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

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First of Our Best of 2018 Lists

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

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

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

 

From Alisa:

2018 Top Stories/Novels

Guarding His Melody by Victoria Sue

Blood for the Spilling by TJ Nichols

Promises Part 4 by AE Via

Elemental Magick by Jacki James

Us by Shaw Montgomery

Professor Adorkable by Edie Danford

Discovery by Quinn Ward

Expecting by Sarah Havan

After the Weekend by Silvia Violet

The Swap by Annabella Michaels

Best Audiobooks

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

Kairos by Mary Calmes, narrator Michael Fell

Freckles by Amy Lane, narrator Nick Russo

BFF by KC Wells, narrator Michael Mola

Pins and Needles by AJ Thomas, narrator Jason Riley

Best Series

Men of Meadowfall by Anna Wineheart

Studies in Demonology by TL Nichols

Promises by AE Via

Requiem Inc. by Kris T. Bethke

College of United Monsters by CB Archer

Cold Case Psychic by Pandora Pine

Enhanced World by Victoria Sue

The Accidental Master by MA Innes

Kink in the City by Quinn Ward

Strength by MA Innes

Best Covers

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

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

Edge of Living by HL Day, cover artist HL Day

Elemental Magick by Jacki James, cover artist Vicki Brostenianc

Expecting by Sarah Havan, cover artist Melissa Liban

 

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

 

Happy Reading!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 9: ☃️

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

Monday, December 10:☃️

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

Tuesday, December 11: ☃️

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

Wednesday, December 12: ☃️

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

Thursday, December 13:  ☃️

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

Friday,  December 14:  ☃️

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

Saturday, December 15:  ☃️

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

 

 

 

 

RJ Scott has a New Book And New Series Out! Check Out Kyle (Legacy #1) by R.J. Scott (giveaway)

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Release Blitz & Giveaway

RJ Scott – Kyle (Legacy #1)

Author: RJ Scott
 
Release Date: September 2 2016
 
Length: 
 
 

Blurb:

Two men destroyed by the past learn to live—and love—again.
Kyle Braden has nowhere else to go. With no money, no prospects, and no drive to be something else, he turns to the only man who promises him help. Jack Campbell-Hayes wants to show Kyle that he can be more than he ever thought.

Kyle gets to realize just how far he’s come from being the scarred man who shut everyone out, when the first person through the doors of Legacy Ranch carries a gun and threatens to kill anyone who comes near him. Kyle wants to be the man that someone turns to for help and it scares him.

Thrown out of his house and with three years on the streets marking every inch of his body, Jason Smith is scared. His life is an evil mess of hate and despair, and even the offer of a fresh start and a clean bed isn’t enough for him to hand over his gun. He’s cheated death twice, and he’s not letting there be a third time—he might not be so lucky.

For these broken men, Legacy Ranch offers more than a place to live and work.

It offers hope.

A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.


About the Author ~ R.J. Scott

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. 
 
RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.
 
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
 

 Giveaway

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And check out Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’s review here on 9/14.

Review: A Reason To Stay (Heroes #1) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A Reason To Stay coverViktor Zavodny’s first love growing up was always the Navy.  Nothing and no one was going to distract him from that goal, not even a gorgeous 16 year old with a crush on him, Aiden Coleman.  For  Aiden, 18 year old Viktor was his first and only love, but Viktor determination to become a SEAL made him callously disregard Aiden, something Aiden has never forgotten.  Then Viktor Zavodny left his family and home town of Steepleshend to join the SEALS, and  a broken hearted young Aiden Coleman joined the police force.

It would be years before the men met again. Viktor returned home on leave to recuperate from severe injuries acquired on his last mission. The last  thing he expected or wanted to do was run into Aiden. But again sparks fly between them only for Aiden to watch Viktor leave once more on a mission with his SEAL outfit.  Now Aiden swore never again would he let Viktor back into his heart but neither man expected the danger that existed on the mountains  above town.

When Viktor’s nephew is found  wounded and unconscious in the snow, lying along side a dead man. Well the traumatic events bring Viktor back to town to look after his family and look into the events that put his nephew in the hospital.  Handling the investigation is none other than Deputy Sheriff Aiden Coleman. Aiden isn’t pleased to find an angry SEAL in his office demanding to be included in the investigation, especially since its Viktor.  In order to bring down the people behind his nephew’s injuries and the dead body discovered beside him, Aiden and Viktor will have to put aside their personal issues and work  together to find the truth and maybe finally the path to each other.

In Worlds Collide (Sanctuary #7)  main character Dale needs a bomb defused aboard a plane so he calls on his lover Joseph and Joseph’s SEAL team to help him out.  The team bomb expert just happened to be a hot headed smartass by the name of Viktor Zavodny, caught in the middle of a threesome when summoned to the phone.  That fascinating first look at Viktor Zavodny, the filling in the middle of a husband and wife sexual sandwich, was enough for people to clamor to have his story.  That short glimpse into the sexy,confounding puzzle that was Viktor Zavodny made us want to know more about him and now Scott has given it to us.  A Reason To Stay, the first book in RJ Scott’s new Heroes series, delves into Viktor’s background and status in the SEAL Team we got to know through Joseph and Dale in their Sanctuary stories.

I have to admit a real fondness for those “tough as nails” inscrutable men that RJ Scott writes so well. Having Viktor comes out of the same team that gave us Joseph gives us an instant understanding of the type of man he is and the skill set he has had to acquire to  become a member of such a covert unit.  We also know what a tight knit band of brothers this group of men have become to one another.  And it’s become apparent (in the Sanctuary novels and here) that  it is a unit in flux, members deciding to op out for a family and a life less defined by a mission and danger.

Viktor’s first appearance in this story happens when he is home to recuperate from injuries received while on a mission.  He is tired, wounded, and able to see what he has been missing out on with his sister and his beloved nephew,  Then he hooks up with Aiden and things start to get emotionally scary for someone with a designated life ahead of him.  Does he come across as insensitive or a bit of a jerk? Possibly but he has never  made any effort to cover up his priorities, no matter how much others may wish differently.  I liked that about Viktor, he is not an easy person to like nor is that a requisite for his profession.  Scott paints a portrait of a man on the verge of a change even if he is not aware of it himself and it works beautifully here in context.

Aiden is a much more accessible character because so many of us can relate to him and his history.  Aiden fell early and hard for Viktor when he was sixteen and never recovered from his heartbreaking first love.  No matter what Aiden tells himself intellectually, emotionally he is still open and very vulnerable when it comes to Viktor and their past dealings.  So when Viktor returns, we absolutely get that Aiden is conflicted about his feelings for Viktor.  Scott actually builds upon those complications and complexities between the men throughout the story and it makes for a more interesting and less idealized relationship between them.  Trust me when I say this is not your heart and flowers sort of romance.  That wouldn’t be realistic for these men or their herky jerky type of romance.

Another element of RJ Scott’s stories is how well she writes adolescents.  Viktor’s nephew Ben has a rather large part to play in the events that unfold here.  Ben idolizes his uncle and wants to be exactly like him,  Ben is a wonderful character, fully realized and totally believable.  And because he is so real to us, his safety becomes as important a factor for us as it does for Viktor.

For Viktor, Ben is a mile marker is his life. On the rare occassions Viktor returns home, he notices of all the changes in Ben in his absence. And those changes highlight what Viktor has missed out on as well as the personal sacrifices he has made in order to be a SEAL.  Perspective is something that has been lacking in Viktor’s life and Ben is the one area where it snaps into place in a manner Viktor is able to accept.  Again, another very realistic element among many in this story.

I loved the setting in the Green Mountains and RJ Scott has certainly done her homework as to the level of fitness and preparation required to take on a winter hike into that terrain. Not just there either.  Scott makes mention of the fact that a sugar shack is where the maple sap is boiled into syrup.  Again, another indication that this author has done her homework even to the smallest detail.  Or the larger ones like the guns, explosions and gear needed for those wild assignments and escapades that happen in A Reason To Stay.  There is certainly a lot of flash bang excitement for the buck (or should I say pound) here in her narrative.  Several of the Sanctuary operatives make momentary appearances from Joseph (still a SEAL), Manny, and Kayden Summers.  Its great to see them however briefly as I love that series and its characters and it made sense for them to do so.

What I loved about this book?  The sheer physicality of these men and the sometimes abrasive aspect of their relationship.  It’s hard to call this a typical romance because its not.  Nor should it be.  There is plenty of action, fights, nefarious goings on to along with  the arrogance, stubbornness, and a determination that is almost cellular from Viktor as well as Aiden.  Sometimes the testosterone is only tempered by the sweetness of the scenes between Viktor and his sister, or Aiden and his friend Sam.

The writing here is as smooth as a new fallen snow and the plot has plenty of layers for everyone to enjoy.  What will some people have issues with?  Probably the lack of a romance or romantic scenes between  Viktor and Aiden.  If you are looking for that sort of romantic story, than this is probably not the story for you.  But if you are looking for an action adventure story with believable main characters with a turbulent history behind them and an attraction that just won’t go away, then you will love this story and Viktor and Aiden.

RJ Scott already has the second story, Last Marine Standing (Heroes #2), written.  It will be released in June 2014 and features Sam Larsen from A Reason To Stay.  I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for him.  In the meantime, pick this up and get acquainted with some wonderful characters sure to pop up in the next story in the series.  Consider this another highly recommended story from this wonderful author.

Cover art by Meredith Russell who does a great job in depicting the characters and flavor of the story.

Books in the Heroes series to date:

A Reason To Stay (Heroes #1)
Last Marine Standing (Heroes #2) to be released June 27, 2014

 Book Details:

ebook, 267 pages
Published April 11th 2014 by Love Lane Books (first published April 9th 2014)
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/AReasonToStayHeroes.html
seriesHeroes #1

Buy Links Love Land Books,   ARe   Amazon

It’s the Holiday Season! It’s all about Books, Holiday Books and the first Winter Cocktail Recipe

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I am definitely in the mood for the holidays this year.  I am singing carols under my breath, holiday songs are playing on the radio, the tree is getting decorated, and the aroma of Frasier firs and cinnamon waft through the house.  Of course the last bit is because our tree is a Frasier and cinnamon Glade was used liberally in every room Kirby ran into after rolling around in some dead guts he found in the  backyard.  In all my 25 plus years as a naturalist, I have smelled some rotten things but nothing prepared me for Kirby as he ran past me back into the house.

You know they talk about a delayed sense?  That was the horrendous smell that kicked in once Kirby was well past me and up the stairs into the living room.  And then the  smell hit and nausea followed.  And there is no way to chase a dog when you have a cane and no breath, so he romped his merry way through the house spreading foul odors and gunk as he went.  Yeah not a pleasant afternoon, following him with bleach and towels. And then he had to be sheared to get rid of the smell that not even tomato juice helped with.  But not even that deterred me from my Christmas cheer! I am a most determined elf!

So I decided to pile on the pressure and have two reviews a day this week.  One a Holiday story and one regular book.  The end of the week will find me making the first Winter Cocktail recipe that can be found at the bottom of the page.   Let’s try it out together, shall we?

Monday:                              New York Christmas by RJ Scott

                                                Acceleration by Amelia C. Gormley

Tuesday:                              Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane

                                                Esau (Leopards Spots 6) by Bailey Bradford

Wednesday:                        Snowbound in Nowhere by Andrew Grey

                                                Cupid Knows Best by S.A. Garcia

Thursday:                           Lessons Learned, Wishes Earned by Cassandra Gold

                                               Gregori’s Ghost by Sarah Black

Friday:                                 The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott

                                               Willow by Lee Brazil

Saturday:                              Mending Noel by Charlie Cochet

                                                 Colors of Pastor Saul by S.A.Garcia

Winter Cocktail:  The Isle of Pines Cocktail:Isle of Pines Winter Cocktail

Ingredients
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup white rum
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
Ice cubes
Preparation
Bring pomegranate juice and sugar to boil in heavy small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool syrup.
Pour 2 tablespoons syrup, 1/2 cup rum, and 1/4 cup grapefruit juice into cocktail shaker. Fill with ice; shake vigorously. Strain into 2 Martini glasses. Repeat to make 2 more drinks.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit!