In the Spotlight: Building Forever (This Time Forever #1) by Kelly Jensen (special excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Building Forever (This Time Forever #1) 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 here today on on for Building Forever, a story we highly recommend. The author has   brought along a excerpt and giveaway for all to enter.  Check out both below.

Building Forever is the first in a series of standalone novels focused on older characters who think love has passed them by. I loved writing these second chance romances, and I hope you enjoy reading about the books—especially this one because Charlie and Simon will forever be the characters who started me on this journey.

 

About Building Forever

A new town, a new neighbor, and a new chance to build a forever.

Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.

Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.

But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!

Building Forever Excerpt

Charlie’s daughter, Liv, is out on her first date, and Charlie is trying not to obsess over the fact that everything is changing. His daughter has met someone, Charlie has too—and he doesn’t know what to do with all his new anxieties or where to put them. Best friend Phil to the rescue! He and Phil head out for Chinese takeout and a little shopping and Phil does a lot of listening while Charlie struggles to come to terms with the changes in his life.

Everything Is Changing

Charlie followed the girl to a curtained alcove at the rear corner of the shop, accepted two different pairs to try, and pulled on the first. Stepping outside the curtain, he called to Phil, “What do you think?”

“They look like jeans.”

“Well, duh.”

“Why are you trying on clothes?”

“My old jeans are getting pretty, um, old.”

“Liv isn’t going to be coming in this direction, is she?”

“No. Banko’s is in the other way.” Someone had recently reopened the small local theater—and renamed it. Charlie could never remember the new name, though. “I just need new jeans.”

Charlie ducked back into the changing room. He studied himself in the mirror and admired the jeans. They made his legs seem longer and all of him more lean. He didn’t even have to suck in his gut, though that could have been all the jogging and projects around the house. As he turned to the side to inspect his profile, his thoughts wandered toward Simon again.

Would he notice the new jeans?

Did Charlie want him to?

“Here. I picked out some shirts for your updated wardrobe,” Phil called through the curtain.

“Uh-huh.”

Phil thrust a handful of material through the gap at the side. Charlie took the shirts and shook the first one out. It had Cute But Psycho printed across the front. “Very funny!” A muffled snort sounded from near the front of the shop. The second read: Sassy Since Birth.

“I think I see Liv!” Phil called.

Charlie dropped the shirts and scrambled for his own jeans, falling against the wall as he yanked them up his legs—over the pair he already had on. Shit. Tempting as it was to run, getting arrested for shoplifting would stick a wrench in his evening plans. Charlie pulled the new pair off and the old pair on. He pushed through the curtain with his fly half undone and nearly bowled Phil over. A laughing Phil.

“Just foolin’,” his new nemesis reported with an evil grin.

“Jesus.” Charlie melted back through the curtain and into the wall at the rear of the dressing room. He so wasn’t cut out to be the father of a teenager. Then there was this business with the jeans. What was he doing? Why was his life so weird all of a sudden?

“Everything okay in there?” Phil asked from outside the curtain.

Charlie drew it aside. “Yeah. I guess.”

“The jeans looked really good. Clean. Um . . . slimming.”

“Now you’re trying to distract me?”

“Is it working?”

“I dunno.”

Phil took the new jeans from Charlie’s hand. “C’mon, our food is probably ready.”

They paid for the jeans, collected their takeout, and turned back toward the beer store. By the time they got to the truck, Charlie felt drained. Not just empty, but as though he’d spent energy he didn’t have. He leaned against the side of the truck and closed his eyes.

“How are you doing?” Phil asked from his side of the truck.

Swallowing, Charlie shook his head.

Phil came around the back and stopped in front of Charlie. “Wherever you’re doing in that whacko brain of yours, stop. Okay?” Easier said than done. “Liv’s a good kid.” Phil delivered an encouraging shoulder squeeze.

“She was always a good kid. Thing is, she’s not a kid anymore, is she?”

“Don’t make me hug you on Broad Street.”

Charlie let go of something that might have been a whimper.

Phil put on a reassuring expression. “They’re always gonna be our little girls, man. Always. Even when they’re our age and we’re too old to even try for Maximum Overdrive.”

Charlie waved in the general direction of their heads. “Virtual reality. If we can think it, it will happen.”

“That’s kinda your problem.”

Charlie sighed. He wanted to tell Phil he was scared, but Phil already knew. “Everything’s changing,” he whispered instead.

He wasn’t sure Phil had heard him until his friend patted him on the shoulder. “Let’s go home.”

Charlie straightened his spine. He had to own this, whatever it was. The good and the bad. The jeans he could return tomorrow. Simon . . . Simon needed more thought. Liv, though, she was his, irrevocably, until the end of time, and he had no regrets there.

None.

But if he could have done things differently— No. Some things just couldn’t be changed. You had to own them. Fully.

 

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 — releasing October 15, available now!
  2. Renewing Forever — releasing November 12, available for preorder!
  3. Chasing Forever — releasing December 10, available soon!

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 Building 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 October 20, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Caryn Review: Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall

Standard

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

What is family?  For the queer community, that has always been a fraught question, because redefining family as something other than shared history and DNA is something that too many of them have been unwillingly (and sometimes tragically) forced to do.  Friends are the family we choose – but letting go of the family of your childhood and choosing a new one is never going to be easy.  And that’s what this book is all about.

Isaac is a gay man who never came out to his family, though he is openly gay otherwise and has a close network of friends.  He knows his parents are homophobic, but hasn’t even told his sister, although she has her suspicions about him.  His parents are annoying, belittling, and exceedingly negative, and his relationship with them is distant and mainly involves showing up at their house for holidays to get another helping of guilt about why he hasn’t settled down to give them grandchildren.  It was mentioned that his childhood wasn’t much better.  He’s fairly close to his sister though, so was surprised when she showed up for Christmas dinner with a multiply pierced, heavily tatted, non-white man who kept hinting about past incarcerations.  He was even more surprised when that man started hitting on him!  After a very uncomfortable dinner, his sister came clean to him, admitted she brought Logan just to piss off their parents, and also told Isaac she assumed he was gay – and would be interested in Logan.  Which he was, once he found out that all the hints about a criminal past were also fabricated.

Over the course of the the following year, Isaac finds that Logan is exactly who he’s been looking for all his life.  Logan feels the same way.  Their main point of contention is that Isaac is not out to his family, and Logan doesn’t want to be a dirty secret.  Keeping Logan secret from his family is also increasingly uncomfortable for Isaac, but the fallout from coming out is more painful than either of them suspected….

The plot was predictable, as outlined in the blurb, so nothing I’ve mentioned above is a spoiler.  I really do like stories like this, but where there isn’t a lot of plot you end up with a lot of filler.  Which can be good, but here it started being a little repetitive.  The sex scenes got boring, which they inevitably do when there are too many.  And if I read one more time about licking the taste of coffee, or dessert, or wine, or other food out of Logan’s mouth to get to the taste of “uniquely him” or whatever, I was going to scream.  Mention it once and it’s a little sexy, but over and over and I start thinking of dental hygiene, which is the opposite of sexy 😦

Cover art by L.C. Chase is really well laid out, with a great looking model that is perfect for Logan.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 248 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 29th 2018)
Original Title Hard Truths
ISBN139781626498464
Edition Language English

Release Blitz for Building Forever by Kelly Jensen (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

Building Forever by Kelly Jensen

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 15th, 2018

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

Order here:

Riptide Publishing: https://riptidepublishing.com/collections/series-this-time-forever/products/building-forever-1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/893958

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/building-forever/id1433933530?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/building-forever-1

Synopsis:

A new town, a new neighbor, and a new chance to build a forever.

Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.

Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.

But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.

Teaser Excerpt :

“I wanted to thank you for the flower. I’m, ah, assuming it was you.”

Charlie’s smile widened a fraction. “You need some color in your house. And something bent.” His eyes widened briefly. “Curved, or not straight. Crap. This is why I shouldn’t talk. I’m really bad at this talking thing.”

One corner of Simon’s mouth curled upward. “Are you trying to tell me I’m not gay enough?”

Charlie moved to cover his face with his hands, nearly braining himself with the hammer. Bracing his forearm across his forehead instead, he breathed into a pause, quietly, steadily. Then he dropped his arm, and leveled a direct look at Simon. “I’m sorry I barged into your space, and messed it up with my clumsy come-on. I didn’t stop to ask if you were into guys, or take into account the fact you might have lost someone. Or might not even, you know, want to . . . whatever with me. I just got it into my head that I needed to know what it would be like to kiss you, to kiss any guy—not that you were the most handy one. It’s your eyes. They’re so damn blue, and I haven’t thought about anyone on a daily basis in so long, and I had to know.”

His face was red, and the quiet breathing had accelerated into a soft gasping, as though Charlie had just finished a run. Simon stepped in, closing the distance between them, and paused for long enough for Charlie to step back, dodge aside, or simply raise a hand. Say no. He stiffened a little, eyes widening, but otherwise remained still.

“Any guy?” Simon arched an eyebrow.

“You in particular.”

“Why the ice cream?”

Charlie’s eyelids fluttered, briefly. “Because there’s no way anyone can eat ice cream and feel sad.”

Oh God. Simon’s next breath shook slightly. “The puzzle?”

“Because you needed time to think, and something to do with your hands.”

“What are you trying to tell me?”

They were standing so close together that the straightening of Charlie’s shoulders was a twitch at the periphery of Simon’s vision. The thunk at their feet would be the hammer. Then Charlie was leaning in, a hand rising to curl behind Simon’s neck. He paused there, for the space of a single breath, before pressing his lips to Simon’s in a gentle kiss.

A whisper passed between them, a susurrus of words. Simon didn’t bother figuring them out; he tucked his free hand behind Charlie’s shoulder and pulled him closer, angled his head slightly, and deepened the sweet, tentative kiss.

Charlie’s lips were the sort a man might dream about. Full and plump and utterly distracting. Simon kissed both before tending the top and bottom in turn, exploring the mouth he’d fantasized about. The tip of Charlie’s tongue sent a tingling burn across his skin. He shivered. Goose bumps prickled his nape, his shoulders, his arms. The kiss deepened again, becoming less tentative, less question, more statement.

Simon stroked his hand down Charlie’s arm. The sharp, clean scent of Charlie’s sweat filled his senses. The taste of Charlie thrilled his tongue. Prickling skin gave way to keen-edged arousal. A southward rush of blood.

Head light, thoughts swimming, Simon pulled away. Just his lips. Charlie chased him, caught him in another kiss, and Simon got lost somewhere on the way to reason, answering the surer flick of Charlie’s tongue, the sweetly satisfied exhalation of breath.

Charlie bumped into him, nudging him backward. Simon broke out of the kiss again, stepping away to lessen the chance of losing himself a second time. Third time. The sun could have set and the stars come out. A year might have passed by. As he stood there, panting, gaze locked with one of deep and velvety brown, only the weight of the small pot in one hand served as a reminder of why he’d come next door.

Surely it hadn’t been for a kiss.

He’d have traveled much farther for this kiss.

 

Quotes about the book:

“Jensen’s talent for world-building and memorable, unique secondary characters are on full display here in this fabulous series starter. Deeply felt emotions and a lovely romance have me eager for more in this world!”

  • Annabeth Albert, author of Out of Uniform series

“Moving and well written, Building Forever will leave you with a mansion-sized smile.”

  • Sarina Bowen, USA Today bestselling author of Goodbye Paradise.

About the Author:

Kelly Jensen

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of 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, co-written 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: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

Enter the giveaway: Win one signed paperback copy of Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0371/?

October’s Scary Joys and Frights! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

October’s Scary Joys and Frights!

This week’s topic came to me because one of my friends has been sending out pictures of her house that she’s getting ready for Halloween.  Now she and her family are renown for how their house shows.  It looks as though it was professionally knocked out and produced by someone in Hollywood.  Nope, just in the wonderfully warped brain by my friend and her family.  This year?  They are adding actors.  Most likely returned son and his soon to be husband lol.  People come from miles around to see her  place and trick or treat there.  And be scared the beejazus out of!    It takes months of  planning and they start over a month in advance to lay out the decorations and wiring.  It’s’ clearly a joy for all involved.  I’ll see if she posts a vid this year and bring it to you.

She’s not alone.

Halloween has become one of the most popular holidays in the U.S.  We decorate our houses, planning way in advance, and we plan, and coordinate our costumes too.  Parties galore happen all over the place, and streets like  Georgetown flow with Ironman and Scarlet Witch,  Thors and WonderWoman.  You name it, the costume is there, and probably some you can’t.  That’s great too.  People feel free to express themselves, free their imaginations…sometimes it’s much easier to be yourself under a wig and behind a mask  Took a turn there didn’t I?

The unexpected.  That’s always to be found at Halloween as well.  Never forget it’s origins.  More on that to come next Sunday.

Until then let’s enjoy people’s efforts to get into the spirit of Halloween this year.  Do you know someone who goes 100 percent when decorating for Halloween?  Are you one of those people?  I know I am!  And I need more pumpkins to carve…

Some of the readers recommendations for frightful reads?  Let’s see what they have in store for us!

From H.B.:

I don’t usually read horror or psychological thrillers. Those are things I rather watch. But I have read a few books that have ran chills down my spine:
The Rats by James Herbert
My Boyfriend’s Back by Elliot Cooper
Buried Desires 1-2 by Ofelia Gränd and Amy Spector
Silent Woods by Ofelia Gränd
The Deadly Sugar Collection by Ofelia Gränd
The Snowflake by Ofelia Gränd (will be in Buried Desire 3 releasing this week, which i received the ARC of)

I think a story that is written with an ominous tone and reference things like murder,death or torture as if it’s a everyday occurrence in people’s lives is chilling. If it becomes too gruesome it just becomes hard to read also.

From Purple Reader:

Boy, you really do like Oct; plenty of good ideas. As are the ones from H.B. Like H.B., I’ve not made my tbr-for-Oct list yet, but here are some more I’d rec from two authors you’ve mentioned:
If you like John Inman like I do, definitely rec Spirit, and:
– Sunset Lake
– The Boys on the Mountain
If you love Jordan L. Hawk like I do, also rec. Hainted, and:
– Restless Spirits (Spirits #1)
– Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin #2)

What makes a story go Boo for You?  And which ones have?

You have until the end of the month to get your recs into us.  I’m sure the authors and publishers will be releasing titles all month.  Let us know what new ones you find.  We will be doing the same.  Gift certs will be given out in our Horror or Boo For You Title Rec Giveaway!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 14:

  • Release Blitz: Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
  • Blog Tour Savor Me (Kitchen Gods #3) by Beth Bolden
  • October’s Scary Joys and Frights!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 15:

  • Release Blitz Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • Release Blitz – – His To Save (The Candy Cane Club #2) by Ari McKay
  • Dreamspun Promo Cari Z. on Handle with Care
  • A VVivacious Review: Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
  • A Lucy Review: Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Devil Take Me Anthology

Tuesday, October 16:

  • Release Day Blitz Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) by Anyta Sunday
  • Review Tour – Lone Wolf by Anna Martin
  • Promo BA Tortuga
  • A MelanieM Releases Day Review: Calculated Magic by SJD Peterson
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: Handle With Care by Cari Z
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain) by Parker Williams
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lone Wolf by Anna Martin

Wednesday, October 17:

  • Tour for Soulbound by Archer Kay Leah
  • Release Blitz – Roads Series by Garrett Leigh
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Baylin Crow – Fling
  • TOUR Leopold Author: M.D. Grimm
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Yakuza (Guns and Roses #1) by Lilia Blanc
  • A Lila Review: Rebuilding Hope (Kindred #1) by Jessie G.

Thursday, October 18:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • Review Tour Boy Shattered by Eli Easton
  • BLOG TOUR Commitment Collection Box Set by Karen Botha
  • Promo TOUR for Parker Williams and  Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain)
  • A Lucy Prerelease Review: Harmonious Hearts 2018
  • A Stella Review: Savor Me by Beth Bolden
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton

Friday, October 19:

  • Review Tour – Sam Burns’ Adder and Willow
  • Release Blitz – Sarah Hadley Brook’s Gateway To Love
  • Promo BL Morticia
  • Harmony Promo Lou Hoffmann
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • A Free Dreamer  Review: Adder and Willow (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #6) by Sam Burns
  • A Caryn Review:  Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay

Saturday, October 20:

  • Release Blitz Tour – Blake Moreno – Heat For Sale (writing Leta Blake) Signal Boost
  • A BeeJay Review: Escaping Solitude (Escape Trilogy #2) by Sara Dobie Bauer

 

 

 

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: TOO HOT! by Avery Giles

Standard

Too Hot! by Avery Giles

Riptide Publishing
Cover By: Natasha Snow

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Avery Giles today on tour with their new release Too Hot! Welcome, Avery.

♦︎

Nice to meet you, everyone. I’m Avery Giles, and I’m here to promote my smoldering debut novel, Too Hot! Follow my blog tour to for a glimpse into my writing process AND a chance to win a $10 Riptide gift card.

 

About Too Hot

Sparks aren’t just flying . . . they’re catching.

Eli Johnson is not a hero. He’s just a guy who’s doing his best. His mother was a hero, though, and when she died, he dropped out of college to become a firefighter—a vocation she would have been proud of. He might not be able to save everyone, but he can do what she taught him: put more good out than bad.

Charlie Kinnear is definitely not a hero. When he ran into a burning building to save a trapped child, he was acting on instinct. He’s not expecting a medal, or for a handsome firefighter with a stunning smile to give him his oxygen mask. Charlie’s light-headed, and not from smoke inhalation.

Right as their romance begins, a serial arsonist terrorizes the city. As if that weren’t bad enough, Charlie appears at the scene of every fire. Eli hates to think it, but if someone wanted to get a firefighter’s attention—say, a certain sexy someone who coincidentally wandered into Eli’s life—what better way than by starting fires? Sparks are flying all right, and things may get too hot for Eli and Charlie to handle.

https://riptidepublishing.com/products/too-hot

 

About Avery Giles

Avery Giles is a brown-eyed, fair-haired, moss-covered swamp witch who subsists on energy drinks and the hearts of her enemies. Her day-to-day routine involves waking up, writing three sentences, staring at those three sentences until her brain tells her why they’re wrong, watching eighteen hours of Netflix, and luring bandits away from the safety of the well-lit path. If asked about her favorite books, she’ll mention the Percy Jackson series, Good Omens, and the blackened scroll on which she detailed an encounter with a crooked librarian that led to two marriages and a beheading. She enjoys eating Italian, French, and German lovers after mating with them.

Connect with Avery:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of TOO HOT! one lucky person will win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

What Makes A Scary Story? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

What Makes A Scary Story?

Is it an outright gore fest?  Or is it the chill that builds?  The scream that shatters the night?  Or the quiet that settles softly, quickly before it becomes apparent all noises have ceased…except for the sounds of someone breathing?

If you are talking about a romance with a touch of the dread, is one member of the couple in  danger or both? Contemporary, paranormal, supernatural or does it even matter?  Does it have clowns?  *Shudders*

What’s your cuppa chilling horror?  Do you even have one?

Mine have always been the latter, no not clowns, never clowns.  A twist on the normal where suddenly things are just a little bit off, then come a skittering of beetles….enough to send shivers up your spine but not enough to make you put down the story.  That’s why I have always loved the lyrical, almost poetic works like Lily or Earthly Concerns by Xavier Axelson where the horror is quiet and unearthly. Or The Reunion by M.D. Neu which layer by layer slowly unfolded a remarkable truth.

Other reviewers here  have loved the scary tales that John Inman has occasionally written.  Others fall into the shifter romances which for me aren’t really horror or scary tbh.

What are your criteria for a story to fall into a horror or scare genre?  I was scanning through various writing blogs  and most agree that there are 8 elements for horror:

8 Elements Of A Horror Story
  • Gothic elements. Things put in a story meant to scare you.
  • Monster. Antagonist.
  • Protagonist. Someone who battles the monster.
  • Motivation. Why the monster is what it is.
  • Setting/atmosphere. Over all feeling you get.
  • Foreshadowing. Gives clue on what is going to happen.
  • Mood. The readers feeling as they are reading the story.
  • Suspense.

Amazing how that can apply to contemporary stories where the monsters are human beings who do the most atrocious things. Real monsters are everywhere unfortunately.  However, back to things that go bump in the night.

Most of us don’t think about this when reading our stories.  We think about the end product.  How did we feel reading the story?  Did we get the shivers?  Were we concerning for the couple/person involved?  Did the events/ending upset us?  Did the tale continue to linger with us long after the story was done?  I think we can agree that most great monsters and stories live on and on because their creators have done their job extremely well and their stories continue to resonate generation after generation.  Just look at Frankenstein and Dracula!

So getting back to our current stories or just plain stories.  Which ones have continued to resonate with you?  Or what new ones have found a home in your collection?

What makes a story go Boo for You?  And which ones have?

You have until the end of the month to get your recs into us.  I’m sure the authors and publishers will be releasing titles all month.  Let us know what new ones you find.  We will be doing the same.  Gift certs will be given out in our Horror or Boo For You Title Rec Giveaway!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 7:

  • What Makes A Scary Story?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • BLOG TOUR: Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G
  • Release Blitz: BURN (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice

Monday, October 8:

  • Book Blast – A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  TOO HOT! by Avery Giles
  • Blog Tour Date His Instant Family by Rheland Richmond
  • A Lucy Review: A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke
  • An Alisa Review: Square One (Under The Uniform #7) by JJ Harper
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2) by Layla Reyne
  • An Ashlez Review: Murderous Twins by Edward Kendrick

Tuesday, October 9:

  • BLOG TOUR Craft Brews by Layla Reyne
  • Hearts Untouched by Andrew Grey Book Tour
  • Release Blitz – Lone Wolf – Anna Martin
  • Release Blitz –  From The Ashes by C.M. Valencourt
  • An Alisa Review: Ginger and the Wolf by Kerry McBoyd
  • A Free Dreamer Review: SYN Consulting (Dragon War Chronicles #1) by A.G. Carothers
  • A Caryn Review: Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall

Wednesday, October 10:

  • Review Tour – Leta Blake – Any Given Lifetime
  • New Release Blitz: Out in the End Zone by Lane Hayes
  •  Promo David C. Dawson
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Untouched (Hearts Entwined #3) by Andrew Grey
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Texas Charm (Aberrant Magic series#6) by Lyn Gala
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

Thursday, October 11:

  • Release Blitz – Take It All – Steamy Encounters Collection by Quin Perin
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burns’ Adder and Willow
  •  Promo Andrew Grey
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Long Black Cadillac by BA Tortuga
  • A MelanieM Review: Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Lila Review: His Pagan Love by Wayne Mansfield
  • A Stella Review: Falling Into Love by Nell Iris & Kris T Bethke

Friday, October 12:

  • Release Blitz – Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • Dreamspun Promo SJD Peterson
  • Review Tour – Neve Wilder’s Center Of Gravity
  • A MelanieM Review: Love’s Trials (Revolutionary Heart #2) by Janice Jarrell
  • An Ali Review: Sadistic Sherlock (Ward Security #4) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
  • A MelanieM Review: Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) by Neve Wilder

Saturday, October 13:

  • A Stella Release Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas
  • Blog Post Request – Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) by Neve Wilder

An Ashlez Review: The Academy by Quinn Anderson

Standard
Rating – 2.5 stars out of 5
 
True love stabs you in the front.


Nick Steele just wants a normal life, cliché or not. He had one once, back in Chicago. Before his father died and he took a year off from college to grieve. Now, he’s starting fresh at a prestigious—but tiny—Catholic university. Adjusting to small-town life will be a challenge, along with making friends and keeping his scholarship. All he wants to do is blend in, get his diploma, and go back home.

But Sebastian Prinsen—campus heartthrob and a notorious player—has other plans. He notices Nick right away and makes a bet with his two best friends: Who can kiss the new kid first? Nick seems immune to Sebastian’s charms, and yet genuine chemistry sparks between them. Even worse, real feelings do too. Sebastian falls more and more every time Nick blows him off, but if he comes clean about the bet, Nick will hate him forever.

 

The last thing Nick wants is to fall in love while he’s still grieving, but Sebastian feels like home to him. Nick wants that so badly he may ignore the warning signs and risk his fragile heart once more.
 
This book reads like a movie – you have the few main characters who the story is about and then you have side groups – posse as it work – and those characters interactions with the mains, and sometimes their own parts of chapters.  This made for a  very long read – it’s only a 300 page book but it felt much much longer.  Not to say that’s a bad thing but I like stories more cut and dry and to the point – I felt a lot of this book was “filler” as it were.
 
I think Theo is my favourite character – which is strange given Nick/Seb are the mains you’re supposed to have a connection to/feel for.
 
The school atmosphere was fun to read – it was written like I figure a dorm, etc. experience would be like and since I never had that experience it was cool to read it through anothers eyes.
 
Nick – tragic past, not used to $ in a world where the people have a ton in this book – feels like a big fish and hates he’s the subject of gossip
 
Seb – rich of course – struggling family dynamic – arrogant.
 
I think the fact that the book is only 300 pages made me feel a little bad – it took me WEEKS to finish because it felt so long and overfull of information – some chapters/parts would be awesome and others would just be like, why do you have this in here it does nothing for/against the book it’s just there for the sake of it.
 
Overall the book fell flat for me – but I think others might really like it – if you like the school atmosphere, and a cute if not strange romantic relationship this book is good.
 
Cover Art by Garrett Leigh:  just generic art  (2 men on cover) – I think maybe a school background would have been cool you don’t, at all, realize it’s a book about school until you start into it – although the photo itself is adorable.
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 366 pages
Published September 17th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 15th 2018)
ISBN139781626498440
Edition Language English

Spotlight Blog Tour and Giveaway for Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall

Standard

Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall

Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Hello, everybody! I’m Alex Whitehall, and I’m here today touring for my contemporary m/m romance, Hard Truths, which is about Isaac and Logan’s whirlwind romance, as well as coming out and what family means. But it’s not all angst and drama. In fact, I hope you’ll have as much fun watching these guys fool around as I had making them be goofs.

 

About Hard Truths

He can’t have the family he wants, but he may get the love he deserves.

Isaac didn’t expect to find love at his family’s Christmas dinner, but that was before he met his sister’s new fake boyfriend. Tall, muscular, and tattooed, Logan is what Isaac would love in a partner—and also everything his parents would hate in one. Not that they know Isaac’s gay.

That doesn’t stop him from dating Logan—unbeknownst to his parents, and with his sister’s approval after she fake dumps him. The pair dive into a whirlwind romance of motorcycle rides, cheesy puns, and hot sex. They meet each other’s friends and fill their time with happiness and laughter. It’s all perfect.

Until Isaac suggests they move in together, and Logan asks Isaac to come out to his parents. Isaac wants to, but he’s scared; he doesn’t want to lose his family. Unfortunately, he can’t see that his real family has been right beside him all along.

Available from Riptide Publishing.

 

About Alex Whitehall

If there are two types of people in the world, Alex Whitehall probably isn’t one of them, despite being a person. Their favorite pastimes include reading, horseback riding, sleeping, watching geek-tastic television, knitting, eating, and running. And wasting time on the internet. And spending glorious evenings laughing with friends.

While Alex prefers sleeping over doing anything else (except maybe eating), sometimes they emerge from the cave to be social and to hunt for food at the local market. They can be found blogging, reading, and tending after their aloe plants.

Connect with Alex:

Giveaway

Commenting below will give you a chance to win this mug:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/573454042/oh-for-fox-sake-coffee-mug-custom-fox

This mug appears in Hard Truths as one of the first presents that Isaac buys Logan. It’s similar to a mug I have myself (that my friend bought me and that might have inspired the gift)! The order will be shipped directly from the buyer, so you have to be willing to share your physical address with the buyer and myself. You can choose either size and any of the fox images.

Due to prohibitive shipping costs, this prize is only open to within the US. For international readers, indicate as such and you’ll have a chance to win a digital copy of your choice from my backlist.

Contest closes October 6. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave a means of contact!

 

A MelanieM Review: Building Forever (This Time Forever #1) by Kelly Jensen

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.

Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.

But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.

Building Forever (This Time Forever #1) by Kelly Jensen is one of those books to hug close to your heart.  Once finished I wanted to pick it up and start it all over again, lose myself in the richness of the relationships the author has created within.  It’s so easy to fall in love here.  To embrace the people and their lives.

Charlie and his daughter, Liv?  You can feel the truth of their lives, the pain of having lived through watching a beloved mother and wife dying of cancer and then her death, the void her loss has meant and the guilt for Charlie.  And the warmth Charlie exudes, the “realness” of that father/daughter relationship just jumps off the page at you until you almost are a part of their lives as well.

Simon is just a connectable.  Viable, human, hurting.  His chemistry with Charlie and his, unbelievably Charlie’s house (a character in its own right) is so vivid that I kept re-reading passages for the shear joy of them.  I loved these two men together.  Their conversations, the funny dialog.  Especially, Charlie’s conversations and Simon’s reactions to them.  Priceless!

But, of course, it’s so much more than that.  It’s Phil, it’s the dog, Liv, Justin, that house…it’s the whole of this story.  It’s every element that combines to bring a town, a family, and this couple together so memorably alive that your heart feels warm and happy and so not ready to see everyone go.  I wanted to stay, seated in their midst, ready for another story from Charlie, another chapter in their lives, their next step forward.  Their next anything….

Building Forever (This Time Forever #1) by Kelly Jensen is beautifully written with wonderful characters and a heartwarming story you will truly love.  Yes, I absolutely recommend it.

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  I love this artist’s work but that isn’t the house as I pictured it with greystone and slate roof which is a big fail seeing that it’s a huge part of the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 337 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626498389
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series This Time Forever #1

Falling Frightfully Into October! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Falling Frightfully Into October!

 

How I love this month! Or to be more specifically the month of October, only days away!  It’s a time of changing leaves, the arrival of fall, hopefully a crispness of air, and of course, that favorite  of holidays Halloween!  All Hallows Eve. More about the holiday later this month.  But it’s also time to think about all those lovely stories that carry a tinge of horror, a bite of fright, or a element of scare!

So all month I’ll be recommending series and stories to read.  I hope you will be chiming in too.  We need our Frightening Reads Recommendations!

So to get us started heres some that I’ve rec’d from the past:

From Missouri Dalton, author of the recent releases

The Hanged Man’s Ghost (The Night Wars, #1)
The Night Shift (The Night Wars #2)
The Hellfire Legacy

Guidebook Series

Vampirism And You! (Guidebook 01) ~ my review here
Necromancy and You (Guidebook 02) ~ my review here

Pretty Monsters coverPeek A Boo coverTriple Feature coverJosh of the Damned The Final Checkout

Author Andrea Speed:

Josh of the Damned Series – humor and the Supernatural -killer combo along with outstanding covers

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #1 (Josh of the Damned #3) by Andrea Speed
Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned, #1)
Peek-a-Boo (Josh of the Damned, #2)
Night of the Dust Bunnies (Josh of the Damned, #3.5)
Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout (Josh of the Damned #4)
Merry Christmas, Josh! (Josh of the Damned #4.5)
Josh of the Damned: The Complete Collection

The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric Arvin

And finally, two short tales of such lyrical elegance and narrative poetry I read them over and over in admiration.   These should be on everyone’s must read list!

