Ken Harrison on Writing, Books, and his latest release ‘Linear Park’ (author interview)

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Linear Park (States of Love) by Ken Harrison
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Kobo |  iTunesGoogle Play  

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ken Harrison here today on tour with his latest novel Linear Park.  Welcome, Ken, and thanks for sitting in our author’s Interview chair.

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Ken Harrison

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I tend to write about what I know, so a good amount of myself goes into everything. In Linear Park, Sean’s backstory comes from a few people I know and my own experiences living with a person with alcohol issues. A lot of Nick’s personality comes from my husband.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

What I’m working on now is contemporary and takes place in New York City and Rhode Island. The main character is an artist, and I know a few artists and have a slight understanding of how things work. Still, I needed to do some research to get specific aspects of painting right. I think for any story that takes place in the real world, there’s a certain amount of research that needs to be done. Nobody knows everything.

Has your choice of reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Yes and no. Back when I was writing erotica, what I read sometimes influenced my stories. I wrote a few stories that were inspired by Jim Thompson and two from cyberpunk fiction. I’m new to romance, so we’ll see what happens.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?

Although I’ve never had to put a story aside because I was too close to it, I need to have some type of emotional response to know that what I’m writing is worthy of my time.  If I don’t laugh or cry, then I’m not attached to it enough to continue.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I like realistic endings. If an ending isn’t believable then the entire story can be ruined for me. It’s nice to have everything work out, but not all stories can end that way.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I’ve always read a wide variety of fiction. When I was a kid it was horror and sci-fi. Throughout my twenties, it was mostly women’s fiction. I love Margaret Atwood, Erica Jong, Alice Walker and a few others. I also read a lot of gay and lesbian fiction. I didn’t seek out romance until I was in my forties.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I love language and the use of words. A book needs to have a tone or strong voice to catch my attention. When I read Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood, I was in love with her prose and sense of voice. Steven King has a way of using the omniscient voice to pull the reader into the story. Jim Thompson has a grittiness to his prose that works with his edgy fiction. I remember reading Ann Beattie and falling in love with the simplicity of her language. She can tell so much in so little. I believe that the best writing uses an economy words.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I’m a tech guy, so I like ebooks. With that said, I also believe in ebook standards and the ePub format. Proprietary formats drive me bonkers, which is why I was pleased when Amazon allowed kindle users to upload ePub files. All ebook readers should use a single file format, IMHO.

What’s holding ebooks back right now is pricing. Small presses, especially romance presses, understand how to price ebooks. Sometimes I look at the price of books coming from the larger publishing houses and cringe. Why would I pay for an ebook that costs as much as a hardcover? An ebook is a file the publisher pays to set up once, then sells worldwide without the cost of printing or shipping; there’s very little overhead. Ebooks are the new mass market paperback and should not be priced the same as trade paper or hardcover.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I considered asking to design my own cover for Linear Park, then decided to relax and let somebody else do it. I’m glad I did. It was great to see another person come up with a cover and give input.

What’s  the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

I think the most outrageous story I’ve written thus far was the title story for Ten Thick Inches. A man is hired by a mobster to steal a gold replica of his penis. The entire story is a bit out of control.

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

Someplace quiet with natural light and a stereo. I sometimes play music in the background, usually Brian Eno or the Cocteau Twins.

What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m working on another contemporary romance now, but have an idea for something much more fantastical when it’s finished. I would also like to write something glitzy, like a gay Scruples or Valley of the Dolls. I’m a sucker for a good glitz novel. I love both those books so much.

Blurb

Sean and Nick’s life together was a fairy tale: childhood friends who became lovers, high school sweethearts who married after college, both handsome professionals. Sean always enjoyed a few drinks, but after the death of his father, his alcoholism spiraled out of control… and it cost him everything.

When Sean loses his job and becomes too surly and unreasonable to live with, Nick has little choice but to end the relationship. Sean can’t blame Nick for giving up—not after the arguments and the lies—but he longs for the happiness and love they shared before he spoiled everything. He resolves to get sober and win back his husband. But even if he wins his battle with alcoholism, will it be too late to save his marriage?

About the Author

Back in the nineties, Ken Harrison wrote erotic short stories for several gay skin magazines and published three short story collections (Daddy’s Boys; Young, Hung and Ready for Action; and Ten Thick Inches). He stopped writing in 2001 to start a small press, Seventh Window Publications, and worked with several great authors and artists. He closed Seventh Window Publications in December 2015. After a year and a half away, he realized that publishing was a big part of his life and went back to writing.

When he isn’t writing, he enjoys cooking, web design, blowing bubbles in the park, dressing up in costumes, and entertaining. Halloween is his favorite holiday and his house is a popular stop for the neighborhood kids. He believes that the only thing better than telling a good story is watching people enjoy his food.

Ken lives in Rhode Island with his husband, who is an avid reader.

Goodreads Author Page

Andrew Grey on Writing Characters and his latest release ‘Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2)’ (author guest blog)

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Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey
Dreamspinner Press
Cover artist: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey here today talking about the challenges of writing a hearing impaired character.  Welcome, Andrew.

 

 ~ Andrew Grey on One of the Challenges of Writing a Hearing Impaired Character ~

There are so many things I want to say about this story.  When I decided to write a deaf characters I expected a number of challenges, but the hardest one wasn’t what I had anticipated.  What I needed to do after Scott’s injury, was develop an entire communication system for him.  He didn’t have a way for people to communicate with him other than through the written word.  I found that stifling and it made me realize just how difficult the hearing impaired have when interacting with the world around them.  I grew up with an aunt who was very hard of hearing.  Most people she barely understood, but the tone of my voice was able to get through to her.  But it took extra effort on my part to make sure she understood what I was saying.  It was that same kind of effort that I had to put into the story to build Scott’s methods of communicating.  The whole process helped me better understand just how hearing loss can cut a person off from the rest of the world and how a little extra effort and care can make all the difference.

Blurb/Synopsis

The attraction between Brent Berkheimer and Scott Spearman peels the wallpaper, but Brent is Scott’s boss, and they’re both too professional to go beyond flirting. Their priorities realign after Scott is badly injured in an accident that costs him his hearing, and Brent realizes what is truly important… he wants Scott.

Scott first pushes Brent away, fearing a new romance will just add to his problems, but perhaps he will find unexpected strength and solace in Brent’s support as he struggles to communicate with the world in a new way.

Just as they decide the chance of a happy future together is worth the risk, Scott and Brent discover darker challenges in their way—including evidence that the “accident” Scott suffered may not have been so accidental.

Excerpt

Scott was in a small room, the bed surrounded by monitors with a number of tubes and cords hooked to him. His usually robust cheeks were sallow, his normally intense eyes closed, his pouty lips pale.

“Please remain quiet.”

“Of course,” Brent said as he pulled forward the small chair and sat next to the bed. He didn’t ask her a bunch of questions about how he was doing because Brent knew she couldn’t really tell him anything without specific written permission.

The nurse checked Scott over and left the room.

“Hey, Scott. It’s Brent. I wanted to stop by and see you.” He blinked as Scott’s chest slowly rose and fell. “I read somewhere that people can sometimes hear things when they’re out like this. So I hope you get better.” He turned to make sure no one was around to hear him, then leaned closer. “I should have told you how I felt.” He sniffed and took one of the tissues from the box on the tray table. He reached for Scott’s hand and slid their fingers together. Brent probably didn’t have a right to do that, but he wanted Scott to know he was there.

To his surprise, Scott’s fingers squeezed his just a little. At first, he wasn’t sure it was real, but Scott did it again. Brent gently rubbed the back of his hand but received no further movement in response.

“Are you Brent?” a man who had to be Scott’s dad asked. He looked so much like him, only an older, more weathered, and very worried version, with touches of gray in his hair.

“Yes,” Brent whispered, setting Scott’s hand back on the blankets, his cheeks heating. “I was just trying to make a connection with him. I think he might have squeezed my hand a little.” He wondered what Scott’s dad—and then his mom as she followed him inside—must be thinking with him holding Scott’s hand.

“He did that last night before we left. It’s the only indication that we’ve had that he’s there and knows we’re here.” Scott’s mother approached, and Brent stood to give her the chair. She sat, gently stroking Scott’s hand. “Is there something between you and my son?” She lifted her gaze, and it was like she was looking deep into his soul. It was immediately evident where Scott got his amazing eyes, even if hers were red and definitely filled with concern. “I heard what you were saying to him before we came in.”

“Don’t mind Carolyn. She has bat-like hearing sometimes.” Reggie stepped to the other side of the bed, looking at Scott. If Brent were to hazard a guess, Reggie was willing his son to wake up. The worry and sheer willpower were written on the lines of his furrowed brow.

“Reggie,” she said gently, then turned to Brent. “Scott talked about you all the time. I think he may have a crush on you.” She looked him over. “I can see why, but aren’t you a little old for him?”

Brent nodded. “That’s why nothing ever happened.” He turned back to Scott, not believing he was having this conversation. “I’m his manager and….” There were so many reasons why he’d never said anything to Scott, though all of them seemed too stupid now. Scott lay on the bed, largely unmoving, and none of Brent’s reasons mattered. All that did matter was that Scott would recover and get better again.

“I see,” she said, as though there were some great meaning behind Brent’s words. “He told me about the time the oil gun sprang a leak and he got sprayed. You got the oil shut off and him out of there and cleaned off so fast, before it could get in his eyes.”

“He told you that?” Brent closed his eyes, stifling a groan, as his cheeks had to be turning beet red. He’d cleaned Scott off and had damn near kissed him just because he was relieved Scott was all right. Just as he’d gotten close, Scott had opened his eyes and their gazes had met, but Brent had backed away. His cowardice had taken over the way it usually did.

Carolyn nodded. “He said you were gentle and made sure he was okay before everything else. Then you apparently took apart the equipment, fixed it, and made sure that didn’t happen again.” She smiled. “Scott tells us stories about work all the time, and many of them featured you.”

What was he supposed to say to that? Brent wanted to hide and lick his wounds somewhere. It seemed that the teasing and flirting Scott had done was more than just playing. Brent had never been sure, but now he knew. Scott had cared and might have been truly interested, but now it might be too late.

“That’s so nice to know.” Brent couldn’t help looking at Scott and wondering what might have been if he had just had the guts.

 

 

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

The Titles Below Are for the Heart Unseen Novels Only

Links go to Amazon

Heart Unseen Book 1

Heart Unheard Book 2

In Our New Release Spotlight: Hurricane (Stormy Weather #3) by B.A. Tortuga (special excerpt)

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Hurricane (Stormy Weather #3) by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have B.A. Tortuga back today on her tour for Hurricane, the third Stormy Weather story.  Welcome, B.A.!

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Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy.

Hurricane is the third in the story of Galen and Shane, and I’ve included a novella set quite a few years later called Bartender Rescue. I hope you enjoy this teaser.

Hurricane, Excerpt

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“I swear to God, y’all. If you don’t watch your pours, I’m going to start ripping faces off. I can’t afford to run specials if you’re pouring triples on every drink.”

Christ on a sparkly crutch, Shane had a headache. He’d spent the last four days studying the books on his latest project, trying to figure out why the busiest club of five bars was the one losing fucking money.

“But boss….”

He shook his head at Greg, his so-called manager. “Don’t. I don’t care. Fix it, y’all. Now. Or you’re all fired.”

“I’d like to see him do it perfect every time,” one of the little barbacks was muttering, and Shane saw red, right about the time Greg winced.

“Give me a bottle of Bacardi,” he snapped, one hand held out. “And four glasses.”

He poured the four shots—boom, boom, boom, boom—without even bothering to look. Each one of them perfect, right on, and he knew it. “Any questions?”

“Yes.” The newest bartender, a shrewd little redhead with bright green eyes, raised a hand. “Do you do it by count or with the bubble or what?”

“I used to count. Now I know it by heart. It’s practice. Y’all have to get, if you’re getting them fucked-up with two drinks, that’s ten bucks to the till, what? Two bucks to you? Three if you’re lucky? With four or five drinks? That’s twenty-five bucks to the till and more than five in the tip jar.”

“Can you show me one more time?” She was taking the initiative, at least. So he bit back his frustration and showed her.

Four pours. Four shots. Four perfect glasses.

Christ, his head hurt. Bad. And he still had to put out fires at Mickey’s, run deposit at the Spotted Kitten, and approve proofs for the new menus at Bell.

The bar business was booming, even if other things were sliding, like the old bait shop. Galen could run that with one hand tied behind his back and still do all the weird financial shit the man was into. Hell, they’d had it for more than ten years.

He wasn’t sure how he’d ended up like this—how he had ended up owning five clubs. He didn’t even drink hardly anymore.

Hell, right now he was tired enough that he didn’t want anything but caffeine and energy drinks by the case.

“Cool, boss. Thanks.” What the heck was her name? Allie? She winked. Winked at him. Lord.

“I’ve got to go. Greg. Work on this, man.”

“I will. I swear.” Greg could do earnest. Shane just hoped there was follow-through.

He grabbed his laptop bag and headed out. Time for the next stop on his rounds….

Someone stood right in front of his new, sparkly blue Jeep. Leaning on the hood in fact.

He stopped, took a second to admire. Damn. Damn, his Len was fine as frog’s hair. Those long legs went on and on, the ripped jeans and tight polo shirt just right. Galen’s shoulders still looked like they might block the light.

***

Much love, y’all.

BA

Blurb

Hurricane

Stormy Weather: Book Three

Galen and Shane are back in the final installment of the Stormy Weather series, and a tempest of epic proportions is brewing. Once they couldn’t get enough of each other, but now Galen’s long hours are driving a wedge between him and Shane. Lonely and starved for his lover’s attention, bartender Shane falls in with a new crowd that doesn’t have his best interests at heart, and Galen struggles with a workload he can’t manage and an unscrupulous partner who wants to eliminate Shane. He can barely keep his head above water, let alone chart a course home to Shane.

While they’re floundering and trying to hold their relationship together, a hurricane heads for the Florida coast—and they’re directly in the path of the storm. It’s a crisis that will either finally break them apart or remind them how much they stand to lose if they don’t hold on to each other.

Also included is the free novella Bartender Rescue.

Second Edition

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

Felicitas Ivey On Plotting Novels and her latest release The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed (author guest post)

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The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed by Felicitas Ivey
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Felicitas Ivey on tour for her novel The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed. Welcome, Felicitas.

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On Plotting Versus Pantzing by Felicitas Ivey

A lot of people, mostly my family and co-workers, ask me how I get my ideas for my novels and short stories. I do refrain from telling them I get a once a month delivery of ideas from super secret source, and just tell them ideas come from everywhere around you. I’ve written a couple of novels just to have my characters run around odd sections of Boston. Most of time I write a novel or a story, it’s because I have one idea I was able to get a short story or a novel from that idea.

I have a novel I’m working on, one plotted and I start working on the next one when an idea strikes me. The novel I’m working on is a gothic romance. The novel I’m plotting out right now is a romantic horror/suspense one.  I don’t know if it’s going to go anywhere, but plotting is half the fun of writing. I have a friend and we bounce ideas off of each other all the time, in person or over a chat program if we’re at work. Sometimes I get shower or driving ideas and I try to write them down before I forget them.

I used to be a pantser, and now I’m slowly trying to plot out things, so if I get ‘stuck’ I can go on to something else in the novel. Aside from plotting, I try to work on only one novel at a time. The best advice I ever heard was to ‘Not cheat on your novel with another one’. Or only concentrate on one thing at a time and don’t multitask several stories at once, writing-wise. I have edited novels while writing other things, and it was a little disorienting.

With plotting a novel or a short story, I use two methods so not be a pantser. The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshall has a system of X number of sheets per book, depending on the length of the book, is it a romance, how many viewpoint characters and things like that. I’ve figured out one sheet is about 12-1500 words, depending on what’s happening in the novel or short story then. And the sheets have helpful labels about whose the viewpoint character at the time and how many sheets they get. It’s fairly easy if you follow the plot you’ve laid out. I still wander take a left turn at Albuquerque sometimes and wander away from the plot.

What I don’t like is his character sheets. They’re interesting, but not my cuppa. What I use is Karen Wiesner’s ‘First Draft in 30 Days’ character sheets. They’re in a format I’m more comfortable with, more like writing a draft then filling out the small boxes the Marshall Plan uses. You can write out several paragraphs of back history, likes and dislikes very easily.

My next novel, I’m treating it like a roleplaying game, filling out character sheets for the main characters. It should be an interesting experiment. It’s a romantic horror novel, set in rural New England. New England is a great place to set horror.

I set most of my work in New England, since that’s where I grew up and lived all my life. And you can tell I’m a Boston girl as soon as I open my mouth, since I have the accent wicked bad. I’ve spent a lot of vacations in Northern Vermont also, so I’m familiar with the area and like to set some of my work there.

I’m trying to be more productive writer, but there is only so many hours in the day. Plotting and prep work do make the process faster, so I’m trying to lose my pantsers ways.

Blurb

Billionaire Fathi al-Murzim is a workaholic businessman, too busy running the family’s companies to even think about marriage. Too bad he never told his grandfather he’s gay, because Grandfather just announced a childhood betrothal—to a Bedouin girl Fathi never heard about before…

Ikraam din Abdel was raised as a woman by his avaricious and abusive older sister, who didn’t want him to be their father’s heir. He’d never thought to be married either, and is surprised when his sister informs him of his betrothal.

When Fathi and Ikraam meet, they are drawn to each other in a manner neither of them expected. As the plans for their wedding progress, they both realize they need to tell the other the truth. But can they, with both cultural taboos and family pressures to deal with.

About the Author

Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.

Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with e-books. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead, and flavored liqueurs. Felicitas also bakes, making cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes this leads to a lot of cakes. Her coworkers appreciate them though, with the student workers buzzing about on a sugar high most of the time.

Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.

Website: www.Felicitasivey.com

Facebook: felicitasivey

Twitter: @felicitasivey

Email: felicitas.ivey@gmail.com

M.A. Church on Cat Facts and her latest story At Sixes and Sevens (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #4) by M.A. Church

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At Sixes and Sevens (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #4) by M.A. Church
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Paul Richmond

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback |  Amazon 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have M.A. Church here today on her   At Sixes and Sevens tour. Welcome, M.A.

Cat Facts by M.A. Church

It is estimated that there are 200–600 million cats alive on Earth.

There may have been instances of domesticated cats as early as 7,500 BC.

Cats are the most popular pet in the United States: There are 88 million pet cats and 74 million dogs.

A group of cats is called a clowder.

Cats can’t taste sweetness.

Adult cats only meow to communicate with humans.

Cats’ life spans are on the rise. In the early 1980s, cats were only expected to live seven years; now they are expected to live twelve to fifteen.

The oldest known cat was Creme Puff, who lived to be thirty-eight years old.

Domesticated cats use vocalizations like meowing, purring and hissing—but feral cats are practically silent.

Cats can pass their body through any space which they can fit their heads through.

Blurb

Werecats mating with humans was bad enough…. But an Alpha werewolf?

Aidric’s life takes an unexpected turn when he meets Alpha Carter Lovelock of the Dark Lake Pack—who is apparently his mate. Now Aidric must decide whether to accept the mate the goddess chose, or deny her gift because cats and dogs just don’t mix.

Carter is in a pickle. He always assumed his mate would be a female werewolf. How else is Carter supposed to carry on his line and retain Alphaship? When Aidric comes into his life, Carter’s ex, Sabrina, isn’t giving up easily. Her brother, Delaney, is a thorn in Carter’s side, and some of the other werewolves go out of their way to make Aidric feel unwelcome, including one of his deltas, Evan.

Unfortunately, what little headway they make is destroyed during a full moon hunt when enemy werewolves attack Aidric and threaten the pack house where the Dark Lake pups are kept—an ambush that could have devastating consequences on their future.

Werewolves are notoriously insular, and before Carter and Aidric can build the life they want with each other, they’ll face a fight for acceptance.

Excerpt

There was no way a mating between a werewolf and a werecat could work. All I was doing was delaying the inevitable. Obviously Carter felt the same way since he hadn’t bothered to call me in the week since that meeting. He certainly wasn’t pursuing me.

Growling, I stomped to the bedroom. Well, screw him. I needed to be mated to a werewolf like I needed a hole in the head. I snatched up my cell phone and promptly dropped the thing on the bed when it rang. Startled, I hissed at it. Shit. The ringtone continued to blare as I snatched it up. If I’d cracked the stupid screen, I was going to…. I blinked in surprise.

Speak of the devil—or in this case—the werewolf. Running my finger across the screen, I unlocked my cell. My heart pounded. If I answered this, I’d have to stop avoiding the situation. Was I ready? There’d be no going back. Did I really want to take this step? Did I have a choice?

I answered the damn phone. “Hello?”

“Aidric LeClair?”

I closed my eyes for a second, took a deep breath, and then opened them. Why did his voice have to be so low and rumbly? I shivered. “Speaking.”

“This is Carter Lovelock.”

Right away I noticed he omitted his title, but that didn’t surprise me. He had no way of knowing how secure my phone line was.

“Are you there?”

“What?” Jeez, what was I doing? “Yes, I’m here. Sorry about that. I was….” Okay, no, I was not going to tell him I was perving on his voice. “Anyway. What can I do for you?”

There was silence on the line. The temptation to bang my head against the nearest wall was great, but I resisted. Had I actually asked him what could I do for him? Could I possibly sound stuffier?

“I can think of several ways to answer that question, but maybe it would be better not to.”

“I’m sorry?” I cringed. In my mind I saw my cat with his paw over his eyes. Well, guess that answered the question of whether I could sound stuffier. Apparently I could.

“Ah, is this a bad time?”

Is there ever a good time to make an idiot of myself? “No, no, it’s not a bad time.”

“I see. Cat got your tongue, perhaps?”

Whatever nerves were plaguing me suddenly ignited, and with a whoosh, went up in a screaming mass of indignant flames. Abruptly I wanted to use Alpha Lovelock as a scratching post.

“You know, your kind is proof evolution can go in reverse.”

Now I understood exactly what the term “dead air” meant. I couldn’t believe I’d said that, but by damned, he deserved it. Cat got my tongue—seriously?

Finally Carter chuckled. “I guess I did ask for that, didn’t I?”

“I would say so.” I collapsed on the bed, knees weak. Conversing with this werewolf was like pushing a boulder. Uphill. During a monsoon.

“Hey, it got you talking to me, at least—even if it was to insult me,” Carter said. Then his voice turned serious. “You and I need to meet.”

“Yes, I suppose we do.”

“I’ll give you directions to my house and—”

“No.” He couldn’t be serious.

“Excuse me?”

How much arrogance could a person cram into two words? “I’m not coming on your pac… your, ah… your place. No way.”

“You have my word you won’t be harmed.”

Whoop-de-freaking-do. “That’s nice and all, but I’m still not coming there.”

“Well, I can’t come to you without permission from your… from Dolf.”

That was definitely a no too. “I agree. That’s not a good idea either.”

Dolf and the rest of the betas were already too interested in my life. The nosy bunch of felines would probably hide in the surrounding trees if Carter came here. It wouldn’t be curiosity killing the cat; it’d be me.

“Then what do you suggest, because we do need to meet. I’m afraid I really must insist.”

I almost told him he could insist until he turned blue in the face, but I was trying to be civil. “I think somewhere neutral would be better.”

“And private.”

I hesitated. Private meant isolated, and isolated meant… well, isolated. Although I understood why he’d request that—we didn’t have to watch what we said if humans were not about—I didn’t know this Alpha. He was my mate and wasn’t supposed to be able to hurt me, but did I really want to put that to the test?

“I… fine. I will tell Dolf where I’m going to be, though.”

“You should. Temple and Shea will know where I am too.”

I’d forgotten all about his betas. “You’re coming alone, correct?”

“I… no. I can’t. You know that. Would you allow Dolf to go somewhere unescorted?”

Damn. He had a point. Alphas never went anywhere without at least one beta with them. Now what? “So you’re going to have one of them with you?”

“I’m afraid so. That’s nonnegotiable, and you know why.”

This was turning into a massive headache, and we hadn’t even laid eyes on each other yet. I growled softly. “I am not discussing anything of a personal nature with you as long as you have an extra set of ears listening in.”

“Which is why I suggested you come here. It’s easier.”

Of course it was—for them. I didn’t find anything about going there easy. The idea of being the lone cat surrounded by nothing but wolves was intimidating. In shifted form they were bigger and heavier than my cat, which was the size of a large Savannah.

While we could be arrogant, we had nothing on werewolves. Ha! Arrogant. The word described them perfectly, along with sarcastic, bossy, and vain. They acted as if the rest of us shifters should bow down to them.

If Carter came here, one of his betas would be with him. Plus they’d have to spend several nights, considering Carter’s pack land was several hours away. I was uncomfortable offering Carter my guest room, but I might’ve done it. But his beta too? Not happening. That was one werewolf too many.

Having two strange males—who were werewolves—under the same roof with me was more than I could handle. Not to mention I only had the one spare guest room, and I couldn’t see Temple and Carter sharing a bed.

My cat immediately growled his opinion on that. I’d probably fillet that sucker if he tried to get into bed with my mate… oh no. Banging my head against the nearest wall was looking better and better. I was getting possessive of Carter, which was a bad sign. A very, very bad sign.

“Aidric?”

“What?” I snapped.

“I’ve already given you my word nothing bad will happen to you here.”

“That’s supposed to reassure me?”

The growl that came across the phone line lifted the hair on the back of my neck.

“You question my word? My word? That’s an insult in so many ways I don’t know where to begin.”

By the goddess’s right paw, what was I thinking? “Okay. That was uncalled for, and I apologize, but you have to understand how uncomfortable this makes me.”

“Apology accepted. I do understand, and I promise you if any of my wolves lays a hand on you, they will regret it.”

Well, hell. He meant it. I heard the conviction in his voice and pinched the bridge of my nose. A voice in the back of my head whispered this was a disaster waiting to happen, but I couldn’t see a way around it.

It’d be easier for me to go there, even though the thought left me trembling. On the other hand, what better way to see if I could tolerate living among the wolves? Better to find out now before we mated, than later when there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

“Fine. I’ll come there.” I clutched the phone as my stomach dropped to somewhere around my knees. “But understand this—the moment I feel threatened, I’m out of there.”

“Understood. If that happens, I want to know about it immediately, because you won’t feel that way for long, I promise you. Would you consent to staying for a couple of nights?”

Yep, the aforementioned headache just sank its claws into the base of my neck. “Might as well.”

“Thank you. I know this is difficult, but all I ask is that we sit down and discuss this like two rational adults.”

Then we were already screwed, because I’d never known a werewolf to be rational, but why throw that into the conversation? “Agreed. Send me your address so I can program it into the GPS.”

“I will. Is the snow awful down there?”

Oh yay. Small talk and the ever-safe topic of the weather. “No. Not really. The temperature is supposed to rise tomorrow. That’ll get it melting quickly.” Which sucked, but it was better for driving. “I need to talk with Dolf and square this with him so I can have the time off. I’ll probably leave tomorrow after lunch. Since it’ll be Sunday, the traffic shouldn’t be too bad.”

“Excellent. Send me a text so I know when you leave.”

Already with the demands. “How about you ask me to send you a text? I’m not Temple or Shea, even though I hold the same rank. And you’re not my Alp… well. You know. You might want to remember that.”

“But I do hold the same rank as Dolf. You might want to remember that.”

I gritted my teeth. We were already off to a rip-roaring start. “While I am perfectly willing to give you the respect your rank deserves, I kiss nobody’s ass. If you want me to do something, ask instead of demand. I’m your mate, not your beta.” I cursed softly for my slip of the tongue.

“You’re right. I….” Carter sighed. “Will you send me a text before you leave?”

That was better. A firm believer in starting out how I meant to go on, I answered him in the perkiest voice I could muster. “Sure. I can do that.”

“I’ll see you when you get here. Have a good evening. Good night.”

“You too. Good night.” On that cheerful note, I ended the call and slipped my cell back into my jeans pocket.

If we didn’t kill each other within the first hour, it’d be a miracle.

About the Author

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full-time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or watching HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.

She is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Contact M.A.:

Ari of Ari McKay on Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows (Lawyers in Love #2) (guest post and exclusive excerpt)

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Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows (Lawyers in Love #2) by Ari McKay
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Bree Archer

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press Amazon  | Barnes & Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ari of Ari McKay here today talking about their latest release Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows.  Welcome, Ari.

✒︎

 

Hello everybody! Ari here, of Ari McKay. I’m very grateful to the folks at Scattered Thoughts for having me on the blog today, and to you for reading it!

I’m here to talk about our latest released from Dreamspinner Press, Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows. This is a re-release of an older story, and one that we have substantially rewritten from the original. So if you read the first edition of the story, you might be surprised at how much has changed!

The story concerns Dane Coulter, a lawyer who is intelligent, handsome, charismatic… and also under the thumb of his overbearing father, who owns the law firm where Dane works. Dane’s father is one of those nightmare parents that I hope no one reading this has had to deal with. My mother was such a parent, and believe me, it’s not easy to break away when you’ve been raised your entire life to feel that you are subject to the whims of a parent. Dane has been repressed to the point that he denies his own sexuality, and feels that he has little choice when his father pushes him toward marriage in order to provide an heir for the Coulter dynasty.

The one bright point in Dane’s life is his friendship with Cal Monroe. Cal is out, proud, head of a rival law firm and an avowed enemy of Randolph Coulter. Cal is also in love with Dane, though Dane doesn’t know it. Cal has kept his feelings to himself, not wanting to add to Dane’s problems by making Dane feel he’s being pressured into a relationship in order to retain Cal’s friendship and support.

Things come to a head, however, when Cal reads Dane’s engagement announcement in the New York Times. Cal reveals his feelings to Dane, and now Dane finds himself caught between two strong men. The decision Dane reaches about his future and what he does about it… well, that’s what we want to give you a chance to find out!

And now, here is an exclusive excerpt from the story. We hope you enjoy it!

Exclusive Excerpt

Cal spoke briefly to his secretary, then made his way to the elevator lobby. When the car arrived, he was surprised to see Dane inside. He entered quickly, wondering if fate was somehow smiling on his plan. It was one thing for him to confront Randolph, but even better for Dane to be able to see it.

They were alone in the car, and Cal made a sudden decision. He reached past Dane and flipped the toggle that set the car from “run” to “stop”. The elevator abruptly ceased its downward motion.

He regarded Dane for a moment, noting the lines of strain on Dane’s face. Of course Dane often looked stressed, which was another bit of Randolph’s doing. Offering Dane a smile, he stepped closer. “Hey. How are you doing?”

Dane’s answering smile was sweet and shy as he glanced sidelong at Cal. “I’m okay. How about you?” he asked, a hint of worry creeping into his voice.

It was all Cal could do not to drop his briefcase and pull Dane into his arms. Now that he’d told Dane how he felt, he didn’t want to maintain the careful distance he’d kept for the last two years. He wanted to hold Dane and soothe the line from between his eyes, to kiss him and tell him everything was going to be all right. But he told himself that now wasn’t the time; Dane didn’t need another man making demands on him that he wasn’t ready for and might not welcome.

“I’m fine. Preparing for battle,” he said, his smile turning hard. “I’m actually on my way to take on your father. Since you’re here, too, I wanted to warn you, so that you can step back and maintain plausible deniability.”

Dane’s eyes widened in alarm, and he touched Cal’s arm lightly. “Are you sure you want to go through with this? I don’t want you or your career to suffer because of me.”

Cal reached up to cover Dane’s hand with his own, giving his fingers a gentle squeeze. “I absolutely want to go through with it. I’ve not changed my mind, Dane. I love you, and I’m going to fight for you. I’m going to show you that your father can be beaten.”

Dane lowered his gaze and gnawed on his bottom lip. “I hope you’re right,” he said softly. “I’m not sure I could live with myself if something happened to you. It would be my fault.”

“No, it wouldn’t.” Cal moved his hand, running his fingers over Dane’s cheek in a brief, gentle caress. “I’m making this decision, right? You aren’t forcing me, you didn’t even ask me to do anything. By rights, you could even be angry at me for butting into your life. I really hope you aren’t, but either way, nothing that happens is your fault. I meant what I said, Dane. The only thing your rat bastard of a father can do to hurt me is to hurt you.”

Dane looked up at Cal, and although he didn’t seem entirely convinced, he nodded. “I’m not angry. I’m worried. But I know better than to argue when you’re wearing your war plaid,” he said, smoothing his fingertips along the length of Cal’s tie.

“Girdin’ meself for battle, laddie,” Cal replied in an exaggerated brogue. He chuckled. “Don’t worry. I’ve been taking on men worse than your father for years. Speaking of which…” He reached out, and flipped the elevator back to “run”. “He’s on his way back to the office now, and I don’t want to miss him. I just didn’t want you caught in a crossfire between he and I.”

“Should I pretend to ignore you or try not to let Father spot me in the area?” Dane asked.

Cal considered for a moment. “Just ignore me. I’m not your friend anymore, right? I’ll act frosty to you and you can return the favor. All the better to let him see we’re at odds, rather than just having your word for it.”

“He’d definitely want proof,” Dane said, a hint of bitterness in his voice. “He wouldn’t take my word for it.”

“Yeah,” Cal smiled mirthlessly, then glanced up at the floor indicator, which slid from 4 to 3 to 2. “Showtime. I’m hoping I timed this right. He’ll probably have his normal retinue, so there should be plenty of witnesses.”

With a last smile at Dane, Cal turned to the door, then assumed a hard expression, as though he were angry. As the elevator doors slid open he strode out quickly, moving brusquely past people who were waiting enter the car. He didn’t look back to see what Dane was doing, because to his immense satisfaction he spotted Randolph Coulter standing in the lobby, holding court with a small cluster of young men from his firm who seemed to be hanging on his every word. His timing had been just about perfect.

Blurb

Blurb

Successful attorneys Dane Coulter and Cal Monroe are rivals in the courtroom and friends behind the scenes. But can they be more?

 

Cal’s always carried a torch for Dane, but Dane is so deep in the closet, he can’t even admit that he might be gay. His father, a raging homophobe who rules the family with an iron fist, forces Dane into an engagement—to a woman. Dane goes along with it to keep the peace and protect his mother, but for Cal, it’s the last straw.

 

He can’t let Dane make a mistake that could ruin the rest of his life, and he only knows one surefire way to make Dane admit what’s in his heart. But confessing his feelings to his friend could backfire, driving a wedge between them. And even then, the choice must be Dane’s—to live the life his father wants, or to give up everything he has for a chance at happiness in Cal’s arms.

About the Authors

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

CONTACTS:

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay

Mark Wildyr on his historical novel Cut Hand (Cut Hand #1) (author guest blog and special excerpt)

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Cut Hand (Cut Hand #1) by Mark Wildyr

DSP Publications
Cover art by Maria Fanning
Release Date: October 31, 2017

Available for Purchase at DSP Publications | Amazon

 iBooks  and Kobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mark Wildyr here today on his tour for Cut Hand.  Welcome, Mark.

✒︎

 

May I take a moment to thank Stella and Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for agreeing to host this guest post for my upcoming novel CUT HAND. The book blurb captures the theme and intent of my historical novel as well as anything else:

Far from the world he knows, he’ll find a home.

Among strangers, he’ll find acceptance.

And in the arms of an unexpected man, he’ll find love.

Young Billy Strobaw comes West to escape the stigma of his Tory family. In the Dakota Territories, he encounters the Yanube warrior Cut Hand. Billy’s attraction to the other man is as surprising as the Yanube perspective on same-sex love. Unlike Europeans, the Siouan tribe celebrates such unions. Billy and Cut Hand can live as partners and build a life together, which Billy agrees to do.

As Billy struggles to acclimate to a very different culture, quickly discovering the Yanube have as much to teach him as he has to impart to them, a larger struggle is brewing. The white man is barreling through the Great Plains, trampling underfoot anyone who stands in his way. As a leader of his people, Cut Hand must decide whether it will be peace or war.

In a historical romance taking place against the epic backdrop of the early American West, where a single spark can ignite a powder keg of greed, lust for power, and misunderstanding, one man must find his place in history and his role in the preservation of all he has come to value.

I have chosen a passage from well into the story (Chapter 22, in fact) to illustrate the lengths my protagonist, William Joseph Strobaw, a very honest man, feels he has to go in order to protect his adopted people from the ravages of the white man.

*****

YAWKTOWN HAD grown to the point where the city fathers saw fit to change the name to Yanube City. My friends from the old days were now men of substance, and I was about to use their influence to the full extent of my ability. Since it was late when I arrived, I took a room at the Rainbow Hotel, as the establishment was now called, and bathed in one of their new baths. Each floor had a fully equipped bath with a zinc-lined tub.

Early the next morning, I called on the land office and made certain the title to Teacher’s Mead and the one hundred sixty acres around it was correctly entered. The government surveyed some years back, permitting me to exercise my right of purchase under the 1841 Pre-Assumption Act. Now I made a bid for contiguous land. If no one contested my offer, I would own four thousand acres of land lying astride the Yanube River. I bid the minimum provided for by the compromise, virtually destroying my account at the bank. It seemed politic to pacify Banker Crozier, whose influence I would need, by agreeing he could draft most of the cost from my account with the bank at Fort Ramson. Beyond this, I had to surrender a portion of my gold and silver coins to satisfy the bid.

The most crucial part of my scheme rested with the next call. Abraham Kranzmeier, the Jewish tailor, now had four young seamstresses and two sons working for him. Despite his age, he arrived at the shop each day to inspect every stitch that went into garments made in his name. I had given him custom over the years, and we held one another in esteem. He flicked a bushy gray eyebrow when I asked to speak in private but wordlessly led me back to a room furnished like a comfortable parlor in a home. He offered a cup of expensive imperial tea with lemon and settled back to stroke his long beard and listen.

“Abraham, I come to you because if anyone in this town understands the yoke of oppression, it is you. I intend to do something not exactly proper, not for my own personal gain, but for the protection of people who will need it in the years to come.”

I paused for him to volunteer some comment. “I heard what happened to your Indian family. You come on behalf of the survivors.”

“I have a beautiful piece of ground at Teacher’s Mead. When my time comes, I want to make certain it goes to my intended heirs.”

The old man took out a crooked, elaborately carved pipe, and for one minute I thought he was going to offer it in ceremonial observation. “So you see the same future I do,” he said, settling the pipe comfortably in the corner of his mouth.

“Indians are going to become the Jews of America,” I answered. “They will be denied ownership of their own land, citizenship in their own country, and forfeit their very lives if no protection is offered. I seek to provide this protection to a few of them.”

“You want to leave them your property.”

“And my testament will not be honored unless I fix things a little. So I come to a respected member of a community with a long history of surviving hostile systems.”

“In other words, you come to an old Jew. An old Jew whose nephew, although he bears a gentile name, is the clerk for this territory. Tell me what you need.”

I wanted a record of a marriage between me and Butterfly, a woman of the Yanube band, in the spring of 1834, some two years before the actual event, and a marriage license to go with it. I wanted a record of birth and a birth certificate for William Cuthan Strobaw as issue from this marriage for any day in December 1835, plus a baptismal certificate in the Methodist Church, one of the more active in the area. The old man listened and then named a sum, explaining it was not payment to him but the cost of having the items created. I handed over some of my hoarded gold coins and asked him to expedite the process. I wanted as much time between this and my own demise as possible. Time often perfected titles.

*****

“The Indian will become the Jews of America.” Prophetic words from a wise, farseeing man. His story and that of his love, Cut Hand, make up this novel.

Since I am uncomfortable talking about me, I’ll let the Bio at the end of the novel provide the obligatory words about the author:

Mark Wildyr is an Okie by birth and New Mexican by choice who turned a childhood interest in Native American cultures into a career. His seven published novels and approximately sixty short stories detail how attitudes toward homosexuals—who once held places of honor among some of the tribes—began to change upon the coming of the white man, with his suspicion and fear of those who are “different,” ultimately becoming pariahs even among their own people as the Europeans became dominant.

Wildyr continues to be fascinated by how different people interact together to discover who they are when measured against others. He gives back to his community by teaching a free writing class at an Albuquerque community center.

The following are my contact links:

Once again, thanks Melanie and Stella. I really appreciate this opportunity. And thanks to you readers for being… readers.

Dirk Greyson on Turning Personal Experience into Characters and his latest novel ‘Hell and Back’

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Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Dirk Greyson here on his Hell  and Back tour. Welcome, Dirk.

 

I often get asked how much of myself I put into my stories and sometimes I’m not really sure.  I’m not a lawyer and I’m not ex-military turned detective, but I do like to think that I have a big heart and I think that’s where I insert myself most often into the stories I write.  Okay, I’m going to tell you something that I rarely go into online.  My school years weren’t happy ones. I was alone much of the time.  The kids at school picked on me and that made those years really tough.  As a reaction, I turned quiet in introspective.  I stayed away from others and didn’t open play with them because I never knew when the next trick or insult was coming.  It was a pretty miserable existence.  But I think that period of my life also helped me develop a real heart felt understanding for the underdog and those that are having a difficult time with life because I’d been through it.  I really feel for my characters and throw my heart into them, quite literally.  I really hope that comes through to you as well.

 

Blurb/Synopsis

Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken.  When Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and Forge’s letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now, in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation and is almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure, and then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades or will hoping only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—and others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty

Excerpt

Gage went through the house to turn out the interior lights before settling in the family room in front of the television with the volume on low, listening for anything out of the ordinary. One thing the Army had done a good job of training into him was patience. He could sit in a mostly empty house and listen for nothing for hours.

A lot of his jobs were hurry up and wait. This one had seemed like it would be more active. When the call had come in to the office, he’d been about to go off duty. Margie, his receptionist, had relayed who was calling and what they needed.  That woman never seemed to sleep and had forwarded the office phone to her cell..  There had been no one else available, so he’d sprung into action and hurried home to get a bag together. It wasn’t until he’d been driving and Margie called to give him the particulars that he’d heard the name and nearly run off the road.

After all these years, to run into Forge again, and under these circumstances….

He turned toward the stairs and got up to make a round through the house, then checked outside just to ensure everything was quiet.

Forge Reynolds. Gage sat down, turned off the television, and retrieved his bag to pull out his iPad so he could read for a while. After a few minutes of reading the same page over and over, he set it aside, leaned back, and closed his eyes. Concentration wasn’t something he had at the moment.

Almost instantly he was lying in a hospital bed.

He’d been hit with shrapnel, a ton of it if what he’d been told was true, and a piece had nicked his upper spine. He couldn’t walk or use his arms at first. And he’d never forget the day a man, about his own age, sat in the chair next to his bed and picked up the pile of letters on his tray. They hadn’t wanted to transport him in case it caused more damage, and his family couldn’t visit him where he was, so old-fashioned communication was the best way.

“Would you like me to read them to you?” The man’s voice had been mellow and gentle, at odds with most things in the Army.

“Please,” he’d said softly. At least he’d been able to talk.

Forge had opened the first envelope and read Gage the letter from his mother, then a second one. The third envelope contained one from his mother and one from his dad, and Forge read both. Gage had been tired and fallen asleep, but when he woke, the man was still there. He picked up a pen and paper and asked if he wanted to write a letter. “My name’s Specialist Forge Reynolds, by the way. I never did tell you.”

“Gage Staff Sergeant Livingston. Gage,” he’d croaked, hating the way his voice sounded. He remembered feeling useless, helpless, and wanting to die. And when he’d dictated that first letter, all of it had come out in a burst of self-pity and loathing that Forge had faithfully written down, showed to him, and then ripped to shreds.

About the Author

Dirk is very much an outside kind of man.  He loves travel and seeing new things.  Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades.  He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job.  But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built.  Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends. 

Author Links

Other Works by Dirk Greyson

Yellowstone Wolves Series

Challenge the Darkness

Darkness Threatening

Darkness Rising

Day and Knight Series

Day and Knight

Sun and Shadow

Dawn and Dusk

Standalone Titles

An Assassin’s Holiday

Flight or Fight

Playing With Fire

Lost Mate

Hell and Back

Z. Allora on Writing, Future Stories and her latest release The Librarian’s Rake (excerpt and giveaways)

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The Librarian’s Rake by Z. Allora
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Allora Z. here today on her tour for The Librarian’s Rake.  Welcome, Allora.

✒︎

 

Greetings! Thank you, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for the opportunity to share information about my new book The Librarian’s Rake with your readers.                  

To celebrate the release of The Librarian’s Rake I’ll be giving away 3 e-books of Secured and Free, (Book #2 of Entwined Dreams) and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner Press. Details below.

 ~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Allora Z ~

  • What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

Um… yeah. Every single time. It started in With Wings my very first novel. I wrote a shared Fleshlight scene… and well from then on, every book I can point to something rather wild the characters engage in.

I think sexual exploration is part of character development and sheds light on the relationship the couple, triad or foursome has. Though we should keep in mind, one character’s wildness is another’s vanilla dream. In The Librarian’s Rake, my librarian is super uptight about sex and can’t imagine trying new things… so for him to have sex in the library is beyond his most wicked fantasies. Here’s a bit of his yumminess.

Excerpt from The Librarian’s Rake:

Phillip slid back a few inches, then thrust forward. “You’re so fucking hot. Getting fucked among your books. So dirty.”

“Oh, God!” It was. Filthy. And he loved being bent over in between two bookshelves while Phillip… took him.

“We’re in the romance section.” Phillip started reading titles as he edged his way in and out. “The Duke’s Ruse. Untamed Heart. The Librarian’s Rake. Hey, I bet that’s not about garden tools. Mmmm, I’ll be your rake.”

  • Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I’ve never written drunk but while jetlagged. LOL My lack of sleep and the disorientation of travel puts me in an altered state. So, if I write when jetlagged it feels like someone else wrote the words. Though I learned writing sex scenes while jetlagged puts me in the mood for a bit of exercise (nudge, nudge, wink, wink >>> FYI: sex is good to fight jetlag) but those scenes usually need to be rewritten because they are usually super choppy.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write (& publish) to promote equality and acceptance. I believe with every page we turn in LBGTQIA romance our understanding of gender, orientation, love, and humanity increase. I try to explore the edges and variations within any label that makes its way into my story. I want to emphasize the unique beauty in all of us and remind everyone there’s not just one way of expressing/experiencing something. I want to give information and understanding through my characters and plots which can translate into acceptance beyond the pages of a romance.

And I will admit there are times I also write to escape the terror and misery our world forces on us. We’ve enough sadness which is why my email is Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com. In my writing, there will always be a happily ever after and usually quite a few happy endings getting there.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m hoping to share more of my overseas experiences. More sexy zombies, some hot rockers, possibly a couple contemporary novellas, and definitely some more BDSM.

The Librarian’s Rake Blurb

Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?

Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to and quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.

Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever after. Experience has taught him not to hope for more— until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.

With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might and the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives….

Buy Link:

http://bit.ly/2eNdnSq

To enter the giveaway tell us what you want to read or write next. Winners will be contacted Nov 8th.

Hugs, Z. Allora

BIO:

Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com

FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora

Julia Talbot on Historic Mining Hotels and her release ‘To Hell You Ride’ (guest post)

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To Hell You Ride by Julia Talbot
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Reese Dante

Buy Link:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Julia Talbot on her tour for her latest release To Hell You Ride. Welcome, Julia.

Hey y’all!

I’m Julia Talbot, and I’m talking about To Hell You Ride today, which is a historical I wrote a while back and Dreamspinner is putting it back out for me. I love this book, y’all. I do. I love historicals, and I love the wild west, and this book is all about hard rock mining in Colorado’s San Juan mountains.

Clancy, one of the main characters in the book, is enamored of fancy hotels. The late 1800 saw a boom in places like Colorado and New Mexico with grand hotels. Each little mining town seemed to have one, and they all had their own character. I’m kind of obsessed with old hotels myself, so here are my top five.

5. The Hotel Boulderado in Boulder, Colorado. Great staircase. OMG haunted. Seriously. There’s this hallway back to an annex they built to have more rooms… Something awful must have happened there. You get physically ill. Creepy!

4. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. This one would be higher on the list if they had any kind of air conditioning! So hot in July. Just sayin’. However, it is the inspiration for the Shining, and it plays the Shining 24/7 on the TV, so I can live with it. Super architecture and an amazing view from the porch.

3. The Strater in Durango, CO. So pretty. Just a lovely hotel with antique decorated rooms. Call ahead and make sure the elevator is working. Be sure to sit in the lobby for a while and watch for the man in the tailcoat and top hat. He has no idea he’s dead.

2. The Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs CO—Don’t stay here. Stay at the Hot Springs Lodge. But! Go have a drink on the outdoor patio. Check out the amazing lobby, and if you can, the ballroom. Theodore Roosevelt stayed here. It’s very cool.

1. The New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride. Such a neat old building in the historic district. You have to see the bar! The woodwork is amazing. The backdrop of the San Juans ain’t bad, either.

Thanks for reading, y’all!

XXOO

Julia Talbot

Blurb

Big Roy is a hard-rock miner with a not-so-secret love for the theater, so when he hears a new troupe of actors are coming to the Telluride Opera House to put on a Shakespeare play, he saddles his mule and makes the trek into town to see it. The play doesn’t disappoint, but the beautiful lead actor, Edward Clancy, certainly does. Clancy is rude and arrogant, and Roy figures he’d never have a chance with such a man. He’s wrong, because Clancy needs some entertainment himself, being stuck in a hellish mining town for the long, snowy winter. Come spring, though, Clancy knows he’s going to want to move on, and he thinks Roy will be easy to forget. Then tragedy hits, and Clancy has to rethink his entire life. Can these two strike gold?

Second Edition

First Edition Published by SCREWDRIVER An imprint of Torquere Press, January 2007.

About the Author

Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner Press and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find her on the web at www.juliatalbot.com

https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

https://twitter.com/juliatalbot

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