A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The is book three in the Endangered Fae series. While you could probably read this alone, it would be best if you started from book one. Having said that, this is the best book so far and shows what could have been possible in the first two books. This is just more fun and action packed, with layers. It also introduces many new characters. All of the sudden weird paranormal phenomena is happening all over. Human magic is different from fae magic, but they are connected. Just as the shifter fae start to get a magical illness, humans start turning into vampires and werewolves, or developing new powers. I love the idea that all of the legends and lore are real, and are now alive because the Veil is open again.

While this book still has a lot of Finn and Diego, Finn is sidelined a bit with an illness and Diego has bigger problems. The main romance is between Zach, the marine medic from book two, and Lugh. Zach is working as the head of Lugh’s security detail. Lugh is, of course, a shifter fae and part bull. This book is more explicitly bestial than the previous books. There is also an element of dubcon. They seem to find their footing at the end and know what works for them. There were two times in the book when something is a huge emotional deal, and all is quickly forgiven when someone is injured, once with Zach and his parents and once with Lugh and Zach. There could be a better way of working out these conflicts.

As mentioned there are several new characters but the main five are The Silver Adepts, a human coven: Kara, Nate, Brandon, Will, and Minky. Will has awful premonitions, so Minky tries writing to Diego for help, but he isn’t taking them seriously. They have a plan to kidnap him and things go horribly wrong. There was a hint of dragons in book two, so I was waiting for the dragons! Diego and Zach go to find them for help with knowledge about human magic. The dragon lord eventually comes to help train the coven in how to better access their magic. The final showdown and rescue mission, in fact much of the book, reminds me of a comic book. This is no bad thing.

Zach becomes the human Consul for the fae now that Diego is ill. The book leaves some of our characters in the Otherworld making it possible for future books to take place on either side of the Veil. There is now so much magic in the world, these stories could go anywhere or even have spin-offs, so I’ll have to wait and see where the series goes.

The cover art is by Emmy @ studioenp. All the covers in the series are eye catching and fit together.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published January 13th 2013)
ASINB07HQ4DXQQ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEndangered Fae #3

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

I almost don’t know where to begin with this. So much happens, it almost feels like different stories cobbled together. Diego and Finn are living in their new house in the Montana forest. Diego has to take a business trip to New York. While he’s gone, Finn saves a drowning women and tries to keep her warm. When Diego comes home and catches them together, his jealousy rips the Veil to the Otherworld open. Here the sidhe and fomorian courts are at odds. There is a wasting disease and the fae are dying because they have been cut off from the earth magic of the world. They need to find a safe place, with unpolluted air and water to cross over. It’s difficult to read stories regarding mythology or folklore, because to some these are their religious beliefs ripped apart by poetic license. I am at a loss as to what to say about the book when the U.S. government comes to deal with the “invaders.” This part feels like she had something left over from Prisoner 374215 (another book by this author), and adapted it and inserted it here. Then, we have the modern ending to the hostilities with a press conferences and good PR.

Instead of grounding this story, Diego and Finn’s relationship is just another agitator. The author uses the plot device of lovers in multiple lives, rather than actually developing their relationship in the here and now. They are each jealous of others and I’m not sure the lack of trust is ever dealt with effectively. They teeter between insecurity and desperation. There is a lot of sex, but why is it always when Finn is injured? They keep swearing their undying love with pet names, but then they hurt each other–Diego with his need to help everyone and not prioritizing Finn, and Finn with his insecurities that send him running away. Then, we have the wedding epilogue. Wow. I got whiplash from reading all that. One would hope now that they are married, all this OTT angst will stop.

It’s strange in a book filled with fae characters, that the people who stand out are the humans: Zach the marine, Miriam the agent, and Tia Carmen the wise woman. I have a feeling Zach and Lugh will be in book three. I also felt that the book kept me running from one emergency to another to cover up any deficiencies. I would say if you would like to see one version of how it might go if fae were real (misunderstood and friendly) and came out to the world, then you might like to read this.

