Of Comfort Reads and Love Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Comfort Reads and Love Stories

We’ve been talking about our top books for comfort reading and love stories, some of which have ended up on each list with authors common to both.  I had to admit it got me thinking what makes a ‘comfort read’? What is that indefinable something a story contains or that an author offers that makes us want to read it over and over again.? Is that its a “known quantity”? That we go into that story knowing that the pleasures (and even some pain) it holds are ones that not only have touched us so deeply but that fulfill some hope or want in us?  Tales that reach us in multiple ways?  We love these men, their journey to love and a long term relationship, whether it be a contemporary world or something supernatural or otherworldly.  And we love these authors and their talent to create not only believable, vivid men and beings as well as for their ability in which they pull us into their characters lives and worlds over and over again, making it feel like home every time we read these stories.

That’s a wonderful gift and it shows in how many of the same authors and stories/series show up in list after list, including my own.  My gratitude to them.  And thank you to all our readers who contributed these last few weeks and days, letting us look into your favorite lists and authors too.  You’ve definitely added to my TBR pile and brought back a few books I’ve forgotten. Thank you!

Of course, our lists keep growing as we find new authors and new stories to share with you and hopefully, you our readers to share with us.  I love reading your lists too.

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Here’s some of our readers favorite couples and Love stories/series:

♡H.B. loves:

Jory and Sam from Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series
Jin and Logan from Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series
Rand and Stefan from Mary Calmes’ Timing Series
Ty and Zane from Abigail Roux/Madeleine Urban’s Cut & Run series
The couples (Dex/Sloane, Ashe/Cael, Calvin/Ethan) from Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series
Tucker and Elliot from Josh Lanyon’s All’s Fair series
Kit and J.X. from Josh Lanyon’s Holmes & Moriarity series
Gaven and Vlar from J.C. Owen’s Gaven series
Neil and Andrew from Nora Sakavic’s All for the Games series

(I agree H.B.  You  named Tucker and Elliot, 2 I left off of mine by accident, Gaven and Vlar because I had just forgotten about them!  Argh! Thank you for  bringing them back to mind.)

♡From Didi:

Jonty and Orlando, and Ty and Zane by Abigail Roux (and by Madeleine Urban)
Here’s my addition favorite couples to the above:
– Kit and JX from Holmes & Moriarity series by Josh Lanyon
– Tucker and Elliot from Fair Game by Josh Lanyon
– Mark and Stephen from I Spy series
– James and Sedgwick from the Dickens with Love
– Lucien and Stephen from A Charm of Magpie series
– Whyborne and Griffin from Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series
– David and Murdo from Enlightenment series

Again, thanks, Didi, I see  some I’ve been meaning to get too.  This is a wonderful reminder!

♡And from Jen:

Some of my favorite couples are:
Whyborne and Griffin from Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series
Jonty and Orlando from the Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows series
Cole and Jae from Rhys Ford’s Cole McGinnis series
Charlie and Travis from NR Walker’s Red Dirt series
Laurie and Sasha from Harper Fox’s A Midwinter Prince series
Gray/Caleb & John from Jordan L. Hawk’s SPECTR series
Crick and Deacon from Amy Lane’s Promises series

Crick and Deacon were on my Comfort list, Jen, but I so agree with you!  So were Charlie and Travis, Cole and Jae, love them!  Do you know there are series here I need to add to my list?  Yay! Thank you all to add to my staggeringly high TBR pile!

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Winner Announcements!

♥︎Winners of our Comfort Story Reads are:

Purple Reader
Shirley Ann

♥︎Winner of our Love Story Read/List is:

Didi

 

Congratulations to you all.  Stella will be in touch with you about your prizes.  Now all our readers keep you eyes turned to us for more giveaways coming soon!  Meteorological Spring is within 2 weeks.  I’m sure we’ll think of some way to celebrate new beginnings and the coming of Spring!  Give me your suggestions and stay with us!

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Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.   We handed out a new list of questions to authors for our author interviews and the results have been wonderful.  Everything from how they feel about their covers to what they think about ebooks and Gary Stu writing.  Don’t miss out on those.  Plus we have plenty of Release Day Reviews and audiobook reviews for those who  love to listen as well as read!  Something for everyone!

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 19:

  • Of Comfort Reads and  Love Stories
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 20:

  • Release Blitz – Find Me (Rent Me Series #5) by Brina Brady
  • Release Day Blitz College Discipline by Caitlin Ricci
  • Release Day Blitz Unzipping 7d by J.C. Long
  • A Jeri Review: Down By Contact by Sloan Johnson
  • A Lila Review: A-dork-able by J.D. Walker
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tropical Depression by BA Tortuga
  • A PaulB  Review: Dead Camp book 3 by Sean Kerr

Tuesday, February 21:

  • Review Tour – NR Walker’s Imago 
  • Jared’s Family Blogger Tour and Giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Poppy’s Secret
  • Review Tour – Lyssa Dering’s fangjunkie27
  • A MelanieM Review:  Imago by NR Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Love (Leaning Into #1) by Lane Hayes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Unzipping 7D (Unzipped Shorts #2) by J.C. Long

Wednesday, February 22:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Catt Ford on Cross My Heart
  • TWO NATURES* by Jendi Reiter 4 Tour
  • A Caryn Review: Unspoken by R.A. Padmos
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Off Stage (Off Stage #1-2) by Jaime Samms
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Rushing Love (States of Love) by Meg Bawden
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Murmuration by T.J. Klune and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Thursday, February 23:

  • DSP GUEST POST Meg Bawden on Rushing Love
  • Release Day Blitz Justin’s Season by S. M. Sawyer
  • RIPTIDE BLOG TOUR Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk
  • An Alisa Review: Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Open Road by M.J. O’Shea and Robbie D (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review:  Everything Changes (Resilient Love #1) by Melanie Hansen and Robert Nieman (Narrator)

Friday, February 24:

  • DSP GUEST POST Matthew Lang on Better with Bacon
  • Book Blitz: Fallen Angel by Eden Winters
  • Release blitz: AFTER THE FIRE by Felice Stevens
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Ringo and the Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus
  • A PaulB  Review: Max (Demon Elite 7) by April Kelley
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kieran: The Atherton Pack 4 By Toni Griffin
  • A PaulB  Review: The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4) by Anna Butler

Saturday, February 25:

  • 3 day release blitz: *Snapshots by Addison Albright*
  • DSP GUEST POST Ariel Tachna on Talking in Code
  • A MelanieM Review: Man and Tree by Wayne Mansfield

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A Stella Release Day Review: Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

letters-from-cupid-by-ari-mckayAfter breaking up with his partner, English professor Dr. Derek Chandler feels like a failure who will never win at romance. His aloof colleague, Dr. Macon Pinney, disagrees and pens an anonymous note of encouragement to Derek, which he signs “Cupid.” Thus begins an exchange of correspondence, a courtship through words where the two men find out they have a great deal in common. Meanwhile, Derek reaches out to Macon, not knowing Macon is his anonymous pen pal. Derek reveals through his letters that someone close by has piqued his interest. Could he mean Macon—or has Macon missed his opportunity and lost Derek to another man?

Perhaps the time has come for Cupid to put in an appearance, and when better to do so than Valentine’s Day?

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2015.

Surprisingly Letters From Cupid was the first book I read by Ari McKay. This is actually a second edition but I haven’t read the previous one so I am not sure how much the story was revisited.

Derek has just been left by his boyfriend, he’s a little depressed especially because Valentine’s Day is approaching but he is well aware his ex boyfriend wasn’t the right person and Derek wasn’t really in love with him. Now he is single and some days before Valentine’s Day he finds a letter from Cupid in his office at the University he works as an English professor. From that moment a correspondence between Cupid and Derek begins.

Macon teaches creative writing at the same University, he is a reserved man, the hermit of the English department. Until one night a flat tire will bring him to know Derek, his neighbour of offices.  And between a chat, a coffee and a croissant, the crush is assured.

I liked the writing style a lot, I was caught in the story since the first words I read and it was a quick and easy. I liked the double POVs, I followed the MCs thoughts and wishes and it was a beautiful journey. I found the novellas cute and sweet, I loved how Derek and Macon met, and I adored the final part, to know a little more of what happened to them was perfect.

I feel to recommend Letters From Cupid by Ari McKay, it’s the right story to read on this Valentine’s Day or any other day you want. I’m surely going to check out more stories written by these two authors.

