A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Secrets & Silk: A Holiday to Remember by Nicole Dennis

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

(Part of the “A Holiday to Remember 2017 Series”) 

Conscientious and detailed to a fault, David Appleton refuses to leave for the office Christmas party until he finds the error in a report submitted by Marc, one of the workers in his department. Aside from the fact that this guy constantly tries to undermine David, the bottom line is that David won’t allow anything with his department’s signature on it to go out incorrect.  Get the picture?  David is pretty darn straight-laced.  He’s also a nice guy, a gay man who has never had a partner, and a man with a secret underwear fetish that he doesn’t want exposed.  He actually came close to being outed for his sexy pants when CJ, a coworker, happened to see him in the locker room after his workout one day, but so far, CJ seems to be keeping his lip zipped.

After finding the error and having a confrontation with Marc, David heads to Santa’s secret gift exchange.  Marc and his buddies slip a gift into the exchange that’s intended to embarrass David, but CJ, this year’s Santa, spots it and knows it’s not really for David since CJ is the one who drew David’s name.  The clearing up of the confusion over the gifts and over that day in the gym and a consequence for Marc lead to a satisfactory conclusion for this light holiday romance. 

This story had a promising plot bunny, but unfortunately, the execution was poor.  The author is a new author to me, and I’m not sure how experienced, but very definitely her writing style, the transitions from scene to scene, and the missed opportunities for humor or further dialogue were quite below average.  So two stars for the fact that the overall story was okay and an extra half because it’s Christmas, and I don’t like being an Ebenezer who shoots down an author’s efforts at holiday romance. 

~~~

Cover art by Freddy MacKay features a handsome guy in a plaid vest and dark slacks superimposed over a gift box with tissue paper in disarray.  This would be David after opening his gift from CJ.   Very nice representation of the story.

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Expected publication: December 13th 2017 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
ASINB07767S6XC

An Alisa Review: Corey’s Christmas Bundle (Atherton Pack 5) by Toni Griffin

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5
Being pregnant is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you’re male and a shifter. Even though the world now knows about wolf shifters, their male’s ability to bare young is still a closely guarded secret. Since Corey’s pregnancy is now visible, he’s been stuck at home working on code and waiting for company to drop by. Problem is, though, the human government wants to know where Corey is.
As Christmas and Corey’s due date draw ever nearer, Ben devises a plan that will not only get Corey out of the house, but allows the wolves of Atherton Pack to give the community some Christmas cheer.
This was a great look at the men from Atherton.  Corey’s pregnancy came as a surprise to their friends but he loves the feeling and knowing that he is carrying his and Ethan’s child.  I really wish I would have been able to see him as Santa but my imagination did a pretty good job.
All these men will do anything for their friends even if it means being in an embarrassing situation.  I loved seeing them all again and can’t wait to see more and the rest of their friends finding their mates and happiness.
The cover art by Freddy MacKay is wonderful and I love it.
Book Details:
ebook, ~20,000 words
Published: December 6, 2017 by Mischief Corner Books
Edition Language: English
Series: The Atherton Pack #5

December,Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s December.

Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017

At the end of the year, it’s time to look back and reflect on everything and everyone that made an impact on us this year.  Instead of remembering what was lacking in 2017, better to remember on those things and people that made life better for us…all of us in 2017 and make note here.

I’m not talking just books this year but people too.  This year saw the passing of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words reviewer Paul Berg, someone who’s lively presence here in his reviews and in my emails telling me about his backgammon tournaments I still miss. This  year we also lost author Eric Arvin after a long illness, thankfully his amazing stories ensures his incredible mind, heart, and imagination will always be with us.  Those two people were just the main two that I was thinking of when writing about those that have made such a lasting impact on me this year.

And not just people.  Many of the older LGBT publishing houses closed or have announced they are closing.  That includes Loose ID on Friday after 13 years in operation.  They join Samhain Publishing, Torquere Press, Musa Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Wilde City Press, ARe (All Romance eBooks), and others that temporarily escapes me.  All gone or on the way out.    That represents a hosts of authors, editors, cover artists….so many people working to bring LGBTQIA stories to us where before our choices were slim to almost zero.  I don’t think I need to tell you that the competition is the primary reason.  I know they will tell you the same.

I think of all the first time authors who were cared for by these presses, helped to craft their stories and then given a place for us to find them long before Amazon ever cared about our niche fiction and its readers.  How they will all be missed but what an amazing impact they left behind. For that alone, they should be remembered.

Who has made an impact on you this year?  Start thinking about it.  Next week starts our Best of 2017 Giveaways.  We need your Best of in whatever Categories you would like to submit.  Have a Best of Covers?  Great!  How about a Bests of Supernatural Romance? Perfect! Best Historical Romance? Love it!  Getting the idea?  So what’s your Best of 2017?  I will be gathering mine for the next 2 weeks and will trot them out at the end of the month.  Prizes will be offered up!

Now, this week more Advent Release Day Reviews and holiday stories, along with our regular release day reviews, tours and giveaways.  Something for everyone!  Happy Reading.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, December 3:

  • Time to Say Goodbye, Time to Remember the Best of 2017
  • Romeo Preminger on Thiago
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: The Peppermint Schnapps Predicament by Clare London
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Thiago by Romeo Preminger
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Laugh Cry Repeat by John Inman

Monday, December 4:

  • Dyeing to be Loved by Aimee Nicole Walker Audio Tour
  • Review Tour – Joanna Chambers’  Merry & Bright
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Regret Me Not by Amy Lane
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers by Brandon Witt
  • An Ali Review:  Merry & Bright by Joanna Chambers

Tuesday, December 5:

  • Dreamspinner Press Promo Tara Lain on Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6)
  • INTERLUDE TOUR If the Fates Allow Holiday Anthology
  • Spotlight on Only With You by JD Chambers
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Junkyard Heart by Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Salvaging Claus Day by J. Alan Veerkamp
  • A MelanieM Review: The Botanist (The Sin Bin #3) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Review: If the Fates Allow Holiday Anthology
  • An Alisa Review: My Choice, My Chance by Taylor Rylan

Wednesday, December 6:

  • DSP Publications Promo David C. Dawson
  • Release Blitz for Love Happens Anyway  by RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz for Raven by HJ Perry
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: ​Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6) by Tara Lain
  • A Stella Advent Release Day Review: The Mature Man’s Guide to Surviving Change by Chris Scully
  • An Alisa Review: Corey’s Christmas Bundle (Atherton Pack 5) by Toni Griffin

Thursday, December 7:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Julia Talbot
  • Spotlight on Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz for Jesus Kid by Kayleigh Sky
  • Release Blitz for On Your Knees, Prospect by KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: An Open Window by Rick R. Reed
  • A MelanieM Review: Hurricane (Stormy Weather #3)  by B.A. Tortuga
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back #3) by Felice Stevens and Kale Williams (Narrator)

Friday, December 8:

  • Amy Lane on Writing, Books, and her release Regret Me Not
  • Solstice Prince by SJ Himes Blog Tour
  • Review Tour : Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A MelanieM Review:Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review: Once Bitten (A Darker Hollow #2) by Shannon West and T.S. McKinney
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

Saturday, December 9:

  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Pining for Perfect by Ki Brightly
  • Blog Tour Snow Falling by Davidson King
  • Release Blitz for Ruby Moone’s The Mistletoe Kiss 

 

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay (Mischief holiday story)

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Rating: 5 stars plus out of 5

Life hasn’t been easy for Amir since he fled Iran after a brutal imprisonment. The trauma experienced at the hands of the guards left a dark spot on his soul. The one constant in his life since relocating to Chicago has been his lover—now husband—Esmail, whose steadfast love and support has soothed his wounded heart.

​But this Shab-e Yalda, Amir wants to be the one giving his husband something special, because even after the darkest nights, the sun will rise again.

Really, Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay  is one of those stories that makes me want to run outside, grabbing people to say “have you read this story? You must read this story…”.  Because it’s so powerful, it’s message of hope and love so enduring and impactful that I want to send it out there as a holiday gift to everyone.

And it starts out so gently, and like the gentle ripples spreading across a lake, you have no idea of the power of the swift currents waiting for you just underneath the initial surface you see, waiting to sweep you emotionally under.

You first meet Amir when he’s shopping for Shab-e Yalda.  Freddy Mackay gives a description of the religious holiday and the dishes they eat at the back of the story.  Don’t miss those.  But they aren’t needed to read the story through…the first time. Or the second. Or even third. From the manner in which you meet him and the way he’s handling the shopping, you know that there’s something wrong.  But the revelations about Amir unfold slowly, heartbreakingly, with hints and then facts that will crush you… little peeks into his  past history and horrors over the course of the story.  At points I had to stop because I just   not have enough tissues nearby to go on.  But go on you must.  Because this beautiful story is about surviving the dark, waiting for the light, the sunrise to arrive bringing hope and love.

Mackay’s writing is exquisite.  Each word, each sentence is precisely right…forming a picture in your mind and heart of the past, present, and finally, what the future may hold for Amir and husband Esmail.  Waiting for the golden rays of the  sunrise to put them back together again reminded me of the ancient Japanese art of mending broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold. Called Kintsugi which means golden repair because you can see the seams of gold glinting in the cracks of the newly whole pottery,  the sun shining down on Amir and Esmail seemed to help seal and mend the broken man huddled in the darkness.  So powerful, so enduring….this is a story that you will want to reread often.  It will be in the top stories of 2017 for me and I want everyone to go out and read it immediately!  That’s how highly I recommend Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay.

Cover art is wonderful containing an important element of the story but nothing can really do justice to this story.

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

First Expected publication: November 29th 2017 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Review: But To Love More by Foster Bridget Cassidy

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Mel finally gets to go home for Christmas. In his absence, his hometown has changed, and Carlos, his best friend’s little brother, is all grown up and interested in a relationship. But Carlos has his work cut out for him since Mel’s having trouble seeing past the little brother part and his big brother, Aldo’s determined to keep them apart.

 

Mel hasn’t been home in more than six years and there have been a lot of changes since he left.  Carlos has always has eyes for his brother’s best friend since he realized he liked boys.

 

Carlos has a little work cut out for himself but it doesn’t take all that long for Mel to melt.  I had a little bit of a hard time with the “Love More” philosophy that Carlos had but hoped it works out for them.  It broke my heart to basically see Mel’s best friend, Aldo, throw away their friendship with his attitude and actions towards Mel in regards to his brother.  I can’t help but feel there will never be a way to really repair the damage he caused by his assumptions and actions.

 

The cover art by Freddy MacKay is great and gives a good visual for the characters.

 

Sales Link: Mischief Corner Books |  Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, ~15,000 words

Published: December 2, 2017 by Mischief Corner Books

Edition Language: English

November Draws to a Close and The Things We Are Grateful For. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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November Draws to a Close and The Things We Are Grateful For

 

We have had many wonderful comments from our readers this month on books, series, and authors they are grateful for and love.  I too have mentioned authors and books that I have discovered and have continued to love over the course of this year and the past ones.  New authors to me have made me instant fans with their incredible characters and stories that grabbed at my heart and mind.  They included J.M. Dabney (all 3 series), Dahlia Donovan (who’s series I’m just starting to review), and of course Lindsay Black of the Saturday Barbie series.  Her Author Discovery is up later this morning.

Plus there are all the wonderful authors I continue to grab up on just the whiff of a new release and their name:  Rhys Ford, B.A. Tortuga, Megan Derr, Amy Lane, Carol Cummings, Mary Calmes, Charlie Cochrane, Alex Beecroft, Heidi Cullinan, RJ Scott, Alexis Hall just to name a tiny few in no particular order….

Plus several of my favorite series came to a close this year in fantastic form….I’ll talk more about them in December for our end of the year lists but I have to mention Tere Michael’s Faith, Love, & Devotion series as well as Kaje Harper’s Building Forever which finished off her trilogy.  So many incredible authors, so much talent and heart to be grateful for.  Look for our December Year End Lists for more of both!

Plus I’m going to make a special notation here.  I’m reviewing a very special book this week: Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay.  It left my heart bruised, me in tears most of the time, and finally curled up around my Kindle, holding it tight, full of love and hope for the special men and their brave love the story told about.  Nothing prepares you for the power of this story, certainly not the title or the synopsis.  Run, immediately and grab this one up!  Yes, I’m definitely grateful for Watermelon Kisses and Freddy Mackay.

So let’s finish up our What We Are Thankful For Month with some last thoughts and comments from our readers:

From Lennis:

I’m always grateful when an author continues a favorite series, so this year has been great. A few new to me authors also broke through and then I had to play catch-up!
James Buchanan, The Family Eternal, 5th in the Deputy Joe series
Alexis Hall, How To Bang A Billionaire
Santino Hassell, Illegal Contact
Jex Lane, Broken 3rd in the Beautiful Monsters series
Lily Morton, Rule Breaker
Riley Hart, Depth Of Field
Megan Derr, The Tale Of The Lost Star, 3rd in the Tales Of The High Court series
TJ Klune, A Destiny of Dragons, 2nd in the Tales From Verania series

From Waxapplelover:

I have found some great authors and new genres to try this year. I may have not liked them all, but there were a few that were so amazing that I was glad I got over whatever fear I had. Also, I am grateful for the chance to re-read old favorites and find out that I still love them, that things haven’t changed with time and having read more books.

Off the top of my head, I’m so glad I tried Strays by Garrett Leigh.

Didi: 

I have a bit of obsession with UK-setting books ;-), so I’m thankful for the Porthkennack universe and the various authors and genre of the book. It’s been wonderful following each and every stories.

Ami:

I am also grateful for book covers that not always featuring naked torso men *lol*. Yes, for that I am grateful and thankful for the cover artists like Natasha Snow. She is amazing.

And finishing up with Purple Reader:

Indeed, Happy Thanksgiving to all. I’ll have to check out Black, and to go along with the idea of a debut, I’ve got one I was thankful to have read:
– A Love Like Blood, by Victor Yates.
It was one of the best debuts I have read, and the Lammy it got in 2016 for best debut was well deserved. It was brave, diverse, unique and artistic in a story that challenged and ultimately moved me.

And thank you, H.B., a special Happy Holidays to you too.

We here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words are especially grateful for all our readers and hope you all had and have a wonderful holidays.  We chose the following readers to be given $10 gift certificates:  Lennis, Ami, Ana, Waxapplelover, and Didi.  A new giveaway starts next week!  Meanwhile thank you all again!

If the winners will contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com with the email address they use, we will sort out your gift certificate immediately.

 

Now this week we also start in with our reviews of the Dreamspinner Advent stories.  What are they you say?  Read all about it below.  In fact be prepared to start our holiday story bombardment….contemporary, scifi, paranormal….holiday stories come in all genres and we will be reviewing them!

2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers Series (31 books)

There are 31 primary works and 31 total works in the 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers Series and we are reviewing them all.  One a day, every day until the end of the month…be on the lookout for them until the title Advent Release Day Review and the reviewer:

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most….

The holidays are a time when bigger often means better, and meals are huge, decorations are over-the-top, and elaborate gifts and grand gestures are one way to show affection. But beneath all the pomp and ceremony, after the grandiose presents have been unwrapped, the stocking stuffers are still waiting to add that final sparkle to the perfect celebration. Even the tiniest trinkets can be gems when they’re chosen with love, and like a good love story, they are held close to the heart and treasured for years to come. The festivities don’t have to end after the feasts and gift exchanges. Dig a little deeper for romantic stocking stuffers both naughty and nice.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 26:

  • November Draws to a Close and The Things We Are Grateful For.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Author  Discovery:  Lindsey Black
  • Release Blitz – Secret Santa – Jay Northcote

Monday, November 27:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Ken Harrison
  • TOUR Curses, Foiled Again by Sera Trevor
  • On the Cadge -Relaunched Lessons series blog tour with Charlie Cochrane
  • A Caryn Review: Citywide by Santino Hassell
  • An Alisa Review: But To Love More by Foster Bridget Cassidy
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Romance Redefined by SJD Peterson

Tuesday, November 28:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parish
  • Release Blitz for Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs
  • Dreamspinner Promo Kris T. Bethke on Hearts and Hazelnuts 
  • A Jeri Review: A Sniper’s Devotion (Cuffs, Collars and Love #5) by Christa Tomlinson
  • A MelanieM Review: Junkyard Heart (A Porthkennack novel) by Garrett Leigh
  • A Stella Review: Hard Fight by Laura N. Andrews
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp. #1) by C.C. Bridges

Wednesday, November 29:

  • Review Tour –Texas Gift (Texas #8) by R.J. Scott
  • Review Tour:  Jackie Keswick’s Undercover Star 
  • A MelanieM Review: Texas Gift (Texas #8) by R.J. Scott
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Hearts and Hazelnuts (States of Love) by Kris T. Bethke
  • An Alisa Review: Guardian of Magic by Dominique Frost
  • A MelanieM Review: Watermelon Kisses by Freddy Mackay (Mischief holiday story)

Thursday, November 30:

  • Dreamspinner Promo CC Bridges
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Infamous by Jenny Holiday
  • SERIES BLAST – Hunter Dane and Camden Snow Series by Adira August
  • A MelanieM Review: The Caretaker (The Sin Bin #2) by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Review: Officer Charming and the Prince Who Wooed Him by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Alisa Review: Resurrected (Alpha’s Warlock #2) by Kris Sawyer

Friday, December 1:

  • Release Blitz: Sloan Johnson’s Inseparable
  • Release Blitz for Deep Edge (Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • Release Blitz Audiobook Tour: To Love and To Cherish by Addison Albright
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: Dear Ruth by Kim Fielding❄️
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: High Test by Elizabeth Noble
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Fangs and Catnip (Dead and Breakfast #1) by Julia Talbot

Saturday, December 2:

  • Release Blitz – Keira Andrews’ In Case Of Emergency
  • An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: O Hell, All Ye Shoppers by Louisa Masters❄️

 

 

 

 

 

A Caryn Review: Safety Protocols for Human Holidays by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended as the cutest, funniest bit of holiday fluff I’ve read in a long time!

This sci-fi story is set on an interspecies ship traveling in the distant universe.  For the most part, there is only one of any individual species on the ship.  There is only one human, Jen, and the captain is concerned that she is broken, because she is not “behaving within previously observed species parameters”.  The captain is concerned about the safety and well-being of everyone on the crew, and so he assigns Security Officer Raskli, a Growlan, to investigate the change, to see if she can identify the problem, and fix it.  Why was Raskli chosen for this task?  Because the ship’s doctor said “you are both members of lactating placental species”.  Ha!

Raskli’s investigation into humans, and Jen in particular, is laugh out loud funny.  One of her first observations:

[Humans] ate everything.  It was a wonder than any other life on the planet had survived.

When she thought she had sufficient background, Raskli decided that she should become “friends” – a somewhat unusual concept to ritualistic Growlans – with Jen, and looking for a friendship ritual, followed the interspecies manual instructions for “dating”:

The initiator of the date will sometimes bring a small offering to the domicile of the acceptor.  Angiosperm blooms or boxes of sugar-and-cocoa-bean globs appear to be traditional for one-on-one dates, while offerings of substantial, meal-oriented food or fermented drink are more common for group dates.

This was the most adorable little meet-cute you can imagine.  Raskli’s heart was in the right place despite her awkwardness, so Jen accepted her friending request and the two proceeded to get to know and like each other despite the huge cultural differences.  Since the story is told from Raskli’s point of view, we get the outsiders perspective of humans and their quirks, and the author did a fabulous job of making fun of all the crazy things we do.

When Raskli was able to identify that the holiday season was exacerbating Jen’s feelings of homesickness and loneliness, she decided to put on a ship-wide celebration, and started researching.  In addition to our Western standards like Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa, she also found references to solstice, yule, saturnalia, rohatsu, and others, and decided to just use them all.  In addition to the “traditional large sacrificial plant” that was “large, possibly radially symmetric, sloping limbs with many sharp spikes.  Looks fierce”, there were “shining spheres” and “glitter snakes”.  I was having so much fun reading how the decorations that have become so commonplace to us might be described by an alien who has never seen anything like them before!

