Standalone or Part of a Series? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Standalone or Part of a Series?

Ok, all of you know, it’s usually something I’m reading or just read that sets off a topic for my Sunday blog, and that’s the case again today.  Actually I’m surprised this hasn’t come up before now because I feel pretty strongly about it.  And that’s whether a book is labeled a standalone story or is part of a series.  And should a reader know that in advance of picking up a book to read.

My answer is yes, let the reader know.

Give your reader as much information about your story to make an informed guess as to whether to go and read the previous stories or to jump into the middle or, as I just did without any inkling, end up at the end of a trilogy that killed off a main character.  Was I happy?  Uh no.  This while giving happy endings to characters I had no idea who they were but apparently had stories that preceded this one.

How did I find that out?  Because while the title and blurb gave no indication that this novel was part of a series and the finale, when I went looking for  (hopefully) stories or notes that would indicate that the author would have new books coming to resolve this ending (there were ways given the nature of this book), instead I found reviews for the others in the series.  I was flummoxed.  Looking over each title, none indicated it was a part of a series/trilogy.  Yet the two characters in books one and two only get their resolution in the third novel.  One actually dies in his story. So uh, without reading them, what is their ending like? Got to be cliffhangers.

How do you feel about picking up stories you think are standalone only to find  that they are part of a series?

Sometimes it hasn’t mattered.  I have come in many times in the middle of contemporary series that feature multiple couples throughout the stories and pictured up the other books with no problem.  It depends I think on the narrative and overall arc.  I’m trying to think if I have done the same with a fantasy or paranormal series, and the answer is probably given the sheer amount of books I’ve read.  But again, I’ve already noted in my review that said novel or story, unlike whatever the blurb has said, isn’t a standalone, that its a part of a group of tales to be read in the order they were written.

I just did that with a Josh Lanyon book (The Art of Murders series) and a Ana Newfolk book from her Made In series.  The foundation and universe is the series each author has painstakingly created for their stories. Especially in Josh Lanyon’s case where The Art of Murders is a brilliant labyrinth of twisted psychology, deep emotions, and murder mysteries. Separating one out of the mix?  Can’t and shouldn’t be done.  In fact, the number of series where you shouldn’t come into the middle far out number the ones where it probably wouldn’t matter so much.  That’s like falling into the middle of Abigail Roux’s fabulous Cut & Run series with Ty Grady  and Zane Garrett.  You could do it but why would you? Or Amy Lane’s Fish Out of Water Series or or or…

So why do it at all?  Why say standalone if they really aren’t?

Hmmmm. Well, probably to sell stories for one.

People are less likely to commit to a series than they are to one story.  Well not me.  I love series.  But others, probably. Ok poll time let’s find out.

 

I can’t wait to see how this turns out.  How do people really feel about reading one book. One or  three or more?  For me it’s the more the merrier honestly.

Unless I come in on the end and they have killed off a major character with no hope of revival.  Sigh.

But I can see publishers or authors wanting to put their stories out there and making them as accessible to readers as possible, even if (in my opinion)that’s labeling them as a standalone when they aren’t (again my opinion) or lumping them under a bazillion of genre tags.  Ok, how many times lately have you seen a story labeled as a sci fy fantasy paranormal supernatural romance?  It’s a cat and bunny romance, you are already there.

Head desk!

Well that’s a topic for another Sunday.

Anyhoo, back to my topic.  How do you feel about standalones and series?  Write in and let me know.  There’s a $10 Amazon gift card waiting for a lucky reader chosen among the replies. And please take our poll, I’m dying to see our answers!

Oh and as to the book that set this all off?  I’m reviewing it later this month.  See if you all can guess which one it is. lol

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 14:

  • Standalone or Part of a Series? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • SALE BLITZ – RYKER – RJ SCOTT & V.L. LOCEY

Monday, July 15:

  • REVIEW TOUR Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3) – MJ O’Shea
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – The Series of Fates by C.C. Dado
  • Release Blitz – Alison Temple – Cold Pressed
  • An Alisa Review :Denying Fate (A Series of Fates #1) by C.C. Dado
  • A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3)  by MJ O’Shea

Tuesday, July 16:

  • Review Tour Request – C.F. White – Love & Tea Bags
  • Tour for “Serpent’s Teardrop” by Mary Rundle
  • Blog Post – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • Book Blitz  – WS Long – Revving It Up Box Set
  • A Stella Review: Love & Tea Bags (Pink Rock Series #1) by C.F. White
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Warm Heart (Search and Rescue #1) by Amy Lane

Wednesday, July 17:

  • Cover Reveal, – Joanna Chambers – Gentleman Wolf
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – Lucky Town by Morgan Brice
  • PROMO M.D. Grimm
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Lucky Town (Badlands #1.5) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club #2) by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, July 18:

  • R GREY PROMO ON Oasis
  • Release Blitz Signal – Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes – Patron Of Mercy
  • Release blitz Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • BLOG TOUR Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • An Alisa Review: Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • A Caryn Review: Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (Dancing with the Lion #1) by Jeanne Reames

Friday, July 19:

  • Release Blitz  – What Lies Beneath – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz – Hanna Dare – Black Sky Morning
  • Release Blitz – Eli Easton – How To Run With The Wolves
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Kneading You by CS Poe
  • A MelanieM Review: Séance on a Summer’s Night by Josh Lanyon

Saturday, July 20:

  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa
  • A Lucy Review: 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris

Its Officially Summer! What are You Reading ? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s Officially Summer! What are You Reading ?

Now that the fireworks of the 4th are over, it feels like summer has officially begun.  People have set off on their vacations, schools are out, and roads, rails, and airports heading towards the mountains, beaches, and other places to play and restore your soul are full.  Along with the normal list of sunscreen, casual clothes and perhaps swimwear, we normally carry along our books to read.  It used to be a bag of paperbacks, with the occasional hardback if it was the latest release (yes, I am dating myself).  Now it’s our eReader, our Kindles and Nooks, our IPads or Phones with whatever book app you might be using like iGoogle or iApple.  So many ways of taking our books along these days.

Of course, we might want to lie in the sun and listen to our stories!  Again, there are more apps there to choose from these days.  And so many great narrators.  I have my favorites.  Do you?  right now I’m making my way through Morgan Brice’s Witchbane stories on audio featuring the excellent Kale Williams as the narrator.  I can’t wait to work my way through each and every one.  There’s so much to be said to be lying back and letting a story flow over you while the sun relaxes you!  Ok, back to the blog! lol

Or any combination of eBook or audio.  That works!  And that are great stories out there right now.  If you are a fan of m/m hockey romances, then you might know that the wonderful Harrisburg Railers series by RJ Scott and VL Locey has just released its final story in Save the Date. Yep, done.  Don’t know the series?  It makes great summer reading, all nine stories.  And a new series (connected by the son of one of the main characters) will start later on towards the end of the summer. I myself intend to read some of those hockey stories I never got to on our M/M Hockey Romance list found here.  Especially those of Jeff Adams and Samantha Wayland!  Turns out my boys of summer play hockey! lol

I found out that Mell Eight has two new stories out over at Less Than Three Press I have to go check out and Josh Lanyon also has two new novels I plan on reading.  Heidi Cullinan has a trilogy I’m just finishing and and and….yes, it is truly summer.

What books are on your list to read?  What are you reading now? And how are you reading them?

Let us know…..

 

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 7:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – 9 Willow Street
  • Blog Tour – Andrew Grey Heart Unbroken
  • It’s Officially Summer! What are You Reading ?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 8:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Another Dance by L. A. Ashton
  • BLITZ Through the Tears by Leigh M. Lorien
  • HARMONY INK Lou Hoffmann on Dragon’s Rise
  • PROMO Steven Harper
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Home Improvement by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Palm Trees and Paparazzi by J.C. Long

Tuesday, July 9:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • Release Blitz – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • DSP PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Through the Tears by Leigh M. Lorien

Wednesday, July 10:

  • Release Blitz – V.L. Locey – Shake The Stars
  • Promo : Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky on Crossing Nuwa: Escape
  • Book Blast – Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder
  • A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

Thursday, July 11:

  • Cover Reveal Eminently Elf (D’Vaire, Book 13) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • Release Blitz – Rich Kids by Quin Perin
  • BLOG TOUR Triple Threat by Davidson King
  • Blog Tour – Made In Lisbon by Ana Newfolk
  • A MelanieM Review:  Made in Paris (Made In #3) by Ana Newfolk
  • A Melanie M Review :Made In Lisbon (Made In #5) by Ana Newfolk

Friday, July 12:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Intoxicating by Onley James
  • Review Tour – Sam Burns – Salmon and The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8)
  • PROMO Tara Lain on Home Improvement
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Salmon and The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8) by Sam Burns
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  The Doctor’s Date by Heidi Cullinan
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Jaeger’s Lost and Found by Ofelia Gränd

Saturday, July 13:

  • Elyse Springer on  World Turned Upside Down
  • A MelanieM Review:The Monuments Men Murders (The Art of Murder #4) by Josh Lanyon

End of Pride Month and the History of Stonewall Inn .This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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End of Pride Month and the History of The Stonewall Inn

 

 

Located on Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village, the now historic Stonewall Inn opened in 1967 in New York City.  Owned by the mafia (as was many of the gay nightclubs), it was operated as a restaurant previously but now served as a gay bar serving illegal liquor for the mob and paying protection money in monthly payoffs to local cops to keep the raids down.  Down but not stopped.  In those days, dressing as the opposite sex was illegal and carried jail time, not just harassment and beatings.  And the Stonewall Inn was heavily frequented by drag queens, transgendered people, crossdressers., and lesbians who dressed “male” or butch. The last was important because some say it was a lesbian who threw the first punch at a cop that night in retaliation over the brutal treatment of another patron. But because there are so few images and differing accounts, the truth might never be know.  Others say it was a transgendered person and others still a drag queen. Although the Inn itself could not be called a fancy establishment, it’s decor not the best, it’s dance floor and  atmosphere, that despite police raids, let people feel free to be themselves, kept the place alive and packed.  Of course, the liquor helped too.

But the raids were growing more frequent and City Hall had orders to shut down Stonewall Inn for good.  Courtesy of history.com (see that link for enlarged narrative) is the timeline of the explosion that followed that decision:

A Stonewall Riot Timeline :

June 24, 1969: Police arrest Stonewall employees, confiscate alcohol

June 27-28, 1969: Stonewall crowd erupts after police arrest and rough up patrons.

Early hours of June 28, 1969: Transgender women* (other accounts have this as drag queens or crossdressers) resist arrest. Bottles are thrown at police.

Close to 4 a.m. June 28, 1969: Police retreat and barricade themselves inside Stonewall.

June 28-29: Stonewall reopens, supporters gather. Police beat and tear gas crowd

June 29-July 1, 1969: Stonewall becomes gathering point for LGBT activists.

July 2, 1969: Gay activists protest newspaper coverage.

The beginning of the Gay Pride Movement has been ignited!

Today, The Stonewall Inn remains a place of LGBTQIA history and a gathering spot for all, where everyone can be themselves.  Only now it’s legal,  the right hard fought on this spot. A sign erected lest people forget.  Not that they are likely too.  There are parades, and books, and vids, and movies and more ready to remind us.  Especially now at the 50 year anniversary of Stonewall.

Here are some links you might want to visit:

The Stonewall Inn: The People, Place and Lasting Significance of ...

The Night the Stonewall Inn Became a Proud Shrine – The New York …

50 Years Ago the Stonewall Riots Sparked a Movement That Lead to …

And books to read:

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America, by Martin Duberman

The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History, by Marc Stein

The Stonewall Reader, edited by New York Public Library with Edmund White

We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown 

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets, by Gayle E. Pitman

What Was Stonewall?, by Nico Medina, Who HQ, and Jake Murray

 

I hope you’ll visit some of those links and enjoy some of those remarkable books.  Martin Duberman’s was reviewed here and the stories of the  individuals in the movement made a big impact on me.

Paul Richmond, an amazing artist some of you may recognize only through his covers for Dreamspinner Press or other of it’s houses, is doing this month.  Over at his facebook page Paul Richmond Studio , every day this month, Paul has taken a different LGBT artist, past or present. and highlighted their works. He has talked about why this artist has meant so much to him, or perhaps the struggles this artist has had to go through.  The journey through different eras, artistic lives and styles has been a revelation!  Paul’s LGBT Artist of the Day has continued.  If you have missed a artist or day, its not too late!  Head over to Paul’s FB page and start your introduction to some jaw dropping artwork and artists.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Pride Month!  We have highlighted NHL Hockey for Everyone efforts with absolute delight, we have had great recommendations for stories, showcased Paul Richmond and LGBTQIA artists and finishing up with The Stonewall Inn.  How has your Pride Month been?

This is where I will also wish everyone in the US and expats abroad a happy and safe Fourth of July!

 

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 30:

  • New Release Blitz for Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • End of Pride Month and the History of Stonewall Inn
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 1:

  • Blog Post – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • BLOG TOUR Change of Heart by KM Neuhold
  • Release Blitz  – Amy Tasukada – Yakuza Path Box Set
  • A MelanieM Review: Ammo and Enchiladas by BA Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Tea by Matthew J. Metzger

Tuesday, July 2:

  • BLITZ Palm Trees and Paparazzi by J.C. Long
  • Release Blitz – Ruby Moone – Eyeliner and Lace
  • Review Tour for Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Review:  Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4) by J. Leigh Bailey
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Importance of Being Kevin by Steven Harper

Wednesday, July 3:

  • Release Blitz – I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour
  • BLITZ Where the Night Reigns by Emilie Lucadamo
  •  PROMO BA Tortuga on Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga
  • Blog Post – LA Bryce – Love, Trust & Secrets
  • A Stella Review : I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga

Thursday, July 4th:

  • DSP PROMO j. leigh bailey and Fox Hunt (Shifter U #4)
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burns – Salmon & The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle)
  • Release Blitz  – MATED by Tricia Owens
  • TOUR DANCING WITH THE LION: BECOMING by Jeanne Reames
  • An Alisa Review Waited So Long by JM Dabney
  • Reviews – MATED by Tricia Owens

Friday, July 5:

  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Recipe For Romance
  • PROMO Victoria Milne
  • Release Blitz – Espejos (South Texas Lore 1) by Michael War
  • A Lila Review: Espejos (South Texas Lore 1) by Michael War
  • A MelanieM Review: Recipe for Romance (Recipe for Romance #1-4) by Ari McKay
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Never a Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton

Saturday, July 6:

  • Release Blitz  Tour – Michael Mandrake – Death’s Angel
  • A MelanieM Review: Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan

Paul Richmond and his LGBT Artists of Pride Month. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Paul Richmond and his LGBT Artists of Pride Month.

 

Pride Month continues and this week I wanted to highlight something that Paul Richmond, an amazing artist some of you may recognize only through his covers for Dreamspinner Press or other of it’s houses, is doing this month.  Over at his facebook page Paul Richmond Studio every day this month, Paul has taken a different LGBT artist, past or present. Highlighted their works, talked about why this artist has meant so much to him, or perhaps the struggles this artist has had to go through.  The journey through different eras, artistic lives and styles has been a revelation!

Some of these artists I have known about (I was a art major in college a stone age ago).  But the majority?  An astonishing collection of LGBT beauty, pain, and rawness that art can deliver in so many forms.

Paul and his husband are in San Francisco this weekend for Pride at the Harvey Milk Photo Center where Paul’s work is part of the Stonewall 50 Years celebration going on.  The artists Paul has highlighted this month have crossed eras, genders, borders and countries. Their art and passion flows out from watercolor , from oils, from photography, from every medium you can think of.  Sometimes the juxtaposition of time and styles is startling.  A painting simple, modern, and powerfully elegant yet painted in the early 1900’s.  A photograph so haunting and dark it feels ancient and yet taken so recently.  So many discoveries here at Paul’s Paul Richmond Studio FB page this month.

Here is just a small roll call of the artists Pau is featuring:

Kevin Peterson, Caravaggio, Drew Riley, Jay Elizondo, Kim Leutwyler, Robert Sherer, Grant Wood (who painted the well known American Gothic), Ryan J. Stephens, Lisa McLymont, Briden Cole Schueren, Andrew Salgado, Zanele Muholi, Michael Breyette, Lotte Laserstein,and more.

To see them all and their works each day, head on other to Paul Richmond Studio FB page.  Along with their stories, Paul offers up his own remarkable journey from small town boy dreaming of Dolly Parton to successful artist.

Because we are talking about artists, let’s do a Artists Recommendations List.  It can feature Artists that are Photographers or Painters!  Let’s see what you all come up with!  How about potters?

 

Now about our Novel Recommendations!  Last week was Drag Queen Week!

We added quite a few more stories to last week’s list of Drag Queen book recommendations.  Thank you to our readers and my reviewers to filled in with so many great stories.  Here is the updated list:

 

Drag Queen M/M Recommendations

The Belladonna Arms (5 books)by John Inman

Queens of the Apocalypse by Rob Rosen

Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen

The Queen & the Homo Jock King (At First Sight #2) by T.J. Klune

Bad Dogs and Drag Queens (Rose and Thorne #1) by Julie Lynn Hayes

Kev Series by Liam Livings (from Suze)

Freak (The F-Word 2) by E. Davies (all recs from HB)
A Dirty Drag Collection (Dirty Drag 1, 2, 3) by Kyle Adams
What The Lady Wants by D.C. Juris
Sylver and Steele series by Mimi Riser
Le Jazz Hot by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Appearing Nightly (Icon Men 2) by Cat Grant
Max & Skyler Series by Acer Adamson
Dressed to Thrill by Kimberly Gardner
Rayne’s Wild Ride by Jambrea Jo Jones
Leather+Lace (Opposites Attract 2) by A.B. Gayle

Embraced in Gold by T.A. Chase (also know by these titles Embrace My Reflection/ Bring Him Gold)
Lucky Starflowers (Steel City 5) by Kate Pavelle
Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain
Finally Fallen (The Dark Angels 3) by Z. Allora
A King’s Ransom by Aislinn Kerry
My Girl (Captivated Lovers 3) by Stormy Glenn
Chyna Doll (Horizons 4) by Mickie B. Ashling

Lola Dances by Victor J. Banis — no longer on MLR, but can get a paperback from Amazon and BnN

Who We Are by Nicola Haken
Let’s Hear It for the Boy by T.A. Webb  (all from our reviewer Chaos Moondrawn)

Did I still leave any of your recommendations out?  Please help me fill in that list.  Send me the books and stories I’ve left out and lets see those drag queens represented!

Special Note:  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 23:

  • Paul Richmond and his LGBT Artists of Pride Month.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • BOOK BLITZ – VARIOUS AUTHORS – HOT SUMMER NIGHTS
  • A MelanieM Review:Love in Every Season by Charlie Cochrane

Monday, June 24:

  • BLOG TOUR Shatterproof Bond series by Isobel Starling
  • BLOG TOUR Finding Alexander by Pandora Pine
  • An Alisa Review: Malachite (Brotherhood of Ormarr #4) by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee
  • A MelanieM Review A Dance Too Far (Too Far #1) by H.L. Day
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Audio Review Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency #4) by J.L. Langley and KC Kelly (Narrator)

Tuesday, June 25

  • Tour:”The Demon of Hagermarsh” by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
  • BLOG TOUR Another Dance by L. A. Ashton
  • A Melanie Review A Step too Far (Too Far #2) by H.L. Day
  • An Alisa Audio Review : Prophesy (The King & Alpha #1) by  A.E. Via
  • A Lila Review The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus

Wednesday, June 26:

  • Blog tour Surviving the Shadows by Miranda Turner
  • I Wished for You by Collette Davison Audio BLITZ
  • An Alisa Review: Surviving the Shadows (The Bearer of Truth #2) by Miranda Turner
  • A Lucy Prerelease Review : Love & Tea Bags (Pink Rock Series #1) by C.F. White
  • A Barb Audio Review : Will & Patrick Wake Up Married Series (Episodes 1-3) by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths /John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, June 27:

  • Tour: Breaking Ground by Megan Lowe
  • BOOK BLITZ – VARIOUS AUTHORS – HOT SUMMER NIGHTS
  • A VVivacious Review Change of Heart” by KM Neuhold
  • A Melanie Review Another Dance by LA Ashton
  • A Lucy Review: Who We Used to Be (Do-Over #1) by Dara J. Nelson

Friday, June 28:

  • Release Blitz Signal – Ari McKay – Recipe For Romance
  • DSP PROMO Heidi Cullinan
  • BLOG TOUR Waited So Long by JM Dabney
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ledgers and Rent Boys (Ore 5 #2) by Meraki P. Lyhne
  • A MelanieM Review:The Doctor’s Date (Copper Point Medical #2) by Heidi Cullinan

Saturday, June 29:

  • COVER REVEAL Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz  – Love’s Glory by Janice Jarrell
  • Release Blitz Lily – Bernard’s Diary by S. L. Danielson
  • A MelanieM Review – Love’s Glory (Revolutionary Heart #3) by Janice Jarrell

A MelanieM Review: Killer Reunion (Donald Strachey Mystery #16) by Richard Stevenson

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

It’s a family reunion in the era of American tribal politics, and what could go wrong? Plenty, including murder, when the Callahan clan convenes at a New England country inn and one of the most politically outspoken relatives is the victim of a bizarre poisoning.

Timothy Callahan and his long-time spouse, Albany PI Don Strachey, contend not just with dampened spirits but with injustice when a misguided local cop zeroes in on an innocent Callahan. PI Strachey has to unearth a complicated family’s hidden history, nail the real killer, and expose an act of long-contained violent rage in this disturbing tale of the way we live now.

Richard Stevenson is now on his sixteenth novel in his Donald Strachey Mystery series and he has this character, his husband, and the series that revolves about them down to a fine or make that slightly gritty, occasionally comical, and always delectable piece of art!

I’ve been a huge fan of this author and series from the beginning and in multiple formats.  From the first novel, Death Trick, to the four movies made for here! tv from four of the series stories (which were incredible btw), I watched the character of Donald Strachey grow with the times, his personality mature, find love with Timothy Callahan, marry and settle with said Timothy into a happy established couple.  What an absolute joy it’s been!  All while solving some stuplying and some downright horrific mystery cases.

In Killer Reunion (Donald Strachey Mystery #16), author  Richard Stevenson has given Timothy and cousin Beth the daunting task of assembling the Callahan clan for a family reunion.in a picturesque, read old, inn in the country.  Half the family is rabid Trumpites with their MAGA hats, the other half rabid liberals with their Bernie pins.  One rule of the gathering?  No politics!  There’s also a funeral, broken promises, an ex con, and more twists and turns then you can imagine when a dead body (a relative shows up and Donald is enlisted to help solve the mystery.

Killer Reunion is a good old fashioned page turner in the very best way,  The police thought they knew who done it, Donald knew better but  had to find the real murderer. And in between?  Some honest to God chortling, huge surprises, great twists and plot turns, and more of the layered, marvelous characters I have come to love and expect from this series and author.  The non-judgemental quality that shines from Donald is one of the nicest elements in the series and something I have always enjoyed about this character.  Here it has never been on display more.

If you are a fan of mysteries , grab this one up and start reading immediately.  You will love it.  No real romance.  For that return to the previous stories and see how Donald and Timothy met and fell in love.  Killer Reunion is all mystery and a great one at that.  Enjoy!  I highly recommend it.

Cover art:  Very fitting for the story and location.

Sales Links:  MLR Press Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 25th 2019 by MLR Books
Series Donald Strachey #16

Check out the Goodreads link to the entire series:

Donald Strachey (16 books)
by Richard Stevenson

NHL and Hockey is for Everyone. More of Pride Month. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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More of Pride Month

Everywhere I look Pride Month is being celebrated.  It’s in ads on the tv, parades in towns and cities across the world,  and even more incredibly the NHL and  every team, yep all 31 teams are celebrating Pride month.  It’s all a part of“Hockey Is For Everyone”  Pride Month for the NHL and every team is participating in a huge amount of Pride events of their own at games and events everywhere.  I’m thrilled and rainbow astonished!

As someone who both loves hockey (go Caps) and M/M hockey romance fiction, I’m just over the rainbow and heart warmed that this has happened.  Overdue?  Perhaps.  But so amazing and happy to see it occuring now.  because quite frankly the NHL is standing alone in this.  And they shouldn’t be.  Where is the NFL or AFL:? The National League for Baseball?  Nope, it’s the NHL that has stepped forward! And we ought to give them our support for this. The NHL launched a Pride website with videos in an effort to “build and support a community that welcomes and celebrates authenticity and the love of hockey.  Please check out the links.

“NHL alumni and current players will participate in pride parades across North America including 2019 WorldPride in New York City,” said a league spokesperson in a statement.  NHL players can opt to use Pride tape to wrap their sticks and other equipment this month, something normally banned by the NHL (outside team colors), and furthermore are joining forces with the You Can Play Project, expanding its “Hockey For Everyone” campaign so that it will be all inclusive.  Go NHL!

Want to know more about NHL and Hockey is for Everyone?  Check out the links below!

News – NHL and NHLPA to Celebrate Pride … – NHL.com Media Site

NHL, NHLPA to celebrate Pride Month – National Hockey League News

And fyi, the Stanley Cups are in full swing…go watch whether you are rooting for the Boston Bruins or St. Louis Blues!

And for those in need of M/M hockey romance fiction?  Check out the series, in no particular order, I have listed with their Goodreads links below:

Stick Side (2 books) by Amy Aislin

The Harrisburg Railers Series by RJ Scott and VL Locey

Owatonna U Hockey Series by RJ Scott and VL Locey (3 books)

Cayuga Cougars series by VL Locey

Point Shot (3 books) by V.L. Locey

Colors of Love (3 books) by V.L. Locey

Game Changers (2 books) by Rachel Reid

*A shout out to Alexandra Petrokova of the M/M Hockey Romance FB Group for the additions to the recommendations! I’m adding on as I get them!  Three more  series added courtesy of the M/M Hockey Romance Group! Thank you all!
Did I miss out on a favorite of yours?  These are definitely some of mine.  Let me know what I missed and send them in so I can add them in.  Meanwhile, here is our week ahead.  Happy Pride!

 Our Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 9:

  • More of Pride Month. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • NHL and Hockey is for Everyone. Hockey Romance Recs
  • Release Blitz Breaking Ground by Megan Lowe
  • BLOG TOUR Puzzle Pieces by JP Sayle

Monday, June 10:

  • Review Tour – MJ O’Shea – Chef vs. Chef 
  • OWL Tour Tales From Ardulum by JS Fields
  • OWI TOUR Malachite Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee
  • An Alisa Review: Azaran (Brotherhood of Ormarr #1) by Jacki James
  • A MelanieM Review:Strike a Chord (Replay #4) by K.M. Neuhold
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: By Way of Pain by JM Dabney
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chef vs Chef (Sizzling in the Kitchen #2) by M.J. O’Shea

Tuesday, June 11:

  • Release Blitz – Treacherous Seas by L.M. Brown
  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • Release Blitz – Come Play: An MM Erotica Charity Anthology
  • A Melanie Review: Seeing Red (Trowchester Series#4) by Alex Beecroft
  • An Alisa Review :Come Play: An MM Erotica Charity Anthology
  • An Ashlez Review: Master of No One (Masters of Their Domain, Book 1) by Tricia Owens

Wednesday, June 12:

  • Cover Reveal – – Shake The Stars by V.L. Locey
  • Signal Release Blitz Tour – V.L. Locey – Nine Small Sips (A Tales Of Bryant
  • Release Blitz signal – RJ Scott -Single
  • DSP Tour – Tom Early
  • Cover Reveal for Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
  • An Alisa Review: Zale (Brotherhood of Ormarr #2) by Michelle Frost
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters  and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)

Thursday, June 13:

  • TOUR The Player’s Protégé by CJane Elliott
  • PROMO ZAM
  • BLOG AND REVIEW TOUR Prince of Killers (Fog City #1) by Layla Reyne
  • Book Tour Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review: Prince of Killers (Fog City #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert

Friday, June 14:

  • Release Blitz Surviving the Shadows by Miranda Turner
  • Series Blitz Series Recap Tour – Elle Keaton – Accidental Roots Series
  • A Stella Review: a Cate Ashwood novel
  • A Lila Audio Review: Hiding the Moon (Fish Out of Water #4) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: The CEO’s Christmas Manny (Beyond the Boardroom #1) by Angela McCallister and John Solo (Narrator)

Saturday, June 15:

  • Cover Reveal Lily- Love’s Glory by Janice Jarrell
  • OWL Baja Clavius Tour
  • Release Blitz – Finding Trix by L.M. Brown

Michael Gouda on Writing Emotions and his new release Pack with the Devil (author guest post)

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 Pack with the Devil by Michael Gouda

MLR Press
Published May 30th 2019
Sales Links:  MLR Press| Smashwords

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Michael Gouda here today to talk about his new story,  Pack with the Devil. Welcome, Michael.

 

✒︎

Hi, I’m Michael Gouda and I was born in London, England at the start of WW2.

In my mid thirties after a disgracefully enjoyable time in the gay pubs and clubs of London I decided to take life more seriously, went to University, obtained a respectable degree and took up teaching in the Worcestershire town of Evesham.

I took early retirement to a limestone cottage in the Cotswold hills where I lived with a series of neurotic collie dogs, a domineering cat and a determination to write. Since then I have written over one hundred and fifty short stories and published longer works with Dreamspinner Press and M.L.R. Press.

I like to introduce incidents from my own deplorable past into my stories of crime and misadventure. Being a romantic at heart though I never allow a tragic ending, however downbeat may be the indications in between.

In ‘ Pack with The Devil

I wanted to write a story about quite a few emotions, betrayal was actually the one that as it were rose to the surface, though of course it isnt the real one.

I intended to write a mystery. Of course the narrator himself is a bit of a mystery for in fact we never know his real name. Not that that hasnt been done before, notably in Daphne duMauriers, Rebecca

Having decided on that I wanted to spin a web of characters, any one of which could prove to be the villain, some more obvious than others. 

There was of course Lex Warrington, the handsome, super-attractive lover who himself is a mystery being forbidden by law (the Official Secrets Act 1989) to divulge his position/job whatever. It is interesting to know (to me at least) that the (mainly women) code breakers at Bletchley Park during WW2 were similarly bound, and some even went to their graves at advanced ages without telling anything. Others though did.

The second most important character was Jacob Levin, Johnnys life-long friend with whom he shared so many adventures’ in early life up to the time they were parted by the iniquitous 11+ exam which decided the fate and future of so many children, long before their potential could be realized.

Other suspects, in fact red herrings, were the terrorist whom Johnny photographs and could have identified him as his name was included in the byline of the newspapers and of course on the Internet.

I also hinted at the possibility that it might be Christian, Johnnys sexual partner at University, aggravated by rejection, or even someone in the Police Force itself, though the motivation for this was unlikely.

What I had to do was to try to head the readers attention away from the real killer and I hoped that by maintaining contact and seeing the relationship purely from Johnnys point of view, the actual denouement would be something of a surprise.

I admit that Johnnys actual escape from death was a little fortuitous but I thought that, in describing Johnnys final surroundings, I had made them sufficiently sordid for the accident to be believable, especially as the villains madness had resulted in such erratic movements.

Occasionally in my writing I include events that have actually happened to me, the incident that took place in the grounds of Alexandra Palace was real, though Im not sure I behaved then with such presence of mind, but my friend of the time did escape any harm, and we never told our parents, knowing something was wrong but not sure exactly what.

My inspiration for writing can come from anywhere. I have actually written 186 short and novel length stories and obviously they must range over a wide area. I have written stories set in Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, Rome, (which obviously needed a considerable amount of research which I enjoyed.), occasional science fiction (though Im not really a fan). There is one set in Shakespeares time where he meets up’ with his fellow dramatist Christopher (Kit) Marlowe who was murdered in a bar room brawl, though there are conspiracy theories about that – and I give an entirely fictional account as to whom the mysterious WH’ was, whom Shakespeare dedicated his sonnets to.

There is also a gay sendup of the legendary King Arthur – Gay Knights and Horny Heroes..

Most of my stories, though, are contemporary and practically anything I hear on the news, see on the TV, remember from my past (for example the flood of  2007 inspired a longish novel about a writer and his friends and their adventures). I like reading thrillers or police procedurals and many of my stories are in similar vein (like Crook’ and Crimes of Passion).

I have also written a full length novel about WW2 based on what I have read and my fathers stories. He was an ARP warden during the war, not being called up as his work was a reserved occupation.

Sometimes I include my agnosticism in my characters, who cant believe in a loving god when theres so much hatred and evil in the world and the innocent suffer. Nor can I really understand how a so-called monotheistic deity has three gods and certainly cannot comprehend life after death. However my atheist characters are able to disregard all this and remain loving and human beings .(or the opposite – such is the power of the author)

For the past three years I have been immobilized in a Home, unable to stand or, of course, walk and having to be moved via a hospital hoist. Luckily I have retained at least most of my marbles, so I can type away at my tablet whenever I get a reasonably inventive idea.

I think I write to entertain though occasionally I must admit secretly I think I also write some stories to inform, though hopefully not in a didactic, or worse in a patronizing way.

My next story is already on the stocks. It involves the complications of Mistaken Identities.

 

From my recliner, 🛌 Michael

Excerpt: 

Part 1 The Book

It was all his great aunt Marion’s fault…

If she hadn’t had a birthday and Adrian hadn’t felt pressured into buying her a present…

If she hadn’t made pointed remarks about liking old books and how the backstreets of the town were full of second-hand bookshops which were an excellent source…

If her birthday hadn’t fallen on the 25th of the month and his pay day wasn’t until the 28th so that he was really short…

If he could just have ignored that birthday without incurring her displeasure which might have meant being left out of her will–and she was after all pushing eighty…

And all those ‘ifs’ meant that Adrian was wandering down the High Street when it was at its hottest and grubbiest, the air feeling close and sticky and the sky a heavy uniform grey. He had just finished his part-time shift in the local BurgerBar and had hoped that the air outside would be less clogged than the greasy atmosphere of his work place. The hot spell it seemed was about to break and not before time. Stagecoach buses and cars made pedestrians’ lives hazardous while the vehicle exhausts pumped out choking pollution fumes to fill the air.

Sundry ‘homeless’ persons sat against the walls and spread their legs and feet out onto the pavements begging. Some had dogs and Adrian felt more sorry for them than he did for their human owners. Most of the dogs looked bored and would obviously have preferred to be running around a field chasing after rabbits than sitting looking forlorn in the High Street. He was pleased to see though that they looked well-fed–which was more than he could say for their owners.

Except one–who was young, dogless and quite attractive with curly dark hair and wide eyes which looked open and appealing. He was dressed in a pullover–must be hot, thought Adrian, and some tight jeans which, as the man–well he was scarcely older than a post adolescent boy really–sprawled his legs out onto the pavement, wrapped and emphasized the shape of his genitals in a very stimulating way–surely intentionally.

Adrian tried to catch his eye, but the young man seemed to be looking into the middle distance, his eyes glazed and unfocussed. Maybe he was on drugs, Adrian thought.

The Spa Town had once–perhaps some two hundred years earlier (Adrian was not all that good at history)–been the height of fashion when gentlemen in silk hose and ladies in crinolines came to take the waters at the Pump Room, but Time and the corrosive effects of sulphur dioxide had not dealt kindly with the elegant stonework which was now pitted and marked so that it looked as if it was being eaten away by a virulent disease. Nor had the economic recession helped for almost every other shop front was now boarded up, the graffiti and advertising posters making a patchwork of cluttered disorder.

But Aunt Marion had been right in one thing–there were second-hand bookshops in abundance especially in the little side streets which branched off the main thoroughfare every twenty yards or so. Adrian wondered how they could possibly make any sort of profit, there being so many of them and so few apparent customers. Some of them had tried to attract custom by putting a box of dog-eared paperbacks and old remaindered hardbacks in the front with a sign saying ‘Only 50p each’ but it was hardly an unrefusable inducement to buy.

Adrian, though, was out for a bargain so he stooped down and rummaged through the contents of one such box. Now would Aunt Marion appreciate a grubby, torn, ‘bodice-bursting’ Mills and Boon–he thought not. He might be a cheapskate, but he didn’t want to appear to be one too obviously. Right at the bottom of the box he found a yellowed book which, at first sight, appeared as unsuitable as the first. Its print was crabbed and blurred, and the paper was thick, the sides of the pages seemed almost torn rather than cut to size, their edges rough and uneven. It had no front cover and Adrian was about to toss it back in disgust when his eye caught a date in Roman numerals at the bottom of the title page–MDCLXXV.

It took him a little while to work out but eventually he deciphered it as 1675. The title seemed to be in Latin ‘Compendium Rerum Malorum’ and the author was someone called Thomas Weir of Edinburgh. None of this meant very much to Adrian, a Compendium, he thought, meant a collection–but certainly the book looked old and, if he had worked out the date correctly, nearly four hundred years, could be quite valuable. It would make an ideal present for Aunt Marion who loved Antiques. He wondered if perhaps the book had got into the box by mistake and the bookseller would make a fuss about selling it to him for 50p, so he picked out three other books from the box and took them into the shop.

“Four from your bargain box,” he called out cheerfully to the little man, crouched like a gnome behind the counter, and looking as dusty as most of the stock on his shelves. He waved them in front of the man’s face and then plonked down two-pound coins on the surface.

Blurb

When Adrian Foster finds an antique book containing what appears to be spells covering all kinds of attractive eventualities. He also meets Steven Miles and the two are attracted to each other. Adrian tries out a spell which is granted, as does Steven. However Adrian decides to go even further and makes a pact with the Devil which, although his wishes are granted, the cost to himself is disastrous. Steven attempts to rescue him from Lucifer’s clutches but Adrian rapidly goes downhill until he is a wreck of his former self. Can the two youths find a way out of the appalling situation which is killing the man Steven loves?

June is Celebrate Pride Month! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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June is Celebrate Pride Month!

Happy LGBTQIA Pride Month!  June is now celebrated every year because June is the anniversary of the historic 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan that was pivotal in launching the gay rights movement.  While the last Sunday in June was marked as Pride Sunday or Pride Day, June is now recognized throughout as Pride Month and celebrations held throughout from the beginning to the end of June.

There are many ways to celebrate Pride month and m;any organizations and parades out there to help you do so.  Here is a great site full of wonderful ideas:

8 ways to celebrate Pride Month | Thomson Reuters

A Great Library of Congress site for more history of Pride Month…

About | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month …

Here are ways Allies can support Pride:

LGBTQ Pride Month: 5 Ways Allies Can Celebrate and Support the ...

 

And if you are a fan of M/M hockey romance fiction (think RJ Scott, VL Locey, among some of the authors that pop into my mind) well, this is a link you will want to check out immediately, especially if you are a hockey fan as well:

Every NHL team is celebrating Pride this year For Pride, all … – Outsports

NHL Pride Month Celebrations | NHL.com

 

Next couple of weeks we will pick different elements of Pride month to chat about.  First up?  No surprise, the NHL Pride celebrations.  Oh how far we have come.  Oh, and our favorite M/M hockey romance books and series too.  Happy June, Happy Pride Month!  Happy Reading and Listening!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 2:

  • An Ali Review Match Grade by GB Gordon
  • Release Blitz  – Master of No One by Tricia Owens
  • June is Celebrate Pride Month!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 3:

  • Review Tour – A.E. Via – Prophecy Book #2: The Bringer of Wrath
  • Give Up The Ghost by Jenn Burke Tour
  • RELEASE BLITZ Cold Light by Michelle Frost
  • DSP PROMO Sean Michael on The More the Merrier
  • A MelanieM Review:Strike a Chord (Replay #4) by K.M. Neuhold
  • A Lila Review : Prophesy Book #2: The Bringer of Wrath by  A.E. Via
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert
  • A Lila Review Give Up The Ghost by Jenn Burke

Tuesday, June 4:

  • Eeli by Steph Marie & Bobby Rayne Tour
  • BLOG TOUR Prescription For Love by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • Release Blitz – C.F. White – Love & Tea Bags
  • AN Ashlez Review: Cold Light – Criminal Delights: Assassins by Michelle Frost
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Larry Boots, Exterminator by John Inman
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Keeping Cade (Crave Club #1) by S.E. Jakes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Prescription for Love (Road to Blissville #7) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Wednesday, June 5:

  • Release Blitz  – The Best-Laid Plans (Plans #2) by Addison Albright
  • Cover Reveal – V.L. Locey – Shake The Stars
  • BLOG TOUR By Way of Pain by JM Dabney
  • A Melanie Review: Prescription for Love (Road to Blissville #7) by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Larry Boots, Exterminator by John Inman
  • An Alisa Review – The Best-Laid Plans (Plans #2) by Addison Albright

Thursday, June 6:

  • DSP Author Promo
  • BLOG TOUR Keeping Cade by SE Jakes
  • AUDIO BLITZ Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths – Will & Patrick Wake Up Married
  • An Alisa Review Gorgon in 69 Seconds (College of United Monsters #3) by C.B. Archer
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review The Strength of His Heart (Enhanced #4) by Victoria Sue
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: The Player’s Protégé (Campus Connections #2) by CJane Elliott

Friday, June 7:

  • Review Tour – Anna Martin – The Color Of Summer
  • Review Tour – Roe Horvat – Adam Only
  • A Stella Review:The Reluctant Husband (Goddess-Blessed #2) by Eliot Grayson
  • A Melanie Review Bombs and Guacamole (Border Crossing #1) by BA Tortuga
  • A Caryn Review : The Color Of Summer by Anna Martin
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady  Review : Adam Only (Those Other Books #2) by Roe Horvat

Saturday, June 8:

  • Sales Blitz – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey – First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2)
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Kiss Me Again
  • A MelanieM Review: Always With Me by Kris Jacen

Rolling Thunder, Memorial Weekend and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Thoughts on Memorial Day…

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Frye (1932)

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow;
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain;
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush;
I am in the graceful rush.

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

The month of May has always been a month of celebrations, from Mother’s Day to birthdays to important anniversaries. For me and mine, May is a time for family, either by choice or blood, and of any configuration.  For me, it is a time to celebrate those that I love, whether it is their birth, or mine and my sister’s (for my Mother), and anniversaries which helped bring all of us together.  And if the weather cooperates, than even my gardens appear to be celebrating as the azaleas, dogwoods, and all the flowers burst into pastel hues in anticipation of the intense colors of summer.

With all of these emotions and thoughts directed towards celebrating those we love for most of the month, it  seems more than fitting to end May with Memorial Day, a day dedicated to remembrance of those who lost their lives keeping us safe and making it possible to celebrate all those birthdays, and anniversaries of people and  families we hold so dear.  My grandfather is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and this year, we buried my uncle close to him in a ceremony so moving that people were stopped all over the vast landscape as the sounds of the gun salute rang out over the hills and the trumpet played Taps.

Rolling Thunder passes by my parents farm every year on their way into the District and my father, a veteran of the Korean war, goes outside and salutes them as they pass by.  Our media here in the metropolitan area is full of pictures and videos marking the solemn day of remembrance as flags are put at every grave at Arlington and the crowds swell at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as well as that of the World War II one nearby.  If you have never visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then you have not experienced the power and overwhelming sense of loss that pervades that site. The  Wall itself a marker of the high cost of valor and service to our country in the names of the men and women lost reflected back to us.  In that black stone reflection, we see the list of names in chronological order and our own reflections, the recipients of their sacrifice.  For me, never has a memorial to our dead felt so alive, awash in grief, and sorrow and gratitude.Vietnam Vet Memorial

This Memorial Weekend also marks the end to the Rolling Thunder procession, something that started in 1987 when the roar and rumble of hundreds of motorcycles from all over the country entered the capital on Memorial Day wanting accountability for the MIA’s …their name was Rolling Thunder.  Every year since then their number grew as did their chapters from state to state.  No longer just Vietnam veterans,  but  veterans from the Gulf Wars, Iraq, any places where our soldiers served. Rolling Thunder advocates for accountability for the missing in action and prisoners of war from all wars and military engagements.

For me, the roar of the motorcycles passing by is as much a part of Memorial Day as the flags flying.  They say it’s due to the high cost of the parade and security which has been billed to Rolling Thunder the past couple of years and as a non profit organization, something they can no long afford.  Somehow, that seems terribly wrong. So I will enjoy the rumble and roars one last time and try not to think about the quiet times ahead without the flashing and loud cloud of remembrance and patriotism that use to sound the arrival of Memorial Weekend .

Enjoy your Memorial weekend for those of you who live in the US or Americans abroad.  Spare some thoughts and prayers for those now gone and for those they left behind.

Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o’er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking.

-Sir Walter Scott

Arlington Cemetary overview

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 26:

  • Rolling Thunder and Memorial Weekend
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – A.E. Via – Prophesy Book #2: The Bringer of Wrath
  • A Fall in Autumn by Michael G. Williams Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: A Fall in Autumn by Michael G. Williams

Monday, May 27:

  • Review Tour – Sean Azinsalt – It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights)
  • RELEASE BLITZ Keeping Cade by SE Jakes
  • PROMO Amy Lane on String Boys
  • An Ashlez Review : It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights) by Sean Azinsalt
  • A VVivacious Review:It’s in My Blood – Criminal Delights: Obsession  by Sean Azinsaltt
  • A MelanieM Review Uncommon Ground (Aliens in New York #1) by Kelly Jensen
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Hitting the Mark by Aidan Wayne

Tuesday, May 28:

  • Cover Reveal – Come Play: An MM Erotica Charity Anthology
  • PROMO M.D. Grimm
  • Release Blitz – Anna Martin – The Color Of Summer
  • An Ali Release Day Review: String Boys by Amy Lane
  • A Melanie Review Purple Haze (Aliens in New York #2) by Kelly Jensen
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: The Color of Summer by Anna Martin
  • An Ashlez Review:  Match Grade (Criminal Delights) by GB Gordon

Wednesday, May 29:

  • REVIEW TOUR Torn by Rick R Reed
  • Review Tour – Benoit (Owatonna U #3) – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • TOUR Zale by Michelle Frost
  • PROMO Dem Had+Giveaway for Barricades
  • A Vvivacious Review:Eight Lives: (Match Made in Hell #1) by Autumn Breeze
  • A MelanieM Review: Benoit (Owatonna U #3) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • A Lila Review: Torn by Rick R Reed

Thursday, May 30:

  • Release Blitz – Roe Horvat – Adam Only
  • HARMONY INK PRESS PROMO Jeff Adams
  • Blog Tour – Third Time’s The Charm by K. Evan Coles
  • A VVivacious Review Want Me by Neve Wilder
  • A Lucy Review Third Time’s The Charm by K. Evan Coles
  • A MelanieM Review On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd

Friday, May 31:

  • TOUR ON THE SUBJECT OF GRIFFONS by Lindsey Byrd
  • Matchmaking Beyond the Veil by Mara Townsend
  • PROMO Michael Gouda
  • Blog and Review Tour OUT OF THE SHADE by S.A. McAuley
  • A Ali Review: Out of the Shade by S.A. McAuley
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: To the Ends of the Earth by Michael Gouda
  • A Lucy Pre release Review The Reluctant Husband (Goddess-Blessed #2) by Eliot Grayson

Saturday, June 1:

  • Book Blast – Between Bloody Lips by Sai Fox
  • BLOG TOUR Strike a Chord by KM Neuhold
  • A MelanieM Review:  Always With Me by Kris Jacen

More on Universe Building and Differing Frameworks. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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More on Universe Building and Differing Frameworks

 

More stories and more ideas on universe building and the size of the story.  From the tiny to the novella to the full sized novel that can be staggering in scope and size, universe/world building and its importance in the story has been of key interest to me.  As a reader, the world building, the layers, the richness, the imagination that an author pours into their universe for a story or series can enrapture me.  The details they think of, from the many cultures, languages, down to the clothing and food, pull me deeper into their novels and worlds, making it more real, more alive!

For some stories, it’s not just fantasy or science fiction that the author is building a specific universe for, sometimes it’s a contemporary one.  A certain location or family for example.  There it is still that same factors of language, geography, location, etc, that will hold true for fantasy and sci fi. Only whereas in fantasy and scifi you may be creating them, in contemporary they are there to be pulled from.

While I often think the heavier, longer tomes have it easier in world building because just in length alone, the author has the luxury of pages in which to take the time to include the world minutiae their imagination has created for their  characters and universe.  The problem here is often editing out the wealth of joyous overload the author has produced.  Building a complex universe takes a depth of knowledge and outlining, what to leave out is often as hard as what to put in.

But the other end of the spectrum?  The tiny story.  That itty bitty tale that dares you to put in any world building at all.

How to create a world on the top of a pin?  Or a story in 200 or 300 words?  One that feels so complete that you know the world those characters exist in.

Some authors can do it with just a few choice word placements.  Within a paragraph or page, a man mentions his sore throat, a constant illness, and a feeling settles over the story.  You don’t need to know about his viral loads to know he has AIDS, it has only taken some well chosen words and a location and the reader knows exactly who this man is and what he is going through. In a short story.

I so admire the high quality of writing of both authors that can build such stories, in tiny and huge, that have such ability to pull me in.

I figure that’s a lot of editing and heartbreak at work  in both forms in trying to know what to let go of…narratively speaking and what to hold on to.

But in both, for me at least, world building remains a key to unlocking the characters, their situations, and the storyline.  It’s the foundation it all rests upon, small or large.

 

Thoughts from H.B. on the matter:

I think it’s doable and can be well done using a few sentences or even a paragraph or two maybe a page or two. But I guess it depends on the writer but I don’t think authors have to limit themselves to that so I think it’s needless to think about?

As for small houses I know about them. She sheds have become popular of late and there are insurance commercials for it. I think All State actually did one a year or two ago? In china there’s are living quarters called microapartments where the rooms are only like 65-107 square ft or smaller (so enough for a bed and desk or just a bed).

 

We might come back to this topic and flash fiction later on.  As I said I love the subject.  Meanwhile, next week we go back to HEA or HFN which we never wrapped up.

Until then, happy Sunday, happy reading or listening.  And this is our upcoming week at our blog!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 19:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Surprise Groom (Marital Bliss #1) by D.J. Jamison
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : American Fairytale (Dreamers #2) by Adriana Herrera
  • More on Universe Building and Differing Frameworks.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, May 20:

  • Review Tour – – Love Kills (Criminal Delights) by Michael Mandrake
  • RELEASE BLITZ By Way of Pain by JM Dabney
  • PROMO Marie Sexton
  • A MelanieM Review: Modified and Sacred by Jana Denardo
  • A Stella Review:Top Shelf (Seacroft #1) by Allison Temple
  • An Alisa Review: Thirst for You (Beyond the Cove #2) by Jaclyn Quinn
  • An Ashlez Review:Love Kills – Criminal Delights: Serial Killers by Michael Mandrake

Tuesday, May 21:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Torn by Rick R Reed
  • Release Blitz OUT OF THE SHADE by S.A. McAuley
  • BLOG TOUR Seeing Red by Alex Beecroft
  • An Alisa Audio Review: If I Ever (Hell or High Water, #4) by SE Jakes
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Why We Fight (At First Sight #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Redesigning Landry Bishop (Stars from Peril #2) by Kim Fielding
  • A Ali Review : Match Grade – Criminal Delights: Assassins by G.B. Gordon

Wednesday, May 22:

  • TOUR Azaran Jacki James
  • PROMO Kim Fielding
  • BLOG TOUR – The Hierophant’s Daughter  (The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy #1) by M.F. Sullivan
  • An Alisa Review: Lightbearer by L.C. Davis
  • A MelanieM Review Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes
  • A Lucy Audio Review Finding Love: The Perfect Size for You by Lily G. Blunt  and Sean Crisden (Narrator)

Thursday, May 23:

  • DSP PROMO Jodi Payne
  • Blog Tour – T.A.G. You’re Seen by A.G. Carothers
  • An Ashez Review: T.A.G. You’re Seen (The Assassins’ Guild #1) by A.G. Carothers
  • An Alisa Review Love on the Rocks by J.P. Bowie
  • A Free Dreamer Review: The Incredible Real Life Monster Man by L.B. La Vigne
  • A MelanieM Review: Not Gonna Lie (#lovehim #4) by S.M. James

Friday, May 24:

  • BLOG TOUR Want Me by Neve Wilder
  • Blog Tour – Eight Lives: (Match Made in Hell #1) by Autumn Breeze
  • Blog Post – DJ Jamison – Surprise Groom
  • An Alisa Review How to Heal by Susan Hawke
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Barricades by Dem Had

Saturday, May 25:

  • Release Blitz for AE Via – Nothing Special
  • Release Blitz & Signal – Kris Jacen – Always With Me
  • A MelanieM Review:  Always With Me by Kris Jacen