Book Blast: On Tour with Lou Sylvre’s Vasquez and James (contest)


LovingLukiVasquezLgDelsynsBluesLGFindingJackieLGSavingSonnyJamesLGYesLGBecause of Jade 400x600

 Who is Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James?  

One of the hottest, complex couples around in M/M fiction.  Luki Vasquez, of Hawaiian and Basque descent, has a tortured past and a present as a former law enforcement agent.  Sonny Bly James is a Yakama  native american living in Port Clifford, Washington and a fiber artist of renown.  He too arrives with a past strewn with pain and problems.  Together they form one of the most fascinating and continually evolving couples around.   All thanks to their creater, Lou Sylvre, who just happens to be here today to give away an entire set of the Vasquez and James books!

Read the blurbs and excepts and don’t forget to enter the contest by the Rafflecopter link provided!

This is a must read series. On to my interview with Lou Sylvre.

STRW:    Your Vasquez and James series now includes 6 stories….is there more to come?

Lou Sylvre:  No, I think not. A few people have asked me to write another book, and I considered it, but basically, when I wrote Because of Jade, I felt that at last Luki and Sonny had found a true HEA, and I’ve decided to stick with that. There may be a short story or similar at some time, but the series is filled to the brim I think. They will be secondary characters, however in upcoming spinoffs.

STRW:    What it is about these men and their relationship that has compelled you to continue to write about them?

Lou Sylvre:  They’ve demanded it, in one way or another. I do prefer to read series, and for probably the same unexamined reasons prefer to write them as well, so I did know it would be a series—but I’d expected three or four books, not six. Except for Loving Luki Vasquez, which grew out of the characters that presented themselves to me, each book has been the one that was needed to resolve something in the previous one and carry the love story to its next level. None of the books were the ones I’d planned, but the big surprises were the novella, Yes, and the final book, Because of Jade. Still, once the series was complete, it feels to me like those books, as well as the others, were inevitable from the very start.

STRW:   Sonny James is a textile artist.  Are you a weaver yourself?  If not?  Why make Sonny a textile artist?

Lou Sylvre:  I’ve done quite a bit with textiles—sewing, quilting, a lot of crochet—but other than some very basic baskets and some lap weaving, years ago, and bead weaving until my eyesight made that nearly impossible, I’ve not done any weaving. I knew a woman once (who is actually mentioned briefly in Delsyn’s Blues), who was very accomplished with the loom. I remember visiting her and seeing a partially finished blanket she was weaving using a vivid red, a dye she made from cochineals which she kept in her freezer. It was a long while ago—late 70’s I think, and at the time I had a Judy Collins lp with a song that spoke of a weaver, in whose hands “traveled” bright red and other colors. The image stayed with me always, along with the music, and somehow a path in my mind led me to apply it to Sonny. I always knew he was an artist, accomplished, learned, and completely in love with his medium and tools. He’s perfect as a weaver.

STRW:   Weaving, knitting (my love) are incredibly tactile, the textures are as much a passion as the colors.  What is your passion?

Lou Sylvre:  I am passionate about so many things, but I won’t bore you with the list. At this juncture in my life, I’ve put my passion for language first. Prose more than poetry, but definitely informing the meaning with sound, rhythm, and color. I don’t mean saying blue, I mean using words that convey blue, and making them fall in the right place with the right emphasis. I work mostly with every day words rather than hunting up new ones in a thesaurus. I also, conveniently enough, have a passion for story—especially fiction. I enjoy facts, but fiction is where I find deeper truth. And, story and language enrich my interactions with people, and that’s a passion, too.

STRW: Did you have a muse for Vasquez and James or a muse overall?

Lou Sylvre:  Luki Vasquez and Sonny James were (are) my muses for their series, and of course Jade played muse, too, when she came into the picture. And characters do generally act the muse for me, simply because my fiction is strongly character driven. Other than that, engagement with the world around me is the closest thing I have to a muse.

STRW: How much of yourself and your experiences are poured into either Sonny or Luki  or both?

Lou Sylvre:  Really, it’s impossible to say. Although it can truly be said on the one hand that every character is their author, once they come into being they become individuals that don’t necessarily resemble me. I rarely use actual life experiences as a source for my stories, but I know that pieces of my psyche resonate with my characters’ traits and stories. Often, I don’t discover that resonance until during or even long after I’ve written it.

STRW:   Do you see yourself writing in other genres other than contemporary fiction?

Lou Sylvre:  Certainly. Under other names, I’ve written fantasy, magical realism, paranormal, even horror, and Lou Sylvre will undoubtedly visit some of those. I even have some sci-fi I want to write.

STRW:    What do you find sexy in a man?

Lou Sylvre: As a bisexual woman, I have to say that what I find sexy in a man is generally the same thing I find sexy in a woman. It’s a little hard to pin it down to a description, but the women and men I’ve been strongly attracted to in life are people who resemble each other a lot, in manner and their way of moving through the world. Probably I would find them sexy regardless of gender. The best words I can find to describe the primary traits? A kind of strength, ownership of their body, ability to connect, empathize, and able to generate in me a feeling of sanctuary. Physical traits—grace, often tall stature, I love shoulders and hands, the chest (male and female), and hip bones. Etcetera. I find physical flaws that reflect a person’s story, such as scars or a crookedly healed collarbone, enhance a sexy look rather than detract. And, every lover I’ve had has owned a different, singular physical trait that flew me to the moon.

STRW:    Do you have favorites among the characters you write and if so which one?

Lou Sylvre:  Oh, I always feel so guilty answering this question! Yes, I’ll admit, I have favorites. In the Vasquez and James series, Luki is it. If you wonder why, consider my answer to question eight, and read the books. Sonny is like a willow, he bends with the storms, and sends up new shoots to cope with loss. Luki is freaking ironwood. If life is strong enough to wound him, the healing is slow and must be deliberate, but once healed, he will never break in that way again.

STRW:   What’s next up for Lou Sylvre?

Lou Sylvre:  Next is A Shot of J&B, a spinoff from Vasquez and James featuring Jackie Vasquez and Brian Harrison who encountered each other in Finding Jackie. It is suspense/romance, like V&J, but ventures into BDSM light—D/s and rope kink, and Brian and Jackie are very different people from Luki and Sonny.

I also have a completely different type of novel in the works, co-writing with Anne Barwell. It’s Scottish historical set in two times, the early 17th century and mid-18th, and has a strong twist of magical realism.

STRW:  Thank you! This was a great interview.  I loved Jackie and Brian and can’t wait to see what you have in store for them both!

Author Bio:

Lou Sylvre hails from southern California but now lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State. When she’s not writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s usually smiling and laughs too much, some say. She also loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, a Chihuahua named Joe, and (in random order) coffee, chocolate, sunshine, and wild roses.


Visit her at or contact her at


Author Page:

Twitter: @sylvre

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Vasquez-James Series Book Blurbs

Vasquez and James Series Blurb

Professional badass Luki Vasquez and weaver Sonny James meet for the first time in Loving Luki Vasquez, and they might make a sizzling couple if they can ever get past the impulse to run the other way every time romance comes into view. Then again, they have to stay alive if they’re ever to see their wedding day, and tribulation, cruelty, and greed has a way of demanding attention at all the worst moments. Together, they pack a lot of resources to fight for love. If they can hold out, they just might win the enduring love and family they were meant to share.






Loving LukiBlurb(s):

Loving Luki Vasquez – (Vasquez and James Book One)

Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.

While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.



Vasquez and James Short Excerpts

Loving Luki Vasquez

Single Whip led into White Crane Spreads Its Wings, the name of which made Sonny adorably… all right fine, adorably happy. The sequence involved motions that at first felt counterintuitive. Like probably every student in the centuries tai chi had been around, Sonny needed help with it. As he would with any other student, Luki stood behind him, using his own hands to guide Sonny through the move. He wondered if he could get away with teaching him all the rest of the moves in just that way. Perhaps for hours. Every day. For a long time.

As he was teaching and wondering and probably even almost smiling, a wind rose up, splashing spray and sand and whipping Sonny’s long hair at Luki’s face and right into his mouth. On the word “open,” appropriately enough.

Sonny spun around, gathering up his luxurious baked-earth red hair. Before Luki had a chance to close his mouth, Sonny kissed him. A passionate, seeking sort of kiss. A kiss that Luki instinctively returned, though kissing wasn’t a large part of his intimate life, and especially not kissing on the beach.

As suddenly as he started it, Sonny ended it, leaving Luki bereft… frustrated and bereft.

Sonny turned away, refusing eye contact. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done that.” Without any further explanation, he stepped away.

Luki knew fear, could spot it from afar and pick it out in a crowded room. Right now, it ran hot through Sonny’s veins. He reached for Sonny’s arm. “Sonny, what….” What are you afraid of? He ended the question silently. Sonny had already gone.




Delsyn’s Blues – (Vasquez and James Book Two)

Sonny James and Luki Vasquez are living proof that the course of love never runs smoothly. Ambushed by grief, Sonny listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. While revisiting the sorrows and failings of his past, in the here and now he puts up a wall against love. Just when Luki chips through that barricade, the couple becomes the target of a new threat from outside: an escalating and unexplainable rash of break-ins and assaults.

Thoughts of infidelity rise between them, a threat that may strain their newly mended love past its limits. To come through the trials alive and together, Luki and Sonny will have to unite against enemies who were once friends and overcome crippling hatred and overwhelming fear. If they succeed, maybe then they can rekindle the twin flames of passion and love.



Delsyn’s Blues

As he wandered through his bare rooms, Luki traded the perfect, flawlessly tailored clothing he usually wore even at leisure and donned tattered jeans and a faded flannel shirt. Just what Sonny would have worn, and it helped keep Sonny alive in his mind, a man rather than a thin shade. He’d look a lot better than me wearing this, he told himself, padding over the hardwood floor to the only room in the house he ever smoked in, wondering on the way when the floor had become so cold. Once he got there, he switched on the silent fans and the omnidirectional heat, sank into the leather of the only easy chair in the house, and lit up. In his mind, he could hear Sonny clearly, as if his lover stood right next to him. Or sat by him on their love seat. Or sat on the floor at his knees making drawings for a tapestry he would weave so resplendent the world would probably weep. “You should quit,” he’d say.

Luki knew he should quit. Knew that cigarettes… cigarettes and hamburgers were the only flaws in his otherwise perfect health regime. Smoking would someday, probably soon, take a toll. Perversely, when he met Sonny he’d started smoking more than ever before, just because Sonny’s existence in the world nudged him off his solitary perch, the place where he seemingly rose above the world of emotion and let other men into his life only occasionally to practice his skills at cold but perfectly executed sex. With Sonny? Anything but cold. Although still close to perfect. He smiled at the memory of Sonny’s surprised looks when Luki showed him something new, something that, in all his gay years, he’d never felt.

“Luki, please,” he’d say.





Finding Jackie – (Vasquez and James Book Three)

Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James finally have their Hawaiian wedding, and it’s perfect, almost. But their three-phase honeymoon is riddled with strife. Luki’s status as a working badass spells discord for the newlyweds. A former informant from Luki’s days with ATFE brings a troubling message (or is it a warning?) from a Mob hit man. When Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew, Jackie, is lured into capture and torture by a sadistic killer, the honeymoon is well and truly over.

The couple put aside their differences and focus on the grueling hunt, which takes them from leather bars to dusty desert back roads, and calls on Sonny’s deep compassion as well as Luki’s sharpest skills. Their world threatens to fall apart if they fail, but their love may grow stronger than ever if they succeed in finding Jackie—before it’s too late.



Finding Jackie

“You know what, Titus? I don’t want to kill him.” Marcone swept a hand against the cool silk-soft wood of his desktop, thinking of Nadia’s skin. His heart had started beating faster. “I want to show Vasquez why he shouldn’t have been part of anything that screwed with the Marcone name, why he should have made haste to take his fag lover far away the minute he saw there were Marcones involved. This isn’t the first time we’ve opposed one another, but this is the first and will be the last time he’s deliberately involved himself in smearing shit all over my name. I’d have forgiven him everything that came before he realized who Richard and Marina were, if only he’d gone east at that point, instead of racing back west to stick his guns in where they didn’t belong. And I want him to keep remembering, keep feeling the pain he earned with that fuckup, keep that pain with him for years. For the rest of his life.”

“Yes,” Titus breathed, his voice gone low and distant.

“And that won’t be hard either, Titus. I’ve been doing my homework—keeping a watch on him through a variety of sources. He’s got people, and for all his hardass ways, his heart’s like a sponge.”

Titus took a quick breath, and spoke without inflection. “I love people like that.”

The DA’s brows rose, and he smiled. “I know you do, my man. I know you do.”



Saving Sonny James – (Vasquez and James Book Four)

Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.


Saving Sonny James

Almost whispering, breathing in fearful sounding gasps, Sonny said, “Luki, I want you to fuck me…. No. No, I want you to make love to me.” He looked away then back to meet Luki’s eyes, brow lowered with worry. “Luki, I know—”

“Sh! Hush, baby.” Luki kissed the tender arch of Sonny’s foot—the rest of him being out of reach. He looked at Sonny and nodded. “Yes. I want that too.” […] With all the power of his mind, he blocked out the things that would get in the way of him loving Sonny—had been getting in the way for weeks. And with all the power of his heart, he focused everything on his husband, his love. His breath beginning to come faster, biting his lip for stability, he rose on one knee and moved toward his husband.

His hands wanted to wander over Sonny’s skin, and he let them. Let them follow the long slender curves of Sonny’s legs, his inner thighs. When he reached his sex, he framed his husband’s familiar and much-missed cock and balls with his hands, but he didn’t touch them. He let Sonny see the smile in his eyes as he instead moved his hands up over hip bones and belly and abs and pecs with their hard puckered centers of dark, sensitive flesh. Once he reached the chiseled shoulders, he lifted Sonny and pressed him against his own chest. And then he took his lips in a kiss like fire.



Yes – (A Vasquez and James Novella)

Professional badass Luki Vasquez and textile artist Sonny James have been married for five years, and despite the sometimes volatile mix, they’re happy. From their first days together, they stood united against deadly enemies and prevailed. But now the deadly enemy they face is the cancer thriving inside Luki, consuming his lungs.

As Luki’s treatment proceeds, Sonny hovers near, determined to provide every care, control every thread of possibility just as he does when he weaves. But he can’t control the progress of the cancer or how Luki’s body reacts to the treatment regime. Sonny tries, but Luki dances with cancer alone—until he gets a startling reminder of the miracle of life. With renewed determination and mutual love, the two men emerge from their coldest winter into a new spring day.



Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)

[Luki] woke up in profound darkness, aware of Sonny still beside him, but held rigid now while small, strangled noises escaped from deep in his throat. Even if it hadn’t been for the give-away sniffle, Luki would have known. Sonny was crying. Not that “I’m sad” kind of crying that was more a glorified pout. No. Sonny fought for all he was worth not to let a sob fly loose. His heart had a great big, hurting hole in the middle of it, and Luki had put it there, and still Sonny tried to protect him. If he couldn’t stop from crying, by God at least he’d do it quietly and let Luki sleep. But he and Luki had loved too long, too deep, too close for Luki not to hear it anyway, to register it even in his sleep, and understand. And feel it, too, like what Sonny felt.

Luki rolled over and put his arms around the man who, when all was said and done, he loved and would love forever.


Because of Jade 400x600Blurb(s):

Because of Jade – (A Vasquez and James Novel)

Luki Vasquez receives the news he’s still cancer free after five years, and he wants to celebrate with his whole family. He and his husband, Sonny James, take a road trip south, intending to gather at the home of his nephew Josh, Josh’s wife Ruthie, and Jade—a little girl who was still in the womb when she and her mother helped Luki beat lung cancer.

Halfway to their destination, Luki learns Josh and Ruthie have met a tragic death. The horrible news lays Luki low, but he pulls himself together in time to be the family’s rock and see to the dreaded business of tying up loose ends. The most important business is Jade, and when Luki and Sonny head home, they take Jade with them.

Luki and Sonny must combat self-doubt and fear and help each other learn to parent an unexpected child—and they must also nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years. A relative’s spurious claim to Jade threatens the new family, and even if they prevail in court, they could lose their little girl unless they can rescue Jade from evil hands and true peril.


Because of Jade

Later, while Sonny and Jade lay on the floor in front of the fire, and Sonny read Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman! over and over, Luki paced. He stopped occasionally to look out the window, and just as the sky began to lighten he saw that snow had begun to fall, big flakes touching down soft as feathers to cover the lumpy, frozen ground near the house.

Luki turned around to share the wonder of snow with his family, but they had at last fallen asleep stretched flat on the floor on their stomachs—Jade because of her injuries and Sonny because of his aching back. Luki shook his head and smiled, surprised at how much he loved them even though he knew. He threw some wood on the fire and banked it and fetched a light but warm down comforter and a pillow from the bedroom. Laying himself down next to them, he covered them all three, let his head fall to the pillow, and found first peace, and then sleep.


Tour Dates/Stops:

7/18 – The Hat Party, Kimi-Chan

7/25 – Rainbow Gold Reviews, The Novel Approach

8/1 – Hearts on Fire, MM Good Book Reviews

8/8 – Prism Book Alliance, Tara Lain, Fallen Angel Reviews

8/15 – Smoocher’s Voice, Love Bytes

8/22 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nephylim

8/29 – LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Book Reviews and More by Kathy

9/5 – Amanda C. Stone, Emotion in Motion


Sales Links:


Contest:  The prize for Lou Sylvre’s Book Tour Vasquez and James tour is a Series Book Pack.  Must be  18 years of age or older to enter.  Visit the link below for contest details and entry form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley with Snake Charmer, her latest CV Release! (contest)



Carol Lynne_Snake Charmer_Book Tour_final


There’s a LGBTQ Town Out West

Calling Your Name!  Meet

Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley and it’s newest story, Snake Charmer!



Join Carol Lynne on her blog tour to celebrate the release of Snake Charmer. Find out more about her and her writing as each day she reveals answers to more questions.

Contest:  Don’t miss out on the fun by entering for your chance to win a bundle of eBooks from Carol’s backlist with Totally Bound Publishing here. The competition will run from the 28th July-12th August to celebrate the launch of this new title Snake Charmer, with winners being announced at the Totally Bound facebook release party on 12th August.


Five facts about Cattle Valley You Didn’t Know About Cattle Valley!

1. The main threesome in Cattle Valley started as secondary characters in the Good-Time Boys series.

2. Cattle Valley is a fictitious town west of Sheridan, Wyoming. Shhh, don’t say that out loud because some people still like to believe. It’s kind of like Santa Claus.

3. I have yet to talk to a reader of the series who does not wish the town was a real community.

4. The Grizzly Bar is actually a real bar that I visited in Roscoe, Montana. Visited, drank in, it’s all the same thing. Oh, actually, I believe I also played slots in the back.

5. After Obama was first elected President of the United States, I received numerous emails from readers around the world asking how the residents felt about the outcome. It truly broke my heart to inform readers that Cattle Valley was not a real town.


snakecharmer_800Blurb for Snake Charmer:

Sometimes it takes finding an opposite to show us the beauty within ourselves.

When security consultant and ex-mercenary, Gabrielo ‘Snake’ Barbas, thwarts an attack of one of his co-workers, Riley Banks, he takes it upon himself to keep the smaller man safe. His job is made harder when he discovers the attacker is actually Riley’s ex-boyfriend, a ruthless man from a very wealthy and powerful family.

After a night of passion, Snake decides to take Riley far away from Richmond, Virginia to a town in Wyoming for the annual Cattle Valley Days celebration. He should have known that sex with Riley wouldn’t be enough, but he feels he has nothing else to give such a nice guy. Riley is the sexiest man Snake’s ever taken to his bed despite Riley’s claim otherwise.

Riley knows he’s average-looking at best, so why does Snake continue to flatter him? It’s obvious he’s not going to kick Snake out of bed, even after Snake informs him that sex is all he has to give. Why does Snake see him so differently than the rest of the world?

While Riley is busy trying to figure out the man who touches him like no other has before, Snake is busy trying to protect him from a monster in a business suit.

Like the sound of Snake Charmer? You can purchase from Totally Bound today right here!

Carol Lynne Bio:

An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. These days, you can usually find Carol either cleaning jelly out of the carpet or nestled in her favourite chair writing steamy love scenes.

Find out more  about Carol Lynne and her books at  her Author Page at Totally Bound 

Totally Bound Logo

Virtual Book Tour: A Kate Paddington Interview on her book, “Platonic” and Writing (contest)




 Kate Paddington is here today to climb into ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWord’s author armchair for an interview.  I am happy to have Kate here today to talk about her latest release, her thoughts on writing and inspiration. Plus Kate has brought along a contest to celebrate Platonic’s release.

Contest: Kate will be awarding a $25 Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Barnes & Noble GC and a print edition of Bleeding Heart (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.

My interview with Kate Paddington on writing, Platonic and inspiration:

STRW:  What was the inspiration behind Platonic?

Kate P: It started as an idea I had for fan fiction. The relationship between two characters in a TV show hadn’t developed the way I wanted it to – their relationship on screen eventually devolved into a cheating storyline and a break up. I was frustrated and wanted to write a love story where high school sweethearts broke up, then grew up and really figured themselves out, and then came back together to try again as adults. Ultimately I wanted a happy ending love story for two flawed, young individuals and to do that with the original characters I came up with, I had to have them apart for almost a decade.

STRW:   How much research do you do for a story?

Kate P: It is more a story of imagination and storytelling than research and fortunately, the settings were very familiar to me. I know the two main settings, London and New York, as I’ve lived in the former while working at Imperial College and have accumulated several months in the latter. The world of academia and study is familiar as well, although I had to spend quite a while figuring out the US college and legal systems.

STRW:   Which do you choose?  Hero or Antihero?

Kate P:  Antihero, I think, though I am grimacing at the idea. I don’t write the kind of conflicts that need heroes, no epic struggles or evils. I tend to be more interested in character stories about normal people so it’s hard to imagine any of them as heroes. They’re just people, good and bad, and I’ll admit my favorite character in the book probably is more bad than good and that’s why I chose antihero, but I don’t really see my characters or my experiences in the hero/antihero sphere.

STRW:   What genres inspire you?

Kate P:  I read a lot of young adult and fantasy/adventure, which seems strange now that I’m writing erotic romance. They’re the genres I grew up with and I’m more comfortable taking ideas from there, turns of phrase or character traits, and working them into my own stuff than I am being inspired by other peoples’ romance fiction—I never want to accidently take someone else’s work and write my own too close up against it!

STRW:    What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

Kate P:  Finding time, definitely just the finding of time. And I envy anyone who has a problem that isn’t temporal. In the last six months I’ve completed this novel and moved through all the editing processes, I’ve spent two months in the US, some of which was for science conferences. I’ve written up my PhD as well as three or four scientific papers. No one at my day job suspects I’m juggling more than just the usual academic/PhD workload. So right now, I don’t have enough time to write as much fiction as I want. I look forward to the day when I might discover what else I will struggle with!

STRW:    Write what you know or does that even matter?

Kate P:   I think it should be something more like ‘Don’t write what you don’t want to figure out’. I think that’s less limiting and less obviously fallible. I don’t know what a Stanford law degree entails, or fashion design, or gay sex, or how to cook as well as Mark, or the kind of romance my characters experience. That might not be my world, but I’ve put in the time to figure it out. I research where I need to. Direct experience isn’t the only way of learning, and I think limiting authors to what they know can limit literature. But I think what you are writing you need to be interested in and keen to learn about. Otherwise what’s the point?

STRW:   Have you always written M/M?

Kate P:  I actually only started writing m/m about three years ago. Before that I wrote hetrosexual erotica and before that I wrote het romance. Most of this was in fan fiction form, based off of relationships (or relationships I wanted to see) in TV shows and they just happened to all be between a man and a woman (or a male alien and female alien that one time…). In my mind, romance is romance and I can write both without much bother. There are things that make writing or reading two men together better than a straight couple but then there are things I like about writing straight couples, too.

Thanks so much for the chance to chat today! I am very excited to have people reading my novel and happy to talk about it as much as anyone will listen!


Cover_Platonic “Platonic” BLURB:

Mark Savoy and Daniel O’Shea were high school sweethearts who had planned their forevers together. But when Mark goes to college in California rather than following Daniel to New York, he embarks on a decade-long search for independence, sexual confidence and love.

When Mark lands a job in New York and crosses Daniel’s path, they slowly rebuild their fractured friendship through texts and emails. If they finally agree to see each other, will they be able to keep it platonic? Or will the spark of a long-lost love reignite just as Daniel accepts a job overseas?

Platonic is a story of trials, growth, and knowing how to learn lessons from the past to build a future.

Platonic Excerpt:

“Why did you ask me?” Daniel asks, genuinely curious.

“That’s unfair. I’ve been asking you all night why you came.”

Daniel holds his gaze. “You know that night in the bar, when I ran into you?” Mark tilts his head—he remembers. “You asked me to email you and your eyes were wide and pleading and there was no way I was going to be able to say no to you. I remember wondering if you used the same face on juries, to get your way in court. I guess what I’m saying is that I still don’t know how to say no to you. I still don’t know how anyone does.”

Time stops around them, stutters and then kicks back in when their eyes slip away from each other. Neither one of them knows what this is or what to do with it. Neither of them walked into this dinner tonight thinking “seduction” or “relationship” or “date” or anything like that. They were far too busy not thinking it.

“Did you want to say no?” Mark asks.

“Of course not. I wanted to come. Of course I did, Mark.” And then somehow they’re touching. Without giving it any conscious thought, Daniel has reached across the space between them and caught one of Mark’s hands in his.

The realization that they are touching comes slowly to Mark; his nerves feel sluggish, his brain has trouble processing the simplicity of the touch, just skin on skin, not intimate or unwelcome or leading to anything. But Daniel is touching him—and not briefly, not fleetingly, he’s holding on—and suddenly it all rushes back through Mark and he never, ever wants to let go.

Not ever. This is it. Daniel is it. He always was.

“You broke my heart.”


VBT_Platonic_CoverBannerAUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kate Paddington wrote her first work of fan fiction at age 12. Today, at age 26, she has degrees in philosophy and chemistry, and is currently completing a PhD in biophysics. A native of Australia, she has published numerous academic papers as part of her research. Platonic is her first novel.

You can contact/follow Kate Paddington at the following links:

Buy link:  Interlude Press

 Contest Details:  Kate will be awarding a $25 Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Barnes & Noble GC and a print edition of Bleeding Heart (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.


Visit the Rafflecopter link here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who’s “Running Wild”? S.E. Jakes on Tour with Her Newest Story and Series! (contest)





A favorite author  here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords, S.E. Jakes,  is stopping by today with a snippet from the first book in her  Havoc series, Running Wild. What’s the series about?  The Havoc Motorcycle Club!  Sexy bikers….I can’t wait.

Contest: To help celebrate, Riptide and SE Jakes is offering the chance to win an $100 Riptide Gift Certificate to one lucky winner.  To enter to win visit here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.  Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on July 20, and winners will be announced on July 21st. Contest is valid worldwide.

Here’s S.E. Jakes with some more teasers on the new story…


RunningWild_150x300(1)Thanks so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me on the tour for Running Wild: Havoc Book 1. This is the start of a brand new series, with different heroes for each book and HEAs at the end of each book. Sean Rush and Ryker stole my heart a long time ago, and I’m excited for you guys to meet all of them.

Here’s a snippet from a scene toward the middle of the book. Ryker has just proved to Sean that he doesn’t mind his MC knowing they’re together — by kissing the hell out of him in front of everyone. And then he tells Sean to get on the back of his bike, so he can take Sean home. Sean has objections…



Still, I kept my voice down so no one could hear when I told him, “I’m not riding in the bitch seat.”

He was trying not to grin, but failing. “Why not?”

“I know exactly what it means when you ride on the back of a guy’s bike.”


“It means you fucking own me, Ryker.”

“Don’t I?”

His words were a low rumble that shot straight to my dick and holy fuck . . . I had no answer. Well, obviously I did, but I refused to put voice to it.
I was out—that wasn’t the issue. And obviously being out wasn’t an issue for him either. But the MC shit, we’d never talked about it, what it meant for us. All these men knew about our relationship, knew he was looking out for me. Knew he considered me his

I swear I had to remind myself to breathe.

“Get on the bike, Sean.”

This time, Ryker’s tone left no room for argument. If anything, it made me harder. I stopped thinking—par for the course when I was around Ryker—and I got on the bike behind him.



RunningWild_400x600RUNNING WILD: Havoc Book 1

Embrace the danger…

Sean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That’s why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars . . . and why he can’t stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can’t seem to stay away from Sean—he’s spent the last eight months breaking into Sean’s apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.

Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he’s ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.

Then one of Sean’s thefts goes bad, and Ryker’s protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean’s past threatens the safety of Havoc—and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker’s hiding secrets of his own. Soon it’s obvious that the adrenaline rush can’t keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.

*Read an excerpt
*Order Running Wild

FYI, I’m also writing a m/f MC series under the Steph Tyler name—the first book of that series, Vipers Run is out now as well. And there’s a very light crossover in that you’ll see names of MCs that are main characters in my Vipers series—namely Vipers MC, along with the Heathens. Havoc’s friendly with Vipers, not so much with Heathens (they seem to be everyone’s enemy at the moment).
SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

You can contact her the following ways:

  • Website
  • You can email her at
  • Facebook Page
  • Twitter
  • Goodreads Group  Ask SE Jakes
  • Tumblr
  • Instagram
  • Truth be told, the best way to contact her is by email or in blog comments.

She spends most of her time writing but she loves to hear from readers!

SE Jakes is the pen-name of New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler (and half of Sydney Croft) — please go to my media kit to learn more!


Contest:   Enter to win an $100 Riptide Gift Card. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on July 20, and winners will be announced on July 21st. Contest is valid worldwide.  Visit the link below to enter to win and for further contest details. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Wonderful Fourth, A Beautiful Weekend and the Week Ahead!


flowers June




Our 4th of July BBQ went off without a hitch and the remnants of Hurricane Arthur brought us gorgeous weather with bright skies, low temperatures, and enough breeze to keep the bugs away.  Perfection!  Now today is rest, cleanup and leftovers!  It’s going to be great!  Hope everyone is having a marvelous weekend, whether you celebrated or not.

Here is how the week ahead is looking:


Monday,  July 7:  

  • Secrets of Neverwood Anthology Book Tour/Contest
  • Merry Farmer’s Somebody to Love Book Tour/Contest
  • Jackie Nacht’s “Full Moon Torn”‏ Book Blast/contest

Tuesday, July 8:

  • Ethan Stone’s Vegas Hustle Book Tour/Contest
  • Somebody to Love by Merry Farmer (review

Wednesday, July 9:

  • On Tour with RJ Scott (contest)
  • Review: Neverwood Anthology

Thursday, July 10:

  • Review: Wolf Run by B.A. Tortuga

Friday, July 11:

  • Review: In Despair by Megan Derr
  • Cover Reveal by Charlie Descoteaux

Saturday, July 12:

  • Review:  Faire Protector by Madeleine Ribbon



Give a Listen To Cate Ashwood’s Brokenhearted-Audiobook Tour/Contest





audiobook clipart bwListen to any good books recently?

ScatteredThoughts has a new audio release for you all to check out.  Cate Ashwood’s Brokenhearted is now out as a audiobook from Dreamspinner Press. To help promote this new release, Cate Ashwood has a audiobook copy to give away.  Visit the Rafflecopter link listed below for all the details and to enter to win.  Contest ends 6/18.

To listen to an audio excerpt, visit the Dreamspinner Audio link  provided for this purpose.  Happy Listening!


Book Name: Brokenhearted (Audiobook)
Author Name: Cate Ashwood
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Narrator: John Orr
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Oliver Parrish has been alone in the world since he was born. So when Sheriff Owen “Mack” Macklin shows up on his doorstep to deliver the news that Oliver’s sister has died, he’s beyond surprised. Still, Oliver returns with Mack to Hope Cove, Maine, hoping to get to know the sister he never knew he had. As he tries to snap these new elements into his solitary life, he’s not sure how they might fit.

His life is shaken up further as he falls in love with the irresistible town of Hope Cove, and with Mack, its equally irresistible sheriff. But when he receives devastating news about his sister’s cause of death, Oliver doesn’t know whether to stay and fight for love and a good life, or cut his losses and run.
Listen to an Excerpt:



Author Bio: Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.


BrokenheartedAUDLGCate loves to hear from readers. You can find her at:
Author Links:
Twitter: @Cateashwood

Tour Dates: June 11, 2014

Tour Stops: My Fiction Nook, Smoocher’s Voice, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Velvet Panic, Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, MM Good Books, Fallen Angel Reviews, Up All Night, Read All Day, Tara Lain, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Prism Book Alliance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, The Hat Party, Love Bytes, SA McAuley, Kimi-Chan, Lee Brazil, Iyana Jenna, Freddie Feeley Jr., Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Hearts on Fire, Elisa Rolle, It’s Raining Men, Dawn’s Reading Nook


Contest:  Rafflecopter Prize: An audiobook copy of ‘Brokenhearted’!  Contest ends 6/18.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Go here for contest details and to enter to win.

Sales Links:    Amazon



Cover Reveal for Amanda Young’s GWM: Wanted


✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍The Cover Reveal is Here!

GWM BadgeThe Wait is over!  

Look no further for the cover of Amanda Young’s latest release GWM Wanted!











Book Name: GWM Wanted
Cover Artist: Yoly Cortez, Cormar Covers
Publisher: Self-published
Blurb(s): Mark is still deeply in love with Sam, his partner of 15 years. He’s perfectly happy with their relationship, even if their sex life has grown a little stale lately. But when he begins to notice Sam’s gaze wandering toward other men, he fears that his younger lover may be losing interest in him.

Then Sam suddenly suggests they broaden their sexual horizons by inviting a third man into their bedroom. And Mark’s fears become almost certainty. He reluctantly agrees, willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto Sam. He’s willing to share his husband’s body if he must, so long as he retains his heart.

Together, they answer an ad in an online advertisement. The other man seems to be just what they’re looking for — handsome, hung, and only interested in no-strings-attached fun. But once the excitement begins they find out they’ve made a terrible mistake.


Author Name: Amanda Young

Author Bio: A bestselling author of erotic romance, Amanda Young penned her first love story at eighteen. Being pure rubbish, that novel was prompted deleted before it could traumatize innocent readers. After several years of honing of her craft, Amanda went on to receive her first publishing contract in 2006.

A vivid imagination enables Amanda to create provocative stories that push boundaries and dare readers to expand their comfort zones. Since she tends to write whatever strikes her fancy, her novels fall into many different subgenres. Among her available titles you’ll find contemporary and paranormal settings, heroes who fall all over the Kinsey scale, and the characters who love them.

Amanda Young lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and two pampered pooches. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found chasing after a mischievous toddler or daydreaming about the characters in her next book. She loves to hear from her readers, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Her website,, is where you can find up-to-date information on all of Amanda’s current and upcoming releases.

You can contact Amanda Young at:

Tour Dates: May 21, 2014
Tour Stops: Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook, Kimi-Chan, Prism Book Alliance, Hearts on Fire, Elisa Rolle, Lee Brazil, Parker Williams, 3 Chicks After Dark, Havan Fellows, Gale Stanley, Sinfully Sexy, Mrs. Condit & Friends, MM Good Books, Becca Anne’s Book Reviews, Cate Ashwood, It’s Raining Men, Fallen Angel Reviews, Amanda C. Stone, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Iyana Jenna, Pants Off Review


Contest:    Rafflecopter Code:
Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Amazon Gift CardWillPride
Book Buy Links for GWM Wanted:

All Romance Ebooks


On Tour with Amelia C. Gormley and Saugatuck Summer (contest)




Good morning all!  Amelia C. Gormley is here today talking about her latest release, Saugatuck Summer, a book that is truly an endeavor from the heart.

Good morning, Amelia!


Hi, and welcome to the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Roque Words Reviews for hosting me today! SaugatuckSummer_150x300(2)

For those of you who have seen me talking about it on social media for the last nearly year and a half, you know that Saugatuck Summer was a labor of love far beyond what I would normally claim for one of my books. Of course I love them all, but Saugatuck Summer came from my very soul. Actually, I’m not certain it came from me at all.

Basically, here’s what happened: One day I was driving along, running errands, and Topher Carlisle whispered one line of dialogue in my ear. Just one. When I asked him what I was supposed to do with that, he promptly took over my brain for fifteen absolutely insane days and at the end I had the first draft of Saugatuck Summer.

Topher’s story of recovery, hope, making mistakes, and growing up just told itself, and the experience of being the conduit for that was at times grueling and heartbreaking, but also euphoric and wonderful. It was one of those experiences that, as a creator of some form of art, be it musical, visual, or literary, you have once or twice in a lifetime if you’re extraordinarily lucky, when you know you’re creating something magical. I’m not sure it will ever happen to me again, but I feel absolutely blessed that this book has come of it.

This week on the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’ll be sharing some bonus content from the book and a sneak peek at another upcoming book in the Saugatuck universe. I’ll also be having a heart-to-heart discussion with Marie Sexton about our experiences as adult children of alcoholics and how they translated into writing our ACOA characters from Saugatuck Summer and Family Man, giving you a peek at some of “Jace’s” art, and I’ll be sharing the  official Saugatuck Summer soundtrack from a brilliant singer/songwriter of my personal acquaintance, Casey Stratton.

And finally, all week long I’ll be asking trivia questions from Saugatuck Summer and this week’s blog tour articles, and each correct answer emailed to me offers you a chance to win your choice of any of my backlist titles!

So put on your sunscreen and let’s go!

Contest:    HOW TO WIN YOUR CHOICE OF ANY SINGLE BOOK FROM MY BACKLIST (all-in-one volumes not included):

Riptide Publishing Saugatuck Summer Book Tour:
At each stop along the blog tour I’ll be asking a trivia question from Saugatuck Summer. Yes, this means some familiarity with the book is required, whether you purchase a copy, have an ARC, or employ the Kindle or B&N lending programs. If you visit some of the other blog tour stops, you might also find the answer in some of the excerpts.

PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS. Instead, send the answer to me privately by using this contact form. Each response will enter you into the drawing and three winners will be picked. The more questions you answer, the more entries you get. You can choose from any of the following titles:
Inertia (Impulse, Book One)
Acceleration (Impulse, Book Two)
Velocity (Impulse, Book Three)

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2)
Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3)

Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4)
To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5)

(Note:  Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) is already available free at Riptide, and my pre-Saugatuck novella, The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, is available for free at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and elsewhere.)
Contest Rules and Prizes:  Again, please do not post your answer in the comments, but submit it to me privately.
To give people time to read and respond, the contest will remain open for one month after the release of Saugatuck Summer. It will close on June 19, and the drawing will be held on June 20.

Today’s Saugatuck Summer trivia question:
Chapter 16, what happens between Topher and Brendan to bring an end to their affair?

SaugatuckSummer_500x750One summer can change everything.

Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.

My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.

Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.
Be sure to check out the Saugatuck Summer soundtrack by singer/songwriter Casey Stratton .

Author Bio: 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.

You can contact Amelia on:



In addition to the books/novellas listed above, check out Amelia C. Gormley’s author page at Riptide Publishing for more information and buy links for

Self-published Impulse Trilogy  (info at Amelia C. Gormley’s website)

The Professor’s Rule series, erotic novelettes co-written with Heidi Belleau and of course, at Riptide Publishing.

Saugatuck Summer, adult comtemporary fiction available now at Riptide Publishing.


Author Spotlight: S.A. McAuley and her Men of War Guest Blog and Contest


spotlight on books

Powerless cover




    S.A. McAuley, and her latest

release, Powerless(Borders War 3)

Contest:  S.A. McAuley has brought with her today one copy each of the first two books in the Borders War series (One Breath, One Bullet and Dominant Predator) to give away to one lucky reader.  To enter to win, please leave a comment with your email address where you can be reached at the end of this post.  Contest ends 5/28.


The Illicit Rendezvous: To Dine with Merq and Armise or Not?

by S.A. McAuley

You know that question if you could invite anyone—fictional or real—to dinner, who would you invite? Well, Merq and Armise wouldn’t be on my short list. Okay, let’s be really honest, they wouldn’t even be on my long list.

I absolutely adore them, but at the same time, Merq Grayson and Armise Darcan scare the bejesus out of me. Merq in particular has very little connection to his own humanity, let alone anyone else’s, therefore he rarely considers the value of one life. Armise is the perfect killer and the only person he appears to have any interest in protecting is Merq—but even that’s not for sure. Both of them are battle-hardened and have an unflappable confidence in their own lethality.

I wouldn’t consider either of them to be inherently evil, though.

The world they live in is vastly different than ours. The ethical measures of what makes a person evil in our time—murder, lying, violence—are concepts that are blurred, at best, since the citizens of the year 2558 have been literally fighting for survival for over 300 years.

Both Merq and Armise have not only been raised in this world of perpetual war and class inequity, they’ve been trained since they were children (yes, literally kids) to be soldiers for their respective countries. They’ve never known real peace or stability. The family and friends they do have are relationships built on secrets and hidden motivations.

But that violence doesn’t fully define them either. It’s their inexplicable connection they can’t find a way to sever that keeps me writing on days when they and their world become overwhelming. It’s the bond they forge between the two of them—either because of their shared darkness or despite it—that makes them most interesting.

Almost tempting me to give them a dinner-and-drinks invite…


S.A. McAuley

Powerless coverAbout Powerless:

He was built to be invincible.

Merq and Armise return to the States after their mission to assassinate the remaining Committee members only to find the leadership of the Revolution isn’t as stable as they had thought.

Outside forces come crashing down on a Revolution stronghold, leaving two of their soldiers gravely wounded. Merq’s history with his brothers in arms Simion and Neveed forces him into making decisions that will impact his future with the Revolution.

Merq has always identified as a soldier first. Always known who deserved his loyalty and who didn’t. But with the uncertainty surrounding the leadership of the Revolution, the mysterious disappearance of the jacquerie and increased activity with the PsychHAgs, Merq knows there are few people he can trust.

The only man Merq wants or needs at his side is Armise Darcan. But his reliance on his former enemy may be a miscalculation that will threaten everything Merq stands for.

Book Details:

ebook, 185 pages
Published March 28th 2014 by Totally Bound
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Borders War #3

Buy Links    Totally Bound            Amazon               ARe

About The Borders War series:

The Borders War By S.A. McAuley

The world has only recently emerged from a three-hundred-year war which saw half of the world’s population wiped out and the rise of five superpowers. Despite the hundreds of millions who died, the Borders War was nearly bloodless because of the sonicrifle—weaponized sound waves, tuned to their highest frequency, and harnessed to kill.
Merq Grayson has known only war. He is an orphan, a skilled Peacemaker, soldier, and sniper. And it is his destiny to right the wrong created by his grandfather six generations removed—the man who invented the sonicbullet.
Armise Darcan is his enemy. A sniper and Dark Ops officer who fought for the People’s Republic of Singapore in the Borders War, Armise may be the only person on the planet strong enough to keep Merq from completing his mission.
Their loyalties are to conflicting countries and diverging agendas, and despite the very real threat to their lives if they’re discovered, Merq and Armise keep finding their way into each other’s beds. It is a drive which Merq is sure will kill him one day.
But how much time either of them has is questionable. As Opposition is pitted against Revolution, the Borders War reignites, and Merq and Armise have to decide where, and with whom, their real loyalties lie.

Books in the Borders War series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the men and the universe building:

One Breathe, One Bullet (Borders War #1)
Dominant Predator (The Borders War, #2)
Powerless (The Borders War #3)

One Breathe One BulletDominant Predator cover


Go Into The Wind with Shira Anthony and her Mermen of Ea Book Tour (2 Contests to Enter)


IntoWind_headerbanner ******
IntoWindBlog Tour Giveaway Info:
Contest starts 5/5 (release day) and ends at midnight on 5/31.
Prizes include the following


  • Grand Prize: Handmade Merman Tail Fluke Pendant
  • 1st Prize: Mermen of Ea Goodie Basket (includes autographed copy of “Stealing the Wind” paperback, t-shirt, and lots of other fun stuff)
  • 2nd Prize: $10.00 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate
  • 3rd Prize: Paperback copy of “Stealing the Wind” (Mermen of Ea #1) – or for non-US winners, a $10 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate

Here’s the Rafflecopter link

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Shira Anthony stopping by today to talk about her inspiration for the Mermen of Ea novels and latest book, Into The Wind, the 2nd story in her Merman of Ea series.  

Shira Anthony has also brought a copy of the first story, Stealing the Wind, to give away to one person who leaves a comment at the end of this post.  Two contests, two ways to enter!  Now enjoy a look into Shira Anthony’s inspiration for this wonderful series.

The Mermen of Ea Series: Ocean Inspiration by Shira Anthony

About two years ago, I decided to write a story about pirates and sailing ships. Captor/captive, a little sexy dubious consent. Nothing too complicated. A single novel set in the age of sail. Not a single merman in sight. That single book became a story about shapeshifting mermen than spans three novels….
I’m going to backtrack a bit here and start off by saying that I’ve been a fantasy, sci fi, and sword & sorcery reader since I was old enough to read. I grew up on the original Star Trek, read every Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov book I could get my hands on (I lived in France for a few years, and they weren’t easy to find in English!), and fell in love with the Darkover universe created by Marion Zimmer Bradley (probably my most powerful writing influence). As an adult, I read the Harry Potter books to my kids and loved them as much as my children did.

My first gay romance was an erotic fairy tale called The Dream of a Thousand Nights. But in spite of my love of fantasy, the first novel I wrote was a contemporary: Blue Notes. And I learned with Blue Notes that what I write best is what I know. In the case of the Blue Notes Series, that’s music and musicians. Makes sense, right?

Somewhere between Blue Notes books and a few joint writing projects, the idea of a story set on the water hit me squarely between the eyes. I needed a break from angsty musicians, and I started playing around with a pirate novel. That’s how Taren Laxley was born. An indentured servant (a slave, really), Taren dreams of sailing on the ocean. It calls to him. So began my adventure of writing the Mermen of Ea Series. Only there were no mermen when I wrote the first few chapters, only pirates and sailing ships.

Then I spent a weekend sailing aboard our 36’ catamaran sail boat at the North Carolina coast and saw a pod of dolphins swimming nearby. I watched them play in the water and jump into the air. They love to chase boats, and I love to watch them. A few months later, my husband and I spent a week on the Caribbean island of Grenada getting our open water scuba certification. And as we were swimming around, heavy metal tanks on our backs, fins on our feet, and regulators in our mouths, I imagined what it would be like to swim and breathe underwater without all the gear. Suddenly, Taren wasn’t just a human boy who longed to sail the high seas—he was a merman.

When I wrote Stealing the Wind, the first book in the series, my scuba experiences were fresh in my mind. The feel of the water on my skin. The tiny popping noises of tiny shrimp in my ears. The colors of the coral reefs. The overwhelming beauty of the ocean surface. The feel of the wind on my face and the sun on my back. With each scene aboard the Sea Witch and later the Phantom, I tried to recreate those sensations. I knew what Taren longed for because I longed for it myself.

Land's Zen sail boat SAThere’s nothing quite like the sensation of floating on the water. Nothing like the feeling of peaceful calm when we’re on our boat. In fact, when we bought our most recent boat, I suggested we name her the Land’s Zen, because she is just that for me—a place where I can relax and forget about the million and one things I should be doing. A place where I can just be.Land's Zen 1

Into the Wind, the second book in the Mermen of Ea Series, evokes the same deep connection to the wind and the water as the first book. In it, Taren grows by leaps and bounds, fearful of what the future may bring, but knowing that he can’t fight his destiny. Raised as a human and not knowing his true nature until he meets his soul mate, Ian, Taren sees things differently from his Ea brethren. His powerful love of the ocean drives him and will chart the course his people must follow in order for their race to survive.

I hope that when you read the Mermen of Ea books you’ll feel some of my own Zen come through. Even if you’ve never tried scuba or snorkeling, I think you can imagine what it might be like to swim through the vastness of the ocean or even live under it. The appeal of mermen for me is, at its core, the appeal of the water and the peace I find on (and in) it. I think that’s why the merfolk myths still capture our collective imagination long after the age of sail has passed and we jet around the globe in airplanes that cross the oceans in hours instead of weeks.

Stealing the Wind cover



2 Contest Info:

  1. Would you like to win an ebook copy of Stealing the Wind, the first book in the Mermen of Ea Series? I’m giving one away to a lucky commenter on this blog post. Melanie will choose a winner from all the comments on 5/14. To enter to win, leave a comment below and an email address where you can be reached.
  2. I’m also running a special Into the Wind Blog Tour Giveaway with some great prizes including a gorgeous unisex pendant and a Mermen of Ea goodie basket. Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway: The blog tour giveaway ends on May 31st at midnight!Shira

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IntoWindBlurb: Since learning of his merman shifter heritage, Taren has begun building a life with Ian Dunaidh among the mainland Ea. But memories of his past life still haunt him, and as the threat of war with the hostile island merfolk looms ever closer, Taren fears he will lose Ian the same way he lost his beloved centuries before. Together they sail to the Gateway Islands in search of the fabled rune stone—a weapon of great power the Ea believe will protect them—and Odhrán, the pirate rumored to possess it.

After humans attack the Phantom, Taren finds himself washed up on an island, faced with a mysterious boy named Brynn who promises to lead him to Odhrán. But Taren isn’t sure if he can trust Brynn, and Odhrán is rumored to enslave Ea to protect his stronghold. Taren will have to put his life on the line to find his way back to Ian and attempt to recover the stone. Even if he does find it, his troubles are far from over: he and Ian are being stalked by an enemy who wants them dead at all costs.

There are 3 wonderful excerpts that follow, all are SFW:
Short Slightly Sexy Excerpt:

They swam out from land as they held each other, tails beating the water in tandem as they spiraled in a dizzying dance. More than anything, Taren found the Ea mating ritual a beautiful thing. Ian’s Ea body was also beautiful. In this form, Ian’s chest was broad and the muscles of his belly and arms more powerful. As a human, Ian was strong. As an Ea, he possessed strength and surprising grace few others did. Taren loved to watch Ian swim, watch the sinews of his body ripple as he moved his tail, watch his hair twist in the current. More thrilling, perhaps, was the knowledge that Ian was his, that Ian desired him above all others, that Taren held Ian’s heart.

Ian released Taren as they glided over the sand at the bottom. Large schools of silver fish followed the contours of their bodies, calling to mind the shimmer of moon across the waves. Here, many feet below the surface, the pressure of the water created a warm cocoon around Taren and drove the warmth in his chest to his extremities, making his fingers more sensitive.

Taren flicked his tail to propel him around so that he and Ian swam toward each other, arms extended, then moved upward as they laced their fingers together and floated perpendicular to the sea floor. They kissed and their tongues entwined. Ian tasted of the ocean and of the promise of Taren’s new life. Their former incarnations, Treande and Owyn, had been equals in everything. Partners, friends, lovers. Taren both relished and feared the power of his connection to Ian and the unexpected turn of fate that had brought them together, as well as the revelations of their past.


Medium Length Slightly Sexy Excerpt: Continue reading