The romance between Raskli and Jen was perfectly sweet.  No other word to describe it!  The story was just the right length, the various alien crew members all existed in almost perfect harmony, and at the end of the story I just couldn’t stop smiling.  I’m going to keep this around to re-read when I need a little happiness!  Brava, Angel Martinez!

Cover art by Freddy MacKay was exactly how I pictured Jen, sitting in front of a window that looked to be straight out of Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  Very appropriate!

Sales Links: Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, First
Expected publication: December 9th 2017 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish

October Reading and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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October Reading

October sees our stores start to fill up with all things geared towards the holidays and I’m not just talking about Halloween.  No sooner does the candy, masks, and Halloween decorations fly off the shelves, then it’s onto Thanksgiving (US and CAN) and then things like Santas, wreaths, reindeer, elves and more start popping up amidst twinkling stars and fake snow.  It’s almost the same with our stories.  Have you noticed that?

There’s some lovely contemporary stories with autumn themes coming out or already released, then a quick plethora of shorts with horror or paranormal storylines and then we start sliding into the other holidays almost imperceptibly.  I do love that we are seeing a wider variety depicted in our holiday stories. I enjoy reading those, learning and diving into other cultures and religions as I do the romances.  How do you all feel about that?

So be on the lookout for books/stories with Halloween, Horror, Witchy time tales, Thanksgiving themes and into the December holidays whatever religion you may or maynot follow.   Especially books with the later.   Write in with them and let’s see who spots the first December holiday story!  Kind of like seeing the first Elf on the Shelf of the season! lol   Winner gets a gift certificate.  This is in addition to our Horror Rec Giveaway below.

Guess what else is quickly approaching NaNoMa in November.  Scratch that onto whatever calendars you keep and know that our writing contest will pop up accordingly.

OK, got all that?  Now don’t forget we are also running our horror story Rec Giveaway.  Look through all your stories and see which if any fit the profile below.  Or give us new ones you’re reading or on your TBR list.  We really want to know what’s out there and help our our fellow lovers of Horror and/or Paranormal M/M fiction.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Horror Story Recs Giveaway

We will run this all month long in order to take advantage of all the new scary books coming out this month as well.  So leave a comment/rec, along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen.  We will have more than one winner for our gift certificates.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Also acceptable are spooky paranormal stories!  Ghostly hauntings!  Witchy doings!  You get the idea!  Even throw in a zombie or two!  Contest ends October 28 at midnight.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 8:

  • October Reading and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 9:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Finding Home by Garrett Leigh
  • Release  Blitz for His Convenient Husband by Robin Covington
  • Tara Lain’s “High Balls” Blog Tour and Giveaway
  • A Caryn Review: Bad Boy’s Bard (Fae Out of Water, #3) by E.J. Russell
  • A Julia Review: Her Hometown Girl by Lorelie Brown
  • A MelanieM Review: Whitecott Manor by Emma Jane

Tuesday, October 10:

  • DSP Publications Promo J. Scott Coatsworth on The Stark Divide
  • Book Blast for Men of Crooked Bend Series by Taylor Rylan
  • A Kai Review: One Call Away by Felice Stevens
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A MelanieM Review: Psycho (Brawlers, #2) by J.M. Dabney
  • An Alisa Review: Good Things by April Kelley

Wednesday, October 11:

  • Release Blitz Tour for We Met In Death by KA Merikan
  • Dreamspinner Promo Tere Michaels on The Heir Apparent
  • Book Blitz for Silvia Violet ‘s The Past Comes Home
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Breakfast at Midnight by Kim Dias
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein

Thursday, October 12:

  • Release Blitz Tour for Bitten by Desire (Regent’s Park Pack #3) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • Release Day Blitz for Love By Number by DJ Jamison
  • RIPTIDE Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Sightlines by Santino Hassell
  • A Stella Review: The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores #4) by Rosalind Abel
  • A MelanieM Review: Bull (Brawlers, #3) by J.M. Dabney
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Covet by Yolande Kleinn

Friday, October 13:

  • Review Tour – Amy Aislin – Picture Winter
  • Dreamspinner Press Tour for Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein
  • Dreamspinner Dreamspun Desires Promo Sean Michael
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey
  • A MelanieM Review: Hunter (Brawlers, #4) by J.M. Dabney
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Afraid to Fly by LA Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Picture Winter by Amy Aislin

Saturday, October 14:

  • Release Blitz for Addison Albright’s Vows 1 & 2
  • A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

A MelanieM Review :Renewal : 3rd Annual Queer SyFy Flash Fiction Anthology

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out,
run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

I am such a fan of flash fiction, the ability to  tell a complete story in 300 words or less.  Renewal is Queer SyFy’s Fourth year’s collection of flash fiction and what an incredible winner it is. Like a library full of tiny jewels, Renewal‘s flash fiction is glorious in it’s presentation of the dizzying array of imaginative themes and world building by it’s host of authors, the authors represented, the timeliness and resonance of some of their flash fiction storylines and the huge spectrum of genres included from horror to fantasy to science fiction.

Also by the sheer poetry of some of it’s stories.  As you can imagine, given the shortness of the fiction, the quantity of stories within is immense.  So are the number I call favorites, far too many to list here.  And it’s funny, you read them so quickly, that you can be several stories past one before the impact it leaves kicks in.  The “huh, no, let me think about that” that leads to you flipping back to that tale and pondering the thoughts of the author may have had writing it.  Trust me, there are many of those.

Over and over again, authors stopped my in my “reading tracks”, left breathless by what was before me.

Under Science Fiction Part II (yes it’s divided into sections like Horror and Fantasy etc), there is this story whose lyrical imagery has stayed with me:

I Will Be Your Shelter by Carey Ford Compton.  I would have bought this collection for this flash fiction alone based on this.  I will give you but this small moment from the story that still makes me weep with appreciation:

The operating room is blue, sterile. We are awake for the procedure. Surgeons slice into our numbed, shaved scalps. The drill bites. Lights, metallic tongue, clicks of bone.

Then: she bleeds into me like watercolor.

Such power, such beauty.  And this collection is full of such haunting tales.

As J. Scott Coatsworth said in his introduction “this collection includes many colors of the LGBTIQA (or QUILTBAG, if you prefer) universe—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual characters populate these pages—it was our most diverse contest yet.”

I also think it was Queer SyFy’s most outstanding. With pertinent quotes by authors at the beginning of each section and a easily accessible table of contents (I used it often to go back to stories I wanted to reread that I bookmarked), Renewal is a collection of stories that will make you think, occasionally laugh, push some boundaries, give you new authors to explore, and much, much, more.   Don’t you love it when that happens?

And yes, I highly recommend it!

Included Authors

‘Nathan Burgoine
A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Soto
Abby Bartle
Aidee Ladnier
Alexis Woods
Andi Deacon
Andrea Felber Seligman
Andrea Speed
Andrea Stanet
Anne McPherson
Bey Deckard
Brigitte Winter
Carey Ford Compton
Carol Holland March
Carrie Pack
Catherine Lundoff
CB Lee
Christine Wright
Colton Aalto
Daniel Mitton
Dustin Blottenberger
Dustin Karpovich
E R Zhang
E.J. Russell
E.W. Murks
Ell Schulman
Ellery Jude
Eloreen Moon
Elsa M León
Emily Horner
Eric Alan Westfall
F.T. Lukens
Fenrir Cerebellion
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Ginger Streusel
Hannah Henry
Irene Preston
J. Alan Veerkamp
J. P. Egry
J. Summerset
J.S. Fields
Jaap Boekestein
Jackie Keswick
Jana Denardo
Jeff Baker
Jenn Burke
Joe Baumann
John Moralee
Jon Keys
Jude Dunn
K.C. Faelan
Kelly Haworth
Kiterie Aine
Kristen Lee
L M Somerton
L. Brian Carroll
L.M. Brown
L.V. Lloyd
Laurie Treacy
Leigh M. Lorien
Lex Chase
Lia Harding
Lin Kelly
Lloyd A. Meeker
Lyda Morehouse
M.D. Grimm
Martha J. Allard
Mary E. Lowd
Matt Doyle
Matthew Bright
Mia Koutras
Michelle Browne
Milo Owen
Mindy Leana Shuman
Naomi Tajedler
Natsuya Uesugi
Nephy Hart
Nicole Dennis
Ofelia Gränd
Patricia Scott
Paul Stevens
PW Covington
R R Angell
R.L. Merrill
Rebecca Cohen
Redfern Jon Barrett
Reni Kieffer
Richard Amos
RL Mosswood
Robyn Walker
Rory Ni Coileain
Rose Blackthorn
Ross Common
S R Jones
Sacchi Green
Sarah Einstein
Shilo Quetchenbach
Siri Paulson
Soren Summers
Stephanie Shaffer
Steve Fuson
Tam Ames
Terry Poole
Tray Ellis
Vivien Dean
Wendy Rathbone
Xenia Melzer
Zen DiPietro
Zev de Valera

Cover art by Gus Li is just gorgeous!

