Amy Spector on Writing, Books, and her release ‘That Rat, Carter Janson (States of Love) by Amy Spector (guest blog)


That Rat, Carter Janson (States of Love) by Amy Spector
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Buy Links:Dreamspinner Press || Amazon US || Amazon UK || B&N

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Amy Spector here today talking about writing, characters, and her latest story That Rat, Carter Janson.  Welcome, Amy.


Hello, everyone. This is Amy Spector and I’m excited to be here today on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to answer a few questions—I’ll undoubtedly humiliate myself epically—share my new release from Dreamspinner Press, and offer up a chance to win a copy of That Rat, Carter Janson.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Amy Spector

How much of yourself goes into a character? 

I think there’s always something of myself that goes into my characters. Sometimes a little, sometimes an embarrassing amount.

I think when I was first starting out, just learning my skill really, those pieces of me in my characters were more blatant. I’m still learning, still growing as a writer, but I believe they have become more subtle. More subtle and somehow more true to who I actually am.

I think with my newest book, my main characters Felix and Carter are both like me but in very different ways.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

While I always write HEA, I like reading both. The truth is, I am such a sappy romantic at heart—something I didn’t really discover until I started writing—that I’m always convinced that an HFN is going to end up a happily ever after.

For me, Rhett Butler was always going to come back. LOL

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

I read very little romance when I was younger. I mainly read classics and mystery. Then I moved on to horror. I would occasionally pick up a romance novel, but rarely.

It wasn’t until about seven years ago when a friend insisted that I go with her to a romance writers’ convention that it all changed. She dragged me from booth to booth, told me what books to buy, made me stand in line to meet and get autographs from all these people I had never heard of—like J.R. Ward and Charlaine Harris and a dozen others. And even then, those books sat on my bookshelf for more than a year before I finally pulled the first Black Dagger Brotherhood book off my shelf.

After that I was pretty much on a quest to read every paranormal romance I could get my hands on. LOL

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

Truthfully, I wasn’t instantly on board with ebooks when they first showed up on the scene. I liked physical books—the weight of them, the smell of the ink and paper—for a lot of different reasons. Part of it, I think, is that when I was young, we were quite poor and owning a book was a huge thing. I remember being about eight and buying these three old, jacketless Nancy Drew books for a few quarters at a flea market and they were like treasure to me. So I think I still like the ownership part of it, and digital books didn’t give me that same thrill.

Later I fell in love with them. It was the ease of getting books, that I could carry hundreds of books with me all the time. And there was that whole quest to read all things paranormal romance.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I’d have to say, it’s a tie between my paranormal romance Cold Fingers and That Rat, Carter Janson.

Cold Fingers was the first book I wrote that was wholly my idea. It was a love letter to the movies that my grandfather showed my mother and my mother, in turn, showed me. And it was the first time I wasn’t writing specifically for an anthology that dictated my story in some way. That Rat, Carter Janson was easily the most work but it also was the most satisfying to write. And it’s all about things that I love, like art, and history, museums and crime.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

People aren’t perfect, and I like to write about that.

I think flawed personalities and bad first impressions are wonderful to play with and explore. I like to present a character and have their true nature slowly revealed because we all put up fronts and show the world a facade. I like to have a reader say … Oh, I didn’t like him at first, but now I think he’s wonderful.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

I’ve never done that with an entire story. I have certainly done it with scenes many, many times.

The very first scene in That Rat, Carter Janson was the first thing I wrote. I removed it shortly after, convinced it didn’t work.

Months later, when I was almost finished with the book, I put the scene back in, added the last line, and realized it was exactly what the story needed.

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 haven’t but I want to! I’m pretty much convinced it’s the answer to all those scenes I find myself struggling with. But I have young children, and a husband who could sleep through the apocalypse. And, since I do most of my writing at night, I figure one of us needs to be able to get everyone out of the house if there’s a fire. LOL

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

I would love to write from a deck over looking the ocean. I already love writing outside—the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the breeze—and I can think of no better soundtrack or better view, then the waves of the ocean.

It would need to be a miraculously deserted beach. Half-naked beach goers could be distracting. Or maybe they’d be just the inspiration I need!

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?

Honestly? It sometimes makes it hard to write at all.

I’ll be stressing over some scene or other, or worrying that a story subplot isn’t working and I’ll see the news—and the newest nightmare unfolding—and I’ll think… Who cares about a damn book? The world is falling apart. Then I’ll think about how often I have allowed myself to escape into a story, had the way I thought about something irreversibly changed by a simple piece of fiction, or found happiness for just a little while in the pages of a book. Then I’ll keep going.

What’s next for you as a writer?

There’s the question, isn’t it?

When I started That Rat, Carter Janson, I didn’t really see it as more than a standalone story. But, by the time I was ready to write the end I had fallen in love with too many of the characters—had played matchmaker in my head—and I knew I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye forever. And, being the HEA sucker I am, I knew I’d have to revisit them.

I currently have a novel length story in the works starring two of the secondary characters from the story.


That Rat, Carter Janson (States of Love 35)


Every man has secrets, but some are bigger than others….

Felix Peake escaped a shady past to carve out a successful career as an expert in Mesopotamian art and gain the respect of the Chicago art community. But when an assistant curator—a man Felix could easily see himself falling for—asks him to reauthenticate a cuneiform tablet to avoid a looming scandal, Felix’s carefully constructed life could crumble.

The tablet is a fake, and Felix is intimately familiar with the artist. Master forger Carter Janson—Felix’s ex and first love—disappeared from his life six years before without a word of explanation. Now, to hold his world together, Felix must find the original tablet, steal it back, and replace the forgery—all before the museum exhibit debuts. It’ll mean slipping back into a role Felix wanted to leave behind and risking his promising future. But even then, he can’t do it alone. He’ll have to confront that rat, Carter Janson.

States of Love: Stories of love that span every corner of the United States.


About Amy Spector

Amy Spector grew up in the United States surviving on a steady diet of old horror movies, television reruns, and mystery novels.

After years of blogging about comic books, vintage Gothic romance book cover illustrations, and a shameful amount about herself, she decided to try her hand at writing stories. She found it more than a little like talking about herself in third person, and that suited her just fine.

She blames Universal for her love of horror, Edward Gorey for her love of British Drama and writing for awakening the romantic that was probably there all along.

Amy lives in the Midwest with her husband, children, and her cats Bowie and Poe.

Connect with Amy online: Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads || Website/Blog

BA TORTUGA ON Playlists, Country Songs, and her release ‘Fighting Addiction’ (guest blog and playlist)


Fighting Addiction (Fighting Addiction) by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Buy Link:  Dreamspinner Press 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is once again thrilled to host BA Tortuga here today on tour with her release Fighting Addiction. Welcome, BA!


Howdy, y’all. I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and country music addict.

I’m a huge music fan and I can’t write without the right music playing; it’s a vastly important part of my process. Let me tell you, when you’re writing musicians? It’s more than important. It almost is the process of learning the characters.

When Sebastian and Markus took over my head, I admit, the playlist took over the entire house. Every song resonated with this song and, unlike many playlists, I didn’t delete it when the story was over.

I guess Sebastian and Markus aren’t done singing to me yet.


BA Tortuga

Fighting Addiction Playlist

Play Me That Song — Brantley Gilbert

Alone with You — Jake Owen

Another Morning After — Bleu Edmondson

Back Where I Come From — Kenny Chesney

Been There, Done That — Luke Bryan

Better Than I Used to Be — Tim McGraw

Come Over — Kenny Chesney

Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Love You — Trent Willmon

Don’t — Jewel

Even If It Breaks Your Heart — The Eli Young Band

Feel Like a Rock Star — Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw

Hard to Love — Lee Brice

Hotel California — The Eagles

How Bad Do You Want It — Tim McGraw

I Can’t Love You Back — Easton Corbin

I Loved You When — Roger Creager

Kristofferson — Tim McGraw

Me and You — Kenny Chesney

Put Your Lovin’ On Me — Tim McGraw

Right Back Atcha Babe — Tim McGraw

She Don’t Get High — Alan Jackson

Somewhere with You — Kenny Chesney

Truck Yeah — Tim McGraw

The Truth — Trent Willmon

Welcome to the Fishbowl — Kenny Chesney

What I’d Give — Sugarland

Whiskey and You — Tim McGraw

Wishing — Sugarland

You and Tequila Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter

About Fighting Addiction

Country hat act Markus Kane is skeptical when he’s asked to do a joint tour. He hasn’t seen Sebastian Longchamps since he gave up drinking—and since their compulsion for each other nearly cost them both their livelihoods. But Markus’s career is on the downhill slope, while the country-fried Cajun rocker’s star is still rising. His label thinks it’ll be a match made in ticket-sales heaven.

Sebastian knows better. One wrong move and Markus will break his heart all over again. This time he has much more to lose.

Time has changed both men, though, and while Markus and Sebastian try to fight their addictions, the big music industry machine has plans for them that don’t include a quiet retirement. Can Markus convince Sebastian that there are things in life more important than adrenaline and control? And can Sebastian make Markus understand that all he really wants is his music and his man?

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

Jeff Adams and Will Knauss on Video Tour for The Hockey Player’s Heart (Hockey Hearts #1) (vid and giveaway)


The Hockey Player’s Heart (Hockey Hearts #1)
by Jeff Adams and Will Knauss
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Bree Archer

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon: | iBooks  | Kobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jeff Adams and Will Knauss here today on their Video tour for The Hockey Player’s Heart.  Welcome, Jeff and Will.


Hi! We’re thrilled to be here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for the blog tour for The Hockey Player’s Heart. We hope you’ll have a look at the video to see an interview we did with each other using Scattered Thoughts great question list. Plus there are some other goodies below the video too, including giveaway info!


Hometown hero. Hockey superstar. Perfect boyfriend?

When hockey star Caleb Carter returns to his hometown to recover from an injury, the only thing he’s interested in is a little R & R. He never expects to run into his onetime crush at a grade school fund-raiser . Seeing Aaron Price hits him hard, like being checked into the boards. The attraction is still there, even after all these years, and Caleb decides to make a play for the schoolteacher. You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take, right?

Aaron has been burned by love before and can’t imagine what a celebrity like Caleb could possibly see in a guy like him. Their differences are just too great. But as Aaron spends more time with Caleb, he begins to wonder if he might have what it takes to win the hockey player’s heart.


Caleb worried that Aaron wasn’t having a good time. The evening was supposed to just be two people catching up. Yes, Caleb found Aaron more attractive than ever, and he’d love the chance to take things further. But he wouldn’t risk the renewed friendship, or Pam’s wrath, just to get what he’d wanted since he was sixteen. So far Aaron hadn’t seemed interested in going down that path.

“You sure this walk’s a good idea?” Even as he asked, Aaron led them away from where the SUV was parked and down a sidewalk filled with storefronts.

“If my foot acts up, I’ll let you know,” Caleb said as he looked at the buildings around them. “This area has really transformed. Pam said there’d been changes, but this is quite impressive.”

“Most of it’s happened in the last year. Nate moving in and updating the look of the building before he opened has a lot to do with it, from what I’ve heard. New places are still popping up in this area too.”

“I remember when hardly anything was open after seven, even on the weekends.” Caleb traded nods with the people who acknowledged him. “It’s weird seeing all this activity and it’s almost nine.”

“Pam and I spent many weekend nights sitting in the same booth at Denny’s because it was the only place open late.”

Caleb enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Denny’s was the place he and his teammates would go after hockey games because it could easily accommodate a couple dozen hungry teenagers. “It still around?”

“Oh yeah. Most of the new places are too expensive for the high school crowd, so they still end up there.”

“It’d be fun to get Pam and hang out in your old booth.” Caleb laughed at his idea. “If you’d let me, that is. You two never wanted me to hang around there.”

“You were a junior and her brother. It just wasn’t right.” Aaron became more animated and Caleb liked it. It was the freest Aaron had been all evening. “As the local sports star, I think you’d decide who could sit with you. And I’m sorry to say, our booth is gone. They remodeled, and that side of the restaurant is all freestanding tables and chairs.”

“I can’t believe Pam let them do that.”

“Right. Although she blames me since I wasn’t here to help stop it.” Aaron’s mood faltered. Caleb knew Pam would’ve only meant that as a joke, so the reaction was strange. “Sometimes she acts like I didn’t miss her because I didn’t visit, but it just never worked out.”

About the Authors

Jeff Adams and Will Knauss are husbands, authors, and podcasters based in Northern California. They write gay romances, sometimes together and other times separately. Jeff also writes young adult LGBT fiction. Together they host Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast, a weekly show devoted to gay romance literature and the pop culture they love.







a Rafflecopter giveaway


On Tour:

Logan Meredith on Writing, Stories, and her new release Crossroads (author interview)


Crossroads (States of Love) by Logan Meredith
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Pre-Order Links: DSP
ǁ Amazon ǁ Barnes&Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Logan Meredith here today talking about writing, stories, and her latest release Crossroads, a States of Love story from Dreamspinner Press. Welcome, Logan.



Hello and thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me a chance to talk about my latest book, Crossroads.  Crossroads is the newest release in the States of Love series by Dreamspinners Press.  I’ve loved this series and am so pleased to be contributing the Indiana installment. 

Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Research absolutely plays a role in my writing.  I love to write real contemporary characters from various walks of life, races, religions, etc.  My most researched character was Asim Bishara, a Muslim firefighter whose first love dies in 9/11 in Expanded Hearts.  I learned so much about asexuality while writing Crossroads.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Yes, actually Crossroads was one such project. I usually start with a very well thought out primary character and then create his perfect love as the story evolves.  In Crossroads Ethan was my principal character which is why the story starts with him, but as soon as Marcus came into being, he took over.  I set it aside because while Ethan was very determined and stable, Marcus was just hopelessly lost.  It took me several breaks to get Marcus his happy ending.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Definitely Happily Ever After.  I don’t like reading books where I feel like the story isn’t complete.  It’s hard because the story timeline sometimes doesn’t give you a chance to wrap everything all neatly together.  I will usually add an epilogue to ensure all the bows are tied for my reader.

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 because I hear voices.  It’s sad but true.  My characters will literally harass me until I get their stories down. 


What’s next for you as a writer?

I just finished a new novel about an older man who falls in love with a gay porn star.  My other WIP is Troy’s story from the Heartland Series.

About the Book

Release Date: January 5, 2018
Despite the best-laid plans, life sometimes has other ideas.

Ethan Yoder has toiled to escape his small-minded farming community, and he’s finally earned his degree and made it to Indianapolis—where he lands a job at a pharmaceutical company and meets handsome and successful Marcus. Marcus introduces Ethan to the fun-filled life of his dreams—fancy dinners, courtside seats at NBA games, even a trip to the Indianapolis 500. But Marcus’s happy-go-lucky veneer hides a man frustrated with a job he hates and his failure at romance due to factors he’s only beginning to understand. Ethan still has his eyes on the prize—a lucrative career—and he must figure out how to hold on to one opportunity without letting another slip away. If he and Marcus can come to a deeper understanding, their road might lead to a happily ever after. 

States of Love: Stories of love that span every corner of the United States.

About the Author

Logan Meredith began writing as a teenager when beautiful boys started keeping her company at night. Unfortunately, the voices she heard were imaginary, and their conversations resulted in horrible insomnia. They only let her sleep when she started to type their words down. Thankfully, being awkward as hell and a head taller than anyone else in the school afforded plenty of spare time for writing.

At first she tried to make them play with characters from her favorite television series or books. She found her lost tribe with a ravenous, crazy group of fan-fiction lovers online and started sharing her stories publicly. Then something amazing happened—new characters arrived and demanded their own stories. Only they wanted their own world to play in and they wanted to find their true loves. So, between her day job and making time for her family, she tries to keep up with the demands from her beautiful men for their happily ever afters.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Logan is an accomplished cross-country mover, having honed her skills bouncing between five states. She currently resides in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading and rereading her favorite books, cheering for the San Antonio Spurs, playing Words with Friends, and procrastinating pretty much everything else.

Logan is a proud member of the LGBTQA community and vocal advocate for mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and equality campaigns.

Logan welcomes the chance to interact with readers.


Z. Allora on Locations, Writing, and her release The Great Wall (Made In China Book 1) by Z. Allora


The Great Wall (Made In China Book 1) by Z. Allora
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: PL Nunn

Buy Links :  Dreamspinner Press ebookpaper  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Z. Allora here today talking about China, writing and The Great Wall. Welcome, Z.




Greetings! I want to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for the opportunity to share a little bit about me, China and my new release The Great Wall. To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway: 3 e-books of Secured and Free, 5 e-books of Finally Fallen and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner. (Details about the giveaway are below.)

 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Z. Allora ~

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

I have done both.

In The Great Wall, I share the experiences I had while living in China. It was silly but while I was in edits for this story I got quite homesick for Suzhou. Let me share with you some of the locations Styx and Jin’s story takes place in.


Yintang: This is Styx and Jin’s hometown and where I spent a good deal with time. Yintang is not modern, like Shanghai. It has one big shopping center, numerous tiny shops and countless stalls. While I was there they still advertised community TVs because not everyone has their own. Access to the Internet was spotty at best, if you could afford it. Spending some much time here I understood how closeted Styx would be. Gay wasn’t even a possibility in the world of Yintang. The town also helped me understand how Jin needed to leave, and how his work in massage spas helped give him hints that the rest of the world might be different than Yintang.

Suzhou: The band lives in my apartment. (Yes, we were crazy enough to buy there. BTW: When you buy an apartment in China you buy a shell with concrete walls and only a few rooms walled out, pipes, windows and a dirt/cement floor. You need to design and contract everything else. Toilets, sinks, ceiling, walls are added along with walls, appliances, paint, flooring, etc.)

Suzhou is where I spent most of my time while I was living there. So, I know where the farmer’s market is and I know how expensive the Japanese market in comparison. I used to go to the German Restaurant across the street from our apartment weekly. I sat in the pavilion Jin does his Gong Chi in. I would meander through one or more of the eighteen gardens of Suzhou, at least two or three times a week. I even attended a wedding.

Beijing: I rode the night train to Beijing. It’s like trying to sleep during a slow extended earthquake. I was driven down the pothole ridden road to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (I was bounced so high out of my seat I actually hit my head on the ceiling of the van). The band goes to some of the attractions I visited while touring Beijing.

One of their band members Indigo is from L.A. so he’s the shocked version of me going WTF? Why can’t I get hot water, Internet & cable on the same day? What do you mean they don’t take credit cards? What do you mean there is no LGBTQIA community here?

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I wrote The Great Wall while I was living in China. Suzhou’s closet is so deep I didn’t find the only gay friendly club until I had been there for five years. Since I only write happily ever afters I’m not going to lie I struggled trying to find out a way to happiness with The Great Wall that was realistic.  Living there altered the potential and possibilities I saw because the limitations were intense.

An American reader might see the path to their HEA without difficulty but I’ll tell you I sat in my (their) my apartment for hours (crying) unable to plot their happy ending. All my friends who were Chinese married regardless of their orientation and would readily tell me there was no gay in China… that was a Western concept. I racked my brain for several months trying to find a path forward that would be true and possible in Suzhou.

I’m thrilled to report I found a way to give a satisfying happily ever after that would be realistic outcome to Jin and Styx so they could have their true happily ever after.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’m working on Club Zombie #3. It’s contains the original scene that blossomed into the sexy zombie plot bunny that evolved into the Club Zombie series. I had to write the first two books to get to the scene that started it all but finally made it to this point!

Then before there was Yuri On Ice there was a YouTube video two of my friends showed me. So, I’ll be working that delicious plot bunny. (A skater and a hot rocker…) I’ve been taking notes on this story for about two and a half years.

And by June, I hope readers will join me for another visit to China.

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

 I write to promote equality. I truly believe we can change hearts and minds with every page we turn/write. I’m grateful readers allow me to share my stories with them.

The Great Wall Blurb:

Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.


To Enter The Giveaway: Leave a comment sharing why you read (or write). The winner will be picked Jan 19, 2018.

Many hugs, Z.

About the Author

Z. Allora believes in happily ever afters 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:


FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora


Twitter: @ZAllora


Queer Romance Ink:

Anne Barwell on Research Ice Creams and her latest story Prelude to Love (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)


Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art : Bree Archer

Buy Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazonBarnes and Noble  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Anne Barwell here today. Welcome, Anne!

Research Ice Creams by Anne Barwell

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Prelude to Love, a Dreamspun Desire novel from Dreamspinner Press.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter. 

One of the things I really enjoyed about writing Prelude to Love was setting it locally, i.e. in Wellington, New Zealand.  After recently writing books set in the U.K, and WWII France and Germany, it was great not to have to spend hours pouring over google maps and reading guide books in order to get the locations right.

But that didn’t mean that I didn’t have to do some research…  It’s been a while since I stopped off at Oriental Bay in Wellington and had ice cream, and apparently things have changed since the last time I did.  One of my beta readers—Reesha—read the scene where Joel and Marcus meet at the beach for ice cream and told me that if they’re doing that, there’s a place they really need to go.  I googled the place she mentioned—Kaffee Eis—went through their menu and chose flavours I thought the guys would like.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go try them out as I had a deadline fast approaching, and I knew Reesha would pick up on any errors as she’d been there.

Fast forward about a month after I sent submitted the book and Reesha and I headed into Wellington after work to pick up a friend from the airport.  With time to spare, we stopped off at the location where that scene in the book takes place and…. went to Kaffee Eis for ice cream.  They were every bit as good as I’d imagined, and as a bonus we took photos of the ice cream, and the view from the waterfront as we ate them.

If you ever come to Wellington, walking along Oriental Parade with an ice cream from Kaffee Eis is definitely something I’d recommend!


Music speaks directly to the heart.


Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.


Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.


With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude.  But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….


Joel stood on the stage at the front of the orchestra. He looked up when the door opened, and smiled.

Several of the kids in the orchestra turned around to see what Joel was looking at. A couple of the girls sitting in the front row of violins glanced back at Joel and then again at Marcus, but didn’t say anything.

Joel cleared his throat. “Okay, let’s take that one from bar thirty. Everyone found that? It’s two bars before the first time bar, so we’re going to play from there and do the repeat. I’ll give you a bar for nothing.” He raised his baton. “One. Two. Three.”

The orchestra began playing one of the tunes Joel had been humming the week before.

Marcus found a seat at the front of the hall, next to a woman about his own age. She tapped her foot along with the music and kept her eyes on Joel more than the musicians did.

A few other adults sat around them, listening. One woman seemed absorbed in whatever was on her tablet, although she nodded in time with the music and looked up when the flutes began to play.

Probably parents come to pick up their kids.

Marcus suddenly felt the odd one out, although he didn’t regret coming. Joel had an intensity about him when he conducted that was missing when he gave piano lessons. Although he’d been focused on his students then too, this felt different. Conducting was something Joel clearly loved—it reminded Marcus of when Joel had played the prelude for him.

A trumpet blared, jarring Marcus from his thoughts.

Joel lowered his baton, and although most of the orchestra stopped, the kid playing the trumpet didn’t seem to notice.

“Quentin!” Joel called, and the kid suddenly stopped playing.

“Yes, Mr. Ashcroft?”

“I think you’re a couple of bars ahead of the rest of us,” Joel said. “You’re sounding great, but it doesn’t quite work if you come in at the wrong place.” He spoke softly, so it didn’t sound like a reprimand.

One of the boys playing clarinet grinned, and the girl next to him giggled.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” Joel said. “Next time it might be someone else coming in at the wrong place. Even me.”

The whole orchestra laughed.

“Now,” Joel said, “I think we can run this through from where we were before, but this time we’ll just keep going until the end of the piece. So play the second time bar instead of the first. Okay?”



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You can follow the tour here:
January 2 – Happily Ever After Chapter
January 3 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
January 3 – Gillian St Kevern
January 4 – Love Bytes Reviews
January 5 – My Fiction Nook
January 8 – Kimi-chan Experience
January 8 – Two Men Are Better Than One
January 9 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews
January 10 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
January 11 – Anna Butler
January 12- Nic Starr
January 16 – Aisling Mancy

About the Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

Website & Blog:


Facebook page:





Queeromance Ink Author Page:

New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers:

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B.G. Thomas on Writing, Names and his latest novel ‘Getting His Man (Getting His Man #1)’ (guest post)


Getting His Man (Getting His Man #1) by B.G. Thomas
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Amazon UK

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host B.G. Thomas here today to talk about many things including his latest release, Getting His Man.  Welcome, Ben.


Hello Constant Readers!

My name, for those of you who don’t know me, is BG Thomas. But I prefer to be called Ben.

I wish I had gone with my first name when I started in this wonderful business, but it was a time where interviewers for jobs frequently Googled prospective employees, and I didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. And sadly, if they saw that you wrote gay romance, they immediately jumped to the wrong idea and concluded that you wrote porn.

Geeze! One of my best friends introduced me to a group of his friends by telling them I wrote porn that made you cry and smile and…etc. I pulled him aside and asked him why he did that. “If I wrote heterosexual romances would you have told people I wrote porn?” He shamefaced told me no, and that he was sorry. But the kicker is—he is gay!

Things have changed enough that today I wouldn’t be concerned with a possible employer Googling me. Heck! I don’t care who knows what I do. And if they think I write porn, I don’t care. Except that if you are buying my new book, Getting His Man, or any of my books, for the sex, you’re going to be disappointed. Not that I don’t write good sex. I think I write hot sex. But it is also sweet, and doesn’t come into the story until the very right moment!

Here are some questions that Scattered Thoughts and Rouge Words asked me to answer. I hope you enjoy…!

STaRW: How much of yourself goes into a character?

Ben: Well, it depends on the character. Some yes, some no. For instance, in my new book, there is a lot of me in Artie. In fact, the whole part where he gets arrested for drug dealing could very well have happened to me. My first roommate was quite the druggie and blasted his music and when you walked into the apartment building, you could often smell the pot smoke downstairs. I was scared to death I would get arrested. I used the scenario and how I would have reacted if I actually would have gotten in trouble with the law. Then with the other character in the book, August, well I am no fearless bounty hunter! LOL! August is more of a dream man hero, or even the kind of man I wish I could be.

STaRW: Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Ben: Oh yes! Most of my novels take me two to four months to write. Winter Heart took me over a year. The main character, Wyatt, was very much a reflection of me and what I went through with an emotionally and mentally abusive ex-spouse. It kept bringing up so much hurt and pain I had to set it aside. But it was also cathartic and helped me work through it all, and heal as well!

STaRW: Do you like to write HFN or HEA? And why?

Ben: Again, it depends on the book. But I can tell you as the writer, pretty much any story I end with for a HFN? It is a HEA! The book just doesn’t go on long enough for the reader to know that for sure. That is why my characters are bound to show up in other books so readers can see that the lovers from one book are still happily together weeks, months, and even years later!  🙂

STaRW: 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.

Ben: LOL! Would you believe it if I said, again, that it depends on the scene/book? See I have written scenes where my character got drunk or stoned or whatever and I got pretty darned tipsy to feel what they were feeling and wrote it from that angle. In another story was sort of a paranormal experience they were having. The “drunk” state helped me write the scene with that “feeling.” And I was surprised (and happy) how very little editing I had to do. And as some famous person once said, “Write drunk, edit sober!”

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

Ben: A beach house. OMGosh yes! With lots of glass. And a big deck. I am a water baby and that connection to the sea would be unbelievable. A house that is not crammed up against the next house. Not a mile away mind you! Oh no. I am way too social an animal for that. I like people. So I’d want the ability to have privacy, but also to have coffee with a neighbor. And I wouldn’t mind if I had lots of gay neighbors. The commonality would be wonderful and a constant influence and inspiration.

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

Ben: Yes. That is exactly what I do and why.

 STaRW: What’s next for you as a writer?

Ben: In several of my novels some of my characters have gone to a vegan restaurant called Café Namasté. I am finally writing the story about the man who owns that place. I am learning a lot. And it is going to be a book that explains, lets you get away, to move past and to widen your knowledge. And it is going to make you laugh and cry too. And get all gushy inside. And maybe turn you on too!

And there! I hope you liked my answers. Now here is the cover blurb of my new book!


A love story worthy of an old movie… with a new twist.

Artie needs a hero, a man like those he’s always revered in Golden Age films. His drug-dealing jerk of a roommate got him arrested, and since his savior isn’t likely to sweep in and save the day, Artie calls a bail bondsman.

August has always imagined himself a hero from a black-and-white movie, but he’s never found a man willing to let him play that role—at least not until he gets the call from Artie.

Both of their dreams might come true, but not before August must use his skills as a bounty hunter as well as a bondsman. Artie is on the run for his life, and August must protect him and help him clear his name. Only then can they both finally get their man.

And hey, after you’re done reading it, I would love to hear what you think!

Love, Namasté, and Happy Holidays!

BG “Ben” Thomas

About the Author

B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous dogs Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is blessed to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.

B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.

In the nineties, he wrote for gay adult magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. He submitted a novella and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the romantic tales have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of story-telling!”

In 2015 he made an entry every day in his blog “365 Days of Silver,” where he found something every day to be grateful for. You can find it right here:

“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message. “It is never too late,” he testifies. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”


Sean Michael on the Family Side of Romance and his new release Daddy Needs a Date


Daddy Needs a Date by Sean Michael
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:

Buy links:

Dreamspinner PressAmazon | Barnes & NobleKobo  



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

I really enjoy writing stories like Daddy Needs a Date. I like exploring the family side of gay romance. Part of it is that I love seeing any father be sweet and caring with their children, so having two melts my heart even more.

In Daddy Needs a Date, Alex isn’t so sure about dating a single dad. He’s never had any desire to have children of his own and his job isn’t conducive to having kids. Hell, it’s not even conducive to dating, really. It’s not that he doesn’t like kids, he’s simply never considered having any of his own.

To be honest, I had thought the story was going to go in a very different direction than it did. But as always, the characters have their own ideas. And what was supposed to be a tug and pull between Alex wanting to date Ryan, but not being at all sure about the children angle turned into something else. In part because Ryan was an even better father than I’d anticipated, and because Alex was a better man than I’d originally painted him as when I started the story.

I think it’s a good thing the characters zigged when I would have had them zag because the story is better for it. I hope you enjoy the direction they insisted I go in.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything


With four girls, single dad Ryan Withers has his hands too full to look for romance. He’s not complaining—he loves his daughter and the three nieces he adopted when their parents died, and he would do anything for them. He’s caught off-guard when his mother and daughter conspire to play matchmaker.

Alex Bernot works in disaster relief, his job taking him all over the world for extended periods of time, helping others. He’s staying with his aunt while he’s home, and she sets him up on a blind date. Finding a special someone isn’t really on his mind, but he goes to make his aunt happy.

Ryan and Alex enjoy each other’s company more than either of them expected, and they soon make a second date. Their lives are complicated, though, in very different ways, and soon family needs and their jobs conspire to pull them apart. They’ll need to figure out how to work through the things keeping them apart, but first they’ll have to decide if they even want to….

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:




TWITTER: seanmichael09


In Our New Release Spotlight: Slip (Recovery #2) by B.A. Tortuga (author interview)


Slip (Recovery #2) by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Maria Fanning

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have B.A. Tortuga here today talking about characters, writing and her latest story in her Recovery series, Slip.  Welcome, B.A.



Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with B.A. Tortuga

  • What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I love a sense of humor – maybe not a good sense of humor, but a sense of humor, and I think you can find that in almost all my characters.

I’m also a huge fan of believing in something. You know that old adage, if you don’t believe in something then you’ll fall for everything? I think you can see that in my characters, over and over.

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story? Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

*snort* I am the queen of working my shit out in a book. Leaving Texas, my sight failing, being chronically ill. I let the characters talk out my problems for me. When my son had cancer, I wrote Say Something to cope with all eventualities.

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

Honestly? I write because I have faith. I believe in forever. I believe in happily ever after. I believe in soul mates. I believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that love will overcome.

Much love, y’all.


Slip blurb

Recovery: Book Two

Love is a fragile thing, and it can slip through your fingers if you don’t hold on tight….

When Zack Jung’s AA sponsor and friend commits suicide, he’s desperate to hold it together, and there’s only one place he can turn. He calls Josh and Kris, and they take him back to their ranch outside Santa Fe.

A cowboy to the bone, Cimarron Duran cherishes his orderly life and routine. He likes his neighbors, Kris and Josh, but he has less than no interest in the hipster personal trainer who comes to stay with them—or at least, he plans to fight his interest in favor of his solitary life and his art.

But some things are as inevitable as the weather, and when Zack and Cimarron finally come together, they find they don’t want to let go. It won’t be easy, though, for two men with pasts like theirs to forge a happy future together.

Available December 22 from Dreamspinner Press

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

S.A. Stovall on Writing Influences, Characters Traits and her story ‘Thirty-One Days and Legos (Ranger Station Haven #2) (guest blog)


Thirty-One Days and Legos (Ranger Station Haven #2) by S.A. Stovall
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press  and Amazon


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host S.A. Stovall here today.  Welcome, S.A., and thanks for answering our author questions!


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with S.A. Stovall


Hello Internet! It’s me, SA Stovall, here to have an interview with the great STaRW team! Happy holidays, and remember to check out my romantic Christmas novella, Thirty-One Days and Legos!

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

I’m not sure what you mean by “wild” but if that means “craziest thing” then I once wrote a scene were a girl cuts her own heart out with a jagged dagger. It was a high fantasy novel, and the girl was immortal (so she wasn’t killing herself) but the pain was real, and the symbology was great.

I’m a lover of adventure and epic moments, so I could list a million instances, but that one still takes the cake as the wildest.

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

Two people played a major role in influences me as teenager: Stephen King and Robert A. Heinlein. I loved that Stephen King wrote in so many genres and with so many characters. My favorite parts of stories are the characters themselves, and while King seems to have a stock of similar character architypes that shows up in most of his books, I still love them all.

Heinlein, on the other hand, explored Mars and beyond, widening my imagination to places beyond Earth. He wove philosophy perfectly into his narrative, and I loved every instance. His characters were also very compelling—Jubal Hershaw is still my favorite.

I want to write memorable characters, like both King and Heinlein. I also want to write in every genre, and explore places far beyond Earth, be it fantasy or Alpha Centauri.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I find self-control, intelligence, and honor to be interesting traits. And I write them all the time into my characters! I love subplots of people trying to rein in bad habits (or their temper), and intelligent characters are among my favorite (Jubal Hershaw is a super genius lawyer, basically).

I know honorable characters aren’t always people’s favorite, but I think it takes a lot of stones to know what’s right and stick to it, even if it’s to their detriment. I admire that trait, so a lot of heroes are honorable people.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

Yes, several times. My latest novel, about a space mercenary, basically, was put on hold for quite some time. At first I thought I’d never get it to work, but now that it flows, I couldn’t be happier with it.

I’m sure you’ll see it sometime in the future! Stay tuned!

Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

A lot of scenes and character interactions that happen in my novels have taken place in real life. I’ve had relationships, some unconventional, and I’ve lived in both terrible poverty and comfortable environments. I like rehashing some of the feelings I had in those moments—finding the right words is almost cathartic. Some memories are painful, but they help me write the scene from a genuine place.

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

Yes. Like I said, I read a lot of King and Heinlein, but I also remember the things I looked for when I was searching for books. I try to appease Teenage-Me when I pick plots and characters for books. “What would I want to read?” I ask. It’s helped out in more ways than one. More adventure! More memorable characters! More romance! More rivalries!

Great stuff.

What’s next for you as an author?

Thirty-One Days and Legos (a feel-good Christmas novella) released Dec. 11 and it’s the sequel to Ranger Station Haven! After that, I have Vice Enforcer, sequel to Vice City (my debut novel) and its more action-adventure with some m/m romance! Vice Enforcer releases April 3rd – I enjoyed writing both of them, so I’m super excited to share them with the world.

Keep an eye out for my next few stories! I hope to keep them coming throughout the years!


Blurb for Thirty-One Days and Legos

Park rangers Carter and Owen Williams have decided to expand their family and adopt two brothers—boys they rescued a year before when they tried to escape the foster system and flee to Canada. After completing their parenting classes, Carter, a reserved man who enjoys the simple life, swears he’ll be the best father possible. His patience is tested, however, when one brother adopts a cat out of the snowy Voyageurs National Park and the other brother refuses to talk about what’s bothering him.

Owen wants to make sure their first Christmas together is a special one, and he decides all of December should be a celebration. He has an activity planned for each of the thirty-one days, but none of them seem to go off without a hitch. The cat has fleas, the boys need to attend a court hearing, and Carter is more than a little overwhelmed.

But Carter is 100 percent determined to make his new family work. He just has no idea how….

About the Author

S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

You can contact her at the following addresses.

Twitter: @GameOverStation