In the Spotlight: Golden by RL Mosswood (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title:  Golden

Author: RL Mosswood

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: September 25, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 33500

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, LGBT, Romance, fantasy, paranormal, gay, captivity, magic users, mythology, sailors, slave

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Harem boy might not be the most appropriate role for someone who’s never really seen the appeal of sex, but Elin’s status as dahabi: golden in a land of tan and brown, has marked him for The Dragon’s service since birth. He’s content enough with his life of uncomplicated, if restrictive, luxury, until an unremarkable chore becomes a case of love at first sight.

Mysterious newcomer Hathar, a roguish “merchant adventurer” from far-off lands, ignites an exploration of Elin’s first taste of physical desire, as well as a desire to experience life beyond the palace. Now, they must find a way to escape before Hathar’s ship departs, stranding them forever in The Dragon’s harem.

Excerpt

Golden
R.L. Mosswood © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Elin woke in his usual place on the silken pallet between Nikil and Rian. The haram was dark, and the night sky outside the elegant, grated windows was still inky. He wasn’t sure what had roused him. He couldn’t recall a dream, and the room was quiet but for the usual nighttime chorus of the men’s sighs and snores.

A moment later, he realized he could hear something else. Not in the room, but maybe down the hall or from the floor below, he could make out rough, raised voices. A fight? But who would it be at this hour, and in this part of the palace? He propped himself on his elbows a little and scanned the room—all the beds seemed to be filled. The men of the haram knew better than to fight anyway, at least not that kind of fighting, with yelling and tussling. The Dragon didn’t take damage to “her boys” lightly, and anyone caught inflicting that damage was likely to disappear without notice or explanation.

He listened a little longer, trying to make out words or recognize a voice, but whatever was happening was far enough off to make that impossible. Finally, he heard a door slam, and that seemed to be the end of it.

He rolled over and drifted off, still puzzling over what he had heard.

*****

At breakfast the following morning, everything seemed normal. The hall was filled with the groggy murmur of men beginning their day, the rich aroma of coffee, and the tap of wooden cutlery on fine china.

Elin, as usual, sat on his own, thoughtfully chewing a honeyed pastry. Though it was hard to ever be truly alone in the haram, his tendency to quiet contemplation left him out of most of the livelier interactions the other men favored. He wasn’t much for sport, which was one of the main entertainments among his comrades, and his thoughts tended to follow slow and dreamy pathways that didn’t lend themselves to clever banter.

As he was pondering the particular play of light on the grain of the highly polished tabletop, a shadow moved into his peripheral vision. One of the guards, a man named Emun, was approaching. The guards of the haram were in a unique position: They were, in most ways, subordinate to the residents they guarded, so they spoke in polite tones, made requests rather than demands, and would usually do whatever was asked of them. At the same time, they were in charge of keeping the men in their place—generally not a hard job. Who would want to escape the lap of luxury, after all? But it was known that, if pushed, the guards would muster force to keep order, which lent an edge to all their interactions with their charges.

Elin finished his bite and looked up, inviting Emun to address him.

“I’ve got something for you to do after breakfast,” he said. “A new resident who needs some cleaning up.”

“A new resident? To our wing?”

Elin was used to being assigned chores considered beneath the more favored men of the haram, but this was unusual. His wing was inhabited by the twenty-one- to thirty-year-olds. They had all entered the haram as children, as soon as they’d been found by The Dragon’s collectors, or ceded by their parents. New arrivals had trickled in through their younger years, a few carefully hidden late arrivals into their early teens, but it had been nearly a decade since anyone had joined the group Elin had grown up with.

“Yep.” Emun cut his thoughts short. “City guard found him skulking around the palace walls and assumed he was an escapee, but we’ve never seen him before. He’s The Dragon’s now, of course. Pretty rough around the edges though. Weird accent, needs a scrub and a shave. See what you can do. Jurah will have him waiting for you outside the baths after you’re done here.”

