October Reading and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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October Reading

October sees our stores start to fill up with all things geared towards the holidays and I’m not just talking about Halloween.  No sooner does the candy, masks, and Halloween decorations fly off the shelves, then it’s onto Thanksgiving (US and CAN) and then things like Santas, wreaths, reindeer, elves and more start popping up amidst twinkling stars and fake snow.  It’s almost the same with our stories.  Have you noticed that?

There’s some lovely contemporary stories with autumn themes coming out or already released, then a quick plethora of shorts with horror or paranormal storylines and then we start sliding into the other holidays almost imperceptibly.  I do love that we are seeing a wider variety depicted in our holiday stories. I enjoy reading those, learning and diving into other cultures and religions as I do the romances.  How do you all feel about that?

So be on the lookout for books/stories with Halloween, Horror, Witchy time tales, Thanksgiving themes and into the December holidays whatever religion you may or maynot follow.   Especially books with the later.   Write in with them and let’s see who spots the first December holiday story!  Kind of like seeing the first Elf on the Shelf of the season! lol   Winner gets a gift certificate.  This is in addition to our Horror Rec Giveaway below.

Guess what else is quickly approaching NaNoMa in November.  Scratch that onto whatever calendars you keep and know that our writing contest will pop up accordingly.

OK, got all that?  Now don’t forget we are also running our horror story Rec Giveaway.  Look through all your stories and see which if any fit the profile below.  Or give us new ones you’re reading or on your TBR list.  We really want to know what’s out there and help our our fellow lovers of Horror and/or Paranormal M/M fiction.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Horror Story Recs Giveaway

We will run this all month long in order to take advantage of all the new scary books coming out this month as well.  So leave a comment/rec, along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen.  We will have more than one winner for our gift certificates.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Also acceptable are spooky paranormal stories!  Ghostly hauntings!  Witchy doings!  You get the idea!  Even throw in a zombie or two!  Contest ends October 28 at midnight.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 8:

  • October Reading and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 9:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Finding Home by Garrett Leigh
  • Release  Blitz for His Convenient Husband by Robin Covington
  • Tara Lain’s “High Balls” Blog Tour and Giveaway
  • A Caryn Review: Bad Boy’s Bard (Fae Out of Water, #3) by E.J. Russell
  • A Julia Review: Her Hometown Girl by Lorelie Brown
  • A MelanieM Review: Whitecott Manor by Emma Jane

Tuesday, October 10:

  • DSP Publications Promo J. Scott Coatsworth on The Stark Divide
  • Book Blast for Men of Crooked Bend Series by Taylor Rylan
  • A Kai Review: One Call Away by Felice Stevens
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A MelanieM Review: Psycho (Brawlers, #2) by J.M. Dabney
  • An Alisa Review: Good Things by April Kelley

Wednesday, October 11:

  • Release Blitz Tour for We Met In Death by KA Merikan
  • Dreamspinner Promo Tere Michaels on The Heir Apparent
  • Book Blitz for Silvia Violet ‘s The Past Comes Home
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Breakfast at Midnight by Kim Dias
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein

Thursday, October 12:

  • Release Blitz Tour for Bitten by Desire (Regent’s Park Pack #3) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • Release Day Blitz for Love By Number by DJ Jamison
  • RIPTIDE Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Sightlines by Santino Hassell
  • A Stella Review: The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores #4) by Rosalind Abel
  • A MelanieM Review: Bull (Brawlers, #3) by J.M. Dabney
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Covet by Yolande Kleinn

Friday, October 13:

  • Review Tour – Amy Aislin – Picture Winter
  • Dreamspinner Press Tour for Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein
  • Dreamspinner Dreamspun Desires Promo Sean Michael
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey
  • A MelanieM Review: Hunter (Brawlers, #4) by J.M. Dabney
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Afraid to Fly by LA Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Picture Winter by Amy Aislin

Saturday, October 14:

  • Release Blitz for Addison Albright’s Vows 1 & 2
  • A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

Kelly Haworth on Making a Religion is Never from Scratch and her latest release ‘Read My Mind (Under the Empire #1)’ (guest post and giveaway)

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Read My Mind (Under the Empire #1) by Kelly Haworth
Riptide Publishing

Cover by: Natasha Snow
Read an Excerpt/Purchase it Here at Riptide Publishing


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kelly Haworth here today on her Read My Mind tour. Welcome, Kelly.

✒︎

Making a Religion is Never from Scratch by Kelly Haworth

I was that kid who would take every extra credit report the teachers ever assigned and write it on Ancient Egypt. I was obsessed with it, reading up on all the gods and the stories, learning about the language, visiting the museums. I still have a ton of Egyptian trinkets, from statues to tarot cards. I have books on my bookshelf, and can still tell you weird facts, like how ancient Egyptians had a weirdly inaccurate fraction they used for pi, and scholars aren’t quite sure why they never used a more accurate one. (I’m sure they had their reasons!)

So it should surprise no one that when developing a fantasy world with their own religion, I would make a polytheistic one.  And accompanying that love of polytheism with my limited knowledge of the Greek pantheon, I knew that was the direction I wanted to go in a fantasy. There’s something very elegant about being the god of a few specific things, instead of all of existence and experience. Plus, who doesn’t like the stories of feuding gods?

However, actually establishing a fabricated religion is complicated. Throwing around god names during the course of a narrative is relatively easy. But turning those random mentions into an actual practicable religion is a different thing entirely. Before I started drafting Read My Mind, I scoured my two completed manuscripts in the Under the Empire universe for everything about religion I had mentioned. Okay, churches, altars and trinkets, about 5 gods, and allusions to angels. But it was all pretty vague stuff, because I had never had any religious teachings outside of the things one learns in a public school, and what I had read about polytheistic cultures. So I knew what I needed to research, and I came out the other side knowing the difference between a parable and an epistle, that angels come from many cultures, and that the translations of religious texts have been politically bent over the centuries, just to name a few things.

This all fuelled how I shaped the religion.  And adding on the idea that the people of this world had been gifted magic from these gods, I hoped that the idea that one religion would dominate most of the world’s population would be reasonable. I settled on ten gods, each representing one of eight different magics, with two additional gods representing the non-magical.  There would be churches and priestesses for what they bring to communities, and there would be altars and prayer for individuals who wanted to lead their own worship.

Most importantly, I wanted this religion to be inherently LGBTQ friendly. Thus there are canonically bisexual, lesbian and trans gods, and maybe more that I haven’t figured out yet.

Religion or the lack thereof shapes community, drives some governments, influences societal norms. In Read My Mind, I wanted to show a religion that cares and supports and encourages love and giving. I hope I have succeeded in that, and I hope as I write future books in this series, I get to continue to develop it.

Welcome to the blog tour of Read My Mind, the first book of the Under the Empire series! I hope you’ll check out all the stops, where I explore the craft that goes into creating a fantasy series set in a contemporary era.

Long ago, a pantheon of ten gods gifted magic to the people of our world, changing the course of history as we know it. The Flavian Empire now reigns over what would have been America, led by a royalty of fire weavers. Frannesburg, the city by the bay, is a haven from the empire’s encroaching dictatorship, and its university is bustling with people of all magics, sexualities, genders, and races. As students study toward their degrees, they hope to find friendships across majors, and maybe even love under the fog and city lights.

Read My Mind follows two freshmen, Scott and Nick, who have just started at the University of Frannesburg. Magic, attraction, and too much homework await them on their journey to figure out who they are now that they are on their own, and how they fit into this magical world.

About Read My Mind

Scott Kensington lives happily without magic; prayer is all he needs to worship the gods. Then he starts his studies at the University of Frannesburg, and not only is he suddenly surrounded by eccentrics—those gifted with magic—but his own latent ability begins to surface, with consequences that could tear his soul and family apart.

Nick Barns is grieving for his lost mother and desperate for distraction—usually in the form of limited-edition action figures. As a telekinetic, he’s no stranger to magic, so he offers to help Scott adjust to his new powers. They quickly learn how their magics interact, their shared passions soon growing beyond superheroes and immortals. But Nick’s not taking his studies seriously, and his father threatens to pull him from the university. Overwhelmed by his own crumbling family, Scott’s convinced he can’t handle a relationship, but he doesn’t want to let Nick go.

With grief, guilt, and magic complicating everything between Nick and Scott, it seems that not even the gods—or a new comic book—can save their relationship now.

Sometimes, even reading someone’s mind won’t help you understand what they want.

Now available from Riptide Publishing

About Kelly Haworth

Kelly Haworth grew up in San Francisco and has been reading science fiction and fantasy classics since she was a kid. She has way too active an imagination, thus she channels it into writing. Kelly is genderfluid and pansexual, and loves to write LGBTQIA characters into her work. In fact, she doesn’t know if she’s ever going to be able to write an allo-cishet couple again. Kelly has degrees in both genetics and psychology, and works as a project manager at a genetics lab. When not working or writing, she can be found wrangling her two toddlers, working on cosplay, or curled up on the couch with a good TV show or book.

Connect with Kelly:

Website: kellyhaworth.com

Twitter: @KHaworthWrites

Facebook: KHaworthWrites

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Read My Mind, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 7, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Goodbye September, Hello October! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Goodbye September, Hello October!

October is here, one of my favorite months!  Time for pumpkins, and hauntings, a thinning of veils, and perhaps of things that go bump in the night!  It’s a time for owls to be hooting as they sound out territories and mates, leaves to begin their spectacular autumnal show, and the plaintive notes of geese high above calling as they migrate south to warmer climes and more welcoming waters.  I’m not alone.  There are so many quotes out there from writers sharing their love of fall and this particular month, including L.M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables) who wrote:

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”.

I’m totally in agreement.

It’s also a time where authors and publishers start to release books and anthologies with a bent towards the paranormal and horror, noting that Halloween and All Hallow’s Eve occurs this month.  So you all know what I’m leading up to….

Yes, several things actually only one of which I’ll bring up this week.

Let’s start with a Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Horror Rec List.  This might be a short one because, tbh,  I don’t read a lot of horror books myself.  Do any of you?  I read one this week and I’m reviewing it.  It’s by one of the few author’s whose stories continually have a horror/paranormal bent to them.  That would be Xavier Axelson.  See what I found on Monday.  So go through your book lists, your Kindles and shelves. See what horror stories you can recommend.  I can’t wait to read what you all come up with!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Horror Story Recs Giveaway

We will run this all month long in order to take advantage of all the new scary books coming out this month as well.  So leave a comment/rec, along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen.  We will have more than one winner for our gift certificates.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Also acceptable are spooky paranormal stories!  Ghostly hauntings!  Witchy doings!  You get the idea!  Even throw in a zombie or two!  Contest ends October 28 at midnight.

✒︎Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for reviewers.  If you would like to review for us, please contact us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  Let’s talk!

 

✒︎And finally, in case you didn’t see our post.  Author B.A. Tortuga needs our help.  She’s very ill and needs our assistance.   There’s a Go Fund Me page started to help with her mounting medical costs.  For the full details, visit the link here.

 

Now for our first week in October, this is what we have for you.  Happy Reading!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 1 🎃 🌰

  • Goodbye September, Hello October!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz for Elle Keaton’s As Sure As The Sun (Accidental Roots #4)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: ​The Bunny and the Billionaire by Louisa Masters

Monday, October 2:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Tara Lain
  • Harmony Ink Promo Julie Aitcheson
  • BLITZ Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Keeper by Kiernan Kelly
  • A MelanieM Review: Earthly Concerns by Xavier Axelson
  • An Alisa Review: Soul Bonds (Common Powers 1) by Lynn Lorenz
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Model Exposure (Haven Investigations #4) by Lissa Kasey

Tuesday, October 3:

  • BOOK BLAST Sweet Thing by Isobel Starling
  • Review Tour for Tour: PROPHESY by A.E. Via
  • A Lila Review: Prophecy: The King and Alpha Series #1 by AE Via
  • A MelanieM Review: Read My Mind (Under the Empire #1) by Kelly Haworth
  • An Alisa Review: Finding Home by Garrett Leigh

Wednesday, October 4:

  • Dreamspinner Promo : Living in Fast Forward (Radio and the Road) by B.A. Tortuga
  • Tour for Archer Kay Leah’s Blood Borne (The Republic #3)
  • Cover Reveal for Lawless Anthology
  • A MelanieM Review: Deceived by Megan Derr
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Gummy Bears & Grenades (THIRDS #10) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: High Calls by Tara Lain

Thursday, October 5:

  • Blog Tour – Patrick’s Savior by Nic Starr
  • BLITZ Leaning into Touch by Lane Hayes
  • Cover Reveal: Anna Butler’s The Jackal’s House
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Read My Mind (Under the Empire #1) by Kelly Haworth
  • A Jeri Review: Rank and File by LA Witt
  • A MelanieM Review: Crave (Brawlers, #1) by J.M. Dabney
  • An Alisa Review: Rush in the Dark (Common Powers 2) by Lynn Lorenz

Friday, October 6:

  • Release Blitz – Amy Aislin’s Picture Winter
  • Release Blitz – Changing On The Fly Anthology- Various Authors
  • RIPTIDE Tour and Giveaway: Five Dares by Eli Easton
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:Living in Fast Forward (Radio and the Road) by B.A. Tortuga
  • A Stella Recent Review: Five Dares by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Review: Edward Unconditionally (Common Powers 3) by Lynn Lorenz

Saturday, October 7:

  • A MelanieM Review: Calloway by Thad J.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Flash Fiction? Check Out Renewal: Queer Sci Fi’s Fourth Annual Flash Fiction Contest (QSF Flash Fiction, #3) (Queer SyFy’s J. Scott Coatsworth and so many other wonderful authors!)

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Renewal: Queer Sci Fi’s Fourth Annual Flash Fiction Contest

(QSF Flash Fiction #3)

QSF Renewal-Print

QSF has a new book out, the latest in our series of flash fiction anthologies:

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Renewal Banner

Excerpt

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer


Included Authors

‘Nathan Burgoine
A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Soto
Abby Bartle
Aidee Ladnier
Alexis Woods
Andi Deacon
Andrea Felber Seligman
Andrea Speed
Andrea Stanet
Anne McPherson
Bey Deckard
Brigitte Winter
Carey Ford Compton
Carol Holland March
Carrie Pack
Catherine Lundoff
CB Lee
Christine Wright
Colton Aalto
Daniel Mitton
Dustin Blottenberger
Dustin Karpovich
E R Zhang
E.J. Russell
E.W. Murks
Ell Schulman
Ellery Jude
Eloreen Moon
Elsa M León
Emily Horner
Eric Alan Westfall
F.T. Lukens
Fenrir Cerebellion
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Ginger Streusel
Hannah Henry
Irene Preston
J. Alan Veerkamp
J. P. Egry
J. Summerset
J.S. Fields
Jaap Boekestein
Jackie Keswick
Jana Denardo
Jeff Baker
Jenn Burke
Joe Baumann
John Moralee
Jon Keys
Jude Dunn
K.C. Faelan
Kelly Haworth
Kiterie Aine
Kristen Lee
L M Somerton
L. Brian Carroll
L.M. Brown
L.V. Lloyd
Laurie Treacy
Leigh M. Lorien
Lex Chase
Lia Harding
Lin Kelly
Lloyd A. Meeker
Lyda Morehouse
M.D. Grimm
Martha J. Allard
Mary E. Lowd
Matt Doyle
Matthew Bright
Mia Koutras
Michelle Browne
Milo Owen
Mindy Leana Shuman
Naomi Tajedler
Natsuya Uesugi
Nephy Hart
Nicole Dennis
Ofelia Gränd
Patricia Scott
Paul Stevens
PW Covington
R R Angell
R.L. Merrill
Rebecca Cohen
Redfern Jon Barrett
Reni Kieffer
Richard Amos
RL Mosswood
Robyn Walker
Rory Ni Coileain
Rose Blackthorn
Ross Common
S R Jones
Sacchi Green
Sarah Einstein
Shilo Quetchenbach
Siri Paulson
Soren Summers
Stephanie Shaffer
Steve Fuson
Tam Ames
Terry Poole
Tray Ellis
Vivien Dean
Wendy Rathbone
Xenia Melzer
Zen DiPietro
Zev de Valera

