October Scary Reads and Other Things that Go Bump in the Night – Narratively Speaking!

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October Scary Reads and Other Things that Go Bump in the Night

Melanie’s Scary Novels and Frightfully Wonderful Storiesskeleton reading books

I’m the first to admit that while I like my vampires and werewolves and ghosts and ghoulies I don’t want my stories to go dark DARK ! Taunt me with details…that make my mind goes horrible places, don’t really give me the specifics.  Go ahead, call me chicken.  I own it.  I do like my angst, suspense,   knuckle biters, eye popping “oh no, you didn’t” scenes and many of the  books, series and authors I’m  going to mention gave me that and so much more.  There’s no order to my list, its more along what popped up in my head…as usual.  Some are old releases, some new, something a little Monstery?

Here they are:

Author Missouri Dalton:

Hanged Man's GhostNightShift185Hellfire Legacy coverVampirism and You cover

 

 

 

 

 

Her Night Wars Series will gut you (dead children and more). I read them out of order. Don’t.

The Hanged Man’s Ghost (The Night Wars, #1)
The Night Shift (The Night Wars #2)
The Hellfire Legacy

Guidebook Series

Vampirism And You! (Guidebook 01) ~ my review here
Necromancy and You (Guidebook 02) ~ my review here

Pretty Monsters coverPeek A Boo coverTriple Feature coverJosh of the Damned The Final Checkout

Author Andrea Speed:

Josh of the Damned Series – humor and the Supernatural -killer combo along with outstanding covers

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #1 (Josh of the Damned #3) by Andrea Speed
Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned, #1)
Peek-a-Boo (Josh of the Damned, #2)
Night of the Dust Bunnies (Josh of the Damned, #3.5)
Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout (Josh of the Damned #4)
Merry Christmas, Josh! (Josh of the Damned #4.5)
Josh of the Damned: The Complete Collection

Also don’t miss out on Andrea Speed’s Infected: Prey series…but that’s for another time and reviewer – see Paul’s Paranormal Post this month.

The Devil's Bedpost coverDrawing Dead PF 2015 coverBlinds Man's Bluff coverDiamond Draw cover

Pulp Friction 2015 – Authors Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows ,Parker Williams and Laura Harner

There there is the Hauntingly Marvelous Pulp Friction 2015 Series this years with authors  Parker Williams, Havan Fellows , Lee Brazil and Laura Harner.  There are ghosts, ghost hunters, sexy succubi, werewolves in love with vampires, psychics, demons and so much more all wrapped in interconnected stories and mysteries that pull at your heart strings while making you jump that the evil goings on.  Right  now Round Five is just beginning. The first in each series is listed below.  5 books in each series, 6th book is written by all the authors.  Splendidly frightening, sexy too!

I also love a little elegance with my horror.  That brings up the following stories and authors:

The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric ArvinMingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men cover

And finally, two short tales of such lyrical elegance and narrative poetry I read them over and over in admiration.   These should be on everyone’s must read list!

Lily CoverLily by Xavier Axelson

Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis HallSand and Gold and Ruin

What are you reading this All Hallows Eve?

 

 

 

Now from some of our other Reviewers:

In A Dark Wood civerKraken coverWinter Kills coverDown cover

BJ:

Now BJ loves her dark stories, just check out her review for Kraken by M. Caspian just last week. Missed it, did you?  I’ve linked it to her creepy recommendations listed below.  She also loves one of my all time favorite author’s, Josh Lanyon, a not to be missed author.

Creepy Halloween M/M Romance Recommendations from BJ

In a Dark Wood by Josh Lanyon: If you want something scary-creepy to make you cower under the blankets and double-check the doors and windows. Look no further. Who knew Lanyon could rival King, in this I see the making of the Master of M/M horror. And this horror buff wants more of this style of writing from Lanyon please.

Winter: Haunted Heart by Josh Lanyon: For those who want more of haunted-creepy, Lanyon has you covered there as well. Check out this lovely ghostly mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. The audio version’s narrator is excellent if you’re into audiobooks.

Kraken by M. Caspian: Ready for the creature feature now guys? Then check this one out. It takes creepy to a whole new level. You know the slimy, make-your-skin crawl kind. *shiver*

Down by Ally Blue: Features violence and death trapped seven fathoms below the deep. Creatures with glowing purple eyes and sharp teeth and a horror that could annihilate the human race-EEK! Tantalizing beginning and an ending that circled nicely back to it. The author’s writing style didn’t work well for me personally, but many others loved it and the story is most certainly eerie and quite unique.

 

From Sammy:

Slasherazzi cover

As for favorite scary reads…
Slasherazzi by Daniel A. Kaine

Favorite shifters…
The Tameness of the Wolf series by Kendall McKenna

From Barb the Zany Old Lady:

Hainted coverHainted by Jordan L. Hawk

Spirit by John InmanSpirit cover

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Butt Riders on the Range by Kage Alan, JP Barnaby, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Shae Connor, Jevocas Green, Kiernan Kelly, and Eden Winters

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5:

Butt Riders on the Range coverThis is the third “Butt” anthology I’ve read, and I expected it to be the best because there’s nothing sexier than a cowboy, IMHO. However, I didn’t like it nearly as much as the other anthologies produced by these authors, and there were very few stories that I would rank as high as any of the authors’ previous works. In some cases, it felt as if the author was just putting words together to meet the loose outline of the anthology, then maybe throw in a cowboy here and there, mix ’em up and pop out an adequate story.

Hung Like a Horse by JP Barnaby
The first story in the anthology was a sweet story about a horse shifter, with a different twist— when he shifted, the ectoplasm exploded out of him. Theoretically, it makes sense that when he went from a large horse to a smaller man, there would be extra body mass so I liked that idea. Another interesting twist is that the change was forced when his protein levels reached deficiency, and let’s face it— horses aren’t carnivores so he couldn’t stay as a horse without shifting to meet that need. Riley, the shifter, was rescued by the ranch owner who is also a horse shifter and knew what Riley was. He was waiting for Riley to shift to a man so that he could help him. Fortunately, there was an attraction between the two, and the story ended with a promise for a hopeful future. 4 stars

Chinchilla Chimichangas by Kage Alan
I disliked this story. It’s told mostly from the POV of a wannabe author, Chris, who has constant voices in his head— voices of the characters Miss Tis and Miss Kiernan. I found it very annoying with the switches from Chris speaking or thinking, to having the voices in his head speak. The plot was quite juvenile as well. Chris is taking a bus trip to throw his dad’s ashes in the Pacific behind the Hotel del Coronado, the place he had always wanted to take Chris’s mother on their honeymoon. The bus is stranded in an Oklahoma town during a storm, and Chris ends up going home with a young man who reminds him of Dustin, the hero in the story he’s writing. They have sex, fall in love, and part with a promise to get together after Chris completes his mission. 2 stars

Squatting with Spurs On by Kiernan Kelly
This was a cute little ghost story about a young man who inherits a haunted house only to find out that the ghost was his lover before he died a hundred years ago. It was a nice twist on time travel and paranormal activity mixed with a healthy dose of romance and everlasting love. 3.5 stars

Faux Cowboy by Shae Connor
When Doug shows up at a western-style gay bar in New York City, he’s happy to see that there seems to be another cowboy just like him in the bar. When they get to know each other, they decide to go dancing and after one thing leads to another, they spend a hot night together. The next morning, truth comes calling and the guys find out that they weren’t quite honest with each other, but since they’re in the very early stages of a relationship, they decide to forgive and forget and move forward toward a possible future together. 3.5 stars

Hooves and Horns by Eden Winters
This was a cute and humorous shifter story about two rodeo cowboys, both of whom are shifters. One is the famous bull, Diablo, and the other is the famous bucking bronco, Greased Lightning. Lovers, then adversaries, the bronco, aka Kerry, is jealous because Diablo, aka Armando, was seen hanging with other bulls in the off-season, and Kelsey thought he had cheated. But once Armando can pin Kerry down and explain, all is finally well, and they have their HEA. 3 stars

The Boy from Battalion Bluff by Jevocas Green
I saw this one as little more than PWP. It’s the story of an irresistible guy in the Old West that locals call Dr. Feel-Good. He gets all over town on any given day to make people feel good by having sex with him. He overlooks young Toby the stable boy, but Toby wants him and goes after him just as they all find out that he’s not what he seems. He’s really an alien prince, and he never gets pleasure from sex unless it’s with his true mate. His betrothed, Tyler, shows up to take him home, and while Tyler’s trying to prove his worth by having sex with Johnen (Dr Feel-Good), Toby interrupts and Johnen invites him to participate. Lo and behold, Toby is his true mate. Once that’s settled, they all go back to the home planet and live happily ever after. 2 stars

The Five Hells War by Allly Blue
In this story, an attorney named Balthazar Shellenbarger comes to a remote planet, very reminiscent of an Old West town, to represent Cavendish Farms, a large company that wants to buy Five Hells Ranch from Salvador “Rocky” Flint. The ranch is the only piece of property that Cavendish hasn’t taken over in their plan to have a monopoly on boomer meat. Boomers are considered a delicacy and are a protected species on this planet that is the only place in the universe that supports their life form. This is the final offer— if Rocky doesn’t sell, they are going to get the place somehow. But what happens instead is a romance between “Balty” and Rocky and it’s one of the better stories in the book. Balty is so impressed with Rocky and his heritage and his love of the land that he decides to stay and help fight the conglomerate. Together they’ll defeat the bad guys and go on to live their HEA. 4 stars

And the Horse He Rode In On byTC Blue
This is a great story about a leopard shifter caught killing lambs on a sheep farm– a farm that happens to be owned by a horse shifter who catches him and kicks him in the head. The resulting shift back to his human form is a shock to both men and when the leopard, Jason, finds out that the “battle pony” who kicked him in the head is Tyler, the good-looking man who owns the ranch, he’s intrigued. He’s never been a part of a Pard, never even realized such a thing exists since the guy who Made him took off before telling Jason anything. When Jason’s shift occurred in a home he was house-sitting, and he trashed the place, he took off and has been in leopard form, running for his life, ever since then. As they begin to fall for each other, Tyler introduces him to the world of shifters and helps Jason come to terms with who he is. The two work for it and ultimately get their HEA. This was my favorite of the stories in the anthology. 4.5 stars

I’d recommend this to anyone who likes their M/M romance in very off-the-wall stories, non-wolf shifter stories, and alternate universe adventures.

The cover art by Wilde City Press depicts a cowboy, shirt open and head down. Bright and colorful, it also lists the names of the authors vertically down the opposite side. Very appealing.

Sales Links:  Wilde City Press    –   All Romance (ARe) –   Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 29th 2015 by Wilde City Press
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.wildecity.com

 

Its all Butts and Cowboys with Kiernan Kelley and Butt Riders on the Range (guest post and giveaway)

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Butt Riders On the Range is Here! Cowboys and lots of butts on the Butte! Don’t Miss out on Kiernan Kelly’s guest post “So Many Butts, So LIttle Time”. Check out the blurb and excerpt and don’t forget to enter to contest as well.cowboy hat and boots blkwhite

So Many Butts, So Little Time by Kiernan Kelly

One night long ago in a land far, far away — or it may have been last May in a Marriott hotel on the outskirts of Atlanta — eight authors sat at a table surrounded by rapidly deflating ninja themed balloons, plastic katana blades, oddly penis-shaped nunchucks, and fistfuls of throwing-star erasers, and decided two books did not a series make.

We were at OutlantaCon, the official birthplace of the Butthology books, where we — Kage Alan, T.c. Blue, Eden Winters, Ally Blue, Shae Connor, J.P. Barnaby, Jevocas Green, and myself — had just finished celebrating the release of Butt Ninjas From Hell.

It was the second book we’d written in what we hoped would be a series. The first, Butt Pirates in Space, was science fiction, and had released May 2013. Butt Ninjas from Hell was paranormal-themed. Both, of course, had a healthy helping of humor thrown in with a side of hot gay sex.

We sat there staring at one another, wondering what to do next. As butt book writers, we needed to feed our addiction. We couldn’t go too long with a fix. What to do, what to do?

The answer was obvious. Write more butts, of course.

We decided to author two more anthologies for the following year. The first was a holiday fantasy issue titled “Butt Babes in Boyland,” which released in time for the 2014 holidays, and the second, due out May 2015, we titled “Butt Riders on the Range.”

It’s a western-themed book, just in case you haven’t guessed, or skipped the first four paragraphs of this blog because your boss/kids/significant other/grandmother kept wandering close enough to read the screen.

What all this goes to prove is simply that there is no genre so sacred we will not Butt-ify it. My story for this go-round is titled, “Squatting with Spurs On.” It’s a fantasy-western crossover involving time travel and ghosts.

Writing a western time-travel gay romance involving a ghost wasn’t as difficult as you’d think. There was really only one thing that stymied me. It’s the same thing that trips me up every time I write a historical set in the old west.

The thing is, I find it decidedly difficult to write a sex scene set in that time period, not because of featherbeds, or condoms made from some sort of sheep intestine, or even the fact that homosexual relations in the time period were often a hanging offense.

It’s the lack of running water that throws me every damn time.

Picture this: Wyoming, 1880. There’s a ranch nestled in a beautiful green valley somewhere in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. Cattle graze placidly on the pastureland, while cowboys in checkered shirts and beaver-fur hats gather around a campfire for a dinner of beans and a night of manly camaraderie and farting.

Two men, let’s call them Zane and Louis, have remained alone back at the ranch house because I said so. There’s a chill in the night air, prompting Zane to kindle a fire in the parlor’s lovely fieldstone fireplace. He takes a seat on the floor, and stares at the flames because it’s the late 1880’s and Monday Night Football hasn’t been invented yet.

Louis, meanwhile, busies himself in the kitchen. He returns and takes a seat on the floor next to Zane, handing over a mug of fresh-brewed coffee.

Zane sniffs, it, and raises an eyebrow, probably because Louis is nothing if not predictable.

More than he dislikes being cold, Louis really, really wants to get laid, and he knows the quickest way to get Zane naked is to pour one or seven shots of rotgut whiskey down Zane’s throat.

Zane doesn’t seem inclined to complain. He drinks the contents in one long, burning gulp, and holds the cup out to Louis with a questioning look in his eyes.

Louis happily refills Zane’s mug. One down, six to go. After the third refill, he no longer makes the pretense of adding coffee to the cup.

The fire, firmly established, crackles musically, and casts dancing shadows across their faces. It’s getting very warm in the room. Too warm for a shirt. Too warm for boots. Or pants for that matter.

With less trouble than you might think, Louis convinces Zane that a dollop of lard smeared on his asshole would certainly cool down the rest of his body.

Having drunk seven or fifteen cups of Louis’s “coffee,” Zane thinks it’s a fine idea. He manages to raise himself onto his elbows and knees to make the cooling process easier for Louis.

Louis, faced with Zane’s bare butt and tight little hole, wasn’t feeling too cool, himself. In fact, his body was burning hotter than the chili Cook dished up on the last cattle drive. He was almost surprised the lard didn’t melt and sizzle when he slicked himself with it.

For his part, Zane was only slightly confused when he felt Louis’s dick slide inside him. He realized that, instead of cooling him down, parts of him were getting warmer. And harder.

It didn’t take long for both men to reach critical mass, each one howling as his orgasm ripped through him. In the process of coming, they made one helluva mess. Seems it’d been a while for both of them, and they’d been storing up their boy batter like Cook put up canned jars of homemade baked beans for winter. It coated their hands, Zane’s back, both their dicks, Louis’s stomach, the floor, and even dotted poor old Champ, Zane’s one-eyed, three-legged hound, who’d had the misfortune to pick the wrong time to wander closer to the fire.

All of which brings me to my problem:

Somebody has to go pump some damn water so they can clean up.

It’s not like Zane or Louis can run into the bathroom and rinse off. The “bathroom” is a wooden, coffin-sized shed set several yards behind the house, that’s probably home to a family of rattlesnakes, several species of poisonous spiders, a stink too powerful even to contemplate, and has no freaking water anyway.

No, if they want to wash that spunk off before anyone comes back and finds them, well…white-handed, somebody needs to go prime the kitchen pump. Unless Louis had the forethought to pour some of the water he’d earlier pumped for coffee into a washbasin for later, that is, which, of course, he hadn’t.

Sadly, Louis isn’t that smart. Handsome, muscled, and extremely well endowed, but about as clever as a stump.

Anyway, I suppose they could simply wipe all that ejaculate off on a towel, or on Zane’s shirt (although he hates when Louis does that – makes the shirt all stiff and scratchy), but they’re still going to be freaking sticky, not to mention smell like a mattress from Miss Bluebell’s Cathouse over in Jackson.

Do you see my problem?

The answer I came up with was to make my characters sixty-nine and swallow, or have sex out-of-doors, preferably near a stream or water trough, or make them smart enough to pump water ahead of time.

Still, it’s not easy. So why do I did I agree to do it?

Mostly, because I truly believe that sometimes, as writers, we take ourselves too damn seriously. We need the chance to let loose, to lighten up, to stretch our creative muscles, and the Butthology books give me that opportunity. I know I can speak for the rest of our group when I say we enjoy writing these stories. They’re freeing, and give us a chance to flex our writing muscles in a way our usual stories don’t. They let ignore most of the rules published stories are usually held to, and fly free.

In other words, they let us laugh at ourselves.

And besides, really, are there ever enough butts in romance?

Nope. Didn’t think so.

About Kiernan Kelly…

KiernanKelly_photo

Kiernan Kelly lives in the wilds of the alligator-infested U.S. Southeast, slathered in SPF 45, drinking colorful tropical, hi-octane concoctions served by thong-clad cabana boys.

All right, the truth is that she spends her time locked in the dark recesses of her office, writing gay erotic romance while chained to a temperamental laptop, drinking coffee, and dreaming of thong-clad cabana boys. 

Sigh.
To date, Kiernan has thirteen novels, two YA novels under her Dakota Chase pseudonym, a plethora of shorter works in print and ebook, and still no cabana boy of her own, although her husband may beg to differ.

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Butt Riders On The Range

Authors:  Kage Alan, JP Barnaby, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Shae Connor , Jevocas Green,Kiernan Kelly , Eden Winters 

PUBLISHER: Wilde City Press
RELEASE DATE: April 29, 2015

About Butt Riders on the Range Anthology…

Do you imagine blazing gun battles, bandits, and saloons with watered-down drinks when you think of cowboys and the West? We don’t. Our minds go right to horse shifters, bull shifters, were-leopards, urban wannabes, an interrupted journey along Route 66, a man of mystery named Dr. Feel-Good, and high noon at the edge of the galaxy! The fourth time’s the charm as the Butt-Thology authors saddle up, ride their men hard, and put ‘em away wet.

Butt Riders on the Range…the bulls aren’t the only ones being grabbed by the horns!
Book Links: Wilde City Press

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 29th 2015 by Wilde City Press
edition languageEnglish

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One ebook copy of any of the previous Butt-Thologies.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the authors and Indigo Marketing and Design.  

Contest Begins: April 29, 2015
Contest Ends: May 10, 2015

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

ScatteredThoughts Summary of Reviews for November 2013

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November banner

November really was such an extraordinary month for books.  It almost makes me giddy with joy. I can’t remember when I last had more 5 and 4 star  rated books as I have had this month.  And their genres and plots ran the spectrum, from contemporary fiction to what I might best describe as fantasy horror, making this truly a rainbow month of great books by outstanding authors.

There are quite a few books that are a part of a series and should best be read in order, while others are stand alone pieces of fiction, with one or two in between in that they are a part of a series but could be read by themselves. It’s all in the reviews which I have linked to each title.

The holidays are upon us and ebook gift cards are a wonderful way of sharing books with those we love.  Make a list, check it twice to make sure you have the titles listed below on yours:dried flowers for november
November 2013 Review Summary

*part of a series

5 Star Rating:

Corruption by Eden Winters*, contemporary
Encore by Shira Anthony*, contemporary
Lessons for Suspicious Minds by Charlie Cochrane*,historical
Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux*, contemporary
Sweet and Sour by Astrid Amara, contemporary
The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric Arvin*, horror, fantasy
Too Many Fairy Princes by Alex Beecroft, fantasy

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

After The Fall by L.A. Witt* (4 stars), contemporary
Bar None Anthology (4.5 stars) mix of contemporary, scifi
Close Quarter by Anna Zabo*(4.75 stars), supernatural
Family Texas by R.J. Scott*, (4.5 stars), contemporary
Good Boy by Anne Tenino*, (4.5 stars),contemporary
How I Met Your Father by LB Gregg (4.25 stars), contemporary
Illumination by Rowan Speedwell (4.5 stars), contemporary
Long the Mile by Ally Blue (4.25 stars), contemporary
The Retreat by BA Tortuga*, (4 stars), contemporary
The Stars that Tremble by Kate McMurray, (4 stars), contemporary

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Captive Magic by Angela Benedetti* (3.75 stars), paranormal
Hat Trick by Chelle Dugan (3 stars), contemporary
The Blight by Missouri Dalton (3.75 stars), fantasy

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:
N/A

Review: Long the Mile by Ally Blue

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

“Seven out of 10 Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless.” – Pras Michel

LongTheMile_500x750When Judah Jackson is released from prison he has exactly a bag containing two pairs of pants, a shirt, some underwear, socks and $300 in cash, a far cry from the wealthy man who entered prison convicted of insider trading.  At first, Judah thinks it will only be a matter of time before he is working and getting his business back together.  But soon the reality of his situation and new life as a ex con sets in.  No one will hire him and without an income he loses his apartment and ends out on the streets, vulnerable, angry, and alone.

Tobias Simonsen has been homeless for over a year and finds that he has almost adjusted to his status as a man without a job or place to call his own.  Not even his degrees and experience in the restaurant business have been enough to save him from his current life and he is now beyond despair that it will change.  Then he saves a man being beaten in an alley, a man once wealthy and now painfully unable to fend for himself on the streets of Ashville.

Together Judah and Toby find a connection that begins to lift them up into friendship and then something more.  When their relationship starts to heal the wounds for both men, they start to hope for a future together.  Then a change in one man’s situation starts a chain reaction of emotions and events that could shatter their bond forever.  Will their faith in each other and their love keep them together even when reason tells them they will part?

What a moving and timely story from Ally Blue!  Long the Mile focuses on the plight of homeless, a heartbreaking statistic that is rising throughout the nation, especially in these economic times.  Instead of faceless numbers Ally Blue takes this tragic reality for so many and  brings it down to an intimate and relatable level with the characters of Judah and Toby, two men of  different backgrounds and education who end up in the same landscape of homelessness and despair.

This is a tough topic to use as a center for a romance, especially if one of the men is also someone whose criminal conduct and arrogance got him convicted of a felony and sent to prison.  Our first introduction to Judah Jackson is a risky one on the part of the author.  Judah is angry, still arrogant, and not especially sorry that he committed a crime, only that he got caught.  Think of the white collar criminals such as Kenneth Lay of Enron and you can see how such a character might invite scorn instead of sympathy. But that sneering man we meet as he is leaving prison is soon to get a shocking comeuppance as Judah tries to find a job while his small pocket of funds dwindles.  Ally Blue takes us into his mindset as Judah unravels emotionally and physically until he finally runs out of options and ends up on the streets of Asheville.  It is a scary picture, made all the more real by the author’s authentic descriptions and her clear understanding of the humiliation, despair and fear that is the constant state of those who are homeless.

To balance out the picture she is creating, Blue then gives us Toby Simonsen, an educated young man who was working on his career, with a bright future ahead of him until the economy crashed along with his job.  With all hotels and service establishments in trouble, the jobs vanished and so did the hopes of thousands of people along with them.  I loved Toby and my heart broke for him because we understand that Toby has given up after a year on the streets.  The constant search for work as well as the constant rejection wears  upon the soul and only the goodness and understanding of Father Bill and the shelter at Holy Innocents has helped to save him. Ally Blue has endowed Toby with an inner strength that feels real, born out of need and Toby’s innate goodness.  Toby is definitely the easier of the two men to connect with.

Slowly over the course of Long The Mile, the real inner Judah starts to appear along with his history that makes the man he became at least understandable if not  always likable.  And the reader needs that in order to accept Toby’s attraction and eventual love for Judah. If this story has an identifiable weakness, it arrives in the latter part of the book when a event arrives that threatens to tear the men apart.  I think the situation that signals a change in their lives is a perfectly realistic one as is its separate effect on each of them. My only quibble is that Toby seems a little oblivious to what a change in the dynamics would have on Judah with his background.  I kept thinking that perhaps a little more exposition and length would have helped alleviate what felt like a rushed resolution to a terrific  story.

But that quibble aside, Long the Mile is a timely tale no matter what time of year it is.  With its focus on a homeless population that is ever present, Ally Blue has brought this tragedy home and given it two faces we can identify and sympathize with.  When you add the fact that young LGBT youth are a large part of that statistic through no fault of their own other than being gay and the shame and horror deepens.

I  highly recommend this book to all based on its own merit as a heartwarming romance.  But Ally Blue and the publisher just made it easier by donating 20 percent of all proceeds to the Ali Forney Center.  So run, don’t walk and grab it right up.  You will be getting a wonderful story and helping LBGTQ youth as well.

Special Notes:

20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit http://www.aliforneycenter.org/.

 Book Details:
140 pages
Expected publication: December 2nd 2013 by Riptide Publishing

Ally Blue Contest and Guest Blog for “Long The Mile”

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ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords is happy to have Ally Blue with us today to talk about her latest release, the moving story Long the Mile for Riptide Publishing.  We have a contest to go along with Ally’s guest blog.  The contest details and the Rafflecopter links are listed at the bottom of today’s post. Now, let’s welcome Ally Blue!

Hi folks! I’m Ally Blue, and I’m wandering the internet this week talking about my new book, Long the Mile, part of the Home for the Holidays collection from Riptide Publishing. I’m super excited about this book, not only because I love the characters and the setting (Asheville, NC; my town!) but also because it’s raising money for the Ali Forney Center for homeless GLBTQ youth. It’s a wonderful cause

When my lovely and fabulous editor, Dr. Sarah Frantz, first contacted me about being a part of this Christmas collection, I was interested for a whole list of reasons. First of all, I already knew and respected Sarah as a romance fiction scholar and as a person, so that went a long way. Also, I’d heard good buzz about Riptide both from a reader and an author perspective. Always a good thing. The thing that probably sealed the deal was that twenty percent of the proceeds both from each individual book and from the collection go to the Ali Forney Center. How could I pass that up? The answer is, I could not.

After saying “YES! A thousand times, yes!” the next question was what to write? It needed to be a gay (in this case, m/m) romance. It needed to have a Christmas setting, with a theme of “home” in whatever way I wanted to interpret it. When I started pondering, I found that the answer came to me easily. I was going to take the theme very literally, incorporate our chosen charity, and write about homeless characters who are finding their homes again, both physically and emotionally. Thus Judah Jackson and Tobias Simensen were born.

The setting was easy too. Asheville is a wonderful, colorful, fantastic city, and like every city, we have too many people living day to day without any permanent shelter. I can’t tell anyone’s true story. All I can do is invent one. Or in this case, two. But I wanted to set this book in Asheville. I wanted to imagine what it might be like for my two guys – one who had been homeless for a while, and one who goes from rich to homeless during the book – to meet, get to know each other, and fall in love while living on the street. I wanted to consider how their situation would affect their relationship, and how that relationship would change when the situation changed.

I have to say, I’m pleased with how the book turned out. I hope all of you will be too Thank you so much for stopping by to read today! Enjoy Long the Mile, and all the other books in the Home for the Holidays collection!

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LongTheMile_500x750About Long the Mile:

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find what you really need.

When Judah went to prison for insider trading, he lost everything he thought was important: his business, his money, his power. But when he gets out, homelessness strips him of the one thing he has left: his self-respect. When another homeless man saves him from a beating, he begins to learn to rely on the goodness of those around him.

For Toby, life on the streets has become familiar. Comfortable. So comfortable he wonders if he’s given up on changing his life for the better. Then comes Judah. Formerly rich, newly homeless, all his pride and attitude gone along with his material possessions. Helping Judah feels good. Their unexpected connection—physical and beyond—feels even better.

Their shared situation nurtures a growing closeness that blossoms into something deeper. But when change comes knocking, it will take all their strength to keep fear and insecurity from tearing them apart.

  • 20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit http://www.aliforneycenter.org/.

Author Bio:
Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst. She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row. Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.

Connect with Ally on the interwebs: Twitter    Facebook profile    Facebook fan page    Tumblr    Pinterest    Fiction With Friction group blog   Goodreads   Love Is Blue Yahoo group

LongTheMile_150x300 tour blog jpgContest Details:

Ally’s giveaway:
Comment on this post or any of the other posts in the tour, and you’ll be entered to win an ebook copy of Demon Dog, book one in my Mojo Mysteries series. I’ll pick a winner on December 1st at 5 p.m. EST. Contest is valid worldwide.

Enter your details in the Rafflecopter below and leave a blog post comment to gain entry in the *Home for the Holidays* giveaway! This week of the tour closes at midnight, EST, on November 30th. One grand prize winner will be contacted at the end of the tour on December 16th. Contest is valid worldwide.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Time to give Thanks and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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This is Thanksgiving week for those of us in the United States and for Americans abroad.  It is a holiday associated with family and friends, get togethers and dinners surrounded by those we love.  Traditionally it is also a time we give thanks for the things we have, from health and happiness to work and a place to live and call our own.   These are things that we may take for granted and others are bereft of.  Some by choice, others by force, and many more by fate and a fluctuating economy that seems to favor the wealthy while leaving the rest behind.

Here are some agencies and shelters that could use our help in these times of need.  Notice the scarcity of LGBTQ shelters, including the lack of one in the DC Metro area:

LGBT Shelters:

  • Ali Forney Center:

The mission of the Ali Forney Center “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.aliforneycenter.org.

  • Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc.:

Lost-n-Found is the outgrowth of Saint Lost and Found, an LGBT homeless youth fund project of the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Founded by Rick Westbrook, Art Izzard, and Paul Swicord after each of them experienced being turned away when attempting to place queer youth into local shelters and youth aid programs, the three resolved that something needed to be done to address the immediate need.  Their website: http://lostnfoundyouth.org/

Food Banks:

Most areas have several  food banks in need of canned goods and nonperishables this year.   Here are some in the Metro DC Area:

There are so many worthy organizations out there competing for your attention and assistance.  If you aren’t sure of the organization’s viability as a charity, check with the Charity WatchDog Group with the American Institute of Philanthropy which lists the tops organizations with regard to the amount of money that goes directly to the charity involved.  Here is the link http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html.

If you know of other LGBT  youth shelters or organizations I have left out, please forward the information to me for future use.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.  I have a wonderful week ahead in reviews.  This includes Astrid Amara’s wonderful story Sweet and Sour, Eden Winter’s Corruption, a great anthology, an enchanting fantasy by Alex Beecroft and a timely new release and author blog by Ally Blue that focuses around the relationship of two men who are homeless, Long The Mile:

Monday, Nov. 25:        Corruption by Eden Winter
Tuesday, Nov. 26:        Sweet and Sour by Astrid Amara
Wed., Nov. 27:              Bar None Anthology
Thurs., Nov. 28:            Too Many Fairy Princes by Alex Beecroft,  HappyThanksgiving!
Friday, Nov. 29:            Ally Blue Author Spotlight and Guest Blog for Long The Mile
Sat. Nov. 30:                  Long The Mile by Ally Blue