plot, since this is set on a different planet, with different protagonists. But you will definitely miss out on some of the finer nuances of the plot, if you lack the background knowledge of book one. So I’d recommend you read “Siege Weapons” first to get the full experience.

Jiwani is a fascinating planet and the author obviously put a lot of thought into the Kyleri culture. The world-building was extremely well done and it was a lot of fun to discover all the details. It’s quite an unusual culture, where noblemen meet up in the public baths and do their business completely naked. And yet they follow a very strict moral code and homosexuality is frowned upon. A gay crown prince would be a huge scandal, so life isn’t too easy for Osvai. I liked the clothes the Kyleri men wear. One of my favourite scenes was when Osvai was getting dressed for an official speech, which is quite the procedure, with countless layers of silk wrappings.

One thing about the world-building had me confused, however. Homosexuality and infidelity are very much frowned upon and yet there are male pleasure slaves that are trained to have sex with other men. This happens quite openly and it just didn’t fit with the strict morals the emperor enforced.

I liked Osvai from the beginning. He probably lost his virginity in the absolutely most unromantic way I’ve ever come across in a book and I loved it. Unlike so many royals in fiction, Osvai is perfectly fine with his role as a future emperor and tries very hard to not let his uncle overpower him.

Daeron is very different and I didn’t particularly care for him. He was irresponsible and very selfish. All he ever seemed to do was complain, have sex with a random stranger or masturbate. He’s a prime example of a man who’s led by his dick.

Just like in book one, there’s a lot of sex. Some of the scenes with Daeron and random strangers weren’t very appealing to me. Sex in a stinky public restroom, bent over the toilet bowl, just isn’t my idea of sexy. And there was one sex scene that was at least dubiously consensual. It didn’t directly involve Osvai or Daeron, but Osvai was a very enthusiastic spectator.

There was a bit more romance than there was in book one and the sex in general isn’t as rough. I have to admit, I didn’t quite feel the attraction between Osvai and Daeron, though. It wasn’t a major part of the novel, however, and only happened toward the end.

Overall, “Forbidden Pursuits” was good but not as good as part one of the series. But it has made me very curious about the next installment. Even though only one of the characters from the first book gets a short scene here, the overall plot is getting moved forward quite a bit.

Again, this is not a romance novel per se. It’s SciFi with gay protagonists that have a lot of sex, but it’s not erotica either.

I like the cover by Natasha Snow. It fits the story and matches the cover of book one very well.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details: Kindle Edition, 164 pages

Published December 3rd 2018 by NineStar Press

New Book Release Blitz for Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1) by Pia Foxhall

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
Length: 93,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Tiferet Design
 
Blurb
 

In a world that is still getting used to shifters, where everyone thinks omegas are second class citizens, nature photographer and omega Braden Payne lets everyone think he’s a beta. That way no one gives him a hard time and he doesn’t have to live a repeat of his failed relationship. But when his car breaks down in the remote Blackwood forest in Western Australia, without the medication that lets him hide who he is, he’s faced with what he fears most: an unmated alpha.


Government forest guardian and alpha Coll MacDubhar is tired of illegal loggers, foolish tourists and people who underestimate the wilds of Western Australia. He discovers Braden lost and in need of medical assistance in the forest he protects and knows something’s not right.


But there’s hidden depths to Braden that capture his interest, and no decent alpha would walk away when Braden’s unwelcome past comes to visit.

 
Author Bio



Pia Foxhall is a queer, nonbinary and disabled Australian author who lives in the most isolated major city in the world – Perth, Western Australia – with two rescue cats. Much of their time writing is spent working on the Patreon-supported Fae Tales serial, a dark fantasy BDSM erotica epic that has been in production for many years. They’ve always been fascinated with all types of trauma recovery stories, and they like their character’s comfort to be earned, and the growth to feel real, and need a happy ending after that trauma recovery!

 
Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions