A Julia Review: Addict (The Cassie Tam Files #1) by Matt Doyle

Standard

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.

Addict by Matt Doyle is going to be the first volume in a series about P.I. Cassie Tam and the cases she will find herself confronted with. I was especially curious to see how the author would handle the mixing between Sci-Fi and Fantasy elements. As it turns out, I was not going to be disappointed.

The story takes place in a not-too-distant-future-version of our world where technology has advanced to play an even more prominent role in people’s everyday lives. I very much appreciated the approach the author has taken to introduce the reader to his world: by show, not tell. For the most part we simply get to witness how the characters interact with the technology that surrounds them. Here and there the protagonist Cassie Tam, from whose perspective the story is told, will offer an explanation as to how and why certain technological as well societal developments have taken place. The world-building is pretty solid and one can see that the author put a lot of thought into creating a sensible connection between the past (in other words our current time period) and the present in which the novel takes place. It was interesting to discover the numerous and imaginative ways humans have attempted to improve their lifestyles through various gadgets and applications – some with rather questionable success.

I took a liking to Cassie from the beginning because of her direct, nonchalant attitude and demeanour. She is not some kind of newbie but has already a number of successful cases under her belt at this point and it shows. Therefore, she has confidence in her abilities and methods to get things done while on the other hand, there is the occasional blast from the past Cassie is forced to deal with.

Lori (or Ink as she is known in her animal form) is a Tech Shifter who can take on the shape of a panther. I found it very interesting to learn about this more recently emerged group of individuals that have formed their own kind of subculture at this point. The author did a good job in giving the reader some insight into their historical development, technological workings and position within current society. Lori herself is a woman of strong character and conviction who nonetheless needs a way from time to time to escape the harsh and corrupt reality that simmers beneath the surface of New Hopeland. She finds this kind of comfort by changing into her animal form and I appreciated how honestly she admits as much.

The two women play well off each other and the ever so playful, slightly cynical way the two interact with one another was fun to witness as well as the gradual development of their relationship amidst the dangerous events unfolding around them. 

The crime story itself is well-paced and not lacking in suspenseful moments as well as peculiar and interesting individuals that Cassie has to deal with in one way or another. Sometimes I might have liked even a bit more details on characters, their looks and living conditions. All in all, this novel represented an enjoyable read and solid start for a new series and I am looking forward to reading about Cassie’s next case.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is not mind-blowing but it still looks nice and since this volume is intended to be the first in a series focusing on Cassie Tam, it seems appropriate to display her on the cover itself. Nevertheless, I would have very much enjoyed seeing a drawing of Ink or another Tech Shifter.

Sales Links

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

aBook Details:

ebook, 149 pages

Published May 8, 2017

by NineStar Press

ISBN: 978-1-947139-03-9

Edition Language: English

Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens ~ Why We Need to Help Gay and Bi Men in Chechnya (Part II)

Standard

In Chechnya, part of the Russian Federation, police are kidnapping gay men (and those they perceive to be gay) and taking them to camps for torture. Several state-sanctioned murders have also been reported.

Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens is a group of people raising money for organizations working directly with gay men and other persecuted LGBT people in Chechnya and the northern Caucasus.  We do this through direct donations, donating royalties to these charitable organizations, and an online auction being held May 5–12.

Fantasy and romance author Kate Pavelle/Olivette Devaus has donated two sets of ebooks with audio for the auction, Lucky Starflowers by Olivette Devaux and Kaje Harper’s Hidden Wolves series.

Why We Need to Help Gay and Bi Men in Chechnya

by Kate Pavelle, aka Olivette Devaux

I was born in the communist Czechoslovakia, where homosexuality was against the law. I wanted to be a writer, but was told, “No, you can’t be a writer. You’d either be a tool of the State, or you’d end up in jail as a dissident.” Once our family defected from behind the Iron Curtain, bummed around Europe as homeless refugees, and landed here in America, I knew I could never be a writer. I’d never speak English well enough – and everybody knows that you can write only in your mother tongue. 

There are many things which “everybody knows.” Many turned out to be false. 

  • Same-sex relationships are legal in the Czech Republic now, and so is same-sex marriage
  • They have freedom of speech now
  • I did become a writer
  • Yes, I can write in English even though it’s the 4th language I came across those many years ago

People ask why I write gay romance. Partly, I love romance, because it’s a feel-good literature of hope, and it speaks to the commonalities that make us human, that bring us together. Likewise, I can’t stand the “woman gets rescued by a man” tropes present in M/F romance. They aren’t my life.  I have worked so hard on not needing a rescue by anyone, the attitude is ingrained in my stubborn bones. Being a refugee in my early teens had shown me that, ultimately, we are on our own. People may help us along the way, but in the end, we are responsible for our own destiny. Some have it easier than others, true, but the attitude of self-reliance that I have been trying to foster in myself all these years – decades – is incompatible with “rescue and love” tropes of straight genre romance. 

A same-sex relationship offers a theoretically level playing field. Two guys (or gals,) similar societal expectations, no worries about getting pregnant. This oversimplified model is where I’d started few years ago, and it has evolved into a better understanding of how people work. The itch was scratched, and just when we got the landmark SCOTUS decision, marriage equality, and I’d thought I could move on to writing crime suspense, the Pulse shooting happened. 

Ducking out of a genre that had given me a good start, and a ton of support, would’ve been ungrateful. People were suffering, so I stayed. 

One year and few books later, we have Chechnya, and Putin, and Trump, and… and I just can’t leave. As long as writing same-sex romance is a political statement against a hateful, bigoted, religiously motivated governmental policy, I’ll keep writing it. I’ll keep making by boys happy in fiction in order to inspire those who are still closeted, or lonely, or scared that they, too, can have their happy ending. They, too, will have to work hard for it, (because my characters seldom have it easy), but there is that special someone for them at the end of the rainbow. 

Now that real-life men in Chechnya are being rounded up in concentration camps on mere suspicion of being gay, now that they are being beaten and tortured and killed, now that their families are being summoned to kill them to “cleanse their family’s honor by blood,” I feel duty-bound to try and help. These are not fictional characters. They are real, they bleed red, they run scared. For those lucky ones who were able to escape, we can help finance rescue operations so that they can find a home somewhere else. 

They are refugees, just like I had once been. 

I’m just paying it forward. 

Please join me.

———–

Kate Pavelle‘s novel Swordfall made the USA TODAY’s “must-read romance of 2015” list. She writes suspense, romance, and fantasy. She started publishing LGBT titles under her Olivette Devaux pen name.


Get Involved

If you’re an author who would like to get involved, please sign up at Authors & Publishers for LGBT Chechens. There, you can also find answers to frequently asked questions about donating a percentage of royalties, educating readers, the charitable organizations that are helping out LGBT Chechens, and more.

If you are a reader who would like to learn more about the situation in Chechnya and how to help — including how to make a direct donation to a designated charity, buy a book from a participating author, or support the auction — please visit Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens. You’ll find more information, as well as links and graphics you can add to your own blog, social media, or your website.

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Sharp Shooter Tokyoite by Charlie Godwyne

Standard

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

It’s 2035 and Kei is a half-Japanese, half-American asthmatic forced to relocate to Vancouver in order to breathe. Despite the difficulties that being in Japan entails, Kei goes back time and again to spend time with Taka, best friend and confidante, and help him hunt illegal pornographers. But no matter how badly Kei wishes they could be together permanently, life seems determined to keep them apart.

I was so looking forward to this story from reading the blurb.  It had so many things that intrigue me, a Japanese location with Japanese or half Japanese characters with unusual jobs, who exist in a dystopian world.  Unfortunately the execution just didn’t pan out.

For starters, the narrative comes out as muddied instead of clearly defined.  There is a weird intro about shooting a crow that really has nothing to do with the rest of the story, nothing about the world building is substantial other than the fact that there are  pornographers still  in existence (not a surprise) and that the air quality is bad, even worse if you have asthma.  How is this supposed to be a reach when it already exists now?  When there are people who need to wear masks in cities during yellow and red zone days? It happens around the world now from Arizona to China so to have this story located in 2035 makes little sense.

So already you have 2 marks against this story.  Then you get to the characters.  Kei and Taka, who have such a disjointed relationship that there is absolutely no chemistry between them and therefore no connection between them and the reader.  I really couldn’t figure out why they wanted to stay together.

The best part of this story?  The very last part which was cut short when the story ended.  That’s when the author should have picked up and run with it, that whole concept was great.  But no, that was the end of the story.  Oh well.

Cover artist:  Natasha Snow.  Neat cover, nice design.

Sales Link:   Less Than Three Press  | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 40 pages
Published April 26th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620049860
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Release Day Review: Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS #9) by Charlie Cochet

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Book 9 of the THIRDS series takes us away from not only the usual main characters of Dex and Sloan, but also out of their team Destructive Delta. This installment involves Sebastian Hobbs- older brother of Hobbs- and Hudson, the medical examiner at THIRDS HQ.

Seb and Hudson had been a couple. Going so far as to have Seb mark Hudson. But when a child dies while out on a call, they blame themselves. Ignoring the pull of their union, they tip toe around each other for years. But Seb is tasked with watching out for Hudson because the unseen enemy has been keeping tabs on him.

Seb and Hudson have always been great supporting players in the THIRDS universe. Every fan I know wanted them to get their own book and work toward their happily ever after. This book really made the wait worth it.

We still see “our” guys, Dex, Sloan and the crew- but the focus really is on Seb and Hudson. Not only seeing them together, but seeing Hudson with the Hobbs family. Before the tragedy that tore them apart, Hudson was fully ingrained with the Felids.

And just when you think it is all sweet and happy and rainbows…….BAM! She does it again. I won’t say what. But I will say I texted another reviewer who had read it before me practically screaming my question at her. She laughed at me. Keep reading, she said. Like stopping was an option.

Seb is so, so, SO sweet. I just love him. And even though it was Hudson who kept them apart, you really understand why.

A lot happens in this book. There is more introduction to the new bad guys. Thank goodness for her glossary at the beginning!

And the ending. The ending is just perfect.

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase.  Cover works for the story and branding the series.

Sales Link

 DSP eBook | DSP Paperback | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages
Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleDarkest Hour Before Dawn
ISBN 1635336090 (ISBN13: 9781635336092)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series THIRDS #9

More Postcards from Leipzig and Free Dreamer. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

More Postcards from Leipzig and Free Dreamer

Last week we had our first look at F.D.’s trip to the Leipzip Book Fair.  This Sunday we pick up at our second of three installments of Free Dreamer’s Postcards from Leipzip ~ Book Adventures!  Next Sunday, we will wrap it all up and announce our winner as well.  Take it away, F.D.!

Day 2:

Welcome back to my adventures at the Leipzig Book Fair!

On Saturday, day two of our stay, we all had to go to the actual book fair together. Mandatory school programm. Which didn’t last too long, since we split up before we ever reached fair grounds. Me and my friends decided to grab breakfast at the main station. Food at the fair grounds is very expensive!
The tram to the fair grounds was packed full to the brim. So many people! I got lucky and was one of the first people to squeeze my way inside and actually managed to find a seat.
The Leipzig fair grounds turned out to be absolutely beautiful. There was even a big pond with a beautiful fountain right in front of the building. The weather was lovely, so it made for really pretty pictures.
Since the tram ride had taken longer than expected, we of course ended up being slightly late. Me and two friends had decided to listen to a dicussion about queer literature. Luckily my two friends knew where to go, otherwise I would have gotten completely lost. The entrance hall is huge, but it was packed full of people. All in all, there were five or six giant halls occupied by the book fair and every single one was packed.
We arrived just in time. The discussion was unexpectedly popular, so we ended up sitting on the floor because all the seats were long taken. The discussion was led by the manager of the “Quer Verlag”, Germany’s first publisher for gay and lesbian literature,  a gay romance author and a writer and journalist for lesbian and feminist literature. The three of them talked about what actually counts as “queer literature”. The guy from the Quer Verlag and especially the journalist seemed to think that gay romance should not be considered “queer literature” as its target audience and its authors are heterosexual women and not queer people. I absolutely don’t agree with that assessment, personally. I’ve never cared about an author’s sexual orientation. I’ve only ever cared about the sexual orientiation of their protagonists. It made me sad and angry to see m/m romance being discriminated and belittled. I think a large part of that is due to it being romance, which is still not  a very respected genre here.
They also talked about troubles with marketing and how mainstream bookshops never seemed to know where to put queer literature books and how mainstream publishers never mention the word “gay” or “lesbian” in authors’ bios or book blurbs. While I do work in a mainstream bookshop, I can’t say I have any experience with either queer publishers or mainstream publishers with queer titles. If we’ve ever had such titles in stock, I wasn’t aware of it.
One of my friends got so annoyed with the discussion that she up and left in the middle of it. She’s proof that not all readers (and writers) of m/m romance are straight. She’s a lesbian and totally addicted to the m/m genre.
After this rather infuriating and fruitless discussion, I stayed on with my one remaining friend to listen to a discussion about All Age books. After the participants all seemed to agree that TV series are a good substitute for books and consequently kept talking about Gilmore Girls, I decided to leave this discussion. I’ve never liked Gilmore Girls and found the whole discussion rather boring.
While wandering the hall, I met some classmates. I ended up touring the hall with one of them and buying 28 postcards to satisfy my postcard-addiction. Since noon was fast approaching, we decided to get lunch. We ended up sharing fries and sun bathing outside for a bit. Which led to me almost being late to a reading by Brandon Sanderson. At least that’s what it said in the program. The “reading” turned out to be an interview, which was interesting too, but not what I’d expected.
Since it was all over faster than expected, I decided to go to the meeting of the German book forum I joined years ago. I’ve been an active member there for 8 years now and I’ve met a few great people. Surprisingly enough, I managed to find to find the meeting point without too much trouble, even though my sense for directions is usually utterly awful. Once there, lots of hugging and book and postcard signing ensued.
After that was over and done with, I decided to take a look at the remaining halls. I found a few interesting books but was too shy to beg for free copies. Instead I took pictures and begged for a free copy from the safety of my work place by writing an e-mail. Some of my classmates were a lot less shy. My two temporary roommates each snagged a whopping twelve free books each!
I left the fair around 5.30, since I was exhausted and hungry and had agreed to another forum meeting at 6.30. I would have made it easily, had it not been for my awful sense of direction making me take the wrong exit and wandering around for half an hour to find the tram stop, which was on the opposite side of where I’d exited the building. Once I’d finally found it, everybody was trying to go back to the city and I had to wait at least 30 minutes till I actually managed to squeeze onto on of the trams. It was ludicrous!
The meeting/dinner was very nice and I met a few wonderful new people. I left early, though, since I wasn’t sure how to get back to our dump of a motel and was worried I’d miss the last bus there.
On the tram back, I met my teacher and she asked me how I was planning to get back home tomorrow. That left me a little confused, since I had been planning to take the train with her and my classmates.
If you want to know how I made it back home without a train ticket and how a bra that didn’t belong to either me or my roommates ended up on our door, then check back next week for the conclusion of my Book Fair Adventures.
    —-   Free Dreamer

