Review: Blown Away (Whispering Winds #1) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Blown Away coverHiding safely away in the confines of his Mountain Shadows cabin, Rowen Smithe is not prepared for the human tornado that is Mick Rutger when Mick enters his life.  Rowen spends his time concealed within the safety of his cabin, observing and protecting the woods surrounding his Mountain Shadows home, venturing out only at night to explore odd sightings and unexplained happenings in the forest around him.  Tormented by voices and secrets from his past, Rowen lets no one inside.  Even the tentative  gestures of friendship by his neighbor Finn have been rebuffed.  Then he meets Mick.

Mick Rutger is a force of boundless energy and optimism.  At loose ends after finishing 6 years of college, Mick figures a trip to see his oldest and best friend,Finn Lorensson, would help him figure out what he wants to do next.  Finn lives in a cabin on Mountain Shadows, surrounded by beautiful woods, a gorgeous setting that Mick appreciates.  Mountain Shadows is also the home of some apparently quirky, gorgeous men if the one Mick spies climbing a tall tree next to Finn’s cabin is any indication.  After watching a lithe and long haired Rowen easily ascend the impossibly tall pine next to his house, Mick quickly becomes intrigued by the secretive man Finn calls neighbor.

When Rowen sees metal glinting far out in the woods through his binoculars, he knows that something suspicious is up and sets off  to investigate.  But what Rowen doesn’t count on is being followed by a curious and unprepared Mick.  What follows is more than either one of them expected….

Never have I fallen in love so quickly with such a quirky and clearly wounded character as I have with Rowen Smithe.  I am not sure if it is that aspect of his person, the one that loves his woods and mountains so, that speaks to the park naturalist in me.  The familiarity with which Rowen moves through his forest environment, his appreciation and knowledge of the flora and fauna around him as well as his need to protect it all…well, it all just makes me gravitate towards his character as I would a fellow ranger. And when he climbs his trees, its more than a need to find the  highest view point, it is a havan for Rowen, emotionally and physically.  I get that too.

Character Mick Rutger makes a wonderful counterpart to all that isolation, secrecy, and wildness that is Rowen.  His is the bouncy enthusiasm and energy of a golden retriever. Thoughtless in words, impulsive in actions , he’s that little boy that never stops moving, occasionally breaking things he didn’t mean to. Mick is just someone in need of a direction and perhaps someone to care for and he appeals to the reader almost as quickly as Rowen does.  The author has certainly done a remarkable job in creating a character that is impossible to dislike while demonstrating that under all that  superficiality are depths to be discovered.  Great characters both of them.

Throw in suspicious doings in the woods as Havan Fellows does, and an unexplained “voice” that Rowen hears at the worst possible times, and you have a story guaranteed to lure you in and keep you absorbed in the characters and situations they find themselves in.  Fellows moves the narrative along at a clip, the dialog is sharp and perfect for the characters, and the plot increases in complexity as more questions pop up about the events that are happening and the people who live in Mountain Shadows.

Really, I can’t wait for the next installment.  And the ending? Well, I am still smiling and I will leave it at that.  Grab this story up and start reading.  It’s terrific and highly recommended.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I love this cover.  That model is perfect for Rowen.  Great job.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Published February 17th 2014 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ASINB00IIF4K4G
edition languageEnglish
series Whispering Winds

Buy at ARe,  Amazon

One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series

 From the Pulp Friction Group: The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends. The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth. Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1) by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Where the Wind Blows: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb

2013 Pulp Friction Series Finale, Finale Contest and Odd Man Out!

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Pulp Friction 4 covers

Today ScatteredThoughts is welcoming back authors Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and Tom Webb to talk about the last book in the Pulp Friction series…all of the series…, Odd Man Out.  Odd Man Out was written by all of the authors and ties up all the storylines for each author’s main character or characters.  There is a sensational contest to go along with this series finale, Odd Man Out 2013 Finale coverbut before we get to the contest, lets meet our authors for our final Pulp Friction get together of 2013!

Meeting already in progress, let’s listen in….

Havan: Right now, here, talking about this—this feels like it might’ve been the quickest year of my life. I swear just a couple of days ago Laura came to us with—

Wait a second…how rude, here I am assuming that you know us and our dastardly delicious Pulp Friction stories…introductions may be appreciated…”us” is Laura Harner, T.A. Webb, Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows…now back to our ramblings *winks*

—so Laura approached us with this crazy idea of bad guys being good guys and serial pulp fiction booklets and lots of man love…or something like that. After we completely thought she’d taken up some sort of (perhaps illegal lol) habit and realized she was just naturally…um…spunky like that…lmao…we sat and thought about her proposition.

I just love saying that…Laura propositioned 3 people at once…and we accepted!

And…Pulp Friction was born.

Flash forward roughly a year…and we’re now saying good-bye to the characters that became a part of our lives. Oh I’m not kidding, when Zack got mad at Wick it was hard as hell for me to not think that Laura was mad at me…and when Rory walked out on Chance hearts broke and we wanted to wrap our arms around Chance and tell him it would be okay. These are our boys, our hearts and souls…we’ve brought a very turbulent year of their lives to you and hope that you—our readers—love them as much as we do.

The dynamics of these men are really mind-boggling. We were already friends when we decided to test our boundaries with this endeavor. We knew that we could spend elongated periods of time together and not want to do each other bodily harm…lol…but could we write together? Could we allow the others into our minds and create—develop something that readers would enjoy? (Because make no mistake, even though only the last book is a combined effort we were holding each other’s hands through every single one of the twenty books that came before the finale.) That’s a scary as hell concept for private people to bear.

But we did it…and when the finale came around four extremely talented (some maybe a tad bit melodramatic *cough cough* or a touch hard-headed) and dedicated authors worked together and wrote one blazingly hot and holy-shit-hang-on-for-your-life-roller-coaster ride of a book.

Oh – and just for the record – our voices freaking sing when combined…*bows*.

And now it’s time to say good-bye to what started as five bad guys being good guys and ended as nine men (throw in a cousin & aunt, a housekeeper/mother figure, a manager of a bar & smartening up cop, a brother with two kiddos and a voice across the line) and well—that’s one hell of a family that no one wants to cross and anyone would be proud to be a part of.

We’ll miss them, we’ll think of them often and we’ll always have a place for them in us.

That being said…we’re ready to wow you next year when we take on Flagstaff and see what kind of trouble we can rouse up there.

Lee: Havan, I think you said everything that we’re all feeling right now. I’d just like to add a big thank you to readers and reviewers who supported us with such enthusiasm in this whole endeavor. It isn’t the usual fare in today’s world of instant gratification. This whole concept of waiting to find out what happens next? Well, we knew it would tick some people off, but we hoped you’d love it as much as we did! People like Melanie and Will Parkinson wowed us with their responses, and that is so encouraging. Big hugs and lots of love to all of you!

Laura:  What she said. And then some. I really had no idea what this would turn into by the end of our first year together, but I can tell you, that just as the characters grew into a family, so have the PF writers. Friends who aren’t afraid to test the limits only come along so often in life. I’m grateful to have Havan, Lee, and Tom in mine. Tom wasn’t able to be with us today, but he and I have talked so much this past year about just how lucky we are to be part of this magical collaboration. He is always so appreciative of the amazing reader response to Marcus and Ben.

Havan: Oh-kay…the feelings have been tossed out there, our boys have shared every side they have…and the Macallans Whisky has run dry—well if that isn’t our cue to wrap this up nothing is. But we don’t want to leave ya’ll empty handed…because you should always have something in your hand *winks* soooooooooooo…time for some fun.

Leave a comment…any comment you want, we aren’t picky…and FOUR lucky winners will be picked—each to receive one of the four compilations we published of the series. Oh…don’t forget to leave your email address also! And for the ones keeping count at home—yes we just said we will be giving away a total of twenty books to four lucky winners…a set of each of the series…so leave your comment already *points to comment area*

Contest Rehash (because I always wanted to use that word): Leave a comment here and four winners will be picked to receive one of the four compilations of the series.  That’s 24 books to 4 lucky winners, wow.  A set for each of you.  And please leave us your email address as well so we can get in touch.  I mean, this is remarkable.  Here is what the winners will get:

Wicked Truths coverWicked’s Way Series by Havan Fellows:

Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Way #1)
Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Way #2)
Wicked Incarceration (Wicked’s Way #3)
Wicked Guidance (Wicked’s Way #4)
Wicked Truths (Wicked’s Way #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)

Chance In Hell coverChances Are Series by Lee Brazil:

Chances Are (Chances Are #1)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #2)
Fifty, Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are, #3)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are, #4)
Chance in Hell (Chances Are #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)

Darkest KNight coverCity Knight Series by T.A. Webb:

City Knight (City Knight #1)
Knightmare (City Knight #2)
Starry Knight (City Knight #3)
Knights Out (City Knight #4)
Darkest Knight (City Knight #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)

Duplicity coverTriple Threat Series by Laura Harner:

Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1)
Retribution (Triple Threat #2)
Defiance (Triple Threat, #3)
Crucify (Triple Threat, #4)
Duplicity (Triple Threat #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)

Scattered Thoughts Summary of Reviews for October 2013

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October 2013 Summary of Book Reviews

It was a terrific month for books.  Sarah Black came out with her sequel to The General and the Horse-Lord titled The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari.  In my opinion it is the best book she has written to date, wide in scope with subtly nuanced characters that stay with you long after you have finished the story.  Also the Pulp Friction group of authors, (Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows, Laura Harner and T.A. Webb) start to bring their interconnected series to a close with 4 outstanding stories to equal the memorable characters to be found within. S.A. McAuley also brought us the second novel in The Borders War series, Dominant Predator.  I love those men, and need more of their history and complicated relationship.  Sue Brown gave us The Isle of Wishes, second in the Isle of Wight series, plus Ariel Tachna’s Lang Downs series (one of my favorite) expanded to five with Conquer The Flames, a “must read” book for all.

Well, I will let this list speak for itself.  So many great books here that there is sure to be something for everyone.  Grab up your notepad, IPad or paper, and write down the titles for those stories you might have missed.  I have linked my reviews to each book.  Happy readings!

Lady Reading Book in Chair 50 style    


5 Star Rating:

Conquer The Flames (Lang Downs #4) by Ariel Tachna, contemporary
Chance In Hell (Chances Are #5) by Lee Brazil, contemporary
Darkest Knight (City Knight #5) by T.A. Webb
Dominant Predator (The Borders War #2) by S.A. McAuley
Duplicity (Triple Threat #5) by Laura Harner
Knights Out (City Knight #4) by T.A. Webb
The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari by Sarah Black (contemporary, military)
Wicked Truths (Wicked’s Way #5) by Havan Fellows, contemporary
Wild Onions by Sarah Black (supernatural)

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

Enigma by Lloyd A. Meeker (4.25)(contemporary, paranormal)
Goblins, Book 1 by Melanie Tushmore (4.5 )(fantasy)
Home Team by Jameson Dash (4)(contemporary)
Isle of Wishes (Isle of Wight #2) by Sue Brown (contemporary)
Knightmare (City Knight #2) by T.A. Webb (4.75)(contemporary)
Northern Star by Ethan Day (4.25)(contemporary)
Playing Ball Anthology (4.75)(contemporary, historical)
Starry Knight (City Knight #3) by T.A. Webb (4.75)(contemporary)

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Burning Now by A.R. Moler (3)(fantasy, supernatural)
Fool For Love by Cassandra Gold (3)(contemporary)
Strange Angels by Andrea Speed (3.75)(supernatural)
The Night Visitor by Ewan Creed (3 stars)(contemporary, supernatural)
Wireless by L.A. Witt (3.5)(science fiction)

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

Justice (Leopard Spots #10) by Bailey Bradford (2)(shifters, supernatural)
The Unwanted, the Complete Collection by Westbrooke Jameson (2.5)(science fiction)

1 to 1.75 Star Rating:

None this month

Other Blogs:
Author Spotlight: Havan Fellows on Wicked’s Way Series and Pulp Friction
Author Spotlight: Lee Brazil on Chances Are Series and Pulp Friction
Author Spotlight: T.A. Webb on City Knight Series and Pulp Friction
Author Spotlight: Laura Harner on Triple Threat series and Pulp Friction
Author Spotlight: Sarah Black on Wild Onions
Author Spotlight: Sarah Black on Writing Old Men and the second General release

Pulp Friction Author Roundup with Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and T.A “Tom” Webb. Winners too!

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Pulp Friction 4 covers

Well, it has been such an outstanding week here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.  Its been great fun having all four such terrific authors stopping by each day this week. And a pleasure to listen to each of your thoughts on the Pulp Friction series and to hear how this idea came to fruition.

I love seeing the old pulp fiction format resurrected and working successfully.  Each series is exciting on its own but combined with the other three Pulp Friction creates a cohesive, dynamic portrait of an amazing collection of men who are locked together by bonds of friendship, love and a past.

Look at the cast you all have assembled.  Whether it is Wick Templeton (Wicked’s Way), Chance Dumont (Chances Are),  Zachary and Archer Wilde (Triple Threat), or Marcus Prater of City Knight, each and every one is a fascinating and, quite frankly, addicting character.  Then you start to add on their new lovers, in Chance’s case, Rory or for Marcus its his Benjamin and Jeremiah for Archer and Zachary.  And when it comes down to it, we will have to include Ned for Wick whether he admits it or not.

But I won’t keep you readers waiting any longer, here they are for our final chat….this week. Trust me, you will be hearing from these people again in the near future….*hands out glasses and yells that the bar is open*  Oh, and the winners are announced at the bottom of the post.  No peaking now.

WARNING: When the Pulp Friction group gets together it can get a little wild…we talk in a group chat all the time and are real good at following each other—but I suspect a fly on the wall may get a slight headache trying to keep up *blushes* so we are color coding our blog for you today just for that reason! *whispers* Well that and I like playing with colors, hehe. (Note: WordPress won’t play nicely with colors, so you readers will just have to imagine all the loveliness of the rainbow they had planned for you.)

May I introduce to you Lee Brazil…Tom Webb…the lovely Laura Harner…and me (I’m Havan Fellows *big smiles*)

Havan: There are few places I’m extremely comfortable…you know what I’m talking about? Places I can let my hair down…kick off my shoes…unbutton my shirt…wiggle out of my—

Lee: Havan! Stop that! Button that shirt up and keep your pants on. *glares* Okay, you can keep the shoes off, but this is NOT the right place for naked time.

Havan: *eyes bug out* There’s a wrong place for naked time? Um…okay…maybe not THAT comfortable—though I’m working on my Pulp Friction family to relegate our PF headquarters into a clothing optional facility…hehe

Lee: *frowns* Never gonna happen. Modesty is a virtue, and it happens to be one I’m rather fond of.

Havan: *sighs* Fine…for now…*talks quickly* But back to my original point – because yes, yes I did have a point to make – sitting with my Pulp Friction co-writers: Lee Brazil, Tom Webb and the mastermind who brought this fabtabulous idea to us Laura Harner…I do feel comfortable and they make sure I know I can open up to them and we work great as a team. *big smiles*

I believe that is one of the reasons Pulp Friction has exceeded our expectations. < see, point! lol

So now we are gathered once again to unload a few deep dark secrets…

Lee: *gasp* Havan! You can’t tell them…

Havan: No, I promised never to tell anyone that! Anyway, *eye rolls* not about ourselves *breathes a sigh of relief* (there isn’t that much blog space for that *winks*). *glares* I’m talking about secrets of the FINAL *gasp* book in the Pulp Friction 2013 series…and maybe…just maybe if you are interested…a sneak peek into what might be happening in 2014 with PF…

Lee: *yanks Havan into the seat next to me* Look, you don’t have to go blabbing ALL the secrets at once. A little mystery, something left to the imagination….

Havan: Hmmmm…you do have a great imagination Lee *winks*. Sooooooooo…who wants to begin?

Laura: *Raises hand, and waits to be called on* My name is Laura and I’m a-
Oops, wrong meeting. *Blushes* In all seriousness, when we first talked about this idea last October, I had no idea how big or how satisfying Pulp Friction would be,

*Pauses to consider just exactly how deliciously naughty that sounded.*

Sorry, I was sidetracked for a moment. When we started writing, we shared little bits here and there, hesitantly offered a comment or two about how one of our characters might fit into someone else’s book, and waited with mixed apprehension and excitement to write the next book.

We are all various shades of punsters, *whispers aside: I think she means pantsers, because lord knows no one laughs at my jokes* which means we had no real organization, no master outline, or even an idea of how it would all end.

A funny thing happened though. Just as the characters grew within our individual series, they also grew closer to each other. Unexpected friendships occurred, secrets were revealed, relationships grew or were broken. The line blurred between the reactions of the characters and the writers, and when Zack wanted to scream with frustration at Wick and shout out his denial-that was because we’d both been shocked and hurt by someone we thought we knew. And that is what makes these stories so powerful for me. We respond to the stories that have gone before, and sometimes we are cut by the power of the emotions that are right there at the surface. They feel real, because to us…they are.

Tom: Exactly, Laura. Writing five stories each, then coming together (and with four of us, that is something to plan!) to do the finale, Marcus and Benjamin are like my own family. They talk to me, haunt my dreams, and snipe at each other just like…well, I do. The last book, Darkest Knight, was so easy to write, because these guys run around my head and I know them.

And the fun (and totally weird) thing is? We all can write each others’ characters because we know them so well too. I love Wick, annoying asshat that he is, Chance, Zachary and Archer, and their men. It’s funny how they all ended up with younger men, although we don’t quite know about Ned. He can fool us all.

But seriously, I wasn’t prepared for how popular the series became, and how many fans each of us have. Marcus and Benjamin, and now Frankie and some of the other supporting characters, interact with not only each other but all the other cast, and fans…well, they have their favorites. Some wanted Wick with Frankie, then they read Havan’s books and loved them. Others haven’t read any but their favorite author’s books, and then they read some of the others and it opens up a whole new world.

It’s kind of like that with us too. We all write our own way, our own styles, and have our own successes. Then the four of us came together and decided to try this experiment, and didn’t know how it would all turn out. The best thing? Damn, but it worked!

I’ve learned so much from writing with these guys. You have no idea how much energy it takes to make this whole thing work. We talk daily, and discuss the what ifs and the how abouts, and what I personally found was, we all fit together so well. They way we think, the way we write…it’s so similar, but not. Laura is so patient, and I think I picked up some of that. Lee thinks a lot the way I do, but he is so creative and solid. And Havan, she makes sure the fun is there.

We fit.

I like this group, and can’t wait to take it to Flagstaff.

Lee: When Laura suggested this, I had no idea how it would work. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if I could do it. And that was when I thought I was writing a single series. I had the luck of writing the first book, so I was going in blind as well, hadn’t met anyone else’s characters, or been told their story lines. I got Chances Are written, and shocked myself with who he turned out to be. At first he was closed off, isolated, and bitter. But as the other stories unfolded, it became clear that Chance wasn’t as alone as he thought, and by the end of the series he isn’t living in his own head quite so much.

The same thing happened on this side of the computer screen too. Writing is of necessity a solitary occupation. That’s what I used to think. What I discovered, right alongside Chance, is that the right people can make everything better. I grew to enjoy the intricate way our stories were woven together, and to depend on my fellow PF writers for support and inspiration. I can’t imagine sitting down to write without having them at hand.

So, I’m really looking forward to Pulp Friction 2014, to seeing how PF will continue to evolve, as I’m sure it will.

Havan: Wow…you guys verbalized it so beautifully. *wipes eyes* Me…I’m just here for the free liquor Melanie offered…*winks*

So there will be one last PF ’13 book that all four of us are penning together—a four-way! Something we’ve never admitted to doing before!—and it will nicely wrap up any loose ends you may think we have out there *cough cough* and then PF ’14 brings a whole slew of new main characters in a new location to the west this time…Flagstaff!

Think you’re ready for another year? Oh are you in for a treat then—think of the first year as foreplay. We got to feel on each other…taste the other three’s styles on our tongues…wrap our hands around their abilities…

Foreplay’s over…

This is gonna be fun.

STRW: Whew! *runs and locks the liquor cabinet*  That was amazing and now we know that the last book, no. 6, will be a joint effort and bring the hunt for the killer to a close. *whispers to the dogs that I knew that would happen*.  I can’t wait to read that story and I know the rest of you feel the same way.

So, meet us back here in December for the final Pulp Friction guest post of 2013 and the final Pulp Friction review.  There will be another giveway or two.  You never know. My thanks again to all these remarkable people, Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and of course, Tom Webb for stopping by this week and giving us insight into their characters, their series and of course, Pulp Friction.

Now here are the Winners of the books by day and author:

Monday, Havan Fellows, Wicked’s Way:  The winner is penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, Lee Brazil, Chances Are:   The winner is Leni (ldinnell@gmail.com)

Wed., Laura Harner, Triple Threat:  The winner of Laura’s book is Ashley E (ashley.vanburen@gmail.com)

and drumroll please….

Thur., Tom Webb, City Knight:  The winner of Tom’s book is bluesmokey (richards851@sbcglobal.net)

Darkest KNight cover

Duplicity cover

Wicked Truths cover

Chance In Hell cover

Winners of the Pulp Friction Books Contest

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Pulp Friction 4 covers

Meet us back here in December for the final Pulp Friction guest post of 2013 and the final Pulp Friction review. There will be another giveway or two. You never know. My thanks again to all these remarkable people, Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and of course, Tom Webb for stopping by this week and giving us insight into their characters, their series and of course, Pulp Friction.

Now here are the Winners of the books by day and author:

Monday, Havan Fellows, Wicked’s Way: The winner is penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, Lee Brazil, Chances Are: The winner is Leni (ldinnell@gmail.com)

Wed., Laura Harner, Triple Threat: The winner of Laura’s book is Ashley E (ashley.vanburen@gmail.com)

and drumroll please….

Thur., Tom Webb, City Knight: The winner of Tom’s book is bluesmokey (richards851@sbcglobal.net)

The authors will be contacting their individual winners about the books they have won.  Thanks not only to Laura, Tom, Havan, and Lee but to all the great readers that visited and stopped by to comment.

Coming soon the debut of the next Blue Notes novel, Encore, by Shira Anthony on November 11. Stay turned all month for exciting guests blogs, book contests, and book releases!

Review: Darkest Knight (City Knight #5) by T.A. Webb

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Darkest KNight coverMarcus Prater and his lover Benjamin Danvers have never been happier.  Marcus has reconciled with his brother Frankie and now Frankie and Frankie’s kids are now frequent visitors to his home.  His own wounds have healed as has Ben’s and now they are preparing for their first Thanksgiving as a couple.  What could go wrong?

Well, that would be everything.  Wick Templeton is missing along with his boyfriend Ned.  Archer calls, asking if Marcus has read that morning’s paper. Young, gay men are still turning up tortured and dead, including the twins mentioned in the headlines this morning.  Twins wearing medallions that hold a special meaning for Archer, Marcus and, of course, the missing Wick.

And when one of Marcus’ old contacts on the street, an underage prostitute called Brady,appears bruised and bleeding before Marcus with a startling request, one connected to Ben’s dead friend Travis.  Well, Marcus can’t say no and ends up bringing Brady home with him to keep him safe and to attend to his wounds.   So many painful memories arising, so many hidden secrets starting to come out.  Where will it all end?  Will this truly be the darkest night for Marcus, Ben and all those they love?

Just when I think this series can’t get any better, it surges into a whole new realm, expanding the storyline to incorporate more mysteries, hidden depths to characters we have already met, and exploring the new connections in old established relationships, adding texture and layers to already terrific characters and their bonds with each other.   Of all the books, Darkest Knight is the one that brings all the other men and their lovers together in one place, all but one.

Everyone has gathered together at Marcus and Ben’s place for Thanksgiving.  It starts out as a time of joy and  reconciliation then it turns  painful and bitter with one phone call.  Every  the buried emotions and old pain rushes out, first in Marcus and then in the others, leaving the new lovers to handle the situation.  I loved how  the author brings Jeremiah, Rory, and Ben into their own in this story.  Each demonstrates a new found strength and depth of character that is not only surprising but disarming.  It’s unexpected and finally grounds each man not only in their relationships to their lovers but with each other as well.  It’s wonderful in so many ways.  It redefines how we look at all the relationships present, it exposes old past histories while providing a new avenue of thought with regard to the mysterious deaths of young rent boys in the city.

I loved that T.A. Webb chose Thanksgiving as the occasion to bring them all together.  Its our traditional family holiday and these men have been each other’s family for over 15 years.  And the fact that one of them is not only missing but has kept secrets from some of them all that time is doubling their feelings of hurt and betrayal.  It’s a marked contrast to the new found love that most of the original members  have now found, with those lovers present and now incorporated into that tight band of men.

Then Webb adds Brady, an resilient, underage rent boy and Frankie, Marcus’ brother, to the mix and things really start to bounce out of control.   Brady is a wonderful little portrait of a kid thrown away at a hauntingly young age but has who succeeded in surviving the streets and the predators that hunt there, if only just.  I love Brady and want more of this amazing kid.

Here is a small excerpt as Marcus comes across Brady on the street:

And in every face, every kid standing there with all the false bravado, in every potential target, he saw his love.

He had to focus on their job tonight, though. One young man hadn’t made it, and it broke something in Benjamin when Travis had been murdered. Oh, he still went to school, and made love with Marcus, and joked with Jeremiah. But he’d tried to help the boy and it blew up in his face. And Wick…he’d said he would help and the boy slipped away and now he was dead. Goddamn it, Marcus needed Wick and that crazy Bayou or Banyon or whatever the hell his name was to help him find Travis’s killer.

The feel of his heart racing in his chest and the tension in his jaw from grinding his teeth made him stop, close his eyes, and take a couple of deep breaths. Getting mad at Wick wouldn’t do him any good right now. Now, his Benjamin needed him. So fuck Wick, he’d deal with him later. But that made him feel guilty for being mad at his brother, and then he was right back in the same loop.

“Mister Marcus?” He almost didn’t hear the small voice and walked past the kid hanging outside the alleyway leading up to the Zesto’s and McDonald’s. Glancing around, Marcus stepped in the space and nodded for the young man to walk with him.

“Brady. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. I was worried about you, son.” The boy—he was one of the younger ones Marcus had tried to keep his eye on before he’d been shot, and he’d lost track of him—was skinnier than he remembered, and his hair hung in greasy hanks around his face. He walked stiffly and slightly bent over, and all of Marcus’s red flags went off.

His head nodding as if he heard music no one else could hear, Marcus saw the sideways glance Brady gave him, and then looked around like he was scared of either being overheard or seen. Part of Brady’s twitches were affectations, so people would leave him alone or think him helpless. The fact of the matter was he’d been on the streets since he was twelve, and was alive now at the ripe old age of seventeen only by the grace of God and a buttload of tricks he’d learned over the years. If he was patient, Brady would tell him what he wanted or needed.

What happens next is both heartbreaking and startling in its intensity.  You really have to read it all to get the full benefit of Webb’s realistic descriptions and spot on dialog that brings this young man and his pain so vividly to life.  More than a few tissues will be needed before all the mysteries are solved and bonds can be knitted back together.

City Knight, of which Darkest Knight is the fifth book,  is one of four interconnected series.  The others are Triple Threat by LE Harner, Chances Are by Lee Brazil and Wicked’s Way by Havan Fellows.  You can read each series by themselves.  But read together, you will enter a rich world inhabited by strong, intelligent men, a gritty band of brothers and their lovers.  Grab them all up, and read them one after the other, starting with book one in each series.  Each is remarkable in their own right, but together form a Pulp Friction universe you will never want to leave.

Here are the books in the City Knight series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the men and their relationships and the events that occur:

City Knight (City Knight #1)
Knightmare (City Knight #2)
Starry Knight (City Knight #3)
Knights Out (City Knight #4)
Darkest Knight (City Knight #5)
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Book Details:

ebook, 60 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by A Bear on Books
edition language English

Review: Knights Out (City Knight #4) by T.A. Webb

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Knights Out coverMarcus Prater and Benjamin Danvers are having a wonderful morning when they are interrupted by a phone call.  It’s Zachary and he needs their help.  An old friend of Jeremiah’s, NIck, has gone missing and Jeremiah wants to know what has happened to him.  Since Ben also knows Nick from his time as a rent boy, Marcus and Ben are quick to agree to join a growing search for a young man known for his kindness and help to those on the streets.

Their investigation takes a darker turn when more boys turn up missing. This investigation reminds Marcus that he also has someone he wants to find, his younger brother who Marcus hasn’t seen in years.  Their current search renews Marcus’ resolve to find his brother and make amends for all the lost time between them.  The shocking resolution of both investigations will change everyones lives forever.

Knights Out, the fourth story in the City Knight series, is a wonderful installment in this Pulp Friction group offering.  Here Webb continues to weave the clues to the mystery that runs through all four series, that of the increasing number of missing young men and the culprit behind their torture and subsequent deaths.  In Knights Out two more young rent boys disappear, both of which the readers became familiar with in other stories.  Now we are faced with uncertainty about their fate and the indication that a serial murderer is at work.  Webb builds our tension and anxiety in small but increasingly fearful steps.  Soon we are afraid not only for the missing men but for all the main characters that we have come to love, especially those like Ben and Jeremiah who fit the profile of the men the killer is targeting.  The fact that Ben and Jeremiah have just found happiness just increases our alarm.

But T.A. Webb balances that worry and concern with moments of laughter and love, especially when it comes to Marcus and his brother.  That is such a lovely element in this story.  It made me laugh as well as cry.  As much as I wanted to include that excerpt with Wick here, I just can’t bring myself to spoil the enjoyment of reading it as part of the whole chapter.  Trust me, you will love this moment for so many reasons, one of which is the rare scene of seeing the unshakable Wick throughly discomforted (in a funny way of course).

By balancing a man’s love for his brother and Ben against the horror that is coming., Webb shows just how fragile a state happiness can be.  Nothing is ever certain, nothing is ever guaranteed except death, so grab your love and happiness while you can.   It’s a message that some of the characters are just beginning to accept, however much they may fight it.  The author spreads tension throughout the series, like butter on bread.  Whether it is Marcus’ health, Wick’s relationships, the mens past histories emerging into the present day events, all bring a certain amount of tension and uncertainty to all the investigations and relationships.

All the other characters from the  other series are starting to appear with regularity.  Here Wick and Chance are an integral part of the search for the missing rent boys with implications for both men and their past histories.  And while there is not a cliffhanger to be found in this story, the path is laid for more investigations and more revelations to come.

Tom Webb is certainly bring his love of Pulp Fiction alive with this story and his City Knight series.  None of these books and related series are to be missed.  But you must start at the beginning with City Knight in order to understand the main characters backgrounds and relationships and the events to come.

Here they are in the order they were written and should be read:

City Knight (City Knight #1)
Knightmare (City Knight #2)
Starry Knight (City Knight #3)
Knights Out (City Knight #4)
Darkest Knight (City Knight #5)
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Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages
Published August 15th 2013 by A Bear on Books
ISBN13 9781301563555
series City Knight
buy link All Romance, Amazon Kindle Books

Book Contest and Guest Post by T.A. Webb, Pulp Friction Author of the City Knight series

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Scattered Thoughts (that’s me) has loved having all the authors here this week.  And we still have another surprise day to go where I will announce the winners and the Pulp Friction authors will have one last post together.Darkest KNight cover

So, don’t forget to leave a comment, either at the end of today’s post or on the review post.  Either way, we will count that as an entry.

And now for our fourth and final Pulp Friction author, T.A.”Tom”  Webb and his City Knight series. *offers up a chair and a cup of coffee*:

TW: Thanks for having me, Melanie. Well, me and my guys Marcus and Benjamin. Now, these two men are rather mouthy and will tend to jump in and say what’s on their minds before you or I know it. So, bear with us and I’ll try to filter it all into something that makes sense for us all.

ST: *sinks into her chair, pets the pups*

TW: When Laura, Lee and Havan and I started talking about some kind of series that would be like the old pulp fictions, what immediately came to mind for me was the Doc Savage pulps I read as a kid. I loved Doc Savage with hathim, and always thought he was kind of like me, in that he was different. When I put a name to it—gay—I realized he never was with a person of either sex, but I could easily imagine him as mine.

So, when we put the series here in Atlanta, we talked about each of us putting out six stories. My first idea was to write two sets of three stories—a trilogy—for two sets of characters. Then Marcus whispered in my ear, and he was this mature cop who patrolled the area around his home. I asked him why, and the whole story came out about his doctor lover who was shot and killed senselessly, and how he made a promise to protect the neighborhood. Kind of Doc Savage meets Batman.

A man like that deserves a happy ending, so I imagined who would crack through a man like that’s shield? Because Marcus, he deserves someone who would make him laugh, someone who would light up his dark nights and make his heart beat again.

Enter Ben.

Now Ben, or as Marcus calls him, his Benjamin, isn’t a slam dunk. He has a past of his own that tried to keep him away from Marcus. He’s younger, smart as a whip, but so closed off from his own feelings because of his own soul-crushing experience—he was raped—that it was a challenge for him to connect to Marcus for more than sex.

But he does. And the trilogy follows how they two men circle each other and gently open up despite all the horrible things in their pasts, and the bad things coming after them in their present. But, they make it.

So, when it came time to write the other two men I had in mind, Marcus and Benjamin said they weren’t ready to step aside. Plus, we—Laura, Lee Havan and I—had started interweaving Chance and Zachary and Archer and Wick with my boys, so how could I leave them hanging?

ST:  You can’t, that obvious, plus it would make your fans cry. Not a good thing.

TW: Plus, slowly but surely, the fans caught on and would have killed me if I let them go. And we had to find out who killed Travis, and then Marcus’s brother Frankie showed up with little Marcus, and they have a loud voice too.

My plans, now that all five books are written as well as the final book we all will co-author, are to write a small holiday story for Marcus and Doc_Savage_plus_Five_by_SilvreBenjamin called “Christmas Knight”.  And at some point there will be a novella for Frankie and Brady, because they are screaming in my head that they need their story told.

ST:  I am so happy to hear that because I fell in love with Brady and Frankie!  They do need a story of their own. Oops,  sorry to interrupt.

TW: This has been such a fun process, and I have learned SO much about how to write from these three talented friends of mine. I almost hate to leave Atlanta behind, but Flagstaff calls and that makes my creative juices flow.

ST:  Hmmm. Flagstaff…..more stories perhaps?  Another secret for another day.

TW: Thanks to everyone who’s read City Knight, and it’s on sale for $0.99 for everyone on Amazon and ARe.

Please, leave a comment, and you can have your choice of any book in the series in a drawing especially for Melanie’s blog. She’s been so wonderful about reading all 20 of the books and reviewing them, and Marcus and Benjamin have her in a big hug for liking them. They have no words, and neither do I!

ST: Aww, shucks.   *hugs back*  Plus you mentioned Doc Savage.  I remember seeing plenty of those paperpacks on my dad’s shelf near his chair.  Oh that did bring back the memories.  Thanks for the great guest post and wonderful stories, Tom.

TW: Thanks all!  Remember to leave a comment and win!

Tom

Here are the books in the City Knight series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the men and their relationships and the events that occur:

City Knight (City Knight #1)
Knightmare (City Knight #2)
Starry Knight (City Knight #3)
Knights Out (City Knight #4)
Darkest Knight (City Knight #5)
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Review: Duplicity (Triple Threat #5) by Laura Harner

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Rating; 5 stars out of 5

Duplicity coverOn the surface, everything and everyone seems happy and settled in the home of Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah.  They have discarded Jeremiah’s contract and now have a loving threesome partnership. But only on the surface and when young, distraught Clarenda Harris enters their office to ask for their help, she triggers a set of events and emotions that none of them saw coming, not even Archer.

Clarenda Harris is the mother of twin baby boys and the father of her sons, wealthly Dwayne Cashman, is missing, presumed dead in a plane crash.  Dwayne Cashman, also a twin,and his brother were inseparable and now that brother is set to inherit all Dwayne’s money and estate, leaving nothing for Clarenda and her sons.  But Clarenda is certain something is fishy.  She thinks Dwayne is alive and wants Zachary, Archer and Jeremiah to prove it.  Usually, Zachary would turn to Wick Templeton for research and help but Wick has disappeared, leaving all Zachary’s phone calls unanswered.

Zachary is left to deal with his feelings of betrayal over Wick, Jeremiah is hiding his grief over the loss of a friend and Archer is trying to balance the needs of his men with his own feelings to master.  Duplicity is in the air and the tension is rising.  Everything is feeling unsettled.  Can Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah discover the truth behind Dwayne Cashman’s disappearance before the will is read and the estate settled?  Or will all the hidden feelings and complications cause a breakdown in communications and relations that will threaten their happiness and that of others close to them?

Duplicity is a perfect title for a story full of hidden agendas, false identities, and layers of deceit that cover the actions and events connected to Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah and their band of brothers.  It all starts with a case involving twins and more twins that causes reverberations through the closely bonded group of friends that includes Archer, Zachary, Wick, Marcus, Chance and their significant others, especially when  another set of twins turns up dead with connections to the missing Wick.   There are dangers and conflict doubled at every turn and Laura Harner does an excellent job of leading the reader through the maze of troubled relationships and past histories that have come back to upset all involved.

At the heart of the series is the loving menage of Archer, Zachary, and Jeremiah.  They are settling beautifully into a happy threesome and the sex scenes in this story are white hot and kinky.  There are elements of D/s and bdsm here but the manner in which Harner uses them to enhance and better understand her men and their needs makes not only for some very intense, loving sex but also makes their relationship understandable and accessible. This applies even to those readers who don’t normally read books with this content.

Harner also discloses aspects of the mens past, especially where it involves Wick Templeton, that starts to shed light on the origins of this band of brothers.  This provides us with a better understanding of the depth of Archer and Zachary’s feelings towards Wick.  It also gives Jeremiah a chance to step forward with his issues with Zachary’s dependance upon Wick and its intrusion into their relationship.  So many emotions in flux, including Jeremiah’s grief over the heinous torture and death of his friend, Nick.

Harner has created a story with all the right elements in play to create an atmosphere of suspense, mystery, angst that combined with the incendiary sexual and loving partnership of Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah makes Duplicity a must read for lovers of all genres.   Triple Threat is a dynamic, engrossing series, one of four interconnected series, that you should put on your lists of books needed for 2013 and every year after.

As with the others, if you are new to this series, go back and start with the first story, Triple Threat#1.  I have listed them all in the order they were written and should be read to understand the men, their relationships and the events as they occur.  Run, don’t walk, to grab them all up.

This is how it all starts:

“Nice to meet you, Clarenda. I’m Zack. If you’ll follow me, Archer and Jeremiah are waiting in the study.” As had become our custom, I greeted our newest prospective client at the door and used the opportunity to size up any potential threat. Although it was possible for a weapon to be hidden almost anywhere, it seemed unlikely that this harried-looking woman was armed with anything more dangerous than the sticky-looking Tickle Me Elmo that stuck out from the top of the oversized canvas bag slung over her shoulder. Standing not much more than five feet even, her long dirty-blonde hair pulled into a messy tail and dressed in khaki capris and a blue and white striped tee shirt, the woman could pass for a college student. Until you looked at her face. Dark circles under her eyes and hard lines etched into her cheeks added ten years to her looks.

Entering the study, I made the introductions and, after handshakes all around, led her to a wingback chair that faced the delicate looking couch Archer favored when we had a client. As usual, Archer got right to the point. “You understand how our business works, Miss Harris? You must have lost something of significant monetary value, and if we are successful, our fee is half of what we recover. Do you think what you’ve lost merits a fifty percent commission?”

“Is sixteen million dollars worth your time, Mr. Wilde? Because if I’m right, that’s what I estimate my former employer’s estate is set to pay to his twin brother in fourteen days.”

Triple Threat Series in order:

Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1)
Retribution (Triple Threat #2)
Defiance (Triple Threat, #3)
Crucify (Triple Threat, #4)
Duplicity (Triple Threat #5)

Cover art by Laura Harner is perfect for the story and the series.

Buy links:  All Romance EBook, Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 118 pages
Published September 27th 2013 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN13 9781937252601
edition language English
series Triple Threat

Book Contest and Guest Post by Laura Harner, Pulp Friction Author of Triple Threat series

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Pulp Friction 4 covers

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so happy to have Laura Harner stopping by for a chat about the Pulp Friction series and how it alDuplicity coverl came about.  Remember, lovely readers, all you need to do to be entered into the contest, is leave a comment at the end of a author post or at the end of one of the Pulp Friction reviews.  Its that simple.  Now back to our guest this morning.

ST: Good morning, Laura, pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable.  Now, tell me how it all got started.

LH: Thank you Melanie!

It’s so wonderful that we are doing this blog in October, because it was a year ago this month that I took a nostalgic trip through an old Raymond Chandler book and decided I wanted to know more about the origins of pulp fiction. After a very little research, I knew I had to write short stories using the pulp fiction formula, with the hard-boiled attitudes and a down and dirty mystery. One of the key elements of pulp fiction was the “To be continued” nature of many of the stories, along with the rapid releases, so readers weren’t left hanging too long. Other PF books resolved the crime in every story, but gave the reader a relationship with the protagonist, revealing a little more with each subsequent installment. I loved the whole idea, but…

I realized there was no way I could manage serial fiction on my own…so I spent a long time thinking about who I might sucker into this crazy scheme.

0.237 seconds later, I had my answer. Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Tom Webb and I already had a permanent chat window open in Facebook anyway, and I couldn’t imagine better writing partners.

I gave them a very brief outline of what I was thinking, and for the next twenty minutes, I didn’t say a word as they took off and ran with the idea and made a vision we could all embrace. Four separate series, a new release every two weeks, and there would be crossovers between the series.

For those unfamiliar with the history of pulp fiction, the popularity of the genre ran from 1896 to approximately 1955, and you can read a history of pulp magazines here at the Pulp Magazines Project:

Excerpt: Originally, a pulp magazine was one that was printed on paper made directly from wood-pulp which rapidly yellows and becomes very brittle leaving a shower of confetti on the reader. …

…Another factor that distinguishes the pulps from other magazines was the lack of any bulk advertising. The pulps were produced cheaply and sold cheaply (initially 10 cents, occasionally only five cents, and seldom more than 25 cents, even in the later years) and relied wholly on revenue from sales. Another distinguishing feature is that the pulps ran almost entirely fiction.pulp_20

So Why Pulp Friction?

Why Pulp Friction? Why MM (or MMM-since I’m greedy)?

We wanted to pay homage to the golden days of story telling, when talk was cheap and so were the women…. Okay, not exactly, but close. We all loved the idea of telling a great story for a fair price. We also know that readers love a well-developed character, and when that character steps out of his own book and into another—double bonus.

The characters we created have taken over our stories, become good friends—no more than that—they’re family. With that comes the ability to love and to hurt each other in the way only family can. Havan, Lee, Tom and I have grown into that type of family, as well.
The one thing the characters know above all else, family keeps coming back. So while going into this last book, it may appear that certain relationships are broken, we all know—there are just some bonds that can’t be broken.

ST: What a great way to end this morning.  Thanks, Laura.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next with Pulp Friction.  I have grown to love all the characters and each series.  It’s lovely to see that the closely bonded group of characters is mirrored by their authors.

Thanks for stopping by today and I can’t wait for the final group post on Friday.

Laura Harner’s Triple Threat series in the order they were written and should be read are:

Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1)
Retribution (Triple Threat #2)
Defiance (Triple Threat, #3)
Crucify (Triple Threat, #4)
Duplicity (Triple Threat #5)