A MelanieM Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’ yarn store, both men feel an immediate and intense spark of attraction, but dance instructor Tomy intends to propose to his boyfriend Sean at Christmas. Unfortunately for Tomy, marriage isn’t on career-minded Sean’s agenda. Heartbroken, Tomy throws himself into his work until his mother convinces him that learning to knit might help take his mind off his failed romance.

Jason falls hard for Tomy, but he knows Tomy needs time to heal and to trust in love again. As Jason teaches Tomy how to knit, Tomy teaches him how to dance in return to prepare for his sister’s wedding. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Has Jason helped Tomy knit his heart together again, only for Tomy to give it to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for what he truly is?

It’s rare that the authors known as Ari McKay make a misstep, let alone two (or more) in my opinion.  Normally, they can do no wrong.  In fact, that’s one of the major reasons I was so excited to read this story.  Ok, I’m always happy to pick up any McKay tale but I’m a knitter so I was intrigued to see how they would fold such a tactile and favored element into this story.

Honestly?  Disappointed in how underused the craft of knitting is here, from Tomy learning to knit (which is supposedly a huge deal), to Jason who dyes his own yarn, detail after sensuous, vivid yarn/knit related detail is left out of the romance and therefore out of the story.  We are told Jason teaches Tomy to knit, we hear briefly about the yard shop and that he dyes yarn?  But the particulars that actually bring all that alive?  Totally missing in action.  And I have read several stories from other authors that use knitting as a framework that make you want to jump into the nearest bags filled with skeins and make you want to start madly knit away at your own projects. Or go off and start fondling some yarn.  Not here, which  is a problem with a story that has a titled called  Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together.   Someone’s heart was not into the knitting part at allAnd that sort of includes the character of Jason He’s nice but something is  missing…

Then there’s the element of dance. Tomy and his family have always  owned a dance studio and competed professionally. Truly this book should have been called Waltzing your Broken Heart Back Together. Because its in the descriptions of dance, dancing together, the feeling of “floating” and being a partner in a sensual  embrace on the studio floor where this story comes soars. In short, the descriptions of dancing have everything that knitting lack. You can tell, that one of the author’s interest was vested here in dance, not knitting.  The part’s of the story in the dance studio?  They sang!  The main characters exhibited a connectivity that didn’t happen earlier in the story (certainly not when talking about knitting) and it’s dancing that brings them together.

Anyway, it takes them a while to start dancing cheek to cheek, to its a slow burn sort of romance as Tomy gets over his disastrous love affair and finds himself ready to love again…with his partner on the dance floor.  It is a sweet romance with cute relatives (Tomy’s) and relatively angst free story.

As I said, the only thing that just feels a let down is the total fail with the knitting from the cover, title and the blurb.  Change it over to dancing and you have a winner.  Honestly.  did someone not read this story?  It’s all about the dancing.That’s where it dances away with the story.

 

Cover art: Bree Archer.  Lovely cover.  Would work great for a book actually more about knitting.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 125 pages
Expected publication: July 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published December 16th 2014)
ASINB07DYK8PWN

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic? And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Romance Do’s In Your Romance Novels.

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic?

 

Several books I finished this week just furthered my ideas as to what helps launch a romance novel above the mass of romance stories you read or will read over the course of a year or more.  One wasn’t terribly successful in the romance department in my opinion while succeeding wildly in almost every other aspect, while two others had an almost constricted romance that still managed to allow their main characters love shine through along with an unusual storyline that unfolded around them.

Why does one fail while others succeed?  What makes a well done romance novel?  Yes, yes, I know so much can be subjective.  I remember that one write’s advice that I repeated (and still think is awful) on concentrating only on the main characters and leaving secondary characters totally alone.  Insert roll of eyes here.  Because imo a well done supportive cast makes a novel…romance or not.  All of my favorite  stories mention a marvelously done secondary grouping of characters, almost or as memorable as the main ones.

For some authors, they use their stories as love notes to  locations, towns they visited or grew up in or in one instance (Basil, Switzerland) one they live now.  The result can be a superb blending of location, culture, and story.  For others, its some other element…tree planting, apple orchards, a trip to the Sun Temple and Machu Picchu.  This list is endless.  Then there is the fantastical…the marvelous blending of mythologies, cultures, gods, and beasts that can come about when imaginations soar and blend with romances.

All of the above have managed to come together for me in romances that became something splendid, magical…even when the book itself was contemporary or science fiction.  The author or authors wrote and their story spoke to something deep inside of us.

Stories and characters we remember.

What are those books that still speak to you now and why?  What’s so special about them?  I really want to know.

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

 

Now for this week’s books and tours.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 15:

  • Smoke in the Mirror by Aimee Nicole Walker Release Blitz
  • Fireworks and Stolen Kisses by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay Tour
  • A MelanieM Review:Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay
  • Romance Do’s And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 16:

  • Drive Shaft by Geoffrey Knight Book Blast
  • Release Blitz – Thief Of Hearts by Ruby Moone
  • Review Tour – Riza Curtis’s The Dragon’s Thief
  • An Alisa Review:  The Dragon’s Thief by Riza Curtis
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Hearts and Flour By Tara Lain/ Ry Forest (narrator), Stephen Kurpis (narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Review:The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara

Tuesday, July 17:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo JS Harker on Soul Bond
  • DSP Promo Tia Fielding
  • Audio Tour for Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Soul Bond by JS Harker
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Soul Bond by JS Harker

Wednesday, July 18:

  • DSP Promo Rayna Vause
  • Release Blitz – Nothing Serious – Jay Northcote
  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Release Blitz
  • A Lucy Review: The Pet Stylist and The Playboy by Rebecca James
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lies That Bind (Boystown #8) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay

Thursday, July 19:

  • In the Spotlight: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point series) by L.A. Witt
  • Blog Post – V.L. Locey – Lost In Indigo
  • DSP Publications Promo August Li
  • An Alisa Review: Tainted Life​ by ​Mel Gough
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Beneath This Mask ( Enhanced World #3) by Victoria Sue and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Friday, July 20:

  • BOOK BLAST – Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • DSP Promo Hudson Lin
  • DSP Promo JL Merrow on Camwolf
  • A Lila Review: The Merchant’s Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6) by Antonia Aquilante
  • A Caryn Review Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • A MelanieM Review: A Trust to Follow (Wild Magics #1) by Diana Waters (
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt

Saturday, July 21:

  • Audio Tour for Someone to Call My Own by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown, #10) by Marshall Thornton

There’s More to Romance and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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There’s More to Romance …

The last couple of weeks we’ve been discussing the elements that “break” our romance books.  The things that stop the reading cold or leave us with a DNF.  Cheating is up there on the list.  And at the end of today’s blog hand out a few gift certs and post the last of the comments on the subject.

