A MelanieM Review:Tough Guy (Game Changers #3) by Rachel Reid

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

I discovered Rachel Reid through this blog’s recommendations for M/M Hockey Recommendations.  All it took was one story to know I had a new author for my auto buy list.  Luckily for me , the author also loves to write M/M hockey romances so I’m absolutely overjoyed twice over.

Game Changers is one of her fabulous series that I just impatiently wait for that next story to fall.  Tough Guy is the third installment and , again, just another outstanding tale of romance intertwined with the game of ice hockey and its players.  It’s a game I’m fanatic about and deeply appreciate those authors that share my love as well as have the ability to not only understand the complexities of the game but of the players and their careers.  It is a far cry from football, much closer in passion and spirit to baseball in what it takes sometimes to continue on because of the love of the sport.

In Tough Guy (Game Changers #3) by Rachel Reid, the author also writes about what happens when that passion begins to fade, what’s next.    Something that can cut deep  emotionally and mentally.  Reid’s characterizations have been a major draw of her stories.  They are layered portraits of real people, flawed, human, pained, and lovely.  So easy  to connect with, as you do here with both hockey star Ryan Price and musician Fabian Salah.

They have a complex back history, together and apart but when they mesh and reconnect, they are so endearing, so open, so, well perfect for each other, that the story just flew by as I was so engaged by their relationship and their path towards love.

By the end (as I feel with all the stories in this series) I was loathe to leave the couple behind.  I had fallen for them and wanted to linger a bit longer.

Oh well, now to wait for the next story in the series.  I hope Rachel Reid won’t make me wait too long.

I highly recommend this story and the entire series.  And this author.  What a splendid time you will have getting acquainted!

Cover art by Carina Press is just ok but doesn’t really relate to the storyline or character.  Meh.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

ebook
Published January 13th 2020 by Carina Press
ISBN 1488068917 (ISBN13: 9781488068911)
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Forbidden Bond by Lee Colgin

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Historically enemies, there is now a peace treaty between vampires and shifters. As vampires push to announce their existence to humans in the face of technological advances in order to control the PR, many shifters disagree, threatening the peace. The real problem is that it’s just an armistice: there is no integration or friendship. Sinclair, a living vampire, has been accepted at a shifter college for graduate study, which is an historic opportunity. His father, who presides over the Vampire Council, is worried about his safety. He might be right as Sinclair is met with hostility and suspicion. The POV then switches to Mitchel, the Alpha on campus, whose uncle Marcus runs the Werewolf Council. Mitchel’s parents where killed by vampires, so he has no love of their kind. As Sinclair and Mitchel actually get to know each other, they become friends while they try to help maintain peace between their species. Others struggle to accept a world where vampire and werewolf date and humans know of their existence.

Each chapter is started by a news report updating the reader about the issues and fears in the supernatural community. I thought it was a little gimmicky. This is firmly in the new adult genre even though Mitchel is older. It has an enemies to lovers, slow burn vibe–fun, flirty, a little juvenile–at the beginning. Then, all of the sudden, their relationship is serious with sexy times and a violent, action packed plotline. The vampires are ruthless and bloodthirsty when threatened, while the wolves come off as more squeamish and less prepared for violence. Other supernatural species are mentioned in passing, but not focused on so they have no face. It was great to see Erika as a strong female Alpha wolf who takes charge in the crisis, yet none of the secondary characters are very detailed. This story is enjoyable even though it doesn’t break any new ground in this subgenre.

The cover art by Natasha Snow works well with the titles to convey much of the story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 23rd 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN13 9781951880064

A Stella Review: Just the Thought of You (Mann of My Dreams #3) by Tinnean

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Quinton Mann and Mark Vincent – still as dangerous, intelligent, and perceptive as they were when they started playing mind games with each other, and still in love. With Quinn having inherited the Mann family estate in a state of serious disrepair, he and Mark with the help of their family and friends decided to fix it up and then live there, together. But when a mystery from the Mann family past intersected with the death that led to Quinn inheriting the estate, Mark and Quinn were determined to solve it, and see Quinn’s cousin DB and his ladies safely married. But there are always eyes watching two such dangerous men. Would they be able to continue their relationship without nosy, judgmental people trying to put an end to it?

This new installment in the Mann of My Dreams series by Tinnean was another success to me, the author continued to show me how good she is with her writing about these two men I learned to love and respect.

Each new novel follows the precedent so well, the books need to be red in order otherwise they will make no sense, not just cause you won’t be able to know all the second characters, most of all cause you will surely find yourself lost in the plot.

In Just the Thought of You happened a lot, this is a long novel, full of mysteries, deaths, weddings, no once I was bored or overwhelmed, on the contrary I am always happy to spend a week of my reading time in Quinn and Mark company, it’s lovely to see them so in love, especially now when they are starting to really planning a life together, there’s a house to restore and a family to build. I can’t wait to see what will happen next in their world.

The cover art is not so eye catching in my opinion, I don’t like it.

SALE LINKS  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Published August 14, 2019 by JMS Books

Kindle Edition, 416 pages

ISBN 9781310124310

Edition Language English

Series Mann of My Dreams #3

Join Us for the New Release Blitz for Wounded Martyr by Courtney Maguire (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Wounded Martyr

Author: Courtney Maguire

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 16, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 54300

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT Contemporary, gay, rock star, musicians, tour, drug/alcohol use, addiction, friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Ice is an asshole, but he’s working on it. He’s two years sober, no small feat when you front a heavy metal band facing waning popularity and dismal ticket sales. But the pieces of a life torn apart by alcoholism are finally coming back together. His band, Wounded Martyr, has written a great album with the potential to launch them back into relevancy. And Ricky, probably the biggest, most important piece, has finally forgiven him for the wreck he made of their relationship. There’s only one problem.

Ashton.

It was to be expected. As his best friend and bandmate for almost twenty years, it’s only natural they should find each other in the loneliness of the road. Ricky knows about their one night together, but he doesn’t know that Ice can’t stop thinking about it, about his long body and whiskey-flavored lips, and the guilt of it has him on the brink of backslide. Now that Wounded Martyr is poised for a long tour, Ice must find a way to resist temptation or risk blowing their last chance and destroying his relationship with the two most important men in his life.

Excerpt

Wounded Martyr
Courtney Maguire © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Everything hurt.

Hiding in our dingy dressing room toilet, back pressed against the wall between the sink and the urinal, I read wall graffiti to take my mind off my sore joints. Black Sharpie marker slander tucked between worn band stickers. Jake is a pussy. For a good time, call. Someone had scrawled SUX over a Wounded Martyr sticker in the corner. An old one. Apparently, we’d played here before. I couldn’t remember.

House music vibrated through the wall, and I pressed my shoulder blades into it. I gave a no-smoking sign the finger and pulled a pack of cigarettes out of my pocket. This used to be my favorite part, the anticipation in the moments before we hit the stage. Now, I shook with a mix of adrenaline and dread that made me queasy.

“Ice!” A familiar voice cut through the din followed by a rapid knock on the door. “Dude, you in there?”

I popped a cigarette between my lips. “Fuck off, I’m taking a shit.”

The door opened anyway, and in slipped Ashton. Ash. Hair in his face and dark liner around his eyes. Deep lines framed his mouth, but his too-long limbs made him appear perpetually boyish. The way I would always see him. The sixteen-year-old kid playing bass in his garage.

“You can’t smoke in here.”

I scowled and shoved the cig back in the pack.

“Dante is going to lose his shit if you don’t get out there,” he said, closing the door behind him. Dante, our self-appointed fearless leader. If he wasn’t such a goddamned great guitarist, I’d kick him in the teeth.

“Dante can suck my cock.”

“Pretty sure he’s not into that.” We shared a laugh before his eyes pinched in concern. “How’s the voice?”

“Tired,” I answered on the tail end of an exhale.

“You can make it, man.” He stepped toward me. “Just three more shows, and we’re home.”

“Have you seen the house?”

“Yeah.”

“Is it full?”

He pressed his lips together, and those lines around his mouth deepened.

“Shit.”

“Don’t sweat it.” He squeezed my arm. “It’s a big house. It would be hard for anyone to fill. Besides, we’ve played smaller.”

I nodded, but my stomach dropped into my toes. Sure, we’d played smaller. I remembered playing crowds of twenty people, ten of whom hated us. But we were eighteen with nowhere to go but up, and nothing to lose. It felt different now.

Ash’s expression softened. “What do you need?”

A drink.

“A blow job from John Stamos.”

“You and me both.” He hooked his hand around the back of my neck and pressed our foreheads together. “You’ll be great,” he said. “You are great. Just another day at the office, man, you got this.”

I leaned into him and released a long breath. Just another day. Another day I got to play rock and roll. Living the dream, most would say. But even dreams didn’t last forever.

“What the fuck are you two doing in there? Put your dicks away, and let’s go,” Dante’s gruff voice shouted from the other side of the door. Ash shot me a mischievous grin and dropped to his knees just as the door swung open. “What the fu—”

“Be right out, Boss,” I said, but he’d already stomped off, spitting and cursing the whole way back to the dressing room, his bright copper skin dark with an angry flush. I gave Ash a kick with my heel, and he rolled over backward, tangled in his own legs and howling.

