Rob Rosen on And God Belched (guest blog)

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And God Belched by Rob Rosen

MLR Press
Cover Art: Winterheart Designs

Sales Links:  MLR Press  | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Rob Rosen here today to talk about his latest release And God Belched, out from MLR Press.  Welcome, Rob!

🌎

 

Hello Readers! If you’re looking for a laugh, for some romance with a bit of heat, for a truly unique book, then I invite you to check out my twelfth (and, dare I say, best) novel, And God Belched, published by MLR Press.

Here’s a little bit about the book:

In this riotously funny romantic adventure, Randy and his younger brother, Craig, find themselves in a different universe, on a strange planet, desperately searching for Milo, a handsome stranger in imminent danger, all while being chased by the heavily armed local authorities. And that’s just the start of this epic journey. But what else does fate have in store for our brave heroes? And can one human save two worlds, the handsome alien he’s fallen in love with, his entire family, and a self-aware watch? Read on, dear Earthlings, to find out!

Feel free to pick up a copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/God-Belched-Rob-Rosen-ebook/dp/B078GG9L4P/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

And here’s an excerpt:

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, “let there be light,” and there was light.

Um, you know, sort of.

Actually, in the beginning, God belched out a universe—a big bang of a belch, in fact. It was, so it’s told elsewhere, an odoriferous, gaseous cloud of a rumbling belch. And like all good belches, it was followed by several smaller ones, each forming their own universes, which spread out and filled that above-mentioned void.

Ours was belch number four, the very last one. God had to pound his expansive chest to get that one out. “Oomph,” He said as our existence was made manifest, as out atoms spread outward, trailing those other far greater universes, just before that famous light was flicked on.

Click.

Picture, if you will, four bubbles floating through the blackness, turning end over end as they rapidly grew and expanded, as molecules collided and elements formed: hydrogen and helium and lithium—so that many years later we could have zeppelins and balloons and long-lasting batteries, and all because God was a bit gassy one day.

Anyway, that first belch, that first universe, went to the right; we veered leftward. Those other two, well, they’re not really pertinent to this story. So, for the sake of argument, let’s just say that one went up, the other down. Ta-ta, sister worlds. Live long and, um, prosper.

A year went by, two, then fourteen billion, give or take. I, too, was made manifest: Randy—both a name, namely mine, and an apt adjective. Made, in fact, by mom and dad, belching my way into the void on a cold January morning. Yep, just like it’s said, we truly are made in His image, at least in belching ability.

In any case, on that same January morning, in a universe far, far away—sort of, though, uh, not really—another baby boy was born: Milo. Well, that’s what I called him, anyway. Or at least would, at a time when those two universes happened to decide to play bumper cars together. In any case, his real name was close to a dozen letters long, strung together with nary a vowel to be had. I tried to pronounce it once, and was instantly stricken with a sore throat.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Back to me, Randy—the name, for the time being, not the adjective. I was born in San Francisco, the city by the bay, the city by the gays. I lived high upon a hill, one of the steepest in the city, sort of like a prince in a castle. Though our home was made of steel, not brick, not wood, not even stone. The architect was hoping to design a quake-proof house, or so the legend went. And like so many legends, such was not even close to the actual case, as it turned out. Anyway, we froze in the winter and melted when the sun poked through the endless fog. In other words, our house was wisely one of a kind.

“High upon a hill lives Prince Randy, clad in his ermine cape and golden crown, scepter raised in royal salute.” The story rolled off my mom’s tongue as she fed me Gerber’s mashed peas: my favorite.

FYI, the cape was my blankie, not ermine so much as polyester. The crown was a yellow bowl bought at Safeway. I still own said crown. Now I use it for cereal, as opposed to headwear. The scepter was my rattle. It was bequeathed to my younger brother a couple of years later. These days, I lift my cell phone in royal salute.

All the best and enjoy!

Rob Rosen

www.therobrosen.com

Author of the award-winning novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, and Fierce, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015, and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1 and 2 and 3.

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.

 

Lissa Kasey’s Special Guest Blog: The World’s An Island and her release ‘Painting with Fire (Survivors Find Love #1)

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Painting with Fire (Survivors Find Love #1) by Lissa Kasey

Purchase It Here

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The World’s an Island by Lissa Kasey

In August my family erupted. I was working on Model Investigator, and fighting to finish it through depression and outrage. When it was done I decided I needed something a little cathartic. I wanted to write a story that laid out some of my family history but had a positive ending. It would be my first ever contemporary romance. However, like a lot of my stories, I wanted to create a separate space just for these characters. Instead of putting them on another planet or an alternate world, I decided to put them on a reclusive island I hadn’t known existed until I inquired of a friend for ideas—the San Juan islands in Washington.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a Midwesterner that I didn’t know these islands existed. I’ve never been to that corner of the country, so I was a little surprised by the happy little secret of these islands filled with lavender, alpacas, and state parks. Of course they are islands for the rich now as home prices are in the millions. But I thought, why not? Why not create a little community in the real world for my survivors to live, heal, and find love?

After some research, I decided on Friday Harbor as my location. This appears to be one of the largest and easiest to access islands of the bunch. There’s a town with a hospital, an airport, and a huge state park overlooking the Olympic Mountains. There’s also an alpaca farm and fields of lavender.

There is a state ferry that travels back and forth all day long from the mainland to the islands. Research included looking at traffic cams, searching real estate sites, reviewing maps, and checking out the websites for the island, the fire fighters and police departments of the island, and the farms. Here’s the main website for Friday Harbor: http://www.fridayharbor.com/.

It’s a popular place to get married, spend the day exploring the island, or even summer months hiking in the state park. Sadly, I have not yet been to the island. Though I do plan a trip in the near future.

What I found most appealing about these islands other than being mostly unknown, is that instead of being a tropical getaway for people who want to lay on beaches and drink alcohol, it seems to be a place of quiet exploration, and a slow down of the fast pace we often find ourselves in when on vacation or even just living life. This, to me, felt like the perfect place for my characters to heal.

What would be your ideal place to travel? Do you like to rush around on vacation or just relax? Have you ever been to a secret hideaway like this? Some place unknown to the average individual, maybe even underrated, but beautiful?

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About Painting with Fire

Charlie “Wood Chuck” Fox knows his best friend and fellow wildfire firefighter Jessie Row had a major family break up in her past. Charlie has adopted her into his heart and into his huge family and when Jessie gets word her mother has passed away, Charlie fears returning home is going to tear her up.

Bastian Hart’s choice of career as a doll painter has put him at odds with his family. He’s made a sanctuary for himself on the San Juan Island of Friday Harbor, an hour away from his family. He welcomes his aunt Jessie and her friend Charlie into his house as they all prepare for the upcoming funeral. Charlie and Bastian discover a spark of smoldering fire igniting between them, but Charlie is unwilling to push and Bastian hesitant to trust.

They will have to wade through pain, hate, and fear to find their future together.

Excerpt

Bastian was waiting for him. He was dressed in fitted blue jeans and a thick zip up sweater. His shoes were heavy black leather. Charlie nodded. “Ready?”

“Yes,” Bastian said. “And no. I’m terrified. I’ve never been on a motorcycle before.”

Charlie led him out to the bike, retrieved the helmets from the lockbox in the back of the truck and helped Bastian put on his. He left the visor up and put on his own. “Once I’m on, I want you to swing your legs around it up behind me. Close. Especially since this is your first ride. Your feet go here.” He motioned to the foot rest. “The shield keeps most of the bugs from splattering on us, but if we go really fast you’ll need to wash your clothes when we’re done.”

Bastian’s eyes widened. Charlie grinned since he was teasing, flicked his visor down and swung onto the bike. Bastian hesitated for a moment, like he wasn’t sure he could do it. Then he carefully climbed on behind Charlie. Charlie steadied the bike and turned it on, giving it a minute for the blue tooth to link up. Then he glanced back to see Bastian nervously watching his feet.

“Slide forward,” Charlie told him. “Put your arms around my waist. I won’t let you fall. We’ll start slow, I promise.”

Bastian slid forward. He carefully wrapped his arms around Charlie’s waist, but his grip was loose. Charlie kicked the bike up, it rolled a few feet, and suddenly Bastian was holding on for dear life. Charlie grinned as he eased them down Bastian’s drive, out the gate, and to the main road, keeping their speed just under thirty miles an hour.

Once they hit the long stretch of lavender fields, Charlie pushed the speed up to fifty. Still below the limit, but enough to have Bastian clinging to him and laughing with excitement and joy. Charlie loved the sound. He had to admit he was attracted to Bastian. Not so much how he looked, though he was adorable, but his amazing heart and endurance. Charlie hoped they could at least become friends. As a man who spent most of his life in the field, he didn’t have enough of those outside the job.

Charlie eased the bike down so they could turn around. The sky was darkening.

“There’s a side road not far up that takes us along the coast,” Bastian said.

“Yeah? Let me know where it is and we’ll take a ride that way.”

“Okay.” Bastian rested his head against Charlie’s shoulder. Once they reached the turn off, Charlie turned on the side road, happy it was paved and in good condition. It wasn’t a long road, but the view was spectacular. Charlie pulled over into a small dirt overlook and took off his helmet. The sun was setting and it was spectacular.

“Wow,” Charlie breathed.

Bastian took off his helmet too. “Nothing else matches the colors. Some say it’s the pollen from the lavender that makes sunsets and rises here so colorful. Others say it’s the mix of cold air from the mountains and the warmth of the water.” He didn’t let go of Charlie; his body heat warmed Charlie. They watched in silence as the sun set. Final traces of the sun’s glow vanishing into a dark blue night. Stars appeared in the thousands.

“No wonder you create such beautiful things with this inspiring view to fuel your muse,” Charlie remarked.

Author Bio:

Lissa Kasey is more than just romance. She specializes in depth characters, detailed world building, and twisting plots to keep you clinging to your book reader. All stories have a side of romance, emotionally messed up protagonists and feature LGBTGA spectrum characters facing real world problems no matter how fictional the story.

Jackie Nacht Talks Inspiration behind ‘Engineering Love’ on Release Day! (giveaway and guest blog)

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engineering-love-by-jackie-nachtEngineering Love by Jackie Nacht
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press

Release Date:Early Download at Rainbow Ninja Press – 5 October 2016
Third Party Pre Order – 12 October 2016
General Release – 19 October 2016

Buy Links

Rainbow Ninja Press – http://www.rainbowninjapress.com/engineering-love
Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers – https://payhip.com/b/uDr2

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  have Jackie Nacht here today to talk about her latest story Engineering Love and the inspiration behind it.  Welcome, Jackie!

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Georgia Peaches and Spaghetti Junction

First, Id’ like to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today. Thank you!

Okay so what inspired Engineering Love? Well I guess it was the setting.

Engineering Love was based on a place I used to live. Suwanee, Georgia. It was a way to go back and remember the places I used to love to visit and see with my husband while we lived there for six years.  The Suwanee Trail was some place we often ran and my husband named parts of the trail in the story as I used to torture him on our runs. evil cackle

Spaghetti Junction was a place of horror for me. More than once, when I was going down to SunTrust to work, I got lost or seen things unimaginable in the morning commute. You better believe the stuff that happened in the book to Adrian are things I saw. And more…so much more…LOL

Every road began with Peachtree…No joke. I lived off of Old Peachtree, Peachtree Industrial and Peachtree Parkway. It was a miracle I made it to my destination. LOL Oh and giving direction to my family wipes the tears of laughter from my eyes It was hysterical hearing the silence or curses (depending on which family member I was helping) on the other line as they made their way from Hartsfield-Jackson.

On our anniversaries, we used to enjoy going to Buckhead and eat at Bones. Lenox Mall, Mall of Georgia were our stomping grounds.

My husband and I had two sweet children in Georgia. To this day I call them my little peaches.

So, in a way, it was going down memory lane destination wise. I have a great fondness for Georgia and yeah, I think it make a great setting for two college boys finding love.

Hugs,

Jackie Nacht

Blurb

When north meets south, sparks fly.

Adrian is a student from a northern college transferring to Georgia Tech. Used to seeing snowmobiles outnumbering the cars on campus, Adrian finds himself living in a state hotter than hell and feeling completely lost in the heart of Atlanta. A chance encounter introduces him to Davis who Adrian knows is trouble, but can’t help falling for.

Davis is the picture of big man on campus and oozes with confidence, at least until he meets Adrian.  Something about Adrian has Davis’s usual charm flying out of the window and everything goes from smooth to hell as Davis tries to make Adrian his own.

Between awkward dates, second-degree burns, study sessions, and snow, the two stumble their way into a relationship neither had planned. Will Davis give up the bachelor life to take a chance at a relationship with Adrian, or will he walk away from something special just to stick to his original plan?

Excerpt

Ten minutes until kickoff and it was like every person in the student body had showed up. Adrian was squished next to Mark and a girl wearing glitter tattoos on her cheeks. She and her friend were taking selfies, and somehow, Adrian got tugged into one.

“What’s your name?” the girl hollered.

He leaned in, yelling, “Adrian.”

“Mara.” She smiled over at him.

“Mara!” a guy called from behind them, then he landed on Adrian’s back.

“Careful, Davis!” Mara yelled.

Bending over from the weight of the guy, Adrian would have face-planted into the person in front of him if it hadn’t been for Mark grabbing his shirt. The fucking game hadn’t started, and he was about to be on the injury list. And Adrian wasn’t even playing in the game!

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” The guy on his back grabbed him and wrapped an arm around Adrian’s chest.

The person in front of him turned with a scowl on his face before he smirked at the man behind him and raised his hand. “Davis!”

Hands clapped over his head, and the damn bull in the china shop behind him still had his arm around Adrian.

The two chatted above him, and Adrian glanced over at Mark who was rolling his eyes. “That’s Davis.”

Oh yeah, because that explained everything. It’s Davis so it’s natural to start chatting it up with Adrian snuggled right in. Boundaries, people, boundaries. Apparently, tackle-boy Davis seemed to know everyone since people all around shouted his name. Adrian felt Davis’s deep chuckle and wondered why the hell he was still being held by him.

Adrian turned and glanced over his shoulder, then kind of wished he hadn’t. Davis was laughing while talking to the guy Adrian almost fell into before. Davis was hot… like hotter than Atlanta. Black hair and a five o’clock shadow around a strong jaw. Built enough to belong on the football field and damn, and he had light ice-blue eyes. Adrian had an urge to reach out and touch Davis’s face to make sure he was fucking real. The only thing that detracted from the model-perfect looks was a small scar on his bottom lip, which Adrian thought was sexy as hell. The white line bisected plump full lips, which made Adrian want to kiss it. And he shouldn’t be thinking that.

