A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Escaping Exile (Escape Trilogy #1) by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Robinson Crusoe meets Dracula in this outstanding paranormal adventure. There are even cannibals as the innocent man who washes ashore on the island, Edmund Baines, is dragged away from danger to his “home” on the nearly deserted island. The problem is, as Edmund discovers when he awakens, that he may have been saved from one danger to be plunged into another.

It’s amazing to me that the author was able to create a world where vampires could be banned to exile for killing one too many innocents, and then she created an unforgettable character in Andrew, who was turned vampire by an Elder in the year 1066. And though he’s starved for human blood, he holds off on killing Edmund, or drinking from him, because there’s something about the fearless young man that piques his interest. Fascinated, intrigued, and finally caring for Edmund, it isn’t until he must drink from the young man to save him from the cannibals who have arrived at Andrew’s house to claim the human-scented new arrival that he finally breaks down and takes what he needs.

But their adventure is hardly over. The head vampire who originally sentenced Andrew to solitude on the island has arrived to mete out a new punishment, or will it be a reward? To find out, simply hit your one-click button. This story doesn’t take long to read, but it’s fascinating, interesting, and all-round fun entertainment for a few hours of your day.

If I had one complaint it would be that the story is short—a little over 20K words—but one would never know it by how much adventure and romance is packed in those words so it’s only a minor concern. Plus there’s a sequel on the horizon. Yay! I highly recommend this to all who enjoy a daring adventure reminiscent of the classics we read (and watched) as children. Add in a touch of MM romance and some smokin’ hot scenes and it’s a sure win.

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The cover by Natasha Snow depicts a moonlit lagoon superimposed by a long-haired man with naked torso. I’m not sure whether the man or the lagoon is more gorgeous but it’s the perfect cover for this story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 13th 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781949340433
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Escape Trilogy #1

A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (Love Letters #3) by Anyta Sunday

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

In this third installment of the Love Letters series, I was thoroughly prepared to hate Chance, and not give him a chance, so to speak.  He was so dreadful to Landon in book 2, Begging Ben, that I just couldn’t see a way that he could be redeemed.  I underestimated Ms Sunday because by the end of this book I loved him. 

Chance is a poor little rich boy who is surrounded by hangers-on who just want him to foot the bill for everything, a father who has never been proud of him, a perfect brother who can do no wrong, and people who are willing to sell him out for cash.  He has never been able to come out as bisexual because he knows that will be one more nail on the coffin in his father’s regard.

The book starts with an epic fail on the part of Chance, who brings a completely inappropriate date, Bunny Sparkelz, to his brother’s engagement party.  The unfortunate date is not only highly criticized by Chance’s father but also manages to sink Chance’s Lamborghini into the pool.   Not only that but he finds out that his personal assistant has been paid to spill all the dirt on Chance to his father. Well, then, can only go up from there, right? 

Chance is a basketball player who’s teammates all take advantage of him and use him. He’s really only had one friend in his life, Landon, and he slept with him over the course of a week and then tossed him out,  so that relationship is over. “Landon might have his life together but he didn’t want Chance anywhere near it just in case he messed it up again.  Another relationship he’d screwed up …”   Dad threatens to cut Chance off and insists Chance plan his brother’s rehearsal dinner. 

I was already feeling sympathy for Chance by this time because he really does want to be a better person and he just wants his father to be proud of him but “No matter how closely Chance followed in Danny’s footsteps, he always pissed his dad off rather than amused him.”  Funny enough, Danny is the younger son.  Usually it is the other way around.  Chance is trying and getting nowhere.  “He needed to mature. Not only for the money –he had no skills to afford his lifestyle on his own- but for one look of pride from his dad.” 

Since Chance has fired his PA for spilling to dad, he ends up hiring (sort of against his will) Brook.  Brook has to convince Chance to hire him, mainly because Chance is worried what he will do when faced with a handsome man day in and day out.  Can’t be bi, remember, or dad will be upset.  “Brook reminded him of his ex-friend Landon – and the one week Chance had given in to what his body craved.”

Brook knows something about mistakes and wanting to be a better person.  He’s made his share of them, some big, and he’s trying to make up for them.  He has a secret but he needs this job and he will work hard to make it happen. And he does.  He is so good for Chance, seeing through the “friends” who step all over Chance and he sees the Chance that is inside.  Brook tries to do what is good for Chance.  Chance is a vegetarian and Brook’s first effort at cooking for him ends up a disgusting soupy mash, Chance still realizes it was the effort that the kindest thing.  “It’s been so long since he appreciated how hard others died.  When Landon had been there for him, he’d taken it for granted.  He scooped up the mash and brought it to his lips.”  He’s growing, our boy.

He broke my heart, Chance did, and I was cheering on Brook to help.  “Brook had walked in on Chance in bed, tossing a ball towards the ceiling. Up and down, the telltale sounds of a wheezed sob.”  I admit, I was super ticked at dad, expecting the worst always and in one case, moving out the mansion to a bigger one and only taking Danny with him, leaving Chance to his money and lonely huge house.

Chance does everything he can to not give in to what he feels for Brook.  He keeps him a secret and fights everything he feels. He hurts Brook multiple times.  “Brook’s shoulders dropped as he lurched for the door.  Chance hated that he was disappointing another person in his life.”  But it takes time to grow as a person, to realize that you are worthy of being happy and living your own life.  Chance is working on it and Brook helps. I loved getting to see it.

The ending is sweet and perfect, just what I would have wished for these two.

Cover art by Natasha Snow continues the pattern of the others in the series, a colorful background (this one in shades of orange) with the MC on the front, in this case Chance, looking cocky.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 151 pages
Published July 29th 2018
ASINB07G1612KH
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLove Letters #3

Admiring Ash
Begging Ben
Challenging Chance

An Alisa Release Day Review: Tempt Me by Remmy Duchene

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Officer Gabe Ford knows finding love could be a tad problematic—especially since he hasn’t come out to his partner of six years yet. But what’s a guy to do when his body wants what his brain is saying he can’t have?

A year and a half after a breakup, Jason Tomlinson isn’t actively looking for a relationship. Hell, he can do bad all by himself. But Gabe Ford is just too damn yummy to resist. Just as things are beginning to pick up, one bullet may end it all before it even begins.

I loved this story.  Gabe has hidden himself for years and hasn’t been ready to come out to his friends but a little intervention with his best friend and partner, Malik, help him out.  Jason is drawn to Gabe from the beginning and they both allow themselves to explore what is going on between them.

The story was told from both of the characters’ eyes which helped to connect with them.  It was amazing that one Gabe realized Malik didn’t care about him being gay he just went for it and didn’t worry about anyone else.  Jason doesn’t hide either, except after he is shot, but their connection grows even stronger as Gabe helps him recover and they get to know each other more.  The drama with Jason being shot wasn’t all that big but it gave them a reason to be together a little more and an area for them to have a disagreement, which all couples need.

The cover art by Kanaxa is wonderful and I love it.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 85 pages

Published: August 17, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-512-5

Edition Language: English

Charley Descoteaux on Writing, Characters and Art House (Buchanan House #6) (author interview)

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Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date:  August 21, 2018
Cover Artist:L.C. Chase

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press eBook and   Paperback  

Dreamspinner Press, Buchanan House series page 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Charley Descoteaux here today talking about writing, characters and the lastest in the Buchanan House series, Art House.  Welcome, Charley.

 

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words Interview with Charley Descoteaux

Hello & thank you for visiting me on my Art House tour! I’m thrilled to be here—thank you for having me!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Yes and no. From the age of nine I loved sci fi—I watched episodes of Star Trek (the original series) every chance I got, and read anything I could get my hands on that was set in space. As a teenager, though, I read (and re-read) S. E. Hinton. It felt almost impossible to find books with characters who were like me—who didn’t live fancy, exciting lives and always got everything they wanted in the end. It took until I discovered Romance (by “borrowing” my mom’s when I was about 13) before I understood that escaping into a contemporary (or historical) book could be just as satisfying as heading out into space.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

They all get something from me, usually when I’m getting to know them. Once I get past the halfway point in the draft a story begins to take on a life of its own—and so do the characters. When that happens the characters are more like someone who’s had similar life experiences than fictional versions of me. In Art House, I gave the main characters pieces of invisible disabilities I deal with, but they experience depression and anxiety in their own unique ways.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Right now, Art House is my favorite. I think my favorite among my stories changes based on what stage the story is in—when I’m drafting or releasing a story, that one will be my favorite. If I didn’t have a new release, I’d probably say my favorite was either Torque or Speedbump. Both are under my other pen name, and are more bisexual fiction than Romance, but I think those are the stories I’m most proud of.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I hope not! I love complex and conflicted characters—the more flawed the better! Hopefully that doesn’t make it impossible for readers to empathize with my characters. It’s true, many readers are looking for an escape, and not everyone loves angst as much as I do, but I think it’s worse for a character to be “too perfect” than to have so many flaws they might be read as “too real.”

 

Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

All. The. Time. I didn’t get much in the way of parenting while I was growing up so I learned most of what I know about how to be a good human from books. First I got that information by reading them, and then by writing them. I tend to work through issues in abstract ways, though, and usually don’t recognize the way my characters’ problems intersect with my own until after the book is drafted. Or edited. 😉

 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

At the beach! I love the beach but haven’t been very often in the past five years or so. In February I went on an author retreat, though, and that was ideal. We had an Air BnB right on the coast and those few days were paradise on Earth!

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

This is a hard question, one I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m not sure what I want to write, and since I’ll probably never be able to write full time the joy is the most important thing for me. I’m open to suggestions!

Seriously. Suggest away! Every suggestion is an entry to my giveaway! At the end of the tour every name will go into a hat and the winner will get a signed paperback of Art House, some Buchanan House and Dreamspinner swag, and a surprise or two. This giveaway is worldwide.

 

While you’re thinking about what I should do next, here’s an excerpt from Art House.

Chase woke a half hour later feeling more rested than he had in the past two weeks of nights. And then realized he was alone in the large bed. He didn’t need to open his eyes to know that Garrett wasn’t lying beside him. His throat constricted, and in that moment, he thought he experienced true despair.

He rolled toward Garrett’s side of the bed, the sheet that might still smell like him, depending on how long ago he’d gone, and saw him. Garrett was sitting on the floor beside his easel, curled into a ball, hugging his legs and drawing on the wall near the floor. Beautifully nude. Garrett must have heard the rustle of the bed because his hand stopped.

“Are you tagging the bedroom wall?”

Garrett turned his head and rested his cheek on his knee. His smile warmed Chase to the marrow of his bones. “Sorry.”

“Finish it? I love watching you work.”

Garrett’s smile turned a touch shy and he resumed his work, not quite turning away to do so. Chase meant what he said about watching, but at the moment he couldn’t spare much energy for the actual content of said work. He was happy to lounge on the bed and watch the fine muscles in Garrett’s arm and shoulder, to draw his gaze down his lean torso and the curve of his delectable ass.

“You’re the most talented artist I’ve ever seen.”

“Am not,” Garrett answered quickly, with a smile in his voice. “You’re better.”

Chase sputtered out something that passed for laughter. “What? That’s crazy. I paint the equivalent of hipster advertisements. Corporate art.” Chase waved at the canvases in the corner nearest the door—views of Mt. Hood and Multnomah Falls and the Japanese Gardens in various stages of completion. He’d had more trouble than usual keeping his mind on a single canvas, but it didn’t matter much when the paintings were destined to hang in Puddle Jumper’s dining room to replace the ones purchased by tourists. He did like the two versions of the Portland Oregon sign, though: he’d replaced the words “Portland Oregon” on the iconic sign with the name of a local band on one, and a popular microbrewery on the other. At least they’re different.

