Mickie B. Ashlings on Writing, Romances, and her new release “Impacted” (author giveaway and guest blog)

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Impacted (Bay Area Professionals #1) by Mickie B. Ashling

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Kanaxa

Buy links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mickie B. Ashling here today with a wonderful interview and giveaway.  Welcome, Mickie!

Thank you for hosting the blog tour for the second edition of Impacted! This novel, the first in a series of five, was published ten years ago when I was new on the scene. It was my first foray into BDSM and I’ll admit I made a few mistakes. Nonetheless, it was surprisingly well received, and continues to draw new readers. This second edition offers a gorgeous new cover designed by Kanaxa along with extensive edits for a more enjoyable reading experience.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Mickie B. Ashling…

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I know there’s a little bit of me in each character or situation I write. Even though my stories are mostly about gay men, and I’m obviously not, love and attraction are a human experience. I’ve drawn from my emotional well on more than one occasion. The Bay Area Professional Series is set in San Francisco, where I lived for over ten years. My experience as an office manager in a dental practice was a constant source of inspiration. Most of us are terrified of dentists and would never associate them with good times. I wanted to change the narrative. The men who populate this series are nothing like the ghoulish doctors most of us remember from our childhood.      

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Yes. I’ve been writing in the m/m genre since I was first published in 2009. I’ve had to do my share of research on multiple fronts. Location is usually the easiest—and the most enjoyable when I get to travel—but I’ve been known to pester my gay friends with questions when I can’t find answers on the internet. My go-to for all things BDSM has been an online friend since 2011. He’s in a long-term, committed D/s relationship, and I couldn’t ask for a more generous and supportive resource. Last year, I started a fantasy series—a new genre for me—and I’m discovering the joys of world building. There’s a heady freedom to this genre I’m enjoying immensely.    

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

When I started Loving Edits, the first book in The Basque Trilogy, I knew it would be difficult to get through without a lot of stops and starts. The story is a tribute to my mother who died of ALS. One of my main characters (I had 3 as this trilogy is m/m/m) also suffers from the disease. Difficult and gut-wrenching don’t even come close to what I experienced as I was writing these books. I was traumatized by the experience of nursing my mother during her last year. My knee-jerk reaction to the acronym ALS is to cover my ears and babble la-la-la until the moment passes. It took all my will power to plot the story and do the necessary research. I assumed there had been advances in the treatment of ALS since my mother’s death, but I was sadly mistaken. Despite the money and manpower, there has been very little progress in trying to figure out this horrendous and fatal disease. My beta readers were gutted by the end. It was hard for all of us.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

You can’t be a romance writer if you don’t like the happy ending, but I’m more inclined to leave my characters with a happy for now.  Love is a fickle mistress and usually unpredictable. Sustaining the happily ever after takes a lot of work and, as I’ve often said, good luck. We can’t all be blessed with the right partner from the start. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get it right.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I read a lot of romances as a teenager. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t. It left me with high expectations that were completely unrealistic. Pair this with a Catholic school upbringing, and I was seeing the world through rose-tinted lenses. My poor mother had to deal with burst bubbles and the accompanying tears for most of my teen years. So much drama. I wouldn’t go back in time for all the money in the world. 

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

This question was more relevant about ten years ago when I was first published. Back then, ebooks were a new thing, and a lot of readers rejected them, but history and Amazon have proven they are here to stay. The convenience of carrying your entire library in a tiny device is incomparable. Plus, there’s the question of timing. The ability to access your favorite author’s newest release within minutes of publication is very satisfying for people who don’t like to wait. I’m one of those type A-personalities who’d rather walk out of a store than stand in a line. One click was made for people like me. 

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

It’s difficult to pick one among 34 full-length novels (and 3 novellas) I’ve written and published in the last ten years. Asking me which of my children is my “favorite” is a trick question, and I can’t answer without hurting someone’s feelings. While I’m working on the story it’s my favorite, but once I’m done, and it’s out of my hands, I move on to the next project. I guess if you pinned me down I would choose The Basque Trilogy as the most significant because of the emotional ties I mentioned a few questions up. I loved writing Yesterday and Mayon. Both of these historical novels are set in foreign locals—Yesterday in Pakistan and Mayon in the Philippines—where I resided at one point in my life. I relied heavily on my memories plus there was a lot of research involved in the case of Yesterday, which focused on the months leading up to the revolution in Iran. One of my MCs was a relative of the Shah and directly impacted by the overthrow of the monarchy. 

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve just finished and submitted the sequel to my Legacy Series published through NineStar Press. A Noble Cause starts where A Tangled Legacy ended. I’m hoping to release in the late summer, but that depends on the publisher’s schedule. I have nothing definite to announce at this time. Last November, I self-published book five in the Bay Area Professional Series. Yield explores the darker side of BDSM and other taboo subjects. It didn’t fit the guidelines for Dreamspinner Press, so I chose to self-pub rather than submit elsewhere.   

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

Yes. My Caucasian MC in Third Son was born and raised in Hong Kong. Like me, who grew up in the Philippines, Niall’s physicality didn’t match his Asian mindset. Trying to fit into both cultures seamlessly was always a challenge. Falling in love and being viewed as the “foreigner,” despite sharing a long childhood history, was painful. I made sure Niall got his HEA. 

 

  • What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

A random stop at an ice cream stall at the Taste of Chicago turned into one of my bestsellers. Taste was inspired by a hot dude who handed me the cone. He had a colorful tattoo sleeve, a killer smile, and my muse decided then and there that he must be wearing pink panties underneath those faded jeans. I started writing the story as soon as I got home. 

 

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I’ve got a few ideas percolating, but I haven’t started a new project yet. I’d like to do something different, in another genre perhaps, but wanting and getting it done don’t always go hand in hand. All I can say is there will be another story in about six months. Stay tuned! 

 

Impacted!

Bay Area Professionals

On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.

Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.

They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?

 

$20.00 DSP Gift Card Rafflecopter :

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Author Bio

Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.  

By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing–and the inevitable emptying nest–dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings. 

Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago. 

Contact Info

E-MAIL: http://mickie.ashling@gmail.com

BLOG: http://mickiebashling.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mickie.ashling

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MickieAshling

INSTAGRAM: @mickieashling

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004QSCN3E

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2904716.Mickie_B_Ashling

A Stella Release Day Review: Soft Place to Fall by BA Tortuga

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Stetson Major and Curtis Traynor are about as opposite as two cowboys can get. Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land he loves in Taos, New Mexico, while Curtis is a rodeo cowboy whose wanderlust never could be tamed. But now Stetson’s momma is dying of Alzheimer’s, and she can’t remember that Curtis hasn’t been Stetson’s boyfriend for a long time. Curtis’s absence makes her cry, so Stetson swallows his pride and calls his ex-lover. To Curtis, Stetson is the one who got away, the love of his life. And Momma is his friend, so he’s happy to help out. Yet returning to the ranch stirs up all sorts of feelings that, while buried, never really went away. Still, the rodeo nationals are coming up, and Curtis can’t stay—even if he’s starting to want to, especially to support Stetson when he needs it most. Stetson and Curtis want to find a place where they both fit, to be there to catch each other when they fall. But family, money problems, and the call of the rodeo circuit might end their second-chance romance before it even gets started.

Soft Place To Fall is a very well done story, well written and developed. What hugely surprised me was, although the author decided to deal with some important themes, although I shed a couple (or more) of tears, the book was never too heavy or too much to take as sometimes happens to me with this kind of plots. Instead this novel was so easy to read the ending came too soon.

The romance between Curtis and Stetson is a second chance at love and I have to say it was absolutely beautiful to see how strongly the main characters were ready to reconnect; sure it showed how stupid they were to be apart all that years, but is also demonstrates how real love is destined to last no matter what. And it could sound cheesy, and maybe it is, but this is the feeling I got from this story and it filled my heart.

If you love the author previous releases, or if you are a fan of cowboys and you’re looking for a story with laughs, sweetness and sad moments, you can’t miss the new novel by BA Tortuga.

The cover art by Tiferet Design is so sweet and I don’t know how to say it with another word, so soft like the title of the book says, it’s perfect.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 258 pages

Published April 9th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B07PPBK1MY

Edition Language English

Andrew Grey on Train Travel, Vacations, and his new release Over and Back (Bronco’s Boys #5) by Andrew Grey

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Over and Back (Bronco’s Boys #5) by Andrew Grey

Publisher: DreamSpinner Press

Release Date: April 9 2019

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

DreamSpinner Press

iBooks

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today talking about vacations and his new releases Over and Back. Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎

I want to thank Scattered Thoughts for having me.  It’s wonderful to be here to talk a little about Over and Back.  Last June Dominic and I were in Italy and during that trip he and I took the train from Rome to Florence, just like the guys in Over and back do.  It was an amazing experience unlike anything in the states  The train is beautiful, the scenery amazing, and the train ride is oh so smooth.  I watched out the window and worked a little as we rode completely oblivious to the fact that we were traveling at about 160 MPH.   At one point I checked one of the monitors and was surprised at our speed.  So in the story, I had to put the guys on the train.  Dominic and I sent two relaxing hours, talking and watching the Tuscan scenery pass outside the window.   What a vacation.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Sequel to Round and Round

Opposites attract on an overseas holiday, but trouble has hitched a ride.

While Bronco’s nightclub is closed for renovations, the owners invite the staff on a trip to Italy. Bartender Hank needs a roommate, and he’s had his eye on waiter Grant for a while, even if he’s had to keep his distance. But sharing such close proximity means sparks are sure to fly….

Grant has a problem saying no, and it’s led him into some less-than-healthy relationships. While he’s determined not to repeat his mistakes, it’s clear Hank is different.

They’re both willing to take it slow and explore the feelings building between them, but even in a foreign country, their pasts are catching up, and that could hurt more than just their budding romance.

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

Edition/Format: 1st Edition/Format ~ eBook & Print

Excerpt

“Can I ask what’s going on?” Grant felt a little left out. Not that it was any of his business, but they had asked him over and were talking about stuff he didn’t understand.

“Sorry, Grant. First of all, you know the club is closing, right?” Zach said.

Grant’s heart beat a little faster. “Yeah. Bull and Harry said it was only for a month, though, to make some renovations.” God, he hoped the plans hadn’t changed. But Bull and his business partner, Harry, were stand-up people, and Grant forced himself to relax. “He and Harry told some of the staff, me included, that they were going to pay us for the month anyway, so we’d be sure to come back.” That was the kind of people they were. And it meant a great deal to Grant, even though he didn’t have many expenses since he still lived at home. His mom and dad had built an apartment in their basement for his sister, Jeanne, and her husband, Pete, when they’d gotten married. After they moved out, Grant moved down there. Still, not having to worry about being out a paycheck for a month was one less concern.

“Yeah. The first two weeks are demo and prep. Bull and Harry have a fabulous architect, and he’s going to oversee all that, so the four of us got the idea to go on vacation. Bull never takes time away from this place, and neither do Harry and Lowell.” It took Grant a second to remember Spook’s—the club’s head of security—actual name. No one called him Lowell. “So we booked a two-week vacation in Italy. We’re all going.”

“I heard Bull say something about it once. It sounds like a lot of fun.” Then Grant checked his phone and drank a little more of his soda. He still had ten minutes before he was scheduled to go back.

“Hank and Danny the Dipstick were supposed to go with us. But things went south with them, and now Hank is looking for a roommate. Apparently Hank had booked the trip as a surprise for Danny, only now that things between them are over, Hank is kind of stuck.” Zach huffed slightly and rolled his eyes. Then an idea seemed to pop into his head and he blurted, “You could go!”

Grant shook his head. “Hank hates me most of the time.” Maybe not hated him, but they certainly weren’t friends, and Grant had no idea why. Hank was professional about work stuff, but he always seemed standoffish and never spoke to Grant if he didn’t have to. And that sucked, especially since Hank seemed to pull his attention a lot more than professionalism allowed.

Still, Grant had to admit, a trip would be really nice. He’d always wanted to go to Italy.

“You’d just be roommates, sharing a hotel room.” Some of Zach’s enthusiasm had definitely dulled. “And I don’t think Hank hates you. He’s a little messed up right now. Danny did a real number on the guy.” He made a sad-puppy face that Grant was pretty sure got Zach anything he wanted from Bull. He barely paused to take a breath. “The tours are already paid for, as are most of the hotels. We got better rates in advance if we paid up front. Hank is looking for someone to share the expenses. And, of course, you’d have to pay for your airline tickets in and out of Europe. It’s a good deal.”

Grant finished his drink and kept himself from rolling his eyes. This sounded like a lot of fun, and at the same time, a recipe for disaster. Sure, it would be a great trip to take, but he wasn’t sure about spending a couple of weeks sharing a room with Hank. Well, that wasn’t necessarily true. Under different circumstances, he would jump at the chance to spend time with the guy that got his heart racing, but he was pretty sure Hank wasn’t going to go for the idea. They barely talked to each other, even at work. “I’d love to go. A trip would be fun and all. But I don’t know….”

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 Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Inked Music by Sean Michael

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Rene Conette is a bored businessman looking for…something. The first impression is of complete privilege so I wasn’t sure if I liked him, but I found myself warming to him more and more as he is patient and kind, if used to getting his way. Gavin Turner is a musician with a haunting past: an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Once his interest in BDSM became public, people judged that he either enjoyed it or got what he deserved. The cast is completed by twin brothers Silas and Dev, former police who helped rescue Gavin and now work as his private security.

Gavin’s history sets up a way for Rene and Gavin to take time to establish trust before adding mild BDSM elements into their relationship. The sexual aspect does start surprisingly fast. The book is definitely erotic romance going from one hot sex scene to another, which is what the author does well. It’s the the dialogue in the getting to know each other scenes and the scenes between sex scenes that don’t seem to flow as easily. After setting up Silas and Dev as Gavin’s protectors and family, they are largely ignored for the rest of the book. There is more than one conversation about Gavin’s relationship with them not being sexual, which is a little repetitive. If they are supposed to be Gavin’s family and closest friends, it seems strange that Rene ignores them. I know they are supposed to be on duty, especially when outside, but in Rene’s home in a secure building where you have to be buzzed up, the fact that they are on high alert is a little odd to me. Really though it’s the smallest part of the book. The majority of the book is the sex scenes. While hot, they are pretty tame so this may be a good book for people who don’t like anything hardcore.

They are both wealthy, so they do live in their own little bubble on their own schedule. Work is only mentioned briefly. At the beginning, it did seem as though Rene was in the closet, or just very discreet, taking a female friend to all of his work or social functions. Given the issues Gavin’s last Dom had with his fame after what happened, it did make me wonder if that would also be addressed with Rene, but it’s never mentioned again. This book does end on a HFN/HEA. If the author does write another book with these characters, maybe focusing on the twins, I would like to see what would happen if Gaven was recognized and no longer able to be incognito and how that would affect their relationship. In the end, even for an erotic romance, I guess I wanted a bit more plot and a few more details. The book is surprisingly low angst for the subject matter, has steamy scenes, and a sweet, quick romance.

The cover art is by L.C. Chase. It shows Gaven, insular and alone, focused on what matters most to him. He’s described as being thin with dark hair, dark eyes, and tattoos so this isn’t quite how I pictured him.

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press |   AmazonKobo |  Barnes and Noble 

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 193 pages
Expected publication: April 9th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644051092
Edition Language English

BA Tortuga On Land Allegiance and her new story Soft Place to Fall (guest blog)

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Soft Place to Fall by B.A. Tortuga

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga back again talking about all things Texan, writing, and new stories, in this case Soft Place To Fall. Welcome, BA.

 

 

My Daddy Hates It Here 😉

Hey y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things western.

I have to tell y’all a story. As y’all may know, I’m a Texan and when I announced to my daddy I was moving to New Mexico, he was pissed.

You see, Daddy really likes all of his little girls near, thank you.

Regardless, here I moved, and when Daddy saw it, he hated it.

Now, I live in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, so I live surrounded by high desert and mountains. It’s stunning here. The light, the sun, the colors…I can rhapsodize.

All my daddy sees is dirt.

*grins* That’s how it goes with my newest book – Stetson in a New Mexican, Curtis is a Texan. Stetson is married to the land, Curtis is married to rodeo.

Damn y’all.

When Stetson has to call Curtis for a favor years after they break up? Whoa.

Much love, y’all,

BA

Soft Place to Fall Official Blurb:

Stetson Major and Curtis Traynor are about as opposite as two cowboys can get. Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land he loves in Taos, New Mexico, while Curtis is a rodeo cowboy whose wanderlust never could be tamed.

But now Stetson’s momma is dying of Alzheimer’s, and she can’t remember that Curtis hasn’t been Stetson’s boyfriend for a long time. Curtis’s absence makes her cry, so Stetson swallows his pride and calls his ex-lover.

To Curtis, Stetson is the one who got away, the love of his life. And Momma is his friend, so he’s happy to help out. Yet returning to the ranch stirs up all sorts of feelings that, while buried, never really went away. Still, the rodeo nationals are coming up, and Curtis can’t stay… even if he’s starting to want to, especially to support Stetson when he needs it most.

Stetson and Curtis want to find a place where they both fit, to be there to catch each other when they fall. But family, money problems, and the call of the rodeo circuit might end their second-chance romance before it even gets started.

About BA Tortuga 

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can find BA at:

Website: http:www.batortuga.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/batortuga

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/batortuga

Blogger: http://batortuga.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/batortuga/

Tumblr: http://batortuga.tumblr.com/

An Alisa Audio Review: Model Investigator (Haven Investigations #3) by Lissa Kasey and Brian Hutchison (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

With his lover, Kade, missing, androgynous former model turned private investigator Ollie Petroskovic is ready to kick some ass to bring him home.

Ollie and his ex, rock star Jacob Elias, need to find Kade and free him from the clutches of his manipulative family. But with Ollie suffering from chronic migraines and Jacob unable to bear loud noises, they are hardly the dynamic duo. It takes a lot of sweet talking on the part of Jacob—and patience Ollie doesn’t have—to find Kade. Only Kade’s not whole anymore. The fight for Kade’s heart and mind is far from over.

It’s Ollie’s turn to guide Kade through nightmares, self-doubt, and PTSD. Kade’s memories are scattered, fragmented with possible horrors, and he’s not quite sure what is real. Ollie will have to draw on his investigative skills to clear Kade of the terrible accusations his family has made and help Kade unlock the truth. But in doing so, he ignores his own health, which could have catastrophic consequences for everyone, especially when digging up the past could be lethal for them all.

Oh man, I thought the last book had a bad cliffhanger ending, this one was just as bad which frustrates me even more when I really liked the story.  Needless to say I will be waiting for the next book to come out on audio.

I loved that this started right after the last book and that helped quickly jog my memory from the last book.  For the most part they seemed solid in their connection and even when doubts seemed to surface it wasn’t serious more of the once I figure this out everything will be fine kind of mindset.

This story was told from Ollie’s point of view and man is he a worrier, always having a bad version of thing popping into his head.  I loved how their friends and then Kade knew how to help him to get out of that haze.  Kade was harder to read but it came down to him not wanting to be too emotional in front of Ollie but I think they are able to figure out where they were both coming from.  I was however frustrated that Nathan’s death was once again put on the back burner though it looks like the next book is the last in the series so it should be tied up by the end of that one.

Brian Hutchison did a great job narrating this story.  I was easily able to keep track of the characters and actions in the book through his use of different voices and emotions.

Cover art by Garrett Leigh is great and I love the visual of Kade, though I always pictured someone bigger in my head.