“Sure. Okay.” Elin wasn’t sure what else to say. How did a fully grown dahabi end up wandering outside the palace? Did he mean to get caught? He supposed he’d have a chance to answer all his questions soon enough, and returned to his breakfast as Emun returned to his post near the door.

*****

Outside the baths, Jurah was waiting as promised. With the guard was a man who could only be the new addition, looking much worse for wear than Elin had anticipated. His hair was so filthy and matted that Elin was surprised the city guard had known him as dahabi at all, and there was blood caked down his cheek and through his stubble from an angry split on his brow. He hadn’t come voluntarily, then. The sturdy rope binding the man’s wrists only reinforced that fact.

“Emun asked me to come down after breakfast,” he said, not quite ready to volunteer what he’d been asked to do. Maybe Jurah had a different understanding of the matter.

No such luck. “Yeah! I’ve got quite a job for you here,” the guard replied jovially, indicating the filthy man by tugging lightly on his bindings. The “job” in question scowled slightly, but said nothing.

“Does he, uh, need to stay bound like that?” Helping with a bath was one thing, but Elin didn’t think he had it in him to wrestle anyone into submission.

“Oh, no. Our friend here has settled down quite a bit since last night. He’s going to be on his best behavior for you. Right?” With that, Jurah elbowed the other man for a reply.

He looked up from under his brow, directly at Elin as if the guard wasn’t there, startling him with moonlit-silver eyes. “I’m no threat to you. There was just a…misunderstanding with these other gentlemen earlier, and they don’t quickly forget.”

Elin found, thankfully, that he believed the man. “Let him go then. I can’t get him cleaned up with his hands tied together.”

The guard did so and then hesitated a moment, as if unsure what do to next. “Would you like me to come in there…with you?” The guards usually gave the men of the haram their privacy in the baths—it was their job to protect, not to ogle—but Jurah clearly didn’t feel the same faith in the stranger’s intentions that Elin did.

Elin looked again into the strange, pale eyes. Seeing no malice there, he said, “We’ll be fine. You can watch the door to ensure a little privacy for our new guest, and I’ll call out if I have any need of you.”

Jurah looked uncertain, but released the man, clearly feeling himself on the subordinate end of the equation in this interaction.

Elin stepped forward and opened the door to the baths, gesturing for the man to follow. “It’s just a bath, really,” he said to the skeptical Jurah as he closed the door behind them.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

RL Mosswood lurks in the depths of the Pacific Northwest rainforest, where they dabble in queer fiction in an attempt to add a little magic to their otherwise mundane existence.

Website | Facebook | eMail

Tour Schedule

9/25 Divine Magazine

9/25 Boy Meets Boy Reviews

9/26 Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

9/26 Love Bytes

9/27 My Fiction Nook

9/27 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

9/28 Happily Ever Chapter

9/28 Drops of Ink

9/28 Bayou Book Junkie

9/29 On Top Down Under Book Reviews

9/29 Zipper Rippers

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

Save

Save

What Happens Coal in the Stocking isn’t the Worst that Could Happen? Find out with ‘Nicolas’ by Dianne Hartsock (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Nicolas9

Nicolas by Dianne Hartsock
Release Date: December 18, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Dianne Hartsock here today.  Welcome, Dianne, I understand you have something special to share with our readers this Christmas Day!

~

Merry Christmas! Thank you so much Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me on this special day. Last night, Christmas Eve, Nicolas sat wrapped in Jamie’s arms in front of the fire, stealing sweet kisses. Later, after sharing their passion, Nico sprawled on the couch and watched the lights twinkling on the Christmas tree while Jamie read a book, his feet on Nico’s lap. Nico sighed in contentment and quiet joy and made a list of the things he was most grateful for.

  • Jamie, my sweet angel, who has completed my life.
  • The peace I feel in my heart at this moment, knowing the Krampus’s hold on me is gone.
  • God in his mercy has given me a new lease on life.
  • I’m grateful for the friends who have stood by me and the new ones I can now make
  • Every time I can make Jamie smile.
  • That Andy and his father are safe this Christmas.
  • Jamie has forgiven me and I have learned to forgive myself.
  • That I can now spread the word of peace in the world unhindered by the Krampus’s interference.
  • Jamie is safe in my home tonight and I will spend my first Christmas with the man I love.
  • God has forgiven me.

That was beautiful.  And it certainly makes me even more intrigued and eager to read their story.  Now more about Nicolas by Dianne Hartsock:

Banner300x250

Blurb

Betrayed by a lover, Jamie rents an isolated cabin on Lake Huron, wanting only to be left alone. Instead, he is pulled from his solitary existence as an artist and tumbles headlong into the legend of Saint Nicolas.

As a young man, Nicolas accidentally killed a man intent on murdering three children, only to have the man’s malicious spirit rise up against him. Fleeing through the centuries from the Krampus, the evil troll-like creature that dogs his steps, Nico finds refuge with the young artist who takes him into his home and bed. But Jamie has questions. Who is Nicolas, and why does the Krampus want to destroy him?

When the Krampus begins to torment and torture anyone Nico comes in contact with to punish him, Jamie’s life is put in danger. And Jamie isn’t sure whether he can help Nico defeat his nemesis or if he’s merely a pawn in the Krampus’s game.

 

Pages or Words: 200 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Mythology, Novel, M/M Romance

Excerpt

Jamie startled awake. “What?”

He had trouble breathing, the crushing weight on his chest seeming to have followed him up from his dreams. But that couldn’t be right. He’d rented the cabin for its isolation. No one should be there. Did he still dream?

A warm breath brushed against his cheek, sending a shiver of dread and strange anticipation through him. “Easy, baby,” a silky voice whispered in the darkness. Sharp teeth nipped his earlobe and pleasure and pain sparked along his nerves. His eyes adjusted to the moonlight filtering through the sheer curtains, and he stared in amazement at the man gazing at him with wild green eyes, long pale hair, high cheekbones and a slender neck he craved to run his tongue along.

The stranger laid his weight on him, driving the air from his lungs and making Jamie struggle for every breath. Shifting position, the man sealed his full lips over Jamie’s, drawing a long groan from Jamie when an impossibly large cock slid against his. In sudden panic he reached to shove his unknown visitor away and touched hot skin and lean muscles. Of their own volition his hands roamed lower, following the curve of the stranger’s back to the rounded swell of his ass. He drew a quick breath and the man laughed into his mouth, pushed his tongue deep, thrusting inside to match the movement of his hips as he ground against Jamie’s aching dick.

Heat pooled in Jamie’s stomach. God, what was happening? The thing in his bed looked like a man, but his every instinct shouted otherwise. His skin was warm when it should have been cold from being outside. And how had he gotten in? All the windows and doors were locked tight against the winter storm. It was as if he’d just materialized in Jamie’s bed. “Who—”

He cried out when a hand pushed between them and grabbed their cocks, stroking them together until he lost the ability to think. So close! He grabbed onto the man’s firm ass and yanked him tighter against him, rising up to shove into his strong grip.

The triumphant hiss in his ear shot ice through his veins. “So naughty.”

“No!” Jamie struggled to sit up, scrambling back against the headboard. He blinked, finding himself alone in the room, only his ragged breaths disturbing the silence of the cabin. A forgotten anxiety knotted his stomach. Naughty. He hated that word, tossed about by the boys he once knew in school. The ones he’d suck off behind the gym, desperate for a gentle hand in his hair, balm against his loneliness. He’d been terrified his parents would find out he was different, that he liked girl things and found boys much more exciting than he should. They would know he was gay and there would be hell to pay for their freak of a son.

He scrubbed a hand over his face. God, that had been ages ago. The last shreds of the dream dissipated, and he reached for the bedside light, fumbling in the darkness for the switch. Low light stung his eyes and he blinked at the empty bedroom, unable to believe the attack hadn’t been real.

He flung off the heavy quilts and slid to his feet, clinging to the post at the foot of the bed as a wave of dizziness struck him. Laughter from the other room jolted him. Heart pounding, he bolted for the door and it crashed into the wall as he flung it open. The reddish glow from the banked fire on the hearth lit the main room of the cabin, though the kitchen area remained in shadows.

Jamie’s gaze swept the rooms, focusing on the dark corners. No one jumped out at him. Nobody sat on the couch. His coffee cup remained undisturbed where he’d left it on the hearth. Of course. The cabin was isolated, miles from the nearest neighbor. Who would bother to come way out there, especially with the threat of another snowstorm on the way?

He ran a trembling hand through his hair, pushing the sweat-drenched bangs from his forehead. Christ, the dream had seemed so real. The cold of the great room finally registered, creeping up from the hardwood flooring. Shaking, he crossed to the fireplace and stirred up the coals, adding another log.

With a sigh, he sank into the cushions of the worn couch and pulled the woolen afghan around his bare shoulders. The log caught and the fire crackled, sparks dancing up the flue. Recalling his dream and the hard body against his, he shrugged when his cock perked up.

“It’s been a while,” he acknowledged, watching the flames lick at the oak log. He’d signed a year’s lease on the cabin, right after catching his boyfriend in the stairwell of their apartment building, making out with their neighbor. It hadn’t been the first time, either, though again Patrick had his apologies ready. That had been over six months ago, and since the cabin stood miles over rough terrain from the nearest town, he’d rarely seen another human being in all that time.

“Just the way I like it,” he told the indifferent fire burning its way through the wood. But the stranger’s lips in his dream had been soft, his thrusting tongue sweet in Jamie’s mouth. He hadn’t liked the violent aspect of the dream, but if that had been a lover in his bed? His dick pressed against his thigh, and Jamie reached under the heavy blanket, moaning when he took its heavy weight in his hand. Drawing lazy circles on his balls, he let the pleasure build slowly, lifting his cock while in his mind the stranger licked the glistening head, his pale gold hair a curtain of silk against Jamie’s sensitive skin. He moaned as the man slid his tongue down the thick vein on the underside of his cock.

His mind flitted over the question of whether the guy would fuck him or want it the other way around. Didn’t matter to him. He liked it both ways. Rolling to his back, Jamie continued to stroke himself while he tugged his tight balls, then pressed a finger against his hole. He remembered the lube in the nightstand drawer by the bed, but he wasn’t about to stop, and hissed when he pushed the finger inside. The man’s cock had been huge in his dream. What would it feel like as it stretched him open? Would it be enough to fill all the empty spaces inside him?

It was a moment before the tolling of a bell outside the cabin registered. What the fuck? Jamie sat up, trying to hear past the pounding of his pulse in his ears. His cock throbbed and he groaned in frustration, knowing he couldn’t chase his pleasure until he found out what was going on at the dock. The only one to boat in was the man who dropped off his monthly supplies, and he’d been and gone two days ago. Who else would be using the dock? Jamie had been isolated for months without anything disturbing his peace. But this night he’d had a wildly erotic dream and now this. What made tonight so special?

Buy the book:

Amazon | KOBO  | Barnes and Noble  | Dreamspinner Press E-book & Print | ARe 

BannerTemplate

Meet the Author:

Dianne grew up in one of the older homes in the middle of Los Angeles, a place of hardwood floors and secret closets and back staircases. A house where ghosts lurk in the basement and the faces in the paintings watch you walk up the front stairs. Rooms where you keep the closet doors closed tight at night. It’s where her love of the mysterious and wonderful came from.

