An Alisa Review : Kink Aware (Kiss of Leather #9) by Morticia Knight

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Cruella can’t wait to show Ray the ropes…

Working at Rogue Ink is a dream job for Cruella, especially being around the hunky co-owner, Ray. Even though the money isn’t great, the eye candy and Ray’s caring heart make it all worthwhile. When Cruella risks rejection by inviting Ray to be their partner for a shibari class at Kiss of Leather, they’re thrilled when Ray accepts.

Cruella’s invitation both excites and terrifies Ray. He wants Cruella, but does he also want to become more kink aware? Still, he could kick himself for not already making a move on the sweet and beautiful Cruella, so maybe this is his chance. His protective instincts have gotten him into serious trouble before, so he’ll be sure not to make the same mistake with Cruella. They’ve made it clear they can take care of themself.

Cruella fears that Ray won’t accept their genderqueer identity and Ray aches to be the strong man Cruella needs. However, when Cruella’s dark past intrudes on their blissful present, Ray’s definition of strength might turn out to be harsher than Cruella is willing to accept.

 

Ugh, I feel frustrated because I am not sure what to say.  I have loved the series so far but this one fell pretty flat for me.  Cruella would act shy and maybe a little unsure but it seemed like more of an act to me than their true feelings.  Ray seems pretty genuine but I feel he gets in trouble for Cruella’s inexperience as a dominant.

 

The story was as well written as all the others but I just didn’t feel like this couple was actually ready for a D/s relationship and didn’t feel much connection to the characters.  I love how Ray was trying to take care of Cruella in regards eating but that seemed to just disappear part of the way through the book and the suddenly Cruella was in charge all the time but never actually placed any rules or restrictions with it.  I don’t want to feel like all I am doing is dissing the book but my frustration with their relationship overrode much of my enjoyment. I am hoping future stories in the series work better for me.

The like cover art by Erin Dameron-Hill and the visuals of the characters and that it follows the pattern for the series.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: December 18, 2018 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-710-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Kiss of Leather #9

Release Blitz – Kink Aware (Kiss of Leather 9) by Morticia Knight

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Kink Aware (Kiss of Leather 9)

Author: Morticia Knight

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Genre/s: Gay/Genderqueer BDSM Contemporary Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 58 500 words/184 pages

It can be read as a standalone story, although part of a series.

If it is part of a series are the other books also available for review? Yes

Release Date: December 18, 2018

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Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon Germany

Kobo

B&N

Pride Publishing

Blurb

Working at Rogue Ink is a dream job for Cruella, especially being around the hunky co-owner, Ray. Even though the money isn’t great, the eye candy and Ray’s caring heart make it all worthwhile. When Cruella risks rejection by inviting Ray to be their partner for a shibari class at Kiss of Leather, they’re thrilled when Ray accepts.

Cruella’s invitation both excites and terrifies Ray. He wants Cruella, but does he also want to become more kink aware? Still, he could kick himself for not making a move yet on the sweet and beautiful Cruella, so maybe this is his chance. His protective instincts have gotten him into serious trouble before, so he’ll be sure not to make the same mistake with Cruella. They’ve made it clear they can take care of themself.

Cruella fears that Ray won’t accept their genderqueer identity and Ray aches to be the strong man Cruella needs. However, when Cruella’s dark past intrudes on their blissful present—Ray’s definition of strength might turn out to be harsher than Cruella is willing to accept.

Excerpt

I don’t know why I torture myself like this.

Cruella slid each delectable garment along the new arrivals rail in the Rags & Rhinestones vintage clothing store, almost drooling over the spectacular collection of goodies that Heath had picked up at an estate sale over the weekend. Their rather limited clothing allowance of the past couple months had gone to purchase rope for the shibari class. They sighed. It would be so worth it if Ray would let them tie him up in bed.

It certainly seemed to turn him on the other night when I suggested it.

If they were being honest, the idea had them rather hot too. When they had originally signed up for the class, the eroticism of the art hadn’t been the strongest attraction to learning shibari. At least not in terms of tying up a partner for sex. Their thought process had been more along the lines of the visual appeal, not necessarily using it as a prelude to, or as part of, making love.

They stepped behind a round rack to conceal their arousal as their mind wandered to Saturday morning when Ray had kneeled before them in the shower and sucked them to completion. While they’d never viewed themselves as someone who wanted to dominate a partner, they’d begun to consider that the desire to do so had been there all along but hadn’t been allowed to flourish.

That sure as hell was the case with Tucker.

Ray on his knees, Ray tied up and at their mercy, Ray beneath them as they fucked him into the mattress—all those scenarios had been playing on a loop in their head ever since they’d last seen him. They knew one thing for sure, when they got together with Ray that night to finally work on their class project, they were going to get a little rope action in bed if nothing else.

“Hey, Cruella. See anything you like?”

Cruella glanced up at the shop owner, Heath. “Hi, hon. Trust me, I see plenty I like.” Cruella let out another mournful sigh. “But I’m broke this month.”

Heath tsked, shaking his head. “I keep telling you, come work for me. You have a better sense of style than anyone who’s ever worked here, and you’d get an employee discount.”

Cruella barked out a laugh. “And never come home with a paycheck. No, they pay me well at Rogue, at least a couple more bucks an hour then I would get for that type of job. Especially since I’m not a manager or anything.”

“I’ll match what they’re giving you right now, with an eye toward making you a manager here eventually.”

Cruella blinked repeatedly as they stared at the tall, blond-haired cutie they’d come to know over the past few years of being a regular at the shop. Heath had teased them more than once about coming to work for him, but had never made such a serious offer. Cruella hadn’t been kidding, though, about never coming home with a paycheck. The killer clothes, shoes and handbags that regularly filled the shop to the brim would suck the cash right out of their pocket. Their buyer resistance was next to non-existent.

“You can’t be serious, hon. Why would you do that? And why do you need a manager?”

Heath draped an elbow over the rail and leaned against the rack. “So fucking serious, doll, you have no idea. Look, to begin with, most of the staff who come through here are either clueless and couldn’t give two shits about fashion or chose this job by wandering down the street until they spotted it and thought, ‘gee, this looks like a great place to steal from.’ I can’t even with these losers anymore.” Heath glanced around the shop, the few other customers in the large, rectangular space seemingly lost in their own perusing. He leaned in closer. “I love this shop. I’m flippin’ proud of what I built up over the past five years. But damn, honey. I haven’t had a social life since I turned twenty-two.” Heath huffed. “And I was only out and proud for two years before that, so this girl hasn’t had nearly as much fun as she should’ve by now.”

Cruella fingered the nineteen-twenties mauve velvet coat that they could totally picture themselves in and considered Heath’s words. “Wow, I guess I never thought about how much work it must take to run this place on your own. Although, the owners of Rogue seem to work nonstop. But at least there’s three of them to handle the responsibility.”

Heath furrowed his brow. “Is that little sweetheart who was kidnapped still doing okay?”

After the dust had settled from the horrible events surrounding Liam’s kidnapping, Cruella had been able to work out that Heath’s shop was where Neal had called the police from.

“He’s doing fine. I think in his case having the responsibility of a new business has done wonders at keeping him distracted and dwelling on what happened.” Cruella chuckled. “Of course, his fiancé keeps him more than distracted enough anyway.”

Heath smiled. “That’s good to hear.” Heath glanced over his shoulder as someone approached the register. “Listen, you think about what I said.” He squeezed Cruella’s arm. “I meant every word.”

Cruella let their finger run down the beaded edging of the coat until they found the price tag. They sucked in a sharp breath as they absorbed the amount of the vintage item. Two hundred and twenty-five dollars. They whimpered. I wonder how much of a discount?

About the Author

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little hearts desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share—her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Since then, she’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists along with titles receiving recognition in the Rainbow Book Awards, Divine Magazine and Love Romance Café.

Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the North Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men, she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

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RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

An Alisa Review: Lost and Found (Dave&Carter) by Quin Perin

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

He is…

half my age,

my son’s friend,

and he calls me Daddy.

I bring him to his knees until he does the same to me.

 

“He was like a greedy little puppy, trying to please me. And goddamn, I needed him to need me.”

 

A May/December Second Chance Romance. After their first encounter in “Take it All”, Lost and Found explores how Dave and Carter’s relationship took root and blossomed.

I know I am not in the majority here but while I enjoyed the story there were just a few things that bugged me.  Dave and Carter continue their relationship in secret for years following their first encounter.

I liked the connection between these two even if Dave continued to deny how deep that connection was.  I was glad the Carter was willing to stand up for what he wanted but felt bad that Dave made him a dirty secret.  I had trouble with Dave always making a decision he thought was best without any discussion or making sure he had all the information, even if he was the Daddy.  I don’t know if I would have been able to go back to Dave like Carter did at the end when he found the truth.

The cover art by X Potion Designs is nice and is similar to “Take it All”.

Sales Link:  Amazon to come

Book Details:

ebook, 80 pages

Published: November 22, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Dave & Carter

A Free Dreamer Review: Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles #2) by A.G. Carothers

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Last time on Dragon War Chronicles, we left our heroes fighting for their lives in the midst of battle…

Kollin races against time to get samples of the weapon used in Canada to their lab in Oslo. Kenshin races to get Danica back home in time to save her, Aiden and Xander. Danica’s allies start to converge in Toulouse in aide and help to prepare for what may come.

Will Kollin be able help save Danica, Aiden, and Xander before all is lost? Will Matt be able to track down who’s responsible for a new weapon that threatens them all? What will happen when Danica’s biggest secret is revealed?

Secrets are revealed that will change the future for all dragon and SLIP kind alike.

Warning: This book contains explicit sexual situations that are MM, MF, and MMMF. There are romantic relationships displayed that are MM and some depictions of loving and consensual BDSM relationships. There are also bad puns, a game of tag with an invisible dragon, and lions, jaguars, and bears. Oh my!

After the brilliant first part of the series, I had very high expectations of Secrets Revealed. Sadly, the book didn’t quite live up to them.

The book starts right where the first part left off with such an awful cliffhanger, so we don’t need to wait in agony for too long. That also means this really doesn’t work as a stand-alone.

I really liked all the different SLIPs we got to meet. There are several new species being introduced and it was very interesting to learn more about them. I won’t say too much, but there was this one ritual that I found truly fascinating and really well written.

Just like the first book, there’s hot sex aplenty. We get more scenes between Xander and Matt and I have to say, these two are wonderful together. And I think I read my first ever foursome.

My biggest problem with the book was probably the length, or rather the lack thereof. For a good while, Danica is unconscious, then there’s lots of sex, some romance and a couple of shocking new reveals. But the plot itself didn’t really seem to be going anywhere. All it did, really, was set the stage for the big fight we’ll probably get in book three. It just felt like an interlude, not a real book. At least the ending wasn’t a horribly mean cliffhanger this time around.

While I was a bit disappointed in “Secrets Revealed”, it was a fun read in and of itself, just not with a lot of substance behind it. I’m looking forward to the next installment of the series.

The cover art by Angsty G is really gorgeous. I think I like it even more than that of book one, if only because it’s blue, which is my favourite colour.

Sales Links:

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2RwECSl

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2SF0lbP

Book details:

Kindle Edition, 167 pages

Published November 2nd 2018

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Just Say the Word by Elizabeth L. Brooks & Lynn Townsend

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This book made me destroy my process. When I’m going to review a book, I open up a notepad so while I’m reading I can put down all the important names, things I like and don’t like, and my feelings regarding what I read. Usually, by the time I’m done reading the book, the review just needs to come together with connector sentences. I had that happening until the last 25 percent of the book when I realized I was going to have to trash the whole thing and start over. The review was not looking good up until that time and then, I got the point (I hope); however, there are things I still think might have been better executed.

The story is about an established couple, who after a year together start on a journey of adding kink to their love life. Tom is a prosecutor who met his boyfriend Gage, a police detective, at work. Much is made of Tom being an experienced dom and switch. Gabe is the bisexual, widowed vanilla guy in this scenario. I like how a few pages in, I knew everything I need to know about everyone involved, just from a natural sounding conversation instead of an info dump. Having said that, it does seem strange that Tom hasn’t really shared anything about his sexual history with Gage until one of his colleagues says something.

This is erotica, so don’t expect a lot of plot. Most of the book just moves them from one scene to another. The scenes focus on the actual descriptions of the various positions or tools so they aren’t even as erotic as they could be. In fact, many of them are upsetting as one thing after another goes wrong with each scene. Gabe is excited but unsure and yet when given complete control, sinks into it, at odds with the blushing novice of the previous scene. This really wouldn’t have worked without them trusting each other so well already. That is why it doesn’t make sense how Tom gets injured, especially when much is made of his previous experience later. Also, since we are getting Gabe’s POV, I’m not sure how he knows how to use the equipment and what to expect about how Tom’s reactions to bondage are going to go. Their second scene is shibari, in multiple patterns, with Gabe using instructions on his phone with no prior indication of Gabe practicing. No, that is just not believable even if there is a nod to acknowledging it isn’t.

Apparently, we missed Gabe’s first time submitting to Tom altogether, which could have been quite interesting psychologically and was a missed opportunity for some emotional depth. That might be optimistic, since the depth at that point seems to just be them calling each other baby, angel, gorgeous, babydoll, and saying I love you often. I was not feeling it. The author skips all of Gabe’s training as a sub, so it’s difficult to gauge the time frame of this book.

Since Tom is into exhibitionism, Gabe secures an invitation to an exclusive BDSM club, because Tom was well known in the scene at one time. After an intense scene, they wander the club instead of going home afterwards and Gabe is thrown into a situation that triggers him, then he has sub drop. So far, I was not impressed with Tom as either a sub, nor as a dom, who didn’t take care of Gabe properly after his first intense public scene. Then, in the next scene Gabe gets injured so I am really frustrated by now. The scene after that Gabe talks about gagging Tom, putting a vibrator in him while he is in bondage and going to sleep. That is also a no for me, especially when he is not in the proper mindset to do a scene at all after a traumatic day at work. At least he realizes it, but that is another scene gone really wrong. At this point, I am wondering if the authors are writing a what not to do manual.

Yet, it also doesn’t really work as a study of a couple exploring their kinky side together because we miss so much of their journey, it’s difficult to be emotionally invested. Having the POV be all over the place, contributed to that. By the time I actually feel the connection between the two of them, the book is almost over. The most erotic scene in the book at that point is when they are not kinky at all.

The scenes actually work better when Gabe is the dom for some reason. I’m not always a fan of accents in books, so it would be fine without the phonetics. I think there should have been more about them as people, or as a couple, other than sex scenes. If the goal was to show all the mistakes they make and how they grow over time, that could have been shown with practicing with equipment, taking classes, or other ways that were less stressful for the reader than having all the scenes end with one of them distressed, injured, or showing bad judgment. In the end, it is quite an effective reminder that most of what you read, where the dom is seemingly perfect at everything and a mind reader…that’s crap. It takes a long time, trial and error, and commitment from both parties, especially when there is experimentation, to get good at doing scenes. All doms and subs are different, will react differently, and just learning one person really well is a challenge.

The final scene is the one that goes as planned, is erotic, and shows the love they have for each other where it is written so it’s easier to connect to it. I just wish it hadn’t been quite as upsetting to get there, but then imagine being the one these things happen to, or the one who did them to the person they love. Everyone makes mistakes, but when it involves unintentionally hurting someone, or being hurt, imagine the trust and love it takes to keep coming back again and again. So, I hope that was what the book was trying to show and I have rated it accordingly.

The cover art is done by Written Ink Designs. The picture lets you know that the content of the book involves kink. I think the title is layered with meaning for the story.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 137 pages
Published September 21st 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634867344

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Counterpoint (Twisted Wishes #2) by Anna Zabo

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I honestly didn’t think it would be possible for a sequel to be better than the first story in this series, Syncopation, but I was wrong—very, very wrong. This book exceeded all my expectations and effortlessly moved to my top five of 2018.

Adrian Doran heads out to dinner one night in his Brooklyn neighborhood and happens to be seated next to a stunning, nerdy looking guy who returns his casual perusal with one of his own. Adrian is a computer programmer for a NYC bank by day and a Dom by preference in the rest of his life. When the guy accepts Adrian’s offer of a bite of his lemon meringue pie and then proceeds to moan and make subtle orgasmic facial expressions, Adrian knows what, and who, his next goal is going to be.

Dominic Bradley is a quiet, unassuming bookworm, who enjoys reading most genres of literature, visiting museums, playing his guitar, and being an all-around geek. With Adrian he discovers his submissive side, but he suffers from social anxiety, especially when he needs to take the stage with his bandmates in Twisted Wishes, a well-known rock band. To do so, he dons a new personality, Domino Grinder, a rock god who wears leather, has an upper body covered in tattoos, wears makeup, and throws the finger at the world. The lead guitarist takes bull from no man. But Dominic and Domino can’t coexist and as Dominic succumbs to the allure of a new relationship with Adrian, he’s going to have to hide Domino or risk losing the man.

As their relationship grows and Dominic discovers rope play really cements his submissive role with Adrian, he despairs of ever being able to let Adrian in on who he really is. He desperately wants to introduce him to his bandmates, and he wants to find a way to merge his two sides but backs away from any confrontation until it’s almost too late. When Adrian spots Dominic’s tattoos on the arm of the lead guitarist for Twisted Wishes on a magazine cover, he loses hope for a future with the man he loves. Can these two continue their D/s relationship and continue to grow their love if one can’t trust the other completely?

I love this author’s writing style and creativity. Caught up and totally immersed in the relationship between Adrian and Dom, I rooted for both men equally and was captivated by each page-turn as their lives took new twists and turns. Adrian was being undermined at work in a job that provided no satisfaction. Dominic was playing as Domino all day while the band practiced or did promo events, yet he couldn’t let in the one man who’d make his life even better so switched to Dominic the moment Domino was no longer needed. The dynamic of the two men in both their private D/s lives and their “out in the world” lives was comfortable, strong, balanced, in sync, and loving. But their secrets nearly broke them apart.

I accidentally discovered this author last year, but I am 100% on board as a fan. I have yet to read something that isn’t top quality and I highly recommend this story. In fact, I highly recommend this series to fans who enjoy books featuring musicians, domination/submission, great plots, interesting deep characterizations, and MM romance. 

The gorgeous, attractive cover features a handsome, bearded, dark-haired guitarist—complete with the tattoo described in the story, set against a bright turquoise background, the bottom border of which shows fans at a rock concert. It’s perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition
Expected publication: September 24th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488089374
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Twisted Wishes #2

Syncopation

Counterpoint

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Threepeat (Secrets #3) by KC Wells and Parker Williams

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Rating: 4.5 stars pout of 5

I love KC Wells, and in combo with Parker Williams, this dynamic duo always makes reading a pleasure. The BDSM stories in Collars and Cuffs are among my favorites, and so far, the stories from the new club, Secrets have been great. Add to that the fact that I love ménage, and I was set up to love this one right from the start.

And I did enjoy it tremendously, even though I felt a little icky a few times when the two big Doms were with their boy, a twenty-year-old twink who had been abandoned by his family. They weren’t overbearing and there were no heavy BDSM scenes. In fact, they were very respectful of his needs and aware of his family history where he was beaten by his father and brothers. I just think I would have liked them to be a little younger—a smaller age gap. That being said, their specific ages weren’t mentioned so I assumed their ages based on their successful careers—and on the cover photo.

On the positive side, we had ample opportunity to see characters from previous books in the series—Jarod and Eli, Vic and Ben, Ellis and Wayne, and Jarod’s inimitable mother, Maggie. She’s a hoot and very well-written. Ben and Ellis played a major role in helping Tim acclimate to his new lifestyle, and I came to like them more in this story than I had when I first met them.

Aaron and Sam had suffered from the abandonment by their sub for two years when Aaron bumped into a very ill Tim outside a shop. It was evident to the soft-hearted man that the boy was homeless and suffering, so he opened his home to Tim until he healed. He had permission from Sam, of course, and by the time Tim had gotten healthier, all three were enmeshed emotionally. As Tim learned more about their lifestyle and came to care for the sweet gentle giants, he realized being with them as their sub was something he definitely wanted. 

The story explores the Dom-sub relationship dynamic, safe practices, and the ménage dynamic. By the end of the story I was totally invested in the threesome, and I am looking forward to seeing more of them when Secrets introduces us to another couple. The revisits by past characters are always appreciated.

The cover by Reese Dante is a close-up photo of all three men, and after I finished the story I realized it’s intended to be a selfie. Cute concept.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 340 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640808034
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSecrets #3

Sean Michael on Writing, HEA, and The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) (author interview)

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The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon  |   Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael here today on his tour for The Gentle Dom.  Welcome, Sean.
♦︎

 

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

It both has and hasn’t. I read a ton of sci-fi/fantasy and a ton of romance growing up. In fact romance (Harlequin’s) were my escape, my way to wind down. So it’s interesting that that’s what I write the most. I love sci-fic and fantasy, but they are harder to write for me. I think there’s more pressure in writing that for me, because of all the reading I’ve done.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Just the opposite, in fact. The more the characters are hurting, the faster I write because I have to get them out of that situation.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Absolutely I like them. There’s enough harshness in the world. Romance is an escape. I want people to leave my books feeling happy, positive. I want them to be able to escape, even if only for a short while.

What’s next for you as an author?

There’s always another book. I’ll finish one and go yay! and then charge right into the next one.

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I hardly ever drink, and when I do, it’s usually just a single drink, and I don’t think I’ve ever drunk written. I have written super exhausted and it’s hilarious to go back and see the last few paragraphs I wrote – it looks like I was high or drunk, trust me!

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

On the beach (in the shade).

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because I have to. What I write is as an escape from all the negativity in the world.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

About The Gentle Dom…

When one of their own is threatened, the men of the Iron Eagle Gym will stand together and prove they are stronger as a family.

Stuntman Barclay Drambor suspects his fall from a roof was no accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it. Fortunately, a year has gone by with no word from Duncan, letting Barclay move on with his life—and that means dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He finds personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon through a member of the gym, and it’s not long before their workouts together become much more intimate. Rec is gentle and goes out of his way to make Barclay comfortable, and in no time there’s talk of moving in together….

But just as Barclay is healing and finding a place to belong, Duncan returns to destroy his happiness. Though Duncan will learn he’s messing with the wrong group of men, in the end, Barclay must face him. Will Rec’s love and the friendship of the others at the gym give him the confidence to stand up for himself?

About Sean Michael

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

New Release Blitz for Push Me Pull Me by Amanda Rhodes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Push Me Pull Me

Author: Amanda Rhodes

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 30, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 20000

Genre: Contemporary, lesbian, pansexual, BDSM

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

At twenty-four, Mallory Grant is still struggling with adulthood. She can’t seem to make it in to work on time and deals better with her Tumblr friend on the other side of the world than a face-to-face with a real live human. But when her boss threatens to fire her as a rental agent, Mallory has to buckle down with her new client or end up jobless.

Corinne Ibori is moving to the Chicago area and needs a place to call home. Mallory’s goal is to find just the right location for Corinne’s needs and show her boss she’s turned over a new leaf. Corinne is thirty-five, self-confident, beautiful, flirty, has a French accent, and knows what she wants.

Mallory is finding it hard to believe that what Corrine wants might be her.

Excerpt

Push Me Pull Me
Amanda Rhodes © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Today has to be a new record for me. Forty-five minutes late for work and I’m sitting in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru behind a line of cars at least a half mile long. One might think I have no respect for punctuality. And they’d be right. I’ve been on a losing streak lately with my alarm clock. It tries so hard to wake me up with the beeping and the screeching.

I have to have my coffee before I meet the day head-on, though. Therefore, I wait. Might as well be productive while I sit here. I text Helena, asking her if she’s seen my Tumblr post with the new pictures of Charlize Theron. She’s cut all of her hair off, and it’s sexy as fuck. Maybe she did it for a new movie role, maybe just to torture me. It’s hard to say.

Helena replies back, “Duh, Mallory. Of course, I’ve seen it.” She immediately saved it to her hard drive for safekeeping. This is why we are friends. Unfortunately, though, she lives on the other side of the ocean so most of our conversations are in the form of emails and texts.

I don’t really do so well with live humans unless I’m getting paid to customer-service them. I’m perfectly content with the friends that live inside my computer as far as my personal life goes. Helena gets me, and I make her laugh. Works out perfectly.

A few more cars move, and I’m almost to the ordering screen. I check the clock. 9:15 a.m. Yikes. This is super late, even for me. Silently, I pray that my boss isn’t in this morning—still traveling or has tripped on her kids’ Legos and sprained her ankle.

“Mallory, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to make it in today. You’ll be able to hold down the fort without me, right?”

“Absolutely, Shelly. You can count on me. I’ve been here for hours now. Everything is going smoothly.”

“Perfect. You’re an amazing employee. I’m definitely giving you a raise and maybe even an expense account. Also, I think you should take a month-long vacation when I get back. Honk.”

HONK. HONK. HONK.

The person who’s waiting behind is obviously super pissed by my delayed response.

“Sorry!” I yell from inside my car where no one can hear me. I wave, hoping they forgive my idiotic daydreaming.

Quickly, I pull through, order my coffee and the bagel I swore to myself I wouldn’t get.

When I make it to work, I realize that my daydream was exactly that. There’s a sticky note lying on my desk from Shelly.

See me when you get in.

There’s no “Thanks!” or her name with a smiley face. She knows that I’ll be aware of exactly who wrote the note. And she knows that I’ll be aware of exactly what I need to see her about.

The sense of dread I feel at moments like this never motivates me to do the right thing (i.e. show up on time), but only serves to remind me of how much I suck at life. That nasty little voice in my head is chanting “loser alert!” over and over.

Staring at the note, I take a minute to contemplate my next move. I could fake the stomach flu, invoking her pity. Well, at least temporarily. I’ll have to face the facts at some point, and that some point might as well be now. Sucking it up, I throw my things on my desk and do the walk of shame to her office.

I could easily walk through this maze of dull gray cubicles with my eyes closed. I’ve done it so many times. The chatter of twenty different people on the phone, scheduling apartment viewings, fills the air. Ben’s giant pair of green foam Hulk hands sit atop his bookshelf. I give them a fist bump. Ben glances up from his phone call, nods, and winks. He’s the only tolerable human here.

Almost every desk has one or two framed pictures of loved ones, boyfriends, kids, husbands. A candid of a group of friends at a wedding taunts me as I walk past Tracy’s desk. She also has a Post-it note holder in the shape of a red high-heeled shoe. She thinks it’s cute, and I think it’s hideous.

Each time I have to make the trip from my desk to Shelly’s, I’m forced to think about the absence of pictures and mementos on mine. Yeah, I could frame a picture of my brother or of my childhood dog, Scrabble, but I don’t actually want anyone here to know that much about me.

Peeking around the corner, I check to see if the boss-lady is on the phone or possibly reaming some other poor soul a new asshole, in which case I can hightail it out of here. No such luck. She peers up from her desk, her face the picture of annoyance. She extends her hand, waving me in.

“Hi, Shelly! You wanted to see me?” I ask cheerily.

“Save it. Sit down. We need to talk.” Her tone isn’t angry, just fed up. Honestly, this makes me feel even worse. She used to like me. And she’s stuck her neck out for me more than once. I’ve disappointed yet another person in my life. I might need to start a spreadsheet in order to keep track.

Awkwardly, I take a seat across from her, trying to work out if I should cross my legs or leave them uncrossed. Which leg position makes a person seem less like a failure?

“Listen,” she says, sighing deeply. “I know this isn’t your dream job. Nor would I expect you to treat being a leasing agent as such. But I do expect that you show some respect for me. I don’t make office hours for shits and giggles, Mal. You had an appointment this morning with a client. She sat in the lobby waiting for you for almost an hour.”

Fuck. Me.

“Exactly.”

I didn’t realize I’d said that out loud.

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NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Amanda Rhodes watches way too much TV and has a ridiculous amount of books on her to-be-read pile, yet she keeps buying them. She’s been writing since… well for a long time. Amanda loves the paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy but could never ever write it herself. She’ll leave that up to the weirdos who do it best. Amanda lives in Chicago with her wife, four children, and pitbull who is a lazy bum.

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Michaela Grey on Research, Writing, and her new release Broken Rules (author guest blog)

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Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey 

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Kanaxa

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 ♦︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Michaela Grey here today talking about research, writing, and her latest novel, Broken Rules.  Welcome, Michaela.

♦︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Michaela Grey

 

(Brief suicide mention below)

 

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures? To an extent, yes, it plays a role. For instance, I’m unlikely to give a character a career that bores me, because then I’ve just forced myself into the unenviable position of having to do a ton of research in a deadly dull topic. That’s why I choose careers I’m interested in. Then I genuinely enjoy the research (of which there is a ton, you never really leave school behind) and in the end, my stories are better.

 

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? No, funnily enough—I read primarily “swords and horses” fantasy growing up, with a smattering of sci-fi, and now I 100% write contemporary romance.

 

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed? Oh yes. It was actually the most difficult topic, for me—suicide. The character starts his book suicidal and gets worse throughout. It was very difficult to write because I ended up in a similar place and couldn’t see a way out either. So I put it away for over a year and focused on myself. I recently finished that book, and while it will never be an easy read for me, it’s still one of my proudest accomplishments. That, and the fact that I’m still here.

 

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why? I love HFN and HEA equally. Mostly because I’m such a Pollyanna that I can make any HFN into an HEA in my head. If they’re happy now, they’ll be happy forever, the end.

 

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult? As a teenager, no. As an adult, absolutely. I’ve read upwards of 100 books so far this year, I think? I’m a voracious reader. My record is 3.65 novels in a 24 hour period.

 

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up? There are a lot of writers I look up to, who have an incredible way with words and a turn of phrase that makes my heart sing. People like Roan Parrish, Avon Gale, Piper Vaughn, Maggie Stiefvater, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, etc. I don’t think I could list just one.

 

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? I love it! I read 100% digitally – switching between my phone, work computer, home computer, and Kindle – and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s right there when I need it, I can store a bajillion books in this small device, I can connect with other readers, leave reviews, find similar products—what’s not to love?

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part) So far, all my covers have been done by Dreamspinner’s art team. They ask what my vision is for the cover, I tell them, and they strive to bring it to life. I have to say, my latest cover is absolutely my favorite. My artist, Kanaxa, somehow recreated almost exactly what was in my head. It’s a little eerie, looking at it.

 

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why? I think this current book, Broken Rules, will always have a top spot in my heart, mostly because Fox is my favorite character. But each book I write moves into the favorite position at least for awhile.

 

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest? Depends on the faults. Someone who’s rude to hide their feelings but learns it’s okay to have emotions by the end of the book? Sure. Someone who thinks genocide is peachy keen? Not so much. I love writing unlikeable heroes. I love taking this rude, snarky, horrible person and then peeling back the layers and showing my readers—look, this is why he is the way he is. Now let’s watch him learn to become a better person. You’ll see that trope a lot in my books, it’s one of my favorites.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters? Intelligence, a sense of humor, kindness. If a person isn’t smart, funny, and genuinely good at the core, I’m just not interested.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? Why do you write? I write for a lot of reasons. To get away, yes. So much is happening that it can be overwhelming and make me despair, so my writing helps give me the strength to keep going. I also write to face my own experiences, to work through them and learn to deal with them. And I write to show the world that there is no one way to tell a story about people falling in love. It can happen to anyone. I write to make people happy and to help them see themselves reflected back from the page.

What’s next for you as a writer? Well, I just finished the fourth in the Mended Hearts series, of which Broken Rules is #2. Alas, no more new works for me for awhile, because now I have #3, Broken Trust, to edit and send out, as well as one my agent wants me to work on so she can get it to some bigger houses. And as soon as I’m done with those two, it’s time to tackle a trilogy I set aside and rewrite all three books. You can find me on Twitter @greymichaela where I’ll be complaining about how “edit” is a four-letter word for awhile. 😉 Thanks for having me!

Blurb:

Sanyam Desai is a Dom, a master of his craft. He knows exactly how to make a person beg, and he does it for a living, but he has no idea how to be in love.

Sterling Reynard is in desperate need of manners and someone who cares enough to take him in hand, but he knows he’ll never be loved.

When Sterling’s world crumbles around him, he turns to the one person who’s never asked for anything from him but his trust. But their relationship is built on quicksand, and one careless word will bring the whole thing down.

About the Author

Michaela Grey lives and writes in the Texas hill country. Her hobbies include knitting, analyzing her favorite TV shows, and experiencing intense feelings over fictional characters. Michaela Grey told stories to put herself to sleep since she was old enough to hold a conversation in her head. When she learned to write, she began putting those stories down on paper. She and her family reside in the Texas hill country with their cats, and she is perpetually on the hunt for peaceful writing time, which her children make difficult to find. When she’s not writing, she’s watching hockey videos or avoiding responsibilities on Twitter, where she shamelessly ogles pretty people and tries to keep her cat off the keyboard.

Social media:

Twitter: @GreyMichaela

Tumblr: http://greymichaela.tumblr.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreyMichaela

Email: greymichaela@gmail.com