Author Spotlight: Meet Kerry Adrienne, Artist’s Touch Tour & Contest

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ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords welcomes Kerry Adrienne to the blog today to talk about her latest story, Artist’s Touch, first story in her new Guild series.  Kerry has brought with her a copy of her book, Beautiful One, to give away. To enter the contest, leave a comment below and an email address where you can be reached.  Contest ends 3/23.

Kerry Adrienne:Kerry Adrienne photo

My book, Artist’s Touch, is set in an art guild. I’ve always loved the different media in art—from oil painting to photography, sculpture to metalworking. Creating a guild for my characters gives me a world of techniques to research and explore. I’ve tried many of the things I write about and I love to create art, so the guild definitely was an extension of what I would love in my own life.

Artist’s Touch is the first book in the Guild series. The second book centers around a sculptor in the guild (Sculptor’s Desire) and the third is about a guitarist (Guitarist’s Wish).

I’m really enjoying writing this series—especially since the Guild is located in my favorite city in the world—New York City. I travel there several times a year and I love most everything about it. I’m trying to bring in little bits and pieces into the books I write in hopes that readers who haven’t been able to visit NYC will want to. I love the multicultural vibe and the fast-paced excitement of being around so many people.

Artist’s Touch by Kerry Adrienneartiststouch_cover
The Guild, book one
(Sculptor’s Desire and Guitarist’s Wish coming soon!)
ebook, 147 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Ellora’s Cave

ISBN 1419947621 (ISBN13: 9781419947629)

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Blurb:

Every starlet wants master painter Kenon Alavi to do her portrait…and more. But Kenon prefers firm to soft and sates his desires with the boyfriends of the women he paints, enjoying the diversity of many lovers but shunning any attachments.

Wallace Harte’s English degree isn’t helping him find a job and working at a bar is the closest he’s gotten to being the Second Coming of Faulkner. Something’s gotta give soon or he’ll be out on the street.

Kenon zeroes in on the bartender at an art exhibition, intending to add him to his long list of conquests, but Wally bolts, initiating a heated game of cat and mouse. Kenon delights in the game until he discovers what Wally is writing. Feeling betrayed, Kenon swears off all entanglements until he reads Wally’s story and discovers true love is sometimes between the pages and not the sheets.

Inside Scoop: This book contains hot, sexy scenes of M/M interaction of an artistic nature. Who knew having your portrait painted could be so hot?

A Romantica® gay erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

EXCERPT:
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.
An Excerpt From: ARTIST’S TOUCH
Copyright © KERRY ADRIENNE, 2014
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc

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Another day, another drink for those who had dollars. Wally slipped the candied cherry into the Manhattan and handed the glass to the tall brunette leaning against the bar. With barely a nod, the woman slinked away as if on skates, joining one of the clusters of patrons waiting on Kenon Alavi’s arrival. The artist, notorious for being late, probably wouldn’t arrive for another ten minutes at least. Light jazz floated through the air from the ensemble set up in the far corner and spots of colored lights beamed up the walls to the tall ceilings that arched over the studio space. This would make a great setting for a novel, Wally mused. Too bad he didn’t have the plot to go along with it. His creativity had hit an impasse as cliché as the proverbial brick wall.
“Martini. Wet and stirred, no olive, no twist.” The man put his hand on the bar and looked over his shoulder toward the gallery door. “I’m tired of waiting. Don’t care how special Alavi thinks he is, my time’s important too.” He tapped his fingers on the bar. “Annoying bastard. Wouldn’t be here if my wife wasn’t so keen on having him paint her.”
Wally pulled out the glass for the martini, not speaking to the customer. He’d been hired to make drinks, not socialize. The man was just complaining anyway. He wasn’t really expecting a conversation, especially from the bartender. Plus, tonight Wally had to remember all the different highbrow cocktails. He rarely served anything but beer and frozen drinks back at the Cellar Bar. He poured the vermouth into the sloped glass, then stirred the concoction. As long as Mr. Alavi paid his wage, who cared when he actually showed up? His gala, his schedule.
“Told her we could get a portrait done for a lot less but she insists on this guy.” The finger tapping grew more vigorous. “He’s refused her calls for two months now. Arrogant bastard.”
Wally nodded and set the drink in front of the man. Mr. Alavi sounded like a typical snobby artist. Big surprise. “Here you go, sir. Wet and stirred. No olive, no twist.”
“Top shelf?” the man asked, raising an eyebrow. He toyed with the rim of the glass, running his finger around it as if he was checking for chips.
“It’s all we serve,” Wally mumbled, wiping up a few drops of condensation from the top of the bar. Alavi’s guests were snobby too. “Only the best.” Bottles of fine alcohol that could pay off his student loans with cash left over for a few months of rent. He looked out over the room of people. Wealth and privilege as far as he could see, well, except for the musicians in the corner. He smiled. At least they were making a living off their art. One day he would too—if he could ever shed his writer’s block.
The man shrugged and tipped up the glass, finishing off the cocktail in one gulp. He held the glass to the light and examined it, then set it on the bar. “Good thing Alavi has an open bar at this reception. Otherwise, I’d leave right now, no matter what my wife said. I’ll take another, please. The same.” He resumed his tapping.
Wally took out a new glass and prepared the man’s drink. The jazz music was making him sleepy. He’d much prefer something a little more lively. Having spent the previous night out on the town dancing to a club beat didn’t help. But he couldn’t refuse the extra money this bartending gig would put in his pocket. He pushed the glass over to the man and tried not to yawn.
Silence hit the entire room at once, echoing off the vaulted ceiling in thick waves. Someone gasped, then the patrons broke into applause. Mr. Alavi had arrived. The large front doors banged closed and the music softened.
Drink forgotten, the man strode off to join the mass of bodies that now moved as one as they pushed toward the door where Mr. Alavi waited to be greeted. Wally squinted to see what the excitement was but the crowd blocked his sightline. He’d heard the artist put on quite the spectacle and with the number of people and amount of money spent on the reception tonight, he didn’t doubt it for a second.
The crowd parted like the Red Sea in front of Moses and a man walked toward the grand doors that led to the open studio in the back of the room.
Wally stared.
Mr. Alavi’s stopped to shake hands with a tall gentleman and then moved on through the crowd. Light glinted like a beacon off the silver brooch at his throat. Murmurs filled the room—whispers, really. Like a creature of the night, Mr. Alavi was dressed in black from head to toe with a few flashes of silver sparkle sprinkled here and there. God, why did all the handsome men have to be rich and unattainable? Alavi was probably straight too. Life was definitely not fair.
Wally reached for the two martini glasses and bumped one over. He caught the stem of the second one just as the glass bowl shattered against the bar. His heart pounded and blood rushed to his ears. When he looked up, Mr. Alavi was staring at him, looking him right in the eye with a piercing gaze and unreadable expression. Everyone in the room watched. Wally’s face flooded with heat and sweat trickled down the back of his tuxedo shirt. Fuck.
“Sorry,” he stammered to no one in particular.
Before anyone could respond, Mr. Alavi moved in his direction and Wally’s throat tightened. Would he fire him on the spot? He began picking up pieces of glass and dropping them into the bar wastebasket, avoiding Mr. Alavi’s approach. Way to go, Wally, blow your chance to earn some extra cash. The one glass probably cost more than the night’s wages.
He bent to drop a large piece of glass into the trashcan, still holding on to the marble bar with his free hand. He squeezed his eyes closed. He’d get through this. Bile rushed into his throat. Why did he always screw things up? He took a deep breath. What was the worst thing that could happen? He’d been fired before and for worse offences.
A warm hand covered his, sending a wave of fear up his arm. Wally stood, coming face-to-face with Mr. Alavi. Wally wanted to pull his hand away and run but fifty wealthy snobs would stop him before he made it to the front door and onto the New York streets. He was trapped.
“Everything okay?” Mr. Alavi asked, his voice as smooth and dark as his slick black satin shirt.
Wally met the man’s gaze—green eyes lined in kohl, set in warm skin that shimmered in the bar light. Black spiky hair dusted with glitter.
Mr. Alavi squeezed his hand and Wally shivered.
“I said, is everything okay?”
“Y-y-yes,” Wally stammered. Even from over the bar, he could tell that Mr. Alavi was tall, well over six feet. His shoulders broadened and then tapered to trim hips. Wally’s mouth filled with saliva. The man was hot. Even if he was about to fire him for breaking the barware.
Avoiding eye contact, Wally studied the black leather jacket Mr. Alavi wore. It was no rental but made to slip around his body like water, hugging the right places, with a few silver studs and spikes on one shoulder. Designer-made, no doubt. In place of a tie, he wore a silver serpent brooch pinned at the neck, its eyes made of tiny rubies and its forked tongue licking out.
Wally gulped and his already-warm face burned. The man must think he was an idiot, drooling and fumbling like a fool. The crowd had gone back to chattering and mumbling but a few people still glared toward the bar, probably annoyed that Wally had taken the artist’s attention away. Mr. Alavi lifted his hand and pulled Wally farther down the bar, away from the rest of the broken glass. The artist looked out at the crowd. Wally didn’t see the look he gave them but anyone staring suddenly turned away and ignored the scene at the bar. The man had the power, no question about it. This was his scene and his alone. Wally’s pulse quickened. At least he wouldn’t be totally humiliated by stares when Alavi fired him.
“What’s your name?” Alavi asked, squeezing Wally’s hand.
“W-w-wall…Wallace Harte, sir. I’m sorry I broke the glass.”
He brushed away Wally’s comment with his free hand. “Ah. An unusual name. Wally for short?”
Wally nodded and gulped down the panic in his throat.
“Call me Kenon,” the artist said, stretching out his name in a French-sounding accent. He ran his thumb over Wally’s knuckles in a slow circular motion and Wally closed his eyes.
The scant hairs on his arm stood erect and he hoped Kenon couldn’t feel how damp his palm was beneath his grasp or how his pulse beat a frantic escape rhythm. From the corner, the music started playing again and the low murmur of the crowd drowned the silence in his ears. Deep breath.
“Thank you, sir,” Wally said. He opened his eyes and met Kenon’s gaze. For a moment, he stared into Kenon’s green eyes, pausing to fully examine them. Enhanced with dark eyeliner, the artist’s eyes almost glowed with feral sparkle. Predatory. Waiting. Wally looked down, not daring to move his hand. Mr. Alavi must be quite the lady-killer. Who wouldn’t want to be with him?
“Time to open the show, Mr. Alavi,” a gallery aide said, sidling up to Kenon at the edge of the bar. “Everyone’s getting impatient.” Wally had seen the aides milling around, making sure things stayed perfect. It must cost a fortune to produce an event like this.
“This is my show. Let them wait,” Kenon growled and clamped down on Wally’s hand.
The aide looked at Wally and smirked. “I’m sure the bartender won’t mind talking to you after the show.” He emphasized the word “bartender” as if it were a dirty word.
Kenon snapped his head and turned to the man. “I said I’m busy.” This growl was louder and deeper and the aide’s eyes widened and his shoulders tensed.
“Yes, sir,” he said and backed away, hands up.
Wally began to shake. He tried to tell himself it was from the air-conditioning but he knew it was from a mixture of fear and longing to be near this mysterious man. The artist must always have a rapt audience. Despite his growling, everyone seemed to be taken in by his charm. Kenon milked Wally’s finger in a stroking rhythm and Wally clenched his thighs together, willing his dick to be still. Kenon was too close and it was a good thing the bar was between them or things could get embarrassing.
“Now,” Kenon said. He tugged Wally’s hand close to his chest, tightening his grip once again. “Lean in so I can whisper what I have to tell you. Privacy you know.” He smiled, a tight line of control.
Wally leaned toward Kenon, drawing in a deep breath of what was likely the most expensive cologne he’d ever smell, combined with a fresh scent that could have been makeup or fine-milled soap. Underlying everything was an all-male scent of danger combined with sex and power. The bar was cold against his chest but the man’s breath was hot in his ear. “Yes?” he asked, voice trembling. “I’m sorry I broke the glass.”
“I said I’m not worried about the glass.”
“What, then?” Wally squeaked out.
“Why are you shaking?” Kenon touched his nose to Wally’s earlobe and Wally tensed. “Am I too close?”
“I…I…don’t know,” Wally said, his breath stuttering in his throat. Why was he shaking? He’d not had a boyfriend in ages but had never responded to man’s presence so strongly and so urgently before. Especially a straight man. At least not while he was sober.
Kenon pressed closer and his warmth radiated over Wally’s neck and face. Wally stood statue-still under the assault of heat. “I want to see you after the show,” Kenon whispered. “Will you stay around? To…talk…”
Wally nodded. Was he in trouble?
“Goooood,” Kenon blew. “See you then.” His lips brushed Wally’s ear and then he nipped it gently, holding on to the lobe for a second before releasing it. Wally shuddered as heat jolted straight to his groin. Why was Kenon flirting? Wasn’t he straight? And why was he so close? Wally squirmed as his pants tightened and his dick disobeyed the order to stand down. The ruby eyes of the serpent brooch glinted as Kenon pulled away.
Viper.
Just as quickly as Kenon had latched on to Wally’s hand, he dropped it. Turning, he sauntered off as if he were strolling along a promenade without a care. The crowd, cued into his movement, followed him through the open doors to the main exhibit hall. Wally stared after him, watching the people meander into the larger room where Kenon’s latest paintings would be unveiled.
What had just happened? And why had he agreed to meet Kenon after the show? He knew better than to tempt fate with an employer, especially one he was so attracted to and who was so out of his league. He always screwed things up. He adjusted himself and sighed. What did he have to lose?
Add Artist’s Touch to your Goodreads’ shelf HERE.

Kerry Adrienne photoAbout the Author:
Kerry writes about love in its many forms, and enjoys exploring the dynamics of relationships and the quandaries people get themselves into. She lives in suburbia, but is making plans to escape to the ocean and NYC, as both places hold a piece of her heart.

You can connect with Kerry here:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

You can purchase Artist’s Touch here:
Ellora’s Cave

Contest:  Leave a comment and an email address to be entered to win a ebook copy (Kindle, PDF, or Nook) of Beautiful One by Kerry Adrienne.  See book details below.

Beautiful One coverBeautiful One (Available from Ellora’s Cave  )

Kallistos, a shy playwright, has been chosen to compete at the Great Dionysia festival in Athens. His plays are strong, but he faces Sophocles, the man who has won almost every contest. Kallistos, the beautiful one, has eschewed intimacy—yet the dark Alexios pierces his armor with philosophies he’s never considered, and he falls hard.

Alexios, a shepherd, aspires to be an actor in Athens. His trip plunges him into a plot of deceit and lies when Sophocles hires him to sabotage his competition. Sophocles promises money and a part on stage—but challenges Alexios’ beliefs and honour.

Though uncomfortable with the lies, Alexios woos Kallistos, finding himself deeply drawn to the man. As the performances near, Alexios must decide which he wants more—his lover, or his lifelong dream of fame and a career. While Kallistos faces issues of trust and forgiveness, and must ponder where life is truly lived—on stage or in reality.

Author Spotlight: Meet Liz Boreno, Angel’s Truth Author

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ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords is happy to welcome Liz Boreno, author of the Angel series, here to talk about heroes and her latest release Angel’s Truth (Angel,#2):

Angel's Hero coverAngel's Truth cover

Flawed Heroes


Remember the days when the knight in shining armor came galloping in on his white horse and saved the heroine from all that was wrong in her world? Sexy, right?

*Crickets*

Yeah. I don’t think so, either. But sexy or not, the trope doesn’t work for M/M romance. We’ve now got two heroes. Are they both supposed to be wealthy, funny, self-reliant, confident, chiseled, sensitive, yet macho? …I’m bored. Are you? Good. Let’s move on.
The question becomes why are we bored? I’ve heard many theories on the root of reader preferences, but I’ve always ascribed to the school of realism. Readers, and therefore writers, need to believe in their characters to invest the time with them. If we can’t see their humanity on the page, we’ll struggle to get lost in the world. So, how do we do this?

~ Think about the heroes you know in your real life, best friend, spouse. Are they flawless? No, likely not… even if they disagree. More likely, they have just the right characteristics – good and bad – to complement yours. So too is it with your characters. That means, if you have one hero with OCD who absolutely must control everything, his partner should probably be laid-back.

~ Every good quality has its drawback. Exploit both. Hero ambitious? He probably doesn’t have much time for his personal life or workout routine. Something has to be sacrificed.

~Most important, remember that what you see as a flaw might be someone else’s idea of perfection. Someone’s got to be buying all the white knights.

CIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins doesn’t take many things on faith. He trusts his gut, his eyes, and his husband, Jordan, an Army Captain. When his commanding officers deliver news of Jordan’s death, Aaron needs proof. The facts don’t add up, and Aaron must decide if he can trust Major General Troy Hart to assist in his quest to discover the truth.

Captain Jordan Collins is battered and disheartened in an Afghanistan prison, but definitely not dead, though he learns his own government believes he is. His only mission now is to stay alive and make it home to Angel, if he can find an ally among the enemy. But someone in the US government will stop at nothing to make sure he never leaves that prison, And Jordan must reevaluate the lines between friend and foe if he is ever to return to his Angel.

Angel's Truth coverAngel’s Truth (Angel #2)
Angel Series
ebook, 64 pages
Published March 14th 2014 by Lazy Day
(first published March 10th 2014)

ISBN 1612581250 (ISBN13: 9781612581255)

Sequel to Angel’s Hero (Angel, #1)
!*Please Note: These Books Must Be Read In Order*

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Angel’s Truth Blurb: “Freeze or I’ll shoot!” Aaron yelled and aimed the gun at Jordan’s chest.
“Angel, no, please.” Hacking fluid-filled coughs broke up Jordan’s words.
“Jordan?” Aaron whispered his name as recognition painted a mural of memories of their life together on his face.
“Yes.” He coughed red into his dirty hand. “Please help.”
So begins Angel’s Truth, the sequel to Angel’s Hero. Army Captain Jordan Collins arrives home, only to find the man responsible for his imprisonment, torture, and near-execution with his husband. Had his Angel moved on without him?
Aaron “Angel” Collins has driven his family and friends away in his quest to learn the truth of Jordan’s fate, leaving only Major General Troy Hart willing to help him. When Jordan miraculously returns, with a spirit more broken than his body, Aaron realizes Hart was really a liar with an agenda of his own. Aaron is unable to take time to heal his own emotional wounds, because he and Jordan learn Hart’s betrayal is even greater than they originally believed, threatening the entire nation. Now the reunited couple must race against time to keep a promise to Jordan’s savior and prevent Hart from bringing terrorism once again to American soil.

Bio: Liz Borino transcribes the world inside her head onto the page, and share it with the people who are stuck in the “real world” to makes their lives a little more interesting. Because in her world, heroes fall and stand up again with the help of their partners and friends. Liz’s world is littered with formidable obstacles, which her heroes overcome with a fire of courage and passion. The beauty of love between two men is celebrated. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
 When not with her heroes, Liz enjoys exploring cities, working toward social justice, and editing for other authors. Liz is less than three months from obtaining her Masters’ degree in English and published nine books since 2010.

Author Links:

Tour Stops:

Go “To The Very Last Inch” with Heidi Belleau & Amelia C. Gormley on The Professor’s Rule Tour & Contest

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Hi! We’re Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley, and we’re here to let you know that our kinky series The Professor’s Rule is coming to an end. The last two novelettes–Every Inch of the Way and To the Very Last Inch–are out now from Riptide TPR5_150x300Publishing, and to celebrate, we’re touring the web with a contest and a free bonus short. You’ll have to follow the whole tour to read the short in its entirety, but since every comment you make along the tour gets you an entry in our contest, there’s plenty of reasons to tag along.

If you haven’t yet heard of The Professor’s Rule, here’s a quick crash course (see what we did there?)

School is back in session.

When undergrad student James Sheridan set out to seduce his way into a better grade, he had no idea what he was signing on for. Professor Evander Carson wasn’t about to trade a good grade for sexual favors, but he was definitely willing to tutor his wayward pupil in far more than history.
By the end of their tumultuous relationship, James not only excelled academically, his sexual horizons had expanded to include pleasures—and agonies—the likes of which he’d never dreamed. But enough was more than enough, and James fled from his Professor, unsure of where his limits lay or if he had the wherewithal to set boundaries.

Two years later, a chance misdial puts James back in contact with his former instructor and brings all his old cravings back in force, leaving him yearning to kneel once again at his Professor’s feet. But James has a new life now, with new sexual and romantic prospects—most notably the charming menswear salesman Satish Malhotra. Still, the pull to return to Professor Carson is a powerful thing. Can James give in to it without giving up his newfound confidence and budding romance?

The complete collection is on sale now for 40% off, and if you’d like to try before you buy, Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) is free wherever ebooks are sold!

To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5)

To The Very Last InchJust days after their scorching reunion, Professor Evander Carson has kicked his one-time pupil James Sheridan to the curb—and tried to sabotage James’s new relationship with Satish Malhotra. Something isn’t right here, but James isn’t sure he should bother trying to figure out what. Carson isn’t good for him and will never change. He needs to accept that and move on.

Satish knows something is up, too, but he thinks the relationship between Carson and James is worth saving. To do the right thing, Satish will have to make James and Carson confront the secrets they’ve hidden for years and help them to overcome the pain and mistrust they’ve caused.

But if Satish succeeds, where will that leave him and his intensifying romance with James? Will the three of them be able to find the right balance, or will James be forced to choose between the pain and submission he craves with Carson, and the sweet, vanilla stability he’s found with Satish?

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Book Details:

ebook, 56 pages
Published March 3rd 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 1st 2014)
original title To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #5)
ISBN13 9781626491281
edition language English

About the Authors

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.
Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book OneAcceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major online book retailers, and be sure to check Riptide for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Loverthe The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), the post-apocalyptic romance, Strain, and her upcoming, New Adult contemporary, Saugatuck Summer, available for pre-order now.

You can contact Amelia on

Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write. She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centered on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!) Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.

She also writes queer-flavoured M/F as Heloise Belleau.

Contest

Contest Rules: Win an ebook copy of An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2) in your choice of formats! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you (email address–posted in comment field, twitter handle, goodreads or facebook account), and you’ll be entered to win! Every comment counts for another entry, so be sure to follow the whole tour

Author Spotlight: Meet Lee Brazil!

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ST: Good morning, everyone.  Today’s guest author is Lee Brazil, author of the wonderful Chances Are series in the Pulp Friction offerings.   Good morning, Lee!

*pats chair and hands Lee a cup of coffee*.

“Don’t mind the terriers, they will ask their own questions later”  *shoos away dogs*

LB: Good morning! Thank you for inviting me over to talk today. For those who don’t know me, I’m Lee Brazil, author of m/m romance with Breathless Press, Silver Publishing, Evernight, and Total E Bound. I’m also a member of a writing association known as Pulp Friction.Chances Are cover

*sips coffee*

LB: Which is what Melanie invited me to discuss today. Pulp Friction came about as a mash-up of old fashioned pulp fiction writing and modern romance. Laura Harner suggested it to us, and the three of us jumped on the band wagon quickly. Originally, it was supposed to follow a strict format of 8 thousand words, and other tried and true pulp strictures.

ST: “Tell me about Chance.  How did he come about?”

LB: When Chance was born, I knew keeping it with in those bounds was going to be impossible. Telling his whole story, getting across the complexity of who he is in eight thousand words wasn’t going to happen. So it became a serial.

ST: “When we think of Pulp Fiction, we think tough, wise-guy detectives who have seen it all.”

LB: Chance is my version of the hard boiled tough guy, he’s known grief and pain, and disappointment, and that’s where we meet him, wallowing in his past. He presents a cold and unfeeling persona to the world and tells himself he’s happy with what he has.

That’s Chance in the first book, Chances Are, where that façade begins to crack. As the stories progress through small mysteries and tragedies and life happens to Chance, the cracks grow bigger and wider and eventually the walls fall down, blasted to rubble by his stalwart friends and a feeling he hadn’t been aware of growing inside.

ST: But that changes, doesn’t it?

LB: When he wasn’t looking his heart was sneaking people in, from the drunkard cop who sits at his bar every night, the cocky but dependable Gerry the bartender, the melancholic chef Blake and all Chance’s old buddies from his days on the force, Wick and Marcus and Zack the civilian. Turns out, he’s never been as alone as he thought.

And into this mix comes Rory. The golden-skinned, golden-haired open-hearted antithesis of Chance’s lost love. He finagles his way into Chance’s bed, and into his life, seeking more at times than Chance is willing to give.

Chance’s own sense of integrity eventually convinces him that his relationship with Rory is wrong, but events transpire that force him to take a deeper look into his closed off heart and make changes in his life. In the end, Chance learns to let go of the past, to embrace the possibilities of the future and to allow himself to be happy.

And the stubborn mule headed ex-cop turned my whole pre-drafted story line upside down in the second installment of the serial. Because that’s who he is. A man who has to follow his own path even when it wanders through hell.

ST:  I just love Chance and the entire series.  I can’t wait for the next book to be released.  Thanks for coming by today, Lee.

LB: *sips coffee. Thanks for joining while I blather about my sexy ex-cop. You can pick up the latest Chances Are book, Chance in Hell at ARE, Smashwords, and Amazon on September 1. In anticipation of that release, I’m offering a discount of 33% on the first four stories at ARE from August 28th until September 4th.

If you want to know more about me and my work, you can find me at the following places on the web:
Lee on FB http://www.facebook.com/lee.brazil
Lee on Twitter @leebrazil
Lee Blog http://leebrazilauthor.blogspot.com/
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/leebrazil/
You Tube http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmjXLWlO4c2_5ZZQigbeZg?

Books in the series to date in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events within:

Chances Are (Chances Are #01)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #02)
Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #03)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #04)

Author Spotlight – Sarah Black

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This was first published spring 2012 and since then my admiration for Sarah Black as a writer has grown stronger.  Her characterizations are multidimensional and come fully alive before your eyes, complete with a authentic back story and dialog that fits in their mouths like water in a river.  It flows and carries with it the regional characters that the earth has endowed it with.  As I said, I can always pick out a Sarah Black character or dialog.

Tomorrow The General and the Horse-Lord will be released by Dreamspinner Press and Sarah Black will be here with a guest post to mark the occasion.  Scattered Thoughts will mark the occasion too by giving away a copy of this book, courtesy of Dreamspinner Press to the lucky person chosen at the end of the day from those who comment on her guest blog.  It’s a fascinating look at one manner in which the author gets to know her characters, don’t miss it.

My review will be posted on Tuesday, but really I will say it right now.  I loved this story and you will too.GeneralandtheHorse-Lord[The]

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May 12, 2012

Today I thought I would start a new feature called Author Spotlight, highlighting authors who books I love and often recommend. Today the spotlight falls on Sarah Black. Just her name on a cover is enough for me to buy it,  She has over 42 books to her name.  I aim to read them all. My hope is that this will get you to pick one up as well.

Here is her bio from her website Sarah Black Writes:

“Sarah Black is a fiction writer living in beautiful Boise, Idaho, the jewel of the American West. Sarah is a family nurse practitioner and works in a medical clinic that takes care of homeless folks (they have lots of great stories). Raised a Navy brat, she’s lived all over the country. She and her son James recently moved to Boise from the Navajo reservation in Arizona. When she isn’t writing, she’s doing something with wool. She learned weaving out on the reservation and now has her eye on an antique circular sock knitting machine.”

The author’s love and knowledge of her subjects permeates each story she writes.  Whether they feature a former Navajo Marine heading into the  desert or a wildlife photographer capturing the photo of the year in a river in Alaska, the authenticity her background brings to each story is unquestionable and the realistic characterizations and locations is never in doubt.  I could pick up one of her stories and know it is hers without ever glancing at the cover, her voice is that unique.

Sarah Black’s stories have often informed and educated me.  In Anagama Fires I learned just enough about raku pottery and the intricacies of glazes to fire my own curiousity, sending me off into the realms of research and adult education classes on pottery nearby.  As a former Park Naturalist I am familiar with wildlife photography, yet she made it fresh once more with Sockeye Love, especially in the scene captured in the title.  It had me laughing in joy and the delights that nature continues to surprise me with. The author’s own military background as well as her family’s shines forth in her characters with their own Marine backstories. In Border Roads 4 members from a platoon return home from Iraq and try to reintegrate in the society they left behind. These veterans are scarred physically and emotionally, holding onto the brotherhood formed in war to help see them through the trenches and ambushes of life back at home.  One character is so physically disfigured he hides behind a kerchief, ashamed of how he looks and feeds. Black’s background as a clinic nurse brings this character close to our heart, helps us understand some of the mental and physical challenges he is going through, gives us a man in pain, instead of a victim. I always thought it was a shame this book was narrowed down to m/m fiction as that covered only two of the men from the platoon, the other two were heterosexual.  I think it is possible that the inclusion of m/f content hurt this book and caused it to have a lower following than her other books.  Either way, this is an incredible book of injured veterans returning home, an issue that will be with us for some time to come. A hard, painful must read.

The only time Sarah Black has lost me so far is in Slackline.  Slacklining is a practice in which a 1 inch nylon rope is strung between two anchor points.  The rope is not tightly strung as in tightroping but looser so it has a degree of  play so the rope becomes dynamic (in some cases stretching and bouncing to allow stunts and tricks).  In other words, slack not tight.  The main character injures himself when attempting to cross the sea of Hoy off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland on a slackline.  He was by himself, no backup, no one knew he was there, he was trespassing and didn’t take into account the high winds off the sea and up the cliffs.  I started off thinking what an idiot and unfortunately that impression never left me.  I will give Sarah Black credit in that the character knew he was flouting slackling rules as well as the local laws, but such stupendous stupidity (especially as a Park Naturalist who has seen people do incredibly insane things in nature) left me with no connection to this character and therefore to the story.  But one out of all I have read?  I would love to have those odds at the track.

And finally when Sarah Black gives you a character that combines her love of the Navajo people and the military, then you have characters that will stay with you long after the book has ended.  Lorenzo Maryboy, Navajo, former Marine and cartoonist (Marathon Cowboys) or Code Talker Logan Kee of Murder at Black Dog Springs still linger on, in my heart and thoughts. Give them a chance to introduce themselves to you.  I know you will love them.  I know you will love Sarah Black.

You can find her at her website: Sarah Black Writes   She has free reads there for the taking.

She also has stories at Goodreads M/M Romance Group. Find it here!

