Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?

By that I mean the paragraphs or pages the author writes before  you get started into the book?  I’m an avid reader of these things and love them deeply.  I often find that I feel that I know more about why the author felt compelled to write this story or why it’s situated in the location it’s in or even given a more in depth look at a main character because of what an author has written prior to starting their story.

But what the hell is it called?

Most, might have referred to it as The Foreward, myself included.  Wrongo!  That would have had to have been written by someone else, not the author themselves.  For correct usage see the flash fiction anthology Impact with it’s foreward by J. Scott Coatsworth.

So it would be either Introduction or The Preface.  How many of you know the difference?  I needed a refresher course myself so I   went looking for definitions and correct usages for all three.  A lovely blog, BPS Book Blog, supplied this succinct roundup:

From the BPS Book Blog:

… here are some definitions and descriptions – supported by the dictionary and the august Chicago Manual of Styleand proven to be helpful in my work as an editor and publisher ­– that my authors have found of assistance.

THE FOREWORD

A foreword (one of the most often misspelled words in the language) is most often written by someone other than the author: an expert in the field, a writer of a similar book, etc. Forewords help the publisher at the level of marketing: An opening statement by an eminent and well-published author gives them added credibility in pitching the book to bookstores. Forewords help the author by putting a stamp of approval on their work.

THE PREFACE

A preface is best understood, I believe, as standing outside the book proper and being about the book. In a preface an author explains briefly why they wrote the book, or how they came to write it. They also often use the preface to establish their credibility, indicating their experience in the topic or their professional suitability to address such a topic. Sometimes they acknowledge those who inspired them or helped them (though these are often put into a separate Acknowledgments section). Using an old term from the study of rhetoric, a preface is in a sense an “apology”: an explanation or defense.

THE INTRODUCTION

If a preface is about the book as a book, the introduction is about the content of the book. Sometimes it is as simple as that: It introduces what is covered in the book. Other times it introduces by setting the overall themes of the book, or by establishing definitions and methodology that will be used throughout the book. Scholarly writers sometimes use the introduction to tell their profession how the book should be viewed academically (that is, they position the book as a particular approach within a discipline or part of a discipline). This latter material is appropriate for a preface, as well. The point is that it should appear in the preface or the introduction, not both.

What brought all this on?

As I said I  always read them.  To bring me knowledge, insight into the story, what the author was thinking when they were writing it…all sorts of things.  They aren’t always labeled correctly but I love them dearly.

The one that launched this one was the Introduction to Ryan Field’s Pretty Man, a M/M reworking of Pretty Woman.  He writes about the total lack of any happy gay literature in the 20th century and his need to “fill the bill”. Ryan Fields now writes “happy romances” as a gay man for the youth today looking for literature much as he once did. How this got me thinking on so many levels (and researching).

Thankfully, there are so many positive and happy examples to point to from books to movies* these days (not tons amounts true in the movies more much more. Look at  but there are now LGBT movie channels) so progress has been made. Plus there is a veritable flood of Quiltbag fiction out there now to quench the thirst of those looking for happy endings for LGBTQIA couples.  The more writers the merrier I say.

But lets return to gay fiction of the 20th Century.  What books do you find or comes to mind?  Are they all tear fests?

Here are some that I found and the dates they were published:

Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series #1) by Armistead Maupin  1978
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown   1973
Maurice by E.M. Forster 1913
A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood  1964
Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig  1976
A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White 1982
A Queer Kind of Umbrella (Pharoah Love, book 5) by George Baxt  1995

 

I also found childrens books about Daddy’s Roommate (1994) and My Two Uncles (1995) so I was wondering about the author’s timeline.  Some early 20th century classics are devastating certainly (Gore Vidal, James Baldwin to name just two), but a sea change had started with Stonewall and its ripples spread out and impacted everywhere and everything, media included.

Anyhow….see what a Introduction can do to me?  Laughing….

How to you feel about Forewards, Introductions, and Prefaces?  Do you read them? What do you learn, if anything from them?

And how do you feel about the 20th Century’s lack of feel good romantic gay fiction?  True or False?

As to Pretty Man…well, that review will come up and it caused me to do some thinking as well.  More on that later.

Now here is what our upcoming week is looking like.  Happy Reading and Listening!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 19:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?
  • Release Blitz – In The Shadows – TL Travis

Monday, August 20:

  • Cover Reveal – Marina Vivancus – In This Iron Ground
  • Release Blitz – RJ Scott – Last Chance
  • Review Tour – Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) – Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Alisa Review : Love Spell by Mia Kerick
  • A MelanieM Review : Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Threepeat by KC Wells and Parker Williams

Tuesday, August 21:

  • Book Blast – A Thread in Time by Jess Thomas
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – Directions by Jena Wade
  • DSP Cover Reveal Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne/BA Tortuga
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Hex and Candy (Strange Bedfellows #1) by Ashlyn Kane
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: Wanted Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore

Wednesday, August 22:

  • Audio Review Tour – Changing Lines – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • Blog Tour Circle of Trust by Aimee Nicole Walker & Nicolas Bella
  • Riptide Tour Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
  • A MelanieM Review : Dark City by Sarah Kay Moll
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood

Thursday, August 23:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine
  • Of Princes False and True” by Eric Alan Westfall
  • Harmony Promo Beau Schemery
  • An Ali Review Death Days by Lia Cooper
  • A VVivacious Review Of Princes False and True by  Eric Alan Westfall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Last Chance by R.J. Scott
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)

Friday, August 24:

  • Book Blast Born to be Wild by A.L. Simpson
  • DSP Promo Remmy Duchene on Tempt Me
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Midnight in Berlin by JL Merrow
  • An Alisa Review: 2230: The Perfect Year by CM Corett
  • An Alisa Review Up to Code (Directions #1) by Jena Wade
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Sun and Shadow (Day and Knight #2) by Dirk Greyson and  Andrew McFerrin ( Narrator)

Saturday, August 25:

  • Looking Forward by Michael Bailey Release Blitz
  • Media Blitz – FINDING MY WAY HOME BY KENDEL DUNCAN
  • A MelanieM Review: Pretty Man by Ryan Field

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Gay Movies with Happy Endings!

Love, Simon
Big Eden
Jeffrey
Touch of Pink
Boys (Jongens)
Maurice
The Birdcage
The Way He Looks
Shelter
Beautiful Thing
Were The World Mine
G.B.F.
Kinky Boots
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

And wait there’s more!

1) All Over the Guy
2) Boy Culture
3) East Side Story
4) Fourth Man Out
5) Friends & Family
6) God’s Own Country
7) Long Term Relationship
8) Latter Days
9) Salt Water
10) Save Me
11) Trick
12) Yossi

 

 

 

 

We Missed National Book Day? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Apparently we here (well, me, haven’t talked to the others) missed National Book Day which was 2 or 3 days ago. Mea Culpa!  Of course, every day here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is book day but I like to think we help to celebrate books every chance we get!  So I went looking for the actual information and found out lots about book celebrations throughout the year and  all over the world.  Pretty cool stuff actually.

And of course, thought you all should know about it.  So here it is.  And it helps me to remember that September is National Literacy Month.  We normally see Charity Anthologies appear to help support LGBTQIA youth in need during that month. LGBTQIA shelters, local PFLAG Youth YA libraries (yep, they exist), and so much more.  September will be here before you know it. So if you have any local shelters (addresses etc) to contribute, please send them in.  We keep a list going.

Book Day Celebrations – Days-Weeks and Months! These are the approximate dates as they can change every year:)

  • World Book Days by country
  • January is National Book Month
  • Third full week in January is National Book Week
  • Last full week in January is Celebrity Read a Book Week
  • February 23 – Printed Book Day
  • March 2 – Unesco World Book Day
  • March 2 – UK World Book Day
  • March 28 – Children’s Picture Book Day
  • April 2 – International Children’s Book Day
  • April 16 – Book-of-the-Month Club Birthday
  • April 23 – World Book Days by country
  • April 3 through May 6 – Children’s Book Week
  • June is AudioBook Month
  • September is National Literacy Month
  • September is when the annual 2 day National Book Festival is held
  • American Library Association (ALA) Banned Book Week is the last week of September
  • October is National Book Month per National Book Foundation
  • October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month
  • First full week in October is Great Books Week
  • December is Read a New Book Month

Saturday things Redux!

We sent out a call for reviewers.  Check out the post here.  And then contact either Stella or myself about reviewing for us. If you love books, this is the place to be!

Review Redux!  I reviewed Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan on Saturday.  I think it’s her finest story yet.  And it’s a tough one to read on many levels.  Three men, a triad, lost everything, when they drove drunk after graduating from university.  That subject matter alone will get people.  It cost them their future in rugby due to disabilities, and each other due to a deep abiding guilt, shame, rage, and more.  This is the story back to each other.  Just amazing.  Did I say it was only 130 pagesI have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.

Representation and Romance Stories.

We’ve been talking about the increasing LGBTQIA representation in fiction and here are some of the comments from two of our readers:

H.B. “I have to agree that there seems to be a lot of diversity in this day and age than there was maybe five, ten, or fifteen years ago. There’s a lot of gay couples surfacing on tv dramas these days and in books asexual, pansexual, demisexual individuals are being written in as main characters and have their own stories whereas a several years ago those terms weren’t present in m/m fiction (well none of the fiction I read). Even in the media there are celebrities who are coming out as gay, pansexual, bi, etc.”

Ami: “As an asexual and aromantic reader, it warms my heart that ACE/ARO have started to be represented in romantic fiction.

Having said that, I still feel that it is mostly focused ONLY in the LGBTQIA books or genre. In my own opinion, it’s not enough. Yes, ACE falls in the queer spectrum, but there are a number of ACE who also identify themselves as heteroromantic asexuals. I guess until I see more ace representatives in MF romance, not just Queer romance, I still think there’s room of improvements.

Lately, I see more “diversity” in mainstream romance more focused on race — meaning representing non-White people. I think it’ll be nice to see more MF romance with trans* as well, or heteroromantic pansexual, or even bisexual in MF romance.”

 

I agree with you both.  I want to see diversity as the norm, not as something we need to point at as a goal.  Or even to the point its past mentioning.  Wouldn’t that  be lovely?

Alas and alac…I can’t even get through an audiobook where someone states things like “acting like a teenage girl”.  Really?  Maybe teenagers, yes.  But   can’t we at least bury the sexist phrases?  I’m so done with stuff like that. “Maning up” “Acting like a girl”….all the poisonous ways we demean the sexes, divide the genders.  So maybe we still have a long way to go in a lot of ways.  But I will take whatever forward motion however miniscule.  Positivity!

Sigh.

Now to this  week at the blog.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 12:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • We Missed National Book Day?

Monday, August 13:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brooke
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Liv Olteano
  • Release Blitz – Michelle Woody’s Merrick The Art Thief
  • Release Day Blitz To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • An Alisa Review An Arranged Mating by Jane Wallace-Knight
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love in Spades (Four Kings Security #1) by Charlie Cochet and  Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders#3) by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)

Tuesday, August 14:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Calculated Magic by SJD Peterson
  • Release Blitz – Sky Full Of Mysteries – Rick R Reed
  • Release Blitz – Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) – Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Alisa Review:Exercising Restraint (Different Dynamics #2) by Tamir Drake
  • A VVivacious Review : Sky Full Of Mysteries by Rick R Reed
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Super for You Bad for Me by Asta Idonea

Wednesday, August 15:

  • Something About Us by Riley Hart Release Blitz
  • Series Review Tour for Revving It Up Series by W.S. Long
  • Review Tour – Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz –  Boyfriend Or Bust by Claire Castle
  • A MelanieM Review: Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • An Ali  Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown #10) by Marshall Thornton

Thursday, August 16:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: To See The Sun by Kelly Jensen
  • DSP Publications Promo Jayne Lockwood
  • Promo Jackie North on Shoulder Season (World of Love)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Love You so Hard (Love You So Stories #1) by Tara Lain and Narrator: Ry Forest / Stephen Kurpis (Vitruvian Sound)
  • A MelanieM Review:  Shotgun Bastards and Other Stories by Andrea Speed

Friday, August 17:

  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • DSP Promo Charley Descoteaux
  • Blog Tour Don’t Let Go by Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Tempt Me by Remmy Duchene
  • A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (Love Letters #3) by Anyta Sunday

Saturday, August 18:

  • Blog Tour for Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood
  • A MelanieM Review: Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

—— Reviewers Wanted——

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—— Reviewers Wanted——

 

 

Love to read?  Want to share your opinion with other readers on the stories you’ve read?  Find a new author you absolutely adore?  These are the things we want our reviewers to share with our readers….

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for a few reviewers to join our happy international family of reviewers and wonder if it could be you!  All genres. all book formats, audio and ebook, and all parts of the  Rainbow spectrum….we want you.

Never reviewed before?  Look at one of our reviews  to see the format we use.  It’s also written up under Rating Scale and Review Info.  Send us a sample of a review of a book you’ve recently read to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

Review as little or as much as your schedule allows. We are flexible.  Contact Melanie or Stella at the email address above.

We are happy to answer your questions!

Representation and Romance Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Representation and Romance Stories.

 

Last week I went to brunch with some of my MD/VA/DC group of LGBTQIA authors, publishers, bloggers, and readers.  It’s a lively group and after a while some of the discussion turned to how the Asch community was represented in the fiction released at the certain publisher.  The overall feeling was that the asexual community (given that is a broad spectrum itself) was well represented in our opinion (not so in an author’s not in attendance which is what sparked the conversation).

Wow, how things have changed in just a short time.  I can remember when that really wasn’t the case.

There was a time not that long ago where all the stories were strictly M/M or F/F, no  bi, no trans, no asch, no intersex, pansexual, or any of the quilt bag spectrum as my friend J. Scott Coatsworth calls it .

Now that has changed. Or at least I feel it has.  I’m reading more and more stories where happily the Quiltbag community is well represented.  More stories, outstanding and moving stories that feature main characters that fall anywhere along the LGBTQIA lineup…not just the L and the G.

What must that mean for the Quiltbag readers to see their reflections in fiction?  Finally?  I can only begin to imagine.

I know some are better represented that others. But overall I feel the move is for inclusion.  Diversity.  And not just in science fiction which is where I first saw and still see a huge amount of LGBTQIA stories that  have  beings of various sexualities, genders, and accepting societies (logical right?) Plus I do read a lot of stories.  So maybe I’m biased.

What do you all think?  How is the LGBTQIA community represented in fiction today?  In romance stories?  How has it progressed?  Is one sector more represented over others and why do you think that is?  Where do you see improvements?  Where the least?

Is there stories you have read that have made an impact on you?  What are they?

Tell me how you feel….I really want to know….

 

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words….

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

Sunday, August 5:

  • Release Blitz – The Selkie Prince’s Fated Mate by J.J. Masters
  • Representation and Romance Stories.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 6:

  • BLITZ Death Days by Lia Cooper
  • Series Recap Blitz – Montana Series – RJ Scott
  • Blog Tour: Hard to Hold by Jaclyn Quinn
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Risk Taker (Mixed Messages #3) by Lily Morton
  • A MelanieM Review: Savior (415 Ink #2) by Rhys Ford
  • A MelanieM Review: Hard to Hold (Haven’s Cove #3) by Jaclyn Quinn

Tuesday, August 7:

  • Blog Post – Brave For You – Crystal Lacy
  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga
  • DSP Promo Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster
  • An Alisa Review Step Into Love (Taboo Love #2) by Lili Draguer
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Mammoth! (Repeating History #3) by Dakota Chase
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Truth & Betrayal by KC Wells

Wednesday, August 8:

  • BLITZ 2230: The Perfect Year by CM Corett
  • DSP Cover Reveal Chapman Brown
  • Release Blitz  – Goal Line – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • DSP Promo K.A. Mitchell
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rainbow Rodeo by BA Tortuga
  • A Jeri Review: A Dangerous Dance (Haven Hart Universe #3by Davidson King
  • A MelanieM Pre-release Review: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow  

Thursday, August 9:

  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • Harmony Promo Dakota Chase on Mammouth and Repeating History
  • Release Blitz – Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • Taught by Tarilyn Sparks Release Day Blitz
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch
  • A Lila Review: Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel
  • An Ali Review: Love It Like You Stole It by Ki Brightly

Friday, August 10:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Andrew Grey
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Brian Lancaster on The MIssing Ingredient
  • In the Spotlight: The Long Way Around by Quinn Anderson
  • Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch Author Blog
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Shoulder Season (World of Love) by Jackie North
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Be Still My Heart (Four Kings Security Book 2) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review : Unscripted Love (Road to Blissville #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Saturday, August 11:

  • Release Blitz – KA Merikan’s Gray’s Shadow (Kings of Hell MC)
  • A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

 

How Did It Get to August? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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How Did It Get to August?

Truly, how did it get to be August already?  It seems to be that only a short while ago I was writing about the 4th of July and July topics and here we are tumbling into the first week of August.  Oh the dogs days of summer are upon us and I hadn’t even realized it.

Of course, that could be because it’s been pouring and flooding it instead of the heat beating down on us like the Dog Star Sirius is supposed to do.  Oh I know its doing that out west and I’m sorry.  But here in Maryland we are drenched as July was the wettest one recorded in history.

So this week we finish up with our Romance Do’s and Don’ts.

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway Concludes…..

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Wonderful comments and we decided to reward them both with gift certificates.  Are winners are HB and Ami!  Here are the winning comments:

From Ami:

Ami on what makes a story a success:

Hmmm, this is very subjective question… because every “successful” romance book can speak to me in a different way. It can be interesting places, or family of choice, or simply popular trope done right.

But I think if I truly think about the books that I love, it will ALWAYS return to characters. I have to feel invested to the characters development, themselves or the relationship. The trope can be hashed and rehashed, the setting mundane, the story simply about day-to-day life, no spectacular thing happen to them (except maybe falling in love). But once the characters hook me, THEN, it becomes magic.

What deflates the romance quicker than you can say boom <<

Well, I always love that “wooing” part of romance, you know? Where the characters take time to know each other, and try to romance one another. What deflates romance quicker for me is the instant-love or well, the instant-lust/instant-attraction. I am a sucker for slow burn. Anything quick just kills the book for me most of the time.

From H.B.:

Do’s: Well this isn’t really an easy question to answer this week. I have a tendency to like a majority of the books I give a read. I think the major draw of a book for me is the character building, their personality and development. Great banter and world building are a plus

Don’t’s:

Like Ami, I too, love to see the wooing part but I’m not adverse to seeing a instant love or instant attraction read. For me, I think that finding out the that one of the characters isn’t being sincere with their feeling or is willing to humiliate/isn’t willing to stand up for their love interest to save themselves is a turn off.

Next week we will start talking about what topics or elements you feel get great coverage from publishers  and which you think are still overlooked.

Until then. Have a great week, congratulations to our winners, and happy reading!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 29:

  • How Did It Get to August? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Audio Tour Love in Spades by Charlie Cochet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

Monday, July 30:

  • Blog Tour Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne
  • Cover Reveal – Melanie Hansen – Loving A Warrior
  • Release Blitz – Dawn by T.A. Creech
  • Blog Post for DJ Jamison’s Hearts & Health Volume 2
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Blood and Eternity (Blood #3) by Shira Anthony
  • A MelanieM Review: Hammer of the Witch (Repeating History #2) by Dakota Chase
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2)  by L.A. Witt and Cari Z. with Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Tuesday, July 31:

  • RELEASE DAY BLITZ LOVE LETTERS by Anyta Sunday
  • Release Day Blitz: The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean by Tara Lain
  • Release Blitz – Won’t Feel A Thing by CF White
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blood and Eternity (Blood #3) by Shira Anthony
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Ravensong (Green Creek #2)  by T.J. Klune
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean (The Middlemark Mysteries #1) by Tara Lain

Wednesday, August 1:

  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga
  • BLITZ Push Me Pull Me by Amanda Rhodes
  • Book Blitz – Sandine Tomas – The Music Of Love
  • A Lucy Review Admiring Ash (LOVE LETTERS #1) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady  Review: Just Julian (Romeo & Julian) by Markus Harwood-Jones
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Romeo for Real (Romeo & Julian) by Markus Harwood-Jones

Thursday, August 2:

  • DSP Promo Chris T. Kat
  • Blog Tour – Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • A Lucy Review Begging Ben (LOVE LETTERS #2) by Anyta Sunday
  • An Alisa Review: Blackbird Fly Home– Doyle Global Securities #1 – Kendel Duncan
  • An Alisa Review: Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • A MelanieM Review:  Haka Ever After (The Sin Bin #7)  by Dahlia Donovan

Friday, August 3

  • Cover Reveal RJ Scott’s Second Chance Ranch
  • Review Tour – Fusion by Posy Roberts
  • DSP Promo Shira Anthony on Blood and Eternity (Blood #3)
  • A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (LOVE LETTERS #3) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Stella Review :Fusion (North Star #2) by Posy Roberts
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: The Alpha Prince (Kingdom of Askara #3) by Victoria Sue  and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Saturday, August 4:

  • Book Blitz: Be Still My Heart by Charlie Cochet
  • A MelanieM Review: The Gallery: The Special Exhibits (The Gallery #2) by Megan Derr

 

A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!

A romance must have heart.  Seems like such a simple idea.  Such a central idea!  Shouldn’t every romance ideally have heart?  But you would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) at the number of romances I read where the heart of the story, the love, the romance as it were was just left out of them.

Or bled out of it at some point by as aspect of the characters or their  romance or even the ending.

Maybe its the lack of chemistry between the characters that kills it, or the relationship dynamics themselves.  Doormats anyone?  I don’t have enough fingers for the amount of times reviewers have told them they just didn’t “like” either the development of a character or a romance between characters.  That it killed the story for them. No chemistry.

Sometimes its in the initial meeting of the characters.  Gay for me for example (a trope I’m not fond of). You “turned” gay for someone? Ugh no.  I far prefer gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual …those  stories where the person discovering their sexuality whatever that maybe.   Guess we are back to boxes and titles.  And treatments, of course.  That can do it as well.  Take a heart out of a story.

How about how the couple goes about their relationship?  Can that suck the life out of the romance for you?  I know it can for me.  See doormat above.

And then there’s the ending.  So many books have crashed and burned on their endings alone.  The “oh, no, they didn’t end it there” stories!  We all have them.  The ones that left us gobsmacked.  And wanting to throw said Kindles and paperbacks across the room, the romance gone, deflating the stories like some sad pinpricked balloon.

And if you can guess a book prompted all this you would be right.  Shakes head.  I keep forgetting they get published like that. No, I’m not going to name it.

So that’s my rant for today. It’s safe to step back into the blog!  What pokes the pin into your books? What deflates the romance quicker than you can say boom? Let me know in the comments. Our giveaway is still going on until next week.

 

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July, 22:

  • Tour – Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed by Quin Perin
  • An Alisa Review – Meik & Sebastian by Quin Perin
  • A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 23:

  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – Zen Alpha by Sionnach Wintergreen
  • Dreamspun Promo Amy Lane on A Fool and His Manny
  • Release Day Blitz Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey
  • A Jeri Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Ardulum: First Don (Ardulum) by J.S. Fields

Tuesday, July 24:

  • Release Blitz – Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • Release Blitz – Fusion by Posy Roberts
  • RELEASE BLITZ Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel
  • A Lucy Review: Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • An Alisa Review: Professor Hot Pants by by Ember-Raine Winters
  • An Alisa Review: Serving Him (The Retreat #1) by L.M. Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor and Philip Alces (Narrator)

Wednesday, July 25:

  • AUDIO Blog TOUR The Eagle and the Fox by Nya Rawlyns
  • DSP Promo Poppy Dennison
  • Release Blitz – Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • Release Blitz with – Serving Him by L M Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review Smoke in the Mirror (Road to Blissville #5) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Thursday, July 26:

  • DSP Promo Kim Fielding on Blyd and Pearce
  • Risk Taker by Lily Morton Release Day Blitz
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat
  • A Lucy Review: Erik the Pink by Matthew J. Metzger

Friday, July 27:

  • Release Blitz – Brave For You – Crystal Lacy
  • Cover Reveal – Mia Kerick Love Spell
  • Impact Flash Fiction Anthology Tour
  • DSP Promo Michaela Grey
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Dark (Expedition 63 #2) by T.A. Creech
  • A MelanieM Review: Impact Flash Fiction Anthology
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review:Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

Saturday, July 28:

  • Release Blitz – DJ Jamison – Hearts & Health Volume 2
  • A MelanieM Review:The End of All Stories (Legends of Badal’Shari #1) by Julia Rosenthal

 

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic? And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Romance Do’s In Your Romance Novels.

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic?

 

Several books I finished this week just furthered my ideas as to what helps launch a romance novel above the mass of romance stories you read or will read over the course of a year or more.  One wasn’t terribly successful in the romance department in my opinion while succeeding wildly in almost every other aspect, while two others had an almost constricted romance that still managed to allow their main characters love shine through along with an unusual storyline that unfolded around them.

Why does one fail while others succeed?  What makes a well done romance novel?  Yes, yes, I know so much can be subjective.  I remember that one write’s advice that I repeated (and still think is awful) on concentrating only on the main characters and leaving secondary characters totally alone.  Insert roll of eyes here.  Because imo a well done supportive cast makes a novel…romance or not.  All of my favorite  stories mention a marvelously done secondary grouping of characters, almost or as memorable as the main ones.

For some authors, they use their stories as love notes to  locations, towns they visited or grew up in or in one instance (Basil, Switzerland) one they live now.  The result can be a superb blending of location, culture, and story.  For others, its some other element…tree planting, apple orchards, a trip to the Sun Temple and Machu Picchu.  This list is endless.  Then there is the fantastical…the marvelous blending of mythologies, cultures, gods, and beasts that can come about when imaginations soar and blend with romances.

All of the above have managed to come together for me in romances that became something splendid, magical…even when the book itself was contemporary or science fiction.  The author or authors wrote and their story spoke to something deep inside of us.

Stories and characters we remember.

What are those books that still speak to you now and why?  What’s so special about them?  I really want to know.

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

 

Now for this week’s books and tours.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 15:

  • Smoke in the Mirror by Aimee Nicole Walker Release Blitz
  • Fireworks and Stolen Kisses by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay Tour
  • A MelanieM Review:Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay
  • Romance Do’s And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 16:

  • Drive Shaft by Geoffrey Knight Book Blast
  • Release Blitz – Thief Of Hearts by Ruby Moone
  • Review Tour – Riza Curtis’s The Dragon’s Thief
  • An Alisa Review:  The Dragon’s Thief by Riza Curtis
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Hearts and Flour By Tara Lain/ Ry Forest (narrator), Stephen Kurpis (narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Review:The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara

Tuesday, July 17:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo JS Harker on Soul Bond
  • DSP Promo Tia Fielding
  • Audio Tour for Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Soul Bond by JS Harker
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Soul Bond by JS Harker

Wednesday, July 18:

  • DSP Promo Rayna Vause
  • Release Blitz – Nothing Serious – Jay Northcote
  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Release Blitz
  • A Lucy Review: The Pet Stylist and The Playboy by Rebecca James
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lies That Bind (Boystown #8) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay

Thursday, July 19:

  • In the Spotlight: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point series) by L.A. Witt
  • Blog Post – V.L. Locey – Lost In Indigo
  • DSP Publications Promo August Li
  • An Alisa Review: Tainted Life​ by ​Mel Gough
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Beneath This Mask ( Enhanced World #3) by Victoria Sue and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Friday, July 20:

  • BOOK BLAST – Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • DSP Promo Hudson Lin
  • DSP Promo JL Merrow on Camwolf
  • A Lila Review: The Merchant’s Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6) by Antonia Aquilante
  • A Caryn Review Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • A MelanieM Review: A Trust to Follow (Wild Magics #1) by Diana Waters (
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt

Saturday, July 21:

  • Audio Tour for Someone to Call My Own by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown, #10) by Marshall Thornton

There’s More to Romance and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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There’s More to Romance …

The last couple of weeks we’ve been discussing the elements that “break” our romance books.  The things that stop the reading cold or leave us with a DNF.  Cheating is up there on the list.  And at the end of today’s blog hand out a few gift certs and post the last of the comments on the subject.

But what about the opposite?

What in our romance stories gladdens our hearts?  Makes a story jump out of the ordinary?  Widens our outlook?  Let’s us perceive something special about a piece of the world or aspect of falling in love that we hadn’t seen or thought of in the same way before?  That in some way the author dug a little deeper into your heart with their tale, that some element that connected you so completely to the characters and their relationship hooked you, that even now, you can’t forget their love story.

Something that made that story magic beyond your expectations.

I was thinking Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt series) by Heidi Cullinan , Clear Water by Amy Lane, and RJ Scott’s the Texas series (and attached Legacy group),  Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay,Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan,Tales From Verania series by T.J. Klune just for starters.  Those are a few that leapt to mind in seconds.  Can you guess what elements in each might have made them memorable?  Have you read the stories?

Of course my list stretches for far longer.  That’s merely a tease.

But each of those grabbed at my heart while stretching my mind and horizons in some way. They made me cry and laugh and fall in love. Over and over.

Quickly now…which books popped into your head?  Let me know…let all of us know and why.  And then I’ll fill you in  next week on more of my choices and why they made my list as well.

Now let’s put a close to our Romance No’s:

From P.R.:

I’ll chime in here – so busy couldn’t comment last week but agree with most everything. My perspective is that I understand why folks can not like cheating – ONE reason folks can like rom is for escapism, and they don’t like RL intruding b/c they already have too much of that. In that way, I think rom is a type of fantasy, and I can relate. Been there. But I usually appreciate more where MCs have RL flaws, and that’s reality, which includes in a majority of straight & gay relationships, “cheating,” (I love the Boystown series). And my being a cis gay male amongst other gay guys, let me tell you – I know there is much more diversity there than depicted in m/m rom, that it’s part of the culture, and frankly that’s why many guys think gender makes a difference among authors b/c one does not often “get it.” I think personally it has more to do with targeted audience, experiences, preferences, empathy, deep understanding … and it’s all good. You said it best “Life is messy and its always been about how the author has handled the subject.” A WELL-WRITTEN TALE TRUMPS A TROPE EVERY TIME (pun intended).

Ami:

Holy! EXCREMENT!?!? WTH!!! Okay, that will be a HUGE NO for me

Furthering my comment from last week in which I can still tolerate cheating but getting really pissed off when it comes to threesome, or ‘forced’ threesomes brought me to a couple of books. “A Vintage Affair” by Josh Lanyon made me VERY angry because the love-interest suddenly brought a woman to sleep with the MC because he wanted to “challenge” the MC that sex is just sex. Then I also DNF “My Heartache Cowboy” by ZAM who also introduced threesome scene in the middle.

I guess i’m good if the threesome is stated in the beginning, or the book is marketed as threesome. But if it somehow introduced in the middle, without any warning, it’ll be huge NO for me.

And H.B. with a no on poo, “Blood play and humiliation would also bother me.”

Yep, poo is a big no for lots of us.

Very enlightening!  And while cheating still remains a big no, it still comes down to the author and great writing.

Winners Announcement!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is handing off $10 gift certs to: Chris Tharrington and ashleyomelia

Please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com and she will get your gift cert to you.  Congratulations!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 8:

  • There’s More to Romance and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – Riza Curtis – The Dragon’s Thief
  • The Pet Stylist and The Playboy by Rebecca James Release Blitz

Monday, July 9:

  • DSP Promo Scotty Cade
  • Release Blitz for Tight Quarters by Annabeth Albert
  • BLITZ – Nectar and Ambrosia by E.M. Hamill
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: WITH A KICK Collection #1 by Clare London
  • A MelanieM Review: Hard Contact (Guild Enforcer, #1) by Ali Atwood
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Familiar Angel by Amy Lane and Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Tuesday, July10:

  • Leaning Into Forever by Lane Hayes Blog Tour
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo j. leigh bailey
  • BLOG TOUR The Wulf Chronicles by Wulf Francu Godgluck
  • A Caryn Review: Love Me Louder by Christina Lee
  • An Alisa Review A Desperate Love by J.D. Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Forever by Lane Hayes

Wednesday, July 11:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Believe (Skins #3)
  • Temple of Time by Geoffrey Knight Blog Tour
  • RELEASE BLITZ Love it Like You Stole It by Ki Brightly
  • A Jeri Review : Believe (Skins #3) by Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Review: Bloodlines (Boystown #7) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Born of Air (Dragon Soul #4) by Sean Michael

Thursday, July 12:

  • Harmony Promo Annabelle Jay
  • Release Blitz – The Omega’s Second Chance by Kenna Grace
  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Review: Discovery (Kinky in the City #3) by Quinn Ward
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Camwolf by JL Merrow
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Family Man By Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton/Colin Darcy (Narrator)

Friday, July 13:

  • DSP Promo Z. Allora
  • BLOG TOUR for Badlands by Morgan Brice
  • 99c Book Blast – Double Dare by Jeanne St. James
  • A MelanieM Review: Ground of Insurrection by Mell Eight
  • A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Balefire (Whyborne & Griffin #10) by Jordan L. Hawk

Saturday, July 14:

  • BLOG TOUR (Exclusive Post) Pursuing Happiness by Jessie Pinkham
  • Release Blitz – To Love & Protect His Omega by Quinn Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review: The Wolf at Bay by Charlie Adhara

Hello July. More On Romance Don’ts For You. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Hello July.

More On Romance Don’ts For Readers

Welcome to July! The month that means the halfway point of summer, the week of the beginnings of many celebrations for Americans in the States and abroad as we celebrate our Independence Day on the 4th with fireworks and parades. and just a flood of people heading out for summer vacations (beach, mountains, tourist destinations) or good old staycations.

It’s also a time for tons of summer reading which is why I’m still talking about those  Romance Don’ts or at least one of the reasons.  I don’t know if you all caught Kate Sherwood’s blog last week here but she was talking about an early story of her’s where she had her mc’s cheat and the readers wrote in disgusted with her.  And she felt she had broken an unwritten bond with them. The title of her guest blog?  The Romance Taboo by Kate Sherwood.  You can find it here.   I was totally intrigued although not surprised.  Its something I’ve heard over and over myself.

Another reason I’m still inquiring?  That would be the Boystown series written by Marshall Thornton.  Several novels in this series have either won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Mystery  or been a finalist.  And deservedly so.  But I wonder how many have started these stories and ended up with a DNF.  And the reason being that the main character,  PI Nick Nowak, rarely turns away from a hookup (underage the only exception), despite being in a relationship.  Yes, its the 80’s and gay sex/monogamy was admittedly looked at differently then.  But, and let me know if I’m wrong here, I get the feeling that context doesn’t come much into play when the  element is cheating with regards to the main character or couple.  it’s simply “no, not in my story”.

Which is a damn shame because these books and this series is simply brilliant.  I’ll be reviewing more of them this week. And  I’d like to know what I can possibly say to change readers minds.  For me this subject hasn’t been an issue.  Life is messy and its always been about how the author has handled the subject (as with any other element in their story).  But this is an emotional issue in RL and it carries over into our reading.  Can it ever be separated?  Not sure.  I hope you all will continue to chime in here.  I will be handing  out gift certificates next week.

And yes, I’ve been reading and loving everyone’s comments.  Here is what some of you have had to say on the subject:

On Readers Romance Don’ts:

H.B.

I think it depends on how the characters are portrayed. I can sometimes stand cheating characters but it has to be under certain circumstances (abuse, loveless marriage where spouse is cheating already, open relationship where both characters know and is okay with it). I really don’t like politically or religiously driven stories. Regarding sex scenes I like them enough just to spice up the read but not overtake the entire book. One every chapter is too excessive in my opinion I think maybe for a full length story I would like just maybe 2 to 4 sex scenes. Of course no sex scenes and more intimacy scenes are okay too. I think the one thing a book can’t come back from is if it kills off an important character (I’m going to exclude Andrea Speed’s Infected series from this even tho I didn’t complete the series I have plans to go back and read it after I heal from the lost of Paris). I once read a book where a main character in the earlier series was killed off in the sequel that featured new main characters. Luckily the series only had two books and there were no plans for more because I was completely turned off from it and resented that I had wasted time reading it.

Chris Tharrington

I can tolerate cheating if it advances the storyline while leading to the MCs having an HEA. Regarding sex scenes, I don’t need one every chapter. The first sex scene is the most important, because that sets the foundation for future exploration, especially if one character is primarily a top or bottom. The only things that turn me off in a book are domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, and mpreg storylines.

ashleyomelia

I agree. I hate it when they kill off the pets! [my pet peeve] I just finished reading a short story this morning where a cat got thrown of a building. I was so mad!
As for romance, I’m not sure. I do a lot of ghostwriting, and my clients are often very specific that they don’t want the main characters to have sexual involvement with anyone else. Must be a big rule!

Ami 

In terms of cheating. it depends on my mood — I mean, I’ve read when cheating happened, and I was okay with it as long as there’s SIGNIFICANT GROVELING happened in the book.

My romance No No are mostly about tropes… I don’t read Mpreg, I don’t read M/F/M or F/F/M. for example, rather than something in the plot.

I will have to tell you all I didn’t even mention last week one of my biggest bugaboos.  A  romance book where one of the MC was intensely involved with his own excrement. I believe that was my very first DNF story and it was years ago.  And yes, I found my limit on kink in that novel as well.  Another romance don’t for me.  So let’s hear from you all.  More on this cheating element and any other Romance Don’ts!

Lucky readers will be chosen next week to receive gift cards.  Now on this our week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 1:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Leaning into Forever by Lane Hayes
  • Hello July. More On Romance Don’ts For You.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 2:

  • Release Blitz for Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris
  • Release Blitz Badlands by Morgan Brice
  • Release Day Blitz Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson
  • A Lucy Review: Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Challenge (Kinky in the City #2) by Quinn Ward
  • A Jeri Review: Wash Out (Anchor Point #7) by LA Witt
  • A MelanieM Review:  A Time For Secrets (Boystown #4) by Marshall Thornton

Tuesday. July 3:

  • BLOG TOUR TIGHT QUARTERS by Annabeth Albert
  • DSP Promo Rhett Heath
  • Release Blitz  Play it by Ear by KM Neuhold
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review:  Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy
  • A MelanieM Review: Tight Quarters (Out of Uniform #6) by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade
  • A Caryn Review: Finn (Endangered Fae #1) by Angel Martinez

Wednesday, July 4 (Happy Independence Day!) 🇺🇸

  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – WITH A KICK Collection #1 by CLARE LONDON
  • Review Tour for  Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote
  • REVIEW TOUR for Daniel (The Third Legacy) by RJ Scott
  • A Barb the  Zany Old Lady Review:  Daniel (The Third Legacy) by RJ Scott
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Treasure for Treasure (Being(s) in Love #7) by R. Cooper and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)
  • A Lucy Review: Play It By Ear by KM Neuhold

Thursday, July 5:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister
  • BLOG TOUR fo My Crunchy Life by Mia Kerick
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Michael Murphy on Stranger in a Foreign Land
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Armistice (The Amberlough Dossier #2) by Lara Elena Donnelly
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells and Narrator: Daniel Henning
  • An Alisa Review:  That’s My Ethan by Tarian PS
  • A MelanieM Review: Murder Book (Boystown 5) by Marshall Thornton

Friday, July 6:

  • Cover Reveal for Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine l
  • Review Tour and Giveaway for Stag and the Ash (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
  • Review Tour for Spark (North Star #1) by Posy Roberts
  • Blog Tour for  Magic or Die (Inner Demons, Book One) by JP Jackson
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Stag and The Ash (Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay
  • A Stella Review: Spark (North Star #1) by Posy Roberts

Saturday, July 7:

  • BLITZ – Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes
  • Release Blitz for  Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay
  • A MelanieM Review: From the Ashes (Boystown #6) by Marshall Thornton

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Learn with Me (With Me #3) by Kris Jacen

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Josiah “Siah” Kent has always loved learning; now he’s living his dream of teaching children to love it too. After getting his degrees in New Orleans, he accepted a teaching position outside of Washington DC. What a better place to be able to teach and continue learning?

Sergeant Carter May joined the Army right out of high school. He’s always struggled to succeed in school but has found a place in the military but has dreamed of getting a college degree–he’d be the first in his family if he did. Being stationed with the Presidential Firing Battery at Arlington National Cemetery will give him the opportunity to take the chance, but will he risk failing?

A chance meeting years ago in New Orleans, had sparks flying between Siah and Carter. Another chance encounter between the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, blow those sparks into a full flame. Can Siah and Carter find some common ground to learn more about each other and a possible future together?

The With Me series from Kris Jacen has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary reads.  It established itself with it’s insider knowledge of military life, what it takes to be a part of the military family (whether as part of the family unit or military one that becomes family), the emotional, physical, and mental upheavals that are to be faced, and the support one receives along the way.  Especially if you are lucky enough to be adopted by the Heptad.

Each story has been a favorite.  Until the next story arrives.  Then that’s my favorite.  And its happened again here.  One, I wanted Siah and Carter’s story immediately at the end of Explore with Me (With Me #2). I knew Siah had some growing up to do, which happens before the start of this story. So too Carter who had some tough decisions to make and he did.

Secondly?  The location.  Jacen based her  story in and around the DC Metro area.  While I’m in Maryland, Virginia is just as familiar for those of us who live here.  MD-DC-VA…its all the same really in one respect and the  places she mentions are near and dear to my heart.  Especially Arlington National Cemetery where quite a few family members are laid to rest and we visit every Memorial Day.

She’s right about the traditions and ceremonies bringing tears to your eyes during the story.  You will need several tissues, deservedly so.  Her descriptions are deeply moving as well as informative.

But Learn with Me (With Me #3) is special because of the characters and their romance.  Between Siah and Carter, each has had a past to rise above in some way and done it.  Perhaps they haven’t left it behind completely but they are dealing with it and moving forward.  They are different in size, energy, even background and yet in kindness, loyalty, and an ability to see the best in others, they are so alike.  Jacen did a remarkable job in creating these people and all the others here, including the Heptad (that group of soldiers whose stories are the series or whose support flows through the series).

These are layered portraits, and the people aren’t isolated but are surrounded by a family of friends, a community that adds support and a believability to their lives.  Whether its a school and afternoon classes (and a circle of support) for Siah (who is a black belt as well) or the base and unit for Carter (where both friends and enemies can be found), it all feels so real and authentic.

Kris Jacen uses the framework of a romance to bring modern military life vividly alive, whether its the fears children must face, the struggles of the family, the time away from home both spouses and family feel…its all here and intimate.  There’s also the tight knit community, the sense of belonging to something greater, and, yes, the service to country.

I’m already anticipating the next book in the series.  It’s going to deal with some serious issues her stories hasn’t addressed yet.  I can’t wait.

In the meantime, if you are new to the series, why not go to the beginning and start with Wait for Me (With Me #1) and work your way here.  I highly recommend all the stories, including this one Learn with Me by Kris Jacen.

Cover art by Jared Rackler.  I’m sort of over the bare torso thing but considering all Siah wanted to do when he first saw Carter was climb him like a tree this is pretty perfect.

Sales Links:  MLR Books | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 145 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by MLR Press
ASINB07D8J548N
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWith Me #3