A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Surrender the Dark (The Dark #1) by Tibby Armstrong

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This story appears to be the beginning of a new series, and as such, the author spends much of the time world-building. Unfortunately, I found this incredibly boring and after a while it became difficult to focus on the pages. From the blurb, I thought this would be a paranormal romance with the protagonists, Benjamin, the hunter, and Tzadkiel, the vampire king, immediately attracted to one another and eventually becoming lovers and going against the bad guy. In this case, the bad guy is The Morgan, the head of the witch coven and father of Benjamin’s BFF, Nix.

But the blurb doesn’t begin to describe the scope of this story. The book starts out with gruesome details of torture and then segues into deep animosity between the two chief protagonists and then—lo and behold—zombies enter the picture! To be honest, if I wasn’t reading this for review, I would have DNFed it at 33%. But I decided to persevere to the halfway mark before making a decision. And then I kept going since there was a hint of sexual attraction and it looked like there might be some deep emotional attraction between Benjamin and Tzadkiel in the future. Maybe there’d be a romance after all. And there was—though it was one of those push-and-pull romances where the characters continued to disappoint each other nearly to the end of the story.

The biggest issue for me was that I didn’t feel connected to either of the MCs, and quite frankly, I really didn’t care if they got together, or even if they won the battle and lived to see another day (or a sequel in this case.) I just didn’t feel the love between the two, and what’s more important to me—I didn’t get hooked by either character, so this one fell flat.

I did admire the writer’s craft and imagination in building this world, and the complexity of the hierarchy of paranormal beings and their powers. For that reason, I gave this two stars. It was okay. But overall, from the perspective that I would have enjoyed some bonding, especially after there was some blood exchanged, and I surely would have enjoyed caring about one or both characters—no. This story just didn’t do it for me.

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Cover design by Lynn Andreozzi and photo by Ingram Publising/Agefotostock depicts a naked male torso—back view—with his arms out and head tipped back—against a dark background. I didn’t find it attention-getting, but it can be applied to any vampire or dark story, though not necessarily specific to this one.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 251 pages
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Loveswept
ASINB01D7CJ3Z0
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Dark #1

May Flowers and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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May Flowers

After my blog last week, May flowers are taking up all my time this Sunday.  Yesterday was garden time prep and today is planting.  So its short and sweet today.  Thanks to all the comments, its been certainly dreary enough for lots of reading, crocheting and other indoor pastimes!  Hopefully now I can catchup outdoors too!

Melanie’s Soppy Garden Contest

The winner of my giveaway is Ami!  Congratulations, Ami, Stella will be in touch about your gift card!

Now onto this week’s schedule!  More next week I promise!  Is that June I see peering around the corner?  Oh my!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 21:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz Lace by KC Wells

Monday, May 22:

  • Blog Tour The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on Golden
  • Release Day Blitz Drama Queens and Adult Themes by Kevin Klehr
  • Surrender the Dark Blog Tour (M/M Contemporary Romance)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Surrender the Dark  (M/M Contemporary Romance)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: In Your Eyes​ by Cardeno C and Charlie David (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Farlough by Xavier Mayne
  • A MelanieM Review: How We Operate By A.R. Moler
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Lochlann by Andrea Speed

Tuesday, May 23:

  • Blog Tour Frozen Heart by Heidi Cullinan
  • DSP GUEST POST Laura Bailo on The Sun Still Rises
  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone
  • Release Blitz for Isobel Starling ‘s As You Wish
  • A MelanieM  Review: Frozen Heart (Love Lessons #1.5) by Heidi Cullinan
  • A VVivacious Review: Reckless Seduction & Reckless Behavior by Amanda Young
  • An Alisa Review: Truth or Lie by Lynn Lorenz
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review:Summer Lessons (Winter Ball #2) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator

Wednesday, May 24:

  • Release Blitz Tour Request – RJ Scott – Back Home
  • Release Blitz Equality (Dublin Virtues #2) by Helena Stone
  • Review Tour – Laurent and the Beast – KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Gone by the Board by August Li
  • An Ali Review: The Well by Marie Sexton
  • An Alisa Review:  Laurent and the Beast by KA Merikan

Thursday, May 25:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: The Wrong Woman by Cass Lennox
  • Release Blitz Keira Andrews – Road To The Sun
  • DSP GUEST POST Andrea Speed on Lochlann
  • DSP GUEST POST Diana Copland
  • A Caryn Review: A Good Neighbor by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Seidman by James Erich
  • A VVivacious Review: Performance Review by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: Cutting Cords by Morticia Knight

Friday, May 26:

  • DSP GUEST POST Mario Kai Lipinski
  • Review Tour – By The Numbers by RJ Scott
  • Review Tour The Devils Pride MC Series by Jessie G
  • A MelanieM Review: By the Numbers by RJ Scott
  • An Alisa Review: The Devils Pride MC series by Jessie G
    (Tricking Chase (The Devils Pride MC #1) Talk Dirty to Me (The Devils Pride MC #2)
    Tys that Bind (The Devils Pride MC #2.5)

Saturday, May 27:

  • Release Blitz Before You Break (Secrets #1)  by KC Wells
  • Release Blitz Josephine Myles – Junk (Bristol Collection #1)
  • A MelanieM Review: Wallaçonia by David Pratt

An Alisa Review: Threshold by Vivien Dean

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Finding a gorgeous, unconscious vampire gives ex-Marine Max a new purpose in life.

 

Sutter is a vampire on the run. After barely escaping the hunter sent after him, he makes it all the way to Oregon before the approaching sunrise forces him to stop. He only intends to rest until dusk, but that plan falls apart when he’s found passed out on the bathroom floor.

 

Ex-Marine Max Rowell hasn’t had a purpose in life since coming home from the Gulf. Drifting through the days, he discovers an unconscious guy who looks like an angel but has clearly been through hell and finds new purpose.

 

Max isn’t letting Sutter go anywhere until he’s healed, but Sutter needs more than a warm bedside manner to get stronger. Though they strike a deal, the clock is ticking. Sooner or later, Sutter will need to run again, or risk putting Max’s life on the line when Sutter’s past catches up to him…

 

I really enjoyed this story.  Sutter is on the run and hoping that he can heal enough over night to keep going but Max patches him up and won’t let him go until he is better.  Both of the characters have to work together to move past their current existence to something more.

 

Max is just buying time trying to figure out what he wants to do now that he is out of the marines and not really getting anywhere, meeting Sutter begins to give him a reason to do something different.  He is shocked when Sutter explains to him that he is a vampire but still refuses to leave his side while he is healing.  Sutter doesn’t want to get an innocent person hurt because of his past but Max won’t let him push him away so easily.

 

This story is told from both characters’ points of view and we can see their struggles and how they seem to understand the other easily.  Max refused to give in to his desire for Sutter until he knows the man is healed, he has seen too much evil in the world and refuses to be that way.  Sutter is trying to be the bigger man but knows he can’t take care of himself quite yet.  These two characters are as different as they are alike and they played well off of each other.  I liked seeing them actually begin to build a relationship and get to know each other seeing them essentially ride off together in the end.

 

I love the cover art and how it depicts both of the characters.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 113 pages

Published: April 14, 2017 by MLR Press

Edition Language: English

May Showers, Upended Plans and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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By this time in May my gardens should be underway.  My hanging baskets planted and I should feel a sense of accomplishment.  Instead my backyard is a cold swamp from all the heavy rains we’ve had, awaiting plants that the unseasonably cold temps and garden centers say it’s still too early to plant even though they are hardy and perennial.  The front yard beds are a tangle of weeds awaiting the new rototiller and bed makeovers. Ah,  fickle nature!  Ah, upended plans and shattered schedules.

I tell you ….the temptation to sit here and let the  frustration build is great.  Equally so is grabbing that glass of wine and being philosophical about it all (including the amount of weeds left to demolish).  I’ll let you all guess as to which won out.

Meanwhile the meteorologists are again teasing us with a forecast of blue skies and high temperatures for this coming week.  Shakes head and wags a finger in their direction.  I’ve seen such forecasts in the past.  This time, no plans.  I’m going to take a wait and see approach, a very low bar I’m setting to be sure.

What do you all do when your plans go astray?  Or schedules go splat?  Do you reach for the Häagen-Dazs or maybe Ben and Jerry’s and a spoon?  Or perhaps your favorite comfort read and a hike?  What’s your go to coping mechanism?  Help a reviewer out here while I ponder my soppy gardens and my TBR lists….

Melanie’s Soppy Garden Contest

Tell me what you do to cope when things start to go awry!  Read, write, hike, paint!  If reading, what books?  A random winner will be chosen to receive a $10 gift cert from Dreamspinner Press.  Please let your email address where you can be reached if chosen.  Contest ends next weekend, 5/20, when I can report that I’ve made progress on my gardens after they’ve had a chance to dry out!

~

Meanwhile, we have many wonderful books we are reviewing this week including the following audiobooks.  Our newest reviewer, Alessandro, has his review of Behemoth and the Wisp by Linn Edwards and if you are a lover of RJ Scott’s Sanctuary series, it’s finally coming to a close with the last book in the series, By The Numbers, out this week.  My review is up as well!.  We have something for everyone!  Check out our schedule below and be with us all week for the giveaways, author interviews and our reviews!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 14:

  • May Showers, Upended Plans and Melanie’s Soppy Garden Contest
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, May 15:

  • Release Blitz: Maelstrom by Kass Barrow
  • Retro Review Tour: Ellery Mountain 1,2 & 3 – RJ Scott
  • Review Tour :My Highland Cowboy by Alexa Milne
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Two for Trust by Elle Brownlee
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Past the Breakers by Lucie Archer
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Ellery Mountain series by RJ Scott (The Fireman and the Cop +The Teacher & The Soldier+The Carpenter & The Actor)

Tuesday, May 16:

  • David Pratt on Wallaçonia, his latest novel (Author Guest Blog)
  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Setting the Hook
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Pearl Love on Salvation’s Song
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Snowblind by Eli Easton and Narrator: John Solo
  • An Ali Review: Faking It (Ringside Romance #2) by Christine d’Abo
  • An Alisa Review: Threshold by Vivien Dean

Wednesday, May 17:

  • Blog Tour I Do, or Dye Trying by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • DSP GUEST POST JC LONG on Hearts in Ireland
  • A Lila Release Day Review: A Taste of Honey by Ari McKay
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Sun Still Rises (World of Love) by Laura Bailo 
  • A VVivacious Review: A New Beginning (Cascade City Pack #1) by Rebecca James
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Until Forever Comes​ by Cardeno C and Charlie David (Narrator)

Thursday, May 18:

  • DSP Publications GUEST POST J Tullos Hennig on Summerwode (The Wode: Book Four)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Forest of Thorns and Claws by JT Hall
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – By The Numbers (Sanctuary #10) by R.J. Scott (series finale)
  • A MelanieM Review: By The Numbers (Sanctuary #10) by R.J. Scott (series finale)
  • A MelanieM Review: Law of Love by Bob Masters
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Fire (Panopolis #2) by Cari Z. and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

 

Friday, May 19:

  • BLOG TOUR The Castaway Prince by Isabelle Adler
  • In the Spotlight: Summer Stock by Vanessa North (Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Tempeste O’Riley
  • A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Lei (The Hawaiians 1) by Meg Amor
  • An Alessandro Review: Behemoth and the Wisp by Linn Edwards
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Michael, Reinvented (Delta Restorations #2) by Diana Copland
  • An Alisa Review: Believe in the Wish by Christi Snow

Saturday, May 20:

  • A MelanieM Pre Release Review: On Point (Out of Uniform #3) by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review: Wallaçonia by David Pratt

Cardeno C on the Mates series + Giveaway

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Cardeno C. today, celebrating the author’s Mate series and a new release in May!

The author is  happy to offer a giveaway for your blog readers –  three randomly chosen winners with each getting one of the books. To be entered to win, leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Until Forever Comes (Mates, #2) by Cardeno C.


Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25926739-until-forever-comes

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Until-Forever-Comes-MatesCollection-ebook/dp/B011STPHA4/

A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.


Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead

learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate – a vampire named Miguel.


Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being together comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.


Word Count: 60,702

 

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates #1) by Cardeno C.


Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25967103-wake-me-up-inside

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Wake-Me-Inside-MatesCollection-ebook/dp/B0137I04VQ/


A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions ingrained over generations and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates.


Regarded as the strongest wolf shifter in generations, Alpha Zev Hassick is surprised and confused by his attraction to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. A male shifter has to mate with a female shifter to keep his humanity, so shifters can’t be gay. Yet, everything inside Zev tells him Jonah is his true mate.


Maintaining a relationship with the man he has loved since childhood isn’t easy for Jonah Marvel, but he won’t let distance or Zev’s odd family get in their way. When unexplained ailments begin to plague Jonah, he needs to save his own life and sanity in order to have a future with Zev.


Zev and Jonah know they’re destined for each other, but they must overcome traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny.


Word Count: 74,755


In Your Eyes (Mates, #3) by Cardeno C.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25927403-in-your-eyes

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/In-Your-Eyes-MatesCollection-ebook/dp/B011STPGGO/


Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.


Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he’s supposed to lead.


When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.


When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.


Word Count: 60,875


COMING MAY 4, 2017

To Touch You


“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”


By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.

Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.

Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.

 

CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.
 

 

Adventures From Leipzig – Postcards from Free Dreamer Part I. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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As promised, we are starting to post Free Dreamer’s adventures at the book fair.  We had a small teaser a short while ago.  But now let’s delve into Free Dreamer’s journey to Leipzig and her book adventures!

Adventures From Leipzig – Postcards from Free Dreamer

After a very bumpy ride on the night train from Vienna we finally arrived at Leipzig main station, early on Friday morning.Despite the early hour, the train station and the tram stops in front were very busy. Lots and lots of people arriving by train and taking the tram to the book fair.
We took the tram to our “hotel”. Oh boy, what a dump. It wasn’t a hotel but a camping site, with three of us sharing a bungalow each. It was freezing and tiny and the wireless didn’t work. We were collectively Not Pleased.
After we’d checked in and stored our luggage, my teacher made us go to a printing museum. We printed our own postcards, which was fun. And then an employee showed us one old and two really antique presses. It was really interesting to watch him work. Other than that, the museum was a bit dull and not very exciting.
Luckily, we got the rest of the day off and got to do whatever we wanted. Me and my three classmates went back to the main station. First, we explored the shops a bit. German products tend to be cheaper than those in Austria and there are some you can only get in Germany. I was getting really excited, because it wasn’t long till Brandon Sanderson, my absolutely most favourite author of all times would hopefully sign my books. So we decided to check out the book store that hosted the signing. Since nobody was around yet and we were all starving, we found food at the Pizza Hut next door. Another new experience for me, since there are no Pizza Huts in Austria.
For those of you who don’t know Brandon Sanderson: He’s an American Fantasy and SciFi author. I’ve been a fan of his works for many, many years and never thought I’d ever be lucky enough to meet him in person. Not all that many international authors ever make it to Austria.
When I got back to the shop, there was already a very long line of people waiting to have their books signed. I was so nervous and excited. I ended up standing in line for about 45 minutes. Luckily, the woman in front of me was very talkative and we had an interesting chat. A group of three showed up in cosplay, dressed as characters from “Way of Kings”. They were kind enough to pose for pictures.
And then I could see HIM. I wanted to squeal in excitement but held myself back. I was so thrilled. I had six books of his with me. And he signed every single one of them. For “Elantris”, he drew a little city map. Some of the others got a little quote from the book. And all of them got a “for Miriam”. I was happy beyond imagination.
He wanted to know if I had any questions for him. I was too excited to come up with anything good. But then I asked him why he didn’t come to Vienna and complained that I had to bring six (not exactly light) books all the way from Vienna by night train. First, he laughed and said, “Well, I flew over Vienna when I came here!” And I just thought to myself that that wasn’t very useful… Then he started to give me this speech about how a book shop had to contact his agent and invite him and so on. I cut him off. (Yes, I cut off my absolutely most favourite author!!) I explained that I’m a bookseller and that I’m aware of the procedure. And that my employer HAD invited him. He listened patiently and then gave me hope. Once he gets invited somewhere, he always visits, sooner or later. Then I posed for a picture with him and when I left, he said, “Thank youf or being a bookseller!” I was thrilled beyond words. *.*
After that amazing experience, I met up with my friends again, who are horribly ignorant people who’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson, even though I repeatedly told them how awesome he is. We wanted to go to the Fantasy night hosted by a German publisher. On the way there, we got horribly lost and ended up being half an hour late. Since Brandon Sanderson and two famous German Fantasy authors were there, the place was packed and we couldn’t even get into the main room anymore. We had to sit in a side room, with no view of the stage and could only listen to the three of them talking. The interview wasn’t done very well. Half the stuff wasn’t translated or was lost in translation, since Sanderson doesn’t speak German. It ended up being a rather dull affair and we left after a short while.
The day had been long and the night even shorter, so we found our way back to our dump. It was a little creepy at night. It was in the middle of a forest and not very well lit. Apparently those houses are a favourite hiding place for spiders. My two friends got rid of a huge, hideous spider, while I hid out on my bed. I think we killed five or six spiders that night. It was really rather disgusting. *shudders*
If you want to hear how we survived the night in the spider-infested dump and what Germans have to say about queer literature, check back next week.

📚Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway📚

Have any questions for Free Dreamer? Leave them here along with your email address.  Random reader will be picked to win a $10 gift cert in the Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway.  It ends 4/29 at midnight.  Have you been to a book fair? Met your favorite author?   Do you want to know what was Free Dreamer’s favorite part of her book fair experience was or what books she brought home?  Write in and leave a comment!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 16:

  • Adventures From Leipzig – Postcards from Free Dreamer
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 17:

  • Book Blitz September by Robert Winter
  • Cardeno C on the Mates series + Giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Tali Spencer on Breaking the Ice
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Moments – RJ Scott
  • Review Tour – Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A Caryn Review:  Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A Julia (or Stella) Prerelease Review: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember
  • A MelanieM Review Tour: Moments by RJ Scott

Tuesday, April 18:

  • DSP GUEST POST RK Staunton
  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST Nikolai Joslin on Cold Front
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Wake Up Call by JL Merrow
  • A MelanieM Review:  Imagines (Imago #2) by N.R Walker
  • A Stella Review: Wake Up Call (Porthkennack #1) by J.L. Merrow
  • An Alisa Review: Beneath the Layers Anthology
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Lord Mouse (Lords of Davenia #1) by Mason Thomas and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, April 19:

  • Blog tour Shelter The Sea by Heidi Cullinan
  • Blog Tour Beneath the Layers Anthology
  • Fierce by Rob Rosen 2 week blog tour
  • Review Tour – N.R Walker – Imagines (Imago #2)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  A Day Makes by Mary Calmes
  • A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Fierce by Rob Rosen
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Breaking the Ice by Tali Spencer

Thursday, April 20:

  • Blog Tour: Falling for Him by CL Mustafic
  • DSP GUEST POST Andria Large on From War to Forever
  • Review Tour – Snap Shot by V.L Locey
  • RIPTIDE TOUR A Gathering Storm by Joanna Chambers
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Gathering Storm (Porthkennack #2) by Joanna Chambers
  • A MelanieM  Audiobook Review: Rough Edges by Cardeno C. and Kevin Chandler (Narrator)

Friday, April 21:

  • Blog Tour Drama Queens With Love Scenes by Kevin Klehr
  • Book Blitz Sound of Us by A.M. Arthur
  • DSP GUEST POST KC Burn on Just Add Argyle + Giveaway
  • Release Blitz & Giveaway:  Clare London’s  A Good Neighbour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts #3) by K.C. Burn
  • A MelanieM Review: Wave Goodbye to Charlie by Eric Arvin
  • A Stella Review: Falling for Him by CL Mustafic
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: The Imperfection of the Swans by Brandon Witt and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Saturday, April 22:

A MelanieM Review: Wytch & Prinze by Kassandra Lea

 

A Loss in the Family and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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A Loss At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has lost one of its wonderful reviewers.  Paul Berg, known through his reviews here as Paul B, died suddenly in  late March, leaving a void for us, his many other friends everywhere and especially his grieving family.

Paul was one of the reviewers that had been with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words almost from the beginning, he and I laughingly “fighting” over our love of the same science fiction stories and wolf shifters.  When Kendall McKenna’s series popped up and we both began to read it, yep, the emails flew between us as we compared notes on characters and stories (not the first author or series we did this with).  Our thoughts were almost always on the same wavelength.

When I thought that he might want to write a blog for STRW, he already had one that he had been meaning to suggest.  That blog became Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio, a column he intended to enlarge in the coming months to include graphic novels and serial stories.  I can’t begin to tell you how saddened I am that he will never share his excitement for those formats and the LGBTQIA science fiction/fantasy/supernatural stories they represent with everyone, myself included.

Beside his love of books, Paul loved Backgammon and he was great at it.  When he wasn’t writing  or reading, he was playing (“yes, Melanie, I’m writing that review right now at the tournament”).  He died at a tournament playing a game he loved.

I have included more information about Paul today on a separate post.  His backgammon team, Flint Area Backgammon Club, has a Go Fund Me link to help pay for the rest of his funeral costs which were larger than expected.  Any assistance will be appreciated.

I will be running one of Paul’s Paranormal Portfolios today.  I’m still so shocked and saddened.  Paul leaves a void here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, in the LGBTQIA book review community and everywhere that cannot be filled.  How I will miss him.

 ♥︎

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 9:

  • A Loss in the Family and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • In Memoriam:  Paul Berg
  • Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio Revisited

Monday, April 10:

  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Heart Unseen
  • Review Tour – My Name Was Karl by Daniel Mitton
  • Riptide Tour & Giveaway:  For a Good Time, Call (Bluewater Bay) by Anne Tenino and EJ Russell
  • An Ali Review  Embers by Kate Sherwood
  • A MelanieM Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform #2) by Annabeth Albert
  • An Ali Review: My Name Was Karl by Daniel Mitton
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Seashores of Old Mexico by BA Tortuga

Tuesday, April 11:

  • Blog Tour: Saved by KL Roman
  • Blog Tour: Tyler Buckspan by Jere M Fishback
  • DSP GUEST POST Nic Starr on Runaway
  • A Alisa Review: An Unexpected Shot by Caitlin Ricci & A.J. Marcus
  • A Caryn Review: The Star of Versailles by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham
  • A Jeri Review: Embrace The Fire by Felice Stevens
  • A VVivacious Review: Who I am When I’m with You by Tamryn Eradani

Wednesday, April 12:

  • 1 Week Tour for At Attention by Annabeth Albert
  • Release Blitz: Starting From Scratch (Housemates #5) by Jay Northcote
  • Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway – Moments by RJ Scott
  • The Necromancer’s Dance by S J Himes Audiobook Tour and Giveaway
  • A Julia Release Day Review: New Lease by B. G. Thomas
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Mild to Wild in Massachusetts by Paul Walkingsky
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Runaway (World of Love) by Nic Starr

Thursday, April 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST BA Tortuga on Seashores of Old Mexico
  • DSP GUEST POST Shira Anthony on Forgotten Paradise
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Hopeless Romantic by Francis Gideon
  • Book Blitz: Take a Chance by Megs Pritchard
  • A Jeri Review: Golden Dancer by Tara Lain
  • A Julia Review: Certainly, Possibly, You (Sucre Coeur #2) by Lissa Reed
  • A Lila Review: Hopeless Romantic by Francis Gideon

Friday, April 14:

  • Cover Reveal Blitz: Brush with Catastrophe by Tara Lain
  • BLOG TOUR: An Officer’s Submission by Christa Tomlinson
  • DSP GUEST POST Laura Lascarso on The Bravest Thing
  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR: Huntsmen by Michelle Osgood
  • A Free Dreamer Recent Release Review: The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Brush with Catastrophe (The Aloysius Tales #2) by Tara Lain
  • An Alisa Review: The Things We Do by J.D. Walker

Saturday, April 15:

  • A MelanieM  Release Day Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony
  • A Paul B Review (Paul’s last review): Sealed With Acceptance (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #5) by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus
  • A Jeri Review:  At Attention by Annabelle Albert

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Offbeat Crimes #3) by Angel Martinez

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Words damage more than just feelings as Carrington hunts feral books menacing the city.

When a ferocious book attacks Carrington at his own birthday party, he believes it’s an isolated incident. But similar books soon pop up all over town, menacing innocent people with harsh bits of poetry and blank verse that deliver damaging physical blows. It’s a frustrating case with too many variables and not enough answers, and the stakes go up with each attack.

With the help of his misfit squad mates at the 77th and the public library’s Rare Books Department, the missing pieces decrease but not Carrington’s vexations. His commanding officer rakes him over the coals at the beginning of every shift. His police partner has lost patience with what she sees as his delusional relationship choices and his inability to pick the right man in a vast field of two. City Hall demands that the books be stopped immediately. It’s enough to put a nutritionally challenged vampire off his skim blood.

The book rattled violently on the table in an imitation of a step dance and printed words leaped out of the pages at frightening speed. Just before they slammed into Carrington’s head, the flying words shrieked at him.
“You starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s tongue, you bull’s pizzle!”
He had time for a split second of horror before the words rammed into him with the force of several fists.

                                                  from Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Offbeat Crimes #3) by Angel Martinez

Yes, feral books are rampaging about the city slinging deadly poetry at people’s heads!  Angel Martinez, you might as well drop the mike and leave the building! This is why I love to read, to come across passages and indeed an entire story full of such paragraphs and plot threads so imaginative and lively that I burst into giggles still at the very thought of them.  And that’s just one element here.

Yes its poor Carrington, that vampire who needs to exist on skim blood with the worst taste in men who is the focus here (well one of them at any rate).  His feral book attack launches an investigation and soon his squad realizes there have been attacks all over the city.  The librarian in the Rare Books Department at the Public Library is just the sort to set him, well not straight, but on the path to HEA, if Carrington can get past his own proclivities for picking up the most shallow, mean-spirited men around.  That’s a terrific storyline going on while in pursuit of the rampaging feral books (I can never get enough of those). The author gets us into Carr’s head and heart here.  While we are often frustrated with him, its also easy to understand why Carr is why he is.

But there’s another romance here.  One I rate just  as highly.  LJ, also known as Leather Jacket. Yes, an animated object of clothing who’s a member of the squad (loosely) gets a lover. I won’t go into the details because they are too wonderful and should be explored within the story itself.  This romance turned out to be so adorable, so charming and mysterious (and on-going probably into the next story) that I was just as equally invested in them as well as in Carrington and Erasmus, the librarian.   I will, however, mention that for those who  like a quick romance, that doesn’t happen.  Carr has plenty of issues and those have to be dealt with first.   But we get a closer look at Carr’s family, his partner Amanda (who I also adore) and other respective members of 77th Precinct.

There’s a dangling bit of mystery left here at the end, a rather large bit that I hope leads into the next story.  The 77th Precinct and all its members are downright addictive! You never know what wildly scary case will come their way with love tromping along too.  Or maybe being propelled by fairies or blasted by fire.  Probably not.  All too mundane.  Which is why I cannot wait for the next book in the series to arrive.  Pill bugs from space and now deadly poetry spitting flying feral books!  What will Angel Martinez come up with next?  I’ve got the popcorn and am patiently waiting to find out.

Cover art by Posh Gosh is very pretty and includes that flying book.

Sales Links

Pride Publishing | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 137 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786515520
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Offbeat Crimes 

A MelanieM Review: Sons of Devils (Arising #1) by Alex Beecroft

Standard

Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

British scholar Frank Carew is in Wallachia to study the magic generator on nobleman Radu Vacarescu’s land. There, his party is attacked by bandits and his friends are killed. Pursued by a vampiric figure, he flees to Radu’s castle for help.

Unfortunately, this is precisely where the vampires came from. If allowed, they would feed unchecked and spread their undeath across the whole Earth, but Radu maintains a shaky control over them and keeps them penned in his tiny corner of the country.

As Frank recovers from his assault, Radu finds himself falling for the young man. But loving Frank and not wanting to lose him leaves Radu vulnerable to his demons’ demands. Can he bear to let them feed on the man he loves? Or must he give in to their blackmail and set them free to feast on his entire country?

I have mixed feelings about this story.  From the synopsis it feels as though it will be told from Radu’s pov.  Instead, its mostly from Frank’s and that gives this story an entirely different and for me disappointing perspective.  Think prey instead of predator because that’s mostly what Frank is here.  He’s the mouse the cats play with before they eat him.

Given that the story is seen from a very shaky Frank who never seems to be able to recover from the constant mental, emotional and physical shocks and attacks he’s under, you never get the chance to know Radu. Or understand the attachment forming between himself and Frank.  Yes, he yells out that “he’s mine” but I never got that was out of  love, more a sense of protection and possessiveness.  Honestly?  Frank’s a bit of a wash too.  There’s a neat bit about magic here but that’s quickly lost which was the most interesting thing about Frank.

Had the story been told from Radu’s perspective, I think I could have understood his feelings more.  As it was I felt that they were lacking. At least towards Frank.  His bitterness and rage about other aspects of his life?  Yep, got that in spades.  Wish his relationship with Frank was as easily laid out in this story or as powerfully felt.

Beecroft does a superb job with the location and foundation here.  You understood the role of the peasants, the culture, and the dire situation they were in.  The castle itself is absolutely hair-raisingly scary.  These are not your sparkly or nice  vampires.  These are your old-fashioned predators who see humans as food.  They are cruel and rapacious.  So if you are expecting anything else.  This is not the story for you.

The story starts to fragment when two other elements are brought in, that of magic (the reason Frank had come to the land) and a war that starts up in Istanbul against Britain that will pull everyone here in.  But you don’t fully get that until book 2.  Just a sudden switch in narrative which is jarring, then a switch back to Frank and then a switch again at the end.  It took me a while to remember where in the switheroo I was.  All ends on a bit of a question mark leading to Angels of Istanbul (Arising #2).  I suppose I will go there just to see what happens next to Frank and Radu.  I’ll let you know what I find.

Cover by: Simoné. Absolutely beautiful covers.

Sales Links   Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 232 pages
Published March 13th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626495548
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesArising #1

A VVivacious Review: The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer #1) by Kasia Bacon

Standard
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
Inspector Kayru Skaer has fallen in love with his aristocratic lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jann, an action he considers to be full of folly. Because as he rightly suspects their society will never be accepting of a love between two people from such different classes of society especially if the relationship were to show any sign of permanency. As things would have it this is going to be the least of his worries with his lover presenting with the early signs of a hereditary lung disease which has proven to be fatal and three viciously murdered dead bodies to contend with.
 
I quite liked this story. It is short and sweet but engages the reader in a way that you really can’t stop reading. I really love the way this author writes, because it never fails to arrest my attention and simultaneously gets me really invested in the characters and their story.
 
This is a paranormal established couple romance with elements of mystery though I think I should warn people that it is not much of a mystery as things get clarified pretty early on but I think that this was a decision in favour of the story because it helped bring the focus on Elly and Kayru.
 
I absolutely loved Kayru and Elly, their relationship is simply adorable and I know for a fact that their relationship is something that I want to know more about and I also desperately want to know more about these two. They made for such interesting characters, from different societal classes but despite all odds in love.
 
I think overall this story is quite commendable despite the fact that the author doesn’t try to draw out the mystery with suspense. This book had some really strong characters in Yben and Eryssa. I found both characters to be immensely interesting especially Eryssa considering she is a furia, a species I have never encountered. Also I wonder if there is any difference between the furia and the vampers and if they both need blood to survive. Also I loved how the author has drawn from current events to write this story it added a whole new dimension to this story which would have otherwise never have existed because I think somewhere along the way I felt that these events were not only relatable but something that gave a perspective to both worlds.
 
This story has managed to capture my interest and I am definitely hooked onto these characters. I can’t wait to read more.
 
Cover Art by Kudi-Design. The cover is amazing.
Sales Links   Amazon | Amazon UK
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 51 pages
Published March 18th 2017
ASINB06XFGX3BT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesInspector Skaer #1
CharactersInspector Käyru Skaer, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn or ‘Elly’ settingRadvadur (the western province of the Empire)