A MelanieM Review: Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2) by Astrid Amara

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Too much family…too little Egg Nog.

It’s been three years since Seth Bellski forced his boyfriend and ex-boss Lars Varga out of the closet. Since then, Seth has passed the bar and become an attorney, and Lars has started his own firm. Their sex life has gotten steamier, and everything seems perfect between them. Until the holidays arrive.

It’s bad enough that Seth’s mother and father want them over every single night of Hanukkah. And that Lars’s less-than-tolerant parents are sleeping in the room next door for the duration of Christmas, putting the kibosh on their kink. They also end up attorneys representing opposing sides in a divorce case, one which quickly proves to be much more than it seems.

Amidst Hanukkah candles, Christmas lights, burned dinners and delayed court appointments, can Lars and Seth’s relationship survive the ultimate holiday challenge: too much family?

From my review in 2011, pre Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words:

I loved this. What a wonderful surprise to see this release. I loved the first book in the series, Carol of the Bellskis from Astrid Amara that was released last year. So this was a joyful present this December. This sequel finds partners Seth Bellski and Lars Varga happily together and getting ready for the holidays, Hanukkah and Christmas. For the first time, this will include Lars’ family, who is still not comfortable with the idea of their son being gay and his meeting live-in lover. Plus Seth’s loving and loud Bellski family has decided to migrate west and join them in Seattle-permanently.

The ensuing holiday stress brings much snark, cooking and loud arguments and of course love. Astrid Amara does this so well that when I finish one book I immediately want the next one to know what happens to her characters. These are real people with flaws who argue, laugh, make love and get stressed out. I love every minute I spend with them. And that includes Ruthie and Herman Bellski, the rest of their brood. I even warmed up to the Vargas along with Seth as the book drew to a close. It is also great to have a book that includes Hanukkah rituals as much as Christmas in the story, Seth is Jewish after all.

So definitely put this on your TBR stack, right near the top. Include the first book, Carol of the Bellskis too. It’s a win win for you. And then you will be like me, hoping that the next holiday season, finds another gift from Santa and Astrid, another Hanukkah spent with Seth and Lars and all their families.

Yes, this story is all that and more.  Little did I know at the time I would have to wait until the end of 2017 to get to the end of their story (so worth it), but here in Miracle of the Bellskis, you see Lars and Seth in the middle stages of their lives and relationship.  They’ve both made adjustments and grown as individuals.  I have always admired Amara’s depth of characterizations, and her ease of letting her characters flow into another stage in their lives is so wonderful and pertinent here.

If you loved them before, prepare for that to deepen as once more the holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas advance on Seth and Lars with all the chaos and hilarity that entails.  The joy in reconnecting with these stories just makes me feels warm all over at just the thought of them.  If you aren’t familiar with them, find them now.  You get the fun of reading all three together!  It’s a series I highly recommend.

Cover art by April Martinez is perfect.  I love the menorah that pulls together all three covers as well as the characters.  That’s Lars and Seth for me.

Special note:  on sale now at Loose id.

Sales Links:  Loose id | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st Edition, 110 pages
Published December 13th 2011 by Loose Id
Original TitleMiracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2)
ISBN139781611185713
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Holidays with the Bellskis

Carol of the Bellskis 2009
Miracle of the Bellskis 2011
Wedding Bellskis 2017

A MelanieM Review: Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1) by Astrid Amara

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Paralegal Seth Bellski is tired of being the secret lover of his boss, Lars Varga, founding partner of Finch & Varga Law. So when he asks Lars to spend Hanukkah with Seth’s family at their kosher B and B in Whistler, B.C., and Lars refuses, Seth realizes he will never get his self-conscious boss out of the closet.

So Seth prepares to spend his Hanukkah holiday alone in the B and B. Instead he finds himself running the place, as his aunt and uncle are missing, and seven demanding, peculiar, and danger-prone guests have arrived. To make matters worse, Lars shows up, begging forgiveness. Lars’s touches remind Seth of why he put up with his boss’s behavior in the first place. If only the words that came out of that beautiful mouth were as sweet as his kisses.

But how can Seth find time to fix his broken relationship when the guests are demanding kosher, gluten-free diets, losing their pet terriers, and hitting their heads on the ice? Seth and Lars find themselves put through the paces of being a married couple, all while still broken up. But then again, if they can survive this Hanukkah, maybe they’ll be singing a carol of the Bellskis.

Astrid Amara likes to release holiday stories and in 2009 started this Hanukkah trilogy.  It took her until 2017 to finish it but I’m so happy she did because it’s heartwarming, beautifully written,  full of suspense, mystery, romance, and love of all types.  And it all started here with Carol of the Bellskis.