Marathon Cowboys

The Legend of the Apache Kid

Gregory’s Ghost

A Cambridge Fellows Q & A with Charlie Cochrane

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When I finished All Lessons Learned I found question after question popping into my mind for the author of this remarkable series. Primarily, All Lessons Learnedwhat happens next?  Or is there a next for our beloved Jonty and Orlando?  Over the course of the series, I feel like I have walked the paths of Cambridge, gone punting on the river, watched honey buzzards in the sky and ridden the marvelous Flip-Flap ride during the Franc0-British Exhibition in the White City.  All that was all due to Charlie Cochrane’s ability to bring us right into her story as though we were physically there ourselves.

So I scribbled off some questions about the series and here are her replies.  One more thing mentioned in a comment previously is that she is thinking about writing a 10th book to finish the series off completely.  So here we go:

Scattered Thoughts:  What pushed you forward to right one more book after All Lessons Learned (not that I am complaining)? After the epilogue which I found to be bittersweet for the couple, what prompted more in the series?

Charlie Cochrane:  “Two things. Fans asking when another book would come out and Jonty and Orlando whisering in my ear saying “write me, write me”. It always feels like coming home when I’m back with them. (If that makes any sense.)

Scattered Thoughts: And I say bittersweet because of the time frame. They had stayed hidden for so long and change is in the air just not soon enough.###

Charlie Cochrane: “I know. Ironic, isn’t it? Mind you, Orlando wouldn’t like the modern day so maybe it’s as well. Can you imagine Jonty dragging him to Provincetown?”

Scattered Thoughts: Do you have a favorite book of the series? And if so, why?###

Charlie Cochrane:  “Maybe Lessons in Trust because of the White City. I had books about it and an original programme from the Anglo French exhibition which was constantly at my side when I wrote it. Also Lessons in Power because it deals with poor Jonty’s past. And has rugby in it.”

Scattered Thoughts: And do you have a prompt, either a historic artifact or location that you build your books around when you are getting started?###

Charlie Cochrane: “Usually a location, so Jersey, or Pegwell Bay or Bath or – in the case of the one I’m writing at present – a thinly disguised Cliveden house.”

Scattered Thoughts: I have to ask because I know I am thinking it so others are too. Any chance of “lost cases from the Cambridge Fellows mysteries” popping up? Stories out of sequence from the books already published. You know we just hate to let Jonty and Orlando go.

Charlie Cochrane: ” I think it’s entirely possible that lost cases will pop up. I have one buzzing at the back of my mind. Also lost scenes/snippets. I want to post something for Mothering Sunday, maybe a letter from Mrs. Stewart to Jonty when he was young. Still getting my thoughts together on that.”

Scattered Thoughts: And do you have any new series in mind for the future?

Charlie Cochrane: “New series? Maybe. I’ve just completed a contemporary cosy mystery (think Midsomer Murders but with a gay detective) and will be trying to find the right home for it. If it succeeds, I could see me writing more.”

Scattered Thoughts:  I love a good cosy and can’t wait for this one.  Thank you so much for such a wonderful series and taking time to answer my questions.

To learn more about Charlie Cochrane, her books and stories, visit her website and blog listed below.

You can find many free stories by Charlie Cochrane at Charlie’s Free Fiction group.  Or visit her website

Her last release, Promises Made Under Fire, Carina Press February 2013, is also available from Amazon and All Romance.

Promises Made Under Fire

Author Interviews – What Does the Reader Want To Know?

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I always read the author bios at the end of every book I read.  Why?  To get some understanding into the person who wrote the book I just read, hoping to get some information that tells me how that author was able to pull that fiction out of themselves and put it on the page.  It’s the same reason I read authors blogs and interviews.  More insight into the author and the process of writing a story.

When I read a Sarah Black story, I know that she is as familiar as her characters with the locations in her stories.  And if she is writing about Marines, it’s because she knows them intimately.  It is the same with Abigail Roux.  She travels to the places her characters will visit so that it is authentic right down to the streets and bars located on them.  Amy Lane knits and look at the knowledge that brought to her Knitting series, but just maybe that side passion instigated that series to begin with.  The authors pour themselves into their stories, we know that.  But how do they do it?  Do the characters whisper in their ears, fully born or do they form slowly as character bits swirl into place, one at a time.  How is a location chosen and why?

But RJ Scott lives in England and she has a wonderful feeling for locations she has never traveled to. And Charlie Cochrane?  Well, needless to say, I don’t think she has promenaded down a street in 1900’s Cambridge lately but you would never know it from the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries series.  In those books, England in the 1900’s seems as fresh as present day.  So how do they do it?  Research obviously but in such a way that it feels real and true instead of a visit to a library.  Do they visit museums?  Bribe their way into the inventories so they can touch and feel the clothes and artifacts of the era they are writing about? Hmmm, Charlie Cochrane, do you have a hidden list of  museum back entrances and docents able to do your bidding? Hmmmmm……

Characterizations will either make or break a story.  You can be a marvelous world builder and create a new universe or world full of inventive and wonderous minituae.  But if it is then filled with one dimensional characters who all talk and act alike, then your story will lie lifeless on the floor. Characters are the heart and passion of any story, regardless of whether they are human, alien, or something totally different. And it’s the manner in which each author creates the people in their stories that fascinates me.  An upcoming author interview with Sarah Black will talk about her process in building her characters.  I am sure each author has their own methods to make their creations so believable that  we lose ourselves in their lives and stories.  I want to know how, how do they bring these beings to life with such force that I still think about them months, perhaps years later.

So, tell me what questions you would ask these or any authors if you had the chance.  Is it about world building or characters or both?  Do you want to know what a character reads or what bars they visit?  How doe they chose what they name their characters? Does it help define the person when you know what music they listen to?  I know it does for me.

So gather your thoughts and send me your questions.  I will add them to mine in time for the next author spotlight.  I am hoping you will be there when the next author spotlight rolls out.

Review of With or Without Series by JL Langley

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ating: 5 stars for the series

My first introduction to JL’s shifters came when I picked up the Hearts From The Ashes anthology and read With Love, the first in Langley’s shifter series.  It featured a young clutzy Omega wolf named Laine Campbell who was perpetually in hot water over things he said or creating chaos with the things he did.  Everything about Laine was adorable, from his hair to his manner of speech and I fell in love immediately.  So did Dev, the Alpha wolf moving to Ashton with his betas and business partners.  He was hooked on Laine and I was hooked on Dev.  I could not believe it when the story was over. I wanted more shifters, specifically I wanted JL’s shifters and I wanted them now. This is a reoccurring theme with JL Langley’s books so be prepared.

Then came Without Reservations in 2007 and my addiction was official.  Without Reservations is the story of Chayton Winston, a veterinarian living in New Mexico.  He is also a shifter and all his life he has been dreaming of a fair haired mate, much to his Native American  parents chagrin.  His entire life Chay has considered himself heterosexual until an injured wolf is brought into his office.  The wolf is a gorgeous male shifter and his mate.  He is also Caucasian something he is sure his mother will never accept.

Keaton Reynolds wakes up in a veterinarian ‘s office to find himself injured and being treated by his mate.  He should be overjoyed except he just got out of a relationship from a shifter who had a girlfriend on the side but also said he was Keaton’ mate.  Keaton is not one to repeat his mistakes and a hetero shifter is not someone he wants to take a chance on, no matter what his body and even his heart may think.  But Chay won’t give up on Keaton and finally Keaton agrees to get to know Chay better.  And slowly they start to build a relationship together.  But there is Chay’s mother’s disapproval to overcome and a power struggle in Keaton’s Georgia pack that threatens them both.  How will they overcome the odds to find the happiness they both deserve?

I reread this book all the time.  Chayton Winston and Keaton Reynolds are such wonderful creations that I return to their story time and again.  Chayton is one of the nicest people you will meet in the author’s novels.  He is both elementally patient and rock solid in his beliefs so that when presented with a man as a mate, he accepts it.  If it switches his sexuality over to gay, ok as long as he gets his mate, something no wolf shifter would ever turn down.  And you believe this paradigm shift absolutely as being in character for Chayton because he is so real from the moment we meet him.  Keaton also engages our hearts and affections with his prickly nature  and forceful personality packed into a slight build.  A small white wolf, he has the personality and power of an Alpha without needing to lead. Keaton would rather teach and help educate so the fact that his mate would be a healer, a veterinarian makes complete sense.  JL Langley surrounds these two with people as authentic and believable as they are and gives us a mystery to boot.  Just an outstanding novel.

With Caution came next.  It remains my favorite of the series and again one I read over and over again.  With the characters of Remington Lassiter and Jake Romero, JL brings a level of complexity and depth to her characterizations that I had not seen before.  And added to our main characters, she introduces us to the rest of the men who will become their pack.  Each man is a unique unforgettable creation as they sit astride their motorcycles and roar into our hearts.  Remy is a shifter we meet in Without Reservations and he makes a rather disastrous first impression upon us in that story.  But here we discover the dark background that surrounds him in shocking detail as well as the reasons for his actions.

There are parts of this novel so bleak and despairing your hearts will bleed for Remy and his brother Sterling  even as our hero bleeds out from the abuse.  Remy’s sexuality and his acceptance of a male mate is a huge part of this story and his past as well.  I cannot give Langley enough credit for the sensitive way she deals with child abuse and recovery as an adult.  There is also a murder mystery to be solved, and the exploration of a naturally submissive nature.  There is some mild bdsm that works beautifully within the plot of the story and the glimpses of new couples, mates, for future stories.  One couple in particular has had the fans clamoring for their story since this book was published.  This story has depth, multi-layered characters and a multitude of themes running through it, not the least of which is how Reservaton law can also isolate the members it is supposed to protect, control issues and child abuse.  Heavy themes indeed but this book is also packed with love and redemption.  With Caution is an incredible read you won’t want to put down.

Next comes a series of free stories that can be found on the Fiction With Friction website until JL Langley’s site is back up and running.  These are in order:

A Lot To Be Thankful For (With or Without Series 3.1) Sterling Lassister and Rhys Waya (the fans just wouldn’t shut up for their story)

A Sterling New Year (With or Without Series 3.2)  with Sterling Lassister and Rhys Waya (love, love these two and so will you, get on the bus)

With Abandon (With or Without #4) brings back Aubrey Reynolds and the rest of the Georgia pack that we met in Without Reservation.  Aubrey is Keaton’s brother and our introduction to him in Without Reservation was not exactly a positive one.  Matt Mahihkan, one of Gadget’s sons from With Caution is back and going to college in Georgia. Matt was a quirky young man who we got to know only superficially but JL Langley brings him together with  Aubrey Reynolds and that combination sparks all sorts of problems not the leasts of which is that Aubrey is not out to his family or the pack. And Matt is not only out and proud but turns out he is Aubrey’s mate. It took me a while to like Aubrey, perhaps some of that was left over emotions from Without Reservation.  But his reluctance to accept Matt officially as his mate made him hard to like.  He has to grow on you, something none of the other characters has had to do.  Matt, of course, is absolutely adorable and we entrust our affections with him from the get go.  And with Matt, comes some of the members of the New Mexico pack we have come to love as well.

Next come three free short stories in succession. I am convinced JL Langley thought the fans would be showing up on her doorstep if she didn’t at least throw them all several bones. I will admit to being one of them:

Christmas Dinner at Reynolds Hall (With or Without, #4.1)

Attack of the Killer Dust Bunnies (With or Without, #4.2) 

Christmas Cookies and Garland (With or Without, #4.3)

So what and who are coming next?  That would be Sterling and Rhys.  This is the story everyone has been yelling for, myself included. I believe JL Langley said it will be done in a few month from now but isn’t sure when it will be published. That will depend upon Samhain Publishing’s schedule.  Be still my heart.

Without Fear (With or Without series #5) – coming from Samhain Publishing.

So that’s JL Langley’s shifters in a nutshell.  I am not sure I did them justice.  Shifters of all species hit my buttons. Native American shifters hit them twice.  I don’t care if they are wolves, big cats or even weresloths of London (thank you, Charlie Cochrane for that memorable story).  But thinking back to the beginning, it all started with JL Langley’s wolves who come to life on the pages of the With and Without series, grabbed both my attention and my heart and have never let them go.  I have these books in paperback (prior to my Kindle) and I have them now in eBooks as well.  From their killer covers to their outstanding characters and plots, I return to them often.  To reacquaint myself with old friends and find comfort in their presence.

Some find JL Langley through her cowboys and others through her sci-Regency series.  I found her through her shifters.  If you are new to JL Langley as an author, try them all.  Start from the beginning of each series and work your way down.  You will find yourself with a new  addiction just as I did.  Write me. Let me know what you think. I will be waiting.

Author Spotlight: Nicole Kimberling and Book Giveaway!

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I first happened upon Nicole Kimberling when I read Primal Red, the first in the Bellingham Mysteries series.  From the very first sentence, I sensed the author’s deep connection to her story’s setting and it’s quirky, oddball cast of characters. Bellingham, Washington emerges as a character all its own in the Bellingham Mysteries series as the author’s love and respect for her town and it’s idiosyncrasies  flows through each storyline.  Through Peter Fontaine, steadfast reporter for The Bellinghamster aka The Hamster, the author gives us a character able to reflect on his town many foibles from the new agers to the niche farmers, the arty set to the druids and everything in between.  Sometimes it’s with humor, sometimes exasperation, a tiny bit of sarcasm, but mostly Peter investigates and meddles with the non-judgmental fondness of someone who loves and appreciates his town and its people.

Nicole Kimblerling’s writing brings her Bellingham into our lives, complete with realistic characters that embed themselves in your heart and mind. I can’t begin to tell you how often I laughed out loud over the antics of Peter or Evangeline or Peter’s editor, Doug Bowles. Nick, Peter’s boyfriend is far too Nordic for the laugh out loud moments but serves as a needed balance for the hijinks and tomfoolery the others are capable of.

Then there is the many subjects that come up during the course of each mystery.  One time it was the plein air artists, another ceramic forgery, and during One Man’s Treasure, it was beekeeping and mushroom poisons.  She always sends me rushing to further research a subject she has included in her plots that adds another wonderfully authentic layer to her storyline.  It’s marvelous and it fills me with anticipation to see what the next novel in the series brings.

I contacted Nicole Kimberling to talk about herself and her writing and the many elements she brings to her books. And this was her reply to my question about the inclusion of the arts in her mysteries:

“Well, I guess I would say that the reason the arts figure so heavily

in the Bellingham Mysteries is that my wife is an artist so I have had
the good luck to have an expert on the visual arts on hand when I need
to know technical details about paint or clay or counterfeiting. And,
of course, I’ve gone to a lot of openings and gallery shows for her
and for her associates so I’ve met a lot of quirky, real-life
characters.

The same goes for the characters in the Farmer’s Market. I actually
worked last season there, selling sandwiches, rain, wind and shine and
so I got a lot of first-hand experience with the culture of the market
and of the local organic farmers here in Whatcom county.

Because I live here, I’m constantly discovering new facets of the city
and new slices of society–more than I think I’ll ever be able to fit
into the stories. There are the illegal mountain bike trail builders,
the rustic folk musicians, the unschoolers, the gamers. And then there
are the institutions, like the bible software company that basically
owns two whole city blocks downtown, the Humane Society, the Alternate
Humane Society, the Alternate Alternate Humane Society… The town is
rich with unexplored weirdness.”

Thanks, Nicole.  And yes, that does explain so much about Bellingham and its importance in your writing.

Nicole has generously donated a copy of her book, Primal Red, to be given away during series week.  To enter the contest, send me your name, email address and  your favorite m/m series.  I will pick a winner on Sunday.
Nicole Kimberling’s website: http://www.nicolekimberling.com

Nicole Kimberling lives in Bellingham, Washington with her wife, Dawn Kimberling, two bad cats and approximately 100,000 bees. Her novel, Turnskin, won the Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror.

Books by Nicole Kimberling (available at Loose id, Amazon, All Romance):

Primal Red (Bellingham Mysteries #1)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Bellingham Mysteries #2)

Black Cat Ink (Bellingham Mysteries #3)

One Man’s Treasure (Bellingham Mysteries #4)

Turnskin

Hell Cop Anthology #1

Hell Cop Anthology #2

Irregulars Anthology

The Week Ahead and another Rant on the Heat and F%^*&%g Pepco!

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It’s Sunday in Maryland and we are in the 12th day of our heat wave and power losses!  Yesterday we hit 105 degrees F and today is not supposed to be much better.  There are still plenty of folks around the area without power as the limbs from last Friday’s storm continue to fall onto power lines, including some that just went back up. We are anticipating more storms as the cold front from the north is slowly coming our way and we know from experience (and science class) that a collision between a cold front and a hot as hell front brings a humongous amount of meteorological explosions.

Yesterday I found out that the storm cost us our relatively new dishwasher (burned out) to  go along with the air conditioning circuit board and a heck of a lot of groceries that had to be thrown out.  When I called the appliance store to see if there was any reset button etc that I could try, I got the “yeah, lady, I have been fielding calls from hundreds of people just like you all day”.  Am I supposed to take comfort in the fact that everyone lost their appliances along with us?  Perhaps so.  There are thousands of us facing the same problems.

It is also our unfortunate lot to have Pepco has our energy supplier.  They rank last in the ENTIRE NATION in service and reliability.  Not surprisingly they rank first in profits as their bill came yesterday right on time, along with their expectation that we pay right on time.  But they are not held to the same accountability.  People just coming into the area say they have never experienced the power outages that are a regular occurrence here.  And Pepco just asked for a rate raise too!  Talk about cojones!  But I think this time they will be met with more fines instead of raises.  Peoples ire is up.  We are fed up, the politicians are fed up!  Maybe something will finally be done about them.  I can always hope.  In the meantime, the Moderate State is hanging up its nameplate and looking for a new moniker!  Any ideas?

So yeah, heat.  So hot in fact that I haven’t felt like cooking.  It’s too hot even to stand at the grill.  So we are making drinks, baby!  Look for a drink recipe after the week ahead.

 

I am continuing to review two more books in the Dancing With The Devil series by Megan Derr.  Just a outstanding series by a great writer and a wonderful lead into the week of July 16th which will be concentrating on book series all week.  I think you will love it.  So this is how this week will play out if the power stays on:

Monday:                                  Midnight (DWTD #3) by Megan Derr

Tuesday:                                  Ruffskin (DWTD #4) by Megan Derr

Wednesday:                            Almost Paradise by Caitlin Ricci

Thursday:                                Torquere Short Stories

Friday:                                      Stolen Dreams by Sue Brown

Saturday:                                  Author Spotlight: Nicole Kimberling

 

For your summer drinking pleasure, a Catalina Margarita!
1 1/2 oz tequila
1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
4 oz sweet and sour mix

Directions

Shake with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail or margarita glass.