An Alisa Release Day Review: Mystic Man by E.J. Russell

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

When a series of personal crises prompt risk-averse research librarian Aaron Templeton to apply for a job on the other side of the country, nobody is more surprised than he is. He nearly runs home before the final interview except for one little problem: he has no home anymore. He put his condo on the market before he left California and it’s already sold. Only an encounter with free-spirited Connecticut native Cody Brown at the Mystic Seaport Museum staves off Aaron’s incipient panic attack.

Cody loves nothing better than introducing newcomers to the great features of his beloved home state, and when the newbie in question is a rumpled professorial type with the saddest blue eyes on the planet? Score! The attraction between the two men deepens as they explore Cody’s favorite spots, but when difficulties arise and Aaron’s insecurities threaten to overwhelm him, will Cody’s love be enough to keep him in Mystic?

This was a cute story.  Aaron has stepped so far outside of his comfort zone with his rash decision and Cody helps to take his mind off it.  Cody loves with his whole self and jumps in with his both feet but why does Aaron make him doubt he wants to travel again.

I could feel Aaron’s fear when he would think about the situation he is in and how Cody’s ease seemed to seep into him and help him relax and take his mind off his worries but when it overwhelms him he hurts Cody and himself.  Cody loves his home but has been a bit of a wanderer and hasn’t ever doubted how he feels until he meets Aaron and it make him want to change his plans.  These two help to balance each other out and even hope that they can have a future together.  I loved seeing them navigate their feelings and work everything out.

The cover art by Brooke Albrecht is great and gives a nice view of Cody.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages

Published: June 22, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-639-9

Edition Language: English

Andrew Grey on the Inspiration behind The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever (guest blog)

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The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Bree Archer

Sales Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey on tour for his new release, The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever.  Welcome, Andrew.

Dominic and I love to travel.  We both really do.  We take a winter vacation and try to take a summer one as well.  For the winter one, we usually go on a cruise and its one of those vacations that inspired Best Worst Honeymoon.  The snorkeling and fun on the water were all things Dominic and I did the last time we visited Bonaire.   And as I write this post I am sitting in a hotel room in Rome.  Dominic and I spent the day seeing some of the sites including the coliseum and ancient ruins.  At dinner tonight I was just telling Dominic that I have an idea for a new story, set here in Rome!  Dang I need to go on vacation more so I can get even more ideas.

Blurb/Synopsis:

How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after—until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.

Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever… and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

Excerpt:

Tommy took a deep breath and went to the door. Grayson stopped him and pointed to one of the chairs. Tommy sat down, trying not to hyperventilate.

“Xavier, what are you doing?”

“I need to talk to Tommy,” Xavier said, sounding like shit.

Grayson turned to him, and Tommy lifted his gaze, nodding. Clearly there was something wrong and he needed to deal with it. Whatever plans he’d made were most likely out the window anyway. He certainly hadn’t envisioned a drunk, hung-over groom.

Grayson stepped back, pulling open the door, and Xavier half stumbled in, looking worse than Tommy could ever have imagined.

“What the heck happened?” He hurried over, but Xavier stopped him by putting up his hand. “Are you sick?”

“I’m fine,” Xavier managed to say, slowly sitting himself down. “Gary and I went out as sort of a last hurrah, and we overdid it.” He raised his face, and Tommy got a good look at his glassy eyes.

“Okay. We still have time. Grayson and I can help you get ready,” Tommy said gently.

Xavier shook his head of thick black hair, and then his deep brown eyes cleared of some of their rumminess. “I can’t do this. The wedding and everything that you’ve got planned. It’s too much.” Xavier sat back as all the oxygen seemed to leave the room. Tommy’s head grew light, and fuck it all, he was going to faint, but Grayson was there, holding his arm. “You want more than I think I can give.”

“You waited to tell him now, twenty minutes before the wedding?” Grayson yelled. “You bastard!”

“I’ve spent the last few days trying to think about what I was going to do.” Xavier hiccupped, and his alcohol breath was enough to knock over an elephant. “I thought if I drank and told myself that I loved you and that I really wanted to do this, everything would be all right. But it isn’t true, and I can’t go through with this.” Xavier got to his feet, half stumbled toward the door, and pulled it open. “I’ll see you around.” He left and closed the door with a click after him.

Tommy watched, openmouthed, too stunned to move. The room had turned bone chillingly cold. “What did he just tell me? That he didn’t love me?” He couldn’t feel his fingers, and then his hands and feet went numb. He tried to think of what he was going to do, but nothing at all came to mind.

“Uncle Tommy,” Petey called as he raced into the room, practically barreling into him. “I saw Uncle Xavier and he looked sick. What’s wrong?” Petey looked at him and then turned to Grayson.

“Uncle Tommy isn’t going to get married. Xavier chickened out and wasn’t man enough to tell Uncle Tommy until right now.” The anger in Grayson’s voice simmered just below the surface. “What he really needs is a hug.”

Petey climbed up on the chair, stood up, and hugged Tommy, and Tommy closed his eyes, willing the rest of the world to go away.

About the Author:

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

A Lila Audiobook Review: Once Upon a Wolf (Wayward Wolves #1) by Rhys Ford and Derrick McClain Narrator)

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother, stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs – or four – and quiet evenings…until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough – right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water, then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf – loving Gibson with all his secrets – has its challenges, but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big, bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

Once Upon a Wolf has an interesting concept and a slow development. It has a different take on werewolves’ dynamics and relationships. I’m glad it was not an insta-love story–which I love as well-but the pacing gives the reader the chance to understand what makes this short story unique.

The story is more about the relationship between Ellis, Gibson, and Zack than a love story. I really like all the characters, especially Ellis. His relationship with Gibson and how they communicate even when he was in wolf form show the author’s attention to detail. Zach was a bit of a puzzle and I wanted more from him and his background.

Like most short stories, the amount of world-build and new information takes a lot of time to develop, leaving little time for other aspects of the story. It’s a strong start to a series, and I hope book two is better than this one.

Derrick McClain didn’t do much for this story. It felt flat and I have trouble following the characters at times. Other scenes were a bit over the top.

The cover by Reece Notley is simple and to the point just like the story. It’s interesting enough to make people stop and read the blurb.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Derrick McClain
Length: 3 hours and 49 minutes
Published: May 16, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07D314G4X

Edition Language: EnglishSeries: Wayward Wolves
Book #1: Once Upon a Wolf

Sandine Tomas On Writing, Characters and The Music of Love (guest blog and giveaway)

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The Music of Love by Sandine Tomas

Dreamspinner Press

Cover art: Bree Archer

The Music of Love Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sandine Tomas here today.  Welcome, Sandine and thank you for answering several of our author questions.

 

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Sandine Tomas 

My name is Sandine Tomas and I want to say thanks for the opportunity to share a little about myself and my debut novel, The Music of Love. Stay till the end for information about how to win a free e-book!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I’ve wondered this about authors I’ve loved—how much of themselves have they put on the page. It reminds me of a line from the Anna Nalick song, “Breathe”: “And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd./ ‘Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud.”

The truth is that there is a lot of myself in Julian, the lead character in The Music of Love. He’s a loveable neurotic who second guesses himself. A lot. I might do that from time to time. Except when I don’t.

Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

In creating Julian I did worry about this. He knows he can be annoying. And that’s not just his insecurities – he really can be that way. The thing is, his heart is in the right place. In fact, that’s what attracted me to Julian – his ability to love. He’s the opposite of the repressed, brooding hero. Julian knows he’s emotional and is aware that he falls in love fast and hard. But he’s been burned before and that makes him want to hold back this time. If he can.

Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I love research! I was one of those geeks in college that didn’t mind the research papers. For The Music of Love I researched Washington, DC and Texas. I also researched law cases and based my made-up cases on amalgamations of existing ones. The section of the book where Julian tours with his band includes some real-life stories that have been shared with me. Let’s just say that roach – happened!

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I am firmly a Happily Ever After (HEA) gal. But what I really appreciate is when a story gets to  Happily for Now (HFN) and then continues to challenge the protagonists. My novel gets to the HFN fairly early and then I make the characters really earn their HEA. I need ‘earned’ endings–if obstacles aren’t overcome realistically, it leaves me unsatisfied as a reader no matter how happy the ending. I put Julian and Zachary through some trials. But I was also careful not just to throw random problems at them–I structured the novel to set up Julian’s struggle between his bread-and-butter job and his creative life right at the start. By the time it explodes I think the reader had felt it coming, and the solution required real character growth.

Have you ever had an issue in real life and worked it through by writing it out in a story?

The split between having a creative life and a day job has been very real for me. I felt Julian’s soul tearing as if it were my own. I do hope that, along with the romance (which I hope my readers love,) the theme comes through about how all-too-often we prioritize everyday life over what our soul needs, and the harm done by that. I feel very fortunate with the publishing of my first novel that I have been able to realize a dream.

Excerpt

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from The Music of Love

Zachary held his gaze like he had a thousand times before. A stare that never quit. He came closer and collapsed next to Julian on the sofa, air leaving him in a whoosh. “Oh, thank God, you’re looking at me like I’m me again. Now, please talk to me. What is going on?”

A warm hand tilted his chin back up, eyes glowing grassy-sunshine. Not angry any longer but definitely wary and watching intently.

“I got too comfortable with the job,” Julian said. “The money was nice. And I like all the people. Then. You were there. I loved being with you, getting to see you, hear your laugh over the cube walls. So I can’t pinpoint when it slipped, when the tilt happened, but I’ve been drowning. Only slowly. Like sliding into quicksand. It was getting darker and blander. Zach, it was fading.”

“Your music.” Not a question. And Julian cursed himself for doubting, for not understanding that of course Zachary would say he’d support Julian in anything he wanted to try. That saying he’d support Julian going to law school didn’t mean he wanted that for Julian.

Zachary nodded and exhaled, cheeks still pale and edgy. “Where did the law school business come from? I know it’s not your idea.”

“Timothy came back to the office yesterday when everyone was gone. I’d been locked up in the file room, and he surprised me. He stood there a few moments watching me with the files all over the floor, and I guess it just took me outside of myself. I saw what I imagined he saw: an overpaid file clerk. And as he stood there all I heard was silence.”

Zachary’s eyes flickered molten gold under the side table lamp’s incandescent glow. “Why didn’t you tell me you were so unhappy?” He pushed his hair back with a frustrated swipe. “How come I didn’t know?”

That last was said with self-anger, and Julian couldn’t have Zachary blaming himself.

“I keep a lot inside. Sometimes even I don’t realize it until it kinda boils over.”

“What raised the temperature?” Zachary asked, continuing the metaphor.

“Timothy. He didn’t mean to make me tailspin. He was being nice, complimentary even. Said I’d make a great lawyer, suggested law school, said it was the next step and that—that you’d approve.”

Reacting like a dog with a stepped-on tail, Zachary scoffed, “Talk about your ‘gotcha’ questions.” He narrowed his gaze. “If you’d explained any of this, I would never have said what I did about—”

“I know,” Julian said. “I’m an idiot. I’m sorry.”

.

The Music of Love Blurb

Sometimes the music of love skips a beat….

Paralegal by day, musician by night, Julian has an expiration date stamped on his forehead when it comes to love. No relationship has made it past a year, so Julian avoids romance like the plague and concentrates on his music instead.

Which works fine until gorgeous, smart, and funny Zachary joins Julian’s firm. One look at the man and Julian knows he’s dangerous. No matter what, he can’t fall for Zachary. He has to spare Zachary the pain of dumping Julian at the one-year mark. His brilliant plan? Ask a straight friend to pose as his significant other to keep Zachary away. Not surprisingly, his scheme does little to dampen the attraction—on either side.

When Zachary gives Julian a second chance despite his deception, Julian thinks his curse might be broken. But then he’s faced with the impossible choice between a life with Zachary and living his dream of touring with the band….

About the Author

Sandine Tomas grew up an unapologetic bookworm, making friends with characters from the ancient past to the farthest reaches of the universe. Her career as a marketing writer has given her insight into the divergence between what a person thinks they want and what they truly need. Relationships are at the heart of her writing, and she enjoys creating characters who become so real that their stories beg to be told. Writing allows her to explore people and ideas from all sides, spinning a notion around like a gem until its facets glisten.

Twisting the old adage about writing what you know into writing what you feel, Sandine doesn’t shy away from raw emotions, turbulent circumstances, and above all, deep passions, fueled by humor, honesty, and trust. She enjoys instilling her characters with the flaws, courage, and idiosyncrasies that brings them to life.

Sandine lives in New York with her husband, two daughters and a Golden Retriever named Noodle. An unabashed TV and film enthusiast, she happily binge watches her favorites until her eyes glaze over. Her other guilty pleasures include attending fandom conventions, sleeping in on weekends, and recharging solo by holing up with a caramel macchiato and an amazing book.

Contact Info

Website: sandinetomas.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SandineTomas

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sandine.tomas

Email: sandinetomas@gmail.com

Giveaway Offer

What dream have you had to table (for now!) to keep the lights on? Tell me in the comments and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a free e-book copy of The Music of Love! Please provide contact information

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.

Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.

Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of his private practice patients threatens Drew’s life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?

Under a Blue Moon by Bru Baker is another strong novel in her Camp H.O.W.L. series. Camp H.O.W.L. is a highly expensive, secluded extended training ground for all were’s undergoing their first shifts.  Complete with psychologists, trainers, other doctors, and seasoned counselors who have been through it all, these teenagers are there to understand their new status and adjust that to the outside world…ie without letting the humans know that shifters exist.

It’s a remarkable theme to base a series on and it absolutely works as various staff have rotated out with each story.  Plus we have gotten to know the staff that remain as well as some endearing and not so endearing teens.

In Under a Blue Moon we have two new staff arriving at Camp H.O.W.L., one arriving as a result of the coupling from the first story (highly recommended).  It starts off hot, anonymous, and yes, meet cute.  Then things go downhill from there.

I really loved that beginning but unfortunately it sets up Nick Perry as a bit of a jerk for most of the rest of the story.   His stubbornness in failing to see Drew as anything other than a frail, unworthy human becomes especially irritating in the face of Drew having proved over and over that he’s anything but. I could see it at first but it carried on throughout the storyline far too long imo. Throw in the fact that Drew has been raised in a  pack environment for most of his life?  Well, after the upteenth time, you just get tired of reading about Nick period.  It wears you down.

What redeems the story is Drew.  He’s a terrific character as are all the secondary ones around him, many of whom you have met already in the first story.  The series basics as well as the book foundations are amazing.  They push you through the annoying elements until finally Nick overcomes his “human blindness” and sees the real Drew who is more than a match for him.

There was a lovely ending and of course, it makes me want the next story even more.

Want a great twist on a shifter romance and series?  Look no farther than the Camp H.O.W.L. series by Bru Baker.

Cover art:  Aaron Anderson.  Love the cover.  Works in every way.

Sales Links:

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Expected publication: June 19th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640806962
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Camp H.O.W.L.

Camp H.O.W.L.

Under a Blue Moon

A Lucy Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Tommy is a wealthy game designer who is so happy to be getting married to the man of his dreams, Xavier.  All the plans are made, the expensive honeymoon is booked and he’s anxiously awaiting his groom.  Except when said groom shows up, he has the hangover from hell and some incredibly upsetting news.  “I can’t do this.  The wedding and everything you’ve got planned.  It’s too much.”  And so Tommy is left at the altar to explain to guests why there will be no wedding.  The only saving grace is Tommy has his best friend, Grayson, and Grayson’s son, Petey there for moral support. 

When Tommy decides to take Grayson and Petey on that expensive honeymoon he blocks Xavier’s number and tries to concentrate on healing, at least a little.  They are at a luxury resort on an island, a trip that Xavier wanted, not the water-hating Tommy.  It seems Tommy had done so much trying to make Xavier happy, it was heartbreaking.  “Because I wanted him to love me.  Because I was so desperate to be loved by someone, and not be alone, that I didn’t see that Xavier didn’t really care and was only interested in me for …what I had.”

For his part, Grayson has had feelings for Tommy for a while but he’s never let Tommy know.  At one point he was going to let Tommy know but that was when Tommy met Xavier, so Grayson let it drop, living with being in the friend zone.  He also has to worry about Petey.  His last boyfriend, Jeffrey, was first a friend who was close to both he and Petey, but after they broke up he deserted both of them and it was hard on Petey.  He doesn’t want that to happen again.

I liked that they took Tommy out of his comfort zone in the water and got him out doing things.  There is a twist with Xavier that shows Grayson’s protective side.  A sting from paradise happens and I like the fact that their feelings and relationship were not based on that.  It didn’t take a near miss for them to know they cared.

I had questions about some of this book, however.  Xavier claims at one point he has nothing but his job and his car, yet he was able to take an expensive flight to Bonaire.  Where did that money come from?   He says that he realized that he wouldn’t have a good marriage because Tommy was always working and so got cold feet but he charged upwards of three thousand dollars on Tommy’s credit card.  The biggest issue for me, though, was that even though Xavier didn’t love him, Tommy had clearly loved him, so the moving on to Grayson after just days seemed too quick.  He says at one point, “It feels like Xavier left me yesterday, and it hurts, Grayson.  It really hurts.”  That was just a week after the wedding-that-wasn’t, so of course it hurts.  I know that Xavier being a douche helped things along but it did seem too fast.

Supporting characters such as Petey and Aunt Gin, were awesome.  Aunt Gin, that’s the woman I want to be and if I can’t, I want her in my corner.  She made me so happy.   “Just like that she had switched from aunt to family lawyer and all-around advice giver.”   She is the reason Tommy wasn’t more financially hurt by Xavier. 

Cover Art by Bree Archer is a little nondescript.  A blond smiling man with the ocean in the background.  I’m not sure if he is supposed to be Tommy or Grayson.  It’s a pretty cover, just not really definitive as to the story.

Sales Links: 

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: June 19th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07DFDBL8R

Blog tour The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey (Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Title: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: House Line DreamSpun Desires | #60
Genre:  M/M
Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 19 2018
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:

How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?
Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after—until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.
Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever… and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

Tommy took a deep breath and went to the door. Grayson stopped him and pointed to one of the chairs. Tommy sat down, trying not to hyperventilate.

“Xavier, what are you doing?”

“I need to talk to Tommy,” Xavier said, sounding like shit.

Grayson turned to him, and Tommy lifted his gaze, nodding. Clearly there was something wrong and he needed to deal with it. Whatever plans he’d made were most likely out the window anyway. He certainly hadn’t envisioned a drunk, hung-over groom.

Grayson stepped back, pulling open the door, and Xavier half stumbled in, looking worse than Tommy could ever have imagined.

“What the heck happened?” He hurried over, but Xavier stopped him by putting up his hand. “Are you sick?”

“I’m fine,” Xavier managed to say, slowly sitting himself down. “Gary and I went out as sort of a last hurrah, and we overdid it.” He raised his face, and Tommy got a good look at his glassy eyes.

“Okay. We still have time. Grayson and I can help you get ready,” Tommy said gently.

Xavier shook his head of thick black hair, and then his deep brown eyes cleared of some of their rumminess. “I can’t do this. The wedding and everything that you’ve got planned. It’s too much.” Xavier sat back as all the oxygen seemed to leave the room. Tommy’s head grew light, and fuck it all, he was going to faint, but Grayson was there, holding his arm. “You want more than I think I can give.”

“You waited to tell him now, twenty minutes before the wedding?” Grayson yelled. “You bastard!”

“I’ve spent the last few days trying to think about what I was going to do.” Xavier hiccupped, and his alcohol breath was enough to knock over an elephant. “I thought if I drank and told myself that I loved you and that I really wanted to do this, everything would be all right. But it isn’t true, and I can’t go through with this.” Xavier got to his feet, half stumbled toward the door, and pulled it open. “I’ll see you around.” He left and closed the door with a click after him.

Tommy watched, openmouthed, too stunned to move. The room had turned bone chillingly cold. “What did he just tell me? That he didn’t love me?” He couldn’t feel his fingers, and then his hands and feet went numb. He tried to think of what he was going to do, but nothing at all came to mind.

“Uncle Tommy,” Petey called as he raced into the room, practically barreling into him. “I saw Uncle Xavier and he looked sick. What’s wrong?” Petey looked at him and then turned to Grayson.

“Uncle Tommy isn’t going to get married. Xavier chickened out and wasn’t man enough to tell Uncle Tommy until right now.” The anger in Grayson’s voice simmered just below the surface. “What he really needs is a hug.”

Petey climbed up on the chair, stood up, and hugged Tommy, and Tommy closed his eyes, willing the rest of the world to go away.

In Our New Release Spotlight: Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker (special excerpt and guest post)

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Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Bree Archer

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Bru Baker back talking about her latest release, Under a Blue Moon. the  second is her marvelous Camp H.O.W.L. series. Welcome, Bru.

♦︎

 

 

I’m here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to kick off the tour for Under a Blue Moon, the second book in the Camp H.O.W.L. series. Thanks for joining me!

I had a lot of fun with Tate and Adrian in book one, but I really wanted to come back to Camp H.O.W.L. so readers could get more of an idea about what a luxury werewolf camp for teens going through the Turn (aka their wolfy puberty) would be like. So this time around, we get to see more of the activities and day-to-day life at Camp H.O.W.L.

Both Drew and Nick are new hires at Camp H.O.W.L., so readers will get to experience the camp through fresh eyes. It was a lot of fun to write the two of them sampling the classes–I think my favorite has to be Agility Training, which Drew calls Werewolf Parkour. Since he’s human, he doesn’t have a great time with that one.

Drew and Nick meet on the way down to Camp H.O.W.L. Nick is struggling to cope with all the smells and sounds on the plane when things take a turn for the worse and a socked foot comes through gap in the seat to sit on his armrest. Drew comes to his rescue and gets the foot to retreat–and before you say that’s unrealistic, it happened to me on a recent flight to Los Angeles. The hilarious thing is it happened well after I wrote about it. I guess I had bad karma for putting poor Nick and Drew through it.

If Nick and Drew knew they were going to be working together their first meeting probably would have gone differently. But they were just two strangers on a plane, and when a storm grounded the plane and they had to deal with an unexpected layover, they let their mutual attraction take its course.

All hell breaks loose when Nick realizes the attractive, funny human he’d slept with is the new doctor at Camp H.O.W.L. I wouldn’t call Nick specist, but he has some definite beliefs about whether or not a werewolf and a human can relate to each other enough to have a successful relationship. Luckily, Drew spends the book proving him wrong at every corner.

Excerpt:

Nick’s seat shook as the person behind him moved around, and a second later a socked foot emerged between the seats and propped itself on Nick’s armrest. Nick gritted his teeth and fought the urge to whirl around and bare shifted fangs at the person. At least the foot didn’t smell, but still. Common decency.

He was never flying with an airline that didn’t give you seat assignments again, no matter how outrageous the baggage fees were on other carriers. He normally boarded shortly before the flight attendants closed the doors, but on this airline he’d been assigned a boarding position, and if he hadn’t boarded early, he’d have been stuck in an even worse spot than he was in now. At least the seat next to him was empty.

He’d taken the window because it was the farthest he could get from the other passengers, and thankfully the person who’d sat in his aisle had left a seat between them. With any luck it would stay empty.

Nick leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes, but that only magnified his other senses. He could hear the baggage handlers tossing suitcases into the cargo hold underneath them and the low hum of the pilots running through their preflight checks. A kid a few rows back needed a diaper change, and someone else was watching one of those annoying BuzzFeed videos without headphones.

His flight from Denver to St. Louis had left so early that his fellow passengers had been blissfully quiet. Most had slept. He’d stuffed his earbuds in and listened to Morrissey wail about toxic relationships and the failings of the human condition to while away the two and a half hours.

This flight was barely an hour in the air, so with any luck he’d make it to Indianapolis before his migraine made his head explode.

“Sorry, just sliding by,” a voice said, and a moment later someone dropped into the seat next to him. He heard a hiss and a squeal from the row behind them, and when he cracked open an eye, he was gratified to see a laptop bag sitting on top of the armrest-stealing foot.

The bag lifted and the socked foot disappeared abruptly amid angry muttering from the girl it belonged to. Nick wondered if offering the man a high five would be considered rude.

“Sorry,” the man mouthed when Nick turned to him. “That was probably rude, but oh my God, who does that?”

The man gestured toward the armrest, and Nick half fell in love in that moment. He’d done it on purpose! And he was gorgeous, Nick realized as he took in the man’s strong jaw and broad shoulders. His cheeks were flushed like he’d had to run to catch the flight, and holy hell, between that and the bedhead, the effect went straight to Nick’s groin.

“Sociopaths,” Nick mouthed back. “Same people who bring Chipotle on the plane.”

Blurb:

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.

Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.

Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them, and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of Drew’s private practice patients threatens his life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?


Buy links:

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

About the Author

Bru Baker writes sophisticated gay romantic fiction with strong characters, real-world problems, and plenty of humor.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

Visit Bru online at www.bru-baker.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Real Life and the Blog. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Real Life and the Blog.

Happy Father’s Day!

It’s short today.  As it sometimes happens real life interferes with the blog.  Between vet visits and Father’s Day, dog instructions, medications and plans, well, sigh, where did the time go?

I’ve been busy bathing dogs and celebrating with my father.  I hope everyone has had a full and happy day. So life is a bit frazzled and scattered today.  It will come together tomorrow.  In the meantime.  Check out all the marvels that await you this week and know we (sigh, I) will be pulling it together.

Enjoy!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 17:

  • Father’s Day! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 18:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Bru Baker on  Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2
  • Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs – Butterfly Assassin
  • Review Tour – Overtime – V.L. Locey Signal Boost Promotions
  • An Alisa Review: Stowaway Heart by Suede Delray
  • A MelanieM Review:  Butterfly Assassin by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Recruit by Addison Albright
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Damage Control by Kate McMurray

Tuesday, June 19:

  • DSP Promo Payne/Tortuga
  • Blog tour the Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey
  • New Release Tour for Murder, Romance, and Two Shootings by Todd Allen Smith
  • A Lucy Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey
  • A VVivacious Review: Just A Week by Jena Wade
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker
  • A Stella Review: Home Skillet (Culinary Kings #1) by Cate Ashwood & Sandra Damien

Wednesday, June 20:

  • BLITZ for The Merchant’s Love by Antonia Acquilante
  • Demon Familiar by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham -Book Blitz and Review
  • DSP Promo Sandine Tomas
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Denim by KC Wells
  • A MelanieM Review: Demon Familiar by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham
  • A VVivacious Review Just A Year by Jena Wade
  • AN Alisa Review: Expecting (Pine Wood Falls #1) by Sarah Havan

Thursday, June 21:

  • DSP Promo KA Mitchell
  • DSP Publications Promo Michael Ruptured
  • Release Blitz Expecting by Sarah Havan
  • A Jeri Review Wash Out (Anchor Point #7) by LA Witt
  • A MelanieM Review: Life Itself by Elizabeth Bones
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Once Upon a Wolf (Wayward Wolves #1) by Rhys Ford and Derrick McClain Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Three More Nick Nowak Mysteries (Boystown #2) by  Marshall Thornton

Friday, June 22:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Andrew Grey
  • Falling Awake 2 by Kage Alllen Indigo Blog Tour
  • Release Day Blitz Something About You by Riley Hart
  • A MelanieM Review: Pack Up Your Troubles by Charlie Cochrane
  • A Stella Review Catch Me by Beth Bolden
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:Mystic Man by E.J. Russell
  • A Melanie Audiobook Review Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn/Kirt Graves (Narrator

Saturday, June 23:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Professor Hot Pants by Ember-Raine Winters\
  • The Necromancer’s Reckoning by SJ Himes Blog Tour

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Staggered Cove Station (Coast Guard Rescue #1) by Elle Brownlee and Colin Darcy (Narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Rescues are wild in the Alaskan terrain. So is romance.

Sun-kissed California guardsman Dan Farnsworth might be at home in the water, but he’s out of his element at remote, rugged, and freezing Staggered Cove Station. Acclimating proves hard enough, but he’s also digging into how the station’s previous rescue swimmer was lost at sea. Was it an operation gone bad or something more sinister? Add to that the instant tension between him and his partner—no-nonsense Alaska-born Karl Radin—and Dan has his hands full.

As his investigation heats up, so does the attraction between Dan and Karl, even if they don’t completely trust each other. But as suspicious events escalate to sabotage, Dan starts to fear that he and Karl won’t get the chance to become more than reluctant coworkers.

This was an alright story for me, more focused on the mystery than the romance between the two men.  Dan is trying to find out what really happened to his brother while not trying to bring any attention to what he is doing.  Karl can be a bit grumpy but wants to keep those under his watch safe and there seems to be something about Dan that’s not adding up.

I felt bad for Dan as he realized the full depth of his brother’s actions and to find out that the only family you had you never really knew.  Karl is very no nonsense and when Dan realizes he can trust him is willing to help him find answers.  I didn’t really see the relationship between these two building except for some off handed thoughts about attractiveness or how safe they felt with the other.  It takes extreme circumstances for them to do anything together or acknowledge it.  These two didn’t know each other long but were quick to jump together and go from there and I just couldn’t feel the connection.

Colin Darcy did a nice job narrating this story.  For the most part I was able to easily keep track of the story with the voices he used for each character though the voices didn’t connect with how I really saw the characters.

Cover art by Bree Archer is nice and gives a visual of the background for this story.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6hrs 11mins
Published April 20, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: A Coast Guard Rescue Novel, Dreamspun Desires