My Thankful List? Great Editors! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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On My Thankful List? Great Editors!

As we countdown to Thanksgiving, I start thinking about things I’m grateful for.  It’s not always the usual things on everyone else’s lists.  The oddest or not so odd things pop up every day that can make me grateful for various and sundry items that might not get mentioned around the turkey table come Thanksgiving. So I thought I might bring up a few starting with a doozy that struck me yesterday (and almost every day at this blog).

Editors!

I’m absolutely, stupendously, over the moon grateful to every great editor out there still  squinting at every submitted manuscript and soon to be released books they have before them, working furiously to make sure that what is finally accepted/or released, if that, is worthy of both the author and publisher as well as the reader’s emotional (and monetary) input.  Someone who throughout the process with their red pen/pencil/marker/sword of blood/ cuts a swath through any writer’s purple prose, dense narrative, self involved point of view (goddess help me, the “I, I, I, I, I’s”), the love of tricks over substance, and cliche over depth.  That’s without even getting a start on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Damn why is the umlaut there?  I know wherefore art thou umlaut and it’s not  (insert curse word) there!

Don’t even get me started on word choice! Argh!  The help some writers have needed here!  There’s apparently a whole bunch of people out there with nary of clue about words and their definitions, just picking them willy nilly out of the air!  Miss Malaprops Indeed!

Poor overworked editors!  In the larger publishing houses, jobs are broken down into smaller sections, some of which I listed below:

Developmental editor—As detailed above, the developmental editor helps the writer from the idea stage through the final draft. He may suggest topics, help with research, verify facts, and plan the structure of the manuscript. He works through successive drafts with the writer. He’s as concerned with the structure of a manuscript as much as he is the words and meaning.*

Substantive editor—Helps a writer improve his fiction manuscript by focusing on story elements, plot, characterization, dialogue, order of scenes, point of view, voice, setting, word choice, sentence construction and syntax, and pace—anything that could improve the strength of the manuscript.

And Copy Editors that do fact checking as well as all the other things I listed above, line item elements such as spelling, etc..

But for smaller publishers and Editing services (proofreaders and copy editors), how many of those are rolled into one or two people?

I sometimes cringe when I read an acknowledgement or forward from a writer that talks about friends that read the manuscript and told them to publish it.  The writer thanks them for their loving support and encouragement.  I mentally think “that’s terrific”, and then hope that author also found a editor too.   Sigh.  Oh the perils of self publishing.  Or even a publishing house as well.  A editor doesn’t always mean a good or great editor.  Again my kudos to all you great ones out there!

Some err towards being a friend and  middling copy checker.  Nuh uh.  And trust me, that can do far more harm once that book hits release time.

How many reviews have you all read that said needed a editor or better editor?  Yep! So true.  There’s a reason for that.

What exactly is the role of an editor anyway?  Well, here is a definition I found repeated several blogs:

An editor polishes and refines, [they] direct the focus of the story or article or movie along a particular course. [They] cut out what doesn’t fit, what is nonessential to the purpose of the story. They enhance the major points, drawing attention to places where the audience should focus.

Some of that is almost guaranteed to make a writer gnash their teeth, weep tears, and pull out some hairs.  No one wants to cut words, sentences, characters, or even whole parts of plots to have a book make sense. Yet that’s an editor’s job if that’s what it takes to make the story cleaner, polished, and substantially a finer story. And the author a better writer.  It’s a process.

Again, when you say you hired a editor, what did you hire?  Or did you hire a Proofreader?  Not the same as any good or great editor will tell you.  Each and everyone has a job to do.  Hire the right one for the right job.

Really someone should have stopped these headers, right? Or placement?

One of my favorite blogs is called the Blood Red Pencil which focus’ on writing and, of course, editing.   If you are as fond of the subject as I am  check out the link below:

Blood-Red Pencil: Do Editors Use Red Pencils?

 

As to what launched this week’s post, well, it’s Thanksgiving.  I’m just going to say I’m so grateful to each and everyone one of you  overworked, gorgeous, and absolutely fabulous editors who have provided such incredible help to the authors and their stories I’ve read all through the years!  I appreciate your hard work, I hope if you’re in the States you have a great Thanksgiving, or weekend if you’re abroad.  Kudos to you all!  A big Mwah!

Thoughts anyone?

Now onto this week’s books and tours.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 Sunday, November 18:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Comply by Lee Manarte
  • Review Tour and Giveaway for  Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Heat for Sale by Blake Moreno
  • My Thankful List? Great Editors!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 19:

  • Release Blitz To Be Honest by S. M. James
  • Sale Blitz for 2 Robert Winter Titles
  • BLOG TOUR Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles Book 2) by AG Carothers
  • An Alisa Review: Date from Hell by Gareth Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Lost and Found (Dave&Carter) by Quin Perin
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles #2) by A.G. Carothers
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Finn by Angel Martinez

Tuesday, November 20:

  • Kaje Harper on Fair Isn’t Life
  • BLOG TOUR The Billionaire’s Wish by Geoffrey Knight
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Crossroads (Skins #4)
  • A MelanieM Review The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3) by Don Allmon
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Quenched in Blood (Asheville Arcana #3) by Ari McKay
  • A Caryn Review:Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  His Consort by Mary Calmes

Wednesday, November 21:

  • Review Tour Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
  • BLOG TOUR Broken Halos by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • Release Blitz – Joanna Chambers – Mr Winterbourne’s
  • A Lucy Review: His Christmas Sweater by CM VAlencourt
  • An Ashlez Review : Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Claire Castle
  • A Stella Review: Accidentally On Purpose by JM Snyder
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Alpha Heat (Heat of Love #2) by Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Thursday, November 22: Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Book Blast – Polyamory on Trial by Jude Tresswell
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: The Burning Magus by Don Allmon
  • An Alisa Review: A Fated Bond by T.L. West
  • A MelanieM Review:  Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1) by Pia Foxhall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt

Friday, November 23:

  • Review Tour – LA Witt – The Husband Gambit
  • Release Blitz – Pia Foxhall – Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1)
  • Release Blitz Tour – Jay Northcote – Stuck With You
  • An Ali Release Day Review: My Regelence Rake (The Sci-Regency #3) by J.L. Langley
  • A MelanieM Review:  The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez

Saturday, November 24:

  • Tour The Cub Club by Ardy Kelly
  • Release Blitz with ARC Reviews – Lost and Found by Quin Perin
  • Judith/Oz by Lily Morton Release Blitz and Review
  • A MelanieM Review: Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The Editor’s Blog

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Heat can be sold but love is earned.

In a world where omegas sell their heats for profit, Adrien is a university student in need of funding. With no family to fall back on, he reluctantly allows the university’s matcher to offer his virgin heat for auction online. Anxious, but aware this is the reality of life for all omegas, Adrien hopes whoever wins his heat will be kind.

Heath—a wealthy, older alpha—is rocked by the young man’s resemblance to his dead lover, Nathan. When Heath discovers Adrien is Nathan’s lost son from his first heat years before they met, he becomes obsessed with the idea of reclaiming a piece of Nathan.

Heath buys Adrien’s heat with only one motivation: to impregnate Adrien, claim the child, and move on. But their undeniable passion shocks him. Adrien doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, mysterious stranger he’s pledged his body to, but he’s soon swept away in the heat of the moment and surrenders to Heath entirely.

Once Adrien is pregnant, Heath secrets him away to his immense and secluded home. As the birth draws near, Heath grows to love Adrien for the man he is, not just for his connection to Nathan. Unaware of Heath’s past with his omega parent and coming to depend on him heart and soul, Adrien begins to fall as well.

But as their love blossoms, Nathan’s shadow looms. Can Heath keep his new love and the child they’ve made together once Adrien discovers his secrets?

Well, the blurb really tells most of the story but without the engaging dialogue and the characters’ personalities. This was very well-written and I really liked the omegaverse, the characters, and their story.

I thought it was going to be so erotic that the plot would be minimal, but that wasn’t the case. The author did a great job in building the characters, principally the MCs, Adrien and Heath, but also Heath’s deceased lover, Nathan, who was Adrien’s biological parent, unknown to Adrien throughout most of the book.

The plot wasn’t too complex or convoluted—everything was put out there for readers to see. Adrien being unaware of Heath’s attempt to replicate his dead lover formed the basis of the story, but the time the wealthy, powerful alpha, Heath, and the sweet, innocent, virgin omega, Adrien, spent together in the Heat Cabin brought about the beginning of change in Heath’s thinking and in his heart and then the time they spent in the “Nest” Heath created for his omega’s pregnancy needs sealed the deal.

Watching their emotional changes and the commitment Heath eventually made to Adrien was entertaining. Adrien’s emotions during his pregnancy and his hormone drop while chestfeeding their baby (I love that word!) and the slow evolution of Adrien’s knowledge about his dead omega father brought about major change and drama. I totally enjoyed everything about the story, including Heath getting his comeuppance for having been stupid enough to keep essential information from Adrien for so long.

And as I said, I knew going in that there would be a lot of sex, and it is plenty erotic, but I personally think Alpha Heat by Leta Blake—Blake Moreno’s alter ego—was much hotter, more erotic, and had a better story than this one. Just sayin’. But—and it’s a very big but—I will keep reading these stories if the author decides to do more—under either pseudonym. I enjoy both Blake’s and Leta’s writing style and though both omegaverse’s are different, they have enough in common to engage me in their world and keep me coming back.

The cover art by Dar Albert @WickedSmartDesigns depicts a young seminude man that represents Adrien posing for the photos for his heat auction and in the background, a head shot of Heath, a handsome, wealthy alpha. Very nicely done.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 18th 2018 by Dark Ink (first published October 14th 2018)
ISBN 139781626227798
Edition Language English

Review Tour and Giveaway for Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 192 pages
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Heat can be sold but love is earned.


In a world where omegas sell their heats for profit, Adrien is a university student in need of funding. With no family to fall back on, he reluctantly allows the university’s matcher to offer his virgin heat for auction online. Anxious, but aware this is the reality of life for all omegas, Adrien hopes whoever wins his heat will be kind.


Heath—a wealthy, older alpha—is rocked by the young man’s resemblance to his dead lover, Nathan. When Heath discovers Adrien is Nathan’s lost son from his first heat years before they met, he becomes obsessed with the idea of reclaiming a piece of Nathan.


Heath buys Adrien’s heat with only one motivation: to impregnate Adrien, claim the child, and move on. But their undeniable passion shocks him. Adrien doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, mysterious stranger he’s pledged his body to, but he’s soon swept away in the heat of the moment and surrenders to Heath entirely.


Once Adrien is pregnant, Heath secrets him away to his immense and secluded home. As the birth draws near, Heath grows to love Adrien for the man he is, not just for his connection to Nathan. Unaware of Heath’s past with his omega parent and coming to depend on him heart and soul, Adrien begins to fall as well.


But as their love blossoms, Nathan’s shadow looms. Can Heath keep his new love and the child they’ve made together once Adrien discovers his secrets?


Heat for Sale is a stand-alone m/m erotic romance by Leta Blake, writing as Blake Moreno. Infused with a du Maurier Rebecca-style secret, it features a well-realized omegaverse, an age-gap, dominance and submission, heats, knotting, and scorching hot scenes.


Author Bio


Blake Moreno explores the darker side of erotic romance. Married to a hot tech nerd, educated in BDSM, and attracted to twinks and twunks alike, Moreno embraces taboo explorations. Come along on a quest for intensity and deep emotion. Don’t fear the dark.


Discover more about Blake on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blakemorenodarkink/


Blake Moreno is an alternate pen name of the author Leta Blake.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here. We definitely recommend it.

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Release Blitz and Giveaway – Comply by Lee Manarte

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 217 pages
 
Cover Design: Jay Aheer @ Simply Defined Art
 
Blurb
 

“The world is a cruel place…”


No one believes that more than I do. My name is Declan Forester, and I am a Zedian. Part of a different species born with miraculous gifts from the gods, only the humans don’t see it that way. They see us as something to be tamed.



After being captured by the humans and stripped of my abilities, I have little left. With my life in shambles, my thoughts are haunted by my human tormenter. Dr. Adam Davenport. A human male that is everything nightmares are made of. 


Now, his unwilling captive in a government-run facility, I am forced to obey his every demand, or be punished. Caught up in a web of lies about gods, the push to help a hot redhead, my high running desires and, oh yeah, the pending apocalypse, I find myself falling apart. And Adam may be the only one to save me…if I comply.

 
Author Bio
 

“Writing has always been my passion. I love to entertain others through the worlds I create. I encourage others to follow their passions, live their dreams, and write. I hope you all enjoy what I write and gain the courage to express yourself.”


~Lee has a bachelor’s in media and communications, is a huge nerd and loves to write about sexy men loving men. Come check her out on Facebook and chat!

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A MelanieM Review: Lucky Town: A Badlands Novella (Badlands #1.5) by Morgan Brice

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

 

Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, Myrtle Beach homicide detective Vic D’Amato, find that the only thing more frightening than murder might be navigating their first holiday season as a couple.

A trip back to Pittsburgh to spend Thanksgiving with Vic’s large, exuberant family means dodging old frenemies and a bitter ex-boyfriend. A cold case comes back to haunt Vic when a murdered woman’s ghost begs Simon for justice. Then a new murder back in Myrtle Beach looks suspiciously familiar, and the dead man’s ghost isn’t playing nice. When Simon gets a vision of the next victim before the crime occurs, he realizes that all the murders are supernaturally linked. Catching the murderer will take his psychic sleuthing skills along with Vic’s street smarts to avert a tragedy. Can they do right by ghosts past, present and yet-to-come without ending up in the crosshairs of a killer for Christmas?

I very much enjoyed Lucky Town by Morgan Brice after some introductory confusion over the characters, their past history and current situation.  It wasn’t until midway through the story that I went searching at Goodreads and found that Lucky Town is  a sequel to Badlands, something I wasn’t aware of when I started this novel.  I need to go  back now and pick up all the past history I missed that’s hinted at here from that  original story.  Yes, that means I don’t consider Lucky Town a stand alone.

A somewhat confusing introduction to this already established couple opens the story.  We find Simon and  Vic have moved together into Simon’s bungalow in Myrtle Beach, they are still adjusting to that fact, and making it their “home” together.  The author feeds us details of a past case where Simon was hospitalized due to a gunshot wound, a case that was both magical in nature and not only brought these two together but was the primary factor behind Vic moving to North Carolina with Simon.  So much missed past history there.  And its referenced (the case and the aftermath) repeatedly throughout this story.

Luckily, you’re told that Simon sees dead people, ghosts to be exact.  And they tell him things.

Vic knows and believes him.  Which is all good because the paranormal and supernatural is about to land on their doorstep once again.  As in multiple bodies worth.

Now I actually thought the case, the mystery surrounding it, the secondary cast brought in because of it, and the resolution the best part of this story.  I wanted  far more of this, root magic, everything then I actually did of Vic, Pittsburgh, and his family.  They just weren’t as interesting as Simon and the supernatural goings on in Myrtle Beach.

Plus this story is only 116 pages so that’s a lot to cram into a shorter novella.

Still I thought Morgan Brice did a terrific job with the supernatural mystery and cast of characters there.  Loved that element.  In some ways the sex here in parts overwhelmed the story and  relationship development as the book was so short.  I think that could have been balanced a little better.  However, I’m so intrigued by everything that I have read here that I’m not only going to seek out that first novel but read any further stories coming  out for release in this series as well.

If romance, a bit of the scary  paranormal and supernatural is your thing, this might be the series for you.  But definitely read the first story, Badlands, before reading Lucky Town, to get the foundation I needed and clearly missed.

Cover by Natania Barron.  That’s a good representation of the characters, but sort of a typical cover these days.

Sales LInk:   http://a.co/d/8FuMNP7

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 116 pages
Published October 29th 2018 by Darkwind Press
ASINB07K1PW522
Edition Language English
Series Badlands #1.5

Badlands

Lucky Town: A Badlands Novella

Restless Nights

Looking For A New Christmas Romance? Check Out Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Claire Castle (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 34,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Claire Castle
 
Blurb
 

Colton Dawson is miserable this holiday season. Those he’d loved the most are no longer in his life. With one disappointment after another, how can he possibly get into the Christmas spirit? Maybe a change of scenery—a new place to put down roots—is just what he needs for a second chance to find some happiness.


Winterbourne Vale is only too happy to help his much-loved aunt and uncle run their café in Canada while on his short December break—even if it means leaving his home in the United Kingdom. After a defeated-looking Colton walks into the café, Winter is determined to lift his spirits.


Can Colton and Winter’s Christmas happiness continue long after the gifts are unwrapped and the decorations are stowed away?


Walking in a Winter Wonderland is holiday treat filled with special ornaments and glistening snow, hot tea and cold-weather kisses, along with some sexy shenanigans and plenty of holiday cheer. 

Claire Castle grew up surrounded by books. She has loved reading for her whole life. Her true love is romance and HEAs. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found wearing comfortable leggings, drinking mocha and petting her west highland terrier. She loves collecting awesome mugs and paperbacks of her favorite stories.


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A Jeri Review: Pay It Forward (Giving Back #1) by Nic Starr

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This was a sweet romance with very little angst or drama. It wasn’t exceptionally fluffy either and there was really only 1 sex scene. Just, what I like to call, a palate cleanser.
Bailey has a bit of a crush on the barista at a local coffee shop. Turns out the barista is the owner and might have a crush himself. And so they go on a date. SHOCKING! It seems that jumping into bed usually comes first and then a couple falls into a relationship. But this time they actually went in the right order.
The most drama is Tom not wanting to accept help from his friends and then later Bailey not wanting to accept help from Tom. I guess every book, no matter how sweet it is, needs some sort of discord that needs to be worked out.
There isn’t a lot for me to say about these 2 ordinary guys finding love with each other. If you need something sweet that will make you smile, this is it.
Cover art is sweet and appropriate for the story.
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published November 11th 2018 by Nic Starr
ASINB07K8QVGCL
Edition Language English
Series Giving Back #1

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fair Isn’t Life by Kaje Harper

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Luke Lafontaine survived the past year by not thinking about the father he lost, the dairy farm he couldn’t save from bankruptcy, or his way of life that vanished with the rap of an auctioneer’s hammer. Cleaning up city folks’ trash at the Minnesota State Fair is just another dead-end job. But at the Fair, surrounded by a celebration of farm life, ambitions he’d given up on and buried deep start to revive. And seeing Mason Bell in the parade—gorgeous, gay, out-of-his-league Mason—stirs other buried dreams.

Mason left his hometown for college in Minneapolis without looking back. Student life is fun, classes are great, gay guys are easy to find, but it’s all a bit superficial. He’s at the State Fair parade route with his band when he realizes a scruffy maintenance worker is Luke, his secret high school crush. Luke should be safely home working on his dad’s farm, not picking up litter. Mason wishes he hadn’t fallen out of touch. He’s an optimist, though, and it’s never too late for second chances. Now he just has to convince Luke.

I wasn’t entirely prepared for portions of this story. And I should have been by the description and the author’s talent for conveying pain and loss.  Still…

I live in a county that used to be almost entirely agricultural, horse farms, sweeping forests, orchards and fields of corn and grain.  Now mostly mini mansions or townhomes/condos as far as you can see depending on where you live in the county.  That you had a choice of a farm on your license plate was highly ironic given how fast the farms were being sold and plowed under.  But what we weren’t seeing was the emotional cost on the other end.  Kaje Harper puts a face to that loss. And it’s devastating.

That Kaje Harper now delivers in heart wrenching detail.  If for no other reason to buy this book, it’s for the portrait of what the loss of a legacy, a family, a person’s foundation does to one young man.  It will hit you in the gut.  And we don’t even go through the worst of it with him.  That’s already been done.  By the time we meet Luke Lafontaine, he’s survived the loss of his dad to cancer, the sale of his family house and farm, including livestock he himself  raised, to auction, and been homeless.  No, now he’s through that, but just barely.

But all through this story, how that has all impacted Luke, in small ways and large, will return.  And it will be shattering.  It will also be a reminder that it’s happening to kids and families all over the nation with  little media coverage.  It will make you weep for Luke, for all those he represents, and for the farmers that  no one seems to be speaking for anymore.  Remember Farm Aid anyone?  Kaje Harper gets this so incredibly, harshly right.  We feel the pain, as we should, of the struggle to  stay afloat in this economy.  And how fragile the bar is on keeping the farm or losing it.

Anyhow.  Combine Luke with a young man named Mason, eyeliner, clarinet, college going Mason (I love Mason) and you have such a wonderful endearing romance and relationship.  The dynamics between them was sweet and supportive. It went both ways  as Mason was used to guys being embarrassed by his love of lip gloss and liner. It felt so real, painfully so as they worked their way towards a future together.

I will remember this book for quite a while.  I’ll remember the trials and the joys that Luke went through, his “Anne” (no spoilers, but ‘sniffles”), and the fact that a Christmas story for me sometimes has a title called Fair Isn’t Life by Kaje Harper.  Really, I just loved this book.  I think you will too.  I highly recommend it.

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht.  I really like this cover, right down to the dairy cows.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 148 pages
Expected publication: November 16th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781640808942
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Cops and Comix (Murder and Mayhem) by Rhys Ford

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Rating:  3.75 stars out of 5

 

It’s all fun and games until someone leaves a dead body on the floor.

Life for comic book store owner Alex Martin usually runs to the mundane. Sure, he has a regular influx of geeks and freaks, but for the most part, it’s a familiar weird. That all changes when he opens up Planet X Comics one morning and finds a corpse in the middle of his shop.

When Detective James Castillo is called in to investigate, Alex is torn between wanting to climb the man like a tree and giving him a wide berth. Luckily for Alex, the handsome detective is just as interested in him—as a suspect in the murder.

I love Rhys Ford’s Murder and Mayhem series about former cat burglar Rook Stevens and Detective Dante Montoya.  In that series, one of Rook’s cousin’s and the only member of Rook’s family, outside his grandfather, he is close to, is a man  called Alex.  He and his boyfriend, a detective, not only get mentioned but get pulled into a number of scenes.  Alex just had a way of grabbing your attention and a piece of your heart.

So I was thrilled to see a short story about how Alex met his boyfriend, Detective James Castillo.  I was almost certain Rook played a part in it.  Color me shocked he was innocent….

At 38 pages, this is just cute glimpse into Alex’s life, his Planet X Comics store, and the tale of how he met James Castillo.  It has all the hallmarks of the other stories, including the same quirky, believable characters, wild situations only Alex (or a Rook) could find himself in, and a Detective there to help him (them) out of it.  I only wish for more pages and a longer resolution.  As always with this group, more is advisable!

This is a lovely, cute addendum to the main series.  I certainly enjoyed it.  Any fan of the series and cast of characters will too.  I definitely recommend it.

Cover Artist: Reece Notley.  Cover works great for the story and series.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, Second Edition, 38 pages
Expected publication: November 16th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781644051528
Edition Language English

A Lucy Review: Seeking Solace (The Walker Boys #3) by Ari McKay

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Like his cousins, Devin Walker aspires to be a chef, but he wants to indulge his wanderlust while feeding his customers, and working a cruise ship seems like the solution. Since he can’t find an opening in the kitchen, he’s happy to start out in a position behind the bar.

While onboard Poseidon’s Pearl, Devin is assigned to shepherd a visiting executive. Paul Bailey is quiet and unassuming, and the car accident that cost him his leg also shattered his confidence. He doesn’t think he’s attractive to other men anymore, and Devin is eager to show him just how wrong he is. Paul has a surprising secret that might sink their passionate affair before it even leaves port.

I loved the idea of a cruise ship romance, even more that it wasn’t a passenger type thing but workers.  Add in that Devin wants to be a chef and I thought this is a total win for me.  Devin comes from a super close knit, large family who support each other unconditionally.  That was another win for me.  Paul’s family, though wealthy, doesn’t seem quite as close. 

Paul is on board to check out the workings of the ship but he is there with a secret.  One that really doesn’t affect much unless you start hanging out with and falling for the bartender who is assigned to be your ship liason.   They both have baggage, Paul’s in the shape of an ex-boyfriend who after Paul lost his leg in an accident dumped him and assumed they would no longer be able to do the physical, outdoor things they had always done; Devin’s in the form of an ex-boyfriend who was using him as a way to upset his conservative parents.

The two bond over getting to know the ship’s crew and workings.  Devin shows Paul how to chill out a little and enjoy life and in the process begins to fall for him.  It was a little odd to read how much time off Devin got.  With a relative who worked the cruise ships who always talked about how little time was their own, this was a little bit of a shock.

I felt like they got to know each other, even though the secret was in the way.  It was insta-love to be sure, as the whole thing happens over the course of a two-week cruise.  The final reveal of the secret is a little bit of a let down.  There is no angst here, despite the baggage they each have, and they are pretty well adjusted.  Paul gets over his insecurity about his  missing leg and scars fairly easily as well.

A very weird thing was as I was reading about Beau Walker and Jake Parnell, Devin’s cousin and his husband, I kept thinking how much I would like to read their story.  It wasn’t until I looked it up to add to my list that I realized I already read it! 

There is a moment in Jamaica with a pair of shorts, when Devin realizes that he is really falling for Paul, that totally made my heart melt.  It was my favorite moment of the book.

Cover art:  Alexandria Corza.  Has the moon and ship as the backdrop and Paul as the center model.  If that is supposed to be Devlin, a total miss of the mark.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781640805231
Series The Walker Boys

Striking Sparks

Breaking Bonds

Seeking Solace