But what about the opposite?

What in our romance stories gladdens our hearts?  Makes a story jump out of the ordinary?  Widens our outlook?  Let’s us perceive something special about a piece of the world or aspect of falling in love that we hadn’t seen or thought of in the same way before?  That in some way the author dug a little deeper into your heart with their tale, that some element that connected you so completely to the characters and their relationship hooked you, that even now, you can’t forget their love story.

Something that made that story magic beyond your expectations.

I was thinking Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt series) by Heidi Cullinan , Clear Water by Amy Lane, and RJ Scott’s the Texas series (and attached Legacy group),  Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay,Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan,Tales From Verania series by T.J. Klune just for starters.  Those are a few that leapt to mind in seconds.  Can you guess what elements in each might have made them memorable?  Have you read the stories?

Of course my list stretches for far longer.  That’s merely a tease.

But each of those grabbed at my heart while stretching my mind and horizons in some way. They made me cry and laugh and fall in love. Over and over.

Quickly now…which books popped into your head?  Let me know…let all of us know and why.  And then I’ll fill you in  next week on more of my choices and why they made my list as well.

Now let’s put a close to our Romance No’s:

From P.R.:

I’ll chime in here – so busy couldn’t comment last week but agree with most everything. My perspective is that I understand why folks can not like cheating – ONE reason folks can like rom is for escapism, and they don’t like RL intruding b/c they already have too much of that. In that way, I think rom is a type of fantasy, and I can relate. Been there. But I usually appreciate more where MCs have RL flaws, and that’s reality, which includes in a majority of straight & gay relationships, “cheating,” (I love the Boystown series). And my being a cis gay male amongst other gay guys, let me tell you – I know there is much more diversity there than depicted in m/m rom, that it’s part of the culture, and frankly that’s why many guys think gender makes a difference among authors b/c one does not often “get it.” I think personally it has more to do with targeted audience, experiences, preferences, empathy, deep understanding … and it’s all good. You said it best “Life is messy and its always been about how the author has handled the subject.” A WELL-WRITTEN TALE TRUMPS A TROPE EVERY TIME (pun intended).

Ami:

Holy! EXCREMENT!?!? WTH!!! Okay, that will be a HUGE NO for me

Furthering my comment from last week in which I can still tolerate cheating but getting really pissed off when it comes to threesome, or ‘forced’ threesomes brought me to a couple of books. “A Vintage Affair” by Josh Lanyon made me VERY angry because the love-interest suddenly brought a woman to sleep with the MC because he wanted to “challenge” the MC that sex is just sex. Then I also DNF “My Heartache Cowboy” by ZAM who also introduced threesome scene in the middle.

I guess i’m good if the threesome is stated in the beginning, or the book is marketed as threesome. But if it somehow introduced in the middle, without any warning, it’ll be huge NO for me.

And H.B. with a no on poo, “Blood play and humiliation would also bother me.”

Yep, poo is a big no for lots of us.

Very enlightening!  And while cheating still remains a big no, it still comes down to the author and great writing.

Winners Announcement!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is handing off $10 gift certs to: Chris Tharrington and ashleyomelia

Please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com and she will get your gift cert to you.  Congratulations!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 8:

  • There’s More to Romance and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – Riza Curtis – The Dragon’s Thief
  • The Pet Stylist and The Playboy by Rebecca James Release Blitz

Monday, July 9:

  • DSP Promo Scotty Cade
  • Release Blitz for Tight Quarters by Annabeth Albert
  • BLITZ – Nectar and Ambrosia by E.M. Hamill
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: WITH A KICK Collection #1 by Clare London
  • A MelanieM Review: Hard Contact (Guild Enforcer, #1) by Ali Atwood
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Familiar Angel by Amy Lane and Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Tuesday, July10:

  • Leaning Into Forever by Lane Hayes Blog Tour
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo j. leigh bailey
  • BLOG TOUR The Wulf Chronicles by Wulf Francu Godgluck
  • A Caryn Review: Love Me Louder by Christina Lee
  • An Alisa Review A Desperate Love by J.D. Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Forever by Lane Hayes

Wednesday, July 11:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Believe (Skins #3)
  • Temple of Time by Geoffrey Knight Blog Tour
  • RELEASE BLITZ Love it Like You Stole It by Ki Brightly
  • A Jeri Review : Believe (Skins #3) by Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Review: Bloodlines (Boystown #7) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Born of Air (Dragon Soul #4) by Sean Michael

Thursday, July 12:

  • Harmony Promo Annabelle Jay
  • Release Blitz – The Omega’s Second Chance by Kenna Grace
  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Review: Discovery (Kinky in the City #3) by Quinn Ward
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Camwolf by JL Merrow
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Family Man By Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton/Colin Darcy (Narrator)

Friday, July 13:

  • DSP Promo Z. Allora
  • BLOG TOUR for Badlands by Morgan Brice
  • 99c Book Blast – Double Dare by Jeanne St. James
  • A MelanieM Review: Ground of Insurrection by Mell Eight
  • A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Balefire (Whyborne & Griffin #10) by Jordan L. Hawk

Saturday, July 14:

  • BLOG TOUR (Exclusive Post) Pursuing Happiness by Jessie Pinkham
  • Release Blitz – To Love & Protect His Omega by Quinn Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review: The Wolf at Bay by Charlie Adhara

Release Blitz for Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 40,603 words
 
Cover Design: Bree Archer
 
 
Blurb
 

When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’s yarn store, both men feel an immediate and intense spark of attraction, but dance instructor Tomy intends to propose to his boyfriend, Sean, at Christmas. Unfortunately for Tomy, marriage isn’t on career-minded Sean’s agenda. Heartbroken, Tomy throws himself into his work until his mother convinces him that learning to knit might help take his mind off his failed romance.


Jason falls hard for Tomy, but he knows Tomy needs time to heal and to trust in love again. As Jason teaches Tomy to knit, Tomy teaches him to dance in return. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Will Tomy give his heart to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for who he truly is, and choose the man who helped him knit his heart together again?

 
Excerpt
 

Chapter One


TOMY PERALTA opened the door of the yarn shop, feeling a little out of place as the cheerful ringing of the bell announced his presence in this unfamiliar territory. Stitchin’ Time was one of Mama and Lola’s favorite stores, but Tomy had never been here before himself, only heard about it when they gushed and cooed over the hand-dyed yarn they’d bought there.

The shop itself was large, and the rent in the fashionable Lenox Square area of Atlanta must have been enormous, but it had a surprisingly homey feel. Rather than traditional retail metal shelving, whoever had designed the interior had opted for wooden storage units, woven baskets, and what looked like enormous pasta racks dripping with hanks of yarn instead of spaghetti. There were also finished knitted and crocheted pieces displayed on the walls and on hangers at the ends of the shelves. There were the expected sweaters and scarves, of course, but also stuffed animals, knickknacks, and one intricately cabled afghan draped over the sofa where a group of gray-haired women were gathered, chatting and laughing. Several of them looked up when he entered, but he was greeted with friendly smiles rather than surprise.

The sales counter was visible from the door, a large wooden affair with more baskets of yarn and other knitting supplies stacked neatly around it. Behind the counter sat a man, square-jawed, blond, and broad-shouldered, working a set of knitting needles with amazing speed and agility. He, too, glanced up, smiling, and called out to Tomy in a deep, smooth Southern drawl.

“Hey! Welcome! Feel free to look around, and let me know if you need any help.”

Tomy gave the man an appreciative once-over. Sure, he had a boyfriend, and he hoped to be happily engaged after Christmas, but he could still look. Then he glanced around, briefly considering whether he ought to muddle through on his own, but he dismissed that thought. He was way out of his depth here, and he didn’t even know where to begin. Best to ask the professional rather than waste time wandering around utterly clueless.

“Actually, I do need some help,” he admitted, offering a sheepish smile as he approached the counter. “I want to buy something for my mother and sister, and I know they shop here a lot, but….” He looked around again and shrugged. “I have no idea where to start.”

The blond put his knitting aside—Tomy didn’t know what the item on the needles was, only that it was deep forest green—and stood up. He was tall, at least four inches over six feet, and up close, Tomy could see his eyes were a soft blue.

“I know that feeling,” he said. He moved out from behind the counter, walking with a slight but noticeable limp. “Who are your mother and sister? If they’re regulars, I can definitely help you with things I know they’d like.”

“My mother is Ana Lucia Peralta,” Tomy replied, trying to ignore the zing of wayward attraction he felt for the hunky knitter. He’d always been drawn to tall, burly blonds, much to his boyfriend’s dismay. Despite being tall, blond, and hot himself, Sean got jealous easily. He wouldn’t even let Tomy watch any of the superhero movies with Thor or Captain America in them when he was around. “My sister is Lola Barrett.” He picked up the tasseled end of the navy blue scarf he wore, which was an elaborate pattern of cables and bobbles. “Mama made this for me, if that helps. Lola made the hat,” he added, gesturing to the slouchy hat he wore, which had wide abstract colorwork stripes.

Hunky Knitter stepped closer and looked at the hat, smiling slightly, then picked up the end of Tomy’s scarf, running his fingers over the cabling. “Ah, yes. I remember when your mother bought the yarn for this. It was a special order. She wanted a particular shade of blue, and I dyed at least four batches before I managed to get the color she was picturing.”

“You dyed the yarn yourself?” Tomy gazed up at Hunky Knitter, impressed by his crafting skills. “Thanks, I really like the color. She wanted it to go with my coat, and I think it’s a perfect match,” he said, holding out his arms to show the pea coat he was wearing.

“So it is. I’m Jason, by the way.” Jason held out his hand, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he smiled.

“Tomy Peralta,” Tomy said, enunciating his name to make it clear it was pronounced like Tony, not Tommy. “Nice to meet you.” He clasped Jason’s hand, which was warm. Jason’s grip was firm, the touch sending little tingles along Tomy’s arm, and he felt his knees wobble just a little. I have a boyfriend, and we’re very much in love, he reminded himself sternly.

“Nice to meet you too.” Jason released his hand with what Tomy thought might be a tiny bit of reluctance. “Yes, I dyed the yarn. I do custom work for people who want it, and I like to try out the various dyes and yarns just to see what they look like. I prefer not to sell or recommend things to my customers that I haven’t tried myself.”

“Are you the owner?” Tomy asked. He didn’t know many men who were into crafts, much less enough to own a shop devoted to crafting.

“Yes.” Jason’s grin became a little sheepish. “I know I don’t look like the kind of guy who’d own a yarn store, and to be honest, never in a million years did I think this is what I’d be doing, but I love it. I majored in marketing at Vanderbilt, but I was a football player. After graduation, I played in the NFL, but in my second season with the Falcons, I blew out my knee.” He slapped his right leg. “Had to get an artificial replacement, so it was goodbye, NFL. I started knitting during my rehab, and one thing led to another and… here I am.”

Tomy didn’t hear any trace of self-pity in Jason’s voice, only a matter-of-factness that implied he’d had to explain his situation before. Tomy imagined an ex-football player turned yarn shop owner got a lot of questions about his life choices.

“Who taught you to knit?” he asked, voicing the first question that popped into his head. Of all the therapeutic exercises in existence, he wondered how knitting ended up being Jason’s choice. “I know it has a lot of therapeutic value, but not for knees.”

Jason laughed. “It was mental therapy, mostly. Moving hurt, but sitting almost hurt more. My mother got tired of me always moving restlessly whenever I was in a room, so she taught me how to knit as a form of distraction. If I had something in my hands to occupy me, I tended not to dwell on the pain in my knee as much.”

“That makes sense.” Tomy nodded, and then he noticed the ladies on the sofa were watching them with avid interest. He knew matchmakers when he saw them, and he cleared his throat and took a step back so they wouldn’t get the wrong idea. “Anyway, presents? I’m open to suggestions. I have no idea what they might want or need, but I want to get them something they’ll really like this year, not just a gift card.”

“Of course.” Jason nodded, suddenly all business. “I know there’s a set of knitting needles your sister has had her eye on for a while. They’re rosewood. Your mother has indicated she’d like to knit an afghan for her sofa, and so perhaps a pattern and the yarn for it? I recently dyed a batch of a bulky superwash wool in tonal greens I think she’d like. That might run a little more than you’d like to spend, though.”

“Sounds perfect!” Tomy smiled widely, pleased with the suggestions. “Do you know which pattern she’s interested in, or is there a pattern book she might like? I don’t care how much it costs.” He gave a sheepish shrug. “I don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging or anything. It’s just that I want this to be a special Christmas. I’m planning to propose to my boyfriend, and I want everyone to be as happy as I am. I guess that sounds silly, but joy to the world, right?”

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.

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Hello July. More On Romance Don’ts For You. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Hello July.

More On Romance Don’ts For Readers

Welcome to July! The month that means the halfway point of summer, the week of the beginnings of many celebrations for Americans in the States and abroad as we celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th with fireworks and parades. and just a flood of people heading out for summer vacations (beach, mountains, tourist destinations) or good old staycations.

It’s also a time for tons of summer reading which is why I’m still talking about those  Romance Don’ts or at least one of the reasons.  I don’t know if you all caught Kate Sherwood’s blog last week here but she was talking about an early story of her’s where she had her mc’s cheat and the readers wrote in disgusted with her.  And she felt she had broken an unwritten bond with them. The title of her guest blog?  The Romance Taboo by Kate Sherwood.  You can find it here.   I was totally intrigued although not surprised.  Its something I’ve heard over and over myself.

Another reason I’m still inquiring?  That would be the Boystown series written by Marshall Thornton.  Several novels in this series have either won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Mystery  or been a finalist.  And deservedly so.  But I wonder how many have started these stories and ended up with a DNF.  And the reason being that the main character,  PI Nick Nowak, rarely turns away from a hookup (underage the only exception), despite being in a relationship.  Yes, its the 80’s and gay sex/monogamy was admittedly looked at differently then.  But, and let me know if I’m wrong here, I get the feeling that context doesn’t come much into play when the  element is cheating with regards to the main character or couple.  it’s simply “no, not in my story”.

Which is a damn shame because these books and this series is simply brilliant.  I’ll be reviewing more of them this week. And  I’d like to know what I can possibly say to change readers minds.  For me this subject hasn’t been an issue.  Life is messy and its always been about how the author has handled the subject (as with any other element in their story).  But this is an emotional issue in RL and it carries over into our reading.  Can it ever be separated?  Not sure.  I hope you all will continue to chime in here.  I will be handing  out gift certificates next week.

And yes, I’ve been reading and loving everyone’s comments.  Here is what some of you have had to say on the subject:

On Readers Romance Don’ts:

H.B.

I think it depends on how the characters are portrayed. I can sometimes stand cheating characters but it has to be under certain circumstances (abuse, loveless marriage where spouse is cheating already, open relationship where both characters know and is okay with it). I really don’t like politically or religiously driven stories. Regarding sex scenes I like them enough just to spice up the read but not overtake the entire book. One every chapter is too excessive in my opinion I think maybe for a full length story I would like just maybe 2 to 4 sex scenes. Of course no sex scenes and more intimacy scenes are okay too. I think the one thing a book can’t come back from is if it kills off an important character (I’m going to exclude Andrea Speed’s Infected series from this even tho I didn’t complete the series I have plans to go back and read it after I heal from the lost of Paris). I once read a book where a main character in the earlier series was killed off in the sequel that featured new main characters. Luckily the series only had two books and there were no plans for more because I was completely turned off from it and resented that I had wasted time reading it.

Chris Tharrington

I can tolerate cheating if it advances the storyline while leading to the MCs having an HEA. Regarding sex scenes, I don’t need one every chapter. The first sex scene is the most important, because that sets the foundation for future exploration, especially if one character is primarily a top or bottom. The only things that turn me off in a book are domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, and mpreg storylines.

ashleyomelia

I agree. I hate it when they kill off the pets! [my pet peeve] I just finished reading a short story this morning where a cat got thrown of a building. I was so mad!
As for romance, I’m not sure. I do a lot of ghostwriting, and my clients are often very specific that they don’t want the main characters to have sexual involvement with anyone else. Must be a big rule!

Ami 

In terms of cheating. it depends on my mood — I mean, I’ve read when cheating happened, and I was okay with it as long as there’s SIGNIFICANT GROVELING happened in the book.

My romance No No are mostly about tropes… I don’t read Mpreg, I don’t read M/F/M or F/F/M. for example, rather than something in the plot.

I will have to tell you all I didn’t even mention last week one of my biggest bugaboos.  A  romance book where one of the MC was intensely involved with his own excrement. I believe that was my very first DNF story and it was years ago.  And yes, I found my limit on kink in that novel as well.  Another romance don’t for me.  So let’s hear from you all.  More on this cheating element and any other Romance Don’ts!

Lucky readers will be chosen next week to receive gift cards.  Now on this our week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 1:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Leaning into Forever by Lane Hayes
  • Hello July. More On Romance Don’ts For You.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 2:

  • Release Blitz for Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris
  • Release Blitz Badlands by Morgan Brice
  • Release Day Blitz Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson
  • A Lucy Review: Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Challenge (Kinky in the City #2) by Quinn Ward
  • A Jeri Review: Wash Out (Anchor Point #7) by LA Witt
  • A MelanieM Review:  A Time For Secrets (Boystown #4) by Marshall Thornton

Tuesday. July 3:

  • BLOG TOUR TIGHT QUARTERS by Annabeth Albert
  • DSP Promo Rhett Heath
  • Release Blitz  Play it by Ear by KM Neuhold
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review:  Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy
  • A MelanieM Review: Tight Quarters (Out of Uniform #6) by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade
  • A Caryn Review: Finn (Endangered Fae #1) by Angel Martinez

Wednesday, July 4 (Happy Independence Day!) 🇺🇸

  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – WITH A KICK Collection #1 by CLARE LONDON
  • Review Tour for  Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote
  • REVIEW TOUR for Daniel (The Third Legacy) by RJ Scott
  • A Barb the  Zany Old Lady Review:  Daniel (The Third Legacy) by RJ Scott
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Treasure for Treasure (Being(s) in Love #7) by R. Cooper and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)
  • A Lucy Review: Play It By Ear by KM Neuhold

Thursday, July 5:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister
  • BLOG TOUR fo My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Michael Murphy on Stranger in a Foreign Land
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Armistice (The Amberlough Dossier #2) by Lara Elena Donnelly
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells and Narrator: Daniel Henning
  • An Alisa Review:  That’s My Ethan by Tarian PS
  • A MelanieM Review: Murder Book (Boystown 5) by Marshall Thornton

Friday, July 6:

  • Cover Reveal for Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine l
  • Review Tour and Giveaway for Stag and the Ash (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
  • Review Tour for Spark (North Star #1) by Posy Roberts
  • Blog Tour for  Magic or Die (Inner Demons, Book One) by JP Jackson
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Stag and The Ash (Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay
  • A Stella Review: Spark (North Star #1) by Posy Roberts

Saturday, July 7:

  • BLITZ – Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes
  • Release Blitz for  Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay
  • A MelanieM Review: From the Ashes (Boystown #6) by Marshall Thornton

 

 

 

 

More June Romance. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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More June Romance

 

We are still merrily swinging along mid June with our romances and  finishing up with our Royals….recommendations of course!  Cheeky!  More below from our wonderful readers who came up with some simply great books for everyone to read. I put my own recs back in as well and hopefully by the end of the month will merge of all them into one big royal recommendation list for one and all.

I read and reviewed a story this week which fits in perfect with our romance theme, Made in Portugal by Ana Newfolk.  Two men, who had their first kiss as teenagers and best friends and then were abruptly separated for years meet once again when one returns to the land of his birth.  Its lovely, layered, and romantic.  I loved it.

Then  oddly enough, a series which is the antithesis of romance.  Gritty, noir, the sex impersonal, the mc often unlikable, and yet the writing is  so well done (as are the mysteries) you just have to keep reading…yes, that would be Marshall Thornton’s award winning Boystown Series.  What was thinking putting them here? I definitely need a Noir Month.

Do we even have enough LGBT Noir Books?

There’s a question for you!

But the sun is shinning on our romance stories, so let’s concentrate there.  More  stories to come as June contineues.  In the meantime.

Here is another winner of our Royal Recommendations Contest:  Purple Reader.  Please contact Stella for your gift card at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

 

 

 

Royal Recommendations and Love Stories – Part II

 

Historical

Crofton Hall series by Rebecca Cohen (with some contemporary stories too)

Contemporary:

Wake Up Married Series by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths
Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores
Marriage of Inconvenience by M.J. O’Shea
The Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom by Kate McMurray
First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony
Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker

Science Fiction:

Mate of the Tyger Prince series by Shannon West (shifter aliens, humans, mpreg)

Supernatural/Paranormal:

Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye

Fantasy:

The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke

Purple Reader:

There’s already some good recs here. Like H.B., I don’t keep track of weddings in books, but I did remember a few that I thought were good … they aren’t all just about the wedding, but it does figure into the story:
– Fantasy:
THE LAST GRAND MASTER by Andrew Q. Gordon
THE LODESTAR OF YS by Amy Rae Durreson
THE ENGINEERED THRONE by Megan Derr
– PNR:
TRIED & TRUE by Charlie Cochet
GUNS N’ BOYS: HE IS MINE by K.A. Merikan
– Sci-Fi/Futuristic:
MY FAIR CAPTAIN by J.L. Langley (the original unless you want yours kink free then go for the 2018 version)
IMPERFECT MATCH by Price, Jordan Castillo
Oh, I thought of a few more, so why not add several to our list 🙂 … (again, good stories where even if it’s not all about the wedding, it plays a part):
– Historical:
INTO DEEP WATERS by Kaje Harper
DAYS WITHOUT END by Sebastian Barry
– Contemporary:
A MORE PERFECT UNION – Anthology by B.G. Thomas, Coatsworth, Fessenden, Michael Murphey
WILL & PATRICK WAKE UP MARRIED by Leta Blake
PIECE OF CAKE by Mary Calmes
THE HEART OF TEXAS, and TEXAS WEDDING by R.J. Scott
THE MARRYING KIND by Jay Northcote
– Mystery/Suspense:
CRASH & BURN by Abigail Roux
HERE COMES THE CORPSE by Mark Richard Zubro
ALOHA CANDY HEARTS by Anthony Bidulka
– Purple Reader, TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

From Ami:

TAMING GROOMZILLA by E.N. Holland (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6931204-taming-groomzilla)

and

SIX NECKTIES by Johnny Diaz (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35061750-six-neckties) which revolves around wedding and wedding preparation

Now on to this week at our blog!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 10:

  • A MelanieM Review: Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
  • More June Romance. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 11:

  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR for Shoes and Ties by JENA WADE
  • BLOG TOUR George Loveland – Up In The Air #2: West Coast
  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun
  • A MelanieM Review: Ari McKay ‘s Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun
  • A Stella Review: My Anti-Valentine (My Anti-Series #1) by DJ Jamison
  • A VVivacious Review: Flowers for the Gardener by Sharon Maria Bidwell
  • An Ali Review Behind the Lights (Social Sinners #1) by T.L. Travis

Tuesday, June 12:

  • Release Blitz Twenty-One Arrow Salute by Kasia Bacon
  • Release Blitz – George Loveland’s Up In The Air 2: West Coast
  • Review Tour –  Made In Portugal by Ana Newfolk
  • A Lucy Review: Whatever Comes First by MK Lee
  • A MelanieM Review: Made in Portugal (Made In #1) by Ana Newfolk
  • A Stella Review:  My Anti-Boyfriend (My Anti-Series #2) by D.J. Jamison
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review:  Staggered Cove Station (Coast Guard Rescue #1) by Elle Brownlee and Colin Darcy (Narrator)

Wednesday, June 13:

  • BLITZ – To Have and to Hold by Tamryn Eradani
  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • River City Tour (Other World Tour)
  • Release Blitz – Overtime by V.L. Locey
  • An Alisa Review:  Wrenching by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A MelanieM Review: Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4) by V.L. Locey

Thursday, June 14:

  • TOUR INSIDE DARKNESS by Hudson Lin
  • Release Blitz – DJ Jamison’s My Anti-Marriage
  • A MelanieM Review: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton
  • A MelanieM Review: Three More Nick Nowak Mysteries (Boystown #2)  by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries (Boystown #1) by Marshall

Friday, June 15:

  • Ardulum Series (Other World Tour)
  • Release Blitz Catch Me by Beth Bolden
  • Release Blitz Rainbow Place – Jay Northcote
  • A MelanieM Review:Two Nick Nowak Novellas (Boystown #3) by Marshall Thornton
  • A Stella Review My Anti-Marriage by DJ Jamison
  • A MelanieM Review: ​Silent Hearts by Cameron D. James.

Saturday, June  16:

  • Blitz Tour (Lori)The Recruit by Addison Albright
  • A MelanieM Review: Murder Book (Boystown #5) by Marshall Thornton

 

Feeling Springy! What’s Old is New Again.This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Feeling Springy! What’s Old is New Again.

So many things that I love about Spring! Yes, new things abound from young sprouts to tadpoles but also the fact that what has seemed old and seemingly dead, perhaps even barren, teems with life once more. Old oaks and maples majestically green out with canopies wide  where before you may have seen only bare limbs and trunks scarred and bent by age.  Gardens left covered with weeds still send forth bounty of flowers and produce no matter what sort of neglect they have suffered, and those secret patches of wildflowers sought out year after year, the lady slippers and the showy orchis, still emerge, no matter what changes their habitat have undergone, thankfully.

Other things can be like that and sure enough one of my favorite movies came up.  Somewhere in Time.  It’s not only a beloved movie that has been used recently in a M/M romance story (Somewhere on Mackinac by Jeff Adams)   but uses a familiar trope (time travel to see  or save a loved one).  Of course, right on the heels of that one, I watched a new Netflix anime Kuromukuro (outstanding) that had another man out of time element.  He was seeking revenge for a woman.  No spoilers.  But more movies and books of this vein started to pour through my mind, all the twists and turns that various authors and writers had given this theme.  Taken something old and made it new again.  And again.  And again.

We love our familiar tropes for just that reason.  Our monsters turned heros who find love, second chance at HEA, meet cutes, our lovers reunited, our ghostly romances, our time traveling lovers, even our aliens from space, all of these come up again and again.  Writers reach back and try to make the old new, fresh with their own perspective and storylines.

So in keeping with our Spring topic.  What  tropes do you see the most of?  Which do you think are overused or just plain used? And which get the best new spin?  I’m just plain curious to see what you all have to say on this topic.  Name stories or movies if you wish or just comment.  It’s our What’s Old is New Again Giveaway!.  And it will carry us into the end of the month for a gift cert for $10.  Leave your name and a comment and a email where you can be reached if chosen.

✒︎

♦︎Announcement:  The winner of our What’s New In LGBT Romance Fiction Giveaway is Steve Wroten.  Steve, please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com and she will hook you up with your gift certificate. Congratulations!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 14:

  • Feeling Springy! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  •  BLITZ Deadly Dorian by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Monday, April 15:

  •  Dreamspun Promo Kris T. Bethke on Lost Souls Found (Requiem Inc. #2)
  • Harmony Promo Sean Kennedy on The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3)
  • Release Blitz – Addison Albright – The Contingency Plan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Full Plate by Kim Fielding
  • A Caryn Review:Asylum (Pride and Joy #2) by Robert Winter
  • A MelanieM Review: Big Man by Matthew J. Metzger
  • An Alisa Review :Precious Moments by Casper Graham

Tuesday, April 16:

  • COVER REVEAL – Under Five by Michael War
  • AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – Shatterproof Bond Series by Isobel Starling
  • BOOK BLITZ for NATURAL ENEMIES by Roan Parrish
  • TOUR Whirlwind by J.V. Speyer
  • A Lucy Review: Big Man by Matthew J. Metzger
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Lost Souls Found (Requiem Inc. #2) by Kris T. Bethke
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Crocus (Bonfires #2) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Obstruction of Emma Goldsworthy (Get Out #3) by Sean Kennedy

Wednesday, April 17:

  • BLOG TOUR SQUARED AWAY by Annabeth Albert
  • Book Blitz – Five Dares – Eli Easton
  • REVIEW TOUR Ari McKay – Like The Night
  • Theoden: A New Haven Series Prequel by Nicholas Bella Blog Tour
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)
  • A Lucy Review: Coming Out In The Art by J. Sanders
  • A MelanieM Review: Like the Night (Blood Bathory #1) by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Getting His Man (Getting His Man #1) by B.G. Thomas and Kenneth Obi (Narrator)

Thursday, April 18:

  • DSP Publications Promo Aidan Wayne
  • RELEASE BLITZ Life Is A Stevie Wonder Song – V.L. Locey
  • BLOG TOUR Redeeming the Stepbrother by Andrew Grey
  • A Jeri Review: Campus Life by TC Orton
  • A MelanieM Review:Inked in Vegas (Heathens Ink #5.5) by K.M. Neuhold
  • A Lila Review: Let Me In by Luna David
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady  Review: Soul to Keep (Rented Heart universe) by Garrett Leigh

Friday, April 19:

  • BLOG TOUR Heartbeats by Jenna Kendrick
  • Book Blast – Omega Required by Dessa Lux
  • DSP Promo Amy Lane
  • BLOG TOUR Redeeming the Stepbrother by Andrew Grey
  • A MelanieM Review :
  • A Caryn Review: Surprise Delivery (Hearts & Health #5) by DJ Jamison
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Daring Ride (The Bullriders#2) by Andrew Grey and Narrator: John Solo

Saturday, April 20:

  • Release Blitz Jay Northcote – Second Chance
  • Release Blitz – Love For All Seasons – Various Authors
  • A MelanieM Review: One Last Heist by Dahlia Donovan

Authors of Color and Culture to Explore. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Authors of Color and Culture to Explore

We have been talking about new things, new themes, new authors as we launch ourselves and our reading habits into Spring.  One of my favorite authors BA Tortuga offered up a list on her FB page of some of her favorite authors of color or diversity in other areas like culture. Others soon chimed in and the list grew and grew full of wonderful recommendations and authors that I wasn’t familiar with or books I hadn’t read.

Since this has been our topic this month and really last as well, I thought it was timely and wanted to share it with all of you.  Please feel free to add more.  Let’s keep this list growing!

LGBTQIA* and/or Romance Authors of color or/ of different cultures(no particular order)

AE Via,
Jade Lee,
La Quette,
Tigris Eden,
Chudney Defreitas-Thomas,
Bru Baker,
Piper J Drake,
T.j. Michaels,
Nikki Prince
Avril Ashton
Cole McCade

Pearl Love

AC Arthur
Angelicque Bautista
Jayce Ellis
Matthew Lang

Zhara Freytes

Nicole Forcine
Kevay Grey

Seressia Glass,
Shaila Patel,
Hildie McQueen,
 Daniel José Older
Riley Hart,
N K Jemisin
Rhys Ford,
 Rebekah Witherspoon,
Sherry Thomas,
Jeannine Li
Nina Crespo,
Stacy Reid,
Pintip Dunn,
Alisha Rai,
Xio Axelrod,
Robin Covington,
Caridad Pineiro,
Dahlia Rose,
Naima Simone
Theodora Taylor

Xio Axelrod
Falguni Kothari
Sienna Snow
Alexis Daria
Denny S. Bryce

Farrah Rochon.
Jacob Z. Flores
Angel Martinez

*I hadn’t realized how many of the authors rec’d were outside the LGBT spectrum.  Smh.  Double checking them now.

General Fiction Authors:

Toni Morrison, Malinda Lo, Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Beverly Jenkins, Yolanda Wallace, CB Lee, Carla de Guzman, Lydia San Andres, Sonali Dev, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Chinelo Okparanta, Alice Walker, Carla Trujillo, Marino Tamaki, Terri de la Peña, Shani Mootoo, Krystal A. Smith,Brooklyn Wallace,Reese Ryan

What’s New In LGBT Romance Fiction Giveaway?

Give us your thoughts.  Maybe tell us ways in which you think it can be improved or that it has improved over the last few years.  What stories have made you think?  Stopped you with elements so current and relevant that it resonated with you?  Leave your comments with you email address.  Giveaway will continue until April 14th.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 8:

  • Kevin Klehr on Social Media Central
  • Authors of Color and Culture to Explore
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 9

  • DSP Promo Vicki Reese
  • Release Day Blitz for Ari McKay – Like The Night
  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • RELEASE DAY BLITZ Syncopation by Anna Zabo
  • A Jeri Review: Once Burned (Anchor Point #6) by LA Witt
  • A MelanieM Review: Nobody’s Prince Charming (Road to Blissville #3) by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Red Fish, Dead Fish ( Fish Out of Water #2) by Amy Lane and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

Tuesday, April 10:

  • Cover Reveal for GR Lyons ‘ Ice On Fire
  • Cover Reveal –  On The Ice by Amy Aislin
  • Cover Reveal for  Creature by Kim Fielding (Other Worlds Ink)
  • Retro Review Tour –  Out Of Focus by L.A. Witt
  • A Jeri Review Retro Review Tour : Out Of Focus by L .A. Witt
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael and Jeff Gelder (Narrator)

Wednesday, April 11:

  • BLITZ Big Man by Matthew J. Metzger
  • DSP Promo Xenia Melzer
  • Spotlight Tour  for Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall
  • A MelanieM Review Hangover From Hell by Zakarrie Clarke
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed by Felicitas Ivey and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Supers (The Supers #1) by Sean Michael and Kenneth Obi (Narrator)
  • A Jeri Review : Hug It Out (Haven Hart Universe #2) by Davidson King 

Thursday, April 12:

  • BLOG TOUR Hug It Out by Davidson King
  • BLOG TOUR Let Me In by Luna David
  • Spotlight Tour for Once Burned by LA Witt (Anchor Point #6)
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Dusk (Expedition 63 #1) by T.A. Creech
  • An Alisa Review: Oliris by S. Neff
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke and Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Squared Away (Out of Uniform #5) by Annabeth Albert

Friday, April 13:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Kim Fielding on A Full Plate
  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh’s  Soul To Keep (RH #2)
  • Review Tour – Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen
  • A MelanieM Review : Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen
  • A MelanieM Review: Soul to Keep (Rented Heart universe) by Garrett Leigh
  • An Alisa Review: Timtuk Canyon Ranch (Mojave Mountain Wolves, #1) by A.J. Llewellyn
  • A Lucy Review: Eyes Wide Open by VM Sanford

Saturday, April 14:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Rising Tide by Bryce Winters
  • Release Blitz – Kris T Bethke – Beholden
  • A MelanieM Review: Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose by Charlie Cochrane

