Hannah Carmack on Tagging, Writing, and her new release Seven-Sided Spy (guest blog)

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Seven-Sided Spy by Hannah Carmack
NineStar Press
Release Date: January 15th

Buy at NineStar Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Hannah Carmack here today to talk about her new release Seven-Sided Spy and her thoughts on writing, tagging and unhappily every after.  Welcome, Hannah.

Hannah Carmack on Unhappily Ever After

At first, I thought the tagging was a mistake. The manuscript was back from the proofer and below Heat Level: 0 (Which is a measure of spicy romance scenes, not general warmth of the novel’s content,) was a list of tags:

Abduction, historical, spies, no HEA or HFN, revenge, gay, lesbian, eating disorder, secret agent, graphic violence, m/c dies.

M/C DIES. My immediate thought was ‘Uh, spoiler?’ As fast as my fingers could type, I wrote my editor asking if there’d been an error in tagging. I was surprised to learn that there hadn’t. Now, my editor is the bomb.com and my press is flippin’ the best, so I was surprised that they’d include a tag that gave away so much. Especially in a book where the ending is so emotionally charged. Coupled with the no HEA or HFN (which stand for Happily Ever After and Happy For Now,) I was certain that we’d given too much away.

Then, it happened. As I sent the Advance Reader Copies out, tags included, I had a reviewer write me back. They expressed immense gratitude that I’d included the spoiler-y tags and decided that they needed to pass on the novel at this time in their life. Which I completely understand, respect, and applaud them for. Self-care comes first, kids.

The tags that I initially pushed back on were in fact that the tags that mattered the most. Had I not included them, my book, whose goal it is to bring pleasure to readers, could have hurt someone. In the times we’re in, it may be best to take the Adam Silvera Approach. Being completely upfront with your readers about anything that could be seen as upsetting or distressing –Dog deaths included– is one of the kindest things you can do. 

Blurb

In the midst of the cold war, the CIA’s finest and most fatal female agent, Diana Riley, vanishes. Kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the backcountry of North Carolina, she and her team of unsavory partners are forced to undergo illegal experimentation.

But, when the experiments leave them horribly deformed and unable to reenter society without someone crying monster, the previously glamorous and high-maintenance spies must escape KGB captivity and avoid recapture at the hands of Nikola, a ruthless KGB agent with an intense and well-justified grudge against her former flame.

In the LGBTQIA Release Spotlight: Finding Lizzie by Karma Kingsley

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Finding Lizzie by Karma Kingsley
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

NineStar Press

Purchase It Here at NineStarLogoFinal

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Karma Kingsley here with her author Playlist for Finding Lizzie. Welcome, Karma!

My Playlist by Karma Kingsley

Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSound & The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

When I was in high school, I had a really good, really weird, really quirky friend with a car that she’d named Sophia. And this is not an endorsement, but we used to skip class…A LOT. But we didn’t skip class to get high behind the gym or some other teen-angst afternoon special kind of thing, but we’d hang out in Sophia and listen to Justin Timberlake and Lauryn Hill with a various mix of Michael Jackson albums in there. We were obsessed with those artists. They were our One Direction/Justin Bieber/ whoever else the kids fangirl over these days. And writing Lizzie kind of made me think of this particular era of my life; a time when I was still figuring all of my shit out.  

James Arthur & Bibi Bourelly

There’s no deep, significant reason that these two are on the playlist. Their voices are just heaven in my ears, so everything they touch gets put on every playlist.

Let it Happen & Bring Me The Horizon’s That’s the Spirit

I just love these bands, but they’re on the playlist likely because the release dates just synced up with when I was writing. But there is a Let it Happen lyric that I think fits Lizzie’s story pretty perfectly. It’s “The good news is the bad news could be good news if you change your point of view.” Which aside from being true in just life in general, it applies to Lizzie because she’s sort of in this place where she’s left her long term boyfriend, her relationship with her mother is hanging on by a thread and she’s completely lost this life that was comfortable and safe and that didn’t make her take these huge introspective looks at herself. It all sounds pretty awful but then this confident, wild girl walks into her life and takes all of that bad news perspective and flips it on its head…I bet if you give me long enough I could come up with a good BMTH quote that applies too 😉

Hozier & Tegan & Sara

At least one Hozier song makes it onto every playlist I have. Specifically, Jackie & Wilson I think works for Lizzie and Kerra. If they ever have kids and their names are Jackie and Wilson, this is the source. And what playlist is complete without a little Sainthood?

Drake & Eminem

Because sometimes I fancy myself a rapper.

About Finding Lizzie 

Lizzie doesn’t know what she wants from life, but she’s sure it’s not the attention of her suffocating boyfriend, RJ. A chance encounter with a group of women on the day of the local Pride parade leads her to meet the wild, free-spirited Kerra. Lizzie begins to realise she’s crazy about Kerra, but how can she come out in a small town where prejudice is rife and even her own mother thinks being a lesbian is wrong? Can Lizzie find herself without losing everything else in the process?

Genre: Contemporary
Sex Content: N/A
Pairing: FF
Orientation: Bisexual, Lesbian
Identity: Cis
Length: Long Novel
Words: 106100
Pages: 213

Purchase Links:

COUPON CODE: Get 20% off preorder on NineStar Press website with coupon code “preorder”

* (Good until release day)

Excerpt

Karma Kingley © 2016

All Rights Reserved

The warm metal stung her arms as she slid down the length of the car to sit on the pavement. The instant need to sulk overtook her as she let herself obsess over her life choices, hating each and every one that had led her to the middle of who knows where, waiting for a man she didn’t want to see.

She let herself wade in her misery, listening only to the sounds of her own sorrow. She didn’t even hear the Jeep when it pulled up next to her.

“Hey hot-stuff, show us what you got!” a voice shouted from the backseat of the Jeep as someone tossed a necklace of rainbow beads at her. Elizabeth attempted to back away, her flight instincts kicking in almost immediately, but the two-ton car behind her blocked her path.

“Excuse me?” She squinted her eyes against the sunlight, searching the Jeep full of women for the culprit that was throwing plastic jewelry at her.

“Oh, are you not with the parade?” the woman behind the wheel asked her. She seemed genuinely confused as she scratched at the orange bandanna covering her forehead.

“Parade?” Elizabeth shook her head in apprehension.

A woman squashed in the middle of all the others stood up, grabbing hold of one of the bars connected to the roof of the Jeep. “Excuse these crazy ladies. We thought you were part of Pride. We didn’t mean to throw things at you for no reason.”

The woman smiled at her and Elizabeth felt her blood heat up. She was probably the most beautiful woman Elizabeth had ever seen and her smile made everything in Elizabeth’s life seem a little less tragic.

“Are you okay, love?” Elizabeth realized she’d been staring at the woman for an abnormally long time without saying anything.

“Yeah. Um…my car broke down.” Elizabeth pointed lamely at her car, as she fought against the dumbfounded stupor that smile had sent her into.

The woman jumped across all the ladies in the Jeep and landed in front of Elizabeth. It was the fastest, smoothest transaction of movement she’d ever seen and she had to will herself not to gasp in awe.

“I’ll take a look for you.” She opened the front door to the car and stopped short. “I think you’re just out of gas.”

Elizabeth watched her every move, unable to tear her eyes away. “Oh, umm…yeah, I know. That’s what I meant. My car umm…ran out of gas.” She fidgeted uncontrollably as she babbled on like an idiot.

“You sure you’re okay?” She took a step forward and Elizabeth unconsciously took one backwards, keeping the distance between them.

“I think you make her nervous.” One of the girls in the Jeep howled as the others erupted in giggles.

The woman looked back at the cackling group of her friends. She straightened her necktie as she took another step forward, the gesture seeming to make her even more attractive. Elizabeth swallowed hard but she wouldn’t allow herself to take another step away. “Is it true? Do I make you nervous?” The woman raised an eyebrow, making Elizabeth’s heart beat double-time.

“N-no. I’m not gay.” Elizabeth mentally scolded herself for her unorthodox reaction.

A smile spread across the woman’s face. “Sure you aren’t.” She gave Elizabeth a wink before returning to her friends in the Jeep. “We’re headed into the city to grab some drinks. You want to come along? We could grab some gas while we’re out there.”

Elizabeth looked down at her phone. “My boy…” She stopped, rethinking what she was about to say. “I have someone coming to get me.”

“Baby, it’s Pride. It’ll be hours before anyone makes it through the city to this side of town,” the purple-and-orange-clad driver shouted at her.

“Yeah, come on, come with us,” another voice from inside the Jeep called out to her.

“Come with us. Come with us,” they all chanted at her, making her laugh as they continued in unison.

She held her hands up. “All right, all right. I could use a drink anyways.” She considered her day so far and sighed at the truth in the statement. She could use several drinks.

Author Bio

Karma is a wine-enthusiast, feminist, activist, humanitarian, vegetarian and just all around liberal and that often seeps into her writing. She loves any place with white, white sand and blue, blue water and an endless supply of mo-suffix drinks (Moscato, Mojito, etc.).

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Karma_Kingsley

Smashwords author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/karmakingsley

Email: KarmaKingsley@gmail.com

Check out NineStar Press events calendar for information on additional blog stops for Finding Lizzie and other upcoming releases!

Brandon Witt on Picking Titles and ‘Mapping the Forest (Rocky Mountain Boys)’ (author guest post)

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Mapping the Forest by Brandon Witt
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

30%25-copy

Sales Links

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Brandon Witt here today on his Mapping the Forest tour. Welcome, Brandon!

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In the previous blog tour stop, I spoke about a ‘contest’ of good intentions that had very positive results. However, there was another ‘contest’ associated with Mapping the Forest where the results weren’t so grand.

I was struggling with naming this novel.  I had the titles of the following four books of the series already figured out, but, for some reason, the name of the first one simply wasn’t coming. 

So, I had a brilliant idea.  I held a book-naming contest on Facebook.  I listed a few titles and had people vote. 

I don’t remember the rest of the titles, but the winning one was Forsaking the Forest. 

One of my beta readers didn’t hold back after reading the book.  They hated the title.  Hated it. 

It is a little melodramatic if I’m being honest.  But I just really love the word forsake.  I don’t know what my problem is! 

And, the beta pointed out, no one in the book actually forsakes the forest.  They all really like the forest. 

In the contestants’ defense, all the titles I listed were atrocious. 

So, please consider this my apology if you were one of the readers who participated in the contest.  I’m sorry I gave you horrible names to pick from.  I’m sorry that I broke my word and didn’t keep the atrocious title you picked. I did for a while, saying that I couldn’t go back on the contest. More than one person said I was being an idiot.  Thank the lord for them!

It was my fault.  All my fault.  Not yours.  You’re lovely and beautiful and did nothing to deserve such a dark fate as picking between God-Awful titles. 

No one in this book forsaked (forsook) the forest, but I did end up forsaking that title. 

So, where did the current title come from?

In this novel, both of our loveless heroes are lost in their own different mazes of life and both make their living in and around the national forest of Rocky Mountain National Park, in Estes Park, Colorado.  And though the forest is beautiful and magical, it can also be dark and deadly if you’re unclear of how to navigate the twists and turns of its paths.  For Gabe and Luis, that is true of life.  Unlike with the national park, there is no guide to lead you to the safe stations in life or love.  You have to map it out yourself. 

Please join Gabe and Luis as they begin Mapping their ways out of their Forests and towards each other.

(Dear lord, that was cheesy, huh?  But that really is where the new title came from.)

Please join me on November 9, at Love Bytes, for the next blog tour stop.  We’ve mapped our way through this tour to the final posting. (Dear lord, I literally can’t stop.)  I’ve saved the best for last, where I will introduce you to a four-legged friend who plays a very important role in Mapping the Forest.

Blog Tour Stops:

  • October 28- MM Good Book Reviews
  • November 2 – My Fiction Nook
  • November 3 – Open Skye Book Reviews
  • November 4 – Prism Book Alliance
  • November 4 – The Novel Approach
  • November 7 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  
  • November 9 – Love Bytes

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Mapping the Forest Blurb

Happily ever after has no map, but sometimes fate sends a guiding light.

Gabe Rice, a seasonal ranger at the Rocky Mountain National Park, can’t seem to get his life on the right trail. He loves the rugged beauty of the land, and there is no place he would rather live than the mountain community of Estes Park. But after six years, Gabe is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever get a full-time position or find love. When Gabe sees Luis—and hears his gorgeous singing—he’s compelled to meet him.

Luis Martinez, the new owner of a hotel and steak ride business in Estes, left California and a career as a therapist for a fresh start in Colorado. But even the beauty of the mountains can’t help him forget the past or move forward. Unprepared for his strong attraction to Gabe, Luis is ready to run and hide from emotions he never thought he’d have again.

Suddenly the path ahead opens to a future that looks brighter for both of them, if they can find the courage to walk forward—together.

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Brandon Witt’s Author Bio: 

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

30%25-off

Giveaway

Brandon Witt is including a giveaway for a $5 Amazon gift card.  Leave a comment below and one lucky reader will be chosen by Brandon to receive the gift card.  Be sure to leave your email address where you can be reached if chosen.   Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest  ends  November 9 at midnight.

Mapping the Forest Links:

Dreamspinner:  http://bit.ly/2dNwokA

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eGfKFF

Angel Martinez Talks Drowning in Ideas, Writing and her release Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (guest post and excerpt)

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Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (Offbeat Crimes #1)

by Angel Martinez

Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Release Date: pre-order 7/5/16,
Pride store release 7/19/16, General release 8/16/16

Purchase Price: $4.50  at Pride Publishing

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have one of our favorite authors here today.  Angel Martinez is talking about writing, “drowning in ideas” and her latest release, Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters.  Welcome, Angel!

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  Drowning in Ideas by Angel Martinez

Writing your first novel is terrifying and exhilarating. You’ve written short stories and poems but there’s no way, you tell yourself, that you can sustain a storyline for an entire novel. Then you do and you stare at this thing you’ve wrought with a strange sense of wonder. How did this happen?

What happens after that moment is more terrifying. Suddenly there’s a lurching moment where every bad voice in your head comes surging up at once to whisper, Sure, but you’ll never do it again.

Silly voices. The floodgates are open. The djinn has escaped the bottle. There’s no way to put it back. It’s getting close to twenty years ago that I wrote my first novel, the one that will never see the light of day, but in those ensuing years, instead of finding that I struggled for ideas, I found I was drowning in them. The struggle was not to invent storylines. It was in getting the one I needed when I needed it and getting the damn thing to sit still long enough to become a story.

I still struggle with this, though I have weapons now. Conversations with people who understand and often serve as muses. Lists of things that go here and there, and universes in which to put them. Story prompts. I used to hate story prompts. Hated them. Imagine me shaking my little fist at the prompts: Don’t tell me what to write! Challenging yourself is good, though, and I was finally drawn into writing to prompts because people asked me to. That’s another thing a writer has to learn – when to say no, but that’s another topic.

The Offbeat Crimes series comes from one of those prompts, one that asked writers for stories about a paranormal police department based in a city of the writer’s choosing. I thought about the usual things first, things along the lines of vampire cops and fae cops and cops who could speak to the dead. But I wanted something different and maybe not entirely serious. What if, for example, there was a vampire cop, but he couldn’t drink whole blood?

Carrington Loveless III, skim-blood vampire was born, but the ideas for colleagues with broken paranormal talents and attributes came fast and furious. Poor Carr didn’t even get to be to the protagonist for the first two books. That dubious honor went to a fellow officer who doesn’t even have a talent of his own—he inadvertently absorbs other people’s—and his new partner who claims to have no paranormal talent at all. Bad stuff just happens around him.

Welcome to the 77th, folks, the precinct where State Paranormal sends all the officers with what they perceive as useless talents. Don’t discount them, though. They’re good cops, even if they have to deal with a lot of weird and a lot of frustration being their own worst enemies sometimes.

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Blurb

Kyle Monroe’s encounter with a strange gelatinous creature in an alley leaves him scarred and forever changed, revealing odd abilities he wishes he didn’t have and earning him reassignment to a precinct where all the cops have defective paranormal abilities.

Just as he’s starting to adjust to his fellow misfit squad mates, Kyle’s new partner arrives. Tall, physically perfect, reserved, and claiming he has no broken psychic talents, Vikash Soren irritates Kyle in every way. But as much as he’d like to hate Vikash, Kyle finds himself oddly drawn to him, their non-abilities meshing in unexpected ways. If they can learn to work together, they might be able to stop the mysterious killer who has been leaving mutilated bodies along the banks of the Schuylkill.

Series Info (if applicable):

Offbeat Crimes:

Every region has them, but no police department talks about them—the weird crimes, the encounters with creatures out of nightmares. The 77th Precincts exist in certain cities to handle paranormal crime and containment, usually staffed with experienced officers exhibiting psychic abilities.

In Philadelphia, through an odd mix of budget issues and circumstance, the 77th is manned entirely by officers with bizarre or severely limited psychic talents. The firestarter who can’t get a spark when it’s humid. The vampire who can’t drink whole blood. These are the stories of the misfits, the outcasts from even the strangeness of the paranormal community. Call them freaks, but they’re police officers first, serving and protecting, even if their methods aren’t always normal procedure.

Length: 30,000 words
Pairing: M/M
Format: ebook

Excerpt

Kyle sat up straighter, shifting to see between the heads in front of him. Soren looked like a poster boy for the model police officer, tall and straight, uniform crisp and sharp. He stood at parade rest beside the lieutenant impassively surveying his new colleagues. A little knot of resentment lodged in Kyle’s stomach. At his own introduction to the Seventy-seventh, he’d been nervous and fidgety, freaked out by the collection of…freaks. How can he be so calm?

“Officer Soren transferred from the Harrisburg PD—”

“Don’t they have enough freaky shit of their own up there?” Wolf called out in his rasping growl.

“—since Harrisburg is in our jurisdiction,” she continued with a quelling glance. “He’ll start out partnered with Monroe.”

“What does he do, ma’am? That it’s safe to put him with Kirby, er, Kyle?” Shira Lourdes asked as she flicked nervous glances across the room at Kyle. An empty chair slid away from her and fell over. Her partner, Greg Santos, shook his head and righted the unfortunate piece of furniture.

“Officer Soren’s abilities are his business, which he may or may not choose to share if you ask. And don’t bully him about it either, any of you.” Lieutenant Dunfee swept the room again, pinning each of her officers with her needle-laser gaze like captive butterflies. “Monroe, my office after briefing. Info on your current case.”

She dismissed them, stalking from the room with thunderclouds in her eyes. Kyle found himself approaching the new guy and trying his best not to be awkward. Did he offer to shake hands? Was it safe? Would the guy flinch like so many people did at the sight of Kyle’s scarred hands? Soren was even taller up close, six-foot-three of lean inscrutability, his blue eyes startlingly bright against smoky bronze skin.

“Um, hi, I’m Kyle Monroe.” Kyle fidgeted when Soren didn’t offer his hand either. “You’re with me, I guess. I’ll show you our spot in the squad room.”

Soren followed him silently and Kyle was starting to wonder if he was like Krisk in the not-speaking department until he finally spoke in a smooth, soft baritone, making Kyle startle and miss a step. “Why do they call you Kirby?”

“You’d hear it sooner or later, I guess.” Kyle shrugged. “It’s this thing I do, absorbing other people’s talents temporarily. If they’re close to me. Or touch me. Like Kirby, the little pink dude in the video game.”

“Ah.”

Just that? Soren didn’t edge away, or change expression at all. Was he made of stone? “It’s a thing. Everyone here has a thing.”

After a few more steps, Soren asked, “Always?”

“What…oh, was I always like this? Who knows? I mean, maybe I’ve picked up stray thoughts or something, but no. It’s pretty recent. Knowing that I do this.”

Kyle took a wide arc around Vance as he entered the squad room, pointing to the double desk in the far corner, well removed from everyone else. “That’s ours. Coffee’s over there, but you might not want that coffee. Let me grab my file and we’ll go see the lieutenant.”

“So what’s your story, Soren?” Vance called across the squad room. “What flies your freak flag?”

“Yeah, what do you do?” Jeff Gatling stopped ’porting his banana from one corner of his desk to the other.

“I don’t really do anything,” Soren answered as he hefted the empty coffee pot. “Guess I’ll make fresh since I’m the new guy.”

He opened the top to remove the filter and every human voice in the squad room yelled out, “No!”

Most people would have startled, maybe dropped the carafe. Soren just blinked at the roomful of people gesturing wildly. He took the filter out and emptied it over the trashcan. “Why not?”

“You don’t want to do that.” Kyle stayed by his desk, a nice safe distance from the coffee station. “That’s Larry’s job.”

“Larry’s not keeping up then.”

The container of sweetener packets began to rattle. It shivered across the counter and leaped to a messy end, ceramic shards skittering across the floor. The desk that Krisk and Wolf shared rose from the floor several inches and slammed back down. Wolf fled with a squeaking yelp just before the desk flipped on its side.

Soren glanced toward Kyle. “Larry’s not a cop, is he?”

“He is…he was! A dead cop. Larry’s a ghost. He gets ticked if anyone else makes the coffee. Put the stuff back, please!”

“Larry?” Soren raised his voice but to all appearances remained completely unruffled. “I’m new here. I’m very sorry I invaded your jurisdiction. See? I’m putting the carafe back. Closing the top. Are we good, Larry?”

A breeze ruffled through a stack of papers, but no further mayhem ensued. The carafe slid from its pad on the coffeemaker and floated to the water cooler where Larry, who never manifested in a visible form, whistled tunelessly while he filled the carafe.

From his dim corner of the room, Carrington said in his dry, genteel way, “Welcome to the Island of Misfit Freaks.”

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About the Author

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

Author Links:

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Its Space Operas and Love for Christine d’Abo with No Quarter (Bounty #1) (guest post,excerpt and giveaway)

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No Quarter (Bounty #1) by Christine d’Abo
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Art by Lou Harper

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Christine d’Abo here today to share her thoughts about her latest release, No Quarter and her love of science fiction.  Welcome, Christine!

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Hello, my name is Christine d’Abo! Thank you so much for having me here on the blog today. I have been a big fan of all things science fiction since I was six. I started by watching reruns of the original Star Trek, moved on to watching (and re watching) Star Wars, and finally I was introduced to the world of Doctor Who.

My world exploded, expanded and I loved it all. The idea of space operas, and how they focus on the people and their developments, rather than the science was what appealed even at that young an age. The adventure, the romance, good versus evil, showed me that there could be more to live that what existed in my tiny world.

As I got older and my life experiences grew, I never lost that love of space opera. One thing that I wanted to do was to put my own mark on it, to show a different side to the worlds that had been portrayed. The Bounty series was my way of doing that. Not everyone in the universe is straight, and it’s important to show diversity out amongst the stars as well as here on Earth.

The men and women you’ll meet – both space pirates and bounty hunters alike – are full of life, love and are most definitely up to no good. I hope you enjoy reading their tales as much as I loved writing them.

If you would like to learn more about me, please pay a visit to my website http://www.christinedabo.com. I’m also very active on Twitter as @Christine_dAbo and have a monthly newsletter. If you’d like to sign up, simply click here to fill out the form.

About No Quarter

When bounty hunter Gar Stitt is given a simple locate-and-retrieve mission, he’s convinced it’s a waste of his skills. His success rate is legendary, after all, and Captain Faolan Wolf isn’t hard to find. He’s the most notorious pirate in the galaxy, and when he shows up planetside to take his pleasures, he’s far from subtle.

Faolan never expected a hot but tightly wound hunter to walk into his private party and try to apprehend him single-handedly. And when an unexpected betrayal forces them to work together, Faolan’s even more surprised to find himself drawn to Gar personally—especially since neither of them do personal.

Gar had intended to put Faolan in prison. Instead he finds his solitary existence shaken by his desire for the pirate. And when the bounty hunter becomes the hunted, he must put his faith in Faolan and his pirate crew, or run the risk of ending up dead.

Publisher’s note: This title is an edited second edition, previously published in 2010.

About Christine d’Abo

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

Connect with Christine:

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of the Bounty series, one lucky person will receive a $50 gift certificate to Riptide. Winner will be selected from across all three book tours (No Quarter, No Remedy, No Master) and as such, the contest is open until midnight, Eastern time, on July 2, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Comment to enter, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Bounty Series

Bounty hunters and pirates may contend for dominance in the vast reaches of interstellar space, but the heart of the conflict always comes down to who you know. Who you hate. Who you love.

Whether the prize is a priceless gem, political gain, the antidote to a rare poison, or a bounty big enough to secure any hunter’s future, the only way for a pirate or a hunter to come out ahead is by building alliances. One system, one planet, one person, one heart at a time. The distance between the stars may be infinite, but love doesn’t care about boundaries.

– See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/bounty#sthash.gZbNHJI3.dpuf

Katey Hawthorne On Clockwork Magic on the Blood and Clockwork Tour (Guest Post, excerpt and Giveaway)

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Blood and Clockwork

Blood and Clockwork by Katey Hawthorne
L
ess Than Three Press
Published March 16th 2016

Art Work  by Natasha Snow

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Katey Hawthorne, author of Blood and Clockwork, here to talk about the novel and the inspiration behind it.  Welcome, Katey!

Clockwork Magic

Hi, and thanks for letting me drop by at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words. You know I love you all! Today I’m going to talk about my newest release, Blood and Clockwork, which is part of Less Than Three Press’s Solitary Travelers collection—all containing asexual protagonists! They cover the ace spectrum pretty well, from what I understand, and the hero of my book, Alistair Click, is asexual panromantic. He’s also a huge nerd and itinerant horologist.

I’ve had a huge thing for clockwork my whole life. I’m not sure what it is about the cogs and wheels clicking away, but they’re mesmerizing. I think back to a time when clockwork was far more pervasive than it is now and how wonders like the Silver Swan used to draw huge crowds—and wonder if it does even now. I don’t think it’d seem any less magical to people today… well, depending on their level of cynicism.

Anyhow, this is just a long way of saying that this is why I love to write about clockwork, and even clockwork as or intertwined with magic. There’s a small problem with that in Alistair Click’s world, sadly…

A faint glimmering came from a round object within, like a glass ball, but with some sort of gas or liquid trapped inside, roiling. It tied my stomach in knots. “It may be magic,” I said gravely.

“Magic, of course there’s magic.” [Marco’s] deadpan was impressive. “Okay, so. Clockwork-activated magic?”

“No wonder the Prince went mad.” I handed off the lantern and jumped down from the stool. “This makes it even riskier to meddle with. Magic is outlawed for a reason. That reason is madness. It follows inevitably.”

So there’s that to deal with, on top of a tower full of clockwork puzzles. Fun times, amiright?

BLURB:

Blood and Clockwork: Alistair Click set out to lay to rest the superstitious fears about the Mad Prince’s clockwork tower. If thatBlood and Clockwork meant he might bring the ghost city of Avalonia back to economic life, connecting the western kingdoms once again, so much the better. So what if no adventurer who’d entered the tower in the last century of desolation had ever re-emerged? They didn’t have his skill and wit. He could do better.

The tower turns out to be far more than Alistair expected, however. Not only are there clockwork puzzles to open every door, but one of them drops a boy from a strange world into his lap—figuratively speaking, if only just. Marco Murphy was just gaming in his New Jersey apartment, and now he’s stuck in what feels like a never ending LARP nightmare.

The deeper they delve into the Mad Prince’s tower, the darker the secrets they uncover. They’re not entirely sure they’ll ever be able to get out again, either. It’ll take all Marco’s charm and Alistair’s cleverness, plus the strange bond growing between them, to get them out together… and alive.

LINKS:Author’s site: http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/one-shots.html

Sales Links

Less Than Three Press  |  Amazon   |   All Romance eBooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys comic books, B-movies, loud music, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Find her at http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/

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Get An Inside Look At ‘Until September’ by Chris Scully (author guest blog and giveaway)

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Until September by Chris Scully
Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist Lou Harper

Release Date February 8, 2016
Goodreads Link

Buy it/Read An Excerpt Here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Chris Scully, author of Until September, here today to share some insight about her  latest novel Until September.  Welcome, Chris.

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Hello! I’m Chris Scully. I’m thrilled to welcome you to my Until September blog tour! Join me at various tour stops, where I’ll be sharing some of the background of this novel, my thoughts on writing, and more. Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $20 Riptide gift certificate. Thanks for joining me on the tour!

About Until September

As a teenager, Archie Noblesse clawed his way out of the poverty, heartache, and abuse of the reservation and left his family behind. Desperate to shake the shadow of his past, he reinvents himself as Archer Noble, an outspoken blogger and controversial author who lives only for himself. But when his beloved sister dies, Archer is saddled with guardianship of his niece and nephew.

Elementary school teacher Ryan Eriksson is devastated when his best friend Marguerite is killed, leaving her two young children orphaned. Helping Archer with his new responsibilities eases his grief, but when Archer offers him custody of the children, Ryan’s left with an impossible choice: get the family he’s always wanted, or respect Margie’s wishes and convince Archer to give parenting—and his heritage—a chance.

To buy time, Ryan promises to stay for the summer, hoping that Archer will change his mind and fall for the kids. But Archer’s reluctant, and the growing attraction between him and Ryan complicates matters. Legal decisions must be made, and soon, before Ryan returns to school. But with hearts involved, more than just the children’s future is on the line.

About Chris Scully

CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.

Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she found a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.

Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.

Connect with Chris:

Website: chrisscullyblog.wordpress.com
Facebook: facebook.com/chris.scully.author
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/6152322.Chris_Scully
Email: cscully@bell.net

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Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win $20 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 13, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

YA Books with Kink? James Comins on Writing Kink for YA age Readers and “Fool School” (guest post and contest)

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Title: Fool School by  James Comins
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Its a pleasure to have James Comins here today.  The author will be letting us into writing YA stories and its challenges with sex.  On to our guest post by James Comins.

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On Writing Kink for Kids  by James Comins

I think I’ve only read one book in my whole life that features kinksters. It was, oddly, a kids book: Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher. It’s only a small glimpse, and the sequence and the world don’t reflect modern consensual kink in any way. Other than that and a few internet fiskings of that awful Fifty Shades book, I’ve never read any kink-based books.

I remember, as a kid, wanting to. I’d watch and re-watch scenes in Ninja Turtles where someone got captured. I’d thrill to sequences in movies where people got tied up by evil villains. Or books in which the bad guys faced their comeuppance and had to be thrown into cramped prisons forever, and I’d think, how exciting! Why couldn’t that be me? I’d play-act getting captured by Shredder, or Dr. Claw, and my best friend would ask when it would be our turn to get the bad guys.

Never. It was much more fun to be got.

But all of the stories I watched and read as a kid were stories of bad guys capturing the good guy’s girl against her will, then getting punished for it–also against their will. There was never any question of consent; the mere notion that anybody would want to be punished, or want to be held captive, was so crazy that nobody–with the possible exception of Patricia Wrede’s Princess Cimorene, who was quite happy to get captured by a dragon, thank you–ever imagined it. Nowhere could be found stories of trustworthy romantic partners you could trust to make your life more exciting (and scary!), or stories of princesses who sought out evil sorcerers in order to punish them because they’d been bad, or even just two adults who had a slightly peculiar power dynamic (with the exception of innumerable picture books featuring gargantuan women married to feeble little milquetoasts).

But no kink.

And the thing is, kinksters like me are as alienated and different from vanilla straight people as gay people are. I don’t “get” vanilla. It’s a world I don’t fit into at all. Lacking positive role models in movies and books, we wind up pining for a world in which the ethoses (ethi?) of slavery, cults, or God forbid, Goreans are the backdrop to human life. This freedom business is simply alien to us. A lot of kinksters have wound up skulking as inverts in the kink closet out of shame about their identity. Our society just doesn’t have many places for people to be out and kinky.

So I tend to feature kinksters of various sorts in my kids books. I want readers to have role models–both positive ones to aspire to become, and negative counterexamples. In Casey Jones is Still a Virgin  I show the good and bad of a newbie entering a kinky relationship. In My Dad is a Secret Agent, I lay out a world of strict discipline and no choices. In Fool School , the protagonists see various sides of authority in a medieval world where authority may never be questioned. I hope kids get to see what a healthy kink-based corner of society could look like.

This is the world I live in. Power vs learned helplessness, cruelty vs noblesse oblige, bossy girls and demonic kings and sassy slaves and snuggly loving relationships that happen to feature Hello Kitty nipple clamps. Having dwelt in the internet for much of my life, I know I’m not alone. I hope my stories can provide kids with a sense that, as gay kids have rapidly been learning, it does get better. Grownups get a huge advantage in life, which is that we get to surround ourselves with a reality of our own invention, one that bends and distorts through whatever lens we bring to it. My lens happens to be kinky, and those are the stories I most often tend to write about. Kids might have to dwell in consensus vanilla straight cis white male culture, but they can escape through books.

And that’s what books are for. They give you a window into a world slightly different from your own. A new lens, a new garden of possibilities. Sometimes an escape, but always a place to go where the bad things in society can’t follow.

Synopsis

In the year of our Lord 1040, fourteen-year-old aspiring jester Tom is en route to Bath to begin his studies in the art of being a Fool, following in the footsteps of his father, and his father before him.

Along the way he meets Malcolm, a fire-haired boy with eyes green as forest glass. A Scotsman whoís escaped from the ravages of the usurper Macbeth, Malcolm elects to join Tom at school. Though the journey to Bath is hazardous, it pales in comparison to what they face at the austere and vicious Fool School, where all is not as it seems. A court jester must aim to be the lowest rung on the ladder of life, and the headmaster will not abide pride.

As they journey through lifeís hardships together, Tom and Malcolm find they only have each other to depend upon.

Genre: Young Adult, gay romance, historical

Excerpt

Fool School Excerpt 2
by James Comins

It’s strangely gratifying when one of your audience finds joy, actual joy, in the music you make. Reassuring. The ealdorman conducts with his fat fingers, a genuine stupid smile on his lips.
There’s danger, too, in overplaying to the one man in the audience who’s happy with your performance. I overplay to this man.
“Enough,” sighs the ealdorman’s wife before long, and my tune dies away. I feel a pit of danger inside my chest. A warning. I see that the ealdorman himself is not the most powerful person in the room.
“But… eh… darling,” he murmurs, “don’t you think… couldn’t we… he’s but a boy-”
“Enough,” she repeats.
“Madame,” I find myself saying, “how may I entertain you?”
The room fills with a terrifying void, borne from her cold Welsh blood. A mist of icicles forms over the longtable draped by the red tablecloth, and people find their hands halfway to their mouths, food raised but uneaten. I fear for my life. I will be hanged now, taken to a gallowbraid and thrown off the side of the platform by this dark-eyed woman and her timid, complying husband. I will be kept in the wine cellar until dawn, swatting drunken mice, and in that moist-eyed fresh breath of day I will see the whole of creation pass before me as I take fugue steps up from the damp to the sunlight and the dew of summer’s toil, my feet drawn by the woman’s harsh words toward a fate of breathless… and… but here the ealdorman’s wife is speaking to me.
“Play a love song,” she whispers, and this is somehow worse than being executed on the gallows.
I don’t understand love. I say so. She dismisses it.
“Madame,” I repeat, “I’ll play for you, but I know nothing of love.”
“Yes,” her lips say, “that’s what I want to hear again.”
I’m frightened of her passion.
There is an old song, some say it comes from Master Boethius himself, that speaks of the devotion that the constant Penelope felt toward her husband, the warrior errant, Odysseus. It speaks of long years alone, sequestered in a house surrounded by enemy lovers like flies buzzing. They’re trying to convince her that her husband is not coming back, that she is alone, but she is strong, a fire buffeted by the wind, and she maintains, year after solitary year, tending her flame.
I cannot sing it-there’s a thousand thousand verses, well, not really, maybe five, but they’re long. However, the melody is familiar. I can play it on the recorder.
There is a very different world inside your head and in the shape of your mouth, playing a love song.
It begins in the first note.

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Buy Links

Don’t miss the 30% discount of the Mammoth May Sale on Wayward Ink Publishingís website!

Book trailer

Giveaway

Prizes: $20 WIP Gift Card and 1 ebook copy of Fool School.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter  Link and prizes provided by Eyes On Books Promotions and the author.

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About the author

JAMES COMINS is incapable of writing about himself in the third person. His future autobiography will probably be titled, ìThe Man Who Groaned His Way Toward Death.î He writes stories for children and adults.

Born down the street from Stephen King, he now divides his time between Denver and Seattle.

JAMES COMINS can be found at:

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