When reading an Astrid Amara story, you can’t just pick out one strength because her stories are so amazingly well rounded and beautifully written.  That shows here.  Her characters are strong, believable, and so are their relationship dynamics, as faltering as they are in the beginning.  With Seth Bellski, you get his formidable Jewish family, their strength in their belief in their family and their religion, yes, more.  It never tips over into caricature as it could so easily, but these people come across with love and care, if at times a bit of fond exasperation with knowledge of their foibles.  Then there is Lars and his side of the family. Reserved, cold…well, I will let the story speak to the Vargas. They remain, however, authentic and real.  That becomes something of a element of slow growth (very slow) over the course of the series, ending only with Wedding Bellskis this  December.  But I’m getting way ahead of this couple now at their breaking point.

The author sets out so many tough goals here and meets them all.  There’s a romance and some very difficult relationship decisions that  have to be worked through here by Lars (especially Lars) and Seth,.  There’s an inn that can’t run itself where everyone seems to keep disappearing, so mysteries to solve,  Hanukkah to celebrate, and much, much more.  And it all meshes so well, like one of life’s tapestries.  You will leave wishing you knew these people and wanting to be a part of their lives.

This story is full of so much emotion, action, color, and wit.  It’s lively, poignant, sad, angry, lusty, romantic, funny, and a great read.  I relished my time with Seth, Lars, and all the many Bellskis, and couldn’t wait until the next Hanukkah rolled around because that’s when Astrid Amara promised to roll out the next installment.  Ah well,  it was worth the wait even if it took until 2011.

Carol of the Bellskis rang in this series, this couple!  It’s not to be missed.  The Trilogy is on the top of my recommendations, not just for the holidays, but anytime of the year.  But grab up all three now and read right through!  What a treat is in store for you, starting with this remarkable story.

Cover art by April Martinez is strong, on target, and not only brands the series by the use of the menorah on all 3 titles but that’s also my idea of both characters.  Perfection.

Sales Links:  Loose id | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st Edition, 100 pages
Published December 14th 2009 by Loose Id
Original TitleCarol of the Bellskis
ISBN139781607375272
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHolidays with the Bellskis

Of Polar Vortexes. Bombogenesis and Thundersnow. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Polar Vortex. Bombogenesis. Thundersnow!

Yes, this is the week the weather took over Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!  So cold my keyboard (ok, my fingers) just about froze!  Six degrees here and they are calling for much colder weather to come!  Nope, Maryland is officially known as The Temperate State.  Nothing temperate about these temperatures!  In fact the whole East Coast is frozen from Niagara Falls to Tallahassee, Florida.   Snow is falling in Texas to Florida. Iguanas are dropping like hail near the Everglades.  And the Meteorologists are having a field day, either defending or denying the use of some of the words I’ve used above.  Especially bombogenesis!  That one caused a howl!

Nice to see language and words with the power to make things pop on a daily basis!  You can find the definitions of these terms and others like seiche and haboob here.  Terrific article but I’m more interested in the way these words flew about the media.  People got downright Twitterpated!  There’s a polar bombogenesis coming! RUN!!!!!!! To the grocery store or the liquor store or wherever one runs.  But run!  Not sure where they thought we were going?  Alaska?  Because it’s downright warmer there then here.  How about “bomb cyclone”?  Heard that one too!  What terms have you been hearing?  How have you been coping with the cold, if at all?  Maybe you are one of the luckier ones and live outside the “frozen zone”, what advice, other than “Let It Go” (runs and hides) would you have for us?

I’ve been taking the cold by staying inside with the dogs and reading (and binging Netflix I confess).  The cold (a 2 degree morning today) is good for that.  Luckily I’ve had some wonderful stories for company.  Charlie Cochrane’s Lindenshaw Mysteries (a cozy if ever there was one) is on it’s third installment.  Just terrific.  Plus I have some old favorites I’m discussing below.  What are you all reading during this “bomb cyclone”? Or winter hurricane?  What tales are keeping you warm? More about that later….

Now, onto this week.  There are some very special books we are reviewing this week, some with starts that go way back! This week I’m finishing up a trilogy that started in 2009.  That would be Astrid Amara’s wonderful Bellskis series.  One came out in holiday season 2009, then another during the holiday in 2011, and then…nothing.  I was bereft!  I loved this series and couple!  Then the news that Loose id was closing and the final story arrived.  Wedding Bellskis!  Be still my heart.  All three are reviewed this week.  Astrid Amara’s trilogy combines  murder, mystery, Hanukkah, a sometimes rocky romance, and a couple to remember.  Check them out!

Next up?  Another story  with it’s start years ago.  That would be Laura Baumbach’s Genetic Snare.  How many of you science fiction lovers remember the first story?   That would be Details of the Hunt (Details #1) by Laura Baumbach published back in 2006 (2007).  Honestly I can’t remember which year I read but I think it was 2006.  A long time!  Anyway, then she announced there would be a sequel….which never came.  Which because she was busy establishing MLR Press among other things.  Now, years later, we are finally getting that story!  There’s a time traveled pirate, a huge alien who talks like a film noir gangster, suspense, and alien tentacle sex..sort of.  Yes, it works but you really need to read both books.

Finally there’s Amy Tasukada’s Yakusa Path series.  The third book is out and I’m reviewing it this week.  It was one of my Best of 2017 and it looks as though it will be on my 2018 list as well.  Just amazing.  So if you don’t mind gritty, brilliant, bloody fiction, check out One Thousand Cranes (Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada.  Again you will need the entire series.

All that and so much more!  There’s a few more holiday stories and audiobook reviews and everything in between.  Plus giveaways, author interviews, and guest posts!  Stay with us, stay warm, and stay safe….

More about the giveaway at the end of the post.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 7:

  • Of Polar Vortexes. Bombogenesis and Thundersnow.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review: Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1) by Astrid Amara

Monday, January 8:

  • Hannah Carmack on Seven-Sided Spy
  • Blog tour *Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks
  • DSP Promo Ari McKay
  • A Stella Review: Like a Gentleman by Eliot Grayson
  • A MelanieM Review: Beyond The Tunnel by Dan Mitton
  • An Alisa Review: Tangled Up in You by Emily Carrington
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists by Angel Martinez and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Tuesday, January 9:

  • Release Blitz – Lost In Time – A.L. Lester
  • DSP Promo Logan Meredith
  • DSP Promo Z. Allora on The Great Wall
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Bleu Balls (Balls to the Wall #7) by Tara Lain
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Southernmost Murder by C.S. Poe
  • A MelanieM Review: Bring Me the Dead by Becky Black

Wednesday, January 10:

  • Release Blitz – Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz – Forever With You by Londra Laine
  • Review Tour – Amy Tasukada’s One Thousand Cranes
  • A Stella Review: Mended With Gold by Lee Welch
  • A MelanieM Review: A MelanieM Review:  One Thousand Cranes (Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Freckles by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Thursday, January 11:

  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • Harmony Ink Promo Gene Gant
  • Riptide Tour & Giveaway: Relay by Layla Reyne
  • A MelanieM Review: Genetic Snare (Details #2) by Laura Baumbach
  • An Alisa Review: Christmas Kisses at the North Pole by Jessie Pinkham
  • A MelanieM Review: Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2) by Astrid Amara

Friday, January 12:

  • Release Blitz & Review Tour for Rebecca Cohen’s Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo
  • Review Tour for Sam Burns’ Blackbird In The Reeds
  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway: Two Feet Under by Charlie Cochrane
  • A MelanieM Review: Two Feet Under (Lindenshaw Mysteries #3) by Charlie Cochrane
  • A MelanieM Review: Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen
  • A Stella Review: Composing a Family: A Mannies Incorporated Novel by Sean Michael

Saturday, January 13:

  • A MelanieM Review: Magical Rescue (Shifting through the Snow Book 8) by Laura Baumbach
  • A MelanieM Review:Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3) by Astrid Amara

 

 

 

 

 

Best of 2017 Giveaway

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  This week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up! Gift certificates, more than one, for participations and more.

Our Winners are:   Purple Reader, H.B., and Ana!  A $10 Gift Card will be yours.  Happy New Years to all of you and a huge thank you to everyone that provided us with all those lists.  I will be putting up a page with everyone’s 2017 Lists this week so   be on the lookout for that too!  New Giveaway up next week! Yep the Polar Vortex Giveaway!

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Eight Nights In December by Keira Andrews

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is a lovely holiday story featuring a family celebrating Hanukkah.  Lucas’s college roommate Sam is heading home for the holidays and Lucas is looking forward to peace and quiet in the dorms while the partying jock is away.  Orphaned after his father passed away in September, Lucas has nowhere to go—until Sam’s mother takes him by the hand and drags him home to New York with her. 

She deposits him in Sam’s little brother’s room, but when Lucas gets a look at his little brother, Nate, is evident that little is the last word he’d used to describe the sexy, glasses-wearing geek.  And Nate’s view of Lucas isn’t that bad either.  It’s not long until the two begin a fling and though Lucas starts off as an inexperienced virgin, by the time the eight days of Hanukkah are over, that’s no longer the case.  In fact, by the end of the eight days there’s more going on than a holiday fling, and neither Nate nor Lucas are looking forward to their separation after New Year’s Day. 

But Nate’s not out and Lucas promised his dad he’d go to his dad’s favorite college to study medicine.  Nate also isn’t happy with the career choice he’s following to please his own dad.  He really wants to be a photographer but he promised his dad he’d be a lawyer.  Can these two young men find their way to their hearts’ desires—including each other—after only eight days together? 

This is, as I said, a lovely story and for those who like sexy romps, this one will make your holiday stocking sizzle.  It’s also a sweet love story and just thing to brighten a gloomy day. 

~~~

Cover art by Dar Albert depicts head shots of two young men gazing fondly at each other in the top pane of the cover, the title and a Star of David in the center, and a night scene of New York City in the lower pane.  Bright and attractive, it suits the story perfectly.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages
Published December 7th 2017 by KA Books
ISBN139781988260259
Edition Language English

Almost There! The Best is Yet to Come 2017 Best of Lists Continue. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Almost There! The Best is Yet to Come

2017 Best of Lists Continue…

This week I’m devoting our blog to lists from our readers and what wonderful lists they came up with.  One author on many of there lists is one that will be on mine too.  But in what manner?  Because Annabeth Albert is one author I’m wrestling with right now for mine own lists because I love so many of her stories.  What do I choose from?  Her #gaymers series (Status Update, Beta Test)? Her Out of Uniform series (On Point) or even her newest one Rainbow Cove (Tender with a Twist)?  Rhys Ford for her gritty urban fantasy and contemporary? Heidi Cullinan? On and on, there are authors with multiple stories that made a huge impact on me this year…how to narrow the list down or do I?

Please feel free to chime in here.  Because my lists start tending to look like scrolls rolling across the floor…

And then there are the authors new to me and their  series, writers like J.M. Dabney, Dahlia Donovan, and Lindsey Black.

Yes, my list will be long.  Be prepared on the 31st!  Until then enjoy these wonderful lists from some of our readers and you still have until the end of the week to get yours in as well and be entered for our Best of 2017 Giveaways. See the details below.  Until next week..

Be Safe, Be Merry, and Happy Reading from all of us to all of you!

Happy Holidays to one and all from everyone here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

 

♡From H.B.

Thanks for sharing your list with us. I never was very good at picking out books I thought were the best over all books I’ve read well here goes:

Best of series 2017:
At Last, The Beloved by Stella Starling
The F-Word by E. Davies
Regent’s Park Pack by Annabelle Jacobs (technically book 1 was released in 2016 but book 2 and 3 was released this year)
Luna Brothers by Ashe Moon

2017 Best Novels:
Archangel’s Assassin by Barbara Elsborg
Haunted by Casey Ashwood
Thick & Thin (THIRDS 8) by Charlie Cochet
Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS 9) by Charlie Cochet
Gummy Bears & Grenades (THIRDS 9.5) by Charlie Cochet
Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford
Siren’s Call by J.C. Owens
The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts 2) by Charlie Cochet
Bone to Pick by T.A. Moore
Daimonion (The Apocalypse 1) by J.P. Jackson
To Touch You (Mates 4) by Cardeno C.
A Worthy Man (The Men of Halfway House 5) by Jaime Reese
FU: Fixer Uppers by Devon McCormack
Love Connection (#gaymers 3.5) by Annabeth Albert
True Colors (True Love 2) by Anyta Sunday
Half by Eli Lang
Married for a Month by Cate Ashwood
Ge-Mi (Part One) by Mell Eight
Man Walks into a Bar: A Trio of Short Stories by Lissa Ford

Best listened to audiobook in 2017:
Don’t Twunk With My Heart (Loving You 2) by Renae Kaye
Whyborne and Griffin series book 1-8 by Jordan l. Hawk
Lightning Struck Heart by T.J. Klune
Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon
#gaymers series by Annabeth Albert

♡From Ami:

It is ALWAYS difficult for me to choose things for “Best” List. Mainly because I read a lot (more than 400 titles, MM and MF) so I hate sorting them out in order. But I’ll try. And I prefer to use the word “Favorite” rather than Best, since I know my taste is different than others

Favorite New-To-Me Author 2017
Roe Horvat (Debut Author)
Sam Burns (Debut Author)

Favorite Novel Read in 2017
Back to You by Chris Scully
Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbride
Love is Heartless by Kim Fielding
On Point by Annabeth Albert
Bad Behavior by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.
Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding
The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale (F/F Romance)
Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert
Sightlines by Santino Hassell

Favorite Novella / Short Story Read in 2017
The Layover by Roe Horvat
Handmade Holidays by Nathan Burgoine

♡From Jen27:

Here are some of mine from 2017.

Series:Whyborne & Griffin by Jordan L. Hawk (has been since it started)

New-to-me-Author:Kasia Bacon
Holiday story: Color of You by C.S. Poe (I was lucky enough to win an ARC.)
Audiobook: The Alpha King by Victoria Sue
Short Story: Dear Mona Lisa by Claire Davis & Al Stewart
I have way to many novels that I loved, but some of the authors who had multiple five star reads for me this year are: Jordan L. Hawk, Rhys Ford, Tal Bauer, Victoria Sue, Kasia Bacon, Keira Andrews, NR Walker, KJ Charles, Cat Sebastian, CS Poe, Eli Easton, Layla Reyne, Charlie Cochet, Annabeth Albert, Garrett Leigh, Santino Hassell, TJ Klune, Harper Fox

♡And Purple Reader:

hanks fro all the good recs. Certainly a lot to look into. I didn’t know if this was limited to 2017 releases, but as far as fantasy goes: I read and loved the first 4 in Andrew Q. Gordon’s Champion of the Gods series this year, and the latest (4th – Child of Night & Day) was this year.

Best of 2017 Giveaway

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  This week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up! Gift certificates, more than one, for participations and more.

Ends this Saturday, December 30th.  So get those lists in and let’s starting comparing!  Happy compiling! Must be 18 years old to enter.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

Sunday, December 24:

  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Candy Canes and Cappuccinos by Elizabeth Coldwell
  • An Alisa Review: The Icicles by R.W. Clinger
  • Almost There! The Best is Yet to Come 2017 Best of Lists Continue.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, December 25 – Merry Christmas Everyone!

  • Book BLITZ Get Up by Reece Pine
  • BLITZ Run in the Blood by A.E. Ross
  • Jared’s Fulfillment by Riley Hart Blog Tour
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Color of You by CS Poe
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Don’t Plan to Stay by Kaje Harper
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Homemade from the Heart by Bru Baker
  • A Stella Review: Like a Gentleman, by Eliot Grayson

Tuesday, December 26:

  • DSP Promo Scotty Cade on Someone To Kiss
  • Tour Blitz for Sin and Saint by J.M. Dabney
  • A Free Dreamer Review :In Blood and Pain by Aldrea Alien
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: The Billionaire’s Boxing Day Bargain by Ava Hayden
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sin & Saint (Executioners #4) by J.M. Dabney
  • An Ali Review: Will & Patrick’s Endless Honeymoon (Wake Up Married #7) by Leta Blake

Wednesday, December 27:

  • On tour:Blood’s Song by Tempeste O’Riley
  • DSP Promo KC Burn
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Being with Him by Mickie Ashling
  • An Alisa Review: I Only Want to Be With You by J Scott Coatsworth
  • A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: A Holiday Crush by CJane Elliott
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Someone to Kiss by Scotty Cade

Thursday, December 28:

  • Harmony Ink Promo RG Thomas
  • SEAN MICHAEL on Composing a Family
  • A LIla Review:  Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Katie Porter
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review:  Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore
  • A MelanieM Review:A Viking For Yule by Jamie Fessenden
  • An Ali Review : On Your Knees, Prospect by KA Merikan
  • An Alisa Review: Life on Pause by Erin McLellan

Friday, December 29:

  • Cover Reveal for La Famiglia (A Men of Gilead Novel) by Deanna Wadsworth
  • Release Blitz – Beyond The Tunnel – Dan Mitton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Eight Nights In December by Keira Andrews
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: New Game, Start by C.S. Poe
  • A MelanieM Review: 415 Ink: Rebel by Rhys Ford
  • An Alisa Review: Raven (Elsewhere #2) by H.J. Perry

Saturday, December 30:

  • A Lila Advent Release Day Review: The Werewolf before Christmas by Charles Payseur
  • A MelanieM Review: A Cop for Christmas by Jamie Fessenden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Candy Canes and Cappuccinos by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5 

Kyle is struggling to run his coffee shop on his own after his partner walked out on him. He has his eye on Steven, who comes into the shop each day, but hasn’t worked up the nerve to express his interest. When Steven asks Kyle to help out with Christmas lunch at the homeless shelter where he works, Kyle is too exhausted to agree. He donates his tips but still feels he’s blown his chances with Steven and made himself look like a selfish jerk.

On Christmas Day, Kyle sees a way to make amends—to both Steven and the needy people depending on his kindness. It’s the right thing to do, and Kyle hopes he can clear up the misunderstanding and show Steven the type of man he really is. Maybe then they can consider some dessert when the lunch at the shelter is over…

Kyle and Steven have been flirting with each other for months but never took anything further.  Kyle has worked hard to make his coffee shop successful and doesn’t think before he gives Steven an answer.  I did love how he stepped up when he was walking and knew the people from the shelter needed help.  Despite their flirting neither of them know much about each other and they get a little bit of a chance to talk.  However, I couldn’t help but feel that Steven pushed Kyle a bit too much once they were alone and I didn’t like the explanation that it means more so it’s okay

Cover Art by Paul Richmond is the series cover for the Stocking Stuffer 2017 Advent collection.  Humorous but doesn’t pertain to one story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 24 pages
Published: December 24, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

More of STRW Best of 2017! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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More of STRW Best of 2017!

This week we have more lists from our reviewers and some from our readers.   We have best books and best covers from Stella and Barb the Zany Old Lady.  Check out their recommendations.  See where they fall on your lists, if they made your lists or if you have read them at all and perhaps need to put them on your TBR lists!
That last always happens to me.
Then I started to include more lists from our readers as well.  The Best of Giveaway is still going on.  Look for it at the bottom of this post before our schedule of the week!  And now for Stella’s Best Books for 2017:

Stella’s BEST BOOKS of 2017

Be My Best Man by Con Riley
Permanent Ink by Piper Vaughn and Avon Gale
Spun! by JL Merrow
Haven’s War by Parker Williams
Back to You by Chris Scully
Gone by the Board by August Li
The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember
Wake Up Call by JL Merrow
Renaissance by Lillian francis
Beneath The Stars by Lynn Charles
Second Chances by TA Webb
Ringo and The Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus
Love Rising by Piper Vaughn
Lunch with the DoNothings at the Tammy Dinette by Killian B Brewer

BEST COVERS

The World in His Eyes by AJ Thomas
How to Save a Life by Eli Easton
The Half Wolf by Jay Northcote
The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

From Barb the Zany Old Lady

