An Alisa Audiobook Review: Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)


Rating:  5 stars out of 5


For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job . . . until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.


After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.


One taste and neither man can get enough . . . right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.


With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.


This was such a wonderful and in depth story.  Sean has spent his life moving from base to base due to his father’s military career and it seems the military is going to keep dictating his life.  Paul has finally found that connection he has always been missing in his relationships but is his career more important than love?


This story is told from both characters’ points of view so we could see how everything was affecting both Sean and Paul’s life and thoughts.  Sean wants too much for everything to work out but puts his happiness aside once again.  Unfortunately it takes Paul to lose what he loves to get perspective on his life and career.


Nick Russo did a great job narrating this story.  I could just feel the characters’ emotions happy and sad while listening.  The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on.


I love the cover art by LC Chase and it is perfect for this story.


Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing |  Audible | Amazon | iTunes


Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7 hrs 5 min
Published: March 23, 2017 (ebook first published November 21, 2016) by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Anchor Point #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
winteroranges_audiobookJason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

This book takes a certain level of dispensing with reality. I mean…..person trapped in a snow globe. Once you get past that though this is a sweet tale of friendship and then romance. The two men are both extremely lonely in their own ways. Neither has had anyone to love them in a long time and they’re both in serious need of that. Of course things don’t go smoothly. (People generally think you’re crazy when you carry a snow globe with you everywhere and talk to someone no one else can see.) True love wins in the end though.

I thought the story was well written. The pacing was good and both of the main characters were enjoyable. I found myself rooting for them both and was happy when they got their happily ever after. This was creatively done story and while part of it takes place at Christmas I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a Christmas story. It’s a read you could enjoy year round.
This was narrated by Nick J Russo and I thought it was done very well.  I typically enjoy this author a lot and this was no exception.  He did all of the voices well and I never had a hard time telling the difference between the two MC’s.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I like the cover.  It is nicely done and captures the essence of the story very well.
Sales Links

Audible, Amazon, iTunes

Book Details:

Audio release: December 7, 2016

Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website:

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Champagne Kisses by Lynda Aicher and Audiobook narrated by Tobias Silversmith


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

champagnekisses_audiobookIt’s easy to summarize this story—short, sweet, sexy! And the bonus to listening to the audiobook is that Tobias Silversmith narrated it beautifully.

This audiobook is only two hours long, but nearly every minute is packed full of character building, drama, romance, and hot, hot sex. It’s much better than receiving a Christmas stocking full of chocolates. Positively yummy and delicious!

Evan Cleary is a struggling wedding planner who’s spent the last four weeks putting together the perfect wedding for Nate Patterson and his soon-to-be-husband. Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, their wedding day, Nate finds out his fiancé has been very naughty—banging one of the hotel staff. Major drama ensues, including Nate hurling a vase across the banquet room, leaving his fiancé bleeding with a head wound and on the way to the hospital for stitches. He doesn’t really care though, storming out of the room and promising never to return.

Evan is stunned, but he’d sunk everything he had into making this perfect so the wealthy Mrs Patterson would recommend him to friends and fellow socialites. He needs that business so sets about turning the former reception into a gala Christmas party. Watching from the wings while all this is going on is Nate’s brother, Richard Patterson. Though out and proud, few people know it, and certainly not Evan, but Richard is determined to make good use of Evan’s time later that night, convincing him that the day isn’t a total waste, and neither is the night.

There’s some major steamy hot sex in this story, and of course, it involves champagne and lots of kisses—in all sorts of places. But will the couple move beyond one night? Richard’s made it known he doesn’t do femme and there are few less femme than Evan around. This one is worth picking up to hear what happens. Stick it in your stocking. Stick it in a friend’s stocking and listen to your heart’s content. Is it original? Not so much. It’s holiday trope, but it’s very well done and left me feeling happy, so what more could I ask for? Certainly not chocolates.

Cover art by L.C. Chase shows two hot men, one taking his shirt off, the other loosening his tie. Both ready for a round of Champagne Kisses. 

Sales Links

Riptide Publishing

Audible, Amazon, iTunes

Audiobook Details:


A Lila Audiobook Review: Good Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #4) by Anne Tenino and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

good-boy-audiobookBrad “Frat Boy” Feller and Sebastian “Toppy” DeWitt have been together for nine months, and their relationship is as hot as ever. The only cloud Brad sees on their horizon is Sebastian’s stress over his thesis. And their uncertain future together after graduation. And how Sebastian sometimes takes Brad for granted. And Sebastian’s unwillingness to introduce Brad to his father.

