Happy Easter, Eostre to All That Celebrate. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Happy Easter, Eostre to All That Celebrate

Happy Easter to everyone that is celebrating today.  For me it brings memories of Easter eggs, the smell of vinegar and Paas Dye kits.  How I loved dying Easter eggs.  The vibrant colors, the wax crayons, the surprise as they came out of the dye baths…those shaky little wire contraptions that came with the kits so flimsy when used that soon gave way to spoons !  Oh my!

Although associated with Christianity today, Easter eggs predate that religion going back to pagan rituals and the coming of Spring.  Eggs being of course a sign of fertility and renewal.  Some scholars believe that the pagan customs were adopted by priests and other Christian heads of that religion to help convert the population.  Whether true or not, the brightly coloring of the eggs started in the past in Medieval Europe and Asia.

I still see those kits in the store but people have clued me into egg spinners, natural leaf prints (so cool), tie dyed eggs (hey, man), Cool Whip eggs (need to investigate that one), plus so many more options plus the whole natural dyes that involve onion skins!

Leaf Print Eggs

 

Cool Whip Eggs

 

Tie dyed eggs!

Is it too late for an adult to get into the action without kids? lol.  These make me want to grab for several cartons of eggs and have at it.  Plastic eggs or the thought of them just don’t do it for me.

Anyway, it’s short, colorful and sweet this week.  Happy Easter to all who are celebrating.  Happy Egg Coloring and Egg Finding!  Happy Eostre and Happy Spring!

Greek Easter eggs dyed with onion skins

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 21:

  • BLOG TOUR Thirst For You by Jaclyn Quinn
  • Release Blitz How to Heal by Susan Hawke
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 22:

  • Review Tour – Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
  • Review Tour – Ruby Moone – Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2)
  • Release Blitz – The Gathering Storm by Tricia Owens
  • An Alisa Review : Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone
  • A VVivacious Review: Don’t Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Wrong Way Home by K.A. Merikan
  • A MelanieM Review: Descendant by Mychael Black

Tuesday, April 23:

  • Release Blitz Crossing The Touchline – Jay Hogan
  • Release Blitz – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • BLITZ Destructive Forces by Harry F. Rey
  • An Alisa Review: For the Love of a Unicorn (Legendary Shifters #1) by Catherine Lievens
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Innocence & Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Burden (Love, Unexpected #2) by KC Wells
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review:The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Wednesday, April 24:

  • Release Blitz  for Montana Sky (Montana #6) – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz for Love Is A Walk In The Park by V.L. Locey & Stephanie Locey
  • TOUR Mucklucked” by James Brock
  • BLITZ Where Song Replaces Silence by Layla Dorine
  • An Alisa Review:How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke
  • A MelanieM Review: Upside Down by NR Walker
  • A Lila Review: Love, Again by H.D. Nels

Thursday, April 25:

  • Release Blitz for Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – Mud & Lace
  • Review Tour – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen and TJ Clark (Narrator)
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Play Hard by Avery Cockburn

Friday, April 26:

  • Review Tour – Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • Review Tour – Alex Jane – Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession
  • Release Blitz Don’t Fight the Spark by Kasia Bacon
  • An Alisa Review: Living on a Dare (Shore Thing #1) by Grace Kilian Delaney
  • A Lucy Review: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton
  • An Ashlez Review : Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession) by Alex Jane

Saturday, April 27:

  • A MelanieM Review: Game Changer (Game Changers #1) by Rachel Reid

Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Scattered Thoughts on the Rainbow Quiltbag

So I was sort of at a loss as to what to write about this week, my thoughts were all over the place.  And as usual, it came to me through a conglomeration of pictures, hits to the heart, books, people, and just moments in the weirdness that is my mind.

What all clashed together?  Well, it started with this quote from a story I’m reviewing next week from NR Walker.  It’s called Upside Down. If you haven’t read it, run out and grab it now.  I’ll be reviewing it later on.

 “Asexuality is defined by the absence of something.”

 

Boom!  What a way to start a novel and to set off an astonishing inner monologue by a character who’s intelligent,endearing, compex, and seeking answers to his sexuality. And not happy with the article he’s been reading. Of course, he hasn’t exactly finished it as his best friend and fellow librarian will later point out.   But it prompts a discussion over the fact that he feels that as a person he doesn’t feel that he’ should be defined by an absence of anything.  What follows is an extraordinarily well written story about  one man’s journey towards understanding  his asexuality,  two men in love,and their heartwarming romance and path to HEA which includes a daily bus ride, a Soup Crew and a cast to carry your heart.  One of my two 5 star reads in a week.

And for this blog and many others a story with characters that are Ace is standard, just part of the LGBTQIA spectrum we read and review.  Genderqueer, Non-binary, and Genderfluid , Pansexual, Aromantic, Intersex, our reviews (along with the books we are offered) have expanded far beyond what this blog first began with.

