A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!

A romance must have heart.  Seems like such a simple idea.  Such a central idea!  Shouldn’t every romance ideally have heart?  But you would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) at the number of romances I read where the heart of the story, the love, the romance as it were was just left out of them.

Or bled out of it at some point by as aspect of the characters or their  romance or even the ending.

Maybe its the lack of chemistry between the characters that kills it, or the relationship dynamics themselves.  Doormats anyone?  I don’t have enough fingers for the amount of times reviewers have told them they just didn’t “like” either the development of a character or a romance between characters.  That it killed the story for them. No chemistry.

Sometimes its in the initial meeting of the characters.  Gay for me for example (a trope I’m not fond of). You “turned” gay for someone? Ugh no.  I far prefer gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual …those  stories where the person discovering their sexuality whatever that maybe.   Guess we are back to boxes and titles.  And treatments, of course.  That can do it as well.  Take a heart out of a story.

How about how the couple goes about their relationship?  Can that suck the life out of the romance for you?  I know it can for me.  See doormat above.

And then there’s the ending.  So many books have crashed and burned on their endings alone.  The “oh, no, they didn’t end it there” stories!  We all have them.  The ones that left us gobsmacked.  And wanting to throw said Kindles and paperbacks across the room, the romance gone, deflating the stories like some sad pinpricked balloon.

And if you can guess a book prompted all this you would be right.  Shakes head.  I keep forgetting they get published like that. No, I’m not going to name it.

So that’s my rant for today. It’s safe to step back into the blog!  What pokes the pin into your books? What deflates the romance quicker than you can say boom? Let me know in the comments. Our giveaway is still going on until next week.

 

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.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July, 22:

  • Tour – Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed by Quin Perin
  • An Alisa Review – Meik & Sebastian by Quin Perin
  • A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 23:

  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – Zen Alpha by Sionnach Wintergreen
  • Dreamspun Promo Amy Lane on A Fool and His Manny
  • Release Day Blitz Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey
  • A Jeri Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Ardulum: First Don (Ardulum) by J.S. Fields

Tuesday, July 24:

  • Release Blitz – Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • Release Blitz – Fusion by Posy Roberts
  • RELEASE BLITZ Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel
  • A Lucy Review: Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • An Alisa Review: Professor Hot Pants by by Ember-Raine Winters
  • An Alisa Review: Serving Him (The Retreat #1) by L.M. Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor and Philip Alces (Narrator)

Wednesday, July 25:

  • AUDIO Blog TOUR The Eagle and the Fox by Nya Rawlyns
  • DSP Promo Poppy Dennison
  • Release Blitz – Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • Release Blitz with – Serving Him by L M Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review Smoke in the Mirror (Road to Blissville #5) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Thursday, July 26:

  • DSP Promo Kim Fielding on Blyd and Pearce
  • Risk Taker by Lily Morton Release Day Blitz
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat
  • A Lucy Review: Erik the Pink by Matthew J. Metzger

Friday, July 27:

  • Release Blitz – Brave For You – Crystal Lacy
  • Cover Reveal – Mia Kerick Love Spell
  • Impact Flash Fiction Anthology Tour
  • DSP Promo Michaela Grey
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Dark (Expedition 63 #2) by T.A. Creech
  • A MelanieM Review: Impact Flash Fiction Anthology
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review:Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

Saturday, July 28:

  • Release Blitz – DJ Jamison – Hearts & Health Volume 2
  • A MelanieM Review:The End of All Stories (Legends of Badal’Shari #1) by Julia Rosenthal

 

An Alisa Review : Meik & Sebastian (Obsessed #1) by Quin Perin

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Obsessed – to preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.

Meik Lennen has everything a man could want. A successful company. More money than he knows what to do with. Men and women falling to their knees in front of him, practically begging him to dominate them. Everything a man could want with only one problem: he’s bored of it all. Bored of the same old things and the greyness of his life, until…

…he catches sight of Sebastian, an enigmatic twenty-year-old street musician, who rips him out of his dull daze. Obsessed with the young man, Meik lures him in and offers him a peek into a world of sins and desire. But soon Sebastian begins to twist his way into his consciousness, threatening to reveal dark memories Meik had locked away tightly.

The beginning of a brand new MM Explicit Gay Sex Series (no romance)

The author promised no romance and there definitely is none in this story, it is all about the sex which is what I expected.  This is well written and doesn’t go to deep into the characters, it looks like it may in the next book of this series though.  And though I kind of liked the story I will read the next in the series to see where the author’s take this.

For want of a better word, Meik is an ass.  He is arrogant and doesn’t care about others feelings.  I don’t mind smut, probably read it much more than I should, but I prefer to like my characters and at this point it isn’t possible with Meik.  Sebastian was actually in the story all that much, just their two encounters so other than knowing he is an innocent young man that apparently wants Meik there isn’t much else.

The cover art by Vanessa Rödiger is nice and draws your attention.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 75 pages

Published: June 18, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Obsessed #1

Book Blast Tour – Meik and Sebastian – Obsessed by Quin Perin (excerpt and giveaway)

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BOOK BLAST and REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed

Author: Quin Perin

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Genre/s: Gay Erotica, Bisexual Erotica

Length: 74 pages

Add on Goodreads  

Blurb

Obsessed – to preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.

Meik Lennen has everything a man could want. A successful company. More money than he knows what to do with. Men and women falling to their knees in front of him, practically begging him to dominate them. Everything a man could want with only one problem: he’s bored of it all. Bored of the same old things and the greyness of his life, until…

…he catches sight of Sebastian, an enigmatic twenty-year-old street musician, who rips him out of his dull daze. Obsessed with the young man, Meik lures him in and offers him a peek into a world of sins and desire. But soon Sebastian begins to twist his way into his consciousness, threatening to reveal dark memories Meik had locked away tightly.

Buy Links – FREE ON AMAZON

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

For the briefest moment, their eyes locked. The warmth of the musician’s breaths puffed out against Meik’s cock, and he could hear the sound of cars driving by. Just a few feet away, where Sebastian had been standing, people were walking past, completely unaware of what they were up to.

“Don’t stop.”

The rough sound of Sebastian’s voice made Meik laugh. “So fucking eager, aren’t we?” he rasped. Letting his hand fall from the wall, he wrapped his fingers around the base of his shaft. Hellfire burned in his eyes as he looked at the submitting man, slapping first his left then his right cheek with his cock, loving the wet sound of flesh on flesh. “You love sucking my dick, don’t you? Tell me how much you want to choke on it, and I’ll give it to you.”

Sebastian leaned back, trapping the hand wrapped in his hair against the wall as he did. Glossy eyes gazed up at Meik as his fingers dropped down, grabbing at the front of his jeans and squeezing the bulge there. The outline of his erection was obvious and pretty impressive for his lithe form.

“This is how much I want it, sir.” Meik’s cock twitched at his words. Jesus Christ.

About the Authors

Hello there! This is Quin & Perin. We are a pair of gay erotica writers who focus on detailed, toe-curling, and realistic smut scenes with a fair share of dirty talking (Oh, boy). We write for readers who want something more. Who are fed up with the good ol’ porn-ish approach to gay erotica.

Our readers admire and acquire books that feature thrumming heartbeats and sizzling sparks between characters. Characters who click. Unlike other authors in the genre, we write without the goal of publishing anything. Publishing is just the cherry on top of a cream-covered bubble butt.

That said, it is time for the next level of smut: stories featuring fire, lust & desire.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Newsletter

Are you tired of cliché, boring drivel? Not enough bang in your smut? Is the foreplay more like boreplay? Well, then welcome to quin&perin. Smut makers with a mission. We have handjobs, blow jobs, masturbation, and more! So come on down while we go down.

Sign up for our newsletter to get notified once our new books come out!

We’d love to stay in touch

x quin&perin

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A MelanieM Review: The Lies That Bind (Boystown #8) by Marshall Thornton

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

 

The eighth book of the best-selling Boystown Mystery Series begins with a phone call in the middle of the night. Private investigator Nick Nowak is pulled into the troubled world of freelance journalist, and all around pain-in-the-ass, Christian Baylor.