“Homophobes are fun,” he said between gasps.

“You’re a prick,” I said, but I was smiling, my earlier dread carried away in the stream of his laughter. Dante had left the door open, and the house music pounded through me, ringing the tuning fork inside. It was still there, thank God. I offered Ash a hand and hauled him up.

“Ready to go?” he asked, his hand still wrapped in mine.

“Let’s get to work.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country. Her first novel, Wounded Martyr, is a 2019 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in the Contemporary Romance: Short Category.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Tour with Excerpt for That Time I… Survived My Teens by Craig Barker

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That Time I… Survived My Teens by Craig Barker

Craig Barker

LGBTQ Non-fiction/Memoir

Release Date: 10.13.19

That Time I Survived Cover

Blurb

The Saturday prior to starting this memoir, my ex-fiancé and I had two of his work friends over for an old-fashioned games night. And when I say “old-fashioned,” I’m talking about dice, cards, racking up your points on an abacus, etc. You know, the things people entertained themselves with before politicians blamed every violent fart that wafted their way on video games.

Stop doing that.

Anyway, seeing as I didn’t know who these people were and would’ve much rather spent the evening on the sofa with our dog, I was less than optimistic. If anything, the whole ordeal was going to be like sitting through a Christopher Nolan movie. Sure, I’d say I was having a great time to fit in, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have a clue what was happening and I’d probably need to take a nap midway through.

Hours before they arrived, just as I’d started to have those “what if I accidentally say something so obscenely offensive or mind-numbingly stupid, I’ll be haunted by the memory of it for years to come” thoughts, my ex ran down into the basement in which I dwell, his eyes frantic, and begged—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

Come again?

“Please, Craig. That kind of talk makes them uncomfortable. Don’t do it.”

I felt a flurry of emotions in the picosecond it took for his words to register: amused, bemused, offended. It sounded like a joke, but his face was full of fear—a fear that I would be unequivocally crude to these complete strangers, and that my behavior would burn bridges he obviously wanted to keep erect (more on erections later).

That was when it hit me like a pair of loose-hanging nuts to the taint; a realization that I, Craig Thomas Barker, had a pattern of behavior that stretched across my life since adolescence—

I’m the person you get warned about before meeting. I’m the person that gets warned before going anywhere.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder” why that was. So, in order to understand who I am today, I decided to take a look at the years that shaped me. I spread my life out on the table, lubed it with the flare of artistic exaggeration, and went at it until I found my answer.

This isn’t so much a memoir as it is a gay’s journey to discover himself; don’t expect structure, coherency, or a thoroughly thought out narrative with a climactic closing paragraph that gives any of this dribble closure. I’m no one special, I’m not famous, and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said before, but I have lived a life, and all twenty-six years of that life has culminated in a single sentence—

“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

This memoir explains why…

And it was cheaper than therapy.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z2J1L7L

That Time I Survived Teaser 1

Excerpt

I’m a child of the nineties and a teen of the noughties. I grew up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Power Rangers, and Batman: The Animated Series, and I think these four shows perfectly encapsulate everything I am, from my hobbies—comics, video games, writing, wishing I was a Slayer—to the boy beneath the layers of sarcasm, anxiety, and a thirst for men in spandex.

I am what my time made me.

I remember dial-up internet, talking on the landline with the cord wrapped around my finger after school, and the irrational fear of strangers in anonymous chat rooms. I remember opening up my Christmas presents and going crazy for the latest Megazords, and I remember how unhappy my parents were before their divorce…though, maybe that’s only something I can see in hindsight.

My point is, I remember my childhood with as much accuracy as one can when looking through rose-colored glasses of a simpler time. Only it wasn’t simple. In fact, from as young as the age of four or five, I was already struggling internally with something I wouldn’t understand for many years.

Rocky DeSantos is the name of the second Mighty Morphin’ Red Ranger, later to be the Blue Zeo Ranger before getting replaced by that brat Justin in Power Rangers Turbo, (I’m still bitter about it), and he was, without a doubt, my sexual awakening. He was a 90’s dreamboat who looked as if he’d been pried from a boyband, wearing a sleeveless red shirt and a glistening smile, and whenever he was on screen, I was captivated.

Of course, I didn’t know what it was I was feeling. I just knew I was feeling something.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writing a biography has always baffled me. I mean, I’m writing my own but I’m supposed to do it in third person, right? I’m supposed to tell you I attended some top-notch school, help people cross the street, have a “relatable” passion for something and spend my weekends frolicking in a field of flowers…

I can’t do that.

My name is Craig. I like fried food. I write because I enjoy it. Please don’t make me do this anymore.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/craigbarkerbooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcraigbarker

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September Stories and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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September Readings And Romance

 

Here we are mid-September and my temperatures are bouncing from summer highs to autumnal 70’s and some of the leaves have started to drop.  As I said all the fall sports have turned my attention to contemporary romances and main characters that are athletes.  Hockey, football (both versions European football, aka American soccer, and of course, the NFL), then there’s rugby, and the miscellaneous sports we have mentioned.

This week, I’ve read books by VL Locey (The Good Green Earth,hockey), Avon Gale and Pipe Vaughn (Goalie Interference, hockey), and the memoir I mentioned last week,My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life by Ryan O’Callaghan and Cyd Zeigler, courtesy of Akashic Books.  That on top of my usual list of fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, and regular contemporary romances.

I had passed over some comedic romances that our reader HB had rec’d a few weeks ago and wanted to include them here:

📕HB:Anyway back on topic for humorous reads or books with some humor I would recommend:

THIRDS series by Charlie Cochet
Nine Stones by Ofelia Gränd
Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye
Tales From Verania series by T.J. Klune
The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker
Lightbearer by L.C. Davis
Learning How to Lose series by Alex Gabriel
Shy by John Inman
At First Sight series by T.J. Klune
Struck by Susi Hawke & Crista Crown (Book 3 in it’s series, shouldn’t be read as standalone)
Any book you can find by Kyle Adams

For myself?  I am rediscovering NR Walker’s outstanding Spencer Cohen series  on audio!  Right now I’m on the first story as narrated by the incomparable Joel Leslie, such a treat.  Look for that review by the end of the month.

So yes, a full week indeed.

It’s also the sort of weather that has me wanting to curl up with comfort reads and start planning ahead for those cold fall and winter nights when all I want to do is listen or read my favorite stories, snuggled up toasty warm and ready for all friends…in book form that is.

The geese overhead are telling and honking to me that it’s not that far away. So with the voice of Joel Leslie as Spencer Cohen in my ears and the gorgeous Sunday weather pulling me outside, I’m making this short and sweet.

I hope your Sunday is the same.

Happy Sunday.  Let me know what you are reading or listening to this Sunday.  Have a great week.  And this is what our week is looking like ahead!

 

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 16:

  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 15:

  • Cover Reveal – Their Special Agent (Thistle Hearts #1) by Mel Gough
  • BLITZ Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels
  • RELEASE BLITZ Dine With Me by Layla Reyne
  • Blog Tour Dominated but not Subdued by JP Sayles
  • An Alisa Review: Murder in the Condo Next Door by Edward Kendrick
  • A Stella Review: Noah’s Bane (Lormount City, #1) by Wulf Francú Godgluck

Tuesday, September 17:

  • Cover Reveal for Under Pressure by Lauren Ashley
  • Release Blitz Ride the Whirlwind by Jackie North
  • Release Blitz Not Another Statistic by JM Dabney
  • Release Blitz – Allison Temple – Hot Potato (A Seacroft Novel)
  • An Alisa Review: Love You So Sweetly (Love You So Stories #4) by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Romancing the Rough Diamond (Romancing the… #4) by Clare London

Wednesday, September 18:

  • Release Blitz, – FLAME AND ASH by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz with ARC Reviews – Yours, Forever After by Beth Bolden
  • Release Blitz Signal- V.L. Locey – The Good Green Earth (Colors of Love #4)
  • A Stella Review : Yours, Forever After by Beth Bolden
  • A MelanieM Review: Beyond Identity by Karrie Roman

Thursday, September 19:

  • Release Blitz – Clare London – Romancing The Rough Diamond
  • Blog Tour Kel’s Keeper by KC Wells
  • Release Blitz – Rick R Reed – The Secrets We Keep
  • An Alisa Review: Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love by Kris T. Bethke
  • A Caryn Review: The First Step (Coastal Carolina #1) by Shira Anthony

Friday, September 20:

  • Review Tour – Eli Easton – Puzzle Me This
  • Blog Post – Leta Blake – Bitter Heat
  • A MelanieM Review: Slay Ride by Josh Lanyon
  • A MelanieM Review Under Review by Meg Harding
  • A Lucy Review : Puzzle Me This by Eli Easton

Saturday, September 21:

  • Release Blitz In Safe Arms by Ann Grech
  • Release Blitz Ground Zero by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Review: In Safe Arms (My Truth #2) by Ann Grech

Our Spotlight on A Moving NonFiction Story ~ Check Out the Book Blast for Eighteen Moons by Andi Webb (excerpt and giveaway)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Eighteen Moons

Author: Andi Webb

Publisher: Self-Published

This is a Non-Fiction book.

Theme: Relationships, Family through International Surrogacy

Length: 63 844  words/185 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Blurb 

Eighteen Moons is the extraordinary and moving story of Andi and John and how they set out to have the family they longed for. Not many people noticed the end of a multi-billion-pound industry that touched many, many thousands of lives… but this devoted couple lived through the final wave of International Surrogacy in both India and Thailand, then finally (before it had barely begun) in Nepal on the roof of the world. 

In their quest to become fathers, they come up against seemingly impossible challenges. From the very start they are overwhelmed with both bureaucracy and prejudice. The story of how this very special family comes together is filled with heartache and frustration, determination and courage. It’s a story full of humour, human frailty and, above all their determination to become the loving family they are today. 

‘Touching, insightful, funny and shocking. You won’t be able to put it down.’  Zap Magazine

Andi Webb is the author of the unmissable blog ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

Excerpt 

Eighteen Moons is the extraordinary and moving story of Andi and John and how they brought together, against huge odds, the family they had longed for. Today they are loving fathers to five beautiful children including two sets of twins, all of them under the age of six. But the story of how this very special family came together is a tale filled with heartache and frustration, determination and courage. It’s also a story full of humour, human frailty and, above all, love. Their quest for children took them across the world and brought them up against seemingly impossible challenges. But as the whims of officials and government directives thwarted their every move and sent them on a wild adventure which took them from India to Thailand and on to Nepal, Andi and John refused to give up. Extraordinarily, Andi and John’s first twins were the last British surrogate babies to leave India (post new rules), their son was the last to leave Thailand and their second twins were the first British children to be born through surrogacy in Nepal. Happily together for twenty years and the besotted owners of two daft but loveable Dalmatians, Andi and John longed for children to complete their family. Two, they thought, would be perfect, ideally one fathered by each of them. After looking at surrogacy options worldwide, India seemed to offer everything they hoped for and in 2012 they went to India to begin the surrogacy process. A few months later, they heard that their surrogate was expecting twins. Andi went to India for the birth; the plan was that John would join them and together they would bring the babies home. When two gorgeous daughters were born they couldn’t have been happier. But what followed was a nightmare of bureaucracy and obfuscation, as John, the twins’ natural father, was refused a visa and the Indian Government refused to let Andi leave with the babies. For month after month Andi lived in India, caring for the girls, while he and John struggled to find a way to bring them home. At every turn they were thwarted until they became so desperate they considered smuggling the girls out of the country by boat. Their daughters were eight months old when, finally, John was able to go and bring them home. Same-sex surrogacy had been banned in India, so Andi, still longing to father a child, turned next to Thailand. With the news of a successful pregnancy everything looked rosy – until the Thai government also clamped down on surrogacy, the clinic was closed. For several heart-stopping days they didn’t know what had happened to their surrogate, or their baby. Finally they heard that all was well and Andi said goodbye to John and the girls and went to Thailand to be with his child. A son was born and a delighted Andi hoped to take him home within weeks. But what followed was an extraordinary saga of delays, denials and, eventually, Andi’s arrest on trumped up drug charges. Given the option by the arresting officers of waiting three months for a court date and a guaranteed three, month sentence, a second option was put on the table. No criminal record and the chance to be the first westerner to serve in the Royal Thai Army. This would take him to an army barrack’s deep in the Thai jungle, he had just one phone call, to tell John what had happened. On the day he was freed Andi found John, and their son, waiting for him. Days later, after five long months of waiting, they flew home, to introduce the girls to their new baby brother.When the surrogacy clinic in Thailand had closed Andi and John’s remaining embryos had been transferred, with the help of an Israeli agency, to Nepal, where surrogacy was still possible. At that stage, unsure of the outcome in Thailand, they had given the go-ahead for a surrogacy attempt. Now they heard that once again twins were expected, this time on the roof of the world. Andi arrived just after the massive 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The final five full moons of this story would be set in Kathmandu.

About the Author

Andi Webb is the writer of diaryofagaydad.net and author of the book Eighteen Moons (available through Amazon.com). Andi is a gay, stay at home dad to five young children under the age of six, living in ‘The Shires’ of England. The daily blog of family life both illuminates and amuses. Eighteen Moons is the memoir of how two men set out on the journey to becoming fathers to five young children, not an easy feat.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Twitter: @andiwebb5  |  Instagram –  Diary of a Gay Dad

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

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

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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

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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