What Are Romance Don’ts For You? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What Are Romance Don’ts For You…in Stories of course?

I’m always interested in what turns readers on, makes them keep searching out certain authors, certain types of stories and series.  The reverse is also true.  I’m curious to know whats the turnoff for readers.  What will kill a story faster than a full moon can make a were all fluffy?

I’m not talking about simple bad writing, paroxysms of purple prose (I sorta love those…I giggle away), and cardboard characters and unintelligible plots.  No I’m talking about something that while you are reading along, the book is going fine and all of a sudden, there it is.  The thing that has you going “nope, not reading further”, and you are done.

I have to admit the one I hear the most is that people don’t want their main characters to cheat.  At all. It doesn’t matter whether they haven’t even met the guy they are going to have their HFN or HEA yet.  They don’t want to see them with anyone else in the story.

These are readers who place a strict moral behavior line on their mcs and expect it to be adhered to.

Some readers  want light, sweet romances (which does not necessarily exclude depth in storyline or characters). Others place a limit on the amount of violence or types of sex or kink they may want in the novels. Do you exclude anything other than a typical M/M coupling from your reading lists?  Not judging, just curious.

And how much sex is too much?

I actually went to a couple of How to Write Romance sites to see if they addressed any of this and the answer is not really.One said not to have a sex scene in every  chapter.  Many recommended no instant love but to build it up gradually. Many said to learn how to write “good” sex scenes. Under one site with 5 Mistakes to Avoid with Romance novels:1

  • : Avoid immediate, total attraction between your story’s lovers (guess they never met Grindr or instant lust) Really

But specifics like cheating never come up.  That they leave up to each individual author and their  tastes.

I personally avoid novels that kill off the pets and other animals.  That’s one of my things (looking at you and that horse, Amy Lane).

One recent story that I gave low ratings to didn’t even introduce the one main character’s “true love” until the last couple of pages of the story.  For most of the book he was involved with a lovely intelligent man who most readers, including myself thought he would end up with, until surprise!  He runs off back to Canada leaving the nice guy in Scotland and us with our jaws on the floor.  Because there was no set up in the narrative and we had no idea who this person was.  Stunningly awful.

So while the mc’s don’t have to be together (letters written, two povs), I must actually know who he is. Smh.

And finally, if you have a narrative bugaboo, is there a author or book that convinced you or was so well written that they made you overlook it?

Write in and let me know….there might be gifts ahead for those that chime in.

 

 

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 24:

  • Book Blast Witchbane by Morgan Brice
  • A MelanieM Review: A Time For Secrets (Boystown #4) by Marshall Thornton
  • What Are Romance Don’ts For You? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 25:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Daniel (The Third Legacy) by RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz – JM Snyder – Commanding Officer Thomas
  • Release Blitz – Speed Dating the Boss by Sue Brown
  • DSP Promo EJ Russell
  • An Alisa Review: Commanding Officer Thomas by J.M. Snyder
  • A Jeri Review: Something About You by Riley Hart
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Tuesday, June 26

  • Release Blitz – Spark by Posy Roberts
  • Release Blitz – Nic Starr’s Lies & Deception
  • My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick Release Blitz
  • Release Blitz and Exclusive Guest Post forJanice Jarrell’s Love’s Magic
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Lies & Deception by Nic Starr (
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Speed Dating the Boss (Cowboys and Angels #1) by Sue Brown
  • A MelanieM Releases Day Review: All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood

Wednesday, June 27:

  • Cover Reveal for  Second Chance Ranch (Montana #5) by RJ Scott
  • Kate Sherwood on All That Glitters (guest post)
  • Review Tour – Tarian PS – That’s My Ethan
  • Series Recap Blitz/Tour – RJ Scott – Montana Series
  • A Caryn Review: Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister
  • A Stella Review Home Skillet (Culinary Kings #1) by Cate Ashwood & Sandra Damien
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love Me Tomorrow by Ethan Day and Jason Frazier (Narrator)

Thursday, June 28:

  • Release Blitz – Believe (Skins #3) by Garrett Leigh
  • Release Blitz – Day Of Wrath (Taking Shield #5) – Anna Butler
  • Release Blitz for  Date Discovery by Quinn Ward
  • DSP Promo Nic Starr on LIes & Deception
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Amberlough (The Amberlough Dossier #1) by Lara Elena Donnelly
  • An Alisa Review: Jordan and the Secret Pack by Sam Magna
  • A MelanieM Review Learn with Me by Kris Jacen

Friday, June 29:

  • Review Tour – Love’s Magic by Janice Jarrell
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burn’s  Stag and the Ash
  • DSP Promo Louise Collins
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Unfit to Print by KJ Charles
  • A Caryn Review: Fourteen Summers by Quinn Anderson
  • A MelanieM Review: Love’s Magic by Janice Jarrell
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: A Full Plate by Kim Fielding and Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Saturday, June 30:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Love Me Louder by Christina Lee
  • Release Blitz + Giveaway – A Dance For Two by Colette Davison
  • A Lucy Review A Dance For Two by Colette Davison

A MelanieM Review: Life Itself by Elizabeth Bones

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

 

Tavali is a mage, a master thief, and his antics have just accidentally released one hundred demons across the dimensional plane. Now Tavali must recapture the errant demons, accompanied by a sentient sword determined to make him see the task through.

But fixing a mistake is always far more difficult than making it, and even love, magic, and a bossy sword may not be enough to save the day…

I thought that Life Itself by Elisabeth Bones a charming fantasy story.  Mostly adventure with some romance thrown in (one already established when the story begins), Bones weaves a tale of a young mage/thief who’s mission is to set right something he has caused to go tragically wrong. In this case, because he wanted to prove that he was more talented than others, he set loose 100 demons that had been imprisoned by a Goddess in a mirror. Now he’s tasked by said furious Goddess not to rest or return home until all have been recaptured.

It’s quite the undertaking and the Goddess has sent a sentient sword to keep him focused and moving always onto the  next demon.  Luckily for Tavali, he also picked up a loving partner, Suran, as well. So the hunt for the demons has two people and one imperious sword doing the Goddess’ bidding.

I found myself wishing Bones had been a little clearer on the world building here.  Apparently, the sword takes them from world to world chasing the demons which scattered all over the galaxy or  various dimensions as it were.  By the time the story beings, Tavali is extremely weary having recaptured all but 8.

I would have liked to have more of past demon hunts or something but except for the one where Tavali meets his prince/lover we don’t get much back story.  And that’s a shame.  Most of Life Itself revolves around one demon hunt.  Good thing its a good one.

Bones creates a wonderful child character, a life force magic, and a demon to contend with for Tavali.  In many ways I almost wished for more of this girl and her world.  I found her charming, courageous, and someone I absolutely connected with.

In fact, most of my issues with this story is that I wish it were longer so that the author could add in more elements to her world building, back history to her characters, and just perhaps give us those last demons that remained to be hunted down.

I will certainly be on the lookout for more stories by Elizabeth Bones and recommend this one to all lovers of adventure and fantasy.

Cover art: Aisha Akeju.  I like the cover, its visually pleasing and speaks of magic.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published May 23rd 2018 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684312351
Edition LanguageEnglish

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

A Lucy Review: Whatever Comes First by MK Lee

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Rating: 3 stars  out of 5

Matthew isn’t looking for a relationship. Ask him, and he’ll say it’s because between work and studying there’s just no time. Ask his best friend, Sarah, and the story is a little different, and involves a failed relationship that left him raw.

Enter Joel, a childhood friend of Sarah’s recently back in the area. He’s not looking for love, either, but he’s not adverse to the idea of a little fun. Uncomplicated and on the same page: what could possibly go wrong?

Matthew and Joel have been introduced by their friend, Sarah. Matthew hasn’t been with a man yet but he’s realized that he is bisexual, so he’s ready to come out and be with a guy.  As Joel is gay, Sarah figures he is the perfect one to teach Matthew the ropes.  They hook up and Joel is on board to teach Matthew about gay sex. Which he does. Repeatedly. It’s a novella and there are many sex scenes in this. This is really less of a romance and more of sex. Lots of sex. While I am a fan of sex in my books, this really was all about it and after a while I found myself skimming. 

What saved it for me was that the two of them are by turns snarky and funny when they are talking to each other.  We do have some trouble with Matthew ending up falling for Joel even though this was supposed to be a string-free thing but keeping it to himself for fear of losing him.  There is some angst about putting yourself out there again.

The two of them are good together in bed but also funny and good together out of it. Knowing it started with a hookup, I should have expected all the sex but I was looking for a little more connection as well.  It’s a novella so perhaps the length was detrimental to the romance being fleshed out more.  The focus here is on the erotica.

Cover Art by Aisha Akeju:  Light and airy.  It works.

Sales Link:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published May 16th 2018 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684312856
Edition LanguageEnglish

More June Romance. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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More June Romance

 

We are still merrily swinging along mid June with our romances and  finishing up with our Royals….recommendations of course!  Cheeky!  More below from our wonderful readers who came up with some simply great books for everyone to read. I put my own recs back in as well and hopefully by the end of the month will merge of all them into one big royal recommendation list for one and all.

I read and reviewed a story this week which fits in perfect with our romance theme, Made in Portugal by Ana Newfolk.  Two men, who had their first kiss as teenagers and best friends and then were abruptly separated for years meet once again when one returns to the land of his birth.  Its lovely, layered, and romantic.  I loved it.

Then  oddly enough, a series which is the antithesis of romance.  Gritty, noir, the sex impersonal, the mc often unlikable, and yet the writing is  so well done (as are the mysteries) you just have to keep reading…yes, that would be Marshall Thornton’s award winning Boystown Series.  What was thinking putting them here? I definitely need a Noir Month.

Do we even have enough LGBT Noir Books?

There’s a question for you!

But the sun is shinning on our romance stories, so let’s concentrate there.  More  stories to come as June contineues.  In the meantime.

Here is another winner of our Royal Recommendations Contest:  Purple Reader.  Please contact Stella for your gift card at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

 

 

 

Royal Recommendations and Love Stories – Part II

 

Historical

Crofton Hall series by Rebecca Cohen (with some contemporary stories too)

Contemporary:

Wake Up Married Series by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths
Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores
Marriage of Inconvenience by M.J. O’Shea
The Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom by Kate McMurray
First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony
Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker

Science Fiction:

Mate of the Tyger Prince series by Shannon West (shifter aliens, humans, mpreg)

Supernatural/Paranormal:

Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye

Fantasy:

The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke

Purple Reader:

There’s already some good recs here. Like H.B., I don’t keep track of weddings in books, but I did remember a few that I thought were good … they aren’t all just about the wedding, but it does figure into the story:
– Fantasy:
THE LAST GRAND MASTER by Andrew Q. Gordon
THE LODESTAR OF YS by Amy Rae Durreson
THE ENGINEERED THRONE by Megan Derr
– PNR:
TRIED & TRUE by Charlie Cochet
GUNS N’ BOYS: HE IS MINE by K.A. Merikan
– Sci-Fi/Futuristic:
MY FAIR CAPTAIN by J.L. Langley (the original unless you want yours kink free then go for the 2018 version)
IMPERFECT MATCH by Price, Jordan Castillo
Oh, I thought of a few more, so why not add several to our list 🙂 … (again, good stories where even if it’s not all about the wedding, it plays a part):
– Historical:
INTO DEEP WATERS by Kaje Harper
DAYS WITHOUT END by Sebastian Barry
– Contemporary:
A MORE PERFECT UNION – Anthology by B.G. Thomas, Coatsworth, Fessenden, Michael Murphey
WILL & PATRICK WAKE UP MARRIED by Leta Blake
PIECE OF CAKE by Mary Calmes
THE HEART OF TEXAS, and TEXAS WEDDING by R.J. Scott
THE MARRYING KIND by Jay Northcote
– Mystery/Suspense:
CRASH & BURN by Abigail Roux
HERE COMES THE CORPSE by Mark Richard Zubro
ALOHA CANDY HEARTS by Anthony Bidulka
– Purple Reader, TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

From Ami:

TAMING GROOMZILLA by E.N. Holland (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6931204-taming-groomzilla)

and

SIX NECKTIES by Johnny Diaz (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35061750-six-neckties) which revolves around wedding and wedding preparation

Now on to this week at our blog!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 10:

  • A MelanieM Review: Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
  • More June Romance. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 11:

  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR for Shoes and Ties by JENA WADE
  • BLOG TOUR George Loveland – Up In The Air #2: West Coast
  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun
  • A MelanieM Review: Ari McKay ‘s Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun
  • A Stella Review: My Anti-Valentine (My Anti-Series #1) by DJ Jamison
  • A VVivacious Review: Flowers for the Gardener by Sharon Maria Bidwell
  • An Ali Review Behind the Lights (Social Sinners #1) by T.L. Travis

Tuesday, June 12:

  • Release Blitz Twenty-One Arrow Salute by Kasia Bacon
  • Release Blitz – George Loveland’s Up In The Air 2: West Coast
  • Review Tour –  Made In Portugal by Ana Newfolk
  • A Lucy Review: Whatever Comes First by MK Lee
  • A MelanieM Review: Made in Portugal (Made In #1) by Ana Newfolk
  • A Stella Review:  My Anti-Boyfriend (My Anti-Series #2) by D.J. Jamison
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review:  Staggered Cove Station (Coast Guard Rescue #1) by Elle Brownlee and Colin Darcy (Narrator)

Wednesday, June 13:

  • BLITZ – To Have and to Hold by Tamryn Eradani
  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • River City Tour (Other World Tour)
  • Release Blitz – Overtime by V.L. Locey
  • An Alisa Review:  Wrenching by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A MelanieM Review: Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4) by V.L. Locey

Thursday, June 14:

  • TOUR INSIDE DARKNESS by Hudson Lin
  • Release Blitz – DJ Jamison’s My Anti-Marriage
  • A MelanieM Review: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton
  • A MelanieM Review: Three More Nick Nowak Mysteries (Boystown #2)  by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries (Boystown #1) by Marshall

Friday, June 15:

  • Ardulum Series (Other World Tour)
  • Release Blitz Catch Me by Beth Bolden
  • Release Blitz Rainbow Place – Jay Northcote
  • A MelanieM Review:Two Nick Nowak Novellas (Boystown #3) by Marshall Thornton
  • A Stella Review My Anti-Marriage by DJ Jamison
  • A MelanieM Review: ​Silent Hearts by Cameron D. James.

Saturday, June  16:

  • Blitz Tour (Lori)The Recruit by Addison Albright
  • A MelanieM Review: Murder Book (Boystown #5) by Marshall Thornton

 

An Alisa Review: Under Five by Michael War

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Mike is good looking, charming, and has no trouble attracting men—as long as his clothes stay on. But the moment they come off, something always seems to go terribly wrong. When his sister takes him to a faith healer to fix the problem, he is provided with a spell—and left with a lot of doubts.

But after meeting Kevin, Mike decides to give the spell a try…

While there was quite a twist and turn that I didn’t expect in this story it was enjoyable.  Mike can’t help but feel that something is wrong with him that causes him to not have lasting relationships. Though the spell doesn’t do what he expects it eventually gives him the answer he needs.

Mike is self-conscious but at the same time you see him have trouble with listening to others thoughts or problems.  I don’t want to give anything away but when the results of the spell really start to throw a wrench in things you see him really see how he acts.  Mike and his sister both gain more family and acceptance through this story.

The cover art by Aisha Akeju is nice if not typical of many romance novels.

Sales Links: Less Than Three Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 41,000 words

Published: May 30, 2018 by Less Than Three Press

ISBN: 9781684312832

Edition Language: English

BLOG TOUR – Under Five by Michael War (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Under Five

Author: Michael War

Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju

Genre/s: Gay, Contemporary, Urban Fantasy

Length: 40 000 words/172 pages

Release Date: May 30, 2018

Goodreads 

Blurb

Mike is good looking, charming, and has no trouble attracting men—as long as his clothes stay on. But the moment they come off, something always seems to go terribly wrong. When his sister takes him to a faith healer to fix the problem, he is provided with a spell—and left with a lot of doubts.

But after meeting Kevin, Mike decides to give the spell a try…

Excerpt

This was the first time anyone asked for the lights to be completely out. I mean, there are some guys who like the dark, but they always want some sort of light coming in. It could be a candle, night light, or just a crack from the closet, just something to keep things from being completely black. But not this time. Carlo wanted the lights completely off. I wasn’t sure whether to be offended, or to simply just go with the flow.  

But it did kind of bother me, even while we were kissing and rubbing each other all over the place. I tried to forget about the fact that we messed around the last time with all the lights on, but it was still nagging me a bit.  

“Everything okay, Mike?” Carlo asked. While I couldn’t see them, I knew his emerald green eyes were pointed directly at me. They were fake, but man, did they compliment him so much.

“Nah, I’m good, just come over here,” I cooed, pulling him up closer to me. We still had our clothes on, so it was easy to grab his shirt and bring him in closer. I wanted to feel his hot breath against my neck, followed by his gentle kisses. The two times we hooked up before, we only kissed, and both times we only had our shirts off. But this time around, I wanted more. I wanted him to take me, to ravage me. To fill me up and not stop until we were both on the verge of exploding.

I could tell that Carlo was a bit surprised, even though I still hadn’t completely adjusted to the dark, but he seemed into it and let me drag his mouth closer to mine. He took his hands and gently placed them on the back of my head, pulling a little on my hair but not enough to cause me pain.  “Don’t stop, keep going,” I moaned. Carlo intensified his kisses and started moving down towards my neck, then pulled back and little and began to pull my shirt off. I started on his before my shirt even hit the floor, and now for the first time tonight, we were both finally showing some skin towards each other.  After a bit of kissing and exploring, I forgot about the light situation. Thanks to the moon beaming through my curtains and right toward my bed I was able to make out where I wanted my hands to go. Carlo had the body type I loved; bearish, with broad shoulders and big, strong arms. But what got me was his chest. In the moonlight and without a shirt, Carlo was simply beautiful. Even though I wasn’t a bear myself, I could appreciate the slight hairy trail he had going from his chest down to his stomach. I could see that the trail went even further, and I wanted him to reveal more.  

Carlo continued to kiss me down my body, but I stopped him right before he got to my stomach.  “Let me take off your pants,” I ordered. I was hoping he would be turned on by the dominance in voice and simply obey. “No, you first. I want to show you everything I have to offer you,” Carlo responded, his hands rubbing the top of my shorts, fingers slightly pushing under the elastic. He let it snap a few times before slightly licking his lips.  I arched up a bit to help him out, and he obliged by grabbing my shorts at both ends and pulled them off along with my underwear. He placed his hand on my now erect cock, then stopped for an awkward minute.

“Something wrong?” I asked.  “No, um, just thought of something,” he replied, giggling a bit before continuing. “Now get ready to have the best sex that you….”  He didn’t finish. How could he now that he was giggling like crazy? I wanted to jump out of the bed right then and there, but he still had my dick in his hand, and even though it was getting flaccid, I didn’t want to make any sudden moves and damage myself.  “Would you mind letting go? I would like to get dressed.” He did, even though he was still laughing like a lunatic. I picked up my clothes and put my underwear on, then went for the lamp by my bed. Carlo was sprawled out across my bed. While his laughing had stifled a bit, his red face showed that something had amused him to no end.  

I slipped my shorts back on and began to gather up his things.  “Oh come on, don’t be that way. I’m sorry. We can still mess around. I just need a minute.” The moment he finished his sentence, Carlo began laughing again. He put his hand over his mouth so it wouldn’t be so loud, but it was no use.  

“What the hell is so funny? I was good enough for you before. What changed now?” I stared him down hard; so hard that I was able to break his laughing fit up once and for all.  

“I don’t want to offend you. You’re a nice guy. I was just taken by surprise. You know how it is with these things,” Carlo stated as he got up from the bed and walked over towards me.  “No, I don’t know. I don’t have a clue about what is going on.”

Carlo took my hand and looked me straight in the eyes with his emerald greens. For a second, I almost melted. But then the laughing started going on in my head again, and my fury came back full force.  Looking at Carlo’s face, I could tell he had something he wanted to say, but just couldn’t. He kept biting his lip, and you could tell he was thinking very carefully before he spoke again. The anticipation wasn’t helping my tolerance, so I knew that I had to speed things up a bit.

“Just spit it out.” Carlo looked at the floor one more time, then right back at me.  “It’s just….well….I…..I didn’t expect it to be so small.” I really don’t remember what happened after that, but I do recall that I was rushing him out in just his underwear, not giving him anytime to put his other clothes back on. He pleaded with me a bit, asking to stay and make it up to me. And I almost did — until he mentioned that his was just used to bigger.

Buy Links

Less Than Three Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Michael War is a writer whose real life tends to be on the boring side, which is why his imagination seems to float towards gay romance. Aside from writing about beautiful gay men of all types (bears, jocks, twinks) getting it on, he also enjoys writing poetry and screenplays. War holds an MFA in Creative Writing and plans to write more romance themed books in the near future. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook  for updates on upcoming stories or with any questions or comments. Or, you can read his blog for some mindless ramblings.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $10 Amazon Gift Card or an ebook copy of Roommate Adventure by Michael War.

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June Continues Romance Month and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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June Continues Romance Month

With a break for Memorial Weekend, we are back at the topic of Romance, Royal Weddings, and stories! Yep, we didn’t forget! Often June is the month that kicks of the rush of wedding season and if its LGBT, it makes no difference, because it’s the weather driving the date as well as the timing.  So it’s back to romance, weddings, and stories!

So first of all  let’s go right to those wonderful recommendations for Royal Wedding Stories.  Here they are:

Royal Wedding Story Recommendations:

From ChaosMoon:

Tere Michaels Faith, Love, and Devotion series and Groomzilla
L.B. Gregg’s How I Met Your Father
E.M. Lynley’s Sex, Lies, and Wedding Bells
Legally Wed by Rick R. Reed
The Best Man by LA Witt
Until You  by T.J. Klune
First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony
Wedlocked by Ella Fank
Wedding Favors by Anne Tenino

Megan Derr A Suitable Replacement
Megan Derr The Stable Boy
Megan Derr The High King’s Golden Tongue
Amber Kell Orlin’s Fall

Josh Lanyon Other People’s Weddings

 

From H.B.:

Hellion Club series by Aiden Bates (Book 2 and 3 come to mind)
Omega Society Auction by Eileen Glass
Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church
The Harvest series by M.A. Church
Wed to the Omega by Ashe Moon
The Pretend Husband by Declan Rhodes
Married for a Month by Cate Ashwood
Married for the Millions by Parker Avrile
Marriage of Inconvenience by M.J. O’Shea
A Marriage of Convenience by Devyn Morgan
Red River by Cardeno C.
Signed and Sealed by B.A. Stretke
Groom of Convenience by by Vicktor Alexander
King’s Conquest by by Valentina Heart

From Jeri:

What Binds Us by Larry Benjamin
Kitto (Tyack & Frayne #4) by Harper Fox
Betrothed: A Faery Tale by Therese Woodson
The King’s Courage (North Pole City Tales #6) by Charlie Cochet
Dear Mona Lisa… by Claire Davis & Al Stewart
Wedlocked (Preslocke #3) by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine

 

Right now, I’m feeling gobsmacked as the British would say because I have only listed  half of the recommendations! These are wonderful.  I have so many more to give you, and that will come next week because of the length of the list.  And that we will announce 2 winners.

Winner Announcement!

The first winner?  That would be  ChaosMoon.   Congratulations. Please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com to receive your gift card.  Another winner will be announced next week along with the remainder of your recommendations!

Now about romance stories. I’ve read several this week that I just adored and they are all over the place genre wise.  Several I’m reviewing this week.  One, His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane, is pure romance.  No angst, just lovely sweet road to love and HEA.  It left a happiness in my heart and a perfect way to fall into June.  Another?  A scary, rollercoaster A ride action story and total romance that ends Rhys Ford’s Sinners series, Sin and Tonic.  Angst galore, murder and suspense!  Totally at the other end of the contemporary spectrum.

Coming up I swung from the M/M historical romances straight from the WWI front and pages of Charlie Cochrane’s stories,Pack Up Your Troubles, which broke my heart before putting it back together again to the fantasy of Life Itself by Elizabeth Bones and the magnificent weirdness and horror of Bourbon and Bones by Dorian Graves.  All those are to come.  Be on the look out for them next week and the week after.

Romance across the ages, romance across the genres…even across the species!  Love in every form possible is what we celebrate in our stories we hold close to our hearts.  Vampire or were, WWI soldier or that of a warrior on a world far far away, we are captivated by  love and relationships, personalities and the path to HFN or HEA.

That’s our theme this month.  Chime in, give us more stories, favorite books.  LIstopia!  Here we come!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 3:

  • Cover Reveal Magic or Die (Inner Demons, Book One) by JP Jackson
  • June Continues Romance Month
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 4:

  • Ashlyn Kane on His Leading Man (Author Guest Blog)
  • Release Blitz – Out, Proud, and Prejudiced – Megan Reddaway
  • In the Spotlight:  Cash Plays by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • A Lucy Review: Whatever Comes First by MK Lee
  • An Alisa Review: What It Seems by Sydney Blackburn
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Hush by Tal Bauer and Joel Leslie (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: All the Way to Shore (Stories from the Shore #1) by CJane Elliott and Tim McKiernan (Narrator)

Tuesday, June 5:

  • BLOG TOUR  Blood Bathory: Absence Of The Sun by Ari McKay – excerpt and giveaway
  • DSP Promo Charlie David
  • Release Blitz – Made In Portugal by Ana Newfolk
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: BFF by K.C. Wells
  • A Lucy Review: Detour by Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane
  • A Stella Review: Out, Proud, and Prejudiced by Megan Reddaway

Wednesday, June 6:

  • Tour: Jaqui the Cat Mysteries by Alexis Duran
  • KICKSTARTER BLOG TOUR for Themensha by MxKnowitall
  • Tour for Mercs by Dorian Dawes
  •  Release Blitz, Tour – Ari McKay – Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun
  • A Caryn Review:  A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra
  • A MelanieM Review:  Demon Familiar (Wanted #1) by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham

Thursday, June 7:

  • BLOG TOUR – Under Five by Michael War
  • JL Merrow on Wight Mischief
  • Series Recap Blitz Marshall Thornton – Boystown Series
  • A Stella Review: Plummet to Soar by  Z.A. Maxfield
  • A VVivacious Review: Military Emancipation, by David O. Sullivan
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts #2) by Charlie Cochet and Manuel Pombo (Narrator)

Friday, June 8:

  • DSP Publications Promo Alan Chin
  • Release Blitz  – Annabelle Jacobs – Butterfly Assassin
  • Spotlight on Pack Up Your Troubles Series by Charlie Cochrane
  • A Lucy Review: Face the Music (Replay #1) by K.M. Neuhold
  • A Stella Review: His Wildest Dream (Portville Omegaverse #3)  by Xander Collins
  • An Alisa Review: Under Five by Michael War

Saturday, June 9:

  • Release Blitz – Behind The Lights by TL Travis
  • A MelanieM Review:  Sin and Tonic (Sinners #6)  by Rhys Ford

 

 

 

 

Memorial Weekend. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Memorial Weekend.

We Remember.

That’s what this weekend is all about. What it was created for.  After the Civil War was over, Decoration Day came about to honor both the dead of the  Union and Confederate. Now we know it as Memorial Day, remembering those that have fallen, given service to their country, honoring our dead by keeping them alive in our memories, in our hearts and our thoughts.

Living near Washington, DC, Memorial Day and Weekend’s true meaning is never far away.  Rolling Thunder roars past my parents place every year on it’s way to the District.  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial remains for me the most haunting and striking memorial in the District.  The WWII and Korean War Memorials will be visited heavily.  And Arlington Cemetery with its white sea of uniform tombstones stretching for miles and the incredibly moving Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, with its changing of the Guard ceremony, will be overflowing with visitors (families of those buried there and those just paying their respects).  I will be there too.  It’s a family tradition.

My father recently returned to Arlington to visit family buried there.  I forgot it had been a while since his last visit.  He stood stunned by the vista before him.  Arlington has had to expand it’s boundaries since the last time he was there.  The tombstones now spread  out before him like a vast ocean where before my father remembered nothing but trees and meadows.  It was heartbreaking.  What could we say?  So many deaths. So many to remember.  And honor.

For many, it’s a time to celebrate with family and friends.  Picnics and parades, bbq’s and cookouts.

But take time to remember.  And perhaps if you see someone in their military uniform, you might want to thank them for their service now.  I think they will appreciate it.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Weekend.  #WeRemember

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 27:

  • Memorial Weekend. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A Lila Review Object of Desire by Dal Maclean

Monday, May 28:

  • Release Blitz – Murder in New York by C.J. Baty
  • DSP Promo Julia Talbot
  • Blog Tour – #IsHeHereYet: Being the person you want to be with by Dr Tony Ortega
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lonely Dragon by Anna Lee
  • An Ali Review Returning to the Land of the Morning Calm​ by ​Hans M Hirschi ​
  • An Alisa Review: Veiled Dominance by Evelise Archer
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: The Consumption of Magic (Tales From Verania #3) by TJ Klune and Michael Lesley (Narrator)

Tuesday, May 29:

  • DSP Promo JL Langley on My Fair Captain
  • Cover Reveal, for Ari McKay’s Absence of the Sun (Blood Bathory #2)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Riven by Roan Parrish
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1) by J.L. Langley
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Love You So Madly (Love You So Stories #2) by Tara Lain
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

Wednesday, May 30:

  • Book Blast Just A Year by Jena Wade
  • A Lucy Pre release Review: My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stone the Crows (Wolf Winter)by TA Moore
  • A VVivacious Review: A Love to Remember, by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Alisa Review: Snow Cat by Edward Kendrick

Thursday, May 31:

  • Harmony Promo Shirley Anne Edwards
  • A Caryn Review : Mason and the Dog Wrangler” by CL Etta
  • A Lucy Review: Where Do I Start? (Why You? #1) by Chase Taylor Hackett
  • An Ali Audiobook Review:  Bobby Green (Johnnies # 5) by Amy Lane and Gomez Pugh (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review The Solstice Prince (Realms of Love #1) by S.J. Himes and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Friday, June 1:

  • Blog Tour: The Curse by Kethric Wilcox
  • Cover Reveal- Overtime by V.L. Locey
  • DSP Promo Julia Talbot
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Recruit by Addison Albright
  • A Lucy Review: And the next Thing You Know . . . (Why You? #2) byChase Taylor Hackett
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Wight Mischief by JL Merrow

Saturday, June 2:

  • RELEASE BLITZ for Waiting in the Wings (Upstaged #2) by S. L. Danielson
  • Release Blitz  – Three-Man Advantage by Ariel Bishop

A MelanieM Review: The Gallery: The Permanent Collection (The Gallery #1) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Welcome to the Gallery, where powerful beings enjoy peace, quiet, and the company of each other, where they are free to love as they choose, be it one, many, or anything in between.

The Permanent Collection comprises those paintings which never leave the Gallery. The beings within these paintings have bargained with the Curator to stay on forever in return for gifting him their powers, resources, or knowledge. They help the Curator in running the Gallery, and provide sustenance for the Curator.

Today’s featured pieces include: The Assistant, about a lonely, misunderstood young man and the unusual new job he is offered by the mysterious curator; The Tycoon is about a rough and powerful man who went missing several years ago, and has every intention of remaining so; Three Kings once walked away from their kingdoms, and now spend their days with each other; The Bastard Son is about a man who once fled betrayal and heartache, and now uses his deadly skills and famous sword to defend the Gallery. And in The Demon Slayer, an angel arrives to find the gallery under attack, and soon one demon is slain while another falls…

I have always loved this concept.  The idea of pictures actually being alive and here Megan Derr carries it into an unusual gallery.  This is the first Collection with another installment in the works.  This one introduces us to Rex upon his entrance into the Gallery.  And as he starts to understand it’s peculiarities and occupants, so do we.  It’s also presided over by one very special owner.

Rex, who’s identity is key here becomes a thread that ties all the paintings together, along with its owner.  It’s a unifying touch that pulls all the stories together as a whole, as well as creates a foundation for the set to follow.  I truly loved Rex and wished we knew more of his background.  Perhaps that’s coming still in the Semi-permanent Collection Gallery of Stories to follow (the one that he originally played a part in).

Each painting forms very quick tales of passion and love, flashes of depth (a man alone in a tower) to a twist  on King Arthur to three Kings…all different in taste.  I wanted more of some, not of others.  But with another book to come and an overall arc appearing, I’m hopeful that I’ll see more of these occupants as well.

This us just such a juicy novella…it wets your appetite for more.  More of these fascinating paintings, more of the owner and Rex of course.  And more from Megan Derr.  You just can’t go wrong.

Cover art:  Aisha Akeju.  Not a fan.  Most of the paintings in the gallery are formal and this should have reflected that.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Author’s Note: A few of these stories were freebies on my website. All have been edited for re-release and some, like The Tycoon and Three Kings, have undergone significant changes.

Kindle Edition, 65 pages
Published May 9th 2018 by Less Than Three Press, LLC
ASINB07CQ1SXBZ
SeriesThe Gallery #1