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

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National Coming Out Day….a bit late.

 

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

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

A Resource Guide to Coming Out

Transgender Visibility: A Guide to Being You

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 13:

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

Monday, October 14:

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

Tuesday, October 15:

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

Wednesday, October 16:

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

Thursday, October 17:

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

Friday, October 18:

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

Saturday, October 19:

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

A Free Dreamer Review: The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Hatred is a spell only true love can break.

Ángel Cruz is a dedicated session musician, until loyalty to his estranged family forces him to work for Oberon: the feared and hated envoy from the Otherworld. Overnight, Ángel is taken from his life, his friends, his work, and trapped in a hideous mansion in the middle of nowhere, under constant surveillance, and with only the frightening fae for company.

Oberon’s poor understanding of humans combined with Ángel’s resentment and loneliness threaten to cause real harm to the pair. Then a long winter together in the mansion unites them in their love of music. Slowly, Ángel’s anger thaws, and he begins to realize that Oberon feels alone too.

Gradually, these two souls from different worlds form a connection like none other. But hate and prejudice are powerful things, and it’ll take all the magic of their love to stop the wider world from forcing them apart.

I love a good story involving the fae and “ The Musician and the Monster” promised to be a new take on them. And I have to say, I quite enjoyed it.

I will admit it took a little till I fully connected to the story. It was a little slow in the beginning and I struggled to understand Oberon. I really think his POV would’ve made it much easier to understand him. He might not look all that different from your average human, but he doesn’t act like a human at all. I guess that would have also made it hard to write his voice, but I have seen this done successfully before.

After a while, it did click and I started to really enjoy the book. Once Ángel, and we, slowly get to know Oberon, the fae turns out to be a really interesting person. The author does a pretty good job at making him more accessible to the reader and I really liked him. I would have loved to learn a little more about the world of the fae, though.

The pace is rather slow and there’s not that much action, other than one big bang toward the end. I think the pace fit the story, even if it didn’t create any suspense in the traditional sense of the word. But I did find it harder to put down the book the further along I got.

I especially liked the end and I’d love to see a sequel. It felt like such a wonderful new beginning for everybody involved.

Overall, “The Musician and the Monster” is a good, enjoyable book that keeps getting better and better the more you read. I do think Oberon’s POV would have helped push it more towards “great” instead of just “good”. Still, if there is a sequel at some point, I will most definitely read it.

If you like quiet Urban Fantasy with a very slow burn, then you should give this one a try. If you want a fast-paced, suspense filled story full of action and magic, then this probably isn’t the book for you.

The cover by Shayne Leighton is gorgeous and fits the story perfectly.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Book details:

ebook, 300 pages

Published September 30th 2019 by Riptide Publishing

Kristina Meister on Aesthetics and Morality and her new release Love Under Glasse by Kristina Meister

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Love Under Glasse by Kristina Meister

Riptide Publishing
Published August 26th 2019
Cover Art: LC Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have  Kristina Meister here today talking about appearances and her new release Love Under Glasse.  Welcome, Kristina>

     ✒︎

One of my least favorite fairy tale conceits is the idea that aesthetics match morality—only the pretty can be good. I wanted to go a step farther with Love Under Glasse and take on the idea that only those who buy into the culture, in this case Christianity, can be good. There’s a concept pervasive to many organized religions—because otherwise they wouldn’t be organized—that “everyone else is wrong”. It’s a situation of absolutes, right?—if they’re correct about how everything works, then obviously everyone else has to be wrong.

For members of the LGBTQIA community, religion can be tricky. Not many embrace us, and some are downright hostile. It can be impossible to feel the pull of any spiritual teachings and a great deal of shame comes from a sense of conflict with the beliefs of everyone around us. Unlike the classic story of Snow White, in which the step mother becomes so fixated on her appearance that she is willing to have her daughter’s heart cut out, Love Under Glasse features a mother so concerned with the appearance of “deviance” that she is willing to essentially deny her child her heart and her independence.

When I told some of my beta readers about my plan to set up the plot with the main character discovering her mother was about to send her to a conversion therapy camp, a few of them were skeptical. Their argument was that those places seem too fanciful, and to people who either aren’t from conservative Christian backgrounds, or who aren’t members of the LGBTQIA community, that’s understandable, but they are unfortunately very real. The American Psychiatric Association rejects the notion that sexuality and gender need to be corrected based on assumptions of morality, and that subjecting patients to practices that are questionable is unethical, but that doesn’t stop many charitable organizations from selling just such “treatment”. There’s teams of researchers from private universities who argue that the therapy should exist in case a patient feels their sexuality is in conflict with their ethics. There are even states in which it is protected and not just legal. It’s in fact, quite a threat, and even if one isn’t part of a conservative Christian background, it’s disheartening to know that so many others feel pressured and ashamed. Even if only a few are affected, it’s a concern to all of us.

I also wanted to play with the concept of transformation, something very common to fairy tales: the princess has to kiss a frog to turn him into a prince, a magic spell must be broken to allow the hero to revert to original form, or a curse turns someone into a monster. Conversion Therapy can easily be seen, as either a curse or a magical fix, depending upon perspective, and this combined with its recent presence in the media, made it a very worthwhile plot device.

 

 

About Love Under Glasse

This runaway might want to get caught.

El Glasse’s mother controls her life. What she does, who she dates, even what she’s allowed to say. El only has two ways of holding onto her freedom. One is her popular anonymous blog, hidden from Mama Glasse. The other is what she so often blogs about: her feelings for Riley, the girl who works at the ice cream parlor. Riley is fierce, free, and rides a killer motorcycle, and El cannot help but love her. But Mama Glasse can never find out about her sexuality—unless El is willing to rebel. 

When El runs away, Riley feels responsible. She knows what it’s like to be alone, and she can’t deny her deep desire to learn El’s story. In a move she might end up regretting, she makes a devil’s bargain with Mama Glasse to hunt El down.

Riley isn’t trying to bring her home though, because she knows an evil spell when she sees one—a spell of fear and shame El is finally starting to break. This huntress might lose her own heart, but it’s a risk she’s willing to take. 

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About Kristina Meister

Kristina Meister is an author of fiction that blurs genre. There’s usually some myth, some mayhem, and some monsters. While Kristina’s unique voice and creative swearing give life to dialogue, her obsession with folklore and pop culture make for humor and complexity.

She and her mad-scientist husband live in California with their poodles Khan and Lana, and their daughter Kira Stormageddon, where they hoard Nerf toys, books, and swords—in case of zombie apocalypse.

2018 Foreword INDIES Gold Winner – LGBT

Connect with Kristina:

 

 


Giveaway

To celebrate this release, Kristina is giving away a custom ordered biker-style patch that represents El and Riley, as well as a signed copy of her award-winning novel Cinderella Boy! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 31, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

Sports Romance and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sports Romances and M/M

We started talking sports and romance last week.  Baseball and hockey primarily.  And what sports are and were featured in LGBT romances. I’ve been reading a lot of MM hockey romance this month, getting caught up on our hockey recs and books/series I had missed.  Last week’s discussions also prompted me to start thinking about what other sports are featured highly in LGBT contemporary romances?  Right away rugby jumped into my brain.  Sean Kennedy’s outstanding series Tigers and Devils as well as Dahlia Donovan’s sexy  The Sin Bin series.  Soccer and rugby, English and Aussie rules, totally different, I know. Hot men in shorts with great legs.  Kill me now.

Don’t get me started on the French Rugby calendar Dieux du Stade  fans self!

So yes, those sports as well as hockey are right up there in romances.  Also ice skating seems to be on the rise as well.  A hockey and ice skating combo?  Hot hot hot.  There is one in the RJ Scott/VL Locey Harrisburg Railers Series.  And a couple of standalones if I could jog my memory.  I really need a better system of recording these stories.

Swimming.  Sean Michael has several of those.  BA Tortuga and her rodeo cowboys, in fact, loads of bull riders and ropers out there.  But NFL and MLB? I can’t think of too many as I said last week.

Some gymnastics….also Sean Michaels….comes into mind.  It might even be the same series.  I wondered what you had to say and this is what HB replied:

 

From HB:Basketball and football in romance seems less frequent to me. I think I’ve only read one basketball sport romance in 10+ yrs of reading m/m fiction and only seen a handful maybe less with ones that have football. I think there are less popular ones out there like soccer, ice skating, lacross, rugby and equestrianism that get even less attention. Swimming I think is a big one after hockey and the focus usually falls over the two.

Yep, forgot about the equestrian sports.  That’s a big one.  Jumping, Polo, Dressage, Racing!  From Mickie Aisling to others.  Horses are well represented in romance along with the men who love them.

So you know what’s coming.

Recommendations. Let’s divide them up by category.

Rugby/Soccer.

Ice Skating

Rodeo

Equestrian (Polo,Jumping, Racing, Dressage)

Water Sports (do not go there!)

Baseball/Football American NFL

Other

Let’s see what we can come up with.

Meanwhile I’m still reading and reviewing my way through Avon Gale’s incredible Scoring Chances series and will finish it up this month.  Stay with me.  Here is our schedule this week.

 

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 24:

  • Sports Romance and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 25:

  • Review Tour – RJ Scott – Today (Single Dads #2)
  • Release Blitz Tour – Joanna Chambers – Gentleman Wolf
  • Review  Audio Tour Wake Up Married serial, Episodes 4 – 6: Fight Their Feelings, Meet the Mob, Happy Ending (Wake Up Married #4-6) by Leta Blake ( and Alice Griffiths
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Today (Single Dads #2) by RJ Scott
  • An Alisa Review : Already Home (Finding Home #4) by Carly Marie
  • A Caryn Review: An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1) by Belinda McBride
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Wake Up Married serial, Episodes 4 – 6: Fight Their Feelings, Meet the Mob, Happy Ending (Wake Up Married #4-6) by Leta Blake ( and Alice Griffiths

Tuesday, August 26:

  • BLOG TOUR Heel by KM Neuhold
  • PROMO Mason Thomas
  • Book Blitz – Ann Lister – A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label Book One)
  • A MelanieM Review: Omega from the Ocean (Heron Manor Book 1) by Amy Bellows
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review The Witchstone Amulet by Mason Thomas
  • An Alisa Review Heel by KM Neuhold

Wednesday, August 27:

  • BLITZ A Noble Cause by Mickie B. Ashling
  • Review Tour for Escape (Rebellion #1) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • PROMO Belinda McBride
  • A MelanieM Review :Escape (Rebellion #1) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Lila Review: Soul on Fire by Tal Bauer

Thursday, August 28:

  • Release Blitz – Marshall Thornton – Code Name: Liberty
  • TOUR LOVE UNDER GLASSE by Kristina Meister
  • An Alisa A Alisa Audio Review :In Safe Hands (Heroes and Babies #1) by Victoria Sue
  • A MelanieM Review:Overtime (Scoring Chances #3.5) by Avon Gale

Friday, August 29:

  • Audio Blitz Dirty Mind – Roe Horvat
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review : Hitting Black Ice by Heloise West
  • A MelanieM Review: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale
  • A Stella review If You’re Going Through Hell Keep Going (Mann of My Dreams #1) by Tinnean

Saturday, August 30:

  • Blog Post – Joanna Chambers – Gentleman Wolf
  • A MelanieM Review:Coach’s Challenge (Scoring Chances #5) by Avon Gale

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

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My Guilty Pleasure ~ Sports Books

I blame and applaud The Washington Post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 18:

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

Monday, August 19:

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

Tuesday, August 20:

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

Wednesday, August 21:

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

Thursday, August 22:

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

Friday, August 23:

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

Saturday, August 24:

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

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

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Hatred is a spell only true love can break.

Ángel Cruz is a dedicated session musician, until loyalty to his estranged family forces him to work for Oberon: the feared and hated envoy from the Otherworld. Overnight, Ángel is taken from his life, his friends, his work, and trapped in a hideous mansion in the middle of nowhere, under constant surveillance, and with only the frightening fae for company.

Oberon’s poor understanding of humans combined with Ángel’s resentment and loneliness threaten to cause real harm to the pair. Then a long winter together in the mansion unites them in their love of music. Slowly, Ángel’s anger thaws, and he begins to realize that Oberon feels alone too.

Gradually, these two souls from different worlds form a connection like none other. But hate and prejudice are powerful things, and it’ll take all the magic of their love to stop the wider world from forcing them apart.

Honestly, I am still going back and forth between a 5 star rating and 4.75 for this new twist on a fantasy Beauty and the Beast story from author Jenya Keefe.  The writer’s take on fae is quite unique and it not only makes this story but the comparison between our human visually oriented species and the harmonic Fae is  one that not only fills this story with amazing scenes and possibilities but can power an entire series.  How I hope it does.

The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe is as I said is a slight take  Fae take on the wonderful Beauty and The Beast storyline.  Here the Beast is represented by a lone fae whose come through a portal from his world to the human one and now he’s sequestered away, alone, in a mansion, wanting a companion.  The Beauty of this tale?  A hispanic session musician named Ángel Cruz, who becomes the Fae’s companion through messy dealings of his father’s.  That’s the plain facts that this incredible story and romance is built upon.

I will admit I am more enthralled here by Keefe’s world building and her clear understanding of species differences than by the romance.  Oberon’s excitement and understanding of the way human’s communicate visually through facial movements, clothing choices, tattoos, hair colors, etc.  is fascinating and spot on.  Especially as it’s something “alien” to his own species and world which operates harmonically and communally….a wide cultural canyon stretching between humans and Fae is both acknowledged and understood.  To a degree.

The relationships here are built slowly as acceptance is hard won, as it should be, as cultural differences and misunderstandings are exposed and explained..  I really wanted so many parts of this story to be expanded, because they delighted and made me think of more possibilities.  I love the interchanges between Oberon and Angel, especially when it came to music as a bridge and the use of the Podcasts was a brilliant element.

I don’t want to reveal more about the story or characters but just to say this cries out for more.  A sequel, a series, just more.  I found the characters astonishing, the world building not enough because it just threw up questions I needed the answers to.  What I got?  Imaginative and thoroughly compelling in its ability to make me start drawing my own outlines and  ideas as to what awaited on the other side of that portal.  I really need to know.

If you love fairy tales combined with a new twist and a wildly different take on Fae, I absolutely recommend The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe.  it’s exciting, very well written, with great characters and a fast paced plot.  A must read for all fantasy lovers.

Cover By: Shayne Leighton.  What a beautiful, haunting cover.  Just perfect for this story.  I love it.

Pre order Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing

Book Details:

Soon to be published by Riptide Publishing
SBN: 978-1-62649-886-0
Release Date: 09/30/2019
Word Count: 80,000
Page Count: ~300
eBook and paperback

A Lila Audio Review: Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Seven of Spades is back with a vengeance—the vigilante serial killer has resumed their murderous crusade, eluding the police at every turn. But a bloodthirsty killer isn’t the only threat facing Sin City. A devious saboteur is wreaking havoc in Las Vegas’s criminal underworld, and the entire city seems to be barreling toward an all-out gang war.As Detective Levi Abrams is pushed ever closer to his breaking point, his control over his dangerous rage slips further every day. His relationship with PI Dominic Russo should be a source of comfort, but Dominic is secretly locked in his own downward spiral, confronting a nightmare he can’t bear to reveal.

Las Vegas is floundering. Levi and Dominic’s bond is cracking along the seams. And the Seven of Spades is still playing to win. How many bad hands can Levi and Dominic survive before it’s game over?

Cash Plays takes place shortly after Trick Roller, and let us see how Levi and Dominic are (or not) dealing with the aftermath of the Seven of Spades latest vigilante stunt.

Their relationship seems solid but with every page it becomes strained and complicated. They get wrapped up in their own insecurities and troubles, giving the reader an inside to their fears and self-doubt.

I still have no idea who the Seven of Spades is but the conclusion others are having has passed my mind too. I don’t think it’s right but I would like to see what happens if it becomes true. It also opens the series to many possibilities and suspects.

This book shows Levi’s and Dominic’s lives as parallel ships. Two different stories united by similar, interrelated events. By the time they realized it, the reader is ready to add them to the hit list for making us wait.

Definitely, a murder mystery worth every single minute of angst and lies involved.

Finally I’m used to the narration by Wyatt Baker. It was easier to follow the conversations and to get into the characters’ minds.

The cover by Garrett Leigh embraces the poker elements of the Seven of Spades, and matches not only the previous covers, but the story’s plot points.

Sales Links: Riptide | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Wyatt Baker
Length: 9 hours and 39 minutes

Published: July 3, 2019 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B07TVFKQQZ
Edition Language: English

Series: Seven of Spades
Book #1: Kill Game
Book #2: Trick Roller
Book #1: Cash Plays

An Alisa Review Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

It’s not always possible to meet in the middle.

Registered nurse Evan Doyle doesn’t consider himself fit for more than occasional hookups. He has a good life, but the emotional aftermath of a horrific crime makes him feel too damaged to date. So when his sister’s hot bestie, Malcolm Umbertini, comes on to him, he turns him down flat. Mal is Relationship Material: the kind who thinks in the long term. What would Evan do with a man like that?

As a prosecuting attorney, Mal’s learned how to read people, and he knows there’s more to Evan than meets the eye. Mal has faced his own hardships since his family kicked him out as a teen, and he respects Evan’s courage and emotional resilience. More than that, he wants Evan—in his bed and in his life. But can he weather another rejection?

Both wary, they agree to a no-strings fling. Mal knows that Evan wants things to stay casual, but he’s falling in love a little more with each encounter. With health, happiness, and bruised hearts on the line, Mal and Evan must risk everything for love.

I am still not totally sure what I thought of this book, while I enjoyed it there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way too.  Mal and Evan have been hurt by those in their pasts and though those experiences were drastically different at times their coping mechanisms end up hurting others.

This story had a lot of push and pull which I expect with characters that have tragic pasts but at points you have to suspend normal thinking in order to understand or accept how the characters acted.  First off Evan hasn’t seen his sister is fifteen years because of what happened when they were teens and I gotta say, I’m not sure I really liked her.  I know she had damage from their childhood too but she doesn’t seem to really care about hoe Evan feels about things just what she thinks should be happening and I felt she was selfish in many of her actions just assuming and not actually talking about what she wanted.

I hated that Mal was ready to allow himself to be hurt just to keep Evan in his life.  Now, I liked Evan and understood he is still hurting and needs certain things to cope with what happened to him but his running from basically everything wasn’t the answer and he doesn’t seem to get that.  And while Mal is still working though how his parents’ treated him he is more willing to try.  I don’t know but the ending gives a HFN vibe but doesn’t make me feel confident in their actual relationship.

Cover art by LC Chase is nice and you can see some of Evan’s troubles on his face.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 215 pages

Published: August 5, 2019 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-879-2

Edition Language: English

Qualifications of a Perfect Romance Novel Continues and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Qualifications of a Perfect Romance Novel Continues

Thoughts on what makes the perfect romance novel continues into this Sunday with some of our readers chiming in on favorite books and their own romance book qualifications.  I’ve been thinking a lot about it myself this last week, mentally shuffling over titles and thinking about what made them so powerful and so lasting…

One thing, one factor that appears and vanishes like a will o’ the wisp from story to story is, oddly enough, humor.  Some are bereft of it.  There is no levity to be found in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, two stories that left a great impact on me to the point I can quote sentences and passages from each of them.  Pride and the Prejudice by Jane Austen?  Or Sense and Sensibility?  What humor there is is gentle or should that be upper class?

But I have also read romances that have left me crying with laughter, lighthearted and filled with love for the story and couple.  See Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston for the most recent story.  Or going back?  Arabella by Georgette Heyer (or anything by Georgette Heyer (M/F Regency Romance).  Amy Lane’s series often veer from the hilarious to the angst full on a dime, breaking our hearts in the bargain.  Don’t get me started on one of my favorite series of hers, The Granby Knitting Series.  There are the wonderful historic romances of WWI of Charlie Cochrane and her inestimable Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart in her Cambridge Fellows series that spans decades in a relationship and major changes in England and the world around it.  This series has a deep, abiding place in my heart.

So it begs the question …to humor or not to humor?  Should that be a element in a great romance novel?  Let’s continue to chime in….

And now let’s hear from one of our readers:

H.B. :

I agree with the assessment of whether you can have a great story was too much story and no or not enough sex scenes. Sometimes a story just doesn’t need it to get the idea of intimacy and love across.

I think everyone had one or more books that have stuck with them over the years. I’ve been reading romance for a long time and have plenty that i can still recall the story of without going back and rereading it and still love today.

M/F:
Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard
Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown
A Man to Call My Own by Johanna Lindsey
Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Violet by Lauren Royal

Fantasy:
Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Nine Kingdom series by Lynn Kurland

SCI-FI:
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

LGBT:
Kirith Kirin by Jim Grimsley
Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey
All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic
Dreams of Fire and Gods series by James Erich (YA)
Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux (and Madeleine Urban)
Chronicles of Ylandre by Eresse
A Simple Romance by J.H. Knight
Cethe by Becca Abbott
He Speaks Dead by Adrienne Wilder
Mercury’s Orbit by Lia Black
The Men of Halfway House series by Jaime Reese
all of Anyta Sunday books…

I can name so much more but the list keeps on going.

