Cover Reveal for Forlorn (Wavesongs #2) by Elvira Bell

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Forlorn by Elvira Bell

Book 2 in the Wavesongs Series

Available to Preorder at Amazon

Release Date: March 9, 2019

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Synopsis

Nick Andrews is back in England. He is a broken man, living on the streets and trying to cope with everything he’s been through. Nick thinks that his life is over, but then Tom comes along. Tom, who is handsome and wealthy and intent on making his acquaintance.

Nick ends up as Tom’s valet, a position that brings him to the remote estate of Ravensleigh. At Ravensleigh, he soon realizes that Tom and his family have a past laden with shadows. Nick regrets coming there, but at the same time finds it harder and harder to resist Tom’s advances.

Then one night, a stranger arrives at Ravensleigh. And Nick’s world is turned upside down once more.

Warning: This book ends with a cliffhanger. The series as a whole will have a HEA ending.

Please note that the books in the Wavesongs series should be read in chronological order!

Meet the Author


Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies. Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly.

Elvira writes m/m fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings. She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer. It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Review: Coliseum Square by Lynn Lorenz

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Coliseum Square coverMark Madison is running away from his past as fast as he can.  Leaving behind him death and the threat of incarceration, Mark finds himself in New Orleans, circa 1886.  It is the start of a new life under a new name.  Mark has arrived to take the job of tutor to the son of a local wealthy widower, Royal Du Cote.  But the situation Mark finds himself in is anything but normal.

The boy, Luc, is mute and frightened of his father.  He hasn’t spoken since the death of his mother two years ago.  And his father, Royal Du Cote?  Handsome, wealthy,seemingly haunted by his wife’s death while giving Mark looks that make him shake with desire.  Mark comes to care for Luc and promises himself that he will find a way to free Luc of his terrors so he can speak once more.  But what part does Royal play in Luc’s affliction?  Could Royal be part of the problem? The house and household is full of secrets and Mark needs to find the keys.  But will the truth free all involved or will Mark and Royal see the demise of all their hopes and dreams once and for all.

The words New Orleans and Lynn Lorenz go together like chocolate and caramel, a perfect blend.  It is clear from her stories, located in that fabled city, that she loves and understands the peculiar nature of the place and its magnetic pull on people world wide.  Say the name New Orleans and it immediately conjures up romance, and lust , sultry nights full of indolence and the pervasive aroma of the lake itself.  A place where all races and backgrounds combine, independent of laws and sometimes morality.  I love the way she writes about New Orleans, her love and knowledge clearly showing in all her descriptions. That is equally true whether we are taking about the present or New Orleans of 1886, the time of Coliseum Square.

Here is Mark pulling into the New Orleans harbor on one of  the river’s paddleboat:

The boat veered toward the levee, as another string of port buildings appeared just past the Place d’Arms, the old square. The paddlewheel slowed, the slapping of the boards against the water became fewer and then it stopped.

We floated. Silent.

We all held our breaths as the great boat edged closer. On the wharf, men ran back and forth, shadows darting in and out of the gaslights. The steam engines bellowed, the paddle started again, this time in the opposite direction, and the boat shifted closer to the dock.

Below us, on the bottom level, our own men rushed, gathering and untying huge ropes, shouting commands and aye-ayes.

“Hold on!” one of them shouted.

I grabbed for the railing and braced myself. The boat shivered, halted, and with a final shift, hit the wharf, jerking us all nearly off our feet. A few of the ladies screamed, the children hooted, the men remained stoic, as if they did this every day of their lives.

Above us, another blast from the horn, signaled our arrival.

I leaned over the edge and watched the men below toss the ropes across the narrow gap to the men on the dock, watched them tie us off, backs and arms and leg muscles straining as they wrapped the ropes around huge mooring posts, securing the paddle wheeler to the dock.

The wheel stopped. We had arrived.

You can almost feel the boat “shiver” as it floats into place against the pier and the excitement of the people on board.  From there, she takes Mark through the streets on horse drawn carriages, smells of the water and manure rising up to mix in the already heady aroma of the city.  Lynn Lorenz clearly has also done her homework as her descriptions bring the New Orleans of old vividly to life before our eyes.

The streets’ names, set in blue-and-white tiles on the corners, were of the muses–Erato, Melpomene, Terpsichore–but when we reached Euterpe, we turned the corner and headed away from the river. A few blocks down, a modest park appeared, green lawn and stately oak trees, and we turned the corner.

“Where’s the house?” I asked.

“On the other side of the park.”

Straining to see across the expanse, through the trees and manicured shrubbery, to the collection of houses on the far side, I could only wonder which would be my new home. Each looked grander than the next, each stately, with black iron fences standing guard, lush plantings, and brick walkways.

The author beautifully draws the reader into the wealthy neighborhood and deposits us at the front door.  Up until then the book is magic itself. Then the door opens and the best and the most problematic aspects of Coliseum Square are revealed.

Lorenz has always rendered her characters in loving yet realistic detail.  They always have depth as well as a certain charm to them.  In Coliseum Square, we have not only two adults to engage our affections but a young traumatized child as well.  I adored and absolutely related to the young boy in this story.  Lynn Lorenz  makes this mute, emotionally scarred five year old so compelling, so vulnerable that his problems and recovery command most of our feelings and regard.  In addition, the author portrays the tenuous, growing relationship between Luc and Mark in authentic and revealing scenes that capture our heart each time these two appear in the story.   I think I loved this section of the book most of all.  It feels real, and it is certainly moving.

Mark Madison and Royal De Cote are believable characters too.  Mark especially as a young man fleeing the consequences of his sexuality, and hoping to find sanctuary and perhaps even a home in New Orleans.  His fears as well as his youth translate well here.  Considering the fact that you could be jailed if not hung for being a sodomite in the 1880’s, then Mark’s fear for his safety and tendency to flee at the first sign of discord is understandable. Royal De Cote is probably less realistic in my eyes.  But then, a wealthy man of stature in New Orleans could and most likely did behave as they wished as long as appearances were kept up. Lorenz made his anguish over his son’s behavior and situation worthy of our compassion and understanding. So, where’s the problem?

That would be the romance factor.  In a relatively short amount of time, these two men gaze longingly at each other, fall into bed and love. And they do this without really talking to each other or physically spending time with each other except at dinner.  True, two handsome gay men under the same roof during that time period might have taken advantage of the situation.  That I can see, especially if one is older and more experienced.  Put that together with proximity, and yes, I can see the instant attraction leading to a sexual encounter.  But instant love and family?  That is a much harder sell and I am not sure that Lynn Lorenz accomplished it here.  I think that had the story been extended past the 84 pages and the time the men had together lengthened into a reasonable amount of time, then I think I could have bought into their gothic romance more readily than I did.

That aside, I still loved so many aspects of this story that it almost  garnered a 4 star rating, from the historical descriptions that vividly brought 1886 New Orleans to life to the traumatized little boy who captured my affections.  For those elements alone, I recommend this story to you.

Cover Art © 2013 Trace Edward Zaber unfortunately makes use of a model who has been used to excess.  He has been on so many covers that Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos featured him in her Misadventures in Stock Photography.  With New Orleans as a backdrop, surely the design could have been more pertinent in detail.

Book Details:

ebook, 84 pages
Published July 21st 2013 by Amber Allure
ISBN13 9781611244571
edition language English
other editions

It’s All In The Writing, Folks and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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To prepare for my time at GRL in Atlanta in October, I am trying to get ahead in my reviews for September and October.  And that means reading tons of books and of course writing about them.  And books read in volume will highlight the most common flaws I am seeing across the boards from person reading stacks of booksauthors seasoned and brand new to publishing.  Surprisingly it’s not one sided.  Just yesterday I finished a book from a favorite author of mine only to get to the end and find that not only did the story not have an ending, it was missing a hugely anticipated “aha” moment.  I was astonished, and quite a bit frustrated to say the least.

I don’t know what is going on but these same issues are everywhere and I am not the only one who has noticed.  Currently I am working on my next mini rant “The Case of the Missing Aha Moment”.  It will pair up nicely with my mini rant on missing endings.  *shakes head*  Really there is no excuse.  The most immediate remedies to these issues that pop into my brain are 1) get a great editor and 2) super concrit partners or betas.  Both could and should point out issues such as these in a person’s writing.

For a humorous look  at writing do’s and mostly don’ts visit  http://tom.mcallister.ws/?p=868. It’s Tom McAllister’s 107 Ironclad Rules for Writers Who Want to Be Better at Writing.  Some I agree with and of course, some I don’t.  But they are fun, and thought provoking.  Here are the first six to give you a sample:

1. Write every day. Except on days when you don’t feel like writing that much and you don’t have anything interesting to say.

2. Never write when you’re too hot. Beads of sweat are ideas leaking from your brain.

3. Nobody really eats turnips. They are a ridiculous food. Characters cannot eat turnips.

4. Hypnosis is the writer’s greatest tool.

5. Skinny people are often the cause of conflict. Fat people are often the solution. NO MEDIUM SIZED PEOPLE.

6. If you must write about the travails of being a writer, at least give yourself a glass eye or a cyborg hand or something.

If you want to read more, check out the link above.  Next week we will talk about the new words added to the dictionary.  Srsly?

Now on to the very exciting week ahead.  Next week I start on the third series in the offerings from the Pulp Friction authors.  This is the Triple Threat series from L.E. Harner.  It’s menage, it’s kinky, and its wonderful.   And drumroll please…….Kendall McKenna is also releasing her long awaited sequel to Strength of the Pack.  It’s titled Strength of the Wolf and it releases Sept. 6th from MLR Press.  To celebrate, Scattered Thoughts is hosting a 2 part guest blog with Kendall McKenna and a two book contest for a lucky person who comments during the contest time.  Might even be another surprise giveaway too, more about that later.  So many great things to look forward to.  Mark your calendars, and check them twice.  Hope to see you all here all week long.

Monday, Sept. 2:                   Coliseum Square by Lynn Lorenz

Tuesday, Sept. 3:                   Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1) by L.E. Harner

Wed., Sept. 4:                          Contest Announcement and Dates

Thurs., Sept 5:                        Kendall McKenna’s Guest Blog – Part 1

Friday, Sept. 6:                       Strength of the Pack  by Kendall McKenna – Review (reposted)

Sat., Sept. 7:                            Kendall McKenna’s Guest Blog – Part 2
Winner of first contest announced

For those of you here in the States, have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.