Guest Interview: Meet Havan Fellows!

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Good morning all!  We (the pups and I) are welcoming Havan Fellows, author and creator of the extraordinary Wick Templeton and the Wicked’s Ways series, to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words this morning.   Welcome, Havan. Here’s your cup of coffee, watch out for begging critters!. *shoos away the terrors three*.

Thank you so much for having me here today, Melanie. *looks around and sits on nice cushy couch* wow, it’s so different being here than just looking in. *pets the puppies jumping all around my ankles*

Oh thank you again…*sips coffee and smiles* now that is a good cup of brew. Hits the spot, you know? I guess I should introduce myself, my name is Havan Fellows and I get a personal high from telling tall tales. It’s a gift/curse—depending on who you talk to in my family. Because yes, my immediate family knows I write M/M fiction & romance (or depending how feisty I feel at the time erotic romance *winks*).

So what started me on the Wick Templeton bandwagon? It’s a simple story about how Wick came about – but one that is close to my heart.

Here’s how I first described Pulp Friction back in January when we went public:

PF is an exciting new venture that was born in that beautiful head of Laura Harner…one day she came to Tom Webb, Lee Brazil and me and said:

“Hey…what if we swung it this way? You know, have the edginess of some hard-as-nails men doing what they do—how they do it—and getting the things done. Sure there may not be a HEA right away (if ever)…but we’ll deliver the thrill of the quick read suspense with a splash of sexy! So come on…who wants to sha-wing it with me?”

Okay *blushes and ducks head*—that might not be what she said verbatim…but I was paraphrasing, honest! hehe

Um…yeah, silly as it sounds that little snippet describes PF practically perfectly (say that 5 times fast). Just about a year ago Laura came to us with an idea of doing shorts…in the old pulp fiction style.

We loved the idea immediately. It was something that would let us experience a different side of our writing. We brain stormed for days and nights – completely talking up the “what if” phase. Honestly I didn’t know if this would be a project that would take flight or not, but it was darn fun to dream about. 🙂

But the more we chatted the more it looked like this was gonna happen. I freaked! I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge.

I sat there biting my fingernails wondering if I was in over my head. One of the things we all wanted to do was have “bad” good guys. Men who weren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty in order to help people.

Enter Wick Templeton…

I can’t tell you the exact moment that he smacked my ass and called me mama…he just suddenly was there. All these scenes popped into my head of things he did or would eventually do – it was crazy. I’d be working on book two and a phrase he wanted to use in book four would suddenly be running through my mind. (at that time I had no flipping idea what book four was about either *heads desk* lol)

Wick was all for breaking whatever law he had to – not necessarily in the name of justice, but because darn it, it amused. Yeah (insert tentative giggles here), some of the things he wanted me to write…um… Honestly, Wick didn’t share as much with me as I hoped he would. For every chapter I wrote I wondered what this man was up to, why he was spurred on to do what he did. An ex boyfriend calls—one he obviously didn’t mourn over losing—and he immediately jumped into action. No talk about payment, no sexual tension between them, no hostility or any of those things that might have popped up…just Wick doing what needs to be done.

Admirable right? Don’t build him a statue just yet, trust me…

Then, the guy he wouldn’t admit being attracted to called for help—but that wasn’t the pivotal point that got Wick up and moving. Some serial killer was offing people in his town…that wasn’t allowed. No matter how much Wick wanted to poke and prod at Ned (in so many ways too lol) it was the fact that innocent people were being hurt.

Oh yeah, and Wick doesn’t like keeping his nose in his own business…smh.

But how much of our noses will he allow poked into his business? Not fair is it? He holds everything so close to his chest that it’s really difficult to pry even small details away to share with the readers. Only in writing the third book did he share even more of himself with me…and holy shite was I floored!

You see, upon writing Wicked Incarceration, I was blessed with the knowledge of what the next two books afterwards would be. With each book Wick upped the game some, toed that line you might say, and plans to continue doing that – making all of us wonder what side of that line he will land on.

*stops and sips more coffee*

Sorry, you’ve just taken part in one of my ‘rambling’ modes. Those closest to me know I can go off and just start babbling without any rhyme or reason behind it…and unfortunately when I talk about Wick…well I can talk for hours about him as if he is a real person that I’m kinda in awe with.

There are just so many facets to him, and he’s only allowing me to show a little bit of them at a time. Nice to know he’s as much an ass with the author as he is with everyone in his books right? lol

My sister stated it best – you see, she’s had to hear non-stop about Wick since last September I believe. Over lunches, on the phone, in emails…heck I’ve even PM’d her on FB to plot points out. But she’s never actually read one of Wick’s books.

After reading some reviews for Wicked Solutions and Wicked Bindings she informed me that she was finally going to sit down and read the series. She stated “I don’t care if I know most of the story through you, I need to read and experience Wick for myself.”

My point is – I could sit here with you sipping this freaking fantastic coffee and babbling about Wick all night long. No seriously, I’m not just saying that I really could do it…lol

But that wouldn’t give you the true feel of Wick…he’s someone you have to experience first hand.

I want you to experience that…I want you to read Wicked’s Way and let me entertain you for a couple of hours. With that thought in mind and in honor of Melanie allowing me not only to visit but to not put a word count limit on me *blushes* if you hop over to All Romance e-books you will find the entire Wicked’s Way series on sale for 33% off the cover price!

Yep…your eyes do not deceive you…from today until Sunday midnight (Eastern time) all four of Wick’s books will be available for only $2 a piece. *winks*

Thank you Melanie for your hospitality and thank you everyone for actually reading to the bottom of this very long blog post lol…

Oh and by the way, would you like a parting hint about Wick five? Okay – the first hint about the next Wick book…

A man from Wick’s past knows Ned’s secrets and is after their future…Wicked Truths. (working title) 🙂

Thanks, Havan, for stopping by.  As you all know by now, I am crazy in love with this series and that wicked, wicked man, Wick Templeton.  Yesterday, I posted the review for the latest release, Wicked Guidance.

For those of you new to the series, go back to the beginning and work your way forward.  Really, its the only way to fly. Here are the books in the series to date in the order they were written and should be read:

Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Way #01)
Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Way #02)
Wicked Incarceration (Wicked’s Way #03)
Wicked Guidance (Wicked’s Way #04)

Your buy links here:

All Romance Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Way #1)Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Way #2)Wicked Incarceration (Wicked’s Way #3)Wicked Guidance (Wicked’s Way #4) Wicked Guidance cover

Dog Days of Summer and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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Canis Major Dog StarHere it is mid – August and the Dog Days of  Summer are almost over.  I know many of you have heard the term but do you really know where it came from?  I know that some of you are looking at your four pawed companions panting away the summer heat beside you, whether on shared walks or just sitting together in the backyard. One look at how the heat is affecting them, and I am sure you think “ah, dog days indeed.” But to understand where the term Dog Days of Summer, you must look to the sky.  The night sky that is and the Dog Star, Sirius, the brightest star above (no, we are not talking about the Sun right now).

Osiris

The Egyptians called Sirius the dog star after their god Osirus, whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog.  In Egypt, and in ancient Rome, Sirius was in conjunction with the Sun in the summer (ie. it was up in the sky at the same time as the Sun) and ancient Egyptians and Romans argued that it was responsible for the summer heat by adding its heat to the heat from the Sun. Those in ancient times called the period of time from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction “the dog days of summer” because it coincidentally fell at the time of year when it was very hot.

The Dog Days of Summer start around July 7th ( I have also seen July 3rd at the start date as well) and runs until August 18th, normally the time in the Northern Hemisphere when it is the hottest.  It is the time we head for the beach, the air-conditioning, anywhere but the office.  It is also a great time to catch up on your reading and make headway on your “to be read” pile. Here are some books and one great series (Wicked’s Way by Haven Fellows) that you will want to add to the list.

Monday, Augusts 12, 2013:                   Nischal by Bailey Bradford

Tuesday, August 13, 2013:                     Wicked Incarceration by Haven Fellows

Wed., August 14, 2013:                           Wicked Guidance by Haven Fellows

Thursday, August 15, 2013                   Guest Blog by Haven Fellows

Friday, August 16, 2013                          Fall For Me by Ann Lister

Saturday, August 17, 2013:                   Home Sweet Home by TA Chase

Sirius

I will leave you all with two quotes about the dog days of summer.  Both perfection in tone and ability to paint a portrait of this time of year.

“Sophia and Grandmother sat down by the shore to discuss the matter further. It was a pretty day, and the sea was running a long, windless swell. It was on days just like this–dog days–that boats went sailing off all by themselves. Large, alien objects made their way in from sea, certain things sank and others rose, milk soured, and dragonflies danced in desperation. Lizards were not afraid. When the moon came up, red spiders mated on uninhabited skerries, where the rock became an unbroken carpet of tiny, ecstatic spiders.”
― Tove Jansson, The Summer Book

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.”
― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

Review of Private Dicks: Undercovers Anthology

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Rating: 4.25 stars

Who doesn’t love a private eye? Private Dicks: Undercovers includes a range of cases from all manner of private investigarors in quite the variety of worlds.  From rock stars to werewolves, from Steampunk to the Old West, the species involved may change, but the game is always the same. The private dicks grab a case, solve the mystery, bring the miscreants to justice and end up saving the victim, who just might be the love of their life.

So here are the stories, including some that entertained and enthralled:

Temper by Siobhan Crosslin—Reese is a lone wolf, always on the outside looking in at what he never has had but always wanted, a pack to belong to.  But as an investigator being on the outside has always worked to his advantage as has his ability to deceive.  Reese’s latest case brings him a world of trouble right from the start.  He is sent to investigate a pack that might be at the center of a series of wolf killings and kidnappings.   This investigation means Reese has to infiltrate the pack itself by becoming a pack enforcer, a role that will bring him close to the pack alpha. But his investigation is in peril from the moment he meets Donovan, the alpha and the rest of the Deepine Pack.  They are everything he has always wanted, and Donovan is the wolf who grabs his affections right from the start.

I loved this story.  Reese is an endearing shifter, a wolf in need of a mate and a pack and no expectations of that ever happening.  It is clear that his  past and perhaps current status has involved abuse but he wants to do the right thing no matter how hard that might be to accomplish.  Crosslin did a wonderful job with her characters and world building.  I found that Reese, Donovan and the rest of the Deepine Pack engaged my feelings almost immediately.  The story left me with more questions than answers about how the society in her universe was structured.  There are dragons, shifters and other supernatural beings, each with their own rules and regulations.  And while it might be too much to ask for more information about the world they all lived in given the length of this story, she made it so fascinating that it begs for an expanded version or a sequel. One of my favorites in the anthology.

The PI and the Rockstar by K-lee Klein— Mason Cason is a detective and a good one.  While not flashy in the least, he has made a good living by being an excellent investigator.  Mason’s latest case is a doozy.  A man and his daughter arrive in his office and want him to find the guy who impregnated his underage gum snapping overally made up daughter, a man who just happens to be rockstar named Jade Jonathan Lee, Mason’s private and business worlds collide.  Both his love life and his reputation are at stake if he doesn’t take the case and solve the mystery.

Mason Cason considers himself to be just an average looking man, a plus when it comes to tailing people for his investigations.  It is a nice touch from Klein to give us an main character who isn’t drop dead gorgeous, although his boyfriend certainly finds him attractive.  Mason is so well rounded a character that his looks become secondary to his intelligence and humor.  There is a wonderful surprise in this story right at the beginning and it sets the tone for the rest of this very enjoyable story. Plus I will always be a sucker for Asian rockers.

Glamour by Holly Rinna-White—When his little brother is kidnapped, Jason hires Eric, PI and long-time crush, to find him, terrified of what will happen if people learn his brother is unregistered psychic. But Jason’s own psychic abilities make him a target too for the same people who have kidnapped his brother.  And Eric’s own secrets threaten the investigation and time is running out for all involved.

I found this story to be one of the least successful of the anthology.  The author has set her characters in a world that needs more clarification as to  its inhabitants, their psychic abilities and the governments laws concerning its regulation of its peoples.  There are aliens, who may not be aliens at all, half humans, and their acceptance within human society that got confusing. It  appears that there is a government psychic registry which was never really explained and that added to the confusion about Jason’s brother.  I never felt connected to either the characters or the turmoil in their lives so I never got into the story.

The Virginia Gentleman by Alison Bailey-The Virginia  Gentleman is a well known bank robber with a number of kills under his belt.  When he plans a robbery, he finds he needs 3 more people for his plan to succeed and he finds them in Wilton, Mr McCoy, and his young ward/man who appears to be in total fear of the man he is traveling with.   But nothing and no one is who they seem to be as one is an investigator on a case he is close to solving.  But first there is a gang to be cobbled together and a train to rob.

This story takes place in Wyoming in the 1800’s and contains some very neat twists, especially at the end.  There is also the subject of child abuse that is dealt with in a subtle and sensitive manner.  Historical fiction is a tough subject to tackle and Alison Bailey does a lovely job with her descriptions and details.

The Royal Inquisitor by Megan Derr-Esmour used to be a very good thief but now holds the title of Inquisitor to the King and lives in a palace.  He got there by means of a lover’s betrayal and penance bracelets he must wear that reveal the truth of the gilded cage he lives in.  When the youngest Prince informs him that they must set off to investigate a slavery operation that is kidnapping women and children within the kingdom, Esmour finds he has to work with the person who betrayed him, the former lover who used his love to put shackles on Esmour’s wrists, that would be the Prince himself.

The Royal Inquisitor is one of my top stories of the anthology.  Megan Derr once more effortlessly creates a fantasy world that never feels less than complete and peoples it with characters we immediately love and understand.  Esmour is typical Derr fantasy character.  He is layered, his past complicated, and his love life comes with it’s own facets of angst and abiding love.  Esmour is paired with Prince Teigh, aka Master Amabel the spice monger who Esmour fell in love with.  Teigh is more than a match for his former thief and has the secrets to prove it.  The story is less about the investigation than about bringing the former lovers back together, something Derr accomplishes to the reader’s total satisfaction.  Just a lovely story.

Regarding the Detective’s Companion by E.E. Ottoman-James is a private investigator with a disability.  A carriage ran him over as a boy and now he must use either his crutches or a special wheelchair to get about. Being a private investigator has brought him a mixed bag of cases including cases of dubious content.  So he is not surprised when he is hired to investigate a murder at the College for Natural and Computative Sciences. The prime suspect is Professor Hollingsworth, a respected scientist whose radical ideas have made him many enemies, including James’ client.  That client wants the Professor implicated in the murder whether he is guilty or not and James reluctantly takes the case because he needs the money.  He is hired by the Professor under the guise of being his research assistant but James is not prepared for what he finds, including the mutual attraction that springs up between them.

Ottoman gives us a richly detailed Steampunk world into which the author places this most complex of private detectives. James has a complicated back history that includes being raised by a priest after his mother gives him up because of his injuries.  James also has a somewhat fluid morality, he does what is necessary to live and if that means lying and tampering with the results of his findings on cases, well, then he will do that too.  He is highly intelligent and comes equipped with a marvel of a steam driven wheelchair.  I liked him immensely for his faults as well as his tenacity.  Professor Hollingsworth unfortunately doesn’t have as many layers as James but still is a wonderful match for him.  The problem here is that the length of the story gives the men, their building relationship and the solution to the murder enough space to accomplish all this story cries out for.  There are so many great elements here but in the end it all feels too rushed  and incomplete to be a satisfying tale.

The Demon Bride by Isabella Carter-Quenton works for his father’s agency and when three dead bodies are left on their doorstep, he decides to investigate the case for himself. But Quinn’s father wants Quinn to stay inside and tells him that there are more things involved here than he can explain to his son. It involves demons, and a curses manor and all things evil.  But the last body was a friend of his and Quinn figures with the help of his father’s assistant, Oz, he can track down the murderer and solve the mystery before more bodies pile up.

This is the only story of the anthology that is m/m/m. It revolves around Quinn, Oz and the mysterious Sebastian who live in a supernatural world of demons, witches, and the Church. Carter gives the reader several mysteries, including the fact that there is more to Quinn himself than even he knows.  The problem is that we don’t get enough of anything here to understand the characters, their relationships and the world they live in.  Especially rushed is the romantic relationship that builds between all three men.  One moment Quinn meets Sebastian and the next they are kissing on the way home.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  This is probably my least favorite story here.

Too Dangerous by Sasha L. Miller—Shi is still bitter over the breakup with his boyfriend who stormed off after an argument and never came back.  Shi was a professional and he knew which cases he could handle and which were too dangerous, something his ex Elis never believed.  Then a top member of the galactic governments comes to him with a special mission.  A top secret black ops group was murdered one by one until just one operative remained.  That man was the captive of the drug lord behind the murders.  His mission?  To go undercover, retrieve the missing operative and return home with him.  Not a job Shi wanted to take then he is given the last piece of information.  This missing man is his ex boyfriend.  Now Shi must accomplish what no other investigator has been able to do but the payoff is one he wants above all else.  Elis safe.

Miller takes the final private investigator of the anthology and lodges him precariously in space in the only science fiction story of the group.  I like the characters of Shi, he has a touch of the hard bitten private eye about him even though its now on a galactic level.  Shi and his ex lover are both men with questionable pasts and even more questionable talents, none of which seems to be communication.  Miller gives us a nifty little mission in space along with the gritty details of being a space grunt and the work they do.  The mission resolves itself a little too quickly and it ends in a realistic happy for now which suits our main characters more than a HEA would.   I liked her space age take on the private detective and  only wished the story had been a little longer to flesh out the mission and their back relationship.

One thing I have always enjoyed about anthologies is that I get to read stories by new authors as well as revisit the worlds created by people who work I value highly.  This has a bit of both here and while not all the stories are of the highest calibre, there is enough here in all types of settings to recommend you pick it up and enjoy the world of the private eye!

-lee K