My top 10 for 2017, in any order (I can’t decide which is the best of all):
Slow Heat by Leta Blake
Tender With a Twist by Annabeth Albert
Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo
Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan
Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
On Point  by Annabeth Albert
Tender Mercies by Eli Easton
Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Trust with a Chaser by Annabeth Albert
Risky Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.

And from one of our Readers!

From Didi:

Sorting out the best list is what I never did – or at least announced – before. I’m not that organized, lol. Since I consider this year is one of the good reading year for me though, I have a few best-of-2017 list based on my reading. Here are a couple in a random order..

Best Suspense Romance
– Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge
– Risky Behavior by LA Witt & Cari Z
– Trustworthy by Astrid Amara
– Single Malt by Layla Reyne
– Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer

Best Covers
– Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge
– The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
– Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
– Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore
– The Castaway Prince by Isabelle Adler

Best of 2017 Giveaway

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  This week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up! Gift certificates, more than one, for participations and more.

Ends on Saturday, December 30th.  So get those lists in and let’s starting comparing!  Happy compiling! Must be 18 years old to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 17;

  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Welcome Home Soldier by Deanna Wadsworth
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:Table for One by Connie Bailey
  • More of STRW Best of 2017! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, December 18:

  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris’ Unexpected Christmas
  • Review Tour – Ruby Moone’s The Mistletoe Kiss
  • Riptide Publishing’s Tour and Giveaway: Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo
  • A Caryn Review:  The Mistletoe Kiss by Ruby Moone
  • A Lila Advent Release Day Review: Trading Tridents by C. M. Taylor
  • A Stella Review:  Yours For The Holiday by DJ Jamison
  • An Alisa Review: The Christmas Eve Craigslist Killer by Jill Wexler

Tuesday. December 19:

  • Blog Promotion Tour – Why I Left You by Colette Davison
  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga on Slip
  • Riptide Publishing Bluewater Bay Tour and Giveaway: New Hand by LA Witt.
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: New Hand (Bluewater Bay #23) by L.A. Witt
  • A Jeri Review: New Hand by LA Witt
  • A Kai Advent Release Day Review: All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Beloved Son (Aisling Trilogy#3) by Carole Cummings
  • A MelanieM Review: Why I Left You by Colette Davison

Wednesday, December 20:

  • Book Blitz – Jamie Fessenden – A Viking For Yule
  • Book Tour – Short Order by Pat Henshaw
  • DSP Promo SJD Peterson on Roger
  • A Kai Review:  Only with You (Only Colorado #1) by J.D. Chambers
  • A Lila Advent Release Day Review: Wreck the Halls (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Jessica Payseur
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The King’s Courage (North Pole City Tales #6) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Roger by SJD Peterson

Thursday, December 21:

  •  Jenn Burke on Fantasy and her story The Gryphon’s King’s Consort
  • A Holiday to Remember Tour (J. Scott Coatsworth)
  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • A MelanieM Review: Old Christmas Magic by Kassandra Lea
  • A Kai Advent Release Day Review: The Last Gift by Chrissy Munder
  • A MelanieM  Review: Old Christmas Magic by  Kassandra Lea
  • A VVivacious Review: Tournament of Champions by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: I Brake for Christmas by Michael P. Thomas

Friday, December 22:

  • BOOK TOUR – In Blood and Pain by Aldrea Alien
  • Cover Reveal – Lost In Time – A.L. Lester
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo B.G. Thomas
  • A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: The Holly Groweth Green by Amy Rae Durreson
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Slip (Recovery #2) by BA Tortuga
  • A MelanieM Review: Make The Yuletide Gay – Various Authors

Saturday, December 23:

  • DSP Promo B.G. Thomas
  • AN Alisa Advent Release Day Review: A Gift of Family by Tami Veldura
  • A MelanieM Review:  King (Executioners #3) by J.M. Dabney

Best of 2017’s Coming In! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Best of 2017’s Coming In!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviewers are chiming in this week.  Ali and Alisa both came up with their Best of 2017 lists for our readers!  Everything from Best Books to Best Covers!  See if some of yours are among their choices.  We want yours too so check out our giveaway just above this week’s schedule.  It’s open all month.
Now for the first of many (we hope) of 2017 Best of Lists this month!

Best in Books in 2017

From Ali:

These were my favorite reads of the year:
  • Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers
  • Everyday History by Alice Archer (although this was written last year so I don’t know if it counts)
  • Dear Mona Lisa by Claire Davis and Al Stewart
  • Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • Loose Cannon by Sidney Bell
  • Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
  • Circle by Garrett Leigh
  • We Three Kings by AF Henley
My favorite covers of the year:
The Poison Within by Kasia Bacon
Kidnapped by the Pirate by Keira Andrews
Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada
Half by Eli Lang
 

From Alisa:

Here are my top books for 2017.
 

2017 Top Novels
Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Christmas Eve Craigslist Killer by Jill Wexler
A Husband for Santa Claus by Missy Welsh
Vampire Claus by Robert Winter
Finding Home by Garrett Leigh
Nerdy Deeds by Tragen Moss
Without a Compass by Helen Juliet
Promises Part 3 by AE Via
Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby

Best Audiobooks of 2017
Until You by TJ Klune, narrator Reese Dante
The Deep of the Cound by Amy Lane, narrator Nick Russo
Kieran by Toni Griffin, narrator Nick Flint
Just Drive by LA Witt, narrator Nick Russo
Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C, narrator Charlie David

Best Series of 2017
Mates Collection by Cardeno C
A Nerd in the Hand by Tragen Moss
The Hollydale Omegas by Susi Hawke
Men of Meadowfall by Anna Wineheart
Ironwrought by Anna Wineheart
Common Powers by Lynn Lorenz
Three Wishes by Sean Michael
Roguefalls by April Kelly
The Omega Auction Chronicles by Kian Rhodes
Devils Pride MC by Jessie G

 
Best covers of 2017:
Best in Show by Kelly Jensen, cover artist Alexandria Corza
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish, cover artist Natasha Snow
Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue, cover artist Paul Richmond
Black Market Blood by Francis Gideon, cover artist AngstyG
Vampire Claus by Robert Winter, cover artist Dar Albert
 

Best of 2017 Giveaway

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  This week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up! Gift certificates, more than one, for participations and more.

Ends on Saturday, December 30th.  So get those lists in and let’s starting comparing!  Happy compiling! Must be 18 years old to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 10:

  • Best of 2017’s Coming In! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Blog Tour – His Taken Omega by L.C. Davis
  • Leaning Into a Wish by Lane Hayes Blog Tour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: The Puzzle Box (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by C.C. Bridges

Monday, December 11:

  • Blog tour *Masked Heart by Chris McHart
  • Blog tour for The Perfect Gift, by Joe Cosentino
  • Review Tour – Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A MelanieM Review: Not Just for Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: An Unlocked Mind (Secrets#2) by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Leaning Into A Wish (Leaning Into Stories #3.5)
    by Lane Hayes

Tuesday, December 12:

  • DSP Promo S.A. Stovall
  • Promotion Tour – Memory of Me by Jess Thomas
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Operation Green Card by GB Gordon
  • A MelanieM Review: The Unexpected Santa (The Sin Bin #5) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Review:  Desperately Seeking Santa by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Poison Marked (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by T.J. Nichol
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Dyeing to be Loved (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, December 13:

  • Blog Tour – Journey to Gaytopia by Joel Craig
  • Review Tour – RJ Scott’s Love Happens Anyway
  • In the Spotlight: Warlock Series By LM Somerton
  • A MelanieM Review:  Love Happens Anyway by RJ Scott
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Secrets and Silk by Nicole Dennis
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Short Order (Foothills Pride #8) by Pat Henshaw
  • A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: The Probability of Mistletoe (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by E.J. Russell

Thursday, December 14:

  • Tour for An Unlocked Mind by K.C. Well and Parker Williams
  • Book Tour – Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy
  • Review Tour – Secret Santa by Jay Northcote
  • An Alisa Review: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: A Timely Gift by Kris T. Bethke
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: (PreRelease Review) Kairos by Mary Calmes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Secret Santa by Jay Northcote

Friday, December 15:

  • Release Blitz – Short Order by Pat Henshaw
  • Review Tour for George Loveland’s On The Third Kiss
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke
  • A Stella Review: ​Cruising by Cate Ashwood
  • An Alisa Review: On The Third Kiss by George Loveland
  • A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: Christmas Grace (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by C.L. Miles

Saturday, December 16:

  • An Ali Advent Release Day Review: An Unexpected Sanctuary (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
    by Cassie Decker
  • A Barb Advent Release Day Review:  In Case Of Emergency by Keira Andrews

 

 

 

 

December,Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s December.

Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017

At the end of the year, it’s time to look back and reflect on everything and everyone that made an impact on us this year.  Instead of remembering what was lacking in 2017, better to remember on those things and people that made life better for us…all of us in 2017 and make note here.

I’m not talking just books this year but people too.  This year saw the passing of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words reviewer Paul Berg, someone who’s lively presence here in his reviews and in my emails telling me about his backgammon tournaments I still miss. This  year we also lost author Eric Arvin after a long illness, thankfully his amazing stories ensures his incredible mind, heart, and imagination will always be with us.  Those two people were just the main two that I was thinking of when writing about those that have made such a lasting impact on me this year.