The cover art by Bree Archer is adorable. I love it.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 2nd Edition, 94 pages

Expected publication: February 14th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 4th 2015)

ISBN 1635334454 (ISBN13: 9781635334456)

Edition Language English

Fall in Love with ‘Jared’s Family’ by V.S. Morgan (tour and Valentine’s Day excerpt)

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Title: Jared’s Family

Series: Sequel to The Gift and Sam’s Temptation (can be read as a standalone)
Author: V.S. Morgan 
Genre: m/m, Interracial, Contemporary, Western 
Cover Designer: Tibbs Design
Release Date: February 14, 2017

After witnessing his mother’s death, a once outgoing preschooler is now a quiet shadow of himself. The little boy suffers nightmares and rarely speaks, choosing to use the basic sign language he learned in daycare. Desperate to help his little nephew, Virge Stevens takes a leave of absence from the LAPD to bring Donovan, known as D to Montana for the therapy he needs.


A chance meeting at the library changes Virge and his nephew’s lives forever.

Jared Malone is one of five brothers, right smack damn in the middle. He is the peacemaker and the one who gets shit done. When his younger brother gets sick, Jared fills in reading to small children at the library. There he encounters a tall, dark, and handsome stranger and his cute little boy. Jared is immediately drawn to Virge but is still dealing with the betrayal of an abusive ex.

As the Malone family welcomes them to the ranch and into their lives, Virge’s instant attraction for Jared grows, but the cowboy is fifteen years younger than him. Will he be rejected?

Both men have secrets. Secrets that could destroy the connection between them. Can they overcome the odds and find happiness together?


Another blond cowboy stood in the middle, working with a horse. He had a long rope around its neck, guiding it around the ring at a quick clip. The shirtless cowboy spoke in a firm yet quiet tone. Virge nearly choked on his tongue, eyeing the golden skin and muscles on display. This was their cowboy.

The man whistled, and the horse stopped. He rubbed its shoulder, his back to them, as they reached the ring’s split-rail fence.

 


“Daddy!” D shrieked, and the horse whinnied and shied, bumping into the man as it swung around.

 


“Whoa, easy, Spike,” the cowboy soothed.

 


Virge struggled to prevent his nephew from launching out of his arms while the cowboy calmed the large, skittish animal. He’d never been near a horse and was struck by its size and power, which the other man skillfully controlled. As the cowboy turned, Virge saw a tattoo on his chest. A redwing blackbird with a rainbow-hued ribbon dangling from its beak. His heart beat a little faster seeing the colorful ink. Could he be gay? The cowboy handed the rope to a dark-haired man before pulling on a T-shirt that stretched tight over those muscles. He suppressed a disappointed sigh.

 


Nate chuckled. “You’ve got some explaining to do, bro.”

 


“Hi, I’m Jared. I remember you from the library.” He approached with a rolling gait Virge found extremely sexy and offered his hand after wiping it against his denim-clad thigh. Damn, he was built all over and tall, just an inch or two shorter than his own height.

 


Virge shook his hand, hyperaware of the firm grasp of warm, work-hardened skin. “I’m Virge, and this is Donovan. He goes by D.”

“Glad you could make it out—”

 


“Why did he call Jared daddy?” Nate interrupted.

 


“He calls all men daddy and women mommy. If he especially likes someone, he adds their first names. D doesn’t talk much, so he must like Jared.” What about this cowboy had inspired his nephew to talk?

 

 

V.S. Morgan has lived all over the US but calls Minnesota her home now. Her family includes her hubby, teen son, and a menagerie of pets.

 

She’s been writing stories since she could hold a pencil and dreams of happily-ever-afters – even for two hot men – because love knows no boundaries. V.S. writes IRMC contemporary, paranormal, and suspense m/m and m/f with heart. 

 

V.S. is a GLBT ally and a lifetime contributor of The Trevor Project.

 

HOSTED BY:

Its Writing, Research and Their Latest Release ‘Letters from Cupid’ by Ari McKay (author interview)

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Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host McKay of the writing duo known as Ari McKay here today to talk about their latest release Letters from Cupid.  Welcome, McKay!

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Hi, I’m the McKay half of Ari McKay! I’d like to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for giving me the opportunity to be a guest blogger today. Ari and I are currently celebrating the release of our Valentine’s Day story, Letters from Cupid, from Dreamspinner Press.

I loved the questions that Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words provided, so I’m going to answer some of those!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I think it’s safe to say there’s always a little bit of Ari and me in the characters we write. In Letters from Cupid, I wrote Macon, who is a tenured professor in creative writing. I was going to say that Macon isn’t the character who is closest to me out of all our books, but now that I’m thinking about it, he’s pretty close! We’re both academics and creative writers who are introverted, single, and over forty. There’s one scene in which I shamelessly channeled my own opinion through him, and that’s when I let Macon go on a little rant about administration bloat. I could have easily let that rant go on for a good page or more because I have Opinions. I will say his view on faculty meetings and departmental parties isn’t that far from mine either. 😉

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

Not really. I think what makes a character a Mary Sue/Gary Stu is their lack of flaws. Everyone loves them, and every obstacle is easily overcome because of their intelligence/super powers/whatever. There’s no real character growth because the character is already “perfect”, and there’s no real conflict.

To me, that’s very different from using your own experiences to create a character. For example, I used a lot of my experiences in academia to create Macon, but I wouldn’t consider him a Gary Stu because he’s an imperfect character, and forcing himself to emerge from his introvert bubble in order to help Derek changes him over the course of the story.

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

Ari and I both enjoy doing research. We’re both history buffs, and when we write historical books, we like to make sure we’re getting the details right. So having to do research doesn’t deter us from writing in a particular genre. We enjoy world-building as well, so for us, it comes down to asking “How hard is this plot bunny gnawing on our ankles?” rather than “Do we want to tackle research/world-building?”. If we feel strongly enough about a particular story, we’ll write it, regardless of genre.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

HEA! I think Ari would agree with me when I say we have enough problems, stress, and things out of our control in our real lives that we like being able to fix things for our characters. Writing HEA romances is a form of escapism for us. We may put our characters through the angst mill, but we’ll make it up to them by the end every time.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I know there are a lot of print purists, and I like the weight of a real book in my hand as much as the next bookworm, but I think ebooks have their advantages as well. I like that I’ve got an extensive library on my phone as well as on my bookshelves. I used to carry a book everywhere, but now I whip out my phone to read while I’m waiting at the doctor’s office.

I think, too, that the rise of ebooks has been beneficial to writers. There are now other avenues for getting published than the traditional publishing houses, and I think having those choices is beneficial for the authors and readers.

There are drawbacks as well. We’ve seen some indie publishers go under in the last year, but I’m inclined to attribute some of that to less than stellar management. Amazon has the potential to saturate the market with self-published works that haven’t known the touch of an editor’s hand.

I think overall, the ebooks market is going to thrive, and it’s not going to spell the end of the print book market because there are plenty of people – myself included – who like reading words on a page instead of a screen sometimes. I think there’s room in the world for both.

What’s next for you as an author?

Right now, we’re finishing up a revision of Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows, which is a 2nd edition story that will be released by Dreamspinner Press in September. After that, we’ve got a to-do list lined up: the first book in a new light contemporary series, a new Herc’s Mercs book, and another book for Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun line. We’re never at a loss for something to write! Our main problem is time. Too many plot bunnies, too little time.

Thanks again to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting us on our blog tour!

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About Letters from Cupid

After breaking up with his partner, English professor Dr. Derek Chandler feels like a failure who will never win at romance. His aloof colleague, Dr. Macon Pinney, disagrees and pens an anonymous note of encouragement to Derek, which he signs “Cupid.” Thus begins an exchange of correspondence, a courtship through words where the two men find out they have a great deal in common. Meanwhile, Derek reaches out to Macon, not knowing Macon is his anonymous pen pal. Derek reveals through his letters that someone close by has piqued his interest. Could he mean Macon—or has Macon missed his opportunity and lost Derek to another man?

Perhaps the time has come for Cupid to put in an appearance, and when better to do so than Valentine’s Day?

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About the Authors

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

CONTACTS:

Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and surely Love is in the Air!  All those hearts, balloons, and boxes of chocolates and other signs of romance all around are making me think of so many things, like the best love stories in movies and of course, in books (cue the soundtrack to Doctor Zhivago)!  We can all remember the traditional love stories, meaning het of course! I’m sure they are popping into mind even now.  Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere (Arthur got a raw deal I think), Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Paris and Helena,Tristan and Isolde…most ended unhappily I know.  But ah,  how bright their love and passion burned!  We can even think of our happy love movies.  Love Actually is played constantly during the holiday season (love has so many faces).

But how about LGBTQIA love?  Is Brokeback Mountain the first movie that comes to mind?  How about Shelter or Big Eden or Latter Days?  They didn’t have big names attached to them but the romance and love left you smiling instead of feeling torn apart.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day watching!  What’s your recommendations for Valentine’s Day binge watching?

I can remember my very first novel, outside of fanfiction (K/S among others) that was not only M/M but had a happy ending.  That was The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I still have my hardback copy.  It was a revelation.  The idea of m/m romance and love with the possibility of a future in some way. The Catch Trap was published in 1979 which was when I first read it so a future then is markably different then the way in which LGBTQIA romance (and marriage) is regarded today (bigotry not withstanding).  Some of my comfort reads are also my favorite love stories but not all. Some of my favorite couples also had pain, loss and suspense attached to their stories as well.  Here are some of those.

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Some of My Favorite Couples and Their Series in no particular order:

Ty and Zane of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series (some written with Madeleine Urban)

Lucky and Bo of Eden Winter’s Diversion series

Jory and Sam of Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series

Jin and Logan of Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series

Adrien and Jake from The Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon

Jonty and Orlando from Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries

Jim and Griffin as well as Evan and Matt from Tere Michaels’ Faith, Love & Devotion series

And this is without adding in those couples from my comfort list books!  There’s more as well.  Do you have your favorite couples?  Tell me which ones I missed!

Goodreads has its own Listopia: Best Gay/Lesbian Fiction With Happy Endings (140 books).  You might check out this list too.    But back to your favorite couples and your favorite love stories.  What love stories jump into your mind when I say  “Romance”!  That love with a capital L story where “one swims the oceans, fights all the fights, does everything they must to be with the one they love” story.  Give us your list and see if you come up with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day gift card!

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Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.

Yes its time for the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.  Give us your list of either top couples and their story or top love stories with your email address. One random reader will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate by midnight next Sunday, February 18th.  This is a quick contest so get your lists in this week.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

And as a reminder, our Comfort Reads Giveaway also closes on the 17th.  So here is two chances to win a gift certificate.

📚Comfort Reads Giveaway from Last Week!

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Now for this week’s schedule.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 12:

  • Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review:  Flaunt by E. Davies

Monday, February 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Letters from Cupid
  • DSP GUEST POST Tara Lain on Fire Balls
  • Release Day Blitz The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • A Caryn Review: Too Soon For Love by Kimberly Gardner
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Jerricho’s Freedom by Jake C. Wallace
  • A VVivacious Review: The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day):

  • DSP GUEST POST Evelise Archer on Jaeger
  • DSP GUEST POST Lila Leigh Hunter on Dating in Retrospect
  • Jared’s Family by VS Morgan Release Blitz and Giveaway
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Yes, Professor by Renae Kaye
  • A PaulB Review: The Atherton Pack 4 by Toni Griffin
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: Warlock in Training by TJ Nichols

Wednesday, February 15:

  • DSP PUBLICATIONS GUEST POST TJ Nichols on Warlock in Training
  • Release Blitz Clare London – How The Other Half Lives
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The New Wolf (Building the Pack #1) by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blossom of the Samurai by Sedonia Guillone
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

Thursday, February 16:

  • DSP GUEST POST Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia on Wounded Pride
  • Release Day Blitz Learning to Want by Tami Veldura
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Kate Steele
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Hanging The Stars (Half Moon Bay #2) by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Behr Facts (Foothills Pride #3) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Friday, February 17:

  • Suki Fleet – Foxes Tour and Giveaway
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Stella Review: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A Caryn Review: How The Other Half Lives by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Foxes by Suki Fleet

Saturday, February 18:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York
  • A MelanieM Review: Danced Close (Portland Heat, #6) by Annabeth Albert

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An Alisa Review: Silent Night by Shawn Bailey

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

silent-night-by-shawn-baileySometimes it takes a little divine intervention to make someone see the error of their ways.

 

Hunter Beams is only eighteen years old but he’s tired of the world. Orphaned since birth, moved from one foster home to another and then gets fired from a minimum wage job just because he wouldn’t sleep with the boss. He is tired of getting bullied because of his sexuality. Nothing about him is normal not his size, his looks or his damn hair. Losing his job is the last straw. He is just going to end it all because he is just too damn tired of trying to survive.

 

Thirty year old Donte Womac has it all…a comfy townhouse in Chelsea, an active social life, a stable of cars and a cushy job. Then tragedy strikes and a young man lay dying in his arms. Then Donte discovers that all the money in the world can’t help a person who wants to kill himself.

 

This story was heartwarming and shows that when you meet the right person at the right time then everything will eventually work out.  Unfortunately Donte will have to help Hunter heal before they can really see if they are right for each other.  Hunter is so adorably sweet and innocent; he just hasn’t had an easy road in life and doesn’t see a reason to continue.  Donte will do anything to show Hunter that life is worth living, but doesn’t know what to do when Hunter doesn’t want him to spend his wealth on him and isn’t impressed by it.

 

This story is told from both characters’ points of view so we get to see them a bit more clearly.  They both come from such different backgrounds and Hunter doesn’t want to take from Donte, but really Donte is almost as innocent as Hunter is emotionally.  I loved both of these characters and how they interacted with each other and the side characters and in the end this book gave me the warm and fuzzy I was looking for when I went to read it.

 

Cover art is very nice and give great visuals for both of the characters.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 150 pages

Published: December 15, 2016 by MLR Press

Edition Language: English

The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Last of the Best of 2016

 

As this is the last weekend of the month, we will finish up our Best of 2016 and leave that year behind.  So here’s the last of our Best of Lists of 2016.  We are well on our way to accumulating our lists for 2017.  I know that Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) by Amy Tasukada and There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford are already on my list for this year.  Wow.  That’s a great start!

Our Contest ends tonight so there’s plenty of time still to get your list in:

STRW 2016 Best of Giveaway

We will pick one random reader who leaves a comment with their year end Best of (along with their email addresses) to receive a $10 DSP gift card.   Contest ends January 29, at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

Paul and I are up today.  So let’s hear from PaulB next on his favorites from 2016:

PaulB’s Best of the Year 2016

From Paul B: I am going to cheat a bit here.  Normally these lists are top ten kinds of affairs.  However, since a lot of the books that I read and review are from series, I’m going to abbreviate my list and group books in series together if they were released this year. 

Top Books/Series of 2016

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Best Covers of 2016

WolfsongFor A Dragon's Persuasion coverfor-a-dragons-controlFor a Dragon's Enthusiasm (Highland Dragons #9) by Charlie RichardsFor A Dragon's Redemption coverEnemies of the Stateenemy-of-my-enemy-by-tal-bauerinterlude-first-noel-by-tal-bauer

 

 

 

 

 

~📚~

  • Wolfsong  by TJ Klune, Cover Artist Reese Dante—The simple paw prints on a black background sets the mood of the book
  • Highland Dragon series by Charlie Richards, Cover artist Angela Waters—Ms Waters never fails to create stunning covers for this fantasy series set in Medieval Scotland
  • Running Blind by Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes, Cover artist Anna Sikorski—The two arms linked together by a cord sums up the book perfectly
  • Demon Elite series by April Kelley, Cover artist Latrisha Waters—Simple cover always captures the essence of the title characters of the books.
  • Executive Office series by Tal Bauer, Cover artist Natasha Snow—Gorgeous Washington settings with perfect representations of the main characters

CrashWolf Demon EliteCosmoAshley

MelanieM’s Favorite’s  of 2016

Devil at the Crossroads

Favorite Covers of 2016

The ForesterThe Forester II- Lost and Found coverFull CircleA Triad in Three ActsUntilSeptember_600x900Dormant HeartUnder a Sky of AshOut of Nowhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Covers of The Tales of the Forest by Blaine D. Arden – Cover art by Simone

Until September by Chris Scully, Cover art by Lou Harper

Fantasy for a Gentleman (A Planet Called Wish #2) by Caitlin Ricci, Cover art by Caitlin Ricci

Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Kanaxa

Devil at the Crossroads by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Jared Rackler

Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish, Cover art by Angsty G

Dormant Heart by Lane Swift, Cover art by Anna Sikorska

Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt, Cover Art by Anne Cain

Do-Gooder by J.Leigh Bailey, Cover art by Aaron Anderson

The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase, Cover art by Reese Dante

Fantasy for a Gentlemando-gooder-by-j-leigh-baileyTheCircusoftheDamned_500x750the-unlikely-prospect-by-lex-chase

 

 

 

 

 

With special nod to the stylized covers of Will and Patrick Get Married, yes all of them.  Just a delight!  I don’t know who the artist is.  If you do, please let me know.

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Unlike my covers, most of which had a lush artistic look, my favorite books ran the complete spectrum of fictional genres from contemporary to supernatural to fantasy to science fiction.  Three were series finales, four actually if you include Full Circle.  If you haven’t read any of these trilogies/series, start now!

Favorite Stories of  2016

Our readers still commented with their favorites.

From Our Readers:

📚jenf27 

Thanks for sharing your lists! I loved a lot of those same books. Here is my list from last year:

Fallow by Jordan L .Hawk
A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Hexworld series by Jordan L. Hawk
The Weight of It All by NR Walker
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
Wolfsong by TJ Klune
The Mermaid Murders by Josh Lanyon
Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell*
Inversion Point by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Phase Shift by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford
Foxes by Suki Fleet
King’s Rising by C.S. Pacat
Dancer of Death by Jordan L. Hawk
Nightingale by Aleksandr Voinov
Cold Fusion by Harper Fox

📚Didi:

Thanks for sharing your list, I saw quite a number of titles I haven’t read, so this really help me to add more to my TBR. My own best of 2016 is not much; Jordan L. Hawk’s Fallow & Hexmaker, Josh Lanyon’s So This Is Christmas, Lloyd A. Meeker’s Stick & Stones.

Keep those lists coming!

Announcements

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Wilde City will be closing its doors in 2017.  They were another wonderful press and will be greatly missed. From their authors and stories to their amazing covers, Wilde City Press was a class act! From Ethan and Wilde City Press, their announcement:

To all our friends, readers, reviewers and fans of our authors,


Due to various personal reasons it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close Wilde City Press. We have enjoyed every moment of our journey over the past four years, and want to thank everyone who has been a part of our adventure.

 

Over the next few months we will be ensuring that everyone who has worked with Wilde City will be paid in full and have their rights returned to them. We are very proud of the work our authors and editors have given to the world, and we hope these books will be published again to be enjoyed for many more years to come. For members of our book club, we will give you plenty of time to back-up any files you have purchased through our site so you don’t lose anything.

 

We want to say a sincere thank you to all the authors who put their faith in us, the readers who have supported us and the incredible friendships we’ve made over the years. Rest assured we are not disappearing from our beloved industry; Ethan and Geoff will continue writing as authors, Adrian will continue to design amazing book covers, and all of us will forever be a part of this cherished tribe of book lovers.

 

From your friends at Wilde City Press,

Ethan, Geoff, Tracy and Adrian

So long, Wilde City Press!  We will miss you!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 29:

  • Release Blitz – Cristina Bruni’s Seven Days
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Undertow: A Whyborne & Griffin Universe Story by Jordan L Hawk
  • The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 30:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ki Brightly on Trust Trade 
  • Release Day Blitz The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • Review Tour – Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates 4) by Jay Northcote
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • An Ali Review: Falling into Darkness by LM Brown

Tuesday, January 31:

  • Blog Tour: Adrift by Isabelle Adler (excerpt and giveaway)
  • In the Spotlight: Soothsayer by Cari Z (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Release Blitz: Rick R Reed’s A Face without a Heart
  • A Lila Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Face Without a Heart by Rick R. Reed
  • A Paul B Review:  Descent of Kings: Books BUNDLE by Maria Albert
  • An Ali Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • An Ali Review: Stallions and Ice by Stephani Hecht

Wednesday, February 1:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • Cover Reveal for Secrets of You by Skylar M. Cates
  • “Spell Fall” by Jacob Z. Flores tour and giveaway
  • An Alisa Review: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8) by Charlie Cochet
  • An Alisa Review: American Telepath (Dragons Schooled #2) by Emily Carrington
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Inheritance by Sean Michael

Thursday, February 2:

  • Blog tour  for COZZI COVE: STEPPING OUT by Joe Cosentino (guest post)
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on Inheritance
  • A Caryn Review: The Star of Versailles by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham
  • A Lila Review:  The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Crime Wave by Adam Carpenter narrated by Joel Leslie
  • An Alisa Review:  Silent Night by Shawn Bailey

Friday, February 3:

  • DSP GUEST POST Z. Allora on The Craving
  • BLOG TOUR The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan
  • Terrible Twos by Megs Pritchard tour and giveaway
  • A MelanieM Review: Happy Medium (Club Raven #1) by Julia Talbot
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: The Craving by Z. Allora
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Saturday, February 4:

  • The Fire Trilogy – RJ Scott Tour
  • A Paul B Review: For a Dragon’s Control (Highland Dragons #10) by Charlie Richards
  • A MelanieM Review: Wishful Thinking (Club Raven #2) by Kiernan Kelly

 

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An Alisa Review: Rockin’ the ‘Nog (Seasons of Change #2) by Michelle King

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

rocking-the-nogKyle had been riding in the back of Logan’s cab for months—so he could become a familiar face among Portland’s rent boy culture for his case. His job as a county prosecutor often made relationships difficult and his gayness continued to be a stressor, law of the land or not. More problematic, the driver of the cab Logan was triggering every bit of interest he had.

 

What he wouldn’t give to be able to touch and taste that guy…but no. He was there for his case. And getting a blow on the “down low”, while enjoyable, only took the edge off.

 

Twice a month, Logan drove the city attorney around Portland’s seedier streets, playing tour guide to the man he’d come to like. To really like, and wanted to “like” more.

 

Earlier that week, Logan had received a text canceling this Friday’s trip into “the Dark Side.” Canceling a cab ride was fine but he wasn’t interested in canceling his time with Kyle. He’d already formed a plan for their evening that began with a glass of eggnog.

 

Kyle plans on spending the holiday weekend pretty much drinking his trouble away while at home alone, however Logan isn’t going to let that happen.  These two had great chemistry in bed, but had trouble putting aside other worries in their real lives.  I think their time together just kind of became like an escape from everything else.

 

We get to see how both characters are thinking and feeling, but I wasn’t really left with the impression that I knew the characters all that well.  The story has connections to the author’s Portland’s Men series and I was thinking it would be more along those lines, but with all the background the story had these men didn’t really seem to be doing more than getting together for the night with only the slight possibility of a future.  For a short holiday read this is a nice story, I was just expecting something a bit different.

 

Cover art by GD Leigh is a great picture of Blau and Rob.

 

Sales Links: Loose Id | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 55 pages

Published: December 5, 2016 by Loose Id

ISBN: 9781682522646

Edition Language: English

Series: Seasons of Change #2, Portland’s Men

An Alisa Review: Twelve Gifts by Casper Graham

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

twelve-giftsDylan Hughes owns a small bakery. He’s doing what he loves and business is good, but he’s lonely. After a bad relationship, he’s been keeping to himself, and things are worse during the Christmas season. Then there is his unrequited crush on Aaron Tyler.

 

Aaron is a successful event planner. He and Dylan met more than two years earlier and, after tasting Dylan’s baking, Aaron proposed a collaboration. They’ve worked together ever since. Not willing to risk their friendship, Dylan has kept his feelings under wraps.

 

But a secret admirer begins to send Dylan thoughtful gifts twelve days before Christmas. The cute, clever gifts keep on coming and he’s flattered, but they couldn’t have come at a worse time. Aaron has finally asked him out.

 

What happens when the secret admirer’s identity is revealed on Christmas Day? Will Dylan’s blossoming relationship with Aaron survive?

 

This was a cute story.  Dylan is so lonely, he doesn’t even have regular employees to work with and you can only get so much from customer interaction.  He would rather have a quite night at home in lieu of the bar scene so it’s hard to find someone let alone someone who would be worthwhile.

 

Dylan’s shock at receiving the gifts from a secret admirer is adorable, he can’t believe anyone would want him let alone spend the amount of money that it must cost.  He really feels it’s mostly a joke, but absolutely jumps at the chance to date Aaron when asked.  I could see their relationship solidly building as they made a point of working up form their friendship instead of just jumping ahead.  I liked Dylan’s attitude that even though the gifts were great and exorbitant he was happy with building a real relationship with the man he has wanted.

 

The cover art gives a sweet visual of the characters.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

An Ali Audiobook Review: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
winteroranges_audiobookJason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

This book takes a certain level of dispensing with reality. I mean…..person trapped in a snow globe. Once you get past that though this is a sweet tale of friendship and then romance. The two men are both extremely lonely in their own ways. Neither has had anyone to love them in a long time and they’re both in serious need of that. Of course things don’t go smoothly. (People generally think you’re crazy when you carry a snow globe with you everywhere and talk to someone no one else can see.) True love wins in the end though.

I thought the story was well written. The pacing was good and both of the main characters were enjoyable. I found myself rooting for them both and was happy when they got their happily ever after. This was creatively done story and while part of it takes place at Christmas I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a Christmas story. It’s a read you could enjoy year round.
This was narrated by Nick J Russo and I thought it was done very well.  I typically enjoy this author a lot and this was no exception.  He did all of the voices well and I never had a hard time telling the difference between the two MC’s.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I like the cover.  It is nicely done and captures the essence of the story very well.
Sales Links

Audible, Amazon, iTunes

Book Details:

Audio release: December 7, 2016

Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.glbthotline.org/