Taylor Brooke on Inspiration and her latest novel Fortitude Smashed. (guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

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Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
Interlude Press
Published September 21st 2017

 

Purchase Links:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Taylor Brooke here today talking about the inspiration behind Fortitude Smashed.  Welcome, Taylor.

Somewhere Else – The Story Behind The Hollow by Taylor Brooke

Fortitude Smashed is full of Laguna Beach staples – Main Beach, The Whitehouse, The Saloon, The Koffee Klatch. These native hot spots are routinely visited by locals and tourists alike, supplying cocktails, appetizers and daily doses of caffeine. However, there is one place that lives in the pages of Fortitude Smashed that most people will probably give my imagination all the credit for. I mean, how could a giant treehouse be hidden in Laguna Canyon?

Surprise. The Hollow is real.

A friend of mine found it after deviating from an established hiking trail and bush-whacking his way through the dense Laguna Wilderness Park over spring break. I didn’t believe him at first, or I guess I didn’t know what to believe. I asked myself how a treehouse that big, how something that cool, could’ve hidden from us all this time. The answer presented itself when he tried to show me where it was: Make it almost impossible to get to.

The Hollow was a place that demanded to be stumbled upon, and stumble we did. There really was a fence with a hole to crawl through, though, and there really was a game trail that led through a break in the tree line. When we finally got to it, my friend said, “I told you so,” and I said, “Who else knows about this?”

The tire swing dangled by a frayed braided rope that would obviously snap if someone tried to play on it, and the rusted car was littered with cigarette butts, beer bottles and Del Taco salsa packets. The Hollow was magnificent, though. Despite the questionable rigging and the litter left behind by partiers, the cluster of treehouses tucked away in the forest seemed like a promise fulfilled. To me, it proved that magic was real. It was a secret place that we could claim, and claim it we did. We fixed the tire swing, carved our names into the biggest tree and spent many nights howling at the moon, doing things we weren’t supposed to, in a place that wasn’t supposed to exist.

We didn’t know if anyone else knew about it. But whoever did happen to know was never there at the same time we were. We found clues – cigarette packs that weren’t ours, liquor bottles we hadn’t left, new carvings in the tree with names we didn’t recognize. Being a teenager was like running with a pack of wolves. I had my pack, others had theirs, and we shared one magical, strange hideout that blurred the lines between reality and somewhere else.

I live in Central Oregon now, and I have to admit, I miss somewhere else. I wonder if it’s still there.

Here is a deleted scene from Fortitude Smashed. Aiden, Shannon, Daisy and Chelsea take a trip to The Hollow the morning of Aiden’s twenty-third birthday:

The Hollow was a place for secrets.

There were flourishing lakes of wide awake flowers, luminous yellows and tangy oranges, lavender and periwinkle, and heartbeat reds. The trees, full and overpowering, reached every direction with long, leafy arms. Copper leaves danced with springy ferns, and cat tails swayed alongside bristled cacti. Secret upon secret upon secret transformed with the seasons. The muted leaves that crunched beneath their feet in winter had been replaced by lively moss and long grass. The rusted car, crowded with weather-worn party favors, was home to vines climbing the hood, looped through the glassless windshield.

“It’s gorgeous.” Chelsea sighed. She stared up at the tree houses, the rope ladder, the deck, the tire swing, and shook her head. “Is it safe?”

“Yeah, it’s safe,” Shannon said, sipping on a large 7-Eleven soda.

Daisy picked through a bag of mixed nuts and held it out to Chelsea.

Chelsea tossed a cashew in her mouth. “Look at that,” she whispered, taking long strides toward the carved-up tree, branded with memories. Daisy trailed after her.

Shannon watched Aiden circle a bushel of honeysuckles. His blue vans looked strange, such a startling replacement to his combat boots. But that might’ve been the only startling thing about him now. The rest of him, black tank and dark washed jeans, sharp edges and clever eyes, were pleasant familiarities.

Aiden sat in a patch of light that beamed between trees, plucking honeysuckles and sucking on their stems. Shannon took slow steps, drawing out the image in front of him. Aiden’s camera around his neck, his gaze flicking from the flower to Shannon, and his smile, warm and comfortable, parting as he said, “What’re you looking at, Detective?”

 

FORTITUDE SMASHED ~ SUMMARY 

After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.

FORTITUDE SMASHED ~ EXCERPT

Shannon’s first instinct was to call for backup. It’s what he should’ve done.

Instead, he slid his hand around the door and pulled it open; his other hand rested on his holstered gun.

The scent of oil paint and clay wafted strong in the stillness. The room was too open, a wide space with nowhere to hide. Shannon took a step, another, and glanced at the desk, where abstract patterns swirled on the screen of a hibernating computer next to a dimmed, decorative lamp.

Movement. Footsteps, heel to toe, slow and quiet, behind him.

Shannon swung around. Someone—the thief—gasped. He grabbed the fabric of a shirt and shoved whoever was wearing it against the wall.

“You’re under arrest,” he growled. The body, a man, squirmed and cursed. The one time he didn’t play it safe and call for backup was the time he might need it. Shannon forced the thief’s hands against the wall. “Spread your fingers.”

The thief complied. “Of fucking course.” Shannon heard him rolling his eyes.

“Breaking and entering is a crime, you understand that? So is taking things that aren’t yours.”

“I didn’t take anything. I didn’t get the chance to.” Whoever he was, he was unapologetically bored with the situation. Shannon spotted a bold tattoo on his side where his shirt was bunched up from their abrupt collision. The man sighed. “Can I have my hands back now?”

“No, you can’t, because—”

Shannon’s entire being screeched to a stop. His spine straightened; his knees locked. He couldn’t breathe. Beneath his glove, warmth spread from his right thumb into his wrist. The Camellia Clock vibrated, gentle but convincing, a purr that alerted him to the 00:00 that now read in glowing numbers under his thumbnail. Saliva pooled in his mouth. Heat coursed through him. Blood rushed—high speed traffic in his veins. His heartbeat, steady and then not, pounded in his ears.

He stared at the hand spread out on the wall. On the thief’s right thumbnail, the same numbers glowed 00:00. Shannon squeezed the man’s wrist a little tighter.

A shaky breath quivered from the chest in front of him. Apparently, Shannon wasn’t the only one surprised.

He swallowed, and his grip tightened again before he let go and ripped his hands away. Eyeing Shannon carefully, the burglar spun. He had a straight nose and a sharp jaw; he was all angles and edges and pale skin. His skittishness reminded Shannon of a deer—maybe not a deer. The stranger’s lips twitched into a straight-toothed grin under hooded dark eyes. Yeah, maybe not a deer. Maybe a wolf.

A breathless chuckle trickled past a clever smile. The thief gave a slow shake of his head, disbelief and curiosity stitching a genuine expression across his face that Shannon hated. “Aiden Maar,” he said, too confidently to be taken lightly.

Shannon’s jaw was set so tight it ached to open his mouth. “Detective Wurther.”

“Pleasure’s all mine, Detective.” The rasp in his voice made Shannon’s stomach jump.

Before Shannon could yell, or grab, or get another word in, the thief—Aiden—was gone, darting past him and out the door. His head swam. Still reeling, he couldn’t have caught Aiden if his life depended on it. But he was going to have to, because, according to the Camellia Clock, Aiden Maar was his future.

According to Shannon Wurther, the Camellia Clock was wrong.

* * *

Fortitude Smashed will be published by Interlude Press on September 21, 2017. Connect with author Taylor Brooke at taylorbrookewrites.org; on Twitter @taysalion; and on Facebook at facebook.com/taylorbrookewrites.

About the Author

After fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures as a special effects makeup professional, Taylor turned her imagination back to her true love—books. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of tea, planning her next adventure, and fawning over baby animals.

* * *

Fortitude Smashed will be published by Interlude Press on September 21, 2017. Connect with author Taylor Brooke at taylorbrookewrites.org; on Twitter @taysalion; and on Facebook at facebook.com/taylorbrookewrites.

Giveaway

Book Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Fortitude Smashed// Five winners receive the multi-format eBook

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Falling Into Autumn and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Falling Into Autumn

 

We’ve passed the autumnal equinox and it’s officially fall.  Yes, my favorite time of the year has arrived.  Already the signs are out.  The Sugar Maples are showing their splendid fall colors, my beech trees are busy making a nuisance of themselves by pouring nut bits all over the back stone patio. Their beech nuts a boon for wildlife who are busy taking advantage and a pain for the paws of my dogs who keep stepping on them no matter how quickly I try to sweep them up every morning.  It’s a Sisyphean task to be sure.

Last night I started another fall task.  I started to clean out my Kindle.  Yes, I have to do that.  As a reviewer, or even just a prolific reader, it’s full of books I will never read again.  So the daunting chore begins to weed out the books overflowing my Kindle, choosing which will remain and which, much like my gardens, will be pruned away so I can quickly look over my library. Hah! You say.  Yah, yah…I know…it seems overwhelming and unlikely to me too.

My mental mutterings often go something like this “no, I’m not finished the series yet,  you get to stay”,  “hmm, uh no, I thought I had removed you some time ago”,  “Oh, I loved you so, I know I’ll read you again (no I won’t but I want too)” so I keep that one….and so on.  As you can imagine far more stay then actually get booted.  In the end I put the Kindle down, caught up in a book I need to read and review for the upcoming weeks because that’s as great an excuse as any, right?

Thank goodness they aren’t printed books because I’ve never thrown one of those away in my life.  Shifted boxes  into my  parents attic (yes, I know shameful at any age but there you go).  I think I’m going to go get them this fall, promise.

I won’t even go into my fall gardening chores…it’s still sunny and 80 outside.  Too many seeds are falling from the plants and things are still blooming.  That gets to slide too while I go look at mums in all their glory. I know just the place to plant them while I read and have a sip of wine.

That’s how I’m starting my fall into autumn.  Do you have any special plans for your fall days?  I’d love to hear them!  New giveaway coming soon!  Meanwhile enjoy our easing into Fall and this week’s books and tours.  Don’t miss out on Joker by JM Dabney.  I’ll be doing an author discovery on JM Dabney in the next coming months and reviewing all this author’s series…yes, I’m that much in love!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, September 24:

  • Falling Into Autumn and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review: Drama Luau (Nicky and Noah Mystery #4) by Joe Cosentino

Monday, September 25:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Avon Gale on The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (A Tour Dates novel)
  • RELEASE BLITZ Figure Study by Suzanne Clay
  • Anniversary Blog Tour for Caught Inside by Jamie Deacon
  • Fortitude Smashed. Interlude Press Tour
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Trans Liberty Riot Brigade by L.M. Pierce
  • An Alisa Review: Saved by AM Arthur
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Creative Process by Jodi Payne

Tuesday, September 26:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Cari Z. on Off The Beaten Path
  • Release Blitz – The Half Wolf by Jay Northcote
  • Renewal Review and Promo Tour (Queer SyFy Scott)
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Rank and File by LA Witt
  • An Alisa Review; Loose Ends by Jeff Erno
  • A MelanieM Review :Renewal : 3rd Annual Queer SyFy Flash Fiction Anthology
  • An Ali Review: A World Apart by Mel Gough

Wednesday, September  27, 2017

  • TOUR Golden by RL Mosswood
  • TOUR On the Way to San Jose by Jere’ M. Fishback
  • Release Blitz First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • Review Tour – Amy Tasukada – Would It Be Ok To Love You
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Antisocial  by Heidi Cullinan and Iggy Toma (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Can’t Hide From Me by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Thursday, September 28, 2017:

  • BLOG TOUR  Waking the Behr (Foothills Pride #7) by Pat Henshaw
  • Dreamspinner Dreamspun Desires Promo Louisa Masters
  • Dreamspinner Promo Skylar M. Cates
  • A Stella Review: The Half Wolf by Jay Northcote
  • An Ali Review A World Apart by Mel Gough
  • An Alisa Review: Revived (Foreverers #1) by Nina del Arce

Friday, September 29:

  • Dreamspinner Dreamspun Desires Promo MA Church
  • Review Tour for First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • Review Tour – Joker (Executioners #2) – JM Dabney
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Joker (Executioners #2) by  JM Dabney
  • A MelanieM Review :First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Rim Shot by Skylar M Cates

Saturday, September 30:

  • Blog and Review Tour – City Boy – Country Boy by A.E. Wasp
  • One Call Away by Felice Stevens Audio Tour and Review
  • An Ali Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by AE Wasp
  • An Ali Review: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by AE Wasp

A Free Dreamer Review: Dali by E.M. Hamill

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Dalí Tamareia has everything—a young family and a promising career as an Ambassador in the Sol Fed Diplomatic Corps. Dalí’s path as a peacemaker seems clear, but when their loved ones are killed in a terrorist attack, grief sends the genderfluid changeling into a spiral of self-destruction.

Fragile Sol Fed balances on the brink of war with a plundering alien race. Their skills with galactic relations are desperately needed to broker a protective alliance, but in mourning, Dalí no longer cares, seeking oblivion at the bottom of a bottle, in the arms of a faceless lover, or at the end of a knife.

The New Puritan Movement is rising to power within the government, preaching strict genetic counseling and galactic isolation to ensure survival of the endangered human race. Third gender citizens like Dalí don’t fit the mold of this perfect plan, and the NPM will stop at nothing to make their vision become reality. When Dalí stumbles into a plot threatening changelings like them, a shadow organization called the Penumbra recruits them for a rescue mission full of danger, sex, and intrigue, giving Dalí purpose again.

Risky liaisons with a sexy, charismatic pirate lord could be Dalí’s undoing—and the only way to prevent another deadly act of domestic terrorism.

“Dalí” was simply and utterly brilliant. I loved every single second of it. It’s no secret that I’m a lover of SciFi books and I’m glad I started reading space operas a while ago. Otherwise I might have missed out on this seriously amazing book and that would have been a real shame.

The set-up is intriguing. Dalí is a third gender changeling. Essentially, they’re the epidome of genderfluid. Their body can actually change to become male or female. Or they can stay in their neutral state, where they’re neither. For a big part of the book, Dalí leans toward female, for reasons I fully understood. And the idea of changing genders was only the beginning. The author took great care to create a truly fascinating world, full of little details that showed how much care went into creating this setting. The world building was extremely well done and it all felt so natural.

I absolutely loved Dalí right from the beginning. I felt their grief and loss and suffered through their self-destruction with them. It was breathtaking and felt so very genuine it made my heart ache. Dalí is a tough person, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel fear or pain or grief or doubt.

Now, I’ve always had a thing for the antagonists/villains in books and movies. And E.M. Hamill did a great job of creating a villain the way I like. He’s not completely and utterly evil. His actions actually made sense, in a cruel, twisted kind of way. And the tension between him and Dalí was absolutely sizzling.

Speaking of sizzling: The sex scenes were smoking hot. Incredibly erotic, without being overly detailed. Dalí’s unique body made the whole experience even hotter for me. But the sex wasn’t just there to get the reader hot and bothered, it always furthered the plot. The balance between hot smut and essential plot device was perfect.

There’s so much going on in this book, with so many unexpected twists and turns, it left me completely unable to put down the book. It was full of action and suspense, but also full of feelings. There were more quiet parts of the book, but those were just as addicting as the fast-moving spy parts.

Another thing I loved about this book was how diverse it was. There are so many different types of relationships and genders portrayed. It always felt completely natural to have such diverse characters. The author didn’t get lost in unnecessary terms or explanations, the characters were just there.

Although this book is set in the distant future and the world as we know it no longer exists, the plot touched on many issues we’re facing right now as well. There’s terrorism, human trafficking, drugs, religious extremism, gender identity and so on. It’s not easy to make a space opera feel like it deals with problems of our day and age.

Every lover of good SciFi with a bit of Erotic thrown in should read “Dalí”. I, for one, enjoyed every single second of it and I really, really hope there will be a second part sometime soon. You’ll love it too, trust me.

I like the cover by Natasha Snow. The colours are gorgeous and the space ship looks great. The young man’s face spoils the otherwise great cover a little. I think it would have looked even better without any human on it.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook
Published August 7th 2017 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781947139572
Edition LanguageEnglish

Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues

Are you at glued to however you watch tv these days when GoT comes on?  That’s Game of Thrones of course.  The lavish, addictive, often dark fantasy series from HBO adapted from George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire, one that’s he still writing, I  might add if you aren’t someone who read the books  first and then started watching the series.  Or lives in Outer Mongolia, although I’m convinced they get GoT there too.  It’s a land where winter’s coming, a woman ride’s a dragon to her destiny, there are terrifying whitewalkers and even scarier queens now sitting on the iron throne.  There’s Tyrion a dwarf who drinks and knows things plus so many mad wonderful, awful, horrific events that have occurred that we stay fastened to this series as though epoxied. You can’t help it.  It’s magnificent.  And its fantasy.  People love fantasy,  From Tolkien to George R. R. Martin, to the stories of our childhood, whether it be Harry Potter or Peter Pan, imagining the impossible or the improbable has always captured our imagination and our attention.

We want to slide into those worlds, those adventures, see those dragons!  How I loved Anne Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series and Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series just to name two that I couldn’t get enough of.   But really I gobbled them all up.  And still do today.  I just finished last week Don Allmon’s Glamour Thieves and another story in Megan Derr’s Tales of the High King, a series Lila loves as well.  Megan Derr can do no wrong in her  fantasy stories.  Just check our our recommendations for her below.

We are still working on our Fantasy Rec lists.  You all know?  I forgot the Supernatural/Paranormal lists, so those may have to come next.  But for now, lets concentrate on the Fantasy ones.  Our Giveaway runs until August 26~you just might see books you never got to or ones you definitely want to reread!

(Extra note:  We are still looking for reviewers, please contact us if you know of anyone or want to review for us yourself.  Write to us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com)

 

Fantasy Titles Recommended – 

Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling
Dance with the Devil series by Megan Derr
Charm of Magpies series by KJ Charles
Hexworld series by Jordan L Hawk
Woke Up in a Strange Place  by Eric Arvin
The Druid Stone (Layers of the Otherworld #1) by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Galway Bound (Layers of the Otherworld #1.1) by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk
The Pirate’s Game (Etsey Novels #3) by Heidi Cullinan and
Etsey novels by Heidi Cullinan

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

Send in your recs  for your favorite fantasy book/ or series!  Don’t forget to add your email address where we can reach you if chosen to receive our gift certificate of $10.

Again, gift certificates to a reader chosen at random who left a comment along with their email address where they can be reached if chosen.
Contest ends at midnight on 8/26.  That’s two weeks to get your recommendations in!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 20:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues

Monday, August 21:

  • Book Blitz & Review Tour – JM Dabney – Ghost (Executioners #1)
  • DSP GUEST POST Vivien Dean
  • TOUR The Vampire’s Protege by Damian Serbu
  • TOUR Blended Notes by Lilah Suzanne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna: Book 5) by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Ghost (Executioners #1) by JM Dabney
  • An Alisa Review Wrong Place, Right Time by April Kelley

Tuesday, August 22:

  • DSP GUEST POST Alex Standish for Changing Tides
  • Review Tour – Elin Gregory – The Bones Of Our Fathers
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z.
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts 3) by KC Burn
  • A MelanieM Review: The Bones Of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory
  • A Stella Review: TBD

Wednesday, August 23:

  • Blog Tour *Inhuman Beings by Richard May
  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote’s Tops Down Bottoms Up
  • A Jeri Review: Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote
  • A Lila Review: The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
  • A VVivacious Review: How to Love a Monster by Lyssa Dering
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Coasting by Yvonne Trent

Thursday, August 24:

  • Cover Reveal First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Julia Ember
  • RIPTIDE TOUR The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by EJ Russell
  • An Alisa Review: Dude Mama by Michael P. Thomas
  • A Caryn Review: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere’ M. Fishback
  • A MelanieM Review: One in Vermilion by Kris T. Bethke
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay  (Narrator)

Friday, August 25:

  • TOUR for Grounded by Aidan Wayne
  • Tour and Giveaway for The Runner by Karma Kingsley
  • Retro Tour: Men of London series by Susan Mac Nicol
  • A Lila Review: Conned By Jana Denardo
  • A MelanieM Review: Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove #1) by Annabeth Albert
  • An Ali Review: Love You Senseless (Men of London #1) by Susan Mac Nicol
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

Saturday, August 26:

  • Blog tour FORBIDDEN LUST BY GRAYSON KNIGHT
  • Release Blitz Without A Compass – Helen Juliet
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart #1) by Kay Berrisford

 

A Free Dreamer Pre Release Review: Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.

The idea of a sort of inbuilt clock counting down to Day X isn’t exactly a new idea. Usually, Day X marks the person’s death. In “Fortitude Smashed” the Camellia Clock counts down to the second when you meet the love of your life, your soulmate. I think that was an interesting take on things.

With the whole Camellia Clock and personalized chip set-up, I’d expected a Science Fiction story. What I got, however, was a contemporary story set in  present-day California.  I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by that. It almost seemed a little bit lazy to me, as if the author didn’t want to bother with coming up with a whole new world. Instead, she opted to set it in the present day and just added the Camellia Clocks. Consequently, there was very little worldbuilding involved. I would’ve liked to know how the whole Clock thing actually works and if there is a way to opt out of having that chip implanted.

Considering Shannon is a cop and Aiden is a thief, I’d expected lots of tension there. So I figured, even if there’s no SciFi plot there, at least there’s still gonna be lots of conflict. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t. Aiden stops his thievery pretty soon and the tension between the two is the usual romance-tension. I will say that I’m normally not a reader of contemporary romances, because I always feel like I need a little more than “just” a love story. And that’s just what “Fortitude Smashed” is: Just a contemporary love story.

I liked that both Aiden and Shannon had their issues. Especially Aiden struggled with mental illness and Shannon was wonderfully supportive. Neither of them was exactly perfect but they still worked together really well.

There were plenty of sex scenes and they were really hot, without being overly explicit. Taylor Brooke definitely has a way with words. All her descriptions are wonderful, no matter if she was writing about the landscape or body parts. She definitely also has a sense of humour and I found myself laughing out loud a lot.

Overall, “Fortitude Smashed” was a bit of a disappointment to me. I’d expected SciFi but got contempary. I’d expected a crime plot but got a “normal” love story. I guess I mostly just had the wrong expectations. As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of contemporary romance novels and I probably wouldn’t have picked this up, if I’d known it wasn’t Science Fiction.

Still, this book did have its moments and I’m sure lovers of contemporary romance witha bit of a twist can and will enjoy this book. It just wasn’t for me.

Cover: I really like the cover. It looks very summery and is a nice change from the usual covers of M/M romance. And it matches the feel the story gave me.

Sales Links:

Amazon

Interlude Press

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository 

Book details:

ebook, 346 pages

Expected publication: September 21st 2017 by Interlude Press

Book Blitz for Misha Paige’s Beast of a Time (Hellbound Hound #1)

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Blurb
 

Everyone’s heard stories or songs about being a beast of burden. Well, it’s quite a burden to be a beast, too.

Kane isn’t like most people: he’s not human, for one thing. What he is, is exceptional.


An event from his past led him to stay on Earth, a planet of people that were often scared and hostile to his kind. Even so, Kane ignored all the hateful things said to him and focused instead on the job he chose to do.

That job is everything to him, and it’s his reason for living. When one man shows up—Al, a new hire who keeps smiling at Kane when he should be looking at him with fear and distaste—Kane is faced with a challenge he never expected. He didn’t think anyone would ever truly want him, and to discover that a very sexy, handsome man does indeed want him, shakes Kane to his core.

Despite Kane’s best attempt’s at keeping distance between them, he finds himself partnered with Al. Kane knows he needs to push Al away, and he tries. Sort of.

Al isn’t scared off like Kane’s former partners, and if he and Kane can survive the fight that’s coming for them, then maybe they’ll have a chance to discover what it means to love.

Author Bio


Misha Paige is the pseudonym of a stay at home mom of four whose favorite way to relax has always been reading. After years of hearing voices in her head, she finally decided to set them free and hopefully entertain others.

She is lucky enough to have the support of her wonderful husband even if he is shocked by what she writes.

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