I couldn’t be happier or sadder that it took so long.

When Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words first took its first baby steps years ago, all our stories (I was at first the only reviewer as the owner), the only stories primarily out there were M/M.  Slowly I remember one or two transexual  short stories trickling in, a couple of bisexual characters in others that people angrily fought over in reviews on GRs and here because bisexuality  was still so poorly understood by some writers that they still considered it that “way station” to gayness, instead of a legitimate sexuality all its own.

But for the most part, M/M, with the F/F fiction for the most part not being carried along side.

Now things have changed.  We do read and review the spectrum.  Yes, perhaps, it’s still heavy on one or several sides, but we are getting better as does our choices of books  sent in to read and review.  That’s grown steadily larger too.  Perhaps to to ePublishing, eBooks?  I don’t know, but grown it has as Yoda would say.

It’s not just our stories but the change is reflected in the authors who mirror the rainbow of stories we read and review.

You wondered what else sparked this all things Rainbow?  This…I have someone at the Star Wars con and they posted this pic..

 

Our stories have always been full of geeky nerds we love to fall in love with and one recent story I read even featured a Con, with an enormous amounts of fans.  If its Star Wars, can it’s fans of any shape, size, color, or sexuality be far behind?  I think not.

I guess from a Pride Squadron to a librarian looking for answers to a YA #lovehim series that continues to astonish me, the full spectrum of the Rainbow hit me full force this week, as did a bit of “wow I’m so happy we’ve come so far”.

I know we have a long way to go but as it’s pouring outside and I’m looking forward to setting in with another book this afternoon (and GoT tonight).  I’m still so happy at the strides made ….steps forward are still that.  Movement ahead.  And that’s where I’m focused!

What are your thoughts on all this?

And btw?  I’m both Star Wars AND Star Trek! lol  Just don’t ask me which Captain….we don’t have that much time!

Now for our schedule this coming week!  There be dragons ahead tonight!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, April 14:

  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz for Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone (excerpt and giveaway)

Monday, April 15:

  • DSP PROMO LaQuette on Under His Protection
  • DSP PROMO Royal Blue
  • Release Blitz – Ace in the Picture by Jude Tresswell
  • Release Blitz – Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • An Ashlez Review: Outshined by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
  • A Stella Review: Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • A MelanieM Review:To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James

Tuesday, April 16:

  • Release Blitz – Lillian Francis – Under The Radar
  • Blog Tour – Strokes on a Canvas by H. Lewis-Foster
  • Blog Tour – Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • An Ashlez Review: Catastrophe by Deirdre O’Dare
  • A Stella Review: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Where There’s A Will Deanes (Get Out #4) by Sean Kennedy
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Under His Protection by LaQuette

Wednesday, April 17:

  • Release Blitz – Wrong Way Home – K.A. Merikan
  • Release Blitz  – Indulge Me (Kitchen Gods #4) by Beth Bolden
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London
  • An Alisa Review: Coming Home Finding Home #2) by Carly Marie
  • A Stella Review: Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review – With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London

Thursday, April 18:

  • Sale Blitz for Love & Family Book 1: TABOO FOR YOU
  • Cover Reveal for  Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton
  • Release Blitz for – Tainted Love by T.S. Hunter
  • An Alisa Review: Because of Sam by J.D. Walker
  • A MelanieM Review: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1) by T.S. Hunter
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Playing in the Dark (Glasgow Lads #4)  by Avery Cockburn

Friday, April 19:

  • Series Blitz/Review Tour – Holeshot Series – Lynn Michaels
  • Starting From Zero by Lane Hayes Book  Blitz
  • Release Blitz Grace Kilian Delaney – Living On A Dare
  • An Alisa Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz
  • An Ali Review: The Holeshot (Book #1) by Lynn Michaels
  • A MelanieM Review:  This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger

Saturday, April 20:

  • Release Blitz – Alex Jane – Devil Next Door (Criminal Delights: Obsession)
  • A MelanieM Review: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

An Ali Review: Trusting Him (The Retreat #2) by L.M. Somerton

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Trust is hard earned and all too easy to lose.

 Luke Redding’s military background is an asset when it comes to managing The Retreat, but it hasn’t helped him find the submissive he longs for. A secluded life in the New Forest, witnessing a stream of happy couples playing out their fantasies, doesn’t provide much opportunity to develop a relationship either. When a friend’s manipulations lead to him taking on silver-haired Skye as a trainee sub, Luke finds it hard to trust in his own ability to provide the guidance Skye needs.

Skye Ingham wants to explore his submissive nature but the noise and crowds at The Underground are overwhelming. He can’t believe his luck to be taken under Luke’s wing and offered a job at The Retreat. As Luke tests his boundaries, Skye trusts him implicitly, but how can he convince his new Dominant to have faith in himself?

Amid the bustle and excitement of a big house party at The Retreat, Luke and Skye edge their way towards a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and desires. But it will take a final leap of faith to secure their future and open a path to love.

This was a nice continuation of this series and I really look forward to seeing the other employees here find their HEA.  My problems with this story is it felt like something was missing though out the whole thing.  After some thought I think it was any romance or actual feelings, their interactions seemed to cold and calculated even when they weren’t in a scene it just didn’t add up to a happy couple for me.

Luke and Skye are basically thrown together by their matchmaker bosses though it takes Luke a whole like 3 days to admit he really wants Skye for himself.  The timeline for their relationship just didn’t work for me, I know if really happened over about a week time frame but there were times it didn’t add up.  One whole discussion that was skipped was Skye’s safe word, Luke made a big deal about him needing to select a safe word by the following evening and suddenly that night he mentions Skye having his safe word if needed but a safe word was never given, if felt like a whole part was skipped over.  I look forward to reading more in the series I just hope they are closer in quality and story to the first book.

The cover art by Melody Pond is okay and similar in style to the last one though the building seems to have completely changed.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: April 9, 2019 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-734-0

Edition Language: English

Series: The Retreat #2

It’s Kink and Romance Time! Check Out the Release Blitz for Trusting Him (The Retreat #2) by L M Somerton (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Trusting Him (The Retreat #2)

Author: L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M BDSM

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 59 495 words

It is a standalone story within The Retreat series.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon Universal

Amazon UK 

Pride Publishing

 

 

Blurb

Luke Redding’s military background is an asset when it comes to managing The Retreat, but it hasn’t helped him find the submissive he longs for. A secluded life in the New Forest, witnessing a stream of happy couples playing out their fantasies, doesn’t provide much opportunity to develop a relationship either. When a friend’s manipulations lead to him taking on silver-haired Skye as a trainee sub, Luke finds it hard to trust in his own ability to provide the guidance Skye needs.

Skye Ingham wants to explore his submissive nature but the noise and crowds at The Underground are overwhelming. He can’t believe his luck to be taken under Luke’s wing and offered a job at The Retreat. As Luke tests his boundaries, Skye trusts him implicitly, but how can he convince his new Dominant to have faith in himself?

Amid the bustle and excitement of a big house party at The Retreat, Luke and Skye edge their way towards a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and desires. But it will take a final leap of faith to secure their future and open a path to love.

 

Excerpt

It wasn’t dignified, but Luke twisted around in his seat to take a look at his potential employee as he wound his way between the tables. He hadn’t formed an impression of what Skye might look like, but the reality was better than anything Luke’s imagination could have conjured. Skye was slight, delicate, maybe five feet six or seven, no more. His skin was lightly tan, a coloring that Luke guessed came from his heritage rather than the sun. He had no tattoos that Luke could see and considering that all he wore was a short leather kilt, that didn’t leave much room to hide any. The wavy hair Luke had assumed was pale blond was in fact silver-gray, though the boy’s eyelashes and brows were a much darker shade, which made Luke wonder if the silver was natural.

Skye stopped in front of the table facing Luke and Carey. He clasped his hands behind his back and ducked his head. “Gordy said you wanted to see me, Mr. Hoffman.” Skye’s voice was so soft Luke had to concentrate to catch his words.

“I did, Skye. You remember I spoke to you about a job at The Retreat in Hampshire?”

Nodding, Skye darted a quick look at Luke. Luke caught a glimpse of violet-blue eyes before Skye focused his gaze on the carpet once more.

“Well, this is Mr. Redding. He’s in charge of The Retreat. I want you to wait on us over lunchtime and show him what you can do.”

“Hello, Skye,” Luke said, keeping his voice low and trying to project reassurance. “I hear you’ve had excellent training. We have a mixture of guests staying at The Retreat, but they all have something in common. They love their food. We have a dedicated chef and customers can pick their own menus and eat as much as they want. That means a lot of serving both at table and in the guests’ rooms. Do you think you can handle that?”

Skye scuffed his bare toes into the carpet. “Yes, Sir.”

“And you understand that The Retreat caters for men who are in the BDSM lifestyle, just like here at the club?” Skye nodded and a light pink flush bloomed on his cheekbones. “Sometimes, you might be required to wear very little or nothing at all. Does that worry you?”

“No, Sir.” Skye’s response was barely audible.

Luke wanted to make eye contact with the shy young man but Skye kept his gaze lowered.

“Remove your kilt, Skye,” Carey ordered.

Luke tightened his grip on his drink. He expected Skye to bolt but instead he undid the buckle at his hip, let the leather garment drop to the floor then stepped out of it.

