A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Super for You Bad for Me by Asta Idonea

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was like an adult comic book without the pictures. Darn. I really would have liked to have seen some of these action shots, but I had to dust off my imagination and allow the author’s words to create the visual imagery. And create it, she did.

One has to take the whole story with a grain of salt so if you are the kind of reader who wants a very down-to-earth MM romance, this may not be for you. Imagination is the key. After all, how many contemporary superheroes do we get a chance to read about, especially one as sweet as Oswell Outterridge, aka Greenbird.

Oswell Outterridge is just an average guy looking to become an actor, so naturally, he kicks off his career as an extra on the film where his heartthrob, Kane Teague, has the star role. He’s shocked when Kane notices him and asks him out but pleasantly surprised once they get to know each other. It’s a very slow burn in a nonexplicit relationship, but the two eventually realize they love each other.

In the meantime, Oswell gets an opportunity at the film studio to be in a special scene where he is slimed. Though most people wouldn’t want that, he knows it’s his chance to get a credit so he’s all for it. Unfortunately, he swallows some, and aside from the raunchy taste, he finds out later that it has other side effects. He’s suddenly able to telekinetically move objects and is shocked when his actions save some customers at the restaurant where he works between action jobs. In fact, he’s so excited, he has a suit made and decides to put his gift to good use and call himself TelekineticusRex. Too bad when his photos hit social media, he’s dubbed Greenbird. What a letdown.

I must say throughout the whole story, the author’s sense of humor shines through. This story is fun and satiric, campy and goofy, but all in all, it’s great entertainment. For those of us who have grown up with a love of superhero comics, Greenbird should be a treat. And the good news is that no matter how much trouble Oswell lands in as Greenbird, and no matter how many times his archenemy (of course he has one!) tries to wipe him out, he manages to be the victor, and he and Kane ultimately find their way to a very happy ever after.

The artfully designed cover by Paul Richmond features a young man dressed in a green lycra bodysuit, arms crossed at his chest. It’s the perfect representation of our superhero, Oswell Otterridge – the Greenbird.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: August 14th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802087
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Review: An Arranged Mating by Jane Wallace-Knight

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Hunter White left home as soon as he was able. Coming back to take over as alpha, Hunter learned of the serious debt his father had left the pack with. Desperate to save them, Hunter entered into a deal with a powerful vampire. The nest leader would pay off all the pack’s debts, on one condition—Hunter had to take a vampire for a mate.

Vampire Aeron Lyons had been in some serious scrapes during his unnaturally long life, but nothing came close to this. Being given to an alpha werewolf, like he was some sort of bargaining chip, wasn’t what Aeron wanted for his life, but he wasn’t dumb enough to say no to a man like Ken Roberts.

Resigning himself to join a pack who already dislikes him on principal, Aeron has no idea how rocky the road ahead will be or how he’s going to spend the rest of his life with a man who hates him.

So interesting concept, Hunter is trying to do what is right for his pack but is getting push back from many.  Aeron owes his life to Ken Roberts and when he says jump Aeron does even if it means moving to a backwater town where everyone hates him.  They both come to find there is a bunch of back stabbing going on and have to find out how to combat it.

Aeron and Hunter are both in a situation they don’t want to be in but quickly find they can make it work.  They actually connect pretty fast and want to protect the other and have to take down a few people for that to happen but they do it together.  I liked this story but felt that it was rushed and couldn’t quite connect with the characters.  It felt like they were putting up a front to others most of the time and I didn’t see the real them much.

The cover art by Harris Channing is nice and gives a nice visual for the story.

Sales Link: Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Book Details:

ebook, 126 pages

Published: July 12, 2018 by Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

ISBN13: 9781642433081

Edition Language: English

Liv Olteano with a Character Q & A and more for Star-Crossed Lover (excerpt and giveaway)

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Star-Crossed Lover (Dreamcatchers #2) by Liv Olteano
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and  Paperback |  Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Goodreads Link

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Liv Olteano here today on tour for her new release Star-crossed Lover. Liv has a   Q & A with Taka, a wonderful excerpt and a giveaway for all to enter.  Welcome, Liv.

 

Q&A with Taka from Star-crossed Lover by Liv Olteano

Interviewer: Is it fair to say that you’re pretty old?

Taka: *glares* No. “Pretty experienced” would be fair.

Interviewer: *clears throat* Right. Of course. Sorry about that. So you’ve been around for a while.

Taka: Since World War II, in fact. Yes.

Interviewer: How do you think the world has changed since then?

Taka: Oh, how hasn’t it changed? I suppose there are the woes of modern life, like speeding up everything – whether it’s suited for speed or not –, avoidance of human contact via social networks, access to unlimited information with lesser and lesser interest in actually getting informed and properly study a topic. You can always find things that are wrong with people and society by and large, in any time and place.

But I like to focus on the positive side. Technology has evolved in a staggering pace. For someone like me, who’s been around during this whole process of development, it’s almost miraculous in fact. Science has made giant leaps. Any kind of progress demands sacrifice.

Interviewer: What’s your favorite part of the world as it is today?

Taka: Oh, that’s an easy answer: technology in all its forms. I love my laptop, smart phone, tablet – all of it. And Ginger. He’s definitely among my top 5 things about the world today. *grins*

Ginger elbows him in the ribs. “So I’m not your no.1 fav? We’ll have words, you and I.”

Interviewer: I hope I’m not creating any tension between you guys!

Taka: Nothing can create tension between us, unless it’s sexual tension.

Interviewer: Well! I think that about wraps it up for us today.

Taka: *chuckles and leaves, taking Ginger by the hand*

Interviewer: “I strongly suspect I’ve just been played to end this earlier than agreed upon.”

Blurb:

A love worth crossing the stars for.

Taka has been a dreamcatcher and part of Team 32 for over six decades, but nobody has tempted him like Ginger—a dancer at club Zee. Too bad dreamcatchers aren’t allowed to have meaningful relationships with regular people. His willpower proves a finite resource, though, when a mission at the club means spending much more time around Ginger.

Ginger’s infatuation with Taka is unwavering. When he proves to have some paranormal skills of his own, he earns himself a place on the team—if he wants it. His decision will change his life—not to mention Taka’s—irrevocably.

But living in the now could prove an issue for a man who has as much history as Taka. Can Ginger’s determination help him make his way into Taka’s heart?

 

Excerpt

“It was broad daylight when I walked into club Zee, but as soon as I got inside, darkness embraced me.

It was rehearsal time for many of the dancers, and the bar was open. During the day you could go in, have your drinks, and watch some rehearsals—all without an entrance fee. Dancers didn’t wear their flamboyant outfits for rehearsal, though since some of them wore considerably less clothing, one might say it was an even better sight. The single- and two-dancer-wide mini stages sprinkled all through the tall and semidark room were black, and so were the floors. Laser lights glided down the dancers’ bodies at night. During rehearsal they had modest colorful lights moving about now and then. There was something more playful than sensual about the mood during the day, and I liked that better.

I also rarely had the time to stop by during the night, considering my “working hours” as a dreamcatcher. Hunting spaga—our enemies—was a nighttime job, since they attacked people in their sleep to steal away their life force and induce nightmares in the process. Our fierce spirit guide Asibikaashi—the Spider Woman and Spirit Mother we lovingly called Aashi for short—asked we be ready to go out on mission from about ten in the evening to close to sunup. Having a curfew after more than six decades of service might have seemed embarrassing, but since I was a long-lived man that looked barely a day older than forty, I kept my ego in check. Some embarrassments you got used to. Like living with my teammates: Claw, our team leader and the oldest dreamcatcher I knew personally; Drew, the annoying one of our two new team members and the muscle of our team; and Drew’s mate and strangely all-around nice guy, Angelo. We were Team 32, operating in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. Regular people couldn’t know about us, or it would make them likelier targets for the spaga. Hanging around people made them likelier targets too. It was best for everyone for us to keep as much distance as we could. But visiting club Zee was a habit I couldn’t shake. In my mind, I made up for it by casting spider magic–fueled protections on the club and people here. As I knew pretty well after all my years of dreamcatcher service, there was no such thing as a perfect shield or protection against the spaga. The reason they chose sleepers as targets was that they were more vulnerable then, but there was no such thing as impenetrable security regardless of circumstances.

Club Zee was pretty popular during the day, and more so at night. Though at night there was pulsing, throbbing, bang-your-brains-out music, during the day the DJ played a different kind of tune. The soft notes of a rock ballad poured out from the speakers, giving the dancers who were practicing a sort of languorousness to their movements. The slower pace made every muscle of their bodies stand out as they moved.

My gaze sought him out before I could stop it. He was never hard to spot. His russet hair, coupled with the soft glow of the spotlight aimed at him, made the sweat on his body look like honey dripping down the corded sinew. For some inexplicable reason, he whipped his head around as if my stare had poked him in the ribs. His gaze shot to mine over the floor, locating me with laser-like precision despite the light and dark effects in the club. I could see the corner of his lips tilting up slowly. It was a lazy, provocative grin that spoke of satisfaction at the attention I couldn’t stop giving him each time I stopped by. He tilted his chin ever so slightly upward and moved his hips with the kind of smoothness that only a serpent should possess. No creature with bones in their body should be able to wiggle like that. This guy would be the death of me, I was pretty sure.

It took a considerable conscious effort to look at anything but him. A fan of self-discipline, I put in that effort and looked away.

I could sense Ginger’s gaze following me as I moved across the floor. I felt it like sticky, warm fingers constantly rubbing over my skin. No matter how long he’d practice from this point on, I knew his gaze would be aimed at me. His focus was a missile that ignited my awareness and arousal, even from this far away. My loins throbbed almost painfully.

If I were a poet or a bard, I might write poems and songs about all the things that simply laying eyes on him did to me. But though I appreciated poetry and music, Ginger’s effect on me had to be kept a secret—from him, first and foremost. In the little hours of morning, after a mission was done but before sleep would take over, I could lie in my bed and contemplate at leisure the sea of desire for and thoughts of him that I nearly drowned in every day; I could examine how that sea eroded away my will to not have him, and how my longing for him grew deeper and more tormenting with each grain of sand lost. Wave after wave of fantasies tormented me. Dreams of what could be but wouldn’t almost pulled me under. If anything, seeing him helped me keep my head on straight—while I was in his presence, that was. As soon as I was without it, I felt adrift in dark waters, shaken by cruel and relentless storms. ”

Want to read more from Chapter 1? Check out the book on the Dreamspinner Press site (Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/star-crossed-lover-by-liv-olteano-9740-b ) and hit the Read an Excerpt button right beneath the cover xD

 

About Liv Olteano:

Liv Olteano is a voracious reader, music lover, and coffee addict extraordinaire. And occasional geek. Okay, more than occasional.

She believes stories are the best kind of magic there is. And life would be horrible without magic. Her hobbies include losing herself in the minds and souls of characters, giving up countless nights of sleep to get to know said characters, and trying to introduce them to the world. Sometimes they appreciate her efforts. The process would probably go quicker if they’d bring her a cup of coffee now and then when stopping by. Characters—what can you do, right?

Liv has a penchant for quirky stories and is a reverent lover of diversity. She can be found loitering around the Internet at odd hours and being generally awkward and goofy at all times.

Links:

http://liv.liviaolteano.com

http://blog.liviaolteano.com/

https://twitter.com/LiviaOlteano

https://www.facebook.com/LiviaOlteano

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6952513.Liv_Olteano

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/zZ7T9

Giveaway

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We Missed National Book Day? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Apparently we here (well, me, haven’t talked to the others) missed National Book Day which was 2 or 3 days ago. Mea Culpa!  Of course, every day here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is book day but I like to think we help to celebrate books every chance we get!  So I went looking for the actual information and found out lots about book celebrations throughout the year and  all over the world.  Pretty cool stuff actually.

And of course, thought you all should know about it.  So here it is.  And it helps me to remember that September is National Literacy Month.  We normally see Charity Anthologies appear to help support LGBTQIA youth in need during that month. LGBTQIA shelters, local PFLAG Youth YA libraries (yep, they exist), and so much more.  September will be here before you know it. So if you have any local shelters (addresses etc) to contribute, please send them in.  We keep a list going.

Book Day Celebrations – Days-Weeks and Months! These are the approximate dates as they can change every year:)

  • World Book Days by country
  • January is National Book Month
  • Third full week in January is National Book Week
  • Last full week in January is Celebrity Read a Book Week
  • February 23 – Printed Book Day
  • March 2 – Unesco World Book Day
  • March 2 – UK World Book Day
  • March 28 – Children’s Picture Book Day
  • April 2 – International Children’s Book Day
  • April 16 – Book-of-the-Month Club Birthday
  • April 23 – World Book Days by country
  • April 3 through May 6 – Children’s Book Week
  • June is AudioBook Month
  • September is National Literacy Month
  • September is when the annual 2 day National Book Festival is held
  • American Library Association (ALA) Banned Book Week is the last week of September
  • October is National Book Month per National Book Foundation
  • October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month
  • First full week in October is Great Books Week
  • December is Read a New Book Month

Saturday things Redux!

We sent out a call for reviewers.  Check out the post here.  And then contact either Stella or myself about reviewing for us. If you love books, this is the place to be!