The cover art for this edition is by Emmy @ studioenp. It matches the first book in style and shows when Diego opens the veil in New York to get Tia Carmen’s help.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published September 16th 2010)
Original Title Diego
ASINB07FCT4SVR
Edition Language English
SeriesEndangered Fae #2
Characters Danu, Finn Shannon, Diego Sandoval, Lugh, Balor…more settingMontana (United States)
Otherworld
Tearman Island

A Caryn Review:Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For those of you who thought this would be Zach and Lugh’s story, you are right, but it is so much more….  This book takes our heroes from the upper echelons of the United States government, to a perilous journey to the realm of dragons and wild fae, and they are confronted with danger from within and without, and face a sorcerer powerful enough to control and corrupt all the magical forces in the human world.  I’m so pleased with this series, and how it just keeps getting better!  I’m not sure that there will be another book in the series, but I am hoping!

At the end of the last book, the Fae had established a permanent presence in the human world, declared themselves an independent country, and Diego was the diplomatic liaison between the two realms.  Zach was head of security for the fae, especially for Prince Lugh.  Everything was supposed to be straightforward from there, but opening a gate between the two worlds had some very unexpected repercussions.

It all started when Finn developed a magical malady – what the fae healers described as their version of the common cold – that made him miserable and also made him shift uncontrollably.  Then other unusual things started occurring, humans developing magical skills, but also the appearance of mythical monsters, vampires, werewolves, and the like.  While Zach was struggling with his attraction to Lugh, he was accidentally outed to his parents and went to do damage control, and was bitten by a werewolf as he was defending a couple of kids.  Even the fae had no cure for that.

Initially, the story focussed on Zach and Lugh as they worked through the fact that Zach was now a monster dangerous to fae as well as humans, and what that meant for the growing relationship between the two of them.  Diego was increasingly concerned by the evidence that magic was getting out of control in the human world.  But the story took an unexpected twist that left everyone reeling, and Zach was thrust into the role of leader of the combined fae and human forces to combat the sudden appearance of a belligerent, tyrannical sorcerer who could quite possibly take over the world.

At first I was a little frustrated that I was missing some background elements, and it wasn’t clear exactly where the story was going.  But with a little patience, the pieces started coming together and the story took on an urgency that made it a real page turner.  And though in retrospect I find myself wondering “Why did that happen like this?  Why didn’t they do that instead?  Why did the author go in this direction?”, while I was reading I had no such qualms.  There was an incredible amount of detail and new information added to the basis set in the first two books, and to be honest at times it was too much.  New characters came into the story, some fully fleshed out, and others left me wondering why they didn’t have more to say or do, or why they were there at all.  I guess that is one reason I am hoping for more, but I believe Ms. Martinez will have to tighten up what could easily turn into an overly vast and sprawling cast of characters.  I got the impression that the world of Diego and Finn and their human and fae friends is much more complete and coherent in Ms. Martinez’ mind, but is so complex that it is hard to put it down on paper in a way that makes it totally clear to the reader.

Cover art by Emmy@studioenp is very pretty, and I love the model for Zach.  The font still seems a little odd though…

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published January 13th 2013)
ASINB07HQ4DXQQ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEndangered Fae #3

 

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Finn (Endangered Fae #1) by Angel Martinez

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 Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Finn is awake after centuries of Dreaming with no way to get back to the Otherworld now that the Veil is closed. Diego rescued him as it appears he’s preparing to jump off a bridge. Finn is a fae and the city, with all its iron and steel, is killing him. Diego is a kind soul, one who helps people and animals. He also doesn’t believe in the supernatural, even though he writes about it. After a breakup with his jerk of a boyfriend Mitch, Diego tries to be just friends with Finn whilst helping him adapt to the modern world. When his agent lets him stay at her cabin to get away from the city and write, it’s a great way to help Finn get back to nature. This is a fish out of water story that made me laugh out loud several times. Diego is as out of his element in the woods as Finn is in the city. Neither of them seem to take very good care of themselves, so they both need a keeper. As Finn sparks Diego’s creativity, helping him with his book, he heals now that he is free to roam in nature. But not all magical creatures are pleasant and evil awaits in the woods. Diego battles to accept his new reality and Finn’s love.

So many things fall into place when they need to, I think it would be best if I chalk this up to the “luck of the Irish.” This was an easy read and not too scary even though there is violence. If you like when the couple are overly sweet with pet names, you might like this. There are some sex scenes but they are not very long, actually there are so many, they are also skipped over by the author near the end. I think the issue is that it is actually too long. The conflict is resolved, but the story still goes on. (Apparently this was a Christmas story that had originally been separate, but was edited into the end of this edition of the book.) While Diego’s agent and landlord helped move the story along, they are not full fleshed out. I enjoyed the story, but I wasn’t super attracted to it.

