On Tour Today: Get Second Helpings by Charlie Cochrane (contest)

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Look who’s stopping by today at ScatteredThoughts!  If you hear a tinkling of the tea cup, that’s a hint because Charlie Cochrane, one of my favorite authors (see my reviews for The Cambridge Fellows Mysteries), is hear to talk about her latest release Second Helpings.  Charlie has also brought along a giveaway for you all.

Contest:

There’s two ways to win today! Comment below for a chance to win an ebook from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excluding Second Helpings), and a mix of summer seaside goodies! AND you can also enter at Rafflecopter.  That gets you entered too.  Or do both for a double entry!  Go wild!  But you still must be 18 years of age or older to enter!  Good luck to all.

Now here’s Charlie Cochrane on Second Helpings and Soundtracks:

 

I’m thrilled skinny to be dropping in here as part of the Second Helpings blog tour. A million thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me as a guest.

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A Soundtrack to Second Helpings

I’ve often seen blog posts about stories that focus on music. What the author listened to when writing the book, or what inspired them to write it in the first place, what songs the characters like or key music for key plot points.

I’ve not done one of these before, not least because I rarely think of a story in terms of songs and if I wrote a “what I listened to as I wrote this” list it would be something uninteresting, like:

Saracens vs London Irish, rugby
Leicestershire vs Hampshire, cricket
Round the Horne
Busman’s Honeymoon, with Lord Peter Wimsey.

Second Helpings is an exception, though. I have a song I associate with Stuart and what he’s feeling about his partner Mark, who died in a traffic accident a year before this story starts. That song is “I Find Your Love” by Beth Nielsen Chapman, and it’s a stunning portrayal of grief, remembrance and the loss of a loved one. Stuart hasn’t moved, yet, to the point where he finds much comfort in the memories of Mark, but he certainly gets reminded of the man in many things, even in something as simple as the burgeoning fruit on the plum tree in the garden.

Is there a song for Paul? Maybe Eric Clapton’s “Who do you love?” although Paul isn’t certain there is another man in his (maybe ex) partner Ben’s life. What I really need is a mash-up of songs like “Private Number”, “Call me” and “Busy Line”, or something like ELO’s lovely “Telephone Line” or Elvis’s “Return to Sender” revamped for the digital age.

I seem to be on a roll now. Maybe I should do this for more of my guys?

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Old kitchen table rural cottage morningAbout Second Helpings:
Stuart Collins’s life might as well have ended a year ago when his partner died in a car crash. Even Stuart’s widowed father has found new love with an old friend, Isabel Franklin, so why can’t Stuart be bothered to try?

Then he gets a phone call from Isabel’s son, Paul, who wants to check out whether or not Mr. Collins is good enough for his mother. During dinner together, though, they end up checking out each other. Trouble is, Paul’s got a boyfriend—or maybe he doesn’t, since the boyfriend’s supposedly giving Paul the push by ignoring him. Or maybe Paul just wants to have his cake and eat it too.

Honesty with each other is the only way to move forward. But maybe honesty with themselves is what they really need.

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Author Bio:  As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series, set in Edwardian England, was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, MLR, and Riptide.

To contact/follow Charlie Cochrane, you can do any of the following:

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About Second Helpings
Stuart Collins’s life might as well have ended a year ago when his partner died in a car crash. Even Stuart’s widowed father has found new love with an old friend, Isabel Franklin, so why can’t Stuart be bothered to try?
Then he gets a phone call from Isabel’s son, Paul, who wants to check out whether or not Mr. Collins is good enough for his mother. During dinner together, though, they end up checking out each other. Trouble is, Paul’s got a boyfriend—or maybe he doesn’t, since the boyfriend’s supposedly giving Paul the push by ignoring him. Or maybe Paul just wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Honesty with each other is the only way to move forward. But maybe honesty with themselves is what they really need.
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SecondHelpings_150x300Book Details:

Author: Charlie Cochrane
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-152-6
eBook release: Jul 21, 2014
eBook Formats: pdf, mobi, html, epub
Word count: 36,800
Page count: 146
Type: Standalone
Cover by: Amber Shah
– See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/second-helpings#sthash.ILe0FYqM.dpuf
For all the Second Helpings Tour Stops, visit Riptide Publishing.

 

 

 

Giveaway:
There’s two ways to win today! Comment below for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist (excluding Second Helpings), and a mix of summer seaside goodies! AND you can also use the link below and enter twice!
Enter the Rafflecopter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YThmY2QyMTMwZGEwMGQ2MzU3MWZhNDI0MjFlOTM1OjE0 Rafflecopter Link
Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on July 29th, and winners will be announced on July 30th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Rain, Rain Go Away and the Week Ahead in Reviews, Author Guest Blogs and Contests

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bradley-blvdAnd it rained, and rained and rained……again we got over 3 to 4 inches of rain this weekend.  On top of about 5 to 6 inches a week or so ago. To say that everything around here is soggy is an understatement.  I swear I can hear the concrete squish when cars roll by.  There was a Canada goose standing on my roof, honking away a couple of days ago.  Probably thought my house was an island in the midst of all that water.  Crazy thing.  Problem was that it was Huntington VA floodingright!  What’s next?  Trout?

As I watch all the water swirl away, I kept thinking what a waste.  I wish there was a logical way to capture it al and maybe ship it out to California or Texas where it is needed.  Instead of a oil pipeline, perhaps a rainwater express to help alleviate some of our flooding and the drought that our new weather  patterns has brought to that area.  Rain barrels are great things…so are water catchments but I have standing water now in places that once was completely dry.  Is water gardening in my near future?  It’s looking that way….

I have a great schedule this week.  S.A. McAuley is stopping by to talk about her Borders War series and the next in the series, Powerless.  Katey Hawthorne is here with the next story in her Fairies series.  Amelia C. Gormley is taking us into summer with  her Saugatuck Summer. Plus I’ve discovered a new author for me, Leona Carver, who will be here talking about her writing and the inspiration behind No Oceans Too Deep.  Another new author for me is J.K. Hogan and I Survived Seattle. There are book giveaways connected to each author guest post and book tour so don’t miss out on a day here!  Oh, and a cover reveal by Amanda Young too!

I will finish the week up with  John Inman’s Spirit.  I just love this author’s stories and he will be here the following week with John Inman’s Writing with Humor and his growing up in a small town.

I also have two Winner Announcemenst.  Winner of S.J. Frost’s Knight of Fire is Midia.  Congratulations to Midia and my thanks to S.J. Frost for the guest blog and book donation and to all who stopped by and left comments. And Congratulations to MizEqualityPatricia, winner of the Kimber Vale’s contest for Double Takes.  Thank you, Kimber, for the guest post and great contest!

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The Week Ahead at ScatteredThoughts:

  • Monday, May 19:          Author Spotlight with SA McAuley and Powerless (Contest)
  • Monday, May 19, pm: Powerless by SA McAuley
  • Tuesday, May 20:         Author Spotlight:  Katey Hawthorne on Fairies
    Tuesday, May 20:          I Survived Seattle by J.K. Hogan
  • Wed., May 21:                Amelia C. Gormley’s Saugatuck Summer Book Tour/Contest
  • Wed., May 21 pm          Cover Reveal for Amanda Young’s GWM Wanted Novel
  • Thursday, May 22:       Author Spotlight on Leona Carver and No Oceans Too Deep (Contest)
  • Thursday, May 22:       Quick Stop: The Surgeon’s Apprentice by Richard Longfellow (Contest)
  • Friday, May 23:            No Oceans Too Deep by Leona Carver
  • Sat., May 24:                  Spirit by John Inman

 

Those Sexy Men of Hell or High Water Are Back In SE Jakes’ Daylight Again (HHW#3) Book Tour and Contest

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☠☠Prophet and Tommy are back in Daylight Again☠☠

SE Jakes is here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords today to talk about those wild and sexy men of her Hell or Highwater series, Prophet and Tommy.  They are back in her latest release, Daylight Again (Hell or Highwater #3).

SE Jakes: Thanks so much for hosting a spotlight of my new release— Daylight Again! It’s book 3 in the Hell or High Water series, and it’s the return of Prophet and Tommy. And Mal. And Cillian. And, as usual, some surprises. Hang on for another wild (and hot) ride!

 

DaylightAgain_500x750About Daylight Again:

Before Prophet Drews can have a future, he must first put his past to rest.

Prophet Drews is a man on the edge, and he’s pulling Tom Boudreaux, his partner on the job and in real life, right over with him. When his old CO calls in a favor, Prophet asks Tom to join the off-the-grid rescue. But the mission raises all of Prophet’s old ghosts: CIA assassins, the terrorist Sadiq, and most importantly, John—traitor, former teammate, and Prophet’s first love.

To help bury those ghosts for good, Prophet and Tom gather the members of Prophet’s former SEAL team . . . and a spook named Cillian who’s been tailing Prophet for years. In the process, Prophet is forced to face his team’s shifting loyalties, ghosts who refuse to stay dead, and scariest of all, his own limitations.

With everyone’s lives in danger, Prophet and Tom must unravel a tangled knot of secrets, including their own. Prophet must decide how much to reveal to Tom, while Tom must decide how far he’s willing to go to help Prophet lay his ghosts to rest.

Book Details:

ebook, 265 pages
Published May 5th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626491403
edition languageEnglish

Buy at:  Riptide    url  http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/daylight-again
seriesHell or High Water #3

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Giveaway:

SE Jakes will be giving away one $100 gift certificate to Riptide Publishing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on May 17th, and winners will be announced on May 18th. Contest is valid worldwide.

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About the Author:

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

You can contact her the following ways:

  • You can email her at authorsejakes@gmail.com
  • You can post to her Facebook page: Facebook.com/SEJakes
  • You can tweet her: Twitter  .com/authorsejakes
  • You can post on her Goodreads Group: Ask SE Jakes
  • You can follow her Tumblr page: sejakes.tumblr.com
  • You can follow her on Instagram: instagram.com/authorsejakes

Truth be told, the best way to contact her is by email or in blog comments. She spends most of her time writing but she loves to hear from readers!

Catch a Ghost coverLong Time Gone coverDaylightAgain_500x750

 

 

 

 

 

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Books in the Hell or High Water Series Include:

Catch a Ghost (Hell or High Water, #1)
Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water, #2)
Daylight Again (Hell or High Water, #3)
Not Fade Away (Hell or High Water, #3.5) – Expected publication: July 14th 2014
If I Ever (Hell or High Water, #4) –  Expected publication: October 1st 2014

☠ Excerpt (smoking hot) is right after a scene from Dirty Deeds. They’re at a bar in Amsterdam…
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Winner Announcements, Blog Tour Contests and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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Oh, What A Week It Is…..

ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords wants to thank everyone who participated and commented on Tal Valante’s Mindscape Book Tour and Contest as well as Reesa Herberth’s In Discretion Book Tour.  I thought these books were amazing and have linked my reviews to each below.

Here are the Winners for each contest.  Congratulations to all the winners. All contest winners have been notified :

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Tal Valante’s Mindscape Contest Winners are:

Christine – lacombejc@suddenlink.net
Lisa – lgrant1@san.rr.com
Jen – jen.f@mac.com

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InDiscretion_150x300Reesa Herberth’s In Discretion ContestWinner Is:

Colette Miranda

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The upcoming week is full of stellar books in a variety of genres, including LGBTQ non fiction, m/m espionage, and the wild west. Among those books reviewed is a truly remarkable story by LA Witt titled Static which examines gender identity with a different type of shifter.  Then ScatteredThoughts finishes up the week doing the deed with SE Jakes on her Dirty Deeds Blog Tour and Contest.  Readers, it will be a great week.  Join us, won’t you?

This is how the week shakes out:

Monday, Jan. 20.:   Lawfully Wedded Husband by Joel Derfner

Tuesday, Jan. 21:     Dime Novel by Dale Chase

Wed., Jan. 22:          Static by LA Witt

Thur., Jan 23:          Catch A Ghost by SE Jakes

Friday, Jan. 24:       Dirty Deeds by SE Jakes

Sat., Jan. 25:             Author Spotlight: SE Jakes’s Dirty Deeds Book Tour and Contest

Review: Mindscape by Tal Valante

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Mindscape_500x750History of family service in the Spavy meant that Shane Cawley was just continuing in the family tradition when he joined the Interstellar Navy.  But for Mark Sayre joining the Interstellar Navy meant money for his mother and brother, for food and rent. Plus Mark had another goal, that of keeping his little brother out of the colony mines that sent their father to an early grave. When the two men met on the spaceship Cyclopes, Shane is an officer to Mark’s enlisted status but their affection grew despite Spavy regulations against it.  Mark completes Officer Candidate School  so that Shane and Mark are now free to move forward with their love. A love made deeper by the Resonance, a joining of two minds so rare that the odds were in the millions against it.

Then intergalactic war breaks out, the Cyclopes attacks and one of the couple is captured by the enemy.  In the aftermath of war, can love and their Resonance survive, when one of their minds is shattered?

