A Lila Audiobook Review: Ante Up by Kim Fielding and Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Love is a high-stakes game.

A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.

An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?

Ante Up is a different type of paranormal story. When the majority of the characters are vampires, not all the traditional troupes are followed. I enjoyed those differences and Ante’s Croatian background. The number of details worked well for the story and added to its depth.

The author did a nice job making Ante unique. He’s not the traditionally rich, alpha vampire with a legion at his feet. He’s a down the mill hustler whose only worry is where to be at sunrise. He’s comfortable living in the fridges and doesn’t believe in causing harm to survive. Most of the men he feeds from are as lonely as he is, and their times together are beneficial for both of them.

Enters Peter to change Ante’s organized life. With his quick charm and good looks, he brings out Ante’s curiosity. He’s not sure about his heritage or his powers but he tries to keep both under wraps. Just like Ante, he’s not the traditional hero, but it works for them.

The more time they spend together, the more they discover about themselves and other paranormals. The descriptions, settings, and new characters are interesting and only added to the plot.

The meeting and battle at the end felt a bit rushed. After so many details, it was unexpected to have such a simple resolution. Overall, it’s a good story if you are looking for more than sparkling vampires.

The narration by Andrew McFerrin worked well with the story. The characters came to life and he showed Ante’s slight accent.

The Cover by Aaron Anderson follows the Dreamspun Beyond style and has a depiction of Ante.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Length:  5 hours 52 minutes

Published: January 12, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B078YC6477
Edition Language: English

Black Panther, Superheroes, and LGBT Fiction. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Black Panther, Superheroes, and LGBT Fiction

So we are taking a little sideslip this week away from the topics I had meant to talk about (like that’s ever happened before lol) because of a opening of a spectacular movie last night.  That’s right Black Panther opened Thursday night to accolades everywhere!  Kids, parents, teens, tweens, millennials, any age, and yes, any race, said this movie has it all. Yes it does.  But to many, it’s much, much more.

Importantly, released during Black History Month, for the first time ever, a certified big budget blockbuster with a black superhero (not sidekick mind you, but the main hero), an almost all black cast, and a black director is rushing to break box office attendance records and looking to become a movement as the hashtag “WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe” has been trending.

Yes, it’s all about representation.

That’s something we have always known.  It’s why Wonder Woman (directed by a woman) is so important to women and little girls everywhere.  And why LGBTQIA fiction and yes comics are equally important to the LGBTQIA community.

Right now, Black Panther comics are flying off the shelves.  Black Panther first appeared in Marvel Comic’s Fantastic 4 in 1966 and got his own comic in 1977.  Here’s an article on the history of the Black Panther comics and serial…check it out.

The Black Panther comic of today is drawn a little differently.  But all this got me thinking.  What about gay superheros?  I know Roan of Infected first  popped into my mind (Andrea Speed) but how about others?  What about graphic novels?  What LGBTQIA Superheroes can we name?  How about stories?  Yes, that your cue….let’s find and name stories and  LGBT superheroes!  Include graphic novels if you can find them!  We’re on a hunt and a mission!

It’s our  LGBTQIA Superhero Hunt Giveaway!  Find stories and LGBTQIA Superheroes!  We will give you all the entire month that’s left.  Must be superhero stories, can be graphic novels (comics).  Giveaway ends March 3 at midnight.  Gift certificates will be given away!  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Let the hunt begin!

Now onto this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  And go see Black Panther. It’s amazing!  Plus you know people will be shipping those hot actors like crazy! lol

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, February 18:

  • Black Panther, Superheroes, and LGBT Fiction
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February  19:

  • DSP Dreamspun Desires Promo Liv Olteano on Lover, Lover
  • Hard To Let Go by Jaclyn Quinn Release Day Blitz
  • Release Blitz – Loving Kit by L.M. Brown
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Seth & Casey by RJ Scott
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: How To Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall and Joel Leslie (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts #1) by Charlie Cochet and Narrator: Manuel Pombo

Tuesday, February 20:

  • Blitz Sign-Up: Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts
  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga
  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway: Losing It by Christine d’Abo
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Lover, Lover ( Dreamcatchers story)  by Liv Olteano
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Teaching Ben by Shae Connor

Wednesday, February 21:

  • Review Tour for Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • Harmony Ink Promo Annabelle Jay on Luminosity
  • Release Blitz: Break Down (Dublin Rugby #4) by Rebecca Norinne
  • An Alisa Review: Manic Pixie Dream Boy (Underdogs #1) by KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Review:Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

Thursday, February 22:

  • Release Blitz Jay Northcote – Pretty In Pink
  • Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker Blog Tour and Giveaway
  • DSP Promo KA Mitchell on Bad Boyfriend
  • A MelanieM Review: Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Review: Jingle Bears (The Bears of Falcon’s Ridge, #2.5) by Susan E. Scott
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Ante Up by Kim Fielding and Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Friday, February 23:

  • BOOK BLAST for As You Wish by Isobel Starling
  • Heart2Heart Anthology Blog Tour
  • Found by Annabella Michaels Tour
  • A Stella Review: New Heights by Quinn Anderson
  • An Alisa Review: Just Here For The Pain (Underdogs #2) by KA Merikan

Saturday, February 24:

  • RELEASE BLITZ for Dead Camp #5 (The End Game part 2) by Sean Kerr
  • Book Blitz – Penny Brandon’s Blind Passion
  • A MelanieM Review: Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen

Valentine’s Day Stories and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Valentine’s Day Stories

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Week!  The air is full of love and romance, balloons, flowers, cards, and whatever else a loved one may desire.  Stuffed animals?  Songs?  Mixed tapes….yes that dates me! lol  What things have you received? From friends and loved ones…sometimes even a those little candy hearts with messages were enough to make your day.  I can remember some stories that actually captured those elements.  Apparently you all did too with your recommendations.

Here’s some stories from me you may have missed for your Valentine’s Day reading:

Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows By Ari McKay
Letters From Cupid by Ari McKay
Conversation Hearts by Avon Gale
Valentine Rainbow Anthology
A Secret Valentine by BG Thomas
A Cupid’s Wager by Deanna Wadsworth
Campfire Confessions by Bru Baker

And coming out this week on Valentine’s Day (and to be reviewed as well)

Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain
Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells

 

Here are some of the Valentine’s Day Stories our readers are listing and recommending:

From Ami:

I loved this F/F novella by Aidan Wayne “Making Love” because it’s about Cupid and also featuring an asexual character. It’s cute, it’s adorable, and for me FITS the Valentine’s day vibe.

From Jen:

I just looked through my Read list and I haven’t read too many Valentine’s Day stories. But one that I really loved was

  • Lazy Valentines (Lazy Days #2) by K-lee Klein.

From H.B.:

  • Looking forward to the valentine’s book list and recs from everyone. I don’t think I have too many on my own list over the years (and I started tagging them a on goodreads a year and half after I started reading m/m fiction). My recs are:
    6 Days to Valentine by L.E. Franks
    The Colors of Romance (A Valentine Rainbow) by Ashavan Doyon
    Fruity on the Inside by G.R. Richards
    On Valentine’s Day by Raine Delight
    From Your Secret Admirer by Debora Day
    Naughty Cupid/A Cupid’s Wager by Deanna Wadsworth (A Cupid’s Wager was part of the A Valentine Rainbow Set published by Dreamspinner)

 

However, there’s still time to get your stories into us to be added to our Valentine’s Day list.  See our  giveaway below!  And Happy Valentine’s Day in advance!

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Then it’s soon to be Valentine’s Day and I know there are book written with this in mind.  Can I think of them now?  No!  But maybe you can.  Who can remember Valentine’s Day stories?  Or maybe ones with Cupid in them?  I know there are a few of those out there.  Of course we will have a giveaway attached to that.  It’s our Cupid or Valentine’s Day Giveaway! Give us your favorite Valentine’s Day stories!  The one overflowing with romantic, love, roses, or whatever!  Giveaway is a gift card from Dreamspinner Press for $10.  Contest  ends on February 17th at midnight.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, February 11:

  • Valentine’s Day Stories
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 12:

  • Bite Me by Beth Bolden Release Day Blitz
  • BLOG TOUR Rebel by K.M. Neuhold & Nora Phoenix
  • Cover Reveal: Forsaken by J.R. Gray
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  The Station by Keira Andrews
  • A Stella Prerelease Review:  Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Model Bodyguard (Haven Investigations #2) by Lissa Kasey and Brian Hutchison (Narrator)

Tuesday, February 13:

  • J. Scott Coatsworth on Lander
  • Release Blitz: Three’s the Charm by P.A. Friday
  • Review Tour and Giveaway : In Wild Lemon Groves by Selina Kray
  • SERIES TOUR for Shatterproof Bond by Isobel Starling
  • A Jeri Review: Winning Edge by Keira Andrews
  • A MelanieM Review:In Wild Lemon Groves by Selina Kray
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Infected: Throwaways (Mean Streets #2 Infected Universe) by Andrea Speed

Wednesday, February 14 -Valentine’s Day 💘:

  • DSP Promo Amy Lane
  • Lander (Oberon Cycle Book 2) J, Scott Coatsworth Tour
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Cam Boy by Quinn Anderson
  • Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker Release Day Blitz
  • A Lila Release Day Review:  Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain
  • A Lila Release Day Review:  Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells
  • A MelanieM Review:Lander (Oberon Cycle Book 2) by J.Scott Coatsworth

Thursday, February 15:

  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway for The Artist’s Touch by EJ Russell
  • In the Promo Spotlight: Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz for DJ Jamison’s Hearts & Health 1-3 Box Set
  • A MelanieM Review: Oh Yeah, An Elf  by L.L. Brooks
  • An Alisa Review :GHOST WOLF by Hurri Cosmo
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Finding Mr. Wrong by Charlie Cochet and Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)

Friday, February 16:

  • DSP Publications Promo Andrea Speed  on Infected: Throwaways
  • Release Blitz Tour – RJ Scott & VL Locey’s Poke Check
  • Review Tour – Sam Burns’ Wolf & The Holly
  • A Free Dreamer Review:Wolf & The Holly (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #2) by Sam Burns
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Blackbird in the Reeds (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #1) by Sam Burns
  • An Alisa Review: Alpha Dragon: Nyve by Kellan Larkin and Kaz Crowley

Saturday, February 17:

  • Blog tour for Resist and Triumph charity anthology Joe Bone
  • BLITZ September (Audio) by Robert Winter

 

 

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Wolf and the Holly (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #2) by Sam Burns

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Universal Buy Link: books2read.com/WolfAndTheHolly
 
Length: 199 pages
 

Cover Design: Melanie Harlow @ Clause & Effect

 
The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series
 
Book #1 – Blackbird In The Reeds – books2read.com/BlackbirdInTheReeds
 
Blurb
 

Five years ago, Jesse dropped out of college and came home to Rowan Harbor to find safety with his pack. A broken man, he’s been living as though the world is ending—allergic to responsibility and spending most of his nights at the local bar.

But he can’t avoid growing up forever. On the night of his thirtieth birthday party, he finds his childhood friend Isla unconscious, attacked in the middle of their peaceful hometown. The wolf inside him wants to protect its people from the slick-haired, smooth-talking vampire who’s brought trouble to town, and Jesse can’t run from his instincts any longer.

Now that his inner wolf is out of its cage, it’s picked the most inconvenient moment to find its mate. Sean Anderson—recently back from college and much changed from the skinny preteen Jesse once knew—is just what he never knew he needed.

Trigger Warning: discussion of past abuse.

This novel is intended for adult audiences, and contains swearing and sex.

This is the second of nine books in The Rowan Harbor Cycle, not a standalone. It continues where the first book left off. Jesse and Sean will return in book five to continue their story, so this book contains a HFN, not their HEA.

Author Bio

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

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A MelanieM Review: All The World’s An Undead Stage (Offbeat Crimes #6) by Angel Martinez

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Old actors never die shouldn’t be literally true.

Carrington Loveless III, skim-blood vampire and senior officer of Philly’s paranormal police department, has long suspected that someone’s targeting his squad. The increasingly bizarre and dangerous entities invading their city can’t be a coincidence. So when a walking corpse spouting Oscar Wilde attacks one of his officers, Carrington’s determined to uncover the evil mind behind it all.

As a rare books librarian, Erasmus Graham thought he understood some of the stranger things in life. Sharing a life with Carrington’s shown him he didn’t know the half of it. They’ve survived attack books and deadly dust bunnies together and got through mostly unscathed.

Now his world and his vampire’s appear ready to collide again. Books are missing from the rare books’ collection—old tomes of magic containing dangerous summonings and necromancy. He’s certain whoever’s been stalking the Seventy-Seventh is composing their end game.

It’s going to take a consolidated effort from paranormal police, librarians, and some not-quite-authorized civilians to head off the impending catastrophe.

As I said before, I’m sort of running out of superlatives here.  Angel Martinez and this series, Offbeat Crimes, has given us wildly imaginative and perfectly wonderful in every way characters, over the top creatures like ginormous pills bugs from space and lethal flying verse spitting books, an overall arc and villain to literally die for.  Of course, some of the main characters here are already dead, including Carr, aka  Det. Carrington Loveless III, a vampire who has a real distaste for blood and lives off a “blood lite” version that he still finds barely edible.  Oh and he’s in love with a rare books librarian Erasmus Graham.  What a couple, a great one among quite a few memorable ones with this series.

In All The World’s An Undead Stage (Offbeat Crimes #6) Angel Martinez brings this  particular arc to an end, although I’m hoping with all my heart not the series.  A evil mage has been targeting the Seventy-Seventh Precinct and we are soon to find out who and why.

And it involves  zombie actors spouting verse coming to kill them.  Nods.  Of course it does.  Makes perfect sense.  In an Angel Martinez world.

And that’s just the opening act as they say.

Because there are layers and layers to these stories.  It’s never just about the villain and his nefarious plans for…well…whatever.  It’s also about relationships, romantic ones, working dynamics, interspecies communication, even something beyond that here as the Precinct is made up of all types of intelligent beings even if we aren’t quite sure of their origin.  All The World’s An Undead Stage is about the beings inside of it, working together to survive, go forward, and yes, thrive while loving each other and keeping the world safe.

That’s a tall order when you are facing evil of this magnitude.

And I’ve come to care deeply about everyone, every character here due to the author’s superb characterizations and writing skills.  How else do you explain me sobbing away here:

Carrington took a quick glance back at Hunter and LJ.  They held each other tight–strange orphans abandoned on the darkest possible of nights. LJ lifted a sleeve in a wave and Carrington returned it with a salute.  They were, without a doubt, the bravest jackets he had ever met.

We are talking about animated clothing here.  Two jackets…a couple, (LJ a leather jacket and Hunter, a pea coat) who have become two of the characters I’m fondest of.  At that imagery?  I’m bawling like a baby.  Especially if you knew the rest of the context.  The author has over the course of this series given these jackets life and personality.  Oh, yes, love and a relationship. You forget you are crying over flying bits of linen and leather but recognize them as beings that levitate and love each other, that have pride in being part of the Seventy-Seventh Precinct and show fear of loss.

Extrapolate that depth of characterization to the cast of beings, the humans with quirky “talents”, the wolf cursed to be a human, the vampire who can’t stand blood, the firestarters, the shakers and quakers, all the couples and the ‘animals’ who make up the Seventy-Seventh.  They are all here in amazing detail and dimension, alive, vivid and believable.

Carrington and Erasmus are at the top of this story as they focus on their relationship while adding up clues, hunting missing books, and dealing with Carrington’s mother.  All the various story threads flow easily together, weaving in and out, like some weird, wonderful supernatural tapestry.  I arrived at the end far too quickly, a little shaken, counting all the characters to make sure everyone arrived safely (still not sure I counted right).  And now I’m squinting at some of those lines of the authors.

Hmmm.

I mean, it’s quite all right for 42 to be the answer to life, the universe and everything.  But really, “Someone feed the gouramis!”  Damn pesky fish.  More books, Ms Martinez, more books are definitely needed because as we all know carp are never to be trusted!

Read it…it will make sense..I promise you.  But if you are new to the series, don’t start here.  Read them all in order.  It’s such a pleasure watching the men, women, beings of the Seventy-Seventh learn to come together from a shaky beginning to the solid unit they are here that depends and yes, feels deep affection for each other (more for the couples).  For me this is a must read series.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art: Posh Gosh.  I like the covers and the way it brands the series.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Pride Publishing
Original TitleAll the World’s an Undead Stage
ISBN139781786516602
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Offbeat Crimes – Add it to your Goodreads now:

Goodbye January, Hello February. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Goodbye January, Hello February

Okay, doesn’t it seem like we were just doing this?  Can it really be February already? January just flew by and here comes, what is for us in this area, the snowiest and coldest month of the year.  For us here in the Mid Atlantic states it means the last gasp of winter usually…. our worst winter storms whether they be of ice, cold or snow.

I say that as our  outside thermometers sit around 60 degrees and have for the past several days.

But it won’t last.  It never does.  Winter isn’t over and will be back with a bang next week because that’s what February does.  It reminds us that Winter is still with us, even though we are steadily adding minutes of light to each day….something that I love.  Come on, you Spring Equinox!  Even February’s coldest winds can’t scare my glimpses of Spring away!

Winter Story List Challenge!   

So last week we offered up the Winter List Challenge!   We asked What’s your Most Memorable Winter Stories?  From now until the end of the month, get in your recommendations!  We will pick a winner or two to receive a gift card of $10.  Make sure you include your name and email address where you can be reached.  So bring on the Brrrrrs and the Winter Recommendations!  Contest ends January 28 at mid.

Now about those wonderful lists from our readers, here’s the recommendations we’ve received so far.  Remember you have until midnight tonight.   Winner or winners announced next week:

📚From Jen:

Here are some of my most memorable winter stories:
North Pole City Tales series by Charlie Cochet
The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe
Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles by Eli Easton
Blame It on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton
A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote
The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn
The Avona Tales series by Raine O’Tierney
Color of You by C.S. Poe
Third Solstice by Harper Fox

📚From Purple Reader:

It’s sometimes hard for me to recall whether even good stories were primarily set in winter, but a few do come immediately to mind. I agree with Jen about C.S. Poe’s Color of You and Nevermore. Here are two more:
Enemy Within by Tal Bauer – a thrilling conclusion to his Exec Office trilogy that travelled via sub above the Arctic Circle in Russia. And he had a number of hot couples I wouldn’t have minded snuggling up to for warmth.
Foxes by Suki Fleet – moving YA story, and she vividly captures the cold that homeless kids have to survive in.

📚From Ami:

I have sucky memories so I can only remember the latest gorgeous winter story that I read: A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson.

📚From H.B.:

I didn’t have many winter reads this year but of the ones I did read these were my most memorable:

Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped by B.G. Thomas
A Very Henry Christmas by N.R. Walker
Honey and Heat by Rian Durant
Something Permanent by Roan Parrish
Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles by Eli Easton
A Christmas Kiss by Annabelle Jacobs

📚From Moondrawn:

Some great books listed already. Winter (and Christmas) are inescapable if you read any Josh Lanyon–so many to choose from: Winter Kill, Icecapade (this one is a New Years, new chances story), So This Is Christmas, Baby It’s Cold and many more.
Minnesota Christmas series by Heidi Cullinan
Deefur Dog and then Deefur Dog and the Great Mistletoe Incident (winter weather is the heart breaker here), Love Happens Anyway, and Snow In Montana by R.J. Scott.
Mountain series by P.D. Singer (although the first one is about fire fighting, the rest are about skiing)
Something Like Winter by Jay Bell
A Reason to Believe by Diana Copland.
In The Middle Of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
Something to Believe in by Sloan Parker

 

Of course February is the month of Valentine’s Day celebrations so you know what  stories we will be asking for next…that’s right! Valentine’s Day stories  or lacking that…your most romantic story of all!  Yes!  That hearts of hearts story! That “wild thing, you make my heart sing, you make everything groovy” story!  Or whatever floats your boat!  So get those recs ready for next week and the week after!

Now onto this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 28:

  •  Goodbye January, Hello February
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 29:

  •  BLITZ Ibuki by Kathryn Sommerlot
  • BLITZ Sweethearts by Gemma Gilmore
  • Review Tour – Marshall Thornton’s Hidden Treasures
  • A Stella Review: When It’s Time (Go Your Own Way #3) by Zane Riley
  • A MelanieM Review: Hidden Treasures (A Pinx Video Mystery #2) by Marshall Thornton
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Wet Heat by RD Hero and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Tuesday, January 30:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Trick Roller by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • DSP Guest Post Emjay Haze on Home is Where Your Are
  • An Ali Release Day Review:When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and JH Knight
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Hurricane Reese by R.L. Merrill
  • A Lila Review: A Boyfriend for the Weekend by Caitlin Ricci

Wednesday, January 31:

  • Review Tour – Meg Harding’s Contour
  • BLITZ Dantes Unglued by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh’s Dream (Skins #1)
  • A Stella Review:  Contour by Meg Hardin
  • An Alsa Review: Spanking the Boss by Hunter Frost
  • A Jeri Review : Dream (Skins #1) by Garrett Leigh

Thursday, February 1:

  • Color Me In by Riley Hart Release Day Blitz
  • Retro Review Tour – LA Witt’s For The Living
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Scratch Track by Eli Lang
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Color Me In (Last Chance #2) by Riley Hart
  • A Jeri Review:  For The Living by L.A. Witt
  • An Alisa Review: Pushing Phillip (Common Powers #4) by Lynn Lorenz

Friday, February 2:

  • TOUR The Calling by MD Neu
  • Release Blitz – Meredith Russell’s Dead Fall
  • Release Blitz – Louise Lyons ‘ The Short Stories Collection
  • A MelanieM Review: Finders Keepers by N.R. Walker
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Light by Nathan Burgoine
  • A MelanieM Review:  All The World’s An Undead Stage (Offbeat Crimes #6) by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Spanking the Boss (An Office Kink Novella – Book #1) by Hunter Frost

Saturday, February 3:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Rook by T. Strange

 

Heartbreak, Hearthounds, And A Tale of Two Winstons. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Heartbreak, Heartterriers, And A Tale of Two Winstons

My heart is breaking this Sunday.  On Friday, after what was supposed to be a routine visit to the vet, for annual shots and to check out a cough, I found out that my redoubtable terrier, Winston has an aggressive tumor in the spleen, a cancer that’s already metastasized to his lungs. Prognosis is most likely one week.  This from a boy who was after a skunk, and racing the fence with a deer only days ago.  I’m in complete shock and utterly devastated.  He’s my heart terrier, my boon companion.  I was sure I would have him for at least 10 more years as I had the Winston before.  But its not to be and by this time next Sunday, my Winston will be gone.

So, because I’m in pieces and I need to spend as much time as I can with him, I’m re-posting this morning A Tale of Two Winstons, the journey of how this magnificent Winston came into my life.  Oh, he will always be a part of my heart. He’ll be so missed.

WinstonII home

 

A Tale of Two Winstons

 

Somethings are just meant to be, no explanation, no rational reason, they just are.  Somewhere a song is sung, a ripple forms in the water, a door closes, a window opens, and a dog finds its way back to its forever home.

It’s been a week to the day that Winston died, and this household has been a very changed, quiet place.  The dogs have been upset and grieving as have I.  Then this morning we woke to the smell of gas.  Flinging open the windows, we called the gas hotline and quickly the emergency crew arrived to locate the source and shut down the gas line.  It was a small issue, one quickly resolved but it meant that we were all home for the day, an unlikely occurrence. We had food we intended to donate to the local animal shelter and now had the time to do it. I checked the computer for address and hours of operation for the Montgomery County Humane Society.

There on the website was a picture that riveted me.  Up for adoption, dog 151 who looked remarkably like Winston.  I tucked that picture into my head, gathered up the food and we left for the shelter.  I checked in and we waited for our name to be called to state our business.  Upon hearing my name, I approached the desk and they gave me a slip, asked what dog I wanted to see and directed me to the back towards the kennels.  I didn’t correct them.

Through the door, past kennels full of dogs needing homes.  I averted my eyes, my heart sore.  We approached a cage, I looked down and nearly fainted.  There he stood, tail waving, face open and smiling, his entire body shaking in happiness – Dog 151.  He looked just like Winston, almost identical.  The attendant hooked him up to a leash and we took him outside, all the while telling us he just came in yesterday.  He was neutered, 4 years old, and had been rehomed twice.  We looked at him, he looked at us, and I heard myself saying “we want him, we want to adopt him”.  There was never a moments hesitation.

She handed us a slip of paper.  How can something so flimsy carry such weight?  It meant that he was taken.  How I hated leaving him there in the kennels while the routine paperwork had to be filed.

There were pages to fill out, and pages of information about him to be received.  Instead of having to wait for an interview, somehow someone was available to interview us immediately instead of the usual waiting period.  We sat and waited for our name to be called,  looking over the paperwork.  I was focused on the staff,  when I heard my name called out.

“Melanie, his name is Winston.”

“What?”

“His name is Winston!!!!!”

Disbelieving, I looked at the paper she was holding up.  There, plain as day, next to the name for the dog being given up was the word Winston.  Dog 151 was Winston.   The tears that had been threatening from the moment I saw him spilled over.  The staff asked about the tears and the story of Winston poured out.  Even they thought the series of events unlikely.  The wonderful person who was our adoption counselor. Addie Soares who interviewed us had Winston brought in and he was as much a part of the interview process as we were. Sitting at our feet, body wagging a mile a minute, it was clear to all we were a family.  We talked some more and then she asked if we wanted to take him home today.  The answer was a resounding “yes”.

We had been warned he would likely bolt because of past issues so they gave us all new tags, harness and collar.  We keep a leash in the car just in case a dog needs to be rescued.  Out to the jeep we went.  Winston took one look at the car and leaped for the seat.  The ride home was a breeze as he sat safe and interested in my lap.  Then we were home.  Questions formed in my mind.  What would Willow and Kirby think?

I shouldn’t have worried. Willow kissed him, and Winston kissed her back.  Kirby came running up, happy to greet him.  Turns out Winston was just as overjoyed to see Kirby.  We employed the usual tactics to introduce new dogs to each other but really we needn’t have bothered.  Much sniffing ensued, much licking ensured, much peeing ensued, and they were fine.  So were we, again.

Now we are all ensconced on the bed, watching The Voice, and the dogs are sleeping peacefully next to us on the bed as well.  This is why king sized beds were invented.  Winston’s feet are moving in his sleep, his brows moving in tandem.  His slumber is full of dreams. Willow is curled up on her pillow and Kirby is doing his normal imitation of a teenage boy, unmoving and splayed out.  We are at peace, and we are whole once more.

There are certainly differences between them as it should be.  One is not the other.  One is not the replacement for the other, and their differences are to be celebrated.  This Winston has a long undocked tail, and a wide open personality.  This Winston lacks the arduous back history of my other Winston.  That Winston was wary of new circumstances, never taking treats or unfamiliar food.  This Winston took two treats immediately and then looked for more.  But there are also similarities.  The huge personality that says I will not give in, that persistent nature, hearty spirit and indomitable soul.

He is sleeping on his back now, at ease in posture and attitude.  Winston knows he is home.

They had asked us if we intended to keep the name Winston.  I looked at him, and thought of all the things that came together for us to become a family, and replied “yes, that is his name.”  He is Winston, a different Winston but Winston none the less.  Different but equal.

A song is sung, a wing beats on the wind, a direction is chosen, ripples form and a dog comes home just as another leaves.  Who is to say how these patterns are formed, and the paths chosen?   Somehow I know this was meant to be and Winston is smiling down upon us.  I will always love my Winston and miss him.  I will celebrate and welcome this Winston’s homecoming.

One is mourned and one is found.  A home is made whole as is a heart.  I swear I hear a song and a bark in the air…..

Here is Winston finally in his forever home.WinstonII asleep

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 14:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Cover Reveal for LOVE TIMES FIVE by Lily G Blunt

Monday, January 15:

  • Review Tour – Lost In Time – A.L. Lester
  • BLITZ Beneath the Surface by Rebecca Langham
  • BLITZ Life After Humanity by Gillian St. Kevern
  • A Caryn Review: Lost In Time by A.L. Lester
  • A Stella Review: Friends and Lovers by Tinnean
  • An Ali Review:  A Purple Winter by Mel Bossa

Tuesday, January 16:

  • Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks Tour
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Jeff Adams and Will Knauss VIDEO
  • DSP GUEST POST BA TORTUGA ON Fighting Addiction
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fighting Addiction (Fighting Addiction) by B.A. Tortuga
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Beneath This Mask (Enhanced #3) by Victoria Sue
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Ghost of a Chance (Requiem Inc. #1) by Kris T. Bethke

Wednesday, January 17:

  • Cover Reveal for Selina Kray’s In Wild Lemon Groves
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway for Tribute Act by Joanna Chambers
  • Blog tour for Resist and Triumph charity anthology
  • An Ali Review: Two Man Station (Emergency Services #1) by Lisa Henry
  • A MelanieM Review:  Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8) by Joanna Chambers
  • A Stella Review:The Fortune Hunter by Bonnie Dee

Thursday, January 18:

  • DSP Promo Amy Spector
  • Release Day Blitz A Way with You by Lane Hayes
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Romantic Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Julia Review :Thirteen Mercies, Three Kills by Liv Olteano
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Spun! by JL Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)
  • A Stella Pre Release Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and J.H. Knight

Friday, January 19:

  • Book Blast – The Loss of Self – An Intimate Autobiography by Alek Martin
  • Release Blitz – The Station – Keira Andrews
  • Review Tour – Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) – V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Review: Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey
  • An Ali Review: An Amy Lane Christmas by Amy Lane (bundle)

Saturday, January 20:

  • A MelanieM Review: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker
 

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

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Polar Vortex. Bombogenesis. Thundersnow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about the giveaway at the end of the post.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 7:

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

Monday, January 8:

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

Tuesday, January 9:

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

Wednesday, January 10:

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

Thursday, January 11:

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

Friday, January 12:

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

Saturday, January 13:

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

 

 

 

 

 

Best of 2017 Giveaway

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

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

New Year’s Day Release Day Blitz for The Calling by MD Neu (except and giveaway)

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Title:  The Calling

Author: M.D. Neu

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 1, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 108300

Genre: Paranormal, paranormal, gay, dark, immortal, magic users, psychic ability, vampires

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Being a nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal, but it’s worked for him. He has a nondescript job, a few good friends, and overall he’s content. That’s until one fateful trip to San Jose, California, where he is “Called” to meet the mysterious Juliet de Exter. Juliet is a beautiful, wealthy, powerful Immortal who is undertaking The Calling—a search for a human to join her world of Immortals. Inexplicably, Duncan’s calling is more dangerous than any of the Immortals, even Juliet, ever thought it would be.

There is more to this nobody, this only child of long-deceased parents, than anyone thought. When Duncan experiences uncontrollable dreams of people he doesn’t know and places he hasn’t been, Juliet and the other Immortals worry. Soon, his visions point to a coven of long-dead witches. The dreams also lead Duncan to his one true love. How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast Immortal? How will he and the others keep the balance between the Light and Dark, survive vicious attacks, and keep the humans from learning who they truly are? More importantly, who is this implacable foe Duncan keeps seeing in his dreams?

Excerpt

The Calling
M.D. Neu © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
What is death?

I once believed there was only one definition: your body stops functioning, your soul leaves and what’s left turns to dust. That was what I thought, until it wasn’t.

I’ve discovered when you’re a nobody, the world can be an amazing place if you want it to be. Your life can change in a heartbeat and not make the least bit of difference to anyone but you, or so it would seem.

That was my case.

I’m by no means whining or complaining. I had a job, a small place to live, and friends, but no real family, and that was something I desperately missed and wanted. My life wasn’t bad and I was happy. However, I was just a random person, one of the many faces you see on the street and never glance at twice. It was dull. Of course, as with me, the majority of society didn’t know our world had hidden secrets, unseen by most.

The other important thing I want you to realize about me is that before I met her, I wasn’t a lucky man, not with money and certainly not with love. I made enough to live on, but never enough to take fancy trips. My idea of travel was staying at home and watching movies. That was my price range. And as for love, it was forgettable.

The day my life changed was like all the others, until it wasn’t. It was August 19. The year isn’t important. But we had finished celebrating the Olympics, and in a few short months, the country would be picking between the lesser of two evils for president.

I sat at an outdoor café in Santana Row. I’d spent the afternoon going on a tour of the Winchester Mystery House. Once my stomach had started to growl, I decided to grab a bite to eat.

I had come to San Jose, California for a vacation that I couldn’t afford and didn’t particularly want to take. Why San Jose? Why not San Francisco or Monterey or Vegas or Yosemite? To be honest, I don’t know, but it’s like everything inside and around me pulled me there. Out of the blue, I got emails from the San Jose Visitor Bureau. My dreams were filled with images of the city and the surrounding hills and mountains. It seemed that old song, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” by Dionne Warwick constantly played. Still, San Jose isn’t the place most people consider for a ten-day vacation, especially someone alone who had never been to the Bay Area before.

Despite my appreh, from the moment I arrived, I immediately felt at peace. I’d never been this calm or relaxed anywhere before, not even at home. There was another reason for me coming here, one I didn’t understand yet, at least not on a conscious level.

I would find out why soon enough.

I don’t want to get things out of order, so back on point. I sat at this Italian-style outdoor café watching people walk by, enjoying the scent of roses and vanilla that filled the air. The aroma tickled the back of my brain. I smelled it everywhere, which should have been my first clue that something was different.

After enjoying my Italian-style chicken marsala, and while I sipped my strawberry lemonade, I felt a sharp pull in my brain. It wasn’t like I heard voices—it was more like vague images filled my head: a house, a woman, gardens, a gate, hills covered in trees, and a pair of eyes. My hands shook, and my glass fell to the floor and shattered. An intense pressure grew between my eyes, and I pinched the bridge of my nose to ease it.

When the tug came, three things happened to me at once.

First, I had the realization that I had an important meeting in Los Altos Hills. I had never heard of Los Altos Hills and even had to look it up on my phone to see if it was real. I would have to check my GPS when I returned to my rental. I knew the address of the house and who I was going to meet. She had blonde hair and mysterious eyes. I knew her, but I didn’t understand how.

Second, the waiter came to my table.

“Sorry about the drink,” I said.

He gave me an odd look and informed me my meal had been paid for and to enjoy my evening. Flabbergasted, I stared at the server.

I glanced around the café and wondered who paid the bill and why. I wasn’t even done yet.

“Mr. Alexander, are you all right?” The waiter scanned me up and down. “Do you need me to call someone? You look pale.”

“No.” I shook my head. “I’m fine.”

How did the waiter know my name? Stranger still, when I checked the table, my drink sat there and nothing had fallen to the floor. I wasn’t sure what was happening.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Sorry. Just a headache,” I said.

“All right. I hope you have a pleasant afternoon.” He smiled and started to walk off but turned back. “Oh, I almost forgot. I’m supposed to remind you about your meeting tonight.”

A lump stuck in my throat, and I nodded. It was spooky, but I wasn’t scared.

The last thing: I got a text from my closest friend, Cindy Martin. Good luck tonight. I’m sure it’ll be you.

I remember thinking, What does she know that I don’t?

I’ve known Cindy for years, and for her to say anything that short and sweet was rare. In fact, I don’t suppose I ever got a message from her without any emoticons.

As bizarre as all of this was, I realized that no matter what, everything and everyone I cared about would be okay. Clearly, there was something more to this trip and my being here. I didn’t know what. But it wasn’t just some free meal. It was bigger than that. If I was selected for what? I had no clue. And if I wasn’t, then I would get to see them again. There would be no questions.

Part of me wanted to worry, but I wasn’t bothered, which in itself surprised me. I’ve been a pessimist for as long as I can remember. It probably had to do with the strange death of my father when I was a kid. A death never fully explained. So, for this not to make me worry was one more mystery. What was about to happen was something that would just be. Instead of freaking out and worrying, I was calm and accepting of whatever adventure or fate awaited me.

Even though I was short on time to get to the house in Los Altos Hills, I wanted to enjoy my lunch. Reflecting on it now, I’m pretty sure that was the cynical part of my brain trying to exert some kind of control. I took my time, finished my meal, and when I was done, I tipped the server and left.

I walked back to my rental car. I wanted to take in as much of the classical European architecture and lush landscaping of the outdoor mall as I could. I managed to get a few decent cell phone pictures of the place.

I stopped my lollygagging and got moving. I had someplace to be and what appeared to be no choice in the matter. Before you go crazy, understand this wasn’t like one of those stupid movies that you watch, shaking your head, yelling at the screen for them not to go into the dark forest or spooky house or whatever. It wasn’t like that.

I’d like to hope I’m explaining this well enough so you don’t sit there and think, “Oh this is stupid. I’d never do anything that dumb.” It wasn’t like I had a choice. I had to go—something compelled me to her. I had to meet this woman, calling me. It was hard-wired into me, no matter how much I tried to slow down or stall, I moved forward.

I moved toward her.

When I finally got in the car and took a breath, I wasn’t clammy or shaky, and my heart wasn’t pounding in my chest. I should have been anxious, but I wasn’t. I was fine.

Knowing without understanding what I had to do, I headed to the freeway.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

M.D. Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.

Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man, he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.

When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric, his husband of eighteen plus years.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists.

Well, today as we usher out 2017 (and I can’t say I’m entirely sorry to see it go), I will say it’s been a wonderful year in terms of stories, at least for me, and as far as I can tell, for some of you too.  So buckle up, my buttercups, grab something to make lists with, whether it be old fashioned paper and pen or your smartphone or pad, and prepare yourself for some marvelous Best of Lists from readers, reviewers, and myself!

♦︎

There have been series that ended this year (and I’m including trilogies here) that were just outstanding, new discoveries made of authors both established and newly published, great stories that cut to the heart of why we read, and series that either started or continued that made us laugh, cry, blew our minds with the author’s creativity and wild imaginations!  Oh the joy of it all!

♦︎

Plus the happiness that we here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words have been able to share it all with you and have heard from you in return.  It’s been a very rich year indeed.

Best of

From Our Readers

Lennis:

My Bests:
Best Contemporary is tough. I liked How To Bang A Billionaire by Alexis Hall, Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell, and Rule Breaker by Lily Morton.
Best Fantasy for me would be The Heart of The Lost Star by Megan Derr, Lord Mouse by Mason Thomas, A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune. I wasn’t sure if I should add Broken by Jex Lane to this, or have it be Best Paranormal? Let’s go with that.
Best Science Fiction would be Moro’s Price by M. Crane Hana and Dali by E.M. Hamill.
Best Cover. Natasha Snow has had an awesome year! Controlled Burn and Adrift are some favorites. The Foxling Soldati cover by L.C. Chase and One Last Try cover by Lou Harper are also eye catching.

suze294

My 5* reads from this year
The Executive Office series, Tal Bauer
Sins of the cities series, KJ Charles
Forever Haunt (Jimmy McSwain 5), Adam Carpenter
This Fire Inside, Jordan Nasser
What It Looks Like, Matthew J Metzger
Wolfsong, TJ Klune
Priddys Tale, Harper Fox
Bitter Legacy, Dal Maclean
Switched, NR Walker
The Definitive Albert J Sterne, Julie Bozza
Reaping Fate, AJ Rose

From Ana:

My Bests:
Best Mystery: Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Risky Behavior by LA Witt & Cari Z
Best Audiobook: Femme by Marshall Thornton
Best Cover:Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
Best Contemporary (this is hard to choose, so many good ones): Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling, The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin, Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaugh, Manic Pixie Dream Boy by KA Merikan and Disease by Hans M Hirshchi
Best Dark Theme: Backdoor Politics by CL Mustafic

Amy:

Favorite On-Going Series in 2017

Hexworld by Jordan L. Hawk
Aberrant Magic by Lyn Gala
Offbeat Crimes by Angel Martinez
Bad Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z
Rainbow Cove by Annabeth Albert
Scoring Chances by Avon Gale

and more from Didi:

I’m adding two more lists of mine here, for PNR and May/December (or Age-Gap as one MC’s not into his December yet 😉 ).

Best Paranormal Romance:
– Spectred Isle by KJ Charles
– Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk
– Undertow by Jordan L. Hawk
– The Well by Marie Sexton
– Fraud Twice Felt by JT Hall

Best May/December Romance:
– Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
– Spun! by JL Merrow
– Trust the Chaser by Annabelle Albert
– Risky Behavior by LA Witt & Cari Z (I cheated, it’s more age-gap than May/December, I think)
– Permanent Ink by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

Best of Lists from STRW

 More from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviewers:

 From Lila:

Looking back on my shelves, The Best of 2017 (according to me) are:

January – Chosen Pride by Mary Calmes
February – Red Dirt Heart by N.R. Walker
March – Borrowing Trouble by Kade Boehme
April – Tell Me the Truth by Lisa Oliver
May –  The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
June – The Palisade by Rosalind Abel
July – That Alien Feeling by Alessandra Hazard
August – The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Deer
September – Strange Bedfellows by Cardeno C.
October – Locked in Silence by Sloane Kennedy
November – The Hideaway by Rosalind Abel
December – An Omega for Christmas by L.C. Davis
And some extra mentions:

·         Best Read for STRWBonfires by Amy Lane

MelanieM Best of 2017

Here are my lists, many and long as I warned everyone.  What a year and I still mourn the books I hesitatingly left off.  These are listed in absolutely no particular order excerpt that I was scrambling to look at my notes and books kept popping up here and there….

♥︎Best Contemporary Fiction with Romance

Ghost (Executioners #1) by J.M Dabney
Joker (Executioners #2) by J.M Dabney
Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay
There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt, #2) by Heidi Cullinan
Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
Switched by NR Walker
Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes
Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out #2)
by Sean Kennedy
House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh
Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft
Fair Chance (All’s Fair #3) by Josh Lanyon
Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor
Snowblind by Eli Easton
Who We Are by Nicola Haken
Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black
Rhino Ash by Lindsey Black

Bonfires by Amy Lane
Catch and Release (The Release, #3) by B.A. Tortuga

♥︎Best Contemporary Fiction (not a romance)

Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) by Amy Tasukada

♥︎Best Science Fiction

The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth
Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander
The Jackal’s House (Lancaster’s Luck #2) by Anna Butler – steampunk

 ♥︎Best of Fantasy:

His Mossy Boy (Being(s) in Love#8) by R. Cooper
Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford
The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
Ravens (Inheritance #3) by Amelia Faulkner

♥︎Best Supernatural/Paranormal:

Bitten by Design (Regent’s Park Pack #2) by Annabelle Jacobs
Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Offbeat Crimes #3) by Angel Martinez (actually all the books in this series)

♥︎Best Series:

Aisling Trilogy by Carole Cummings (high fantasy)
The Hawaiians by Meg Amor (contemporary romance)
Offbeat Crimes by Angel Martinez (humor, fantasy, supernatural)
Nicky and Noah Mysteries by Joe Cosentino  (high camp, high humor, mystery)
Inheritance by Amelia Faulkner (fantasy, supernatural)
The Kingdom Series (Vol 1 & 2) by RJ Scott (fantasy)
Rainbow Cove by Annabeth Albert
#gaymers by Annabeth Albert
Being(s) in Love by R. Cooper
The Release series by BA Tortuga
The Sin Bin by Dahlia Donovan (contemporary)
The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada (contemporary fiction) violent, bloody, brilliant, not romance)

 ♥︎Great Series Ending:

Sanctuary Series by RJ Scott
Texas Series by RJ Scott
Mahu by Neil S. Plakcy
All’s Fair by Josh Lanyon
Werecat series by Andrew J. Peters
Holiday with the Bellskis by Astrid Amara
End Street Detectives by RJ Scott (supernatural)

 

♥︎Holiday Series ~ special mention:Holidays with the Bellskis Series by Astrid Amara (final story just out)
Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1) by Astrid Amara
Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2) by Astrid Amara
Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3) by Astrid Amara

♥︎Best Covers:​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania) by TJ Klune, Artist Paul Richmond
Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water#2) by Amy Lane, Artist: Reese Dante
Sunset at Pencarrow (World of Love)
by Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell, Artist: Reese Dante
An Island in the Stars by Susan Laine, Artist:  Anna Sikorska
Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan, Cover art by Natsukoworks, Cover design by Kanaxa Designs.
The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn, Artist Natasha Snow
Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane, Artist: Paul Richmond
Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3) by Anne Barwell, Artist: Reese Dante
A New Way to Dance by Sean Michael, Artist: Anne Squires
The Glamour Thieves by Don Allmon, Artist: Simone
Conned
By Jana Denardo, Artist: Melody Pond
Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander, Artist:Kirby Crow
The Blacksmith Prince by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus, Artist:  Lady Tiferet
Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft, Artist: G.D. Leigh

 

 

 

 

 

♥︎

Well those are my choices and I’m sure I’ve even left a quite of few out.  How did all of your lists come out?  Did you all find some new books to add to your TBR lists on everyone’s Best of Lists?  Winner Announcements to come next week as they would get lost and we need to have something to look forward to!

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!  See you all in 2018!  Happy Reading from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to all of you!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 31- Happy New Eve’s:

  • So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
  • A Stella Advent Release Day Review: Eugene and the Box of Nails by Jaime Samms

Monday, January 1:

  • Book Blitz: Blackwelder 2164 by Christopher D. J
  • BLITZ The Calling by MD Neu
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Reckless Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Operation Green Card by GB Gordon
  • A Kai Audiobook Review: Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Hurricane by BA Tortuga

Tuesday, January 2:

  • Cover Reveal for Shae Connor’s Teaching Ben
  • DSP Promo K.A. Mitchell
  • RIPTIDE TOUR On Solid Ground by Quinn Anderson
  • Tour: A Different Light by Morningstar Ashley
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell
  • A MelanieM Review: Bound by Thorns (Dragon Soul #3) by Sean Michael

Wednesday, January 3:

  • Blog Tour *Won’t Feel A Thing by C.F. White
  • Release Blitz – Bonnie Dee – The Fortune Hunter
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Anne Barwell
  • A VVivacious Review: OBSESSION by Theophilia St. Claire​
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo
  • A MelanieM Review: Wait For Me by Kris Jacen

Thursday, January 4:

  • Release Blitz & Review Tour Request – Sam Burns – Blackbird In The Reeds
  • Sin and Saint by J.M. Dabney RDB, Tour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sin and Saint by J.M. Dabney
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Reckless Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Stella Review: The Best Gift by Shawn Lane
  • An Alisa Review Wolf’s Kiss by Siryn Sueng

Friday, January 5:

  • Dreamspinner Promo: Alix Bekins and Connie Bailey, authors of Song and Key
  • Release Blitz – Vows Box Set – Addison Albright
  • RELEASE BLITZ Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C
  • A Stella Pre Release Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and JH Knight
  • An Alisa Prerelease Review: Forever With You By Londra Laine

Saturday, January 6:

  • A MelanieM Review: Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy