A Free Dreamer Review: Hathornatum (Pleletus #1) by Taylin Clavelli

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually, your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost.

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

Hathonatum is quite a wild story. There’s reincarnation, aliens, fantasy and ancient Egypt all rolled into one. While I like a wild story every now and then, I have to admit this one was a little too wild for me.

The book started off strong. I was immediately captivated and fascinated. The archaeology parts were really interesting. I’m not a huge history nerd, but mix in a bit of Fantasy and I’m all for it. And then there was the mystery surrounding Ashari.

But once that mystery started clearing up, it just got weirder and weirder. I don’t want to give away too much, bet let’s just say there were a lot of unexpected revelations.

I didn’t quite buy the romance between Ashari and Ben. I just didn’t feel it, for some reason. And of course Ben, a grown man, was a virgin who’s never even had a crush on anybody before. So not a trope I enjoy.

The sex scenes were pretty good, though. I liked that they switched. That’s a trope I do enjoy very much.

The ending was the last straw for me. I wasn’t happy with how everything turned out and it essentially made me dislike all the characters. At least it’s not a horrible cliffhanger. The storyline is pretty much finished and it’s obvious who the MCs of book 2 will be. I won’t be reading that one, though.

Overall, this book was just a bit too much for me. If weirdness doesn’t put you off, give it a try. Maybe it’s just me.

The cover looks a bit weird, too. The guy (I’m guessing it’s Ashari) looks a bit like Jesus. But I guess the weirdness fits the book and at least there’s no half-naked men on it. So yay for uniqueness.

Sales Links:  MLR Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published January 18th 2020 by MLR Press
ISBN13 9781641222914
Edition Language English
Series Peletus #1

Join Us for the Blog Tour for Hathornatum (Pleletus #1) by Taylin Clavelli (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Hathonatum

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Publisher: MLR Press

Genre/sScience Fiction, Contemporary M/M, Interracial (Alien/Human), Inter-dimensional, Reincarnation. Multi-Verse, Historical elements.

Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames

Length:  89 000 words         

The story can be read as a standalone. It is the first book in the Pelethus Series. The next book involves different main characters that are connected to those in Hathonatum. 

Buy Links – Coming Soon

Publisher: MLR Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Hathonatum is a love story that spans time, dimension, universe and death.

Blurb 

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost. 

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

**The story is written with British spelling/grammar. **

Excerpt 

Though Ben loved the thought of studying Seti, he was part of a small crew concentrating on Narmer (3180-3120 BC), whose tomb was located to the west of the dig, almost as far away from Seti as a tomb could get. Not much was known about the first pharaoh of the combined kingdoms, and Ben wanted to help discover something new. He wanted to shed light on a life that no one knew about—a new phenomenon to capture the imagination.

Ben had been on-site for a little over a week when he saw an intriguing man talking to Terry, his dig leader. Judging by his skin, Ben suspected the man to be local, but it was difficult to tell. Other than his face, the only other exposed part of him was his hands. The rest of him was covered with clothing designed to keep out the worst of the sand—layered, lightweight, loose, and black.

When the man locked gazes with him, Ben found himself staring into a vibrant blue sea of lapis lazuli, framed with black lashes and dark eyebrows. It wasn’t until a fellow worker walked between them that the connection was broken. When Ben sought to re-establish contact, the other had his back to him. Ben returned to his work, clearing out a trench of sand. The heat and excitement over what his group might find overshadowed any musings concerning the stranger. 

At the end of the day, Ben was so tired he clambered onto the city-bound truck with as much grace as a stumbling mummy. 

That night, while lounging on his bed, images of dark blue assaulted him. The event was rare for him, considering Egypt was his prime…prime everything.

Every day, the journey to the ruins was like being transported back in time. Ben could close his eyes and almost feel like he was there, in ancient Egypt. Often, he imagined he could see a partial image of the hustle and bustle of the ancient civilization continuing around him. At other times, he was in the quiet solitude of a temple. The images were odd, considering ancient Abydos was a graveyard.

From the drop-off point the next day, Ben made his way to tombs B17 and B18—the tombs attributed to Narmer. He worked there all morning with his small, square trowel and brush, slowly moving away the sands of eons. 

As lunchtime approached, he relocated to the edge of the main dig and took his break. From there, he would imagine life in ancient Egypt.

Daydreaming, he chose to walk back to his station. 

Suddenly, an alarm sounded. It was the warning for a sandstorm. It was similar to what his grandparents had described as the air raid warning from the war. 

There was a flurry of activity while people efficiently covered artefacts and other areas of importance. Ben glanced around, noticing the storm was a lot closer than he’d originally thought. It had come out of nowhere. What crept toward the dig seemed like a moving wall of cloud, dense enough to shield the view and engulf anything below it. If it wasn’t for the cottonlike plumes of wheat colours, Ben could have believed a curtain of rain was heading his way. The screen of rapid shadow was making quick progress toward the dig, swallowing all in its path. Briefly, Ben went rigid, unable to move. When the sound of hissing reached his consciousness, and sand stung his feet and face, he dashed toward shelter. He was running a losing race. 

Abruptly, he was grabbed and pulled to the floor behind a shallow wall. In a spell of activity as sleek as the sandstorm, a mask was put over his face, and his body along with that of his saviour rolled together. Over and over, they turned. Coming to a halt, and dizzy, Ben found himself cocooned, head to toe in a thick blanket. From the outside, the two of them probably resembled a fat, discarded mummy. 

As Ben regained his senses, he could feel a wall to his back and secure arms around him. The only thing between them was his messenger bag containing the bottles of water he was required to keep on him to prevent dehydration in the desert sun. 

Panting, he opened his eyes to a familiar sea of lazuli.

About the Author 

 

I am proud to be British and proud to be an author of gay romance stories from varying genres. I write under the pseudonym Taylin Clavelli, not because I don’t want my real name out there, but because I think my real name is unmemorable for an author. The name came about from a night of Skype and a lot of wine.

My first published work – a comedy called Boys Toys and Carpet Fitters – came out in 2012. It was part of a Dreamspinners anthology called Don’t Do This At Home. Since then, I have produced a further two novels and five short stories, not including Hathonatum. 

As well as being married for close to thirty years, and have a grown-up family, who I adore – I work part-time at a Manor Hotel, where I am also the resident historian. I am a book reviewer, too for a well-known site.

Not being a spring chicken anymore, I have a few hobbies that over the years have come, gone and resurfaced again. I am an experienced horse rider, and 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. I help my husband with DIY projects, upcycle as much as possible and love my garden. As for those simple things that make me stop in my tracks. The dawn chorus, baking bread, lasagne, and the scene where Shadowfax makes his screen entrance.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win: 

 A choice of paperback + swag from Dakota Skies, Secret Of The Manor or 5 shorts from Taylin – 3 winners

A choice of 1 ecopy from Dakota Skies, Secret Of The Manor or 5 shorts from Taylin – 5 winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

National Coming Out Day..a bit late. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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National Coming Out Day….a bit late.

 

National Coming Out Day was Friday, October 11, the 31st such coming out celebration and I didn’t want such a wonderful event to pass by without Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words making note of just how special and wondrous this occasion is. Our Twitter feed is full of stories, poignant, funny, accepting, sad, hilarious, and heartbreaking.  They have been running the full gamut of emotions, and histories, up to and including the advice that not everyone is ready to come out.  That they will know when, and if, that time comes that they feel safe and ready to make that step, a step only they should make for themselves.

As I said Friday, October 11, marked the 31st Anniversary of National Coming Out Day, a landmark in and of itself. Here are some special links, courtesy of HRC:

A Resource Guide to Coming Out

Transgender Visibility: A Guide to Being You

History of National Coming Out Day : started in October 11, 1987

 

For many more links (coming out at school, at work, inspiring stories, and helpful links, please check out HRC’s full link

National Coming Out Day | Human Rights Campaign |   https://www.hrc.org 

 

No matter the age when someone realized “who” they were and stated it out loud, from the earliest of ages to later in life, the ability to be i your truest self , whatever that may be, is a right everyone should have.  Here are some stories. Happy National Coming Out Day….a bit late.

National Coming Out Day: 2019’s top LGBTQ coming out stories

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 13:

  • National Coming Out Day..a bit late.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 14:

  • Review Tour – Ruby Moone – Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3)
  • Review Tour – Beth Laycock – Guarding His Heart
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – DARK RIVERS by Morgan Brice
  • A Stella Review: Things Happen That Way (Mann of My Dreams #2) by Tinnean
  • An Alisa Review : Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3) by  Ruby Moone
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)

Tuesday, October 15:

  • Cover Reveal, – Sally Malcom – Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel)
  • BLOG TOUR Master of Restless Shadows by Ginn Hale
  • Blog Post The Twelfth Knight (Guardians of Camelot #1) by Victoria Sue
  • BLITZ for Natural Disaster by Erin McLellan
  • A MelanieM Review: Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga
  • A Lila Review The Spymaster’s Secret By Antonia Aquilante
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Master of Restless Shadows (Master of Restless Shadows #1) by Ginn Hale

Wednesday, October 16:

  • Review Tour Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via
  • Blog Post – DJ Jamison”
  • The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth Tour
  • An Alisa Review: Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Deosil (Whyborne & Griffin #11) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • A MelanieM Review:The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Thursday, October 17:

  • Post CONFESSIONS OF A GAY CURMUDGEON by Andy V. Ambrose
  • Release Blitz – Slow Birth (Heat of Love 2.5) – Leta Blake
  • BLITZ Starting from Scratch by Lane Hayes
  • An Alisa Review: Blood Wine (The Blood Bond Series Book 2) by Aimer Boyz
  • A Stella Review: Love on the Hudson by KD Fisher
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ghost House by Jacqueline Grey

Friday, October 18:

  • Release Blitz  – Doctor’s Orders by Emma Jay
  • Release Blitz – Felice Stevens – Running From My Heart
  • Review Tour – Con Riley – After Ben (Seattle Stories #1)
  • A Stella Review : The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Rule Breaker (Mixed Messages #1) by Lily Morton and Joel Leslie (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review: After Ben (Seattle Stories #1) by Con Riley

Saturday, October 19:

  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lucky Break (Clean Slate Ranch #4) by A.M. Arthur
  • A MelanieM Review: The Necromancer’s Reckoning (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3) by S.J. Himes

It’s Almost the Chilling Time as October Arrives. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s Almost the Chilling Time as October Arrives

Hard to believe but October begins this week, sailing in on the wings of honking geese and the quizzical head turns of praying mantises still looming large in my somewhat overgrown garden. Pumpkins have appeared in the farmers markets and grocery stores alike as have the Halloween costume and candy aisles now full of all things scary or politically pertinent.

That also heralds the release of seasonal LGBT horror stories, often short or on the novelette size, looking to ride the wave of holiday horror.  I always look forward to whatever new authors or old appear at this time.  This is how I found the quite marvelous MD Neu who  I have continued to track through the writer’s many releases at NineStar Press.   Fingers crossed I’m that lucky again.

Or maybe it’s time to reconnect with some old horror or supernatural favorites.    Or favorite writers with some new supernatural stories.  Katey Hawthorne has a new supernatural thriller romance out A Thousand Lifetimes, which i will be reviewing later. Vampires in love.  Oh yes!  And TJ Klune and his great wolfpack?  His latest Heartsong, as well as the new ebooks and paperback versions at Amazon (the rights are finally his and you  can buy those versions at Amazon only knowing he will get the money) for Wolfsong and Ravensong.  What perfect timing!  Join the pack!

Next week I’m hauling out our October recommendations and updating them.  Plus looking at our new October releases we are enjoying.

Until then.  Happy October.  Hope the weather is agreeing with you wherever you are.  Happy reading, and happy listening.

Now to our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 29:

  • Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Post for Into The Deep by Amara Lynn (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)
  • It’s Almost the Chilling Time as October Arrives. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 30:

  • Cover Reveal “Dog Tagged” by James Brock
  • Release Blitz for Coast To Coast (Arizona Raptors #1) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • “Pure Dumb Luck” Dahlia Donovan Tour
  • An Alisa Review Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review: “Pure Dumb Luck” by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Kel’s Keeper by KC Wells

Tuesday, October 1:🎃🎃

  • Review Tour – Clare London – Romancing The Rough Diamond
  • Release Blitz Rules to Break by Susan Hawke
  • Release Blitz – Amalgamated by Becca Seymour
  • Blog Tour for Love on the Hudson by KD Fisher
  • A Stella review: Things Happen That Way (Mann of My Dreams #2) by Tinnean
  • A Lila review I Was A Gay Teenage Zombie by Alison Cybe
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review THE KING’S DRAGON (Fire and Valor #1) by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

Wednesday, October 2:

  • Release Blitz – V.L. Locey – Life According To Liam
  • Release Blitz – Beyond the Surface by Colette Davison
  • Blog Tour “I’ve Got This” by Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review: Wolf, Wy by A.F. Henley
  • A Stella Review :Beyond the Surface by Colette Davison
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: I’ve Got This (Joy Universe #1) by Louisa Masters

Thursday, October 3:

  • TOUR The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe
  • Release Blitz Under Pressure by Lauren Ashley
  • Blog Tour Raven’s Hart by Davidson King
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR -The Rising (Badlands #2) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (Narrator)
  • A Free Dreamer Review The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe
  • A MelanieM Audio Review:The Rising (Badlands #2) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (Narrator)

Friday, October 4:

  • Heart2Heart Anthology, Vol. 3 Tour
  • Book Blast – Daddy Bear : The Complete Series by B.J. Smyth
  • Blog Tour Ride the Whirlwind by Jackie North
  • An Alisa Review: Daddy Bear : The Complete Series by B.J. Smyth
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Space Train by David Bridger
  • A MelanieM Review: Land of Enchantment by Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga

Saturday, October 5:

  • Release Blitz Signal – Ruby Moone – Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3)
  • Release Blitz – Liv Rancourt – Lost and Found
  • A MelanieM Review:Heart2Heart Anthology, Vol. 3
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: American Love Story (Dreamers #3) by Adriana Herrera

A Lila Review: All This Could Be Yours by J.V. Speyer

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Can a straightlaced FBI agent fake a relationship with a mob rat long enough to close the case?

There’s only one way out of this family, but Tanner thinks he’s found another one. He’s going to fake a relationship with a straightlaced undercover FBI agent and help him take the organization down from within. That is, if the two of them don’t strangle each other first.

Maddox hates the Mob. He doesn’t have a lot of respect for mob rats either. He knows why he was stuck with this case, and he’s not thrilled about it. He wants the win, but having to play nice with gorgeous criminal Tanner might be more than he can take.

When secrets come out, Tanner and Maddox will have to trust each other with everything they have. They may be opposites, but they’re exactly what each other will need to get through this job with their bodies and souls together.

All This Could be Yours is a bit of a washout. The premise is great, the story starts strong, but it lacks a lasting connection to the characters.  It was easy to forget what was all about.

The plot did carry this book. It was short but to the point. I wanted more of everything. More conflict, more passion, more moments to remember.

Tanner’s family and their mob world were well crafted. As well as Maddox reactions to all of it. I enjoyed how easy it was for them to be together. And how convincing they were.

And by the way, Junior was one of my favorite characters.

The cover by Melody Pond is pretty but generic. It can be the cover for any law enforcement or spy book.

Sale Links: MLR | Amazon | Nook

Book Details:
ebook, 136 pages
ISBN: 9781641222693
Published: August 11, 2019, by MLR Press
Edition Language: English

My Guilty Pleasure ~ Sports Books and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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My Guilty Pleasure ~ Sports Books

I blame and applaud The Washington Post.

Dan Jenkins and his daughter Sally Jenkins who writes now, Jonathan Yardley, Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, Ken Denlinger,Thomas Boswell, Angus Phillips (omg Angus Phillips), Tracee Hamilton , Tom Wise, …just to name a few of The Washington Post sports columnists I lived and live for each day who helped drive my love for sports reporting and “the name of the game:.  Look up some of their columns and prepare for a literary feast.

The incredible sports columnists that have come ….and sadly gone…through the years…at the newspaper I have considered my own for decades.  Talk about high standards!  These men and women never stuck exactly to the scores at hand but ranged off into topics such as racism, social inequality, injuries, or whatever needed to be spoken about.  Or sometimes their articles were just downright humorous, tickling the intellect while informing and keeping score.

They pointed out the quirky, the extraordinary, and those not quite up to snuff with the same passion, in depth love of the games they were reporting on, and yes compassion for the players as well.

They also made me want to know more.  More about each sport, each team, and, indeed, each player.

They made me range out and start reading books like the hilarious and informative The Wrong Stuff and Have Glove, Will Travel by Bill “Spaceman” Lee (Lee was also known as The Ace from Space…baseball), and Semi Tough and You Gotta Play Hurt by Dan Jenkins  (football) for starters, then Ball Four by Jim Bouton and the great The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski,

Books rec’d and talked about in the sports section of The Post.  My list started there.

There were a great many other baseball books, and still are.  My shelves groan under the weight of them, but for other sports?  Not so much. Hard to say why exactly.Maybe because football players never had the romance or the journey or something about them that the boys of summer did. That always seemed more of a business less a love affair.  A launching pad to wealth and something else…but maybe that’s just my perception.

Until I found LGBT romance and hockey love stories.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I have always loved hockey.  But never read the books about them like I did my boys of summer.  My bad.  Because the comparisons between the two and the way both sports bring up (or don’t) from the minor leagues are astonishing.  The players that toil their entire careers playing in small towns for tiny wages, living in hotels, and barely making it for the love of the game…that’s baseball and that’s hockey.   You don’t hear about those players and the lives they live. Well, not often.

 

Unless you read about them in stories like those from Lee and Posnanski for baseball.  And as I have been lucky to find out from Avon Gale’s recent recommendations like the Journeyman: The Many Triumphs (and Even More Defeats) Of A Guy Who’s Seen
by Sean Pronger and Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South by Jon C. Stott.  I’m working on the first and have the 2nd one lined up.  Then on to books about Martin Brodeur (Brodeur: Beyond the Crease by Martin Brodeur) and Bobby Orr.  From those that were journeymen to the greats.

Why?  Besides my love of these books and these men and the sports of course?

Because it helps me appreciate the research and love the authors themselves bring to their stories and series.

Authors to be found on our LGBT hockey recommendations list like Gale,  Piper Vaughn, RJ Scott, VL Locey, Jeff Adams, Amy Aislin, AE Wasp, Samantha Wayland, and Rachel Reid.  I know I’m leaving others out.

LGBT romance stories about baseball players are less frequent, usually college players and not professional ones.  So my comparisons are left to the wonderful authors above who I’ am continuing my journey with this week.

Can you all think of other sports that compare to these two?  Especially in the way the players train and spend time in the lower leagues?  Have romance books written about them?

Chime in….and more about this topic next week.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 18:

  • My Guilty Pleasure ~ Sports Books
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 19:

  • Retro Review Tour – CID by S. L. Danielson
  • Release Blitz – Terry O’Reilly – Love Or The NFL
  • BLITZ Hitting Black Ice by Heloise West
  • PROMO Chris T. Kat + Giveaway
  • An Alisa Review: CID by S. L. Danielson
  • A Vivacious Review: Heel (Working Out the Kinks #2) by K.M. Neuhold
  • A Barb  the Zany Old Lady Review: The Doctor’s Orders (Copper Point Medical #3) by Heidi Cullinan

Tuesday, August 20:

  • Blog Tour Appeal to You by Jaclyn Quinn
  • Book Blast  – Eighteen Moons by Andi Webb
  • BLITZ Coffee by Matthew J. Metzger
  • Blog Tour – Beauregard and the Beast by Evie Drae
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Heart Strain by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee
  • An Alisa Review: Appeal to You (Beyond the Cove #3) by Jaclyn Quinn
  • A Lila Review: I Dare You to Break Curfew (Inshari Chronicles #1) by Eva Munoz

Wednesday, August 21:

  • Cover Reveal – Yours, Forever After by Beth Bolden
  • Release Blitz – Change of Plans by Riley Long
  • Release Blitz Signal – Annabelle Jacobs – Escape (Rebellion #1)
  • Blog Tour Guest Post – Heidi Cullinan – Doctor’s Orders
  • BLOG TOUR Mason’s Run by Mellanie Rourke
  • An Alisa Review: Mason’s Run by Mellanie Rourke
  • A MelanieM Review: The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains #3) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Thursday, August 22:

  • Cover Reveal – The Marshal’s PI by Este Holland
  • Review Tour-Sara Dobie Bauer-Broken News
  • Release Blitz- Last Call in Wonderland by Rob Browatzke
  • PROMO Eva Muñoz on I Dare You To Break Curfew
  • An Alisa Review: Forever Nine by Kris T. Bethke
  • A MelanieM Review: Empty Net(Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Broken News by Sara Dobie Bauer

Friday, August 23:

  • Review Tour – RJ Scott & Meredith Russell – Kaden (Boyfriend for Hire #2)
  • New Release Blitz Kept in the Dark by Charlie Cochet
  • Blog Tour – Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3 by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn
  • Release blitz Bike Business: A Holeshot Novel by Lynn Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review:A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1) by Ann Lister
  • An Alisa Audio review The Spirit Key (Lock and Key #1) by Parker Williams and Collin Carcy (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Kaden (Boyfriend for Hire #2) by R.J. Scott and Meredith Russell

Saturday, August 24:

  • Release Blitz Tour – RJ Scot’s Today (Single Dads #2)
  • A MelanieM Review: Mainly by Moonlight (Bedknobs and Broomsticks #1) by Josh Lanyon

The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Perfect Romance Novel and Summer Reading

Last Sunday I started talking about the perfect romance novel because, primarily, I had just read one that if asked I would most certainly take with me to a deserted island. That would be Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston in any format.  That story had everything I look for in a romance story and I’m still basking in the afterglow it has left behind.  It’s one of my top ten this year.

And it made me start thinking about the qualities of a perfect romance novel.  What would they be?

Turns out that formula is one that hundreds perhaps thousands of authors are in search of as well.  Many are certain they have it if the articles I found online are any indication.  If that were true, there would be far more perfect novels out there (and maybe there are) then I have come across or read about.  It’s like looking through a telescope.  You can only see so many stars, there’s always some just outside your vision.

But back to what I did find.  Which was fascinating.

One article here at the Huff Post, the writer (a published romance author) lists the following as her requirements for a perfect romance novel:

  • Have a story.
  • Not too much story.
  • Sex
  • The Sum of its Parts

That got me thinking.  Can you have too much story?  Can you have a great romance novel without  sex?  For me the answer is yes and yes.  Especially within the LGBTQIA spectrum and including YA stories. I have read wonderful books where sex is not a component. Upside Down by N.R. Walker, Antisocial and The Roosevelt series by Heidi Cullinan to name a few.  Too much story or too many details?  There’s a difference to me.  A density not in layers but in not being able to know when to let go of the miniscule and the unnecessary.

What do you all think?

Think about Jane Austen for ffs.  Where’s the hot and heavy sex in that?  Climbing gently down off the box.

Ok

So the essential formula for any romance is (and should be updated in this age)

Person Meets Person

Person loses Person

Person Gets Person

Then there’s the plot:

Three of the most popular romance plot devices are:

Friends become lovers
You’re my soulmate, it’s fate
This is my second chance to love again

Then what happens after that?  Narrative magic, depending upon the author.  They choose the setting, the genre, the characters.  They bring their imagination, their own skill base and travels, history, and in some cases ability to research to the story.

And something elusive.  Shrugs.  That ability to add a spark of life, of magic to the page that let’s us, the reader, into something timeless, moving, and sometimes impactful.  Books to remember.

I have those.  I’m sure you all do as well.  What books are sitting on your shelves?  What books have continued to make the greatest impressions?    Are any of them romance novels?  Who are or were the authors?  Let us know!

 

Meanwhile, try to stay cool.  Dog days of summer are upon us.  Bring out the umbrellas, the ice tea, the occasional sprinkler and enjoy your books in every format.    Have a great week.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 4:

  • Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 5

  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
  • Review Tour –  Sword Dance by AJ Demas
  • BLOG TOUR Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Review: The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
  • A Lucy Review : Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote
  • A MelanieM Review : Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Saviors: Duty and Sacrifice 1 (The God Jars Saga #1) by Devon Vesper

Tuesday, August 6:

  • Release Blitz – MJ O’Shea’s Chef In Disguise
  • Release Blitz  Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
  • AUDIO TOUR Out in the Field by Lane Hayes
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) by Jay Hogan
  • A Lucy Review : Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unbroken (Hearts Entwined #4) by Andrew Grey

Wednesday, August 7:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • Release Blitz – Thomas Grant Bruso ‘s The Two Of Us
  • Book Reveal SOULBOUND #3 by Hailey Turner
  • An Alisa Review: Hybrid Incubator by Meraki P. Dark
  • A Stella Review Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble and John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, August 8:

  • PROMO Gene Gant
  • Blog Tour- Small Town Sonata
  • A Stella Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
  • A VVivacious Review: Toy by R Parr
  • An Alisa Review: Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules #1) by Susan Hawke

Friday, August 9:

  • Release Blitz Heel by KM Neuhold
  • Release Blitz  for Release (Rent Boys #1) by A E Ryecart
  • Review Tour – Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:  World Turned Upside Down by Elyse Springer
  • A Lila Audio Review: Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

Saturday, August 10:

  • A MelanieM  Pre Release Review: The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe

 

Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel.

 

One thing summer reading has always meant is relaxation and escapism.  Not for me books that offered the psychologically twisty horror plots or ambiguous endings.  Those get pushed to fall or winter.  Even some of the hard core action adventure may slide a bit, depending on the plot and characters.    Sometimes, I just want to recline and dive into a great fantasy world or romance that carries me away from everything happening in RL, listen to the ocean waves if I happen to be at the beach, and simply savor summer.

It will be gone all too soon as will the summer state of mind.

For me nothing says summer reading better than a romance story.  Two people finding each other, the journey, the temporary heartbreak, the realization of forever love, and then happily ever after.  The story that makes your heart burst and then puts it back together with puppies and sparkes and tissues and everything warm and glowly The novel with characters that pulls you in and you connect with them, and hold them close, and reread their story….over and over.  A story that sometimes turns into your comfort read.  That romance story.

The Perfect Romance Story.

Summer is the exact time for the Perfect Romance story (not that any time of the year isn’t as well).  I found a Perfect Romance story this summer (thank you, Barb, our Zany Old Lady.). I should say I found it through a review here by Barb. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, although I just finished the audio, narrated by Ramón de Ocampo. This book has me wanting the ebook and even the paperback format.

The only problem?  It’s the author’s only story.

For me, it’s everything I want and need in a romance story.  I’ll go into that next week.

But for now.  Do you all have that perfect romance story?  What is it?  What makes it a perfect story for you?

While we are waiting for those answers next week.

Here are the answers from our Polls.  We  are 50/50 about  series and standalone stories.  We don’t care obviously.  About the type of stories?  Well, contemporary runs slightly ahead of SyFy/Fantasy/Other trilogy with Paranormal running last.

Some of the comments from our readers:

H.B.:

“I can go either way. I don’t mind series but I do tend to gravitate towards standalone stories more (because it’s just faster to get through them and find the next exciting read). I usually like to wait till a series is near completion or completed to even start it because I know if I start one and the next book takes months or years to write I will have to go back to re-read the series and for me going back to read 8-10 books just to prepare to read the newest addition to the series is time consuming and not something I want to do for any series I just thought was okay but didn’t quite blow my socks off.

I do want some warning that a book will be a series before I start and whether or not they could be read loosely as standalones or not. As for series that intersect with other series. I don’t really mind them. I’m usually good about reading stories out of order sometimes and connecting them into a time line that will work but can see how it can’t work for others.”

and

Jenf27

|”I love both series and standalone stories. But, I do want to know if I a book is part of a series. I get that sometimes a standalone story turns into a series later due to reader requests or the author’s muse. And that’s cool, but if it is already a series or already planned to be a series, I want to know. One of my especial pet peeves is when a series is convoluted and you can’t tell the reading order. Such as a series within a series or interconnected series. In those cases, it is helpful when the author publishes a reading order.”

So to both of you go a $10 Amazon gift card.  Please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com with the email address to use for your gift card. And Congratulations.

 

So now think about what is your perfect Romance novel, what makes it so, and send it in.  Let’s make that Summer  List of Perfect Love Stories!  Go!

Now here is our week ahead!  Happy reading and listening!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 28:

  • Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

Monday, July 29:

  • BLOG TOUR Rules to Follow by Susan Hawke
  • Review Tour – Trusting The Elements – Elle Keaton
  • Tia Fielding
  • An Alisa Review: Between the Covers Anthology
  • A MelanieM Review:Trusting the Elements (Never Too Late #1) by Elle Keaton
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Mercs and Strippers (Ore 5 #3) by Meraki P. Lyhne

Tuesday, July 30:

  • Review Tour – Alison Temple – Cold Pressed
  • Release Blitz – Tal Bauer
  • Tour Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan
  • PROMO Jess Anastasi
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Shaman of Kupa Piti (Shaman’s Law #1) by A. Nybo
  • A MelanieM Review:Here Comes the Son” by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Release Day Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Beautiful Disaster (Geek Life#3) by Marguerite Labbe

Wednesday, July 31:

  • Book Blast – The Artist’s Boxer by Este Holland
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – Fairground Attractions by L M Somerton
  • PROMO A. Nybo
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review:  Ghost Train by AM Summerton
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rocking Thin Ice by Z. Allora
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (narrator)
  • A Lily Audio Review:Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (narrator)

Thursday, August 1:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Mason’s Run by Mellanie Rourke
  • J.P. Barnaby/Rowan Speedwell on A Pocketful of Stardust
  • Blog Tour –  – Mad About the Boy
  • A MelanieM Review:Where the Night Reigns by Emilie Lucadamo
  • A MelanieM Review: The Hate You Drink by NR Walker

Friday, August 2:

  • PROMO Wendy Quall’s Rockets and Romance
  • PROMO Marguerite Labbe on A Beautiful Disaster
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Rockets and Romance by Wendy Qualls
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Intoxicating (Elite Protection Services #1) by Onley James
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator)

Saturday, August 3:

  • A MelanieM Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale

 

Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Genre! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Genre!

 

As the heat continues here and across most of the midwest and eastern coast, it’s a perfect time for reading.  Series or standalones as we started to talk about last week.  Our poll is running almost neck and neck as far as preferences are concerned.  So we are leaving it up another week to see if we can tip the scales.

Me?  Series are a given.  Love having more than one story to dig deep into.  Doesn’t matter if it’s two more, three more or, be still my heart, seven or more stories, to love in a series.  I know how hard that must be for a author to sustain.  But as Yoda would say, love them I do.

Does it matter whether the series is fantasy or science fiction or supernatural or contemporary?  Not a whit!  I love them all.  Bring them forth!!!!!

Although I do wonder if one type of series is easier to sustain than another but that’s a question for authors.   If you are listening, please feel free to chime in.

Summer reading in the past was always a time for the big blockbuster books (along with the big blockbuster movies).  You’d lug the heavy hardback bestsellers to the beach in your carryall, the Michael Crichton’s, the latest Stephen King,  Mario Puzo, Danielle Steele, ….and now it’s Kindles and and more authors than I can happily name.

Back then the genre didn’t matter much.  Swinging from the horror of King to the romance of Nora Roberts to the intrigue of James Patterson to the fantasy of J.K. Rowling, we read it all any time of the year, but especially during the summer.    So it has never seemed to matter what genre we read.

Or does it?

Poll time times 2!

Turns out I’m also listening to my stories too.  Another wonderful way to get through this heatwave when looking outside and watching the weeds grow is your only choice.  Lightening my mood this week was the audio for Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator.  I adored this.  A perfect summer read  or audio in every way!  Funny,, sweet, lighthearted and adorable.  Catch my review on Saturday.

A Participation gold star and $10 Amazon gift card will be handed out next Sunday!

Have a great week and stay cool.  Happy Reading and Listening to all.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

 

Sunday, July 21:

  • Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Tropes!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Blog Tour Guest Post – Heidi Cullinan ‘s Doctor’s Orders

Monday, July 22:

  • Book Blitz – The Positions Of Love Collection – JM Snyder
  • PROMO Michael Vance Gurley + Giveaway
  • Review Tour – Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes
  • A Lucy Review The Positions Of Love Collection by JM Snyder
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Anhaga by Lisa Henry
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review : Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3)  by Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes

Tuesday, July 23:

  • Review Tour -Cold Pressed (Seacroft #2) by Allison Temple
  • BLITZ The Exile Prince by Isabelle Adler
  • BLOG TOUR Breakaway by Charlie Novak
  • A Stella Review : Cold Pressed (Seacroft #2) by Allison Temple
  • An Ashlez Review: Julie the Pianist (Miss Baxter’s Girls Book 1) by Davina Lee
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Four ( Love By Numbers #2) by Tia Fielding
  • A MelanieM Releases Day Review: Absolute Heart (Infernal Instruments of the Dragon #1) by Michael Vance Gurley

Wednesday, July 24:

  • TOUR The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
  • Review Tour – What Lies Beneath – RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Review : What Lies Beneath (Lancaster Falls Trilogy #1) by R.J. Scott
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Enough by Matthew J Metzger
  • An Ashlez Review: Anise the Snowboarder (Miss Baxter’s Girls Book 2) by Davina Lee
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:Anhaga by Lisa Henry

Thursday, July 25:

  • Release Blitz  – Trusting The Elements – Elle Keaton
  • RELEASE BLITZ Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • RELEASE BLITZ Eminently Elf (D’Vaire, Book 13) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • BLOG TOUR Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • An Alisa Review Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review Pack Strap Carry (Carry Me #9) by Charlie Richards

Friday, July 26:

  • Review Tour – Eli Easton – How To Run With The Wolves
  • Lisa Henry on Writing and Anhaga
  • BLOG TOUR Intoxicating by Onley James
  • A MelanieM Review:  Stand In Place by Mary Calmes
  • A Stella Review:How to Run with the Wolves (Howl at the Moon #5) by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Review Close to Home (Finding Home #3) by Carly Marie

Saturday, July 27:

  • TOUR Ignite by Drake and Elliott
  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator)

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