Review Redux!  I reviewed Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan on Saturday.  I think it’s her finest story yet.  And it’s a tough one to read on many levels.  Three men, a triad, lost everything, when they drove drunk after graduating from university.  That subject matter alone will get people.  It cost them their future in rugby due to disabilities, and each other due to a deep abiding guilt, shame, rage, and more.  This is the story back to each other.  Just amazing.  Did I say it was only 130 pagesI have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.

Representation and Romance Stories.

We’ve been talking about the increasing LGBTQIA representation in fiction and here are some of the comments from two of our readers:

H.B. “I have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.”

Ami: “As an asexual and aromantic reader, it warms my heart that ACE/ARO have started to be represented in romantic fiction.

Having said that, I still feel that it is mostly focused ONLY in the LGBTQIA books or genre. In my own opinion, it’s not enough. Yes, ACE falls in the queer spectrum, but there are a number of ACE who also identify themselves as heteroromantic asexuals. I guess until I see more ace representatives in MF romance, not just Queer romance, I still think there’s room of improvements.

Lately, I see more “diversity” in mainstream romance more focused on race — meaning representing non-White people. I think it’ll be nice to see more MF romance with trans* as well, or heteroromantic pansexual, or even bisexual in MF romance.”

 

I agree with you both.  I want to see diversity as the norm, not as something we need to point at as a goal.  Or even to the point its past mentioning.  Wouldn’t that  be lovely?

Alas and alac…I can’t even get through an audiobook where someone states things like “acting like a teenage girl”.  Really?  Maybe teenagers, yes.  But   can’t we at least bury the sexist phrases?  I’m so done with stuff like that. “Maning up” “Acting like a girl”….all the poisonous ways we demean the sexes, divide the genders.  So maybe we still have a long way to go in a lot of ways.  But I will take whatever forward motion however miniscule.  Positivity!

Sigh.

Now to this  week at the blog.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 12:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • We Missed National Book Day?

Monday, August 13:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brooke
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Liv Olteano
  • Release Blitz – Michelle Woody’s Merrick The Art Thief
  • Release Day Blitz To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • An Alisa Review An Arranged Mating by Jane Wallace-Knight
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love in Spades (Four Kings Security #1) by Charlie Cochet and  Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders#3) by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)

Tuesday, August 14:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Calculated Magic by SJD Peterson
  • Release Blitz – Sky Full Of Mysteries – Rick R Reed
  • Release Blitz – Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) – Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Alisa Review:Exercising Restraint (Different Dynamics #2) by Tamir Drake
  • A VVivacious Review : Sky Full Of Mysteries by Rick R Reed
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Super for You Bad for Me by Asta Idonea

Wednesday, August 15:

  • Something About Us by Riley Hart Release Blitz
  • Series Review Tour for Revving It Up Series by W.S. Long
  • Review Tour – Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz –  Boyfriend Or Bust by Claire Castle
  • A MelanieM Review: Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • An Ali  Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown #10) by Marshall Thornton

Thursday, August 16:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: To See The Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • DSP Publications Promo Jayne Lockwood
  • Promo Jackie North on Shoulder Season (World of Love)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Love You so Hard (Love You So Stories #1) by Tara Lain and Narrator: Ry Forest / Stephen Kurpis (Vitruvian Sound)
  • A MelanieM Review:  Shotgun Bastards and Other Stories by Andrea Speed

Friday, August 17:

  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • DSP Promo Charley Descoteaux
  • Blog Tour Don’t Let Go by Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Tempt Me by Remmy Duchene
  • A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (Love Letters #3) by Anyta Sunday

Saturday, August 18:

  • Blog Tour for Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood
  • A MelanieM Review: Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

—— Reviewers Wanted——

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—— Reviewers Wanted——

 

 

Love to read?  Want to share your opinion with other readers on the stories you’ve read?  Find a new author you absolutely adore?  These are the things we want our reviewers to share with our readers….

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for a few reviewers to join our happy international family of reviewers and wonder if it could be you!  All genres. all book formats, audio and ebook, and all parts of the  Rainbow spectrum….we want you.

Never reviewed before?  Look at one of our reviews  to see the format we use.  It’s also written up under Rating Scale and Review Info.  Send us a sample of a review of a book you’ve recently read to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

Review as little or as much as your schedule allows. We are flexible.  Contact Melanie or Stella at the email address above.

We are happy to answer your questions!

Release Blitz and Giveaway – Gray’s Shadow (Kings of Hell MC #4) by KA Merikan

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 150,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Nastasha Snow
 
Kings Of Hell MC Series
 
Book #1 – Laurent & The Beast – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – My Dark Knight – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – On Your Knees Prospect – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb

 

— There can be no shadow without the man to cast it. —



Gray. Lost his twin. Will never be complete. Works alone.
Shadow. Monster? Human? Exists to be Gray’s one true companion.


After losing his twin brother, Gray has devoted his life to the Kings of Hell MC. He will do anything to protect his family and that means anything.


Even sell his own shadow to the devil.


Following a fire that left him without one arm, Gray feels pushed to the sidelines. In order to prove to his club that he is still capable of completing dangerous tasks, he will have to team up with the strange creature from the Other Side. Tall, inhumanly strong, and menacing despite the handsome exterior, Shadow is just the tool Gray needs.


The moment Shadow lays his eyes on Gray, he wants to crawl under Gray’s skin and make the human his.


Gray on the other hand isn’t willing to get attached to a monster destined to do the devil’s bidding and disappear once his time is up. Rejected, Shadow has to do everything in his power to convince his human that they belong together.


But as the clock ticks away precious minutes of Shadow’s existence, Gray will have to choose between his loyalty to the Kings of Hell MC and responsibility for the creature he brought into this world.

*
 
“Do you feel me running through your veins?”
Gray nodded.
 
*



POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, monster, tattoos, secrets, crime, gothic, grief, mourning, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, demisexuality, gentle giant
Genre: Dark, paranormal M/M romance
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes
Length: ~150,000 words (Book 4 in the series)


WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.


K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


FACEBOOK PROFILE
K.A. MERIKAN’S TWITTER (RUN BY KAT)
AGNES MERIKAN’S TWITTER
K.A. MERIKAN ON GOODREADS
PINTEREST
M/F ROMANCE BY MISS MERIKAN

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A Lila Review: Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

When René moves into his new home, he didn’t expect it to come with roommates. Two handsome roommates, to be precise. Too bad they’re ghosts.

The fact that they’re dead doesn’t stop them from running their fingers through René’s hair or tackling him onto the bed. It’s not long before things escalate and René finds himself with two ghost lovers that treat him better than any living partner ever has.

However, they can’t eat, can’t go far from the house where they died, and their fingers feel like icicles against René’s skin. The longer René is with them, the more he can sense them, but nothing can reduce the chill of their bodies against his. Still, it might be worth the hypothermia.

Cold Like Snow is an erotic discovery between a ghost couple and their new roommate. The start is a bit rush and René’s acceptance came out too quick for my taste. I wanted the teasing and the UST to last longer. A slow build up to learned more about the characters. I needed more of a reason for their easy relationship. Perhaps a strong reason behind René buying the house.

I’m glad the communication part took time, and I enjoyed their easy banter and rapport. Their sense of humor and possessiveness felt real, giving a starting point to their relationship. And May added the outside world to their day-to-day.

Some of the explanations about Bastion and Marcus were as unbelievable as ghosts but they worked with the overall story. The ending makes sense and I would love to know more beyond it…no pun intended. 🙂

The cover by Natasha Snow is simple but it shows the heart of the story.

Sale Links: NineStar | Amazon | Nook

ebook, 235 pages
Published: July 23, 2018, by NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781949340211
Edition Language: English

New Book Release Blitz for Death Days by Lia Cooper (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Death Days

Author: Lia Cooper

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: August 6, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 70000

Genre: Paranormal, college, teaching, magic, dark, slow burn, age gap, vampires, shifters

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

By day, Professor Nicholas Littman works as an itinerant professor at a small college in the Pacific Northwest. He teaches seminars on mythology and the intersections of folklore and magic in the ancient world. By night, he’s the local necromancer, a rare magical talent that has left him alienated from other practitioners.

All Nick wants from life is to be left alone to run his magical experiments and teach kids the historical context of magic without anyone being the wiser. Unfortunately, his family is sworn to sit on the council of the Order of the Green Book—a group of magicians dating back to the Crusades—and they aren’t willing to take Nick’s no for an answer.

As though that wasn’t bad enough, a coven of Night Women has arrived in town, warning Nick that there are wolves at his door he had better take care of. But what can one necromancer do when every natural and supernatural card seems stacked against him?

Excerpt

Death Days
Lia Cooper © 2018
All Rights Reserved

One: The Professor
“Today we’re talking about the elision that occurs between Thoth worship in pre-Ptolemaic Egypt and early Greece. Let’s break into four groups for seminar,” Professor Nicolas Littman said, eyeing the half-empty teaching theater. He divided the room with a sweep of his arm and glanced at the clock on the back wall.

