International Literacy Day and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day in on Friday, September 8th.  What is International Literacy Day you might ask?  Consider these quotes:

Books were my pass to personal freedom. – Oprah Winfrey

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. – Edward P. Morgan

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. – Neil Gaiman

A book is a device to ignite the imagination. – Alan Bennett

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. – Confucius

Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. – Joseph Addison

Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. – Hazel Rochman

For each of those and for us, books unite us, make us bigger, pull us forward, out of ourselves and into something larger.  Maybe into something we can’t even define for ourselves yet. And now we are doing so in multiple ways on various devices.

But first we must learn to read.

That’s where the International Literacy Day comes in.

From the International Literacy Day Website:

International Literacy Day History

International Literacy Day serves to recognize the importance of literacy and acknowledge the need to create a globally literate community. Literacy refers to a person’s ability to read or write, an ability that connects and empowers people, allowing them to communicate and interact with the world, and one that the United Nations considers to be a basic human right. Today, approximately 16% of the world’s population, two-thirds of which is female, is unable to read or write at a basic level in their native languages. Illiteracy in nearly all parts of the world has been linked to socio-economic issues like poverty and demographic factors such as gender.

In an effort to combat illiteracy, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) created International Literacy Day in 2000.  During the 2015 campaign, themed Literacy and Sustainable Societies, UNESCO stressed the importance of literacy as the most powerful accelerator of sustainable development and pledged that by 2030, the organization will ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy. This international holiday is observed annually on September 8th.

This year the theme is Literacy in a Digital World exploring what skills people need to live in an increasingly digital oriented world.  Here at STRW we have talked about the increase in eBooks.  That’s also true at the educational level where computers and computer programs are rapidly replacing traditional methods normally associated with schooling, right down to eTextbooks.

Here is another paragraph that struck me from the International Literacy Day website:

Just as knowledge, skills and competencies evolve in the digital world, so does what it means to be literate. In order to close the literacy skills gap and reduce inequalities, this year’s International Literacy Day will highlight the challenges and opportunities in promoting literacy in the digital world, a world where, despite progress, at least 750 million adults and 264 million out-of-school children still lack basic literacy skills.

The more that you read, the more things that you will know, the more that you learn, the more places that you’ll go – Dr. Seuss

International Literacy Day – References and Related Sites

So what can we do to help?  There are many shelters, especially LGBTQIA Youth shelters, that maybe in need of books, even Kindles with suitable YA stories already loaded into them, that you can donate.  Donate books to local shelters for domestic violence.  They often take in families with younger children that might need books to read.  Check first with the shelters before donating.  Need addresses of LGBTQ Shelters to contact?

Start with

Ali Forney Center – NYC NY

Lost-n-Found Youth: Home  (Atlanta GA USA)

LostnFound Youth is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization whose … More than 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ and this disparity in the homeless youth population continues to grow. …. 2585 Chantilly Drive, AtlantaGA 30324

Note:  They have a Wish List which includes underwear, food, bedding.  Contact them first before donating other than these staples.

Albert Kennedy Trust – Helping young LGBT people – Manchester UK

The Albert Kennedy Trust support lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. Every day … We have offices in both London and Manchester.

What else?  Check with your local libraries.  Volunteer with people who need assistance learning to read.  Send us suggestions on things we haven’t come up with.  What should we be doing for International Literacy Day?  It’s actually being celebrated on the 7th and 8th.  All comments and suggestions are welcome!  The more the merrier!  Our reviewers stretch around the globe, so do our authors and readers.  Let’s make this a global effort too.

International Literacy Day Giveaway

How do you think we can make a difference these days in promoting literacy?  Here  at home and abroad?  Also, tell us what how reading and books has changed your life? What does it mean to you that you can pick up a book, sink down into other lives and worlds? Two winners will win a $10 gift card.  Leave your comment along with your email address.  Contest ends on Sunday, September 9th.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

 

Sunday, September 3:

  • An Alisa Series Review: Only You Series by JS Finley
  • International Literacy Day
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 4:

  • BLITZ A Matter of Courage by J.C. Long
  • Review Tour – Ann Gallagher’s Having Her Back
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft
  • A MelanieM Review: Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft
  • A Stella Release Day Review: The Hike by John Inman
  • An Alisa Review: Eye Candy (Candy Men #2) by Amanda Young
  • A Stella Review : Having Her Back by Ann Gallagher

Tuesday, September 5:

  • Dreamspinner Promo j. leigh bailey on Stalking Buffalo Bill + Giveaway
  • RELEASE BLITZ Leaning Into Always by Lane Hayes
  • Review Tour – Hard Time (Responsible Adult #2) by C.F. White
  • A Kai Review: Hard Time (Responsible Adult #2) by C.F. White
  • A VVivacious Review:  The Highlander (Order Series #2) by Kasia Bacon
  • An Ali Review: A Matter of Courage by JC Long
  • An Alisa Review: Talk Bunny To Me (Hoppity Shifter #2) by A.R. Barley

