Heartbreak, Hearthounds, And A Tale of Two Winstons. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Heartbreak, Heartterriers, And A Tale of Two Winstons

My heart is breaking this Sunday.  On Friday, after what was supposed to be a routine visit to the vet, for annual shots and to check out a cough, I found out that my redoubtable terrier, Winston has an aggressive tumor in the spleen, a cancer that’s already metastasized to his lungs. Prognosis is most likely one week.  This from a boy who was after a skunk, and racing the fence with a deer only days ago.  I’m in complete shock and utterly devastated.  He’s my heart terrier, my boon companion.  I was sure I would have him for at least 10 more years as I had the Winston before.  But its not to be and by this time next Sunday, my Winston will be gone.

So, because I’m in pieces and I need to spend as much time as I can with him, I’m re-posting this morning A Tale of Two Winstons, the journey of how this magnificent Winston came into my life.  Oh, he will always be a part of my heart. He’ll be so missed.

WinstonII home

 

A Tale of Two Winstons

 

Somethings are just meant to be, no explanation, no rational reason, they just are.  Somewhere a song is sung, a ripple forms in the water, a door closes, a window opens, and a dog finds its way back to its forever home.

It’s been a week to the day that Winston died, and this household has been a very changed, quiet place.  The dogs have been upset and grieving as have I.  Then this morning we woke to the smell of gas.  Flinging open the windows, we called the gas hotline and quickly the emergency crew arrived to locate the source and shut down the gas line.  It was a small issue, one quickly resolved but it meant that we were all home for the day, an unlikely occurrence. We had food we intended to donate to the local animal shelter and now had the time to do it. I checked the computer for address and hours of operation for the Montgomery County Humane Society.

There on the website was a picture that riveted me.  Up for adoption, dog 151 who looked remarkably like Winston.  I tucked that picture into my head, gathered up the food and we left for the shelter.  I checked in and we waited for our name to be called to state our business.  Upon hearing my name, I approached the desk and they gave me a slip, asked what dog I wanted to see and directed me to the back towards the kennels.  I didn’t correct them.

Through the door, past kennels full of dogs needing homes.  I averted my eyes, my heart sore.  We approached a cage, I looked down and nearly fainted.  There he stood, tail waving, face open and smiling, his entire body shaking in happiness – Dog 151.  He looked just like Winston, almost identical.  The attendant hooked him up to a leash and we took him outside, all the while telling us he just came in yesterday.  He was neutered, 4 years old, and had been rehomed twice.  We looked at him, he looked at us, and I heard myself saying “we want him, we want to adopt him”.  There was never a moments hesitation.

She handed us a slip of paper.  How can something so flimsy carry such weight?  It meant that he was taken.  How I hated leaving him there in the kennels while the routine paperwork had to be filed.

There were pages to fill out, and pages of information about him to be received.  Instead of having to wait for an interview, somehow someone was available to interview us immediately instead of the usual waiting period.  We sat and waited for our name to be called,  looking over the paperwork.  I was focused on the staff,  when I heard my name called out.

“Melanie, his name is Winston.”

“What?”

“His name is Winston!!!!!”

Disbelieving, I looked at the paper she was holding up.  There, plain as day, next to the name for the dog being given up was the word Winston.  Dog 151 was Winston.   The tears that had been threatening from the moment I saw him spilled over.  The staff asked about the tears and the story of Winston poured out.  Even they thought the series of events unlikely.  The wonderful person who was our adoption counselor. Addie Soares who interviewed us had Winston brought in and he was as much a part of the interview process as we were. Sitting at our feet, body wagging a mile a minute, it was clear to all we were a family.  We talked some more and then she asked if we wanted to take him home today.  The answer was a resounding “yes”.

We had been warned he would likely bolt because of past issues so they gave us all new tags, harness and collar.  We keep a leash in the car just in case a dog needs to be rescued.  Out to the jeep we went.  Winston took one look at the car and leaped for the seat.  The ride home was a breeze as he sat safe and interested in my lap.  Then we were home.  Questions formed in my mind.  What would Willow and Kirby think?

I shouldn’t have worried. Willow kissed him, and Winston kissed her back.  Kirby came running up, happy to greet him.  Turns out Winston was just as overjoyed to see Kirby.  We employed the usual tactics to introduce new dogs to each other but really we needn’t have bothered.  Much sniffing ensued, much licking ensured, much peeing ensued, and they were fine.  So were we, again.

Now we are all ensconced on the bed, watching The Voice, and the dogs are sleeping peacefully next to us on the bed as well.  This is why king sized beds were invented.  Winston’s feet are moving in his sleep, his brows moving in tandem.  His slumber is full of dreams. Willow is curled up on her pillow and Kirby is doing his normal imitation of a teenage boy, unmoving and splayed out.  We are at peace, and we are whole once more.

There are certainly differences between them as it should be.  One is not the other.  One is not the replacement for the other, and their differences are to be celebrated.  This Winston has a long undocked tail, and a wide open personality.  This Winston lacks the arduous back history of my other Winston.  That Winston was wary of new circumstances, never taking treats or unfamiliar food.  This Winston took two treats immediately and then looked for more.  But there are also similarities.  The huge personality that says I will not give in, that persistent nature, hearty spirit and indomitable soul.

He is sleeping on his back now, at ease in posture and attitude.  Winston knows he is home.

They had asked us if we intended to keep the name Winston.  I looked at him, and thought of all the things that came together for us to become a family, and replied “yes, that is his name.”  He is Winston, a different Winston but Winston none the less.  Different but equal.

A song is sung, a wing beats on the wind, a direction is chosen, ripples form and a dog comes home just as another leaves.  Who is to say how these patterns are formed, and the paths chosen?   Somehow I know this was meant to be and Winston is smiling down upon us.  I will always love my Winston and miss him.  I will celebrate and welcome this Winston’s homecoming.

One is mourned and one is found.  A home is made whole as is a heart.  I swear I hear a song and a bark in the air…..

Here is Winston finally in his forever home.WinstonII asleep

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 14:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Cover Reveal for LOVE TIMES FIVE by Lily G Blunt

Monday, January 15:

  • Review Tour – Lost In Time – A.L. Lester
  • BLITZ Beneath the Surface by Rebecca Langham
  • BLITZ Life After Humanity by Gillian St. Kevern
  • A Caryn Review: Lost In Time by A.L. Lester
  • A Stella Review: Friends and Lovers by Tinnean
  • An Ali Review:  A Purple Winter by Mel Bossa

Tuesday, January 16:

  • Bleeding Like Me by Riley Parks Tour
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Jeff Adams and Will Knauss VIDEO
  • DSP GUEST POST BA TORTUGA ON Fighting Addiction
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fighting Addiction (Fighting Addiction) by B.A. Tortuga
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Beneath This Mask (Enhanced #3) by Victoria Sue
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Ghost of a Chance (Requiem Inc. #1) by Kris T. Bethke

Wednesday, January 17:

  • Cover Reveal for Selina Kray’s In Wild Lemon Groves
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway for Tribute Act by Joanna Chambers
  • Blog tour for Resist and Triumph charity anthology
  • An Ali Review: Two Man Station (Emergency Services #1) by Lisa Henry
  • A MelanieM Review:  Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8) by Joanna Chambers
  • A Stella Review:The Fortune Hunter by Bonnie Dee

Thursday, January 18:

  • DSP Promo Amy Spector
  • Release Day Blitz A Way with You by Lane Hayes
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Romantic Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Julia Review :Thirteen Mercies, Three Kills by Liv Olteano
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Spun! by JL Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)
  • A Stella Pre Release Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and J.H. Knight

Friday, January 19:

  • Book Blast – The Loss of Self – An Intimate Autobiography by Alek Martin
  • Release Blitz – The Station – Keira Andrews
  • Review Tour – Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) – V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Review: Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey
  • An Ali Review: An Amy Lane Christmas by Amy Lane (bundle)

Saturday, January 20:

  • A MelanieM Review: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker
 

So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists.

Well, today as we usher out 2017 (and I can’t say I’m entirely sorry to see it go), I will say it’s been a wonderful year in terms of stories, at least for me, and as far as I can tell, for some of you too.  So buckle up, my buttercups, grab something to make lists with, whether it be old fashioned paper and pen or your smartphone or pad, and prepare yourself for some marvelous Best of Lists from readers, reviewers, and myself!

♦︎

There have been series that ended this year (and I’m including trilogies here) that were just outstanding, new discoveries made of authors both established and newly published, great stories that cut to the heart of why we read, and series that either started or continued that made us laugh, cry, blew our minds with the author’s creativity and wild imaginations!  Oh the joy of it all!

♦︎

Plus the happiness that we here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words have been able to share it all with you and have heard from you in return.  It’s been a very rich year indeed.

Best of

From Our Readers

Lennis:

My Bests:
Best Contemporary is tough. I liked How To Bang A Billionaire by Alexis Hall, Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell, and Rule Breaker by Lily Morton.
Best Fantasy for me would be The Heart of The Lost Star by Megan Derr, Lord Mouse by Mason Thomas, A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune. I wasn’t sure if I should add Broken by Jex Lane to this, or have it be Best Paranormal? Let’s go with that.
Best Science Fiction would be Moro’s Price by M. Crane Hana and Dali by E.M. Hamill.
Best Cover. Natasha Snow has had an awesome year! Controlled Burn and Adrift are some favorites. The Foxling Soldati cover by L.C. Chase and One Last Try cover by Lou Harper are also eye catching.

suze294

My 5* reads from this year
The Executive Office series, Tal Bauer
Sins of the cities series, KJ Charles
Forever Haunt (Jimmy McSwain 5), Adam Carpenter
This Fire Inside, Jordan Nasser
What It Looks Like, Matthew J Metzger
Wolfsong, TJ Klune
Priddys Tale, Harper Fox
Bitter Legacy, Dal Maclean
Switched, NR Walker
The Definitive Albert J Sterne, Julie Bozza
Reaping Fate, AJ Rose

From Ana:

My Bests:
Best Mystery: Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Risky Behavior by LA Witt & Cari Z
Best Audiobook: Femme by Marshall Thornton
Best Cover:Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
Best Contemporary (this is hard to choose, so many good ones): Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling, The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin, Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaugh, Manic Pixie Dream Boy by KA Merikan and Disease by Hans M Hirshchi
Best Dark Theme: Backdoor Politics by CL Mustafic

Amy:

Favorite On-Going Series in 2017

Hexworld by Jordan L. Hawk
Aberrant Magic by Lyn Gala
Offbeat Crimes by Angel Martinez
Bad Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z
Rainbow Cove by Annabeth Albert
Scoring Chances by Avon Gale

and more from Didi:

I’m adding two more lists of mine here, for PNR and May/December (or Age-Gap as one MC’s not into his December yet 😉 ).

Best Paranormal Romance:
– Spectred Isle by KJ Charles
– Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk
– Undertow by Jordan L. Hawk
– The Well by Marie Sexton
– Fraud Twice Felt by JT Hall

Best May/December Romance:
– Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
– Spun! by JL Merrow
– Trust the Chaser by Annabelle Albert
– Risky Behavior by LA Witt & Cari Z (I cheated, it’s more age-gap than May/December, I think)
– Permanent Ink by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

Best of Lists from STRW

 More from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviewers:

 From Lila:

Looking back on my shelves, The Best of 2017 (according to me) are:

January – Chosen Pride by Mary Calmes
February – Red Dirt Heart by N.R. Walker
March – Borrowing Trouble by Kade Boehme
April – Tell Me the Truth by Lisa Oliver
May –  The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
June – The Palisade by Rosalind Abel
July – That Alien Feeling by Alessandra Hazard
August – The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Deer
September – Strange Bedfellows by Cardeno C.
October – Locked in Silence by Sloane Kennedy
November – The Hideaway by Rosalind Abel
December – An Omega for Christmas by L.C. Davis
And some extra mentions:

·         Best Read for STRWBonfires by Amy Lane

MelanieM Best of 2017

Here are my lists, many and long as I warned everyone.  What a year and I still mourn the books I hesitatingly left off.  These are listed in absolutely no particular order excerpt that I was scrambling to look at my notes and books kept popping up here and there….

♥︎Best Contemporary Fiction with Romance

Ghost (Executioners #1) by J.M Dabney
Joker (Executioners #2) by J.M Dabney
Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay
There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt, #2) by Heidi Cullinan
Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
Switched by NR Walker
Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes
Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out #2)
by Sean Kennedy
House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh
Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft
Fair Chance (All’s Fair #3) by Josh Lanyon
Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor
Snowblind by Eli Easton
Who We Are by Nicola Haken
Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black
Rhino Ash by Lindsey Black

Bonfires by Amy Lane
Catch and Release (The Release, #3) by B.A. Tortuga

♥︎Best Contemporary Fiction (not a romance)

Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) by Amy Tasukada

♥︎Best Science Fiction

The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth
Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander
The Jackal’s House (Lancaster’s Luck #2) by Anna Butler – steampunk

 ♥︎Best of Fantasy:

His Mossy Boy (Being(s) in Love#8) by R. Cooper
Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford
The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
Ravens (Inheritance #3) by Amelia Faulkner

♥︎Best Supernatural/Paranormal:

Bitten by Design (Regent’s Park Pack #2) by Annabelle Jacobs
Skim Blood and Savage Verse (Offbeat Crimes #3) by Angel Martinez (actually all the books in this series)

♥︎Best Series:

Aisling Trilogy by Carole Cummings (high fantasy)
The Hawaiians by Meg Amor (contemporary romance)
Offbeat Crimes by Angel Martinez (humor, fantasy, supernatural)
Nicky and Noah Mysteries by Joe Cosentino  (high camp, high humor, mystery)
Inheritance by Amelia Faulkner (fantasy, supernatural)
The Kingdom Series (Vol 1 & 2) by RJ Scott (fantasy)
Rainbow Cove by Annabeth Albert
#gaymers by Annabeth Albert
Being(s) in Love by R. Cooper
The Release series by BA Tortuga
The Sin Bin by Dahlia Donovan (contemporary)
The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada (contemporary fiction) violent, bloody, brilliant, not romance)

 ♥︎Great Series Ending:

Sanctuary Series by RJ Scott
Texas Series by RJ Scott
Mahu by Neil S. Plakcy
All’s Fair by Josh Lanyon
Werecat series by Andrew J. Peters
Holiday with the Bellskis by Astrid Amara
End Street Detectives by RJ Scott (supernatural)

 

♥︎Holiday Series ~ special mention:Holidays with the Bellskis Series by Astrid Amara (final story just out)
Carol of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #1) by Astrid Amara
Miracle of the Bellskis (Bellskis, #2) by Astrid Amara
Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3) by Astrid Amara

♥︎Best Covers:​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania) by TJ Klune, Artist Paul Richmond
Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water#2) by Amy Lane, Artist: Reese Dante
Sunset at Pencarrow (World of Love)
by Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell, Artist: Reese Dante
An Island in the Stars by Susan Laine, Artist:  Anna Sikorska
Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan, Cover art by Natsukoworks, Cover design by Kanaxa Designs.
The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn, Artist Natasha Snow
Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane, Artist: Paul Richmond
Comes a Horseman (Echoes Rising #3) by Anne Barwell, Artist: Reese Dante
A New Way to Dance by Sean Michael, Artist: Anne Squires
The Glamour Thieves by Don Allmon, Artist: Simone
Conned
By Jana Denardo, Artist: Melody Pond
Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander, Artist:Kirby Crow
The Blacksmith Prince by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus, Artist:  Lady Tiferet
Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft, Artist: G.D. Leigh

 

 

 

 

 

♥︎

Well those are my choices and I’m sure I’ve even left a quite of few out.  How did all of your lists come out?  Did you all find some new books to add to your TBR lists on everyone’s Best of Lists?  Winner Announcements to come next week as they would get lost and we need to have something to look forward to!

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!  See you all in 2018!  Happy Reading from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to all of you!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 31- Happy New Eve’s:

  • So Long 2017! Hello 2018! It’s Our Final 2017 Best of Lists.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
  • A Stella Advent Release Day Review: Eugene and the Box of Nails by Jaime Samms

Monday, January 1:

  • Book Blitz: Blackwelder 2164 by Christopher D. J
  • BLITZ The Calling by MD Neu
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Reckless Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Operation Green Card by GB Gordon
  • A Kai Audiobook Review: Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt and Dominic Carlos (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Hurricane by BA Tortuga

Tuesday, January 2:

  • Cover Reveal for Shae Connor’s Teaching Ben
  • DSP Promo K.A. Mitchell
  • RIPTIDE TOUR On Solid Ground by Quinn Anderson
  • Tour: A Different Light by Morningstar Ashley
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell
  • A MelanieM Review: Bound by Thorns (Dragon Soul #3) by Sean Michael

Wednesday, January 3:

  • Blog Tour *Won’t Feel A Thing by C.F. White
  • Release Blitz – Bonnie Dee – The Fortune Hunter
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Anne Barwell
  • A VVivacious Review: OBSESSION by Theophilia St. Claire​
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo
  • A MelanieM Review: Wait For Me by Kris Jacen

Thursday, January 4:

  • Release Blitz & Review Tour Request – Sam Burns – Blackbird In The Reeds
  • Sin and Saint by J.M. Dabney RDB, Tour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sin and Saint by J.M. Dabney
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Reckless Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Stella Review: The Best Gift by Shawn Lane
  • An Alisa Review Wolf’s Kiss by Siryn Sueng

Friday, January 5:

  • Dreamspinner Promo: Alix Bekins and Connie Bailey, authors of Song and Key
  • Release Blitz – Vows Box Set – Addison Albright
  • RELEASE BLITZ Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C
  • A Stella Pre Release Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and JH Knight
  • An Alisa Prerelease Review: Forever With You By Londra Laine

Saturday, January 6:

  • A MelanieM Review: Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Beloved Son (Aisling Trilogy#3) by Carole Cummings

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When a man’s identity is built on lies, can he find the true self buried beneath? For Wil and Dallin, newfound love might not be enough. To heal themselves and their world, they must learn to see things as they truly are and break free of what they have been tricked into believing.

Wil and Dallin stand at the center of an approaching convergence they’re not sure they’re strong enough to face. The power of the land and the Mother waits for Wil in the bowels of Lind, but it comes at a price: he must defeat the soul-eater and save the Father, Her Beloved, and manage to keep his soul in the process. He can’t do it alone. But where can he turn for aid when friends are not necessarily friends, trusted mentors are not necessarily to be trusted, and good intentions are sometimes the most dangerous kind?

Dallin and Wil must accept their roles as the Guardian and the Aisling and stand together against a ruthless god in a cataclysmic battle of dreams and wills, the fates of both of their souls and those of all mortals hanging in the balance. Trust, if they can finally embrace it, holds both the promise of salvation and the risk of damnation.

With the final story, Beloved Son by Carole Cummings, the Aisling Trilogy is complete and it’s one of my top series of 2017.  A truly masterful epic of fantasy storytelling, in this conclusion, Cummings expands her mythology of the  gods, brings in even more political intrigue, and continues the almost unimaginable religious zealotry that both furthers and threatens every step that Dallin and Wil take towards bringing an end to the soul eater.

And with all that, Cummings still threads in the relatable, and needed  relationship of two men trying to figure out if love and trust can work between them.

You can read and appreciate the Aisling Trilogy on so many levels.  If you are a lover of world building and mythology, this one is for you as the gods here and the worlds will capture your imagination and let it run wild.  So too all the various tribes of men and geographical areas  she has created for Dallin and Will to walk through.  She’s left nothing to chance.  Plus she’s populated them all with peoples and cultures you absolutely believe in.

However, it’s that final battle that will have you grabbing, white knuckled, at your Kindle or tablet, the outcome uncertain.  The power of her narrative and the emotions it pulls from you will threaten to knock you over.  It’s a deadly combat worthy of all that’s come before.

And yes, I loved the ending.

Taken by itself (no it’s not a standalone) along with the other two of its companion stories, Beloved Son and the Aisling Trilogy is among my  top series of 2017.  I highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.

Cover art by Anne Cain.  I like the covers but that just doesn’t seem like Dallin to me.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 306 pagesExpected publication: December 19th 2017 by DSP Publications (first published December 14th 2011)
Original Title Beloved Son
ISBN139781635338041
Edition Language English
Series Aisling

Lyn Gala on the Many Expressions of Love and her story ‘Tap-Dancing the Minefields’ (author guest post)

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Tap-Dancing the Minefields by Lyn Gala
DSP Publications
Cover art by Anne Cain

Buy at DSP Publications |  Amazon 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words welcomes Lyn Gala here today on her tour for Tap-Dancing the Minefields. Welcome, Lyn.

 

I write romance, so clearly I’m obsessed with people falling in love or being in love or struggling to make love work.  But sometimes I miss seeing a wide range of love.  In Romeo and Juliet, everyone talks about the young couple, but what about Mercutio’s love for Romeo? 

In Frankenstein, I am obsessed with how much the creature struggles to find brotherly love with all these imperfect people.  For one shining moment, he has it, sitting in a hovel with a blind man who talks to him like an equal, and then the family returns and reveals the truth about the monster’s horrible appearance.  That breaks my heart.  And I maintain that Huck Finn’s redemption comes when he learns to love Jim.

So I want a romantic love interest, but I also want deep, abiding love in all its forms.  Tap-Dancing grew out of that desire. Back in New York, Tank lost too many people he loved.  He took those broken connections and used them as an excuse to run as far and as fast as he could—ending up in the northern wilds of Alaska running supplies to a remote Army base.  Once there, Tank finds himself in the center of an alien conspiracy, a military unit struggling to defend the planet and a group of people who share the sort of camaraderie Tank desperately needs.

Lev is shy with a core of steel and a big heart, and Tank is immediately attracted to him.  But this story is also about Aldrich who is the mentor and father figure Tank needed.  It’s about Brian Hoffer who tried to be the big brother Tank needed and John who actually filled that role. It’s about how these people all love each other, and yes, Lev and Tank are the centerpiece because they have the romantic love, what the Greeks called eros—sexual passion.  And they do have a lot of passion.

But I wrote this with a list of the Greek words for love sitting in front of me.

I love the fact that the Greeks identified a number of different ways that love can develop in the human heart, and I want to explore all of them.  Philia, deep friendship, motivates these people as much as their desire to protect the world.  When Aldrich is talking to John or Deborah, who are technically under him in the chain of command, the ludus, playful love, shows as they tease each other.

These soldiers have agape, a love for all people that drives them to protect others, even when their own lives are at risk. Deborah and her husband show pragma, a deep longstanding love. More than any of my other books, I think this one has a happily ever after in that Lev and Tank develop that pragma by the end.  They have patience for each other, and love that comes from a place of compromise and patience can survive anything.

But more than anything, this is about philautia—self love. Tank hates himself for not being perfect and being helpless to stop evil in the world. Much of this book is about his struggle to forgive himself for being imperfect—for losing friends to a fight he couldn’t hope to win.  He is damaged in ways that only another warrior could recognize, and much of the book is about his struggle to forgive himself and rediscover his philautia because until he can open his heart to himself, he can’t truly allow Lev into it.

I will admit that I am stupidly in love with these characters.  I love how broken and flawed they are and how they keep fighting no matter what.  The love running through these guys isn’t about hearts and flowers. This love is steel and fire.  And sometimes the fire does burn too brightly.

Blurb

Sometimes the fiercest battle a man faces is against himself.

In the hidden alleyways of New York City, George “Tank” Tankersley defeated what he believed were demons. But the victory cost too much. Tank joined the Army in the hope of outrunning the guilt haunting him—only to stumble into a vast and deadly conspiracy, the enemies he’d hoped to never encounter again, and the arms of the brilliant, eccentric scientist tasked with saving humanity.

In a world where the line between dark magic and alien science is thin, Dr. Lev Underwood must reverse engineer recovered alien technology to give humans a fighting chance against the extraterrestrial beings who consider Earth nothing more than a petri dish. His old friend, Colonel Clyde Aldrich, wants to protect Lev from entanglement with the scarred and emotionally volatile young soldier, but Lev cannot help the pull he feels toward Tank. Still, his first loyalty is to the secret government program, and love might have to take a back seat to protecting the world. But if he can find a way, Lev wants both.

Excerpt:

The connecting door opened, and Clyde looked up as John stood in the doorway, silently watching. He had no censure on his face, but he stood as a mute witness as Tank’s cries gradually faded. It took over an hour, but eventually the stiff muscles and hard tremors faded until Tankersley lay limp in Clyde’s arms, either asleep or too worn out to keep grieving. Clyde didn’t fool himself. This was the first step on a long journey. But at least Tankersley had the balls to start down it. Plenty of men could never face their own fears.

“You want to give me a hand?” Clyde asked softly. John moved into the room, a silent shadow as he walked over and knelt down to scoop Tankersley up. He was really out of it. His eyes didn’t even flicker as John lifted him and moved him to the bed.

Clyde sat on the floor feeling nearly as exhausted himself. Watching Tankersley fight through all the pain made his own wounds feel rawer than they had in a while. Losing people. It wasn’t easy. And the officers for whom it became easy weren’t worth spit.

John frowned at him, and Clyde made a production of standing with his stiff knees. Usually he was exaggerating when he talked about his old legs, but Tankersley had put his weight onto Clyde’s left leg, and he had a raging case of pins and needles. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Clyde rubbed his sore leg.

“You guys wouldn’t hurt so much if you weren’t so willing to give your love to so many people,” John commented.

“Yep,” Clyde agreed. They’d talked about it on the gladiator ship—the danger of loving others and the way it stole a man’s soul when those people died. Clyde figured that neither of them needed to talk about it, because both of them had seen their share of men struggling to carry the emotional burdens the world required of them. Really, Lev should have found someone with fewer scars.

Author Bio:

Lynsey “Lyn” Gala started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn’t stopped since. Westerns starring men with shady pasts gave way to science fiction with questionable protagonists, which eventually became any story with a morally ambiguous character. Even the purest heroes have pain and loss and darkness in their hearts, and that’s where she likes to find her stories. Her characters seek to better themselves and find the happy (or happier) ending.

When she isn’t writing, Lyn Gala teaches history in a small town in New Mexico. Her favorite spot to write is a flat rock under a wide tree on the edge of the open desert where her dog can terrorize local wildlife. Writing in a wide range of genres, she often gravitates back to adventure and BDSM, stories about men in search of true love and a way to bring some criminal to justice… unless they happen to be the criminal. Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lyn.gala

What We Are Thankful For In Books Continues and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What We Are Thankful For In Books Month Continues

Our What We Are Thankful For In Books Month continues.  If you missed it last week, this month we are going to celebrate the things we’re grateful for…bookwise.    For some of us (myself included as you will see this week), its new authors (not new necessarily, but new to us or yes, just plain spanking new release new).  For others it may be new books that they read that they just think the world of and need to share!

Could be new narrators if you love audiobooks. How many times has a narrator made or broke a audiobook for you?  I can think of a audiobook I just listened to where the narrator was incredible and made the story fresh again…all it has to be is book related.

Could even be a new cover artist because in my mind they are so important when it comes to bringing a reader forward and getting them interested in a story, yes, even in this age of eReaders and eBooks.  Think of all those covers that made you laugh or made you dwell on their beauty?

This week I have an incredible Author and Series Discover/Highlight with J.M Dabney that you won’t want to miss on Thursday.  The author gives us insight into the characters and  their linked series that I’ve been reviewing for the past month and a half.  Plus what the future holds for any new series and her writing.  I was so happy with the interview and I hope you all will be too.

Last week I posed the question “What have you discovered or have found this year in books that you are grateful for?” and several of our readers have left some wonderful comments I wanted to share:

From H.B.:

“I think I’m always grateful that books seem to inspire being open minded and that authors choose to tackle subjects readers or people in general may be too scared to address or inquire about. I like that there have been an bigger influx of stories with ace and transgender characters, and mpreg stories.”

From Purple Reader:

“Great thought, H.B., and I couldn’t have said it better in this day and age. More specifically to my own reading, I was thankful I had enough time to get into some long-held tbr series in some of my fav genres and I loved them all, gay: fantasy (Gordon’s Champion of the Gods), mystery (Marshall Thornton’s Boystown), historical naval/pirates (Kei’s Pirates of the Narrow Seas), scifi/dystopia (Hassell’s ICoS), Steampunk (Hall’s Prosperity), action/adventure (Bauer’s Executive Office), and western (anthology, Once Upon a Time in the Weird West)… ok, you found me out, I pretty much like any gay genre, as long as it’s good.”

So let’s from from more of you….what are you thankful for in books this year?  What’s stood out for you?  Stella, the gift certificate fairy is waiting in the wings with arms full of certs!  And we have plenty of the month to go!

What have you discovered or have found this year in books that you are

Thankful for Giveaway

What have you discovered or have found this year in books that you are grateful for?  Write in and let us know.  Short, long, recommendations, however, you would like to tell us.  Let’s hear from all of you.  Leave us your comment of what you are grateful for in books (author, series, books, narrator, cover artist, whatever it may be, along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen. Multiple gift certificates will be handed out the last week of November!  Must be 18 year of age or older to enter.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 5:

  • What We Are Thankful For In Books Month Continues
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 6:

  • Release Blitz for Tiki Torches and Treasure by J.C. Long
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway for Beauty & The Guardian Beast by Rhys Ethan
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Lace-Covered Compromise by Silvia Violet
  • A MelanieM Review: Trouble (Twirled World Ink #2) by J.M. Dabney
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Blood Drop (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #5) by Jacob Z. Flores
  • An Alisa Review: Lace-Covered Compromise by Silvia Violet

Tuesday, October 7:

  • Dreamspinner Press Promo: Anne Barwell
  •  Blog Tour and Review for Tara Lain’s “Never”
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Blood Borne (The Republic #3) by Archer Kay Leah
  • A MelanieM Review: The Royal Marine by Dahlia Donovan
  • A MelanieM Review: Drama Detective (Nicky and Noah Mystery #5) by Joe Cosentino

Wednesday, October 8:

  • Cover Reveal for Jackie Keswick’s Undercover Star
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Watch Point by Cecilia Tan
  • A Julia Review: Ardulum: Second Don by J.S. Fields
  • A MelanieM Review: Scary (Twirled World Ink #3) by J.M. Dabney
  • A Stella Review: Making Home (Bay Valley U #1) by Dev Bentham
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows (Lawyers in Love #2) by Ari McKay

Thursday, October 9:

  • Guest Column Come on, Muse!” from Nancy Stewart (Beulah Land)
  • Dreamspinner Promo:Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows by Ari McKay
  • Author and Series Discovery: J.M. Dabney and Linked Series
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky (Twirled World Ink #4) by J.M. Dabney
  • A VVivacous Review: The Boy Who Fell to Earth by A Zukowski
  • An Alisa Review: The Undefendable (The Vampire Court Chronicles, #1) by Suede Delray

Friday, October 10:

  • DSP Promo M.A. Church
  • BLITZ: A Bolt of Blue by Nicky Spencer
  • Tour for Dirk Greyson’s Hell and Back
  • A Julia Review: Changing Colors by Elyse Springer
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) by Victoria Sue and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Finding Persimmon by R.W. Clinger

Saturday, October 11:

  • Release Blitz for A Bolt of Blue by Nicky Spencer
  • A MelanieM Pre-release Review: Dragon Rider (Landlocked Heart #3) by Kay Berrisford

 

 

Mark Wildyr on his historical novel Cut Hand (Cut Hand #1) (author guest blog and special excerpt)

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Cut Hand (Cut Hand #1) by Mark Wildyr

DSP Publications
Cover art by Maria Fanning
Release Date: October 31, 2017

Available for Purchase at DSP Publications | Amazon

 iBooks  and Kobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mark Wildyr here today on his tour for Cut Hand.  Welcome, Mark.

✒︎

 

May I take a moment to thank Stella and Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for agreeing to host this guest post for my upcoming novel CUT HAND. The book blurb captures the theme and intent of my historical novel as well as anything else:

Far from the world he knows, he’ll find a home.

Among strangers, he’ll find acceptance.

And in the arms of an unexpected man, he’ll find love.

Young Billy Strobaw comes West to escape the stigma of his Tory family. In the Dakota Territories, he encounters the Yanube warrior Cut Hand. Billy’s attraction to the other man is as surprising as the Yanube perspective on same-sex love. Unlike Europeans, the Siouan tribe celebrates such unions. Billy and Cut Hand can live as partners and build a life together, which Billy agrees to do.

As Billy struggles to acclimate to a very different culture, quickly discovering the Yanube have as much to teach him as he has to impart to them, a larger struggle is brewing. The white man is barreling through the Great Plains, trampling underfoot anyone who stands in his way. As a leader of his people, Cut Hand must decide whether it will be peace or war.

In a historical romance taking place against the epic backdrop of the early American West, where a single spark can ignite a powder keg of greed, lust for power, and misunderstanding, one man must find his place in history and his role in the preservation of all he has come to value.

I have chosen a passage from well into the story (Chapter 22, in fact) to illustrate the lengths my protagonist, William Joseph Strobaw, a very honest man, feels he has to go in order to protect his adopted people from the ravages of the white man.

*****

YAWKTOWN HAD grown to the point where the city fathers saw fit to change the name to Yanube City. My friends from the old days were now men of substance, and I was about to use their influence to the full extent of my ability. Since it was late when I arrived, I took a room at the Rainbow Hotel, as the establishment was now called, and bathed in one of their new baths. Each floor had a fully equipped bath with a zinc-lined tub.

Early the next morning, I called on the land office and made certain the title to Teacher’s Mead and the one hundred sixty acres around it was correctly entered. The government surveyed some years back, permitting me to exercise my right of purchase under the 1841 Pre-Assumption Act. Now I made a bid for contiguous land. If no one contested my offer, I would own four thousand acres of land lying astride the Yanube River. I bid the minimum provided for by the compromise, virtually destroying my account at the bank. It seemed politic to pacify Banker Crozier, whose influence I would need, by agreeing he could draft most of the cost from my account with the bank at Fort Ramson. Beyond this, I had to surrender a portion of my gold and silver coins to satisfy the bid.

The most crucial part of my scheme rested with the next call. Abraham Kranzmeier, the Jewish tailor, now had four young seamstresses and two sons working for him. Despite his age, he arrived at the shop each day to inspect every stitch that went into garments made in his name. I had given him custom over the years, and we held one another in esteem. He flicked a bushy gray eyebrow when I asked to speak in private but wordlessly led me back to a room furnished like a comfortable parlor in a home. He offered a cup of expensive imperial tea with lemon and settled back to stroke his long beard and listen.

“Abraham, I come to you because if anyone in this town understands the yoke of oppression, it is you. I intend to do something not exactly proper, not for my own personal gain, but for the protection of people who will need it in the years to come.”

I paused for him to volunteer some comment. “I heard what happened to your Indian family. You come on behalf of the survivors.”

“I have a beautiful piece of ground at Teacher’s Mead. When my time comes, I want to make certain it goes to my intended heirs.”

The old man took out a crooked, elaborately carved pipe, and for one minute I thought he was going to offer it in ceremonial observation. “So you see the same future I do,” he said, settling the pipe comfortably in the corner of his mouth.

“Indians are going to become the Jews of America,” I answered. “They will be denied ownership of their own land, citizenship in their own country, and forfeit their very lives if no protection is offered. I seek to provide this protection to a few of them.”

“You want to leave them your property.”

“And my testament will not be honored unless I fix things a little. So I come to a respected member of a community with a long history of surviving hostile systems.”

“In other words, you come to an old Jew. An old Jew whose nephew, although he bears a gentile name, is the clerk for this territory. Tell me what you need.”

I wanted a record of a marriage between me and Butterfly, a woman of the Yanube band, in the spring of 1834, some two years before the actual event, and a marriage license to go with it. I wanted a record of birth and a birth certificate for William Cuthan Strobaw as issue from this marriage for any day in December 1835, plus a baptismal certificate in the Methodist Church, one of the more active in the area. The old man listened and then named a sum, explaining it was not payment to him but the cost of having the items created. I handed over some of my hoarded gold coins and asked him to expedite the process. I wanted as much time between this and my own demise as possible. Time often perfected titles.

*****

“The Indian will become the Jews of America.” Prophetic words from a wise, farseeing man. His story and that of his love, Cut Hand, make up this novel.

Since I am uncomfortable talking about me, I’ll let the Bio at the end of the novel provide the obligatory words about the author:

Mark Wildyr is an Okie by birth and New Mexican by choice who turned a childhood interest in Native American cultures into a career. His seven published novels and approximately sixty short stories detail how attitudes toward homosexuals—who once held places of honor among some of the tribes—began to change upon the coming of the white man, with his suspicion and fear of those who are “different,” ultimately becoming pariahs even among their own people as the Europeans became dominant.

Wildyr continues to be fascinated by how different people interact together to discover who they are when measured against others. He gives back to his community by teaching a free writing class at an Albuquerque community center.

The following are my contact links:

Once again, thanks Melanie and Stella. I really appreciate this opportunity. And thanks to you readers for being… readers.

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Dream (Aisling #2) by Carole Cummings

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

To reveal the intricate machinations threatening them, two men must learn to trust each other. But how can they, when their hearts and minds—their realities—are subject to manipulation?

When he set out to escort the prisoner Wilfred Calder back to Putnam, Constable Dallin Brayden didn’t anticipate the political betrayal and malicious magic threatening their lives at every turn. To his surprise, he slips into the role of protector—and it’s more than duty compelling him to ensure Wil’s safety as they’re haunted by strange dreams.  But does Wil dare put himself in the hands of a man he believes wants him dead?

Wil’s past weighs heavily on him, tainting his perceptions as he struggles his way through a tangle of lies. With both will and magic as his weapons, he fights desperately for survival—and his soul. For the Aisling is coveted by more than the Guild and the Brethren; ancient gods and soul-eating spirits also want what lives within him. His only chance might be Dallin and his goddess, the Mother, who Wil has been taught to despise above all others.

It’s hard to describe just how exquisite this book and saga actually is.  Dream, the second story in the Aisling Trilogy, picks up exactly where the first left off, with Dallin accepting that Wil is the Aisling, the one he is meant to protect above all else.  Why?  Because Dallin is the Guardian.  What that means, how they are to fulfill those roles start to be revealed here.

That revelation and the impact upon their relationship starts immediately.  One of the biggest issues here is trust and what each man has seen/been told will happen to them.  Do they learn to trust each other and that they can make the future their own?  Or is the future already written and are they simply trodding a path they are meant to go down?  What do the gods have planned for them if anything?

The world building Cummings starting in Guardian (Aisling, #1)  becomes even more complex and wide ranging, crossing lands and picking up cultures and peoples we had only heard about in the first novel.  Mirroring the complexity of the world building is the relationship and personal dynamics between Wil and Dallin.  From enemies to friends and now the slow move into a romantic relationship, Cummings has been careful to establish the necessary trust and communication that let’s this happen between them.  I love the slow courtship between the men.  Considering all Wil has been through, the slow emotional involvement that the physical one also implies makes perfect sense.

Even as we enjoy the small touches that illuminate the growth of intimacy between the men, Cummings is busy ramping up the suspense of the chase as well.  For the evil is never far behind them, the good men chasing them for the wrong reasons as well…even their destination is fraught is peril.  The author makes us  fear the smallest of breaks in the woods,  the turn of every corner in a village is reason for the reader to hold our breath.

There is no one element or section here I can highlight.  It’s all equally fantastic.  Characters are beautifully created.  I believe in them and their relationships.  Fear for their futures.  The evil here is horrific and about to deepen with the last story.  The gods and aspects of religion the author has devised is stunning in its originality.  How this will play out for Wil and Dallin in book three, Beloved Son, is something I can’t wait to read when it’s released in December.

As with the first story, Dream ends somewhat abruptly, most likely where the final installment will pick up.  Oddly, I’m alright with that.  After the ending in Guardian, I almost expected it. At the end here Wil and Dallin are poised on the precipice of knowledge.   That next and final story tips them and us over the edge.

If you love fantasy and are new to this trilogy, you have until December to get caught up.  I highly recommend this story (not a stand alone) and the first, Guardian.  Then join me in December for the release of Beloved Son.

Cover art by Anne Cain is perfect for the character and for branding the series.

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by DSP Publications (first published June 15th 2011)
Original Title Dream
ISBN13 9781635336740
Edition Language English
Series Aisling #2
Beloved Son (Aisling Trilogy, #3)  coming Dec 13th 2017 and I can’t wait
Everything (Aisling #3.5)

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.

Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Every now and again, a story comes along that you wish you could give more than the allotted 5 stars.  The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth is one of those novels. A science fiction saga, the first in a series, it’s giant narrative footprint calls to mind  some of my favorite science fiction authors, from Arthur C. Clarke in it’s clear, forward use of science and up to the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, in it’s all inclusive outlook on humanity,  the sweeping scope and incredible imaginative flair of the author makes this story one of the true highlights of my reading year.

Even more amazing after reading the foreword and discovering how close The Stark Divide came to never even being published at all.  What a journey for both author and novel.  That’s also an author’s note not to be missed.

The Stark Divide is separated into three sections starting with Seed, each transitioning with huge steps in human generation (a family), huge growth (an alive IA earth world/ship), and a vision for the human race.  The Earth is an ecological disaster, the humans left barely surviving on the populated livable land masses after the event known as The Burn which killed millions, leaving the rest scrabbling for their existence.  The hope for the human race lies among the stars and the three living world/ generation ships planned for space, of which the 43 Ariadne, or Forever is one.

Coatsworth takes us through the incredible birth of Forever in Seed, the introduction of the people so important to the beginnings of this saga and the foundation of the story.  Everyone and everything in The Stark Divide grabs at your heart, and your mind, engaging both your curiosity, your imagination, and yes,  pulling at our own fears at the potential for ecological disaster going on now.  Beautifully thought out as well as soaring on the author’s on creativity and extrapolation,  don’t be surprised to feel yourself wanting to be a part of this Utopia and then beginning to fear for it when all the ugliness that killed the Earth finds it’s way to Forever.

As I said, this is only the first story in a series.  I can scarcely wait for the next one to be released.  I need to know where the saga goes next.  You will too once this saga has you hooked as thoroughly as it does me.  If you love science fiction,  grab up a copy now and prepare to sink yourself into a world unlike any other.  It’s incredible, thought provoking, highly imaginative, and easily one of the best books of 2017!

Book One of Liminal Sky

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is perfect, a wonderful artistic rendering of parts of Forever.

Sales Links:

DSP Publications (paperback)DSP Publications (eBook) | AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo iBooksGoodreads | 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 284 pages
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by DSP Publications
ISBN139781635338331
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Liminal Sky #1

Goodbye September, Hello October! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Goodbye September, Hello October!

October is here, one of my favorite months!  Time for pumpkins, and hauntings, a thinning of veils, and perhaps of things that go bump in the night!  It’s a time for owls to be hooting as they sound out territories and mates, leaves to begin their spectacular autumnal show, and the plaintive notes of geese high above calling as they migrate south to warmer climes and more welcoming waters.  I’m not alone.  There are so many quotes out there from writers sharing their love of fall and this particular month, including L.M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables) who wrote:

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”.

I’m totally in agreement.

It’s also a time where authors and publishers start to release books and anthologies with a bent towards the paranormal and horror, noting that Halloween and All Hallow’s Eve occurs this month.  So you all know what I’m leading up to….

Yes, several things actually only one of which I’ll bring up this week.

Let’s start with a Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Horror Rec List.  This might be a short one because, tbh,  I don’t read a lot of horror books myself.  Do any of you?  I read one this week and I’m reviewing it.  It’s by one of the few author’s whose stories continually have a horror/paranormal bent to them.  That would be Xavier Axelson.  See what I found on Monday.  So go through your book lists, your Kindles and shelves. See what horror stories you can recommend.  I can’t wait to read what you all come up with!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Horror Story Recs Giveaway

We will run this all month long in order to take advantage of all the new scary books coming out this month as well.  So leave a comment/rec, along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen.  We will have more than one winner for our gift certificates.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Also acceptable are spooky paranormal stories!  Ghostly hauntings!  Witchy doings!  You get the idea!  Even throw in a zombie or two!  Contest ends October 28 at midnight.

✒︎Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for reviewers.  If you would like to review for us, please contact us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  Let’s talk!

 

✒︎And finally, in case you didn’t see our post.  Author B.A. Tortuga needs our help.  She’s very ill and needs our assistance.   There’s a Go Fund Me page started to help with her mounting medical costs.  For the full details, visit the link here.

 

Now for our first week in October, this is what we have for you.  Happy Reading!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 1 🎃 🌰

  • Goodbye September, Hello October!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz for Elle Keaton’s As Sure As The Sun (Accidental Roots #4)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: ​The Bunny and the Billionaire by Louisa Masters

Monday, October 2:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Tara Lain
  • Harmony Ink Promo Julie Aitcheson
  • BLITZ Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Keeper by Kiernan Kelly
  • A MelanieM Review: Earthly Concerns by Xavier Axelson
  • An Alisa Review: Soul Bonds (Common Powers 1) by Lynn Lorenz
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Model Exposure (Haven Investigations #4) by Lissa Kasey

Tuesday, October 3:

  • BOOK BLAST Sweet Thing by Isobel Starling
  • Review Tour for Tour: PROPHESY by A.E. Via
  • A Lila Review: Prophecy: The King and Alpha Series #1 by AE Via
  • A MelanieM Review: Read My Mind (Under the Empire #1) by Kelly Haworth
  • An Alisa Review: Finding Home by Garrett Leigh

Wednesday, October 4:

  • Dreamspinner Promo : Living in Fast Forward (Radio and the Road) by B.A. Tortuga
  • Tour for Archer Kay Leah’s Blood Borne (The Republic #3)
  • Cover Reveal for Lawless Anthology
  • A MelanieM Review: Deceived by Megan Derr
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Gummy Bears & Grenades (THIRDS #10) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: High Calls by Tara Lain

Thursday, October 5:

  • Blog Tour – Patrick’s Savior by Nic Starr
  • BLITZ Leaning into Touch by Lane Hayes
  • Cover Reveal: Anna Butler’s The Jackal’s House
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Read My Mind (Under the Empire #1) by Kelly Haworth
  • A Jeri Review: Rank and File by LA Witt
  • A MelanieM Review: Crave (Brawlers, #1) by J.M. Dabney
  • An Alisa Review: Rush in the Dark (Common Powers 2) by Lynn Lorenz

Friday, October 6:

  • Release Blitz – Amy Aislin’s Picture Winter
  • Release Blitz – Changing On The Fly Anthology- Various Authors
  • RIPTIDE Tour and Giveaway: Five Dares by Eli Easton
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:Living in Fast Forward (Radio and the Road) by B.A. Tortuga
  • A Stella Recent Review: Five Dares by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Review: Edward Unconditionally (Common Powers 3) by Lynn Lorenz

Saturday, October 7:

  • A MelanieM Review: Calloway by Thad J.

 

 

 

 

 

Lina Langley On the Inspiration Behind Her Characters and her release Welcome to Crash (DSP Publications Promo Tour)

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Welcome to Crash by Lina Langley
DSP Publications
The cover artist is Anna Sikorska
Available for purchase at DSP Publications

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Lina Langley here today on her Welcome to Crash tour.  Welcome, Lina.

✒︎

Sam Riordan is a minor but important figure in Welcome To Crash. Part of the reason for that is the frame of reference that he provides for Damien as a character. When Damien gets a job at Crash, he’s ridiculously excited. It’s the equivalent of getting a job at Andy Warhol’s studio. Of course, Sam Riordan is supposed to be long dead, and everyone around Damien acting as if he was still alive and simply around is completely dismissed by Damien. It’s just something that artsy people that he doesn’t get would do. And Damien is, in effect, right. That is absolutely the kind of stunt that Sam Riordan would pull off, if he wanted to. Damien isn’t wrong in thinking that. Sam Riordan is more than just a painter, he’s an artist (and an artiste), hugely influential in Damien’s worlds in ways that don’t simply influence the story, but rather the entire cultural framework that encompasses it.

Sam Riordan is an amalgamation of various artists who were hugely influential, mostly in the twentieth century. He’s heavily based on both David Bowie and Salvador Dali.

The thing about these artists is that not one of them was perfect as people, but they were both hugely influential in their mediums. In Welcome to Crash, Sam’s presence is seen as something of a myth. Even when people speak about him, even in the studio, they do so in hushed tones. Long after Riordan is supposed to be dead, his presence lingers–John has a job at his studio, Damien thinks he’s extremely lucky to have landed it, and Levi is writing a book about it.

Sam Riordan’s relationships closely resemble those of Salvador Dali’s. He’s married, to someone who he considers the love of his life, but unlike Dali, he’s openly bisexual. While Salvador Dali denied that he had any homosexual inclinations, it was rumoured until the end of his life that he had a passionate love affair with Garcia Lorca. Federico Garcia Lorca was a legendary Spanish playwright and he was openly in love with Dali. While Dali denied claims that the two were involved romantically, many of his peers contend this. Whether or not the playwright and the artist were involved, Dali and his wife were deeply in love and they had a long, fulfilling marriage. Their relationship, first as artist and muse, and then as artist and wife, was complex and often complicated, but they were madly in love. The relationship with Sam Riordan’s wife, while only briefly touched on in the book, is extremely similar to the one that Dali had with his wife. When it’s looked back within an academic and historical framework, Sam Riordan’s relationship with his wife is matter-of-fact, just another facet of a modern art genius who dared to break the norms of what society dictated a marriage between a man and a woman had to be at the time. Unlike John, however, Sam Riordan is not a punk in the slightest. His convictions are a lot more whimsical and he’s only anti-establishment when it serves a purpose. He is who he is, and he’s proud and unapologetic, but he’s also shy and prefer to communicate through his art.

Which brings me to the second artist that Riordan was based on: David Bowie.

David Bowie’s influence on modern pop music cannot be understated. He told the world that he was gay, then as bisexual, in the 70s, and he pushed performance boundaries with androgynous make-up, dresses and other concepts which weren’t as accepted at the time. He was firmly part of gay culture while he was at the top of the charts in the 70s, releasing songs like “John, I’m only dancing”. Bowie’s sexuality was thoroughly questioned at the time and he spoke publicly about it through the years, often changing what he said. Bowie pushed hard against the boundaries of gender representation and what gender was. Some academics argue that it was done carelessly, in ways that only hurt the queer community (especially the gay community, which at one point, believed they had found an ally in the huge rock star and just as quickly lost it), but the influence of David Bowie’s androgyny and cross dressing in more mainstream pop culture remains far reaching to this day.

His sexuality–or the public persona surrounding his sexuality–wasn’t what influenced Sam Riordan’s character the most. David Bowie’s personas weren’t designed only to push boundaries, they were there because he was famously shy. David Jones could never perform in front of an audience, but Ziggy Stardust was the kind of star that would announce he was quitting to a packed stadium at the very height of his career. This is the kind of artist Sam is, famously shy and willing to adapt as long as he gets to push boundaries.

Sam is a background character through the story, but his existence is complex and he plays an important role, both for Damien’s story and in the context of his cultural framework. That’s the reason that Damien thinks, well, if anyone is alive even though they’re supposed not to be, of course it’s Sam Riordan.

Blurb

At first, Damien feels lucky to land a job at an influential art studio, but it soon becomes obvious that something’s not right. His gorgeous boss, John, is interested, and he’d be the perfect man for Damien—if Damien wasn’t already in a relationship. It isn’t long before Damien is at the center of a love triangle, forced to choose between hot, punk John and his secret affair with his professor, Levi. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because something impossible is happening to Damien—and it’s having a drastic effect on his health as well as his perception of reality.
Each time Damien goes to work, things grow more bizarre, starting with Sam—an artist who has been dead for years and now somehow… isn’t. Damien’s unusual circumstances also free him from the restrictions of monogamy—or so he thinks. Levi, who cannot believe Damien’s claims, fears for his sanity. John also has strong doubts when Damien reveals knowledge of a catastrophic event looming in John’s future. Whether the men he loves believe his wild claims or not, neither can deny Damien is languishing, and if they cannot save him, he’ll be lost. More importantly, they must convince Damien to save himself.

About the Author

Lina Langley is a first-generation immigrant. She currently lives in sunny Florida and spends her time slashing hot strangers while getting coffee.
Her past is haunted by spies, thieves, tyrants, and murderers. A resident of the world, she’s lived on three different continents. She first saw a radiator when she was twenty-two years old, and one time she followed a cat instead of going to a house party.
She likes to read, watch TV, and play video games when she’s not developing them. The rest of her free time is spent recreating her own characters in The Sims and hoping that people don’t look at the back end of her games.