Sales Links:Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 196 pages
Published September 13th 2017 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
ASINB074ZPB4ZM
Edition Language English

Love Flash Fiction? Check Out Renewal: Queer Sci Fi’s Fourth Annual Flash Fiction Contest (QSF Flash Fiction, #3) (Queer SyFy’s J. Scott Coatsworth and so many other wonderful authors!)

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Renewal: Queer Sci Fi’s Fourth Annual Flash Fiction Contest

(QSF Flash Fiction #3)

QSF Renewal-Print

QSF has a new book out, the latest in our series of flash fiction anthologies:

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Renewal Banner

Excerpt

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer


Included Authors

‘Nathan Burgoine
A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Soto
Abby Bartle
Aidee Ladnier
Alexis Woods
Andi Deacon
Andrea Felber Seligman
Andrea Speed
Andrea Stanet
Anne McPherson
Bey Deckard
Brigitte Winter
Carey Ford Compton
Carol Holland March
Carrie Pack
Catherine Lundoff
CB Lee
Christine Wright
Colton Aalto
Daniel Mitton
Dustin Blottenberger
Dustin Karpovich
E R Zhang
E.J. Russell
E.W. Murks
Ell Schulman
Ellery Jude
Eloreen Moon
Elsa M León
Emily Horner
Eric Alan Westfall
F.T. Lukens
Fenrir Cerebellion
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Ginger Streusel
Hannah Henry
Irene Preston
J. Alan Veerkamp
J. P. Egry
J. Summerset
J.S. Fields
Jaap Boekestein
Jackie Keswick
Jana Denardo
Jeff Baker
Jenn Burke
Joe Baumann
John Moralee
Jon Keys
Jude Dunn
K.C. Faelan
Kelly Haworth
Kiterie Aine
Kristen Lee
L M Somerton
L. Brian Carroll
L.M. Brown
L.V. Lloyd
Laurie Treacy
Leigh M. Lorien
Lex Chase
Lia Harding
Lin Kelly
Lloyd A. Meeker
Lyda Morehouse
M.D. Grimm
Martha J. Allard
Mary E. Lowd
Matt Doyle
Matthew Bright
Mia Koutras
Michelle Browne
Milo Owen
Mindy Leana Shuman
Naomi Tajedler
Natsuya Uesugi
Nephy Hart
Nicole Dennis
Ofelia Gränd
Patricia Scott
Paul Stevens
PW Covington
R R Angell
R.L. Merrill
Rebecca Cohen
Redfern Jon Barrett
Reni Kieffer
Richard Amos
RL Mosswood
Robyn Walker
Rory Ni Coileain
Rose Blackthorn
Ross Common
S R Jones
Sacchi Green
Sarah Einstein
Shilo Quetchenbach
Siri Paulson
Soren Summers
Stephanie Shaffer
Steve Fuson
Tam Ames
Terry Poole
Tray Ellis
Vivien Dean
Wendy Rathbone
Xenia Melzer
Zen DiPietro
Zev de Valera