“Hands behind your back,” Carey instructed.

Luke glanced around the restaurant. Almost every man in the place had turned to watch. Skye stood absolutely still, clad only in the mesh thong that was issued to all the serving staff at The Underground to wear under their kilts.

“Fetch two menus, please.”

Luke watched, entranced, as Skye walked away, hips swaying. He might as well have been naked for all the coverage his underwear gave him. He had natural grace and if it weren’t for the slight tension in his shoulders, Luke might have believed he was entirely comfortable following Carey’s orders.

“You’re testing him. Why?” Luke didn’t take his eyes away from Skye as he collected two menus and returned to the table.

“Because you need to be confident that he will do as you ask, when he’d prefer to run and hide.”

“He’s attracting a lot of attention.”

“Are you surprised?”

“Not at all. He’s stunning.”

Carey’s smile turned into a smirk. “Then you can handle him from now on.”

 

About the Author

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 and 2018 Golden Flogger Awards for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards.

 

 

You can track her down online here:

Pride Publishing 

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Queer Romance Ink

Instagram

MeWe

 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April.

So I went looking for the history of April Fool’s Day and found that people couldn’t agree on where it came from.  It’s practiced not only in America and Canada but also in Western Europe, a practice dating back to romans and All Fools’ Day.  Others  argue for its beginning having started with the “appearance” of the New Year which fell on April 1st for the Romans and Hindus.  It also comes close to the Spring Equinox, March 21 which during Medieval Times also started the beginning the the new year with the feast of the Annunciation.

A newspaper’s April Fool Joke and History:

Constantine and Kugel

Another explanation of the origins of April Fools’ Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.

“In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”

This explanation was brought to the public’s attention in an Associated Press article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.

Yes, they’d been pranked.

More searches brought up more explanations, never the same, mind you.  Even better for a day all about jokes and prianks.

Here’s some more:

The Origin of “Fool’s Errands”

According to Roman myth, the god Pluto abducted Proserpina to the underworld. Her mother Ceres only heard her daughter’s voice echo and searched for her in vain. The fruitless search is believed by some to have inspired the tradition of “fool’s errands”, practical jokes where people are asked to complete an impossible or imaginary task.

All Fool’s Day in British Folklore

British folklore links April Fool’s Day to the town of Gotham in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the king placed his foot upon to become public property. So when Gotham’s citizens heard that King John planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the king heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of fools engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish. As a result, the king declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment.

April Fool’s Pranks

April 1 is a day for practical jokes in many countries around the world. The simplest jokes may involve children who tell each other that their shoelaces are undone and then cry out “April Fool!” when the victims glance at their feet. Some April Fool’s jokes publicized in the media include:

  • In 2002, British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement in The Sun, announcing a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot’. The ad explained that the carrots were engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side. When fully cooked, these holes would cause the carrot to whistle.
  • In the early 1960s there was only one television channel in Sweden, broadcast in black and white. As an April Fool’s joke, it was announced on the news that viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception by pulling a nylon stocking over their screen.
  • In 1934, many American newspapers, including The New York Times, printed a photograph of a man flying through the air, supported by a device powered only by the breath from his lungs. Accompanying articles excitedly described this miraculous new invention

 

And Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’ April Fool’s Day Joke?  Well, it’s still March, the 31st to be exact.  April starts tomorrow!  We just didn’t want to miss out on the fun!

Happy April Fool’s a day early!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 31:

  • Release Blitz – This Is Not A Love Story – Suki Fleet
  • April Fool’s Day, Yes It’s April.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 1 ~ April Fool’s Day:

  • Review Tour – Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey (
  • Blog Tour Better Be Sure by Andrew Gallo
  • T. Neilson on Yes, Chef(Amuse Bouche #2)
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Yes, Chef (Amuse Bouche #2) by T. Neilson
  • An Ashlez Review: OFF THE ICE by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
  • A MelanieM Review:  Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
  • A MelanieM Audio review The Spy’s Love Song (Stars from Peril #1) by Kim Fielding and Drew Bacca (Narrator)

Tuesday, April 2:

  • SPEAK NO EVIL by J.R. Gray Blog Tour
  • Release Blitz – Shane K Morton – Fault Lines
  • BLOG TOUR At A Stranger’s Mercy by Brittany Cournoyer
  • An Alisa Review: Radical Hearts (Deviant Hearts #2) by A E Ryecart
  • An Ali Review Frost by Isabelle Adler
  • A Free Dreamer Lust and Other Drugs (Mytho #1) by TJ Nichols
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Speak No Evil by J.R. Gray

Wednesday, April 3:

  • Review Tour  – Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory
  • Release Blitz – – Honeythorn by Marina Vivancos
  • PROMO Soulstealers by Jacqueline Rohrbach
  • Cover Reveal, – Avery Cockburn – Play Hard
  • PROMO Sloan Johnson on Kindred Spirit
  • An Ali Audio Review Handle with Care by Cari Z and John Solo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Hearts of Fire (Chevalier #1) by Kay Doherty
  • A Caryn Review:   Midnight Flit by Elin Gregory

Thursday, April 4:

  • Snow Storm by Davidson King Blog Tour
  • PROMO Asher Quinn
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn
  • A MelanieM Review:No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes
  • An ALisa Audio Review Romancing the Undercover Millionaire (Romancing the… #3) by Clare London and Seb Yarick (narrator)

Friday, April 5

  • Review Tour – Quinn Ward – Kiss Me, Daddy
  • PROMO TJ Nichols
  • Blog and Review Tour Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Review: Copper Creek (Sawyer’s Ferry #3) by Cate Ashwood
  • An Alisa Review: Kiss Me, Daddy (Club 83 #1) by Quinn Ward
  • A MelanieM Review: Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts #1) by Annabeth Albert

Saturday, April 6:

  • BOOK BLAST – The Selkie Prince’s Secret Baby (The Royal Alphas ) by JJ Masters
  • A MelanieM Review: The Ghost Had An Early Checkout by Josh Lanyon

A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Extra Dirty (The Speakeasy #2) by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I didn’t know this was book two in a series, so I had not read book one. While I might have enjoyed this more if I had already known the large cast, I slowly got into the main characters. There is a lot of telling instead of showing at the beginning. The recaps are sufficient so that I understood what happen in book one. Jesse Murtagh and his business partner, Kyle McKee own a speakeasy named Under in New York. They are also friends with benefits. There is also a former lover of theirs named Carter who is now with Riley. Another couple they are close with is David and Will. I am fairly sure almost all of them have had sex with each other at some point in book one. Jesse is bisexual and not a monogamist so if that is going to bother you, this is not the book for you.

Cameron Lewis is the music teacher for Carter’s two kids. He’s also a local DJ. He’s the working class guy in this scenario, commuting a long distance for his jobs and having three roommates. He seems as adverse to settling down as Jesse at first, but soon develops more feelings for Jesse than he expected. This leads to some bad choices and a stunning lack of mature communication.

This started out as a bunch of wealthy people enjoying themselves. Nothing wrong with that, but it seemed like Cam was expected to fit into their world or not. I was pleasantly surprised when Cam takes Jesse to Brooklyn and they explore his world too. Just when things started to get good, Cam starts running hot and cold. By the the time a disastrous misunderstanding happens, I am well annoyed with Cam. I had expected Jesse to be the annoying character with his rigid adherence to non conformity and his privilege, but he was always honest about who is and what he wants–at least as far as he knows. It’s Cam who tries so hard to protect himself, he hurts them both. He doesn’t even effectively communicate why. The angst pulled me in, but it was Cam’s family and Jesse’s friends that hooked me in to the story emotionally. In the end, I like the open partnership they achieve, but I think there were some spots on the way that could have been more smoothly written. By the time they actually talk and work everything out, I was invested in what was happening, but it was also fairly anticlimactic. Yet, isn’t that life? Sometimes you have such a strong idea about something, it’s earth shattering once you realize you can compromise, or things don’t have to be that way, or things aren’t quite what you thought they were, even though not much has actually changed. This book is about the family they have chosen and the safe space they have created for them and their friends to be who they are.

The cover art is by Cherith Vaughan and shows scenes from the book: the club and the cityscape.

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Apple iStore  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |

Book Details:

ebook, 345 pages
Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN 139781786517098
Edition Language English
Series The Speakeasy #2

A Caryn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Matthew Metzger is always a bit of a hit or miss author for me, but when he’s good, he’s very, very good!  As I was reading this book, I was thinking of how affirming it would be for a questioning (especially in regards to gender identity) teen, because there were some amazing role models in here.  It’s not a YA book, but I am going to recommend it to the non-binary people I know, and see what they think of it.  I expect they’ll be impressed as well…

Jim was a guy who always had a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  From his childhood growing up poor with a sister and a single mother, through some stupid teenage pranks that landed him in jail, to the predicament he found himself in at the beginning of the book – out of a job, deep in debt, and evicted from his apartment.  At rock bottom, he called his sister, who reluctantly took him in to her house.  With her much older, reverend husband and 3 young children.  Sarah told him he had to be on his best behavior, and that meant NO MEN.

Jim hated it.  Hated his sanctimonious 62 year old brother-in-law, who he described as a “posh upper-class twassock…[whose] hobbies included fishing.  Not going fishing but watching it.  On the TV.  For hours on end.”  Heh, I don’t think I could stand him either.  Jim told himself he could do this, stay with Sarah and her family, only as long as it took to get a good job.  And then he was out of there.

But then he met the music teacher, and was instantly infatuated.  Fran might play the proper, straight-laced teacher, but “he was definitely the innocence-defiled sort”.  What started out as a hookup turned into something real for both of them, but in order to make it work, Jim needed to learn what being on his best behavior really meant.

The character development was excellent in this book.  Jim initially was petty, childish, and seemed to spend more time trying to annoy his sister than he did trying to get a job and grow up.  I almost wanted her to kick him out.  Getting into a relationship with Fran brought out a different side of him – and it became clear that his reaction to his situation was exactly what had gotten him into trouble when he was younger and immature, and he already had learned to do better.  Fran had been through his own struggles, especially in regards to his orientation and gender identity, and I had to admire the easy way the author introduced those and made them such natural and surprisingly low angst revelations.  There were so many examples of Jim understanding what respect and consent truly were, and that is when I started feeling differently about him.  When one of Sarah’s children came out as queer to Jim, he was the one to help her understand that what she felt was okay, normal, and not deserving of the shock and anger she saw from her parents.  All of that is what made me feel that this book would be so helpful and comforting for any person who is doing their own soul searching about their identity.

In addition to the wonderful message of the book, I also thoroughly enjoyed the writing.  Mr. Metzger was poetic without resorting to purple prose when describing how Jim felt about Fran, and there was a lot of humor in the book as well – both Jim and Fran are pretty snarky, and the dialogue was excellent.  The way Jim saw Sarah’s kids in particular had that dry British humor that really balanced out the intensity of the other more difficult parts of his life.

I found the cover art by Erin Dameron-Hill to be eye-catching, but by the time I finished the book I felt the text “He’s not known for obeying orders” to distract from what I thought were the best parts of the book

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 222 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN 139781786517050
Edition Language English

Of Wild Weather, Eostre and Spring. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Wild Weather, Eostre and Spring

 

I don’t know how many of you are fans of the book by Neil Gaiman or show based on it, American Gods, but the weather the nation has been having this past week has called to mind one scene from last season’s finale, when the goddess Ostara, provoked or encouraged (depending on how you look at it) by the god Wednesday, reminds those partying around her of her true origins and power with catastrophic results… removing Spring’s bounty and renewal from the lands….  setting off a withering landscape and the onset of winter.

I think it was watching that weather map showing a “bomb cyclone” sweeping across the Midwest bringing hurricane force winds and blizzards so unexpectedly, while here in Maryland we were experiencing 65 to 70 degrees of Spring.  It was Spring as its most turbulent, violent, and yet weirdly warm and calm state.  It just depended where you lived.  And yes, I do know its due to climate change.

But it did draw my mind back to that scene and to the goddess Ostara.

Ostara, or Eostre or Eastre, she has many names, the goddess of Spring.  She is responsible for the renewal of the earth each year after winter, the bringer of Spring, the symbol of fertility and birth.  Yes, rabbits (those reproducing, repopulating stars) are her symbols.  She has been pictured with a rabbit’s head but more often with them at her side.  They are the reason we now have the Easter Bunny, same with Easter Eggs.  All due to her, Eostre or Eastre.  Or Ostara.

She’s been on my mind a lot, for many reasons.  The Spring equinox approaches on the 21st, a new season of American Gods has started, and all around me, from my backyard to the news I have reminders of just how wild and unpredictable nature and Spring can be at times.

At night I’ve heard both the calls of wild geese migrating and the sound of a barred owl so out of season….must be a youngster trying to find his voice.

But it’s a reminder that rebirth can be a wild and tumultuous time.  That renewal isn’t always peaceful and calm, that wild winds and blizzards can herald the arrival of Spring just as often as the call of the bluebird.

Something to remember when pondering that Easter bunny.

Kristin Chenoweth as Ostara in American Gods

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 17:

  • Of Wild Weather, Eostre and Spring. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book Blitz – LA Bryce – The Forever Kind Of Love

Monday, March 18:

  • Release Blitz – Rewind by Rowan Shaw
  • Release Blitz – Jeanne Marcella – The Demon Lord Of California
  • Review Tour – A.L. Lester – Shadows On The Border
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed
  • A Caryn Review Shadows On The Border (Lost In Time #2) by A.L. Lester
  • A MelanieM Review: No Big Deal (#lovehim #1.5) by S.M. James

Tuesday, March 19:

  • Release Blitz ALL SOULS NEAR & NIGH (SOULBOUND #2) by Hailey Turner
  • Release Blitz – TL Travis’ A Heart Divided
  • Blog Tour – Marked by J. Jay Barrett
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Whiskey to Wine (Leaning N #3) by BA Tortuga
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: I’m Not Who You Think I Am by Felicitas Ivey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Lord to Love by Sara Dobie Bauer

Wednesday, March 20:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Clean Break (Farm College #2) by Erin McLellan
  • Book Blitz  Tour Request – Elin Gregory – Midnight Flit
  • BLOG TOUR Wicked Games by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Lucy Review : The Forever Kind Of Love by LA Bryce
  • A Jeri Review Clean Break (Farm College #2) by Erin McLellan
  • A MelanieM Review: Lunar New Love by Casper Graham
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: In Safe Hands by Victoria Sue

Thursday, March 21:

  • Book Blast – An Extra Alpha (Pine Wood Falls #2) by Sarah Havan
  • DSP PROMO Felicitas Ivey on I’m Not Who You Think I Am
  • PROMO BA Tortuga on Whiskey to Wine
  • An Alisa Review: How Not To Sin by Susan Hawke
  • A Stella Review: Brush Strokes by E.S. Karlquist
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Kennard’s Story (Cronin’s Key #4) by N.R. Walker

Friday, March 22:

  • Review Tour –  A Body In A Bathhouse by Brad Shreve
  • Review Tour – Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1) by Isobel Starling
  • Blog Tour for A Broken Promise by Mel Gough
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1) by Isobel Starling
  • An Alisa Review: Demon on the Down-Low by EJ Russell
  • A Caryn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Black (Kitty Play Romance) by Quin Perin

Saturday, March 23:

Release Blitz Memory of Scorpions Series by Aleksandr Voinov

 

 

Springing Forward in Time and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Springing Forward in Time

Daylight saving time began this Sunday, March 10, at 2:00 a.m. And yes, this is the one where we all lost an hour of sleep. How many of you forgot to change your clocks and watches that don’t automatically switch over on a smart device this morning? lol  And while we may have lost that hour of sleep it also means we gain one more precious hour of sunlight at the end of the day to beat those end-of-winter blues.  I will take that any day of the week!  I love having that longer day!  How about you?

How about a history lesson?

The practice started with the “federal government as a way to save coal during World War I in the spring of 1918, and was only meant to exist during wartime. The practice was technically ended later that same year, but many regions continued to follow it, until eventually the government put the measure back in place in 1966.

The next major change came in 2007, when the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is surprisingly in charge of the practice, expanded daylight saving time to encompass about 65% of the year. The DOT was assigned the responsibility because the switch affects so many modes of transportation. The agency continues to observe the twice-yearly time swap because it reportedly saves energy, cuts down on traffic accidents and reduces crime.

States have the final say on if they participate, though. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not — the latter because it receives so much sunlight already. The islands of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands abstain as well.”

I really wish Maryland kept the practice year around.  How about you?  How do you feel about setting the clocks back in the fall?  Or this practice of manipulating our clocks?  Or are you one of the lucky ones that live in a place that isn’t affected?

Book Covers and Cover Artists

I want to thank all the artists that participated in our month long look at Book Covers and Artist Spotlights!  For our readers who may have missed any of the wonderful interviews with these talented artists.

Artist Spotlights Schedule(with links in case you missed one):
February 09:  Aisha Akeju
February 10:   Garrett Leigh
February 17:   Meredith Russell
February 24:  Reese Dante
March  3           Paul Richmond

It was a wonderful month, full of insight into the cover making process, book covers in general, and these fabulous artists we have come to admire so much.

Cover Artist Giveaway:  Winner is H.B. Congratulations, H.B.! Thank you for all the wonderful questions.  Please contact Stella to get your certificate.

Coming up next?

Thoughts about the spring equinox, stories about new starts, and of course, looking forward to perhaps a month of interviews with your favorite narrators.  So what questions would you ask a narrator?  Start thinking about that and get reading to post them here when our latest contest ends.

 

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
– Robin Williams (1951–2014)

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 10:

  • Springing Forward in Time and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – Ann Lister – Moved By You
  • Series Review Tour – Pros & Cons by A.E. Wasp
  • An ALisa Review: Pros & Cons of Vengeance (Pros & Cons #2) by A.E. Wasp

Monday, March 11:

  • Review:Release Blitz & Review Tour – Brigham Vaughn – The Ghosts Signal
  • Review Tour – Bitten By Fate (Regent’s Park Pack #6) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • DSP PROMO Amanda Meuwissen
  • An Ali Review: Lunar New Love by Casper Graham
  • A MelanieM Review: Bitten By Fate (Regent’s Park Pack #6) by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Lila Audio Review: A Few Good Fish (Fish Out of Water #3) by Amy  Lane and Greg Tremblay  (Narrator)

Tuesday, March 12:

  • A Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: A Chip and a Chair by Cordelia Kingsbridge.
  • BLITZ Hearts of Fire by Kay Doherty
  • PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Hidden Powers (Superordinary Society #1) by Tara Lain
  • A Vivacious Review: Controlled (Hot Flash) by J.M. Snyder
  • A Stella Review: How Not to Sin (Lovestrong #2) by Susan Hawke
  • A MelanieM Review: Magic Triumphed by Andi Van

Wednesday, March 13:

  • How Not to Break by Susan Hawke Release Blitz
  • DSP PROMO Tara Lain
  • Book Blitz – Katherine Wyvern – In The Eye Of The Wind
  • Book Blitz – Frank W Butterfield – Chasing Eddie
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Severed (Precinct One #1) by Shona Husk
  • An Ashlez Review: Diamond in the Rough (Four Kings Security #4) by Charlie Cochet
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey and ;John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, March 14:

  • Release Blitz – Brad Shreve – A Body In A Bathhouse
  • DSP PROMO Elizabeth Coldwell
  • Blog Tour for The Hands We’re Given (Aces High, Jokers Wild #1) by O.E. Tearmann
  • An Alisa Review: The Hands We’re Given (Aces High, Jokers Wild #1) by O.E. Tearmann
  • A Melanie Review: Ties of Destiny (Curse of the Crown #1) by Caitlin Taylor
  • A Caryn Review: Demon on the Down-Low by EJ Russell
  • A Lila Audio Review: Running Blind (Havoc #2) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

Friday, March 15:

  • Uncomplicated by KM Neuhold Release Blitz
  • Release Blitz – A Love Like Fire by Tricia Owens
  • COVER REVEAL Ties That Bind by Alex Whitehall
  • BLOG TOUR Order (Tattoos and Ties Duet, Book 2) by Kindle Alexander
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Once Burned (Anchor Point #6) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Ali Review In His Sights by L.A. Bryce
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: The Leprechaun Next Door by Elizabeth Coldwell

Saturday, March 16:

  • A MelanieM Review: Step Up With Me by Kris Jacen
  • RELEASE BLITZ for Becoming D’Vaire by Jessamyn Kingley

A Lucy Review: The 13th Month (Calendar Men #13) by Bailey Bradford

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Marco’s ex destroyed him, but one man won’t let him give up on life.

Marco was the original photographer from the Calendar series. He’s almost died more than once thanks to his ex wife, Evan. It’s been a struggle to survive, but Ezra, his best friend has been by his side and isn’t disgusted by his scars.

And maybe it’s time Marco stopped fighting the feelings he’s had for his friend all along.

I have to be honest and say, this is the thirteenth book of the series Calendar Men.  I haven’t read any of the previous books so I had no idea that these men are shifters.  One is a cat, the other a bunny.  I mention this because not only was I surprised that this was part of the book but also I couldn’t figure out WHY it was part of the book.  It is mentioned once or twice about Ezra having cat vision in the dark and there is one quick reference to them playing in animal form at the end but that was it. Perhaps it was more prevalent in the other books and it was just continued in this one. 

That being said, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything or coming into the middle of the story by not having read the others.  Marco was the photographer for the charity calendar who has been married six times, always choosing women who weren’t good for him.  The last wife, Evan, was a doozy and tried to kill him.  “I knew she was a horrible person. I had a very thorough background check done on her before I dated her.  So I knew.” She’s in prison now but she’s still trying the one thing she wanted – Marco dead.  He has lost the use of his right hand from her efforts and “…had scars all over, albeit most of them were small except those on his right hand and arm.”  He’s been in a depression, living at his best friend, Ezra’s, house while he mends. 

Marco has money and prestige but he carries a lot of baggage. His parents were cultish religious who beat him and then kicked him out when he came out.  He has a lot of issues from that.  Add in that he’s had feelings for Ezra for years that he refuses to admit, feelings that sent him running to marry his first wife (he’s had six), and Marco is a hot mess.

Ezra? He’s the steady, loyal friend who has been in love with Marco for years and would do anything for him, especially keep him safe.  When Marco finally admits his feelings it is the most glorious day for Ezra and I was so happy for him.  The two of them fall into the relationship so seamlessly because they have been such close friends for so many years.  I want to put it out there that I loved, “There are plenty of ways to enjoy each other that don’t involve a**holes, and we can explore whatever you’d like to try”.  So often in MM books, it is all about the penetration and not every person likes that.  So it was refreshing to see Ezra giving that option to Marco.

There is the mystery of who is trying to get at Marco and I admit I was wrong about who it was.  While I can’t say this what kind of addition to the series it was since I hadn’t read the series, I can say it was an interesting, engaging stand alone.

The cover was a little off for me.  It is obviously not Marco, as there are no scars but it also didn’t seem to be Ezra, so it was a little random.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 128 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN13 9781786517012
Edition Language English