Dreamspinner Promo Jacques N. Hoff on Tufted and Tatted (Peckers #4) (guest post)

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Tufted & Tatted (Peckers #4) by Jacques N. Hoff
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Erin Eavy

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jacques N. Hoff here today on the Tufted & Tatted Peckers tour!

 

THE UC PECKERS WORLD

Welcome to the world of Undercover Peckers. Where love is instant the moment you find your mate. Where there’s only one true pecker for every man. Where the sex is so hot it will singe your tailfeathers. Where bird watching is both a recreation and a preoccupation—that usually leads to feathers flying. Let Simon and his avian shifter mate Jay lead you through this world of sinful and ridiculous exploration.

The Story Behind Jacques

As many of you are aware, female authors, writing under a male persona has been a hot topic of discussion in our community for a long time. So, when Sam (SA McAuley) and I first came up with the pecker series we were mindful of this when we created Jacques N. Hoff (Go ahead say his name out loud hehehe) Jacques is not a male name we are trying to hide behind, but rather simply another of our characters. He is friends with all of those in the pecker world and he is the one telling the stories of each shifter and mate he knows. That being said, he dedicates each book to his long lost mate and he’ll be in the staring role in the final book of this 25 planned book series.

Tufted & Tatted is the 4th book and the first one I’ve taken on alone. Now before the rumors get started, NO we did not have a falling out. I adore her and is the other half of the ideas behind UCPeckers. She simply couldn’t find enough hours in the day to write everything she wanted, so for the time being, I will be taking over the series as the sole author. I’m sure you’ll be treated to her warped sense of humor in the future. For the time being, I hope you’ll take a chance and fly with me on this ridiculous journey. As Sam and I have always said, “These stories are so fucking stupid they’re brilliant” LOL

~Hugs~

Jo

BLURB

Freed from the Australian zoo where he was the subject of forced breeding experiments, Atticus makes his way to the tufted puffin grounds in California, only to find he may not be free after all. Atty is a loner, but he doesn’t want to fight the pull of a flighty surfer who gives his inked skin a pleasant, uncontrollable itch.

Scott has the sun on his face, the waves beneath him, and gratitude for every second of life he gets to embrace. Then Atty appears, and it’s like the universe has tuned his meditation bell to the perfect frequency.

The Tiki Pro surfing competition in Florida is calling to Scott, and Atty agrees to make sure Scott gets there safely. A cross-country road trip in the Hunny Wagon seems like a perfect way to live in the present and get tantric all at the same time.

But they aren’t making this trek alone.

ABOUT JACQUES N. HOFF

My father told me all about the birds and the bees. The liar. I went steady with a woodpecker until I was twenty-one. I now travel the world in search of the hottest pecker—in tandem with my best friend Simon Spoonwell and his blue jay partner Jay Azure. What you read here is all true. Well, at least in the world of UCPeckers it is. Wherever you see peckers, you may just find me there.

~*~

Jacques N. Hoff is the brainchild of SJD Peterson and SA McAuley. Two authors who shouldn’t be allowed to interact with each other (at least in public). It was either co-write hot pecker porn or plot world domination. It’s not clear which outcome will take the forefront on any given day.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Blog – http://ucpeckers.blogspot.com
Tumblr – http://ucpeckers.tumblr.com
Twitter – @jacqueshoff
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ucpeckers
Email – sjdpeterson@gmail.com
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/jacquesnhoff

Shira Anthony on Paranormal Romances and her new release ‘Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate #1)’ (giveaway and tour)

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Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate #1) by Shira Anthony
Dreamspinner Press
a Dreamspun Beyond Title
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Buy Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazon  | Kobo Barnes & Noble

♥︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Shira Anthony here again.  Shira is here talking about her latest release,Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate #1).  Welcome, Shira!

✒︎

Shira Anthony’s Finder’s Keeper

Thank you Melanie and company, for hosting this stop on the Finder’s Keeper blog tour! Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a unisex red agate fox pendant I’ll be giving away at the end of the tour.

Finder’s Keeper is my first novel in the brand new Dreamspun Beyond line of contemporary paranormal stories that are romance-forward in the tradition of the old category romances from Harlequin and Mills & Boon. Finder’s Keeper is the sweet story of a half-human, half-fox spirit named Kit who guards a gate between the human and spirit worlds and Zane Mayer, an engineer who inherits the old gothic brownstone where the Gate is hidden.

Zane is a twin. His sister, Ren, owns a store in North Carolina dedicated to spirituality and the occult. She reads Tarot and constantly worries that something is going to happen to Zane. Zane, on the other hand, is infinitely practical. I guess that makes sense, since he’s an engineer. He doesn’t believe in Tarot, although he humors his sister when she makes dire predictions about what’s in store for him. But things change, and Zane begins to wonder if he’s imagining things or if maybe Ren isn’t so out there.

When Zane arrives in Cleveland to start his new job and move into the brownstone his second cousin left to him, strange things begin to happen. The strangest of all is the house itself. It’s perfect. Even though the photos he saw of the place show it falling apart, when he moves in, he finds all the appliances are brand new, everything’s been perfectly renovated, and the place is spotless. Even more surprising? The place comes with an adorable ginger caretaker, who introduces himself over an amazing breakfast that makes Zane’s mouth water. Kit seems to know all about Zane, which may seem weird, but Kit is so sweet and genuine, Zane soon finds himself falling in lust, at least.

Bit by bit, Zane comes to understand that there’s an entirely different world—the spirit world—that exists alongside our own human one. Zane comes to know the spirit world through Kit’s eyes. What he learns holds the key to his future and to Kit’s. Will Kit and Zane bridge the gap between them and find common ground? You’ll find out if you read Finder’s Keeper!

To enter for a chance to win the beautiful fox pendant? 1) at each stop on the Finder’s Keeper blog tour answer a question in the comments, and 2) claim your entry on the Rafflecopter here: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba94917/

So I mentioned that Kit is an amazing cook. With that in mind, here’s the question you need to answer before you claim your Rafflecopter entry: What is your favorite breakfast? I love cheese blintzes with cherry topping. Put your answer in the comments, then go to Rafflecopter and enter yourself! Good luck! -Shira

******

Blurb

 The truth might ruin his dreams—or make them come true.

When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker—Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a two-hundred-year-old half-human, half–red-fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds—a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.

Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice—fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit.

******

About Shira

 Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, i Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. You can hear Shira singing “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca by clicking here: Shira’s Singing

Shira loves a great happily-ever-after and never writes a story without one. She’s happy to write what her muse tells her, whether it’s fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, or contemporary romance. She particularly loves writing series, because she thinks of her characters as old friends and she wants to visit them even after their stories are told.

In real life, Shira sang professionally for 14 years, and she currently works as a public sector attorney advocating for children. She’s happy to have made writing her second full-time job, even if it means she rarely has time to watch TV or go to the movies. Shira writes about the things she knows and loves, whether it’s music and musicians, the ocean, or the places she’s lived or traveled to. She spent her middle school years living in France, and tries to visit as often as she can.

Shira and her husband spend as many weekends as they can aboard their 35′ catamaran sailboat, Land’s Zen, at the Carolina Coast. Not only has sailing inspired her to write about pirates and mermen, her sailboat is her favorite place to write. And although the only mermen she’s found to date are in her own imagination, she keeps a sharp lookout for them when she’s on the water.

Giveaway

 

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In Our Contemporary Spotlight: Perfect 10 (Going for the Gold) by Sean Michael (guest blog and exclusive excerpt)

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Perfect 10 (Going for the Gold) by Sean Michael
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Cover photograph by Michael Murphy ; Cover Art by Bree Archer
Release Date Sep 6, 2017

Buy link: Dreamspinner Press |  AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael here today on his Perfect 10 (Going for the Gold) tour. Welcome, Sean.

✒︎

 

Thank you, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, for hosting me today.

I do have to admit that while I love writing characters who excel in sports, it is not a place where I do that well. Part of it is that I am not in the least graceful, so I am quite likely to trip over my own feet while attempting something sporty.

I guess that’s part of the fascination with athletes because they can do something that I can’t. Yes, it takes hard work and dedication, but it also takes the ability to perform the moves, and the more innate talent you have, the better off you’re going to be.

I’m not bitter about not being athletic – I love my job. Being a writer is who I am, down to the bone. But I wouldn’t mind a little more grace 😉 

In Perfect 10, Chris has talent out the wazzoo, along with a determination to make it to the top of the gymnastic world. Brian is determined to help him get there. I hope you enjoy the exclusive excerpt below wherein Chris and Brian are just starting that journey together.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

Blurb:

Despite a life-threatening injury sustained in a vaulting accident, top gymnast Christopher Allen is determined to get back to his former perfect condition and compete again. Brian Rainings is a coach in need of someone to believe in, and he takes Chris on, admiring the spirit and determination that drives Chris to succeed. And admiring the sturdy, muscled body Chris maintains.

Admiration soon leads to something much hotter as they train together. From their scorching first kiss, Brian and Chris’s chemistry is obvious, but they have a long road ahead to get Chris back into shape. Months of hard work lead to success, with Chris gaining strength every day and finally finding the elusive sponsor he needs for financial support. Secrets, hidden dangers, and family troubles plague them, though, and they have to face the fact that Chris might never compete again and score that perfect ten.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2006.

Exclusive Excerpt:

“So if I remember correctly from my last year of competition, the rings were your best event.”

“Yeah. I took a silver at Nationals once.” Rings and parallel bars. He hated the fucking vault.

Of course, it hated him too.

“Have you been back on the vault yet?” It was almost as if Brian had read his mind.

“No. They won’t let me on it.” Not after the fall. Not after slipping and landing and hearing that dull crack and someone screaming and…. Chris forced himself to breathe, to ease up on the gas. “We’re almost there.”

“Hmm….” Brian was quiet a moment and then asked, “Do you want to get back on it?”

“Yes.” No. No, he didn’t, but he wanted to compete more than the fucking thing scared him.

“Good. You need to get back to it soon too. The longer you stay away from it, the harder it’s going to be.” Brian watched Chris as he pulled up at the gym parking lot and stopped the car. “I mean, all you have to do to start off with is sit on it. But the longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be.”

“Yeah. I know.” Chris killed the engine, grabbed his bag. Steve was standing at the door, the big man frowning and looking at his watch. Must have a date with Irena. “There’s Steven Jackson. He’ll let us in.”

“Cool.” Brian got out and followed him. “He looks familiar. He do coaching at the junior level?”

“He used to. He’s building the university team now. He’s a bit of a bear, but the kids like him. Steve? This is Brian. Brian, Steve.”

Brian held out his hand and they shook, Steve tilting his head.

“Brian Rainings? Where have you been hiding yourself the last few years?”

Brian grinned. “Coaching. I just couldn’t leave the life entirely when I retired.”

Steve laughed. “I hear that.” The man was shooting speculative looks between Chris and Brian, working out what they were doing here together.

“I’ll lock up, Steve.”

“Now, Chris….”

Oh, for Chrissake. “I promise not to break anything, and I promise not to get hurt.”

“He’s got someone spotting him, Steve. We’ll be fine. It was nice to see you again.” Brian nodded once at Steve and then went in. “Come on, Chris.”

Chris sort of blinked. Well. Okay.

Okay.

That was… unexpected.

“I’ll lock up,” Chris repeated.

Steve looked rather surprised, but he shrugged. “Okay. Make sure you do. And if you get hurt, it’s on your coach.” Checking his watch, Steve shouldered his bag. “I’ve got to be somewhere.”

“Tell Irena I said hi.”

His coach. The words didn’t hurt as bad as he’d thought they might.

Chris locked the door behind Steve and headed down the hall to get changed.

Brian was waiting in the locker room, looking at home on one of the benches. “That the kind of reception you’ve been getting since the injury?”

“Yeah.” Chris stripped off his shirt, pulled out an old singlet. It didn’t fit as well as it used to, but with the shorts, the bagginess didn’t show. Of course, Brian’d be able to see that his jeans weren’t skintight. Hell, they sort of… collapsed off him as he undid the fly.

“I can see why you’ve been frustrated, if they’re barely even letting you in the door.” Brian looked around and grinned wryly. “Man, I didn’t think it would be weird being here as a coach instead of a gymnast, but it is. It feels like I should be changing with you and going out there, chalking up, doing some routines….”

“I’d offer you something to wear, but I only brought one.” Chris got everything straightened and put where it belonged and all, then pulled his shorts on.

“Nah, I’m good. Besides, this is your show, right?”

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

Alicia Nordwell on Earning His Trust (special excerpt and giveaway)

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Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Release Date: Sept. 6th

Purchase Links: Dreamspinner PressUniversal Amazon Link  | Barnes & NobleKobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Alicia Nordwell here today on her tour for Earning His Trust.  She’s brought along a special excerpt for our readers to enjoy.  Welcome, Alicia!

♥︎

A Special Moment from Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell

I know, like so many other authors, that by the time my eBook hits the virtual shelves, I’ve read it over and over. Writing prior to submission means a rough draft, an edited draft, a publisher submission draft, then the editing process takes even longer. So, sometimes, by the time the book is available to readers, the last thing I want to do is read the story again. But there’s almost always at least one moment that I can’t help but like more than everything else, a scene I loved writing because it just spoke to me.

    For Earning His Trust, that’s this one:

Micah was standing up in bed holding on to the crib railings when Evin opened the door. “Well, look at you!” he said. “Who’s on his feet like a big boy?” Micah cooed and bounced, but then his legs gave out and he fell right on his butt. His eyes got big, but he didn’t cry.

“Good thing you have lots of padding and that bed is soft, huh? I bet we’re in for a lot of bonks in the near future.” He deftly got Micah’s sweats and onesie off so he could change his soaked diaper. “What do you want to wear, little man?” He had the cutest little pair of jeans and a red-and-green-striped onesie outfit Gianna gave him, and then he pulled on a dark blue snowflake sweater on top. Micah’s head got stuck in the hole, and he started to fuss.

“Where’s Micah?” Evin fiddled with the tiny snaps on the shoulder. “There he is!” Micah giggled and clapped, making it hard to snap the sweater back up, but Evin finally managed. “Okay, I guess we’re ready.”

Once they were in the car, Evin plugged the address Ben gave him into the navigation system. It wasn’t far, but he had to contend with traffic on I-84, which was never good in the afternoon. A few turns off the highway, and he was there. Evin stared at Ben’s house. Two stories, brown siding, green grass a little overgrown with a few shrubs lining the porch… generic. It didn’t feel especially welcoming, but that might be more that he was nervous about hanging out at Ben’s for the first time. He felt out of his element.

“Ready, Micah?”

Micah gurgled and babbled something very enthusiastic. Apparently Evin was the only one not sure about spending time at Ben’s house. He got out of the car and unbuckled Micah from his new seat. “Let’s get you inside first.” He slung the diaper bag over his shoulder.

The door opened even before Evin reached the porch.

“Hi guys,” Ben said. He was barefoot in a pair of loose jeans and a dark blue T-shirt that stretched nicely across his chest.

“Hey. Oh no, stay inside. It’s cold out here,” Evin protested when Ben stepped out. His son, the traitor, was reaching for Ben with grabby hands, squealing.

“Let me take him. You still need to get the playpen, right?”

“Yeah.” Evin handed over the diaper bag when Ben held out his other hand. “I brought some toys too.”

“Great. I’m going to get him inside. The door will be cracked.” Ben was chatting with Micah, holding him up and giving him a little shake until he giggled, drool coating his lips. “Uh-oh, is someone getting another tooth?”

“I hope not.” Evin trotted back over to the car and opened the truck, hefting the playpen. Gone were the days he could lay Micah down on a blanket and know he’d be safe for a quick dash to the bathroom or kitchen; nope, now his son was mobile.

It was scary. Nearly as scary as—

“Are you okay out there?” Ben called from the front door.

Evin jerked his head up. “No, I mean… yes, I’m fine. Be right there.”

Ben’s house had an open floor plan, so when Evin peeled off his shoes and stepped out of the entryway, he could see both the living room and the kitchen. Ben had Micah on his hip while he stirred something on the stove. Evin wheeled the playpen through the thick rug to a corner by the window to set it up. Micah loved looking outside.

There were a few decorations here and there, though Ben didn’t have a tree. Evin wanted to look at a series of framed black-and-white photos he could see marching down the hallway, but he didn’t want to seem nosy. “Something smells really good.”

“I’m just warming up the pesto salad.” Ben turned, a wooden spoon in his hand. “It’ll be done in a few minutes.”

“Don’t tell me it’s the one your mom used to make?”

Ben grinned. “The one and the same. I even called her to make sure I used the right ingredients.”

Evin raised an eyebrow. “And told her what?”

“That a friend was coming over for dinner, and I was tired of takeout.” Ben held Evin’s stare, not looking away. “We’re friends, right?”

He looked away when Evin nodded slowly. “Good,” he said quietly enough Evin had to strain to hear him.

The pasta was every bit as amazing as Evin remembered. Ben had made tea with dinner, and they talked and laughed without more awkward pauses. Micah had a brief tantrum when he was relegated to his playpen, but Evin had fed him quickly while Ben finished the pasta dish, and Evin wanted to appreciate the hard work Ben put into the meal.

Micah was tired, so Evin took the armchair Ben indicated to rock him to sleep. It didn’t take long before he was sleeping like an angel, his nearly white eyelashes swept down over his pink cheeks.

       

Blurb

Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.   

Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.   

Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.

Price: $4.99
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 38,718

Excerpt

The curtain slid on the overhead rails, and Evin held in his urge to snap about how long it took to get to him when the nurse said the ER was slow, but he froze with his mouth open.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Perez. I see you burn—” The doctor snapped his jaw shut and stopped before he reached the head of the bed. Micah was oblivious, sitting between his legs and playing with his fake keys, chewing away on the rubber tips and drooling. He clutched the soggy remains of a biscuit in his other hand.

Evin had to swallow hard himself. Of all the hospitals, in all the cities, his old boyfriend had to be in this one.

He looked… good. Older, some wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. It had been… how long since he’d seen him? Not since Ben was graduating medical school the same year Evin was graduating with a business degree. Evin certainly never expected to see him here, and by the shocked look on Ben’s face, he hadn’t known Evin lived in Portland either. Evin waited for Ben to say something else, but he just kept staring. Evin took a deep breath. He could be an adult. He was a dad now.

“Burned my hand,” he finished the sentence Ben never did. “I did it about an hour ago, and it really hurts.” Maybe he could move this along. Plus, Micah was on his third biscuit and getting fussy again. He probably needed to be changed, have some lunch, and then would fall asleep for the afternoon, just so he could keep Evin up all night again.

Ben dropped his gaze to Micah and then looked up to stare at Evin again. “What happened to you?”

Did he mean how Evin probably looked like he’d aged at least ten years since Ben bailed right before graduation, the last night they’d spoken? Well, spoken wasn’t a very good description for the fight they’d had after weeks of Ben ducking Evin’s questions about what he was planning. Maybe their relationship had run its course; maybe it was better for them not to be together.

But he’d never expected Ben to just up and leave. It’d been hard, but Evin had a job offer in Portland and he’d taken it. Fortunately, his best friend, Gianna, came with him, and they got an apartment together in a not-so-great area of Happy Valley. It’d been nice to have a friend he knew would stick by him, but then she met Carl, and they fell in love. Not long after that he met someone, but that had gone wrong too.

Gone was the bright, glittery guy who lit up the room in a flash, and this version of himself was all Evin knew how to be anymore. It was probably a disappointment. His hair was cut short instead of hanging down to his shoulders, and he was in a blue T-shirt and a pair of gray sweats instead of skintight everything. Nothing at all like how Ben would remember him.

Was he wondering how in the hell Evin had a kid, since he’d never even kissed a girl—at least before when Ben knew him? Probably.

Or had he brushed off their history, leaving Evin as the only one thinking about how the years had changed them—Ben definitely for the better. Most likely, he meant how Evin got the burn. He was a professional after all, and Evin was probably just another patient to him.

In the end, it didn’t really matter. His appearance, how he got hurt, it all came down to just one thing.

“Teething.”

About the Author

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Social Media:

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Contest: [Prizes: Amazon Fire 7” *US Only* $20 Gift Card (Amazon or Dreamspinner) (2) Backlist title winners]

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Link to contest page:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a72b2c896/?

In the Spotlight: Never Let You Go (Forever Yours #2) by Andrew Grey (guest blog and excerpt)

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Never Let You Go (Forever Yours #2) by Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Sept 8 2017
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Available for Purchase from Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey here for a short interview on his tour for his latest novel Never Let You Go (Forever Yours #2).  Welcome, Andrew.

♥︎

How much of yourself goes into a character?   There is some of me in every character I write.  I think there has to be in order for the characters to feel genuine.  I have written characters that are completely different from me in many ways, but still there is some small piece of myself in them.  I like to think of myself as a caring giving person and even in my hardest, most unfeeling characters, they often still have something redeemable inside.  Even if its really deep down. 

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?  I really like both.  I like it best when a story has a HEA.  Sometimes a happy ever after is too contrived to bring about in some circumstances.  Making the characters happy for now is sometimes good enough.  However I do feel that with a HFN, we owe our readers something in the future.  Maybe a glimpse of their lives in a future book that shows the progression of the relationship.  After all we read romance because we want our characters to be happy.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?  I didn’t start reading romances until I was in my forties.  I found them by accident an Amazon algorithms.    They recommended the first gay romances to me and I was hooked after my first few books. 

Blurb/Synopsis:

Friends since they met in school, Ashton and Brighton soon become much more. Ash and his aunt are Brighton’s haven away from his mess of a family, and when Ash enlists in the Army, Brighton learns to endure his long absences and eagerly awaits his return from missions.

Until one day Ash doesn’t come back, and Brighton thinks his greatest fear has come true.

Months pass and Brighton grieves for Ash, not knowing that a terrible misunderstanding sent Ash running, unable to cope when he thought Brighton had betrayed him. Even after an emotional reunion, their relationship isn’t the same—Brighton is now responsible for his young niece, and he’s having a hard time rediscovering the trust he once had in Ash. Ash must still tend to his mental health, but before he can, he’ll have to deal with a past secret that puts all their lives at risk. With so many forces determined to tear them apart, can Brighton and Ash hold on to each other and never let go?

Series: Currently a Standalone
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance

Excerpt 

Prologue

One Year Ago

Ashton Williams parked under one of the apple-shaped streetlights on Main Street and got out of his old gray Taurus. He leaned back down to grab his hated cane and then closed the car door. Standing still, he turned to the right and left, looking up and down the street. It hadn’t changed much at all. The place still had the same small-town feel it always had. Ash remembered bounding up the steps of the library when he was in high school so he could see if they had a copy of the latest movie or a video game he’d wanted. Books, not so much, but games and videos—he’d been all about those.

He took a step around the car, heading away from traffic and onto the sidewalk. The drugstore was just down the block, and damn it all, he wasn’t so crippled that half a block was too far to walk. Maybe he should have waited until he’d had more therapy and the doctors decided if he should have surgery on his knee. Ash had been making progress and everyone said he needed to be patient. Ash stopped, pushing those memories from his mind. That wasn’t why he was here, and those thoughts did nothing but bring him back to the brink of the gaping hole of despair he’d been thrown into for months. He needed to put that behind him, at least during the day. Nights were another matter, but during the day, he was determined to look forward to what he’d had and could have once again.

Ash’s heart beat a little faster as he walked closer to the store where Brighton worked. He was so properly named; at least Ash had always thought so. One look from his stunning blue eyes could push away the heaviest clouds. Even recalling them in his mind’s eye allowed him to get through months of confinement in rooms and holes where he could barely move, stomach empty, throat parched, wishing he could die but knowing Brighton was out there, waiting for him. Ash had stored the sunshine in those eyes in his mind, holding them precious, letting those eyes framed by flowing blond curls carry him through hell and out the other side. The photograph he’d had was long gone. It had fallen apart months ago. Ash had worn it out, but he carried the image with him where no one could get to it.

He’d called the telephone number he had for Brighton three times, each with the same response that the number was no longer in service, and when he checked the internet, it pointed him to the number he already had. That only added to his need to get here and see if he could find Brighton in case something had happened to him.

He moved on, getting closer now. Ash knew Brighton’s schedule at work, at least the one he’d been working before he’d left. Ash hadn’t wanted to leave, but he’d had no choice, and saying goodbye to Brighton had been the hardest, most heartbreaking thing he’d ever had to do. It was supposed to be his last assignment, two weeks and then he’d be able to use up his remaining leave and he’d be done, free, out… and his life would be his own once again. And now it was, at least what was left of it. He’d been discharged, sure enough, but he was left a shell of a man, and not just his injured body. His insides were hollow, and Ash wasn’t even sure who he was any longer. All he knew was that he needed to get back to Brighton, so as soon as he’d been released and his debriefings were completed, he’d taken off, against the doctor’s wishes. Everything inside him pulled him to Brighton.

Now he was back in his hometown, where he and Brighton had first met in middle school, though it was years later that they’d reconnected and something had clicked between them. Ash still couldn’t believe it had been at a church social his aunt—Petunia to everyone else, but Aunt Petey to him—and only remaining family member had asked him to attend. He’d expected an evening of old ladies and helping Aunt Petey with whatever she needed.

Ash raised his eyes to the sky, letting the heat from the sun warm his face and dry the tears that threatened. He’d already been to see her in the nursing home and was determined to get her the hell out of there.

“One thing at a time,” he whispered to himself. That was another symptom of his incarceration at the hands of the enemy: he talked to himself all the time. It was a way to feel less lonely and had become a habit. He needed to let go of it because it tended to freak other people out. He lifted his gaze as he continued his slow steps toward his goal.

The door to the drugstore opened and a man stepped out. Ash knew him instantly—the height, or lack of it, slight build, floppy curls. Brighton needed a haircut, but he was still the man Ash had thought of and dreamed about every single time he’d closed his eyes for the last nine months. His body ached all over, and Ash felt Brighton’s pull as strongly as the gravity of the sun.

Ash took a few steps, for a few seconds forgetting the cane and his aching leg. They didn’t matter. All that did was how close he was and removing the last bit of distance that had spanned months and thousands of miles. Brighton turned away without looking, heading farther from him. He wasn’t walking fast, but Ash was even slower, regardless of how much he pushed. Somehow Ash managed to pick up his pace, needing to get closer. The man he carried in his heart so deep, who had gotten him through hell and allowed him to come back, was just ahead, so close he could see him.

Ash opened his mouth to call out as Brighton stopped at the door to the coffee shop, holding it open as someone emerged. Another man, someone Ash didn’t recognize, fell into step with Brighton, heading to the corner. They waited for the light, and Ash moved forward while they stopped. He was so damn close.

“Brighton,” Ash called, but the sound went nowhere. His throat was so dry, the cry came out as a whisper. He wet his mouth and swallowed multiple times, unable to take his gaze away. Ash’s heart raced, his blood pounding a staccato beat in his ears. This was it. He was close, and all he could think about was how he was going to get to taste Brighton’s sweet lips and feel his smooth, hot skin under his hands, and have someone to hold and see him through the nights when the inevitable nightmares came.

Ash stopped walking as Brighton leaned into the other man’s touch. It was then that Ash saw the other man’s hand rested on the small of Brighton’s back, protectively, lovingly, the way Ash had always done. The light changed, and they crossed the street together. Ash told himself that they could just be friends and got his feet moving once again. Brighton was within sight and so close.

But then Ash stopped dead in his tracks, unable to move, as the man walking with Brighton leaned closer, his face disappearing behind Brighton’s head. Ash knew he’d kissed him. He couldn’t move. Suddenly his feet were so heavy, he couldn’t lift them. He leaned entirely on his cane, hoping it didn’t buckle under his weight, because if it did, he was going down. Ash didn’t give a fuck. The physical pain would be preferable to the ache that settled where his heart had been, growing more and more acute until each breath became a stabbing pain. He’d seen movies, plenty of them, and he always thought that expression actors used when their heart had broken was fake. Well, it wasn’t. He knew, because when he turned, the mask of pain reflected in the plate glass window was that exact expression. Combined with it was a sharp tearing he knew was his heart shattering into a million little pieces before scattering to the breeze.

He lifted his gaze to where Brighton had been but didn’t see him. They were gone, most likely into the diner across the street. Ash thought about going over himself, but he knew what he would find and couldn’t take it. The thought of Brighton, the person he loved, the man who’d sworn he’d wait for him, his soul mate and the reason Ash had survived that hellhole for months…. Ash couldn’t even bring himself to say the words.

That same gaping maw of blackness that had dogged him through months of interrogation opened in front of him again. More than once he’d thought of throwing himself into it and bringing the pain to an end. But he hadn’t. He’d been stronger than that, and he still was, dammit. Ash turned around and lifted his gaze to where his car was parked. He hadn’t really gone that far, thank God. At least he could make it back and then, in the semi privacy of his own vehicle, he could fall apart.

A few minutes later, Ash fumbled to open the car door and threw the cane inside, the metal rod banging against the far window before falling onto the floor of the back seat. He managed to get inside and close the door, then leaned forward, resting his head on the steering wheel.

In the few minutes he’d been gone, the car had turned into an oven, and when Ash closed his eyes, he was right back in that little hole in the ground where the air didn’t move and the sun beating on the dark-painted metal threatened to roast him alive. Ash gasped as he came back to himself and reality. He started the car and turned the air-conditioning on full blast. He needed cold, and he got plenty of it. Within minutes he was chilled and maybe shivering as frigid air flooded into the car. Ash ignored it as he put the car into gear. He pulled out of the parking space and through town without stopping. He didn’t know where he was going to go. One thing was for sure: there was no way he could stay here. Brighton was with someone else, and running into him was only going to break Ash’s heart and send him into a spin of despair that even now he wasn’t sure he could recover from.

Ash saw the signs pointing to 15 and made the turn toward the freeway. That was his ticket out and away. He had to make a stop first, but he could do that. Then… well, maybe it was best if he went back to the hospital. He was a man of his word, unlike some people.

Fuck it all to hell if his lower lip didn’t quiver just a little. Ash pounded the steering wheel with his hand. He hated that he was so fucking weak. He’d promised the doctors that there was something he had to do and that he’d come back. At the time Ash had meant it, even if in the back of his head he’d hoped that would be after a happy reunion with Brighton and….

Ash shook his head to clear away those thoughts and ended up swerving from one side of the road to the next. No, he needed to get it together long enough to see his aunt one more time and then drive back to the hospital. That was what he needed to do.

With his decision made, he got ready to turn his back on the one person he’d honestly expected would always be there for him.

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)

Ari McKay on Their New Novel & Series. Check out ‘Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay (guest post and excerpt)

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Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

 

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press AmazonBarnes & Noble 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ari McKay here again talking fae, werewolves and romance with their latest novel Out of the Ashes! Welcome!

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Hi, everyone! A big thank you to our hosts here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting us today, and to you for joining us! Ari here again, bringing you an excerpt from our latest release, Out of the Ashes, the debut novel of the Dreamspun Beyond line and book one of our new series, Asheville Arcana! To say we are excited is definitely an understatement! We’ve been looking forward to this for months, and we’re over the moon that it’s finally here!!!

Out of the Ashes is a love story, and a mystery, and a drama, and a comedy, all built around a world where the creatures of myth and legend exist beside but unknown to the mortal world. We wanted to build a unique setting that was all our own, one where elves and dwarves, werewolves and wizards, ghosts and vampires and demons all play a part. At the same time, though, we had to balance our world building with the strictures of length and structure of the Dreamspun Beyond line, and we hope you enjoy this story, and that we give you enough of a glimpse of the bigger picture to make you want to come back for more! I’ve talked a lot in other places about how and why we came to this story, so today I want to just leave you with a taste of what we have to offer, to hopefully entice you into giving us a try! Enjoy!

MOST nights, Arden slept like a baby. Once his head hit the pillow, he was out like a light. Unless, of course, someone was sharing his bed, which happened with less frequency over the last ten years or so. He still had an active social life, but he’d begun working longer hours after building his second resort, the Hilltop. When he felt the need for intimacy, he tended to gravitate toward Whimsy and Julian and one or two other longtime partners, rather than jumping in to find someone new and exciting.

But after having dinner with Whimsy, Arden had kissed his friend good night and gone to bed alone. He told himself it was because he’d had a busy day, and the next day promised to be even worse, but the fact was that he couldn’t sleep for thinking about Eli Hammond.

The werewolf was gorgeous—there was no denying it. With a positively leonine mane of dark, sun-streaked blond hair and crystal-blue eyes, Eli was enough to make even someone as used to beauty as Arden sit up and take notice. He was also huge and buff, and Arden was desperately curious to see what Eli looked like naked, although his imagination insisted on supplying plenty of images to taunt him. But it was more than just his stunning looks that appealed to Arden, and more, even, than the tragedy of Eli’s plight. There was something special about Eli, and Arden felt drawn to him like a moth to flame.

Arden had, of course, noticed Eli’s aura at once, and it had nearly knocked him out of his seat. Not all supernaturals could see auras, but Arden, like his father, had been born with the gift. Other supernaturals—such as Julian—learned to do it after a great deal of study and meditation, but most couldn’t see them at all. And what Arden saw was stunning.

Every creature had a unique aura, determined both by what they were and who they were. Vampires, like Julian, all had a misty, silvery aura with different shapes and tones based on their age and if they were a good, bad, or neutral type of person. Elves tended toward golden, and dryads, not surprisingly, were usually green. Werewolves had deep crimson auras, but while the core of Eli’s had been red where Arden observed it close to his body, it quickly became a beautiful, multihued halo that was almost like looking at the sun. No one Arden had ever seen had looked so bright, and that was part of why he’d known he had to help Eli, no matter what the council or anyone else said about it.

But thoughts of Eli kept Arden awake most of the night. He felt himself pulled to the werewolf, as though there was an invisible connection between them. It was odd, but Arden found himself wanting to go check on Eli in the middle of the night, to make certain he was all right and didn’t need anything. Which was probably stupid, considering that Eli was an alpha werewolf who could obviously take care of himself quite well. Eli would probably think there was something very wrong with Arden wanting to cuddle up to him, run his fingers through Eli’s hair, and just be close to him.

He finally gave up trying to sleep and went to his office, immersing himself in paperwork until his watch beeped at him at his normal waking time. Taking himself off to the kitchen, he ordered up an enormous breakfast of bacon, sausage, ham, fried eggs, hash browns, grits, and toast. When the cook had prepared the tray, he picked it up and carried it out to Eli’s cabin, balancing it carefully as he knocked on the door.

A few moments later, Eli opened the door. His long, wavy hair was a sleep-tousled mess falling around his broad shoulders, and he wore only a pair of jeans that rode low on his hips. His chest and feet were bare, giving Arden an unhindered look at the sculpted pecs and washboard abs that had been hidden beneath his clothes yesterday.

Eli blinked sleepily at Arden and rubbed his neatly trimmed beard, but when he saw the loaded tray, his eyes widened with surprise.

“I didn’t order breakfast.”

For a long moment Arden couldn’t speak; it wasn’t every day that he got to see a warm, sleepy, nearly naked hunk of buff hotness up close. In fact, he couldn’t remember ever seeing anyone as gorgeous as Eli before in the whole of his three hundred and six years of life.

Thanks so much!

Arionrhod and McKay

BLURB:

In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.

Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.

Except for one man.

As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.

About Ari McKay

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:

Parker Williams on Characters, Writing and his new release ‘Runner’ from Dreamspinner Press (guest blog and excerpt)

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Runner by Parker Williams
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Runner sales links:

Dreamspinner Press Amazon | iTunes | Kobo

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Parker Williams here today.  We asked Parker to talk about his writing and the character in his latest story, Runner. Welcome, Parker

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Q Would the author act the same as his main character in the story? Did that help write the story?

The simple answer to this question is no, I wouldn’t act the same as the main character. Of course, I’ve never dealt with the level of trauma that Matt does, and everything he goes through is a product of my imagination. There are some similarities between us, though.

His favorite book is My Side of the Mountain. When I was a kid, I devoured that book so many times that I had a dog-eared copy of it, too. Matt lives alone in the woods, a good distance from people. I’d love to do that, as long as it allowed me to continue writing. And Matt isn’t good with people. Neither am I. I prefer to stay insulated, especially from groups. I tried twice to go to GRL, and even though a lot of the people that were there I consider friends, I just couldn’t bring myself to go out in public. Fortunately, a few of them stopped in to see me. And I got to visit with K.C. Wells, so that was a huge bonus.

For me, the story was easy to write. Matt walked me through the entire process, telling me how he’d behave, what triggers he had for his PTSD and OCD, and guided me from the point where he was fearful of everyone, to grudgingly learning to accept the presence of the Runner on his property. From there, it was a cakewalk…. Well, for me. Matt? Not so much. He’s got a lot of issues to deal with, and he’s got to confront things that have been holding him back.

I hope that people who read the book will find Matt and Charlie to be an interesting couple, because they both (especially Charlie) hold a special place in my heart.

“SO THEN the detective says, ‘I knew you were guilty the day you walked into my office. The stench dripped from you like so much rotting garbage.’ And the killer says, ‘Then why did you take the case?’ And Tremaine answers, ‘Because I needed to find evidence that you were guilty, so I could have you arrested for murdering your brother. Basically you paid to have me get you put on death row.’”

I was hooked on his words. I had never heard of his books, but now I wanted to know more. I glanced down at my watch and realized I had been sitting with him on my porch for nearly three hours. I’d never spent that much time with any other person after the incident. And I didn’t feel freaked out by his presence. After seeing him every day, he’d somehow become a fixture, and that desperate need to keep order in my life had somehow come to include him. I wasn’t ready to let him into my home, but I found I didn’t mind talking to him so much.

“Wow,” I said, knowing that it wasn’t nearly what I meant.

“You’ve seriously never read one of my books?” He seemed amused.

“No. I… I don’t get out much.”

He chuckled. “I’m teasing you. My niche is pretty small, but if you like mysteries….”

“I do love to read,” I admitted.

“If you give me your email, I’ll send you copies. I mean, if you think they’re worth reading.”

RUNNER by Parker Williams

Blurb:

Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

****

Excerpt:

I COULDN’T find it within myself to talk to him for the first four days. I kept hoping he’d stop running by and my life would go back to normal. I should have known better. Ever since the incident, nothing went the way I expected it to. I continued to watch him, and I had to admit, the apprehension that coursed through me had eased. He didn’t really frighten me anymore, but the thought of talking to him filled me with dread. What made it worse for me? He’d continued to glance toward the house, and if he saw me, he’d give a smile or a little wave.

No, I wasn’t being honest. After a few weeks of him waving, I had actually started to weave that into my daily routine. I stood in front of the window, looking out at the road every day at ten thirty. One day it rained, and he was thirteen minutes late. I went into panic mode, hyperventilating and pacing around the house, chastising myself. How had he become a part of my world? Why did I now depend on him to be where I expected him to be? I grew angry with myself for that. Despite the pleading I’d done with Clay, I no longer wanted the man to stop running by my house now that I’d grown used to seeing him.

And worse, when he waved, I had started waving back.”

****

Categories: Romance, Gay Romance, Contemporary

—-

About the Author

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his husband of a quarter century, Parker continues to believe and writes stories where there is (almost) always a happy ending.

Connect with Parker on:

Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641

Or you can visit his website: http://www.ParkerWilliamsAuthor.com

Julia Talbot on Rodeo, Wrangler Butts, and her release ‘Sparkle and Shine’ (author guest post)

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Sparkle and Shine (Spurs & Saddles) by Julia Talbot

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Julia Talbot here today talking about why she loves rodeos, cowboys and her latest release Sparkle and Shine! Welcome back, Julia!

♦︎

What is it about the rodeo, anyway?

Hey, y’all! I’m Julia Talbot, and I’m here to talk about a favorite story of mine called Sparkle and Shine. Dreamspinner is being kind enough to rerelease it for me, and I’m so tickled I might have a feather up my—Ahem. Right.

Sparkle and Shine is about Brock and Evan, who are best friends and rodeo partners. They’re dealing with a little girl, a vengeful rodeo princess, and a general lack of funds. They’re also admitting they might be more than friends.

I a rodeo fan. Not as much of a super fan as I used to be, just because I’m old and don’t like to sit outside in the heat as much as I did even ten years ago. I’m also a pagan, politically liberal, organic foods girl. So I have a lot of friends who ask, “What is it about the rodeo, anyway? Why do you like it?”

The obvious answer is cowboys. Not just Wrangler butts. The whole deal, hat to boots and all of the dirt that goes with them. Cowboys are a breed of men who take no guff but will give you the shirt off their back. They’ll start a fight in a bar over any stupid thing, then turn around and dive into a raging river to save a drowning calf. In short, cowboys are a lot like me: living with a foot in two worlds.

See, my mom came from cowboy folks. I would say she was a cowboy, despite leaving home at 18 to see the world in the Army. My dad was a farmer’s kid from the deep South, but he went West as soon as he could, and he loved the rodeo and cowboy culture as much as my mom.

I grew up in New Mexico and Colorado. I knew horse ranchers and rodeo people, Native American ranchers and transplanted Texans. Rodeo honors their way of life, and celebrates their skills. It also allows them to honor the animals they work with every day. If you’ve ever seen a roping horse dancing to be given his head behind the barrier… yeah. They love to work.

Like anything in life, there are some issues I have problems with, but I can honestly say that these guys will try to understand those issues. My father in law is a Texas cowboy all the way, and he works hard to find common ground with me and my wife, even if he really doesn’t get us all the time. He’s a roper, by the way. He thinks roughstock cowboys like bronc riders and bull riders are just a tiny bit trashy.

So, yeah, rodeo is a celebration of culture for me. Mine, my family’s, my family by marriage.

The Wrangler butts aren’t bad, either.

Blurb:

All that glitters is not gold. No-frills cowboy Evan learned that lesson the hard way while married to a rodeo princess, a relationship that was all flash and no substance. At least Evan held on to his daughter, Cheyenne, and his best friend, Brooks, when the sparkle wore off and things fell apart. Life could be a lot worse.

But it could also be better… if Evan and Brooks took a step beyond friendship. Just as they start to explore their feelings, Evan’s ex-wife sticks her nose in to sabotage them. Suddenly everything is up in the air, and they have difficult choices to make about the rodeo, Cheyenne, and the romance they both want so badly to pursue

First edition published by Torquere Press, November 2007.

Buy Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/sparkle-and-shine-by-julia-talbot-8712-b

About the Author

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert 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 and Changeling Press among many others. 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. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at http://www.juliatalbot.com “The mountains are calling, and I must go”

www.juliatalbot.com

https://twitter.com/juliatalbot

https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

 

New Release Tour for The Layover by Roe Horvat (special prequel to The Layover!-guest blog)

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The Layover by Roe Horvat
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Roe Horvat

Released July 19, 2017

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be a part of Roe Horvat’s new release tour for her story, The Layover.  She’s brought the last part of the prequel, The Swiss Experiment for our readers.  To get caught up, click on the link provided and then it’s onto The Layover!

 

The Layover

Blurb

Eight years ago, Ondro Smrek fled Slovakia and the bigotry that drove his first lover to take his own life. The demons proved impossible to outrun, though, and now, desperate for somewhere to belong, Ondro is returning to start over. During a layover in Basel, Switzerland, he meets Jamie, an American living in Scotland who is as brilliant as he is beautiful.
Jaded Ondro never would have guessed he could fall in love during a brief layover—until now. When he is put in a position to offer Jamie comfort without hope of recompense, Ondro doesn’t hesitate. Soon, he catches a glimpse of the home he longs for. But with their separation looming, confessing his feelings would only lead to pain and humiliation. Life has taught Ondro not to hope, but then, he never believed in love at first sight either.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://a.co/gYw9QUa

Dreamspinner Press |KoboGoodReads

About Roe Horvat

Queer author, storyteller & graphic designer

Roe was born in former Czechoslovakia and endured a miserable adolescence in the post-communist wasteland. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, they left for Germany and later, Spain.

Finally, they settled in Sweden, where the weather is nasty but the freedom great. Roe works as a motion graphics artist, loves Jane Austen, Douglas Adams and everything in between, preferably by the fireplace with a strawberry daiquiri in hand. Roe writes contemporary romantic fiction – it conveniently balances out their real-life pragmatism.
When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, Roe can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.

Get in touch with the Roe:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roe.horvat.98

Website: https://www.roehorvat.com

The Swiss Experiment

Prequel to The Layover

#6

(for #1-5 visit https://www.roehorvat.com)

The stranger didn’t go away—quite the opposite. He just stood there and calmly observed as Jamie flailed and floundered. Jamie held onto his cigarette and stared at the orange tip glowing in the night as if it could suddenly equip him with magical conversational skills or even better, teleport him miles away in a flash.

“Then back to the US?” the guy asked continuing his inquiry about Jamie’s final destination, confident and undeterred.

“No, I live in Scotland,” Jamie elaborated, grimaced, and sighed. The stranger’s interest had Jamie knotting up inside. His stomach clenched, and he felt a shadow of a headache pass behind his eyes. He needed to get to the hotel and lie down. Don’t look at him. “I’m sorry, man. I’m not in the mood,” Jamie lied, trying to appear uninterested.

He was very interested. It frustrated and scared him. He pressed the cigarette in the ashtray with more force than necessary and braved one more, quick glance at the man. And felt immediately naked. The sight of those unusual, almost exotic features, the intense focus of those slanted, green eyes…it accelerated his heartbeat and not in a pleasant way. Abort. Disengage.

Several seconds went by. Jamie could feel the man’s gaze on his profile. Like lightning from a clear sky, an idea appeared, unexpected but very real. With absolute clarity, Jamie knew he could hook up with the guy tonight. The fantasy was so vivid, Jamie shuffled from foot to foot, needing to expel the sudden excess of energy. He could do it. A part of him wanted to. A tiny, muddled, beaten-up part of him grabbed at the thought like a starving man at the last half-eaten muffin on the tray. Just as the rest of him cringed at the audacity of having sex with a total stranger he’d just met at the airport. He was so not that kind of person.

“Sorry, I’m really tired.” That was true. Please, go away.

“I’m disturbing you.” The man nodded once as if agreeing with himself. His foreign accent was unfamiliar. Jamie couldn’t place it. It was something European, but not Mediterranean, nor Eastern Europe, nothing Germanic either. His r was distinct. Maybe Finnish? Or something Baltic?

“I should be apologizing, and you should continue scowling,” the stranger continued, a smile in his voice.

That was… What? Jamie laughed briefly, surprising himself with the sound. The tall, wiry stranger was clever. From the corner of his eye, Jamie noticed a tanned hand with clean, neatly cut nails, elegant fingers and protruding veins. No jewelry. Just practicality, capability and masculine strength. There was character in those hands.

Focus! Cab. Hotel. Bed. Home tomorrow.

“I should get a cab,” Jamie mumbled. Go, just go. Don’t think about it.

He nodded to himself and tugged on his luggage with force. It rolled forward, straining the muscles in his arm and shoulder. Jamie almost stumbled on the curb but kept going. He couldn’t look at the man’s face anymore. “It was nice meeting you,” he blurted, reaching for anything normal to say. There was no answer.

The taxi driver greeted him half-heartedly, reluctantly helping with Jamie’s bags. All the time, Jamie could feel the green-eyed stranger watching him.

Unable to stop himself, he looked back once more. The tall figure in the white shirt and dark grey coat stood directly under a bright white light. In the misty drizzle, with the water-stained glass walls of the terminal behind him, looming and watching… he looked like a noir villain. Jamie banged the car door shut.

To continue reading, follow: https://www.facebook.com/roe.horvat.98

The Swiss Experiment #7 concludes July 25.

*The blog tour is a short prequel to The Layover, in 7 parts, titled The Swiss Experiment. This guest post is part 6 of the prequel.

 

 

 

Lynn Lorenz on Writing, Influences and her latest New Orleans story, New Orleans Second Lines (author interview)

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New Orleans Second Lines by Lynn Lorenz
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Available at Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lynn Lorenz here today answering questions and talking about writing and her influences…welcome, Lynn!

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Lynn Lorenz

Thanks to STRW for letting me blog today about my new release from Dreamspinner Press, New Orleans Second Lines!

I’m going to answer a few questions about reading and writing…here goes!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?  Did you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

            I’m probably one of those few romance writers who didn’t really grow up reading romance. In fact, I didn’t start reading romance until I started writing it.

            As a young teen, I lived in my local library (Nix Library in New Orleans). Because it was small, I’d read through the “kiddie” book section about the age of 12-13. My mother had to give permission for me to take out books in the adult fiction section—books by writers like Mary Stewart, Shirley Jackson, and Daphne Du Maurier. I suppose these fell sort of in the romance genre, but back in those days, the most anyone got was a kiss. All the doors were shut and we could only imagine what happened behind them.

            But what I really liked in all of those stories was the edge of mystery in them. So I moved on to full bore mystery—classics writers like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Elizabeth George, and Dorothy Sayers. I still love watching those British mystery series on Netflix.

            In my college years, I devoured horror, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Robin Cook, to name a few.

(Notice: No Barbara Cartland or Nora Roberts. In fact, to this day, I’ve never read one of their novels and please don’t ask me about major authors, I don’t really know any.)

            Then I had kids, and couldn’t read horror anymore, so I started on a few true crime stories, and more of the detective novels. I loved police procedural writers like Tony Hillerman, James Dos, and Faye Kellerman, mostly because they delved into cultures not my own.

            I really didn’t read much fantasy, although I did read some paranormal like Interview with a Vampire when it came out, mostly because…New Orleans. Of course, during high school, I read classics like Frankenstein and Dracula, but perhaps I was too young to fully appreciate them.

            My mother turned me onto Robert Benchley’s humor, which was so like her own. I read Fannie Flagg, of Fried Green Tomatoes fame. Love her southern humor!

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

           I wrote a lot as a teen and in college. English was my minor and I also wrote poetry, angsty stuff about boyfriends, etc. I think what influenced me the most is a mix of elements like mystery, detective stories, humor and gothic romance.

             I learned how to write men by reading James Dos’s Charlie Moon, Hillerman’s Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, Kellerman’s Peter Decker, and a few other writers who got it right. But mostly by being around men my entire life. I worked in my father’s construction and electrical company, had jobs on worksites, wore a hard hat and listened to the guys and how they talked to each other.

           What was missing was…the sex.

           When I was about 40-45, I got bored reading what I’d been reading. Maybe it was a mid-life crisis, but I wanted books with sex. I remember asking my hubs if he had any sci-fi or fantasy books (he reads them exclusively) that had sex. He just laughed. “Nerdy scientists write these books. There’s no sex. Why don’t you write your own story?”

            So I did. The very first novel I wrote was what became The Avalon Patrol, and later became Majik Reborn, Majik Betrayed, and Majik Redeemed. I created a world where majik existed, and so did a police force (inspectors) who used majik to fight crime. It sprawled. I had no idea what I was doing. When it hit 250k I broke Word. Hubs finally told me I was writing a trilogy. So I found where the story broke and divided it up. But this story was a het romance, because…sex. My protags had sex; no closed doors for me! I wrote about six novels, all het romance, sort of thinking about publication.

            When I discovered gay romance something clicked. Suddenly, I realized why my male characters had so much..er…sexual tension between them. They were always one move from kissing or killing each other. My heroines weren’t exactly Mary Sues—I had to learn to write strong females and once I did, I started publishing those stories.

            So I took all of the elements I love to read, and rolled them up into what I call my style. Humor for sure. Mystery. Perhaps some crime. But mostly hot as hell men who love each other and will do anything to get to their HEA.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

            HEA—it’s the only thing I write, especially when I’m writing gay romance. For my het stuff, which I write under Theodora Lane for anyone who wants to check them out, I’ll occasionally go for a HFN.

           When my kids asked me why I write gay romance I told them, because everyone deserves to have a happily ever after. I told them about friends I had when I was in high school and college, wonderful people whom I loved, but who didn’t see a HEA in their futures. I explained no one should be denied it because of who they love. To me, writing gay romance is a way to reach hearts and minds. If I can open one person’s heart and mind to love with no boundaries, I’ve done my job.

            My two tag lines for Lynn Lorenz are Everyone Deserves a Happily Ever After and Open Your Heart and Open Your Mind.

            For Theodora Lane, it’s Step Into Her Worlds.

            I hope readers who haven’t read my writing will take a chance and try something new. And this book, New Orleans Second Line, is a great place to start! For readers who know me, I hope you enjoy something familiar, second time around.

More About New Orleans Second Lines

Matt and Lane grew up together, best friends, sharing almost all their secrets. But on the last day of college, those secrets spilled in one night of passion and tore them apart, sending Matt to the West Coast and Lane home to New Orleans.

Now, Hurricane Katrina is set to destroy New Orleans. This might be the worst time to try for a second chance, but nothing can keep Matt from Lane. The man he let get away.

For Lane, no hurricane can pry him from the city, especially without Sebastian. The older man has been a dear friend and his landlord since Lane returned from college. Sebastian refuses to flee, preferring to stay in his Creole cottage in the French Quarter and ride out the storm.

Sebastian’s life becomes intertwined with Lane’s, as Matt finds out when he’s drawn into capturing Sebastian’s memoirs of being gay in New Orleans. The elder gentleman’s stories are full of surprises and lessons for the young men.

The most important ones Sebastian teaches them—and himself—are that second chances don’t come along often, and you’re never too old to fall in love.

 

About the Author

Lynn Lorenz is an award-winning and best-selling author who grew up in New Orleans but currently lives in Texas, where she’s a fan of all things Texan, like Longhorns, big hair, and cowboys in tight jeans. She’s never met a comma she didn’t like, and enjoys editing and brainstorming with other writers. Lynn spends most of her time writing about hot sex with even hotter heroes, plot twists, werewolves, and medieval swashbucklers. She’s currently at work on her latest book, making herself giggle and blush, and avoiding all the housework.

 

Also by Lynn Lorenz:

David’s Dilemma by Lynn Lorenz

When is it the wrong time to find Mr. Right? For David, that time is now. He’s caring for his homophobic father, who has Alzheimer’s, and his personal life is the last thing he has time to focus on. But when his father wanders off, David is forced to reach out to the police, in the person of Detective Travis Hart. Travis is gay, tired of the club life and twinks he can’t keep up with, and longs for a real relationship with a man who wants the same—maybe someone remarkable like David. In fact, David is exactly who he has been looking for, but Travis isn’t sure he can be the man David needs during this difficult time.

Because as David’s father sinks deeper into the disease that’s robbing him of his memories, David really needs a friend, not a lover. Though Travis is determined to support David in whatever way he can, David’s decision could lead both men into a situation with no possibility of a happy resolution.

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/davids-dilemma-by-lynn-lorenz-8012-b

https://www.amazon.com/Davids-Dilemma-Lynn-Lorenz-ebook/dp/B01NGZ9YB4