When Christian can’t stop lying about the corpse in his bathroom things slip slowly out of control. Meanwhile, Nick’s relationship with former priest Joseph Biernecki takes an unexpected turn and the Federal case against Jimmy English proceeds toward trial.

Here we are, into the eighth book in the Boystown series, and  as a result of all the events he has had to go through,the character of Nick Nowak is showing some real growth and changes in his life.

He’s running (when the unrelenting heat of the Chicago summer permits), he’s turned his new lakefront apartment into a home, has established routines with Mrs Harker on Sundays, Brian and his boyfriend. He’s even  deepening his own relationship with the ex priest Joseph, which is different than all the others he’s had before.  Yes, Nick Nowak has become monogamous, a circumstance that has surprised him and happened without him realizing it. Or talking about it with  Joseph.  Even Nick’s bank account is flush with money…an even rarer oddity.

So of course, things get snarled and messy for Nick just as he thinks he may have some things in his life figured out.

I think that if you haven’t especially emphasized with Nick before, perhaps because of his infidelities and outlook on sex, this is the story, that brings you over to Nick’s side.  It will be in Nick’s relationship with Joseph, their dynamics, their  new relationship fraught with surprises for them both.  How the dynamics in the relationship is handled by both men over the course of the story is important because, not only does it feel real, grounded in the reality of the way people handle changes in their romances and perceptions, but because it marks a maturity and growth not seen before.

All the while that is happening between Nick and Joseph, Nick is heavily involved in two cases. One that is a carry over from the previous stories involving Jimmy English and Owen’s law firm.  The other is new involving an old acquaintance…Christian Baylor.  A pain in Nick’s proverbial ass, former friend of sorts of Harker’s, and somewhat yellow journalist looking to up his game.

Both mysteries are creative and complex.  Jimmy English’s keeps evolving over the series of stories.  Everytime you think Nick and the reader has a handle on where it’s going, Marshall Thornton changes direction and victim/culprits.  Its compelling, dark, and a puzzle you can’t turn away from.  And its not  over here.  The end is not is sight yet which makes me happy.  Jimmy English himself is a character that I’ve come to be addicted to as well (not a healthy thing in these novels with their high body count).

So is the one with Christian and the body in the hallway.  With Nick and his cases, nothing is ever straightfordward.  There are layers of deceit, links to Nick or people he knows to deal with, and emotions dredged up that Nick somehow must learn to deal with.  Also physical danger and tons of suspense.

How I love these stories.  So many outstanding elements and all handled expertly!

One last note on one of those elements.  That would be the 80’s factor here.  Marshall Thornton’s use of topics and elements from that era to bring the fact that these stories and Nick live in the 1980’s vividly alive is done so well.  Here AIDS has progressed throughout the US as has the research into how it is spread.  People are starting to talk a little more knowledgeably about it but the fear about blood contamination is rising as well (how well I remember that phase). AIDS, its growth, has been a common factor throughout the series.  You can chart the first whispers of it beginning with book 1, the chills making those early books all the more memorable because you know where it will lead you.

Other 80’s elements are mind boggling.  The double floppy disk Wang computer system that’s long disappeared from memory, COMPAQs, the appearance of IMB systems and a huge brick like mobile phone costing $4,000.  Amazing.  There’s more of course, but those made honorable mention in my mind for this review.  Thornton handles all the aspects of that era, big and small with equal respect and importance.  From sports scores, to newspapers, tech equipments down to music and clothes wear….the research is impeccable.  And folded into the narrative just as it should, matter of factly and not as an historic statement.

Yes, I love this, yes, I  recommend it and all the others that go before and should be read in the order written.  One of my top books/series of the year.