With a small twist of his arm, Adrian was free of Davis. He glanced back at him.

“Don’t trample the newb, Davis,” Luke hollered from down the row.

Davis’s blue eyes glinted in the noonday sun, and a crooked smile appeared on his face. Adrian felt like prey in the presence of a predator, trapped by a sea of fifty-five thousand people.

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32324708-engineering-love

Categories: M/M Romance, Gay Fiction, New Adult
Word Count: 20,802

About the Author

Short, sexy and sweet—where a little love goes a long way.

That’s the best way to describe Jackie Nacht’s stories. I was introduced to M/M Romance through my sister, Stephani, and read it for years. Then, I thought it was time to put my own stories on paper. I began writing short and sweet stories that ended with a happily ever after…and sometimes more than one, in the case of my YA Fork in the Road series, which has interactive endings.

Thinking back to my own book addiction, where there were many nights I stayed up way too late so I could read just one more chapter—yeah, right—I decided to write short romances for young adults as well as adults. Hopefully, they will give high school and college students, or working men and women something they can read during their lunch hour, in between classes or just when they want to briefly get away from the daily stresses of everyday life.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.nacht
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieNacht
Website: www.jackienacht.com
Blog: www.jackienacht.com
Email: jackie.nacht@yahoo.com

Giveaway

Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Rafflecopter Prize: Engineering Love (PDF)

In the Spotlight: Book, Line, and Sinker by L.J. LaBarthe

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Book, Line, and Sinker by L.J. LaBarthe
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art by Reese Dante

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback

Blurb

After seventeen years serving in the Australian Army, Ash returns to his childhood home in the outback town of Quorn. Filled with the desire to live a happy life in peace and with loved ones, Ash is grimly determined to beat his PTSD and tackle his flashbacks.

What Ash isn’t prepared for is Jaxon, the new librarian in Quorn. Jaxon is calm, gentle, kind, and a rock for Ash’s battered psyche. Ash finds himself falling for the handsome newcomer, even as his mind and memories of the past torment him.

When he has the idea for a mobile library to bring books and entertainment to remote communities in the far north, Ash is delighted that Jaxon is with him every step of the way. But though the library, called Book, Line, and Sinker, takes off, Ash’s past continues to plague him. Can Jaxon’s love be enough to keep them together until Ash is strong enough to stand on his own?

Excerpt

“I’ll have a look.” Ash dropped down into a squat and leaned forward to read the spines of the books on the bottom shelves. There were several rows of children’s books, and he started pulling titles out, making a neat stack beside him. Before long, he had gathered quite a collection, and he stood up, grunting as his knees protested

from being in one position for so long.

“Not a bad haul,” Jaxon said, looking at the stack. “Need some help carrying it over to the register?”

“Yeah, thanks. Did you find anything?”

“A few things. I took my armload over to the counter already.”

“That was quick.” Ash grinned.

“Just call me Book Man, swifter than… something really swift.”

Ash laughed. “Righto, Book Man. Want to give me a hand here?”

Jaxon bent down to grab half the stack and stood, huffing out a breath. “They’re heavier than they look.”

“I know.” Ash grabbed the rest of the pile and stood.

“Where’s Evie?”

“Looking at toys. She thought a toy library would be a good thing to have as well, not just books and games.”

“She’s a bloody genius.” Ash followed Jaxon as he went to the counter, where a large cardboard box sat. An elderly woman was carefully packing it with paperbacks and a few hard covers, and Ash and Jaxon set their armloads of books down beside it.

“That’s a lot of books, boys,” the lady said with a warm smile on her face.

“Reading is awesome,” Jaxon said.

“I found some toys and games as well,” Evie said as she joined them. “No DVDs, though.”

“Sorry, love, a gentleman cleaned out our DVD stock last week,” the lady said.

“Oh well. Can’t win ’em all, right?” Evie grinned up at her brother and Ash grinned back. “Shall I go get the car? This lot’s going to be really heavy.”

“That’s a great idea.” Ash pulled the keys out of the pocket of his jeans and handed them to her. “Here. Go for it.”

“What about…?”

“I’ll pay for it. It’s all good.” Ash made a little shooing motion with his hands. Evie rolled her eyes at him.

“I’m going.”

About the Author

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

You can find her at the following places:

Lex Chase is Here! Answering Questions and Talking About ‘Chasing Sunrise’ (author guest blog)

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Hello, Internet! I’m Lex Chase, and the super amazing Melanie was kind enough to let me drop by today to talk to you about my DSP Publications release Chasing Sunrise.

It’s about King Sevon Marate, ruler of the cannibalistic†aisa, as he struggles to escape domestic violence and save his crumbling kingdom. It’s a dark story, featuring torture, war, genocide, but also one of hope and escape is possible. But make no mistake it is a story of how far would you go to survive and how love makes monsters of us all.

Melanie has me in the hot seat today as she asks some burning questions! So here we go!

Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?† A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

Chasing Sunrise is kind of drawn from all over the place. One of the toughest topics it deals with is domestic violence. I myself am a domestic violence survivor and I draw upon my own experiences for some of Sevon’s traits. Domestic violence is a complicated situation, and for those that have never experienced it have a tendency to be highly judgmental. From the victim’s POV we†believe we can “fix” our abuser and we†believe that if we’re obedient that our abuser will love us, or being†convinced the victim has nowhere to go, or how will they live. From an outsider’s perspective they often think the victim is “stupid” for staying or “deserve” what they get. Isn’t that terrible? We’re all taught to†say†something, yet pass judgement.

Sevon’s story with domestic violence is†far more complex because courtly politics is involved. If he doesn’t cooperate his entire kingdom will crumble and his people will surely die. And he can’t just†leave because he’s terrified of humans, and if they discover what he is, he’ll be killed. He†can’t seek asylum in another†aisa kingdom because they’re allies of his abuser. He’s completely convinced he can’t survive on his own, but he has to do†something.

That is… until an opportunity for escape presents itself in the form of the kindhearted shifter named Jack. But Sevon’s sense of trust has been so completely distorted that he wants to trust him but is conflicted if it’s another trap. It’s called hyper-vigilance, a very real symptom that comes with trauma and ptsd. While someone may show him kindness, any slight†sign that something might be amiss leads to panic. Even if there’s no such signal, and the kindness is genuine, you just never know and expect the other shoe to drop at†any moment.

Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And †why?

I’m a planner. A†super hardcore†planner. I’m a very scattered person mentally, and I write my outlines in a numbered list. My outlines run 10 to 15k a pop (like a short novella basically) where essentially it’s like I’m “pre-writing” the book. I call my outlines “The Directions” and as long as I follow them, it all works out. They sometimes include entire chunks of dialogue for a scene, or an entire chapter, or fight scene, or all the above. That way when I get to the scene I can just cut and paste into my doc and revise it to fit the story.

Also when I plan with as much detail as I do I actually†do have the ability to go ahead and write non-linear if I’m stuck on a scene and I can skip ahead. I actually don’t believe in the “oh! The characters do whatever they want to do!” That’s a sign of someone who’s a pantser. I’m in complete control of my characters. I acknowledge if I want to pursue tangents. I understand my ideas change. If something isn’t working. I come up with something different.

I listen to that voice inside of me, not†The Muse everyone talks about, but my†own voice, my gut, when I feel something is or isn’t right. If I kill one of my characters (and I’ve killed quite a few!) it’s a decision I consciously make. It’s even in my outline that this person dies, and how, and the fallout. I’m not GASP surprised or oh noes! I didn’t plan for that! Now do I sob hysterically while I do it?†Oh hell yes! I cry over my books all the damned time. And by the way, that’s not weird either no matter what people think.

Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?† Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

Memoirs actually! I looooove memoirs! Reading about “Real People Drama” as I call it helps inspire “Fictional People Drama.” Also people telling their stories and certain turns of phrases they use, or sentence structures and vocabulary. One of my favorite memoirs I always come back to is Anderson Cooper’s Dispatches from the Edge where he narrates the audiobook version as well. Just wonderful word choice told by a fascinating person!

If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

Ooooh. Tough one. I think it would have to be Memphis Rook from my first DSP Publications release†Checkmate Ever After.We never see his POV in the anthology, but in the first book, I had deliberately written him as the stereotypical comic book anti-hero. And while some readers adored him, I think he was missing a little more depth. In the first installment I feel he was a little cardboard and wooden. And while he gets a thousand times better as the anthology progresses.

Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

Yes! And I have so many for differing reasons. Among my favorites are Taylor and Corentin from the Screw-Up Princess and Skillful Huntsman series. Despite being fairy tale characters, they’re so†ordinary and they’re doing the best they can with what they have. They’re not exactly living high on the hog, but they’re just two totally normal guys who are kind of a pair of fuck-ups…and one happens to be a dude princess and the other a huntsman.

Also I love Jack and his brother Kaltag from Chasing Sunrise. Jack is probably the most genuine and†good character I’ve ever written. He’s patient, kind, and compassionate to a fault. Kaltag is brave, proud, pretty sassy, and stands up for what he believes in, and is a devoted father. And while it’s mentioned in passing, he and his wife Mirabelle are both bisexual.

If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

Considering I visited LaGuardia all of once when visiting fellow DSP Publications author C.S. Poe, I’d want her novel The Mystery of Nevermore coming late this summer. It’s the first in her Snow & Winter series and I got to read the proof. Holy crap I have such feelings. C.S. makes me want to be a better writer, hands down. It’s about a completely colorblind antique dealer, Sebastian Snow and a hard as nails detective Calvin Winter as they try to solve a mystery involving the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I can’t stop telling people about this book. I’ve never felt this excited before. She’s been sending me bits of the sequel and I’m like nnnnngggghhhhh *grabby haaaannnnds!*

How early in your life did you begin writing?

Like… seriously as a career? Or telling stories in general? In general when I was about 11. I came up for the world of Chasing Sunrise when I was 13. Yes it’s that old. As a career, I’d say about seven years ago when I first seriously pursued publication. Chasing Sunrise was actually rejected 15 times until I completely revamped it and submitted to Dreamspinner Press and Sweet 16 was the lucky number.

Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

In third grade, our teacher read to the class after lunch. Two of the stories that stuck with me were Eddie and Gardenia by Carolyn Haywoodand James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. There’s a nod to Eddie and Gardenia in Checkmate Ever After, and James and the Giant Peach gets a reference in the upcoming final Screw-Up Princess novel Urban Fairy Tale. While childhood memories are hazy, I very clearly recall my teacher hesitating with shock and tears at the end of Eddie and Gardenia because spoiler alert, things don’t end well for Gardenia. James and the Giant Peach was just total bananas. It made me want to live in a giant peach and fly away to New York City. When Tim Burton made the movie with stop-motion animation it was just….so delightfully odd.

What question would you ask yourself here?

Question: How can you†possibly†have loved the ending of Lost! It was such crap!

Answer:†Shut your face! It was beautiful. It was about the journey, not the destination. I will take you to the carpet.

If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

Dr. Chase: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Learned To Love The Bombshell

Thank you for having me Melanie! And noooow a question for the crowd! Sorry Melanie, I have to crib it! If your life was a romance novel, what would the title be?

Come follow me on Facebook and Twitter for Blog Tour Updates!

 



Genre: Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Length: Novel
Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN: 978-1-63476-355-4
Buy: DSP Publications†| Omnilit | Amazon |†Barnes and Noble

Blurb:

The once glorious aisa kingdom of Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon MaratÈ is trapped. Sevon endures unrelenting abuse and is used as a scapegoat by Lord Dominic Ravensgrove, who rules Darkmore from the shadows. Coping by dressing in gowns and jewels, the effeminate king relishes the scraps of freedom he is given to be himself.

As a verkolai, Sevon possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift provides a chance for escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. When Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous shifter land of Priagust, he manipulates Sevonís desperation for his peopleís survival. Out of options, Sevon has no choice but to cooperate.

On their foray into Priagust, Dominic’s men abduct a shifter named Jack. Despite being tortured for information, Jack’s loyalty to his kind never wavers. But Jackís knowledge about Darkmoreís history unsettles Sevon, and a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevonís mistrust, Jack is determined to tame the beautiful kingís wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom.

As war looms, Sevon fears Jackís kindness is another trap. Conflicted, Sevon wonders if he should risk chasing the sunrise or remain Dominic’s compliant prisoner.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.


I’m giving away a super awesome $25 USD Amazon Gift Card! What do you have to do? Leave a comment down below and click the giveaway graphic to follow me on Twitter and Facebook or Share, Tweet, or Hashtag! So many ways to enter!

Totally cribbing off Melanie with much love! If your life was a romance novel, what would the title be?

Come follow me on Facebook and Twitter for Blog Tour Updates!


About the Author:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, ìWeíre all going to die, Iím just trying to make it a little more interesting.î Now, sheís on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventureóand depending on how she feels that dayóLex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If youíre going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldnít last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

You can find in the Intarwebz here:

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J.A. Rock Talks Bed Bath & Beyond and the latest release,Manties in a Twist (The Subs Club, #3) -giveaway

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Manties in a Twist (The Subs Club, #3) by J.A. Rock
Riptide Publishing
Cover art by Kanaxa

Purchase a Copy/Read an Excerpt here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.A. Rock here today to talk about the latest in The Subs Club series, Manties in a Twist and share a little insight into the book and characters. Welcome, J.A.!

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Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release Manties in a Twist—Book 3 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win your choice of two backlist ebooks and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Bed Bath & Beyond

Full disclosure: I’ve never been inside a Bed Bath & Beyond, the store that Ryan and Kamen make their bitch in Manties in a Twist as they decorate their new apartment. I’ve only heard tell of BB&B in legend. My mom’s obsessed. My brother made multiple trips there when he moved in with his girlfriend. Even my sister has purchased linens there. But for some reason it’s this terrifying and magical place that I’m afraid to set foot in.

I’m not much of a decorator. I made my roommates pick out all the stuff for our apartment. I don’t really see what’s wrong with having a coffee table that’s missing one leg. I did, for research purposes during Manties, browse the BB & B online store, but I feel like that doesn’t do it justice. I’m picturing an epic castle of home necessities—a place where, like Pier One and Crate & Barrel, I would a) not know what anything is called, except maybe “towels” and b) break something valuable within ten minutes of stepping inside.

The part I’m most curious about is the “beyond.” I understand what I might find in the bed and bath sections, but “beyond” just seems so…vast. Are we talking kitchen? Automotive? Lawn and garden? Is there a small, sad food court, like at SuperTarget?

I don’t have plans to investigate anytime soon, so I guess I’ll just have to keep imagining this veritable Eden of domestic merchandise—this place that seems like an adulthood rite of passage, that makes Kamen and Ryan feel like they’ve finally conquered growing up. Any BB & B fans here? Is it something I should try once? Or is it overrated?

About Manties in a Twist

MantiesInATwist_600x900Look, I’ll never stop missing Hal, but this Subs Club my friends started to review suck-ass doms isn’t gonna bring him back or give him justice. For me, it’s just another chance to hang out with my friends, even if they think I’m too dumb to understand the important work we’re supposedly doing.

But maybe I’m not as dumb as they think—at least I know when I’ve got a good thing going. Which is why I just moved in with my dom. Ryan’s awesome possum. He’s really short, never makes me feel stupid, and is up for anything. One word: costumes. Two more words: women’s underwear. We’re all about the lace, no leather.

Except when we do pony play. We first tried it as a joke, but turns out I’m ballin’ at it. Now PetPlayFest is coming up, and I wanna take down the Subs Club’s archrival, Cinnamon the ponygirl, in the horse show.

My friends think I’m spending too much time with Ryan and ignoring my obligations to the group. But since when is friendship an obligation? Ryan’s my first serious relationship, and I want to take it . . . seriously. At some point I need to think about my future, not my past.

—Kamen

About the Subs Club series

After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

About the Author

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take The Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Connect with J.A. Rock:

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Giveaway

To celebrate, J.A. is giving away your choice of two ebooks from her backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 9, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Check out the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Love, Joy, Heartache & Pain by John H. Ames (author guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

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AboutTheBook

LJHP_Ames 600x900TITLE: Love, Joy, Heartache & Pain

AUTHOR: John H. Ames

PUBLISHER: Ai Press

COVER ARTIST: Sid Love

LENGTH: 207 Pages

RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2016

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain!

Love, Joy Heartache and Pain is my latest work of fiction under my pen name, John H. Ames. There are a few little things behind this novel that you might find a little interesting and odd. I’ll be sharing ten of them with you today in hopes that I might keep you entertained and distracted for a few minutes. So? Are you guys ready? Okay, here we go!

  • Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain is a collection of three short stories that when combined act as a full-length novel. However, I can safely say that each story can stand on their own. You don’t have to read all three. You can only read one or two. You can read them in any order and whenever you want.
  • Each story stars a different couple. You won’t see the same couple in all three stories. You might learn what happened to them and what they are up to, but that will be it. This way each story can stand on its own and complement each other if you read all three.
  • Each story conveys a different emotion that I was going through when I wrote them. Once you read all three stories, you’ll see that I’m a very emotional individual. When I wrote these stories, I was in a very emotional place. Reviews from my first novel dropped and readers bashed it left and right. It really hurt my feelings and the only way to release all that anger and frustration was by writing it down. And let me tell you, the finish result was amazing! I love these short stories. They might not be perfect, but they’re mine and they’re my babies.
  • Each story is dedicated to a special someone. I wanted to thank everyone that has been with me since day one or inspired me in one way or the other. From my fans to my haters, I thanked them all with a short and sweet dedication.
  • The first story channels a little Freaky Friday. I’m a huge movie lover. When I’m not writing, reading, or working, I’m definitely seeing an old movie or the latest one. I can definitely say that the first story was inspired a little by Freaky Friday. Yes, a little. Not a lot since they’re huge differences between the two. I simply borrowed ‘the switching of bodies’ idea and added a lot of more twisted turns. If you read a little closer, there’s a huge A Cinderella Story reference in the first story as well. I won’t tell you where, you just have to read it.
  • Nick and John, from Surviving Elite High, are mentioned in one of the stories. I know lots of you are a Nick and John fan. So I wanted to give you a small preview about my favorite couple in the world. Pretty soon you’ll be able to know what happened to them after graduating from Elite High in Surviving Elite High: The Next Generation.
  • Each story has its very own theme song. I decided to pick a theme song for each one. Do you guys want to know what they are? Fine! You pressured me into telling you. The three songs are: Quando, Quando, Quando by Michael Buble, Spirit Indestructible by Nelly Furtado, and Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Marilyn Manson. I think each song tells a lot about each story. Look at these three songs like a soundtrack to Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain.
  • The second story is based on an urban legend. We’ve all heard the legend of the Vanishing Hitchhiker. This is the urban legend in where people traveling by car meet a hitchhiker that subsequently vanishes without explanation from their moving vehicle. This urban legend is so popular worldwide that it immediately caught my attention. I was fascinated by it and decided to write my very own version with a very cool and unexpected plot. I really hope you enjoy it because, out of all three, the second story is my favorite one.
  • The last story can be a little controversial since it’s very special in many ways. The Lake View Psychopath can be a little gory and the ending might shock you. Many who have read it have asked me the same question over and over again. Was it all a dream? Did it really happened? Read it and you tell me. The ending is not ambiguous at all. If you look at it closely, you’ll see the answer staring you in the face.
  • I’m seriously thinking about writing another set of three unique short stories similar to Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain. Depending on how well this novel is received, I might pen down a second part to Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain with three different couples and three different stories.

There you go guys! I really hope you enjoyed reading these ten little things. I definitely loved writing them and sharing them with you. These small little things show you that authors don’t simply sit down and write down anything that comes into their minds. Everything is well planned out and calculated. You guys want to stalk me? Look me up at https://johnhenryamesbooks.wordpress.com/ or email me at authorjha@gmail.com. See you soon!

BLURB: A collection of new entwined stories by best-selling Young Adult author, John H. Ames. Love that reaches beyond the boundaries of the physical realm…

Swapatize!

The not so unrealistic detailed account of how my best friend and I swapped bodies for a short period of time. -High school is one of the most excruciating and painful periods of any teenager’s life. To Kyle, it’s hell on earth. Being the target of the jocks made him hate high school more than anything in the world. All he has is his best friend and the center of the jock’s interest, the beautiful Kylie Bursnell. But Kylie is not your typical beauty. She hates the jocks even more than Kyle, especially Lucas Edward Johnson, a jock who is madly in love with her and Kyle’s forbidden dream. After a bizarre and freaky night, they swap bodies and are force to live each other’s live. Can this actually be true? Has Kyle’s dream come true? Will he be able to love Lucas Edward Johnson unconditionally until the end of time? Or is their love nothing but a beautiful dream enveloped in heartache and pain?

The Spirit Indestructible

Brandon Angelo William has it all. He’s hot, popular, shy, humble, and one of the typical and regular guys in high school. But, unbeknownst to everyone, he’s a closeted gay teen who came out to his parents the previous year. They loved and accepted him with open arms so what more could Brandon want? Love. The one thing that his soul and body need. After a late night out with his best friend, Kevin, Brad sees one of the most beautiful guys he has ever laid eyes on. But could the teen in front of him be real? Or is he the legendary hitching ghost that everyone talks about? Brad needs to find out and what he discovers shocks him and changes his young life forever…

The Lake View Psychopath

Jocks beware, he’s here and he’s not scared. Ashton Hall hates his existence at Lake View High. The jocks have made his life a living hell and his friends have completely turned their backs on him. Why? For being gay and dating the love of his life, Austin Young. Almost overnight, they became the center of every joke and every bully’s paradise. To make matters worse, even the school’s coach allows his ‘jock superstars’ to make fun of them.

But everything the night Austin Young is brutally murdered by the jocks and they walk free. Something snaps inside Ashton’s head and the only think he can think of is revenge. Will Ashton come to his sense and let Austin go? Or will he become one of the greatest serial killers of all time?
Excerpt

And there I stood, at the entrance of the school, wishing I were anywhere else but in this goddamn rat hole of hypocrites, liars and backstabbers.

“Move it loser!” Andrew shouted, knocking me to the side.

And then there was Andrew Cooper. He and a couple of his jock friends laughed and teased me as they walked inside the building. Andrew Cooper, the asshole jock, was the main reason why I hated my life at Gelson High. I couldn’t wait for graduation at the end of the year, so he could kiss my white ass goodbye once and for all. I loathed that pathetic little loser with all my heart, body and soul.

“Take comfort in the fact that this is his fifth year here.” A voice behind me caused me to immediately turn around.

And there she was, Kylie Bursnell, in all her glory. Now, since she is my best friend, me, a geeky little loser who’s afraid of a big, muscular jock, many of you may think that might make Kylie either a nerd or a reject from hell. Well, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, Kylie is one of the cheerleaders on the Gelson High cheerleading squad. The girl is a freaking bombshell! Every guy wants her, except for my other best friend, Josh, the rebel of our senior class. That’s the clichéd part of this story. For some reason, he doesn’t like her, or they just don’t click. You may be wondering why a girl like her would even be friends with a loser like me since cheerleaders are mostly shallow, arrogant and mean. Well, she’s not the typical cheerleader, that’s for sure. She is real and down to earth, just like me.

 

BuyLinks

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

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AuthorBio

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Juan H. Alvarado was born in El Salvador C.A. He currently lives in Belize and began writing in 2008. He posted some of his work on an internet website, and after receiving positive feedback, he completed several full-length novels under his pen name, John Henry Ames. His first completed novel is Surviving Elite High. The story chronicles the life of a gay sixteen-year-old boy as he makes his way through life as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. His passions are writing, reading and spending time with the ones he loves.

||  Website & Blog  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Goodreads  ||

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TourSchedule

March 31: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words :: The Purple Rose Tea House

April 1: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents :: Love Bytes Reviews

April 4: Man2ManTastic

April 5: Cia’s Stories

April 6: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings :: Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

April 7: Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words :: Divine Magazine

April 8: MM Book Escape

April 11: Frosty’s Book Corner :: Diverse Reader

April 12: Drops of Ink

April 13: Alpha Book Club

April 14: Joyfully Jay

April 15: The Novel Approach

April 16: Prism Book Alliance

 

Kate Steele is Back! Join Her As She Talks Writing and her New Release ‘Amended Soul (Mated Heart and Soul #2)’ (author guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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Amended Soul

Amended Soul (Mated Heart and Soul #2) by Kate Steele

Published by Loose id LLC
Cover Artist Valerie Tibbs

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so lucky to have Kate Steele here to talk about her return to writing and her new novel, Amended Soul.  Welcome, Kate, we are so happy to see a new story from you again.

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Hello Everyone! My name is Kate Steele and I’m going to talk to you about writing. Boring, right? Maybe? Still, when I was offered the opportunity to write a short blog piece for Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words I told myself it would be a good thing to do. Trouble is, I’m sitting here trying to think of something interesting and different to say. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but with that in mind, let’s begin with something completely open and honest.

I do my best writing in the bathroom. Seriously. I’ve had more ideas and character conversations come to mind in the bathroom than any other place. And no, smarty-pants, not while I’m sitting on the john. Mostly when I’m in the shower. You have no idea how many times I’ve ended up lost in thought, soap in one hand, washcloth in the other, while entire scenes are playing in my head.

What I need is for someone to invent a waterproof tablet with keyboard or some such that I can stick to the shower wall with some of those plastic suction cups. I might end up radically pruney, but I’d have a darn good story going by the time I got through my shower.

Okay, then. Did that loosen everyone up? I hope so because frankly I would like to talk a bit about my experiences while writing my latest book, Amended Soul. I’m going to be quite honest here and tell you this was one of the most difficult books for me to write and not for reasons you might expect. I started and finished this book in 2011 or thereabouts and it was accepted for publication with the usual condition that whatever changes and edits were deemed necessary would be done. As always, I was totally okay with that until my editor and I knocked heads. By this time I had been writing pretty much everyday nonstop for the past six or seven years. I was close to burnout level and the conflict flipped the switch. I walked away leaving Amended Soul behind me.

Four years later and after many times thinking that I felt like writing again, I finally took the bull by the horns and did it. I unearthed Amended Soul, reread it and did major rewrites keeping in mind some of the suggested changes made by my editor. When it was done I was actually much happier with the new version, though some of those editor-suggested changes still bugged me. With the book once again done, I submitted the new version for publication. It was accepted and I was assigned an editor. A different editor, one who felt those unwanted changes I had made were unnecessary, and who suggested they should be removed.

You’d think I would have been happy, right? Wrong. To be told the changes I had unwillingly made and compromised my vision for, were no longer desired was, to put it mildly, a slap in the face. I had invested hours agonizing over and rewriting large sections of the book. And for what? Nothing. No reason at all. I was so shocked and disheartened that I came very close to scrapping the whole project and retreating once again into non-writing limbo.

Thing is, I really wanted to do this book and maybe those years I was away from writing made me see how precious it was to me, this being able to tell a story, and so I persevered and Amended Soul saw its release in March of 2016. It took five years and basically Amended Soul went through three incarnations. The final result was different than I expected it to be. Better in some ways, but not, in my opinion, others, but that’s okay and I’ll tell you why. I learned a very important lesson.

Do not compromise your vision.

Editing is a wonderful thing and essential for a well turned out story. I have the utmost respect for editors, but in the long run the story you write is yours. If suggestions are made that you feel improve things, be honest and flexible enough to go with it. Your readers and ultimately I believe you, the writer, will be glad you did. But you also have to know when to stand fast and stick to your guns. It’s your story and to retain the joy you had in writing it, you have to be true to yourself.

Now that I’ve learned that lesson I’m ready to go on, and in fact have several new works in progress. Coming back to writing has made me happier than I can say, and I’m now keeping pen and paper in the bathroom to write down those ideas and character conversations that so easily come to mind when I’m soaking wet. However, it’s not easy to write on damp paper so please, if anyone ever hears of a waterproof laptop, contact me immediately!     

Amended Soul Blurb

Amended SoulJamie Hardin has had his fair share of ups and downs. He’s been widowed once and divorced once with extreme prejudice. Due to the machinations of his ex-wife, Jamie’s son Rio ran away at sixteen. Now, two years later, Jamie has the chance to reconnect with Rio. To do so, he moves himself and his five-year-old adopted son to a new town, in a new state to start over. The welcome he receives from Rio is everything Jamie had wanted, what he wasn’t prepared for was Jed Matranga. From the moment they meet, a simple handshake is all it takes to light a fire Jamie has no idea how to handle.

Jed Matranga, single werewolf, has just met his mate. In addition to being gentle, caring and clever, Jamie’s emotionally wounded. He’s also not gay. For Jed it will be the challenge of a lifetime to prove to Jamie that trusting his own judgment is the right thing to do, and where relationships are concerned, it’s feelings and not gender that matters.

Amended Soul Excerpt, Warning/Contains Explict Content

Crossing an open stretch of grass, Jamie headed toward a large oak tree he’d spotted earlier in the day. Chill settled against his toes, a product of dew-wet leather, though his skin remained dry. All around him was the sounds of crickets, frogs, and the occasional cry of some night bird in the distance. The fields bordering Mick and Rio’s property had been planted with corn, and Jamie was fascinated by the look of it. During the day, it resembled a living, seven-feet-tall green-and-brown fence—stalks of corn marching around the perimeter in precise, evenly spaced order. Now, enshrouded in darkness, those stalks resembled a rough, shadowy wall.

Reaching the tree, Jamie stopped and leaned against its sturdy trunk, drinking in the night’s ambiance. A slight breeze caused some of the drying corn leaves to dance and make suggestive rattles. The sound prompted thoughts of movies he’d seen in which cornfields had hosted everything from demon-worshipping children to aliens. A sudden shiver slid down Jamie’s spine, and apprehension stole the peace he had found.

Straightening his stance, he prepared to head back to the house. Before taking a single step, Jamie heard the sound of something making its way through the corn. “No way,” he whispered and froze.

A large canine shape stepped from between the concealing stalks, and at that moment, a bank of clouds obscured the sky.

Fear gripped Jamie. In the dark, he strained to see. A dog. It was a dog. Wasn’t it? Jangling nerves screamed at Jamie to run. He held his ground. To run was to be chased. Still, instinct tore at him. Run from danger. Run away. Run!

Jamie trembled with effort. Be still, intellect whispered. Silence reigned. Even the crickets had ceased to sing. Jamie’s breaths rang harsh. Enfolded in darkness, he waited, until the clouds unveiled the moon.

The silvery light revealed a wolf, large and wild. Its unwavering gaze rested on Jamie. In spite of his fear, Jamie was struck by a sense of wonder. The wolf was beautiful. In the moonlight, it became magical, unearthly, unreal. When the wolf moved, reality reasserted itself. Jamie drew a harsh breath. This was no vision.

The distance between them closed. Pausing, the wolf stared. Its muzzle lifted, its nose twitching. Forever passed in seconds until a wavering distortion in the space between them broke the spell of stillness. Blinking to clear his vision, Jamie stared into a darkening veil of nothingness. The wolf was engulfed. What emerged was a man. A naked man.

Jed.

“Jamie? I don’t believe it. What are you doing out here?”

Relief made Jamie light-headed. He sagged back against the welcome support of the oak tree. “Walk,” he said, finding his voice. “Couldn’t sleep. I was taking a walk.”

Jed approached and halted mere inches away. One of his hands landed on the trunk above Jamie’s shoulder, and the other cupped Jamie’s face. Shivers raced over Jamie’s skin as a surge of desire punched him swift and hard. Jed’s eyes glowed, lit from within by something free and untamed. In their gleam, Jamie could see the wolf, its presence mixed with that of the man. Rather than shrink from such an alien sight, he stared, fascinated.

“You all right? I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“I’m fine. My feet wouldn’t move, but my heart tried to make a break for it.”

Jed chuckled. His hand traveled from Jamie’s cheek, over his jaw, and down his throat before coming to rest flat over Jamie’s heart. “It is pounding pretty hard. Jamie, I…”

“What?”

“Earlier today. I pushed.” Jed withdrew his hand from Jamie’s chest. “Probably a little too much.”

The warmth where he had touched Jamie began to dissipate. Losing it felt wrong, like something Jamie would regret. “No.” Jamie grabbed Jed’s hand, guiding it back, holding it in place.

“No?”

Staring at Jed, Jamie struggled to sort his jumbled thoughts and emotions. “I feel something for you.” His admission brought the truth powerfully home. This attraction, no matter how strange and confusing he found it to be, was something he didn’t want to deny. “Damn. This is so…difficult. The truth is, I’ve never been drawn to another man. I’m not exactly sure what the hell I’m doing or even if I should be doing it.”

“I see. Then let me ask you a question. Do you think being attracted to me is wrong?”

“Wrong?” Jamie shook his head. “No. Just different.”

“Maybe it just seems difficult because of your uncertainty. Many people feel that way when facing the unfamiliar.”

Jamie said nothing but took a moment to consider. “To be honest, I’d have to agree.”

“I’m not trying to push you into anything.” Jed’s hand twisted in Jamie’s grasp, his fingers twining with Jamie’s. “But it’s been my experience, once I face the unfamiliar thing—whatever it is—the fear or uncertainty I harbored before doing so, was far worse than warranted.”

“Same here.”

“So, if you don’t think I’ve been too pushy, where do we go from here?”

Jamie’s gaze dropped to Jed’s lips. The upper one was slim and sharply defined, the bottom one, fuller, tempting. “A kiss?”

“I’d like that.”

Jamie watched the corners of Jed’s lips curve upward in a smile. Jamie closed his eyes. He touched his lips to Jed’s. The kiss, though tentative, incited a swirl of pleasurable sensation in the pit of Jamie’s stomach. Their lips slanted, meshed, parted. Their breaths mingled. Exhilaration heightened Jamie’s arousal. He wanted more. A deeper intimacy. With the second kiss, his tongue sought and found Jed’s. The kiss morphed from hesitant to demanding.

Excitement set Jamie’s heart to racing while heat and pressure built in his groin. His cock firmed. Any doubts he had were muted by desire. One hand still clung to Jed’s. His free hand settled against the skin of Jed’s waist. The naked flesh under his fingertips made Jamie hesitate but want pushed him to continue. He slid his hand behind and down, then clutched the upper curve of Jed’s ass. Pulling him close, Jamie ground himself against Jed. Jamie’s cock was fully erect, his need urgent. When Jed pulled back, Jamie voiced a wordless protest.

“Wait,” Jed said. “Your jeans are rough. Can I…” Jed’s free hand went to waistband of Jamie’s jeans.

Tilting his head down, Jamie fastened his gaze on Jed’s cock. It was engorged, thick and ready. As when he’d first touched Jed’s naked skin, Jamie hesitated, waiting for his own reaction. Instead of being repelled by the sight, he was struck by a pulse of pleasurable sensation rippling through him. His own cock felt every bit as hard as Jed’s appeared to be and gave no indication of flagging. Returning his gaze to Jed, he nodded. Gender be damned. Jamie wanted.

“I need both hands,” Jed said. His voice was husky, his breaths short, audible.

He wants this as much as I do. The thought made Jamie’s heart beat faster.

Buy The Book:

About the Author

About Kate:

Kate’s love of books started from the moment she read those fateful words: run, Spot, run! It took her awhile to discover she didn’t just have to read and imagine, but that she could also write stories and so here she is writing romance and loving it. Like chocolate – her ultimate favorite food, with pizza running a close second – writing became addictive. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary or science fiction about werewolves, other worldly creatures or the average Joe, she can’t get enough.

As for the everyday details, Kate lives in a turn of the century house located in the midst of Indiana farm country, and is kept company by family, along with demanding dogs, contrary cats and a pair of occasionally sweet, and definitely noisy, lovebirds. When not writing, she reads, is an enthusiastic grower of iris, and a fanatic fan of Japanese manga and anime.

Author, Book Info and Buy Links:

Giveaway

Kate Steele is celebrating both her return to writing and the release of Amended Soul by providing us with a Giveaway of a$10 gift certificate from ARe.   Enter to win by leaving a comment for Kate here and using the Rafflecopter giveaway.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Special Guest Blog:BA Tortuga on Telling Our Stories and her release ‘Trial by Fire’ , a Dreamspun Desire

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Trial By Fire

Trial by Fire by B.A. Tortuga
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reamspinner Press
Release Date March 15

Cover art by Paul Richmond

Sales Links

Dreamspinner Press ebook & paperback | Amazon Print | ARe | Barnes and Noble

 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga here today to share something about herself and the characters in her latest story (which I loved), Trial by Fire.  Welcome, BA.

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Telling Our Stories

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of stories – hearing and telling.

Whenever people ask me why I write cowboys, I tell them those are the people I grew up with, those are the people I know. I write the folks that I heard telling their stories, the people that I shared memories with. Not all of the stories are good ones, not all of them are classy – shit, not many of them are – but they’re ours and I’m proud to share their voices.

Now, if you want polished men that never lose their tempers or get themselves in trouble with their big mouths, these aren’t the cowboys for you. Shit, I couldn’t even manage to write a billionaire rancher from Australia who owns his own private jet to be this super class-act. Somehow, when you scratch Lachlan, underneath the fancy-assed business suit you find a red-blooded, hot-headed man that intends to get what he wants.

Grins

Here, I’ll let y’all meet him a little bit.

“I—shit, mate, I hate being the bastard to bring bad news.”

His scalp prickled, and goose pimples rose on his arms. “Just tell me.”

“Ades was in a plane accident three weeks ago over in the States. She and her husband.”

Jesus. He felt as if Rick had hit him with a hammer, right in the belly. How could that be possible? His baby sister, gone off this earth?

“I’m sorry as hell, mate. I saw a little blip on the AP feed. All that searching and I missed it until today.”

“You have the details now?” He didn’t want to know, but he had to. His mum… she deserved to know.

“I do. Lachy. There’s lots.”

He rubbed his eyes with his free hand. “How much? You said she was married.” He’d not have guessed.

“Yes. A bull rider from Texas. They… they got married two and a half years ago. They had…. Oh shit, mate. There’s a little one. A little sheila. Three and a half months old.”

His heart stopped for a moment. Really stopped. “She wasn’t on the plane.”

“No. No, she was with her father’s family.”

“Thank God.” His hands shook, his whole body going shocky. “What. Where is she now?”

“Living with the Sheffields. That’s the family.”

“Wait. She married Landon Sheffield?” Sheffield was a tiny little bastard. What the hell had Addie seen in him? That motherfucker had been a guest in his house. Snake in the ruddy grass.

“Yeah. You know him?”

“Yank bull rider. He was over here for some big tour. They did a promotional shoot up here.” He was going to lose his shit.

“There’s a twin brother. Uh….” He heard papers shuffling. “Holden. He’s named on the will as the guardian.”

“Not the grandparents?”

“No, mate.”

“Damn it.” Okay, that wasn’t going to work. He’d never met the brother, but the Sheffields were rodeo people. A little girl needed a stable home. Not some nomadic bullshit life where nothing stayed the same for a week at a time. She needed a home. Her mom was gone, and he hadn’t even known.

“How do I find them?” Lachlan asked.

Let me tell, y’all. When Lachlan gets his happy ass to Texas, sparks fly.

There’s a reason the working title of this story was “Aussie vs Texan.”

Much love, y’all.

BA

Trial by Fire Blurb

One Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at http://www.batortuga.com

Author Highlight and Up Close Look At “A Fortunate Blizzard” by L.C. Chase (Guest Blog & Contest)

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A Fortunate Blizzard by L.C. Chase
Published by Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by L. C. Chase

Buy it Here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have L. C. Chase here today on her tour for A Fortunate Blizzard.   She’s got her own sort of Q and A for us….  Welcome!

A Random Snapshot by L. C. Chase

Today I thought I’d pull some Q&A from an interview and turn it into a random “on topic” style post.

Favorite quote…

I have two favorites, actually:

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

   ― Mother Teresa

“Write with love, write with joy, and write with pride.”

   ― Victor J. Banis

All-time favorite fictional character…

Of all time . . . that would have to be Stuart Redmond from Stephen King’s The Stand. I just loved that character from the very first paragraph, and I can’t really say why now. I’ve read the book eight times, but not for more than ten years now. After all these years though, his character still resonates with me. I believe King weaved magic into that one.

Meeting my characters…

I would love to meet all of my characters in real life, but from my latest release, A Fortunate Blizzard, I would love to meet both Trevor and Marc. Not until after their epilogue, however. Why? Because I would love to go down into Marc’s amazing studio with the wall of windows and views of the Front Range, and paint with the two of them.

Dealing with rejection…

Years ago, an editor who rejected my story at my very first pitch session said, “I’m only one editor at one publisher.” That comment stuck with me ever since, and in an odd way, gave me confidence. A rejection isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t mean stick to the day job. It just means keep at it, work hard, be the best you can be at your craft, and then hope the next time you pitch a story you find that one editor at that one publisher who loves your story.

The most annoying thing people say…

Them: What do you write?

Me: Romance

Them: Oh, so porn.

Me: *groan*

Lickety-split…

Favorite Song: In the Light, by Led Zeppelin

Favorite Movie: Pleasantville

Favorite TV Show: Castle
Leather or Latex? Leather!

Naughty or Nice? Nicely naughty. 🙂

The latest book…

With A Fortunate Blizzard I wanted to write a romance that revolved around the holidays and tugged at the heartstrings. A love story about two men finding each other at exactly the right time, and in doing so saved each other. A tale of hope, of taking that chance, and making the most of every day we have. I hope I’ve achieved that.

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Now About

A Fortunate Blizzard by L.C. Chase

AFortunateBlizzard_600x900The Blurb:

There are worse things than being stranded in a blizzard.

Artist Trevor Morrison has always appreciated the little things in life, treating each day as a gift. And with good reason: he’s been on the transplant-recipient list for too long now. When he learns just how numbered his days truly are, he resolves not to take them for granted. But he won’t be unrealistic, either—which means romantic commitments are off the table.

Marcus Roberts seems to have it all. He’s handsome, financially sound, and on the fast track to partnership at a prestigious law firm. In reality, though, his drive for success has meant no time for friends or relationships. Add in the fact that his family discarded him long ago, and he’s facing yet another holiday season alone.

When the biggest snowstorm to hit Colorado in decades leaves Marc and Trevor stranded at the same hotel, a chance encounter and a night of passion leads to more than either of them expected. Finding comfort in each other is a welcome surprise, but time is not on their side. Either they find a way to beat the odds, or they lose each other forever.

Buy Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | ARe

About The Author

About L.C. Chase:

Cover artist by day, author by night, L.C. Chase is a hopeless romantic, free spirit, and adventure seeker who loves hitting the open road just to see where it takes her. After a decade of traveling three continents, she now calls the Canadian west coast home. When not writing sensual tales of beautiful men falling in love, she can be found designing book covers with said beautiful men, drawing, horseback riding, or hiking the trails with her goofy four-legged roommate.

L.C. is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Pickup Men and Pulling Leather; an EPIC eBook Awards winner for Pickup Men; an EPIC eBook Awards finalist for Let It Ride and Long Tall Drink; Bisexual Book Awards finalist for Let It Ride; and an Ariana eBook Cover Art Awards winner. She also received an honorable mention in the 2015 Rainbow Awards for Pulling Leather, and the 2012 Rainbow Awards for Riding with Heaven.

Visit L.C.’s website for the latest happenings at  lcchase.com.

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Giveaway

Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing for a $50 Esty gift certificate! Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 7. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so we can reach you if you win, and follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway!