A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Devil Take Me Anthology by authors Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale , Jordan L. Hawk, T.A. Moore , C.S. Poe , Jordan Castillo Price

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Infernal Affairs by Jordan L. Hawk
I would rate this 4.5 stars.
We meet Ralgath on his first day on the job as a crossroads demon summoned by Chess. In exchange for his soul, Chess gets powers to hunt monsters and vampires. Poor Ralgath never stood a chance against them. Three years after getting demoted, Ralgath gets an opportunity to redeem himself, but he needs Chess to help him since they can track Otherworldly beings as part of their contract. Two demons are missing, but things are not what they seem. Between tracking missing humans and demons, escaping a rabid fan, thwarting an assassin, and fighting an epic battle scene, they fall in love. This made me laugh. Although the sexy times are not explicit and mostly off page, it was clever, well written and has almost everything you could want in a fun short story.
Collared by T.A. Moore
I would rate this 4.25 stars.
This one starts out as hardboiled detective with some Preacher mixed in. It’s gruesome and written well enough to picture it, so be warned. When you watch T.A.’s videos, she sounds so nice. This is really intriguing world-building. Math is the demon who owns Jack’s soul and someone stole something from him so he uses Jack to help him get it back. Imagine the bittersweet torture of having your worst mistake ever, and something you still crave, controlling you forever. This one is as explicit as the last one was circumspect. Jack is now a private detective whom a policeman named Ben comes to for help on the weirdest of his cases–they have their own history. A man is dead, and his wife and daughter are missing. Of course, these are the same case. There are some great plots twists here, and some that didn’t work as well, in my opinion. If you are a horror fan, this will be right up your alley. I enjoyed it, but it was so gross, I’m not sure I would read it again. I would have rated it higher, but what I liked about the writing style of the first part, didn’t seem to be there in the second half.
Counterfeit Viscount
I would rate this 4.25 stars.
The Visount Archibald is leading a double life. Since he’s sold his sold to Nimble, he becomes Archie and descends into the underbelly of the town to pay his due every three months. This allows him to keep his title and have his revenge against his uncle. This is alternative history where Prodigals, the descendants of fallen angels who have been converted by the Church, live alongside humans. A prodigal boy in service to a lord is afraid a fellow servant who’s gone missing was murdered at the Dee Club after its Sunday fights. This was difficult for me to get into; I’m going to chalk this up to the writing choices at the beginning. I started to warm to the MCs and became intrigued by the plot about halfway through. As the author reveals more about Archie’s upbringing, we understand his motives. Although I did see the plot twists coming, I enjoyed reading them. This is not my usual genre and it charmed me in spite of myself, so if it’s your type of thing, I imagine you will be as well.
11:59 by C.S. Poe
I would rate this 4 stars.
Asuka is tricked by the Devil when he sells his soul to help save people from the monsters that come from a world full of nightmares. His world is bleak. One day the Devil needs a favor, and Asuka will risk much to reclaim his soul. Meeting Merrick has shown him how much he has lost from his deal. It is a cold realization, of logic and comprehension rather than a messy emotion. It’s difficult to see how Merrick retains any innocence or hope in this world. He also must seriously like the brusque, strong type. The story is intellectually intriguing though. The Greek mythical elements allow fate (or the Fates?) to give us an epic ending. I missed the emotional elements though.

Wonderland City by Rhys Ford
I would rate this 4.5 stars.
This version of Hell is through the looking glass–think Alice in Wonderland turns into Sin City. After Xander Spade loses his soul to a fallen angel named Az, he gets trapped there as the Queen’s Ace. After the death of the Queen of Hearts, the place goes feral. With the help of the Knave of Hearts, Jean Michel, Xander has to find a missing girl whose presence threatens chaos and his chance to finally go home. This is a clever retelling rich with imagination, with flashes of dark humor.

Dark Favors by Jordan Castillo Price.
I would rate this 4.5 stars.
Johnny Lockheart has been offered the chance to get his soul back from the Devil if he murders a TV star, but her bodyguard Adam is going to have something to say about that. Both of them are Chosen, which means that they trade favors for power and know how the world really works stripped of illusion by the Sight. The flashbacks help us understand how Johnny ends up the way he is, and are well timed to pack a punch. This book makes better use of the idea of evil being seductive, whereas the other books focus on the grotesque, or horror elements. This HEA leaves you with a dreary feeling and will get you in the Halloween mood and reminds me of the feeling I get when I watch a movie called Angle Heart.

I really enjoyed this whole anthology. Of course, anthologies are always a mixed bag and some stories you will always favor over others, but that is subjective for each person. I found this anthology to be pretty even on quality, more so than many anthologies. If you like dark fantasy and horror, I would highly recommend it. What grounds each story is love or something worth fighting for.

The cover art is by Reece Notley. There are so many delightful characters in this, I am not sure why this picture was chosen. It seems a little bland for the subject matter. I believe it fits a scene from the C.S. Poe story.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 450 pages
Expected publication: October 16th 2018 by DSP Publications
Original Title Devil Take Me
ISBN13 9781640808874
Edition Language English

A Lila Release Day Review: Dragonslayer (Twitterlight #1) by Matthew Lang

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Kill the dragon, marry the princess, and rule the kingdom. It’s a fantasy come true… if you’re straight.

Adam is a chemistry student and martial artist, active in his local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism. But none of that prepares him to be the savior of a faraway land locked in perpetual dusk.

In a world of shape-shifters, necromancy, and religious politics, Adam is fated to slay the golden dragon, Khalivibra, and defeat its mind-controlling sorcery to help Princess Esmeralda of Aergon retake her city. Tradition dictates he’ll rule by her side—but Adam is much more interested in Duin, a warrior who changes to beast form in the light of the sun… or fire.

Adam hopes he and Duin might end up together when their ordeal ends. But first, the reluctant hero, the spell-casting heir to the throne, the beast-shifting object of Adam’s desire, a six-legged cave lizard, and any allies they can gather must do the impossible… and live to celebrate their victory.

Dragonslayer is a mix of high fantasy,  humor, and romance. Some parts are more interesting than others, but the author did well building the world for this series to flourish. Perhaps it takes most of the story, but after a while, the reader gets used to the elaborate descriptions and details in the story.

I loved Duin and the way he saw his world, himself, and Adam. He is the connection between reality, fantasy, and the need to see the romantic arc come to fruition. I wanted him to be happy and find his place in a world that seems to push him aside every time he did well. I’m glad Adam understood him and did all he could to help him grow. I was scared for their HEA but the author delivered. I only wanted a little bit more; to see how he experience the new world ahead of him.

There are a lot of elements, characters, cultures, and traditions within this book. It can’t be read all at once even when it’s hard to put down in some areas. Others ran slow and get the reader to take a break to read something else. Some balance is achieved later on, just in time to entice the reader to wait for the next book.

Overall, this is a good start to a new series. I hope there are some resurrection powers somewhere because is a character I would be glad to see again.

The cover by Tiferet Design has the perfect blend of characters, settings, and elements present in the story.

Sale Links: DSPAmazon | Nook

Book Details:

ebook, 258 pages
Published: September 25, 2018, by DSP Publishing
ISBN: 9781644051054
Edition Language: English

A Lila Release Day Review: The Mystery of the Moving Image (Snow & Winter #3) by C.S. Poe

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

It’s summer in New York City, and antique shop owner Sebastian Snow is taking the next big step in his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter: they’re moving in together. What should have been a wonderful week of playing house and celebrating Calvin’s birthday comes to an abrupt end when a mysterious package arrives at the Emporium.

Inside is a Thomas Edison Kinetoscope, a movie viewer from the nineteenth century, invented by the grandfather of modern cinema, W. K. L. Dickson. And along with it, footage of a murder that took place over a hundred years ago.

Sebastian resists the urge to start sleuthing, even if the culprit is long dead and there’s no apparent danger. But break-ins at the Emporium, a robbery, and dead bodies aren’t as easy to ignore, and Sebastian soon realizes that the century-old murder will lead him to a modern-day killer.

However, even with Sebastian’s vast knowledge of Victorian America and his unrelenting perseverance in the face of danger, this may be the one mystery he won’t survive.

The Mystery of the Moving Image brings the readers into the story from the opening scene, “Five bucks says there’s a dead body inside.” We are right there, sleuthing with Sebastian once again. Trying to predicts the reason behind the mystery and Calvin’s reaction to the whole mess. Like in previous instances, Sebastian is the magnet that attracts the chaos.

We get some new characters, but our favorite suspects are back to throw Sebastian’s assumptions off. Jealousy brings Calvin and Sebastian closer, and it’s nice to see how they worked in unison. By now, they have learned to anticipate each other’s actions and reactions. I really enjoyed Neil’s part in the story and how he now relates to Sebastian and Calvin.

This installment those feels less complicated than the previous ones. Perhaps since we know the players it’s easier to follow the story, but some areas felt as if the mystery was just there to bring us back into Sebastian’s and Clavin’s lives instead of a real plot twist. Even so, it was hard to put the book aside.

I learned more than I needed about the historical items around the story and the development of film as an industry. Plus, I think poor Sebastian was put through the wringer in this book. Glad he had his family and friends to play a part in bringing his life back to rights.

The cover by Reese Dante it’s a bit simpler than the previous two but includes  Sebastian and one of the main elements in the mystery. Perfect for the series itself. 

Sale Links: DSPAmazon | Nook

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published: September 11, 2018, by DSP Publishing
ISBN: 9781640808782
Edition Language: English

Series:  Snow & Winter
Book #1: The Mystery of Nevermore
Book #2: The Mystery of the Curiosities
Book #3: The Mystery of the Moving Image

Books, Donations, and Little Libraries. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Books, Donations, and Little Libraries

I was walking by a bench last week and saw a paperback laying on it with no one around.  That’s a sight I can never resist so I walked over and picked it up.  Jane Austen’s Emma looked up at me all worn and obviously well read.  I opened the cover and there was a bookplate that read “Read me and Leave me for someone else to Enjoy.”  As tempted as I was to take it home, I left it where it was because I had read it , taking a leap of faith just much as the reader who left it there that someone who would need it would pick it up, read it, and then pass it on in another spot.  A book chain of love and letters hooking people together.

It did get me thinking of course…

Where do old books go?  Those beloved paperbacks, those dogeared, slightly yellowed copies of stories that sit on shelves and then you wonder what to do with?  Maybe you have several copies of the same book, having bought it a couple of times over, not remembering it was already in your collection (aye, the number of times that happened to me).  Maybe you were somewhere and just had to read it again…spur of the moment binge reading! Yep! That happens too.t didn’t stop there.

My neighborhood is sort of quirky. We have all sorts of people living here, ages, races, families, always have, its sort neat and packed away in a hollow where the houses don’t really turnover, Bernie Sanders signs never age, and everyone seems to know one another and argue over turtles in emails online.   So I wasn’t surprised to see a neighbor with a car whose cars are always sagging under the weight of books go slowly down our road, loaded to the roof once again.

Turns out she collects them for Free Libraries. Everywhere.  Should have known someone who helps me liberate shrubs headed for the landfill would do that.

Not familiar with Free Libraries?  LIttle Free Libraries?  Be still my heart!  They are cropping up everywhere!  In parks, front lawns, neighborhood circles, anywhere you can think to put a small box…that’s a place for a free library.  Load it up with books.  Take one, replace it with one.  There’s a site online with instructions on how to make boxes like the one above?  Kim Fielding even   wrote a wonderful story called, of course, The LIttle LIbrary!.

It’s a wonderful way to share those books that overpopulate your shelves and attic while sharing your enthusiasm.  And in a way you are becoming another link in the chain of people connected by  their love of books, worlds outside their own, and a need for something more.

Want to know more?  Check out

Little Free Library | Take a Book • Share a Book

We are going to talk more about donations, bookplates, next week.  Let me know your thoughts as well.
Also running….
If you all were to suggest a Literary Event for the calendar, what would it be?  An International LGBT Romance Story Day?  Triad in Lust Day?    Quiltbag Aliens HEA Day?  Give me some titles for our own special September literary events.  Let’s call it our LGBTQIA Literary  Event Title Giveaway!  Have your title chosen and we will have Stella set you up with a $10 gift card from Dreamspinners.  Giveaway runs through September 22.
  Meanwhile, we have a great week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
A new reviewer, Chaos Moondrawn starts in with her first review this week, I’m reviewing the 11th book in the Boystown series from Marshall Thornton,  Lila is reviewing the new C.S. Poe, Barb has the new Cordelia Knightsbridge, and so much more.  It’s going to be quite the week.  So don’t miss out on a day of it.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 9:

  • The Enchanter’s Flame by Michele Notaro Blog Tour
  • A Stella Review: Courted by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • A Stella Review:  Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
  • Books, Donations, and Little Libraries
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 10:

  • Review Tour – RJ Scott – Second Chance Ranch
  • Blog Tour Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington
  •  BLITZ High Time by Keelan Ellis
  • A Lucy Review: Falling into Love (Family Found #1) by Kris T. Bethke and Nell Iris
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Second Chance Ranch (Montana #5) by R.J. Scott
  • A MelanieM Review: Dawn and Dusk (Day and Knight #3) by Dirk Greyson
  • A Stella Review: Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington

Tuesday, September 11:

  • Blog Tour A Ferry of Bones and Gold by Hailey Turner
  • DSP Promo Leigh Dillon on Raising the Bar
  • BLITZ Sentinel by Karrie Roman
  • A Vivacious Review: Breaking the Bonds (Cascade City Pack #2) by Rebecca James
  • A Lila Release Day Review: The Mystery of the Moving Image (Snow & Winter #3) by C.S. Poe
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Second Time Around by Rowan McAllister
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:   New York Nightwings Collection by V.L. Locey

Wednesday, September 12:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: One-Eyed Royals (Seven of Spades #4) by Cordelia Kingsbridge
  • Review Tour – Marina Vivancus – In This Iron Ground
  • Cover Reveal – Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • A MelanieM Review:  In This Iron Ground by Marina Vivancus
  • A Lucy Review: Promises by Ruby Moone
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Sentinel (Until You #2) by Karrie Roman
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: One-Eyed Royals (Seven of Spades #4) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Thursday, September 13:

  • Blog Tour – That Feeling When by S. M. James
  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey on All For You
  • Release Blitz – His Heart Or Mine (The Individualists Series #1)by C S Joyce
  • A Vivacious Review: The Captain’s Ghostly Gamble by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead
  • A MelanieM Review: Heart’s Desire (Boystown #11) by Marshall Thornton
  • A Stella Review: That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James

Friday, September 14:

  • Book Blast for We Have a Decision by Steph Marie
  • Release Blitz – Darcy – RJ Scott & Meredith Russell
  • Review Tour for Safe Place by Jay Northcote
  • An Ali Review:Shaker of Earth (SPECTR Series 2, #5by Jordan L. Hawk 
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: To Love Again by Andria Large
  • A Barb the Zany Old  Lady Review:  Safe Place (Rainbow Place #2) by Jay Northcote
  • An Alisa Review: The Long Way Around by Quinn Anderson

Saturday, September 15:

  • New Release Blitz Tour – Leta Blake’s Any Given Lifetime
  • The Hunt by J.M. Dabney & Davidson King Release Blitz
  • An Ali Review:  On Andross Station by J.C. Long
  • A MelanieM Review: Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Travis on his characters, the series and new release ‘The Lovely Pines (A BJ Vinson Mystery #4)’ (author guest blog)

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The Lovely Pines (A BJ Vinson Mystery #4) by Don Travis

DSP Publications
Cover Art: Maria Fanning

Sales LInks:  DSP Publications | Amazon

More links below

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Don Travis here today, talking about characters, the evolution of his  BJ Vinson Mystery Series and the latest story, The Lovely Pines.  Welcome, Don.

 

 

 

 

Winery Worker Gunned Down in Middle of the Night

Police Investigating Whether Murder is Connected to a Prior Break-in

This was likely the Albuquerque Journal headline in my fourth novel in the BJ Vinson Mystery Series, The Lovely Pines. The killing follows what seemed a harmless act of simple vandalism, a break-in at the Lovely Pines Winery and Vineyard. With this, the story is off and running. Readers meet old friends and are introduced to new ones. BJ’s there with his significant other, Paul Barton, his business partners in Vinson and Weeks Confidential Investigations, Hazel and Charlie Weeks, old Mrs. Wardlaw, the across-the-street widow who’s a retired DEA hand. And, of course, there’s Lieutenant Gene Enriquez, BJ’s old riding partner from his days as an Albuquerque Police Department detective.

As an author, it’s amazing to me how new stories play off old ones. BJ’s involvement in The Bisti Business is what sent the winery’s new owner, Ariel Gonda, to him for help. I’ll swear, I had no inkling that Ariel would reappear down the line when I named him the Swiss national treasurer of Alfano Vineyards in Napa Valley. In fact, we never met Ariel in Bisti. He was just a name. But he stuck with me and muscled his way into my book. And most people figure authors create characters. Often, the truth is that characters in our heads create authors.

The book’s blurb gives you the flavor of the novel:

 

When Ariel Gonda’s winery, the Lovely Pines, suffers a break-in, the police write the incident off as a prank since nothing was taken. But Ariel knows something is wrong—small clues are beginning to add up—and he turns to private investigator BJ Vinson for help.

BJ soon discovers the incident is anything but harmless. When a vineyard worker—who is also more than he seems—is killed, there are plenty of suspects to go around. But are the two crimes even related? As BJ and his significant other, Paul Barton, follow the trail from the central New Mexico wine country south to Las Cruces and Carlsbad, they discover a tangled web involving members of the US military, a mistaken identity, a family fortune in dispute, and even a secret baby. The body count is rising, and a child may be in danger. BJ will need all his skills to survive because, between a deadly sniper and sabotage, someone is determined to make sure this case goes unsolved.

Now let me give you a short scene that comes at the beginning of the fifth chapter of the book, which will explain the imagined headlines above:

*****

The phone rang at five thirty the next morning. Paul groaned and turned over. I swore for the thousandth time to delist my home number from the directory.

“Vinson,” I mumbled into the pesky instrument.

“BJ, this is Ray Yardley.”

I sat up, suddenly wide-awake. “Why is the state police calling me at this ungodly hour?”

Ray and I met back when we were both APD cops. We’d worked together on a couple of cases before I got shot and he went over to the state boys. He was a good man. Must be. He was a lieutenant now.

“Your client insisted I call you.”

“Bless my client. Which one should I thank?”

“Fellow by the name of Gonda out at the Lovely Pines Winery. There’s been a homicide involving one of his employees, and he said you were working on something that could tie in.”

“Who got killed?”

“A fellow by the name of Zuniga. Bascomb Zuniga. Know him?”

“Talked to him yesterday for the first time. He seemed like a decent kid. When did it happen?”

“Sometime last night. Fill me in on your involvement, will you?”

I took Ray through the situation and asked if I could walk the scene of the crime.

“Not right now. The crime scene boys still have it. Hell, I don’t even have access yet.”

“Who has jurisdiction?”

“When the call came to central dispatch, it was routed to us. We’ll probably retain control, but Sandoval County has a deputy out here. An officer named Roma Muñoz. Know her?”

“No. She have any experience?”

“Been a member of the department for ten years now. I’ve worked with her before. Prickly but competent. I’ll put in a good word for you. Why don’t you drive on up and wait for us at the house? Your client’s pretty broken up. We had to physically remove him from the crime scene and forbid him to return. And we could use some help making sense of things. His English deserts him, and he shifts into a foreign language now and then. Sometimes it sounds like French and sometimes it sounds like German.”

“He’s a naturalized citizen from Switzerland, so it’s probably a little of both. It’ll take me better than an hour to clean up and get up there. Will you still be around?”

“Oh yeah. I’ll meet you at the Lovely Pines. That’s a hell of a name, isn’t it?”

“But appropriate. It’s a pretty place.”

I hung up and found Paul staring at me through sleep-filled brown eyes. “What’s up?”

“I am, I guess. One of Ariel Gonda’s people got himself killed last night. You catch some more z’s. I’ll try to be quiet.”

“Naw, I’ve got to get moving anyway. I’ll fix breakfast while you shower.”

*****

Now they say I have to tell you something about myself. Sometimes I think that I write stories because my own life is so boring. There’s not really much to tell. I grew up in southeastern Oklahoma as a tubercular child, a mama’s boy who lived in libraries. Believing I could not physically participate in sports, I developed absolutely no interest in them, thereby putting miles between me and my peers. College sent me to Texas; the US Army, to Germany. That is when I found out I could do anything anyone else could do… sort of late in life to learn that. I painted still-lifes for a while but gave up painting to return to writing. I wrote and sold sixty or so short stories under a pseudonym, published seven novels under that same name, but wanted to write mysteries under Don Travis. So I did. And here we are. Hey, I warned you it was boring.

What am I up to now? Abaddon’s Locusts, my fifth BJ Vinson book has been put to bed by DSP Publications and scheduled for release January 22, 2019. Once again, I reached back to Bisti for some of the characters and set a lot of the action on the Navajo Nation reservations in New Mexico. The sixth, The Voxlightner Scandal, is abirthing in my computer as we speak.

Many thanks to Stella and Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me to guest post this blog. This is not the first time they’ve been so kind, and it’s sort of hard to let them know how much I appreciate it.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it!

I encourage personal contact by readers. They don’t know it, but I draw on them like some old vampire for literary sustaining energy. My personal links follow:

Blog: dontravis.com

Email: dontravis21@gmail.com

Facebook: dontravis

Twitter: @dontravis3

And some buy links for The Lovely Pines:

DSPP ebook: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-lovely-pines-by-don-travis-457-b

DSPP paperback: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-lovely-pines-by-don-travis-468-b

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lovely-Pines-BJ-Vinson-Mystery/dp/1640805052

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lovely-pines-don-travis/1127915422

Again, thanks to Stella and Melanie, and a shout-out to DSP Publications—without which there would be nothing to read.

A Free Dreamer Review: Incubus Honeymoon (Arcana Imperii #1) by August Li

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

As the so-called magical creatures go, I’m low on the hierarchy, and my powers aren’t much good to human mages. I’m a lover, not a fighter, through and through. I’m also selfish, lazy, and easily bored. But I’m damned good at what I do.

Too bad that won’t get my arse out of this sling.

Do one—granted, uncharacteristic—good deed, and now I’m held hostage to an arrogant faerie prince, trying to track down the one who summoned him while dodging gangbangers, gun runners, and Nazis. Add the powerful mage guilds scrambling to gather firepower for some doomsday event they’re sure is around the corner, and my cushy life of leisure might be nothing but a memory. On top of that, something’s compelling me to change on my most fundamental level. I’m not sure what I’ve got myself mixed up in, but nothing will ever be the same.

Bloody hell.

===

Featuring a new twist on urban fantasy combined with fast-paced action and intrigue, the Arcana Imperii series books are standalone adventures, each completely accessible to new readers.

I probably wouldn’t have picked up “Incubus Honeymoon” if it hadn’t been published by DSP. The title kind of leads you to expect lots of sex and not much of a plot. But since this is a DSP title, I knew there would be mostly plot and little to no romance in it. And that’s exactly what I got. This is, first and foremost, a fantasy novel that also has some elements of romance and sex in it.

The blurb promises “a new twist on urban fantasy”. That’s almost an understatement, if you ask me. While the elements the story is made up of aren’t exactly new, the combination of said elements was what made this book truly unique.

We have three very different protagonists in this story. Blossom is your typical Fey of the old stories: a ruthless bastards who only ever does what suits him best. Then there’s Dante, a normal human who knows nothing about magic but who’d do everything to keep his little sister safe and happy. And finally we have Inky, an incubus and the only one of the trio who has something resembling a human conscience. I don’t think I actually liked either Blossom or Dante, but that was fine. I definitely understood Dante’s motivations and Blossom is Fey and Fey are always jerks.

The plot itself is truly breathtaking. There’s so much action and drama and so many hidden layers, it was really hard to put the book down. This is an urban fantasy setting and the author does a brilliant job of combining the fantasy elements with current events. Climate change, Trump, terrorism and nationalism were cleverly interwoven with the magic of the story. That’s one of the things that really stood out to me and me absolutely love this book.

As I’ve mentioned above, there really isn’t much of a romance to be found. There’s an established couple that becomes quite important but their love is not a main focus at any time. There are a few semi-explicit sex scenes and a few more off-screen, which makes sense, considering Inky is an incubus. But again, the sex was not a focus point.

Oh, and there were cats. I love cats and well-written cat characters are always a huge bonus for me.

This was shaping up to be a 5-star-read for me. But there were just too many POVs throughout the story. Sometimes it actually got a little confusing because of that. Ultimately, that’s the thing that made me knock off half a star.

“Incubus Honeymoon” is the first part of a new series by this author and it shows. While the story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, the plot quite clearly isn’t fully resolved. And I’m really looking forward to what happens next.

I can’t believe this is my first book by August Li. He’s obviously a brilliant author and I’ll need to check out his other works.

I think this book will appeal to all fans of urban fantasy. It’s definitely an interesting new twist on well-known fantasy elements. Read it, I’m sure you’ll like it.

The cover by Blake Dorner is perfect. Inky looks exactly like I’d imagined him and he has his super cute cat with him.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 274 pages

Published July 17th 2018 by DSP Publications

Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?

By that I mean the paragraphs or pages the author writes before  you get started into the book?  I’m an avid reader of these things and love them deeply.  I often find that I feel that I know more about why the author felt compelled to write this story or why it’s situated in the location it’s in or even given a more in depth look at a main character because of what an author has written prior to starting their story.

But what the hell is it called?

Most, might have referred to it as The Foreward, myself included.  Wrongo!  That would have had to have been written by someone else, not the author themselves.  For correct usage see the flash fiction anthology Impact with it’s foreward by J. Scott Coatsworth.

So it would be either Introduction or The Preface.  How many of you know the difference?  I needed a refresher course myself so I   went looking for definitions and correct usages for all three.  A lovely blog, BPS Book Blog, supplied this succinct roundup:

From the BPS Book Blog:

… here are some definitions and descriptions – supported by the dictionary and the august Chicago Manual of Styleand proven to be helpful in my work as an editor and publisher ­– that my authors have found of assistance.

THE FOREWORD

A foreword (one of the most often misspelled words in the language) is most often written by someone other than the author: an expert in the field, a writer of a similar book, etc. Forewords help the publisher at the level of marketing: An opening statement by an eminent and well-published author gives them added credibility in pitching the book to bookstores. Forewords help the author by putting a stamp of approval on their work.

THE PREFACE

A preface is best understood, I believe, as standing outside the book proper and being about the book. In a preface an author explains briefly why they wrote the book, or how they came to write it. They also often use the preface to establish their credibility, indicating their experience in the topic or their professional suitability to address such a topic. Sometimes they acknowledge those who inspired them or helped them (though these are often put into a separate Acknowledgments section). Using an old term from the study of rhetoric, a preface is in a sense an “apology”: an explanation or defense.

THE INTRODUCTION

If a preface is about the book as a book, the introduction is about the content of the book. Sometimes it is as simple as that: It introduces what is covered in the book. Other times it introduces by setting the overall themes of the book, or by establishing definitions and methodology that will be used throughout the book. Scholarly writers sometimes use the introduction to tell their profession how the book should be viewed academically (that is, they position the book as a particular approach within a discipline or part of a discipline). This latter material is appropriate for a preface, as well. The point is that it should appear in the preface or the introduction, not both.

What brought all this on?

As I said I  always read them.  To bring me knowledge, insight into the story, what the author was thinking when they were writing it…all sorts of things.  They aren’t always labeled correctly but I love them dearly.

The one that launched this one was the Introduction to Ryan Field’s Pretty Man, a M/M reworking of Pretty Woman.  He writes about the total lack of any happy gay literature in the 20th century and his need to “fill the bill”. Ryan Fields now writes “happy romances” as a gay man for the youth today looking for literature much as he once did. How this got me thinking on so many levels (and researching).

Thankfully, there are so many positive and happy examples to point to from books to movies* these days (not tons amounts true in the movies more much more. Look at  but there are now LGBT movie channels) so progress has been made. Plus there is a veritable flood of Quiltbag fiction out there now to quench the thirst of those looking for happy endings for LGBTQIA couples.  The more writers the merrier I say.

But lets return to gay fiction of the 20th Century.  What books do you find or comes to mind?  Are they all tear fests?

Here are some that I found and the dates they were published:

Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series #1) by Armistead Maupin  1978
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown   1973
Maurice by E.M. Forster 1913
A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood  1964
Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig  1976
A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White 1982
A Queer Kind of Umbrella (Pharoah Love, book 5) by George Baxt  1995

 

I also found childrens books about Daddy’s Roommate (1994) and My Two Uncles (1995) so I was wondering about the author’s timeline.  Some early 20th century classics are devastating certainly (Gore Vidal, James Baldwin to name just two), but a sea change had started with Stonewall and its ripples spread out and impacted everywhere and everything, media included.

Anyhow….see what a Introduction can do to me?  Laughing….

How to you feel about Forewards, Introductions, and Prefaces?  Do you read them? What do you learn, if anything from them?

And how do you feel about the 20th Century’s lack of feel good romantic gay fiction?  True or False?

As to Pretty Man…well, that review will come up and it caused me to do some thinking as well.  More on that later.

Now here is what our upcoming week is looking like.  Happy Reading and Listening!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 19:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?
  • Release Blitz – In The Shadows – TL Travis

Monday, August 20:

  • Cover Reveal – Marina Vivancus – In This Iron Ground
  • Release Blitz – RJ Scott – Last Chance
  • Review Tour – Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) – Annabelle Jacobs
  • An Alisa Review : Love Spell by Mia Kerick
  • A MelanieM Review : Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Threepeat by KC Wells and Parker Williams

Tuesday, August 21:

  • Book Blast – A Thread in Time by Jess Thomas
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – Directions by Jena Wade
  • DSP Cover Reveal Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne/BA Tortuga
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Hex and Candy (Strange Bedfellows #1) by Ashlyn Kane
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: Wanted Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore

Wednesday, August 22:

  • Audio Review Tour – Changing Lines – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
  • Blog Tour Circle of Trust by Aimee Nicole Walker & Nicolas Bella
  • Riptide Tour Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
  • A MelanieM Review : Dark City by Sarah Kay Moll
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood

Thursday, August 23:

  • DSP Cover Reveal Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine
  • Of Princes False and True” by Eric Alan Westfall
  • Harmony Promo Beau Schemery
  • An Ali Review Death Days by Lia Cooper
  • A VVivacious Review Of Princes False and True by  Eric Alan Westfall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Last Chance by R.J. Scott
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)

Friday, August 24:

  • Book Blast Born to be Wild by A.L. Simpson
  • DSP Promo Remmy Duchene on Tempt Me
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Midnight in Berlin by JL Merrow
  • An Alisa Review: 2230: The Perfect Year by CM Corett
  • An Alisa Review Up to Code (Directions #1) by Jena Wade
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Sun and Shadow (Day and Knight #2) by Dirk Greyson and  Andrew McFerrin ( Narrator)

Saturday, August 25:

  • Looking Forward by Michael Bailey Release Blitz
  • Media Blitz – FINDING MY WAY HOME BY KENDEL DUNCAN
  • A MelanieM Review: Pretty Man by Ryan Field

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Gay Movies with Happy Endings!

Love, Simon
Big Eden
Jeffrey
Touch of Pink
Boys (Jongens)
Maurice
The Birdcage
The Way He Looks
Shelter
Beautiful Thing
Were The World Mine
G.B.F.
Kinky Boots
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

And wait there’s more!

1) All Over the Guy
2) Boy Culture
3) East Side Story
4) Fourth Man Out
5) Friends & Family
6) God’s Own Country
7) Long Term Relationship
8) Latter Days
9) Salt Water
10) Save Me
11) Trick
12) Yossi

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour for Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Euphoria

Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

DSP Publications

 

Jayne Lockwood has a new queer sci fi book out:

Six random questions for Euphoria author, Jayne Lockwood

Hi everyone, and very many thanks for featuring my book, Euphoria, on your blog. What follows are six questions, chosen at random, that I was asked to answer, with subjects including leading men, scaring children and having a tail. It’s a sort of interview roulette, as it were. So here goes.

If I were a Hollywood producer about to put your book on the big screen, who would you want me to cast as the leads? Why? And can we have pictures to drool over?

A Hollywood producer would fire me on the spot if I told him who I wanted to be in the film of Euphoria.

Vardam would probably be CGI, if I’m honest. They are nearly seven foot tall and iridescent, so I can’t see how that could translate. With the current demand for superheroes, all the guys seem to be beefed up and they’re just not like that. I can’t think of anyone around at the moment who would play them, but maybe someone else can.

For Kurt Lomax, that’s a lot easier. In my world anyway. There’s only one man suitable for the job and that’s Guy Henry (yes – he’s the guy that played Grand Moff Tarkin.) I know, not everyone’s idea of a pin-up, and certainly not Hollywood A List material, but I don’t write my books for that. To be honest, I didn’t write the character with him in mind. I just happened to discover him on a long-running BBC hospital drama (Holby City) and thought, “that’s Kurt.” So yeah. The Guy stays in the picture….

For Tom Soames, it would have to be Ben Wishaw, who has the right balance of grunge and sweetness. Again, not a conventional pretty boy, but who cares? The clue is in the word “character.” I’ve tried to make these real people, not fantasy figures. Tom is cute and vulnerable and more intelligent than he or anyone else thinks he is, and I know Ben would be able to nail the sloppy Buckinghamshire accent. I’ve given him a handsome doctor to fall in love with (Rashad) and a strong sense of loyalty. He’s a good foil for Kurt, who needs someone to tell him a few home truths.

How would you describe your writing style/genre?

Diverse. Under my name and my pseudonym I have variably written M/F erotic romance, MM erotic romance, fantasy, sci-fi, noir, dart erotica, trans romance, horror…. At my heart I love a romance with a good, old-fashioned happy ending, and I believe that everyone, no matter which gender, sexuality, race or religion, deserve to have their stories told.

Were you a voracious reader as a child?

Yes, annoyingly so, probably. My father used to buy me books of poetry and anthologies, all kinds of things to feed my reading habit. I still have some of those books now as they remind me of him. One of my favourites is thick tome of four Daphne due Maurier novels. Through them I gleaned my first ideas of love, lesbianism, lust and obsession, though I’m sure that wasn’t Dad’s intention. And another favourite book of mine when I was eight was Marianne Dreams, by Catherine Storr. Basically, it’s about a sick girl who draws pictures and then dreams about them, befriending a boy she creates in her daytime doodlings. When they fall out, she draws huge stones with eyes that surround his house and gradually move closer…

That’s really creepy now I think about it. I gave the book to my daughter when she was eighteen and it frightened the shit out of her. I think I must have been a weird kid. And a bad parent.

What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?

Pandora from Avatar! Because the Na’vi are stunningly beautiful and at one with a gloriously lush natural world. I want to be tall, slender and have a tail. Wouldn’t you like a tail? It would be long, flexible and have a mind of its own so I could use it as a fifth limb. I’d also have a close relationship with a dragon thing that would allow me to travel on its back (not ride it – an important distinction…)

I’d also use my tail for mischief, playing tricks, helping people get top things off shelves and smacking assholes upside the head if needed. I’d be a menace with a tail. No doubt we would fall out with each other at some point. In fact, I feel a story coming on with a character whose tail goes rogue…

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

I write something else. A stupid poem to put on my blog, or a scene between two totally unrelated characters. Or fan fiction! I’ve written some on Wattpad just for a bit of fun (I’m Lady Jaguar) and it’s surprising what can transpire.

And exercise always helps. It’s definitely a good idea to remove yourself from the plot knot or whatever you’re struggling with and put it to one side for a while to concentrate on something else. And for a decent amount of time, whether half a day, or a week if you’re able to. Just give it time and it will sort itself out eventually.

Do you reward yourself for writing, or punish yourself for failing to do so? How?

I believe strongly that writing is a passion, and yes, you can punish yourself if that’s how you roll, but I don’t because for me passion=pleasure, not tearing my hair out and getting stressed. I don’t rely on my writing to put food on the table, so possibly it would be different if I did, but no, I don’t punish myself if I have a crap day. Rewards are chocolate though. Yeah, I deserve a lot of rewards, and they all take the form of chocolate or lattes….

Thanks for reading this far. If you have any other questions for me, the more bizarre the better, shoot them my way!

Jayne x

About Euphoria…

It might take the arrival of an alien being to remind an isolated man what it means to be human.

With a stressful job, his boss breathing down his neck for profitable results, and an estranged wife and daughter, scientist Kurt Lomax doesn’t think life can get much harder. Until a nonbinary extraterrestrial with an otherworldly beauty, captivating elegance, and a wicked sense of humor inconveniently shows up at his apartment.

Vardam watched the destruction of their own world, and they don’t want to see the same thing happen on Earth. They are lonely, and feelings soon develop between them and the supposedly straight scientist—feelings Kurt reciprocates, much to his confusion.

The arrival of cheery interpreter Tom Soames—whose Goth appearance belies a gentle heart—is like a ray of sunshine in the somber lab. He acts as matchmaker for man and tentacled extraterrestrial, unwittingly instigating a national crisis when the news breaks out.

But will a misunderstanding ruin Kurt and Vardam’s chances for happiness together—along with the hope for peace between humanity and the Var?

DSP Publications | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Jayne is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4722/?


Excerpt

Three hours later, they were still none the wiser.

“Any joy with communications?”

Nic shook her head. “None. They don’t seem to respond to any spoken language. I’ve tried binary code, sonar, whale music, radio waves. Not a flicker. I’m not sure how well they can see or hear. They won’t let me near enough to do any examinations. They just keep staring at me like I’m the one who isn’t getting it. It’s really frustrating.”

When Kurt looked again, Vardam was there. With a graceful tilt of the head, they watched him as he approached the glass.

“What about the forensics on that note?”

“Just got them,” Troy said, looking up from his computer. “The note was written with an old-style Bic ballpoint pen by a human female….”

“Human? Are you sure?”

“I can’t argue with the evidence. There was a trace of fingerprint on the paper but nothing I can analyze. The paper looks like any A4 copy from a twentiethcentury printer or photocopier. The only thing is, I think it might have been written by someone in distress. The handwriting is very jerky, like they weren’t sure what to write and then just dashed it down. But….” Troy shrugged his wide shoulders. “That last bit’s a hunch. Could be totally wrong. Still waiting on the DNA.”

“Thanks, Troy. Let me know as soon as you get it.”

He turned back to where Vardam was standing, staring at him with those unnerving gemstone eyes.

“Who are you?”

Vardam raised their hand, running the back of it down the glass close to Kurt’s face. He jerked away. It was too close for comfort, even with three inches of glass between them. Vardam backed away as well, as if alarmed by his sudden movement. For reasons he didn’t understand, he was irritated beyond measure by their wounded expression.

“Talk to me, damn it! What do you want with me?” He smacked his hand against the glass. The sharp slap shocked Vardam into stepping back. They bared gold teeth at him and made a gesture that looked almost obscene. Then they dropped into a crouch. Immediately, a smooth iridescent shell closed over their hunched body, covering it completely.

Kurt and Nic exchanged glances, then looked back at the pod. It was completely smooth, devoid of any seams or openings. Every few seconds it quivered. Kurt could almost feel the waves of disapproval emanating from the gleamingsurface.

“Well, that’s new,” Nic said. “Get some rest. I’ll babysit until ten. Troy will take the graveyard shift.”

Kurt tore his angry gaze away from the strange pod. The way it hunched reproachfully in the corner didn’t improve his mood one bit. He knew he was more than tired. He felt emotionally and physically drained and couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten a proper meal. Not that he was hungry. He just wanted sleep.

In his apartment, he lay naked in his wide bed. He was thinking about his continued feud with James Dyer. The issue dangled over his career like a sword of Damocles but all he could see was the beautiful creature. Those eyes, staring into his ragged soul. What did they want?

The telephone by his bed rang, waking him from an unnerving dream. Glancing at the clock, he saw it was 6:15. The last eight hours had passed frighteningly quickly.

“Hello?” His voice sounded faded.

“Sorry to wake you, Professor, but I’ve got the DNA results back. You need to see them.”

“I’ll be right down.”

He stumbled out of bed and into the shower. Twenty minutes later he was down in the lab, a fresh white coat over his shirt and tie.

In the isolation room, Vardam had emerged from their shell. The melon had been eaten, apart from the rinds, neatly scalloped with teeth marks.

“What’s happening?”

“It was just as I thought it would be. There’s human DNA on that note. Female. I took the liberty of cross-checking it against the National DNA Database and found a match. Whoever wrote this note is related to you. Not just distantly, but directly of your bloodline.”

Kurt looked closer at the screen. It was policy to hold the medical details of everyone at the Bunker, including himself. Even so, he wondered why he wasn’t more surprised.

It was impossible but saying so would have been redundant. The evidence was right there in front of him. He walked over to the glass and beckoned to Vardam. They gave him a withering look and turned away, presenting a bony back to the window.

“I think we’re going to have to use the softly-softly approach,” Troy said. “They’re not going to tell us anything until they’re ready. And I’ve got another hunch. I think they’re using BSL.”

“British Sign Language?” Kurt was skeptical.

“I know it sounds weird, but there’s a guy who works at Tesco in Wycombe. He uses it with some of the customers. It looks the same. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Troy prodded buttons on his iPad. The official website came up with a finger-spelling option. “Not all words have signs, obviously, so each letter has a sign, right?”

“I know the principles of sign language,” Kurt said irritably. The alien was an inconvenience, however beautiful they were.

“You write in your name, and the finger shapes come up.” Troy typed rapidly. Kurt’s surname appeared on the screen in sign.

Troy gently tapped on the glass. “Hello?”

Vardam turned around, saw it was Troy, and ambled over. Troy showed them the diagrams on the iPad screen. The alien nodded, repeated the signs, and pointed at Kurt. Then it signed, “I am….”

“I can’t tell what they’re saying,” Troy said. “They’re too fast. Hang on.” He typed again. “I’ve found a YouTube video for learning phrases. Ah! This one is easy.” He put the iPad down and signed, making a sad face, swirling his fist on his stomach, then raising both hands over his head, shaking it at the same time.

“What are you doing?”

“Telling him I don’t understand. It’s ‘way over my head.’ Get it?”

Vardam seemed to. They signed “okay,” then turned to Kurt and made another gesture, flattening one hand and punching up into it with the other.

“My instincts are telling me that isn’t good,” Troy said. “Looks like we need to find ourselves a sign language expert.”

“We can’t bring anyone else in at the moment. Certainly not in a professional capacity. The government will be all over us before we know it.” As Kurt said it, the seed of an idea was forming in his mind. “Where did you say that BSL user worked again?”


Author Bio

Jayne Lockwood

 

Jayne Lockwood has always wanted to learn to fly. Spending free time honing her Peter Pan skills on an aerial hoop, she also creates flights of fancy in her books, mingling sex and romance with angst and a healthy dash of dark humor.

Since she was a small child, Jayne has always sympathized with the villain. It all began with Alice Cooper, even though she was banned from listening to his music by her mother. From wanting to sail away with Captain Hook or redeeming the Child Catcher, the antihero has been an enduring fascination ever since.

After a two-year sojourn in New Jersey and two decades of child-rearing, Jayne is an outwardly respectable member of an English village community. She also is one of the founder members of WROTE podcast, which is dedicated to showcasing LGBTQA authors and their work, and now writes book reviews as well as diverse fiction.

She is also in a sub/dom relationship with a cat called Keith.

Website: http://hollowhillspublishing.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jayne.lockwood.71

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/hollowhillspublishing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ladyjAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893372.Jayne_Lockwood

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jayne-lockwood/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jayne-Lockwood/e/B00AAXXA6I/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Jayne Lockwood on Writing, Characters, and the new release ‘Euphoria’ (guest interview)

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Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

DSP Publications

Cover Artist: Emmy@Studioenp.com

Sales Links:  DSP Publications  |   Amazon US  |   Amazon UK   |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jayne Lockwood here today talking about writing, characters and the latest release from DSP Publications Euphoria.  Welcome, Jayne.

♦︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with author Jayne Lockwood

Very many thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me on their blog. I love doing interviews because the questions can be quite challenging and sometimes I learn something about myself as a writer in the process!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

With my first books, they dealt with straight characters falling in love, and yes, there was a lot of me in the female characters of The Cloud Seeker and Closer Than Blood. I was finding my feet, writing what I knew. As I gained confidence and knowledge as a writer, I could diversify and make the characters their own people, without the safety blanket of basing them on people IKR. I have to add, none of the Savannah Smythe erotica novels are based on my life experience. It’s amazing how many times I get asked that *insert eye roll here*

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I don’t really choose a genre, TBH. I write the story, and the genre begins to reveal itself eventually. I would never have sat down to write a science fiction book, but Euphoria turned into one. I think keeping within genre lines can inhibit you as a creative. Write the story, then see where it fits. The caveat to that is making sure you don’t fall into the trap of cultural appropriation. Choosing a certain group of people to write about comes with responsibility. Research is essential so you don’t fall into possibly racist or bigoted stereotyping. And with sci-fi, there are also rules. Whatever world you dream up has to feel real, with details based on scientific fact.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I am a big fan of the HEA but I won’t reject a book because there isn’t one. In some genres that just isn’t possible. In my books, there is always an HEA or HFN because I just don’t like writing untidy endings or cliffhangers.

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?

I definitely think a character has to have some faults. If they’re perfect, they’re not relatable and could be irritating. If they are too repellent, you’ve lost the reader. If they’re a misogynistic bastard at the beginning and are still one at the end, the author has lost me as a reader. As a writer you have to make the reader fall in love. Just be aware of the genre you want your book to fall into. Romance readers won’t thank you if the hero has halitosis, hairy nostrils or a nose-picking habit. Choose your flaws wisely!

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I find various traits interesting, but it depends on the story. A strong woman who isn’t a bitch or a ball-breaker, a philanthropist CEO. Everyone on the planet has something, one thing, that makes them unique (apart from DNA.) Hidden talents, a main character revealing their love of the cello, or a former life as a cat burglar, surprises like that are fun. Just don’t give them these things then do doing with them in the story. Have a key scene to showcase their uniqueness and beauty.

In Euphoria, I’ve given Kurt a love of watching ballet, and Tom talks tough but really he’s cotton candy inside. Even Vardam has a skill of getting what they want, using good manners and carefully chosen English.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

Closer Than Blood (M/F romantic suspense) was written between 1994 and 2015. The really observant will see the changes in the writing style between the old sections and the new, though I tried not to make it obvious. That book is a patchwork of old, new and a bit blue. Nothing borrowed though!

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 write sober because I rarely drink. I can imagine some interesting results though. Why wouldn’t you be happy with it if it fits the story? If not, at least it’s something to share with readers via a blog post so they can have a laugh out of it.

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

A mid-town Manhattan apartment with easy access to a deli would be nice. Or a beach hut by the sea, somewhere like Aldeburgh in Suffolk. But really, I have a great writing space here at home, with a window looking out onto green fields. Somewhere with quiet, a comfortable chair and electricity and I’m happy. Oh, and chocolate. And roobois (red bush) tea. Yeah, that will do!

About EUPHORIA …

It might take the arrival of an alien being to remind an isolated man what it means to be human.

With a stressful job, his boss breathing down his neck for profitable results, and an estranged wife and daughter, scientist Kurt Lomax doesn’t think life can get much harder. Until a nonbinary extraterrestrial with an otherworldly beauty, captivating elegance, and a wicked sense of humor inconveniently shows up at his apartment.

Vardam watched the destruction of their own world, and they don’t want to see the same thing happen on Earth. They are lonely, and feelings soon develop between them and the supposedly straight scientist—feelings Kurt reciprocates, much to his confusion.

The arrival of cheery interpreter Tom Soames—whose Goth appearance belies a gentle heart—is like a ray of sunshine in the somber lab. He acts as matchmaker for man and tentacled extraterrestrial, unwittingly instigating a national crisis when the news breaks out.

But will a misunderstanding ruin Kurt and Vardam’s chances for happiness together—along with the hope for peace between humanity and the Var?

About the Author

Jayne Lockwood has always wanted to learn to fly. Spending free time honing her Peter Pan skills on an aerial hoop, she also creates flights of fancy in her books, mingling sex and romance with angst and a healthy dash of dark humor.

Since she was a small child, Jayne has always sympathized with the villain. It all began with Alice Cooper, even though she was banned from listening to his music by her mother. From wanting to sail away with Captain Hook or redeeming the Child Catcher, the antihero has been an enduring fascination ever since.

Jayne is an outwardly respectable member of an English village community. She also is one of the founder members of WROTE podcast, which is dedicated to showcasing LGBTQA authors and their work, and now writes book reviews as well as diverse fiction.

She is also in a sub/Dom relationship with a cat called Keith.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Web page https://hollowhillspublishing.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hollowhillspublishing/

Twitter https://twitter.com/ladyjAuthor

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jaynelockwoodauthor/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893372.Jayne_Lockwood

QueerRomanceInk https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jayne-lockwood/

A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!

A romance must have heart.  Seems like such a simple idea.  Such a central idea!  Shouldn’t every romance ideally have heart?  But you would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) at the number of romances I read where the heart of the story, the love, the romance as it were was just left out of them.

Or bled out of it at some point by as aspect of the characters or their  romance or even the ending.

Maybe its the lack of chemistry between the characters that kills it, or the relationship dynamics themselves.  Doormats anyone?  I don’t have enough fingers for the amount of times reviewers have told them they just didn’t “like” either the development of a character or a romance between characters.  That it killed the story for them. No chemistry.

Sometimes its in the initial meeting of the characters.  Gay for me for example (a trope I’m not fond of). You “turned” gay for someone? Ugh no.  I far prefer gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual …those  stories where the person discovering their sexuality whatever that maybe.   Guess we are back to boxes and titles.  And treatments, of course.  That can do it as well.  Take a heart out of a story.

How about how the couple goes about their relationship?  Can that suck the life out of the romance for you?  I know it can for me.  See doormat above.

And then there’s the ending.  So many books have crashed and burned on their endings alone.  The “oh, no, they didn’t end it there” stories!  We all have them.  The ones that left us gobsmacked.  And wanting to throw said Kindles and paperbacks across the room, the romance gone, deflating the stories like some sad pinpricked balloon.

And if you can guess a book prompted all this you would be right.  Shakes head.  I keep forgetting they get published like that. No, I’m not going to name it.

So that’s my rant for today. It’s safe to step back into the blog!  What pokes the pin into your books? What deflates the romance quicker than you can say boom? Let me know in the comments. Our giveaway is still going on until next week.

 

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July, 22:

  • Tour – Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed by Quin Perin
  • An Alisa Review – Meik & Sebastian by Quin Perin
  • A Romance Must Have Heart! Romance Do’s!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 23:

  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – Zen Alpha by Sionnach Wintergreen
  • Dreamspun Promo Amy Lane on A Fool and His Manny
  • Release Day Blitz Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) by Layla Reyne
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey
  • A Jeri Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Ardulum: First Don (Ardulum) by J.S. Fields

Tuesday, July 24:

  • Release Blitz – Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • Release Blitz – Fusion by Posy Roberts
  • RELEASE BLITZ Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel
  • A Lucy Review: Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine
  • An Alisa Review: Professor Hot Pants by by Ember-Raine Winters
  • An Alisa Review: Serving Him (The Retreat #1) by L.M. Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor and Philip Alces (Narrator)

Wednesday, July 25:

  • AUDIO Blog TOUR The Eagle and the Fox by Nya Rawlyns
  • DSP Promo Poppy Dennison
  • Release Blitz – Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • Release Blitz with – Serving Him by L M Somerton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  Blyd and Pearce by Kim Fielding
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review Smoke in the Mirror (Road to Blissville #5) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Thursday, July 26:

  • DSP Promo Kim Fielding on Blyd and Pearce
  • Risk Taker by Lily Morton Release Day Blitz
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat
  • A Lucy Review: Erik the Pink by Matthew J. Metzger

Friday, July 27:

  • Release Blitz – Brave For You – Crystal Lacy
  • Cover Reveal – Mia Kerick Love Spell
  • Impact Flash Fiction Anthology Tour
  • DSP Promo Michaela Grey
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Dark (Expedition 63 #2) by T.A. Creech
  • A MelanieM Review: Impact Flash Fiction Anthology
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review:Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

Saturday, July 28:

  • Release Blitz – DJ Jamison – Hearts & Health Volume 2
  • A MelanieM Review:The End of All Stories (Legends of Badal’Shari #1) by Julia Rosenthal