A Caryn Review: Vampire with Benefits (Supernatural Selection #2) by E.J. Russell

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

So I finished Single White Incubus a few months ago, loved it, and wanted to know what happened with the other two guys who were left at the altar.  And of course, this author never disappoints me, so this is the story of Rusty Johnson, inactive beaver shifter, and Casimir Moreau, vampire.  It is definitely not a stand alone book, and I will try not to put any spoilers from either book in this review.

Casimir was the youngest of the vampires, after their near extinction as a race caused them to strike a deal with the rest of the supernatural community to ban further vampire creation.  Despite only being 100 years old, he was already bored and dissatisfied with his undead existence, and he managed to get into quite a bit of trouble.  To the point that the vampire council  decided that he needed a permanent keeper, and they also decided the best way to accomplish that was to marry him to an incubus of excellent breeding and social standing.  Supernatural Selections guaranteed the match would be perfect, and the vampire council was happy to be in charge of the choice.

Rusty was an anomaly and an embarrassment to the shifter community.  Unable to shift, too tall, too awkward, and all too conscious of these faults that the beaver community would not let him forget.  The last straw was when his boyfriend dumped him for a female beaver shifter, and took the house that Rusty had lovingly built for the two of them.  Rusty signed up with Supernatural Selections and was matched to a bear shifter who lived far enough away that he wouldn’t ever have to deal with them again.  It seemed perfect.

But when Rusty and Casimir showed up at the office to get hitched, they found their perfectly selected mates had married each other, through an incredible snafu.  It wouldn’t have been such a problem, but Cas faced a very real possibility of being staked in the sun if he didn’t show up to the council married.  Shifters and vampires are anathema to each other (thank you, Twilight lore), and Cas thought getting married to Rusty would be a phenomenal fuck you to the vampire council, so he convinced Rusty – with the help of plenty of alcohol – to sign a temporary marriage contract.  Rusty was a great guy though, and Cas wasn’t completely selfish, and he figured the charade would also benefit Rusty, because what would be better than showing up at his ex-boyfriend’s wedding with a husband guaranteed to piss off the entire beaver shifter clan?

Getting to know these guys as they got to know each other was the best part of the book.  Rusty was such a boy scout, honest, kind, generous, but not prudish or stuck up at all.  He was completely unaware of his charms, both mental and physical, and that is the kind of character that I love best.  Cas was a bit of a bad boy, but he had matured enough to know there was more to life, and Rusty brought out the best in him.  They were both misfits in their communities, but what made them stick out there turned out to be what made them exactly right for each other.  But just when they were discovering how good they actually were together is when the web of lies and old grudges started closing in on them, and the consequences became a matter of life and death.

There were more plot twists and turns in this book than the first of the series – like the Fae Out of Water series that spawned this one, the books seem to be getting more complex and a bit darker as they progress.  This one is still as much comedy as it is romance, but there is definitely more of the mystery about it, and even more foreshadowing of a huge reveal in the next book.  I’m pretty sure I know what’s up with those AIs (Angel Interfaces) now, and why they are so sneaky and ominous, and I can’t wait to see if I’m correct when I read the next book.  And I’m thrilled that it will be about Zeke, the demon employee of Supernatural Selections, who’s definitely got some secrets of his own.

Once again I couldn’t give a full five stars, mainly because the resolution of the book required the use of a plot device that I absolutely hate, and that I think may screw up all the hints and foreshadowing that were otherwise really well done.  This is a personal pet peeve though, other readers might not mind it.  I was happy to see that the characters from Druid Next Door featured prominently in this book, just as those from Cutie and the Beast featured in book one.

Cover art by L.C. Chase fits perfectly with the series, but I was disappointed that it was all about Cas, and nothing really represented Rusty.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 300 pages
Published November 26th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title Vampire with Benefits
ISBN 1626498563 (ISBN13: 9781626498563)
Edition Language  English
Series Supernatural Selection #2

Single White Incubus

Vampire with Benefits

Kelly Jensen on Characters, Animals Comparisons and her new release ‘Chasing Forever (guest blog and giveaway)

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Chasing Forever (This Time Forever #3) by Kelly Jensen
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: Natasha Snow

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Kelly Jensen on tour with her latest novel, Chasing Forever.  Welcome, Kelly.

✒︎

If You Could Be Any Animal by Kelly Jensen

This post is another in a series I’ve written for all three books of the This Time Forever trilogy. To recap, in Building Forever, I decided that Charlie was most like a golden retriever and Simon wouldn’t mind being associated with a rare leopard. For Renewing Forever, Frank still hasn’t forgiven me for comparing him to an otter, but Tom said it first. For his part, Tom’s quite pleased with the choice of coyote. So what about Brian and Mal?

Mal’s actually pretty easy. I had his animal pinned down month ago. Easily, he’s a St. Bernard. To begin with, it was a bit of a whimsical choice. I sort of pictured Mal (in St. Bernard form) racing to the rescue of someone (probably Brian), barreling over a mountain landscape, never flagging, tongue lolling, handy little keg of something warm bouncing from his collar.

What? I’m a writer. I have a very active imagination. Also, I might have been drinking whiskey at the time and it’s definitely whiskey in that little keg. Tell me you don’t immediately picture the little barrel hanging from its neck when you think of a St. Bernard.

What really drew me to this particular breed, though, was their temperament. The St. Bernard epitomizes the phrase “gentle giant.” They’re large, loving, puppy dogs. They’re patient and sweet. They’re notably good with children. Like all large breeds, they do need proper exercise and socialization, and that could be why Mal is such a grump at the beginning of the book. Active people don’t do well with broken limbs.

Mal has a twin, Donny. They’re fraternal twins, alike enough in appearance to be brothers, but in no way identical. Physically, they’re similar, though, and Donny is as much a St. Bernard as Mal. Donny is the one who’ll grab you by the scruff of your neck when you’re lying half dead in the snow and drag you back down the mountain to a cozy little village so you can be fussed over. (I feel another book idea coming on…)

Donny is also the one who’ll drool all over you as he enthusiastically licks you clean. Or just says hello. Thankfully, Mal is a little bit more restrained. Or just shy.

So what about Brian? I had to think long and hard about Brian because he holds so much of his self close. He’s very guarded, which is odd when you consider how social he is. My first idea for him was a cat, but that felt too easy. Also, Simon was a cat and I didn’t want to give them the same animal. I started thinking about more secretive, furtive animals, but they didn’t feel right, either. Brian isn’t small and he’s not shy. He just has secrets.

I briefly considered giving him my own avatar, the mythical creature I most closely identify with: the phoenix. He does transform during this story and in a way, he does pass through a veil to return from the ashes of his past. But it felt a little unfair to give Brian something so magnificent when everyone else got regular creatures.

Brian, by the way, thinks it’s very fair. But he’s not writing this post.

But he is a bird. A golden eagle. I did hesitate to use an eagle, because they’re notably monogamous, or mostly so. But Brian is human, first of all, and not solely driven by the imperative to mate (not for the purpose of offspring, anyway). Secondly, he does desire just one partner. He’s not polyamorous, he’s just… not settled. His domestication starts the very minute he finds his nephew on his couch, though. Suddenly, Brian’s home is no longer just a house. It becomes a nest, and he begins the process of making it a safe place for Josh. He’d already set his sights on Mal, and Mal is just the sort of partner he’s always needed.

By the end of the book, Brian is very much an eagle. He has soared—and he knows exactly where his home and family is, meaning he will always return to his nest.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts. It’s fun to be whimsical with my characters, and so often after I finish a book and particularly a series, I miss hanging out with my guys. These posts have been an opportunity to revisit them for a while, as well as introduce them to you.

 

Chasing Forever is the final book in the series This Time Forever. Brian and Mal’s story is special in all sorts of ways. Even though these books all standalone, Brian has been there since the beginning–as the character everyone loved to hate in the first book, and the character who seemed to have more to him in book two. In this final story, I share who Brian really is, and hope you’ll all come to love him as much as I do. Then there’s Mal, his other half, my serious soldier who has been waiting all his life for a challenge like Brian. Sometimes we have to be knocked lower than ever before in order to reach that high, and Mal’s journey is one I treasure. I hope you enjoy reading this story of redemption and learning to live out loud.

About Chasing Forever

Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.

Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.

Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.

But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

About the This Time Forever Series

Small towns and second chances.

Simon, Frank, and Brian think love has passed them by. Each is facing down his fiftieth birthday—Simon in a few years, Frank next year, and Brian soon enough. Each has loved and lost. But for these men, everything old really is new again, and it’s only when they return to their roots that they’ll find their second chances and the happily ever after they’ve been waiting their whole lives for.

This time it’s forever.

This series includes:

  1. Building Forever — released October 15
  2. Renewing Forever — released November 12
  3. Chasing Forever — released December 10

About Kelly Jensen

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories about the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas, and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, cowritten with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly:

 


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Chasing Forever one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and a swag pack of stickers, art cards, and bookmarks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 15, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

First of Our Best of 2018 Lists. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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First of Our Best of 2018 Lists

So this Sunday we are starting off with our first of our Best of 2018 lists.  First up is our reviewer Alisa with her Top Stories down to her Top Covers.  Yes, we have always shared our love of book covers here along with our appreciation of the various artists talents.  Lately we have had some new names appear doing absolutely incredible covers alongside the artists who represent the best in the industry.  So make sure you check out all the names to go along with the beautiful covers we put out there.  Maybe give us a few suggestions of your own.