Wednesday, September 6:

  • 3 day release Blitz for  Sunder by Lexi Ander
  • Blog Tour For Elin Gregory’s  The Bones of Our Fathers
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell
  • A Lila Review: The Curse (Witches of Salem #1) by T.S. McKinney
  • An Alisa Review: Broken Pieces by Ruby MacIntyre

Thursday, September 7:

  • Release Blitz & Review Tour for Garrett Leigh’s Circle (Roads #3)
  • Release Blitz: Hard Time by CF White
  • Victoria Sue on her new release The Alpha Heir + Giveaway
  • A Kai Review: Facing West (Forever Wilde #1) by Lucy Lennox
  • An Ali Review: Making It (Ringside Romance #3) by Christine d’Abo
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Tart and Sweet (Candy Man #4) by Amy Lane and Narrator: Philip Alces
  • An Ali Review:  Circle (Roads #3) by Garrett Leigh

Friday, September 8 (International Literacy Day):

  • TOUR The Dragon’s Devotion by Antonia Aquilante
  • Release Blitz : Con Riley’s Be My Best Man
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Her Hometown Girl by Lorelie Brown
  • The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens YA Tour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review:  Friendly Fire by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • A Lila Review: The Dragon’s Devotion (Chronicles of Tournai Book 5) by Antonia Aquilante
  • A MelanieM Review: Broken Records (Spotlight #1) by Lilah Suzanne

Saturday, September 9:

  • Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn & Christina Lee Release Day Blitz and Review
  • Cover reveal *September 8th* His Dark Reflection by Heloise West
  • A MelanieM Review: Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Justified (Magnified #2) by Mell Eight

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The world of vampires and werewolves is in upheaval. The magical community is under attack by a great evil power trying to destroy them all and their strongest fighter is oblivious with his nose glued in a spell book. Yani has given up hope in getting Aaron back on track. He knows he instead has to focus on his own future and the lives of those he loves, even if it means losing Aaron, the love of his life, forever.

Yani’s life isn’t the only one in flux. As the battle heats up and lines are drawn, the rest of his friends must fight for their own survival in a world with no answers to the terrible magic attacking them.

The Magnified novels, starting from the first story, is an amazingly complex and immensely mysterious series that’s getting increasingly horrifying by the book.  It’s also  quite wonderful, full of unexpected elements I’ve not seen in other tales.  Mell Eight is combining mysticism with vampires, Nazis, Kabbalism, dragons, faeries, werewolves, horror, M/M romance and it all works.

The first story, Magnified, sets up the introduction and the couples and should not be missed. It’s a gripping story. Without it, Justified floats without its foundation material.  This is not a standalone novel.  With Magnified as the backhistory for the couples and the situation they find themselves in, the reader can settle into the drama that is unfolding here in Justified.

That group of friends (and couples within) has just fought a major battle and barely escaped.  We now see the effects that it’s had on certain members, and there aren’t healthy ones.  Aaron has withdrawn into his books looking for knowledge and Yani is despairing over the loss of their closeness and perhaps their relationship.  The cost of that most recent battle is high indeed.

Mell Eight weaves her many plotlines (the overall series thread and the sub storylines) with great care, popping and pulling various elements in and out of the current scenes.  Could be Yani’s Jewish family and his ties to the vampire world and the Kabbalah or maybe we are heading into werewolf territory or even pandas, you never know.  It will be in pursuit of an evil so horrific that you are happy that Mell Eight has left some of the descriptions of that villain’s deeds less than vivid.  And terrifying to know that this series is continuing because it means only one thing has happened.

Justified (and the Magnified series) is full of fascinating, multi-layered characters, which include several here outside of the main group that I grew to love and hope to see again.  This small group of fighters seem like underdogs battling overwhelming odds with only one that stands a chance against true evil.   It started out as a gripping story and is growing into a powerful one of determination and bravery.  I can’t wait for the next book in the series.  The only reason it doesn’t have a higher rating is that you absolutely need the first book as a foundation for this one.  Together?  They have the makings of a 5 star series!

Cover art by Aisha Akeju.  I like this cover with the simple object that has its part to play within the story.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 147 pages
Published August 9th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684310500
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Magnified

Magnified (Magnified, #1)

Justified (Magnified #2)

Blog Tour for Inhuman Beings by Richard May (excerpt and giveaway)

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IB banner

Title: Inhuman Beings
Author: Richard May
Release Date: June 15th 2017
Genre: Gay Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Erotic

Inhuman Beings-Front cover

BLURB

Fall in love with a shapeshifter in San Francisco, a ghost in Scotland, or a vampire in Russia. Time travel to 1920s Mesopotamia, 1600’s Africa, or to ancient Greece before time even existed. Find yourself on a distant planet, in love with a creature whose very being can destroy you, or in a post-apocalyptic world, drawn to a mutation created by the destruction of Earth.

Enjoy these 18 erotic stories about romantic encounters between men and not men–monsters and myths, gods and demons, science fiction and fantasy. Each story is the stuff of nightmares–and of dreams.

Add Inhuman Beings to Goodreads

Paperback Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK *The paperback version has 3 new stories*

Ebook Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | MLR Press

REVIEWS

“With Inhuman Beings, May seductively crosses the boundaries of time and space, the real and the imaginary, in these spellbinding tales of love and lust and things that go bump, not to mention hump, in the night.”

Rob Rosen, editor of the Best Gay Erotica series

Inhuman Beings is an enormously imaginative, genre-crossing work in the tradition of Peter Cashorali’s groundbreaking Fairy Tales but with greater breadth and franker eroticism; an impres­sive achievement.”

Michael Nava, author of the Henry Rios novels

Inhuman Beings represents a seminal work in gay male erotic literature that draws on the threads and yarns of our cultures and civiliza­tions. Tales from many countries and eras transport you across the globe and through the years, making this book one that will stand the test of time.”

Wayne Goodman, author of Better Angels

“Richard May’s new collection of short fiction contains an international menagerie of legendary creatures. There’s a Hindu god, a Native American cyclone spirit, a Chinese rain dragon, a moody Jewish golem, a sadistic Iraqi jinn, and more. Fans of the homoerotic melded with the speculative and the paranormal will savor every page of Inhuman Beings.”

Jeff Mann, author of Country and Consent

“The beauty of this collection lies in its imagination – May is doing nothing less than writing a gay mythology, complete with monsters and fairy tales, imagined futures and refreshed pasts. His bold infusion of desire into mythology and encounters with the paranormal is unique, bracing and insightful. Inhuman Beings is full of a kind of sacred frivolity.”

Trebor Healey, author of Faun and Eros & Dust

EXCERPT

Clocks told me it was after midnight, the new last day for the Daberleys at Enscombe. I climbed the central staircase, thinking of all the feet which had trod before me.

My father’s bedroom felt freezing so in quick order I stripped, not bothering to hang my clothes, and slid under the heavy blankets. Sleep came quickly but I was awakened soon after, or so it seemed, by the sound of footsteps in the hall outside my room. I was groggy and pulling myself into sitting when the bedroom door opened and the shadow of a tall man stood in the doorframe.

“Aren’t you afraid?” he asked in Stephen Taylor’s voice.

“No,” I lied, jumping out of bed and turning on the lamp, only belatedly covering myself with underwear tossed aside.

“But I do want to know what you’re doing in my house in the middle of the night.”

“I come here often,” was all he said as he entered the room and closed the door. I made ready for him as he came across the carpet but he just sat, slumping in the armchair.

“He killed me, you know.”

Giveaway: Comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Inhuman Beings

About the Author

Richard May

Richard May’s short fiction has been published in his collections Inhuman Beings and Ginger Snaps: Photos & Stories (with photographer David Sweet), his series Gay All Year on Amazon Kindle, in anthologies like Never Too Late, Best Gay Erotica, and the Lambda Literary nominated Outer Voices Inner Lives, and in literary journals, including Bay Laurel, Chelsea Station, and Hyacinth Noir.

Rick also organizes the monthly Perfectly Queer book reading series with his partner Wayne Goodman in Oakland CA at Nomadic Press: Uptown and in San Francisco at Dog Eared Books Castro, individual LGBTQ Pride Readings for visiting authors, the annual literary festival Word Week in Noe Valley CA, and an online book club Reading Queer Authors Lost to AIDS.

Rick is from Sacramento CA and Brooklyn NY and now lives in San Francisco. He has red hair and truly believes in all things ginger. Another genetic stunner: he is 19th cousin to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

Please follow him on social media at facebook.com/richardmaywriter, @rickmaywritr on Twitter, and richard.may1313 on Instagram.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums

Ah, mid August.  Usually, that boring time of the month when the temperatures are heating up, vacations may be winding down, school is only weeks away…a time of calm, normally before things start up again.  The heat makes you slow down, the winds are becalmed, leaving ships drifting in the seas….

But all now seems in turmoil around us, I shy away from the news, the media (living in the Metro area makes this almost impossible) making want to cringe or more from what I hear being relayed daily.  Never did I think our country would come to this.  I admit to feeling incredibly disheartened these days.  Enough to long for those boring summer  doldrums of old.  And it wasn’t even that long ago that things seemed so promising.

Like the fresh start of summer every year.  Those days are always so full of promise, things we want to do in our time off, places to visit, things to accomplish maybe, or just relaxation, perhaps.  By mid-August, reality sets in as Autumn starts to peep around the corner, bringing another season, the arrival of Fall, and the closure of another summer.  Was it everything we hoped for?  Like a summer romance, it rarely is but the memories can remain golden if looked at in the right light.  So I’m wondering how we will remember this summer?  In what light, will we hold up these memories?  It’s too early to say.  I do know that now I’m looking forward to fall, to clear away the summer doldrums for the briskness of the fall air and the promise of a new clarity.  We can hope, can’t we?

In the meantime, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words accumulations of lists go on!

We are still working on our Fantasy Rec lists.  You all know?  I forgot the Supernatural/Paranormal lists, so those may have to come next.  But for now, lets concentrate on the Fantasy ones.  Our Giveaway runs until August 26~

(Extra note:  We are still looking for reviewers, please contact us if you know of anyone or want to review for us yourself.  Write to us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com)

Fantasy Titles to be Added To:

Purple Reader starts off our recs with this from last week’s rec list (I stuck it here, because it seemed to fit):
Readers Recs:

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

Send in your recs  for your favorite fantasy book/ or series!  Don’t forget to add your email address where we can reach you if chosen to receive our gift certificate of $10.

Again, gift certificates to a reader chosen at random who left a comment along with their email address where they can be reached if chosen.
Contest ends at midnight on 8/26.  That’s two weeks to get your recommendations in!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 13:

  • Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 14:

  • Cover Reveal Blitz: Cataclysmic Shift by Tara Lain
  • DSP PUBLICATIONS TOUR: Ravon Silvius on The Storm Lords
  • Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour and Giveaway
  • Review Tour – Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Bone to Pick by TA Moore
  • An Ali Review: As Big As The Sky by Amy Aislin
  • A MelanieM Review: Lavender by Xavier Axelson
  • A MelanieM Review: Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane

Tuesday, August 15:

  • Dreamspinner Promo: Yvonne Trent on Coasting (States of Love Story)
  • TOUR: The One Thing I know by Keelan Ellis
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway for Three Player Game (Bluewater Bay) by Jaime Samms
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Guardian (Aisling #1) by Carole Cummings
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, August 16:

  • Book Blitz – Misha Paige – Beast of a Time (Hellbound Hound #1)
  • TOUR King of the Fire Dancers by S.T. Sterlings
  • Review Tour – Clare London’s Peep Show
  • A Caryn Review: Peep Show by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Pre Release Review: Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
  • A Lila Release Day Review:  The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts #2) by Charlie Cochet

Thursday, August 17:

  • Cover Reveal for Mel Gough’s A World Apart
  • Review Tour – RJ Scott – Gabriel (Legacy #2)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
  • Andrew Grey on Ebb and Flow (Guest Post)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Gabriel (Legacy Ranch #2) by R.J. Scott
  • A MelanieM Review: Glamour Thieves by Don Allmon

Friday, August 18:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Tara Lain’s Fool of Main Beach
  • Tour: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere’ M. Fishback
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Jay Northcote’s Tops Down Bottoms Up
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review:  Northern Star by Ethan Day and Jason Frazier (Narrator)
  • A VVivacious Review: Weekend Getaway (Daniel and Ryan #7) by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: Grounded by Aidan Wayne

Saturday, August 19:

  • Release Blitz – Getting Through – J.S. Finley
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Shax’s War (Brimstone #3 by Angel Martinez and Vance Bastian (Narrator)

 

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Asheville Arcana

In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.

Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.

Except for one man.

As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.

Hot, sexy, scary, mysterious and a thoroughly entertaining tale! Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay is all these things.  The first in a  new subline called Dreamspun Beyond from Dreamspinner Press (be still my heart) this story combines  romance, mate bonding, werewolves, fae, vampires, mages, black magic and a mystery to solve all rolled into one for a wonderful read I couldn’t put down.

Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond comes looking for help in Ashville from the supernatural council there when he finds that his pack has been killed with the remaining members missing.  When the older members of the council reject him, it’s one of the younger members, Arden Gilmarin who offers his help.  Arden, along with that of two of his friends, a mage and a vampire, work with Eli to unravel a mystery that turns nastier and darker with each clue they uncover.  That the biggest surprise is that Arden and Eli are mates?  That fact maybe one of the hardest things for Eli to adjust to.

McKay lays out a great universe here and community of supernaturals in Asheville, past and present.  We have everything from dryads to vampires here and it works charmingly. I love it when you can get pulled into a book with supernatural elements and the author has made you feel that it’s not only possible but absolutely authentic!  I believed in those magical elements in and around Asheville, wanted to go peaking and looking for them myself!

Growly Eli and elegant Arden are a wonderful match for each other, each in tune with their environments and quirks.  And yes, their interactions together, in and out of bed are very hot indeed.

The mystery here is solved but leaves open an overall arc for the series to continue.  Plus there’s a vampire and mage that very much need to find their own mates and romances next.  Can’t wait to see what’s in store for them and the Asheville Arcana series.  What a great way to spring the new Dreamspun Beyond line on the readers!  I’ll be gobbling these right up just as I do the Dreamspun Desires regular series!  I recommend Out of the Ashes by Ari McKay for all you lovers of shifter romances and romances in general.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson.  Another great cover by Aaron Anderson.  That certainly is Arden, love the backdrop.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press AmazonBarnes & Noble 

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: August 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635337969
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAsheville Arcana #1 setting

Really? Can it Be Almost August? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

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Really? Can it Be Almost August?

Really? Can it Be Almost August? Hard to believe and yet, we’re into the dog days of summer clearly with our temperatures rising into the near 100’s and the muggy’s hitting early this year.  It’s hot and oh so steamy outside.  Sirius is rising in the morning, the Dog Star bright in the skies if you’re up early enough.  That’s the brightest first magnitude star we can see and the one that the Dog Days of Summer are named for. Sirius is one star in a group of stars that form the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Greater Dog.” It’s no surprise, then, that the nickname of this big, bold star is Dog Star.

Sirius signaled the beginning of the hot season, which brought drought, disease, and more. Some people believed that the summer swelter was due to the combined heat from Sirius and the Sun. These uncomfortable, unhealthy days were called the dog days, named after the (innocent) Dog Star. It makes sense that the name of the Dog Star, Sirius, means “scorching” in Greek.

How fitting then, that the first weekend in August brings another smaller celebration. That of International Beer Day on the 4th,  which is quickly followed on the 5th by International Hangover Day.

What are you going to do  going into August?

Don’t forget we still have our contest going on to rec our fav science fiction and historical warrior/soldier stories….

Part II – Soldiers/Warriors ~ Historical and Science Fiction Recommendations

There are so many wonderful stories that involve the past and the future with warriors and soldiers.  Let’s start our next series of lists.  Whether the author is Charlie Cochrane or Aleksandr Voinov, their stories will have you under their spells of soldiers past and future.

Some of my recommendations:

Memory of Scorpions series by Aleksandr Voinov (Science Fiction)

Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara (Science Fiction)

The Borders War (5 books) by S.A. McAuley (Science Fiction)

Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane (historical)

The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara (historical/fantasy)

More on mine later…..more coming!

Comment with recommendations and your email address and  two readers will be picked to receive a $10 gift cert from Dreamspinner Press or Amazon, your choice.  Giveaway ends next Saturday, August 5.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Also Again….

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is still looking for reviewers.  If you want to review or know of anyone who reviews, please let us know.  Contact us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

Sunday,  July 30:

  • Really? Can it Be Almost August?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!
  • An Alisa Review: Stormy Nights by Jonas Duffy

Monday, July 31:

  • Audiobook Review Tour for Personal Secrets by KC Wells
  • DSP PUBLICATIONS TOUR: Anne Barwell on Comes a Horseman Sequel to Winter Duet
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Heat Wave, Seasons of Love book 3, by Elyse Springer.
  • Tour: The Garden by Rosalind Abel / Brandon Witt (exclusive excerpt)
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Personal Secrets (Personal #3) by K.C. Wells
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Chase the Ace (London Lads #1) by Clare London and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Resistance by April Kelley

Tuesday, August 1:

  • DSP GUEST POST Julia Talbot on Sparkle and Shine
  • RELEASE BLITZ Trust with a Chaser by Annabeth Albert
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana) by Ari McKay
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: The Teddy Bear Club (The Teddy Bear Club #1) by Sean Michael
  • A Stella Review: After the Sunset by Lilah Suzanne
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Wrapped in Chains by Cindy Sutherland and Narrator: John Anthony Davis

Wednesday, August 2:

  • DSP GUEST POST Parker Williams on The Runner
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway – RJ Scott’s Gabriel (Legacy #2)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Out of the Ashes
  • A Caryn Review: All Wheel Drive (Bluewater Bay #18) by Z.A. Maxfield
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Plaid Versus Paisley (Fabric Hearts #2) by KC Burn and Narrator: David Ross
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Valentine’s Day Resolution by Ava Hayden

Thursday, August 3:

  • Susan Mac Nicol “Revival” Tour and Giveaway
  • Review Tour: The Necromancer’s Dilemma by S J Himes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) by K.J. Charles
  • A MelanieM Review: Knight Errant (Legends of Osaire Book 2) by T.A. Creech
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1) by K-lee Klein and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: The Necromancer’s Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2) by S.J. Himes and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Friday, August 4:

  • BOOK TOUR Crimson Storm by V.L Moon & J.T Cheyanne
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on The Teddy Bear Club
  • DSP GUEST POST TJ Nichols
  • Blog Tour When Heaven Strikes by F.E Feeley Jr
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water#2) by Amy Lane
  • An Alisa Review: One Heart, One Destiny by Pelaam

Saturday, August 5:

  • Release Blitz for Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky
  • A MelanieM Review: Christopher Wild by Kathe Koja

A MelanieM Review: Jordan’s Pryde (Pryde Shifter #1) by Giovanna Reaves

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

All he did was apply for a job and then his world was turned upside down.

Thrust into the world he had no idea about, Jordan Sutton’s only goal was to get a job working for Duncan Pryde of Pryde Industries. He thought werewolves, vampires, and Fey’s belonged in fairy tales, not in the real world. What will he do when he finds out that there’s more than meets the eye to his boss and his family?

Duncan Pryde had too much going on in his life. He became the sole guardian of his twin niece and nephew along with the addition of his pack and company. He had no time to think about a mate when trouble comes to his front door. What happens when the man he hired for one job turns out to be his destined mate? Does he deny what he feels or embrace it?

Jordan’s Pryde (Pryde Shifter #1) by Giovanna Reaves represents three new things for me.  New book, new series and new author.  I picked it up based on the synopsis and the fact that it’s hard for me to pass any shifter story by.  They are pretty much an auto read for me.  Throw in the idea of an Alpha who’s just become the guardian of his young niece and nephew while being in charge of a pack and business empire?  Just seemed too juicy for words.

In fact Reaves takes the story beyond what I had imagined.  Into a universe where there’s murderous hunters, kingdoms to be had, evil plots unfolding and so much more.  I almost wish the author  had left it at the overworked alpha and the adorable employee romance…..almost.   But Reaves started to build something very interesting here with other supernaturals , sanguines aka vampires, along with werewolves, fae along with the human hunters.  As  the author was laying down the foundation for the series and story,  she was also introducing her characters.

Jordan Sutton was an unusual main character, one I alternated between liking and feeling his lack of realistic reactions took me away from connecting with him.  At times I find him charming and others, especially when he’s been smacked in the gut with some unbelievable fact/knowledge, the sort of ‘roll with it’ tendency or lack of shock takes away a layer of depth he’d have  otherwise.  Duncan Pryde is another character I like but sometimes feel that we don’t get enough interaction with him within the storyline.  However, there is a lot going on here as the author scrambled to lay everything she needs for the next books in the series.

I did enjoy the tale, most certainly the children. It has plenty of great ideas and characters.  I love the direction the series and storylines are taking. Several secondary characters found mates with storylines to be resolved in the next book or books to come. Also, a major plot line was left unfinished that may be a series story arc (evil laugh ensues).However, the story suffers also from the need of a red pen and editor.  Things like past and present tenses switched within one sentence (more than once) are noticeable, word choices that are close to what they should be like ‘unmanageable strength instead of unimaginable strength” but even more major, a good editor would have commented on things like Jordan’s lack of appropriate response to shocks to his system and had the author think about what they had written down.  Didn’t happen.

Will I read the next story in the series?  Absolutely.  I want to find out what happened.  And you never know, these other things can be corrected.

Cover art contains a nice element from the series, overall very eye-catching.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 268 pages
Published June 30th 2017
ASINB071JQ1LV8
SeriesPryde Shifter #1

A Caryn Review: Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1) by EJ Russell

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I LOVE fairly tale retellings!  And of course, Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites because I am such a sucker for that hurt/comfort trope.  I also think that a fairy tale retelling is a good way to showcase an author’s creativity – being original while still following the basic skeleton of curse and redemption and attraction to the inner beauty is hard to do when it’s been done so often! 

This retelling brings in a lot of Celtic folklore, combining the Irish, Welsh, Scots, and British fae in the Unified Seelie Court, as well as adding the more modern paranormal elements of vampires and shifters, and then throwing in some Druids just for fun, to create the world of the “Supes”.  Dr. Alun Kendrick is the “shrink to the supes” – an exiled Sidhe warrior who is now a psychologist  in Portland, catering to the mental maladies of the supernatural, as well as treating humans who have been accidentally exposed to (and traumatized by) supes.  His is a very specialized, and private, practice and he intends to keep it that way.

David Evans is an earnest and enthusiastic young man who works at a temp agency.  He’s been intermittently going to nursing school which is his passion, but in the meantime is working to support his terminally ill Aunt Cassie.  David tries, he really does, but every job he lands ends up in disaster as things just seem to happen around him – that riot in the dentist’s office?  Totally not his fault.  Besides, he’s done some transcription for Dr. Kendrick, and his voice is so swoon-worthy, he just has to meet the man.  So when the office manager position came open, it only took a little prevaricating to get it, and David just knew that he would do a fabulous job.  It was fate, it was right, and damn it, he was going to make it work.

The first day, however, didn’t go as planned.  Dr. Kendrick’s voice is just as smooth and dulcet as David remembered, but that face? 

He looked like the victim of a failed experiment on the island of Dr. Moreau who’d tried to get the results fixed at a cut-rate back-alley plastic surgeon.

But David is nothing if not determined, and even in that initial hostile meeting he noticed something more, something worth putting up with all of Dr. Kendrick’s glares and attempts to get rid of him in order to break through to the man beneath the ugly.  David’s irrepressible cheerfulness, his sublime coffee, the color he brought into the sad grey office, and his uncanny insight into client’s problems did catch Alun’s attention, but his dancing clinched it.

Stubborn, impudent, maddening, human David, with his wildly colorful office accessories, constant challenges, and the worst dancing Alun had seen in over two millennia.  Goddess strike him blind, but the man was bloody wonderful.

Thus the two men become a unlikely partners drawn into a conspiracy that could destroy the Unified Seelie Court and endanger all supes, in both fae and human worlds.  In the process, they finally solve the mystery of a centuries old murder that led to Alun’s curse, and both men find out there is more to them than they believed.

I loved the entire wild ride, from the dull, lifeless office to the magical, glittering world of Faerie.  I loved the secondary characters, the clients, the druid aunties, and especially Alun’s brothers Mal and Gareth (who will be getting their own books in the future, yay!).  We have an exciting plot, character growth, great dialogue, beautifully described settings, and it was also freakin’ hilarious.  What more can you ask from a book?

I didn’t really have a place to put it in this review, but must include this last quote:

“What about that poser guy?  Jackson.  What’s he?  Demon?  Troll?  Were-jackal?”  “Worse.”  Alun’s voice dropped to a husky whisper.  “Lawyer.”  David gulped…

Regarding the cover art by Lou Harper:  before I read the book, I have to admit I thought it was a little annoying, and I didn’t like the model’s smirk.  Now that I’ve read it, well, that is David!

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 283 pages
Published July 24th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleCutie and the Beast
ISBN 1626495998 (ISBN13: 9781626495999)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/cutie-and-the-beast
SeriesFae Out of Water #1

Audiobook Release Blitz for The Necromancer’s Dilemma by S J Himes and Joel Leslie (Narrator) ~giveaway

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Title: The Necromancer’s Dilemma
Author: SJ Himes
Narrated By: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hours 47 minutes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2
Release Date: July 21st 2017
Genre: MM Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

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Even love can die without trust.

Angel’s brother, Isaac, has returned home, and the pair begins to make slow and awkward attempts back to each other. Learning how to be a brother to a grown man instead of a parental figure has Angel adjusting his behaviors and habits, and Isaac still remains a mystery. Was it merely entering adulthood that turned Isaac away from an overprotective Angel, or does Isaac carry a secret that will keep them from finally being a real family?

Daniel Macavoy, Angel’s new apprentice, is torn between his bond with Angel and the grasping machinations of his father. Dealing with a traumatized apprentice with dangerous holes in his magical education, saving Daniel may be harder than Angel first thought – especially since the biggest problem is not revenge, but guilt.

The one shining beacon in his life is Simeon, Elder vampire of Boston’s only Bloodclan. Four hundred years old and sexy as sin, Simeon is warrior and sage, patient and cunning. The strength Angel draws from Simeon’s devotion and the newborn mate-bond between them is steadfast and true – and the fount of death magic that animates the undead lord places Angel in the midst of a power struggle for control over himself, his lover, and his family.

Through it all, Angel is beleaguered by the unwanted attention of a troll-hybrid, the adventures of a dragon in the city, and a serial killer has decided to hunt the back alleys and midnight streets of Boston.

Contains male/male sexual content. Violence, gore, sex, vampires. A cute dragon and some snark. Okay, lots of snark.

Purchase: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes

Find The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series on Goodreads

EXCERPT

The entire back of the boy’s hand was split open by the intense heat, the skin white and thick, the flesh beneath cooked by the magic spike that turned the kettle and its contents into a kitchen supernova. The heat curled in his fingers, and the flesh was weeping fluids. Blisters distorted the edges of the worst of it, the flesh red and warped all the way up the back of his hand to his wrist. The curling of the hand was so severe he couldn’t see how badly Daniel’s palm was injured.

“Isaac, never mind, I need you here.” A burn this bad was not life threatening— not yet— Daniel was going into shock, but he wasn’t hovering on the edge of death, so Angel was unable to heal him. This injury was caused by intense and powerful heat— and so was under the purview of any practitioner with fire affinity. “You need to heal this.”

“I’m not a healer!” Isaac gasped out, but he came anyway. Angel grabbed his brother and yanked him down so they were both kneeling by Daniel’s hand. Angel held Daniel’s arm aloft, and put his other on Isaac’s shoulder.

“Isaac, all you need to do is settle into your inner sight, look at Daniel’s hand, and call to the heat in the injuries. The actual temperature has nothing to do with healing— this is a mental exercise that relies on how your brain interprets and processes the injury in his hand. It was caused by heat, and you can reverse the damage,” Angel instructed. He squeezed his hand on Isaac’s shoulder when a wave of uncertainty crossed his features. “No room for doubt. I taught you how to heal fire and heat based injuries before you even got your driver’s license, so don’t lie to yourself and think you can’t do this.”

“How… his hand… how can I fix that?” Isaac whispered, looking sick.

Book One

Title: The Necromancer’s Dance
Author: S J Himes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 8 Hours 8 minutes
Release Date: 21st March 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, MM Romance

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In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset by enemies, both old and new.

Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues as to who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead? Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill…and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

Purchase: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK I iTunes

Listen to an audio teaser from The Necromancer’s Dance at Soundcloud.

About the Author

I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Fan Group | Twitter | Amazon

About the Narrator

web version joel arm

Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

Find a list of Joel’s books on Audible

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/391d73bd80/?

The prize is a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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What’s Your Favorite Story Time Again and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What’s Your Favorite Story Time Again – Soldiers and Wounded Warriors

With the holidays flashing by…Memorial Day, Independance Day….I thought about all the stories that I love so much that contained soldiers and/or vets returned from tours of duty.  Some of them are series and some are stand alone novels but there’s no denying the impact on your mind and heart they leave behind.

Some stories are contemporary and some reach far into the future or into the past but the soldier’s lot (no matter the gender) remains the same in its basics.  The dealing with the fear of the unknown, the stress, the pain, the loss, and the battles.  And then for some, the re-entry into civilian life.  So let’s hear again from all of you, what are your favorite stories with soldiers and why?  I thought we’d divide them into categories this time.  This week its contemporary fiction.  Next week: Other, from Science Fiction to Historical.  Let me know if you think that’s too broad a category and I’ll adjust it.

So I’ll start off our list of contemporary fiction with a series near to my heart:

♦︎The Release series by B.A. Tortuga (3 books) – all dealing with vets being released back into civilian life.  It’s outstanding.

♦︎Manny Get Your Guy by Amy Lane – wounded vet dealing with rehab and reentry at the same time.

That’s just for starters.  What’s yours?  Of course, there’s a giveaway attached for this List.

Contemporary Soldier/Wounded Warrior Story Recommendation Reader List

Comment with recommendations and your email address and one or two readers will be picked to receive a $10 gift cert from Dreamspinner Press.  Giveaway ends next Saturday, July 15th in time to start our next Soldiers-Others category.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 9:

  • Review Tour THE SHAPE OF YOU by Felice Stevens
  • A Jeri Review: The Shape of You by Felice Stevens
  • What’s Your Favorite Story Time Again
  •  This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 10:

  • Blog tour Racing the Sky by Layla Dorine
  • DSP GUEST POST Rick R Reed on M4M
  • A VVivacious Review: Regret by Christina Lee
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: M4M by Rick R. Reed
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Bonfires by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review:  Facing Fears by Morticia Knight

Tuesday, July 11:

  • DSP GUEST POST Leigh Carman on Two-Man Advantage
  • RIPTIDE TOUR All Wheel Drive by ZA Maxfield
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Moro’s Price by M Crane Hana
  • A Jeri Review: Chief’s Mess (Anchor Point #3) by L.A. Witt
  • A Julia Review: Painting Class ( Chiaroscuro, #1) by Suzanne Clay
  • An Alisa Review: Different Dynamics by Tamir Drake

Wednesday, July 12:

  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Fire and Fog
  • Review Tour – Meg Harding – Finding Home
  • Tour: Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker RDB,
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: FAST Balls (Balls to the Wall #5) by Tara Lain
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony and Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
  • A MelanieM Review: Broke Deep (Porthkennack #3) by Charlie Cochrane
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Mascara & Bandages (Mary’s Boys#3) by Brandon Witt
  • A Stella Review: Finding Home by Meg Harding

Thursday, July 13:

  • Harmony GUEST POST Gene Gant
  • Review Tour – RJ Scott – The Ranchers Son (Montana #2) narrated by Sean Crisden
  • A Lila Audiobook Review:  The Ranchers Son (Montana #2) by RJ Scott and Sean Crisden (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Werecat: The Sim Ru Prophecy by Andrew J. Peters
  • An Ali Audiobook Review : The Innocent Auction (Innocent #1) by Victoria Sue and Joel Leslie (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: A New Way to Dance by Sean Michael

Friday, July 14:

  • Letting Go by Morningstar Ashley Release Day Blitz
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: The Other Five Percent by Quinn Anderson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Kind of Home by Lane Hayes
  • A Jeri Review: The Other Five Percent by Quinn Anderson
  • A VVivacious Review:  Rent Mate by Ash Penn
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Who We Truly Are (Enhanced #2) by Victoria Sue

Saturday, July 15:

A MelanieM Release Day Review: All In (Wild Cards #3) by Ava Drake