📚Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway📚

Have any questions for Free Dreamer? Leave them here along with your email address.  Random reader will be picked to win a $10 gift cert in the Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway.  It ends 5/5  at midnight.  Have you been to a book fair? Met your favorite author?   Do you want to know what was Free Dreamer’s favorite part of her book fair experience was or what books she brought home?  Write in and leave a comment!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 23:

  • More Postcards from Leipzig and Free Dreamer.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 24:

  • Blog Tour: Heir of Locksley by N.B. Dixon
  • Cover Reveal for Unsteady by Melissa Collins
  • Release Blitz – Rick R Reed’s Unhinged
  • Tour – Clare London ‘s A Good Neighbour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black
  • A Ali Audiobook Review: Signs of Life (Resilient Love #2) by Melanie Hansen and Robert Nieman (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Pre Release Review: Risky Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z

Tuesday, April 25:

  • BLOG TOUR See My Words by Melanie Hansen
  • BLOG TOUR Solid Ground by Jeff McKown
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – By The Numbers – RJ Scott
  • A Jeri Release Day Review:  Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS #9) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Kai Audiobook Review: Add Love and Mix by Sean Michael and Steve Balderson (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Necromancer’s Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) by S.J. Himes and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, April 26:

  • Cover Reveal for Ellery Mountain 1,2 & 3 – RJ Scott
  • Review Tour – Starting From Scratch (Housemates #5) by Jay Northcote
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Thaw by Elyse Springer
  • A Julia Review: Thaw (Seasons of Love #2) by Elyse Springer
  • A Kai Release Day Review: Kissing Lessons (Before… and After #2) by Susan Laine
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Olive Juice by TJ Klune
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Vodka & Handcuffs (Mary’s Boys #2) by Brandon Witt

Thursday, April 27:

  • DSP GUEST POST BA Tortuga on Best New Artist
  • DSP GUEST POST Lindsey Black on Fishy Riot
  • Release Blitz Silvia Violet – Well-Tailored
  • Release Day Blitz: Tied to You by Riley Hart
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Tied to You by Riley Hart
  • A Julia Review: The Rest is Illusion by Eric Arvin
  • An Alisa Review: The Acrobat (Blood Ties Book 1) by Agnes Moon and Kevan Houser (Translator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Never Lose Your Flames (New Canadiana #1) by Francis Gideon and Kevin Chandler (Narrator)

Friday, April 28:

  • DSP GUEST BLOG Marguerite Labbe on Pandora
  • DSP Publications GUEST POST: Amy Lane on Quickening, Vol. 1
  • Release Day Tour:  Unsteady by Melissa Collins
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Personal Challenges by KC Wells
  • A Julia Review: Realm of Passion by Courtney Breazile
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Best New Artist by BA Tortuga
  • An Ali Review: See My World by Melanie Hansen

Saturday, April 29:

  • Release Blitz – Laurent and the Beast by KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Sharp Shooter Tokyoite by Charlie Godwyne

Adventures From Leipzig – Postcards from Free Dreamer Part I. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

As promised, we are starting to post Free Dreamer’s adventures at the book fair.  We had a small teaser a short while ago.  But now let’s delve into Free Dreamer’s journey to Leipzig and her book adventures!

Adventures From Leipzig – Postcards from Free Dreamer

After a very bumpy ride on the night train from Vienna we finally arrived at Leipzig main station, early on Friday morning.Despite the early hour, the train station and the tram stops in front were very busy. Lots and lots of people arriving by train and taking the tram to the book fair.
We took the tram to our “hotel”. Oh boy, what a dump. It wasn’t a hotel but a camping site, with three of us sharing a bungalow each. It was freezing and tiny and the wireless didn’t work. We were collectively Not Pleased.
After we’d checked in and stored our luggage, my teacher made us go to a printing museum. We printed our own postcards, which was fun. And then an employee showed us one old and two really antique presses. It was really interesting to watch him work. Other than that, the museum was a bit dull and not very exciting.
Luckily, we got the rest of the day off and got to do whatever we wanted. Me and my three classmates went back to the main station. First, we explored the shops a bit. German products tend to be cheaper than those in Austria and there are some you can only get in Germany. I was getting really excited, because it wasn’t long till Brandon Sanderson, my absolutely most favourite author of all times would hopefully sign my books. So we decided to check out the book store that hosted the signing. Since nobody was around yet and we were all starving, we found food at the Pizza Hut next door. Another new experience for me, since there are no Pizza Huts in Austria.
For those of you who don’t know Brandon Sanderson: He’s an American Fantasy and SciFi author. I’ve been a fan of his works for many, many years and never thought I’d ever be lucky enough to meet him in person. Not all that many international authors ever make it to Austria.
When I got back to the shop, there was already a very long line of people waiting to have their books signed. I was so nervous and excited. I ended up standing in line for about 45 minutes. Luckily, the woman in front of me was very talkative and we had an interesting chat. A group of three showed up in cosplay, dressed as characters from “Way of Kings”. They were kind enough to pose for pictures.
And then I could see HIM. I wanted to squeal in excitement but held myself back. I was so thrilled. I had six books of his with me. And he signed every single one of them. For “Elantris”, he drew a little city map. Some of the others got a little quote from the book. And all of them got a “for Miriam”. I was happy beyond imagination.
He wanted to know if I had any questions for him. I was too excited to come up with anything good. But then I asked him why he didn’t come to Vienna and complained that I had to bring six (not exactly light) books all the way from Vienna by night train. First, he laughed and said, “Well, I flew over Vienna when I came here!” And I just thought to myself that that wasn’t very useful… Then he started to give me this speech about how a book shop had to contact his agent and invite him and so on. I cut him off. (Yes, I cut off my absolutely most favourite author!!) I explained that I’m a bookseller and that I’m aware of the procedure. And that my employer HAD invited him. He listened patiently and then gave me hope. Once he gets invited somewhere, he always visits, sooner or later. Then I posed for a picture with him and when I left, he said, “Thank youf or being a bookseller!” I was thrilled beyond words. *.*
After that amazing experience, I met up with my friends again, who are horribly ignorant people who’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson, even though I repeatedly told them how awesome he is. We wanted to go to the Fantasy night hosted by a German publisher. On the way there, we got horribly lost and ended up being half an hour late. Since Brandon Sanderson and two famous German Fantasy authors were there, the place was packed and we couldn’t even get into the main room anymore. We had to sit in a side room, with no view of the stage and could only listen to the three of them talking. The interview wasn’t done very well. Half the stuff wasn’t translated or was lost in translation, since Sanderson doesn’t speak German. It ended up being a rather dull affair and we left after a short while.
The day had been long and the night even shorter, so we found our way back to our dump. It was a little creepy at night. It was in the middle of a forest and not very well lit. Apparently those houses are a favourite hiding place for spiders. My two friends got rid of a huge, hideous spider, while I hid out on my bed. I think we killed five or six spiders that night. It was really rather disgusting. *shudders*
If you want to hear how we survived the night in the spider-infested dump and what Germans have to say about queer literature, check back next week.

📚Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway📚

Have any questions for Free Dreamer? Leave them here along with your email address.  Random reader will be picked to win a $10 gift cert in the Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway.  It ends 4/29 at midnight.  Have you been to a book fair? Met your favorite author?   Do you want to know what was Free Dreamer’s favorite part of her book fair experience was or what books she brought home?  Write in and leave a comment!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 16:

  • Adventures From Leipzig – Postcards from Free Dreamer
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 17:

  • Book Blitz September by Robert Winter
  • Cardeno C on the Mates series + Giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Tali Spencer on Breaking the Ice
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Moments – RJ Scott
  • Review Tour – Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A Caryn Review:  Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A Julia (or Stella) Prerelease Review: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember
  • A MelanieM Review Tour: Moments by RJ Scott

Tuesday, April 18:

  • DSP GUEST POST RK Staunton
  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST Nikolai Joslin on Cold Front
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Wake Up Call by JL Merrow
  • A MelanieM Review:  Imagines (Imago #2) by N.R Walker
  • A Stella Review: Wake Up Call (Porthkennack #1) by J.L. Merrow
  • An Alisa Review: Beneath the Layers Anthology
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Lord Mouse (Lords of Davenia #1) by Mason Thomas and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, April 19:

  • Blog tour Shelter The Sea by Heidi Cullinan
  • Blog Tour Beneath the Layers Anthology
  • Fierce by Rob Rosen 2 week blog tour
  • Review Tour – N.R Walker – Imagines (Imago #2)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  A Day Makes by Mary Calmes
  • A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Fierce by Rob Rosen
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Breaking the Ice by Tali Spencer

Thursday, April 20:

  • Blog Tour: Falling for Him by CL Mustafic
  • DSP GUEST POST Andria Large on From War to Forever
  • Review Tour – Snap Shot by V.L Locey
  • RIPTIDE TOUR A Gathering Storm by Joanna Chambers
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Gathering Storm (Porthkennack #2) by Joanna Chambers
  • A MelanieM  Audiobook Review: Rough Edges by Cardeno C. and Kevin Chandler (Narrator)

Friday, April 21:

  • Blog Tour Drama Queens With Love Scenes by Kevin Klehr
  • Book Blitz Sound of Us by A.M. Arthur
  • DSP GUEST POST KC Burn on Just Add Argyle + Giveaway
  • Release Blitz & Giveaway:  Clare London’s  A Good Neighbour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts #3) by K.C. Burn
  • A MelanieM Review: Wave Goodbye to Charlie by Eric Arvin
  • A Stella Review: Falling for Him by CL Mustafic
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: The Imperfection of the Swans by Brandon Witt and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Saturday, April 22:

A MelanieM Review: Wytch & Prinze by Kassandra Lea

 

A Free Dreamer Recent Release Review: The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone

Standard
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Will love set them free—or seal their fate?
In the sixty-seventh century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father’s control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders one of the men who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.
But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.
 I really quite enjoyed “The Android and the Thief”.
The setting was interesting. It’s the 27th century and we have our normal, average humans, just how we do now. And then we have the so-called “Androids”, who are humans as well, without any robot-parts or anything of the like. They aren’t average or normal, though. They’re vat-grown, born as adults, designed in a laboratory to serve in certain professions. They aren’t seen as humans and are essentially slaves with no rights. Khim is a soldier, has been a soldier since the day he was born. But then he’s permanently injured in battle and ends up being sold into the pleasure trade. That’s when rather graphic violent rape happens, so beware. Khim wasn’t designed to endure this kind of use. He snaps and kills one of the rapists, which lands him in prison.
Trev is the son of a powerful crime boss. He’s a professional thief with an obsession for “real-books”. Wanting to escape his father’s clutches, he strikes a deal, which lands him in prison. In the same cell as Khim. Who is, unbeknownst to Trev, the property of his father.
Both MCs had an interesting story to tell. Trev is very acrobatic and easy to like. Khim is very much the victim of circumstances and I really felt for him. Reading about how the two of them are forced to get along, for better or worse, was fascinating. Khim is understandably hesitant to trust or even like Trev.
The prison was an intriguing place. The place was very well described and it was easy to imagine what life there was like for Khim and Trev. It was my favourite part of the book.
And then they escape. And the love story really starts going. Somewhere around that point the book lost my interest. The romance was hard to relate to for me. I just didn’t feel the chemistry between the two. The sex scenes felt a little awkward at times and didn’t really do much for me.
There is one quote that will forever remain with me. Khim and Trev are kissing passionately. “Taste of salt. Fire. Extreme pizza.” I have absolutely no idea where that pizza came from. It still makes me laugh. I’m fairly sure there was no mention of pizza in the whole book, before or after that scene. And who doesn’t think of pizza when locked in a passionate kiss?
I really didn’t like the epilogue and the whole ending seemed a little too easy for me. There was a fairly easy solution to every problem. I still don’t think it’s very realistic.
“The Android and the Thief” was mostly entertaining. The romance part didn’t really work for me, though. I think I would honestly have preferred things to remain platonic between our two MCs.
If you have a thing for slightly cheesy romance, aren’t triggered by the violent rape and like an interesting space-setting, then go for it.
Cover art by Anne Cain is gorgeous.
Sales Links

amazon square borderB&N borderApple borderKobo border

Book details:
ebook, 294 pages
Published April 3rd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

A Loss in the Family and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

A Loss At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has lost one of its wonderful reviewers.  Paul Berg, known through his reviews here as Paul B, died suddenly in  late March, leaving a void for us, his many other friends everywhere and especially his grieving family.

Paul was one of the reviewers that had been with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words almost from the beginning, he and I laughingly “fighting” over our love of the same science fiction stories and wolf shifters.  When Kendall McKenna’s series popped up and we both began to read it, yep, the emails flew between us as we compared notes on characters and stories (not the first author or series we did this with).  Our thoughts were almost always on the same wavelength.

When I thought that he might want to write a blog for STRW, he already had one that he had been meaning to suggest.  That blog became Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio, a column he intended to enlarge in the coming months to include graphic novels and serial stories.  I can’t begin to tell you how saddened I am that he will never share his excitement for those formats and the LGBTQIA science fiction/fantasy/supernatural stories they represent with everyone, myself included.

Beside his love of books, Paul loved Backgammon and he was great at it.  When he wasn’t writing  or reading, he was playing (“yes, Melanie, I’m writing that review right now at the tournament”).  He died at a tournament playing a game he loved.

I have included more information about Paul today on a separate post.  His backgammon team, Flint Area Backgammon Club, has a Go Fund Me link to help pay for the rest of his funeral costs which were larger than expected.  Any assistance will be appreciated.

I will be running one of Paul’s Paranormal Portfolios today.  I’m still so shocked and saddened.  Paul leaves a void here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, in the LGBTQIA book review community and everywhere that cannot be filled.  How I will miss him.

 ♥︎

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 9:

  • A Loss in the Family and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • In Memoriam:  Paul Berg
  • Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio Revisited

Monday, April 10:

  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Heart Unseen
  • Review Tour – My Name Was Karl by Daniel Mitton
  • Riptide Tour & Giveaway:  For a Good Time, Call (Bluewater Bay) by Anne Tenino and EJ Russell
  • An Ali Review  Embers by Kate Sherwood
  • A MelanieM Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform #2) by Annabeth Albert
  • An Ali Review: My Name Was Karl by Daniel Mitton
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Seashores of Old Mexico by BA Tortuga

Tuesday, April 11:

  • Blog Tour: Saved by KL Roman
  • Blog Tour: Tyler Buckspan by Jere M Fishback
  • DSP GUEST POST Nic Starr on Runaway
  • A Alisa Review: An Unexpected Shot by Caitlin Ricci & A.J. Marcus
  • A Caryn Review: The Star of Versailles by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham
  • A Jeri Review: Embrace The Fire by Felice Stevens
  • A VVivacious Review: Who I am When I’m with You by Tamryn Eradani

Wednesday, April 12:

  • 1 Week Tour for At Attention by Annabeth Albert
  • Release Blitz: Starting From Scratch (Housemates #5) by Jay Northcote
  • Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway – Moments by RJ Scott
  • The Necromancer’s Dance by S J Himes Audiobook Tour and Giveaway
  • A Julia Release Day Review: New Lease by B. G. Thomas
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Mild to Wild in Massachusetts by Paul Walkingsky
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Runaway (World of Love) by Nic Starr

Thursday, April 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST BA Tortuga on Seashores of Old Mexico
  • DSP GUEST POST Shira Anthony on Forgotten Paradise
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Hopeless Romantic by Francis Gideon
  • Book Blitz: Take a Chance by Megs Pritchard
  • A Jeri Review: Golden Dancer by Tara Lain
  • A Julia Review: Certainly, Possibly, You (Sucre Coeur #2) by Lissa Reed
  • A Lila Review: Hopeless Romantic by Francis Gideon

Friday, April 14:

  • Cover Reveal Blitz: Brush with Catastrophe by Tara Lain
  • BLOG TOUR: An Officer’s Submission by Christa Tomlinson
  • DSP GUEST POST Laura Lascarso on The Bravest Thing
  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR: Huntsmen by Michelle Osgood
  • A Free Dreamer Recent Release Review: The Android and the Thief by Wendy Rathbone
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Brush with Catastrophe (The Aloysius Tales #2) by Tara Lain
  • An Alisa Review: The Things We Do by J.D. Walker

Saturday, April 15:

  • A MelanieM  Release Day Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony
  • A Paul B Review (Paul’s last review): Sealed With Acceptance (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #5) by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus
  • A Jeri Review:  At Attention by Annabelle Albert

 

 

Hello April! New Beginnings and Reviewers at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Hello April

April has arrived and with it new arrivals at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  We have been looking to add new reviewers here and have been very lucky to have two new people recently join us.  What a great way to sail into April!  In addition, we have a preview of a reviewer blog from Free Dreamer and two giveaway announcements too.  And no, there’s no April’s Fools Jokes to be found anywhere!   Far too busy for such sass!

New Beginnings Announcements ~ New Reviewers!

We have another new reviewer starting at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please welcome Kai, another international member of our family.  You’ll be hearing from Kai in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime,  here’s a short bio from Kai herself:

Meet Kai

Hey guys, I’m a Brazilian college student, living in São Paulo with my crazy sister.
 When I’m not in class or working, you can always find me reading.
I love to read, reaaally love. Actually, I’m a little obsessed: I can’t go anywhere without something to read – thank God for the e-readers.
I used to read a lot of mystery, classics, adventure, fantasy, but my favorite kind of book always was romance [what I can say? I’m a romantic kind of girl]. I found out about mm romance last year, by accident.
I was reading a series by Aly Martinez and the second book is a mm called “The Spiral Down (The Fall Up, #2) “. I read it and liked so much that I needed more. Then I found “HIM” by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen [one of my favorites since then]… After that, I become definitely a fan of mm books. Now I’m a crazy fan. I’m so in love with this genre that I almost never read m/f anymore.
 
I also love to travel, play board games with my friends and write short stories. I wrote a lot of short stories, so far just in Portuguese and just for fun, but who knows? One day I can become a super author with a movie based on my book. hahaha
 
I like to read my books with low angst, sweet and romantic story, hot scenes[I’m only human] and remarkable characteres. Hope to find more and more books like that to read. I’m always searching and, of course, recommendations is welcome. 🙂
With the addition of Kai this week, and Julia , in Austria along with F.D.,  in early March, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very international in our outlook! Do you know who else here lives abroad? Check out our reviewer bios! Our perspectives from all over certainly give us a wonderful international slant when it comes to reviews, books, cultures and locations for book settings!

Our Reviewer Adventures!

📚F.D. also known as Free Dreamer just finished attending a book fair in Leipzig, Germany.   I asked her to give us her impressions on the fair, meeting authors and some of the LGBT book offerings there.  Keep your eyes open for that reviewer blog coming up soon!  Here is your teaser from Free Dreamer from her upcoming blog:
As some of you may know, I earn my living as a bookseller. I’m an apprentice bookseller, to be exact. That means I go to vocational school twice a week to learn the theory behind the art of bookselling. 😉 That also means I get to go on awesome book-related school trips.
Last weekend, we went to the big book fair in Leipzig, Germany. That’s about 8 hours by train from Vienna, where I live and work. We met up late on Thursday night to catch the night train to Leipzig. Me and five of my classmates shared a compartment. Six cots in a tiny compartment, with six excited young women and a very bumpy ride… You can imagine how much sleep we all got! The train ride was definitely an adventure. At times it felt like I was about to slide out of my cot. When we were woken at around 6am, we had half an hour before we had to get off the train. Well, that certainly wasn’t enough. When we arrived at our destination, I was still missing a sock and wearing my pj top… And when I unpacked my handbag while looking for my wallet to buy breakfast at the train station, my phone was gone! Luckily the train was still at the platform and I found my phone in no time at all…
If you want to know more about my adventures in Leipzig and find out how I felt meeting my favourite author ever, then check back next week for a more detailed account of my misdeeds.
F.D.
I can just imagine her excitement! What a trip that must have been!  I’ll be reading her adventures along with all of you.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Giveaway Announcements

 

📚Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway.

Have any questions for Free Dreamer? Leave them here along with your email address.  Random reader will be picked to win a $10 gift cert in the Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway.  It ends 4/22 at midnight.  Have you been to a book fair? Met your favorite author?   Do you want to know what was Free Dreamer’s favorite part of her book fair experience was or what books she brought home?  Write in and leave a comment!
 📚Winner of our Wild Unpredictable Love Giveaway was H.B.  H.B.’s list of books?  H.B. had 2 on their list I hadn’t heard of and will now be tracking down (Broken in Silence and Grayson).  The other 3 are already firm favorites of mine.  H.B., Stella will be in contact with you about your certificate! Congratulations!
H.B.’s list:
ePistols at Dawn by Z.A. Maxfield
Broken in Silence by Katze Snow
Beta Test by Annabeth Albert
Connection Error by Annabeth Albert
Grayson by Morgan Campbell 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, April 2:

  •  Hello April! New Beginnings and Reviewers at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Alina Popescu’s Free Books for Five Days Giveaway Announcement!

Monday, April 3:

  • Release Blitz for Lillian Francis’ Renaissance
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway: An Unexpected Shot by Caitlin Ricci
  • Release Blitz for Who I am When I’m with You by Tamryn Eradani
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Plaid Versus Paisley by KC Burn
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Android and the Thief  by Wendy Rathbone

Tuesday, April 4:

  • DSP GUEST POST Julia Talbot on Just a Cowboy
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Home Fires (Common Law #4) by Kate Sherwood
  • An Ali Review:  Home Fires (Common Law #4) by Kate Sherwood
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Witches For Hire by Sam Argent
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out #2) by Sean Kennedy

Wednesday, April 5:

  • DSP GUEST POST Bru Baker on Tall, Dark, and Deported
  • Book Blitz: Broken Bastard by A.L. Simpson
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Leap of Faith by Jackie Keswick
  • An Alisa Review: Broken Bastard (Broken #1) by A.L. Simpson
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Joy (States of Love) by C.S. Poe

Thursday, April 6:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Don’t Feed the Trolls by Erica Kudisch
  • DSP GUEST POST: Wendy Rathbone on The Android and the Thief
  • Blog Tour for The Rainbow Clause by Beth Bolden
  • Review Tour:  Lillian Francis’ Renaissance
  • A Stella Review: Renaissance by Lillian Francis
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Don’t Feed the Trolls by Erica Kudisch
  • A VVivacious Review: Norwegian Woody (Let it Beatle #4) by J.D. Walker (

Friday, April 7:

  • Release Blitz and Giveaway for Snap Shot by V.L Locey
  • DSP GUEST POST Jackie Keswick on Leap of Faith
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway:  Stories From Sapphire Cay Vol 2 – RJ Scott & Meredith Russell
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway: Take a Chance by Megs Pritchard
  • Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs – Bitten By Design
  • A MelanieM Review: Bitten by Design by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Stella Review: Forged in Trust (Bay Area Professionals #4) by Mickie B. Ashling

Saturday, April 8:

  • A MelanieM Review:Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Offbeat Crimes #3) by Angel Martinez

A Lila Release Day Review: Falling Into the Black (A Planet Called Wish #3) by Caitlin Ricci

Standard

Rate: 4 stars out of 5

Sometimes there’s a difference between duty and doing what’s right. And sometimes doing what’s right comes with a high price.

Every aspasian at Asiq adores the handsome peacekeeper Resan—all except for Arin. While the other workers vie for Resan’s attention, Arin avoids him at all costs, which rouses Resan’s suspicion. When he discovers Arin is a runaway slave, Resan is bound by law to return him to his master. It is only later that Resan realizes what he’s done.

Arin’s owner bought him at twelve, married him, and not only violated Arin himself, but loaned him out to his friends. Resan has returned him to a life of rape and abuse, and now he must make a decision: free Arin and abandon the oaths he swore as a peacekeeper, or leave him to languish and abandon his own conscience and heart.

Falling Into the Black has a different feel than the previous books in the series. Perhaps because it takes place on different planets in the galaxy, and Corbin & Thierry are just secondary characters with a limited participation in the story. Even when they do play an important role, and we get updates on their relationships.

Arin and Resan are interesting characters. As a peacekeeper, Resan sees everything as black or white, good or bad. On the other hand, Arin’s life experiences have shown him the diversity found in-between those places. It takes time, and many rough moments for them to see beyond their own perceptions and into a future together.

The first part of the story moves fast and gets into the main issues right away. I’m glad that Arin’s experiences weren’t too graphic even when they were heartbreaking. I did have trouble putting the book down because I wanted to know how everything would be resolved. It does slow down toward the middle before it picks up again.

There are several twists and turns, and when you think the story is almost over, it’s just halfway there. Some things are a bit gut wrenching but don’t take away from the story. I enjoyed learning about the rest of the planets, the species, and all their characteristics. The world-build makes sense and enhances the scenes instead of being intrusive.

I’m not too sure about the ending and that’s why the story isn’t five stars for me. It’s more of an HFN than anything else, but not exactly what I was expecting. I love this series and I hope another one comes out soon. I definitely want to read more about this world and the couples we have met.

The cover by Brooke Albrecht goes well with others in the series. But, Arin’s representation seems too human.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 145 pages
Published: March 17, 2017, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781635334890
Edition Language: English

Series: A Planet Called Wish
Book #1: To the Highest Bidder
Book #2: Fantasy for a Gentleman
Book #3: Falling into the Black