On Tour with ‘The Vampire’s Protege (A Vampire’s Angel’s story)’ by Damian Serbu (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  The Vampire’s Protege

Series: From the Vampire’s Angel universe

Author: Damian Serbu

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: August 21

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 99600

Genre: Horror, paranormal, abduction, action, blood and gore, cisgender, contemporary, crime, dark, death, gay, paranormal, vampires

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Damian Serbu today on his tour for The Vampire’s Protege. We have a wonderful author’s interview, excerpt and giveaway.  Don’t miss any of it, starting below!

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~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Damian Serbu ~

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?

I wrote my first novel after several years of contemplation and fascination with the concept.  I was completing my doctorate in history at the time, and would escape from the concrete world of facts and past events by writing fiction.  That particularly story was inspired by the movie “The Man in the Iron Mask.”  It eventually became Dark Sorcerer Threatening, which is currently out of print but I hope to reprint someday.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?

Because I have full time job, I maintain a pretty strict schedule or I would never get around to it!  I write at least twice a week, for a good chunk of time.

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?

I am way too much of a historian, even in my writing of novels, to go without an outline!  So I sketch out the entire story before I begin.  For a long time before I outline, I keep notes and jot down ideas for the story, then I take that mess of ideas and shape it into the outline, which I then edit several times.  That being said, the outline serves as a general guide, not something written in stone.  I let the muse take me where it will, which often necessitates tweaking the outline as I go.  As for inspiration, I let that hit me wherever it appears.  Sometimes it’s a movie or song or picture, but more often than not it comes out of nowhere and just blasts me in the head.  It seems to happen a lot on my morning jog.  And I just let the words flow when I write – but that requires going back and doing a pretty thorough edit.

Where did the desire to write LGBTQIA+ stories come from?

From being gay!  It’s what I know, it’s what I like to read, and so it’s what I want to write.

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?

The amount of research for the story depends on the story, really.  When I set it in the past, I do a great deal of research.  For example, I’ve written about the French Revolution, Antebellum America, and pirates.  Those all took extensive research to get the history correct.  That’s where my academic background comes in handy!  I know how to gather books and articles that give me solid history, and then weave that reality into the writing.  I do all of that research before I even start outlining.  But other stories, including The Vampire’s Protégé, don’t require as much research.  There, I may need to research something that pops up.  For example, this time I suddenly found myself writing about Bitcoin, which I didn’t know a damn thing about.  So off I went to learn a tad so I didn’t make a fool of myself!  But my novels set in a contemporary setting don’t require as much extensive research.

Synopsis

A sinister vampire offers Charon a choice he can’t refuse: play a deadly game of winner takes all, losers die.

Charon relishes the competition and molds himself into a sexy vampire who defies vampire law, savoring his power and embracing the role of villain. He also loves surrounding himself with hot young men. But when an alluring vampire stalks him and threatens to turn him into the Vampire Council unless he helps with a seemingly impossible task, will Charon risk his perfectly narcissistic life on the challenge? Does he have any other choice?

Excerpt

The Vampire’s Protege
Damian Serbu © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Prologue

Introducing Charon

Everyone thinks they adore the Vampire Council with its rules and regulations that allegedly govern all vampires and thereby ensure the safety of virtuous humans. People want to lose themselves in the tales of the Council members: Xavier and Thomas and their love; Anthony and Jaret and their guarding of humanity; Catherine and Harriet and their whims within a righteous vampiric empire. Most of all, the Vampire Ethic provides comfort with its guarantee that goodness protects an individual from a vampire attack, with its promise that all vampires defend innocence.

Vampires accept this reality because it gives them a collective soul. The ethic protects them from the stereotype of evil incarnate preying upon humanity. Or, in the least, obedience to it keeps them alive, lest the Council hunt them down and murder them for transgressions against it.

Humans desire the Council’s laws to maintain their fantasy of security from the supernatural realms. Who would dismiss a hidden force of vampire police that might swoop in at any sign of danger and annihilate the perpetrator?

Yet deep inside, so many long for something different, something that avoids this utopian trope and perfect world, all tied up in a pretty bow. Part of everyone, that piece so desperately stamped down and derided, seeks an alternative story.

To be sure, many will deny it. Fight against these words and honorably cast them out as the devil’s temptations. Yet no proof of Satan or such demonic forces presents itself. Because even those thoughts really stem from the inner being in everyone, that secretly locked-up atom inside a person that pines for freedom and seeks release, even as the goodness scolds it.

Still people contest these words. Deny them.

Yet a fascination with villains thrives in America. Think of the great antiheroes of history and their legendary fame. The Wicked Witch of the West. Darth Vader. Hannibal Lecter. The Joker. The infamy of historic figures such as Adolf Hitler or Ted Bundy or the Son of Sam. The people who don the costumes at Halloween of Lord Voldemort, Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler because it empowers them for a night with beautiful wickedness. People laugh at Scar, Ursula, and even Mr. Potter. They read the tales of Lex Luther and Cujo, privately wishing they would eventually triumph over the heroes of the story and bring a bit of destruction to the globe.

Jack the Ripper lives through the ages because he successfully hid himself, true. But also because his perfect malevolence went unpunished. People want that for themselves. His legend draws them back again and again to that story with the hope of their own misdeeds going unchallenged.

Thus, whether admitted or not, people long to meet Charon. Yes, so many cry out for Charon and his story. People want him. Readers desire him, need him, really. The world will have no choice but to love him. All will embrace him as they have these other villains of history. They will celebrate his perfect treachery.

Unlike those obedient to the Vampire Council, Charon hardly worries about a bit of notoriety from time to time. Fear of retribution never enters his vocabulary. He need not concern himself with the Vampire Council and its regulations. Nor does Charon often fret over any other person or entity cracking down on his masterful empire.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Damian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He previously authored several novels now out of print, and is excited to reignite his writing with Ninestar Press!

Facebook | Twitter

Tour Schedule

8/21    Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 

8/21    Outrageous Heroes of Romance

8/22    Shari Sakurai 

8/22    MM Good Book Reviews

8/23    Drops of Ink

8/24    love bytes reviews

8/24    QSF     

8/25    The Novel Approach

8/25    Bayou Book Junkie

8/25    Erotica For All

8/25    Happily Ever Chapter

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Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues

Are you at glued to however you watch tv these days when GoT comes on?  That’s Game of Thrones of course.  The lavish, addictive, often dark fantasy series from HBO adapted from George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire, one that’s he still writing, I  might add if you aren’t someone who read the books  first and then started watching the series.  Or lives in Outer Mongolia, although I’m convinced they get GoT there too.  It’s a land where winter’s coming, a woman ride’s a dragon to her destiny, there are terrifying whitewalkers and even scarier queens now sitting on the iron throne.  There’s Tyrion a dwarf who drinks and knows things plus so many mad wonderful, awful, horrific events that have occurred that we stay fastened to this series as though epoxied. You can’t help it.  It’s magnificent.  And its fantasy.  People love fantasy,  From Tolkien to George R. R. Martin, to the stories of our childhood, whether it be Harry Potter or Peter Pan, imagining the impossible or the improbable has always captured our imagination and our attention.

We want to slide into those worlds, those adventures, see those dragons!  How I loved Anne Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series and Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series just to name two that I couldn’t get enough of.   But really I gobbled them all up.  And still do today.  I just finished last week Don Allmon’s Glamour Thieves and another story in Megan Derr’s Tales of the High King, a series Lila loves as well.  Megan Derr can do no wrong in her  fantasy stories.  Just check our our recommendations for her below.

We are still working on our Fantasy Rec lists.  You all know?  I forgot the Supernatural/Paranormal lists, so those may have to come next.  But for now, lets concentrate on the Fantasy ones.  Our Giveaway runs until August 26~you just might see books you never got to or ones you definitely want to reread!

(Extra note:  We are still looking for reviewers, please contact us if you know of anyone or want to review for us yourself.  Write to us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com)

 

Fantasy Titles Recommended – 

Nightrunner Series by Lynn Flewelling
Dance with the Devil series by Megan Derr
Charm of Magpies series by KJ Charles
Hexworld series by Jordan L Hawk
Woke Up in a Strange Place  by Eric Arvin
The Druid Stone (Layers of the Otherworld #1) by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Galway Bound (Layers of the Otherworld #1.1) by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk
The Pirate’s Game (Etsey Novels #3) by Heidi Cullinan and
Etsey novels by Heidi Cullinan

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

Send in your recs  for your favorite fantasy book/ or series!  Don’t forget to add your email address where we can reach you if chosen to receive our gift certificate of $10.

Again, gift certificates to a reader chosen at random who left a comment along with their email address where they can be reached if chosen.
Contest ends at midnight on 8/26.  That’s two weeks to get your recommendations in!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 20:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Our STRW Fantasy Recommendations Continues

Monday, August 21:

  • Book Blitz & Review Tour – JM Dabney – Ghost (Executioners #1)
  • DSP GUEST POST Vivien Dean
  • TOUR The Vampire’s Protege by Damian Serbu
  • TOUR Blended Notes by Lilah Suzanne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna: Book 5) by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Ghost (Executioners #1) by JM Dabney
  • An Alisa Review Wrong Place, Right Time by April Kelley

Tuesday, August 22:

  • DSP GUEST POST Alex Standish for Changing Tides
  • Review Tour – Elin Gregory – The Bones Of Our Fathers
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z.
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts 3) by KC Burn
  • A MelanieM Review: The Bones Of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory
  • A Stella Review: TBD

Wednesday, August 23:

  • Blog Tour *Inhuman Beings by Richard May
  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote’s Tops Down Bottoms Up
  • A Jeri Review: Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote
  • A Lila Review: The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr
  • A VVivacious Review: How to Love a Monster by Lyssa Dering
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Coasting by Yvonne Trent

Thursday, August 24:

  • Cover Reveal First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Julia Ember
  • RIPTIDE TOUR The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by EJ Russell
  • An Alisa Review: Dude Mama by Michael P. Thomas
  • A Caryn Review: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere’ M. Fishback
  • A MelanieM Review: One in Vermilion by Kris T. Bethke
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay  (Narrator)

Friday, August 25:

  • TOUR for Grounded by Aidan Wayne
  • Tour and Giveaway for The Runner by Karma Kingsley
  • Retro Tour: Men of London series by Susan Mac Nicol
  • A Lila Review: Conned By Jana Denardo
  • A MelanieM Review: Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove #1) by Annabeth Albert
  • An Ali Review: Love You Senseless (Men of London #1) by Susan Mac Nicol
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Cowboys Don’t Come Out by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

Saturday, August 26:

  • Blog tour FORBIDDEN LUST BY GRAYSON KNIGHT
  • Release Blitz Without A Compass – Helen Juliet
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart #1) by Kay Berrisford

 

A VVivacious Review: Weekend Getaway (Daniel and Ryan #7) by Tamryn Eradani

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

An idea from Ryan regarding a scene can’t seem to get out of Daniel’s head. He wants to try it out but among the safety of strangers, so Ryan and Daniel make a weekend trip that will either end in disaster or make for one very sexy memory. 

This review is the review of the book as well as the excerpt for the next one. Because you can’t drop a bomb in the excerpt and not expect it to have an impact.

I was so inordinately happy after reading this story and then I read the excerpt and I was like – Oh! This is too fast and I know how that sounds because in most reviews for this series I am like things are going too slow but seriously you can’t lull your readers into liking the slow pace you have set for your series and then start springing atomic bombs on them.

There is just too much happening in the next one, there might be a meet and greet with a family member and a very surprising addition to Daniel and Ryan’s sex life. I feel like this is no longer the review for the “Weekend getaway” but more like the review for the excerpt of “Caught in Between” which is a fitting name because that is exactly how I feel.

But if I could get my mind off the excerpt I would tell you that this short story was extraordinarily well written and well paced. There is a lot happening and I loved seeing Ryan and Daniel’s relationship progress so far. Daniel is so much more trusting of Ryan and I felt like these two scenes that they share in this short really pushed the boundaries of their relationship and their sex life but alas I can’t tell you all this because that excerpt completely short circuited my brain. All I can think about is the logistics of the thing, suggested by Daniel in the excerpt, happening.

I had these pretty little butterflies bouncing about in my stomach after reading the last line of Weekend Getaway because at that point I was feeling blissfully overwhelmed and happy considering how far Daniel and Ryan had come about and I was all ready to write an amazing review when I read the excerpt and the butterflies in my stomach transmogrified into vampire rats infected with the bubonic plague.

Okay, I might be exaggerating but I have no idea what to expect from the next one in this series. This particular book was amazing but I am really unsure about “Caught in Between”, but I guess the I will just have to wait and watch.

Meanwhile this particular short is independently a very nice addition to this series and I loved reading it as I hope you can tell but I am pretty nervous about the next one.

The Cover Art by Natasha Snow is amazing and I love the new series of covers for this

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Published August 7th 2017 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781947139541
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDaniel and Ryan #7

An Alisa Pre-Release Review: Grounded by Aidan Wayne

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Between raising his daughter Camille, his work as a full-time pastry chef, and his hobby of capoeira, Baz’s life is pretty full. He may be a little lonely, but he’s too busy to think about it all that much.

 

When his cousin Alaina introduces him to Terry, another capoeira student, Baz is instantly drawn to him. Though quiet and withdrawn, Terry ends up being a fun, interesting person who Baz can’t help but fall for. And when Baz does things, he doesn’t do them halfway.

 

Terry is a successful voice actor and a talented martial artist. But the fact that he’s shy, on top of being a trans man, has kept him from really dating. He likes Baz, he does—he just doesn’t want to mess up their friendship by failing at romance. Still, Baz is nothing if not stubborn, and Terry is willing to give things a try.

 

This was a very sweet story.  Baz hasn’t dated since his daughter was born, allowing her and his job to take up his life.  When he meeting Terry he is intrigued and begins with starting a tentative friendship with the shy man.

 

Baz is willing to push Terry for them to move into a relationship but doesn’t want to scare him.  He is so understanding with Terry, almost unbelievably so, and the bumps along the way to build their relationship.

 

Terry has gone through so much with transitioning and how people have treated him throughout his life.  I could see how hard it was for him when people mistook him for a girl and to accept that Baz wanted him, I mean really wanted him.  I loved seeing both Baz and Terry get the relationship they both wanted and needed in the end and I was glad to see them slowly taking more steps to be together longer.

 

Cover art by Natasha Snow is a wonderful picture.

 

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 120 pages

Published: August 21, 2017 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-947139-68-8

Edition Language: English

Tour: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere’ M. Fishback (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Becoming Andy Hunsinger

Author: Jere’ M. Fishback

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: Aug 14, 2017

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 64200

Genre: Historical, friends to lovers, college, coming out, coming-of-age, historical, drug/alcohol use

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Synopsis

It’s 1976, and Anita Bryant’s homophobic “Save Our Children” crusade rages through Florida. When Andy Hunsinger, a closeted gay college student, joins in a demonstration protesting Bryant’s appearance in Tallahassee, his straight boy image is shattered when he is “outed” by a TV news reporter. In the months following, Andy discovers just what it means to be openly gay in a society that condemns love between two men and wonders if his friendship with Travis, a devout Christian who’s fighting his own sexual urges, can develop into something deeper.

