Get Personal with SE Jakes On The Dirty Deeds Book Tour and Contest

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have SE Jakes here today to talk about her outstanding new release Dirty Deeds, the first in the new Dirty Deeds series.

Hey everyone!!! Thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me back here for my Dirty Deeds blog tour 🙂 Dirty Deeds is the first in this spin-off series of Hell or High Water. Dirty Deeds focuses on Cillian and Mal, two characters who’ve been in both Hell or High Water books 1 & 2 (Catch a Ghost and Long Time Gone.) Dirty Deeds # 1 captures a very specific moment in time for the Cillian (the spook) and Mal (the former SEAL in exile).DirtyDeeds_150x300
STRW: 1.  What was the first story you wrote?

SEJ:  I actually wrote the proposals for Bound by Honor and Bound for Keeps at the same time, and I wasn’t sure which one should go first. I picked Bound by Honor, because I knew Law would have a story, and then I realized that Bound for Keeps needed to wait a bit. I realize now I needed to wait for Prophet to introduce himself (since he shows up in Bound for Keeps)…

STRW 2.  What was the subject matter?

SEJ:   Bound by Honor is the first in my Men of Honor series. It’s the story of Tanner, an Army Ranger (who is training for Delta Force). His dying teammate made Tanner promise to go visit his Dom a year after his death. Damon, Jesse’s Dom, doesn’t want anything to do with that, but he decides to honor Jessie’s wish.

STRW 3. I love stories where the mc are undercover.  What made you decide to pair a Navy Seal with a British Black Ops?

SEJ  :They honestly paired themselves. It surprised the hell out of me. They showed up separately in the Hell or High Water series and halfway through writing Long Time Gone, out of nowhere I realized they were going to be together.

STRW 4. Which of the two characters was hardest to write?

SEJ: Probably Cillian, at least at first, because he didn’t really reveal himself to me right away. Definitely a mysterious spook. I found out things I didn’t know about him writing Dirty Deeds, and I think readers will be pretty surprised too. He’s definitely been a polarizing force in the books.

STRW 5. How many books do you have planned for the Hell or High Water series?

SEJ: There are four books for Hell or High Water, plus one short (all Prophet & Tommy as main characters). Dirty Deeds # 1 runs along the same timeline for the Hell or High Water series (all with Mal and Cillian as main characters), but for Dirty Deeds 2 & 3, they really have their own plot apart from the Hell or High Water plot.

Thanks, SE, for stopping by.  Dirty Deeds is part of the Extreme Escapes universe.  All the connected stories from Hell or High Water can be found here.  Dirty Deeds is one of ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Highly Recommended Books/Must Reads of 2014.

DirtyDeeds_400x600Dirty Deeds: Dirty Deeds book 1:
Two seasoned operatives finally meet their match: each other.
Cillian works for the mysterious Special Branch 20: an organization that runs black ops commissioned by the British government. His specialty is deep undercover assignments with virtually no support. He’s been alone for so long that he no longer knows anything else.

Mal’s also used to being alone. Wanted in several states and even more countries, he’s not allowed in the vicinity of any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. And his current assignment is to track Cillian in order to discover the spook’s endgame. Except he’s no longer sure which one of them is getting played.

Cillian isn’t about to let the mission that’s consumed him for the past several years crumble because an outsider is poking around where he doesn’t belong. But Mal forces his way through Cillian’s defenses—and into his heart—exposing a devastating betrayal that could destroy them both.
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This title is part of the Extreme Escapes, Ltd. universe.

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Contest Rules and Other Stuff You Need To Know:

To enter the contest, visit http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a31df32/

Prizes:

  •  1st prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • 2nd Prize: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • 3rd prize: $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

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SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life.
She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

Connect with SE:
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Goodreads author page
Goodreads author group: Ask SE Jakes

Mired in the Miasma and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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Miasma, such a wonderfully descriptive word.  Miasma: from the dictionary, literary the miasma from the stagnant swamp made us choke and gag: stink, reek, stench,fetor, smell, fume, odor, whiff; gas, cloud, smog, vapor.

Yep, that is exactly what it feels like in the Metropolitan DC area these days.  Most people forget that Washington, DC was built on a swamp and the regions around it are riddled with water.  There is a reason Foggy Bottom is called Foggy Bottom.  We have water everywhere.  The Potomac, the Patuxent, the Severn and a ton of other rivers and streams, the Chesapeake Bay and of course the Atlantic Ocean.  It’s delightful, it’s outstanding, except when our humidity is around 99% and stays there, making our area feel downright tropical and swampy.  The air is thick, stagnant, some call it soupy.  It is so heavy  it almost takes on a form of its own.  The skin feels clammy, your clothes stick to the skin as though they were glued, perspiration rolls down the face to disappear into your collar and sandals are the only footwear you can bear on your feet. And when someone mentions that they didn’t have air-conditioning in the “olden days” so we should all come outside and enjoy sitting on the porch…well,  you just want to swat them.

Back to miasma.  I grew up in a Southern family where the word miasma could be frequently heard in conversation, especially by my grandmothers.  It went something like this:

“Oh the miasma is so bad for you, stay away from the window.”

“Heah, keep those windows closed so the miasma doesn’t come inside.”

Or when my Mamaw smelled something bad, well, then of course, it was the “miasma”.

I love that word but it seems to have fallen out of favor.  I mean, scientifically, we know that swamps are a wonderful thing, necessary for the environment as delicate habitats and nature’s filtering system.  A swamp is not a purveyor of disease and that illness did not waft in on the moisture laden air (hey, we are not talking mosquitos today). So with knowledge in hand, the word miasma started to disappear.  But I want to bring it back.  Miasma a term rich in eloquence, laden with romantic images, mired in the gothic and teaming with meaning.  If I am to be drenched in sweat, with hair and skin soaked with moisture, miserable and lethargic, then I want to put a layer of something magical, otherworldy and significant on it.  I want miasma!  I will have my miasma.

And besides what other explanation is there for Congress?  Its miasma. Stay away from the windows.

We are all over the place in book reviews for the coming week. Plus I am still focused on the subject of short  stories so expect another Scattered Thoughts blog on the subject on Saturday.  This is how the week looks to play out:

Monday, July 15:                Tattoo You by Willa Okati

Tuesday, July 16:                Forever Promised (Promises #4) by Amy Lane

Wed., July 17:                      Worlds Collide (Sanctuary #7) by R.J. Scott

Thursday, July 18:              Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King

Friday, July 19:                    Side Line by Ben Ryder

Saturday, July 20:               Anthologies? Love Them Or Hate Them?

And to help fight the miasma, a Red Sangria recipe to cool you down:

Ingredients
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
2 sliced oranges
1 sliced green apple
1 1/2 cups seltzer

FNM050111_143
Directions
Mix the wine, liqueur and sugar in a pitcher, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then add the fruit.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Add the seltzer just before serving.

Review: The Hellfire Legacy (The Night Wars #3) by Missouri Dalton

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Hellfire Legacy coverWith one horrific explosion, psychic Investigator Flynn Adder’s world turns to rubble and the lives of everyone Flynn loves is put in the greatest peril he has ever known.  And that is saying a lot, considering that Flynn Adder works for The Night Shift, a secret paranormal agency that keeps the lid on the activities of the weird, supernatural and Fae. From werewolves to ghouls to trolls as well as all magical objects,  they all fall under the jurisdiction of The Night Shift, a world wide organization created to keep humans safe and oblivious to the magical and mythical beings all around them.

But the Chicago Night Shift headquarters has just exploded, killing most of the psych corps, witches, and other beings that made up the Chicago squad.  Only a few escaped, including Flynn, his husband Jack and a few of their colleagues.  With the supernatural side of Chicago now left to their own devices and impulses,the City is helpless and defenseless. Added to the conflagration,  the murderous culprit is on the loose and soon strikes again. Flynn, Jack, and the rest need help in order to survive and hunt down the person responsible for killing so many of their friends and colleagues.   When the investigation start to lead back to Flynn and his family history,  Flynn starts to realize that this case might cost him everything he has worked so hard to achieve, his sobriety, his lover, and their family.

Well, this was a surprise.  I loved this book and the entire Night Shift crew.  The Hellfire Legacy is the third (and possibly last) book in The Night Wars series by Missouri Dalton.  I had reviewed book #2, The Night Shift and found it wanting, primarily due to the last of back history and its cliffhanger ending.  This book displays none of the issues I had with The Night Shift, and while it is part of a series, I found that this book could be read as a standalone and totally enjoyed as such.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s go back and look at the exposition of histories and backstories of the characters and events as related in The Hellfire Legacy.

Missouri Dalton has done a remarkable job of folding the back stories of the characters with the history of The Night Shift agency into the current storyline in such a way that the reader will feel absolutely up to date on all prior events that occurred in the previous books without actually having to go read them.  I missed this element in The Night Shift and was thrilled to see a much more substantial world building here.  In fact the entire book is more complete, more layered in every aspect.  The storytelling is taut, the action suspenseful and fast moving, and the emotional content will keep the reader on a constant level of high expectations and excitement.

Even the characters seem more fully alive and have more depth than I remember from the previous story.  Flynn, Jack, Simon, Howl, and the rest are all put to the test are they become not only the hunters but the hunted as well.  Flynn’s personality and character is under such duress that his sobriety is threatened as is his stability to act as an investigator.  He is operating on no sleep, pain medication and shear desperation and the author makes us feel every bit of his anxiety and exhaustion as Flynn stretches his physical and emotional resources to their limits. Really, the vivid descriptions of each character and their actions not only help to engage the reader but to bring the story home to a deeply emotional level because we have come to care for them all.  In addition, we are given new characters to connect with that hopefully we will see again in future stories because they are that interesting and quirky.  I loved Lu and the vulpe Remy and Granda Adder, a ghost.  In fact we get more of everyone’s history, the Adders, Jack’s, and more.  It’s wonderful, it’s fascinating and it makes the reader want to learn even more.

The locales from Chicago to Ireland are given the same attention to detail and depth that the characters display. Moving the setting from their home base of Chicago to various locations serves to keep not only the characters off center and uncertain but the reader as well.  Each new city brings an uncertainty and anxiety to the plot while heightening our interest in each area.  I loved this aspect of the novel too.  Dalton’s research and knowledge of each location shows.  Clearly, the author knows Columbus, Ohio and the Columbus College of Art and Design.  Here is an excerpt from Flynn’s travels to Ohio:

“Fynn, that’s the third time we’ve passed that giant red A.” “It’s says art,” Simon corrected Jack. “Why is there so much construction around here anyway?”

“Who knows?” Jack said. I gritted my teeth and pulled over into the road the giant letter A straddled. Oh, it did say art. Huh. “Okay. Simon, Lu, you look young and college-ish, go get directions.” We appeared to be on a college campus — an art school given the giant sign and random pieces of modern sculpture. The two gave me a look. “Sure thing, boss,” Simon replied. “Come on, Lu.” They got out of the van and started for the largest, closest building. It was concrete, modern, and possibly the ugliest piece of construction I’d ever seen. I looked away before it burned into my memory. There were two churches within sight, and a few more ugly concrete and glass buildings.

Simon and Lu quickly returned with a very short-haired, svelte girl in tow. She reminded me a bit of a pixie. I rolled down my window. “Well?”

“Fynn, this is Liz. Liz, Fynn. She’s got directions for you.”

“Awesome.”

Liz smiled. “So you’ll want to get back on Broad Street and go West to 315 North, that’ll take you right to the Kinnear road exit. That should get you out of the construction.”

“Sweet, simple and easy to remember, thanks, Liz. You’ve been a big help.”

“No problem, happy to help.” Lu and Simon got back in the car, we bid goodbye to Liz and took her directions — and finally ended up in the right place.

In case you were wondering, here the giant A they were talking about   The author is spot on and accurate in every detail.  I loved this aspect of Columbus, Ohio artinspringThe Hellfire Legacy and appreciated the richness of detail the authors adds to each scenery change.

The story is told from Flynn’s point of view and I like his dry, sarcastic voice.  Here is a example:

I noticed immediately that we might have a slight problem. The language I overheard most frequently was Gaelic, something I had only passing familiarity with. I mean, I once knit Connor an illusion scarf that read Pog Ma Thon, but beyond telling people to kiss my ass, I really didn’t know any useful Gaelic.

Very telling. You get a sense of Flynn’s dry humor, and the fact that he knits gifts for people he cares about (and that he is a constant knitter). All of this just adds that wonderful creative, caring layer to his personality.  It’s a lovely surprise and one among many.

And finally, the thing that really puts me over the edge (not in a good way), a cliffhanger, is missing here.  The ending is fulfilling and yet leaves open the possibility of more fun and  quixotic adventures to come.  I mean, he made a deal with a leprechaun for God’s sake.  Who does that?  Hopefully we will find out how that whopper of a mistake gets resolved in a future story.

What does this all mean?  Well for me, it means that I will go back to the beginning of the series and read The Hangman’s Ghost, the book that started it all and then revisit The Night Shift (and perhaps offer up a mea culpa or two).  For you, it means you should head out and buy this book.  If you want, get all three and read them right through for a Flynn Adder and The Night Shift triple feature.  Either way, it works.  Live on the wild side!  But no matter how you approach it, buy the book.  You won’t be sorry and might even leave addicted.  Just as I did.

Here are the books in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and the events:

The Hangman’s Ghost (The Night Wars #1)

The Night Shift (The Night Wars #2)

The Hellfire Legacy (The Night Wars #3)

Cover Illustrations by BS Clay work well for the series and this book.

Book Details:

ebook, 171 pages
Published April 3rd 2013 by Torquere Books (first published April 1st 2013)
ISBN 9781610404
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=3854
seriesThe Night Wars #03

It’s Here! Riptide Publishing’s Web Hunt for Touch & Geaux!

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Happy Monday everyone!  Today Scattered Thoughts is participating in Riptide Publishing’s Web Hunt for Abigail Roux’s book Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run #7), one of Scattered Thoughts Best Series of…well you name the year and this series will still be at the top of my list.  Scattered Thoughts will be joining the party along with many of your favorite book blogs by posting about the book and including one of my favorite quotes (so hard) from any book in the Cut & Run series. Readers who collect each quote and submit their findings to marketing@riptidepublishing.com will be eligible to win one of two runner-up prizes and one grand prize.  And oh, what a prize it is!!!  But I’m not telling, at least not yet!

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Also on the agenda for today, is Riptide Publishing’s first ever  live chat, with Abi Roux, happening at 12pm EST on April 10, with the RSVP link https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/107747069078430869043/events/crbhmnugf1hbokmj86anv4vaesc?authkey=CLPsidKGwKnvBQ.  I love Abigail Roux (although I will admit I am currently hunting her down with a nerf bat with Ty and Zane’s names on it).  Abigail Roux is a meticulous researcher for her novels, master of memorable dialog, and currently holder of the Evil Queen title, mostly due to Touch & Geaux. Grab the book, read the reviews (yeah, yeah, I know, reverse order but it works for Touch & Geaux), pick up your pitch forks and torches and join me in Scattered Thoughts own hunt.  Those of you who have read the book will understand totally, a toss up between lobbing jewels at Roux’s head or cow plops.  Don’t be left out of the know, you need this book and here is  your chance for prizes too!

For those of you on the hunt, here is the quote I chose:

“Cameron found himself smiling as he thought about the two tough, acerbic FBI agents. “It’s so cute. They’re in love.”
“It’s like watching two kittens fight with machetes,” Julian muttered.
“Julian.”
“What? Its weird!”
“No its not. They’re perfect for each other. Poor Zane though,” Cameron murmured. “In love with Ty Grady.” He couldn’t imagine how frustrating that would be. Then Julian inhaled, and Cameron chuckled slightly. Yeah, he could actually.”
― Abigail RouxArmed & Dangerous

The thing about the Cut & Run series is that there are literally hundreds of quotes that I could have chosen.  Choosing one is like asking which is your favorite child, almost impossible to do.  I did go with funny because to choose the ones where Ty and Zane are emotionally vulnerable is just too close at the moment, more about that later.  I will say that Touch & Geaux is the best of a quality series that keeps improving with each new release.  How that is possible is due to Abigail Roux.  Has she sold her soul?  I know many are wondering…..hmmmmm…how tiny can those horns be?

Later today I wlll blogging about some of my favorite moments from Cut & Run.  Moments that made me laugh like in Fish & Chips (Cut & Run #3) when Ty Grady had to impersonate arm candy Del Porter.  When Ty stepped out after being waxed and bleached, well, my sides hurt just thinking about it. And then there are the moments that had me in tears…so many moments…..starting from the beginning in Cut & Run (book 1) when  we first meet the two men that I have come to care for and follow through tumultuous event in their lives in every book that has been released since.  Touch & Geaux is a milestone among milestones in this series.

Tomorrow I will be posting my review of Touch & Geaux.  You can also find  reviews for the all books in the series included in the links providedCut & Run Book 8 in the review or just look them up. All the books can be found here.

And now for even better news.  You can preorder Cut & Run #8 now at Riptide Publishing.  Here is what Riptide Publishing has to say:

The as-yet-untitled Book 8 of the Cut & Run series, availabe to pre-order for 25% off in ebook and paperback or 30% off in print and ebook combo for one week only as our thank-you to the fans for taking Stars & Stripes into the DABWAHA finals!

Please note that the release date is approximate and subject to change.

On Sunday, April 14, 2013, this page will be taken down. When it returns again in late 2013 or early 2014 for new pre-orders, the ebook will be full price again, so take advantage now of our special DABWAHA celebratory sale!

So those are the details, now let’s get hunting!!!   Touch & Geaux is a “must read, must have” for Scattered Thoughts and you don’t want to be left out in the cold.  Read my review tomorrow and stay tuned for Scattered Thoughts Most Fav Cut & Run moments…..who knew Monday could be so fun?

Here is the buy link for Touch & Geaux http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/touch-geaux ???????????????????????????????????????

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