 

Thanks, HB, and let’s keep the conversation going….what books do you have on your list?  I gave you just a sampling of mine. More to come.  Meanwhile, here is our schedule for this week. Check it out and happy reading and listening!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 11:

  • Qualifications of a Perfect Romance Novel Continues
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 12:

  • Review Tour – Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
  • Release Blitz – RJ Scott & Meredith Russell – Kaden (Boyfriend for Hire )
  • PROMO Amy Lane
  • A Stella Review : Digging Deep by  Jay Hogan
  • An Alisa Review: Anticipating Disaster (Anticipation #1) by Silvia Violet
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ignite (Unbreakable Bonds #7) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Tuesday, August 13:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Wanderlust by Quin Perin
  • Release Blitz – After The Final Curtain – TL Travis
  • New Release & Tour: Here Comes the Son by Dahlia  Donovan
  • Guest Post and Tour – Elyse Springer World Turned Upside Down
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Mischief Maker (Animal Lark #1) by Andi Lee
  • A VVivacious Prerelease Review: Nemesis (Alpha Unit One #2) by Chris T. Kat
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Wednesday, August 14:

  • BLITZ Stray by Nancy J. Hedin
  • PROMO Andi Lee on Mischief Maker (Animal Lark #1)
  • Release Blitz  – Repeat Offence by Jackie Keswick
  • BLOG TOUR Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review: Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • A Vivacious Review Repeat Offence by Jackie Keswick
  • An Alisa Review Anticipating Rejection (Anticipation #2) by Silvia Violet

Thursday, August 15:

  • Cover Reveal for V.L. Locey ‘s The Good Green Earth
  • Book Blitz – – Jesus Kidj by Kayleigh Sky
  • Blog Post – Jay Hogan on Digging Deep
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Exile Prince (The Castaway Prince #2) by Isabelle Adler
  • A Lila Audio Review: Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • AN Alisa Review: Mad About the Boy by Beth Laycock

Friday, August 17:

  • Blog Tour Heart Strain by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee
  • “The Stones of Power” series by M.D. Grimm Tour
  • A MelanieM Review:Save of the Game (Scoring Chances #2) by Avon Gale
  • A Stella Review Release Day Review: Nemesis (Alpha Unit One #2) by Chris T. Kat
  • An Alisa Review Anticipating Temptation (Anticipation #3) by Silvia Violet

Saturday, August 18:

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

 

 

A Lila Audio Review: Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

After years of running wild, Linc might’ve finally run out of road.After a brutal capture at the hands of the Heathens Motorcycle Club, Linc is just trying to heal, mentally and physically. But he’s got men in his life who are complicating everything. There’s Mercy—a Havoc MC biker and the man he is falling fast for—plus an undercover ATF agent and a rogue Havoc member.

But Mercy’s keeping him at arm’s length, and Linc is spinning. In an attempt to regain his equilibrium, he heads to the bar where he first met Mercy. Night after night, he escapes Havoc bonds and continues down his merry path of mayhem . . . mainly in the hopes that Mercy will give chase.

Since Linc’s capture by his old MC, Mercy’s been dealing with the fallout of his guilt. He’s trying to give Linc space and still watch over him—all without Linc’s knowledge. But with Linc’s old job calling and a threat to Havoc MC heating up, can they make their way back together?

Running on Empty recounts some of the events of Running Blind from Linc’s and Mercy’s point of view. And talking about Mercy, it took me a while to get used to the name change from Gypsy. It’s not a spoiler, just an author’s note before the start of the book.

Like before, the connection of all the motorcycle clubs, law enforcement agencies, and old friends is one of the most interesting aspects of this story. It runs parallel to the romance but it didn’t take away from it.

Linc and Mercy are complex characters with many hidden layers that kept them from trusting each other during most of the story. They do have a sweet connection that withstood their separation and all the others trying to flirt their way in.

I wanted a little bit more cuddly time with them as a couple. Also, more about the other guys and their possible love interests. Overall,  this was a nice addition to the series.

I enjoyed having Mark Larchmont narrating once again. It’s easy to jump back into the series when the voices bring you back into the Havoc world.

The cover by L.C. Chase is simple but it matches the story and the series.

Sale Links: Riptide | Audible | iBooks

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Mark Larchmont
Length: 5 hours and 44 minutes

Published: July 11, 2019 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B07V4H1HBR
Edition Language: English

Series: Havoc
Book #1: Running Wild
Book #2: Running Blind
Book #3: Running on Empty