Cover art by Marshall Thornton

Sales Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published February 21st 2016 by Kenmore Books
ASINB019ZS0SHM
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBoystown #8

Series:

Boystown Bundle 1 – 3 – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 A Time For Secrets – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 Murder Book – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 From The Ashes – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 Bloodlines – Amazon US | Amazon UK (ON SALE for 99c)
Book #8 The Lies That Bind – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #9 Lucky Days – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #10 Gifts Given – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #11 Hearts Desire – Amazon US | Amazon UK (PREORDER

A MelanieM Review: A Trust to Follow (Wild Magics #1) by Diana Waters

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Rating: 1.75  stars out of 5

 

Daymon is the second prince of a kingdom in which Evokers—those who possess intuitive magical abilities—have long since been treated with fear and mistrust. Marked as an Evoker himself, Daymon is captured by those who wish to take advantage of these powers. Now, the prince must put his faith in Rhyder, the captain of his guards—and the man Daymon has claimed as his own—to free him.

It’s never a good thing when the blurb gives you more world building than the actual story.  But that, and much more (or actually much less) happens in A Trust to Follow (Wild Magics #1) by Diana Waters.

I was drawn to the tale by the synopsis as this was a new author for me.  It has such possibilities.  All of which remain hard to find here because the reader will be scrabbling for anything to hold onto once they start into this disorganized mess of a story.

There is almost zero world building so you have little idea about the Evokers, the history of the kingdom although you will get some about Daymor’s childhood.  Wisps really.  All done in “memory flashbacks”.  Because for most of the story Daymor is a prisoner and the story/action is actually happening around him.

This means that the author need not describe anything int he story that would ground his “abduction/attempts to rescue/actual rescue” in any emotional or action worthy way or other characters.  Even on Daymor himself.  Yes, its all missing in “action”.  So the story is merely Daymor as a prisoner (floating in a narrative bubble) as nebulous “action” maybe occuring around him that you have no idea what it is and why is is happening.

The whole story just makes no sense. Neither do any of the characters.  Especially when they talk about making some difference with Evokers at the end.  Really?  When did that happen?

If you are a fan of Diana Waters, than this is a book for you.  For all others, I’ll leave the choice up to you.  It’s not one I would recommend myself.

Cover art: Erin Dameron-Hill. Cover art is lovely but would make one think its a space novel or involve more magic than this actually does.  Misleading but lovely.

Sales Links: eXtasy Books | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 64 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by eXtasy Books Inc (first published May 26th 2016)
ASINB07DCK5BJ1
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWild Magics #1

A Caryn Review Daisy, Yellow (Paw Prints #1) by Angelique Jurd

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Who can resist a cute little puppy?  Turns out, no one in this story, which is as it should be!  Dog lovers will really enjoy this book, not only because Daisy figures prominently throughout, but also because of all the dog themed humor.  Not over the top, but just right for a vet and a city boy who just moved to the farm.

Noah Jenkins is an engineering consultant in Chicago who had just gone through a humiliating breakup when his grandfather died and left him a farm in rural Newton, Illinois.  Leaving the city to get away from his ex seemed like a perfect plan, and since his work was primarily on-line, he was able to move immediately.  He didn’t know a thing about farming, but thought he would just figure it out as he went along.  He bought a puppy – another completely new experience – and jumped right in.

One of his first days out, Daisy got bit, and Noah rushed her to the local vet.  He was convinced it was a snake bite, was embarrassed to find out it was just a bee sting, but it was a perfect meet-cute for Noah and Hunter Ross, veterinarian.  Newton is a small town, so they inevitably met up later, and although Hunter was a little awkward, they bonded over Daisy and became friends, and shortly afterwards, lovers.  But Newton was more than just a little conservative, and Hunter was still haunted by the memory of a local man beaten and run out of town for being gay, so he was as deep in the closet as he could get.

It’s been a while since I read a contemporary romance with this level of homophobia, but I thought the author sold it well.  Even as I got frustrated with Hunter’s reluctance to acknowledge his relationship with Noah to the safe people in town, I understood why he held back.  The pace of their relationship also seemed just right for their situation, and Noah’s reasons for holding back were also explained in a way that were consistent with who he was, and how he acted with other people in his life.  The secondary characters rounded the story out well, and had their own wisdom to add.  I thought the dialogue was great – they joked, they bantered, and it was funny and entertaining without being fake, and I thought it would be fun to hang out with these guys.  I loved it when Hunter teased Noah by using  the same language with him that he did with Daisy!

I would have given the book a higher rating except for a few things.  First, the book is written in present tense, which I absolutely hate and which usually makes me DNF a book.  Present tense is annoying and feels artificial, and all I can say is that at least I stuck it out because the story itself was really cute; change the tense throughout the entire book and it goes up one whole star.  Second, the ending seemed rushed and incomplete.  I was expecting the violence, but Noah’s and Hunter’s reaction to it didn’t seem quite right and I wanted more explanation of how they felt and why they decided to do what they did, but then the story was just over.  It felt like the entire book was building up to a HEA, but the author just stopped midway to make it HFN and possibly make a sequel.  There was no satisfactory wrap up to the plot (or at least to the character’s feelings about the events), but also there was nothing that made me think I have to read the next book.  It felt like the author had a story arc for one book, but decided to drag it out into a series or something.  So, overall it was cute, but nothing to make me want to read it again.

Cover by May Dawney Designs is adorable

Sales Links:

Amazon US  

Amazon UK 

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 177 pages
Published June 23rd 2018 by Small Black Cat Media
ASINB07DZ3LJCD
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPaw Prints #1 settingIllinois (United States)

A Lila Review: The Merchant’s Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6) by Antonia Aquilante

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Faelen, cousin to the prince and son of a diplomat, has finally come home to Tournai after years away. The pull to return was almost tangible, and the sense of rightness at being back is absolute. He wants nothing more than to put down roots and build a life among family while pursuing his linguistic studies. Becoming involved in magic meant to protect Tournai isn’t part of his plans…but falling in love is even more unexpected and unfamiliar, but he finds himself doing just that as his friendship with Maxen deepens into something more.

Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and see everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.

For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?

The Merchant’s Love brings us back to Tournai for another sweet love story. We knew about Maxen and Faelen from previous books. In their story, we get a chance to learn more about them individually and as a couple. I enjoyed the amount of time the author spent making them three-dimensional characters with more to offer than their looks and connections.

The way the characters took their time getting to know each other worked well with the plot. I wished they have continued their writing and courting for a little longer. The tidbits of information they shared were endearing and gave us a glimpse to what their hopes and dreams were. Those also played a roll disturbing their blossoming relationship. The side if humor was an added bonus.

The amount of detail in the story goes beyond the main characters. We get updates from other couples and information about the country and the overall series plot. I’m not sure how many more books the author has planned, but I hope it’s a couple of them. There’s so much more about Tournai and its people I would love to learn.

The cover by Natasha Snow matches the previous book in the series. Perhaps too modern for my idea of Tournai but it works with the story setting.

Sale Links: NineStar Amazon | Nook

Book Details:

ebook, 343 pages
Published: June 18, 2018, by NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781948608831
Edition Language: English

Series:  Chronicles of Tournai
Book #1: The Prince’s Consort
Book #2: The Artist’s Masquerade
Book #3: The Scholar’s Heart
Book #4: The Sorcerer’s Guardian
Book #5: The Dragon’s Devotion 
Book #6: The Merchant’s Love

Hudson Lin on Writing and the new release Three Months to Forever (guest blog)

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Three Months to Forever (World of Love) by Hudson Lin

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Hudson Lin

Hi! I’m Hudson Lin and this is the blog tour for Three Months to Forever. Read on for some of my thoughts on writing, what I’m working on now, and the blurb for my new novel!

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

A lot and not very much at all. I always put a little something of myself into my characters, usually some sort of neurosis that plays into the character’s personality and affects the choices they make. So while the characters are unlike me in most ways, the little bit that is similar ends up becoming an important part of how they think and what they believe about themselves.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

HEAs and HFNs are one reason why I love romance. I can always count on a satisfying and happy ending. In fact, when I read non-romance books, I often get anxious half-way through the book, because what if the book doesn’t end happy?!

However, I seem to have different definitions of HEA and HFN than most people. To me, an HEA is when two people admit they love each other and committed to their relationship. This doesn’t have to mean marriage because marriage isn’t always the right choice for everyone. Also, just because two people get married doesn’t mean the relationship won’t fall apart later and result in divorce. So as long as the characters have committed to each other, I consider that an HEA.

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

No, I don’t believe a character can be too real or have too many faults. In fact, I prefer characters who are deeply flawed and stories that show they can still find love. To think otherwise is to believe that there are people in the world who are beyond loving, who are so broken that they do not deserve love. This is antithesis to the core principle of romance. Everyone deserves to be loved—no matter how flawed and broken they are. 

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

Yes! In fact, one of the first stories I posted online for free is a story about a Catholic priest who struggles with being gay. Having grown up in a very religious environment myself, I’d spent a lot of time reconciling what the Bible teaches about homosexuality with my own experience with homosexuality. What resulted was Stepping Out in Faith, where I wrote onto the page how I was able to come to terms with two seemingly conflicting world views.

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

I write for a number of reasons: to lose myself in a world where there is always a happy ending, to process questions and issues I’ve been struggling with, to recreate the real world in a better form. It’s important to me to reflect the real world in the stories I write, not only to ground the story in reality, but also to give hope that no matter how awful things are in real life, there is potential for better.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

My latest release is Three Months to Forever (out on July 20th from Dreamspinner Press) about Ben, a white man who is sent from Toronto to Hong Kong on a three-month work assignment. He meets Sai, an older Hong Kong lawyer, who has a complicated relationship with his father and his work. They quickly fall in love, despite several lost-in-translation moments, but what will they do when Ben’s three months come to an end? Set in Hong Kong, Three Months to Forever is as much a love story about the city as it is a romance about two men. Readers can expect lots of references to cultural landmarks and plenty of food!

Following Three Months to Forever, I’ve got several other stories in the works (though no set release dates), including an m/m romance set in LA about a Dreamer and his law school classmate; an m/f romance set in Toronto about former law school rivals who find themselves on opposite sides of a new case; and an f/f romance featuring Izzy from my previous book Inside Darkness.

Three Months to Forever releases on July 20th!

Three Months to Forever Blurb

Ben is looking for an adventure when he accepts a temporary assignment in Hong Kong, but he never anticipated how his life might change when he meets a sophisticated older man named Sai. Their initial attraction is sizzling and soon grows into more as Sai takes Ben on a tour of the city’s famous landmarks and introduces him to the local cuisine. Sai stimulates Ben’s intellect and curiosity, and for jaded corporate lawyer Sai, Ben’s innocent eagerness is a breath of fresh air. It would be so easy to fall in love….

But nothing is that simple. Sai’s job forces him to do things that violate his morals, and his relationship with his family is a major obstacle to any lasting relationship with Ben. Back in Toronto, Ben’s father is ill, and can he really leave behind his home for a man he’s only known for a short time? With the clock ticking, they must decide whether to risk it all and turn three months into forever.

About Hudson Lin

Hudson Lin was raised by conservative immigrant parents and grew up straddling two cultures with ofttimes conflicting perspectives on life. Instead of conforming to either, she has sought to find a third way that brings together the positive elements of both.

Having spent much of her life on the outside looking in, Hudson likes to write stories about outsiders who fight to carve out their place in society, and overcome everyday challenges to find love and happily ever afters.

When not engrossed in a story, Hudson knits, drinks tea, and works the 9 to 5 in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada.

Social Media Links

Website: hudsonlin.com

Twitter: @hudsonlinwrites

Facebook: facebook.com/hudsonlinwrites

Goodreads: goodreads.com/hudsonlinwrites

JL Merrow on May-December Romance and the latest release ‘Camwolf’ (guest post and giveaway)

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Camwolf (Camwolf) by J.L. Merrow

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host JL Merrow here today talking about her latest release at Dreamspinner Press, Camwolf.  Welcome, JL.

May-December Romance

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Camwolf, my student/teacher werewolf romance set in my alma mater, Cambridge University.

To call Camwolf a May-December romance is perhaps slightly misleading. If we take the average male lifespan in the UK to be 79* then with Julian aged 19 and Nick aged 31, it’s more of an end-of-February/middle of April romance. But then that doesn’t quite trip off the tongue so well.

Age gaps have, historically, often been a feature of male/male relationships. Under the ancient Greek erastes/eromenos model, age gaps were expected: the whole point was for an experienced older man to take a younger man under his wing and show him the ropes**. Relationships between men of equal age were positively frowned-upon.

Studies have found that gay men are around three times as likely as straight couples to have a relationship with an age gap of 10 years or more. This is not to say, however, that they don’t face negative attitudes from their peers. The older partner can face criticism and assumptions he’s paying for the company, and the younger man may be told he’s got daddy issues and could do better.

Why, then, are age gap relationships so prevalent? Perhaps it’s because, once you’ve gone against perceived societal norms by coming out as gay, having an older/younger partner isn’t such a big deal. And it’s been suggested that some younger men seek out an older partner for much the same reasons as the ancient Greeks: when you’re growing up with a different sexuality from the majority of those around you, it can be reassuring to be with someone who’s been through it all before.

Ageism certainly hasn’t stopped celebrity couples such as Tom Daly and Dustin Lance Black (20 years age gap); Stephen Fry and Elliott Spencer (30 years); and Elton John and David Furnish (15 years) from getting hitched. And an age gap is no barrier to a relationship’s longevity: Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy (30 years gap) were together for 33 years, until Isherwood’s death. Noel Coward and Graham Payne (19 years) were together for a similar timespan, until Coward’s death. 

It all goes to show that love is love, and as long as both parties are consenting adults, shouldn’t we let them be the judge of what works in their relationship?

What I particularly enjoyed about writing Nick and Julian’s romance was the way their roles reverse from what might be expected. Yes, Julian is a student at Cambridge University, and Nick is a lecturer as well as the older partner, but on the subject of being a werewolf, it’s Julian who is the more experienced one. It’s Julian who has to teach Nick how to deal with his altered state—despite the fact that Nick is an alpha wolf, and Julian an omega.

In the circumstances, it’s perhaps not surprising that Nick struggles more than a little.

And that’s before a certain figure from Julian’s past turns up to set the wolf among the pigeons.

*Three years longer than in the US, apparently. But two years less than Switzerland. Moral: eat more chocolate; it’s good for you.

**Assuming they were into that kind of thing.

Blurb

A race to save his lover—by becoming his own worst nightmare.

Dr. Nick Sewell has it all. Good friends, a career as a Cambridge academic… and recently, a tendency to turn into a wolf every full moon.  When a new student arrives from Germany, Nick is horrified by his visceral attraction to the troubled youth—not to mention his violent jealousy when he sees Julian with another man. He’s floored to find out Julian is a werewolf too.

Unlike Nick, Julian has spent his life among other wolves, and in this subject, he’s the teacher and Nick the student. Nick struggles to adjust to this reversal of roles, especially since he’s an alpha and Julian a natural submissive. That dynamic just adds to the attraction smoldering between them, whether they’re in human form or wolf.

But Julian’s pack and the abuse he suffered isn’t far behind him, and it wants to reclaim him. For Nick to hold on to his lover, he’ll have to embrace the monster within.

Question: Book rec time: what’s your favourite May/December or student/teacher romance?

Giveaway: I’m offering a prize of a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate to one lucky commenter on the tour, who will be randomly chosen on Wednesday 25th July. Good luck!

Available in ebook and paperback from Dreamspinner Press

Camwolf was previously published by Samhain, but has been completely re-edited and given a lovely new cover for this second edition by Dreamspinner Press.

About the Author

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. 

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Two of her novels have won Rainbow Awards for Romantic Comedy (Slam!, 2013 and Spun!, 2017) and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Crime Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: https://jlmerrow.com/, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

BOOK BLAST – Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title:  Daisy, Yellow

Author: Angelique Jurd

Publisher: Small Black Cat Media

Cover Artist: May Dawney Designs

Genre/s:  Contemporary Gay Romance

Length: 177 pages

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  

Amazon UK 

Blurb  

Just months after breaking up with his boyfriend, Noah Jenkins inherits his grandfather’s farm and he decides it’s time for a change of scenery. He packs his bags, buys a dog, and moves onto the property. When his Labrador puppy Daisy gets hurt he meets local vet Hunter Ross and life starts to look interesting again. 

Hunter Ross has always lived in small, conservative Newton, in rural Illinois. At 39 he’s never been in love and never had a lover and may have neglected to tell anyone he’s close to that he’s gay. It’s never been a problem – until Daisy, Yellow and her owner, Noah, show up. 

Is Noah’s love enough for Hunter to risk everything? Does Hunter have the strength to make the hardest choices he’ll ever make and survive?

Excerpt  

The great thing about small towns it turns out is that delivery is free and it’s quick. His new furniture will arrive tomorrow morning, which gives him time to get the living room ready. The parking lot in front of the clinic is empty but Noah can see Hunter’s truck parked further back and, on a whim, he follows the driveway down. He parks, unbuckles Daisy from her harness, and clips her leash on before he gets out of the car. When he turns around, Hunter is leaning against the doorway, wearing low slung jeans and a threadbare tee-shirt, arms crossed over his chest.

“Hi.”

“Hi,” Noah croaks. His mouth and throat have gone dry and when Daisy pulls the leash free from his grasp, he barely notices. Hunter pushes the screen door open with a bare foot and she rushes inside.

“Shit, sorry!” He leaps after her, but Hunter doesn’t seem concerned, only amused.

From the depths of the house comes a volley of high pitched barks followed by an angry hiss.

“Sounds like she’s found Rosie.”

Noah trails behind him as Hunter goes inside, taking in his surroundings as walks. The cluttered living room is small with plain, simple furnishings in faded colors. In contrast, Noah notices, the sounds system, hooked to a laptop and a flat screen television, is state of the art. In the middle of the room stands the cat from the clinic, back arched and tail puffed up. Daisy bounces forward with a yip only to be met by a grey and white paw that smacks her nose three times in quick succession and sends her scuttling back to Noah with a yelp and a whimper.

As he picks her up he spots two scratches across her nose, both beading with blood.

“Hey, your cat scratched my pup.”

“Your pup tried to chase my cat.”

Annoyed, Noah clutches Daisy to his chest and braces his shoulders. She’s bleeding.

“You should control her better.”

The statement is met by laughter. That he likes the sound of it annoys Noah even more than the laughter itself.

“She’s a cat. How do you propose I control her?”

“I don’t know but you’re a vet, you should be able to think of something.”

Hunter steps over and peers at the scratches on Daisy’s nose.

“She’ll live. You can trust me on this, I’m a vet.” The mocking tone makes it very clear what Hunter thinks of Noah’s reaction. He bends and gathers Rosie up and puts her on the back of an armchair. She immediately jumps off, flicks her tail at the room and saunters down the hallway.

In Noah’s arms, Daisy quivers and whimpers.

Noah is about to protest again when Hunter leans forward and brushes a kiss over his mouth. It’s brief and rough, over before Noah can even register it’s happening. Stunned, he runs his finger over his bottom lip and hugs Daisy to his chest as he watches Hunter walk away, calling over his shoulder as he goes.

“Do you want coffee?”

About the Author

Author, acafan, Buddhist. Angelique is owned by four cats, three adult children, two temperamental computers, and a very patient boyfriend (not a partridge in a pear tree).

A former print journalist and editor, she has over the years, written about a wide variety of topics from politics to duck breeding to rock concerts. Her interest in fandom studies was sparked in 2015 when she watched Supernatural for the first time and she has been fascinated by the intersection between fans and creators ever since and is currently completing an MA (Media Studies) in the subject. 

She likes cold champagne, hot coffee, neat whiskey, loud Springsteen, and the Winchester brothers kicking butt. When she’s not writing she likes to color, watch movies, and get more tattoos.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  

Facebook 

Twitter @AngeliqueJurd 

Instagram: angeliquejurd

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