On Tour with Jacob Z. Flores and Blood Drop (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #5) (author guest post and giveaway)

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Blood Drop (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #5) by Jacob Z. Flores
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Paul Richmond

Release date: November 6, 2017

Buy Link: Dreamspinner Press e-book/Dreamspinner Press Paperback

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jacob Z. Flores here today on his Blood Drop tour. Welcome, Jacob.

Blurb:

A single drop of blood might hold the key to the fate of the magical world, and Aiden Teine must choose between his bond of love and embracing the power to defeat his enemies.

Aiden’s adjustment to being the first vampyre fae hasn’t been easy, but his ties to warlock Thad Blackmoor prevent him from becoming a monster. With Thad, Aiden has a new family, a new purpose, and a new reason to live—though he’s technically undead. There’s one problem: Aiden’s control over his vampyre is weakening. He must learn what’s triggering his violent reactions before he surrenders to the creature within. To complicate matters, Aiden discovers his transformation might not be complete, and he fears what he will become.

Aiden’s search for answers thrusts him into a frightening world filled with deception, new dangers, and apocalyptic visions. The part destiny intends Aiden to play could alter his relationship with Thad forever. If Aiden, Thad, and the entire magical community are to survive Icarian’s latest scheme, Aiden must interpret the meaning of the prophetic blood drop before it falls and ushers in the destruction of all creation—and the warlock he loves.

Blood Drop

The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge (Book 5)

by Jacob Z. Flores

Magic has enthralled me since I was a child. I can still remember those summer afternoons, running around my grandparents’ yard and pretending that I was levitating my enemies or moving objects with my mind. As I grew into an adult, my fascination with the mystical world only grew. The only thing that changed was my realization that I wasn’t telekinetic and couldn’t cast spells.

But, I was only partially wrong.

While I couldn’t summon arcane energies, as an author I could create a magical world and populate it with magical characters. Thus, I began constructing the world on which the Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge is based.

As hard as it is to believe, the journey began in 2015. Two years and four books later, the fifth (and most likely the last) book of the series is set to release on November 6.

I’ve enjoyed exploring this world with everyone. I’ve also had great fun re-imagining warlocks, witches, and wizards and vampires, shifters, and fae. I’m also extremely proud of my boys—Mason, Thad, and Pierce. They have come a long way since book one, but I’m not done with them—yet.

There’s one story left to tell, and it belongs to Aiden Teine, the fire fairy who captured Thad Blackmoor’s heart. Aiden is the narrator for the fifth book, which will answer all the remaining questions from the series. Readers will finally learn the identities of Icarian and the Warlock Hag as well as the devastating truth about the Prophecy of the Three.

However, all endings have a beginning, and that is what I want to share with readers on this tour. I have written a six-part prologue to Blood Drop that will fill in the gap between books four and five and lead right into chapter one. I’ll be sharing each part at the first six blog stops and an exclusive excerpt at the final one. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

So kick back, grab your favorite snack, and enjoy. Don’t forget to enter the blog’s giveaway. One person at every stop will win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Blood Drop Prologue: Part 6

For the past week, I’d felt awful. My head pounded as if a pack of gnomes had climbed inside my brain and were hacking away at it with their pickaxes. My gut wrenched and spasmed, and my normally warm flesh had chilled.

I normally avoided wearing clothes at all costs, so when I slid into a pair of sweat pants and a sweatshirt, Thad knew something was wrong.

“Alright, that’s it.” Thad crossed his arms over his chest and leveled his gaze. “What’s going on?”

I shrugged, not wanting to make this as big of a deal as Thad was about to. “I’m cold.”

“Y-you’re cold?” I couldn’t have shocked Thad more if I slapped him. “You’re a fire fairy. You’re never cold.”

He was omitting the fact that I was also a vampyre. The living dead didn’t have to worry about the cold either. “Must be the weather,” I said while attempting to head downstairs for Sunday brunch with the rest of the family.

Thad blocked my path. Even though I towered five inches over him, his set jaw and flinty gaze made me feel about two inches tall.

“What?”

“Don’t ‘what?’ me.” He poked his index finger in my chest. No one else but Thad could get away with that. “You’ve been acting strangely ever since your hunt last week. I know you’re keeping something from me, but I’ve been giving you your space, letting you work things out in your own time while I finished up my dissertation. But I can’t leave for Salem in a few days when we both know there’s something wrong.”

I should have realized Thad had picked up on the fact that I was keeping something from him. I’d only done that to spare him the inevitable worrying, but he was right. Things were only getting worse. I felt ill, and fire fairies never got sick.

“Tell me.” His anger vanished like smoke in the wind, and a fog of concern rolled upon the shore of his gaze. I loved him so much, and I couldn’t keep my fears from him anymore.

“Will you two quit fucking around in there?” Pierce’s taunting voice bellowed from the other side of the closed bedroom door. Thad’s older brother seemed to only be happy when he was taunting someone in the family. “Brunch is served, and I’ll zap someone in the balls if my bacon gets cold.”

I snarled at the door while Thad placed his hand upon my chest. It was his cue that I needed to calm down.

“We’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Better make it faster than that.” That was Mason, Thad’s younger brother and a thorn in just about everyone’s side. “You know how much Pierce hates it when his meat gets cold. That must be why he always has his hand down the front of his pants.”

“You’re about to have my foot up your ass,” Pierce challenged.

“Hey, let go!”

A huge scuffle, which sounded like trolls wrestling, exploded in the hall. Thad flung open the door to referee as he always did. I turned away from the chaos and stared out the window. I focused my attention on the sun creeping away from the horizon. The beauty of nature centered me, and right now, I needed that more than anything else.

The pandemonium Pierce and Mason created typically irritated me. Today, I found it appealing. It pulled at the darkness within, threatening to tear down the barriers I’d erected to keep my vampyre in check.

I couldn’t let it out. The last time I did I hadn’t recognized Thad. If my vampyre focused its attention on Pierce and Mason, they might not survive the encounter.

“Will you stop?” Thad screeched again.

“Tell that to him,” Mason yelled. “He’s the one trying to inflict bodily harm.”

I smiled. I’d enjoy seeing the two of them beating each other bloody. It would be an appetizer for the main course, my talons shredding their skin and gorging on the crimson liquid within.

The door slammed behind me, shutting out the commotion as Pierce and Mason stomped down the stairs. The closed door couldn’t keep out the scent of anger and violence. It swirled around me on sweet, coppery currents.

“A-aiden?”

I turned to face Thad. He seemed shorter as if dealing with his brothers had shaved a few inches from his height. That was bizarre, but not as strange as the look of horror that scrunched up his face.

“What’s wrong?”

He pointed at the mirror to my right. “Look at yourself.”

I gasped when I gazed upon my reflection. I flexed my talons as if I were preparing to strike, and my tongue searched the air for its next meal. I’d unconsciously shifted to my vampyre form.

That had never happened before. I’d always been able to control my transitions. If that was no longer the case—

“We’ll figure this out.” Thad stood behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist.

I hoped he was right. If not, Thad and his family were in more danger from me at this moment than they were from Icarian.

To read all 6 parts of the prologue, follow the Blood Drop blog tour and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card at each stop!

About the Author

Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.

Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse.

When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his daughter. They both represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.

Author Website / The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge Website / Facebook

Giveaway

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card

How?

Leave a comment telling Jacob Z. Flores what you think about the prologue

Jacob will choose a new winner at each stop on the tour, so make sure to visit them all!

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The Blood Drop Blog Tour

11/6 My Fiction Nook

11/7 Open Skye Book Reviews

11/8 Love Bytes

11/9 Happily Ever Chapter

11/10 The Novel Approach

11/13 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

11/15 Divine Magazine

Bru Baker on Getting to know Tate, Werewolf camp counselor and her release Camp H.O.W.L. (author guest blog)

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Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Release date: Nov. 1, 2017

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Bru Baker here on her Camp H.O.W.L. tour.  Welcome, Bru.

 

Getting to know Tate, werewolf camp counselor by day, hermit by night

Hi, I’m Bru Baker, and I’m continuing my release tour for Camp H.O.W.L. here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. Thanks for joining me, and thanks to Melanie, Stella, and the rest of the review crew here for having me here today.

I introduced everyone to brand  new werewolf (affectionately labeled fail!wolf in my  notes because he’s a late bloomer and in denial at first) Adrian yesterday on Love Bytes, so today I’m going to talk about Tate, the werewolf psychologist/camp counselor to troubled werewolf teens who Adrian ends up accidentally bonded to.

Tate went into psychology to help ensure that no wolfling had to deal with the same kinds of trauma and neglect he was raised in as part of a remote pack of werewolf supremacists who shunned human society and lived ruled by their baser instincts. It was no place for a reserved, thoughtful guy like Tate, and he escaped as soon as he was old enough to board a bus on his own and set out for college.

He’s been at Camp H.O.W.L. for years, and while he does have friends on the staff, Tate uses the camp as a crutch to help him avoid relationships. He spends his days surrounded by teenagers in the middle of the forest–it’s safe to say Tate isn’t known for putting himself out there with other adults. In the excerpt I’m sharing today, we see Tate trying to talk himself out of his attraction to Adrian, but his friend and mentor at the camp isn’t having any of it.

Blurb

Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….

When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.

Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.

A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 238 pages
Tags: Gay; M/M; werewolves; Dreamspun Beyond

Excerpt

 

 

He’d expected living with Adrian to be difficult, but it wasn’t. And that upset him more than the thought of sharing space with someone who inconvenienced him. Adrian didn’t inconvenience him. Not in the least. Tate liked having him there. They’d been living in each other’s pockets for two weeks, and by all rights Tate should be climbing the walls—but he wasn’t. He looked forward to coming back to the cabin and having someone there to talk to. The way their scents had mingled in the shared spaces was maddening, but also comforting. For the first time he could remember, the cabin felt cozy and welcoming.

They were on the same page almost across the board—when they liked to eat, what they did in their free time, balancing quiet time with time spent hanging out. Adrian had slipped into Tate’s daily routine seamlessly. He was the ideal roommate, which should have been a good thing.

It wasn’t. Not by a long shot. Because along with the inside jokes and comfortable companionship came smoldering looks and flirty banter that made Tate’s inner wolf sing—and the rest of him shy away.

“Tell me again how it annoys you that he puts the cap back on the toothpaste,” Kenya drawled, and Tate scowled at her from his place on the floor.

“Don’t make it sound childish,” he snapped, aware he was being incredibly juvenile even as he said it.

“It sounds to me like you’re just looking for reasons the two of you aren’t a good match,” she said, and he threw the balled-up sock he had in one hand at her.

She caught it deftly, unfurled it, and examined it. “I was looking for that one!” she said triumphantly, matching it to one in her basket and folding them together.

“Remind me again why I agreed to help you fold your laundry?” Tate asked as he sought out more socks from the pile.

“Because you’re having an existential crisis, and I told you I couldn’t counsel you officially because the existential crisis is about one of my patients?”

Tate threw the unmatched socks back on the pile and lay back down, spreading out on her carpet. “It’s not an existential crisis.”

“It isn’t,” she agreed. “It’s not a crisis at all. It’s a good thing, and you don’t know how to deal with that. You, Tate Lewis, actually don’t know a good thing when it bites you in the ass, and that’s partly my fault. I should have made you go out and do more things before you installed yourself here as the camp hermit.”

He rolled up to his side and glared at her. “I am not the camp hermit.”

“You never leave the grounds. That makes this your hermitage.” She frowned. “Is that a word? Hermitude? No, that would be your hermit-y attitude. Hermitage, I’m sticking with that. We’ll get you a plaque made to put outside your cabin. Tate’s Hermitage.”

He groaned and rubbed his hands over his face. “And you can’t make me do anything, anyway. I’m my own man.”

“Sure you are, sugar,” she said sweetly. He didn’t doubt that if they’d been close enough, she would have patted his hand. “So be your own man on this and man up and make a move!”

Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker

About the Author

Bru Baker spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

Visit Bru online at www.bru-baker.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Amy Lane on A Memory of Chocolate and her latest release ‘Familiar Angel’, a new trilogy from Dreamspinner Press (guest post)

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Familiar Angel by Amy Lane
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art by Reese Dante

Available for Purchase at

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon 

 

A Memory of Chocolate

By Amy Lane

Because Familiar Angel takes place over the span of 140 years, much of the love story in the present day is twined with events in the past. Like real memories, the important ones don’t always come in a linear development. They often come when someone needs the memory the most. (Shows like The Pretender and Supernatural that stretch long enough for the stars who play the young leads to grow up often run into trouble with this. Fortunately for me, the casting for the young actors are all in your head!)

This is a memory twined with a real-time event. Harry and Suriel are on a “job” or a “mission” to get a group of girls to safety—but time on the road is time on the road, and painful confessions often come to pass.

The real-time moment happens in the aftermath of such a painful confession.

The moment between Harry and Emma takes place long ago, in the past…

A yawn took over Suriel’s body, and Harry had to laugh. Apparently parts of being human took him by surprise.

You want to use the bed, don’t you?” he asked kindly.

Suriel shook his head and settled down more comfortably. “This is fine,” he said through another yawn. “I just… I want you to know. I know you’re still afraid of Big Cass—of having no faith in the world again, of being all alone. But you rebuilt faith in your heart with the love of your brothers, your parents—on that alone. That took more courage than facing Big Cass ever could.”

Suriel yawned again, and then, like a child, fell asleep.

Harry was left with the roar of the diesel engine and the hum of the tires on the tattered pavement as they rumbled through the night.

*

Mornings in Mendocino were frequently cold. It didn’t snow there often, but there was usually a sharp, wet wind blowing off the ocean, and the combination of cold and damp could chill a man to his vitals, make brittle his viscera and bones.

Within a week of moving to the tiny, drafty cabin that would become a mansion—and their home—Harry realized that Emma, who had power at her fingertips to command as an old and studied witch, woke up early every morning to start a fire in the Ben Franklin stove in the center of the room.

The boys had gotten used to sleeping as cats very quickly; they preferred it. Cats woke up fully, in an instant—nobody surprised a cat in the way Big Cass had been known to surprise the boys. And they were furry and, if they slept in a huddle, warm.

Always warm.

But Emma would get up early anyway, stoke the fire, and put on hot water for tea or coffee.

After a week, Harry was curious enough to turn human to ask her what she was doing.

First she greeted him with a warm sweater and thick socks to pull on, as well as a stocking cap and a blanket over his shoulders—the cold was stunning.

Then she poured him a hot cup of coffee, wrapped the tin cup in a towel, and pressed his fingers to the warm sides.

“Now what did you want to ask me, Harry?”

Harry stared at her and tried to keep his face composed. “Nothing,” he rasped. “Just… trying to figure out what we did to deserve all this.”

Emma’s smile illuminated stars and warmed planets—Harry was sure of it. “You boys just… just agreed, Harry. Jumped into my carpet bag as cats and came to start a new life. I just don’t want to make you sorry you took a chance on me, you understand?”

Harry nodded and sipped his coffee.

And realized that love came in the strangest of gestures, the most infinitesimal of signs.

*

They reached Visalia about an hour before dawn, and Harry urged Suriel to stretch out in the back quarter of the truck.

“Come sleep with me.” Suriel yawned. “I’ll set wards, Harry—they’ll wake you soon enough.”

Harry checked in with Edward, who had been dozing for the last hundred miles anyway and was apparently tucked into one of the bedrolls they’d brought. He told Harry he was setting his own wards and then fell back asleep, as a man or a cat, Harry couldn’t tell.

“Okay.” Harry yawned, trusting. Suriel turned on his side, and Harry went furry and glided up against his chest.

Suriel’s hands, stroking his ears back, smoothing his whiskers flat, reassured him on a primal level.

“When we’re less tired, I would love to do this with you as a man,” Suriel whispered.

Harry lapped delicately at his forearm. Well, yes. But not now. Harry was feeling too raw, too wounded now. He would just appreciate that arm holding him strongly, reminding him that he didn’t have to be alone.

Not tonight.

He woke up semipanicked, Suriel’s spot next to him cool in the morning chill. Someone was opening the door to the cab, and Harry hissed, skittering back, heart pounding, every alarm in his head going off, when Suriel’s voice greeted him.

“I’m sorry, Harry. I went to get you and the boys some chocolate. I hope that’s okay.”

Harry turned abruptly human, perched on his knees on the uncertain ground of the mattress.

“That’s….” Suriel handed him the paper cup, and he took it automatically, smiling shyly into Suriel’s eyes. Harry lost the reason he was frightened and upset and took the hot chocolate, dazed and stunned. Suriel’s eyes, that warm, rich chocolate brown, mesmerized him.

“That’s what?” Suriel asked, teasing.

“You’re here,” Harry said. “In the morning again. That’s wonderful.”

Suriel’s smile spread, went blinding, and Harry felt as though he’d said something brilliant instead of something obvious.

“I’ll go see how the girls are doing.” Suriel placed a pastry bag in his hand.

Then Suriel disappeared, closing the door behind him, and Harry was left in the rapidly heating central valley, drinking hot chocolate and remembering the feeling of his fingers wrapped around a towel-insulated tin cup in a drafty cabin next to the ocean.

Harry wasn’t stupid. He knew what it was that bound the two memories together.

They twined around his heart as he closed his eyes and sipped his chocolate.

Blurb

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.

In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

Excerpt

“Hide!” Harry had just enough presence of mind to grab Francis’s other side to help Edward pull him through the thicket of brambles that lined the river. Bleeding, dirty, breathless, they slid to a halt in a hollow between the blackberry bushes and the hill, lying on their stomachs, Francis sandwiched between them. Francis, who had received a terrible scratch from the corner of his mouth to the corner of his eye, moaned in pain. Harry shushed him, and Edward placed a gentle hand over his mouth.

A woman, clothed in blinding, glowing white, burst into the clearing with a man—man?—draped over her shoulder. His clothes were red velvet, and thick curly hair grew all over his face and large skull, like a goat’s.

His back feet were cloven.

“Leonard,” she begged. “Leonard… darling. Wake up. Wake up. I need your help.”

Leonard—the thing… man—rolled his head, much like Francis had done, and moaned. “Emma, leave me. If they find me with you… if they find Mullins here….”

“Mullins!” the woman whispered. “Mullins—I’m losing him. Oh please—Mullins, he’s losing himself again.”

“I’m losing myself again!” came a terrible growl, and another Leonard-like thing stepped into the clearing—this one very obviously glowing red. “Emma, we need to do the ritual. I can’t….” The monster thing, Mullins, let out a horrifying series of snuffling grunts and growls. “I’ll turn,” he said, sounding tearful—if a beast could be in tears. “I’ll turn and gut you both.”

“I understand,” she whispered. “You’ve been very brave. Here.” She set Leonard on the ground then and started to pull items from a leather satchel across her shoulder. “We’ll do it right now.”

“This isn’t the ceremonial place!” Mullins said, sounding despondent. “It’s not cleansed, it’s not prepared—”

To Harry’s surprise, Emma put a tender hand on the beast’s cheek. “My sweet boy, you’ve been too long in hell. We don’t need the trappings of the spell—although the things in those hex bags should help us focus. We just need ourselves, and our good intentions, and our desire.”

Mullins’s grunt was self-deprecating. “The road to hell is the one paved with good intentions,” he said gruffly.

“That’s only because the demons trying to get to earth walked that path first,” she said, sounding cheeky. In their quiet interaction, Harry got a better look at her. Not young—over twenty—but not old either, she was beautiful in every sense of the word. Straight nose, even teeth, perfectly oval face, and blonde hair that streamed, thick and healthy, to her waist, she was what every boy should dream about when he went to sleep hoping for a wife.

Harry didn’t dream about girls, but he could look at this one and know the appeal.

But it was more than the physical beauty—and she had it all, soft hips, small waist, large breasts—there was the kindness to the beasties. The gentleness and calm she radiated when Mullins had threatened her.

Suddenly Harry had a powerful yearning for his mum, when she’d been dead for nearly five years.

“Here,” Emma said, breaking the sweetness of the moment. “Take the hex bags—there’s ten. Make a pentagram with me and Leonard in the center. I’m summoning an angel, love. You may want to leave when you’re done. I’ve no guarantees he’ll be friendly to you.”

“That’s not news,” Mullins said dryly and began his task. “Do you…. Emma, I know you’re powerful. You summoned my master for knowledge on power alone. But all else you have done, you have done out of love.”

“Including persuade you to our side,” she said. While he set the hex bags, she was stretching Leonard out before her, stripping his shirt with deft, practiced movements. The skin underneath the clothes was smooth and human, and Harry felt nauseated at the abomination of beast and man.

But Emma seemed to care for him.

“It would be worth any torture,” Mullins said softly, pausing in his duties, “to know Leonard will live.”

“Come with us!” Emma begged. “I may not love you like I love Leonard, but you’ve been a good friend to us. Please—”

Mullins shook his head. “It’s not enough to break me free,” he said, and his bestial smile would haunt Harry and Edward for years. “Someone would have to love me enough to sacrifice for me, and make no mistake, Emma. This will come down to your sacrifice. You will be stripped of your power, your youth—are you sure you want to do this?”

Emma let out a sigh. “I would live a mortal lifetime without worry,” she said softly. “But I do not want him all alone without me. ’Twould be cruel.” She closed her eyes for a moment, and then—

Harry gasped and heard Edward do the same.

She was looking right at them.

“I’m about to do something very wrong,” she said, great conviction carrying in her serenity. “But I think something very right too. Carry on, Mullins, but run as soon as you are done.” Her voice dropped. “Please, my friend—I’ll have enough weighing on my soul for tonight’s doings as it is.”

Mullins continued to bustle, and as he set the last hex bag down, Emma began to chant. Mullins traced a circle in the dirt around the outside bags, and then, when the circle ends touched, he pulled out a knife.

Emma nodded unhappily at him and then bit her lip as he cut a line on his palm and let the blood drip on the sealed ends of the dirt line. He and Emma looked at each other again, a strong friendship locking their gaze, before he turned and lurched away, his gait awkward and crippled on his cloven hooves. Harry felt some compassion for him then, poor beast, good friend—but his gaze didn’t linger.

He was too busy watching the white light around Emma grow larger, filling the space inside the pentagram like a bowl.

The light exploded outward, filling the clearing itself, and then one more time, just a few feet more.

Harry and Edward stared at each other, terrified.

They were in the light circle as well.

“Glory!” Edward whispered, and Harry was too shaken to quiet him.

Francis stirred between them and opened his eyes slowly. For a moment Harry feared that he’d startle and scream—Harry certainly would have raised a bloody great hue and cry—but then, Francis wasn’t Harry.

He parted his bruised lips and smiled.

“An angel,” he breathed, and Harry turned his attention back to the center of the clearing.

Where an angel appeared.

Harry’s heart stopped in his throat. Tall—because of course, right? An angel would be tall. Clothed in robes that glittered like diamonds, whiter than pearls he was. His hair was a marvelous flame-gold color, red like a sunrise or an ember. His face was more handsome than sin—bold, straight nose, full lips, a square jaw, eyes of warm, solid brown.

Harry’s groin gave a painful throb, and he almost wept. Those things—those dirty, filthy things that were done to him by rough miners and haughty bankers with gold in their grubby fists—those things were not right here.

Not with an angel.

Not with this angel.

Harry’s eyes burned with the perfection of this angel.

“Suriel,” Emma breathed.

About the Author

Amy Lane has two kids who are mostly grown, two kids who aren’t, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Xenia Melzer on Writing, Inspiration, and her latest release ‘A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) (guest blog)

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A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) by Xenia Melzer
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Release Date: October 23, 2017

Available to Purchase at

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

How I got the idea for A Dom and his Writer

by Xenia Melzer

People often want to know how authors get their ideas for stories. For each author, that can be a unique process, but one thing many of us have in common is the so-called “plot bunny disease”. The plot bunny is an evil little thing that hops through your mind, leaving new ideas like Easter eggs when you should be writing something else. Once the plot egg hatches – with me, it usually happens during night, when I’m defenseless – there’s this new story with all those interesting characters and it wants out. It can’t wait. Nope. Not a day, not a minute, and certainly not until you have finished this other project.

For me, this means I sit down with my trusty notebook (analog, not digital, so last century, I know!) to write down the cliff notes, overall plot, and everything else you need to craft a story. I usually don’t know what triggers the plot bunny to drop its eggs, but with “A Dom and his Writer”, I have a pretty good idea. I had read something about so-called helicopter parents, the pro and cons of getting children early/late in your life, and why especially parents with an academic background seem to be prone to helicoptering. Why I read that article? Don’t ask me. It was less complicated than the Lego bus my younger daughter wanted to build with me and slightly more demanding than scrolling through my FB account, so I went with it. Anyway, said article culminated in the idea for “A Dom and his Writer”.

I thought about all the ways my children have changed my life and then I wondered how somebody who had no ties to children or inclination to have them whatsoever, would react to having one dumped in their lap. At least, I wanted to have children…

So I came up with Richard and Dean, a gay BDSM couple, Richard a filthy rich billionaire, Dean a super-successful, not as filthy rich but still loaded author, who live their life with absolutely no care in the world. (I’m not saying BDSM couples don’t want children, it’s just that I wanted the maximum in contrast and black leather against pink onesies was irresistible to me.)

Richard and Dean have it all: deep love, a stable relationship, both are comfortable with their roles and the kinky side of their love-life, they have good friends and more money than they will ever be able to spend. Then comes Emily, Dean’s niece, a three-month old girl, and everything changes.

I do admit some of the scenes including Emily were written with my own children in mind. Becoming a parent is easy, being one is quite another story and nobody can prepare you for the challenges that come with raising a child. Those who consciously decide to become parents have at least nine months to prepare for it. To read books, watch videos, attend courses. Richard and Dean are thrown into the role with no warning and I have to admit, I just watched them struggle with the changes Emily brought to their life.

Sometimes it was funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes I got angry. Writing this story was a bit like the first year with my first daughter. A roller-coaster ride that I’d never want to miss, even when the ride was a bit bumpy sometimes.

I hope readers see the story like I do – a love story between two men who have to face a major challenge, not knowing how it will end for their relationship.

Oh, and there’s a bit of kink, too. 😊    

 

Blurb

Life is perfect for Richard and Dean. Richard is a wealthy and successful businessman who also owns a BDSM club, and Dean is a bestselling author and sub to Richard. They’re young, happy, and in love. The future is bright….

 

Until tragedy strikes and an accident claims Dean’s beloved sister. Dean also finds himself the guardian of a three-month-old infant, and soon he’s trading in his leather fetish gear for diapers and drool bibs. But little Emily is all that remains of his family, so how can he abandon her?

 

It’s not what Richard signed up for. As much as he tries to be supportive, he never wanted kids and misses having his partner to himself. Suddenly the life he imagined for them is gone, and he’s not sure their relationship can survive the upheaval. But fate isn’t through with Dean, and when misfortune strikes again, will he be able to turn to the man he loves? A final crisis will determine if they can pull together as a family or they must face facts and part ways.

About the Author

Xenia Melzer is a mother of two who enjoys riding and running when she’s not writing stories. She doesn’t like beer but is easily tempted by a Virgin Mojito. Or chocolate. Truffles are especially cherished, even though she doesn’t discriminate. As a true chocoholic, she welcomes any kind of cocoa-based delight.

You can contact her through her website: http//www.xeniamelzer.com

Or befriend and follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xeniamelzer/

Andrew Grey on the Definition of HEA and his latest release ‘Taming the Beast’ (guest blog)

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Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Paul Richmond

Release Date: October 13, 2017

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today on his Taming the Beast tour.  Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎
I’m very much a Happily Ever After kind of guy.  I like my characters to feel as though they are going to be together in the story as well as my heart.  But I seem to have a problem because I’m not sure what a HEA really means any more.  In traditional romance that path leads to the altar or at least to a proposal.  But in MM romance marriage wasn’t possible for so many years, so a HEA usual consisted of some sort of gesture of permanence.  They moved in together, bought a house, or asked each other to be their life partner, even exchanged rings with only the two of them.  Something to signify that they planned to stay together.  Now in this age of marriage equality, I’m having trouble because I’m not sure if we’ve reverted to the traditional version of an HEA or not.  In my stories I tend to use the older definition of an HEA, probably because I’m an old fart and getting older by the day.  (Rolls eyes)     But I’d like to hear what you think.  Please comment and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

Blurb/Synopsis

The suspicious death of Dante Bartholomew’s wife changed him, especially in the eyes of the residents of St. Giles. They no longer see a successful businessman… only a monster they believe was involved. Dante’s horrific reputation eclipses the truth to the point that he sees no choice but to isolate himself and his heart.

The plan backfires when he meets counselor Beau Clarity and the children he works with. Beau and the kids see beyond the beastly reputation to the beautiful soul inside Dante, and Dante’s cold heart begins to thaw as they slip past his defenses. The warmth and hope Beau brings to Dante’s life helps him see his entire existence—his trials and sorrows—in a brighter light.

But Dante’s secrets could rip happiness from their grasp… especially since someone isn’t above hurting those Dante has grown to love in order to bring him down.

Excerpt

Dante turned back to Bobby. “Do you know what we’re going to have for dinner?”

“Roast beef and potatoes and beans.” Bobby made a face. “I don’t like beans.”

“Bobby,” Beau said gently.

“Why not? They’re good, and they make you grow up big and strong. My mom always made me eat my green beans, and look at me.” He sat up straight, and Bobby’s eyes widened.

“These are green and yellow beans together,” Beau clarified.

“Even better. The yellow ones make you smarter. I really like those. And it’s good to be smart.” Dante nudged Bobby. “I’ll make a deal with you. If you eat all your beans, then after dinner, I’ll see if they have any ice cream for dessert.”

Bobby shook his head. “There’s cake.” He pushed out his lower lip. “I can’t have cake. It has gluten in it.” He turned away, his little shoulders drooping.

“I see.” Dante pulled out his phone and made a very quick call to Harriet at the house, then began to eat. When he was done with his starter, his salad was placed in front of him, and he ate it slowly. As he finished, the lady from the other couple, who had been quiet so far, asked him about what the Foundation did. “It’s to better the people and community of St. Giles and Maryland in general, though we localize our work to the Eastern Shore. We take proposals from anyone and evaluate them for community impact and need.”

“Do you get anything out of it?” she asked.

“I own the porcelain works, and half the profits go into the Foundation. We invest the money and then arrange to distribute the earnings through our projects. The principal is never touched, and so far it has grown each year through contributions.” Dante finished his salad and glanced at Bobby, who was carefully eating one piece of lettuce at a time.

“I’m Clyde Harrison, and this is my wife, Jean. I’m a second-shift foreman at the porcelain works.” He reached across the table to shake hands, and Jean did the same. They both seemed nervous, like if they said one wrong thing, Dante would fire him.

“It’s nice to meet you, Jean.” He turned to Clyde. “I’ve seen you at the plant.” He thought for a second. “You were the one who came up with the idea to reroute the laboratory-ware line last year. That was a great idea, and it’ll be done next month. We figure it will save us quite a bit.” Dante had already arranged a bonus for him, but he’d let that work through the channels.

The conversation died, and Dante turned to Bobby, who had eaten about half his salad and seemed to be finished. “Are you done?” Dante asked him, and Bobby nodded. The servers collected their plates and brought the dinners.

“Do I have to eat all this?” Bobby whispered. “Mama says I have to clean my plate and not waste food.” He looked at him and then at Beau.

“Just eat what you want and have some of the beans.” Dante winked, and Bobby took a bite of the beans and ate a few before starting on the rest. Beau helped Bobby cut his meat, and then the kid ate like a trooper. “Is it good?” Dante asked.

Bobby grinned, nodded, and went back to eating. Dante took a few bites and ate a little of the roast beef. It was okay. The potatoes weren’t exceptional. He ate the vegetables and enough of the rest to make his hunger abate and then waited for his plate to be cleared.

As the conversation in the room increased while the courses were changed, Dante excused himself and left the room. Roberts stood waiting for him. “Harriet added some ice to make sure this stayed cold.”

“Thank you.” Dante took the small cooler bag and carried it back into the banquet room. Pieces of cake had been distributed, with one sitting in front of each place, including Bobby’s, taunting the poor kid. Dante moved the cake aside and opened the bag. Dante took out a bowl of Harriet’s homemade chocolate ice cream and set it at Bobby’s place. “Guaranteed gluten-free.”

“Thank you!” Bobby said and began to eat like he hadn’t just had dinner.

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

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

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

K-lee Klein on Writing Songs, Poetry, and her latest release ‘Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2)’ (guest post and giveaway)

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Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Release date: October 11, 2017

Buy Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazonGoodReads

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host K-lee Klein on her Unbroken Hearts tour.  The author is here today sharing songs written for the character, Brett Blakk,  poetry, and a giveaway to enter as well.

✒︎

Thanks for dropping by my Unbroken Hearts blog tour. I’m thrilled for the release of the second edition and second book of the Unbreak My Heart series, Unbroken Hearts, on October 11th with Dreamspinner Press.

This edition includes the newly polished and edited novella, Unbroken Hearts, plus the short story, Unwrapped Hearts, and 25,000 words of new content to continue Brett and JT’s romance. I have some great giveaways so make sure you enter at the end of the post.

I adore writing this series and one of the reasons is because Brett is a musician and I let myself completely step out of my comfort box to write songs for Brett Blakk. Composing is like writing poetry to me, and I’m a very big closet-poet.

There are many forms of poetry both classic and modern, with free or formal verse, and I love them all. Formal poems or traditional, are also called metrical verse because they follow rules with regards to stanza length and rhyme patterns. Types of formal poems include haikus, sonnets, and sestinas.

Hiakus are kind of fun—5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

A cowboy saddles up
for a sunset river ride.
Orange colored the sky.

Everywhere you look
inspiration can be found.
Just pay attention.

Strangers meet one day—
slow kisses and open hearts
Forever in love.

Sonnets are familiar to many people through Shakespeare’s work. They’re very challenging to write, but I’ve given it a shot now and again. I’m definitely more comfortable writing free form though. So is Brett Taylor and he prefers to add his own country twang.

There just might be a new song or two in Unbroken Hearts but I won’t ruin it for you. Instead, here are some of Brett’s lyrics from Unbreak My Heart. Don’t forget about the Rafflecopter draw!

***

Brett’s Lyrics from Unbreak My Heart

Old pickup truck

The bed’s too big
And my heart’s too small
My mind’s gone south
Someone just let me fall
Ain’t no sense in denying
How little I’ve become
No sweet guitar picking
Can bring back the sun

I had the world at my fingertips
The selfish wantings of all men
I thought myself immortal
Stupidly fearless and content
Unaware my body needed more
Than silly objects and praise
And I left my heart behind
Thanklessly wasted in a star-struck haze

Now I’m reaping the benefits
Of all that I gave up
An empty house and lonely mind
And your old pickup truck

This is the part where you scold me
Tell me to grow up and be a man
Take my face between your fingers
And show me who I really am

Maybe you were too good for me
Maybe you were just too kind
Maybe I loved you too hard
Maybe our love was blind

My body aches to touch you
My mind reels with pain
I can’t quite remember how you smell
Or how much you loved the rain

This is the part where you scold me
Tell me to grow up and be a man
Take my face between your fingers
And show me who I really am

This is the part…
The part where I bleed
The part where I miss you
The part where I need…
I need you to be here
So you can give me a new start
To show me just how
To unbreak my heart.

***

Picked you over me

This whiskey tastes sour
Like an old lover’s kiss
But it’s all that I have
To make you exist

Because when I’m high as a kite
My heart settles down
You’re back in my arms
And our circle goes round.

I’ve lived my life
Doing just as I pleased
I slept around before you
My want never eased

But then you took that part inside
That had turned stone cold
You stole away my heart
And to you I was sold.

But as the saying goes
You don’t miss what you’ve got
Until you lose everything
Because of the person you’re not

That’s not how love works
It’s not how it should be
I put something else first
Should have picked you over me

***

Broken fences and scattered stones

Crumbling barns and sawdust
Broken fences and scattered stones
Horses with sad faces
Reminders I’ve lost my home

Fancy jeans and expensive boots
Records of silver and gold
Shots of Jack in crystal glasses
But no one to join me in growing old

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

If I reach to the sky
Will you grab my hand
Pull me back to you
To your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along
’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying to go on

Hopes and dreams
All left too late to say
Stubborn feelings and selfish ways
Future moments just tossed away

And life just moves so slow
When your heart has turned to dust
Life just burns away
When you lose the only one you could ever trust
But the ache remains
The pain still cuts
There’s no escape
From these hopeless ruts

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

But if I wait here long enough
Won’t you please grab my hand
Pull me back to you
Take me to your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along

’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying to go on
Do you miss me where you are?
Do you see the horrible mess I am?
Do you regret the love we had?
Do you wonder why I turned out so….
Turned out so goddamn bad

How can I find the will to live?
When I have nothing left to give
When my heart is broken and my soul’s been sold
When all I have left is your picture to hold

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

And if I wait here long enough
Will you please grab my hand
Pull me back to you
Take me to your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along
’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying…
To keep trying to go on

***

A song for the kid….

One hundred miles from Dallas
On a ranch southwest of town
An old heart battered and broken
Was somehow saved and found

They had nothing much in common
A burnt-out musician and a college boy
One from California
And the other Southern as a belle is coy

But an interfering mama
And an old cowboy with a quiet way
Saw fit to toss them together
And the rest is history as they say

Well, the musician he was stubborn,
Determined his heart would never beat again
But the kid was kind and patient
Didn’t give up on what could have been

I was lucky to find true love once
When I was barely that California boy’s age
Self-condemned to toss my heart and soul
Beside my lover in his dark, lonely grave

But now I understand the meaning
Behind it’s better to have loved and lost
Because there’s room in my heart for my beloved departed
And for the new feelings that kid has caused

So it’s with a hopeful heart and willing spirit
I’m begging for a lot more time
Because there’s nothing as important in my life
Than needing that kid to be mine.

And though I don’t believe in marital bliss
Or in ceremonies trumped up for show
If you’ll take my hand I can promise you
I’ll never let you go

I don’t have a whole lot to offer
Someone with so much potential drive
Just a bared-open, battered heart
And an old guitar with a long-ago country vibe

But I can vow to love you
With every inch of my soul
With this bandaged heart
And just one important goal

Please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night

I wanna make you feel as loved
As the warmth I have inside
I wanna hold you so close to me
Our hearts beating side by side

I promise to love and honor
And try to see things your way
I promise, Darlin’, to love you
Forever and a day

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
’Cause without you
I’m cold I’m shut down and alone
I can’t seem to function
And my heart turns to stone

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
I’ll hold back the sun
Or steal the moon from the sky
I’ll sail you round the world
And together we’ll fly

So will you be my partner?
Will you be the love at my side?
Will you be the one I turn to all day?
Will you be the one I hold at night?

I love you, kid, with all my heart
From morning to night, from dusk to dawn
All I need is a chance
For our hearts to become one
Let me show you how much love
You make me feel every day
I’m completely in love with you, Darlin’
So please—
what do ya say?

I hope you enjoy Unbroken Hearts. Now…leave me a comment about poetry and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaways!

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About Unbroken Hearts

~~Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle, so he could have JT Campbell in his life.  JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.

While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?

When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.

One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.~~

* * * * *

* * * * *

About the Author

K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com
Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/b

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dba3d4235/?

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Sean Michael on the Ghostly Twists and Turns of Writing ‘The Supers (The Supers #1)’ (guest blog)

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The Supers (The Supers #1) by Sean Michael
A Dreamspun Beyond Title
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Release Date: October 15th 2017

Buy links: Dreamspinner PressAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael here today on his tour for his latest story The Supers. Welcome, Sean.

✒︎

 

First off, thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words for hosting me today!

Every now and then I find myself watching a ghost hunting show, but I never thought I’d be writing a book about ghost hunters! The Supernatural Explorers – The Supers for short – are a band of gay men who go ghost hunting. They’re searching for their big break – they want a TV show of their own.

I wasn’t sure when I started writing this book what the conflict was going to be – I guess you could say that I was doing some ghost hunting of my own! I thought maybe it was going to be the whole trying to get a TV show thing and that their success would be the big finish. True to form, though, these guys who appeared in my head, had their own agenda (or at least the ghosts they were hunting did) and as I wrote, the whole plotline unravelled in front of me and suddenly I had a story that was so much more than just trying to get a show. That’s all I’m going to say, though – I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone.

I had a lot of fun writing the book (even the gross parts) and I hope you enjoy reading it!

Sean Michael
Smut fixes everything

About The Supers

Hunting ghosts and finding more than they bargained for.

Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job. Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along.

Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building together, an abandoned hospital. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

Hitchhiking ghosts, a tragic love story forgotten by time, and the mystery of room 204 round out a romance where the things that go bump in the night are real.

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
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

In Our Contemporary Spotlight: The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels (guest blog and exclusive excerpt)

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The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Taria Reed Digital Artist

Release Date:  October 9, 2017

Available for Purchase at:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tere Michaels here today talking about her novel The Heir Apparent.  Welcome, Tere!

 

✒︎

Thank you so much for having me!

I’m very excited about the re-release of “The Heir Apparent” – additional content and a rewrite of things I wasn’t satisfied with the first go around makes this a truly thrilling occasion for me as a writer. The subdued emotion of Henry and Archie, their quiet yearning for each other, the fear of opening yourself up to love; these are concepts I loved playing with. Usually emotional and stubborn hotheads grace my books! But while these men are cut from a slightly different cloth, I hope readers will respond to their journey. 

 ~ Tere Michaels

About The Heir Apparent

The heir apparent to a vast international company, Henry Walker has focused his entire life on pleasing his cold and distant father, a futile effort that’s left him no time for life, love, or making his own decisions. He has just one friend—one dirty little secret—Archie Banks. Raised on the Walker estate alongside Henry, Archie is now Henry’s driver, bodyguard… and occasional lover. Archie is loyal, but he’s about to graduate from college and has plans for his life that don’t include living every moment at the beck and call of Henry’s father. Not even for Henry.

With no warning, a shocking kidnapping leads to tragedy and chaos, thrusting Henry and Archie into a dramatic struggle that threatens them individually and as a couple. Can they find a way to heal the hurt of the past, save the company that is Henry’s birthright, and find a future together?

Exclusive Excerpt

“I want to be done with school.” Archie directed his gaze back to Henry. “I’m proud of my grades, proud to be graduating in a few weeks—even if it did take me twice as long.”

The as you hung in the air. When they were kids, it had been easier to pretend things weren’t so different. This wasn’t a staged period piece. The boss’s son, the housekeeper’s kid, playing and being best friends—that was natural.”

“Until you grew up and there were things like expectations and debts and responsibilities and two very different paths in life.

“I’m so proud of you,” Henry murmured. “I know you’ll be successful at whatever you choose to do.”

Archie didn’t respond, but his gaze was locked on Henry’s face; it burned and left Henry a bit short of breath.

“I don’t know about that,” he said finally. “Bodyguard and chauffeur are hardly proof I know anything in regard to international business relations,” he said lightly, rubbing his palms against his thighs as he finally looked away. “Could probably use a recommendation from Mr. Norman Henry Walker III.”

“You know I’ll do anything I can,” Henry said, his voice gentle. He resisted the urge to reach out and touch Archie’s socked foot, so close to his own leg.

“Trying to get rid of me, eh?”

The joke was well-intentioned, Henry knew, but after his father’s pontification on Archie moving to greener pastures earlier in the evening—well, it stung, and Henry felt himself stiffening into ramrod straightness.

“Yes. I can’t imagine who we’ll be able to find to open my door and drive the Hummer.” Henry fell into“borne of being together almost every day of their childhoods and so many days beyond that.

“Good to know,” Archie drawled, poking his feet into Henry’s thigh.

Neither of them mentioned the giant elephant in the room, which was calmly sitting in the corner on a colonial wingback next to a Tiffany floor lamp. What would happen when Archie graduated and moved on?”

About the Author

Tere Michaels writes happily ever afters in the big city – with heaps of snark, angst and humor. Her focus is on characters and all the ridiculous ways they trip through life and love. She has written fifteen books including her popular Faith, Love & Devotion series and the superhero saga, The Vigilante.

She is a member of RWA and Liberty States Fiction Writers

www.teremichaels.com

https://twitter.com/TereMichaels

MA Church on Research, Characters and her latest story ‘Dragon’s Hoard’ (Dreamspinner Dreamspun Beyond Tour)

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Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church
Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspun Beyond

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Expected publication: October 1st 2017
Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have M.A. Church here today on her Dragon’s Hoard tour.  Welcome, M.A., please tell us a little something about your latest release.

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Hey everyone! I’m M. A. Church, and I’m here to talk about my latest release, Dragon’s Hoard from the Dreamspun Beyond line at Dreamspinner Press. When I first heard Dreamspinner was opening a new house line featuring paranormal themes, I was beyond excited, lol. I’ve wanted to write a dragon story for a long time, and this seemed like a sign!

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

Every character has some personality trait of mine. It may be the one-liners, or the snarky attitude, but there’s always some part of me there.

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

I always research my books, but I end up doing more for certain ones. Most of my stories tend to take place in present-day, so there’s that contemporary edge to the stories that needs to make sense to the reader. When I’m doing paranormal, I research folklore/myths, plus how an animal responds in its natural setting. Even if I’m writing sci-fi, I’m researching things. But I do also love making up worlds and cultures.

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

That would be The Harvest series. It was started right after my mom died, and I credit it with helping me get through one of the hardest times in my life.

Blurb

To be loved by a dragon is to be treasured.

A hundred years ago, werewolf Alpha Montgomery took a risk driven by desperation—he borrowed money from the ancient dragon Warwick Ehecatl, putting up the pack lands as collateral. Now the debt is due, and dragons don’t forget—or forgive. Warwick demands Montgomery’s son, Avery, and three businesses as compensation. As an Omega, Avery knows he is basically useless to his pack, so he might as well agree. He soon has second thoughts, though. Warwick is fearsome, and he’s free to do as he likes with Avery.

Warwick knows his race’s reputation, and he even admits some of it is deserved. But he’d rather cut off his tail than let his innocent mate’s light go out. It won’t be easy, but buried deep, there’s something between them worth safeguarding.

House Line Dreamspun Beyond | #5

Genres: Urban Fantasy / Werewolves/Shapeshifters

Excerpt

Warwick grabbed the reins on the runaway dragon inside of him, desperately trying to control the thrashing creature. Ye gods! His dragon wanted the Omega, badly, which was shocking. His kind usually paired up long enough to procreate, and if the female became pregnant, she went off on her own to have the egg. She raised the offspring, and once the fledgling reached adolescence, they were on their own.

Sometimes dragons had sex with each other for fun, but relationships never lasted long. Their kind tended to get on one another’s nerves, which led to fights. It was why they didn’t often mate with dragons or other paranormals, but there were a few who managed to make it work.

Warwick preferred short-term connections where it was understood there were no commitments. He’d never been interested in mating. But now suddenly his dragon was interested in that Omega… and wanted to claim him as his own.

Warwick was stunned. But the hazel-eyed Omega standing outside almost accomplished what rarely happened with dragons. The wolf hadn’t even been trying—and that was the frightening thing.

He jerked his gaze away from the young wolf. The last thing he needed was to betray his sudden interest. Never would he give an opponent that kind of knowledge, even if his dragon was all but wagging its tail in excitement. With a mental thrust, he tried to settle the vexing creature. He certainly didn’t need this right now, and especially not here.

About the Author

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

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

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

Contact M.A.:

Skylar M. Cates On Writing, Romance and her latest story Rim Shot (interview plus giveaway)

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Rim Shot by Skylar M. Cates
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Expected publication: September 29th 2017

Available for Purchase at:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Skylar M. Cates here today on her Rim Shot tour.  Welcome, Skylar.

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Skylar M. Cates ~

How much of yourself goes into the character?

A ton! There are huge pieces of myself in all my characters. Not so much the physical descriptions, although I wish I had a six pack abs and perfect skin, lol.  The internal world of the character often mirrors parts of my world.  A character might express my fears or my hopes for the future. 

And of course, writers are always eavesdropping on conversations around them, swiping small character attributes from real life family and friends, and paying attention to the greater world for material. So be wary of hanging out with writers! We are always plotting.

How do you chose your cover?

This is a pretty involved process.  Dreamspinner will assign me an artist. I’ll fill out a form about my dream cover in detail. However, there are some limits of photo stock that can contribute to this. Another possible issue?  The way I see it in my mind just can’t be translated right. Rim Shot is a great example of this. I originally asked for a hot basketball player, his face in shadow, and killer abs on display. A hoop. A ball.

The artist sent me exactly that…But when I saw it, it wasn’t Kyle. It wasn’t my character. He was too old. The body was not right…I began to think about how this is a college story and I wanted a college feeling. I had her change the font to collegiate. She sent me the picture that is now on the cover. It screamed Micah to me. I loved it! I loved his slightly vulnerable look. We tried to rescue the basketball player aspect of the original cover idea. She added the hottie player in the background.

But you know what? It was too cluttered. I ended up going with a clean, simple cover. I ended up going with Micah on the cover, not Kyle. Totally not what I planned.

Despite not getting the original cover I pictured, I ended up with one that made me extremely happy. But it can be a weird process to end with the “one.”

Did you read romances as a teen or adult?

I did. My mom had a “secret” stash of paperback romances that she kept in her closet. *Grins*

Let’s just say I often went into her closet.

Do you like HFN or HEA?

It depends on the book, but I usually write HEA. I’m a sucker for the happy.

However, I listen to my gut on it. Rim Shot has young protagonists, so while they have a total HEA, they don’t get married or adopt kids at the end. Their HEA fits their age and their moment in time.

What’s next for you as an author?

With Dreamspinner, I am scheduled for a story in their Dreamspun Desires line titled Rocking the Cowboy.  Yep, it’s a pop star and a cowboy.

I also have a self-published book coming out. It’s sweet and light. It was supposed to be a Christmas release, but evacuating for Hurricane Irma got in my way!

I’m revising it to be a Valentine’s Day release, and I’m excited to share it with my readers.

To help motivate me with the self-publication, here is a fun question:

What is your favorite part of Valentine’s Day?

Giveaway

Giveaway: one e-copy of Rim Shot to a random commenter.  Leave your email address where you can be reached if chosen.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

THANKS FOR HOSTING ME!

BLURB

Can college roommates go from friends to lovers?

Kyle: I’m confident that with hard work, my position as point guard can carry me from rural Indiana to the NBA. I also know I’m attracted to guys, but admitting it might disappoint my father, who is all I have in this world. I have big dreams, so I’ll stay in the closet. As long as my life remains scandal-free, I have a shot.

Micah: My large family can’t spare the money to help with my education, but that won’t stop me from studying medicine. I needed to get out of the house I was sharing with my ex before I went insane. Luckily, I heard about a guy looking for a roommate. Living with a straight jock won’t be easy, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take

About the Author

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance, especially ones that are both steamy and emotionally satisfying. She is quite happy to drink coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Her best-selling novels feature strong, passionate men. Skylar loves to craft stories where realistic men are challenged with emotional situations. Skylar’s character-driven series will often feature close-knit families, animals, and loyal friendships being tested.

Skylar dreams about spending her days writing novels, walking along the beach, and listening to good live music. She also dreams of eating dessert without weight gain and robots cleaning her house. But she knows she can’t have it all… yet. Although lately the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Skylar can be found on Facebook, Twitter, or on her blog.