Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Becca Seymour’s Realigned

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Realigned by Becca Seymour

Hot Tree Publishing
Expected publication: March 30th 2019

 

Escape with Shaun and Mitch in outback Australia as they discover it sometimes takes time, distance, and interfering family to help them realign.

Giveaway

Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ea80a6ed346/

Escape with Shaun and Mitch in outback Australia as they discover it sometimes takes time, distance, and interfering family to help them realign.

Blurb

After eight years of living in America, it’s time for Shaun to return home to his family’s farm in outback Australia. He has a decision to make: continue working his dream job with NASA or move back for a corporate job and his family.

He thinks his decision is easy.

He thinks he’s going to have a fun two weeks at home catching up.

He also thinks seeing his best friend, Mitch, will finally allow him to move on from that one hot kiss they shared the day he left.

Shaun realises he’s truly screwed as what he thinks and what he knows don’t always align.

Realigned is a fun and steamy M/M novella in Becca Seymour’s Coming Home series. Stand-alone romances complete with heat, wit, and happily ever afters.

#Realigned_Reveal #GayRomance #MMRomance #hotcowboy

A MelanieM Review: At War with a Broken Heart by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A May-to-December MMM Romance.

What’s the perfect recipe for an emotional MMM romance?

One autistic coffee shop owner, one morose mug maker, and a mostly cheerful police detective.

Fie Morogh Russell goes off to war with a broken heart and returns with a shattered spirit. He hermits away in Bideford, Devon, making mugs, with his service dog, Haggard, for company. Post-traumatic stress turns every memory into a minefield, and life is dismal with one or two rare exceptions.

Davet Heuse drags his younger brother to Bideford for a new start. Both autistic, the two siblings have fought hard to enjoy freedom by the seaside. While Davet runs a coffee shop from his tiny house, his brother pursues his dream at university.

Detective Sidney Little has transitioned from military service to the police force easily. His unrequited crushes and his estranged father are the only points of frustration in his life. He hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with either problem.

When a tragic accident brings Davet’s world crashing down around him, can Fie and Sid help him through the pain of loss?

In this May-December romance with a twist, three men struggle through one obstacle after the other to somehow find themselves in love on the other side.

At War with a Broken Heart by Dahlia Donovan is the second book(s) that feature an autistic main character.  The other being her marvelous Grasmere Cottage Mystery series that I adored so.  Each character has been someone unique, just as there is such a large autism spectrum.  Donovan includes the behaviors and traits that go along with someone who is autistic without making it a screaming element of the story or character,  It simply is part of him.  Just as red hair or being a Scot is part of the others. I love that about her characterizations.  They are solid people, complete with a past, family, baggage (huge or small), secrets, and a need to be loved.

I really like the title here because it applies to more than just one character.  Each of the three men has a wounded heart that needs mending,  At first it’s only one character so damaged that he’s broken inside, needing others to help him to recover and go forward.  But as the story progresses, it becomes a path strewn with angst and past abuse for more than just Fie.  Since the blurb gives little away, neither will I.  I will mention there’s a mystery to solve, a bit of a red herring thrown in, a delight of a police station, and , a few holes I wish the author had filled in before the ending came.

I liked the relationships that developed between the three men.  Nothing instant as they had known each other for some time or in the case of Fie and Sid, actually served  together. Friendship was already established so to make a leap into romance for them and the reader wasn’t a big step.  But actually a natural one.

My only reservations here are that I wanted more about Davet’s background, his family, and the “red herring” I felt the author kept throwing at us, the readers with regard ot his parents and what they wanted.  That was frustrating and never really resolved.  Unless , of course, there intends to be a sequel.  I’m on board with that!

This is a charming, and different contemporary love story from an author I’m addicted to.  Whether it was her Sin Bin series or that terrific Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy, now I can add this one as well.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art: Soxsational Cover Art.  Complete fail imo.  Doesn’t match up to any of the characters, doesn’t contain any story element, could be a cover to any book. This is a story about 3 men in a small village, each has nothing to do with that model. Instead of being broken he looks like he’s going ‘huh”. smh.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Detail:

Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB 07L7XSWVW
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A Romantic Cosy Mystery Trilogy by  author Dahlia Donovan on a cosy mystery adventure in Grasmere Cottage. With love, wit, and a murder to solve, life for Valor and Bishan is about to get bloomin’ complicated in this sweet gay romance that covers three stories and will leave you wanting more. 

The stories appear together under one cover in paperback format at Hot Tree Publishing, also separately in all eBook formats wherein lies the rub for me.  See, I was lucky to read it as one story (still not sure how the author and publisher gave me the paperback version in e format).  Cal them.  Because read in one flowing story?  The best thing ever!!

I didn’t realize they were actual separate stories until I went back to the author to beg her to write more Grasmere Cottage cosies. That’s when I found out these were three stories not one and this couple was, at least, temporarily on hold for more.  But after reading these amazing tales you will see why I’m holding out  for the trilogy to   turn into a series.  Why Valor and Bish have captured my imagination along with my heart.

Especially when the author hooks them up with one really ugly serial killer intent on destroying their hard won love and  sanctuary in Grasmere Cottage. Oh what a marvelous couple Dahlia Donovan has created here.  Unusual and perfect for each other, each with their own fascinating back histories and personalities that when mixed together become a complex, highly intelligent, loving, and absolutely unique crime fighting couple.

Talk about your layers!  Valor Tarquin Scott, tossed out of the family (for being gay) highly bred society son, now running a niche bakery and living happily with Bish in what his family refers to as his grubby little cottage.  Bishan Tambol, autistic, has been able to turn his love of music into a career with the London Symphony Orchestra. That together with their cat, and a love of the stories of the detective Poirot given them a contented and lovely life together.  Plus the support of Bish’s huge family too.

Then the killer strikes in their garden and nothing is the same.

Donovan’s character of Bish, his struggles with his autism, especially once his routine’s are destroyed when the killer infiltrates their lives is incredibly realistic and often painful.  You’ve come to care so quickly for this pair and Bish.  And to see how shattered Bish becomes at points just hurts.  And how amazing when he finds his strength and methods to cope to work the puzzles to help find the killer.  And Valor too is just that splendid bundle of depth and determination that makes you to just cheer him on, him and Bish naturally.  To push through all the vile threats of not just a murderer but that of Valor’s family also intent on derailing his life for their own purposes as well.

This book, oops, these books truly have everything to keep you glued to the pages.  A plot that will keep you guessing right up until the end, so many twists and turns that the suspense is a white knuckle read all the way, so much heart and love because the relationship is just so  endearing. And  finally, because these are people/characters you may never have met before, loving each other, and succeeding to vanquish evil and live happily, we assume, ever after in Grasmere Cottage.  Fighting the righteous gnome/frog wars!

Really, Dahlia Donovan!  If for no other reason.  I need more gnome/frog wars!

So pick these up.  They will do great things for your heart.  Stupendous characters who love each other in a cottage complete with cat and crazy neighbor.    The plots are terrific, the writing marvelous, and all things combined…makes these the cosies of your heart.  Don’t miss out.  I highly recommend them one and all.

 

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Book Covers:  Claire Smith.  I love the covers for the whole series.  Fun, out of the box for an english cozie but this artist has always surprised me and continues to do so.  I like it.Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy by Dahlia Donovan  Paperback     Hot Tree Publishing 

 

Dead in the Garden (Grasmere Mystery #1):

Dead body in the garden? Check.

Mystery to solve? Check.

Police focused on the wrong person? Not good.
All grown up and graduated, Valor Tarquin Scott, son to Earl and Countess Scott, owns The Ginger’s Bread, a biscuit shop, in Grasmere in the Lake District. The love of his life, Bishan Tamboli, has turned his music studies into a successful career playing with the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s a perfect life with their cat, spending evenings watching Poirot on the television.

The nightmare begins with one dead former schoolmate, leading police to believe Bishan is responsible.

Valor struggles to solve the cryptic puzzles left behind in a race to prove Bishan’s innocence.

He can’t help wondering how far the body count will rise before they manage to stop the killer.

 

Sales Links:   Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published October 6th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASIN B07FLVZR68
Edition Language English

Dead in the Pond (Grasmere Cottage Mystery #2)

Killer on the loose? Check.

Frogs in the garden? Check.

Playing a twisted game with a killer? Not good.

Bishan Tamboli struggles to recover from his false arrest. He worries the police still aren’t as convinced about his innocence. With his longtime boyfriend, Valor, at his side, he intends to solve the puzzles and catch the murderer amongst their former schoolmates.

He’s fought hard for his independence as an autistic and refuses to throw it all away because of a nameless monster. With friends and family in the killer’s crosshairs, Bishan fears the mystery will bring the end of everything and everyone he loves.

 

 

Sales Links:  Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon

Book Details: Kindle Edition, 120 pages
Expected publication: October 13th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB07FM3FL2V
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Grasmere Cottage Mystery #2

Dead in the Shop (Grasmere Cottage Mystery #3) :

Deadly fire? Check.

Fear-induced heart attack imminent? Check.

Time running out on them? Not good.

Valor Scott wants nothing more than to enjoy life in his little cottage with his boyfriend. The shadows of a serial killer continue to haunt him, though. He only wants the living nightmare to end. He battles one catastrophic event after the other, intent on bringing his loved ones through to the other side safely.

As their killer finally comes out into the open, Valor finds himself face-to-face with an obsessed murderer intent on destroying everyone in their path.

 

 

 

Sales Links:  Hot Tree Publishing Amazon

Book Details:Kindle

Edition, 121 pages
Expected publication: October 20th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB07FW12FR8
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesGrasmere Cottage Mystery #3

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Infinite Blue by Natalina Resia

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

When a shifter and a human are bound by fate, neither man knows if their connection will be enough to save not only their growing love, but their lives.

Shahin Halcón has been taught that if and when he meets his soul mate, he’ll know immediately. Always the rebel, he doesn’t believe it until the day he crosses paths with Cai, a full-human.

Plagued by unsuccessful relationships and heartache, Cai Banes’s life is quiet and unexciting. When he meets young and wild Shahin, his life is turned upside down, and he’s not sure he likes it.

But neither can deny the powerful pull that draws them together.

Old secrets and ancient myths about cross-species relationships plague their romance and threaten to put their happiness and lives at risk. Will their love for each other be strong enough to survive?

Sometimes it just comes down to the fact that a story and a reader just aren’t a good fit for one another.  I think that’s pretty much what happened here with Infinite Blue by Natalina Resia.  We got off on the wrong cover, uh um, start and never quite recovered.

I love shifter stories and grab them up immediately but, if I’m honest I’m also picky because of my wildlife biologist background.  Those predator/prey couples?  Always bother me, kept thinking one day, one was going to end up an appetizer.  And the ones where the authors are really loosey goosey with naturali history. Hmmmmm. Ok, I get it, they are shifters got to be pretty relaxed over the natural history bits with that in the mixture but some authenticity and research is nice (and appreciated).

That especially comes into play here with an author who uses scientific names and takes the trouble to obviously include some correct details of a certain raptor species natural history into her story.  So why right off the bat am I faced with a blue eyed hawk shifter?  Seen many blue eyed hawks these days? Nope.  Just look at that cover. So immediately that was an itch I couldn’t scratch.

Throw in instant love between Cai and Shahin, that, yes, is explained by a mate bond, but their chemistry is something I never felt. Again, I will totally own up that I could be my fault here.  But these characters just didn’t ring true. Hospital visits, blood and shifters wouldn’t be an issue? Plus I won’t go into migratory patterns.   The writing and author was working on doing her part but right from being dropped into a “stalker like” situation with Shahin without any back filler, it just felt odd and disconnected from their relationship and the storyline.

It didn’t help that a family drama further into the book was resolved far too easily given the severity of the crime.  I was, to use one of my favorite words, gobsmacked!

No, Infinite Blue and I were not a good mix.  There was a possible explanation for the eyes at the end but by that time, my irritation had set in, Cai’s occupation as an  anthropologist never felt believable, and I just kept waiting for more feathers to sprout.

I’m sure other readers will love this romance.  They will find it sweet, the hawk shifters fascinating, and the whole mate bonding journey one to love.  Sometimes it is oil and water.  Check it out and find out for yourself.

Cover Art would be dramatic excerpt for those darn blue eyes.

Sales Links: Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon | Amazon Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon AU | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Book Details:ebook
Published September 8th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ISBN139781925655841
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://www.hottreepublishing.com/infinite-blue

 

 

Blog Tour for Infinite Blue by Natalina Resia (excerpt and giveaway)

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COVER - Infinite Blue

Natalina Reis has a new MM paranormal shifter book out: Infinite Blue.

When a shifter and a human are bound by fate, neither man knows if their connection will be enough to save not only their growing love, but their lives.

Shahin Halcón has been taught that if and when he meets his soul mate, he’ll know immediately. Always the rebel, he doesn’t believe it until the day he crosses paths with Cai, a full-human.

Plagued by unsuccessful relationships and heartache, Cai Banes’s life is quiet and unexciting. When he meets young and wild Shahin, his life is turned upside down, and he’s not sure he likes it.

But neither can deny the powerful pull that draws them together.

Old secrets and ancient myths about cross-species relationships plague their romance and threaten to put their happiness and life at risk. Will their love for each other be strong enough to survive?

Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon | Amazon Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon AU | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Giveaway

Natalina is giving away two prizes with this tour – an eBook copy of “Lavender Fields” (backlist, m/m paranormal romance) and a $10 Amazon gift card. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4725/?


Excerpt

MEME - Infitinte Blue

Cranky didn’t even start to describe how Cai woke up that morning. The day ahead loomed over his horizon like a large bird of prey ready to pounce on him. Why hadn’t he said no? Why was it always so hard for him to say no to his sister? All she had to do was bat her thick lashes and he was lost.

A little witch is what she is.But he loved her and he was hopeless against those baby blue eyes of hers.

He was going to suck it up and be a man. How bad could it be? He would go to the assigned meeting place, meet this guy his sister was so excited about, and if he was as bad as Cai thought he was, all he had to do was make some excuse and flee the scene. Memories of the last time his sister tried to set him up with someone flooded his mind. He remembered a red-purplish face as his date emphatically declared himself “very straight” many times over. Lyra had assumed the man to be gay and had been determined to pair them together.

Oh shit. This could be bad.

By the time he left his house, his bad mood had reached fever pitch, and if anyone was unfortunate enough to approach him, he was afraid he would eat them alive. There were very few things he hated more than blind dates. He was not exactly someone who qualified as a hot number. Even though he was in his midthirties, his hair had gone silver many years back and he wore it as a protective shield against possible disastrous relationships.

On his way to the restaurant where he was to meet the amazing Shahin—his sister’s words—he decided he needed some strong coffee if he was to survive the humiliation of another failed attempt at romance. It hadn’t been a bed of roses for him since Jack, his boyfriend of many years, had made the startling announcement he’d met the love of his life. As if the shock of betrayal had not been enough, Jack announced—shortly after the breakup when Cai’s heart was still hemorrhaging—that he was marrying his high school sweetheart, a woman Jack had frequently referred to as only a friend.

Starbucks was on the way, a beacon of promised comfort and relief. A cup of good coffee had always been his self-medication—nothing a good cup of java wouldn’t cure. The line was long and the room was packed with the usual crowd, a mixture of college students, writers, and a few moms with their toddlers in tow. As Cai waited for his turn, he scanned the room. He loved people-reading, a term his sister had coined a few years ago after realizing that was one of her brother’s favorite pastimes.

“You should talk to people, interact,” she had said, her protective sisterly claws fully out. “Instead, you sit there watching them.”

“Anthropologists have been doing it for a long time.” His usual comeback.

“Anthropologists actually interact with the people they’re studying, bro. What you do is just a bit creepy. And definitely sad.”

She wasn’t wrong. It was a little pathetic that a thirty-five-year-old would be satisfied to sit in a coffee shop observing people and life happening around him without ever stepping in to participate. Satisfied was not the right word for it though. Cai feared what may happen if he stepped out of his comfort zone. He had taken a chance with Jack and look what it got him—nothing but heartache.

A deep blue caught his eye from across the coffee shop. A pair of amazing eyes met his scrutiny with a take-a-good-look-I-dare-you glint. Cai’s first instinct was to look away, but he couldn’t, captured and paralyzed by the electrifying vibe the man with the deep ocean eyes was emitting. The man—younger than him—had short honey-colored hair that spiked slightly on top and left his face and neck exposed. An intricate black ink tattoo stretched down the side of his neck to hide underneath the plain white T-shirt he was wearing, only to emerge again from below the short sleeves and down his well-defined biceps.

Were those roses?  Cai’s body caught on fire as the desire to trace the edges of the tattooed flowers grew to alarming heights. He stuck his hands in his jeans pockets, trying to control the itch on his restless fingers. The strange man with the bottomless eyes was still staring at him, caressing without touching, tender and passionate all at the same time.

“Can I take your order?”

The voice startled him and Cai looked away momentarily, placing his order for a flat white. When he looked back, those eyes were still glued to him. Cai swallowed hard as his admirer licked his lips.

I need a cold shower right now.

The phone vibrated in his pocket. Reluctantly, he pulled it out and answered. “Yes?”

The other man was still staring at him with a fire that defied the laws of physics, for it soothed as much as it burned.

“Are you there yet?” It was his sister. There where? Then he remembered.

“On my way,” he lied. “Stopped for liquid courage.”

“For God’s sake, Cai. You sound like you’re walking to the gallows.” Sometimes he wished Lyra didn’t read so much. She didn’t talk like normal people her age.

“I might as well be, Lyra.” He stole a quick glance across the room to check if the handsome stranger was still there. He was. God, Cai was the arrow in a compass and he was the North Pole. Irreversibly and powerfully attracted.

“Don’t embarrass me by not showing up, Cai.”  He had almost forgotten about his sister on the other end of the phone line. “He’s my coworker’s cousin. Please, bro. I promise I won’t ever try to set you up again.”

Not that he believed her, but it was a very tempting proposal. “Okay, I promise. I’m leaving right now.”

Hanging up, he took a couple slow breaths, trying to get in control of his body. Good thing he was wearing a long duster coat he could use to disguise how much the stranger affected him. Cai held the coat by the edges, wrapped it closely around him, and grabbed the coffee cup to leave. As he walked by the object of his sudden madness, the other man’s sexy full lips stretched into a wicked smile, releasing a million butterflies in Cai’s chest.

How would it feel to touch my lips to his?The coldness of the silver snake bite he wore on his lower lip rubbing against Cai’s unadorned mouth and tongue would be as thrilling as exploring the muscles barely hidden under the T-shirt. Cai shook his head and made himself lower his eyes to the floor. Like it or not, he had committed to this blasted blind date, and he was not one to renege on his promises.

Just as he was about to walk past, the stranger reached out quickly and handed him a business card. “Call me.”


Author Bio

AUTHOR PHOTO - Natalina Reis

Natalina wrote her first romance at the age of 13 in collaboration with her best friend, Susana. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. She’s the author of seven romance novels that reflect the amazing diversity of humankind and the universal power of love.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she’s taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

Author Website: https://catarinadeobidos.wordpress.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/natalina.bell

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/authornatalinareis/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/TichaB

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14883335.Natalina_Reis

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/natalina-reis/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01ADQ9FJW/

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

Tis September.  A Most Literary Month! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Tis September.  A Most Literary Month!

 

 

But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.     

Robert Finch

September: it was the most beautiful of words, he’d always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret.     

Alexander Theroux

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.

Henry Rollins

 

Ah,  September, that month so in between.  Neither summer or fall, sometimes too warm, often too cold at night, it wavers never quite knowing where to fall.  We’ve left  summer activities behind yet the true fall events are yet to come.  No pumpkins or fall colors…as yet.  But we know they are coming.  September fills us up with anticipation.  With expectations.   With enough everything, that it’s a month we still embrace as the quotes above reflect.

We know that September is also a month that is fond of things bookish as you can see from it’s events listing on the calendar as we previously noted.  So here again is the September literary calendar events starting with this week:

September:

September 6              Read a Book Day (this week)
September 8              International Literacy Day
September 11             Libraries Remember Day, because never underestimate the                                                                                     power of a Librarian or library card!
September 15            LGBT Awareness Day  (I know…just because I thought it should be there)
September 22           Dear Diary Day, Love Note Day (because think of how many novels and stories                                                   started from these)
September 24           Punctuation Day (enough said)

 

If you all were to suggest a Literary Event for the calendar, what would it be?  An International LGBT Romance Story Day?  Triad in Lust Day?    Quiltbag Aliens HEA Day?  Give me some titles for our own special September literary events.  Let’s call it our LGBTQIA Literary  Event Title Giveaway!  Have your title chosen and we will have Stella set you up with a $10 gift card from Dreamspinners.  Giveaway runs through September 22.

 

And just in case you missed the notice yesterday, Instafreebie has great M/M short stories up for downloading until September 4.  Check out our post with link here.  Perfect for Read a Book (or story) Day or any day of the week or month.

Happy Reading and have a safe, wonderful weekend.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 2:

  • Tis September A Most Literary Month
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed 2 by Quin Perin

Monday, September 3:

  • John R. Petrie on Quarterback Crush
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris & Kris T Bethke’s Falling Into Love
  • Release Blitz – Marina Vivancus – In This Iron Ground
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Somebody to Die For (Requiem Inc. #3) by Kris T. Bethke
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rubble and the Wreckage (A Gabriel Church Tale #1)by Rodd Clark
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow

Tuesday, September 4:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow
  • Release Day Blitz Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington
  • Box Set Book Blast – Lyon Road Vets Complete Series by Sue Brown
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  The Quarterback’s Crush by John R. Petrie
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Two of a Kindby BA Tortuga
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Love and Payne (A THIRDS Universe Novel) by Charlie Cochet

Wednesday, September 5:

  • Retro Review Tour – Love & Mystery Box Set – W S Long
  • Blog Tour: Time for Love by Lynn Michaels
  •  BA Tortuga on Two of a Kind
  • Release Blitz – Buckle Up by Karen Botha
  • A MelanieM Review: Time for Loveby Lynn Michaels
  • A Stella Review: Courtedby Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)

Thursday, September 6:

  • Release Blitz – V.L. Locey’s Nightwings Collection
  •  Promo C.C. Dado on Denying Fate
  • Private Charter by NR Walker
  • Blog Tour Looking Forward by Michael Bailey
  • An Ali Audio Review: Romantic Behavior (Bad Behavior #4) by L.A. Witt and Cari Z./Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)
  • A Lucy Review: Stumbling in the Dark by Deja Black
  • A MelanieM Review:  Private Charter by NR Walker

Friday, September 7:

  • The Billionaire’s Wedding by Geoffrey Knight Blog Tour
  • Review Tour – Flare by Posy Roberts
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Raising the Bar (States of Love) by Leigh Dillon
  • A Stella Review: Flare (North Star #3) by Posy Roberts
  • A VVivacious Review: Love Spell by Mia Kerick
  • A MelanieM Review:  Ante Up (A Four Kings Security Story) by Charlie Cochet

Saturday, September 8:

  • A MelanieM Review: In Vino Veritas by Sydney Blackburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

When one drunken night forever scars three best friends, will they ever find a way to pick up the pieces?

Eaten up with guilt, Ivan Black spends ten years hiding from the world. He retreats to his family forge to wallow in misery. Alone. So lonely his heart aches with it.

Wesley Cook and Rolland Spence have been together since university. They struggle through the physical scars of the accident, building a life in the ruins of their dreams. They find happiness but continue to miss their angry ginger Viking—Ivan.

In all the anger of wasted years, the three men find a way to forge a relationship as hot as the fires in the smithy.

I’ve long been a fan of the novels of Dahlia Donovan, but Forged in Fire may be her best story yet.  It is a deeply moving love story between three men who lost each other and their chance at major careers in rugby directly after the university. Young men drove drunk and disastrously crashed, rolling the car, ending their triad through grievous injuries and the guilt one still carries to this day.  That would be the driver Ivan.

All this we learn in bitter bits and pieces one wet, flooded night as the waters rise about the village of Boscastle and Ivan’s family’s forge high on the hill.  It’s over a decade after the accident and “Ivan the Terrible” as his family calls him has fully retreated from life to his forge, shutting off all contact, including the two men who used to mean the most to him.  He’s plagued by memory loss from brain damage, deep guilt, and a deep seated rage that is his legacy from his father, now in prison.  His past not only haunts him but he fights it every second of the day.  And it mostly wins and tears him down.

Ivan is a savage portraiture of a man.  Driven by his demons yet Donovan continues to make us understand him as she reveals more and more of his past and his struggles to get by them.  They include his father who we meet in prison and who Ivan is named after.

But the heart and soul of this story is the dynamics, return of love and relationship of the triad. Born in the rising flood waters in Boscastle, it’s painful, so slow its like slogging through the rising tide, full of anger, resentment, pain, and loss.  They have a decade of issues to work through…even abandonment.  Incredibly, the author also manages to bring in laughter, giggles, light touches, and some incredibly  sexy scenes that show that the pull between all three men isn’t just some surface attraction.  No, it’s cellular.  These men need each other in order to be complete.  Donovan makes us believe it absolutely.  We feel it as much as the men do.

If Ivan is a complete character, so is Wesley Cook and Rolland “Rolly” Spence, who have been together as an existing couple since the accident.  They have returned to get their third, Ivan, and bring him “home”.  Each one of them, so clearly defined and beautifully written that its a joy to meet them and be included in their relationship.  It’s fun to watch and listen to, the dialog shows the ease of a couple who has been together for years as does the sex between them.  Loving, quick, and warmhearted.  Yet still they yearn for Ivan, all prickles and anger who they’ve missed all this time.  And he’s missed them as well.

The emotions here are huge, the growth, the pain, the fear the oozes off of Ivan as he faces his past, his father, his disabilities and even his future, it will scare even you.  Bring tissues.  For 130 pages, this is a big book.

I can’t begin to tell you all how much I love it and the men here.  It will leave a lasting impact.  One incredibly stupid decision and three lives changed forever.  Now we how the aftermath turns out and lives change again.

I highly recommend this story. The writing is incredible, the descriptions vivid and carry such emotional heft, and the characters so real you believe in them and invest in them absolutely.

And for those of you who are wondering, no this is not connected to her Sin Bin series other than a brief mention of Taine Afoa.  It’s completely standalone.

So yes, go pick it up, dive in and lose yourself in these men and their road back to each other.

Cover art: Claire Smith.  I love this artist’s work and this cover is no different.  It’s perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Hot Tree Publishing  | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published July 14th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB07DS6HLPJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

Forged in Flood is a British contemporary M/M/M romance. With heartache, hot men with foul mouths, and plenty of heat, enjoy getting to know Ivan, Wesley, and Roland.

A MelanieM Review: Haka Ever After (The Sin Bin #7) by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

You are cordially invited to the Sin Bin wedding of the year—kilts required, undergarments optional.

Taine Afoa has faced opponents on the rugby pitch without an ounce of fear. He hopes to find the same courage when asking the love of his life to marry him. First, though, he has to ask Freddie’s fathers for their blessing.

If Taine survives, popping the question should be a breeze.

Freddie Whittle knows Taine has something up his sleeve. A yes forms on his lips before the question is even asked. But can they survive the madness of friends and family, all wanting to help plan their wedding?

As their May-December romance tumbles into happily ever after, one surprise after the other brings them more joy than they ever imagined possible.

The short story Haka Ever After is the seventh (and last) book in Dahlia Donovan’s international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

Haka Ever After (The Sin Bin #7) by Dahlia Donovan is, as a certain someone would say, practically perfect in every way.  It’s one flaw?  It’s just too short.  I love this series and it’s flawed, amazing, and totally endearing couples.  The synopsis indicates that this is to be the last in the series although from the author’s site list she had planned for just one more so I’m not sure what’s to become of Zeb & Silius.

Still, if no further stories appear, I will be thrilled that Donovan ended it here with Haka Ever After.  It’s certainly a most suitable way for the series to go out, on the wedding of Taine and Freddie with the involvement of all the rugby brotherhood and their partners and  amazing circle of family and friends.  Everyone we have gotten to know and love over the course of six stories, their troubles and their journey forward to love and HEA, they are here, enthusing this tale with warmth and laughter.  And joy.

Our connection to them all has remained strong and snaps smartly back into place as each couple makes their appearance here helping Taine and Freddie get married.  Such an special celebration warrants special heartwarming events…I won’t spoil them but get your tissues handy.   Maybe even a box.

This story was just too short.  Those wedding presents to each other needed several chapters more per present.  I needed to know more about those travels in depth.  It was special, and moving, and I could see it all so clearly.  Yes, I may start sniffling again.

From kilts to an amazing send off, it’s so hard to let these men go.  I may have to start re-reading this series all over again.  If you are new to the series, treat yourself and head immediately to The Wanderer and begin your journey with The Sin Bin series there.  I highly recommend them all, including this amazing farewell story.

Cover art: Claire Smith.  This is probably my favorite cover of the entire series.  Beautifully done while still continuing to brand the series in style and color.

Sales Links:  Hot Tree Publishing  | Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition
Published July 28th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB07DL6LB7X
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Sin Bin #7

The Sin Bin Series:

1. The Wanderer – BC & Graham

2. The Caretaker – Tens & Freddie

3. The Botanist (short story) – Aled & Wyatt

4. The Royal Marine – Hamish & Akash

5 The Unexpected Santa (short story) – Gray & Scottie

6. The Lion Tamer – Gray & Scottie

7. The Haka Ever After (short story) – Tens & Freddie

8. TBD – Zeb & Silus

 

How Did It Get to August? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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How Did It Get to August?

Truly, how did it get to be August already?  It seems to be that only a short while ago I was writing about the 4th of July and July topics and here we are tumbling into the first week of August.  Oh the dogs days of summer are upon us and I hadn’t even realized it.

Of course, that could be because it’s been pouring and flooding it instead of the heat beating down on us like the Dog Star Sirius is supposed to do.  Oh I know its doing that out west and I’m sorry.  But here in Maryland we are drenched as July was the wettest one recorded in history.

So this week we finish up with our Romance Do’s and Don’ts.

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway Concludes…..

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Wonderful comments and we decided to reward them both with gift certificates.  Are winners are HB and Ami!  Here are the winning comments:

From Ami:

Ami on what makes a story a success:

Hmmm, this is very subjective question… because every “successful” romance book can speak to me in a different way. It can be interesting places, or family of choice, or simply popular trope done right.

But I think if I truly think about the books that I love, it will ALWAYS return to characters. I have to feel invested to the characters development, themselves or the relationship. The trope can be hashed and rehashed, the setting mundane, the story simply about day-to-day life, no spectacular thing happen to them (except maybe falling in love). But once the characters hook me, THEN, it becomes magic.

What deflates the romance quicker than you can say boom <<

Well, I always love that “wooing” part of romance, you know? Where the characters take time to know each other, and try to romance one another. What deflates romance quicker for me is the instant-love or well, the instant-lust/instant-attraction. I am a sucker for slow burn. Anything quick just kills the book for me most of the time.

From H.B.:

Do’s: Well this isn’t really an easy question to answer this week. I have a tendency to like a majority of the books I give a read. I think the major draw of a book for me is the character building, their personality and development. Great banter and world building are a plus

Don’t’s:

Like Ami, I too, love to see the wooing part but I’m not adverse to seeing a instant love or instant attraction read. For me, I think that finding out the that one of the characters isn’t being sincere with their feeling or is willing to humiliate/isn’t willing to stand up for their love interest to save themselves is a turn off.

Next week we will start talking about what topics or elements you feel get great coverage from publishers  and which you think are still overlooked.

Until then. Have a great week, congratulations to our winners, and happy reading!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 29:

  • How Did It Get to August? This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Audio Tour Love in Spades by Charlie Cochet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

Monday, July 30:

  • Blog Tour Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne
  • Cover Reveal – Melanie Hansen – Loving A Warrior
  • Release Blitz – Dawn by T.A. Creech
  • Blog Post for DJ Jamison’s Hearts & Health Volume 2
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Blood and Eternity (Blood #3) by Shira Anthony
  • A MelanieM Review: Hammer of the Witch (Repeating History #2) by Dakota Chase
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2)  by L.A. Witt and Cari Z. with Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Tuesday, July 31:

  • RELEASE DAY BLITZ LOVE LETTERS by Anyta Sunday
  • Release Day Blitz: The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean by Tara Lain
  • Release Blitz – Won’t Feel A Thing by CF White
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blood and Eternity (Blood #3) by Shira Anthony
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Ravensong (Green Creek #2)  by T.J. Klune
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean (The Middlemark Mysteries #1) by Tara Lain

Wednesday, August 1:

  • DSP Promo BA Tortuga
  • BLITZ Push Me Pull Me by Amanda Rhodes
  • Book Blitz – Sandine Tomas – The Music Of Love
  • A Lucy Review Admiring Ash (LOVE LETTERS #1) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady  Review: Just Julian (Romeo & Julian) by Markus Harwood-Jones
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Romeo for Real (Romeo & Julian) by Markus Harwood-Jones

Thursday, August 2:

  • DSP Promo Chris T. Kat
  • Blog Tour – Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • A Lucy Review Begging Ben (LOVE LETTERS #2) by Anyta Sunday
  • An Alisa Review: Blackbird Fly Home– Doyle Global Securities #1 – Kendel Duncan
  • An Alisa Review: Finding My Way Home – Doyle Global Securities #2 – Kendel Duncan
  • A MelanieM Review:  Haka Ever After (The Sin Bin #7)  by Dahlia Donovan

Friday, August 3

  • Cover Reveal RJ Scott’s Second Chance Ranch
  • Review Tour – Fusion by Posy Roberts
  • DSP Promo Shira Anthony on Blood and Eternity (Blood #3)
  • A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (LOVE LETTERS #3) by Anyta Sunday
  • A Stella Review :Fusion (North Star #2) by Posy Roberts
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: The Alpha Prince (Kingdom of Askara #3) by Victoria Sue  and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Saturday, August 4:

  • Book Blitz: Be Still My Heart by Charlie Cochet
  • A MelanieM Review: The Gallery: The Special Exhibits (The Gallery #2) by Megan Derr

 

Authors, Blogs, and Relationships. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Authors, Blogs, and Relationships.

Given recent upsetting events concerning author Santino Hassell and other things that have occurred within the last six month, I’ve been thinking a lot about author/blog relationships.   Through this author’s campaign of lies, harassment and distortions, he was able to convince Riptide Publishing that a well-known, well-established blogger with a terrific reputation was “engaged in a campaign to doxx, harass, and smear him” to the point that they removed her and her blog from their tours and ARC lists as well as Twitter feeds, impacting her hugely.  Now this author also has or had a number of well known author friends and was also at the “stable” at Dreamspinner [see Dreamspinner Press note below] so I imagine he was working on them to get them to block this blogger as well.  I’m not sure we will ever know how far it got.

But the impact on her reputation from his deceit, however temporary, can’t be denied.  And no I’m certainly not forgetting the legends of people out there that this man has hurt by his long time deceitful behavior, catfishing, and pretense of being a cancer patient.

Today, I want to talk about author/blog relationships because they can get to be a little incentuous, a little weird, simply by the nature of the beast.  You see all bloggers/reviewers, well, we are readers first.  Then we write our first review because we want to share our thoughts on the books we are reading, then comes another review, and another.  Maybe we read a blog or decide to start one as a journal, who knows but all of a sudden you’re a blogger and a reviewer.  Then little by little you make the conscious decision to grow the blog and add more reviewers and voila!  Six years and 12 reviewers later (not all the same ones mind) Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is still rolling along.

Because we are readers who love our books and yes, authors, we like to attend conventions where we meet and connect with the authors and publishers.  You do this enough times and it can go from friendly acquaintances to downright friends, knitting buds, people you write to.   I’m sure you can see where this is going.You have a relationship with these authors.Does it make it hard to remain objective for reviews?  It would if I was the only one reviewing books here.  Thank the goddess I’m not.  There are actually 12 of us here so that makes it easier although not always true as we do have our favorite authors and always will.   But we would have those simply as readers.  And I don’t see the issue with that as long as it doesn’t carry over into how it affects our treatment of those authors on the blog.

I would like to think that we as bloggers can use  our blogs to help promote those writers who are trying to find a “platform” for their first stories as self published authors or just authors with stories period, have a place to “talk” to readers about their writing and their new releases,  and that we, in turn, are respectful of their efforts while being honest in our reviews and opinions.  After all, readers are also depending upon us to let them know if a finished story is a quality novel in every way!  It’s not just the plot, and the characters.  No, it’s also the world building and the editing.    Yes, a great editor will always be needed, an author simply cannot self edit…it never works out well.  Editors are gods no matter how much you may hate them.  Throw gold at them now.

We recently had an author tell us not to review her books any more.  Now this is an author that we had just put in our top ten of 2017, had been one of our Top Author Discoveries of 2017 and, out of the blue, wrote us a letter, demanding we not review her latest SciFy story because a reviewer (she wouldn’t name) was writing things about other authors books she didn’t like (wouldn’t say what).  Wasn’t even sure that reviewer even wrote for us since she wouldn’t name them.  I wrote back offering to open up the  conversation and keep the dialog going.  Did we hear from this author? No.  Did we review the book?  Yes.  Guess what?  It was very good.  4 stars.  We review the book,dear readers, not in this case the nuttiness that went on  around it.  And FYI?  No one tells us what books we can or can’t review.  One case in point of the strangeness that can go on in an author’s mind that she thought she  had the authority to tell us not to review a story.  Huh.

Sigh.

If you had asked me, this was an author I thought I had a  relationship with.  Guess not.  But her questionable judgement against us put our reputation into question without even asking for particulars   And her publisher is one that we’ve just started working with.  Now I need to contact them and gingerly open up a conversation I’m not sure I know how to start.

On the flip side, I’ve had great relationships with authors who send me their pre-release pre-final edits ARCs, trusting me not to share their stories (which I never have).    It’s a tightrope of trust and expectations that develops between blogger and author.  When it works, it’s mutually  beneficial to all, including our readers.  When it breaks down, as it did in the Santino Hassell case, it went wrong in a spectacularly bad fashion, hurting this blogger to the point it could have ruined her out of the blog she’s so lovingly created.

Have I come to any conclusions?  Not really.  I don’t attend any conventions anymore.  Mostly because of RL obligations and the costs.  My contacts with everyone are through emails, FB, and Twitter, not that it matters as to the “closeness” you feel to someone.  I would like to think that Santino Hassell is an abnormality, the author who has been uncovered while managing once more to hurt the LGBT community…again.

My heart goes out to all his victims.

If any one of our readers want to share your thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them…..what a disheartening couple of days it’s  been, shattering for those who believed in him, vindicating for those who have been trying to get so many to hear them for so long.

As to the author/blogger relationship?  Well, I’m not sure that’s going to change either.  It’s an odd duck as my grandmother would say.  One that needs respect on both sides to work.  And maybe a few boundaries….

 

{Note:  On March 9 Dreamspinner Press tweeted that Dreamspinner Press is no longer selling Santino Hassell titles. And that removing titles on third party retailers will take time.

He is no longer listed on their website.]

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 11:

  • Authors, Blogs, and Relationships.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, March 12:

  • Tour:Curved Horizon by Taylor Brooke e
  • DSP Promo Ari McKay
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: New Heights by Quinn Anderson
  • A Lila Review :Winter Cowboy by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Review Explore with Me by Kris Jacen
  •  An Alisa Review Special Delivery by Deirdre O’Dare

Tuesday, March  13:

  • COVER REVEAL Ari McKay ‘s Like The Night
  • DSP Promo Andrew Grey
  • RELEASE DAY BLITZ EXPOSED ANTHOLOGY (a novel taken promo)
  • Release Day Blitz Heartbeats by Jenna Kendrick
  • A Free Dreamer: Review: The Seeds of Dissolution (Dissolution Cycle #1) by William C. Tracy
  • A Lila Release Day Review:Twisted and Tied (Marshals #4) by Mary Calmes
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Running to You by Andrew Grey

Wednesday, March 14:

  • BLITZ Teacher’s Pet by Multiple Authors
  • Review Tour Silvia Violet – Of Hope and Anguish
  • Series Review Tour for Infinity #1 and #2 by C J Lynne
  • A Lila Review:  Undercover Star by Jackie Keswick
  • A Lila Review : Of Hope and Anguish by Silvia Violet
  • A Melanie Review: Family Matters (Brandywine Investigations #4-5) by Angel Martinez

Thursday, March 15:

  • Release Blitz – Lynn Michaels – Out Of The Ocean
  • Release Blitz: Would It Be Okay To Love You Box Set by Amy Tasukada
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Wheels and Heels by Jaime Samms
  • The Ballerino and The Biker by Rebecca James Release Day Blitz
  • A MelanieM Review: Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris
  • A Stella PreRelease Review: Cutie Pies by Barbara Bell
  • An Alisa Review: Valentine’s Day Dreaming (A Touch of Love #9) by Pelaam

Friday, March 16:

  • Book Blast PRIDE OF LOVE by Kevin Dwyer
  • Book Blast – David – Beginnings by B. J. Smyth
  • BOOK TOUR Off-Campus Setup by Maria Vickers
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Ever After by Riley Hart & Christina Lee
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: ​American Road Trip by Sarah Black
  • A MelanieM Review: Sound of Silence by Mia Kerick and Raine O’Tierney

Saturday, March 17:

  • A MelanieM Review: Squared Away (Out of Uniform #5) by Annabeth Albert
  • In the Spotlight: AE Via on her new release Promises Part 4
  • Release Blitz – T.A. Creech – Dusk (Expedition 63: Book One)