A Caryn Review: Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (Dancing with the Lion #1) by Jeanne Reames

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Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

Focusing on homosexual relationships in historical fiction in the ancient Greek world is not new – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and The Persian Boy by Mary Renault have done so and reached wide audiences – but I am still thrilled to see another entry into this particular area, especially when that relationship is deep, abiding, and meaningful.  There have been centuries of writing and thinking that served to ignore and whitewash what was an important, and beautiful, part of the history of that era.  While there are certainly many parts of the culture that I am glad are no longer accepted – the treatment of women, slavery, constant wars, to name a few – the general acceptance of sexual love between two men (or women) deserves to be remembered and celebrated.

I also have a weak spot for epic stories, and the life of Alexander the Great is certainly a compelling subject.  Dr. Reames added to this book what is a new twist for me – using Hellenic (Greek) nomenclature for names, places, and concepts.  Thus we have Alexandros, Aristoteles, Philippos, etc, instead of the usual westernization of the names, which lends it an additional air of authenticity and interest.  There is a wonderful section where Hephaistion tries to puzzle out whether eros – sexual passion – can exist with true philia – brotherly love  – in his relationship with Alexandros, and the use of the Hellenic terms made me really look at the debate in a deeper way.

The book begins when Alexandros was 13, and newly entering the ranks of the Pages, or the servants of the king, Philoppos of Makedon (Philip of Macedonia).  Even at this young age, Alexandros had to find a balance between being set apart as a prince, and Philoppos’ heir, and yet still one of the youth of Makedonian aristocracy training to become a soldier and officer.  Hephaistion was 17, the youngest and only surviving son of Amyntor, who ran away from his home to Pella against his father’s wishes, and Philippos was more than willing to add him to the ranks of Pages.  Partly because both young men were outsiders in a way, and partly because of their natural intelligence and curiosity, Alexandros  and Hephaistion struck up an unlikely friendship, that deepened over the next few years in the time they spent as part of a select group of young men tutored by Aristoteles.

The coming of age of a prince must necessarily be different from that of other boys, no matter how much Alexandros might want to be like them.  The court of Philippos was full of political machinations, and Philippos himself was a master manipulator.  Alexandros’ mother had her own ambitions for him, and she also used Alexandros as a pawn in the power games she played with her husband.  Surrounded by people who wanted to use him, Alexandros found his friendship with Hephaistion one of the few things he could fully trust and depend upon.  Although their culture was accepting of same sex relationships, these relationships were typically defined with a very particular power dynamic – the older “erastes” was the lover and dominant partner, the younger “eromenos” was the beloved, and submissive.  Alexandros and Hephaistion loved one another, but how could they have that type of relationship when Alexandros was the future king?  (NOTE – by keeping the ages of Alexandros and Hephaistion relatively close together, the author was able to introduce this idea without giving it the creepy connotations of the modern day practice of pederasty, which is pretty much flat out pedophilia from what I’ve read about it.  I have to give the author props for that – even if I don’t know if their relationship was consistent with how the custom was truly practiced)

This book sets up what I expect will continue to be an amazing story.  I know how it ends of course – sometimes isn’t that the worst part of a fictionalized biography? – but I can’t wait to see the rest of the journey between here and there.  There is a large cast of characters, which can be confusing at times, but they are all nuanced, multifaceted people.  Warrior king Philippos; philosopher Aristoteles; priestess/witch/mother Myrtale; as well as the young men tutored by Aristoteles along with Alexandros, all interact in complex ways that seem to drive towards some inevitable destination.  This is definitely a character-driven plot, which is my favorite!  The book ends as Alexandros participates in a venerable ritual that fully initiates him into manhood, a logical completion of Becoming, which makes me truly anticipate the next chapter of Alexandros’ life in Book II:  Rise.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

Cover art by LC Chase captures the ancient setting well, but does not reflect the grand, heroic nature of the characters.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 282 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title Dancing with the Lion: Becoming
ISBN139781626498969
Edition Language English
Series Dancing with the Lion #1
setting ancient Greece

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

Pride Month Continues with Drag Queens! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Pride Month Continues with Drag Queens!

On June 27, 1969 and into June 28 at midnight, the NYC police entered the Stonewall Inn which was tightly packed that hot summer night.  They had been harrassing the clientele before but this time was different.  The night before, the police conducted a raid, arresting employees and taking away the Inn’s illegal stash of liquor.  Now they were back.  This time, arresting now only the regular patrons but targeting the drag queens and cross-dressing clientele because “masquerading” as a member of the opposite sex was a crime.  The objective was to shutdown the Stonewall Inn permanently.

Instead, as we all know, the crowd erupted into a riot.  Accounts differ over what exactly started it.  Some say it was a drag queen who threw the first punch after the  ” police roughed up a woman dressed in masculine attire (believed to be lesbian activist Stormé DeLarverie)”.  Others say it was a cross dressing person of color. Either way, history was made that night and the fight for LGBT rights flew into the spotlight and into motion.

Drag Queens (and drag culture) …those fierce, wonderful, gorgeous magnificent forces to be reckoned with are present everywhere now.  From fiction to tv to Broadway!  From it being a crime to be fabulous and yourself in 1969 to being celebrated on the popular RuPaul’s Drag Race to appearing on Broadway in the terrific show “Cher” and everything in between, Drag Queens in every shape and variety are helping others and LGBTQIA rights move forward just as they did all those years ago.

Now I’m a huge fan of this show.  I love seeing all the different expressions of Drag that the Queens reveal each season.  Some are traditional some are extreme, some fall in between comedy and sultry.  But all are showing us something amazing, something so wonderful and brave about themselves.  Their stories are often as fierce as they are.  And heartbreaking as well.

Love Drag Queens?  Check to see if you have local drag shows to support or if any of your favorite drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming to town in a show! Or check out some of these links below:

12 Types Of Drag Queens – Drag Official

The History Of Drag Queens And The Evolution Of Drag

Diva Royale Drag Queen Show | Drag Shows | RuPaul Drag Queens …


I love to read about them in my M/M fiction too.

Some of my favorite stories feature or include drag queens.  I mean how do you not love Arthur from John Inman’s The Belladonna Arms series?  He’s the heart of the series and that apartment building!

So yes, you know what I’m leading up to .  Drag Queen M/M Recommendations!

Here are some of mine.

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)

I know I have left out so many stories.  Please help me fill in that list.  Send me the books and stories I’ve left out and lets see those drag queens represented!

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

And just in case you missed it from last week, here is the updated list of our

M/M Hockey Recommendations:

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

Hat Trick (3 books) by Samantha Wayland*

Thanks a Lot, John LeClair by Johanna Parkhurst
Buzz by E. Davies (tho Cam health prevents him from playing hockey)
Charming as Puck by Pippa Grant
Heart in Hand by Salifiable

Thank you, HB, for the additions to our hockey recs!

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 16:

  • BLOG TOUR Melting For You by A.M. Arthur
  • Pride Month Continues! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 17:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Kiss Me Again
  • RELEASE BLITZ Change of Heart by KM Neuhold
  • PROMO Ashlyn Kane on Fake Dating the Prince
  • An Alisa Review : Kiss Me Again by  Garrett Leigh
  • A Stella Review: Melting For You (Neighborhood Shindig #1) by A.M. Arthur
  • A MelanieM Review: Tales of Bryant (Tales Of Bryant #1) by V.L. Locey

Tuesday, June 18:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Waited So Long by JM Dabney
  • Release Blitz – Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World, Book 3) by Nat Kennedy
  • Book Blast with Reviews – NoX by Adrienne Wilder
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fake Dating the Prince by Ashlyn Kane
  • A MelanieM Review: NoX by Adrienne Wilder

Wednesday, June 19:

  • Review Tour –  Nine Small Sips (A Tales Of Bryant Park #2) by V.L. Locey
  • Release Blitz – Who We Used to Be (Do-Over Series, Book 1) by Dara Nelson
  • A MelanieM Review: Nine Small Sips (A Tales Of Bryant Park #2) by V.L. Locey
  • An Alisa Review: Eeli (Brotherhood of Ormarr #3) by Steph Marie and Bobbie Rayne

Thursday, June 20:

  • Release Blitz Tour – Jay Northcote – Nothing Special
  • Release Blitz  – K.A. Merikan – Their Obsession (Four Mercenaries #2)
  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote and Michael Pauley (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review:Close to Home (Sawyer’s Ferry #4) by Cate Ashwood

Friday, June 21:

  • Review Tour for Single (Single Dads #1) by R.J. Scott
  • Release Blitz Signal Tour –  – A Foreign Country (Mr & Mr Detective Story #2) by Alex Jane
  • Release Blitz Impossible Things by Beth Bolden
  • A MelanieM Review: Killer Reunion (Donald Strachey Mystery #16) by Richard Stevenson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Single (Single Dads #1) by R.J. Scott

Saturday, June 22:

  • Release Blitz for – Beyond The Curtain – TL Travis
  • A MelanieM Review:Love in Every Season by Charlie Cochrane

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

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

Lindsey Byrd on Designing the World and her new release On The Subject Of Griffons (guest blog and giveaway)

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On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd
Riptide Publishing

Cover Art: L.C. Chase
Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Lindsey Byrd here today on tour for her new novel, On the Subject of Griffons.  Welcome, Lindsey.

✒︎

Lindsey Byrd on Designing the World

 

When I first started writing this story, I had a general idea of what I wanted the country to look like. I knew its borders and its main cities and I could see it very clearly in my mind. While I was considering what to write for this blog tour, my best friend suggested I finally draw what I had seen so clearly in my mind. It didn’t take long, and the results are in the image above.

I marked out every main city or stop that the protagonists mention or travel to. The Trent empire and Ruug are both alluded to in various parts of the book, but they aren’t locations that our characters physically reach. As mentioned in a previous blog post – the long lakes are based off of the New York finger lakes, and you’re welcome to go back and look at the pictures posted there if you’d like another reference.

Actually drawing the map itself wasn’t too difficult. I have an idea of how I’d like to expand the universe so I knew in advance what features I wanted to add. Some of them, like the island in the middle of the Great Sea, aren’t referenced in this book at all. I’m still looking forward to sharing it somewhere down the line.

The map on this blog post, however, is not my original drawing. One of my closest friends took my original sketch and made it the fancy, beautiful, version you see here. She flushed out the detail on the image and made sure that the rivers and coastline made some form of logical sense, and everything you see on the map above is the highly rendered version of her imagination.

As we worked on it together, we discussed the future of this world. One of the other concerns I had, was not showing what I hadn’t planned out. To this end, there are many cities, names, or other kinds of locations I haven’t added to this version of the map. There are other stories there, and hopefully interest and intrigue will inspire future readers to wonder what those possibilities are. But for now, we made sure to keep everything as simple as possible. This is On the Subject of Griffons’ world. And hopefully in the future I’ll be able to share what goes on in all the blank spaces you can’t yet see.

If you enjoy reading this book, feel free to send me a message and let me know what you’d like to see in this world. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Blurb

They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.

Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.

As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.

The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.

Now available from Riptide Publishing and where ebooks are sold.

 

About Lindsey Byrd

Lindsey Byrd was brought up in upstate, downstate, and western New York. She is a budding historian of law, medieval, and women’s studies and often includes historical anecdotes or references within her works. Lindsey enjoys writing about complex and convoluted issues where finding the moral high-ground can be hard to do. She has a particular love for heroic villains and villainous heroes, as well as inverting and subverting tropes.

Twitter: twitter.com/TheLindseyByrd

Tumblr: tumblr.com/blog/lindseybyrd

Email: thelindseybyrd@gmail.com

Goodreads: goodreads.com/LindseyByrd

 

 

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 1, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Review: On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

They’ll do anything to save their children’s lives, even if it means working together.

Kera Montgomery is still mourning the sudden death of her husband, Morpheus, when her youngest son falls victim to a mysterious plague. With no medicinal cure, Kera must travel to the Long Lakes, where magical griffons capable of healing any ailment reside.

As an heiress unused to grueling travel, Kera struggles with the immense emotional and physical strain of her journey—one made more complex when she crosses paths with her husband’s former mistress, Aurora. Aurora’s daughter is afflicted with the same plague as Kera’s son, so despite their incendiary history, the two women agree to set aside their differences and travel together.

The road is fraught with dangers, both living and dead. Each night, old battlegrounds reanimate with ghosts who don’t know they’ve died, and murderous wraiths hunt for stray travelers caught out after dark. If Kera, Aurora, and their children are going to survive, they’ll need to confront the past that’s been haunting them since their journey began. And perhaps in the process, discover that old friends may not be as trustworthy as they once thought—and old enemies may become so much more.

On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd is such an unexpectedly deep, and emotionally rich journey.  Not of one woman, although Kera Montgomery is the main character who undergoes the most personal growth and development.  So too does the woman who starts out as her adversary and the source of so much of her pain,Aurora., Kera’s deceased husband’s’ ex-mistress.

The writing and characterizations in this story are simply brilliant. Told from the perspective of the “Widow Montgomery”, she is at moments controlled, raw, open, distraught, and as the story moves forward comes a woman of strength, determination, and incredible bravery.  Someone able to go forward and love again, building a future for herself, others and more. But when it starts out she is a woman overwhelmed by the deceit of her husband, buried in grief by his loss, mired down by the weight of responsibility for the huge brood of children she has and and lack of control over his   own future which seems lay in the hands of her father and the bankers of the town which want to pressure her into selling them her home, Ivory Gates.  She’s barely  coping and we are made to feel every tear, every throbbing pressure headache, every lost to depression episode Keri is feeling.

Then the deadly sickness that is sweeping the town invaded her home and her smallest child falls critically ill.  And again, we are in Kera’s heart and head that just as we don’t believe this  woman can stand any further pain, humiliation, or despair, now her youngest child is going to die.  And we are weeping with her.   And raging with her over her feelings of inadequacy and helplessness and the anticipation of yet another crushing deep loss.

It’s rare that I get pulled so fully and deeply into such a character as Kera Montgomery because of, I suppose, her state and, like all others, outward impression of her at the beginning.  Kera inhabits a rigid society that gives women little choice as to their roles in life.  Nice women in society are wives and mothers.  The men manage things, money, estages, society,  and wars. When Kera’s husband, Mori dies in a duel disgraced, he leaves her a widow of 7 children and a large estate she never wanted, Ivory Gates, teetering with looming debts and no pension of her husband’s to use as income.  Bankers are at her door and no one is asking her what she wants to do but her father instead.    She’s feeling invisible, emotionally battered, once more in mourning and feeling betrayed by a husband she loved who never seemed to think about the consequences of his actions.

Grief, helplessness and depression have mired this woman down until her youngest son is struck down and will soon die if nothing is done. It’s that desperation that is the impetus for Kera to finally act, against society and for herself and her son.

To save him she must find a Griffin’s feather and they exist only in one part of the territory.  In the cruelest of ironies, the first person she encounters on the road is her husband’s mistress who’s daughter is critically ill with the same sickness.

The journey then becomes this incredible saga  of multiple complex story threads, magic, and redemption.  Kera must learn to get past her hatred of Aurora, her pain and need for understanding about the affair, there’s forgiveness and personal growth, and so much more than this review can begin to describe.  Really, these women are beyond amazing as is their road to saving their children and finding a new future together.

It is labeled as F/F but the heat level is low, limited to kissing and off scene sex that is not described.

If I had any issues its that it ended a little too pat but what came before was just too magnificent for me to really quibble about that.  The writing and characterizations are just that outstanding.

Honestly, if you love fantasy and some of the best womens characterizations I’ve read this year, pick up On the Subject of Griffons by Lindsey Byrd.  I highly recommend it.  It’s just a stunner of a story!

Cover art: L.C. Chase.  The cover is a little dark and it does fit parts of the story but it could easily be a contemporary fantasy which this is not.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 316 pages
Published May 27th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title On the Subject of Griffons
ISBN 139781626498822
Edition Language English