Get Diverted with Lucky, Bo and Eden Winters’ Diversion Book Tour (contest)

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Do the names “Lucky” Lucklighter and  Bo Schollenberger rings any bells for you?  Well, they should.  Lucky and Bo are the heart of Eden Winter’s Diversion600x600GreyBannerDiversion series, one of ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords all time favorites.  Diversion, the book that started it all, is now out in its 2nd Edition.  And for all of you new to the series, this is a wonderful time to get acquainted with these two complicated and undeniably sexy men.

Contest: As a part of the tour, Eden Winters and Pride Promotions has brought an eBook copy of Diversion to give away.  To enter visit the Rafflecopter link here and below.  Must be 18 years of age to enter.  Contest ends 7/11.

At the moment there are 3 books out in the Diversion series, and a fourth on the way.  So if you are like me and love to sink your teeth into a couple with multiple books to their story and more coming, then this is the series for you!  Don’t miss out on the excerpt and blurb below.  Here are the stories in the order they were written and should be read to understand these complex men, their growing relationship and the events that occur:

A ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords 5 – Star Series by Eden Winters:

Diversion (Diversion #1)
Collusion (Diversion #2)
Corruption (Diversion #3)
Manipulation (Diversion #4) coming soon

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Book Name: Diversion (2nd edition)

Author Name: Eden Winters
Author Bio:
Captivated young by story-telling, Eden Winters’ earliest memories include spinning tales for the family’s pets. Her dreams of writing professionally took a sojourn into non-fiction, with a twelve-year stint in technical documentation.

She began reading GLBT novels as a way to better understand the issues faced by a dear friend and fell in love with the M/M romance genre. During a discussion of a favorite book, a fellow aficionado said, “We could do this, you know.” Good-bye gears, motors, and other authors’ characters; hello plots and sex scenes. So far that’s produced such award winning novels as The Wish, Settling the Score, The Angel of Thirteenth Street, Duet, Naked Tails, and Diversion.

Somewhat of a nomad, Eden has visited seven countries so far. She currently calls the southern US home, and many of her stories take place in the rural South. Having successfully raised two children, she now balances the day job with hiking, rafting, spoiling her grandchildren, and stalking the wily falafel or elusive tofu pad Thai at her favorite restaurants. Her musical tastes run from Ambient to Zydeco, and she’s a firm believer that life is better with fur kids and Harley Davidsons.

For more information about Eden, please visit her website at http://www.edenwinters.com. Be sure to look for Eden’s soon-to-be-published works: A Matter of When and Manipulation.

To follow/contact Eden Winters use Author Links:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Book Details:
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books

Blurb:

There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.

Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.

Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.

Buy Link:   Rocky Ridge Books  

 

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Excerpt:

The door flew open and Lucky made a grab. He rammed Bo’s back against the wall, setting off an automated hand dryer. Lucky ignored the hot air wafting over his arm, slammed his mouth hard against Bo’s, and shoved his leg between the man’s thighs. They devoured each other’s mouths, no hesitant tender kiss, but a release of tightly coiled passion. Tongues intertwined, each man sifted fingers through the other’s hair, tugging closer.
Below their belts their bodies followed suit, Lucky rutting against Bo’s firm thigh in an old-as-time mating rhythm. I’m going to blow in my jeans and I don’t give a fuck.

Lucky’s overwhelmed brain yielded up a single clear warning: someone might walk in. Mouths joined, he danced them toward a stall without breaking contact. A condom machine hung on the wall at an awkward angle. A handwritten sign proclaimed, “Out of Order.” Damn it!

At this rate, he wouldn’t last long enough to wrap his meat anyway. He wrestled them both into a stall, and slammed and locked the door behind him.

BadgeDiversionTour Date: 7/3/14

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Prism Book Alliance, Amanda C. Stone, Fallen Angel Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Full Moon Dreaming, Velvet Panic, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake, Iyana Jenna, Nephylim, MM Good Book Reviews, EE Montgomery, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Havan Fellows, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Hearts on Fire, Angel MartinezMy Fiction Nook

 

Contest Prize:  Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of Diversion

Rafflecopter Code: <a id=”rc-7d5bb763″ class=”rafl” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7d5bb763/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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A Wintery Mix, Favorite Childhood Books, and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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We are expecting a wintery mix here in Maryland, rain, sleet, ice and snow all mixing together to create an equal mixture of beauty and angst.  Trees with limbs that glisten like diamonds to go along with downed power lines and people lost in the cold.  Joy mixed in with a little quiet reflection, softened by the grey skies of winter and clouds laden with snow.

Days like this bring back memories of winters past and winter stories I loved reading to my daughter and the children later at the nature The Winter Bear book Covercenter.  Stories like  The Winter Bear by Ruth Craft and Robert Frost’s Stopping Through The Woods On A Snowy Evening were a perfect way to convey the feelings and emotions brought on by the first snow or a cold, blustery day in winter.

The Winter Bear especially is still so close to my heart.  It’s simple story and the illustrations that hark back to the style of the original Winnie the Pooh never fail to move me.  A lost stuff bear is tangled up in a shrub looking worn , a little dirty and so very alone.  Its winter and the landscape is cold and barren.  Then a small group of children, siblings, finds the bear, gets him down and takes him home where they clean him up, Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snow Eveningdress in warmly and give that little bear a home with them.  It’s a spare, elegant and concise little story and yet it is so moving that it can still bring tears to my eyes as that last page as the children and little bear are snug  and warm in a little living room with the fire blazing and snow falling outside.  It was first published in 1976 and is hard to find.  But once found and added to your bookshelf, it will become a family treasure to bring out generation after generation no matter your religion or location.  Much like the other book that I love so well, Robert Frost’s Stopping Through the Woods on a Snowy Evening.  The illustrations are in black and white, with a splash of red in places, just glorious and perfect for this poem.  Children and adults alike love looking at them, watching the sleigh travel through town and into the woods with a surprise for the animals that live there.  And then there are those words….such memorable, wonderful words.  The last stanza is the best known..”.The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.”  I have the entire short poem  at the end of the post today.  But those words and those illustrations together paint a memory portrait that draws adults and children into those woods time and again, a magic that is never lost.  Pick those books up and add them to your holiday collection.

Now I have a very special week ahead starting with a book that made my Best of 2013 within the first ten pages.  That’s when I started sobbing copious tears, a phrase perfect for the floodgate that opened upon reading Amy Lane’s latest book, Christmas Kitsch. Never have I been so moved by a character that quickly had me forgetting he wasn’t real.  Rusty, a wounded, glorious man child, whose open heart and mind is so transcendent that his story pulled me in not to release me until 3am, red eyed, snotty, and happy beyond belief that I had met him.  Amy Lane is running a contest and her author spotlight is Monday with my review of Christmas Kitsch is on Tuesday.  Thursday is a 4 book, 4 author Boys In the Band Blog Tour (and contest).  And Friday and Saturday…well if you have been reading the Pulp Friction authors and their combined series (City Knight, Triple Threat, Wicked’s Ways and Chances Are) then you are in for another treat.  The last book in all their series is a combined effort.  Odd Man Out wraps up all the stories of all the characters and is written by all 4 authors.  They have written a guest blog for Friday to talk about the last book and what’s coming in 2014 for Pulp Friction.  My review of Odd Man Out follows on Saturday.  And there is an amazing giveaway associated with this Pulp Friction Season Finale as well.  What a week ahead!!!!  Don’t miss out on a day of it!

Monday, Dec. 9:    Amy Lane’s Christmas Kitsch Blog Tour, Contest and Author Spotlight

Tuesday, Dec. 10:  Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

Wed., Dec. 11:          Tag Team: Fais Do Do by BA Tortuga

Thurs., Dec. 12:       Boys In The Band Blog Tour and Contest, Authors  L.A. Witt, Paula Coots, Rowan Speedwell, and Cecilia Tan

Friday, Dec. 13:       Pulp Friction Author Blog, Contest and Odd Man Out release

Sat., Dec. 14:             Odd Man Out by Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows, TE Webb, and Laura Harner, a Pulp Friction 2013 finale!

Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Review: All Lessons Learned (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries #8) by Charlie Cochrane

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Rating: 5 stars

“He’s at the end of his rope…until fate casts a lifeline.”

All Lessons LearnedWWI has ended and Dr. Orlando Coppersmith is back at St. Bride’s College, after being freed from a German prisoner of war camp.  The cost of the war is all around him but the deepest, most traumatic blow is the loss of his lover and companion of more than a decade, Dr. Jonty Stewart, killed in action in the Somme.  Orlando is consumed by his loss and going through the motions of his previous life when unexpectedly a case arises to take his mind off his desolation.  A mother is sure her son did not die in battle and wants Orlando to find him or the truth whatever it may be so her mind can be at ease. The pursuit of that truth will take Orlando back to places he wished he could forget and times of untold horror and pain.

But on the French seafront at Cabourg, Lavinia Stewart Broad and her family are taking a walk on the sands when she comes across the last person she ever expected to see, giving her hope and joy for the first time in ages.  The impact of the war that has been left behind on those who fought cannot be lessoned in a day or even month.  And not all the pain and scarring left is visible on the outside.  Nothing in Orlando’s intellectual framework has prepared him for what comes next and it will take everything he has to grasp on to this new hope and hold on through to a future he thought was gone.

From the opening sentence we are audience to a sorrow so profound that you will be weeping within minutes.  I don’t think there is a more powerful symbol of love that can grip you except its absence after having found it and that is Orlando Coppersmith at the beginning of All Lessons Learned.

This is how we find him:

“The twelfth day of the eleventh month, 1918.  Orlando Coppersmith stood outside the prisoner of war camp and listened, almost unbelieving. No distant guns. No shouts or cries. No whinnying of frightened horses. Somewhere a bird was singing—two birds—and a distant dog barked. It felt unreal, as if this were a dream and the memory of the last few years the reality to which they would wake.”

The first world war has ended and its impact is hitting home as the men who survived WWI return back to their lives. Those that don’t return lie dead on foreign soil or have fled, marked as cowards, some because of what we know is PTSD, a concept so foreign that is was mocked as an excuse of cowards instead as the very real condition we know today.  Charlie Cochrane brings the reader the horrors that WWI visited on all involved by making it personal with its impact on characters we have met and come to love in the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries. In the opening pages, we find out that Dr. Peters, the Master of St. Bride’s College has died.  Also gone are Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, Jonty’s parents who also became the same to Orlando over the course of their relationship.  Jonty has been killed during fighting on the Somme and with them everything central to Orlando’s happiness and contentment , the core that made his life worth living is shattered, leaving Orlando adrift, tethered to life by a promise, Mrs. Sheridan nee Peters, and Lavinia Stewart Broad and her family.

I can think of no better way to visit the horrors that war can impart than through the eyes of a beloved character and Cochrane pulls us into Orlando’s memories with a gritty harshness not found elsewhere in the series.  This is a much changed Orlando since last we saw him.  No longer does this vaunted mathematician see the world in black and white.  Time, loss and his experiences on the front and in a prisoner of war camp have changed him forever with one exception.  His love for Jonty is as strong and final as it ever was, and now he is trying to continue living as he promised and falling short.  That changed man, more than anything else Cochrane could have done, tells us how much the world has altered in order for that to happen.  Have the tissues at hand, because this is going to hurt and hurt deeply.

Another fine element of this novel is the subject of what today we know as PTSD and veterans.  Then it had different names, shell shock for one, neurasthenia for another, the last being an ill-defined mental illness that encapsulated everything from fatigue to irritability and mental instability.  That is when it was believed in, for some doctors and the public, it was just an excuse for cowardice under fire. Here is another passage when Orlando is interviewing someone about MacNeil the man he is trying to locate:

“Orlando wouldn’t use the word “desert”. He’d heard too much rubbish spouted about men who’d lost their nerve, especially from people who’d been no nearer the front than the promenade at Dover.”

Those words might just have easily come out of the 60’s, or 80’s or even now.  While the weapons and locations may change, the impact of war upon people’s minds and bodies does not and here we see the results in Orlando and many others he comes across during his investigation.  Through recounted memories or more accurately nightmares, we hear the constant pounding of exploding munitions and the whistling of the shells overhead, the empty sleeves and missing legs of the remnants of the men who made it back, and the holes in the lives left behind of those that didn’t.  This is a grim and necessary element of All Lessons Learned and its impact upon the reader tells you exactly how well Charlie Cochrane did her job in making it real to us too.

There are also some wondrous moments in this story that will make all the pain and tears worthwhile.  They will come not with great shouts of joy and fireworks but quietly, with subtly and that’s as it should be given the nature of the couple at the heart of this series. One of the elements that made Orlando’s grief worse was that he could not mourn the loss of his lover the same as any other “widower” for that was indeed what he was.  Orlando’s grief had to remain hidden from all but a few who knew the couple and their true relationship.  And that isolation of his grief made a deeper cut than if he might have been able to mourn with the countless others at the time.  Orlando Coppersmith is a complex man and brings those same complexities of nature to everything that happens to him, good, bad or miraculous.  So the events that occur later on the story won’t surprise anyone who has become familiar with his character.  Somethings are truly fundamental and that is reassuring too.

This is not the end of the series, although I suspect at the time Charlie Cochrane intended it to be from the epilogue here.  One more book was written.  And that prompted a number of questions I had for the author.  I hope to have my review and the answers to those questions  posted for you sometime soon.  But in a way this does provide a sort of ending because the world and these men were never the same after WWI.  Changes start to happen rapidly throughout the world and the gentler time of the first seven books is forever vanished.   This series has become dear to my heart and we have one more visit to go.  I hope you will stay with me to the end.  For those of you for whom this review is your first introduction, please start from the beginning.  Take your time getting to know these remarkable men, delve into life and times of England in the 1900’s.  It starts out with all the joys of a slow promenade and then picks up the pace with each succeeding book.

It is an extraordinary journey. Dont miss a page of it.  Here are the order the stories were written and should be read to fully understand the relationships and events that occur:
Lessons in Love (Cambridge Fellows, #1)

Lessons in Desire (Cambridge Fellows, #2)

Lessons in Discovery (Cambridge Fellows, #3)

Lessons in Power (Cambridge Fellows, #4)

My True Love Sent To Me

Lessons in Temptation (Cambridge Fellows, #5)

Lessons in Seduction (Cambridge Fellows, #6)

Lessons in Trust (Cambridge Fellows, #7)

Once We Won Matches (Cambridge Fellows, #7.5)

All Lessons Learned (Cambridge Fellows, #8)

Lessons for Survivors (Cambridge Fellows, #9) – released by Cheyenne Publishing.

For free stories in the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries universe and more about the author, visit the author’s website.