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 9hrs 12min
Published February 14, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Haven Investigations #3

Sean Michael on Creating the Right Space, Dream Homes, and his new release ‘Inked Music’

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Inked Music by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press

Publication: April 9th 2019

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press |   AmazonKobo |  Barnes and Noble 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael back again talking about his latest release Inked Music and creating the perfect space.  Welcome, Sean.

✒︎

 

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today.

One of the things I really enjoy when writing is being able to create dream homes for my characters. These are places that if I were to design a home for myself, I’d like these things. I don’t always get to do this – in Educating the Professor, for example, the characters were both on a budget and had a tiny studio apartment and a room in a house with a bunch of roommates. However, in Inked Music, both characters had money, so I was able to play.

For Rene, the suave businessman, I gave him the top three floors of a high rise downtown. I don’t even know if such a thing exists, but in my imagination it sure does. Floor to ceiling windows to let in the light – and the view of the city lit up at night, and the “main floor” where the front door opens into is an open concept with large, airy rooms and a fireplace. The floor downstairs is set up like a basement – no windows in this one, and there’s a home theatre, a weight room and a games room. Upstairs, the top of the three floors and the true penthouse of the building, is bedrooms and the playroom. More floor to ceiling windows and the playroom has every amenity and toy you could imagine.

For Gavin, I imagined he lived on the canal, in one of the great big houses that sit there. It’s been renovated inside, with a huge kitchen. My favorite part of Gavin’s house is the sunroom out the back that opens onto a big, lush and green (in the summer anyway) backyard. Tall tress and hedges offer privacy.

The fun thing is being able to make as many dream homes as I have men who can afford them.

What’s your dream home look like?

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

Blurb:

Can a wealthy but bored businessman rescue a tortured musician from his self-imposed purgatory with a scorching kinky romance?

When Rene Conette attends an intimate performance at a local bar, the guitarist moves him enough that he attempts to go backstage but is stymied by the man’s bodyguard. Putting it down as not meant to be, he goes on with his life only to run into the man again, late at night at a bookstore.

Gavin Turner used to be a famous musician until an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Then it came out that he was into the BDSM lifestyle, and the court of public opinion ravaged him. He lost his Master and his self-confidence. Now he hides behind his ink and his bodyguards, who make sure he doesn’t come into contact with anyone or anything he doesn’t want to. Though it’s been years since he satisfied his needs, he doesn’t think he can trust again.

If Rene can work his way past Gavin’s defenses, they might find they complement each other perfectly.

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

Location as a Main Character. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Location as a Main Character

I may have talked on this topic before but once again it struck me as I read several stories this past couple of weeks how impactful a location can be in a novel.  When done in a certain manner, well researched and folded into the story in a way that feels natural and powerful, the setting of a novel can become almost another main character.  It asserts a strong personality over the characters, their burgeoning relationship, and sometimes even their ending.

The setting can contain not only geographical limitations or expanse, barriers or doors to freedom for the couple.  In some locations is can be full of cultural  or religious overlays along with family implications that will play out throughout the storyline.  All that can come from setting your novel at a certain destination.  Like say South Korea, or Japan, or any place in the Middle East Or how about Alaska or parts of the outback in Australia?  Or planting trees in parts of the wilderness in Canada?  Or maybe a vineyard in Brazil?   All those  All of those are settings in novels that I have read.

In a recent case, the location and use of culture in the storyline saved the novel for me as I was less invested in the main couple and more committed to the secondary characters and the people around them.   Creating a setting that feels real, authentic is key to pulling in your readers and giving your characters a firm foundation for their lives and new romance.

Off the top of my head I can think of authors who gift of the vernacular and ties to certain locations have made an indelible impression on me with their characters, and stories, in some cases series.  There’s Neil S. Plakcy with his incredible Mahu series (Hawaii), BA Tortuga (any of her Texas series), NR Walker’s Red Dirt Heart series (Australia), Amy Tasukada’s brilliant The Yakusa’s Path (Japan), Marshall Thornton’s Boystown (Chicago), and that’s just for starters.  As soon as I hit post, I’m sure my brain will be flooded with a ton more along with a bunch of personal smh’s.

That’s not including the amazing historical novels of Elin Gregory or Charlie Cochrane, among others who bring eras along with towns vibrantly alive.

Through these stories I have walked through places and towns in Iceland I can’t pronounce and always hoped to see.  The authors have made me see them.  I’ve visited temples of the Sun in Mexico and walked in the burning heat to amazing places in the outback in Australia.  I’ve witnessed the Southern Star and the Aurora Borealis up in the Arctic Circle.  All thanks to authors who made me feel as though I’ve been there, through great details, gorgeous descriptions, and fantastic writing.

What stories or authors have done that for you?  Taken you places, made you see them, feel them, along with the characters and their relationship?

Tell us, and let us go along for the journey as well.

The most recent books were:

The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn – South Korea

Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert – Alaska

So, again what are yours?  I can’t wait to find out…..

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words….it’s Cherry Blossom Festival time here so that’s what I’m leaving you all with…

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 7:

  • Location as a Main Character.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 8:

  • PROMO Hunter by Dez Schwartz
  • PROMO Sean Michael
  • An Alisa Audio Review Model Investigator (Haven Investigations #3) by Lissa Kasey and Brian Hutchison (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Wicked Games (Queen City Rogues #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Lila Audio Review: Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Tuesday, April 9:

  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • BLOG TOUR Laws of Attraction by JP Sayle
  • PROMO Royal Rescue by A. Alex
  • A Stella Review : Cowboy Seeks Husband by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Perilous Hearts (Deviant Hearts #3) by A.E. Ryecart
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Inked Music by Sean Michael

Wednesday, April 10:

  • Review Tour – Marina Vivancos – Honeythorn
  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • Book Blast Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) by M.E. Parker
  • An Ashlez Review: Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) y M.E. Parker
  • A Stella Review : Honeythorn by  Marina Vivancos
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Soft Place to Fall by BA Tortuga
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Soulstealers by Jacqueline Rohrbach

Thursday, April 11:

  • TOUR THE DOCTOR TAKES A DETOUR by Bren Christopher
  • PROMO Mickie B. Ashling
  • Release Blitz – Trusting Him by L M Somerton
  • An Ali  Review: Trusting Him by L M Somerton
  • A MelanieM Review: The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Fracture (Unbreakable Bonds #6) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
  • A Lila Audio Review:Trick Roller (Seven of Spades #2) by Cordelia Kingsbridge, Wyatt Baker (narrator)

Friday, April 12:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Jude
  • Book Blast – Always Ours: An MMM Menage Romance by J.P. James
  • BLITZ Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov
  • An Ali Review : Jude by  Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Review: Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Impacted! (Bay Area Professionals) by Mickie B. Ashling

Saturday, April 13:

  • PROMO Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes
  • A MelanieM Review:For The Win (#lovehim #2.5) by S.M. James

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Can two men find happiness in a country that doesn’t accept their love?

When Jack Calloway is transferred to his firm’s South Korean branch on Jeju Island, he’s assigned a valet, the beautiful but shy Song Woo-bin. He stirs feelings Jack has rarely experienced for another man, but everything seems to be against them—Jack is older and Song Woo-bin’s supervisor. He is just beginning to understand the new culture surrounding him even as he accepts his own desires for the first time, and Song Woo-bin is closeted, inexperienced, and estranged from his family. Their path to each other is full of obstacles and societal disapproval. Will the two men eventually come together amid the clash and complement of Eastern and Western culture… and find a home among the yuchae blossoms?

I have to say I was very conflicted when it came to writing my review for The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn.  One, this is the author’s debut novel and I thought Quinn did a wonderful job with several elements here.  It’s those sections that really raised this story up for me.  Primarily, the Korean setting, the author’s knowledge of the south Korean culture, use of language and settings which added not only considerable depth but obvious affection to the story and characters.

It made me want to visit several places Quinn mentioned, and I spend time searching out pictures of places and dishes to better familiarize myself with a place that already felt like a destination I needed to fly to.

On top of that?  Amazing secondary Korean and American characters that I seriously treasured, from one grandmother housekeeper to an Assistant who needed to be wearing a cape.  They came off real, personable, and compelling in their own right.

No, unfortunately my struggle here was with the main character of Jack Calloway, who, although supposedly familiar with the region, acted with all the finesse of a bull in a china chop.  Angry, borish, rude, with little regard to the Korean customs and people working for him.  Yes that changed ….mostly.    But here is a man who had a sister in a committed lesbian relationship  but left his son to live with his bigoted parents (they wouldn’t let her partner come for the holidays) for three years while he was going to be living in South Korea getting his “project” underway.  Really? With all those assistants, and you are leaving your son with them?  It was one thing after another that just kept me from connecting with this man.  Even to the end, it was other people keeping him out of jail and suggesting ways to thwart the “evildoers”.  Smh!

Song Woo-bin on the other hand is a wonderful character, easy to relate to and someone who will grab onto your heart.   I wanted more of him, his backhistory, just more him, less Jack. The author never made a case for what Song saw in Jack.  Because all Jack did was yell, bluster, crash over the niceties of their culture.  To mix  national monsters…Jack came across as a bit of a American Godzilla. See?  Mixed bag.    Way too good for Jack.  Had the author been able to make the readers see exactly what made Jack so attractive to Soon Woo-bin I might have bought into the relationship and the “deep love” they said they had for each other.  But I never got it.

The  intolerant attitude towards homosexuality in South Korea is only lightly addressed and considering the role it played here, more  information should have been relayed about the current laws and cultural family framework that holds this society so tightly in reign.   Of course, maybe that’s asking too much of 162 pages and a light contemporary romance.

This is a coming out, sexual discovery story too for two men of two different cultures and that sort of got glossed over in favor of a “love almost at first sight” story.  As I said there is a  lot going on here.

So while I may not have fallen in love with Jack, I did with his household and its surroundings. Asher Quinn did a lovely job of bringing small parts of Southern Koren alive for me, along with several great characters.    I can’t wait to see what this author does next!

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht  Lovely cover with the character of Song Woo-bin and of course, the Yuchae Blossom of the title.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages
Expected publication: April 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781644051924
Edition Language English

An Alisa Audio Review: Romancing the Undercover Millionaire (Romancing the… #3) by Clare London and Seb Yarick (narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Can poverty and privilege find a loving compromise?

Alexandre Bonfils, a rich and spoiled second son, is tired of being ignored and decides to help when the family’s exclusive wine business is in trouble. Going undercover in the warehouse, he loves the adventure—and the chance to be close to the sassy and sexy manager, Tate Somerton.

Tate is hardworking and financially struggling, bringing up his siblings on his own. A suspected saboteur at work is his latest challenge, but now he also has a clueless, though very attractive, new intern. There’s an immediate spark between the ill-matched couple, until a shocking accident cuts short Alex’s amateur sleuthing.

While recovering in the generous care of Tate and his family, will Alex realize what belonging really means? Passion and pride come together to fight for the company they’re both committed to preserving, but can a personal bond remain when the dust settles?

I continue to get these stories hoping that I will enjoy them more but continue to feel like they aren’t living up to my hopes, they aren’t bad but I’m not sure they are for me.  Alex is basically a spoiled playboy, with depths that no one knows, but is suddenly foisted from his lavish position with the company.  Tate works hard to keep control of his life and make sure that his employees are taken care of even if it works him to the bone.

I had trouble with how quickly Alex changes his tune when he goes undercover, he finds what he’s been missing down deep but it just seems uncharacteristic.  Tate was leery about the new intern but very quickly seems to get over his hesitation of dating an employee.  I thought Tate’s family was adorable and a bit over the top but they all loved each other.  I didn’t really connect with the two men all that well, I understood Tate’s life much more than Alex’s but all the interactions didn’t add up to me.

Seb Yarrick did a nice job narrating this story.  For the most part I was able to keep up with the story because of the different voices he used but they constantly seemed to get quieter as the story went on that I would have to focus more.

Cover art by Alexandria Corza is nice though the picture doesn’t connect with either character.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7hrs 15min
Published: February 14, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Romancing The …