Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag

So I was sort of at a loss as to what to write about this week, my thoughts were all over the place.  And as usual, it came to me through a conglomeration of pictures, hits to the heart, books, people, and just moments in the weirdness that is my mind.

What all clashed together?  Well, it started with this quote from a story I’m reviewing next week from NR Walker.  It’s called Upside Down. If you haven’t read it, run out and grab it now.  I’ll be reviewing it later on.

 “Asexuality is defined by the absence of something.”

 

Boom!  What a way to start a novel and to set off an astonishing inner monologue by a character who’s intelligent,endearing, compex, and seeking answers to his sexuality. And not happy with the article he’s been reading. Of course, he hasn’t exactly finished it as his best friend and fellow librarian will later point out.   But it prompts a discussion over the fact that he feels that as a person he doesn’t feel that he’ should be defined by an absence of anything.  What follows is an extraordinarily well written story about  one man’s journey towards understanding  his asexuality,  two men in love,and their heartwarming romance and path to HEA which includes a daily bus ride, a Soup Crew and a cast to carry your heart.  One of my two 5 star reads in a week.

And for this blog and many others a story with characters that are Ace is standard, just part of the LGBTQIA spectrum we read and review.  Genderqueer, Non-binary, and Genderfluid , Pansexual, Aromantic, Intersex, our reviews (along with the books we are offered) have expanded far beyond what this blog first began with.

I couldn’t be happier or sadder that it took so long.

When Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words first took its first baby steps years ago, all our stories (I was at first the only reviewer as the owner), the only stories primarily out there were M/M.  Slowly I remember one or two transexual  short stories trickling in, a couple of bisexual characters in others that people angrily fought over in reviews on GRs and here because bisexuality  was still so poorly understood by some writers that they still considered it that “way station” to gayness, instead of a legitimate sexuality all its own.

But for the most part, M/M, with the F/F fiction for the most part not being carried along side.

Now things have changed.  We do read and review the spectrum.  Yes, perhaps, it’s still heavy on one or several sides, but we are getting better as does our choices of books  sent in to read and review.  That’s grown steadily larger too.  Perhaps to to ePublishing, eBooks?  I don’t know, but grown it has as Yoda would say.

It’s not just our stories but the change is reflected in the authors who mirror the rainbow of stories we read and review.

You wondered what else sparked this all things Rainbow?  This…I have someone at the Star Wars con and they posted this pic..

 

Our stories have always been full of geeky nerds we love to fall in love with and one recent story I read even featured a Con, with an enormous amounts of fans.  If its Star Wars, can it’s fans of any shape, size, color, or sexuality be far behind?  I think not.

I guess from a Pride Squadron to a librarian looking for answers to a YA #lovehim series that continues to astonish me, the full spectrum of the Rainbow hit me full force this week, as did a bit of “wow I’m so happy we’ve come so far”.

I know we have a long way to go but as it’s pouring outside and I’m looking forward to setting in with another book this afternoon (and GoT tonight).  I’m still so happy at the strides made ….steps forward are still that.  Movement ahead.  And that’s where I’m focused!

What are your thoughts on all this?

And btw?  I’m both Star Wars AND Star Trek! lol  Just don’t ask me which Captain….we don’t have that much time!

Now for our schedule this coming week!  There be dragons ahead tonight!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 14:

  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz for Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone (excerpt and giveaway)

Monday, April 15:

  • DSP PROMO LaQuette on Under His Protection
  • DSP PROMO Royal Blue
  • Release Blitz – Ace in the Picture by Jude Tresswell
  • Release Blitz – Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • An Ashlez Review: Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • A Stella Review: Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • A MelanieM Review:To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James

Tuesday, April 16:

  • Release Blitz – Lillian Francis – Under The Radar
  • Blog Tour – Strokes on a Canvas by H. Lewis-Foster
  • Blog Tour – Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • An Ashlez Review: Catastrophe by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A Stella Review: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

Wednesday, April 17:

  • Release Blitz – Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
  • Release Blitz  – Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London
  • An Alisa Review: Coming Home Finding Home #2) by Carly Marie
  • A Stella Review: Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London

Thursday, April 18:

  • Sale Blitz for Love & Family Book 1: TABOO FOR YOU
  • Cover Reveal for  Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz for – Tainted Love by T.S. Hunter
  • An Alisa Review: Because of Sam by J.D. Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1) by T.S. Hunter
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Playing in the Dark (Glasgow Lads #4)  by Avery Cockburn

Friday, April 19:

  • Series Blitz/Review Tour – Holeshot Series – Lynn Michaels
  • Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes Book  Blitz
  • Release Blitz Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • An Alisa Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz
  • An Ali Review: The Holeshot (Book #1) by Lynn Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review:  This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger

Saturday, April 20:

  • Release Blitz – Alex Jane – Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession)
  • A MelanieM Review: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

Location as a Main Character. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Location as a Main Character

I may have talked on this topic before but once again it struck me as I read several stories this past couple of weeks how impactful a location can be in a novel.  When done in a certain manner, well researched and folded into the story in a way that feels natural and powerful, the setting of a novel can become almost another main character.  It asserts a strong personality over the characters, their burgeoning relationship, and sometimes even their ending.

The setting can contain not only geographical limitations or expanse, barriers or doors to freedom for the couple.  In some locations is can be full of cultural  or religious overlays along with family implications that will play out throughout the storyline.  All that can come from setting your novel at a certain destination.  Like say South Korea, or Japan, or any place in the Middle East Or how about Alaska or parts of the outback in Australia?  Or planting trees in parts of the wilderness in Canada?  Or maybe a vineyard in Brazil?   All those  All of those are settings in novels that I have read.

In a recent case, the location and use of culture in the storyline saved the novel for me as I was less invested in the main couple and more committed to the secondary characters and the people around them.   Creating a setting that feels real, authentic is key to pulling in your readers and giving your characters a firm foundation for their lives and new romance.

Off the top of my head I can think of authors who gift of the vernacular and ties to certain locations have made an indelible impression on me with their characters, and stories, in some cases series.  There’s Neil S. Plakcy with his incredible Mahu series (Hawaii), BA Tortuga (any of her Texas series), NR Walker’s Red Dirt Heart series (Australia), Amy Tasukada’s brilliant The Yakusa’s Path (Japan), Marshall Thornton’s Boystown (Chicago), and that’s just for starters.  As soon as I hit post, I’m sure my brain will be flooded with a ton more along with a bunch of personal smh’s.

That’s not including the amazing historical novels of Elin Gregory or Charlie Cochrane, among others who bring eras along with towns vibrantly alive.

Through these stories I have walked through places and towns in Iceland I can’t pronounce and always hoped to see.  The authors have made me see them.  I’ve visited temples of the Sun in Mexico and walked in the burning heat to amazing places in the outback in Australia.  I’ve witnessed the Southern Star and the Aurora Borealis up in the Arctic Circle.  All thanks to authors who made me feel as though I’ve been there, through great details, gorgeous descriptions, and fantastic writing.

What stories or authors have done that for you?  Taken you places, made you see them, feel them, along with the characters and their relationship?

Tell us, and let us go along for the journey as well.

The most recent books were:

The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn – South Korea

Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert – Alaska

So, again what are yours?  I can’t wait to find out…..

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words….it’s Cherry Blossom Festival time here so that’s what I’m leaving you all with…

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 7:

  • Location as a Main Character.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 8:

  • PROMO Hunter by Dez Schwartz
  • PROMO Sean Michael
  • An Alisa Audio Review Model Investigator (Haven Investigations #3) by Lissa Kasey and Brian Hutchison (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Wicked Games (Queen City Rogues #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Lila Audio Review: Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Tuesday, April 9:

  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • BLOG TOUR Laws of Attraction by JP Sayle
  • PROMO Royal Rescue by A. Alex
  • A Stella Review : Cowboy Seeks Husband by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Perilous Hearts (Deviant Hearts #3) by A.E. Ryecart
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Inked Music by Sean Michael

Wednesday, April 10:

  • Review Tour – Marina Vivancos – Honeythorn
  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • Book Blast Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) by M.E. Parker
  • An Ashlez Review: Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) y M.E. Parker
  • A Stella Review : Honeythorn by  Marina Vivancos
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Soft Place to Fall by BA Tortuga
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Soulstealers by Jacqueline Rohrbach

Thursday, April 11:

  • TOUR THE DOCTOR TAKES A DETOUR by Bren Christopher
  • PROMO Mickie B. Ashling
  • Release Blitz – Trusting Him by L M Somerton
  • An Ali  Review: Trusting Him by L M Somerton
  • A MelanieM Review: The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Fracture (Unbreakable Bonds #6) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
  • A Lila Audio Review:Trick Roller (Seven of Spades #2) by Cordelia Kingsbridge, Wyatt Baker (narrator)

Friday, April 12:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Jude
  • Book Blast – Always Ours: An MMM Menage Romance by J.P. James
  • BLITZ Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov
  • An Ali Review : Jude by  Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Review: Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Impacted! (Bay Area Professionals) by Mickie B. Ashling

Saturday, April 13:

  • PROMO Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes
  • A MelanieM Review:For The Win (#lovehim #2.5) by S.M. James

 

April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April.

So I went looking for the history of April Fool’s Day and found that people couldn’t agree on where it came from.  It’s practiced not only in America and Canada but also in Western Europe, a practice dating back to romans and All Fools’ Day.  Others  argue for its beginning having started with the “appearance” of the New Year which fell on April 1st for the Romans and Hindus.  It also comes close to the Spring Equinox, March 21 which during Medieval Times also started the beginning the the new year with the feast of the Annunciation.

A newspaper’s April Fool Joke and History:

Constantine and Kugel

Another explanation of the origins of April Fools’ Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.

“In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”

This explanation was brought to the public’s attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.

Yes, they’d been pranked.

More searches brought up more explanations, never the same, mind you.  Even better for a day all about jokes and prianks.

Here’s some more:

The Origin of “Fool’s Errands”

According to Roman myth, the god Pluto abducted Proserpina to the underworld. Her mother Ceres only heard her daughter’s voice echo and searched for her in vain. The fruitless search is believed by some to have inspired the tradition of “fool’s errands”, practical jokes where people are asked to complete an impossible or imaginary task.

All Fool’s Day in British Folklore

British folklore links April Fool’s Day to the town of Gotham in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the king placed his foot upon to become public property. So when Gotham’s citizens heard that King John planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the king heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of fools engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish. As a result, the king declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment.

April Fool’s Pranks

April 1 is a day for practical jokes in many countries around the world. The simplest jokes may involve children who tell each other that their shoelaces are undone and then cry out “April Fool!” when the victims glance at their feet. Some April Fool’s jokes publicized in the media include:

  • In 2002, British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement in The Sun, announcing a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot’. The ad explained that the carrots were engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side. When fully cooked, these holes would cause the carrot to whistle.
  • In the early 1960s there was only one television channel in Sweden, broadcast in black and white. As an April Fool’s joke, it was announced on the news that viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception by pulling a nylon stocking over their screen.
  • In 1934, many American newspapers, including The New York Times, printed a photograph of a man flying through the air, supported by a device powered only by the breath from his lungs. Accompanying articles excitedly described this miraculous new invention

 

And Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’ April Fool’s Day Joke?  Well, it’s still March, the 31st to be exact.  April starts tomorrow!  We just didn’t want to miss out on the fun!

Happy April Fool’s a day early!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 31:

  • Release Blitz – This Is Not A Love Story – Suki Fleet
  • April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 1 ~ April Fool’s Day:

  • Review Tour – Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey (
  • Blog Tour Better Be Sure by Andrew Gallo
  • T. Neilson on Yes, Chef(Amuse Bouche #2)
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Yes, Chef (Amuse Bouche #2) by T. Neilson
  • An Ashlez Review: OFF THE ICE by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • A MelanieM Review:  Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Audio review The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril #1) by Kim Fielding and Drew Bacca (Narrator)

Tuesday, April 2:

  • SPEAK NO EVIL by J.R. Gray Blog Tour
  • Release Blitz – Shane K Morton – Fault Lines
  • BLOG TOUR At A Stranger’s Mercy by Brittany Cournoyer
  • An Alisa Review: Radical Hearts (Deviant Hearts #2) by A E Ryecart
  • An Ali Review Frost by Isabelle Adler
  • A Free Dreamer Lust and Other Drugs (Mytho #1) by TJ Nichols
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Speak No Evil by J.R. Gray

Wednesday, April 3:

  • Review Tour  – Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory
  • Release Blitz – – Honeythorn by Marina Vivancos
  • PROMO Soulstealers by Jacqueline Rohrbach
  • Cover Reveal, – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • PROMO Sloan Johnson on Kindred Spirit
  • An Ali Audio Review Handle with Care by Cari Z and John Solo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Hearts of Fire (Chevalier #1) by Kay Doherty
  • A Caryn Review:   Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory

Thursday, April 4:

  • Snow Storm by Davidson King Blog Tour
  • PROMO Asher Quinn
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn
  • A MelanieM Review:No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes
  • An ALisa Audio Review Romancing the Undercover Millionaire (Romancing the… #3) by Clare London and Seb Yarick (narrator)

Friday, April 5

  • Review Tour – Quinn Ward – Kiss Me, Daddy
  • PROMO TJ Nichols
  • Blog and Review Tour Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Review: Copper Creek (Sawyer’s Ferry #3) by Cate Ashwood
  • An Alisa Review: Kiss Me, Daddy (Club 83 #1) by Quinn Ward
  • A MelanieM Review: Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert

Saturday, April 6:

  • BOOK BLAST – The Selkie Prince’s Secret Baby (The Royal Alphas ) by JJ Masters
  • A MelanieM Review: The Ghost Had An Early Checkout by Josh Lanyon

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Conviction (A New World #2) by M.D. Neu

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is book two in a series and really should be read in order. Mi’ko has made his son Mi’cin’ one of his aides and assigns him the task of helping Todd acclimate to the home they have made for him on the main ship. Not everyone is pleased by Todd being there, either amongst the Nentraee or the humans. Once Todd realizes the enormity of the actual task he has been given, it’s too late. He is now firmly between Nentraee politics and Earth politics. There are people who will do anything to control the world as they see fit, regardless of what the rest of its citizens want. Knowing who to trust is crucial moving forward with the plan for the new settlement. Old friends and old enemies no longer seem to matter as people switch alliances based on those who support the Nentraee being on Earth, and those who don’t. Terrorists come out of the woodwork based on fear and hate.

I liked how other countries were being included in both trade and cultural events. The Nentraee, with the Speakers House, ranking members of the House of the People, and any prominent civilians spread out across the globe in order to quell jealousies and charges of favoritism towards the United States that having Todd aboard created. It’s fun to see the different ships and see Todd’s reactions. The cultural exchanges here make the book more accessible with the focus on education and integration. No longer are the Nentraee going to hold themselves apart and let their enemies control the narrative, making it easier for people to fear and hate them. Humans learn about the holidays of the different clans while the Nentraee learn about Earth holidays. Todd plans a Thanksgiving dinner with his family, Mi’ko’s family, Dan, and people from his old job at CRiNE. With Mi’cin’ asking uncomfortable questions in an effort to understand humans and their traditions, tensions run high. These are the first steps and there will be many awkward encounters as the Nentraee start to visit Earth and humans are allowed to start visiting the ships.

Another reason this book is much more emotionally accessible than the first book is the reader gets to know Todd better as he talks to his dead husband Jerry to help him get through tough situations. He is obviously still working out his grief and feeling lonely. Todd uses Dan and Brad as sounding blocks and touchstones to remember his humanity while he is under stress and living in an alien environment. He also grows close to Mi’cin. Watching Todd and Mi’cin date is sweet and oddly funny. I still feel this is a science fiction book rather than a romance because that is a small part and not the main point or focus. The many points of view help round out the plot; I like getting the insights. I also like the juxtaposition of the female dominated culture vs. our male dominated culture.

Trying to work out where Nentraee people will build their nation is problematic and gets solved in an unexpected way due to security issues and violence. I’ll look forward to how they plan their settlement and continued integration with Earth culture. There is a bit of a plot twist with the Nentraee looking backward and forward at the same time as they worry about losing themselves and their traditions as they accommodate Earth for ease of trade and relations. I am surprised not more was done with the cádo. They are like intelligent medium sized talking dogs and considered good judges of character who pick their own providers. This seems a great way for them to help find humans to trust and work with that isn’t being utilized. There is a major plot point that is a little over the top. While it gives Todd the chance to step up, again, proving the faith Mi’ko has placed in him, it also makes Todd less “everyman” and slides into action hero territory. I would also say that although the focus is Todd, the reader is given so many other points of view that I would like to see those expanded. The end leaves the reader with the sense that the danger is not over so I’ll look forward to the next book.

The cover artist is Natasha Snow. This complements the cover of book one and has that space meets terran feel.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published March 25th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781950412358
Edition Language English
Series A New World :

Contact
Conviction

A Free Dreamer Review:Time Taken (Out of Time #3) by C.B. Lewis

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Time travel is a precarious business at the best of times, but when Qasim El-Fahkri’s mission to the past ends in violence, it has a ripple effect through every level of the Temporal Research Institute.

Rhys Griffiths finds himself caught in the wake of the disastrous jump, his own career uncertain. With the Supervisory Board breathing down his neck, operatives demanding answers to baffling questions, and life outside of work bearing down on him, his only respite comes from Qasim’s company. As the professional slowly becomes the personal, they must confront the echoes of their own pasts to try and move forward in the future.

But another past is waiting for Qasim, and there may be no coming back from this one…

For full enjoyment, it is recommended to first read books 1, Time Waits, and 2, Time Lost.

If I only had one word to describe “Time Taken”, it would have to be “surprising”. I really didn’t expect the story to go the way it did.

First of all, the blurb implies this doesn’t work as a stand-alone. I have to disagree. I didn’t read the previous two books and didn’t really feel like I missed something. Other than some background of the MCs and a bit of world-building.

While I read a lot of SciFi and Fantasy, time-travel isn’t normally one of my go-to sub-genres. It’s more something I only read every now and again, so I can’t really judge how unique this book actually was. However, it certainly felt unusual. Historical Istanbul and Uzbekistan aren’t exactly the first places I’d expect people to travel to. I really enjoyed finding out a little more about those places. It feels like Europe is the go-to setting for any historical fiction, so this was a nice change.

Qasim is a practicing Muslim and yet the book isn’t about Islam or any other religion. It’s not about a young Muslim struggling with his faith and his sexuality. It’s not about a homophobic family. In fact, Rhys, the Christian MC, is the one with a difficult family background. Qasim’s family is extremely supportive, loving and tolerant. They don’t care that Rhys is a man and a Christian. Qasim is a very religious man, he prays five times a day, fasts during Ramadan and doesn’t eat pork or drink alcohol, but he never tries to shove his believes in anybody’s face. I really liked him and I think this is the first ever practicing Muslim MC I’ve come across in M/M fiction.

Rhys is an interesting character as well. I think he might just be the first-ever Welsh I’ve read about. Plenty of English, Scottish and Irish, but nobody from Wales. And I actually learned a few words of Welsh thanks to him! I think a lot of his background story was talked about in the previous two books, so I felt like I kind of missed some info to really understand him, especially in the beginning.

The romance is quite slow. It takes Rhys and Qasim quite a while to admit their attraction to each other and act on it. I think it worked perfectly for the story and they were really sweet together. So very different, but neither tried to change the other one. They were so accepting and loving, it was really wonderful.

The whole first half of the story is rather slow. The book starts off with a bang in historical Istanbul and then I was kind of lulled into a quiet sense of peace. It was a nice story, nothing mind-blowing, but definitely enjoyable.

And then the second half started and suddenly there was so much drama it gave me whiplash. Suddenly I couldn’t put the book down and was biting my nails in anticipation and dread of what was going to happen to next. At times, I was actually a little bit teary-eyed and struggled not to start crying on the subway. I’m not going to give away too much, but let’s just say I really didn’t expect this kind of drama in a book about time-travel.

I felt like the whole story was very realistic. Qasim got injured right at the beginning of the book and came close to getting killed. And he’s actually traumatized by that and struggles to find his way back into his normal life. Often, characters in similar situation just shrug it off and bounce back to normal with no trouble whatsoever.

The ending was a little much for me, though it does make sense for Rhys and Qasim. Still, it was a little too cute for me.

Overall, I really, really liked “Time Taken” and I definitely want to read the previous and the following books of the series. My rating for the first half would have been 4 stars, the second half would have been 5, so I went with the average of 4.5 stars.

The cover by Natasha Snow is alright, if a bit generic. Nothing about it really says “time-travel” or hints at the places in the past that Qasim visits.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details: ebook, 450 pages

Published March 18th 2019 by NineStar Press

A Free Dreamer Review: Horizon Points (The Galactic Captains #3) by Harry F. Rey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The problems of the Outer Verge are stacking up for Ales, now a commander of the Union fleet. From rebellious priests on Jansen to terrifying rips in space sucking matter out into the unknown, not to mention jealous lovers scattered across space, Ales is pulled in infinite directions. Disrupting the Galactic Balance isn’t so simple, and Admiral Turo is also a hard man to please.

While trying to secure a crucial trade deal on the heterosapien world of Nelu, Ales struggles to ignore the stark inequalities cutting through life in the galaxy. If he’s not fighting for a future free from the horrors that blighted his past, what’s the point of living?

With the Outer Verge bitterly divided and factions readying for war, the new horizons Ales dreamed of feel galaxies away.

I was thrilled to see “Horizon Points” pop up in my inbox and couldn’t wait to get back to Ales and everybody else. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

First of all, this is part three of the“The Galactic Captains” series. As such, it really doesn’t work as a stand-alone at all. You definitely need to read the first two parts in order to understand and enjoy this one.

If you have read parts one and two, you know what to expect: Great SciFi with a lot of hot, kinky sex and the author once again delivers all that and more.

Ales has changed and grown and continues to do so during this book. He seems less bitter and hateful and  I think I liked him better than before. He also seems a bit more mature, though he’s still thinking with his dick most of the time, even if said dick is caged. And that’s really the only issue I continue to have with this series. Ales has sex or thinks of sex at the craziest moments, when there should be other, more important, things to worry about.

I was surprised to actually find some hints of a possible blossoming romance. Previously, there was only sex, but no love. Of course it really didn’t turn out the way I’d expected. There were a couple of twists I really didn’t see coming.

It all ends with a horrible cliffhanger, so I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment of this great series.

The cover by Natasha Snow works well for the story. It’s unique enough to be easily distinguishable and yet similar enough to the others to create an overall aesthetic for the series.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 167 pages

Published March 4th 2019 by NineStar Press

The Galactic Captains Series:

Siege Weapons

Forbidden Pursuits

Horizon Points

Weather Themed Stories and Spring.This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Weather Themed Stories and Spring.

 

Stories written about wild weather and romance just seem to go together.  People stranded in cabins by storms, snowy or otherwise.  Men tested by nature at her most tumultous, high winds, floods…even wildfires.  I’ve read novels with those as themes.  Avalanches too. Several publishers, MLR Press and JMS Books LLC actually have series that are weather themed if you aren’t already aware of them.

For JMS Books, just search Snowed In and 17 books pop up, all by different authors, all with the same theme.  Why?  Because using one weather related topic works.  Authors can take one overall theme and run with it in their own way as these did.  As far as I know this is the first year they did this.

But MLR Press has been doing it for years with their Storming Love series with different topic series like Blizzards and Hurricanes.  Plus authors that run their own group of stories with seasonal topics like this one (they also have a winter, fall, and summer story as well) :

Spring Leaves by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly

I won’t go into winter stories.  Those blend into the holiday stories too easily.

But Summer and Spring?  Yes, maybe not because of the weather but definitely because of the season.

Can you name some weather or season named or themed stories?

Send them into us…..let’s see how many we can end up with.  There just might be a gift certificate for the person who sends in sthe most names.

Next week?  Back to our narrator questionnaire!

Happy Reading and Listening!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 24:

  • 99c Book Blast – Distant Cousins by Eric Huffbind
  • Weather Themed Stories and Spring.This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, March 25:

  • Series Review Tour – The Speakeasy Series – Books 1 and 2 by K. Evan
  • Retro Review Tour – On Hands and Knees by Sai Fox
  • BLOG TOUR Red Zone by TS McKinney & Shannon West
  • A MelanieM Review: On Hands and Knees (The Valentino Family) by Sai Fox
  • A Lucy Review: Cameron & Rylan (A Chance Meeting #1) by Valerie Ullmer
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Horizon Points (The Galactic Captains #3) by Harry F. Rey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

Tuesday, March 26:

  • Release Blitz (ANT)OFF THE ICE by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • Blog Tour ALL SOULS NEAR & NIGH (SOULBOUND #2) by Hailey Turner
  • Blog Tour – Black by Quin Perin
  • An Alisa Review Pros & Cons of Deception (Pros & Cons #2) by A.E. Wasp
  • A Stella Review: How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Better Be Sure (Harrison Campus #1) by Andy Gallo
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Extra Dirty (The Speakeasy #2) by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Wednesday, March 27:

  • Review Tour Request – Elin Gregory – Midnight Flit
  • Release Blitz Cameron & Rylan (A Chance Meeting Novel Book)
  • Release Blitz – Scott by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • BLOG TOUR Wicked Games by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Review Cameron & Rylan (A Chance Meeting #1) by Valerie Ullmer
  • An Ali Review: Loose Lips & Relationships (Flaming, MO #1) by A.J. Rose and Kate Aaron
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Modern Gladiator (Modern Gladiator #1) by S.A. Stovall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Party to Murder by John Inman

Thursday, March 28:

  • Uncomplicated by KM Neuhold Blog Tour
  • Blog Post Request – The Demon Lord of California – Jeanne Marcella
  • Release Blitz – Quinn Ward’s Kiss Me, Daddy
  • DSP PROMO Sean Michael
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Chip and a Chair by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • A MelanieM Review: Uncomplicated (Inked #2) by K.M. Neuhold
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Time Taken (Out of Time #3) by C.B. Lewis
  • An Alisa Review An Extra Alpha (Pine Wood Falls #2) by Sarah Havan

Friday, March 29

  • Cover Reveal – Bryan T. Clark – Escaping Camp Roosevelt
  • BLITZ Fracture by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
  • PROMO S.A. Stovall
  • A VVivacious Review Red Zone by TS McKinney & Shannon West
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: His Kindred Spirit (States of Love) by Sloan Johnson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Wanted – Bad Boyfriend (Island Classifieds #1) by T.A. Moore

Saturday, March 30:

  • Release Blitz Signal Tour – Garrett Leigh – Jude
  • Book Blast – The Handyman’s History by Nick Poff
  • A MelanieM Review: The Ghost Had An Early Checkout by Josh Lanyon

Don’t Miss Out on the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Memory of Scorpions Series by Aleksandr Voinov

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The Memory of Scorpions series is a gritty military fantasy featuring a very diverse, very queer cast of characters. Political drama, court intrigue, love, loyalty, betrayal and a plot driven story line that will keep you guessing right up to the very end. The beautiful covers were created by Anna Sikorska.

Scorpion, Book 1

You learn your wisest lessons from your enemies. Assuming, of course, you survive the encounter.

Kendras is a casualty of war: injured, penniless, and quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he’s ever known—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. When a steel-eyed stranger offers him medicine and shelter in exchange for submission and a secret task, Kendras has no choice but to accept. He is a Scorpion; he’ll do whatever it takes to survive.

But his true goal is to rebuild the Scorpions. Neither Steel’s possessive nature nor Kendras’s shattered foot can keep him from finding the last of his brothers… or the mysterious leader of the Scorpions, a man who held Kendras’s heart long before Steel tried to take it for himself. The goal is simple, the situation anything but. To rescue his leader and escape from Steel for good, Kendras must fight through a morass of politics and intrigue, where enemies are allies and even allies have hidden agendas.

Goodreads | Amazon | Books2Read

Lying with Scorpions, Book 2

If you lie with scorpions, you’d better have a taste for poison.

Now that Kendras’s lover Adrastes has claimed the throne of Dalman, Kendras is tangled deeper than ever in politics and intrigue. As the new leader of the Scorpions and Adrastes’s one true friend, he and his men stand between Adrastes and those who wish him dead.

And many do. Adrastes openly challenges the ocean priesthood for power while establishing himself at court and brokering with the realm’s various factions. He means for the Scorpions to become a fearsome legion again, but Kendras must first learn how to be a good officer and recruit to replace the fallen. His choices will determine the future of a group steeped in hundreds of years of history and tradition.

As both Kendras and Adrastes settle old scores, a new enemy arises in Commander Graukar, a war hero loyal to the old order. In his formidable mountain fortress, Graukar may hold the balance of power. But while Adrastes aims to either rule or destroy Graukar, Kendras finds himself doubting Adrastes for the first time, and sharing more with Graukar than he ever thought possible.

Goodreads | Amazon | Books2Read

A Taste for Poison, Book 3

Even the hand of a king is stung when it reaches for the scorpion.

After barely surviving an assassination attempt, King Adrastes is a changed man—one who mistrusts even his allies and friends. He readies his empire for war against an enigmatic enemy, the Elder of Vededrin, but not everyone approves. While courtiers dare only to whisper dissent, an outrider called Death foments rebellion in the mountains, aided by a prophecy that promises he’ll stop the Black King.

Kendras—former lover to Adrastes and leader of the Scorpions—is sent with his elite mercenary force to bring Death to justice. But when Kendras learns who’s hiding behind the mask, he must choose between his lover Graukar, newly appointed general to the king—and King Adrastes himself.

With no man to call master, the Scorpions could flee the danger and intrigue. But Kendras cannot abandon the man he once loved—or the man he’s growing to love—without first uncovering the real threat to the Empire.

Goodreads | Amazon | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he works as an financial editor, writing coach, and complementary therapist. At 43 years of age, Voinov has written more than two dozen novels and published five novels with German publishers. After many years working in the horror, science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy genres, Voinov is now primarily writing queer fiction.

Described as a “workaholic speed-writing freak” by fellow writers, a “creative writing class drill sergeant” by his writing ‘padawans’, Voinov is a self-confessed geek and has enlarged his days by 12 secret hours in return for the sacrifice of ten albino virgin pygmy hippos.

Voinov’s style has been called “dynamic to the point of breathlessness” and “disturbingly poetic” by publishers and literary agents. A recurring theme in his fiction is “the triumph of the human spirit” or an individual rising to challenge the status quo in a world gone bad.

Intellectually, he is drawn to the dark side of human nature and history. As a trained historian, he is fascinated by wars, religion and the conflict between the individual and society.

Interests at the moment include WWII, medieval siege warfare, William Marshall, the Golden Age of Piracy, and whale-hunting. These interests are subject to change from one day to the other, and Voinov single-handedly sustains two bookshops in London.

Public Contact Email: vashtan@gmail.com
Website: http://www.aleksandrvoinov.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aleksandr.voinov.12
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vashtan
Goodreads Author Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3074905.Aleksandr_Voinov
Tumblr: http://aleksandrvoinov.tumblr.com/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/aleksandrvoinov
Newsletter: https://us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=0648aab5d3675b949f1329b38&id=eae6814f9c

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A Caryn Review: Shadows On The Border (Lost In Time #2) by A.L. Lester

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

It has been a year since I read the first book in this series, Lost in Time.  Long enough that I had forgotten about the cliffhanger ending that irritated me so much!  And although it is clear there will be at least one more book in the series, this one wrapped up the current story arc well – the next book will take off in a slightly different direction, and follow up on the adventures of some of the secondary characters.

Lew – who is from 2016 and got accidentally drawn back in time to 1919 while following his sister Mira – and Alec – the Detective Inspector who was inadvertently drawn into Lew’s world of magic and secrets while investigating a series of grisly London murders – are once again the main characters in this book.  The Creature who left a string of bodies behind turned out not to be fully destroyed as they had all hoped.  It was merely injured, and dormant, and its presence drew a Hunter from the Outlands to draw it back across the Border.

Fenn was the Hunter – a being of considerable power who was clearly more expert dealing with the energy of the Border than anyone in the human world.  To some he appeared male, and to others she appeared female, and they were evasive about their gender – this was just one of many ways they were completely alien to the early 20th century Londonites they came across. Fenn spoke English, reading the minds of those humans he interacted with, and when they were found by Alec’s group of police and discovered that they were also trying to apprehend the Creature (Carnas, to Fenn), Fenn decided to work with them.  The humans were somewhat reluctant to join forces, but could only acknowledge Fenn’s greater power and expertise.  There were secrets on both sides, and it became increasingly clear that those secrets could bring down the entire operation.

This book is once again primarily a fantasy/adventure, and there is even less romance than there was in the first book.  Lew and Alec are an established couple, and I really enjoyed how the focus became more about how they thought about their relationship.  How could it work between them when Lew could only tell Alec minimal amounts about his life before he went back in time?  How could Alec trust Lew, for the same reasons?  How was the fact that Lew was a Worker, and responsible for maintaining the Border, allow him to fully open himself up to Alec?  I also enjoyed the interactions between Fenn – not quite human if you looked closely – and the rest of the group interesting, especially in regards to their gender, or lack thereof.

I still had some quibbles with the writing – this time it was primarily the names and pronouns.  Sometimes first names were used, sometimes last names, and though the distinction made some sense – for instance, they were Lew and Alec when they were by themselves or with close friends, but Tyler and Carter when interacting professionally, or with others.  It did not help that many of the names could be first or last names (Will Grant, for example).  I just found it to be unnecessarily confusing, and it literally took me until half way through the book before I consistently had them all straight!  I do not like working that hard to read for pleasure.

I am really looking forward to the next book, when the focus will move away from Alec and Lew.  I hope it won’t be another full year though…

Cover art by Written Ink Designs fits well with the previous book in the series.  It was easy to imagine the Creature hiding somewhere in this alley.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Kobo | Barnes&Noble

Book Details:

ebook
Published March 9th 2019 by JMS Books, LLC
ISBN13 9781634868716
Edition Language English

Review Tour for Shadows On The Border by A.L. Lester

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Release Date: March 9 2019
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Lost In Time Series
 

The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time)
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books

Book #1 – Lost In Time – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Newspaper reporter Lew Tyler and his lover, Detective Alec Carter, are working out the parameters of their new relationship. Meanwhile, time traveler Lew is trying to decide whether he wants to stay in the 1920s or find a way to get back to 2016, and Alec doesn’t know if he can bear the vulnerability of being in love with someone who uses such dangerous magic.


Fenn is a Hunter from the Outlands, come through the Border to search for the murderous Creature and its offspring at the behest of the Ternants, who maintain the balance between Fenn’s world and ours. Fenn strikes a bond with Sergeant Will Grant, Alec’s second in command, who is keen to learn more about his own magical abilities. As time goes on, Will grows keen to learn more about Fenn, as well.


Fenn has their own painful secret, and when they appear to have betrayed the team and goes missing in London, Will is devastated. He has to choose between following his heart or following his duty.


Moving through the contrasting rich and poor areas of post-First World War London from West End hotels to the London docklands, the men need to work together to capture the Creature … and choose who – and what — is important enough to hold on to and what they may need to give up to make that happen.


Author Bio


A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft


Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

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