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

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More Postcards from Leipzig and Free Dreamer

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

Day 2:

Welcome back to my adventures at the Leipzig Book Fair!

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

📚Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway📚

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

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 23:

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

Monday, April 24:

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

Tuesday, April 25:

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

Wednesday, April 26:

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

Thursday, April 27:

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

Friday, April 28:

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

Saturday, April 29:

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

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

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

Adventures From Leipzig – Postcards from Free Dreamer

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

📚Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway📚

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

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 16:

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

Monday, April 17:

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

Tuesday, April 18:

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

Wednesday, April 19:

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

Thursday, April 20:

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

Friday, April 21:

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

Saturday, April 22:

A MelanieM Review: Wytch & Prinze by Kassandra Lea

 

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

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

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

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

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A Loss At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

 ♥︎

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 9:

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

Monday, April 10:

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

Tuesday, April 11:

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

Wednesday, April 12:

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

Thursday, April 13:

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

Friday, April 14:

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

Saturday, April 15:

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

 

 

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

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Hello April

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

New Beginnings Announcements ~ New Reviewers!

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

Meet Kai

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

Our Reviewer Adventures!

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

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Giveaway Announcements

 

📚Free Dreamer Book Fair Adventures Blog Giveaway.

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

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, April 2:

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

Monday, April 3:

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

Tuesday, April 4:

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

Wednesday, April 5:

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

Thursday, April 6:

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

Friday, April 7:

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

Saturday, April 8:

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

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

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Rate: 4 stars out of 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | Kobo

Book Details:

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

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

 

An Alisa Review: Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love by Dale Cameron Lowry

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

 

Nine of Dale Cameron Lowry’s best short romance stories, available for the first time in one book.

Part 1: Falling Fast
Warm up with whirlwind romances that last.

Mi Alma — Ex-Mormon Alma Larsen doesn’t know the first thing about alcohol, so he hires bartender Damian Banks to help out at his winter holiday party. They build a friendship that simmers with sexual tension—and possibly something much deeper. Will this Christmas bring them both a love that lasts?
Loggerhead — Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles—and rekindling their passion for each other in the process.
Reading the Signs — The only thing twenty-three-year-old Theo De Jong expects when he enrolls in a summer school for linguists in New Mexico is to get more ideas for his master’s thesis in Dutch Sign Language. But then he meets the American sign language expert Alfonso Grossman, and sparks fly.

Part 2: Falling Fantastically
Because reality is overrated, these stories have elements of the fantastical.

Born of Fire — The fairies on Ireland’s north coast are notorious for kidnapping, and Aodhán of County Donegal has the scars to prove it. When the fairies abduct the handsome youth Cainnech, Aodhán seeks to free him—but risks losing his health and Cainnech in the process.
Ghost of a Chance — When shy Jeremy Anderson meets mysterious and dapper Frank at his spooky old university library, their connection is instant. Their romance waxes with the full moon—but just as quickly, Frank’s interest seems to wane. He insists that he loves spending time with Jeremy, but then why does he keep Jeremy at arm’s length?
Far From Home — Rajiv met and fell in love with his husband, Mateo, when they were both members of the scientific team responsible for transforming Mars into a home suitable for humans. But years into their shared mission, Rajiv is ordered back to Earth to restore the barren lands of the American Midwest. With a little help from technology, the two men find innovative ways to nurture their long-distance relationship while they wait to reunite.
Sweeter Than Blood — Keith was a vegan before a hot encounter with a stranger turned him into a vampire. In the year since, his sire, John, has tried to make up for the mistake by teaching Keith everything he knows about being a non-murderous bloodsucker. But temptation is strong in the form of Andres, a regular customer at the barbershop where Keith works. When Andres finally asks Keith on a date, the real danger begins.

Part 3: Falling Deep
The deeper the love, the hotter the intimacy.

Rough Love — Blake thinks new boyfriend Michael doesn’t like French kissing. Michael thinks Blake doesn’t like rough sex. Neither are virgins, except in the art of conversation. Can they set things straight before the honeymoon’s over?
Pacific Rimming — On Mike’s fortieth birthday, his husband, Ken, takes him on vacation to Vancouver Island in Western Canada to celebrate. While Mike mourns his loss of youth, Ken encourages him to recapture it by bedding a gorgeous twenty-something man they encounter while hiking in Pacific Rim National Park. A night of no-holds-barred passion among the three men reveals a sizzling chemistry, and when Mike and Ken return home they find themselves longing to reconnect with the young Jason. Can what started as a one-night stand transform into a threesome that lasts?

 

This is a great collection of stories.  The men are all looking for love or are enjoying the love they already have which was a nice variety.  They all ended great but took a bunch of different ways to get there, just like in real life.  Most of the stories are only told from one character’s point of view, but the author does a wonderful job of showing the other characters emotions and feelings through their eyes.

 

In Mi Alma Damian and Alma aren’t quite sure how to approach the other with their growing feelings but their tension works wonderfully in building their friendship, I thought both of these characters played well off each other.  In Loggerhead Jake and Eric show that it is easy to put yourselves and your relationship on the back burner a bit, but I loved seeing them make their relationship even stronger during their trip.  Theo and Alfonso begin a wonderful friendship at the beginning of Reading the Signs and keep it going via skype when their course is over for the summer and seeing Theo learn what love really is, even at a distance, is great.

 

Born of Fire was an interesting concept; Aodhán becomes abducted by fairies and realizes this and how much Cainnech could mean to him if they were free, but they have to support each other once they are free from the fairies.  Ghost of a Chance was one of the sweetest stories in this collection; Jeremy and Frank build a great friendship that turns into a strong relationship even though they are somewhat separated on the physical plane, but their love is what can keep Frank solidly in Jeremy’s life.  Rajiv and Mateo miss each other so much in Far From Home, but have figured out the next best thing to having the other with them.  In Sweeter than Blood Keith has not been very welcoming to the vampire lifestyle and when he finally takes a chance on Andres he realizes that maybe John is the one he needs.

 

In Rough Love Blake and Michael are trying to start their relationship off well, but don’t know how to talk to each other.  When they finally do we can see what they have been holding back and how much more perfect they are for each other.  Pacific Rimming show how there is always room in people hearts for more people to love if they want and Ken and Mike know that if they give it a chance Jason could easily fit into their lives.  Seeing Jason realize that he can have the love he has wanted is wonderful.

 

Cover art by Dale Cameron Lowry is great and eye catching.

 

Sales Links: Terrestrial Press | Amazon | Books2Read

 

Book Details:

ebook, 233 pages

Published: February 20, 2017 by Terrestrial Press

ISBN: 9781508058670

Edition Language: English

Fickle, Fickle March ~ Its Snowing? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Fickle, Fickle March Part II ~ Its Snowing?

So remember all that lovely warm weather I was talking about?  Well, out the window it went and here’s comes the first Nor’easter of our winter season.  The meteorologists are calling from anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of accumulated snow here in the metro area, possibly more.  Oh those poor cherry blossoms, to say nothing of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival that draws visitors from around the world.  Yep, those  blossoms will be history, taken down by nature’s blast this week!

And what will that do to our St. Patricks Day parades?  Will they be marching in the snow?  Most likely.

Oh, this mercurial March. Much like love and romance, it blows hot and cold.  It heats up and then quickly can become ice cold.  Then flare up when you least expect it.  I’m hoping for the more heat to melt this coming snow away quickly.

 

Lucky In Love – A St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway!

So new  giveaway for our  readers.  With it being St. Patrick’s Day this week, what are your favorite books with Irish settings, or Irish men and romance in them?  Lists please and  we will post a special St. Patrick’s Day Romance Book List of Love.  Random reader will receive gift card of $10 from Dreamspinner Press.  Please leave a name and email address with your recs!  I will start you off with one that still makes me cry and grabs at my heart every time I read it:

Where the Grass is Greener (Seeds of Tyrone #2) by Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney

And don’t get me started on those magnificent Morgan men of Rhys Ford’s Sinners series.   I’ll add in more when list time comes.  Our  giveaway ends Saturday, March 18th at midnight.  Slainte’! D’fhéadfadh grá i gcónaí a bheith mise!  May love always be yours, in life and in our stories.  I can’t wait to see what books your lists may bring us.

This Week’s Announcements at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

📚~ Reviewers ~We have a new reviewer coming on.  Her name is Julia.  And we’re thrilled to have her here.  Let Julia tell you something about herself:

Hey, there!

I’m Julia, a mid-twenties gay language student from Austria. I love travelling, Japanese curry, Scotland, the sea and anything and all fiction-related. My current passions are writing (mainly short stories and flash fiction) and playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends (where I play as a half-mermaid cleric with a pet pufferfish named Huffl-Puffington Supreme Conqueror of the Northern Seas).

When it comes to literature, I’m basically open for anything that catches my interest in some way. I love books that make me cry, books that make me laugh, books that make me want to ram my head against a wall with spikes protruding from it – as long as a story can get any kind of emotional response out of me, I’m happily along for the ride. That being said, my most-read genre right now would probably be Fantasy and my favourite author Terry Pratchett with his glorious Discworld-series.

Well, I think that should give you a pretty decent picture of myself. Have a lovely day and as a friend of mine once said: Don’t get eaten by a dragon! (Unless they ask nicely and all around seem like a pretty ok-person.^^)

Say hi to Julia and be on the lookout for her reviews to start appearing soon!  We are still looking for reviewers.  So contact us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com if you love books and want to tell other about them too!

📚~Last Week’s Giveaway ~ He Turned Out To Be What? Contest and the Winners:  Purple Reader (Stella will be in contact with you)

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 12:

  • Fickle, Fickle March Part II ~ Its Snowing?
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, March 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST BA Tortuga on Two Cowboys and a Baby
  • DSP GUEST POST Ethan Stone on Wild Instincts (Seaside Shifters: Book Two)
  • Release Day Blitz Shaper by Christine Danse
  • RIPTIDE TOUR BLOG Sons of Devils by Alex Beecroft
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Lickety Split by Damon Suede
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Step by Step by K.C. Wells
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe by Rick R. Reed

Tuesday, March 14:

  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Cleansing Flame (Rekindled Flame #2) by Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz – Rick R Reed’s Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe
  • In the Paranormal Spotlight: Insight by Santino Hassell (Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)
  • A Jeri Review: Danced Close by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Review: Momo, My Everything by Posy Roberts
  • A Stella Review: Beneath the Stars by Lynn Charles
  • An Alisa Review: Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love by Dale Cameron Lowry

Wednesday, March 15:

  • DSP GUEST POST Sarah Madison on Unspeakable Words (The Sixth Sense: Book One) 
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – K.C. Wells’s  Step By Step
  • Who We Are by Nicola Haken Tour and Review
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Two Cowboys and A Baby by BA Tortuga
  • An Ali Release Day Review:  Sophie by JP Barnaby
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Running with the Moon by Kiernan Kelly
  • An Alisa Review: Love by Design by Sam B. Morgan

Thursday, March 16:

  • Release Blitz Tour – The Case Of The Guilty Ghost (End Street Book #6) by RJ Scott and Amber Kell
  • RELEASE BLITZ Between the Secrets by S. Ferguson
  • Release Day Blitz An Officer’s Submission by Christa Tomlinson
  • Release tour Who We Are by Nicola Haken
  • A MelanieM Review:  Who We Are by Nicola Haken
  • Step by Step by KC Wells Release Tour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Fallen Angel by Eden Winters
  • A Stella Review Spark to the Heart (Parkerburg series #4) by Lee Brazil & Havan Fellows

Friday, March 17 – Happy Ēostre or Ostara:

  • Blog Tour for Leaning into the Fall by Lane Hayes
  • Book Blitz Here For Us by AM Arthur
  • A Caryn Review : Bedside Manner by DJ Jamison
  • A Caryn Review: Drinker of Blood (SPECTR Series 2, #3) by Jordan L Hawk
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Falling Into the Black by Caitlin Ricci
  • A Melanie Releases Day Review:  There’s this Guy by Rhys Ford

Saturday, March 18:

  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Drama Muscle by Joe Cosentino and Narrator Chip Hurley
  • Blog for the audiobook of DRAMA MUSCLE, the second Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino, performed by Chip Hurley

INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR: Ghosts & Ashes (Broken Moon #2) by F.T. Lukens (author interview, special excerpt and giveaway)

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Ghosts & Ashes (Broken Moon #2) by F.T. Lukens
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nterlude Press
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Available for Sale at

amazon square borderB&N borderApple borderKobo borderSW border

Other Purchase LinksGoogle | Book Depository | Indiebound

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have F.T. Lukens here today to talk about her  latest novel, Ghost & Ashes.  Welcome, F.T., thank you for stopping by on your tour today. Hi FT, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

  • Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?

I’m such a sucker for a pretty cover. It’s not the sole reason I buy a book, but I do love a nice cover. I’m very lucky to have the beautiful covers I’ve had for my Broken Moon Series.

It also helps if the book is in my genre of choice. A good blurb that’s interesting can get me too.

Probably needless to say but I do end up purchasing a lot of books.

  • What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

This is a tricky question. I think romance can mean the whole sweep- someone-off-their-feet thing. But I tend to think of it as person meeting another person where they are and going from there. I think that’s romantic. But I love slow-burn romances and pining and those kinds of tropes.

  • What are your current projects?

I’m happily working on several different projects right now. This current book, Ghosts & Ashes, is the second of a trilogy. I’m busy plotting out the third and final installment. I also just finished another YA book about myths and cryptids. I’m also hoping to write a steampunk fantasy novel this year as well. It’s a lot to squeeze in.

  • What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

It’s the motivation. I’m a driven person. I recently had to take a strengths finding test for my day job and my top was called “Achiever.” Which basically means I’m here to get things done. But sometimes, after working a full day, and tending to three kids, and putting everyone to bed and I’m sitting at the keyboard and I’m drained… Those nights are difficult. But I surround myself with people who will push me. I have friends who will send me emails asking me if I’ve made my goals. And I have a goal tracking spreadsheet that keeps me on track.

  • Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I don’t know if this is ‘surprising’ but it’s funny/sweet. My penname is of course, not my real name. But it is a combination of an inside joke plus the name of the person who nicknamed me FT. The name ‘Lukens’ is the last name of a friend of mine who passed away. She loved nicknaming people and she loved to joke around. The FT part is the joke that I share with her and a few others and the Lukens in her last name. When I was coming up with the penname, I thought of her, and I knew she would’ve loved it. I’m sure where she is that she’s smiling and probably laughing at me. 😉

GHOSTS & ASHES ~ Summary

Three months have passed since the events of The Star Host, and Ren is living aboard the Star Stream under the watchful eyes of the Phoenix Corps. Plagued by vivid nightmares that ravage the ship in his sleep, he struggles to prove he isn’t a threat and fears he has traded one captor for another. His relationship with Asher, whose efforts to balance his personal loyalty to Ren with his professional duties to the Corps are failing, fractures.

Adrift without an anchor, Ren must return to his home planet of Erden if he has any chance of reversing his dangerous descent into madness. There, he hopes search for his missing brother and salvage his relationship with Asher. What he nds is knowledge that puts everyone’s allegiance to the test.

GHOSTS & ASHES ~ EXCERPT

“There you are!” Asher said, striding toward him, wrapping him in an embrace. “Stars, you’re freezing.” Asher rubbed Ren’s arms; his palms swept over the chilled skin. “Where have you been? You left and never came back. Jakob and I have been looking all over for you.”

Ren pitched forward, planted his face in Asher’s chest, and shook. The terror at being taken again mixed with the crushing truths from his parents overwhelmed him.

“Hey, hey, you’re okay.” Asher pulled Ren close. “What happened? Was it a dream? Sleepwalking?”

Ren stilled. Pressed close to Asher’s body, it would be easy to give into the urge to tell him everything, to spill the truth about what his parents had said about the Corps and the star hosts and the history his life was mired in. But his mother’s words lingered in the back of his mind, and Ren remembered how Asher had sided with VanMeerten so many times since the debacle on the drift. Asher was Phoenix Corps, through and through. His allegiance was split, torn between Ren and his duty as a soldier. And how much did he know? Was Asher aware that the first mission of the Corps was to hunt down the scattered remnants of the star hosts? Or did he only know what he had been told, like the rest of them?

* * *

Ren poured his power outward. The force field created a partial wall between the captives and the Corps. The comms shrieked. The pulse guns spat electricity, came alive in the hands of those who wielded them, and sparked and sputtered, shocking the Corpsmen with forks and tangles of electricity. They fell, writhing on the ground, even Zag. Ren vibrated with their screams, tasted the burn of skin and hair, but it wasn’t enough.

They had destroyed his home. They had made it so Ren could never return to what he was before. They had scared Ezzy, who was only a girl with a crush, who wanted to prove herself capable in a warzone when she should’ve been learning at school, playing in the woods, swimming in the lake, or blushing around boys. They had threatened them, frightened them, and they would burn, as Ren did, blaze in misery and despair, and thrash in pain until their veins blackened and peeled like wires, until their bones glowed like circuits.

The power flowed from him in a torrent, and he pushed it, and pushed it. He ensured those responsible were filled until they burst, until their souls were scorched out of them, until their humanity had crumbled to dust as his had.

* * *

Ren sighed. Asher wanted to talk, and Ren’s insides ached with a fierce loneliness he hadn’t experienced since the first night in the cell of the Baron’s citadel. He didn’t want Asher’s words or his pity. And he didn’t want to relive the details of the nightmare, which had sent him twisting in his sheets and crawling across the floor. The sense memories clung to him, like cobwebs whose phantom threads, fluttery and strange and stubborn, brushed against his skin. The strands were infinite; they touched the deep places of Ren’s consciousness and burrowed down to his marrow to pull out the things that terrified him most.

He didn’t want to share the nightmare, but Asher’s flat countenance and sure gaze couldn’t hide his worry. It flashed in his eyes and ran in shaky tremors down the length of his crossed arms, as if he hugged himself to keep in his concerns and not as a defense to reflect whatever Ren had to throw at him.

Ren bent his knees, propped his arm up, and allowed his fingertips to dangle. Sweat flattened his hair against his temples. He regarded Asher coolly as Asher sat on the edge of Ren’s bunk.

“Do you remember when we went dancing?”

Asher blinked at the non-sequitur. “On Mykonos?”

Rowan had taken them dancing in a place with loud music and rotating lights. The beat had vibrated through Ren’s boots. “I had never been dancing like that before.”

Asher raised an eyebrow. “You weren’t bad. Well, not as bad as Jakob.”

“I liked the slow dance.” Asher had grabbed Ren in his arms and pulled him to the dance floor. They’d laughed and moved and all Ren’s worries had dissolved in happiness and the rhythm of the music. “I liked being with you. With the crew. I miss that.”

“We’re here now, Ren.”

He shook his head. “No. You’re not. It’s different now.”

“It doesn’t have to be.”

Ren looked away.

“Ren, you’re not okay,” he said flatly.

“No. I’m not, but I didn’t feel like broadcasting it.”

“It’s a little late for that,” Asher said softly. Ren’s stomach twisted. Asher had all but confirmed his latest nightmare had played on the vid screens. The crew had seen what Ren couldn’t remember, didn’t want to remember. “You’re getting worse. And they know it.”

Ren twisted his lips. “I’m aware the crew already knows. Pen can’t lie for anything.”

“Not them. The Corps.”

Ren rested his head on his knees. “You told her. You threw me to the wolves.”

“I had to.”

“Why? Do you want me to leave? Be locked away?”

“Stars, Ren. You know I don’t want that.”

“I don’t know what you want, to be honest. I don’t understand why you hold allegiance to them at all.”

“Because I have to. I promised five years.”

“You and your promises,” Ren said bitterly. That was loyalty Ren couldn’t understand, not after what the Corps had done to Asher, not after having left him for a year to rot in a cell on what they called a backwater planet. But Ren was beginning to realize there were things he would never understand and maybe wasn’t meant to.

“And I promised I’d keep you safe. Any way I could. This is the only way. Don’t you understand that?”

Ren felt the slight touch of Asher’s fingertips across the back of his hand. His star sparked and sought out the mechanism in Asher’s shoulder instinctually.

Asher shivered.

“There’s a fine line between safety and captivity.”

* * *

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

About the Author

F.T. Lukens is an author of Young Adult ction who got her start by placing second out of ten thousand entries in a fan community writing contest. A sci- enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Trek and Fire y and is a longtime member of her college’s science- fiction club. She holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and three cats.

Her 1st novel in the Broken Moon series, The Star Host, was published by Duet Books in 2016.

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

Giveaway

Book Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Ghosts & Ashes // Five winners receive the multi-format eBook.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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A VVivacious Release Day Review: Shaper by Christine Danse

Standard
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
 
I woke up running through the abandoned streets of Shapertown. I didn’t know who I was, where I had come from or even who I was running from. It was like I had come into this world running with the nebulous command of “Run” ringing through my brain. I hid myself only to be found by a pair of brown boots with red laces and I didn’t know if I should run or not. After all, where do you run when you have nowhere to go?
 
This book is Wow! It tells the story of a planet at the centre of the universe where reality itself is in a constant flux. In this world exist a group of people know as Shapers that can change the very matrix of reality with their thoughts. They are varied, each with specific abilities and the government seeks to control them leading to a rebellion and it is in these dangerous times that our story begins.
 
I loved the premise of this story. It is like the perfect mix of plausible married to boundless imagination and the story is beautifully written. I loved our main character for someone who has no idea who she is she is very balanced individual and I found myself engrossed in her story from the very beginning.
 
This book is a story first and foremost and that is the deepest compliment I can give it. This story is amazing. Some stories really amaze me with the extent of imagination and this was one of them. I am truly mystified by the planet of Mi’hani and the life that exists on it. I am very hopeful for the books that are to follow in this series because if the first book is any indication this is going to be one hell of a ride.
 
Our second main character is Natalia who is lethal in every way. I mean she has some mad skills but for once it was refreshing to meet an assassin, a killer who wasn’t jaded who felt the burden of the path she has led but tried to keep living with it instead of arresting her emotions, while still being a bloody fantastic person to read about. I loved the character of Natalia and I am very excited to see where her relationship with Lark is going to go.
 
This story is a gateway to a bigger picture and I can’t wait for the books that will enlighten that path.
 
Cover Art by Natasha Snow. I loved the colour especially its mix of the shades of blue and green that seem to sum up the universe. All in all it is a fabulous cover.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook, 45 pages
Expected publication: March 13th 2017 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781945952715
Edition LanguageEnglish