Excerpt

Becoming Andy Hunsinger
Jere’ M. Fishback © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

On my seventh birthday, my parents gave me a Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat.

I still have the book; it rests on the shelf above my desk, along with other Seuss works I’ve collected. Inside The Cat in the Hat’s cover, my mother wrote an inscription, using her precise penmanship.

“Happy Birthday, Andy. As you grow older, you’ll realize many truths dwell within these pages. Much love, Mom and Dad.”

Mom was right, of course. She most always was. My favorite line is this one:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

***

Loretta McPhail was a notorious Tallahassee slumlord. On a steamy afternoon, in August 1976, she spoke to me in her North Florida drawl: part magnolia, part crosscut saw.

“The rent’s one twenty-five. I’ll need first, last, and a security deposit, no exceptions.”

McPhail wore a short-sleeved shirtwaist dress, spectator pumps, and a straw hat with a green plastic windowpane sewn into the brim. Her skin was as pale as cake flour. A gray moustache grew on her wrinkled upper lip, and age spots peppered the backs of her hands. Her eyeglasses had lenses so thick her gaze looked buggy.

I’d heard McPhail held title to more than fifty properties in town, all of them cited multiple times for violation of local building codes. She owned rooming houses, single-family homes, and small apartment buildings, mostly in neighborhoods surrounding Florida State University’s campus. Like me, her tenants sought cheap rent; they didn’t care if the roof leaked or the furnace didn’t work.

The Franklin Street apartment I viewed with McPhail wasn’t much: a living room and kitchen, divided by a three-quarter wall; a bedroom with windows looking into the rear and side yards; and a bathroom with a wall-mounted sink, a shower stall, and a toilet with a broken seat. In each room, the plaster ceilings bore water marks. The carpet was a leopard skin of suspicious-looking stains, and the whole place stank of mildew and cat pee.

McPhail’s building was a two-storied, red-brick four-plex with casement windows that opened like book covers, a Panhandle style of architecture popular in the 1950s. Shingles on the pitched roof curled at their edges. Live oaks and longleaf pines shaded the crabgrass lawn, and skeletal azaleas clung to the building’s exterior.

In the kitchen, I peeked inside a rust-pitted Frigidaire. The previous tenant had left gifts: a half-empty ketchup bottle, another of pickle relish. A carton of orange juice with an expiration date three months past sat beside a tub of margarine.

Out in the stairwell, piano music tinkled—a jazzy number I didn’t recognize.

McPhail clucked her tongue and shook her head. “I’ve told Fergal—and I mean several times—to close his door when he plays, but he never does. I’m not sure why I put up with that boy.”

McPhail pulled a pack of Marlboros from a pocket in the skirt of her dress. After tapping out two cigarettes, she jammed them between her lips. She lit both with a brushed-chrome Zippo, then gave me one.

I puffed and tapped a toe, letting my gaze travel about the kitchen. I studied the chipped porcelain sink, scratched Formica countertops, and drippy faucet. Blackened food caked the range’s burner pans. The linoleum floor’s confetti motif had long ago disappeared in high-traffic areas. Okay, the place was a dump. But the rent was cheap, and campus was less than a mile away. I could ride my bike to classes and to my part-time job as caddy at the Capital City Country Club.

Still, I hesitated.

The past two years, I’d lived in my fraternity house with forty brothers. I took my meals there, too. If I rented McPhail’s apartment, I’d have to cook for myself. What would I eat? Where would I shop for food?

Other questions flooded my brain. Where would I wash my clothes? And how did a guy open a utilities account? The apartment wasn’t furnished. Where would I purchase a bed? What about a dinette and living room furniture?

And how much did such things cost? It all seemed so complicated.

Still…

Lack of privacy at the fraternity house would pose a problem for me this year. Over summer break—back home in Pensacola—I’d experienced my first sexual encounter with another male, a lanky serviceman named Jeff Dellinger, age twenty-four. Jeff was a second lieutenant from Eglin Air Force Base. I met him at a sand volleyball game behind a Pensacola Beach hotel, and he seemed friendly. I liked his dark hair, slim physique, and ready smile, but wasn’t expecting anything personal to happen between us.

After all, I was a “straight boy,” right?

We bought each other beers at the tiki bar, and then Jeff invited me up to his hotel room. Once we reached the room, Jeff prepared two vodka tonics. My drink struck like snake venom, and then my brain fuzzed. Jeff opened a bureau drawer; he produced a lethal-looking pistol fashioned from black metal. The pistol had a matte finish and a checked grip.

“Ever seen one of these?” Jeff asked.

I shook my head.

“It’s an M1911—official air-force issue. I’ve fired it dozens of times.”

Jeff raised the gun to shoulder height. He closed one eye, focused his other on the pistol’s barrel sight. “Shooting’s almost…sensual.” Then he looked at me. “It’s like sex, if you know what I mean.”

I shrugged, not knowing what to say.

Jeff handed the pistol to me. It weighed more than I’d expected, between two and three pounds. I turned it this way and that, admiring its sleek contours. The grip felt cold against my palm and a shiver ran through me. I’d never fired a handgun, never thought to.

“Is it loaded?” I asked.

Jeff bobbed his chin. “One bullet’s in the firing chamber, seven more in the magazine; it’s a semiautomatic.”

After I handed Jeff the gun, he returned it to his bureau’s drawer while I sipped my drink, feeling woozier by the minute. Jeff sat next to me, on the room’s double bed. His knee nudged mine, our shoulders touched, and I smelled his coconut-scented sunscreen.

Jeff laid a hand on my thigh. Then he squeezed. “You don’t mind, do you?”

I looked down at his hand while my heart thumped. Go on, chickenshit. He wants you.

I gazed into Jeff’s dark eyes. “It’s fine.”

Moments later, my swim trunks lay in a corner and Jeff knelt in front of me, slurping away. Currents of pleasure crept through my limbs, and then I felt a buzzing between my legs. When I came, I thought I’d pass out. I closed my eyes and drew a deep breath. Then I watched fireworks explode inside my head.

Jesus, this feels good. Why haven’t I done this before?

Thereafter, we rendezvoused several times during summer, always at the same hotel.

“I get a military discount here,” Jeff explained.

I quickly learned the basics of male/male sex from Jeff, and each session proved better than the one before. During these meetings, Jeff introduced me to anal intercourse, something I’d never dreamed I would do.

The first few times, Jeff took a passive role. But then he asked me to surrender my cherry, and I acceded. Jeff’s initial penetration felt painful, but soon I relaxed, and I discovered a side of myself I hadn’t known existed. A fullness and warmth crept through my body as Jeff thrust inside me. The whole thing felt so…natural.

Whenever I lay in bed with Jeff, after sex, I always rested my head on his chest, and while I listened to his heartbeat I felt like a guy released from jail. I knew I was queer then—there was no doubt about it—and the realization made me feel a bit foolish, like I was the last guy at the party let in on the joke. I was a faggot, a fudge-packer, a butt pirate. My attempts at dating women had been a ruse—I’d only done it to fit in with my fraternity brothers—and what a waste of time it had been for all concerned.

Like most guys, I’d masturbated chronically since my early teens, and now I knew why visions of naked men crept into my thoughts whenever I did so. Now I knew why my friends’ girlie magazines had never held my interest. No wonder showering with my PE classmates in high school had thrilled me so.

It all seems stupid in retrospect. How could I not know I was gay? But in 1976, most guys weren’t in touch with their inner selves. I don’t know why, but we weren’t. Feelings weren’t a topic of male conversation. Emotional needs took a backseat to more “important” matters: achievement, sports, and politics—“normal” concerns, if you will.

My summer with Jeff changed all that, for me at least. In the sexual sense, I had found my mother lode. I belonged in the arms of a man—I would settle for nothing else—and I was fine with it. But now fall had arrived, and I would live in Tallahassee again. I couldn’t drive to Fort Walton Beach every weekend. That would mean a three-hour drive on monotonous Highway 90, passing by cow pastures and slash pine forests, just to meet up with Jeff. And how much sense did that make? I needed a boyfriend who lived nearby, and assuming I found one, I would face a few problems.

If I remained at the Lambda Chi house I’d share a room with a fraternity brother, so I’d have no privacy. Plus, the guys at Lambda Chi wouldn’t understand if I dated another male, no way.

Wasn’t it time I had my own place?

Now, in her run-down rental apartment, McPhail blew a stream of blue smoke. After the cloud rose to the kitchen’s cobwebbed ceiling, she looked at me with her insect eyes.

“Well?” she said.

I studied my shoes and licked my lips. Go on: do it.

I swung my gaze to my future landlady.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Jere’ M. Fishback is a former journalist and trial lawyer who now writes fiction full time. He lives with his partner Greg on a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. When he’s not writing, Jere’ enjoys reading, playing his guitar, jogging, swimming laps, fishing, and watching sunsets from his deck overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Tour Schedule

8/14    Happily Ever Chapter

8/14    Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

8/15    MillsyLovesBooks

8/15    A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog

8/15    Love Bytes Reviews

8/16    V’s Reads

8/17    MM Good Book Reviews

8/17    The Novel Approach

8/17    Drops of Ink

8/17    Diverse Reader

8/18    Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

8/18    Xtreme Delusions

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Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums

Ah, mid August.  Usually, that boring time of the month when the temperatures are heating up, vacations may be winding down, school is only weeks away…a time of calm, normally before things start up again.  The heat makes you slow down, the winds are becalmed, leaving ships drifting in the seas….

But all now seems in turmoil around us, I shy away from the news, the media (living in the Metro area makes this almost impossible) making want to cringe or more from what I hear being relayed daily.  Never did I think our country would come to this.  I admit to feeling incredibly disheartened these days.  Enough to long for those boring summer  doldrums of old.  And it wasn’t even that long ago that things seemed so promising.

Like the fresh start of summer every year.  Those days are always so full of promise, things we want to do in our time off, places to visit, things to accomplish maybe, or just relaxation, perhaps.  By mid-August, reality sets in as Autumn starts to peep around the corner, bringing another season, the arrival of Fall, and the closure of another summer.  Was it everything we hoped for?  Like a summer romance, it rarely is but the memories can remain golden if looked at in the right light.  So I’m wondering how we will remember this summer?  In what light, will we hold up these memories?  It’s too early to say.  I do know that now I’m looking forward to fall, to clear away the summer doldrums for the briskness of the fall air and the promise of a new clarity.  We can hope, can’t we?

In the meantime, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words accumulations of lists go on!

We are still working on our Fantasy Rec lists.  You all know?  I forgot the Supernatural/Paranormal lists, so those may have to come next.  But for now, lets concentrate on the Fantasy ones.  Our Giveaway runs until August 26~

(Extra note:  We are still looking for reviewers, please contact us if you know of anyone or want to review for us yourself.  Write to us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com)

Fantasy Titles to be Added To:

Purple Reader starts off our recs with this from last week’s rec list (I stuck it here, because it seemed to fit):
Readers Recs:

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

Send in your recs  for your favorite fantasy book/ or series!  Don’t forget to add your email address where we can reach you if chosen to receive our gift certificate of $10.

Again, gift certificates to a reader chosen at random who left a comment along with their email address where they can be reached if chosen.
Contest ends at midnight on 8/26.  That’s two weeks to get your recommendations in!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 13:

  • Mourning the Loss of Summer Doldrums.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 14:

  • Cover Reveal Blitz: Cataclysmic Shift by Tara Lain
  • DSP PUBLICATIONS TOUR: Ravon Silvius on The Storm Lords
  • Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane Blog Tour and Giveaway
  • Review Tour – Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Bone to Pick by TA Moore
  • An Ali Review: As Big As The Sky by Amy Aislin
  • A MelanieM Review: Lavender by Xavier Axelson
  • A MelanieM Review: Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour by Charlie Cochrane

Tuesday, August 15:

  • Dreamspinner Promo: Yvonne Trent on Coasting (States of Love Story)
  • TOUR: The One Thing I know by Keelan Ellis
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway for Three Player Game (Bluewater Bay) by Jaime Samms
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Guardian (Aisling #1) by Carole Cummings
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Wednesday, August 16:

  • Book Blitz – Misha Paige – Beast of a Time (Hellbound Hound #1)
  • TOUR King of the Fire Dancers by S.T. Sterlings
  • Review Tour – Clare London’s Peep Show
  • A Caryn Review: Peep Show by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Pre Release Review: Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
  • A Lila Release Day Review:  The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts #2) by Charlie Cochet

Thursday, August 17:

  • Cover Reveal for Mel Gough’s A World Apart
  • Review Tour – RJ Scott – Gabriel (Legacy #2)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
  • Andrew Grey on Ebb and Flow (Guest Post)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Gabriel (Legacy Ranch #2) by R.J. Scott
  • A MelanieM Review: Glamour Thieves by Don Allmon

Friday, August 18:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Tara Lain’s Fool of Main Beach
  • Tour: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere’ M. Fishback
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Jay Northcote’s Tops Down Bottoms Up
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review:  Northern Star by Ethan Day and Jason Frazier (Narrator)
  • A VVivacious Review: Weekend Getaway (Daniel and Ryan #7) by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: Grounded by Aidan Wayne

Saturday, August 19:

  • Release Blitz – Getting Through – J.S. Finley
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Shax’s War (Brimstone #3 by Angel Martinez and Vance Bastian (Narrator)

 

 

On Tour: E.M. Hamill on Writing, and ‘Dali’, (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Dali

Author: E.M. Hamill

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 8/7/17

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 85200

Genre: science fiction, space travel, third gender, interspecies sex, kidnapping, genderfluid, space opera

Add to Goodreads

♦︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host E.M. Hamill here today. Thank you for taking time to sit in our author interview chair. The author also brought an excerpt and giveaway.  Don’t forget to check both out after the interview!

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words E.M Hamill Interview ~

 

  • Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Computer. It keeps up between my brain and my fingers better than pen. I used to do data entry and I type really fast.

  • How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Six months for the first draft of a full length novel, usually. You can’t rush editing, though. I average about a year before it’s ready to try and publish.

  • Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Oh, gods, yes…just keep plugging away, is all I can do. Even a few words a day is better than none. Eventually it cracks. I may start an entirely new section just to get flowing again. Worst case scenario, walk away from it for a week or so and then come back.

  • What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Writing is such a subjective thing. There are books I disliked, which were beautifully written and are someone else’s absolute favorite books. A review is simply the manifestation of personal taste. When someone’s taste coincides with mine and they love the story I’ve told, it’s a warm and wonderful thing. A bad review can really crush my ego, but if it’s constructive, I try to take those things into account.

  • What is your favorite motivational phrase?

Be the change you want to see in the world.

  • What is your favorite quote?

“We are the music makers,

And we are the dreamers of dreams,

Wandering by lone sea-breakers,

And sitting by desolate streams;—

World-losers and world-forsakers,

On whom the pale moon gleams:

Yet we are the movers and shakers

Of the world for ever, it seems. – Arthur O’Shaughnessy”

Synopsis

Dalí Tamareia has everything—a young family and a promising career as an Ambassador in the Sol Fed Diplomatic Corps. Dalí’s path as a peacemaker seems clear, but when their loved ones are killed in a terrorist attack, grief sends the genderfluid changeling into a spiral of self-destruction.

Fragile Sol Fed balances on the brink of war with a plundering alien race. Their skills with galactic relations are desperately needed to broker a protective alliance, but in mourning, Dalí no longer cares, seeking oblivion at the bottom of a bottle, in the arms of a faceless lover, or at the end of a knife.

The New Puritan Movement is rising to power within the government, preaching strict genetic counseling and galactic isolation to ensure survival of the endangered human race. Third gender citizens like Dalí don’t fit the mold of this perfect plan, and the NPM will stop at nothing to make their vision become reality. When Dalí stumbles into a plot threatening changelings like them, a shadow organization called the Penumbra recruits them for a rescue mission full of danger, sex, and intrigue, giving Dalí purpose again.

Risky liaisons with a sexy, charismatic pirate lord could be Dalí’s undoing—and the only way to prevent another deadly act of domestic terrorism.

Excerpt

Dalí
E.M. Hamill © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Human beings are assholes. I should know. I’d become one in the last few months.

You’d think the near extinction of our entire species after the pandemics and global poisoning our last world war inflicted might let us all pull together. Even with galactic war breathing down our necks, when almost everyone realized the human race constituted less of a threat to each other than some of the other things out there, we continued to be dicks.

Those attitudes started problems—in particular, Europan attitudes, of the New Puritan variety. I no longer possessed the self-control or sufficient fucks to avoid adding fuel to their fire.

His voice floated over the excited din of the crowd and the pregame show on the holographic screens above the bar.

“Abomination.”

I sighed and turned my head. The Team Europa-jacketed hulk next to me exuded a cloud of loathing against my empathic nets. I raised one eyebrow at him.

“Really? You can’t come up with anything more original after fifteen minutes of shit-talking?” The conversation behind me started as a diatribe against the rally for third-gender rights, held outside the arena and glimpsed on the main holo screen. I didn’t pay attention to either until the comments got louder and were meant for my ears.

“Faggot.”

“How very twentieth century of you.” I downed another of the six shots the robotic bartender dispensed in front of me. I wasn’t looking for trouble, only anesthetic. Outside, a cluster of media bots interviewing star athletes had driven me into the bar to hide. The presence of mechanized paparazzi still unsettled me. I didn’t want them in my face.

The annual Sol Series tournament games between Mars and Europa bordered on legendary for their savagery. No one took rugby as seriously as a gritty Martian colonist or a repressed New Puritan, and the bar overflowed with both, waiting for the station’s arena to open. Spectators gathered around us in the bar, drawn by the promise of a fight, glittering eyes fixed on us. My empathic senses drowned in their excitement and fear, even with the numbing effects of synthetic alcohol.

He invaded my personal space and leaned closer, face centimeters from mine. His breath carried a trace of mint and steroid vapors. Great. A huffer, his molecules all hyped-up on testosterone. He stood over a head taller than me, about twenty-five kilos heavier. His fists would do damage. His minions stood at either side, more meat than smarts. Neither spoke. Their mouths hung open while he harassed me, and I expected shuttle flies to crawl out at any time.

“You’re nothing but an A-sex freak.”

“Better. Still lacks originality.” I threw back the last shot. “How about androgynous freak? Hermaphrodite? No, those words are probably too big for you.”

The titter of laughter from the crowd only pissed him off. “Go fuck yourself.”

“Technically, I can’t. But I can fuck anybody else in this room. Can you?”

Shocked laughter rose from the circle of spectators. The guy clenched his fists and flexed his muscles. I continued, “Do I scare you?” I swiveled on the stool to face him and changed posture, crossing my legs in demure modesty. My voice rose into a husky, suggestive alto as I leaned one elbow on the bar. “Or do you want to find out what’s under my kilt?”

I hit a nerve. His eyes went blank, black, and his rage flooded over my senses. The crowd gasped and took a step back. Minion One caught his rising fist and spoke. “Jon, don’t you know who…”

Jon’s lip curled. “It’s an atrocity. It should have been killed at birth.”

“I prefer the term changeling.” I stood, and the circle around us got wider. The potent mix of hormones surged through my bloodstream as they altered my chemical makeup and bulked strategic upper body muscles. I let a cold smile form on my lips and dropped into a Zereid martial arts stance. Jon took half a step back as I became more definitively male in ways he recognized. “Oh, go ahead and hit me, by all means. A good fight is almost as good as sex.”

“Break it up.”

The crowd parted into nervous brackets with security’s arrival. Caniberi lumbered into the midst of the circle with the boneless roll space-born started to get after generations in orbit. He cast a sour eye in my direction.

“Dalí, why is it always you?”

“Just lucky, I guess.”

The constable growled at me. He turned to Jon. “You can’t play in the tournament if I throw you in the brig for violence. Move out.”

Jon stared at me a minute longer. The threat of not getting to beat the hell out of some hedonistic Martians made him reconsider. He and the minions moved away, but he threw one more sentence in my face like a javelin.

“You’ll be alone, changeling.”

The truth in his words knifed through me all the way to my gut and cut me deeper than any microsteel blade. “I’ll be waiting.”

Caniberi squinted at me as the crowd began to disperse. “Dalí, do I need to talk with the Captain?”

“No, sir. Leave my father out of this.” He’d dealt with enough from me already. My mother was now away on the diplomatic mission I’d been suspiciously—but rightly—deemed unfit to assume. Without Mom there to buffer the uncomfortable presence of my grief between us, Dad was lost.

“One of these days you’re going to push the wrong buttons and end up hurt, or worse. Some things the medical officer can’t fix.” His gaze softened. “Drinking and getting the shit beaten out of you won’t bring them back.”

“I’m well aware of that, sir.” My voice came out sharper than I intended. One of the best officers on the station, Caniberi had known me a little over a decade, and he never hesitated to kick my ass if I deserved it, no matter what gender I chose at the moment. This time, he just stared at me with an odd expression. His pity broke in tepid surges against my senses.

“Get out of here. I don’t want to arrest you again.”

I turned and left the bar. With the bots still hovering outside, I ducked my head to foil their facial recognition apps and fought my way upstream from the arena.

The shakes hit me in the aftermath of the hormone flood. The synthetic alcohol in my system warred with my normalizing chem levels and sour nausea threatened. I grabbed one of the rails lining the corridor and took several shuddering breaths as my muscles cramped, rearranged, and settled back into the lean, sexless frame where I am most at home.

The crowd jostled around me and headed toward the game. My empathic nets buzzed dully with their anticipation and excitement, but the sense of being watched pushed at the back of my mind. A familiar presence tripped a memory and an emotion.

The watcher knew me.

I turned my head. The Zereid made his way toward me, head and shoulders above everyone else, long, muscular limbs wading with passive grace through a river of human bodies as the crowd shifted for him. An eddy of cautious glances swirled and vanished downstream.

Oily quicksilver eyes without lids narrowed, their shape signifying the equivalent of a smile. His resonant voice buzzed in my ears. “He is the size of a cargo bot, you know. Even the arts we learned can’t change gravity. He might kill you.”

“I won’t let it go that far.” I shrugged. I actually hoped I’d bitten off more than I could swallow this time.

But the presence of my childhood friend undid me. A lump rose in my throat, pressure in my head, and I closed the distance between us. He gathered me in against cool flesh. I was locked in arms capable of crushing a human like a piece of foil but which held me with careful tenderness. Against his enormous chest, I felt like a small child, even though in developmental terms, Gor and I are the same age. His concern brushed my mind with affectionate familiarity.

“I see you, Dalí,” he murmured. “I mourn with you.”

I breathed in the scent of Zereid. Gor smelled of his homeworld—rain and earth and copper clung to his leathery turquoise skin and short, downy fur even in absentia. Homesickness washed over me.

I’d lived on Zereid most of my life. My mother, Marina Urquhart, served as ambassador for fifteen years. Dad’s career required he return to Sol Fed, and rather than separate our family, Mom resigned her appointment. My differences were clear, even to my third-gender mother, but there, we were aliens. I wondered what it would be like to have more friends who blinked.

When we got back to our own kind, I found out I was still an alien.

Gor pulled away. In the tarnished silver of his eyes, like antique mirrors, my unkempt reflection stared back at me. His dismay at my mental and physical state, impossible to miss, sighed against my mind.

“How did you hear?” I said.

“Your mother. “

“Of course.”

His head cocked. “I tried to come sooner, but the travel permissions into the colonies are daunting.”

“No, I understand.” I wanted to sit and talk with Gor. I eyed the bar, but couldn’t go back in there yet. “Come on. We can go to Dad’s quarters. He’ll be on the bridge.” My own cramped space wouldn’t accommodate Gor’s height or his bulk.

We squeezed into the private lift and rode up to the command deck. My thumbprint opened the door to the Captain’s suite, and Gor made a sound of wonder as he ducked through the port.

Three levels of transparent alloy shielding overlooked the U-curve of Rosetta Station. Shuttles buzzed in and out of bays like honeybees in the hydroponics domes, ferrying passengers to huge starliners docked on the outer limbs.

“An inspiring view.” Gor gazed out the window.

Ochre planet-shine from Jupiter’s face illuminated the room, the swirling storms in the gas giant’s atmosphere familiar to me now. I never found them beautiful, only an echo of the chaos in my head. I dropped into one of the chairs facing the viewport.

Gor eased himself into the seat opposite me. “You’re in crisis, Dalí.”

I couldn’t hide anything from him. Even if I wanted to, he was a telepath; his empathic senses much more attuned than my own modest abilities. Our friendship spanned far too many years, our trust well established. Lying to him would betray our oath of crechemates, a Zereid custom similar to old Earth tradition of blood brothers.

“Today would be the second anniversary of our wedding.” I stared at my hands. I still wore a ring on each of them, the ones Gresh and Rasida gave me.

“I remember. The love between you and your mates deserves celebration.”

Triad marriages with two members of the same sex and one of the opposite were common. The female population had not rebounded as fast as the male. But mine was the first triad marriage to include a changeling spouse under the new laws we helped to bring about. The legislation was both praised and vilified by hundreds of other citizens while we exchanged vows beneath the domes of the lunar capitol. My parents, Gresh’s mother, and Gor celebrated with us. Rasida’s mother refused to attend the wedding of her only daughter.

The three of us had been inseparable, invincible. Without them, I staggered, incomplete.

Our child would have been three months old now.

“Don’t say it.”

Gor’s eyes elongated in confusion. “What?”

“That they wouldn’t want me to be like this.”

“I did not come here to admonish you for grieving.”

I gave a short laugh. “What did you come here to scold me for?”

“For ceasing to live. Abandoning the larger destiny for which you trained.”

“Ambassador?” I dug a vape out of the pocket of my coat and thumbed the switch, inhaling illegal chemicals deep into my lungs. His gentle reproach against my empathic nets rebuked me without a word.

“You were sure of your calling as a peacemaker six months ago.” Zereid reverence toward conciliation is, ironically, unforgiving and unbending.

“I was certain of a lot of things then.” I exhaled a cloud of spicy mist. If any of the scent remained, I’d catch hell later for vaping in Dad’s quarters.

“There are always those who work against peace, even in their own hearts. As you are doing now.”

“I don’t know if I believe in peace anymore.”

“Because you do not possess it.”

“Stop feeding me platitudes, brother.”

He spread six-fingered hands wide. “What would you have me do? Tell me. Your pain is mine to share, beloved friend. Allow me to help you. Your rage is fearsome but undirected. You point it at yourself.”

“I was supposed to die, not them.” I cursed the terrorists who missed their target by eight minutes. When I decided not to address the media bots and chose instead to hold a private farewell with my family, I put myself ahead of schedule. I should have died with them. Even though the bastards failed to kill me, they destroyed me.

“Come home.” Gor waited for me to answer. I didn’t. He continued. “Madam Ambassador thinks Zereid would be a place of healing for you. You can study at the temple with me again, be teacher and student. This year’s crop of younglings is a challenge.” His vocal pipes fluted in laughter. “As we were.”

“That isn’t much of an incentive.” A grin tried to tug at the corners of my mouth, stiff and out of practice with the expression. “I’ll think about it.”

“Will you?” His doubt hovered between us.

The port slid open again and my father thundered in—Captain Paul Tamareia—“The Captain” to everyone on the station, even me at times. I stood at automatic attention, swaying a little. Gor rose too.

“What the hell were you thinking?” he demanded. “And turn that goddamned vape off.”

I complied. “A misunderstanding, sir.”

“Misunderstanding, my ass. Six shots of the synthetic piss that passes for whiskey says it wasn’t.” He turned to Gor and bowed. “Welcome aboard Rosetta Station, honored friend. Forgive me for not greeting you first.”

“Captain Tamareia.” Gor bowed back.

“How long will you be staying? I insist you use my quarters as your own. Stop by the constable’s office and he will register you for my door. I’m afraid most of the cabins are small, and we’re overcrowded with the tournament.”

“My thanks, sir. My travel clearance is good for the next two weeks, and then I must return.” Gor nodded at us. “I should collect my belongings now. I will go to your constable on the way back.”

“It’s good to see you, Gor.”

“You as well, Captain.” He put one enormous hand on my shoulder. “Dalí, please think about what I said.”

Gor let himself out. Dad and I both understood he made a graceful exit so we could shout at each other in peace. Zereids don’t carry a whole lot of baggage. They don’t wear clothes.

“Did you need to pick a fight with the number eight of the bloody Europan rugby team?” He tossed his personal data device on the table. “Do you even know who he is?”

“Other than a prick, no.”

“Jon Batterson. Does the name ring a bell at all?”

“Batterson.” I blinked through mental processes made sluggish by the vape. “As in President Batterson?”

“Light dawns. The heir apparent to his self-righteous little robotics empire.” He ran both hands through his hair. I inherited my dark-brown waves from him, but Dad’s customary high-and-tight showed little hint of curl. Mine now fell to my shoulders in a shaggy, tangled mane. “Do you realize the mess I would have had to clean up if you really let loose on him? Even if he is built like the ass end of a freighter, you could put him on the injured list.”

“It wasn’t my intent.”

“From what Caniberi told me, you were about to unleash hell on him. You sure stirred up some crap. The president is coming to the game tonight. The constable didn’t know who he was either, or he might have thrown you in the brig to prove a point.” He sat down with a thud on the steel bench and sighed. “Dalí. Come here.”

I sat next to him and braced myself.

“It’s been six months. Your leave from the diplomatic corps is finished, and if you don’t return, you’ll be dismissed. This has to stop. When you go back to your life, you’re going to encounter people like Batterson on a daily basis. Your reputation and your career are at stake. You can’t do this anymore.”

“That life’s over.”

“Don’t throw it away. You did so much in so short a time. You have a gift for understanding, and you will be a formidable ambassador. Sol Fed needs you in the negotiation chamber at the Remoliad. Luna is a better place because of your work.”

“Because of Gresh’s work. Because of Sida and our child. They were my reasons for everything. I’m not sure I feel as strongly for the rest of the human race.”

“Then you need to find another way to deal with their deaths. I won’t watch you destroy your future. You worked too hard for it.”

“Tell me how, sir.” My fury rose. “Tell me how I can deal with it because I’m looking for an exit.”

He stiffened. “What do you mean?”

“Nothing.” I rose and stalked away. He started to call after me, but the communication tones went off.

“Captain Tamareia, report to the bridge. The president’s shuttle is incoming.”

“On my way. Dalí!”

I ignored him and ducked through the port.

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

E.M. Hamill is a nurse by day, sci fi and fantasy novelist by night. She lives in eastern Kansas with her family, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse. She also writes young adult material under the name Elisabeth Hamill. Her first novel, SONG MAGICK, won first place for YA fantasy in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Fiction.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Tour Schedule

8/7      MM Good Book Reviews

8/8      Love Bytes reviews 

8/8      Boy Meets Boy Reviews

8/9      Bayou Book Junkie

8/9      Divine Magazine

8/10    MillsyLovesBooks

8/10    The Novel Approach 

8/11    My Fiction Nook

8/11    Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

8/11    Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Recs Lists, Summer Reading and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Recs Lists and Summer Reading

August is here and people are off on vacation or thinking off where to head off to for their summer getaways before the fall arrives.  And that means, packing books to take with you.  Whether it’s stacking your eReaders full of the latest in new arrivals or old favorites, or stashing away those treasured hardbound or paperbacks in your luggage or knapsacks, it’s time to look over lists and make some choices.  That’s what all these wonderful recs have been leading up to…books you haven’t read yet, might have overlooked, or just plain want to read again during your vacation (note to self, start rereading Megan Derr’s Lost Gods series again asap)!  I hope we can keep adding to these lists all year long.  Plus more lists to rec to come!

I still have books to rec rattling around my brain in both categories so don’t be surprised to see these lists popping back up. Ugh, I need to be more organized here and add as I read.  Like that’s going to happen….

However, we had so many wonderful lists and books rec’d to us that we are choosing a reader in each category to receive a gift card. Here are our randomly chosen winners from each category:

Winner of the Gift Card is:

  • Historical:  moondrawn (if moondrawn does not contact us within 5 days a new winner will be chosen)
  • Science Fiction:  H.B.

🎉 Will each winner please write to Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com and she will handle giving your your gift card.  Thanks!🎉

Part II – Soldiers/Warriors ~ Historical and Science Fiction Recommendations

There are so many wonderful stories that involve the past and the future with warriors and soldiers.  Let’s start our next series of lists.  Whether the author is Charlie Cochrane or Aleksandr Voinov, their stories will have you under their spells of soldiers past and future.

Science Fiction – Readers Recs

Angel’s Feather (Flyer Chronicles 1) by Alina Popescu
Mate of the Tyger Prince series by Shannon West
THIRDS series by Charlie Cochet
The Interscission Project series by Arshad Ahsanuddin
Body Option by Talya Andor

Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara (Science Fiction)
Memory of Scorpions series by Aleksandr Voinov (Science Fiction)
The Borders War (5 books) by S.A. McAuley (Science Fiction)
Astrid Amara’s Policy of Lies series (A Policy of Lies & Trustworthy)
Strength of the Pack (The Tameness of the Wolf #1) by Kendall McKenna
The Sci-Regency series by JL Langley
The Hellgate series by Mel Keegan
Chaos Station series by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Dark Space series by Lisa Henry.

Historical/Other 

Lost In Time by A.L. Lester
The Pompeiian Horse by Gabbo De La Parra
The Lion of Palmyra by Julia von Rist
Semper Fi by Keira Andrews
Unnatural by Joanna Chambers
A Minor Inconvenience by Sarah Granger
On Wings of Song by Anne Barwell
Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper
The Prince He Loved by Michael Barnette
Promises Made Under Fire 
by Charlie Cochrane (historical)/
Lovers in Arms by Osiris Brackhaus
Royal Navy series by Lee Rowan
Captain’s Surrender by Alex Beecroft
The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara (historicalfantasy)

KJ Charles’s new Green Men series (Spectred Isle) historical paranormal
All Lessons Learned (Cambridge Fellows, #8) by Charlie Cochrane (devastating, but series must be read in order)
Lessons for Survivors (Cambridge Fellows, #9) by Charlie Cochrane (same note as above)
Seven Summer Nights by Harper Fox
The Soldier’s Scandal by Cat Sebastian.
Think of England by KJ Charles
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance by Charlie Cochet
Pirates of the Narrow Seas by M. Kei
Purgatory by Jeff Mann
Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy
The Lonely War by Alan Chin.

Fantasy Fiction Recommendation Time – Recs Part III

Fantasy Fiction Rec Time!  I have to admit fantasy fiction is one of my favorite types of fiction to read.  It takes me away to other worlds, introduced me to Fae, trolls, dwarfs, dragons! I’ve set sail across oceans and climbed mountains with so many authors and never has my thirst for this genre been quenched.

Some of my favorites?

The Lost Gods (5 books) by Megan Derr  5 stars every single one.
Endangered Fae Series (4 books, 2 stories) by Angel Martinez
No Ocean Too Deep by Leona Carver

Hidden Gem (3 books) by Lissa Kasey
So that’s just a beginning of some of mine just “off the cuff” as they say.  What are yours?

Fantasy Fiction Rec Giveaway

Send in your recs  for your favorite fantasy book/ or series!  Don’t forget to add your email address where we can reach you if chosen to receive our gift certificate of $10.

Purple Reader starts off our recs with this from last week’s rec list (I stuck it here, because it seemed to fit):
Readers Recs:
Again, gift certificates to a reader chosen at random who left a comment along with their email address where they can be reached if chosen.
Contest ends at midnight on 8/26.  That’s two weeks to get your recommendations in!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Now onto this week and our tours/giveaways and reviews!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, August 6:

  • Of Recs Lists and Summer Reading
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 7:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ava Hayden on The Valentine’s Day Resolution
  • Release and Review Tour: The Rhubarb Patch by Deanna Wadsworth
  • RELEASE BLITZ and Giveaway: Weekend Getaway by Tamryn Eradani
  • A MelanieM Review: The Rhubarb Patch by Deanna Wadsworth
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Permanent Ink (Art & Soul #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Nothing in Common, Except … by Edward Kendrick

Tuesday, August 8:

  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR Absolutely Almost Perfect by Lissa Reed
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Making It by Christine d’Abo
  • Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan Release Day Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: Love on the Boil (Love On # 5) by Neil Plakcy
  • A MelanieM Review: Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: The Storm Lords by Ravon Silvius

Wednesday,  August 9:

  • Blog Post – Patricia Logan – Thunder & Lightning
  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Out of the Ashes
  • REVIEW TOUR Roaring Waters (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #3) by CJ Baty
  • An Alisa Review: Roaring Waters (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #3) by CJ Baty
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Wheat Kings and Pretty Things by C.S. Wiley
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Setting the Hook (Love’s Charter #1) by Andrew Grey and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Get a Grip (Bluewater Bay #19) by L.A. Witt

Thursday, August 10:

  • Release Blitz – KA Merikan – My Dark Knight (Kings Of Hell MC #2)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Jo Ramsey
  • A Jeri Review: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
  • A Lila Review: Elemental Hope (Warlocks #2) by L.M. Somerton
  • A MelanieM Review: House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh
  • An Alisa Review: Needing Seth by Shawn Lane

Friday, August 11:

  • Felice Stevens Audio Tour and Review for After the Fire
  • BLOG TOUR Chasing Ghosts by M.K. Hardy
  • BLOG TOUR Dali by E.M. Hamill
  • Review Tour – KC Wells’ Satin (A Material World #2)
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #4) by T.J. Klune
  • A Ali Audiobook Review:  After the Fire by Felice Stevens
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Satin (A Material World #2) by KC Wells

Saturday, August 12:

  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – Cinnamon Eyes
  • A MelanieM Review: The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr

Really? Can it Be Almost August? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

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Really? Can it Be Almost August?

Really? Can it Be Almost August? Hard to believe and yet, we’re into the dog days of summer clearly with our temperatures rising into the near 100’s and the muggy’s hitting early this year.  It’s hot and oh so steamy outside.  Sirius is rising in the morning, the Dog Star bright in the skies if you’re up early enough.  That’s the brightest first magnitude star we can see and the one that the Dog Days of Summer are named for. Sirius is one star in a group of stars that form the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Greater Dog.” It’s no surprise, then, that the nickname of this big, bold star is Dog Star.

Sirius signaled the beginning of the hot season, which brought drought, disease, and more. Some people believed that the summer swelter was due to the combined heat from Sirius and the Sun. These uncomfortable, unhealthy days were called the dog days, named after the (innocent) Dog Star. It makes sense that the name of the Dog Star, Sirius, means “scorching” in Greek.

How fitting then, that the first weekend in August brings another smaller celebration. That of International Beer Day on the 4th,  which is quickly followed on the 5th by International Hangover Day.

What are you going to do  going into August?

Don’t forget we still have our contest going on to rec our fav science fiction and historical warrior/soldier stories….

Part II – Soldiers/Warriors ~ Historical and Science Fiction Recommendations

There are so many wonderful stories that involve the past and the future with warriors and soldiers.  Let’s start our next series of lists.  Whether the author is Charlie Cochrane or Aleksandr Voinov, their stories will have you under their spells of soldiers past and future.

Some of my recommendations:

Memory of Scorpions series by Aleksandr Voinov (Science Fiction)

Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara (Science Fiction)

The Borders War (5 books) by S.A. McAuley (Science Fiction)

Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane (historical)

The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara (historical/fantasy)

More on mine later…..more coming!

Comment with recommendations and your email address and  two readers will be picked to receive a $10 gift cert from Dreamspinner Press or Amazon, your choice.  Giveaway ends next Saturday, August 5.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Also Again….

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is still looking for reviewers.  If you want to review or know of anyone who reviews, please let us know.  Contact us at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!

Sunday,  July 30:

  • Really? Can it Be Almost August?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!
  • An Alisa Review: Stormy Nights by Jonas Duffy

Monday, July 31:

  • Audiobook Review Tour for Personal Secrets by KC Wells
  • DSP PUBLICATIONS TOUR: Anne Barwell on Comes a Horseman Sequel to Winter Duet
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Heat Wave, Seasons of Love book 3, by Elyse Springer.
  • Tour: The Garden by Rosalind Abel / Brandon Witt (exclusive excerpt)
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Personal Secrets (Personal #3) by K.C. Wells
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Chase the Ace (London Lads #1) by Clare London and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Resistance by April Kelley

Tuesday, August 1:

  • DSP GUEST POST Julia Talbot on Sparkle and Shine
  • RELEASE BLITZ Trust with a Chaser by Annabeth Albert
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana) by Ari McKay
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: The Teddy Bear Club (The Teddy Bear Club #1) by Sean Michael
  • A Stella Review: After the Sunset by Lilah Suzanne
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Wrapped in Chains by Cindy Sutherland and Narrator: John Anthony Davis

Wednesday, August 2:

  • DSP GUEST POST Parker Williams on The Runner
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway – RJ Scott’s Gabriel (Legacy #2)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Out of the Ashes
  • A Caryn Review: All Wheel Drive (Bluewater Bay #18) by Z.A. Maxfield
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Plaid Versus Paisley (Fabric Hearts #2) by KC Burn and Narrator: David Ross
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Valentine’s Day Resolution by Ava Hayden

Thursday, August 3:

  • Susan Mac Nicol “Revival” Tour and Giveaway
  • Review Tour: The Necromancer’s Dilemma by S J Himes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) by K.J. Charles
  • A MelanieM Review: Knight Errant (Legends of Osaire Book 2) by T.A. Creech
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1) by K-lee Klein and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: The Necromancer’s Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2) by S.J. Himes and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Friday, August 4:

  • BOOK TOUR Crimson Storm by V.L Moon & J.T Cheyanne
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on The Teddy Bear Club
  • DSP GUEST POST TJ Nichols
  • Blog Tour When Heaven Strikes by F.E Feeley Jr
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water#2) by Amy Lane
  • An Alisa Review: One Heart, One Destiny by Pelaam

Saturday, August 5:

  • Release Blitz for Amy Aislin’s As Big As The Sky
  • A MelanieM Review: Christopher Wild by Kathe Koja

An Alisa Review: Stormy Nights by Jules Jones and Storm Duffy

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

 

This is a nice collection of stories.  Every story was quite different from the others which I always like in a anthology.  While over all I liked this collection of stories they all just didn’t quite hit home with me because they either didn’t feel as if the story was finished or I felt that I was missing something.  These stories are told from one character’s point of view in which we greatly understand what they are feeling or thinking but I didn’t completely connect with the other characters as well.

 

In Gone Fishing Mike is separating himself from the business of his work but finds the lonely beach isn’t quite so empty.  Mike has to put his disbelief aside when he meets Pearl and Malachite.  Both Malachite and Mike decide to explore their curiosity for each other and their physical differences.  Bill bares a lot more for Kevin in Naked but find he enjoys the power play once he gets over his insecurities.  Bill learns more about his partner’s desires but also some more about himself at the same time.  Gavin is trying to get a little more insight into Hugh in One Size Fits All while also trying to indulge in his underwear fetish.  Hugh gives Gavin a firsthand experience in how the leather and buckles works but also give more insight into how he feels for him.

 

Brendan takes a big risk taking on David in Fraudster and gets more than even he bargained for.  While David slowly lowers the walls be built while in prison Brendan also has to open himself up to having another in his life.  In A Sparrow Flies Through two strangers come together for a quick bit of warmth on a cold rainy night.  Jack and Fergal get some wonderful time together in If I Offered Thee a Bargain but it isn’t all they get.  For only seven years they get to experience their love for one another and Jack sees the wonders of Fergal’s home but once Jack returns to his only a day later he is left with only the memories.

 

In Any Port In a Storm Phil gets the chance to get out of his wet clothes at Steve and Julian’s but gets more than he would wish for.  They continue to explore their appetites and the menu for a bit of takeaway.  Guy need a little bit of encouragement from Tristan in Management Practices in order to let go.  But Tristan has to right touch to dominate the other dominating man.  Colin gets even more than his fantasy in Car Wash.  Rod can’t help but admire Colin and his attraction to his vintage cars but is drawn in more during the school holiday while they are alone.

 

Cover art by Natasha Snow is great and works well for this book.

 

Sales Links: NineStar Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 120 pages

Published: July 24, 2017 by NineStar Press

ISBN: 978-1-947139-50-3

Edition Language: English