An Alisa Review: Once Upon A Wolf by Hurri Cosmo

Standard

Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Hawk is alone, hiding from the world, living in a tiny, rickety cabin his grandfather built. He has few supplies and fewer yet of the skills needed to survive on his own, but because of what he did, because of what his father caused him to do… well, there’s just no other choice.

 

But then one day “Ghost” shows up. A large black lone wolf who begins to “take care of” Hawk. He brings him game, he protects him from predators, and he even pulls him from a raging river. He is Hawk’s only friend and Hawk begins to talk to ghost as if he is human and can understand.

 

Except Ghost isn’t human.

 

Ghost has filled a void in Hawk’s life, and he is very grateful, but he is a wolf and Hawk needs the company of a human. In fact, Hawk is desperately lonely, to the point he even tells Ghost he longs for the touch of a man, the first time he has ever said such a wicked thing out loud.

 

Then one full-moon night, a large, beautiful, naked man breaks into the cabin. At first Hawk is terrified, until he realizes the stranger has Ghost’s amazing golden eyes…

 

This was an interesting concept for a story, I have to give the author credit for that however I just didn’t feel the story.  Ghost shows up one day while Hawk is trying to survive in the cabin and quickly starts to protect and help him in his own way.

 

I liked the concept of how the wolf didn’t know it was a shifter but I had trouble with how that would actually work.  The sex scene that Hawk and Ghost saw was the most mechanical and unsexy sex I have ever read and I understand neither of them got how it worked before that it just turned me off, at least once these two came together it was more fluid and a better scene.  I was glad that after the confrontation with the townspeople Hawk was able to find the acceptance he never felt when his father was alive.

 

I like the cover art by E Keith and the visuals it gives of Ghost and the woods.

 

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook

Publication: April 10, 2019 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: In Another Country by Kellum Jeffries

Standard

Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Declan Kelly’s a closeted bisexual cop in a Southern military town, still reeling from his recent divorce. When he’s assigned to work undercover at a gay bar, he meets a gorgeous guy who seems like a likely suspect in the recent robberies of club-goers—but who instead turns out to be a Canadian Mountie named Tupper, temporarily stationed at nearby Fort Bragg for anti-terrorism training.

Dec and Tupper have a steamy evening together, and Tupper wants more, but Dec’s afraid of needing anyone again—especially someone who’s only going to be around for a short time. As they get closer and their nights together get even hotter, Dec has to choose between safe loneliness and the risky possibility of love.

I love that I jumped at this quick story and it was just perfect for the time, a quick read and a sweet story.  Declan and Tupper hit it off right away and really have a little whirlwind romance, even if Dec doesn’t quite realize what is happening.

Dec was hurt when his ex left and is still reeling from that when he meets Tupper and while it clouds his thoughts many of his actions are nice but I would see him struggle to come to terms with possibly being in a relationship with a man and what that could mean for his life.  Tupper is adorable, I loved his proper talking and it worked well for his character too and really he understood Dec more than I think Dec understood Dec at some points.  I will definitely be reading this author’s books in the future.

The cover art by E Keith is okay but doesn’t really give much to the story.

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 81 pages

Publication: February 28, 2019 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

A VVivacious Review: Red Zone by TS McKinney & Shannon West

Standard
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

This was everything I never knew I needed.

This story had me from the get-go, like almost immediately. I had read very little when I decided not to have lunch just so I could continue to read this one. I read it all in one go and never in my wildest expectations did I think I would like this one so much but, I loved it. It was so good. I have been waiting to get my hands on a story such as this and I had no idea how starved I was for a story that would have me hook, line and sinker, all in till the end.

I knew this book was a five-star read when my Kindle pointed out I was 15% done with the story when Chapter 2 began and I was aghast because a story that had only gotten through one chapter and a prologue and was already 15% done was bound to be a short one and I already wanted more with 85% of the book remaining. I swear to god this was the first time I have ever felt this way.

This book was so consuming that the moment I met Kingston I was hooked. Kingston is the guy so afraid to be hurt that he lashes out at everybody near him so that no one can ever get close and lately life has been all kicks for him so, when his nemesis, Memphis Sabine, the guy he lost his quarterback position to wants to help him, he lashes out. Because there is no way he is going to actually help Kingston but when it becomes abundantly clear that Memphis is not going to leave Kingston to his own devices, Kingston is left with no choice but to give in and finally heal.

I feel like Memphis may have been in over his head at least initially, made apparent by his freak-out but once he got his legs under him he was able to steer Kingston to the right decisions and to finally see himself for who he really is.

Okay, I’m not going to lie Kingston and Memphis’ relationship doesn’t start out as the healthiest but I think they correct that, eventually. Also, a lot happens in the span of just two days which might strain some people’s beliefs. But God even knowing that this story has flaws I can’t help but love it. It was so amazing.

These two are brilliant and they have it, they have what it takes to have an amazingly bright relationship. These two have amazing chemistry, something that I have missing quite a bit in my recent reads but these two have it in spades. These two are scorching, absolutely on fire and the sex is off the charts. I mean these two are so so good.

This book does deal with self-harm and I can’t tell if it is dealt with adequately but I feel like it was dealt with in the best possible way for Kingston and this book does it’s best to get him on his feet independent of his relationship with Memphis.

I loved this book so much. It was everything to me, like an oasis in a desert and I live in the desert so that is saying a lot. God, these two just blew my mind. I am just barely controlling myself from squealing, I have it so bad for this one.

Cover Art by E. Keith. I loved the cover, the choice of highlighting the red really ignites the passion this story brings in.

Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook
Published March 15th 2019
Edition Language English

An Ashlez Review: Kinky Pride Collection by Shannon West, TS McKinney, Sara York, Susan E Scott

Standard
Rating:4 stars out of 5
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s time for Pride! Okay, scratch that—it’s time for another round of parades, parties, and good times. And nothing spices up a party like a little kink. Surely belligerent parents, jealous ex-lovers and whips, spanking posts and ropes will keep it classy. Add a lot of alcoholic beverages, and what could possibly go wrong? Four sexy novellas, four brand new stories, each one by a bestselling author, puts a spin on Pride and celebrates gay romance in all its glory. Each novella is about finding love and maybe a little—or a lot—of kink just to keep it interesting.
Whiskey Dreams – 4/5
Mac – very strong alpha male, totally loved his character and his actions from the very beginning.  Perhaps a bit of a grudge holder but I love how it transferred into something else.
Evan – he seems very entertaining and fun, hell I’d love to go out dancing with him – and his outfit choices were pretty epic.
The interaction between Evan and Mac from the beginning was quite hostile, which honestly built the suspense – and Mac’s dom qualities put Evan firmly in sub mode – I havent read a Dom/sub book in ages and I absolutely adored it.
I like their “coming to a head” moment, and realizations, it was sweet
Fireballed – 4/5
Oh I loved the nickname Fireball it fit so well, especially given the way Jer acts and the way that Ten collects whiskey – it’s pretty fitting.  The pets in this I think were my favourite – Princess is written to be an actual princess and that was adorable.
Slow yet fast moving – it felt like nothing happened then everything happened.  Working through their issues and Jers past was just icing on a cake I think.  Overall it was a great story.
Tequila Sunrise – it’s at this moment I realize all the books have been named after alcohol ……………… 2/5
I think this is a case of “Finding someone that was there all along” after a space of some time, I love stories that start out this way, friends
Rafe – he seems a bit confused and unsure of himself – though I think his job would have many a perk
Linc – self assured and with it, I like him.
I had an issue with this one, I hate when someone isn’t quite sure of themselves, I like a bit of suspense but when most of the story goes into their “are they, are they not” .. “do I feel like that, do I not” .. this just really wasn’t the story for me
Skyy’s Bailey – 5/5
I love a good good BDSM story – this one had heartache in the background and some goodness in the end, this was an awesome story to read – save the best for last?  does this ring true.. 100%.
Bailey was a hardass man but yet a softie, I found his backstory compelling and just wanted things to work out for him.
Sky was something else, I feel bad for his past/having to come back up from having what he did, what heartbreak.
I’m so happy about this story.  So happy.
Cover art – meant not a whole lot, there’s only so much you can do with an anthology – it was intriguing though
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book  Details:
Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published October 10th 2018 by Painted Hearts Publishing
ASIN B07JB4BG1K
Edition Language English

Tis September.  A Most Literary Month! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Tis September.  A Most Literary Month!

 

 

But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.     

Robert Finch

September: it was the most beautiful of words, he’d always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret.     

Alexander Theroux

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.

Henry Rollins

 

Ah,  September, that month so in between.  Neither summer or fall, sometimes too warm, often too cold at night, it wavers never quite knowing where to fall.  We’ve left  summer activities behind yet the true fall events are yet to come.  No pumpkins or fall colors…as yet.  But we know they are coming.  September fills us up with anticipation.  With expectations.   With enough everything, that it’s a month we still embrace as the quotes above reflect.

We know that September is also a month that is fond of things bookish as you can see from it’s events listing on the calendar as we previously noted.  So here again is the September literary calendar events starting with this week:

September:

September 6              Read a Book Day (this week)
September 8              International Literacy Day
September 11             Libraries Remember Day, because never underestimate the                                                                                     power of a Librarian or library card!
September 15            LGBT Awareness Day  (I know…just because I thought it should be there)
September 22           Dear Diary Day, Love Note Day (because think of how many novels and stories                                                   started from these)
September 24           Punctuation Day (enough said)

 

If you all were to suggest a Literary Event for the calendar, what would it be?  An International LGBT Romance Story Day?  Triad in Lust Day?    Quiltbag Aliens HEA Day?  Give me some titles for our own special September literary events.  Let’s call it our LGBTQIA Literary  Event Title Giveaway!  Have your title chosen and we will have Stella set you up with a $10 gift card from Dreamspinners.  Giveaway runs through September 22.

 

And just in case you missed the notice yesterday, Instafreebie has great M/M short stories up for downloading until September 4.  Check out our post with link here.  Perfect for Read a Book (or story) Day or any day of the week or month.

Happy Reading and have a safe, wonderful weekend.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 2:

  • Tis September A Most Literary Month
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed 2 by Quin Perin

Monday, September 3:

  • John R. Petrie on Quarterback Crush
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris & Kris T Bethke’s Falling Into Love
  • Release Blitz – Marina Vivancus – In This Iron Ground
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Somebody to Die For (Requiem Inc. #3) by Kris T. Bethke
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rubble and the Wreckage (A Gabriel Church Tale #1)by Rodd Clark
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow

Tuesday, September 4:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow
  • Release Day Blitz Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington
  • Box Set Book Blast – Lyon Road Vets Complete Series by Sue Brown
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  The Quarterback’s Crush by John R. Petrie
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Two of a Kindby BA Tortuga
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Love and Payne (A THIRDS Universe Novel) by Charlie Cochet

Wednesday, September 5:

  • Retro Review Tour – Love & Mystery Box Set – W S Long
  • Blog Tour: Time for Love by Lynn Michaels
  •  BA Tortuga on Two of a Kind
  • Release Blitz – Buckle Up by Karen Botha
  • A MelanieM Review: Time for Loveby Lynn Michaels
  • A Stella Review: Courtedby Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)

Thursday, September 6:

  • Release Blitz – V.L. Locey’s Nightwings Collection
  •  Promo C.C. Dado on Denying Fate
  • Private Charter by NR Walker
  • Blog Tour Looking Forward by Michael Bailey
  • An Ali Audio Review: Romantic Behavior (Bad Behavior #4) by L.A. Witt and Cari Z./Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)
  • A Lucy Review: Stumbling in the Dark by Deja Black
  • A MelanieM Review:  Private Charter by NR Walker

Friday, September 7:

  • The Billionaire’s Wedding by Geoffrey Knight Blog Tour
  • Review Tour – Flare by Posy Roberts
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Raising the Bar (States of Love) by Leigh Dillon
  • A Stella Review: Flare (North Star #3) by Posy Roberts
  • A VVivacious Review: Love Spell by Mia Kerick
  • A MelanieM Review:  Ante Up (A Four Kings Security Story) by Charlie Cochet

Saturday, September 8:

  • A MelanieM Review: In Vino Veritas by Sydney Blackburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Alisa Review: Hybrid Reset (A Darker Hollow #3) by Shannon West and TS McKinney

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

“If vampires had yearbooks, I’d probably be listed as “Lucas, the Least Likely to Succeed.” After all, I’m living in the basement of a spooky old house about to fall down around my ears and a blood thrall named Liam brings me the blood of small game, so I won’t starve to death. It all started when some werewolves attacked our coven and killed off all the vampires, except for a few of us who managed to escape the bloodbath. But as the youngest, I still didn’t know how to hunt or even survive the sunlight, so I was stuck here in this old mausoleum of a house.  That is, until the werewolves came back. They found me right away, of course, and to my shock, they had Valerian, the leader of my old coven, living with them as the mate of the alpha wolf, Finn. Valerian and Mason, the beautiful blond mate of both Finn and Valerian—don’t ask; it’s way too complicated—both begged Finn to let me stay. He did, but he put me under the control of a big, mean, gorgeous, sexy wolf named Connor.

Don’t get me wrong. My old sire, Tolan, the sadist, trained me to do as I’m told. But sometimes, I forget and that really gets on Connor’s nerves. I see the relationship with Valerian and his mates and I want something like that for myself. I want to belong to someone. I want someone to love me. And more and more I think I want that someone to be Connor. But that may be something he can’t ever give me.”

A new pack, a new beginning, a little betrayal, some frequent fighting, a lot of sex and even some spanking, and you have a rousing and romantic adventure with the Hybrid wolves.

This series is continuing to intrigue me.  I liked getting to see Mason, Finn and Valerian continuing to build the trust in their relationship.  Connor has been mourning his dead mate for a long time and has trouble accepting his pull to Lucas.  Lucas hasn’t had the best life since he was turned into a vampire and he still has trouble knowing what to do.

They are beginning a new pack that will be welcoming and it’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment.  Finn and Valerian are still trying to feel accepted by their mates and for different reasons and Mason’s open defiance doesn’t help matters.

I was glad to see Mason, Finn and Valerian recognizing the work their relationship needs and taking some of the steps they need.  I could feel Connor and Lucas’s pain and worries regarding their situation and how to act.  I don’t always like when it takes a life or death situation for someone to completely accept how they feel for someone.  I feel bad that Lucas wasn’t able to get the closer he hoped for and how what happened may affect his mother.

I liked cover art by E Keith it gives a nice visual of the house and of Connor and follows the style of the first book.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 184 pages

Published: July 18, 2018 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: A Darker Hollow #3

What Does the School Year Bring for LGBTQIA Youth? The Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Another End of the Month Approaches!

What Possibilities Does the School Year Bring for LGBTQIA Youth

 

I see the end of August approaching and the first of September arriving on Saturday and usually it heralds the start of the change over. The beach season is ending in a last huge Labor Day weekend bonanza flood of cars across the bridge here.  I’ve heard the geese flocks honking at night as they start to group together in enormous masses in the marshes near the Bay prior to migration. And the Virginia Creeper is just starting to show a tinge of color on the turn.

For children and teachers?  It’s the beginning of the school year for many with all that entails.  New possibilities, new starts, new friends, and unfortunately, far too often if you are a LGBTQIA youth, uncertainty, rejection, and fear.  Sometimes, it’s all about the community, the school, the support, and even the family the children find that surrounds them.

I just read a story in the news yesterday about a young child and their family out west moving for yet another time because the trans elementary school child’s experience became a nightmare. Not only from the kids but especially from the other school parents who called that child a monster and worse.  Who does that to a child?  Who cuts that deep?  Lucky for this one they had the incredible support of a family willing to pick up and keep moving to find the right environment for their family and kid.  How many don’t?  The odds are not in their favor.

I think of all the books that I’ve read where the characters have been maimed by their backgrounds, their childhoods, and then I think about these news stories and how much they mesh.  Those novels cut to the heart but these media stories?  Especially the ones that end so very horrifically?  Well, those are the wounds that somehow never really heal once you’ve read or heard about them. As they shouldn’t.  That’s why we have an Ali Forney Shelter , A Matthew Shepard Foundation,

and of course The Trevor Project for suicide prevention.

How it makes me want to cry knowing how badly the last is still needed. All of them are so in need in this  political climate. So going into the start of school,  here are some other links LGBTQIA school kids and their families might need…just in case you know anyone who would benefit or wish to donate…or anything….

National Organizations*:

Family Acceptance Project

PLFAG

Family Equality Council 

Lyric.org

Covenant House

True Colors Fund

No H8 Campaign

Stand Up for Kids

National Safe Place

Organizations by State:

Lost-n-Found Youth – Atlanta, GA

Free2Be – Alabama

Stand Up For Kids –Atlanta, GA

Chris Kids –Atlanta, GA

Just Us – Atlanta, GA

Safe Schools Coalition – GA

Triad House – NJ

Essex County RAIN Foundation – NJ

Life Ties – Ewing, NJ

The Q Spot – Ocean Grove, NJ

Time Out Youth Center – Charlotte NC

The Ali Forney Center – NYC

Reciprocity Foundation – NYC

Hetrick Martin Institute – NYC

New Alternatives – NYC

Peter Cicchino Youth Project – NYC

Gay & Lesbian Youth Services of Western NY – Buffalo, NY

Pride for Youth – Long Island, NY

ALSO Out Youth Sarasota,  FL

Zebra Youth, Orlando, FL

JASMYN, Jacksonville, FL

Pridelines – South Florida

Rainbows End – Spectrum San Anselmo, CA

Hillcrest Youth Center – San
Diego, CA

Hatch Youth – Houston, TX

Out Youth – Dallas, TX

Youth First Texas – Dallas, TX

Fiesta Youth – San Antonio, TX

Thrive – San Antonio, TX

Out Youth – Austin, TX

Ruth Ellis Center – Detroit, MI

Ozone House – Ann Arbor, MI

Pathfinders – Milwaukee, WI

SMYAL – Washington DC

Safe Spaces – Washington DC

The DC Center – Washington, DC

Time OUT Youth – Charlotte, NC

Home O’ Hope – Denver, CO

BAGLY– Boston, MA

The Waltham House – Boston, MA

Camp Lightbulb – Provincetown, MA

WAGLY – Wellesley Hills, MA

Lifeworks – Los Angeles, CA

Joshua House – Inland Empire, CA

Youth Care – Seattle, WA

The Q Center – Bremerton, WA

The YEAH! program – Berkley, CA

Castro Youth Housing Initiative, San Francisco, CA

The Billy DeFrank Center, San Jose, CA

Avenues for Youth – Minneapolis, MN

Attic Youth Center – Philadelphia, PA

LGBT Homeless – Chicago, IL

Project Fierce – Chicago, IL

Center on Halsted – Chicago, IL

Lucie’s PLace – Little Rock, AR

So no, this wasn’t where I thought this Sunday’s post was heading, but one, than two, than three news threads on my iPhone this week combined with the backgrounds of some main characters of some of the stories I was reading and the sights of school buses practicing their runs…and a post was born.

We will talk more about what a literary month September is next week. Until then, have a great week, read many books, and see if you can  catch a rainbow or two.  And maybe push a wish of hope and good wishes to all those LGBTQIA youth heading back to school this coming week.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 26:

  • Another End of the Month Approaches!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz G.R. Lyons’  Heavens Aground
  • Promo Post – Drifting Sands (The Warfield Mysteries #1) – CJ Baty
  • An Alisa Review: Down to Earth (Directions #2) by Jena Wade

Monday, August 27:

  • Release Blitz Ruby Moone – Promises
  • Release Blitz – EJ Smyth – Burning Fall
  • Series Review Tour Shadow Unit Series – Jamie Lynn Miller
  • An Alisa Review: Hybrid Reset (A Darker Hollow #3) by Shannon West and TS McKinney
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Incubus Honeymoon by August Li
  • A VVivacious Review: For a Glance (The Serpent’s Throne Trilogy, #1) by Dan Ackerman
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Stand by Your Manny (The Mannies #3) by Amy Lane and Peter B. Brooke (narrator)

Tuesday, August 28:

  • DSP Promo Wells/Williams
  • Release Blitz – Spark by Posy Roberts
  • The Pearl by Geoffrey Knight – Book Blast
  • An Ali Release Day Review: The Englor Affair (The Sci-Regency Series #2) by J.L. Langley
  • A Stella Release Day Review: No Way Out by Julie Lynn Hayes
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: Q*pid by Xavier Mayne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Few Good Fish (Fish Out of Water #3) by Amy Lane

Wednesday, August 29:

  • Release Blitz – For You I Fall (Angels and Misfits #1) by T.N. Nova and Colette Davison
  • Release Blitz Out in the Deep by Lane Hayes
  • Release Blitz – Top & Tails – Clare London
  • DSP Promo JL Merrow
  • A MelanieM Review: Irresistible by Andrew J Peters
  • An Ali Review: Gray’s Shadow (Kings of Hell MC #4) by K.A. Merikan
  • An Alisa Review: Back to You (Directions #3) by Jena Wade

Thursday, August 30:

  • Promo Amy Lane
  • DSP Publications Promo Don Travis on The Lovely Pines
  • Release Blitz – RJ Scott – Second Chance Ranch
  • An Alisa Review: Meik & Sebastian – Obsessed 2 by Quin Perin
  • A Lucy Review: Boyfriend Or Bust by Claire Castle
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Something About Us (Saint and Lucky #2) by Riley Hart
  • A VVivacious Audiobook Review: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton and Matthew Shaw (Narrator)

Friday, August 31:

  • Blog Tour (Interview) He is Mine by Mel Gough
  • Book Blitz – Indra Vaughn – Patchwork Paradise 
  • DSP Promo Julie Lynn Hayes on No Way
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Denying Fate (A Series of Fates) by C.C. Dado
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Dawn (Expedition 63 #3) by T.A. Creech
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Patience (Forbes Mates #2) by Grace R. Duncan and Chistopher Boucher (Narrator)

Saturday, September 1:

  • Release Blitz – Summit by Louise Lyons
  • Release Blitz – Safe Place – Jay Northcote
  • A Stella Review: Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Out in the Deep (Out in College #1) by Lane Hayes

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Thank you, author Brandon Shire for providing this terrific list.  Find more information on the link provided.

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic? And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Romance Do’s In Your Romance Novels.

What’s Made Your Favorite Books Magic?

 

Several books I finished this week just furthered my ideas as to what helps launch a romance novel above the mass of romance stories you read or will read over the course of a year or more.  One wasn’t terribly successful in the romance department in my opinion while succeeding wildly in almost every other aspect, while two others had an almost constricted romance that still managed to allow their main characters love shine through along with an unusual storyline that unfolded around them.

Why does one fail while others succeed?  What makes a well done romance novel?  Yes, yes, I know so much can be subjective.  I remember that one write’s advice that I repeated (and still think is awful) on concentrating only on the main characters and leaving secondary characters totally alone.  Insert roll of eyes here.  Because imo a well done supportive cast makes a novel…romance or not.  All of my favorite  stories mention a marvelously done secondary grouping of characters, almost or as memorable as the main ones.

For some authors, they use their stories as love notes to  locations, towns they visited or grew up in or in one instance (Basil, Switzerland) one they live now.  The result can be a superb blending of location, culture, and story.  For others, its some other element…tree planting, apple orchards, a trip to the Sun Temple and Machu Picchu.  This list is endless.  Then there is the fantastical…the marvelous blending of mythologies, cultures, gods, and beasts that can come about when imaginations soar and blend with romances.

All of the above have managed to come together for me in romances that became something splendid, magical…even when the book itself was contemporary or science fiction.  The author or authors wrote and their story spoke to something deep inside of us.

Stories and characters we remember.

What are those books that still speak to you now and why?  What’s so special about them?  I really want to know.

What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway

So let’s make this official with a What Makes a Book Magic List Giveaway.  Send in your comments, it will run til the end of the month and we will giveaway 2 gift certificates to 2 lucky readers.  Leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

 

Now for this week’s books and tours.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 15:

  • Smoke in the Mirror by Aimee Nicole Walker Release Blitz
  • Fireworks and Stolen Kisses by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay Tour
  • A MelanieM Review:Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay
  • Romance Do’s And This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 16:

  • Drive Shaft by Geoffrey Knight Book Blast
  • Release Blitz – Thief Of Hearts by Ruby Moone
  • Review Tour – Riza Curtis’s The Dragon’s Thief
  • An Alisa Review:  The Dragon’s Thief by Riza Curtis
  • A Lucy Audiobook Review: Hearts and Flour By Tara Lain/ Ry Forest (narrator), Stephen Kurpis (narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Review:The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara

Tuesday, July 17:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo JS Harker on Soul Bond
  • DSP Promo Tia Fielding
  • Audio Tour for Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Soul Bond by JS Harker
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Soul Bond by JS Harker

Wednesday, July 18:

  • DSP Promo Rayna Vause
  • Release Blitz – Nothing Serious – Jay Northcote
  • Review Tour – Ari McKay – Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together
  • A Dangerous Dance by Davidson King Release Blitz
  • A Lucy Review: The Pet Stylist and The Playboy by Rebecca James
  • A MelanieM Review: The Lies That Bind (Boystown #8) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay

Thursday, July 19:

  • In the Spotlight: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point series) by L.A. Witt
  • Blog Post – V.L. Locey – Lost In Indigo
  • DSP Publications Promo August Li
  • An Alisa Review: Tainted Life​ by ​Mel Gough
  • A MelanieM Review: Lucky Days (Boystown, #9) by Marshall Thornton
  • A MelanieM Review: Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Beneath This Mask ( Enhanced World #3) by Victoria Sue and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Friday, July 20:

  • BOOK BLAST – Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • DSP Promo Hudson Lin
  • DSP Promo JL Merrow on Camwolf
  • A Lila Review: The Merchant’s Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6) by Antonia Aquilante
  • A Caryn Review Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd
  • A MelanieM Review: A Trust to Follow (Wild Magics #1) by Diana Waters (
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt

Saturday, July 21:

  • Audio Tour for Someone to Call My Own by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Gifts Given (Boystown, #10) by Marshall Thornton

Royal Wedding Weekend. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Royal Wedding Weekend.

Unless you are living in a cave somewhere (without wifi) or at the highest reaches of the earth (ditto wifi), you know that a royal wedding took place yesterday between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  At last count,  it’s estimated that 2 billion people worldwide watched the royal wedding, one of the most remarkable of it’s kind, with it’s inclusion of an American Bishop, the Rev. Michael Curry’s rousing sermon, a Gospel Choir, and the wonderful UK teenage cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason,  among the highlights.

Now spring is typically the start of wedding season and what a way to launch it.  Yes, I watched.  I have long loved that madcap Prince Harry.  From happy red-haired toddler to lost little boy following his mother’s coffin to troubled adolescent into his twenties , we’ve all watched him…and I think related.  He grew up, went off to service, matured, and, and continued on the path his mother started. And finally found love.  How could we not cheer?  Especially when it came in the form of Meghan Markle? Someone remarkable in her own right, self assured, oddly similiar background (sans royalty of course) who has used her celebrity to provide wells for women in Africa and continue her own charity work.  So, yes, I guess, the world went sort of mad this weekend.  Were you watching?

Ah,  royal courtships and weddings.  It’s the stuff books have always been and are made of. Doesn’t Cinderella ring any bells? Or any Disney princess with their foundations grounded in novels?  I’m not just thinking contemporary love stories, although those too.  But plenty of science fiction and fantasy stories have royal courtships and interstellar weddings at the heart of their novels.  Sometimes, even the fate of a planetary alliance will rest on the union!  Gadzooks!  That’s a terribly familiar and beloved theme right there!  (Shannon West’s Mate of the Tyger Prince jumps into mind).  So I was trying to find lists.  Any lists.  Not very successful.  So you know what I’m going to ask.

Wrack those memories!  All genres!  Let’s get those wedding fics out here!  Contemporary, supernatural, scify, fantasy, all of them!  We can list by series as well.

I’m sort of starting us off here….

Historical

Crofton Hall series by Rebecca Cohen (with some contemporary stories too)

Contemporary:

Wake Up Married Series by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths
Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores
Marriage of Inconvenience by M.J. O’Shea
The Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom by Kate McMurray
First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony
Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker

Science Fiction:

Mate of the Tyger Prince series by Shannon West (shifter aliens, humans, mpreg)

Supernatural/Paranormal:

Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye

Fantasy:

The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke

Royal Wedding Giveaway

 Its our Royal Wedding Giveaway! No, it’s not their cake! Our giveaway will be associated with this.  Let’s call it the Royal Wedding Giveaway!  Leave a comment for the rest of the month, along with your recs if any, (address too).  A  $10 gift card will be given to the one chosen on June 1st.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

 

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 20:

  • Royal Wedding Weekend. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book BLAST- The King’s Sun by Isaac Grisham
  • Release Blitz – Lawyer’s Secret Omega by Bella Bennet
  • Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lover (Survivor #2) by TM Smith
  • A VVivacious Review :The King’s Sun by Isaac Grisham

Monday, May 21:

  • Book Blast – Rip Cord: The Complete Trilogy by Jeanne St. James
  • DSP Publications Promo TJ Nichols
  • Release Blitz – The Little Things by Jay Northcote
  • Review Tour – Last Defense by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Roped In by A.M. Arthur
  • A MelanieM Review: Last Defense (Harrisburg Railers #5) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • An Alisa Review: Kaleidoscope (CyNapse Security, Inc. #1) by Jo Tannah
  • An Ali Review: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

Tuesday, May 22:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo E.J. Russell
  • GUEST POST ​Hans M Hirschi on Returning to the Land of the Morning
  • RELEASE BLITZ Face The Music by K.M. Neuhold
  • Spotlight Tour: WASH OUT by L.A. Witt
  • A Alisa Release Day Review:Rogue in the Making (Studies in Demonology #2) by TJ Klune
  • A Barb Release Day Review: A Little Side of Geek (Geek Life) by Marguerite Labbe
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review:  Angels Rising (Heaven Corp #3) by CC Bridges
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Plummet to Soar by Z.A. Maxfield

Wednesday, May 23:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Nicki Bennett
  • Review Tour – Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
  • DSP Promo Marguerite Labbe on A Little Side of Geek (Geek Life)
  • Release Blitz – No Luck by Kayleigh Sky
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Strain (Strain #1) by Amelia C.  Gormley
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Alpha Heat by Leta Blake
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Crescendo (Song of the Fallen, #2) by Rachel Haimowitz and Giles Barron (Narrator)
  • A Lila Audionook Review: Kill Game (Seven of Spades #1) by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

Thursday, May 24:

  • Tour for Drama Fraternity, the sixth Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino
  • COVER REVEAL for Murder in New York, The Pinkerton Man Series #2 by C.J. Baty
  • DSP Promo Ana Raine
  • DSP Promo CC Bridges
  • A Lila Review: A Broken Cup by Emery C. Walters
  • A MelanieM Review: Drama Fraternity (Nicky and Noah Mystery #6) by Joe Cosentino (
  • A Stella Review: Detour by Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore
  • An Alisa Review: The Charmer by R.W. Clinger

Friday, May 25:

  • DSP Promo Sarah Black on War Paint
  • Review Tour – Swings & Roundabouts – Jackie Keswick
  • Spotlight Tour for FOURTEEN SUMMERS by Quinn Anderson
  • Series Recap Blitz/Cover Reveal – Taking Shield Series – Anna Butler
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: War Paint (States of Love) by Sarah Black (
  • A Lucy Review: And The Next Thing You Know by Chase Taylor Hackett
  • A Lila Review: Swings & Roundabouts by Jackie Keswick
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Bane (Strain #2) by Amelia  C. Gormley

Saturday, May 26:

  • Release Blitz – Ice Fairy 3: Coming Together by S. L. Danielson
  • Book Blast His Wildest Dream by Xander Collins
  • A MelanieM Review:  The Gallery: The Permanent Collection (The Gallery #1) by Megan Derr

Is History Repeating Itself? Amazon and eBooks.This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Is History Repeating Itself? Amazon and eBooks

It wasn’t that long ago (1980’s and 1990’s) really that the book world was being torn asunder by the rise of the super bookstores like Crown Books, Waldenbooks, B. Daltons, Borders among others who, due to their size and discounting practices, under cut the neighborhood bookstores and put many out of business because they couldn’t compete.

Then ironically came computer ordering and  Amazon.  Slowly the sales started to erode at the major booksellers as the cheaper hardbacks and then eBooks gained (for many reasons) in popularity and people started buying, not just eBooks but all their books on the computer.  Equally ironic?  Later we saw the  rise of the niche bookstore, quietly returning back to the neighborhoods,  filling a hole and feeding a desire that never quite left because people love to visit bookstore, hold actual books, and talk with others who share their passions.

Now its 2018 and so many of those super bookstore chains are gone or failing done in by Amazon’s success, with Google, iTunes and others close behind. Banes and Noble‘s longstanding flagship store in Bethesda is closing…long a landmark. Lately I’ve been wondering if our LGBT publishers have been looking over their shoulders and wondering if they will be able to compete against this giant as well.  The list of publishers that have given up  recently is depressing because they were the ones I turned to when I wanted my stories to read all those years ago (Samhain Publishing, ARe, Loose Id, Torquere…).  it certainly wasn’t’ Amazon.

All those special niche publishers fed my need for these stories , giving home and platform to authors who had stories to tell.  There is a much longer list than I gave and not all ended gracefully or were well run, just as all small businesses everywhere.  Somehow with us, it seems more personal, our world smaller somehow.  Anyhow, I’m getting off-course again.  They did something Amazon couldn’t or wouldn’t do.  The small and personal against the enormous  business machine.

Does the #cockygate ring any bells for you?  Google it!

So now Amazon is in the publishing business as well as the selling business and the cost of eBooks is rising.  Some say it’s rising far above what people should have to pay for an eBook?  What’s too high?  $8 $9?  What’s your limit for an eBook? What’s the price you would pay for convenience and portability?  I get a feeling the market is about to find out.

What are your feelings about this?

Is there a built in balance supplied by the consumer?  With the big business on one end (no matter the type Amazon or Crown and the more personal small business mode on the other?  Or can both co exist financially if the right market balance is achieved?   Same with publishers.  Can the very real need for the small niche publishers ensure that they succeed even while the giants like Amazon and Google and iTunes roll on?

I hope that our continuing need for the personal, the quirky, and the individual will help us support our LGBT publishers while also not forgetting that there are self-publishing authors who need to make a living and do so via the juggernaut that is Amazon.  We need both and should give our support to both.    That doesn’t mean sacrificing scrutiny however, especially where in-house practices are concerned.  And not just Amazon.

Much has been said recently about the practices at Borders and the problems at Riptide Publishing has been well documented here.

So, my wonderful readers here, I have one more question to put to you. What responsibility, if any, do we have as readers, to the authors and publishers that we love to read and buy from? Is it enough to simply buy their stories and leave it at that?  Or do we have a larger responsibility here simply as book lovers to ensure that the concerns of all readers are being taken care of.  That all stories are safe, not pirated, not being withheld from the public because of a giant conglomerate’s minion’s desire to remove all titles with the word Cocky in it (#cockygate), or just because they contain LGBT subject matter on the cover or storyline.  Or even, help us, have a PoC on the cover.  Do we just keep buying books or do we do something?  And what?

 

What say you?  I’d really like to know…

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 13:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Is History Repeating Itself? Amazon and eBooks
  • Blog Tour for Upon Broken Wings by EL Reedy and AM Wade
  • Ellie Keaton’s Unforgivable Tour

Monday, May 14:

  • Release Blitz – Swings & Roundabouts – Jackie Keswick
  • AUDIO TOUR The Solstice Prince by SJ Hime
  • Harmony Promo Andrew Demcak
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Rank & File (Anchor Point #4) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kairos by Mary Calmes and Michael Fell (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4) by Jay Northcote and Lewis Carter (Narrator)

Tuesday, May 15:

  • DSP Promo Chase/Rhodes
  • Series Recap Blitz – C.F White – Responsible Adult Series
  • Release Blitz – Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Nudging Fate by EJ Russell
  • A VVivacious Review Angel and Firebird by Nell Iris
  • A MelanieM Review:  The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles
  • An Alisa Review: The Power of Two by Leigh Vining

Wednesday, May 16:

  • Hybrid cover reveal and book blitz *Masters and Mages series by Alexis Duran
  • Release Blitz Tour – Last Defense (Harrisburg Railers #5) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • Review Tour – On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin
  • A Stella Review Lock Nut(Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow
  • A Lila Review: A Disposable Husband by Iyana Jenna
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Free Falling (Extreme Escapes, Ltd.) by S.E. Jakes and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

Thursday, May 17:

  • DSP Promo Julia Talbot
  • RELEASE BLITZ A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Lock Nut (Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo
  • A Stella Review: Lock Nut(Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Dirty Deeds (Dirty Deeds, #1) by SE Jakes and Adam North (Narrator)

Friday, May 18:

  • New Release Tour for Level Up by Annabeth Albert
  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh’s Whisper
  • Review Tour – Exploration (Kinky in the City #1) by Quinn Ward
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Juggernaut  (Strain #0.5) by Amelia Gormley
  • A Jeri Review: Whisper (Skins #2) by Garrett Leigh
  • An Alisa Review:  Exploration (Kinky in the City #1) by Quinn Ward

Saturday, May 19:

  • Book Blitz for Level Up by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review: :Level Up by Annabeth Albert