Sunday expectations , Sounds of fall in the air and the week Ahead at ScatteredThoughts

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flowers June

 

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Sunday is  upon us once more.  How quickly it seems to come around each week.  Normally I would be outside planting, weeding, enjoying the gardens and the dogs but the sounds I hear lately remind me that fall is coming and preparations need to be made.   The whites, yellows and purples associated with late summer, early fall flowers are out in full force.  The “Daisy Mae:” Daisies are hanging in there, the Black-Eyed Susans have thwarted the deer, and the purples of liriope, False Dragonhead, and Great Blue Lobelias are just starting to make their presence known.

Overhead flocks of Canada Geese and Snow geese are reforming, heading to the marshes surrounding the Bay in huge masses, reading for migration and winter.  My feeders are being emptied at an astonishing rate after piddling interest all summer long.  Some leaves have started falling, and the sunlight has that slanted, cooler look to it that proclaims that the Summer Solstice has passed and it is filtering the landscape through an autumnal lens.

The pruning shears are out, the mulch bags waiting for someone other than me to cover the beds.  The hummingbirds are still here, the feeders still full, and the offerings in the yard are getting scarcer by the day.

It also means that GRL is fast approaching in October and I hope soon to be able to make an announcement about a new reviewer here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.  I love fall.  Its every bit as beautiful to me  as Spring and Summer. In fact it may be my favorite of all the Seasons.  Brisk, clean air that puts a snap to your step as your walk and a little color in your cheeks.  I know the dogs are happier…its terrier weather for sure.

Ahhh, the sounds of change is in the air…how sweet, how promising, how wonderful!

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Dissonance-build-full-r2(1)Gale Force

 You Can't Go Home Again coverBadgeWholehearted

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the upcoming week ahead at Scattered Thoughts….

Monday, August 11:

  • Blue Notes continues with Shira Anthony’s Dissonance Book Tour (contest)
  • Book Blast:  Cate Ashwood’s Wholehearted Audio Book Tour (contest)

Tuesday, August 12:

  • On Tour with Rory Ni Coileain’s SoulShares Series (contest)
  • Lou Hoffman is Here with Key of Behliseth, a YA Book Release (contest)
  • Review:  Dissonance by Shira Anthony

Wednesday, August 13:

  • Review: Wicked Winds by Havan Fellows
  • Review: Out in the Cold by Lee Brazil

Thursday, August 14:

  • In the Author Spotlight: Jason Lloyd and his release, Queer Dirty Laundry (contest)
  • Review:  Devil’s Own by Susan Laine

Friday, August 15:

  • In the Author Spotlight:  Lee Brazil on Writing, In From the Cold, and More (contest)
  • Review: You Can’t Go Home Again by Michael Murphy

Saturday, August 16:

    • Review: Queer Dirty Laundry by Jason Lloyd

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Firestorm (Fighting Fire #1) by Laura Harner

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Firestorm by Laura HarnerAfter a wildland fire put Scott McGregor on the disabled list and ended his career as a firefighter, Scott had to start his life anew.  While in the hospital, an old emergency contact number saw the reentry into his life of Robby Hammond, a former college lover of his.  Together they see  Scott settled into his new home and life as owner of the Mountain Shadows Campgrounds.  Comprised of a number of rental cabins as well as a bed and breakfast, Mountain Shadows is full of challenges, not the least of which is having Robby Hammond back in his life again.

Finding Scott again after all these years is hard enough for Robby but then to see Scott alone and in pain in that burn unit, well, that was enough for Robby to do the unthinkable and uproot his own life.  Leaving San Francisco is hard but taking a job as a law enforcement ranger part time is even harder. Robby, like Scott, has to adjust to a new town, Flagstaff, and a new residence too.  What is not new to either man is the white hot attraction that sparks back to life the moment they see each other again.

But what forced them to separate the first time around remains between them causing them both unlimited hurt.  Still the flames of love and passion continue to rise.  Where there is smoke, there is sure to be fire…sooner or later.

The Pulp Friction authors have started the adventure once more!  Firestorm (Fighting Fire#1) is the first in Laura Harner’s series for the Pulp Friction 2014 interconnected storyline and its off to a terrific start.  Comprised off just six chapters, Harner dumps the reader immediately into Scott’s new life as he travels with Robby from the burn unit in Albuquerque where he was recently discharged to the Mountain Shadows campground where he is to begin his new life.  We learn bits and pieces of Scott (and Robby’s past) as they travel the road up the mountain uncertain of exactly what his new property looks like.

I love riding along with the characters as they prepare to start this new chapter in their lives.  It brings us face to face with all the uncertainty and stress of the unknown ahead of Scott.  The property was bought sight unseen and Scott has no idea of what lies ahead of him.  Harner gives us a man on the precipice of a monumental life change and this character is reeling with the stress of the changes he has gone through while still trying to recover from the burns of the fire.  It makes Scott both  someone we can empathize with and relate to, complete with limp and scarring, emotional and physical.

Packed on top of all the drastic changes in his life, the reentry of Robby Hammond adds one more tumultuous layer to the situation Scott faces.  Harner is crafty in only doling out bits and pieces of Scott and Robby’s past relationship as they travel together to get Scott settled in at the campground lodge that is to be Scott’s home.  We see that they loved each other and that the physical and emotional attraction to each other is still very present.  But other than that?  Nothing until a shocker that arrives at the very end of this first story that both explains so much while still leaving us with loads of questions to be answered.

In Firestorm, Laura Harner is setting the stage for the rest of her series and the first inklings of the interconnected characters and relationships from the other authors.  I love the tone and pace of the story as well as the depth of characterization and surprising elements she is building into the relationships and storylines.  What a great setting too.  The wildness of the habitat just outside the door is aspect of the story that brings challenges of its own to all the people present as well as acting almost like an additional character as well.  I got to the end and immediately wanted more.  So will you.  Consider this story, this series and in fact, the entire  Pulp Friction 2014 group highly recommended.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Cover is great, perfect for the character and story within.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 62 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Hot Corner Press
ASINB00HV33EGG
edition languageEnglish
seriesFighting Fire
Buy links Amazon, ARe
One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series

 From the Pulp Friction Group: The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends. The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth. Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1) by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Where the Wind Blows: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by Tom Webb

Review: Cold Snap (In From the Cold #1) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cold SnapWhen Dagfinnr Lorensson, professor of literature, comes across a freezing Dr. Cannon Malloy in the staff parking lot, it’s not the first time the two men have met, but only one of them remembers.  Cannon Malloy has just arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona, fleeing the traumatizing events and deadly stalker of the last summer in Atlanta.  Cannon is to take over the neurosurgery clinic at the university.  Somehow Cannon thought putting a large distance between himself and his friends in Atlanta  (Chances Are series) would help him get past the events that have left his hands shaking and himself fearful almost all of the time.

Now Cannon stands shivering next to his 66 Shelby, painfully aware that clearly neither his beloved car or himself was prepared for the winter weather that occurs in Flagstaff and the mountainous regions that surround it.  Dagfinnr rescues Cannon and takes him to a local  hotel where Finn is staying until the roads are safe to travel home.  The night at the inn ends in explosive sex.

But Cannon is a man living in fear and even the smallest emotional advances send him running out into the night, seeking the refuge of his new rental cabin on Mountain Shadows.  It’s not until Cannon runs into trouble again on the snow packed mountain road that he realizes his rescuer from work is also his new neighbor.  With winter storms and proximity working to throw them together, will Finn find a way past Cannon’s shields and his fear?  And will Cannon find the strength to stop running and let someone inside all the barriers he has raised against love?

Cold Snap is another terrific start to what looks to be a gripping and emotion packed series.  Unexpectedly Lee Brazil has brought Cannon Malloy, a problematic character if ever there was one, over from the original Pulp Friction 2013 group series.  Now a main character, Cannon Malloy is someone the reader is certain to feel ambivalent about.  He was the closeted man who hurt Chance so deeply in the Chances Are series. His return into Chance’s life sparks all sorts of upheavals in the core relationships of the Pulp Friction 2013 group of friends.  He disappears towards the end of that storyline after some horrific events.  It now appears that he ran off to Arizona in hopes of starting a new life as an out gay man for the first time in his life.  This process starts to transform a self involved personality into someone the reader can start to relate to and empathize with by slowly revealing the frailties behind the self centered appearance.

And to help in this process hopefully is Dagfinnr Loresson, professor of English literature, neighboring renter at the cabins at Mountain Shadows (the location for the Pulp Friction 2014 series), and apparently a man searching for love and a little kink with Cannon Malloy.   As this is just the first story in the series, Brazil is laying the groundwork necessary for the complicated relationship that is sure to follow.  Here it would help to have read the previous Pulp Friction series or at least the Chances Are series, although not completely necessary as the author starts to work bits and pieces from Cannon’s past into the current storyline.

Towards the end of the last series, Cannon was starting to explore the world of bdsm sexuality and it did not go well for a number of reasons. But all those unanswered questions and unresolved feelings are still there under all the barriers Cannon has erected to protect himself from physical and emotional harm.  And Finn recognizes that in Cannon he might have meet the man to match his own desires and kink.  The drama and, I expect, the fun, will be in watching the author brings these two disparate personalities together into a rewarding relationship.

There are also mysteries that start to emerge and I expect elements from Cannon’s past to figure into the plot as well.  I have always found it hard to believe that Brazil can pack so much story into only 56 pages.  The characters are so vivid and real that they threaten to burst out of the page and the location feels as alive as the tall trees that surround the cabins and main lodge.  My only complaint is, that like an addictive snack, you finish one and then immediately want to reach out for the next.  That’s the way I feel about Cold Snap and all the rest of the Pulp Friction 2014 series.

The anticipation has settled in.  My curiosity is engaged and the suspense is building.  I am already in love with the series and all the characters, wounded, quirky, dominate, and complex, that are showing up one by one at Mountain Shadows.  There are so many elements to be found here, love, romance, kinky sex, wounded men, and mystery, that there is something for everyone.  I definitely consider this highly recommended!

Cover art by Laura Harner is terrific and perfect for the man and story inside.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published January 30th 2014 by Lime Time Press
ASIN B00I5SWYZS
edition language English
series In From the Cold, Pulp Friction 2014

One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series

 From the Pulp Friction Group: The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends. The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth. Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1) by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Where the Wind Blows: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by Tom Webb