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Alisa Review: Please Be Mine by Shawn Bailey

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

It’s Valentine’s Day again and popular technologies executive Flynn Reynolds has received more than his share of candy from the single women employees and mother’s of marriageable age daughters. His best friend Greer Sheen thinks it’s funny that every year Flynn has to lug a ton of chocolate home from the office. Usually foreigners don’t get this much attention in Tokyo! But Flynn isn’t just anybody. He’s the youngest son of the richest American man in Japan. They both get the surprise of their lives with a young Japanese man appears and presents a box of candy to Flynn. Straight laced Greer is shocked that a guy has offered his heart to Flynn, even though Flynn has professed to be gay. Greer just thinks it’s a phase Flynn is going through. After all, Flynn had married a woman and had a son, but he could be wrong, especially since Flynn looked completely enamored by dark-haired, dark-eyed guy who was brave enough to show up with sweets. Would Flynn be foolish enough to risk his reputation and cause an international scandal in Tokyo?

This was a cute story.  You could see how flattered Flynn was and Chiriro’s pure interest and how much he has invested his heart before they even met.  I am still thrown on the traditions and expectations of the culture and haven’t felt they have been well described for me.  I really liked seeing these two go with their feelings despite what any around them may say or do.  The only thing that I had an issue with is Flynn would refer to himself as bisexual in one sentence and then gay in the next like he couldn’t decide either way.

The cover art by E Keith is cute and is perfect for a Valentines story.

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 35 pages

Published: February 2, 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

Ari of Ari McKay with Teaser and a giveaway on their new release ‘Heart of Glass (Lawyers in Love #3)’ by Ari McKay

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Heart of Glass (Lawyers in Love #3) by Ari McKay
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art by Bree Archer

ORDER LINKS:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ari of Ari McKay here today to talk about their latest story Heart of Glass. Welcome, Ari!
♦︎

Hello, everyone! I’m the Ari half of Ari McKay, and I am honored to be joining the lovely people at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words today to let you know a little bit about our recent release, Heart of Glass from Dreamspinner Press!

Heart of Glass is book three of our novella series Lawyers in Love. The first story, Santa’s Naughty Helper, was a Christmas tale, while Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows was set around Valentine’s Day. Our latest story returns to the Christmas Season, encompassing both the excitement of a New York “big city” holiday, and the delights of a more homespun celebration in the New Jersey suburbs. But while Christmas is the season for the story, the beginning features a misunderstanding that no one is likely to share around a holiday fire!

Asher Caldwell doesn’t do hearth and home, family or commitment. It’s a result of his upbringing by a father who just can’t seem to understand the word “faithful”. Asher is afraid of being like is father, so his love life consists of nothing more than one night stands with paid escorts. It might seem a bit ironic that a lawyer would result to an activity which is against the law, but Asher views it as serving his purpose. He gets the physical release he needs, the escorts receive compensation, and no one gets hurt.

No one knows about Asher’s practical arrangement, especially not Zach Richardson. Like Asher, Zach is the product of his upbringing. He comes from a large, warm family, and what he wants most is to find someone to love in the way his parents love one another. Unfortunately, Zach isn’t a very outgoing person, and between working for the District Attorney and his own innate reserve, Zach doesn’t meet many men. But when he works on the prosecution of a high profile case, he sees Asher Caldwell in action, and he’s completely blown away. Fascinated with both Asher and Asher’s ability to defend a seemingly indefensible case, Zach applies to Asher’s firm. Unfortunately, working in the same office doesn’t win him Asher’s notice, and Zach finally takes his friends’ advice to get out and try to find someone.

His best friends give him a makeover, and even Zach is stunned at the difference it makes in his appearance. For the first time in his life, he actually feels desirable. When his clubbing date with his pals is interrupted by an urgent assignment delivering paperwork to Asher’s apartment, Zach is a little curious if Asher will notice the difference.

Asher seems to notice – and to approve wholeheartedly, since he proceeds to seduce Zach. Unable to resist, Zach gives in, wondering if this could be the start of the kind of relationship with Asher he’d been hoping for. Their chemistry is off the charts, and Zach is beyond ecstatic, until the truth of the situation is finally revealed. Asher was expecting an escort, and he thought Zach was nothing more than his paid companion for the evening. To say Zach is devastated is quite an understatement.

When Asher learns the truth, he’s horrified that he’s gone to bed with one of his employees — and yet his encounter with Zach left him, for the first time, hungry for more. Now Asher faces the greatest challenge of his life – to convince Zach to take a chance on him, and prove to them both that he can be faithful to one man for the rest of his life.

I’m not going to give anything else away, but I hope I’ve whetted your appetite the way Zach did Asher’s, and that you’ll give Heart of Glass a chance to make you fall in love with our boys the way we did. And even if it isn’t Christmas, maybe a little of the magic can still rub off with the gift of a happily ever after!

Love always! Ari and McKay

BLURB:

 

Fear of being like his unfaithful father has put high walls around senior litigator Asher Caldwell’s heart. Can former district attorney Zach Richardson knock them down to reveal the passionate man beneath the commitment-phobic workaholic, or will Zach’s own jealousy destroy what they’re trying to build?

 

A new life and a new love—that’s what Zach’s hoping for when he leaves the DA’s office and lets his friends give him a makeover. But the jury’s still out on whether the experiment was a success. His new look gets the attention of his boss and secret crush, Asher Caldwell, and leads to a seduction. Unfortunately, to Zach’s horror he learns that Asher assumed he was a paid escort. Asher is equally mortified to discover he had sex with an employee. Even so, the encounter meant a lot to both men, and they want to give dating a shot. Their romance born out of mistaken identity might work if Zack can trust Asher to be satisfied with the love of only one man… and if Asher can trust himself.

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.

AUTHOR CONTACTS:

 

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay

Giveaway

The authors are giving away with our post of the first two Lawyers in Love stories, Santa’s Naughty Helper and Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows.   Leave a comment, maybe about the series or even a suggestion for a new holiday for them along with your email address where you can be reached.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.