End Street Detectives by RJ Scott and Amber Kell

Lily by Xavier Axelson

Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall

Now from some previous years recommendations:

In A Dark Wood civerKraken coverWinter Kills coverDown cover

 

 

 

 

 

In a Dark Wood by Josh Lanyon: If you want something scary-creepy to make you cower under the blankets and double-check the doors and windows. Look no further. Who knew Lanyon could rival King, in this I see the making of the Master of M/M horror. And this horror buff wants more of this style of writing from Lanyon please.

Winter: Haunted Heart by Josh Lanyon: For those who want more of haunted-creepy, Lanyon has you covered there as well. Check out this lovely ghostly mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. The audio version’s narrator is excellent if you’re into audiobooks.

Kraken by M. Caspian: Ready for the creature feature now guys? Then check this one out. It takes creepy to a whole new level. You know the slimy, make-your-skin crawl kind. *shiver*

Down by Ally Blue: Features violence and death trapped seven fathoms below the deep. Creatures with glowing purple eyes and sharp teeth and a horror that could annihilate the human race-EEK! Tantalizing beginning and an ending that circled nicely back to it. The author’s writing style didn’t work well for me personally, but many others loved it and the story is most certainly eerie and quite unique.

As for favorite scary reads…
Slasherazzi by Daniel A. Kaine

Favorite shifters…
The Tameness of the Wolf series by Kendall McKenna

Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk

Spirit by John Inman

What are you reading this All Hallows Eve?  We will be adding to the list all month long and gift certificates will be given out!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 30:

  • Falling Frightfully Into October!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • New Release Blitz for Sadistic Sherlock (Ward Security #4) by Joceylynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
  • Cover Reveal – Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice
  • A MelanieM Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • A Stella Review The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring (Butterfly Hunter #3) by Julie Bozza

Monday, October 1:

  • Cover Reveal Commitment Collection Box Set by Karen Botha
  • Dreamspun Promo Kim Fielding on The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril)
  • Promo Tara lain on Love You So Special
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Surviving the Apocalypse by Tinnean
  • A Lucy Review From the Ashes by C.M. Valencourt
  • A MelanieM Review: A Taste Of Agapi by Chris Ethan
  • A Stella Review: Holiday Tales from Fairyland by Joe Cosentino

Tuesday, October 2:

  • BLOG TOUR THRALL by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish
  • Blog Tour With a Twist by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn
  • TOUR To Save His Prince by Hurri Cosmo
  •  BLITZ A Dance of Water and Air by Antonia Aquilante
  • A Jeri Review: Thrall by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish
  • A Lila Audiobook Review Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico) by BA Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril) by Kim Fielding

Wednesday, October 3:

  • Release Blitz – Claw Marks & Card Games by Maz Maddox
  • Cover Reveal Tour – V.L. Locey – One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5)
  • Review Tour Garrett Leigh – Lucky
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady  Review: Of Sunlight and Stardust by Riley Hart & Christina Lee
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: The Librarian’s Ghost (The Supers #2) by Sean Michael
  • An Ali Review: Lucky by Garrett Leigh
  • A Stella Review: All He Ever Needed by Cate Ashwood

Thursday, October 4:

  • Release Day Blitz Of Sunlight and Stardust by Riley Hart & Christina Lee
  • Spotlight Blog Tour and Giveaway for Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall
  • Release Blitz –  – Center Of Gravity by Neve Wilder
  • Dreamspun Promo Sean Michael
  • An Alisa Review: Promises: The Next Generation (Bounty Hunters #5) by A.E. Via
  • An Ashley Review: The Academy by Quinn Anderson
  • A MelanieM Review : Distant Cousins by Eric Huffbind

Friday, October 5:

  • Consulting: Dragon War Chronicles Book One by AG Carothers Blog Tour
  • Harmony Promo Russell J. Sanders
  • Review Tour – Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey
  • A Free Dreamer Review: BURN (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Of Gallantry and Magic, by Alex Hintermann
  • A MelanieM Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey
  • An Ashley Review The Beach Brat by Louise Collins

Saturday, October 6:

  • Book Blast: The Selkie Prince and His Omega Guard
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – Us Again
  • Release Blitz *signal)Tour – Jay Northcote – Not Just Friends
  • A MelanieM Review: Claw Marks & Card Games (Stallion Ridge #2) by Maz Maddox
  • A Stella Review “no way out” by Eric Alan Westfall