“We’ll meet back here in thirty minutes to discuss your thoughts as a group. And I want every small group to come up with a question to pose to the rest of us.”

He felt gratified at the way they began shuffling together into little clusters without further prompting.

“One of you should go use the lounge outside,” he said, waving absently at the small group at the very back of the room.

He didn’t care if they took the direction or not. He trusted in every student’s desire to escape the four walls of the classroom given a millimeter of freedom. All that mattered was that he now had thirty minutes of his own time in which to play hooky.

Nick grabbed a book and the vape out of his bag, and slipped out of the left-hand exit.

Why someone in the administration had decided to give him a corner theater for this class was beyond him. Four credits on Hermetic Mythologies and Cosmologies was hardly in demand. Especially when it was offered as a four-and-a-half-hour option on Saturdays. But if it meant they got a spacious room and the otherwise empty SEM II C building to themselves, he shouldn’t complain. His students could spread out to their hearts’ content, leaving him to steal outside to smoke without anyone around to gripe at him.

“Not even a proper smoke,” he muttered, flicking the round silver device on, warming the metal under his hand.

Nick sat on the concrete with his back to the building’s cement exterior and his knees bent, pressed the tip of the vape between his lips, and held down the button for a long, comforting drag. He closed his eyes to the bright sun and tipped his head back against the wall. Vapor streamed out of his pursed lips in a thick, fragrant cloud and pooled in the air above his head.

“Hiding from the students again?” an amused voice asked from above.

“I’m not hiding,” Nick grumbled.

A thin body lowered itself down onto the ground next to him, all long spidery limbs that folded with the kind of soft careless agility Nick hadn’t felt in a decade or two.

He looked over at his—teaching assistant wasn’t the word. Technically, Josiah didn’t work for him at all. He was just an independent contract student working on an eight-credit history project, but he let Nick use him like a TA so that’s how he always thought of him.

“What do you call this?” Josiah asked, knocking their shoulders together.

“Seminaring.”

Josiah’s face crumpled up with amusement. His flexible mouth stretched into a laugh while his shoulders shook. Nick held out the vape on offer and waited for Josiah to notice.

“Is it peppermint?” he asked.

Nick nodded.

“No thanks.”

“I’m not buying cake or whatever it is you like.”

“Are you trying to say there’s something wrong with cake?” Josiah returned Nick’s stony look with a nonplussed expression.

“It’s unna—”

“First of all: I don’t remember tobacco ever coming in ‘peppermint flavor’ before, and second: everything you do is unnatural, so that’s not a valid argument coming from you, Professor Littman.”

Nick grimaced. “Don’t call me that.”

“Nick.”

He sighed and took another long drag off his vape, waiting for the nicotine to soothe the flutter in his heart that Josiah’s words had kicked up. Nothing he did was natural. The kid had no idea just how right he was. Nick glanced down at his empty hand, automatically checking his nails for pesky traces of dirt, but there was nothing unusual to see. He’d scrubbed up hard the night before. Done a thorough job not to leave any of those unnatural traces that might have given Josiah a better-formed picture of what his professor and academic adviser got up to in his free time.

Shit, even in his head, he sounded like a pervert.

“You’re wrong. Some things I do are perfectly natural.”

“Like what?”

Nick gave the young man a slow look. “You have a very active imagination, Mr. Wexler.”

“The imagination is a hungry organ, seeking perpetual nourishment. I like to think that it’s not so much I’ve got an active imagination, but rather a well-fed one.”

“That you feed on thoughts of me?” Nick smiled, playing the comment off as a joke even though it left something low and hot in his body to sit up with interest. A curl of amused interest that quivered at the thought of a bright young man captivated by thoughts of him, even if they were merely frustrated or prurient or the passing whim of childish fancy, as he suspected was the case.

“Sometimes,” Josiah admitted, looking away.

The two of them sat in companionable silence until the phone in Nick’s pocket hiccupped its alarm to let him know that the requisite thirty-minute small group had passed, and he had to return again to face the lethargy of his classroom.

“Did you need something?” he asked, using the wall to push himself to his feet, and slipped the vape back into his pocket.

Josiah pulled out a sheaf of printouts from his backpack and held them up for Nick to take. “Two new chapters. I wanted to get your thoughts on them before I continue. It took a—the narrative took a direction we haven’t discussed before.”

“All right. I’ll see what I can do.”

“Thanks.”

“Do you want to come in?”

“Nah, I’ve got to meet Jen. Talk to you next week?”

Nick nodded.

Above them, the sky had dimmed as sure as if someone had taken a dimmer switch to the sun. Dark clouds cast a clear, watery gray light over campus, the edges of the quad hemmed in on all sides by towering dark trees that only helped to feed into the illusion of night creeping over them. The air smelled as though it were about to rain, bitterly cold and damp.

“Do you think it’s going to snow?” Josiah asked, climbing to his feet.

Nick shook his head. “Not a chance.”

He filed back into the teaching theater behind the stragglers. Sixty minutes for discussion and in-class readings, and then he’d be free for the rest of the weekend. Nick perched his feet on the edge of his desk, saw the streaks of mud clinging to his shoes, and dropped them again. He cleared his throat and looked out at the crowd for the first person to meet his eyes.

“Ah, Amelia, why don’t you start us off with a brief summary of what your group discussed.”

He folded his arms over his chest and listened with half an ear while his focus strayed repeatedly to the darkening sky and the promise of rain.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Lia Cooper is a twenty-something native of the Pacific Northwest, voracious reader, pop-culture addict, and writer. She cultivated an early interest in writing through fandom and completed writing her first full length novel with the help of NaNoWriMo.

In the years since, she’s dabbled in catering, barista-ing, and working as a pastry chef before finally returning full time to the thing she loves most: storytelling.

When she’s not glued to Scrivener, Lia enjoys playing video games with friends and reviewing books for her booktube channel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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Representation and Romance Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Representation and Romance Stories.

 

Last week I went to brunch with some of my MD/VA/DC group of LGBTQIA authors, publishers, bloggers, and readers.  It’s a lively group and after a while some of the discussion turned to how the Asch community was represented in the fiction released at the certain publisher.  The overall feeling was that the asexual community (given that is a broad spectrum itself) was well represented in our opinion (not so in an author’s not in attendance which is what sparked the conversation).

Wow, how things have changed in just a short time.  I can remember when that really wasn’t the case.

There was a time not that long ago where all the stories were strictly M/M or F/F, no  bi, no trans, no asch, no intersex, pansexual, or any of the quilt bag spectrum as my friend J. Scott Coatsworth calls it .

Now that has changed. Or at least I feel it has.  I’m reading more and more stories where happily the Quiltbag community is well represented.  More stories, outstanding and moving stories that feature main characters that fall anywhere along the LGBTQIA lineup…not just the L and the G.

What must that mean for the Quiltbag readers to see their reflections in fiction?  Finally?  I can only begin to imagine.

I know some are better represented that others. But overall I feel the move is for inclusion.  Diversity.  And not just in science fiction which is where I first saw and still see a huge amount of LGBTQIA stories that  have  beings of various sexualities, genders, and accepting societies (logical right?) Plus I do read a lot of stories.  So maybe I’m biased.

What do you all think?  How is the LGBTQIA community represented in fiction today?  In romance stories?  How has it progressed?  Is one sector more represented over others and why do you think that is?  Where do you see improvements?  Where the least?

Is there stories you have read that have made an impact on you?  What are they?

Tell me how you feel….I really want to know….

 

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words….

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

Sunday, August 5:

  • Release Blitz – The Selkie Prince’s Fated Mate by J.J. Masters
  • Representation and Romance Stories.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 6:

  • BLITZ Death Days by Lia Cooper
  • Series Recap Blitz – Montana Series – RJ Scott
  • Blog Tour: Hard to Hold by Jaclyn Quinn
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Risk Taker (Mixed Messages #3) by Lily Morton
  • A MelanieM Review: Savior (415 Ink #2) by Rhys Ford
  • A MelanieM Review: Hard to Hold (Haven’s Cove #3) by Jaclyn Quinn

Tuesday, August 7:

  • Blog Post – Brave For You – Crystal Lacy
  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga
  • DSP Promo Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster
  • An Alisa Review Step Into Love (Taboo Love #2) by Lili Draguer
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Mammoth! (Repeating History #3) by Dakota Chase
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Truth & Betrayal by KC Wells

Wednesday, August 8:

  • BLITZ 2230: The Perfect Year by CM Corett
  • DSP Cover Reveal Chapman Brown
  • Release Blitz  – Goal Line – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • DSP Promo K.A. Mitchell
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rainbow Rodeo by BA Tortuga
  • A Jeri Review: A Dangerous Dance (Haven Hart Universe #3by Davidson King
  • A MelanieM Pre-release Review: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow  

Thursday, August 9:

  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • Harmony Promo Dakota Chase on Mammouth and Repeating History
  • Release Blitz – Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • Taught by Tarilyn Sparks Release Day Blitz
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • A Lila Review: Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel
  • An Ali Review: Love It Like You Stole It by Ki Brightly

Friday, August 10:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Andrew Grey
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Brian Lancaster on The MIssing Ingredient
  • In the Spotlight: The Long Way Around by Quinn Anderson
  • Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch Author Blog
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Shoulder Season (World of Love) by Jackie North
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Be Still My Heart (Four Kings Security Book 2) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review : Unscripted Love (Road to Blissville #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Saturday, August 11:

  • Release Blitz – KA Merikan’s Gray’s Shadow (Kings of Hell MC)
  • A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

 

A MelanieM Review: The Gallery: The Special Exhibits (The Gallery #2) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

Welcome to the Gallery, where you can admire hundreds of beautiful paintings, and perhaps find what you didn’t know you were looking for…

In these rooms you will find the Special Exhibits, those paintings which remain at the Gallery only temporarily. Their time here can range from weeks to decades—even centuries. But they do eventually leave, so admire while you can. The subjects of these paintings come from all walks of life, from lonely individuals seeking respite while they await their true love, all the way to dangerous beings captured by the Curator or given to him for safekeeping until such time as they can be trusted out in the world again.

Today’s featured Special Exhibits include: The Assassin, about a killer on the run and a painting of a man who once chose surrender over murder; The Lion and the Mouse, where a grouchy accountant escapes the snow only to find himself on a beach with an ancient gladiator; The Gargoyle is a beautiful, erotic statue not for the faint of heart; Shapeless brings a new and rather unique guest to the gallery when he is bequeathed to Silenus by a dead alchemist; and finally, in Fallen Soldier, a man escaping his kidnappers hides behind a statue of an unusual being who once betrayed a dying kingdom…

I absolutely loved the first book in this series,The Gallery: The Permanent Collection.  Derr gave us a wonderful concept, than an complicated buildup introduction to the owner of the Gallery, the Lord of Satyrs, and a terrific foundation of world building. Just magical.  So I was really looking forward to the sequel.  We had a brief peek at this “area” of the  Gallery and small explanation but no more.

Now the The Special Exhibits are on displayAnd depending upon the “art work” the very nature of this portion of The Gallery made it less….magical or something.  You see all the inhabitants here are only temporary.  The amount of time they have spent living inside their “art” can be a thousand years to decades.  It depends upon the person they are waiting to find them.   And what happens after that.   Which is that they leave the paintings/sculptures etc. (actually small bubble universes) to join that one they’ve been waiting all this time for.

Now in the Permanent Gallery, that person joins their fated one within the art work.  Makes sense because again.  That art work is really a contained universe.

But here the inhabitants, such as the Lion, a Gladiator who had never lost a battle, steps out of his painting into our century to become a…bouncer at a leather club with his sex club accountant boyfriend leading him?  For me that was just nonsensical.  Talk about culture shock.  A fracas at the door of a local club  is put down by a man using a net and trident? That would bring in the media.Yes, yes, I know that wouldn’t happen but that is the picture that sprung to mind.  How do all these beings face life and relationships in our world and with our technology?  Hard to answer in 66 pages to my satisfaction. As each long-term being left it’s temporary holding place in The Gallery, I just couldn’t help but think…what happens next to them?  What about the culture adjustment?  Where do the couples go? None of these questions really arise in The Permanent Collection for obvious reasons.  That book just had more depth to it imo.

The only ones I wasn’t worried about particularly, was the  Mist.  Very imaginative.  And playful. Plus the Merperson/Octopii being and the human mate. Yes, there is tentacle sex. Just a fyi.  Their ending seemed rather wonderful although I  still wanted to know  what happened next to them as well.  Especially as they were the end story to  The Special Exhibits, with the notation that another would soon replace them.  Yes, this gallery is one constant turnover.

Plus there is only a brief mention of the demon problems here that were such a major element in the first story.  All in all, this is a lighter short story collection without the depth of the first.  I would have loved to have known more about what happens next for many of the couples, a question that arises out of the nature of their temporary status in the The Gallery.

We have two books.  I wonder where Megan Derr is going next.  Will we find out more about the demons and the humans who have brought this problem into the world?  What will happen to the Gallery and it’s owner next?

I can hardly wait.

Love this series. So will you.

Cover art by Aisha Akeju is beautiful, compelling and perfect for the story and cover.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Author’s Note: Two of these stories were freebies on my website. They have been edited for re-release, and received minor changes, but nothing major.

ebook, 66 pages
Published July 18th 2018 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684312986
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Gallery #2