A Lucy Review The Positions Of Love Collection by JM Snyder

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

When Matt diLorenzo gives his lover, Vic Braunson, a copy of the Kama Sutra for Gay Men as a Christmas gift, they find it doubles as a handy reference guide to Vic’s superpowers. All they have to do is test out the positions to see which one gives Vic what ability. 

Included are the tales……
Book I: The Positions of Love (This is their first Christmas together, but Vic dreads trying to find the perfect gift for Matt and playing Santa at his company party.)……
Book II: Two Pillars Position (A quickie in the pool showers seems like a good way to start the morning, but what power will this new position give Vic?)……
Book III: Clasping Position (Valentine’s Day. Matt and Vic have reservations at an expensive steakhouse, but an intimate moment before dinner causes more sparks to fly than they expect.)……
Book IV: Hammock Position (After a day spent by the river, can Vic use his latest unintentional superpower to help rescue a school bus full of children?)……
Book V: Two Dogs Position (Matt’s party proves too much for Vic’s heightened senses. But when he overhears a struggle in the apartment above, all thoughts of celebration disappear.)……
Book VI: Cowboy Position (Matt has a secret fetish–he loves to watch a man eat. Good thing his lover Vic has a voracious appetite.)……
Book VII: Kneeling Butterfly Position (Matt wants to go clothes shopping, something Vic hates to do, so Matt suggests a quickie in the dressing room to sweeten the deal.)……
Book VIII: Pillar & Ivy Position (Vic suggests making love in the pool where Matt works, but the resulting superpower washes out his plans for the rest of the day.)……
Book IX: Tripod Position (When Matt discovers Vic’s leather fetish, he suggests they go clubbing to celebrate Vic’s birthday. But Vic isn’t the only one watching Matt’s dance moves.)……
Book X: Lotus Position (While on vacation, Vic’s latest superpower attracts the attention of a young kid, whose delight at discovering a real-life superhero almost leads to disaster.)……
Book XI: The Arc Position (It’s Halloween, and Roxie is having a party. Matt wants them to dress as policemen, but Vic’s latest power creates a costume for him on its own.)……
Book XII: Sideways Position (When Vic meets Matt’s family, he makes a good impression on his lover’s grandmother–his latest power allows him to communicate with her in Italian.)

It is amusing to me that way back in the day, circa 2007, I had actually read a few of the Positions of Love stories.  I read them individually, with weeks or even months in between the next installment, with other books in between.  I thought they were pretty good and so when the whole collection came out together now, I thought it would be great to reread the ones I had read and finish the series to date of the ones I hadn’t. 

What I didn’t count on, however, is that by reading them all at once I would become aware of the overwhelming amount of sex that tends to overshadow the whole story.  Because I hadn’t read them in a row, I guess I didn’t realize it.  This is a shame because the premise of the books is a creative one.  For an unknown reason, Matt’s semen causes odd and random powers in Vic, a different power for each sexual position.  They share a telepathic bond, in each other’s minds all the time and able to speak not only to each other telepathically but often to others, usually Vic telling someone off, especially since “…but it also tuned him into everyone else’s thoughts as well.”  Vic has a permanent case of superhuman strength (he is able to lift one thousand pounds like it’s a bag of flour and is always looking for something to actually challenge him).  This is all so interesting and I really liked that aspect.  I also looked forward to knowing what the power was going to be.  They are sometimes embarrassing, sometimes helpful and often dangerous. 

Vic is a badass, tough and grumpy to everyone but Matt.  He had a rough past, including losing touch with his little sister, Mary, when they went into foster care.  However, he has family in Matt.  “Matt was his heart and soul, and he’d do whatever it took to make the man happy.”  This is another place where reading them altogether changed my viewpoint a little because I started to think Matt was spoiled to the point of being a brat.  Vic does what Matt wants, when he wants to, whether Vic likes it or wants to or not.

Matt does at one point really feel badly about the powers Vic ends up with, even though it isn’t on purpose.  “In that instant, Matt hated the powers he bestowed upon his lover.”   Especially since the power at that time was heat ray vision, where anything Vic looked at burned up, including his own hands before he realized.  Vic, though, knows Matt is his family.  “I’d do it again in a heartbeat and you know it.  Loving you is worth whatever price I have to pay.” 

The powers aren’t all bad and other than the superstrength and the telepathy, they aren’t permanent.  They wear off after a few hours or are replaced with another power when Matt and Vic have sex again.  He is able to teleport for a while, telekinesis allows him to be a hero in what could have been a tragedy, fireworks to make Matty happy also make Vic happy.  Some I don’t want to give away because they are so creative (if dangerous!)

There is a great side character in Officer Kendra, who is slowly in the know about what Vic is capable of, but she is trustworthy with it.

All in all, the stories (some very short) are clever.  I recommend reading them just a couple at a time so the sex isn’t overpowering to the story.

Cover art, showing Matt and Vic kissing was so close to being perfect! The black locks of Matt, the bald head and muscled form of Vic.  Missing, however, were the tattoos and piercings that Vic is known for.  But overall, an excellent cover.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books | Universal Link

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 4th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634861793
SeriesThe Positions of Love #1-12

Love SciFy? Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Black Sky Morning (Mind + Machine Series #3) by Hanna Dare

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Length: 74,000 words approx.
 
Mind + Machine Series
 

Book #1 – Machine Metal Magic – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – The Wayward Prince – Amazon US | Amazon UK

 
Blurb 



A bounty hunter in over his head.


Xin knows how to look out for himself, and he knows when something sounds too good to be true. But a forgotten planet filled with riches is too tempting to pass up. Fortunately Xin also knows someone who can back him up – if he doesn’t arrest Xin first.


A government agent who’s lost hope.


Jonathan Gray used to believe in a better future. Now he’s not so sure. Then Xin walks in, with his dark eyes and maddening smirk, and Jonathan feels like he’s waking up for the first time in months. Well, parts of him at least. He knows Xin is trouble, but when trouble looks this good it’s impossible to resist.


Two men. One dangerous planet. To survive they need to trust each other – too bad neither of them does trust.

 

A writer-for-hire for more than ten years, Hanna Dare now writes what she loves to read: well-written, character-driven stories of men exploring their identities and discovering their own unique kind of happily ever afters… usually through sexytimes.


Find Hanna on the internet enjoying pretty pictures, procrastination and caffeinated beverages!

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A Lila Review: The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”

Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.

A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?
Getting to know the villagers only makes things more difficult – the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.

Or are they?

Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.

The Demon of Hagermarsh is a well-written mix of paranormal and sci-fi elements. It transcends the MM Romance genre and set itself apart with a great set of characters and mystery elements. The descriptions include all senses and it’s easy to feel and understand Yaden since the reader is part of him.

It does have slow spots and lengthy descriptions but they can be appreciated when they become relevant further in the story. The battles and explanations could have been shorter but it helps the overall story.

The characters are three-dimensional and the reader gets a chance to cheer for their future. I wanted a bit more of Darios since he’s an important part of the memory chapters, but not much of the regular ones. I was intrigued by him and the possibilities of his future.

I like Colin and the innocence of his relationship with Yaden. The rest of the people in the village felt real and interesting. Even after everything happened, I wanted to revisit them and see how they have changed.

The small peek into Yaden life as a Lotus Knight and all his friendships opened the door for future installments in this saga. I’m definitely reading the next one.

The cover by Anna Tiferet is perfect for the story. It shows the setting as described by Yaden. Everything from the weather to the house stones is relevant to the story.

Sale Links: Amazon | iBooks | Smashwords

Book Details:
ebook, 212 pages
ISBN: 9781092150453
Published: June 3, 2019, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Edition Language: English

Series: Virasana Empire
Book #1: The Demon of Hagermarsh

New Release Tour:The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus (excerpt)

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The Demon of Hagermarsh

Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus have a new MM fantasy book out: The Demon of Hagermarsh.

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”

Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.

A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?

Getting to know the villagers only complicates things – the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.

Or are they?

Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Smashwords | Goodreads


Excerpt

Banner of Hagermarsh Meme

Instantly, Yaden was on his feet and in the sales room, only to realise that he had absolutely no reason to do so except for his curiosity, but now it was too late for a credible retreat.

“Good day, Sir,” he greeted Colin, hoping he’d come across as a diligent shop servant and not some weirdo.

Colin looked a little startled at his sudden appearance, but he gave him that sunny smile of his. “Good day, Yaden. I thought I’d break with tradition and come in first, so the rest of them can follow. Me being the other most recent newcomer to the village and all.”

“Oh?” So that was why Colin seemed so out of place in Hagermarsh. “You’re not from here either?”

“Actually I sort of am. My family has owned that bakery for generations. But my mother and her sister ran away to Schimmelbach. They hated this place, so, I wasn’t born here.”

“Really? But what’s to hate here? Hagermarsh seems pretty nice so far.”

“I don’t actually know,” Colin replied with another smile, this time bittersweet. “Mother died when I was little, so Aunt Mildred raised me. And she rarely talked about their time in Hagermarsh.”

“So there’s a terrible, dark secret to this village?” Yaden tried to keep his tone down and not too hopeful.

Colin laughed out loud. “In Hagermarsh? If there is one, I haven’t been initiated yet. I only moved here a few years ago, when my Grandpa died and I took over the bakery. And so far, it’s been the nicest place I’ve ever lived in.”

Not a useful lead. Yaden feverishly tried to figure out a way to ask more questions without making their conversation sound too much like an interrogation, until he noticed that Colin was looking at him with that beaming smile of his. It made him terribly nervous.

“So … What are you looking to buy?” Inelegant, but at least it was a way out.

“A few odds and ends. We do need the General Store to open again. Which reminds me, can I have my basket back, yet?”

“Actually, I dropped it off with your apprentice yesterday. Didn’t he tell you?” Yaden had specifically told the youth to let his master know, but had only received the usual grunt in return.

Colin groaned dramatically. “Rory! That lazy foghead is going to be the death of me one day! Eithne insisted that regular work would be good for him and he would improve, but I swear he is getting worse. That’s what you get for listening to a kind old lady trying to barter off one of her grandsons.”

“I’m … sorry?”

“No, no, not your fault at all.” Colin’s smile was back again in a blink. How could a man smile that much? “I’ll deal with him. After all, he is my apprentice and I’m responsible for him. I’ll get him into shape eventually.” He pulled a small note from his pocket, scanned it and for the first time properly looked around the sales room, his eyes going wide. “Wow! This is so orderly. And so much. It looks like you have at least one of everything.”

Before moving from Erys to Lagoona, Yaden would have agreed. He vividly remembered the first time he and Darios had visited one of the big shopping malls in Ridge, the highrise quarter of Agami, and gaped at the sheer amount of stuff on sale they hadn’t even known existed. They sure had felt like clueless country bumpkins. But after a year in the Empire’s capital, he had gotten used to it to a point where the General Store’s range of goods felt rudimentary to him.

“Mostly I need a new pen and a whole bunch of different spices.” Colin smiled at Yaden hopefully. “Could you show me where everything is?”

“Sure, though we may not have exotic spices in stock. But we can order them for you.”

“That would be great. Okay, let me see. Most urgently, I need some garnak, ideally whole pods, and some dried lurka leaves. Do you have any terran caraway, by chance?”

There wasn’t much assistance Yaden could offer, apart from showing him where they kept the spices. Deciphering the labels on the tins would have taken him much longer than Colin. But he recognized them at a glance, and Yaden stayed with him to portion out the amounts he needed and bring them over to the counter.

When Colin followed him to the counter, he noticed Darios properly for the first time and did a double take at his size.

“Master Darios, who actually owns the store,” Yaden introduced.

Darios greeted Colin with an amicable grunt and put his book down to ring up Colin’s purchases.

“I promised Master Colin a discount in exchange for his welcoming bread,” Yaden reminded him.

“Oh, no, that is absolutely not necessary.”

Colin looked embarrassed, but Darios glanced at Yaden with a decidedly amused twinkle in his eye. Instead of figuring in a discount, he pulled two extra pencils from the box he kept under the counter and pushed them over to Colin.

“Thank you.” He smiled first at Darios and then at Yaden again. For a Leichnami he smiled suspiciously much, but his smile was warm and pretty and Yaden couldn’t bring himself to mind. “Well, I should be on my way before the rest of Hagermarsh starts wondering whether you have eaten me.”

Walking him to the door was ridiculous, of course, but Yaden trailed behind him.

“Will I see you at the scribba training tonight?” Colin asked when he stepped out onto the porch.

“I thought that is only for the fighting citizens?”

Colin shook his head. “No, it’s a bit of a social gathering, too. Lots of people standing around, drinking beer and giving useless advice to us poor fork-wielding folk.” He smiled yet again. “I could introduce you to some of the younger villagers.”

Yaden gave an exaggerated shudder. “I’m not sure I want to meet them if they are anything like Bridget from next door,” he grabbed the opportunity to gather more information.

“Oh, so you met Bridget?” Colin’s smile gained a decidedly snarky edge. “Did she give you the ‘in this village we don’t tolerate any bullying and you better not step out of line’ speech?”

“Actually, she asked me lots of questions. And she gave me the ‘if anyone bullies you, I’ll protect you’ speech.”

“She did?” Colin looked amused and indignant at the same time. “Now, why do you look worthy of protection to her and I get treated like a ticking time bomb?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I look harmless?” Which was more than a little ridiculous considering what Yaden was capable of.

“Mmh,” Colin huffed and shrugged. “Granted, Bridget is a bit odd. But there are some nice folks in Hagermarsh. They only act gruff when there is a chance of strangers observing them. Hagermarsh is a real community where people look out for each other. I think you’ll like it here.”

Colin gave him that movie-star smile again, but Yaden had to struggle keeping up his own.

Those last sentences had triggered all alarms in Yaden’s head. All of that sounded way too much like propaganda, crafted to keep the population calm, happy and ignorant of any ugly things happening behind the scenes. It sounded very much like the slogans the Lotus Pavilion PR team had drummed into his head. Colin had even the right kind of wholesome handsomeness that made believing such stories so easy. If Yaden managed to pinpoint where this propaganda was coming from, he’d be on the right track.

“See you at the training, tonight?” Colin asked.

Yaden only managed an affirmative grunt.

“Looking forward to it. Oh, and you may wanna bring some beer. That’ll go a long way in making you less of a stranger.”

Yaden grunted again. Maybe not beer, but he had unpacked a whole crate of different kinds of schnapps and brandy earlier. Those would surely work just as well. He managed a parting smile before Colin turned around and left across the road.


Author Bio

We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.

Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.

Beryll: An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.

Osiris: An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.

Author Website: http://www.brackhaus.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011014541510

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brackhaus

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brackhaus/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427435.Osiris_Brackhaus

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Brackhaus/e/B00IVTRO2E

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Audio Review: Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency #4) by J.L. Langley and KC Kelly (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

I was excited to have a chance to listen to the audio of this new installment of a series I first started reading many years ago when I was new to MM romance. Unfortunately, the narrator’s style and pacing did not meet my expectations. In fact, at times, I cringed at a vocalization or at the way he rushed through a particular paragraph or dialogue. So, being the bookaholic I am, I got the e-book version and alternated reading with listening.

The story itself was complex and interesting. In fact, I had to pay attention carefully because many of the characters in this book appeared in the past, and while listening to the audio, I had to take “pause time” to recall old relationships—one more advantage to having the e-book(s) so I could double-check names and research past appearances. I should have reread the previous book before starting this one. I didn’t realize the first line in the blurb, which said this is a sequel to My Regelence Rake, was actually a strong hint. So, by all means, other readers should do that first. It may help with character recall.

This book features a sweet, innocent, virginal character, Blaise Thompson, one who reminded me of Aiden in My Fair Captain. Blaise fed my need for a revisit to this world. Smart as a whip, cute as a button, he was constantly trying to get his younger brother out of trouble. Enter Dalton Fairfax, a soldier between assignments and nephew of Raleigh, the King Consort. Estranged from his father and sire, Dalton doesn’t much care about his reputation, until he makes a deeper connection with Blaise than he thought he’d ever desire.

I like the universe the author has created, the complexities of the governments and off-planet entities that make their futuristic world so different. And I really love these sweet, innocent young men and the all-men society they live in. It’s refreshing to be there as they confront their first sexual attraction—usually a rake from whom they’ve been warned to stay away. But, in this case, I can’t recommend the audiobook format. E-book? Yes, by all means. The story is certainly worthwhile. But the pacing and interpretation of the story and narration of the character voices was very poorly done in audio.

The cover by Tiferet Designs features two young men standing back to back. Their attire and overall appearance represent the regency look of this story. It’s nicely done against a bright blue background.

Sales Links:   | Amazon | Audible

Audio Book Details:

Audiobook, Audible Audiobook
Published April 18th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 19th 2019)
ASINB07Q5V7Q9M
Series Sci-Regency #4

Paul Richmond and his LGBT Artists of Pride Month. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Paul Richmond and his LGBT Artists of Pride Month.

 

Pride Month continues and this week I wanted to highlight something that Paul Richmond, an amazing artist some of you may recognize only through his covers for Dreamspinner Press or other of it’s houses, is doing this month.  Over at his facebook page Paul Richmond Studio every day this month, Paul has taken a different LGBT artist, past or present. Highlighted their works, talked about why this artist has meant so much to him, or perhaps the struggles this artist has had to go through.  The journey through different eras, artistic lives and styles has been a revelation!

Some of these artists I have known about (I was a art major in college a stone age ago).  But the majority?  An astonishing collection of LGBT beauty, pain, and rawness that art can deliver in so many forms.

Paul and his husband are in San Francisco this weekend for Pride at the Harvey Milk Photo Center where Paul’s work is part of the Stonewall 50 Years celebration going on.  The artists Paul has highlighted this month have crossed eras, genders, borders and countries. Their art and passion flows out from watercolor , from oils, from photography, from every medium you can think of.  Sometimes the juxtaposition of time and styles is startling.  A painting simple, modern, and powerfully elegant yet painted in the early 1900’s.  A photograph so haunting and dark it feels ancient and yet taken so recently.  So many discoveries here at Paul’s Paul Richmond Studio FB page this month.

Here is just a small roll call of the artists Pau is featuring:

Kevin Peterson, Caravaggio, Drew Riley, Jay Elizondo, Kim Leutwyler, Robert Sherer, Grant Wood (who painted the well known American Gothic), Ryan J. Stephens, Lisa McLymont, Briden Cole Schueren, Andrew Salgado, Zanele Muholi, Michael Breyette, Lotte Laserstein,and more.

To see them all and their works each day, head on other to Paul Richmond Studio FB page.  Along with their stories, Paul offers up his own remarkable journey from small town boy dreaming of Dolly Parton to successful artist.

Because we are talking about artists, let’s do a Artists Recommendations List.  It can feature Artists that are Photographers or Painters!  Let’s see what you all come up with!  How about potters?

 

Now about our Novel Recommendations!  Last week was Drag Queen Week!

We added quite a few more stories to last week’s list of Drag Queen book recommendations.  Thank you to our readers and my reviewers to filled in with so many great stories.  Here is the updated list:

 

Drag Queen M/M Recommendations

The Belladonna Arms (5 books)by John Inman

Queens of the Apocalypse by Rob Rosen

Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen

The Queen & the Homo Jock King (At First Sight #2) by T.J. Klune

Bad Dogs and Drag Queens (Rose and Thorne #1) by Julie Lynn Hayes

Kev Series by Liam Livings (from Suze)

Freak (The F-Word 2) by E. Davies (all recs from HB)
A Dirty Drag Collection (Dirty Drag 1, 2, 3) by Kyle Adams
What The Lady Wants by D.C. Juris
Sylver and Steele series by Mimi Riser
Le Jazz Hot by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Appearing Nightly (Icon Men 2) by Cat Grant
Max & Skyler Series by Acer Adamson
Dressed to Thrill by Kimberly Gardner
Rayne’s Wild Ride by Jambrea Jo Jones
Leather+Lace (Opposites Attract 2) by A.B. Gayle

Embraced in Gold by T.A. Chase (also know by these titles Embrace My Reflection/ Bring Him Gold)
Lucky Starflowers (Steel City 5) by Kate Pavelle
Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain
Finally Fallen (The Dark Angels 3) by Z. Allora
A King’s Ransom by Aislinn Kerry
My Girl (Captivated Lovers 3) by Stormy Glenn
Chyna Doll (Horizons 4) by Mickie B. Ashling

Lola Dances by Victor J. Banis — no longer on MLR, but can get a paperback from Amazon and BnN

Who We Are by Nicola Haken
Let’s Hear It for the Boy by T.A. Webb  (all from our reviewer Chaos Moondrawn)

Did I still leave any of your recommendations out?  Please help me fill in that list.  Send me the books and stories I’ve left out and lets see those drag queens represented!

Special Note:  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 23:

  • Paul Richmond and his LGBT Artists of Pride Month.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • BOOK BLITZ – VARIOUS AUTHORS – HOT SUMMER NIGHTS
  • A MelanieM Review:Love in Every Season by Charlie Cochrane

Monday, June 24:

  • BLOG TOUR Shatterproof Bond series by Isobel Starling
  • BLOG TOUR Finding Alexander by Pandora Pine
  • An Alisa Review: Malachite (Brotherhood of Ormarr #4) by Michele Notaro & Sammi Cee
  • A MelanieM Review A Dance Too Far (Too Far #1) by H.L. Day
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Audio Review Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency #4) by J.L. Langley and KC Kelly (Narrator)

Tuesday, June 25

  • Tour:”The Demon of Hagermarsh” by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
  • BLOG TOUR Another Dance by L. A. Ashton
  • A Melanie Review A Step too Far (Too Far #2) by H.L. Day
  • An Alisa Audio Review : Prophesy (The King & Alpha #1) by  A.E. Via
  • A Lila Review The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus

Wednesday, June 26:

  • Blog tour Surviving the Shadows by Miranda Turner
  • I Wished for You by Collette Davison Audio BLITZ
  • An Alisa Review: Surviving the Shadows (The Bearer of Truth #2) by Miranda Turner
  • A Lucy Prerelease Review : Love & Tea Bags (Pink Rock Series #1) by C.F. White
  • A Barb Audio Review : Will & Patrick Wake Up Married Series (Episodes 1-3) by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths /John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, June 27:

  • Tour: Breaking Ground by Megan Lowe
  • BOOK BLITZ – VARIOUS AUTHORS – HOT SUMMER NIGHTS
  • A VVivacious Review Change of Heart” by KM Neuhold
  • A Melanie Review Another Dance by LA Ashton
  • A Lucy Review: Who We Used to Be (Do-Over #1) by Dara J. Nelson

Friday, June 28:

  • Release Blitz Signal – Ari McKay – Recipe For Romance
  • DSP PROMO Heidi Cullinan
  • BLOG TOUR Waited So Long by JM Dabney
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ledgers and Rent Boys (Ore 5 #2) by Meraki P. Lyhne
  • A MelanieM Review:The Doctor’s Date (Copper Point Medical #2) by Heidi Cullinan

Saturday, June 29:

  • COVER REVEAL Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz  – Love’s Glory by Janice Jarrell
  • Release Blitz Lily – Bernard’s Diary by S. L. Danielson
  • A MelanieM Review – Love’s Glory (Revolutionary Heart #3) by Janice Jarrell

A Chaos Moondrawn Review : Tarragon (Rise of the Symbionts #4) by Jo Tannah

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This is the fourth book in the series, but it’s a prequel. The first three books mention Tarragon, the first and greatest of the technomage kings of Oryon. He became king at 18. This is the story of how he came to have a symbiont, and planned for the survival of his family, setting the stage for everything in the last three books. Yet, this can also be read as the first book without any problems: the other three must be read in order. Having said that, this ends abruptly leading me to believe this will also be a trilogy about how the symbionts in the first book came about.

Although there is a Council of Kings, the Capricis and Zaruthrans attacked the Dacrons, leading to years of war. Tarragon is the last of his line, becoming king on his eighteenth birthday. While his father insisted that he fight his magic, when they are close to being defeated, he embraces it. Not trained to either be king, or to use his magic, he turns to the mountain mages to help him and learns history of his world that was lost to his kingdom. With his Guardian, Brenn, he finds the will and allies he needs to fight his enemies and save his vassals. He plans to change Oryon so mages are no longer shunned due to fear.

The loss, deaths, and Tarragon psychically comforting his clan in their grief, is heartbreaking. Tarragon and Brenn becoming lovers, while a huge complication, was inevitable. The characters are cast about from one entertaining emergency to another, but that doesn’t hide some of the issues. The broken trust, not once but twice, between him and Brenn is never addressed. The fact that no other king has kept tabs on Kayel, for both their technology and their mages seems astonishing to me. After all, they do sell the technology to other kingdoms. There is never a good explanation for how the magic and technology work together (in any of the four books). The reader is just supposed to accept these things work because they are told they do. I would have liked to avoid the cliche of phrases like “once in every generation” and the idea that Tarragon is the being of a long held prophesy. There are abrupt shifts of mood between scenes on occasion, as well as the emotions and responses of the characters are sometimes uneven. Still, the whole thing is imaginative. There is something about these books or else I wouldn’t keep reading them. I have to know what happens, flaws and all, so I would recommend trying them if you want an easy science fiction romance without too much world-building or hard science.

The cover art by Angela Waters matches the other book covers. It establishes the magical and science fiction nature of the story whilst showing Tarragon how I pictured him except for that strange fur collar.

Sales Links: Extasy Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, First, 160 pages
Published April 12th 2019 by Extasy Books
Original TitleTarragon
ISBN139781487424589
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRise of the Symbionts #4

A MelanieM Review: NoX by Adrienne Wilder

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Rating:: 4.5 stars out of 5

One is a dying man.
The other is a man who died to live.

A nude man invades Luca Suarez’s home and protects him from creatures who cannot exist.
Creatures hunting him.

The stranger can’t tell Luca why. He can’t even tell Luca his name.
He remembers nothing until the moment he sees Luca.

The only hint Luca has to the stranger’s identity is a tattoo on his wrist: N o X

Nox doesn’t know who he is, but he’s sure of three things, his memory loss is temporary, the monsters chasing Luca are called Anubis, and his Alpha, Koda, sent Nox to protect him.

There’s just one problem… Koda is Luca’s brother who was murdered five years ago.

With each passing hour, Nox fills in the pieces painting an impossible truth. And with each passing hour, both men find themselves unexplainably attracted to each other.

Something Luca is willing to embrace because he has nothing left to lose.
And one Nox can’t let happen because it could get Luca killed.

Nox is a HEA m/m paranormal, science-fiction romance.
But be warned, these are NOT the shifters you are used to reading about.

NoX by Adrienne Wilder is a HFN LGBT science fiction novel that ends with new elements added and the author opening up her universe and characters for a sequel that may never be written. Which given the snippets revealed in the author’s notes at the end would be a shame because NoX is a complex, twisty blend of Egyptian mythology, cosmology, shifters, genetics, mad scientists, action adventure, government conspiracy, and , oh yes, hot sex and romance.  Maybe a few more thrown in for good measure.

NoX is a totally engrossing tale from the moment you open the story and meet the ailing Luca, alone in his house on the stormy dark night.   A bang, a flahs, a barking dog, the reader’s pulse starts to race and you become totally involved in this fragile young man’s world and the terror that is about to overtake him.  The writing is terrific, the descriptions are vivid, and the characterization are layered and give these people depth and authenticity.  We believe in them, care for them, and often despair for them.

That is especially true for NoX, the person who begins the story without memory.  That slowly returns in bits and pieces, and as it  does so does his part of the story and back history.  About that I will say no more.

But NoX is told from multiple points of view and it absolutely works,  It flips effortlessly from one person to the next, moving the story and suspense/action forward, while creating angst and a great deal of knots in the reader’s stomach.  Trust me on that last one.

Wilder’s twist on shifter culture pulls from many different areas and genres.  The author brings in Egyptian mythology with Anubis, creationism and origin legends and science, plus sheer old science fiction beings/creature of unknown background now set loose.  There is also plenty of talk of genetics and molecular science.  Except…and here is where it get’s weak…and the author takes the easy way out of a complex explanation or creating one..

“There isn’t enough time for me to explain, and even if there was, you don’t have the education to understand it.”

I read that  to be the author saying that wrote themselves into a scientific corner and that was their solution.  That happens a couple of times here where the intricacies overwhelm the narrative.

There are several major twists to this story, all well woven and one a real stunner that stopped me reading in amazement.  The action is so swift, the information coming at you at such a fast clip that it takes time for the reader to take it all in.  It took me a while to realize that the relationship between NoX and Luca is actually very primal at first, anything resembling something romanic doesn’t appear until later in the story.  So in that respect, you might say this is actually a slow burn romance as well.

It is also violent, graphic, and very sexual which is how the Anubis bonds.  But again that is also such a complex matter, although it appears primal, that it is best left for the storyline.

However, while the blurb states this as a HEA that just isn’t the case.  It would indicate that if it weren’t for that epilogue and the author’s notes.  During the epilogue, more information and new elements are introduced which opens up an entirely new path, characters, and possibilities.  None of which is suggestive of HEA.  The author’s notes are further indication of a sequel in the works as snippets, which are given for the readers to look over.  With Wilder’s note saying it’s dependant on whether or not this does well.

Funny, I always thought you wrote a story because it wanted to be written or you had the passion or need to write it. Huh.

Anyway.  This story stands on it own merits.  It deserves this rating because it’s entertaining, well done, imaginative, and I loved reading it.  Aside from that author’s note of course. Which as you can tell struck me the wrong way.

If you love science fiction that combines a wonderful blend of elements, I think NoX by Adrienne Wilder might be just your thing!  I’m definitely recommending it.

Cover art Adrienne Wilder.  Great cover as it also contains several important elements from the story while being dramatic.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US    |  Amazon UK 

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 463 pages
Published April 2nd 2019
ASINB07QD2Q4VD
Edition Language English

Book Blast for NoX by Adrienne Wilder (excerpt and giveaway)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: NOX

Author: Adrienne Wilder

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Adrienne Wilder

Genre/s: Science fiction, M/M Romance, dark fantasy

Length: 138 000 words/514 pages

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Add on Goodreads

 

  One is a dying man. The other died to live.

Blurb

A nude man invades Luca Suarez’s home and protects him from creatures who cannot exist.

Creatures hunting him.

The stranger can’t tell Luca why. He can’t even tell Luca his name.

He remembers nothing until the moment he sees Luca.

The only hint Luca has to the stranger’s identity is a tattoo on his wrist: N o X

Nox doesn’t know who he is, but he’s sure of three things, his memory loss is temporary, the monsters chasing Luca are called Anubis, and his Alpha, Koda, sent Nox to protect him.

There’s just one problem… Koda is Luca’s brother who was murdered five years ago.

With each passing hour, Nox fills in the pieces painting an impossible truth. And with each passing hour, both men find themselves unexplainably attracted to each other.

Something Luca is willing to embrace because he has nothing left to lose.

And one Nox can’t let happen because it could get Luca killed.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US    |  Amazon UK 

 

 

Excerpt

Fifteen minutes under a stream of hot water sounded perfect.

A basket wrapped in translucent cellophane sat on the pink countertop of the exterior vanity. Other than lubricant, Luca had no idea what the other tiny bottles could be, but the little foil squares were self-explanatory.

He stepped into the bathroom off to the right and braced as he turned on the lights. White tile, white tub, plain white toilet, pink towels with red hearts, pink shower curtain. At least they spared the room any permanent scars.

Luca closed the door and gripped the hem of his shirt.

Nox’s voice came from the other side of the door. “I called for pizza, it should be here by the time you’re out.” Then the door opened. Luca spun around.

Nox wore nothing, leaving every curve of muscle, every ripple of perfection, every inch of intimidating cock, bare.

God, that hooker had been right.

There were only so many things a guy standing around naked could mean. Would Nox expect something like that? He’d saved Luca’s life. And with that kind of debt could Luca even tell him no?

Worse, did he want to?

Did he want to know what it felt like to be touched, to be kissed, to be tasted and do all those things to another person in equal amounts?

The idea teased his insides until his balls pulled tight and his cock threatened to swell.

Luca jerked his gaze back up.

“Your clothes.” Nox held out a hand.

Luca pulled the edge of his shirt lower. “What about them?”

“Give them to me so I can lay them on the heater to dry.”

“It’s okay, they can just hang in here.”

“They won’t dry in here.” Nox was right. Luca knew he was right. And since these were the only clothes he had….

Luca gave Nox his back and peeled off his shirt. He set it on the sink and kicked off his shoes, then unbuttoned his pants. He froze with his hands on the waist of his jeans.

Nox pulled Luca around. The man’s presence, the rich musk and spice of his skin, the heat radiating from his body rushed over Luca, sucking the air from his lungs. Nox lowered his head, parted his lips and inhaled, carrying away Luca’s exhale. Nox moved to Luca’s cheek, his neck. There his breath heated Luca’s skin. Nox tilted Luca’s head back and followed the column of his neck with another deep inhale.

Luca’s heart skittered in his chest. “What…what are you doing?”

“Smelling you.”

Smelling him.

“Why?” Luca leaned away only to have Nox move closer. So close his cock brushed Luca’s hip.

Nox swallowed, and his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. He made another lap, huffing in quick short breaths rather than long slow ones. Nox loosened his grip. He cupped the back of Luca’s head and made circles on his arm with his thumb.

For several long moments, Nox stood there, then slowly he raised his gaze. “You’re sick.”

Luca’s stomach dropped.

Nox seemed to catch himself. He let Luca go and retreated. “I’m sorry, that was…” He turned.

“Leukemia.” Luca had no idea why he said it. Nox was right, it was none of his business. Even if he could smell the disease.

Could other people smell Luca’s cancer? He’d never even considered the idea.

Nox turned back around but stayed at the door. “Are you getting treatment?”

“Not this time.”

The muscles across Nox’s shoulders tensed, and he balled up his hands.

Luca shrugged. “I’ve had it twice before. Treatment isn’t an option this time.” Luca gave Nox his back again and stripped off the rest of his clothes. He left them on the sink, climbed in the tub, and closed the curtain.

Nox was a momentary blur behind the sheet of gaudy pink plastic, then he closed the door.

 

About the Author

I am a writer of contemporary and speculative fiction and artist of all things monster. I live to create new worlds and the people in them. Several of my books have been best sellers both nationally and internationally. I have also been a finalist in the LAMDA awards, the “Oscars” of gay literary works.

I do my best to write original stories with powerful characters and emotion as well as a fast-paced plot. My goal isn’t just to deliver a good story but to take the reader into the story and let them experience the characters as if they are right there with them.

While almost all my books have a romantic element, I will be the first to admit, they are not traditional romance. In fact, I’d like to think there is nothing traditional about them. And the stories I paint are done so way outside the lines of traditional genres.

One of my favorite things to do as a writer is push the boundaries of what makes a story and to deliver the unexpected and maybe even change the perspective of the reader.

My characters are more often than not, beautifully flawed, not always the good guy, and make mistakes. Their stories will take dark turns which, in the end, make the light at the end of the tunnel all the brighter.

If you’re looking for something different, exciting, and unique, my books are for you.

Check out my website for updates and how to contact me. I love hearing from fans.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  | Facebook  |  Facebook group  | Twitter

Newsletter Sign-up  |  Patreon 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a signed print copy of NOX.

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Release Blitz – Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World #3) by Nat Kennedy (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World, Book 3)

Author: Nat Kennedy

Publisher: Self-Published/Lagomorph Press

Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Design

Release Date: June 14, 2019

Genre/s: MM Urban Fantasy

Trope/s: Teacher/Student, Friends to Lovers, Threesome

Themes: Loyalty, Acceptance, mild H/C

Heat Rating: 3-4 flames (not frequent, but detailed)

Length: 93 000 words/260 pages

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

Reggie Wolfe religiously visits Kyle Landon—his student in Nerve detangling—at the Harpford Disentanglement Center, where the younger man has been incarcerated on trumped up charges.  During one of Reggie’s visits, Kyle’s able to warn his teacher of an imminent unauthorized transfer by an unknown shadow agency. Reggie demands help from his sister at the Bureau of Wielder Services but is pressed to take the matter into his own hands when bureaucratic red-tape stymies her actions.  Breaking into a secret medical installation, Reggie and August Whalen find Kyle and six other men hooked to IVs, unknown chemicals pumping into their systems.

The three are caught up in a quest to find an antidote for the drugs and discover who is behind the powerful anti-male Wielder organization.  On this dangerous road, will they forever remain friends or give in to their growing attraction?

Afflicted to the Core is the steamy third novel of the Wielder World series—gay urban fantasy full of desire, desperation, and dedication born of trial and blood.

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

A small smile brushed Kyle’s lips when he spotted Reggie through the window of the cafe. Reggie lifted his hand in a wave. Kyle jerked his chin up in acknowledgment while that hint of smile burst into a grin. His bangs nearly brushed his eyes, hiding a brow ring that Reggie knew was there. Ah, what a kid.

A kid. Recently just twenty-two. But smart and daring and gorgeous, his insistent heart kept telling him. At times, when he lay alone in bed at night, Reggie reminded himself that Kyle would find someone else. Someone more exciting, more fun, more willing to be open about his sexuality. Eventually, he would just move on.

Kyle yanked the door of Grindworks Cafe open, a gust of cool air flushing in, and joined Reggie at his table. “Going to the Black Castle tonight, wanna come?”

A cold nugget of apprehension lodged itself in Reggie’s belly. The Black Castle—a mostly gay bar and dance club that was once a haven for male cultists until the Mara Murda take down last fall. Most cultists lay low, not drawing attention to themselves. Now, those that hadn’t fled into the dark forest around the lodge occupied rooms in Disentanglement Centers. The members of other cults were keeping their noses clean, according to his sister, Bethany.

The owner of the Black Castle had also been there during the Bureau bust. One August Whalen. A man he owed on many levels.

“No, thanks for the invite though.” Reggie took a sip of coffee. “Say hi to August for me.”

Kyle leaned forward, elbows on the table, every aspect about him all youthful and earnest. “Oh, come on. August would love to see you…and it won’t be me and a ton of other students. I was hoping you could come, and me…and that’s it.” He lowered his lashes, almost shy.

Reggie’s cold knot melted and a wash of heat crawled up his neck and over his cheeks. Kyle’s hand pushed across the tabletop, meeting the halfway line. Reggie looked at it. Black fingernail polish still clung to Kyle’s cuticles. He must have been full-on goth last night, hanging out with his friends.

“Hey Reggie!”

Reggie jumped in his chair, nearly knocking over his coffee, yanking his hand away from where it had migrated to within inches of Kyle’s, and faced the newcomer.

Professor Sally Boltmier of the engineering department: his senior professor and a close friend of his on campus.

“Sally. How are you this morning?” He gripped the napkin in his lap, crumbling it up into a tight wad, and focused on her, not letting his gaze stray to Kyle.

Her welcoming smile faltered. “I’m great. Sorry to interrupt. I didn’t mean to scare you out of your seat.”

Reggie’s mind stirred to create some excuse and send her on her way, but he couldn’t say anything before Kyle stood and offered his hand.

“I’m Kyle. Reggie’s…friend.”

Reggie’s…friend.

That pause. Kyle had done that on purpose. The temperature in the room ratcheted to sauna levels. Reggie struggled to hold steady under the gaze of his senior colleague, to not look guilty. No point looking guilty. He wasn’t guilty!

“Reggie’s…oh. Oh! Oh, well, pleased to meet you, Kyle. I’m Sally Boltmier, I work with Reggie in Sloan Hall.”

Kyle’s smile brightened. “I know you. You spoke for him in that…case last fall.” Kyle at least didn’t blurt out ‘sexual harassment’ for the entire café’s knowledge.

Sally eyed Kyle, up and down, and Kyle stood tall as if meeting his prom date’s father. Then Sally’s stern appraisal softened, and she nodded and dropped her voice to say, “I knew Reggie wasn’t guilty of any inappropriate activities. So,” her consideration shifted from Kyle to Reggie to Kyle again, “you’ve been together since then?”

Reggie wanted to crawl under the table, maybe dig his way into the linoleum, and hide. He could still salvage this if he got up, spoke out, explained everything. “Well, it wasn’t…we weren’t—”

Kyle’s laughter cut off Reggie’s bumbling. He brushed through his hair, giving it a tousled look, showing off his brow piercing. “Oh, well, we weren’t together, then. But we knew each other.” He looked down at Reggie and gave him such a besotted look, that Reggie knew he was staring back like a devoted Labrador until his colleague laughed and broke him from his trance.

“Well, I’ll let you two get back to your afternoon. Enjoy the spring weather! See you Monday.” She gave Reggie a look that suggested there would be more to this conversation on Monday, but he knew she wouldn’t spread any rumors about him on campus or anywhere else. Except to her husband maybe. They shared everything.

Reggie’s eyes flicked to Kyle. Kyle knew almost everything about him, too.

About the Author

Nat Kennedy grew up living in a poorly populated desert landscape. With no neighbors in a 1-mile radius, she had to make up her own fun.

Nat strives to create plotty and imaginative fantasy worlds, with the added benefit of gay romance–steamy to tame. Bored of het romance, she jumped into writing her fantasy with gay romance swirled in, like a raspberry ribbon in vanilla ice cream.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website |  Facebook  |  Instagram

CHECK OUT THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE WIELDER WORLD SERIES HERE

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $25 Amazon Gift Card

one of five ebook copies of Edge of Desperation (Wielder World 1)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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