“Just because you do that, doesn’t mean that’s all you can do.”

About Art House...

Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.

Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.

About the Author

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages:

Sean Michael on Writing, HEA, and The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) (author interview)

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The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon  |   Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael here today on his tour for The Gentle Dom.  Welcome, Sean.
♦︎

 

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

It both has and hasn’t. I read a ton of sci-fi/fantasy and a ton of romance growing up. In fact romance (Harlequin’s) were my escape, my way to wind down. So it’s interesting that that’s what I write the most. I love sci-fic and fantasy, but they are harder to write for me. I think there’s more pressure in writing that for me, because of all the reading I’ve done.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Just the opposite, in fact. The more the characters are hurting, the faster I write because I have to get them out of that situation.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Absolutely I like them. There’s enough harshness in the world. Romance is an escape. I want people to leave my books feeling happy, positive. I want them to be able to escape, even if only for a short while.

What’s next for you as an author?

There’s always another book. I’ll finish one and go yay! and then charge right into the next one.

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I hardly ever drink, and when I do, it’s usually just a single drink, and I don’t think I’ve ever drunk written. I have written super exhausted and it’s hilarious to go back and see the last few paragraphs I wrote – it looks like I was high or drunk, trust me!

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

On the beach (in the shade).

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because I have to. What I write is as an escape from all the negativity in the world.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

About The Gentle Dom…

When one of their own is threatened, the men of the Iron Eagle Gym will stand together and prove they are stronger as a family.

Stuntman Barclay Drambor suspects his fall from a roof was no accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it. Fortunately, a year has gone by with no word from Duncan, letting Barclay move on with his life—and that means dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He finds personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon through a member of the gym, and it’s not long before their workouts together become much more intimate. Rec is gentle and goes out of his way to make Barclay comfortable, and in no time there’s talk of moving in together….

But just as Barclay is healing and finding a place to belong, Duncan returns to destroy his happiness. Though Duncan will learn he’s messing with the wrong group of men, in the end, Barclay must face him. Will Rec’s love and the friendship of the others at the gym give him the confidence to stand up for himself?

About Sean Michael

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

Blog Tour for Don’t Let Go by Andrew Grey (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Don’t Let Go
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Western Romance
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Release Date: Aug 7 2018
Edition/Format: 1st Edition/Format ~ eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:
Avery Rivers is a country music sensation, selling records by the millions and playing to sold-out crowds. But behind that persona is Robert, a burned-out musician cracking under the pressure. He’s unable to write any new songs, and he wants out of the business—at least for a while. He changes his appearance and finds honest, hard work in Jackson, Wyoming. Maybe getting to be a regular guy for a while will get him past his block.

Hy Whitely was a championship bull rider until he watched his best friend thrown in the arena and decided the rodeo circuit was no longer the place for him. He wants to be plain old Zeke for a while, and when he returns to his family ranch, he bumps right into Robert—a one-night stand from his last rodeo appearance who is now working there as a ranch hand.

The heat between the men could sear the grass off the range, but each one is hiding a secret. Robert and Zeke, the men behind the public images, fall in love, but can they hold on when Avery and Hy are pulled back into the spotlight?

Continue reading

A MelanieM Review: Shotgun Bastards and Other Stories by Andrea Speed

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

A collection of tales filled with monsters, be they human or beast, ranging in setting from dystopia to pitch black noir and even general silliness. From the ludicrous to the frighteningly plausible; from deep space to after the end of the world. There are clumsy werewolves and bloody revenge, monster sleep overs and a dieting fad sure to kill your appetite.

Whether looking into the past or the future, you’re sure to find that stuff gets really weird.

