Artists and Book Covers Spotlight: Meredith Russell. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Artists and Book Covers Spotlight: Meredith Russell

If you’ve read a book by RJ Scott or V.L. Locey to name two authors quickly off the top of my head, well, then you’ve seen the covers of Meredith Russell.  If you read some or all of the stories  in The Christmas Angel series by various authors, then you’ve seen the covers of Meredith Russell.  And of course, if you’ve read Forever In The Sun (co authored with RJ Scott) or Fallout,  you’ve seen a cover created by the artist for a book she’s written.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus if you are a follower of either RJ Scott or VL Locey or the MM Hockey Romance Group, then you are familiar with the adorable chibis that Meredith Russell draws of the characters of the Harrisburg Railers hockey players and their mates and families.  I’m hoping she will extend it to the Rush soon.  Here is the first chibi she drew.  It’s Tennant Rowe! The others can be found here at

Railers Chibi-style promo pieces

Adorable, right?  If you are a fan of the Harrisburg Railers series by RJ Scott and VL Locey, then you know Ten is featured in a very special story that’s to be released this summer, June 30th 2019.  Here’s a look at the cover by Meredith Russell, of course|
Now onto our interview….

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interviews Meredith Russell on Art, Book Covers and Much More

  • How long it takes to put together a cover draft and whether or not they make multiple drafts to show authors/publishers?

Making a draft varies author to author for me. Some come with ideas, or a set style they’ve adopted, or images they’ve found themselves and so we go down one route and a single draft, and it’s a rather painless process. Then others need to see something to help decide what they actually are after from a cover. I’ve never really paid a lot of attention to exactly how long I spend on a draft. There are various stages I go through – getting any info or ideas from the author, looking at what images are available and which might work together, some back and forth with the author as to whether images fit with what they’re after, and finally the cutting/pasting/making etc of the draft. The time adds up but usually after a few days I have something to show them and a starting point to tweak into something final.

  • How much of your covers are original art and how much do you rely on using content purchased elsewhere (like Shutterstock

I work pretty much exclusively with images from stock sites so I am limited in some ways to what I can find on them and how I can maybe manipulate them into what we need. However, I would love to venture into digital art but I haven’t found the time to devote myself to figuring it out or getting the resources I’d need. I’ve had fun creating some simple drawings for RJ Scott, and a couple of others, who have had me turn their characters into little cartoon people though.

  • How much input comes from the author and/or storyline?

Again it varies. Some authors have a set idea of what they want. Some (naming no names lol) come to me requesting a man with brown hair and give me a couple of details about the story’s setting. I do like to know about the storyline or at least key moments or places that can be incorporated into the cover.

  • How did you get to become a cover artist?

What feels like a long time ago now, I used to do bits of fan art, mostly fanfiction banners for myself and some other writers. When RJ Scott went on to self-publishing she asked me to create her a cover and it went from there.

What mediums do you use? 

I work on a pc. I do have a pen and tablet that I use for drawing the cartoon characters (see above), but also a lot of those do actually start out as pencil and paper sketches that I then digitize and use as a guide.

Do you have a favorite cover you have done? 

Oh that’s a tough one. I recently did a set of seven covers for a series called The Christmas Angel. I liked how they turned out along with the challenge some of them offered considering they were all set in different time periods. A few others I really like include Liam Livings’ And Then That Happened, RJ Scott’s Boy Banned, KC Wells’ A Christmas Promise, and an as yet untitled merman cover I created as a premade that Amber Kell bought off me. Somebody should poke her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite cover artist yourself?

I do. I really love Jay Aheer’s work. She does some beautiful pieces.

Did you look at book covers or were influenced by book covers as a child?

I don’t think so much as a child. I was more about the title and blurb, particularly considering what was popular in way of covers back then, or at least for the kinds of books I was reading. It wasn’t until maybe early twenties where I started being tempted by pretty covers, quite a few being the YA type books, or having a striking female model on them.

What do you find most rewarding as a Book Cover Artist?

I just really enjoy getting to work with the authors. I enjoy the sharing of emails, building a working relationship and even friendships.

If you could ask yourself a question, what would it be?

It would be, ‘Have you remembered about that request you got over on Facebook?’ Seriously, I have a terrible memory and am constantly emailing myself or telling people to send details in emails as my inbox is something I have open all day whilst on my computer and can easily check on my phone when I’m not at my desk.

From the Christmas Angel series…

For both the Author and Cover Artist:

  • What or how do you see the role of the Book Cover?

Firstly, as an attention grabber. If you’re looking for something beyond the regular authors you read, the title and cover are the first things you’re exposed to so it helps if they make an impression. And secondly, covers can be a way of making a brand for authors. It might be they all have a set look – so maybe a single model on the cover, or simply keeping the font for their name consistent for all their books.

  • How has the eBook format changed that , if any?

I don’t think it’s changed it too greatly, in that whether you’re walking a row of books in a store or scrolling through online pages of somewhere like Amazon, covers are there to grab your attention.

  • What trends do you see in Book Covers in the industry? Past, present, and future?  {for example the rise of the naked half male torso, model overuse, generic covers ,etc.)

I think like with everything styles come in and out of fashion. There was the time of the headless models, shirtless torsos, two models, touched up single image covers,  Recently, for me at least, it’s been focusing on a single model on covers, for example The Christmas Angel series and having just one of the characters on there. And unfortunately, because cost is a factor for many authors when paying for cover art, repeated use of models from stock sites is difficult to avoid, but it offers artists the challenge to try and use them differently.

  • How do you feel about them?

Personally, I think the only trend I didn’t like was the headless men one. I know it was a way to make use of limited models in the earlier days, plus allows readers to form their own image of the character simply from whatever descriptions the authors wrote about them, but for me, I just wasn’t a fan. Otherwise, each trend has its place and does its job. There’s a risk of all books looking the same, but that’s then up to the artists, and also the authors and their input, to put their own twist on what’s popular.

  • Anything you would like to share with our readers?

If you’re interested in my work both as an author and cover artist you can view details at my website meredithrussell.co.uk, or find me over at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/meredithrussellauthor. Thank you.

 

About Meredith

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

Meredith Russell’s Media links
I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s spotlight with Meredith Russell.  It has been a joy getting to know her further.  Please check out more of her artwork and stories at her website listed above.
We have more Artist Spotlights Scheduled. The schedule to date (with links in case you missed one):
February 09:  Aisha Akeju
February 10:   Garrett Leigh
February 17:   Meredith Russell
February 24:  Reese Dante
March  3           Paul Richmond

Cover Artist Giveaway:

Please don’t forget to leave comments or questions for our artists to be entered into our Book Cover Artist Giveaway, a Gift Certificate for $10 the person chosen.  Please leave a email address where you can be reached.  Open until St. Patrick’s Day.
Now for this week’s reviews and tours.  Happy Reading and Listening!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, February 17:

  • Artists and Book Covers Spotlight: Meredith Russell.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review: Hat Trick (Harrisburg Railers #8) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

Monday, February 18:

  • Release Blitz Milo by Lily Morton
  • Amy Lane Author Guest Post
  • Harmony Ink YA John Goode
  • An Alisa Review: Port in a Storm (Kitten and Witch #1) by K.L. Noone
  • A MelanieM Review: Wolff (Redemption #1) by J.J. Harper
  • A Lucy Review: Shine (Uncorked #4) by Shea Balik
  • A Free Dreamer Review: For the Clan by Archer Kay Leah

Tuesday, February 19:

  • Book Blitz for Blood Lust by L.E. Royal
  • Cover Reveal – Broken by Colette Davison
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency Series #4) by J.L. Langley
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Ithani (The Oberon Cycle #3) by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: My Fair Brady by K.C. Wells
  • A Lucy Audio Review: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Catesj and  Colin Darcy (Narrator)

Wednesday, February 20:

  • Ostakis by Angelica Primm
  • Review Tour – Sam Burns – Eagle In The Hawthorn (Rowan
  • Cover Reveal,- The Rising by Morgan Brice
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency Series #4) by J.L. Langley
  • A Lucy Review: Sweet (Uncorked #5) by Shea Balik
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Eagle In The Hawthorn (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8) by Sam Burns
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

Thursday, February 21:

  • BLOG TOUR Salute to the Stud by Beth Laycock
  • An ALisa Review: The Romantic by Elodie Parkes
  • A MelanieM Review: Gage (Redemption #2) by J.J. Harper
  • A Lila Review The Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon by Megan Derr
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Foreign to You by Jeremy Martin

Friday, February 22:

  • OLD SINS by Charlie Cochrane Tour by Charlie Cochrane
  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – Better Place (Rainbow Place #3)
  • DSP PROMO Andrew Grey on Reunited
  • Book Blast – Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1) by Isobel Starling
  • An Alisa Review: Ace of Hearts by Caitlin Ricci
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Broken Alpha (The Alpha/Omega Verse #1) by D.C. Juris
  • A Caryn Review: Salute to the Stud by Beth Laycock

Saturday, February 23:

  • Release Blitz Signal – Kris Jacen – Step Up With Me
  • “Ithani” by J. Scott Coatsworth Mark (OWL) Tour
  • A MelanieM Review:  Step Up With Me by Kris Jacen
  • A MelanieM Review Waiting on the Rain by Freddy MacKay

A MelanieM Audio Review: Devil Take Me anthology by Rhys Ford , Ginn Hale ,Jordan L. Hawk ,T.A. Moore ,C.S. Poe ,Jordan Castillo Price , and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

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Rating 5 stars out of 5

Temptation lurks around every corner in worlds sometimes dark, sometimes lurid. Giving in is both dangerous and satisfying, though never in the ways one expects. While these enticements offer a vast range of benefits and boons, the cost is a soul and the devil expects his due. Sometimes suave and charming or calculating and cruel, these devils have schemes and desires of their own. They can be creatures to run away from… or toward.

Join the most unique and celebrated authors of LGBT urban fantasy and paranormal fiction for a fast-paced and unpredictable ride, from a city on the other side of reality, to a world suspended in dusk, to a twisted version of the 1960s and 70s.

Meet devils in top hats and waistcoats, a defrocked motorcycle-riding priest, and a genderfluid antihero—among many more. Full of humor, romance, horror, action, intrigue, and magic, these stories have one common element….

They’re one hell of a good time.

5 Stars ~ just 5 stars because even if the ratings sorts of varied up and down ever so slightly in my mind per tale this is an exemplary collection of stories from a group of authors who know their way around the supernatural narrative.  Boy howdy, how they delivered.  Chilling, humorous, thought provoking, wildly imaginative, and filled with love and loyalty that borders on horror, every tale here is one to be savored.  So no ratings from here on out, they are just incredible in their own way.

Infernal Affairs by Jordan L. Hawk
Jordan L. Hawk launches the collection with a tale that’s one of my favorite’s. A demon Ralgath, on his first assignment as a crossroads demon, gets played by a gorgeous mortal, Chess, who screws Ralgath (literally) into giving them a contract for superhero powers so they can go out into the world and fight for good.  Ralgath’s boss is not happy with him, and the subsequent funny actions and events lead to Ralgath meeting up with Chase again.  This is a rich story, full of laughs, love, adventure, redemption, and heroes.  Done with in the wonderful Jordan L. Hawk style, with outstanding plot and characters so well done you wanted more.

Collared by TA Moore
“Sometimes, when you couldn’t change what was going on and you didn’t want to understand it, all you could do was shove it under the bed and make sure your toes didn’t stick out from the covers.”

TA Moore has become an author whose stories I look out for.  They twist and turn with the unusual and the edgy.  That’s very apparent here with Collared and the relationship between Jack and Meth.  It evolves, or better the truth of their relationship is slowly revealed over the course of the story.  However, it’s not so evident at the beginning when Jack sets out to track down a missing child.  It’s an horrific case, one that grows worse the more details that are gathered.  Jack’s background too is shown and the dynamics between Jack, Meth, and the other players becomes more complicated and fascinating.

This story had a way of sending me running off for more of this author immediately because everything was so spot on.  The world building, characters, storyline and ending.  Even down to the small chilling details that would come in the future.  Just amazing.  Would that I see more of this world, Jack, and Meth.  More cases, more of their haunting and haunted relationship. I would tell you this is a favorite of mine (it is), but that is going to get redundant after a while.

Counterfeit Viscount by Ginn Hale

.The Viscount Archibald is leading a double life. Since he’s soll his soul 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 story was one of the ones that was a little dense at the beginning.  It took time to get into.  Although once Archie and Nimble’s background become clear, I become more connected to them and this story.  The last section contained most of the action and held my attention.  This was probably the one story that I scrambled through.

11:59 by C.S. Poe
“He is all that stands between the innocent and the flesh-eating monsters who were once human. Because Asuka no longer dreams, he cannot be chased into consciousness by one of the nightmares.”

CS Poe is another name that’s landed on my must read list.  Such a marvelous, surprising author of great narrative depth.  This story is a perfect example of why you should search out their tales.  Incredible worldbuilding, endlessly fascinating, it starts with Asuka, who sold his soul to the devil so he would never dream again, lose the nightmares, and prevent him from becoming a monster.  But like all contracts with the devil, there’s the fine prints, and all the dreams are lost, including the ones that bring the hope, and the wishes, and much more.

Next up is Merrick, who has spent his time studying mythology and believes he knows the source of the nightmares and how they can be destroyed if he and Asuka work together.

What follows is an exciting, tautly constructed tale, full of mythology, gripping with suspense and action, twists and turns, plus an ending that will leave your jaw hanging open.

Wonderland City by Rhys Ford
“Back before I met the Devil and bled my soul out into his hands, I’d have thought chasing a cigar-munching white bunny with pink eyes was something I’d only run into after I chewed on a few peyote buttons.
Now it was a typical Tuesday.”

A Rhys Ford story can bring out the fangyrl in me and Wonderland City is a perfect example why.  Ford takes Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland and gives it a warped, wonderful further twist  Here the Queen of Heart’s has been executed, Xander Spade sold his soul to the Devil because, hey, he was a very naive and dumb kid at the time, who ended in down the Rabbit hole.

Then the Devil,Az, says he will return Xander’s soul if he will just do a favor…yeah, right.

This is my all time favorite story here.  You meet all the characters you might expect to meet in Wonderland…just don’t expect them and it to look and things to go as you would think. Things here are convoluted, masterfully warped, the scenes vivid and sharp, and, each twist more memorable than the last.

Dark Favors by Jordan Castillo Price
“The driver looked me up and down and said, “You strike me as a perceptive young man.” That really should’ve been my first clue that I was dealing with the Prince of Lies.”

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.

Dark Favors was the perfect way to end this collection.  Strong, effective, and, for me, it held just that ever so fleeting hint of bittersweetness or darkness one needs when reading a collection of stories dealing with men who have sold their souls to the Devil. It is exactly how this story should end and what I would expect from Jordan Castillo Price, that extra depth that makes a story so memorable. 

Greg Tremblay did a superlative job with all the many voices here.  From little girls to white rabbits, to various demons to gender fluid humans and much more, he handles each one effortlessly.  It was such a pleasure to listen to each and every story.  The time just flew by.  He was the  perfect match for this collection!

Cover art: Reece Notley.  That model does draw your eye.  What does it represent to you?  One of the 7 deadly sins?  Could be….

Sales Links:   DSP Publications   |  AmazonAudible |

 

Audiobook Details:

 

Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published December 27th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 16th 2018)
Original TitleDevil Take Me
ASINB07L5Y3M59
Edition LanguageEnglish

New Release Tour for Abaddon’s Locusts (A BJ Vinson Mystery #5) by Don Travis

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Abaddon's Locusts - Don Travis

DSP Publications author Don Travis has a new gay mystery book out: Abaddon’s Locusts.

When B. J. Vinson, confidential investigator, learns his young friend, Jazz Penrod, has disappeared and has not been heard from in a month, he discovers some ominous emails. Jazz has been corresponding with a “Juan” through a dating site, and that single clue draws BJ and his significant other, Paul Barton, into the brutal but lucrative world of human trafficking.

Their trail leads to a mysterious Albuquerquean known only as Silver Wings, who protects the Bulgarian cartel that moves people—mostly the young and vulnerable—around the state to be sold into modern-day slavery, sexual and otherwise. Can BJ and Paul locate and expose Silver Wings without putting Jazz’s life in jeopardy? Hell, can they do so without putting themselves at risk? People start dying as BJ, Paul, and Henry Secatero, Jazz’s Navajo half-brother, get too close. To find the answer, bring down the ring, and save Jazz, they’ll need to locate the place where human trafficking ties into the Navajo Nation and the gay underground.

About the Series:

BJ Vinson, a gay former-Marine, ex-cop licensed private investigator tries to pick his cases carefully, but prior loyalties or his sense of justice or something always gets in his way. He finds himself traveling all over his beloved state of New Mexico with his companion Paul Barton to mend other people’s problems.

DSP Publications (eBook) | DSP Publications (paperback) | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Google Play


Giveaway

Don and DSP Publications are giving away a $10 DSPP gift card with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4751/?


Excerpt

Abaddon's Locusts banner

Prologue

Two men gazed down at the sleeping youth sprawled across the mattress. The older, his pleasant features blemished by a glint of cruelty in his dark eyes, smoothed silver wings of luxuriant hair at his temples before handing over a number of $100 bills to a young Hispanic almost as handsome as the boy on the bed.

Now fully clothed, Silver Wings exuded the authority of a player, of someone who counted. “Fucking beautiful. How old did you say he is?”

“Eighteen. Barely. Know that’s older’nyou usually like. But he’s a rare one, no? As lindaas a woman and as macho as a man. He took care of you, huh?”

Silver Wings rubbed his eyes as if remembering the last hour. “Fantastic. Must have worn himself out. Does he usually go comatose?”

“Ah, that is the drug. He claims he gets a bigger bang by charging up. But you benefit as well, no?” He eyed his companion. “He is yours for $25,000.”

Interest flickered and died. “Tempting. But my household isn’t set up for that kind of arrangement. I prefer to call when I feel the need. Even if that means sharing him.”

“You don’t take him, then we move him south.”

“South? To Mexico, you mean? Juárez?” That wouldn’t be too bad. El Paso was a short hop, and Juárez lay just across the border.

“At first, but then we gonna trade him up.”

Silver Wings understood the human trafficking language of trading up, but it was unusual to move members of the “family” out of country these days. “In Juárez? Sounds more like trading him down.”

¡Órale! There’s some big money in Juárez. But a bigwig in the Middle East went apeshitover the kid’s pics. He wants him. And for a lot more than twenty-five. I only give you that price to let you know how much we ’preciateyour help.”

“Middle East, huh?” Silver Wings licked his lips. “Put off that transfer while I see if I can work something out.”

“Two days. Then I gotta move him. You know, easier to ship him overseas from Mexico than from the States.”

Silver Wings’ voice hardened. “You can do better than that. Give me a week to reorder my life. I’d like to visit him a couple of times. Usual fee, of course. That gives you reason enough to hold him here.”

“Okay, but not no more’n a week. I got people to answer to, you know.”

“I’d like him again tomorrow night, but it will have to be late. I have a dinner meeting.”

Hispano lowered his head. “As you wish. All you gotta do is call me.”

Silver Wings left the motel reluctantly. What would take place in that room now that they were alone? Just thinking about it raised a bead of sweat on his upper lip.

His mind returned to the offer he had received. The boy was expensive, and the economy was still struggling to recover from the Great Recession of 2008… but it was only money.

Chapter 1

Monday, August 9, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I parked the Impala in front of my detached single-car garage and sat for a moment trying to figure out the cacophony on the radio. I’d failed to reset the station after Paul and I went for a rare game of weekend golf at the North Valley Country Club. Paul Barton was the sun in my sky, but I still struggled to understand my companion’s taste in music. Now something called “Alejandro” by a gal proclaiming herself to be Lady Gaga committed assault on my classical-music-loving ears. As I switched off the noise and stepped from the car, a high, uncertain voice snagged my attention.

“Yoo-hoo, Mr. Vinson. BJ!”

Mrs. Gertrude Wardlow, the late-afternoon sun catching in wayward strands of her white hair, waved at me from the foot of her driveway. She had lived in the white brick across the street for as long as I could remember. Mrs. W. and her husband, Herb, had been with the Drug Enforcement Administration from the time it was formed in 1973 until their retirement. Some ten years ago, Herb passed on to his reward—an urn on his widow’s mantelpiece. I walked out to meet her in the middle of Post Oak Drive.

“I’m so glad I caught you.” She fiddled with frilly lace at the neck of her lavender blouse. “A man on a Harley has been driving up and down the street. He stopped at your place twice. Rang the bell and then rode off.”

No doubt she was recalling the time when two thugs on another motorcycle attempted to gun me down. When she’d yelled to distract their murderous attention, they shot up the front of her house, scattering her husband all over the carpet.

I touched her shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’m not involved in any gang disputes at the moment. Not that I know of, anyway.”

Her smile turned impish. “That was an interesting day, wasn’t it? I just thought you should be aware someone was trying to contact you.”

“Thank you, Mrs. W. I’ll be on the lookout.”

After exchanging pleasantries, we parted. I mounted the steps to my front porch and paused to enjoy the welcoming aroma of tea roses my late mother planted. No evidence of a note on the door or in the mailbox. That meant the mysterious biker would probably return. I went inside and forgot the matter as I removed one of Paul’s casseroles from the fridge and got out a pan of rolls. I enjoyed their yeasty aroma almost as much as I liked their yeasty taste. Our household mantra was Paul Barton, freelance journalist, whips up gourmet meals; B. J. Vinson, formerMarineand ex-cop turned confidential investigator, burns toast.

We planned to stay home tonight and watch an episode of a new gumshoe program on the tube called The Glades. Matt Passmore, the guy who played the detective, was a way-cool customer who Paul claimed should be my role model. I’d no sooner set the dishes to heating than a rumble on the street caught my attention. A moment later the doorbell rang.


Author Bio

Don Travis is an Okie turned New Mexican. Each of his B. J. Vinson mystery novels features some region of his beautiful adopted state as prominently as it does his protagonist, a gay former Marine, ex-cop turned confidential investigator. Don never made it to the Marines (three years in the Army instead) and certainly didn’t join the Albuquerque Police Department.

He thought he was a paint artist for a while but ditched that for writing a few years back. A loner, he fulfills his social needs by attending SouthWest Writers meetings and teaching a free weekly writing class called Wordwrights at the North Domingo Multigenerational Center, an Albuquerque community center.

Author Website: http://www.dontravis.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/donald.travis.982
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/dontravis3

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

Best of 2018 Lists Abound and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Best of 2018 Lists Abound at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Here we are, it’s almost 2019 and it’s Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words penultimate weekend of Best of 2018.  We are winding out with another reviewer heard from, our very own Chaos Moondrawn, who has some of my Best of  on her list.  So many terrific books and series this year in every category.  A surplus of riches for readers no matter what genre you love to read in.  Are you checking your lists against ours?  How are they looking?

From Chaos Moondrawn:

Best Books of 2018

Over And Over Again by Cole McCade

Rule of Thirds by Aidan Wayne
The Bones Beneath My Skin by T.J. Klune
Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen
Beyond Meridian by C.C. Bridges
Rogue In The Making and Blood For The Spilling by T.J. Nichols (Studies In Demonology series)
A Wolf At The Door by Charlie Adhara

Best Series

Criminal Intentions by Cole McCade

Best Covers

Stone The Crows cover by Bree Archer
Once Upon A Wolf cover by Reece Notley
Blyd And Pierce cover by Tiferet Design
Two Man Station cover by Natasha Snow
The Wolf At The Door cover by Carina Press
Where Death Meets The Devil cover by L.C. Chase

So final lists next weekend.  A final goodbye to 2018 and a fresh start in 2019.

Speaking of which some of my bests of 2018 will actually have their reviews rolling over into 2019 but I read them in 2018 and that’s where they will go on my lists.  That includes the series finale by Tere Michael to Faith, Love and Devotion, a time time favorite of mine.  Lucky and Bo from my favorite Diversion series pop up again in Eden Winters’ Suspicion. Waiting to hear from the author if this is a series finale or not.    Sean Kennedy’s Tigers and Devils latest release just slipped into the new year by a nose.  That will have to wait until next year’s list.

So almost done.

I’m getting ready for the New Year Eve celebration and hoping that everyone has a safe, wonderful, and happy glide into the New Year!  Happy Reading, Happy Listening, and of course, Happy New Year from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to all of you!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 30:

  • A Barb Advent Calendar Review:Miracle on Three Kings’ Day by Beth Laycock
  • A Lila Review  Yule Planet by Angel Martinez
  • Best of 2018 Lists Abound at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve)  🎉:

  • On Tour with Valhalla by L.A. Ashton
  • Release Blitz for KA Merikan – You Forever Always
  • PROMO Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review : Midnight Angel by Kevin Klehr
  • A MelanieM Review: Finders Keepers by Rob Rosen
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Exit Through the Gift Shop by Kim Fielding

Tuesday, January 1 ~ New Year’s Day!

  • Charley Descoteaux on her new release Always Forward! Never Straight
  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – A Dance For Two by Colette Davison and Neil Macfarlane (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tigers on the Way (Tigers and Devils #4) by Sean Kennedy
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Whole Latte Sass (Geek Life #2) by Marguerite Labbe

Wednesday, January 2:

  • Shadowing the Light by Miranda Turner Blog Tour 
  • An Alisa Review: Shadowing the Light by Miranda Turner
  • A MelanieM Review: Always Forward! Never Straight by Charley Descoteaux
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady audio review – Ravensong (Green Creek #2) by T.J. Klune and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Thursday, January 3:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Whiteout Conditions (Black Ops Heroes #10) by Dara J. Nelson  and Kendel Duncan
  • Cover Reveal for The Summoner’s Path (D’Vaire #10) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • An Alisa Review: Best Christmas Ever by Terry O’Reilly
  • A MelanieM Review: Forever & Ever: A Collection of Stories (Faith, Love & Devotion #7) by Tere Michaels
  • An Alisa Review : Kink Aware  (Kiss of Leather #9)  by Morticia Knight

Friday, January 4:

  • PROMO Julia Talbot
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: Gabriel and the Devil Robert P. Rowe
  • A MelanieM Review: Suspicion (Diversion Book 7) by Eden Winters
  • A Caryn Review: Trysts and Burning Embers By Freddy MacKay & Angel Martinez
  • A MelanieM Review: Drama Castle (Nicky and Noah Mystery #7) by Joe Cosentino

Saturday, January 5:

  • Release Blitz – Erin E Keller’s Elias
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review:  Jack of Thorns (Inheritance #1) by Amelia Faulkner and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

First of Our Best of 2018 Lists. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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First of Our Best of 2018 Lists

So this Sunday we are starting off with our first of our Best of 2018 lists.  First up is our reviewer Alisa with her Top Stories down to her Top Covers.  Yes, we have always shared our love of book covers here along with our appreciation of the various artists talents.  Lately we have had some new names appear doing absolutely incredible covers alongside the artists who represent the best in the industry.  So make sure you check out all the names to go along with the beautiful covers we put out there.  Maybe give us a few suggestions of your own.

Also relatively new are the narrators in the  audiobook Best of category.  I listen to more and more audiobooks every year and can’t stress the importance of a fabulous narrator.  They can make or break an audiobook.  Check out who Alisa has as her favorites below.  Do you have yours?

Each week we will roll out more lists…keep an eye out to see how our lists compare with yours.  Did you miss some books?  Did we agree on others?  Let me know!

 

From Alisa:

2018 Top Stories/Novels

Guarding His Melody by Victoria Sue

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols

Promises Part 4 by AE Via

Elemental Magick by Jacki James

Us by Shaw Montgomery

Professor Adorkable by Edie Danford

Discovery by Quinn Ward

Expecting by Sarah Havan

After the Weekend by Silvia Violet

The Swap by Annabella Michaels

Best Audiobooks

Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn, narrator Kirt Graves

Kairos by Mary Calmes, narrator Michael Fell

Freckles by Amy Lane, narrator Nick Russo

BFF by KC Wells, narrator Michael Mola

Pins and Needles by AJ Thomas, narrator Jason Riley

Best Series

Men of Meadowfall by Anna Wineheart

Studies in Demonology by TL Nichols

Promises by AE Via

Requiem Inc. by Kris T. Bethke

College of United Monsters by CB Archer

Cold Case Psychic by Pandora Pine

Enhanced World by Victoria Sue

The Accidental Master by MA Innes

Kink in the City by Quinn Ward

Strength by MA Innes

Best Covers

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols, cover artist Catt Ford

Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne, cover artist Alexandria Corza

Edge of Living by HL Day, cover artist HL Day

Elemental Magick by Jacki James, cover artist Vicki Brostenianc

Expecting by Sarah Havan, cover artist Melissa Liban

 

Now here is this week at our blog.  We continue with more Advent Calendar stories, I have reviewed an incredible M/M historic romance today called The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne.  You really should check that out. The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada is as far from a holiday saga as you can get.  But it’s brilliant, bloody, and a must read. Number 4 is out this week.  If you love holiday series, The Christmas Angel series is not to be missed, several of them are also on to be reviewed as well.  So much going on.  Don’t miss a day here.

 

Happy Reading!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 9: ☃️

  • First of Our Best of 2018 Lists.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book Blast Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • A MelanieM Review: The Bibliophile by Drew Marvin Frayne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Oz (Finding Home #1) by Lily Morton
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Holiday Island by A.D. Ellis

Monday, December 10:☃️

  • COVER REVEAL: Amanda Meuwissen’s A Model Escort
  • Release Blitz for Home For Christmas by RJ Scott
  • Review Tour for A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by NR Walker
  • Release Blitz Tour for  Trusting Jack by Ruby Moore
  • A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by NR Walker
  • A Lucy Review : Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Mine for Christmas by AD Lawless

Tuesday, December 11: ☃️

  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz  Tour – Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stetsons and Stakeouts by BA Tortuga
  • A Lucy Review : All I Want Is You by DJ Jamison
  • A Free Dreamer Advent Calendar Review: Tulsi Vivah by Anna Kaling
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Showers, Flowers, and Fangs by Aidan Wayne

Wednesday, December 12: ☃️

  • Review Tour – Jordan L Hawk – The Magician’s Angel
  • Review Tour – Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • Review Tour – The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada
  • A MelanieM Review:The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada
  • A Lucy Review : Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Guess Who’s Coming to Karamu by Cy Blanca
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady :The Magician’s Angel (The Christmas Angel #3) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • An Alisa Review: Celebrations in the Season of Long Nights by Mere Rain, a”Escape From the Holidays” Collection from Mischief Corner Books

Thursday, December 13:  ☃️

  • Spells & Stardust Anthology Tour
  • HARMONY INK PROMO Aidan Wayne
  • Book Blast for Pain and Promise by Lazlo Thorn
  • Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour
  • A Caryn Review: Vampire with Benefits (Supernatural Selection #2) by E.J. Russell
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Blessed (The Matawapit Family #1) by Maggie Blackbird
  • A MelanieM Review: Spells & Stardust by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Death to Christmas Sweaters by LE Franks

Friday,  December 14:  ☃️

  • Review Tour –  Christmas Homecoming by LA Witt
  • PROMO BA Tortuga
  • Review Tour for Shrewd Angel (The Christmas Angel #6) by Anyta Sunday
  • Review Tour  for Rebellion by Naomi Aoki
  • An Ali Advent Calendar Review:The Night Sky Festival by S.A. Stovall
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Rebellion by Naomi Aoki
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Christmas Homecoming (The Christmas Angel #4) by L.A. Witt
  • A Lucy Review: Shrewd Angel (The Christmas Angel #6)by Anyta Sunday

Saturday, December 15:  ☃️

  • Review Tour – Neve Wilder – Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1)
  • Tour for  Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin
  • Book Blast: Blessed (The Matawapit Family #1) by Maggie Blackbird
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Too Hot for Santa by Helena Stone
  • An Alisa Review: Meik&Sebastian – Obsessed #4 by Quin Perin
  • A MelanieM Review: Dedicated (Rhythm Of Love #1) by Neve Wilder
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Holiday Home Hotel (An Escape from the Holidays Story) by Lou Sylvre
  • A MelanieM Review:  Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code (Cambridge Fellows #12.7by Charlie Cochrane

 

 

 

 

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Blood for the Spilling (Studies in Demonology #3) by TJ Nichols

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

You really need to read this as a trilogy, and I would highly recommend them if you like epic fantasy/erotic romance with graphic violence. I was so excited for this third book to come out. If I rated the trilogy as a whole, I would rate it 4.5 stars. This is the end of the story arc for our heroes’ journey.

As the magic is draining from Demonside turning it into desert, Humanside is becoming covered in ice. Book two showed the escape from Vinland to the Mayan Empire for Angus, Saka, Terrance, Wek, Lizzie, Reese, and Emma. Everyone gets separated right away. Priest Cadmael has been questioning everyone to make sure they aren’t Vinland spies. He summons up everything I didn’t like about Terrence quite nicely. But what Angus, Terrance, and Saka fell into naturally, here is ritualized. Cadmael wants to get rid of Terrance and force Angus and Saka to bond with a Mayan priest as an anchor. Forcing humans and demons as partners against their will doesn’t seem that much different to me than the College. In fact, the Mayan way might seem better, but there are still ways in which humans are exerting control over demons in everyday life.

The Mayan Empire has a much higher level of magic and are devotional about rebalancing. In the city of Uxmel, demons seem to walk the streets freely. Meanwile Saka gets to see trees, flowing water, and permanent settlements in this part of Demonside. The demons are completely different, antlered, scaled, or feathered. Mage Iktan has put Saka to work in the healer’s building, when humans crossover for help. Lest you think everything is so much better, rebalancing takes on a whole new form here with the introduction of pitz, played in large arena matches. It was previously established that emotion in the blood made it more potent, although why that isn’t being funneled into something renewable instead of beheadings, seems strange. For instance, everyone in the crowd could donate blood rather than just killing a few players. As magical attacks from Vinland increase and their system starts to break down, they are lost–not used to thinking outside the box. They also don’t care about the whole world, just on saving their tiny part of it in the controlled way they want for as long as possible.

There are also doorways created that control the flow of magic between the worlds, as well as where people can come and go–both a good and bad thing. Still, this knowledge could help the Lifeblood tribes being summoned and killed by Vinland. Cadmael askes Angus to speak to World Council of Demonology; they then decides to ban demon magic except for rebalancing. But Saka is sick of waiting for humans to do something, so the demons will try to stop the flow of magic by closing the doors. Angus has a plan to find and take all the stolen magic from Vinland and return it to Demonside. The surprise here is that after all the distrust shown to the defectors, Cadmael just goes along with this plan? After Cadmael being a central character the whole time, he is now just shuffled to the background and no longer seems in charge.

This has always been heading towards the showdown with Angus and the College to restore the magic stolen from Demonside in order to save the world. Overall, I am very happy with how I got there. I would say, I wouldn’t have minded this actually being four books. I feel there was so much detail in the first two books, that when details started to get skimmed over, especially in the last third of the story in order to rush to the conclusion, I felt a little disappointed. After waiting all this time for a love scene between Terrence, Angus, and Saka it was rushed and not quite what I hoped for. I have been a bit hard on Terrence during the course of these books and I will say, while he redeems himself here, he’s still the weak link. I finally decided that is alright; his role is not just the anchor to bring Angus back to Humanside, but to remind Angus of his humanity. He is the only one who wants Angus for Angus, not his magic. Still, I had an expectation that this would be a true triad, and I had to let go of that. There is a lot at the end that we don’t get to see, like what happened to the Lifeblood tribes? What happens when Saka goes back? So, I was left with questions and wondering if they will be told in flashbacks in another book that shows us the rebuilding. If they could take what was good about the Mayan Empire and Vinland (and what about the other nations) and merge them to make a new worldwide system, what would that look like? That’s really the highest compliment I can give: that I don’t want to let go of this world and the people in it. I will reread these.

Cover art by Catt Ford is great and I love how it connects with the story.

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 280 pages

Published: November 27, 2018 by DSP Publications

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-882-9

Edition Language: English

Series: Studies in Demonology #3

An Alisa Release Day Review: Blood for the Spilling (Studies in Demonology #3) by TJ Nichols

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Sheets of ice are spreading across the human world, ushering in an ice age as the magic drained from Demonside turns that world into a desert. Angus and reluctant warlock Terrance have defected from Vinland to the Mayan Empire—a land of dark and potent magic. But the Mayans aren’t offering sanctuary for free.

Nor is the world willing to stand back as Vinland attacks, and the backlash will affect all magic users.

Mage Saka has no tribe. He is now just another refugee fleeing the dying Demonside. He knows the conflict brewing now will be worse than the first demon war. Countries are banding together—not just against Vinland, but against all magic. Where will the powerful Mayan Empire stand?

Angus might have the power to fight Vinland and the Warlock College, but the cost will be terrible. Saka is torn between helping Angus and stopping him. And Terrance would do anything for Angus, but he’s terrified of the man Angus is becoming, even as Saka is warming to the idea of a relationship between the three of them.

No matter what choice they make, victory will be bittersweet, and when the ash settles and the snow melts, nothing will be the same.

I have been waiting for this book ever since I finished the last one, it ended with such a cliffhanger.  Angus, Saka and Terrance are trying to navigate their new normal while dealing with the suspicions of the Mayans.

The story continues to focus on rebalancing the magic in Demonside and how to fight Vinland.  Angus accidentally finds out that he can survive a “clean sweep” which no one with any magical powers has been able to do.  He finds a way to end the problems in Vinland but it’s going to take the support of Saka and Terrance along with many other mages and priests.

We get to see all three of the main characters’ points of view which doesn’t leave me guessing as to how they feel.  Terrance does a lot to redeem his actions from the previous books and it actually gives us a chance to get to know him.  I loved watching Angus and Saka continue to push against the status quo for what others think magic should be.  I could feel for them as they pushed back and tried to find the right solution.  Angus’s sacrifice was huge and changed him forever, I would love to see how this will change things in the world.

Cover art by Catt Ford is great and I love how it connects with the story.

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 280 pages

Published: November 27, 2018 by DSP Publications

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-882-9

Edition Language: English

Series: Studies in Demonology #3

Cover Reveal for Ithani by J. Scott Coatsworth (excerpt and giveaway)

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Ithani

On February 19th, J. Scott Coatsworth has the final MM sci fi book in his Oberon Cycle series coming out – Ithani – and we have the cover reveal today!

Time is running out.

After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani–the aliens who broke the world–have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.

The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.

Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the power to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….

Series Blurb:

Oberon is one of the natural wonders of the Universe – a half planet that shouldn’t exist, at least according to the laws of nature.

Oberon is also a nest of secrets. The Skythane – the first human colonists of Oberon – keep some of them, and so do the “landers” who work for OberCorp, the company that is exploiting the planet for its natural resources.

Now Oberon is in danger. A solar flare threatens to end most life on the planet, but an ancient prophecy leads Quince, Xander, Jameson and a small group of landers and skythane on an epic quest to save the planet – and unravel its secrets along the way.

Other challenges await on the horizon, for the world, and its inhabitants. Will they find the answers they need, and their way to each other, in time?

DSP Publications eBook | DSP Publications Paperback


Giveaway

Scott is giving away five eBook copies of the first book in the series, “Skythane.” Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4745/?


Excerpt

Venin stood under the dome of the chapel, the waters of the Orn rushing past the small island to crash over the edge of the crater rim, where they fell a thousand meters to the broken city of Errian below.

The Erriani chapel was different from what he was used to back home. The Gaelani chapel in Gaelan had sat at the top of a tall pillar of stone, open to the night sky, a wide space of grass and trees that intertwined in a natural dome through which moonlight filtered down to make dappled shadows on the ground.

This chapel, instead, was a wonder of streaming sunlight, the columns a polished eggshell marble with glimmering seams of gold. Red creeper vines climbed up the columns, festooned with clusters of yellow flowers that gave off a sweet scent.

Both were bright and airy, but the Erriani chapel lay under a dome supported by fluted marble columns, a painted arch of daytime sky and the rose-colored sun blazing overhead.

The last time he’d gone to chapel had been with Tazim, before his untimely death.

Long before the troubles that roiled the world now.

Something drew him back. A need to reconnect with his past. To bridge the gap between then and now, between who he was and who he had become. Taz would have liked this place.

The chapel here had survived the attack, while much of Errian had not. The city below was a jumble of broken corrinder, the multistory plants that were the main building stock for the city. They would grow again, but the sight of the city’s beautiful white towers laid low struck him to the core.

So had Gaelan looked, after the flood.

Venin turned back to the chapel and unlaced his boots, baring his muscular calves before he approached the fountain that splashed at its center. The cool flagstone beneath his feet sent a shiver up his spine, and green moss filled the gaps between the stones.

Some builder whose name was lost to time had tapped into the river itself to make the fountain run, and the water leapt into the air with a manic energy around the golden statue of Erro, before falling back down to the pool.

Venin knelt at the fountain’s edge on one of the well-worn pads, laid his hands in the shallow water, and let his wings rest over himself, making a private place to pray.

Erro and Gael, spare us from danger and lift us up into the sky with your powerful wings. He gave Erro deference, being that this was his chapel, but he hoped Gael would hear him too. The god of his own people had been known to intervene in mortal affairs before, and if what Quince had told them about these ithaniwas true, they would need all the help they could get.

Venin’s wings warmed.

He looked up in astonishment to see the statue of Erro giving off an intense golden glow. His mouth dropped open, and he stood and stared at its beautiful male curves and muscles. Maybe the gods were answering him.

Venin reached up and touched the statue’s outstretched hand. The shock knocked him backward onto his ass, and he hit the ground hard, slamming into one of the marble columns.

Venin groaned, stunned, and reached back to feel his wings and spine. He seemed to be in one piece.

Taz would have laughed his ass off at the whole thing.

After a moment he sat up cautiously. He wrapped his arms around his legs and stared up at the statue, his chin on his knees.

The glow was gone.

Did I imagine it? He stood and felt the back of his head. A lump was already forming there. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Something had changed. Venin didn’t know what yet, but he was sure of that much.

He pulled his boots back on and laced them up. With one last suspicious glare at the statue, he turned and stepped out of the chapel, taking a deep breath of the moisture-laden air.

Then he leapt into the sky to soar down to the broken city.


Author Bio

Scott lives with his husband of twenty five years in a Sacramento suburb, in a cute little yellow house with a brick fireplace and two pink flamingoes out front.

He inhabits in the space between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into science fiction and fantasy by his mom at the tender age of nine, he quickly finished her entire library. But he soon began to wonder where all the queer people were.

After coming out at twenty three, he started writing the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Crown Books. If there weren’t many queer characters in his favorite genres, he would will them into existence, subverting them to his own ends. And if he was lucky enough, someone else would want to read them.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently than most – he makes connections between ideas that others don’t, and somehow does more in a day than most people manage in a week. Although born an introvert, he forced himself to reach outside himself, and learned to connect with others like him.

Scott’s stories subvert expectations that transform traditional science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something different and unexpected. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark.

His romance and genre fiction writing brings a queer energy to his stories, filling them with love, beauty and power. He imagines how the world could be – in the process, he hopes to change the world, just a little.

Scott was recognized as one of the top new gay authors in the 2017 Rainbow Awards, and his debut novel “Skythane” received two awards and an honorable mention.

You can find him at Dreamspinner here, Goodreads here, on Amazon here, on QueeRomance Ink here, and on Facebook here.

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

My Thankful List? Great Editors! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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On My Thankful List? Great Editors!

As we countdown to Thanksgiving, I start thinking about things I’m grateful for.  It’s not always the usual things on everyone else’s lists.  The oddest or not so odd things pop up every day that can make me grateful for various and sundry items that might not get mentioned around the turkey table come Thanksgiving. So I thought I might bring up a few starting with a doozy that struck me yesterday (and almost every day at this blog).

Editors!

I’m absolutely, stupendously, over the moon grateful to every great editor out there still  squinting at every submitted manuscript and soon to be released books they have before them, working furiously to make sure that what is finally accepted/or released, if that, is worthy of both the author and publisher as well as the reader’s emotional (and monetary) input.  Someone who throughout the process with their red pen/pencil/marker/sword of blood/ cuts a swath through any writer’s purple prose, dense narrative, self involved point of view (goddess help me, the “I, I, I, I, I’s”), the love of tricks over substance, and cliche over depth.  That’s without even getting a start on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Damn why is the umlaut there?  I know wherefore art thou umlaut and it’s not  (insert curse word) there!

Don’t even get me started on word choice! Argh!  The help some writers have needed here!  There’s apparently a whole bunch of people out there with nary of clue about words and their definitions, just picking them willy nilly out of the air!  Miss Malaprops Indeed!

Poor overworked editors!  In the larger publishing houses, jobs are broken down into smaller sections, some of which I listed below:

Developmental editor—As detailed above, the developmental editor helps the writer from the idea stage through the final draft. He may suggest topics, help with research, verify facts, and plan the structure of the manuscript. He works through successive drafts with the writer. He’s as concerned with the structure of a manuscript as much as he is the words and meaning.*

Substantive editor—Helps a writer improve his fiction manuscript by focusing on story elements, plot, characterization, dialogue, order of scenes, point of view, voice, setting, word choice, sentence construction and syntax, and pace—anything that could improve the strength of the manuscript.

And Copy Editors that do fact checking as well as all the other things I listed above, line item elements such as spelling, etc..

But for smaller publishers and Editing services (proofreaders and copy editors), how many of those are rolled into one or two people?

I sometimes cringe when I read an acknowledgement or forward from a writer that talks about friends that read the manuscript and told them to publish it.  The writer thanks them for their loving support and encouragement.  I mentally think “that’s terrific”, and then hope that author also found a editor too.   Sigh.  Oh the perils of self publishing.  Or even a publishing house as well.  A editor doesn’t always mean a good or great editor.  Again my kudos to all you great ones out there!

Some err towards being a friend and  middling copy checker.  Nuh uh.  And trust me, that can do far more harm once that book hits release time.

How many reviews have you all read that said needed a editor or better editor?  Yep! So true.  There’s a reason for that.

What exactly is the role of an editor anyway?  Well, here is a definition I found repeated several blogs:

An editor polishes and refines, [they] direct the focus of the story or article or movie along a particular course. [They] cut out what doesn’t fit, what is nonessential to the purpose of the story. They enhance the major points, drawing attention to places where the audience should focus.

Some of that is almost guaranteed to make a writer gnash their teeth, weep tears, and pull out some hairs.  No one wants to cut words, sentences, characters, or even whole parts of plots to have a book make sense. Yet that’s an editor’s job if that’s what it takes to make the story cleaner, polished, and substantially a finer story. And the author a better writer.  It’s a process.

Again, when you say you hired a editor, what did you hire?  Or did you hire a Proofreader?  Not the same as any good or great editor will tell you.  Each and everyone has a job to do.  Hire the right one for the right job.

Really someone should have stopped these headers, right? Or placement?

One of my favorite blogs is called the Blood Red Pencil which focus’ on writing and, of course, editing.   If you are as fond of the subject as I am  check out the link below:

Blood-Red Pencil: Do Editors Use Red Pencils?

 

As to what launched this week’s post, well, it’s Thanksgiving.  I’m just going to say I’m so grateful to each and everyone one of you  overworked, gorgeous, and absolutely fabulous editors who have provided such incredible help to the authors and their stories I’ve read all through the years!  I appreciate your hard work, I hope if you’re in the States you have a great Thanksgiving, or weekend if you’re abroad.  Kudos to you all!  A big Mwah!

Thoughts anyone?

Now onto this week’s books and tours.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 Sunday, November 18:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Comply by Lee Manarte
  • Review Tour and Giveaway for  Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Heat for Sale by Blake Moreno
  • My Thankful List? Great Editors!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 19:

  • Release Blitz To Be Honest by S. M. James
  • Sale Blitz for 2 Robert Winter Titles
  • BLOG TOUR Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles Book 2) by AG Carothers
  • An Alisa Review: Date from Hell by Gareth Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Lost and Found (Dave&Carter) by Quin Perin
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles #2) by A.G. Carothers
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Finn by Angel Martinez

Tuesday, November 20:

  • Kaje Harper on Fair Isn’t Life
  • BLOG TOUR The Billionaire’s Wish by Geoffrey Knight
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Crossroads (Skins #4)
  • A MelanieM Review The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3) by Don Allmon
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Quenched in Blood (Asheville Arcana #3) by Ari McKay
  • A Caryn Review:Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  His Consort by Mary Calmes

Wednesday, November 21:

  • Review Tour Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
  • BLOG TOUR Broken Halos by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • Release Blitz – Joanna Chambers – Mr Winterbourne’s
  • A Lucy Review: His Christmas Sweater by CM VAlencourt
  • An Ashlez Review : Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Claire Castle
  • A Stella Review: Accidentally On Purpose by JM Snyder
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Alpha Heat (Heat of Love #2) by Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Thursday, November 22: Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Book Blast – Polyamory on Trial by Jude Tresswell
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: The Burning Magus by Don Allmon
  • An Alisa Review: A Fated Bond by T.L. West
  • A MelanieM Review:  Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1) by Pia Foxhall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt

Friday, November 23:

  • Review Tour – LA Witt – The Husband Gambit
  • Release Blitz – Pia Foxhall – Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1)
  • Release Blitz Tour – Jay Northcote – Stuck With You
  • An Ali Release Day Review: My Regelence Rake (The Sci-Regency #3) by J.L. Langley
  • A MelanieM Review:  The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez

Saturday, November 24:

  • Tour The Cub Club by Ardy Kelly
  • Release Blitz with ARC Reviews – Lost and Found by Quin Perin
  • Judith/Oz by Lily Morton Release Blitz and Review
  • A MelanieM Review: Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The Editor’s Blog

An Ali Release Day Review: Blood Red Roulette by Jana Denardo

Standard
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Arrigo Giancarlo’s friends think he’s a rich young man with the unusual job of paranormal investigator, working with his psychic assistant in Las Vegas. In truth he’s a two-thousand-year-old vampire and member of the Chiaroscuro, a group of Supernaturals dedicated to keeping humanity safe from the more dangerous of their kind. He’s also openly bisexual… but alone.

When he spots Luc St. John in a bar, Arrigo is intrigued. What begins as an effort to repay the kindness shown to him in the past quickly turns into much deeper feelings for the suffering and displaced Cajun. For Luc’s part, he feels too poor, too uneducated, and too bound to his hateful family to ever be worthy of elegant and cultured Arrigo.

An old enemy, Eleni, blames Arrigo for murdering her true love. On the anniversary of that death, she’s back to take revenge. As Arrigo’s closest friends fall victim to savage attacks, he fears nothing will keep Luc safe. Should he break both their hearts and let Luc go, or is it too late? If Luc’s already in Eleni’s sights, Arrigo knows that like most things in Vegas, the odds are against him.

This was an entertaining paranormal romantic suspense.  The majority of the book was about Eleni’s attacks and Arrigo’s effort to catch her.  There is a side plot of Arrigo meeting Luc and falling with him.
I liked the mystery part better than the romance. I never felt a connection between Arrigo & Luc.  The romance wasn’t believable for me is the reason I didn’t rate the book higher.
The writing itself was pretty good but there were a lot of necessary details & it weighed the book down in places. A lot of it could have been cut out & wouldn’t have effected the overall story.
I liked this but didn’t love it. I didn’t really click with the author’s writing style.  I think others may enjoy the story more than I did since that’s a personal preference kind of thing.
Cover: This cover was designed by Tiferet Design. I love the cover.  It’s what made me want to read the book.  I think it’s fantastic.
Sales Links:  DSP Publications  |  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 1st edition, 350 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by DSP Publications
ISBN 139781640807587
Edition Language English