Dianne now lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

21-Dec: Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Kirsty Loves Books, Full Moon Dreaming

22-Dec: Unquietly Me, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Divine Magazine, The Hat Party, Inked Rainbow Reads

23-Dec: Happily Ever Chapter, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Mikky’s World of Books

24-Dec: BFD Book Blog, Velvet Panic

25-Dec: Joyfully Jay, 3 Chicks After Dark, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

28-Dec: Love Bytes, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook

29-Dec: QUEERcentric Books, A.M. Leibowitz, Books A to Z

30-Dec: Prism Book Alliance, Alpha Book Club, Cathy Brockman Romances

31-Dec: Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie

1-Jan: The Novel Approach, Havan Fellows, Dawn’s Reading Nook, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.  Happy Reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

WillPride

Review of Chaos (Lost Gods #5) by Megan Derr

Standard

Rating: 5 stars

“Nine gods ruled the world, until the ultimate betrayal resulted in their destruction. Now, the world is dying and only by restoring the Lost Gods can it be saved.”    All of the five kingdoms but Schatten have seen their gods return to the world.  Schatten, a world of darkness and ice, has been isolated from the rest of the world by Lord Teufel, the Shadow of the Lost Licht.  By his power and enforced by the deadly Sentinels, Schatten has been ruled by Order, its people regimented, living under iron laws for over nine hundred years.

But now things are changing, the gods are returning and chaos has entered the lands of Order just as prophesied.   A man named Sasha roams the forbidden lands of Schatten, his memory gone, fragmented, with just snips of knowledge to go on.  He knows his name and remembers a fight with a beast with violet eyes.  He has a whip and knows how to use it.  On his finger is a ring of immense power and on his chest is burned a black violet spider web telling him he is cursed.  Sasha can remember just enough to realize he has a mission, but what?  Sasha has the feeling that time is running out, but the more he tries to remember, the greater agony in his head.  A young man from the nearest village takes him in, tends to his wounds and feeds him.  When the village is beset by Sentinels, Sasha destroys them, something unheard of and the wary villagers cast him and the young man, David, out.  Together they travel to the capitol, Sonnenstrahl, where all paths lead.  Sasha can only hope for both their sakes and that of Schatten, that he remembers who he is and what he has to accomplish before they arrive or all will be lost.

What an amazing ending to an incredible series!  I have to admit that when a series has been as great as this one I am always a bit apprehensive when approaching the final volume.  Will the final book tie the saga together?  Will it meet or exceed the standards set by the previous books?  Will all the characters I have come to love, and the rich drama that has carried me from book to book come together in the glorious ending I have been hoping for?  I am so happy to report that with Chaos (Lost Gods #5),  Megan Derr answers all those questions and more with a resounding yes!

Lost Gods is the saga of five kingdoms whose gods were lost or killed nine hundred years ago.  Their worlds were plunged into darkness, their people suffered, and only a handful of prophesies gave hope to the kingdoms of Kundou (Treasure), Pozhar (Burning Bright), Piedre (Stone Rose), Verde (Poison), and Schatten (Chaos).  One by one, we watched the unimaginable happen and through forgiveness, pain, and rebirth, each nation regained their gods.  Now the only kingdom left is Schatten, the place and the god that started it all, the Lost Licht.  In each book, there has lurked a malevolency in the form of a sorcerer or dark magic from the lands of Schatten, as Teufel, the Shadow of the Lost Licht, has tried to prevent the gods from returning.  But we have never understood the reasoning or the power behind these attempts, the nature of their god and the land of Schatten remained hidden behind the giant walls and secrecy.  But as the saga progressed, it was understood that the final battle was to be taken back to the beginning, high in the frozen mountains of Schatten.

Derr has given us the epic battle between Light and Dark, Chaos and Order, and all the threads she has been weaving throughout all the books come together in a rich tapestry full of life, pain, death, forgiveness, love, and rebirth.  These are the themes we have visited over and over in every book and so they must all be present here at the end for a mythic conclusion.  We have been waiting for the Child of Chaos and were told in Stone Rose that he had been born and must be hidden, protected until it was time for the prophesy to be fulfilled.  I had an idea that the Child of Chaos must be someone we had already been introduced to but when he is finally revealed (no spoilers here), I was floored.  It never occured to me that he would be the Child, but after the fact, this character was the only perfect one and Derr’s splendid planning and brilliant plot was just reinforced with that reveal.  Derr has been meticulous with her plots, as each story moved the saga forward but not always in a manner that was immediately obvious.  It might take the next book to bring to fruition an idea or plot line she started with Treasure.  The amount of notes and timelines she had to have established to make this convoluted, complicated mythology come together boggles the mind.  Megan Derr never once dropped a plot thread or misplaced a character’s purpose in her story.  Really, its just so beautifully carried out.

And oh the characters we have met!  Each and every one a gripping, vividly portrayed person, whether it be a young pickpocket, a sensual White Beast of Verde, the haunted and haunting avatar of the Basilisk or the passionate, sword swinging captains of Kundou.  We have had young men sacrificed on alters of fire (I have never forgiven certain events in Burning Bright) and marble, old betrayals forgiven, and gods reborn amid the ashes of hate and love.  I have cried and laughed my way through each book while admitting I do have some favorites among her characters.  We revisit some of my favorites here and are introduced to new beautifully fleshed out characters who appear in Chaos.  High Seer Friedrich is just an example.  He is the High Seer of Schatten, one of immense power who helps enforce the laws of Teufel.  But from the start, we realize, along with him, that something is terribly wrong with him.  He hears a voice in his head, more than hears, he sees this person Dracht who talks to him, visits him in his dreams and makes love to him.  Dracht seems so  real but he whispers things of such sacrilege that Friedrich thinks he is losing his mind.  There is an under Seer who is scheming to take Friedrich’s place and a High Sorcerer who reports that Sentinels are being killed  all over the Kingdom, an unheard of event.  Then we meet David, a true innocent.  An orphan who loses the one person who took him in yet turns around and offers shelter to someone who might have caused that person’s death.  David is such a shining presence you fear for him immediately because you have seen what has happened to ones like him in the past.  David’s youthful goodness is balanced out by his younger friend, Killian, whose immaturity and bratty nature threatens David’s precarious position within the village.

And finally we have Sasha, the warrior with the lost memory and a mission to accomplish.  Sasha is older, powerful and at ease with his weapons.  He looks in a mirror but doesn’t recognize his face.  When he thinks of love, he feels pain and loss yet everything about David calls to him.  Sasha can’t remember his identity but realizes that the happiness he has found with David is something he has never achieved before, and the irony does not escape him.  One person after another strides across the landscape of this saga, each bursting with life, their emotions so real, so authentic that we cannot help but become involved in their stories. Their hopes and promises become ours, we absorb their pain and when their hearts break with loss so does ours.  That is wonderful storytelling, that is terrific writing. The boxes of tissues I have gone through over the course of this outstanding saga would fill a shelf.

But if I have shed many tears, I have also laughed, chuckled, and shouted with joy and ended my journey with the Lost Gods absolutely satisifed, amazed at the depth of Derr’s world building, and assured that the books of the Lost Gods will be ones I reread over and over again.  What a saga! What heros and what amazing gods we have met along the way.  Do yourself a favor.  Pick this saga up, settle into your favorite place to read, and prepare to lose yourself in worlds so amazing you will never want to leave.  I feel that way every time I think of these books. I think you will feel that way too. This is one of my best series for 2012.

Cover:  I love these covers by London Burden.  Each cover is a map of the kingdom whose story is being told.  The colors all have significance as well.  Just outstanding.  These are among my favorites of the year.

Here is the Lost Gods series, in the order they were written and should be read, in order to understand the complicated plots and characters within.

Treasure (Lost Gods#1) – Kingdom of Kundou

Burning Bright (Lost Gods#2) – Kingdom of P0zhar and my favorite book of the series

Stone Rose (Lost Gods#3) – Kingdom of Piedre

Poison (Lost Gods#4) – Kingdom of Verde

Chaos (Lost Gods#5) – Kingdom of Schatten