Of Comfort Reads and Love Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Comfort Reads and Love Stories

We’ve been talking about our top books for comfort reading and love stories, some of which have ended up on each list with authors common to both.  I had to admit it got me thinking what makes a ‘comfort read’? What is that indefinable something a story contains or that an author offers that makes us want to read it over and over again.? Is that its a “known quantity”? That we go into that story knowing that the pleasures (and even some pain) it holds are ones that not only have touched us so deeply but that fulfill some hope or want in us?  Tales that reach us in multiple ways?  We love these men, their journey to love and a long term relationship, whether it be a contemporary world or something supernatural or otherworldly.  And we love these authors and their talent to create not only believable, vivid men and beings as well as for their ability in which they pull us into their characters lives and worlds over and over again, making it feel like home every time we read these stories.

That’s a wonderful gift and it shows in how many of the same authors and stories/series show up in list after list, including my own.  My gratitude to them.  And thank you to all our readers who contributed these last few weeks and days, letting us look into your favorite lists and authors too.  You’ve definitely added to my TBR pile and brought back a few books I’ve forgotten. Thank you!

Of course, our lists keep growing as we find new authors and new stories to share with you and hopefully, you our readers to share with us.  I love reading your lists too.

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Here’s some of our readers favorite couples and Love stories/series:

♡H.B. loves:

Jory and Sam from Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series
Jin and Logan from Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series
Rand and Stefan from Mary Calmes’ Timing Series
Ty and Zane from Abigail Roux/Madeleine Urban’s Cut & Run series
The couples (Dex/Sloane, Ashe/Cael, Calvin/Ethan) from Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series
Tucker and Elliot from Josh Lanyon’s All’s Fair series
Kit and J.X. from Josh Lanyon’s Holmes & Moriarity series
Gaven and Vlar from J.C. Owen’s Gaven series
Neil and Andrew from Nora Sakavic’s All for the Games series

(I agree H.B.  You  named Tucker and Elliot, 2 I left off of mine by accident, Gaven and Vlar because I had just forgotten about them!  Argh! Thank you for  bringing them back to mind.)

♡From Didi:

Jonty and Orlando, and Ty and Zane by Abigail Roux (and by Madeleine Urban)
Here’s my addition favorite couples to the above:
– Kit and JX from Holmes & Moriarity series by Josh Lanyon
– Tucker and Elliot from Fair Game by Josh Lanyon
– Mark and Stephen from I Spy series
– James and Sedgwick from the Dickens with Love
– Lucien and Stephen from A Charm of Magpie series
– Whyborne and Griffin from Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series
– David and Murdo from Enlightenment series

Again, thanks, Didi, I see  some I’ve been meaning to get too.  This is a wonderful reminder!

♡And from Jen:

Some of my favorite couples are:
Whyborne and Griffin from Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series
Jonty and Orlando from the Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows series
Cole and Jae from Rhys Ford’s Cole McGinnis series
Charlie and Travis from NR Walker’s Red Dirt series
Laurie and Sasha from Harper Fox’s A Midwinter Prince series
Gray/Caleb & John from Jordan L. Hawk’s SPECTR series
Crick and Deacon from Amy Lane’s Promises series

Crick and Deacon were on my Comfort list, Jen, but I so agree with you!  So were Charlie and Travis, Cole and Jae, love them!  Do you know there are series here I need to add to my list?  Yay! Thank you all to add to my staggeringly high TBR pile!

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Winner Announcements!

♥︎Winners of our Comfort Story Reads are:

Purple Reader
Shirley Ann

♥︎Winner of our Love Story Read/List is:

Didi

 

Congratulations to you all.  Stella will be in touch with you about your prizes.  Now all our readers keep you eyes turned to us for more giveaways coming soon!  Meteorological Spring is within 2 weeks.  I’m sure we’ll think of some way to celebrate new beginnings and the coming of Spring!  Give me your suggestions and stay with us!

📚

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.   We handed out a new list of questions to authors for our author interviews and the results have been wonderful.  Everything from how they feel about their covers to what they think about ebooks and Gary Stu writing.  Don’t miss out on those.  Plus we have plenty of Release Day Reviews and audiobook reviews for those who  love to listen as well as read!  Something for everyone!

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 19:

  • Of Comfort Reads and  Love Stories
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 20:

  • Release Blitz – Find Me (Rent Me Series #5) by Brina Brady
  • Release Day Blitz College Discipline by Caitlin Ricci
  • Release Day Blitz Unzipping 7d by J.C. Long
  • A Jeri Review: Down By Contact by Sloan Johnson
  • A Lila Review: A-dork-able by J.D. Walker
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tropical Depression by BA Tortuga
  • A PaulB  Review: Dead Camp book 3 by Sean Kerr

Tuesday, February 21:

  • Review Tour – NR Walker’s Imago 
  • Jared’s Family Blogger Tour and Giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Poppy’s Secret
  • Review Tour – Lyssa Dering’s fangjunkie27
  • A MelanieM Review:  Imago by NR Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Love (Leaning Into #1) by Lane Hayes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Unzipping 7D (Unzipped Shorts #2) by J.C. Long

Wednesday, February 22:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Catt Ford on Cross My Heart
  • TWO NATURES* by Jendi Reiter 4 Tour
  • A Caryn Review: Unspoken by R.A. Padmos
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Off Stage (Off Stage #1-2) by Jaime Samms
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Rushing Love (States of Love) by Meg Bawden
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Murmuration by T.J. Klune and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Thursday, February 23:

  • DSP GUEST POST Meg Bawden on Rushing Love
  • Release Day Blitz Justin’s Season by S. M. Sawyer
  • RIPTIDE BLOG TOUR Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk
  • An Alisa Review: Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Open Road by M.J. O’Shea and Robbie D (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review:  Everything Changes (Resilient Love #1) by Melanie Hansen and Robert Nieman (Narrator)

Friday, February 24:

  • DSP GUEST POST Matthew Lang on Better with Bacon
  • Book Blitz: Fallen Angel by Eden Winters
  • Release blitz: AFTER THE FIRE by Felice Stevens
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Ringo and the Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus
  • A PaulB  Review: Max (Demon Elite 7) by April Kelley
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kieran: The Atherton Pack 4 By Toni Griffin
  • A PaulB  Review: The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4) by Anna Butler

Saturday, February 25:

  • 3 day release blitz: *Snapshots by Addison Albright*
  • DSP GUEST POST Ariel Tachna on Talking in Code
  • A MelanieM Review: Man and Tree by Wayne Mansfield

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A Caryn Review: Too Soon For Love by Kimberly Gardner

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

too-soon-for-loveI love reading books that contain a grieving character, and I think it’s my favorite subset of the hurt/comfort trope.  I guess I like the idea that it is possible to move past what can seem initially to be permanently devastating pain, and these stories always make me full of hope.  I also like stories that have MCs with disabilities, especially when those MCs learn to thrive despite the disability.  So this book really hit a lot of buttons for me, and I enjoyed it.

The book opened as Michael Stricker was attending the funeral for Phillip DiMartino, his partner of 12 years.  Phillip suffered a devastating stroke, which left him comatose for a time (which was not specified, but I got the impression it was a week or two) before he died.  During that time he was in a nursing home, but also had a private caregiver, Alan Stuart, who came to admire Michael and his devotion to Phillip as he died, and developed a rapport of sorts with Michael.  The funeral was difficult for Michael not only because he lost his husband, but also because Phillip’s family was smothering him with their concern – Michael was blind, and hadn’t lived alone for years, and they didn’t think he could function independently.  When the family became particularly overbearing, Alan stepped in and rescued him.

From that moment, the two men became friends.  And though Alan was very attracted to Michael, he knew it was inappropriate to initiate a relationship so soon after Phillip’s death, and tried just to be a friend.  When he inadvertently discovered evidence of Phillip’s infidelity, he didn’t know what to do with that information – tell Michael and cause him pain, or hide it and hope that he never found out?  Alan was falling hard for Michael, which made that decision especially difficult.

I thought the portrayals of Phillip – through Michael’s remembrances, flashbacks, his family’s memories, his other lover’s recollections – were really well done, and I found myself alternately liking Phillip, despising him, being suspicious of him and eventually forgiving him.  I would like to say more about this, but really can’t without giving away major spoilers!  These little snippets of Phillip were revealed very slowly as Michael dealt with his grief over weeks and months, during which time Alan only fell more in love with him.

The romance between these two men was a mixture of quickly developing physical attraction, with a slower burn of the emotional bond.  Michael had to regain his independence – which introduced some really great side characters – and Alan had to learn to respect and promote it.  Their HEA didn’t come without false starts, steps backward, little betrayals, and even though this is a romance, and the HEA is expected, there were still moments when I thought it wouldn’t happen.  I actually like that, because it makes the story seem all that more real to me!

I would have rated the book higher, but found the changes of POV between Michael and Alan to be to abrupt and frequent and made the flow of the book choppy.  There were also multiple times the author referred to Michael’s actions or thoughts as if he was a sighted person – in the first pages of the book, Michael mentioned “seeing him now” in regards to Alan.  Every time that happened, I noticed it and it bugged me.  There were some great secondary characters, but some of their stories were completely superfluous, and just left me irritated because there was no resolution to those problems, and it would have been better if they’d never been mentioned in the first place.

Cover art by Natasha Snow was only OK.

Sales Links

Loose id

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Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 315 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Loose Id (first published February 15th 2011)
Original TitleTo Soon For Love
ISBN139781682522929
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Kate Steele

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

what-the-cat-dragged-in-by-kate-steeleAn owl and a pussycat? Seriously? Oh yeah. Seriously hot.

 

It’s a case of lust at first sight. The sizzle between Kyle and Bryan ignites into a passionate encounter with an unexpected result. Fun and games between this owl and lynx shifter are all well and good, but love? That’s more than either one expected, and, for this interspecies couple, may be the very thing that tears them apart.

 

This is a cute short story.  Kyle always runs when Bryan is around because he doesn’t know how Bryan will take his attraction.  When Bryan uses Kyle’s games against him things get interesting.

 

I loved how Bryan didn’t care about what others would think of their relationship and just went with being with the man he wanted.  Kyle has more doubts, but when he sees that Bryan won’t hold prejudices against him he opens up.  Both characters make mistakes which we see in their interactions, but want to do right by the other in the end .

 

Cover art by April Martinez is nice and is a standard “fling” cover for Loose Id.

 

Sales Links: Loose Id | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 48 pages

Published: January 24, 2017 by Loose Id

ISBN: 9781682522943

Edition Language: English

Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and surely Love is in the Air!  All those hearts, balloons, and boxes of chocolates and other signs of romance all around are making me think of so many things, like the best love stories in movies and of course, in books (cue the soundtrack to Doctor Zhivago)!  We can all remember the traditional love stories, meaning het of course! I’m sure they are popping into mind even now.  Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere (Arthur got a raw deal I think), Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Paris and Helena,Tristan and Isolde…most ended unhappily I know.  But ah,  how bright their love and passion burned!  We can even think of our happy love movies.  Love Actually is played constantly during the holiday season (love has so many faces).

But how about LGBTQIA love?  Is Brokeback Mountain the first movie that comes to mind?  How about Shelter or Big Eden or Latter Days?  They didn’t have big names attached to them but the romance and love left you smiling instead of feeling torn apart.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day watching!  What’s your recommendations for Valentine’s Day binge watching?

I can remember my very first novel, outside of fanfiction (K/S among others) that was not only M/M but had a happy ending.  That was The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I still have my hardback copy.  It was a revelation.  The idea of m/m romance and love with the possibility of a future in some way. The Catch Trap was published in 1979 which was when I first read it so a future then is markably different then the way in which LGBTQIA romance (and marriage) is regarded today (bigotry not withstanding).  Some of my comfort reads are also my favorite love stories but not all. Some of my favorite couples also had pain, loss and suspense attached to their stories as well.  Here are some of those.

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Some of My Favorite Couples and Their Series in no particular order:

Ty and Zane of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series (some written with Madeleine Urban)

Lucky and Bo of Eden Winter’s Diversion series

Jory and Sam of Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series

Jin and Logan of Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series

Adrien and Jake from The Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon

Jonty and Orlando from Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries

Jim and Griffin as well as Evan and Matt from Tere Michaels’ Faith, Love & Devotion series

And this is without adding in those couples from my comfort list books!  There’s more as well.  Do you have your favorite couples?  Tell me which ones I missed!

Goodreads has its own Listopia: Best Gay/Lesbian Fiction With Happy Endings (140 books).  You might check out this list too.    But back to your favorite couples and your favorite love stories.  What love stories jump into your mind when I say  “Romance”!  That love with a capital L story where “one swims the oceans, fights all the fights, does everything they must to be with the one they love” story.  Give us your list and see if you come up with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day gift card!

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Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.

Yes its time for the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.  Give us your list of either top couples and their story or top love stories with your email address. One random reader will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate by midnight next Sunday, February 18th.  This is a quick contest so get your lists in this week.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

And as a reminder, our Comfort Reads Giveaway also closes on the 17th.  So here is two chances to win a gift certificate.

📚Comfort Reads Giveaway from Last Week!

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Now for this week’s schedule.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 12:

  • Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review:  Flaunt by E. Davies

Monday, February 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Letters from Cupid
  • DSP GUEST POST Tara Lain on Fire Balls
  • Release Day Blitz The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • A Caryn Review: Too Soon For Love by Kimberly Gardner
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Jerricho’s Freedom by Jake C. Wallace
  • A VVivacious Review: The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day):

  • DSP GUEST POST Evelise Archer on Jaeger
  • DSP GUEST POST Lila Leigh Hunter on Dating in Retrospect
  • Jared’s Family by VS Morgan Release Blitz and Giveaway
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Yes, Professor by Renae Kaye
  • A PaulB Review: The Atherton Pack 4 by Toni Griffin
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: Warlock in Training by TJ Nichols

Wednesday, February 15:

  • DSP PUBLICATIONS GUEST POST TJ Nichols on Warlock in Training
  • Release Blitz Clare London – How The Other Half Lives
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The New Wolf (Building the Pack #1) by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blossom of the Samurai by Sedonia Guillone
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

Thursday, February 16:

  • DSP GUEST POST Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia on Wounded Pride
  • Release Day Blitz Learning to Want by Tami Veldura
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Kate Steele
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Hanging The Stars (Half Moon Bay #2) by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Behr Facts (Foothills Pride #3) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Friday, February 17:

  • Suki Fleet – Foxes Tour and Giveaway
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Stella Review: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A Caryn Review: How The Other Half Lives by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Foxes by Suki Fleet

Saturday, February 18:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York
  • A MelanieM Review: Danced Close (Portland Heat, #6) by Annabeth Albert

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A VVivacious Review: The Puritan Pirate by Jules Radcliffe

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Rating: 3.75 Stars out of 5

 

the-puritan-pirateLieutenant Thomas Peregrine finds himself in a rather unusual position. He is serving as a naval liaison on the pirate ship, Audacious. He keeps to himself but he is unable to control his attraction to Gabriel Quinn, the sailing master of the Defiant. But one drunken night reveals one too many secrets and Gabe & Thomas find themselves on the way to a deeper connection. But when the Defiant finds itself in mighty trouble, what will Gabe’s fate be and will Thomas be able to survive it…

 

I liked this book quite a lot. It is an interesting read with well fleshed out characters and a daring plot.

 

This book uses a lot of words which are no longer in popular use and there are lots of phrases in different languages. So yeah sometimes I used to get stuck on certain words and phrases because I had no idea what they meant. Also this book is based in the West Indies and the book makes ample use of the tumultuous political scenario the countries of the Indies were facing in the late 17th century. Since I truly have no idea about the history of the Indies somethings definitely went over my head but I felt like the book definitely makes use of history to consolidate its plot. Alas, I have no idea about this history or how accurately it is depicted in this book.

 

What I loved about this book was the plot and our main characters.

 

The plot of the book is quite well written and it was interesting to read about naval warfare. For one it is very different than land warfare and has its own appeal. I loved the story of this book and its intricacies. The plot is simple but very well-executed and the book is well paced so you don’t lose interest.

 

My favourite part of this book was Gabriel and Thomas. I like the personalities of both characters, wherein Thomas is a guy firmly in control and Gabriel is just a happy-go-lucky kind of guy who can’t wait to break Thomas’ facade. But these two together were simply, hot. I mean the sex scenes between these two characters are some of the best I have ever read. I loved how the author wrote about the domination and submission between these two characters and I appreciated the fluidity of it.

 

Overall this book is a hot and interesting read.

 

Cover Art by Valerie Tibbs. I liked the cover, it complements the story.

Sales Links

Loose id

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Book Details:

ebook
Published January 3rd 2017 by Loose Id
Original TitleThe Puritan Pirate
ISBN139781682523018
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Wasted Youth (The Secret Art of Mercy #1) by H.B. Kurtzwilde

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

wasted-youthApprentice Sebastian has long cherished his love for his master. For years, Master D’arcy Qyn has respected Sebastian’s right to choose whom he embraces in the sexual arts known to the Fellowship of Servitors. But when the fashions and opinions of other Servitors are no longer enough to keep them apart, they rely wholeheartedly on the vows that have made them student and teacher.

Abiding dutifully by the formal roles prescribed for so taboo a relationship, each must find his way with desires and pleasures they would not otherwise enjoy. Together they must prove their love in all its expressions without shame and eternally beyond reproach.

Publisher’s Note: Although this book is set in the same universe as The Secret Art of Failure, it is the beginning of a new standalone series.

First off: I don’t think the publisher’s note is right about this being the beginning of a standalone series. I haven’t read “The Secret Art of Failure” and I felt very lost at times.

SciFi is one of my favourite genres and “Wasted Youth” sounded really promising. I took the publisher’s note to heart and was really looking forward to reading this book.

Sebastian has had a thing for his master for a while now. Or rather, for the idea of having an affair with his master and the thrill of doing something not quite socially acceptable. When D’arcy Qyn finally makes his fantasies come true, the affair turns out to be quite different from what he’d imagined.

I liked both D’arcy and Sebastian, even though I sometimes had a hard time understanding D’arcy. He’s always so mysterious.

The sex that happens between the two of them is damn hot. There’s quite a bit of humiliation and other BDSM elements. There’s even some consent play, so if you’re triggered by that, stay away from this book. Personally, I just found it hot.

There was quite a bit of action thrown into the lot as well. I didn’t understand the reasons behind a lot of things, though. It certainly never got boring, though.

Now, as I mentioned above, I really feel like this isn’t a standalone series. There seems to have been quite a bit of world building going on, but there are virtually no explanations in “Wasted Youth”. I just didn’t understand a lot of the traditions and the characters often remained mysteries to me. It really felt like I was missing some serious background info. I’m assuming this was all provided in the author’s previous series “The Secret of Failure”, which I haven’t read.

I think “Wasted Youth” had serious potential, but it left me feeling kind of “meh” in the end, simply because there was so much I just did not understand. I am curious about “The Secret of Failure” and have added the first book to my ever-growing list of books I’d like to read one day. I won’t continue with “The Secret Art of Mercy” for now, however.

The cover by April Martinez shows a beautiful landscape, overlaid with a picture of Sebastian. The landscape is gorgeous but I think the cover could’ve done without the young man at the top.

Sales Links

Loose Id

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book details:

Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published September 5th 2016 by Loose Id LLC
ASINB01LOSQIHU
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Secret Art of Mercy #1

What Are Your Comfort Reads and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What Are Your Comfort Reads?

I know, I know.   Its February and I could have so much more to talk about.  Its Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Love Stories and so much more. And I may get to those next week. But the truth of the matter is that I’m heart sore these days.  With all the news and politics and a President determined to see us and our rights thrown back to the fifties and nations at war, my heart and head feels like its being plundered, torn into pieces daily.

You do what you can, you speak up, sign petitions, march. But at night or whenever you need it, I know that I need to escape into my books and my comfort reads.

I’ve been falling back into some of my early stories from many authors, ones that have remained my “go to books” when I need that instant book blankey.  Don’t tell me you don’t have those.  A story that means an instant smuggle for you.  So you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.  Let’s see how they mesh if at all.  Some of mine include an entire series:

MelanieM’s Comfort Read’s (partial and constantly growing)

  • Amy Lane’s Keeping Promise Rock
  • Red Dirt Heart Series by N.R. Walker
  • Faith, Love & Devotion Series by Tere Michaels
  • Change of Heart series by Mary Calmes
  • Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell
  • The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye
  • Frog by Mary Calmes
  • No Going Home (Home #1) by T.A. Chase
  • Home Series by T.A. Chase

I think B.A. Tortuga’s new series, The Release, may find its way onto this list.  Too soon yet. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

That’s for starters, ones that just popped up without giving it any thought.  I know there’s more to come.  So pull up yours.  I want to know the stories you reach for when you want to feel good, happy.  We certainly can do with so much more of that these days.

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📚Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Giveaway!📚

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

A young girl reading a book under the covers with a flashlight

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 5:

  • A Free Dreamer Review: Wasted Youth by H.B. Kurtzwilde
  • A MelanieM Review: Calling His Bluff (Club Raven #3) by B.A. Tortuga
  • What Are Your Comfort Reads?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 6:

  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR Storm Season by Pene Henson
  • Cover Reveal for No Regrets by Nicky James (excerpt and giveaway)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Working It by Christine d’Abo (giveaway)
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Wolfmanny by Julia Talbot
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: What Remains by Garrett Leigh and Craig Beck (Narrator)
  • An Ali Review: Working It (Ringside Romance #1) by Christine d’Abo
  • An Alisa Review:  They Walk Among Us by T.A. Chase

Tuesday, February 7:

  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Sherrie Henry on Flag on the Play
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Embers by Kate Sherwood (giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ingela Bohm on The Seventh Flower
  • A Stella Review: Storm Season by Pene Henson
  • A VVivacious Review: The Puritan Pirate by Jules Radcliffe
  • An Ali Review:They Walk Among Us by T.A. Chase
  • A VVivacious Review: THE MUTT: AN ORDER SHORT STORY by Kasia Bacon

Wednesday, February 8:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Julia Talbot on Wolfmanny
  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Jo Ramsey on Midnight Chat
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Fire Balls by Tara Lain
  • A Jeri Review: Off Base by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Release Day Review: The Seventh Flower (World of Love) by Ingela Bohm
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Buyout by Dev Bentham

Thursday, February 9:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Jake C. Wallace on Jerricho’s Freedom
  • DSP GUEST POST:  Dirk Greyson on Darkness Rising
  • A Lila Review:  Tempted to Taste by Shawn Lane
  • A PaulB  Review: Descent of Kings: Books BUNDLE by Maria Albert
  • A Caryn Review: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling by Matthew Robbins
  • An Alisa Review: Fire Triangle by Iyana Jenna

Friday, February 10:

  • *FLAUNT by E Davies 2 week blog tour and giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Dev Bentham on Buyout – A Love Story
  • DSP GUEST POST Mason Thomas on The Shadow Mark
  • Release Day Blitz: Leaning Into Love by Lane Hayes
  • A Paul B Review: Sealed With Acceptance (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #5) by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Jaeger (Order of the Black Knights #4) by Evelise Archer
  • An Ali Release Day Review:  Shifting Views (The Carlisles #4) by Meg Harding

Saturday, February 11:

  • A MelanieM Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform, #2) by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York

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An Alisa Review: American Telepath (Dragons Schooled #2) by Emily Carrington

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

american-telepathJames is a water dragon who fell in love with a human. Rather than expose that human to a dangerous magical world, James abandons Henry.

 

Five years later, they meet again—and it’s like they were never separated. Except Henry refuses—beyond the occasional bang—to have anything to do with James.

 

When Henry is punished for upsetting a powerful magical creature, James follows him into imprisonment. Together they struggle, with impromptu sex and in spite of discoveries, to overcome the past.

 

I am not quite sure how to describe this story.  James and Henry dated in high school and James deeply hurt Henry when he left without a word.  James is surprised when he meets Henry again at Searchlight Academy, but they don’t start out again on a good foot.

 

We get to see both characters’ points of view which helps understand both of their struggles and feelings.  This story mainly focuses on how dangerous dragons and other magical creatures are, which seemed a bit strange to me as I didn’t get that feeling about them in the first book in the series.  I had a hard time connecting with James and Henry as they both kept trying to keep secrets or wall themselves off from the other and acting totally opposite of their thoughts, it just didn’t jive for me.  Some of their problems stem from their earlier relationship, but also from how they have been hurt by others however little and unacknowledged it was.  I did like how James finally learns to stand up for himself in order to keep Henry safe.

 

Cover art by Fiona Jayde is nice and shows the safe house and a visual of James.

 

Sales Links: Loose Id | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 75 pages

Published: December 21, 2016 by Loose Id

ISBN: 9781682522332

Edition Language: English

Series: Dragons Schooled #2

The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Last of the Best of 2016

 

As this is the last weekend of the month, we will finish up our Best of 2016 and leave that year behind.  So here’s the last of our Best of Lists of 2016.  We are well on our way to accumulating our lists for 2017.  I know that Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) by Amy Tasukada and There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford are already on my list for this year.  Wow.  That’s a great start!

Our Contest ends tonight so there’s plenty of time still to get your list in:

STRW 2016 Best of Giveaway

We will pick one random reader who leaves a comment with their year end Best of (along with their email addresses) to receive a $10 DSP gift card.   Contest ends January 29, at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

Paul and I are up today.  So let’s hear from PaulB next on his favorites from 2016:

PaulB’s Best of the Year 2016

From Paul B: I am going to cheat a bit here.  Normally these lists are top ten kinds of affairs.  However, since a lot of the books that I read and review are from series, I’m going to abbreviate my list and group books in series together if they were released this year. 

Top Books/Series of 2016

running-blind-by-kim-fielding-and-venona-keys

Best Covers of 2016

WolfsongFor A Dragon's Persuasion coverfor-a-dragons-controlFor a Dragon's Enthusiasm (Highland Dragons #9) by Charlie RichardsFor A Dragon's Redemption coverEnemies of the Stateenemy-of-my-enemy-by-tal-bauerinterlude-first-noel-by-tal-bauer

 

 

 

 

 

~📚~

  • Wolfsong  by TJ Klune, Cover Artist Reese Dante—The simple paw prints on a black background sets the mood of the book
  • Highland Dragon series by Charlie Richards, Cover artist Angela Waters—Ms Waters never fails to create stunning covers for this fantasy series set in Medieval Scotland
  • Running Blind by Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes, Cover artist Anna Sikorski—The two arms linked together by a cord sums up the book perfectly
  • Demon Elite series by April Kelley, Cover artist Latrisha Waters—Simple cover always captures the essence of the title characters of the books.
  • Executive Office series by Tal Bauer, Cover artist Natasha Snow—Gorgeous Washington settings with perfect representations of the main characters

CrashWolf Demon EliteCosmoAshley

MelanieM’s Favorite’s  of 2016

Devil at the Crossroads

Favorite Covers of 2016

The ForesterThe Forester II- Lost and Found coverFull CircleA Triad in Three ActsUntilSeptember_600x900Dormant HeartUnder a Sky of AshOut of Nowhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Covers of The Tales of the Forest by Blaine D. Arden – Cover art by Simone

Until September by Chris Scully, Cover art by Lou Harper

Fantasy for a Gentleman (A Planet Called Wish #2) by Caitlin Ricci, Cover art by Caitlin Ricci

Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Kanaxa

Devil at the Crossroads by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Jared Rackler

Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish, Cover art by Angsty G

Dormant Heart by Lane Swift, Cover art by Anna Sikorska

Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt, Cover Art by Anne Cain

Do-Gooder by J.Leigh Bailey, Cover art by Aaron Anderson

The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase, Cover art by Reese Dante

Fantasy for a Gentlemando-gooder-by-j-leigh-baileyTheCircusoftheDamned_500x750the-unlikely-prospect-by-lex-chase

 

 

 

 

 

With special nod to the stylized covers of Will and Patrick Get Married, yes all of them.  Just a delight!  I don’t know who the artist is.  If you do, please let me know.

will-patrick-collage-1024x1024

 

Unlike my covers, most of which had a lush artistic look, my favorite books ran the complete spectrum of fictional genres from contemporary to supernatural to fantasy to science fiction.  Three were series finales, four actually if you include Full Circle.  If you haven’t read any of these trilogies/series, start now!

Favorite Stories of  2016

Our readers still commented with their favorites.

From Our Readers:

📚jenf27 

Thanks for sharing your lists! I loved a lot of those same books. Here is my list from last year:

Fallow by Jordan L .Hawk
A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Hexworld series by Jordan L. Hawk
The Weight of It All by NR Walker
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
Wolfsong by TJ Klune
The Mermaid Murders by Josh Lanyon
Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell*
Inversion Point by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Phase Shift by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford
Foxes by Suki Fleet
King’s Rising by C.S. Pacat
Dancer of Death by Jordan L. Hawk
Nightingale by Aleksandr Voinov
Cold Fusion by Harper Fox

📚Didi:

Thanks for sharing your list, I saw quite a number of titles I haven’t read, so this really help me to add more to my TBR. My own best of 2016 is not much; Jordan L. Hawk’s Fallow & Hexmaker, Josh Lanyon’s So This Is Christmas, Lloyd A. Meeker’s Stick & Stones.

Keep those lists coming!

Announcements

wilde-city-press

Wilde City will be closing its doors in 2017.  They were another wonderful press and will be greatly missed. From their authors and stories to their amazing covers, Wilde City Press was a class act! From Ethan and Wilde City Press, their announcement:

To all our friends, readers, reviewers and fans of our authors,


Due to various personal reasons it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close Wilde City Press. We have enjoyed every moment of our journey over the past four years, and want to thank everyone who has been a part of our adventure.

 

Over the next few months we will be ensuring that everyone who has worked with Wilde City will be paid in full and have their rights returned to them. We are very proud of the work our authors and editors have given to the world, and we hope these books will be published again to be enjoyed for many more years to come. For members of our book club, we will give you plenty of time to back-up any files you have purchased through our site so you don’t lose anything.

 

We want to say a sincere thank you to all the authors who put their faith in us, the readers who have supported us and the incredible friendships we’ve made over the years. Rest assured we are not disappearing from our beloved industry; Ethan and Geoff will continue writing as authors, Adrian will continue to design amazing book covers, and all of us will forever be a part of this cherished tribe of book lovers.

 

From your friends at Wilde City Press,

Ethan, Geoff, Tracy and Adrian

So long, Wilde City Press!  We will miss you!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 29:

  • Release Blitz – Cristina Bruni’s Seven Days
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Undertow: A Whyborne & Griffin Universe Story by Jordan L Hawk
  • The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 30:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ki Brightly on Trust Trade 
  • Release Day Blitz The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • Review Tour – Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates 4) by Jay Northcote
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • An Ali Review: Falling into Darkness by LM Brown

Tuesday, January 31:

  • Blog Tour: Adrift by Isabelle Adler (excerpt and giveaway)
  • In the Spotlight: Soothsayer by Cari Z (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Release Blitz: Rick R Reed’s A Face without a Heart
  • A Lila Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Face Without a Heart by Rick R. Reed
  • A Paul B Review:  Descent of Kings: Books BUNDLE by Maria Albert
  • An Ali Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • An Ali Review: Stallions and Ice by Stephani Hecht

Wednesday, February 1:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • Cover Reveal for Secrets of You by Skylar M. Cates
  • “Spell Fall” by Jacob Z. Flores tour and giveaway
  • An Alisa Review: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8) by Charlie Cochet
  • An Alisa Review: American Telepath (Dragons Schooled #2) by Emily Carrington
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Inheritance by Sean Michael

Thursday, February 2:

  • Blog tour  for COZZI COVE: STEPPING OUT by Joe Cosentino (guest post)
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on Inheritance
  • A Caryn Review: The Star of Versailles by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham
  • A Lila Review:  The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Crime Wave by Adam Carpenter narrated by Joel Leslie
  • An Alisa Review:  Silent Night by Shawn Bailey

Friday, February 3:

  • DSP GUEST POST Z. Allora on The Craving
  • BLOG TOUR The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan
  • Terrible Twos by Megs Pritchard tour and giveaway
  • A MelanieM Review: Happy Medium (Club Raven #1) by Julia Talbot
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: The Craving by Z. Allora
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Saturday, February 4:

  • The Fire Trilogy – RJ Scott Tour
  • A Paul B Review: For a Dragon’s Control (Highland Dragons #10) by Charlie Richards
  • A MelanieM Review: Wishful Thinking (Club Raven #2) by Kiernan Kelly

 

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An Alisa Review: Rockin’ the ‘Nog (Seasons of Change #2) by Michelle King

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

rocking-the-nogKyle had been riding in the back of Logan’s cab for months—so he could become a familiar face among Portland’s rent boy culture for his case. His job as a county prosecutor often made relationships difficult and his gayness continued to be a stressor, law of the land or not. More problematic, the driver of the cab Logan was triggering every bit of interest he had.

 

What he wouldn’t give to be able to touch and taste that guy…but no. He was there for his case. And getting a blow on the “down low”, while enjoyable, only took the edge off.

 

Twice a month, Logan drove the city attorney around Portland’s seedier streets, playing tour guide to the man he’d come to like. To really like, and wanted to “like” more.

 

Earlier that week, Logan had received a text canceling this Friday’s trip into “the Dark Side.” Canceling a cab ride was fine but he wasn’t interested in canceling his time with Kyle. He’d already formed a plan for their evening that began with a glass of eggnog.

 

Kyle plans on spending the holiday weekend pretty much drinking his trouble away while at home alone, however Logan isn’t going to let that happen.  These two had great chemistry in bed, but had trouble putting aside other worries in their real lives.  I think their time together just kind of became like an escape from everything else.

 

We get to see how both characters are thinking and feeling, but I wasn’t really left with the impression that I knew the characters all that well.  The story has connections to the author’s Portland’s Men series and I was thinking it would be more along those lines, but with all the background the story had these men didn’t really seem to be doing more than getting together for the night with only the slight possibility of a future.  For a short holiday read this is a nice story, I was just expecting something a bit different.

 

Cover art by GD Leigh is a great picture of Blau and Rob.

 

Sales Links: Loose Id | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 55 pages

Published: December 5, 2016 by Loose Id

ISBN: 9781682522646

Edition Language: English

Series: Seasons of Change #2, Portland’s Men