Shotgun Bastards and Other Stories by Andrea Speed is a collection of flash fiction in various  genres from fantasy to horror to science fiction.  Some are even grouped together further into subcategories like end of the world and dystopian societies.

Some of them have been previously published for the Goodreads M/M Don’t Read in the Closet Events and I honestly felt those came across as the most complete, well rounded stories of the bunch, Soul Mates especially.

The rest of them felt less like actually flash fiction (complete stories of 300 words or so) than outlines or just written down sketches of possible stories the author has in mind for the future.

Quite a few show promise that I would love to see made into stories, whether its vampire hunters or the shotgun bastards of the title.  But there’s so little to the characters or world building that the fiction doesn’t really count as a full story, just a tidbit of what could be.  Which is most cases the author fully acknowledges.

There is a whole section dedicated to End of the Whole tales which gets to be a bit much.  After one or three, even as short as they are, reading about the end of the Earth, the species, it gets old.  Well, it did for me.  I would have broken this section up. Spread the tales out a bit.  But maybe the author wanted a depressing impact to hit all together.  I have no idea.  For me, it just made me want to skip over several and then return after a break.

Reading through these stories is like a walk through the author’s likes and dislikes,  Speed’s commentary in front of the stories makes that clear.  Merry Killmas?  Oh dear!  Yep, Christmas is definitely not the holiday for this author.  Short, horrific, and to the point.

If you are a fan of Andrea Speed, then I think you  would enjoy this trip through her imagination and possible plots for future books.  For fans of flash fiction, you might give it a try as well.

For everyone else?  Well, I’ll leave that up to you.  As a fan of this author, I’m not sure it worked for me.

Cover art: Philip Lloyd Simpson.  This cover totally works for the collection and the author.  Perfect.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 18th 2018 by Less Than Three Press (first published July 17th 2018)
ISBN139781684313129
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lucy Audiobook Review: Love You so Hard (Love You So Stories #1) by Tara Lain and Narrator: Ry Forest / Stephen Kurpis (Vitruvian Sound)

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Rated 3.5 stars out of 5

Craig is having a really bad month.  He is a strategic planner for an IT company and he’s very good at his job.  He was up for a promotion that he didn’t get because an office sleezeball stole his ideas and took all the credit so got the promotion instead.  When he decides he needs to take time away from work after hearing this news0, he starts a vacation that immediately is crappy when a well-known slimy slut tries to hit on him and ends up hitting him instead.  His beloved mother is battling Alzheimer’s and of course that isn’t getting better. It’s just not a good time.

The only bright spot is the beautiful man he has been seeing at the coffee shop.  The one with the “I would bottom you so hard” t-shirt that has featured in many of Craig’s dreams.  All that has happened to him has brought him to the realization that he needs to make some changes in his life.  When Jesse, the beautiful man, approaches Craig to talk, this is his chance.  Craig is going to make those changes and he is going to start with learning to top. He’s always been a bottom, “…no one ever let Craig top.  In thirty-two years of life, he’d never once topped.”  He also realizes that “He wasn’t even sure he bottomed hard.” Changes, changes need to be made.

So he asks graduate student Jesse to teach him to top. He was astounded to find out Jesse had noticed him before and even more shocked to find out Jesse is attracted to him and is willing to tutor him in the art of the top (from the aspect of an awesome bottom).   And so they begin.

I have to say – I really liked both Craig and Jesse.  Craig, he is such a good person who really thinks so little of himself.  “I mean, you don’t mind being with me? You know. Having people think I’m, like, your date or boyfriend or something.”  While Jesse is the younger of them at 21, Craig at 32 comes across as the younger one.   As part of their tutoring, Jesse declares that Craig’s final exam will be getting the promotion he deserved or one like it.  So he’s going full out to help Craig make changes.  Jesse is confident, sweet and knows what he wants; he is just what Craig needs. 

I liked the two of them together as well. I liked how Jesse teaches Craig it’s okay to be yourself.  “We have as much right to be lovers as anyone.”  I loved the changes that Craig was able to make and how he started to look at himself.  This was a sweet short story that made me smile.  It’s not angsty or overly serious, just some sexy fluff.

I do have to mention that narration by Ry Forest/Stephen Kurpis was really good, the voices being very close to what I would expect by the description of the characters.  Except for Ida, the waitress at the coffee shop, who for some reason had a deep gravelly voice! 

Cover art:  Reese Dante.  It’s a great cover and works perfectly for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 3 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 2nd 2013)
Original TitleLove You So Hard
ASINB07FMCDX34
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLove You So Stories #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Good heavens, this was outstanding! I’m shocked that a new author could produce such an in-depth, riveting, complex, historical drama like this. Every single page was better than the one before it.

The characters were complex and their relationship understated enough that it was woven into the fabric of the story but was not the most important part of this epic tale.

Soren, Lord Thornby, has been trapped on his father’s isolated country estate. No matter what he tries, he can’t seem to get beyond the boundaries. Dragged there from London with only the clothes on his back, he can’t figure out why his father has him all but chained in. In fact, it’s very odd that his entrapment isn’t physical—it’s more mental in that he forgets why he wants to leave once he’s at the border.

When John Blake, an industrial magician, arrives to investigate a claim of witchcraft, he finds much more. It appears that some dark evil force is driving Sir Dalton, Soren’s father, and it’s so unique that even John can’t tap into the source. All he knows is that Thornby is in very grave danger, and when he takes it upon himself to drag Thornby over the border, the results are disastrous and they must return without delay.

The men become involved in a story of intrigue that dates back to a time before Soren was born, to the moment his father met his mother in the North. There’s magic in the air and in order for the men, who find themselves attracted to one another, to solve the mystery, they may need to risk both their lives.

There’s no way to adequately describe this story except to say that the author has created an exceptional tale—very reminiscent of the work of KJ Charles—and this one is most definitely going to be nominated as my favorite debut of 2018. There’s so much here that I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to read it for review. Honestly, I can’t even begin to find words to encourage everyone to immediately get to the bookstore or hit that one-click button. This is simply not to be missed.

~~~

The drawn cover features all the key elements to this story: the handsome lord, the magician who saves him, the sigil, the pelt, and the ocean. Very bright and attractive, it’s perfect for this book.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book details:

ebook, 241 pages
Published August 9th 2018 by Lee Welch
ISBN139780473444518
Edition Language English

Jayne Lockwood on Writing, Characters, and the new release ‘Euphoria’ (guest interview)

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Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

DSP Publications

Cover Artist: Emmy@Studioenp.com

Sales Links:  DSP Publications  |   Amazon US  |   Amazon UK   |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jayne Lockwood here today talking about writing, characters and the latest release from DSP Publications Euphoria.  Welcome, Jayne.

♦︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with author Jayne Lockwood

Very many thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me on their blog. I love doing interviews because the questions can be quite challenging and sometimes I learn something about myself as a writer in the process!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

With my first books, they dealt with straight characters falling in love, and yes, there was a lot of me in the female characters of The Cloud Seeker and Closer Than Blood. I was finding my feet, writing what I knew. As I gained confidence and knowledge as a writer, I could diversify and make the characters their own people, without the safety blanket of basing them on people IKR. I have to add, none of the Savannah Smythe erotica novels are based on my life experience. It’s amazing how many times I get asked that *insert eye roll here*

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I don’t really choose a genre, TBH. I write the story, and the genre begins to reveal itself eventually. I would never have sat down to write a science fiction book, but Euphoria turned into one. I think keeping within genre lines can inhibit you as a creative. Write the story, then see where it fits. The caveat to that is making sure you don’t fall into the trap of cultural appropriation. Choosing a certain group of people to write about comes with responsibility. Research is essential so you don’t fall into possibly racist or bigoted stereotyping. And with sci-fi, there are also rules. Whatever world you dream up has to feel real, with details based on scientific fact.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I am a big fan of the HEA but I won’t reject a book because there isn’t one. In some genres that just isn’t possible. In my books, there is always an HEA or HFN because I just don’t like writing untidy endings or cliffhangers.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I definitely think a character has to have some faults. If they’re perfect, they’re not relatable and could be irritating. If they are too repellent, you’ve lost the reader. If they’re a misogynistic bastard at the beginning and are still one at the end, the author has lost me as a reader. As a writer you have to make the reader fall in love. Just be aware of the genre you want your book to fall into. Romance readers won’t thank you if the hero has halitosis, hairy nostrils or a nose-picking habit. Choose your flaws wisely!

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I find various traits interesting, but it depends on the story. A strong woman who isn’t a bitch or a ball-breaker, a philanthropist CEO. Everyone on the planet has something, one thing, that makes them unique (apart from DNA.) Hidden talents, a main character revealing their love of the cello, or a former life as a cat burglar, surprises like that are fun. Just don’t give them these things then do doing with them in the story. Have a key scene to showcase their uniqueness and beauty.

In Euphoria, I’ve given Kurt a love of watching ballet, and Tom talks tough but really he’s cotton candy inside. Even Vardam has a skill of getting what they want, using good manners and carefully chosen English.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

Closer Than Blood (M/F romantic suspense) was written between 1994 and 2015. The really observant will see the changes in the writing style between the old sections and the new, though I tried not to make it obvious. That book is a patchwork of old, new and a bit blue. Nothing borrowed though!

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I write sober because I rarely drink. I can imagine some interesting results though. Why wouldn’t you be happy with it if it fits the story? If not, at least it’s something to share with readers via a blog post so they can have a laugh out of it.

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

A mid-town Manhattan apartment with easy access to a deli would be nice. Or a beach hut by the sea, somewhere like Aldeburgh in Suffolk. But really, I have a great writing space here at home, with a window looking out onto green fields. Somewhere with quiet, a comfortable chair and electricity and I’m happy. Oh, and chocolate. And roobois (red bush) tea. Yeah, that will do!

About EUPHORIA …

It might take the arrival of an alien being to remind an isolated man what it means to be human.

With a stressful job, his boss breathing down his neck for profitable results, and an estranged wife and daughter, scientist Kurt Lomax doesn’t think life can get much harder. Until a nonbinary extraterrestrial with an otherworldly beauty, captivating elegance, and a wicked sense of humor inconveniently shows up at his apartment.

Vardam watched the destruction of their own world, and they don’t want to see the same thing happen on Earth. They are lonely, and feelings soon develop between them and the supposedly straight scientist—feelings Kurt reciprocates, much to his confusion.

The arrival of cheery interpreter Tom Soames—whose Goth appearance belies a gentle heart—is like a ray of sunshine in the somber lab. He acts as matchmaker for man and tentacled extraterrestrial, unwittingly instigating a national crisis when the news breaks out.

But will a misunderstanding ruin Kurt and Vardam’s chances for happiness together—along with the hope for peace between humanity and the Var?

About the Author

Jayne Lockwood has always wanted to learn to fly. Spending free time honing her Peter Pan skills on an aerial hoop, she also creates flights of fancy in her books, mingling sex and romance with angst and a healthy dash of dark humor.

Since she was a small child, Jayne has always sympathized with the villain. It all began with Alice Cooper, even though she was banned from listening to his music by her mother. From wanting to sail away with Captain Hook or redeeming the Child Catcher, the antihero has been an enduring fascination ever since.

Jayne is an outwardly respectable member of an English village community. She also is one of the founder members of WROTE podcast, which is dedicated to showcasing LGBTQA authors and their work, and now writes book reviews as well as diverse fiction.

She is also in a sub/Dom relationship with a cat called Keith.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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