The cover art is by Emmy @ studioenp. It is very striking and shows Finn as imagined on the bridge where he meets Diego. I also like the symbolism of the bridge: as him bridging the world between fae and human, also the bridging between corporeal and incorporeal. The crow flying gives a hint at where the story will go. Finn likes bright colors, as they speak to him.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published July 2nd 2009)
Original TitleFinn
ASINB07C3MH4X8
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEndangered Fae #1
CharactersFinn Shannon, Diego Sandoval setting New Brunswick (Canada)

My Thankful List? Great Editors! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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On My Thankful List? Great Editors!

As we countdown to Thanksgiving, I start thinking about things I’m grateful for.  It’s not always the usual things on everyone else’s lists.  The oddest or not so odd things pop up every day that can make me grateful for various and sundry items that might not get mentioned around the turkey table come Thanksgiving. So I thought I might bring up a few starting with a doozy that struck me yesterday (and almost every day at this blog).

Editors!

I’m absolutely, stupendously, over the moon grateful to every great editor out there still  squinting at every submitted manuscript and soon to be released books they have before them, working furiously to make sure that what is finally accepted/or released, if that, is worthy of both the author and publisher as well as the reader’s emotional (and monetary) input.  Someone who throughout the process with their red pen/pencil/marker/sword of blood/ cuts a swath through any writer’s purple prose, dense narrative, self involved point of view (goddess help me, the “I, I, I, I, I’s”), the love of tricks over substance, and cliche over depth.  That’s without even getting a start on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Damn why is the umlaut there?  I know wherefore art thou umlaut and it’s not  (insert curse word) there!

Don’t even get me started on word choice! Argh!  The help some writers have needed here!  There’s apparently a whole bunch of people out there with nary of clue about words and their definitions, just picking them willy nilly out of the air!  Miss Malaprops Indeed!

Poor overworked editors!  In the larger publishing houses, jobs are broken down into smaller sections, some of which I listed below:

Developmental editor—As detailed above, the developmental editor helps the writer from the idea stage through the final draft. He may suggest topics, help with research, verify facts, and plan the structure of the manuscript. He works through successive drafts with the writer. He’s as concerned with the structure of a manuscript as much as he is the words and meaning.*

Substantive editor—Helps a writer improve his fiction manuscript by focusing on story elements, plot, characterization, dialogue, order of scenes, point of view, voice, setting, word choice, sentence construction and syntax, and pace—anything that could improve the strength of the manuscript.

And Copy Editors that do fact checking as well as all the other things I listed above, line item elements such as spelling, etc..

But for smaller publishers and Editing services (proofreaders and copy editors), how many of those are rolled into one or two people?

I sometimes cringe when I read an acknowledgement or forward from a writer that talks about friends that read the manuscript and told them to publish it.  The writer thanks them for their loving support and encouragement.  I mentally think “that’s terrific”, and then hope that author also found a editor too.   Sigh.  Oh the perils of self publishing.  Or even a publishing house as well.  A editor doesn’t always mean a good or great editor.  Again my kudos to all you great ones out there!

Some err towards being a friend and  middling copy checker.  Nuh uh.  And trust me, that can do far more harm once that book hits release time.

How many reviews have you all read that said needed a editor or better editor?  Yep! So true.  There’s a reason for that.

What exactly is the role of an editor anyway?  Well, here is a definition I found repeated several blogs:

An editor polishes and refines, [they] direct the focus of the story or article or movie along a particular course. [They] cut out what doesn’t fit, what is nonessential to the purpose of the story. They enhance the major points, drawing attention to places where the audience should focus.

Some of that is almost guaranteed to make a writer gnash their teeth, weep tears, and pull out some hairs.  No one wants to cut words, sentences, characters, or even whole parts of plots to have a book make sense. Yet that’s an editor’s job if that’s what it takes to make the story cleaner, polished, and substantially a finer story. And the author a better writer.  It’s a process.

Again, when you say you hired a editor, what did you hire?  Or did you hire a Proofreader?  Not the same as any good or great editor will tell you.  Each and everyone has a job to do.  Hire the right one for the right job.

Really someone should have stopped these headers, right? Or placement?

One of my favorite blogs is called the Blood Red Pencil which focus’ on writing and, of course, editing.   If you are as fond of the subject as I am  check out the link below:

Blood-Red Pencil: Do Editors Use Red Pencils?

 

As to what launched this week’s post, well, it’s Thanksgiving.  I’m just going to say I’m so grateful to each and everyone one of you  overworked, gorgeous, and absolutely fabulous editors who have provided such incredible help to the authors and their stories I’ve read all through the years!  I appreciate your hard work, I hope if you’re in the States you have a great Thanksgiving, or weekend if you’re abroad.  Kudos to you all!  A big Mwah!

Thoughts anyone?

Now onto this week’s books and tours.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 Sunday, November 18:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Comply by Lee Manarte
  • Review Tour and Giveaway for  Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Heat for Sale by Blake Moreno
  • My Thankful List? Great Editors!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 19:

  • Release Blitz To Be Honest by S. M. James
  • Sale Blitz for 2 Robert Winter Titles
  • BLOG TOUR Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles Book 2) by AG Carothers
  • An Alisa Review: Date from Hell by Gareth Vaughn
  • An Alisa Review: Lost and Found (Dave&Carter) by Quin Perin
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  Secrets Revealed (Dragon War Chronicles #2) by A.G. Carothers
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Finn by Angel Martinez

Tuesday, November 20:

  • Kaje Harper on Fair Isn’t Life
  • BLOG TOUR The Billionaire’s Wish by Geoffrey Knight
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Crossroads (Skins #4)
  • A MelanieM Review The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3) by Don Allmon
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Quenched in Blood (Asheville Arcana #3) by Ari McKay
  • A Caryn Review:Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:  His Consort by Mary Calmes

Wednesday, November 21:

  • Review Tour Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
  • BLOG TOUR Broken Halos by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • Release Blitz – Joanna Chambers – Mr Winterbourne’s
  • A Lucy Review: His Christmas Sweater by CM VAlencourt
  • An Ashlez Review : Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Claire Castle
  • A Stella Review: Accidentally On Purpose by JM Snyder
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Alpha Heat (Heat of Love #2) by Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Thursday, November 22: Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Book Blast – Polyamory on Trial by Jude Tresswell
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: The Burning Magus by Don Allmon
  • An Alisa Review: A Fated Bond by T.L. West
  • A MelanieM Review:  Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1) by Pia Foxhall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt

Friday, November 23:

  • Review Tour – LA Witt – The Husband Gambit
  • Release Blitz – Pia Foxhall – Blackwood (Perth Shifters #1)
  • Release Blitz Tour – Jay Northcote – Stuck With You
  • An Ali Release Day Review: My Regelence Rake (The Sci-Regency #3) by J.L. Langley
  • A MelanieM Review:  The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez

Saturday, November 24:

  • Tour The Cub Club by Ardy Kelly
  • Release Blitz with ARC Reviews – Lost and Found by Quin Perin
  • Judith/Oz by Lily Morton Release Blitz and Review
  • A MelanieM Review: Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The Editor’s Blog

Thoughts on Holiday Movies and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Thoughts on Holiday Movies

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I grew up with the tradition that at a certain time of the year, our tv screens at home were constantly filled with holiday movies.  A quick check of the TV Guide (oh yes, that bible of channels back then) to see when to watch such traditional fare  like Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, A Charlie Brown Christmas (cartoon), Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (cartoon), Santa Claus is Coming to Town (cartoon), and of course the classic of all classics It’s a Wonderful Life.

I got older and the movies graduated to The Grinch, A Christmas Story, The Santa Claus, Elf, Home Alone, and Love Actually.  And the Hallmark movies.  Oodles of them!

You leave home but somehow the traditions made growing up during the holidays follow you, especially when your mother calls to see if you are watching the movies (you are), she’s sniffling (as she always does) because, hey, holiday movies.  Hallmark has this down pat.  And after Thanksgiving they start running Christmas movies 24/7 (2 channels) which makes my mother giddy with seasonal bliss.  All the movies have a similar look and comforting feel, nothing too out of the ordinary to upset its viewing audience. Snow, adorable couple which has always looked the same movie after movie (often the same actors) and picturesque small towns in New England or lately the Northwest, ala islands in the Puget Sound. Similar scripts with heartwarming happy endings, usually with the snow starting to swirl about the couple’s head as they kiss (under the mistletoe, under a star, skating rink, etc.).

And almost always the couple is  white and hetrosexual. Very homogeneous right down to the religion. Which shouldn’t be surprising given Hallmark’s years in business, background, and, yes, audience.

Now that has started to change as people of color have appeared in roles as main characters, not just as the person running through the scene or the best friend you never see again. But something happened last week that made me wonder if Hallmark is thinking of making another tentative step forward again.  Hence this blog today.

There I was trying,once more to get involved in a story that just refused to contain my interest, my RPG laid closeby calling my name, the dogs were on the bed, and I had the new Hallmark Christmas movie playing on the tv, Road to Christmas.  I was only half heartedly paying attention to it when I heard some dialog like “you and your partner have your own Christmas traditions”….and boom! Interest engaged!

So story about a tv chef named Wise, her 3 adopted estranged sons (the Wise men ,get it?), and the young woman who works for her who reunited  them at Christmas time during a tv special.  She gets a boyfriend out of it too. Well, it turns out that one, (sweater, black rim glasses, perfectly coiffed hair) runs a animal rescue with his partner where it seems they live as well.  They have developed their own holiday traditions for themselves.  I blink.  They, uh, seem to be a couple. Huh. No touching, no indication of that really, cause Hallmark.  And at the end when the brothers are reunited at their mother’s home in the lovely picturesque mountains, guess who is watching it happen on live tv, adoringly, from their pet rescue/home?  Yep, it’s the partner. Home alone.

But it made me think. Was it a step forward?  Or was I reading too much into it?  Classic gay guy(s)?  Or Hallmark’s version of nerdy pet rescuer? Hmmmm.  Don’t know excerpt I’ve read that guy over and over again in countless M/M novels. So yes, I recognized him.  I think you all would too.  Thoughts, anyone?  Did anyone else see that movie?

Hallmark isn’t the only cable channel with holiday movies on it.  There’s Lifetime (Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is one in case you were wondering), ABC Family, Oxygen, and a couple whose names escape me at the moment.  The amount of diversity in the movies varies, from none to, well, let’s say getting better.  Holiday movies really seem like the last frontier in my mind that remains to be (and needs to be) broken.  I’m hoping what I saw is the first baby steps taken by a major player in the holiday movie industry.  I can always hope.  Tis the season after all.3+

Until then I will have Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys, Charlie Brown and that woeful tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas, Love Actually and Colin, God of Sex, White Christmas with “Sisters”,Miracle on 34th Street and that cane, and of course, Clarence and his bell in It’s a Wonderful Life.  And all the other countless movies and memories that mean the holidays to me.  How did I forget A Christmas Carol, every single version?  Oh my!

So yes, my tv is full of holiday movies, my Kindle getting primed with holiday stories, of which the reviews are just now starting to be posted.

And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 11:

  • Thoughts on Holiday Movies
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 12:

  • Beat of Their Own Drum by KM Neuhold Release Blitz
  • Release Blitz,for Lucky Town by Morgan Brice
  • Promo for Rick R. Reed
  • A MelanieM Review: Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen
  • A Lila Review: Death Benefits by William Holden
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  A Vampire’s Heart by Kayleigh Sky
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Loving Loch by Kris Jacen

Tuesday, November 13:

  • In The Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:Renewing Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • Release Blitz A Kiss Before Christmas by A E Ryecart
  • On Tour with Rob Rosen on Mary, Queen of Scotch
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga
  • A MelanieM Review: Renewing Forever by Kelly Jensen
  • A Lucy Review: A Kiss Before Christmas by A E Ryecart

Wednesday, November 14:

  • In the Spotlight Tour for Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga
  • Release Blitz – A Vampire’s Heart – Kayleigh Sky
  • Alan Semrow Ripe: Letters *Author Tour*
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick
  • A Jeri Review: Pay It Forward (Giving Back #1) by Nic Starr (
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Blood Red Roulette by Jana Denardo

Thursday, November 15:

  • DSP Promo Z.A. Maxfield
  • Pay It Forward by Nic Starr Author Promo Tour
  • Release Blitz Tour – LA Witt – The Husband Gambit
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Mr Frosty Pants by Leta Blake
  • An Ashlez Review Kinky Pride Collection by Shannon West, TS McKinney, Sara York, Susan E Scott
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Nova Praetorian by N.R. Walker
  • A Stella Review: Bishop Ridge (Sawyer’s Ferry #2) by Cate Ashwood

Friday, November 16:

  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Gene Gant
  • Release Blitz – Irresistible Indigo (D’Vaire, Book 9) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • Review Tour – Ari McKay’s Seeking Solace (The Walker Boys #3)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fair Isn’t Life by Kaje Harper
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Cops and Comix (Murder and Mayhem) by Rhys Ford
  • A Lucy Review: Seeking Solace (The Walker Boys #3) by Ari McKay

Saturday, November 17:

  • Release Blitz – Walking In A Winter Wonderland – Claire Castle
  • A MelanieM Review:  Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

 

It’s November and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s November

November has finally arrived here.  It came with blustery winds and a drop in temperatures!  Almost overnight the leaves changed in color and our Indian summer vanished and fall arrived with a crispness to the air and that greyness in the skies.   All those trick or treaters just got in under the weather wire here and had a wonderful time.  Yes the  hoards descended!

But now its quiet, the winds howling and snatching the falls leaves up and away.  Again, a wonderful night to be reading. Only the foxes, raccoons, deer, and owls at play.

We had some great comments and recommendations for scary titles and  books so  lets finish up and get the winners names out.  As I  happily scarf down leftover Halloween candy (always buy the good stuff), the winners of the What Books go Boo for You Giveaway are H.B. and Purple Reader!  Congratulations to you both!  Contact Stella, Principessa of the Giftcards for yours.  We will finish up with some last minute recs for scary stories from P.R.:I’ve got a few left over recs that I enjoyed and thought others might too:

From Purple Reader:

Did I mention spirits? How about a couple series about paranormal investigators:
HELLSINGER series (FISH & GHOSTS, DUCK DUCK GHOSTS) by Rhys Ford
– and this one starts off in a Charming way:
A CHARM OF MAGPIES series by K.J. Charles
– On the other end, a shadowy, savage dystopia:
FALLOCAUST series by Quil Carter
– If necrophiliacs are your thing, or aren’t:
COLD FINGERS by Amy Spector
– I haven’t read them all, and not all are queer themed, but the author is iconic:
THE BOOKS OF BLOOD Vols. 1-6 by Clive Barker

 

Now for this week, an old favorite of mine and maybe yours is back.  I’m reviewing their third book in Ethan Day’s Summit City series called Life In Union (Summit City #3) by Ethan Day. Yep! Boone is back!  It’s hilarious! Sno ho’s and all.  If you aren’t familiar, grab up the first two and get ready for this one.  It’s a doozy.  A terrific M/M Historical from Eli Easton, The Lion and the Crow, that I read a long time ago, came alive again, in the audio version.  Never heard that narrator before.  He’s amazing.  Plus I have to mention that I’m also reviewing the next in the Pinx Video series from Marshall Thornton, Late Fees, a must read too.

There is also hockey, shifters, holiday stories and more coming up this  week so  don’t miss a day of it.  The countdown begins.

Happy November everyone!  Happy Reading.

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday,  November 4:

  • It’s November
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book Blast with Reviews – Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A. E. Wasp
  • A MelanieM Review:  Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A. E. Wasp
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: One Step Back by Edie Danford
  • A Stella Releases Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas

Monday, November 5:

  • BLOG TOUR Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
  • Release Day Blast Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree Author: Jeanne
  • REVIEW TOUR – False Flag (The Phisher King, #2) Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • A Lucy Review: Bump by Matthew J. Metzger
  • A VVivacious Review: Spare Parts by T.J.Land
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Tuesday, November 6:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan
  • Release Blitz Ari McKay – Seeking Solace
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Fangs for the Memories by Julia Talbot
  • A MelanieM Review: Life In Union (Summit City #3) by Ethan Day
  • A Free Dreamer Review: In the Name of Magic by Chris Bedell
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Bad Habit (Bad in Baltimore #6) by  K.A. Mitchell

Wednesday, November 7:

  • Promo Andrew Grey
  • Release Blitz – His Two Leading Men by Aidan Wayne
  • Blog Tour – Why I… series by Colette Davison
  • An Ashez Review: Capital Assets  (Rattle on Wall Street #1)  by Cecelia Storm
  • An Alisa Review:  Fling by Baylin Crow
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Seeking Solace (The Walker Boys 3) by Ari McKay

Thursday, November 8:

  • Promo -Sean Michael
  • Book Blast – The Signal Box by Lazlo Thorn
  • An Alisa Review Carnival Cowboy by Temple Madison
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Trusted (Until You #3) by Karrie Roman
  • An Ali Audio Review: No Tears for Darcy by Vicki Reese and Brock Hatton (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review:The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton and Scott Richard Ehredt

Friday, November 9:

  • TOUR Rabi and Matthew by L.A. Witt
  • Release Blitz – Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
  • do you think we should’ve glued it first? by Bobbie Rayne Book Blast
  • An Alisa Review: Sugar Cookies & Mistletoe by Kay Doherty
  • A Lucy Release Day Review: The Kinsey Scale (Campus Connections #1) by CJane Elliott
  • A Lila Review To Tame an Omega by Lisa Gray
  • A MelanieM Audio Review:Love You so Madly (Love You So Stories #2by Tara Lain and Ry Forest (Narrator)

Saturday, November 10:

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Late Fees (Pinx Video Mysteries, #3) by Marshall Thornton

A Caryn Review Fireworks and Stolen Kisses (Lijun #1) by Angel Martinez and Freddy MacKay

Standard

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This book had tremendous potential, and I’m sorry I could not give it a higher rating, but as I’ve seen with some of this author’s other works, I felt that there was a lack of editing that could have made it a truly great read.

The setting of the book is an alternate reality where the lijun – beings who have an animal and human spirits and are thus shape shifters – coexist with humans, but secretly.  Although it is not entirely clear, it seems the societal origin of the lijun is Japanese, although the American lijun have native roots.  The world building was a bit incomplete in my opinion, and though there was a fairly extensive glossary at the beginning of the book, I found the necessity of its existence detracted from the book – I would have preferred either fewer Japanese (or perhaps they were made up specifically for this story?) words, or that they would have been introduced in an organic way where the glossary was not necessary.  I am also assuming that a lot of the societal norms of the lijun were Japanese, but again, it is not clear if that was Japanese or specific to this world.  It felt to me that the authors were assuming a greater understanding of Japanese culture than the average reader would necessarily have, and I found myself either a little confused, or just glossing over those sections.

Haru Tanaka was a satislit – a “bride-son”, raised to be bartered in marriage to a different clan for financial and social prestige.  They (Haru is agender) were from Japan, whose lijun community was very traditional and sanctioned outdated ideas like arranged marriage.  Haru was absolutely opposed to what they felt was essentially a family intent to sell them into slavery, and their rebellion broke out in various mischievous ways, culminating in drunkenly leading a group of children and teenagers to completely trash the buffet and hotel pool during an important international conference of lijun.  What should have been complete humiliation to their clan was averted when a wealthy American lijun, Tally Bastille, saw and spoke to Haru and fell in love.  He recognized Haru as his em’halafi, his soul-mate, the destined love of his life, and he approached Haru’s family to arrange a match.

A huge complicating factor is that Haru is an otter lijun, known for being playful and social, and Tally is a serpent lijun, frightening to just about every other clan.  The fact that Tally is wealthy, and is the leader of the Wisconsin lijun (all animal types) is also intimidating to Haru, even though they were raised to be the co-leader of a clan – there were a terms for these positions but I think those would be superfluous for a review.  Haru willfully saw only the negative aspects of Tally, despite all evidence to the contrary.  It wasn’t until after the marriage was legally consummated that Haru told Tally how they really felt – financially and legally obligated to do everything Tally wanted, including sex, and that Haru would never feel equal to Tally, nor would they reciprocate the feelings of em’halafi.  Tally was devastated.

Despite all my frustrations with the world building, the lack of explanation of some of the attitudes of the Japanese lijun (and also the occasional inconsistencies with Haru’s gender – “he” and “him” still snuck in there despite his agender status, another thing that careful editing would have corrected), I still found myself drawn into the building relationship between Haru and Tally.  Tally’s unfailing patience and selflessness eventually convinced Haru of his sincerity, but it was certainly hard won, and the outside challenges – especially the mystery of the murder during the engagement party – were actually very well done and pushed the story as well as their relationship forward.  The book started slowly, as I was bogged down in an unfamiliar culture without adequate explanation, but once I caught up, I really enjoyed it.  Despite the drawbacks, I would still recommend the book, and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Cover art by Emmy@studioenp is a really lovely representation of the human forms of the two protagonists, but I think it would have been nice to have a hint of their animal forms as well.

Sales Links:

Pride Publishing | Pride Publishing (print) | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Kobo | iBooks | QueeRomance Ink | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


 

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 246 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786516701
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Caryn Review : Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez

Standard

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I am having so much fun reading fantasy books that incorporate ancient mythology!  Diego, the sequel to Finn, is all about Celtic mythology, mixing Irish deities with the Welsh, along with a bit of reincarnation and earthly as well as fae magic.  The end result is pure enchantment!

The first book introduced Diego, a human who is much more than he realizes, and Finn, a pooka who rose from a long hibernation to find a modern human world that was slowly poisoning him.  Through a series of adventures that reveal they are much stronger together than apart, Finn and Diego forged a relationship that was more than just a rekindling of the love they shared in previous lifetimes.  I didn’t expect a sequel because the story arc was complete, but I was really happy to see this book pick up just where the first left off.

Despite all they’ve been through, Diego is still a bit of a puritan, and has a hard time believing that Finn would ever give up his life of sexual freedom and adventure to settle down.  So when he came home to find Finn in a compromising position – even though there was a perfectly innocent reason – he allowed his anger to overtake his reason, leading to an explosion of magic that ripped a hole in the world, and he woke up on the other side of the veil, in the Otherworld, kingdom of the Sidhe.  Finn was also unwittingly transported to the Otherworld, but in the land of the Fomorians, enemies of the Sidhe.  I remember as I was reading through the adventure where Finn and Diego got caught between the Danu/Balor feud that this was enough for a novella all on its own, especially when our heroes managed to bring the two kingdoms together.  Next came a mysterious illness, for which again, Diego and Finn managed to find the cause, and provide the cure.  Once again, the story could have ended here!  But our intrepid author managed to push it yet further, and the culmination of the story involves clandestine government agencies capturing and experimenting upon the fae who were with Diego and Finn at their house in Montana.  I loved how the story went from fairy tale to X-Files!

It was clear in the first book that Diego, AKA Taliesin, was powerful, and probably the most magical human that ever existed.  His power was never really manifested though, and he was first and foremost a humble and gentle man.  In this book, he finally came to believe in and even embrace that side of himself, which made him more sure of his worthiness to be with Finn, but unfortunately made Finn feel that he did not deserve Diego.  A great deal of the book was the push and pull between the two of them wondering if they were indeed right for each other, and facing new jealousies related to old relationships.  Diego was revealed not to be as kind and forgiving as he thought he was, while Finn found humility.  They both made mistakes, but as in every good fairy tale, true love wins in the end.  I have to admit that the ending was cheesy in a lot of ways (and I had to laugh when the US lost out to Canada as the host for Faerie’s chosen earthly location!) but that is part of the author’s charm.

Very enjoyable, with some surprising twists, and a whole lot of learning to love your neighbor despite differences

Cover art by Emmy @ studioenp has a very nice representation of the hole in the veil, with the ubiquitous headless torso.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published September 16th 2010)
Original TitleDiego
ASINB07FCT4SVR
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #2
Characters Danu, Finn Shannon, Diego Sandoval, Lugh, Balor…more settingMontana (United States)
Otherworld

A VVivacious Review: The Captain’s Ghostly Gamble by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Standard

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

John Rookwood and Captain Cornelius Sheridan have been haunting the very Manor they died fighting over, two hundred and fifty years ago.

On their death anniversary, a couple turns up to disturb their eternal rest and fantastically turn up to be related to the very pair. It soon becomes clear to the ghostly duo that thecouple harbours many misconceptions and in an effort to ensure their happily ever after they play into the gamble of manifesting themselves.

But manifestation can take up a lot of energy, enough to wipe out a spirit from the spiritual plane and as the Captain seems in imminent danger of disappearing from all existence, John Rookwood is confronted by his feelings for his companion of the past two centuries.

I don’t know how people feel about two ghosts getting it on but that is definitely something that is a part of this story, so you might want to confront your views on the same.

The story has an interesting blurb but with some misguidance, it set up a very confusing introduction. It took a while for me to understand what was happening in the story and who all the characters were.

By the time everything was in place and you know what is going on there isn’t much left in the way of plot, just a very elaborate scene featuring ghosts getting it on.

I wasn’t wholly invested in any of the characters because it was hard to relate to them in any real way. The dialogue is very dated, the way our two main characters speak is awkward to the point that it was really funny and so very hard to take seriously. The dialogue might have been the most entertaining thing in this book but not in the way the authors intended.

It is an okay, quick fun read with some heretofore never seen elements that were a little weird in their depiction.

Cover Art by Cherith Vaughn. I really like the cover. This might be the only case of cover models actually resembling the characters they represent that made it one of the best cover. But, I must also commend the choice of background and text, especially the colour scheme and that hint of yellow is delectable.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 35 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786516824
Edition LanguageEnglish