And not just people.  Many of the older LGBT publishing houses closed or have announced they are closing.  That includes Loose ID on Friday after 13 years in operation.  They join Samhain Publishing, Torquere Press, Musa Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Wilde City Press, ARe (All Romance eBooks), and others that temporarily escapes me.  All gone or on the way out.    That represents a hosts of authors, editors, cover artists….so many people working to bring LGBTQIA stories to us where before our choices were slim to almost zero.  I don’t think I need to tell you that the competition is the primary reason.  I know they will tell you the same.

I think of all the first time authors who were cared for by these presses, helped to craft their stories and then given a place for us to find them long before Amazon ever cared about our niche fiction and its readers.  How they will all be missed but what an amazing impact they left behind. For that alone, they should be remembered.

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  Next week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up!

Now, this week more Advent Release Day Reviews and holiday stories, along with our regular release day reviews, tours and giveaways.  Something for everyone!  Happy Reading.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, December 3:

  • Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017
  • Romeo Preminger on Thiago
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: The Peppermint Schnapps Predicament by Clare London
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Thiago by Romeo Preminger
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Laugh Cry Repeat by John Inman

Monday, December 4:

  • Dyeing to be Loved by Aimee Nicole Walker Audio Tour
  • Review Tour – Joanna Chambers’  Merry & Bright
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Regret Me Not by Amy Lane
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers by Brandon Witt
  • An Ali Review:  Merry & Bright by Joanna Chambers

Tuesday, December 5:

  • Dreamspinner Press Promo Tara Lain on Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6)
  • INTERLUDE TOUR If the Fates Allow Holiday Anthology
  • Spotlight on Only With You by JD Chambers
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Junkyard Heart by Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Salvaging Claus Day by J. Alan Veerkamp
  • A MelanieM Review: The Botanist (The Sin Bin #3) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Review: If the Fates Allow Holiday Anthology
  • An Alisa Review: My Choice, My Chance by Taylor Rylan

Wednesday, December 6:

  • DSP Publications Promo David C. Dawson
  • Release Blitz for Love Happens Anyway  by RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz for Raven by HJ Perry
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: ​Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6) by Tara Lain
  • A Stella Advent Release Day Review: The Mature Man’s Guide to Surviving Change by Chris Scully
  • An Alisa Review: Corey’s Christmas Bundle (Atherton Pack 5) by Toni Griffin

Thursday, December 7:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Julia Talbot
  • Spotlight on Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz for Jesus Kid by Kayleigh Sky
  • Release Blitz for On Your Knees, Prospect by KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: An Open Window by Rick R. Reed
  • A MelanieM Review: Hurricane (Stormy Weather #3)  by B.A. Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back #3) by Felice Stevens and Kale Williams (Narrator)

Friday, December 8:

  • Amy Lane on Writing, Books, and her release Regret Me Not
  • Solstice Prince by SJ Himes Blog Tour
  • Review Tour : Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A MelanieM Review:Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Once Bitten (A Darker Hollow #2) by Shannon West and T.S. McKinney
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

Saturday, December 9:

  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Pining for Perfect by Ki Brightly
  • Blog Tour Snow Falling by Davidson King
  • Release Blitz for Ruby Moone’s The Mistletoe Kiss 

 

 

Publisher Loose Id is Closing

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Publisher Loose Id is Closing

An announcement came out yesterday on Facebook from Loose Id that after 13 years, they are closing up.  It seems that like Samhain Publishing, Wilde City Press, and others before it, the cost of competition and doing business is just too high.  Such a shame to lose such another class act in our world of LGBT stories.  They will be missed.

If you have any books or want any books from authors there, make sure you get them before the May deadline.  And you might want to stop by their Facebook page and drop them a note if you feel so inclined.

This is Loose ID’s notice:

All things, it’s said, must come to an end. For Loose Id, that time has come. Rather than risk the reputation and goodwill that we have worked very hard to build, on May 7, 2018, we’ll be closing our doors for good. We want to thank all of our authors, artists, editors, employees, customers and friends for your help making this company a success.

This is not a decision made in haste, panic or financial distress. The market has changed over the past few years, and a four-person company can no longer compete effectively with the Amazon mega-store. As of this message, we are closed for submissions.

We want to assure you, our customers and friends, that authors and staff are being paid, purchases will be honored, and we will remain in constant communication throughout the closing process. We will do our best to monitor social media during this busy time, but if you have questions, email through our satisfaction@loose-id.com email will be the best channel. We will be compiling questions from that account to repost for everyone’s convenience.

Thirteen years, more than three thousand titles and four hundred authors, and uncountable smiles–it’s been a hell of a ride. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for sharing this journey.