Tal Valante’s Mindscape is an inventive jumble of romance and time periods, flashbacks and present day events, all set in outer space.  We enter the story as Shane walks down the hallways of the Rigsby Psychiatric Ward.  He is there to see Mark, a returned POW whose mind is shattered by torture endured while in captivity.  As Shane tries to reach Mark’s mind, the narrative moves back and forth between their past and their present.  This format is a little confusing to start off with, but in a strange way it works.  Tal Valante’s story is formed around the nightmare landscape of Mark’s mind and Shane’s attempts to reach him inside that mental framework.  It is full of shards of memory so a jumbled, somewhat confusing format works within this situation.  It takes a while to get used to it but once it starts to feel as real as the broken mind that Shane is trying to heal.

There are so many wonderful aspects to this story.  The “mindscape” that Valante creates for Mark is as haunted, and harrowing a place as one would expect from a prisoner of war.  That is the part that feels the most immediate and alive in the story.  I also found Shane’s emotions and the details from the Psychiatric Ward to be as painful and emotionally intrusive as the author intended them to be.  Shane’s many attempts to enter Mark’s mind and the anguish with which each failed attempt is met is believable and human.  I thought the twists of the plot as Shane moves through the obstacles raised by Mark are ingenious and some of the best elements in the story.

Did I think there were some less effective aspects here? A few, that with additional length could have been readily solved.  I thought the author’s universe building interesting but lacking in details that would have given it more substance.  The enemy was telepathic, that we find out.  But what else made them attack?  What did they look like? Where is the history behind the war?  That would have been a great layer to add.  Also a huge deal is made of the Resonance, that rare joining/meeting of minds.  I felt that again we needed to “feel” more of the Resonance between Shane and Mark in order for it to become as real as the men did.  And finally, I wish we had been given a few more scenes of Mark and Shane’s earlier relationship so the devastation that Shane feels upon losing Mark and the Resonance between them (and their long term love affair) felt as authentically deep  as they told us it was as it is central to the story.

I love science fiction and can absolutely recommend Mindscape by Tal Valante to lovers of romance as well as science fiction.  It is an inventive story by an author I was not familiar with.  This book has remedied that fact and now I look forward to investigating more works Tal Valante, whose creative mind brought this story forth.

This is how it starts…..

The first time Shane enters the Rigsby Psychiatric Ward, the noise and smells slam into him like a fist to the solar plexus. The air reeks of some lemony disinfectant. Somewhere, someone is screeching a song, and from nearby comes the hissing of a man whose burned hands are being tended by a nurse. It’s all Shane can do not to throw up. The thought of Mark, of all people, being locked in this place . . .

He’s grateful when the head nurse comes out to meet him, if only because it gives him something else to focus on. She insists on giving him the third degree.

“Shane Cawley,” he answers. “From New Wyoming, yes . . . His name is Mark Sayre. With a Y . . . I’m his partner.” His Resonance partner, he doesn’t add. “Not married, no . . . Yes, I know about his condition.” And finally, “Can I see him now ?”

She leads him down a hallway, past a woman who laughs at him like a hyena, and into a small room with two beds. One is occupied by a man who is lying on his back and burping repeatedly. On the other bed, looking dazed and oh so out of place, is Mark.

Cover art by LC Chase.  What a superb cover.  One of the best of 2013.

Book Details:

book, 94 pages
Published December 23rd 2013 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN13 9781626490918
edition language English

Oh, What a Month It Was and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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What a splendid month was had in November at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  There were great author guest blogs by  LB Gregg (How I Met Your Father), Ally Blue (Long the Mile), Abigail Roux (Shock & Awe), and Shira Anthony (Encore).  The Pulp Friction group of Havan Fellows, Laura Harner, Lee Brazil, and Tom Webb started the month and will return in December to finish up the year. There was a cornucopia of contests and great books galore.  And then there was Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the same day, something that won’t happen again for over 70,000 years.  Again, just amazing and a Astrid Amara story to help celebrate (and pickle recipes as well).

So I am starting off the week with a Summary of Reviews for November 2013.  Really, it was astonishing to see the range of books and authors reviewed this month.  There was everything from Eric Arvin’s horror fantasy The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men to Charlie Cochrane’s Lessons for Suspicious Minds, an historical novel in her Cambridge Fellows series.  December is looking to be just as strong a month as November.  I can’t wait to get started!dried flowers for november

So here is our week in reviews:

Monday, Dec. 2:           Summary of Reviews for November 2013

Tuesday, Dec. 3:          Ride-Off by Mickie B. Ashling

Wed., Dec. 4:                Blue River by Theo Fenraven

Thursday, Dec. 5:        Continental Divide by Laura Harner and Lisa Worrell

Friday, Dec. 6:              Guest Blog by Z.A. Maxfield, Lost and Found Tour/contest

Sat., Dec. 7:                   Lost and Found by ZA Maxfield