Also relatively new are the narrators in the  audiobook Best of category.  I listen to more and more audiobooks every year and can’t stress the importance of a fabulous narrator.  They can make or break an audiobook.  Check out who Alisa has as her favorites below.  Do you have yours?

Each week we will roll out more lists…keep an eye out to see how our lists compare with yours.  Did you miss some books?  Did we agree on others?  Let me know!

 

From Alisa:

2018 Top Stories/Novels

Guarding His Melody by Victoria Sue

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols

Promises Part 4 by AE Via

Elemental Magick by Jacki James

Us by Shaw Montgomery

Professor Adorkable by Edie Danford

Discovery by Quinn Ward

Expecting by Sarah Havan

After the Weekend by Silvia Violet

The Swap by Annabella Michaels

Best Audiobooks

Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn, narrator Kirt Graves

Kairos by Mary Calmes, narrator Michael Fell

Freckles by Amy Lane, narrator Nick Russo

BFF by KC Wells, narrator Michael Mola

Pins and Needles by AJ Thomas, narrator Jason Riley

Best Series

Men of Meadowfall by Anna Wineheart

Studies in Demonology by TL Nichols

Promises by AE Via

Requiem Inc. by Kris T. Bethke

College of United Monsters by CB Archer

Cold Case Psychic by Pandora Pine

Enhanced World by Victoria Sue

The Accidental Master by MA Innes

Kink in the City by Quinn Ward

Strength by MA Innes

Best Covers

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols, cover artist Catt Ford

Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne, cover artist Alexandria Corza

Edge of Living by HL Day, cover artist HL Day

Elemental Magick by Jacki James, cover artist Vicki Brostenianc

Expecting by Sarah Havan, cover artist Melissa Liban

 

Now here is this week at our blog.  We continue with more Advent Calendar stories, I have reviewed an incredible M/M historic romance today called The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne.  You really should check that out. The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada is as far from a holiday saga as you can get.  But it’s brilliant, bloody, and a must read. Number 4 is out this week.  If you love holiday series, The Christmas Angel series is not to be missed, several of them are also on to be reviewed as well.  So much going on.  Don’t miss a day here.

 

Happy Reading!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 9: ☃️

  • First of Our Best of 2018 Lists.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book Blast Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • A MelanieM Review: The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Oz (Finding Home #1) by Lily Morton
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Holiday Island by A.D. Ellis

Monday, December 10:☃️

  • COVER REVEAL: Amanda Meuwissen’s A Model Escort
  • Release Blitz for Home For Christmas by RJ Scott
  • Review Tour for A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by NR Walker
  • Release Blitz Tour for  Trusting Jack by Ruby Moore
  • A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by NR Walker
  • A Lucy Review : Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Mine for Christmas by AD Lawless

Tuesday, December 11: ☃️

  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz  Tour – Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stetsons and Stakeouts by BA Tortuga
  • A Lucy Review : All I Want Is You by DJ Jamison
  • A Free Dreamer Advent Calendar Review: Tulsi Vivah by Anna Kaling
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Showers, Flowers, and Fangs by Aidan Wayne

Wednesday, December 12: ☃️

  • Review Tour – Jordan L Hawk – The Magician’s Angel
  • Review Tour – Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • Review Tour – The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada
  • A MelanieM Review:The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada
  • A Lucy Review : Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Guess Who’s Coming to Karamu by Cy Blanca
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady :The Magician’s Angel (The Christmas Angel #3) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • An Alisa Review: Celebrations in the Season of Long Nights by Mere Rain, a”Escape From the Holidays” Collection from Mischief Corner Books

Thursday, December 13:  ☃️

  • Spells & Stardust Anthology Tour
  • HARMONY INK PROMO Aidan Wayne
  • Book Blast for Pain and Promise by Lazlo Thorn
  • Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour
  • A Caryn Review: Vampire with Benefits (Supernatural Selection #2) by E.J. Russell
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Blessed (The Matawapit Family #1) by Maggie Blackbird
  • A MelanieM Review: Spells & Stardust by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Death to Christmas Sweaters by LE Franks

Friday,  December 14:  ☃️

  • Review Tour –  Christmas Homecoming by LA Witt
  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • Review Tour for Shrewd Angel (The Christmas Angel #6) by Anyta Sunday
  • Review Tour  for Rebellion by Naomi Aoki
  • An Ali Advent Calendar Review:The Night Sky Festival by S.A. Stovall
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Rebellion by Naomi Aoki
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Christmas Homecoming (The Christmas Angel #4) by L.A. Witt
  • A Lucy Review: Shrewd Angel (The Christmas Angel #6)by Anyta Sunday

Saturday, December 15:  ☃️

  • Review Tour – Neve Wilder – Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1)
  • Tour for  Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin
  • Book Blast: Blessed (The Matawapit Family #1) by Maggie Blackbird
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Too Hot for Santa by Helena Stone
  • An Alisa Review: Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin
  • A MelanieM Review: Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1) by Neve Wilder
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Holiday Home Hotel (An Escape from the Holidays Story) by Lou Sylvre
  • A MelanieM Review:  Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code (Cambridge Fellows #12.7by Charlie Cochrane

 

 

 

 

An Alisa Review: Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

 

Sasha Michaels is a psychic with an affinity for houses. And he’s homeless. Go figure. After months of sleeping rough, he stumbles upon an abandoned house, and the lonely place beckons him inside. He’s finally safe . . . until someone comes blundering in to his hideaway.

 

House-flipper Nick Cooper lost everything in the recession. Desperate to revive his business, he turns to a loan shark to fund his comeback project: flipping an abandoned house full of potential. But it turns out the house has an unexpected occupant.

 

Nick and Sasha make a deal: Sasha can stay in exchange for helping with the renovation. To both of their surprise, the closer they get to the loan shark’s due date, the stronger their feelings for each other grow. Problem is, Nick isn’t the only one with feelings for Sasha, and now the house doesn’t want to let Sasha go.

 

I really liked this story and once I got into it, I was hooked.  Sasha has been down on his luck for a while and lovely house that just needs some love calls to him.  Nick wants to make a comeback in the house flipper sector but finds much more with his new purchase.

 

Nick gives Sasha a chance at maybe finally getting out of the rut he is in while also offering him the support he lost when his grandfather passed away.  Sasha is the one person who unconditionally believes that Nick can accomplish what he is doing but doesn’t like the way he is making it happen.

 

I liked both of these characters.  Sasha just makes you want to wrap him up in a hug and make him feel better but he also has some stubbornness that does him good to.  Nick is so sure he can make it work, he just has to jump through some hoops to do it.  I love that they support each other and both help the other out in the ways that count the most.

 

Cover art by Lou Harper is great and I really like visuals it gives for the story

 

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 271 pages

Published: November 5, 2018 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-854-9

Edition Language: English

Into the Holidays We Go and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Into the Holidays We Go and Oh What Our Lists Will Bring!

It’s official, we’re in December, the last month of the year.  The beginning of the winter celebrations where we see the longest night of the year, the bonfires light to drive the darkness away and the return of increasing daylight, one minute at a time.  We acknowledge the passing of the old and the arrival of the new.  We reflect and look forward.  A time of straddling the boundaries between what has gone the year past and what we will make of the time that’s coming.

As with all things we’ve had our incredible highs and unexpected lows in losses this year.  Authors who’s passing has left us a much smaller and poorer community.  I’ll talk about that later this month.

I want to also remember all the wonderful authors, and their stories, the cover artists and their work, on books we loved this year.  It’s so hard to winnow it down into lists.

How do you compare an  outstanding cozy mystery series with a violinist with autism with a soaring SciFy masterpiece about a sentient spaceship?  Can’t possibly go in the same category and do both authors justice!  Or the finale of a urban fantasy that  reads like a nerd’s list of wanna’s but has been constructed ever so carefully  amidst careening mind blown action.  Do you throw that in against a book with deeply drawn portraits of lovers in a contemporary romance?  No, again, I think not.

Plus we have some outstanding 5 star holiday stories that surely deserve their own category?  How to divide up the list into sections without going crazy?

Hmmmm.

Thoughts anyone?

Anyhow, I’m working on that and lists will be soon rolling out.  Let me have a few of your Best of 2018.  We will be awarding some gift certificates just because it’s December for those who participate.

 

Happy Reading, get those  lists in, and check out all the stories we have coming at you this week!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, December 2:

  • Release Blitz – Saving Jax by L.M. Brown
  • Blog Tour for Drawn  to You by Jaclyn Quinn
  • Closer by F.E. Feeley, Jr Book Blast
  • A Barb The Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review:That Turtle Story by C.S. Poe
  • Into the Holidays We Go and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, December 3:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Rough Trade by Sidney Bell
  • Release Blitz  A Soldier’s Wish by NR Walker
  • Review Tour – Neutral Zone by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • An Ali Review: Rough Trade by Sidney Bell
  • A MelanieM Review :Neutral Zone (Harrisburg Railers #7) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Review:  Best In Show by Kelly Jensen
  • A Stella Advent Calendar Review: Barbies and Beaches by Asta Idonea

Tuesday, December 4:

  • Book Blitz Defensive Play by Jamie Deacon
  • Review Tour –  Christmas Angel (The Christmas Angel #1) by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart by Jaime Samms
  • A Caryn Review Broken Halos by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Stella Advent Calendar Review: Mosquitoes and Mistletoe by Ren Holly
  • A Lucy Review: Christmas Angel (The Christmas Angel #1) by Eli Easton

Wednesday, December 5:

  • Cover Reveal for  Illumined Shadows by G.R Lyons 
  • Review Tour  for Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen
  • Release Blitz Tour –  – The Deafening Silence by Amy Tasukada
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review  Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen
  • A MelanieM Review: Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen
  • A MelanieM Review: The Holiday Spirit by Carole Cummings
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Advent Review:The Last Birthday Party by Mere Rain
  • An Alisa Review Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

Thursday, December 6:

  • Review Tour – Kim Fielding – Summerfield’s Angel
  • Havoc (Tattoos and Ties) by Kindle Alexander New Release Tour
  • DSP PROMO Liv Olteano
  • Cover Reveal – A World Apart by Mel Gough
  • A MelanieM Review: Havoc (Tattoos and Ties) by Kindle Alexander
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Summerfield’s Angel by Kim Fielding
  • A MelanieM Advent Calendar Review: Warren’s Peace by Emjay Haze
  • A MelanieM Review:Lucky Town by Morgan Brice

Friday, December 7:

  • PROMO Jaime Samms
  • Mischief Corner Books”Escape From the Holidays” Collection
  • Blog Tour – The Stars May Rise and Fall by Estella Mirai
  • An Alisa Review: The Last Prince by Shawn Bailey
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review:  Semper Fae by Angel Martinez
  • A Stella Advent Calendar Review:Trapped in the Valley of the Kings by Blue Jones
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon and Noah Michael Levine (Narrator)

Saturday, December 8:

  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – Under The Felt Mistletoe
  • Release Blitz – The Selkie Prince’s Unexpected Omega (The Royal Alphas)
  • Release Blitz for Ari McKay – Designer Holiday
  • An Alisa Review: Slow Thaw by J. Scott Coatsworth (MCB anthology)
  • A Caryn Advent Calendar Review:The Faller by Daniel de Lorne

 

E.J. Russell on Parallel Timelines and her new release Vampire with Benefits (Supernatural Selection #2) (guest post and giveaway)

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Vampire with Benefits (Supernatural Selection #2) by E.J. Russell
Riptide Publishing
Cover art: LC Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host EJ Russell here today  talking about the release of her new book, Vampire with Benefits. Welcome, EJ>

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Hello and welcome to the blog tour for Vampire With Benefits! I can’t wait for you to meet Rusty and Cas, the second mismatched couple in my Supernatural Selection series (part of the Mythmatched universe). Thank you to all of you and to this blog for helping me celebrate the book release!

Parallel Timelines

By this point in my writing life, I’ve penned several series: Art Medium, Legend Tripping, Enchanted Occasions, Fae Out of Water, and now Supernatural Selection. In most of these, the books in the series progress chronologically—in other words, the second book’s events occur after those of the first book, the third book’s events after the second.

Supernatural Selection is the first series I’ve written where the events in the first two books occur contemporaneously. As a result, I was twisted into a brain pretzel for much of my writing process!

The events of both books are set in motion in Single White Incubus when Ted and Quentin sign a blood mating contract without checking the fine print. At that point, the clock starts ticking—and their relationship has to build and mature within the time leading up to the full moon, when they’ll be able to marry their intended perfect matches, Rusty and Casimir.

So I knew where Vampire With Benefits had to start—the day Quentin and Ted accidentally married each other. Rusty and Cas had to meet that same day, and their relationship had to build and mature in the identical timeframe, culminating at the full moon, when all of them needed to be back at Supernatural Selection.

The “build and mature” part of each equation was the easy part—during the two-plus weeks where they’re saddled with the wrong spouse, they have only each other and their extended friends-and-family group to deal with. In Rusty’s case, that’s his clan, particularly his ex-boyfriend. For Cas, it’s Kristof Czardos, the head of the vampire council (who made his first appearance in Cutie and the Beast), as well as a few other significant others.

The kickoff wasn’t too bad either—just get ‘em to the Supernatural Selection office and slap them into each other. Piece of cake, right?

But the timing of the final scenes at the Supernatural Selection offices? Oy.

Conversation with myself: “Who’s in the building now? Are they upstairs or in the lobby? Where’s Zeke? Where’s Quentin? Where’s Ted? Where’s Rusty? Where’s Cas? What the hell was I thinking?”

It was definitely a blood-pressure-raising exercise, but it was kinda fun too. I enjoy logic puzzles, and getting everything to work out in the end was sooo satisfying—although I may have turned my editors’ hair gray!

My hair, of course, was already there.

 

About Vampire With Benefits

A match between a vampire and shifter could be deadly—but this broken beaver doesn’t give a dam.

Silent film actor Casimir Moreau had imagined that life as a vampire would be freewheeling and glamorous. Instead, he’s plunged into a restrictive society whose rules he runs afoul of at every turn. To “rehabilitate” him, the vampire council orders him mated to an incubus with impeccable breeding who’ll mold Cas into the upstanding vampire he ought to be. Or else.

As an inactive beaver shifter, construction engineer Rusty Johnson has fought—and overcome—bias and disrespect his entire life. But when his longtime boyfriend leaves him for political reasons, Rusty is ready to call it a day. Next stop? Supernatural Selection and his guaranteed perfect mate, a bear shifter living far away from Rusty’s disapproving clan.

But then a spell snafu at Supernatural Selection robs both men of their intended husbands. Rusty can’t face returning to his clan, and Cas needs somebody on his arm to keep the council happy, so they agree to pretend to be married. Nobody needs to know their relationship is fake—especially since it’s starting to feel suspiciously like the real thing.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

About Supernatural Selection

Are you a shifter who’s lost faith in fated mates? A vampire seeking a Second Life companion? Or perhaps you’re a demon yearning to claim a soul (mate)?

Congratulations! Your search is over!

Welcome to Supernatural Selection, where our foolproof spells guarantee your perfect match.

Until they don’t.

Check out Supernatural Selection today.

 

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com

Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author

Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Vampire With Benefits one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and an ecopy of The Druid Next Door, the second title in the Fae Out of Water series, also from the Mythmatched universe! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 27, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

And Into December We Go! This Weekend at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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And Into December We Go!

 

With Thanksgiving leftovers still stockpiled in the refrigerator, a few final things this blogger is happily thankful for.  All the wonderful reviewers here at  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, the wonderful tour and promotional people and groups that work so  hard to help the authors get their stories and books promoted, the publishers, the editors (in every form), the writers producing all these amazing stories that transport us each and every day into other lives and worlds from contemporary to science fiction and everything in between.

And to all the readers of our blog in every format as well.  I’m thankful for you all too.  I love reading your comments and our interaction and look forward to December and soon another year together.

Hard to believe 2018 is ending soon.

This week we welcome the arrival of December.  Oh my.

If you look over this week’s schedule, much like the store’s decorations and merchandise all around you, you will notice the arrival of all the holiday stories has gone from a trickle to a flood.  It’s a veritable holiday feast of stories from Amy Lane to KC Wells.  There’s even a Hockey Holiday Anthology where 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to charity. December 1st also begins the start of our reviews of Dreamspinner Press’ Advent Calendar stories, one a day until the end of the month.  This year’s theme is Warmest Wishes!  We will also be reviewing again collections of stories from Mischief Corner Books, a grand selection that usually ranges from pagan to science fiction and many more.  That’s just touching on a small tip of our holiday story iceberg that’s awaiting you here!

Not that we will be forgetting our normal reviews for fantasy, contemporary, and other types of LGBTQIA fiction.  Nope, those will be included as well.  Busy, busy, busy.

Plus we need to start thinking about what stories and covers made our Best of 2018 this year.  Do you know which made your list?  Start jotting down names because you know I’m going to ask for them soon!

In the meantime, check out our schedule for the upcoming week, contemplate your leftovers if any, and happy reading!

 

 

This Weekend at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 25:

  • Release Blitz – JM Snyder’s Accidentally On Purpose
  • An Alisa Review: Centaur of Attention (College of United Monsters #2) by C.B. Archer
  • A MelanieM Review: Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

Monday, November 26:

  • REVIEW TOUR – Comply by Lee Manarte
  • Cover Reveal for Ithani by J.Scott Coatsworth
  • Release Blitz for Neutral Zone by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • REVIEW TOUR – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review: Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Comply by Lee Manarte
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rend by Roan Parrish

Tuesday, November 27:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Vampire With Benefits by EJ Russell
  • BLOG TOUR Rough Trade by Sidney Bell
  • Santa is a Vampire by Damian Serbu BLITZ Tour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sweet Clematis (Being(s) in Love #9) by R. Cooper
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:Blood for the Spilling (Studies in Demonology #3) by TJ Nichols
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Blood for the Spilling (Studies in Demonology #3) by TJ Nichols
  • An Alisa Review: Santa is a Vampire by Damian Serbu
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Secretly Dating the Lionman (Cowboys and Angels: Book Two) by Sue Brown

Wednesday, November 28:

  • On Tour with Havoc (Tattoos and Ties) by Kindle Alexander
  • Release Blitz Tour Request – Melanie Hansen – Loving A Warrior
  • Review Tour for Mr Winterbourne’s Christmas by Joanna Chambers
  • An Alisa Review Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon by Damian Serbu
  • A Lila Review The Billionaire’s Wish (My Billionaire #3) by Geoffrey Knight (
  • An Ali Review : Mr Winterbourne’s Christmas by Joanna Chambers
  • A Lucy Review: Stay Awhile (Escape from the Holidays) by Kassandra Lea
  • A MelanieM Review: Hockey Holidays Anthology – Various Authors

Thursday, November 29:

  • Release Week Blitz Christmas Lane by Amy Aislin
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Jeff Adams (video)
  • Beat of Their Own Drum by KM Neuhold , Blog Tour
  • An Alisa Review: Peaches and the Shadow by K.L. Noone
  • A MelanieM Review: The Stars May Rise and Fall by Estella Mirai
  • A Lila Review: Beat of Their Own Drum by KM Neuhold
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Christmas Lane by Amy Aislin

Friday, November 30:

  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – Stuck With You
  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Crossroads (Skins #4)
  • Release Blitz for Old Acquaintance – Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Ashez Release Day Review: Strays and Lovers by John Inman
  • A Jeri Review : Crossroads (Skins #4) by Garrett Leigh
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review Semper Fae by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Stuck With You by Jay Northcote

Saturday, December 1:

  • Review Tour for Leta Blake – Mr Frosty Pants
  • Release Blitz – Santa Daddy – Keira Andrews
  • Release Blitz – DJ Jamison – All I Want Is You
  • An Alisa Review Burning Down the House (Escape from the Holidays) by Gregory L. Norris
  • A Jeri Review : Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Law of Miracles by KC Wells
  • A Caryn Advent Calendar Review: An Everyday Hero (2018 Advent Calendar Daily – Warmest Wishes)
    by E.J. Russell

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A long-term family rivalry between the Hashmis and the Swains forms the crux of this story.  They are Democrat vs Republican, Muslim vs Christian, and when Rabi Hashmi falls head-over-heels for Matthew Swain, and vice-versa, readers know there’s going to be heartache and strife. They meet at a frat party and have to hide every moment together—from their first kiss to their eventual trip to a hotel.

What makes their love dangerous is that the strong family rivalry started years ago and erupted into violence in the past. Now that their fathers are running for a single Senate seat, it’s so much worse. Though Matthew’s father is likely to pull the votes from their small, predominately white, homophobic town, Rabi’s father stands a good chance of winning the rest of the state.

The early part of the story features the slow buildup of their relationship with both boys expressing a desire to remain virgins. Later, their feelings deepened and they made love amidst the chaos of trying to keep their relationship secret, even after the election.  Actually, it’s more important then because emotions were running hot and heavy between the two families and their supporters. It’s a recipe for disaster, and when Matthew’s brothers head out to hunt for Rabi after Matthew’s father finds out and disowns him, readers will find it hard to put the book down.

I enjoyed the early part of the story when the boys were meeting in cornfields and deserted locations, but I was, nevertheless, anxious, and I kept expecting they’d be interrupted and one of them lynched during the romance scenes. That didn’t happen, thankfully, but what did happen carried the second half of the story and that was truly hair-raising and painful to witness. Exciting, frightening, interesting, scary, and emotional are just a few of the words I’d use. The author wrapped me up in the insanity and didn’t let go.  The ending is not the traditional Romeo and Juliet tragic ending, and an author’s note explains why.  In this instance, there’s a positive outcome—in more ways than one. 

If you love a story with star-crossed lovers, family feuds, homophobia, tension, and ulcer-inducing drama, then you should definitely like this one.  One word of caution in case these things are triggers: there is violence, death of a secondary character, and suicidal ideation in this story.

The cover by Christine Coffee is creative and fun. It features half of Rabi’s face and half of Matthew’s. Definitely attention-getting. 

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 264 pages
Published November 5th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published November 3rd 2018)
Original Title Rabi and Matthew
ISBN 139781626498341
Edition Language English

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: The Burning Magus by Don Allmon

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The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3) by Don Allmon
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: Simone’

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Don Allmon here today on tour for his latest novel, The Burning Magus. Welcome, Don:

 

Howdy all! And welcome to the blog tour for book three of the Blue Unicorn trilogy, THE BURNING MAGUS!

THE BURNING MAGUS is a cyberpunk/fantasy Ocean’s 11. Or it would be if Danny and Rusty had been an orc and an elf, they’d been lovers, and the Bellagio casino had been an evil wizard’s tower.

If you’ve been following the series, BURNING MAGUS brings the whole gang together: JT and Austin, Comet and Buzz, the Blue Unicorn and Roan.

It’s the final book in the series where the heroes get their HEA, the villains get their come-uppance, and well… I won’t spoil everything.

To celebrate, we’re gonna have a drawing! The lucky winner gets a hardback copy of BIG GAY ICE CREAM [link: https://biggayicecream.com/] by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint. To enter, leave a comment below with your email address, and at the end of the tour I’ll draw a name! Good luck everyone!

 

About The Burning Magus

Love can make a good crime go bad.

JT was a perfectly happy orc building cars in the Arizona desert until his old friend and sometimes lover Austin showed up and talked him into one last crime. Now “one last crime” has snowballed. With a new team of thieves — a supersoldier, a hacker, a driver, a graffiti artist, and a seafaring wizard — JT and Austin are determined to free an artificial intelligence from the dungeon of the Burning Magus.

For JT, this job is more than a prison break; it’s a do-over of The Job That Went Bad two years ago, the catastrophe in which JT lost his closest friend and then chose to abandon everything, even Austin. Maybe this time no one will die. Maybe this time JT can return to Arizona and bury his old life for good.

Except Austin won’t be buried. After two years alone, Austin knows he wants JT — not just as a partner in crime, but as the lover he always should have been. Maybe this time they won’t make the same mistakes, especially when it comes to each other.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

About the Blue Unicorn Universe

JT is an orc on the way up. He’s got his own boutique robotics shop, high-end clientele, and deep-pocketed investors. He’s even mentoring an orc teen who reminds him a bit too much of himself back in the day.

Then Austin shows up, and the elf’s got the same hard body and silver tongue as he did two years ago when they used to be friends and might have been more. He’s also got a stolen car to bribe JT to saying yes to one last scheme: stealing the virtual intelligence called Blue Unicorn.

Soon JT’s up to his tusks in trouble, and it ain’t just zombies and Chinese triads threatening to tear his new life apart. Austin wants a second chance with JT — this time as more than just a friend — and even the Blue Unicorn is trying to play matchmaker.

The Blue Unicorn stories can be enjoyed in any order — jump in wherever you’d like!

 

About Don Allmon

In his night job, Don Allmon writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance. In his day job, he’s an IT drone. He holds a master of arts in English literature from the University of Kansas and wrote his thesis on the influence of royal hunting culture on medieval werewolf stories. He’s a fan of role-playing games, both video and tabletop. He has lived all over from New York to San Francisco, but currently lives on the prairies of Kansas with many animals.

Connect with Don:

 


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Burning Magus one lucky person will win a hardback copy of the cookbook BIG GAY ICE CREAM by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint! https://biggayicecream.com/new-page/ Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 24, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Review: The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3) by Don Allmon

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

JT was a perfectly happy orc building cars in the Arizona desert until his old friend and sometimes lover Austin showed up and talked him into one last crime. Now “one last crime” has snowballed. With a new team of thieves—a supersoldier, a hacker, a driver, a graffiti artist, and a seafaring wizard—JT and Austin are determined to free an artificial intelligence from the dungeon of the Burning Magus.

For JT, this job is more than a prison break; it’s a do-over of The Job That Went Bad two years ago, the catastrophe in which JT lost his closest friend and then chose to abandon everything, even Austin. Maybe this time no one will die. Maybe this time JT can return to Arizona and bury his old life for good.

Except Austin won’t be buried. After two years alone, Austin knows he wants JT—not just as a partner in crime, but as the lover he always should have been. Maybe this time they won’t make the same mistakes, especially when it comes to each other.

With The Burning Magus, Don Allmon brings The Blue Unicorn trilogy to a close and does so in a manner  I’ve come to expect from this wildly imaginative author.

I’ve loved and been intrigued by the warped, bleak landscape of the universe that is the setting for this series.  The land and people contorted, twisted, and transformed into “otherness”…orcs, trolls, elves, and more.  History become fabricated, molded, and then worshiped along various lines as was self created religions.  Techno driven cultures, implants, wastelands of the environments and of the soul….nothing that Don Allmon forgot or left uncreated.

That included a trilogy arc of incredible cruelty, betrayal, revenge, loyalty, and love.  All done amidst cars, trucks, gadgetry,magic, and carnage.

Oh, and sex, lots and lots of sex.

All that continues here.

At the end I had to think.  It was as if the author, in his plotting of the final book, started picking up the proverbial narrative grab bag.  “I want that over there, and that, and that.”  You, there, honking big thing!,  I want you!”  And Allmon goes for the gusto with every nutso item the writer gets his hand on.  And then brings order to it    There’s an skillfully written suspenseful breakin scene!  Talk about action adventure right down to the techno spider thingy.  And a mad getaway.  Heroes in peril multiple times.  Bike chases, stolen cars, boats, AI’s who might be alive, and even Godzilla!

Did I mention tentacle sex? And dragons?

And for all this wonderful wild weirdness, Don Allmon doesn’t forget that what we as readers crave is the connectivity.  One character to another, the reader to the characters.  It’s all about the  emotions, the heart, the love.  That we also get.  Just when we need it the most.

If, at the end of the book, we’re left a little spent, exhausted.  Well, that’s to be expected.   Look at the path we’ve trodden together.  We’ve been shot at, abducted, lied to, wounded, lost our hope and found it again.  Along with love.  That’s a trip well spent.  A journey well taken and one I highly recommend.

Cover By: Simoné.  I love these covers by Simoné, they remain some of my favorite.  Perfect for the characters and storyline.  Fantastic!

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 219 pages
Published November 19th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title The Burning Magus
ISBN 139781626497559
Edition Language English
Series Blue Unicorn

The Glamour Thieves

Apocalypse Alley

The Burning Magus