Other than that, everything’s awesome.

All of Sebastian’s energy is currently devoted to his thesis, and getting into a top-notch PhD program. Fortunately, his boyfriend takes care of all the domestic stuff and Sebastian’s needs. Any minor strain between them will disappear and they’ll return to the status quo after Sebastian graduates. As long as nothing upsets their delicate balance in the meantime.

Then a friend Brad once had a small fling with is forced to take refuge with them, and Frat Boy and Toppy’s delicate balance topples like an elephant on a waterski. Now Sebastian has to face some truths about how he’s been treating Brad, what he wants for their future, and what he has to do to get it.

Good Boy is a BDSM snippet done right. I read Frat Boy and Toppy back in 2013, and really enjoyed Brad’s & Sebastian’s story. Seeing them again in the other books was good, but having them back, in their own story, was more than I expected.

I listen to this story shortly after finishing Sweet Young Thang. That was a plus since we get to see the pivotal scene in this book from Collin’s perspective in the previous book. It’s almost like seeing the whole thing again from a movie-like point of view. The events are simple but essential to their relationship, and the way Sebastian and Brad take care of each other is priceless.

This is a very short, very well-written story with adorable characters. Yes, Sebastian is back in his “bitchy mood,” but just like before, Brad brings out the best in him. It was nice to see that their happily ever after still true.

Nick J. Russo, as always, brought all the characters back to life. The consistency within the series is part of the appeal. He gives Sebastian’s state of mind the perfect tone, and Brad’s concerns the perfect outlet.

L.C. Chase caught the heart of the story with a simple cover and adapted it for the audiobook version.

Sales Links:  Riptide | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Length: 1 hours and 55 minutes

Published: November 1, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language: English

Series:  Theta Alpha Gamma
Book #1: Frat Boy and Toppy
Book #2: Love, Hypothetically
Book #3: Sweet Young Thang
Book #4: Good Boy


A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

trailer-trash-audioIt’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

I well remember the eighties. I know I’m dating myself, but as my reviewer name says, I’m a zany old lady. I got that way from living through those eighties. Just kidding. But I do have a very close friend who realized he was gay in his early teens and couldn’t tell anyone in our small, homophobic hometown. He visited Chicago with his twin brother and a friend when he was eighteen and when he graduated from high school, he took what I now know was a courageous leap of faith and moved there alone. He’s been with his partner since the mid-eighties and I can recall keeping him in my prayers when the AIDS crisis peaked.

This is a young adult story featuring two young men, Cody and Nate, who I totally fell in love with. Their story made me think of my friend all while I was reading. Each had a different family background and set of circumstances, yet fate brought them together at a time when gay men were still in hiding in most of the states, and most definitely in a rural territory in Wyoming. There are so many very, very sad times in this story. It’s definitely not fluff. But it’s also not something that I would pass up, no matter how tough it got. Marie Sexton never fails to reach down deep in my gut and wrench up all the feels I try to keep hidden, and she does it with such finesse, I can easily forgive her.

John Solo’s narration was spot on. Two weeks later and I can still hear their voices and feel their pain, and of course, their moments of joy. Cody and Nate’s story is not to be missed and the audiobook format is wonderful.

Cover art by Jay Aheer is poignant and quite wonderful.

Sales Links

Riptide Publishing

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 9 hours and 43 minutes
Audible Audio, 10 pages

Published October 19th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 21st 2016)
Edition Language English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Running Wild by SE Jakes and Narrated by Dorian Bane


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

runningwild_audiobookSean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That’s why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars… and why he can’t stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can’t seem to stay away from Sean—he’s spent the last eight months breaking into Sean’s apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.

Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he’s ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.

Then one of Sean’s thefts goes bad, and Ryker’s protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean’s past threatens the safety of Havoc—and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker’s hiding secrets of his own. Soon it’s obvious that the adrenaline rush can’t keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.

Running Wild is another good book by this author. It isn’t as detailed as others in her series, but it’s interesting enough to carry a new series. The concept was good, but the delivery fell short. It became predictable and cliché at parts.

I love Ryker, but Sean needed to grow up. Their relationship started strong, but then it turned more into an MF motorcycle book. Some of the scenes and the way Sean acted were easy to gender swap. I wanted Ryker and Sean to actually sit down and talk. Not pretend they were listening to each other, and not putting the club before their relationship.

One of my favorite parts was during the MCs’ separation. Perhaps because we saw another side of Sean—a more mature man trying to put his life back together and taking control. For me, the friendship between the rival motorcycle club president and Ryker stole the show. I wanted to know more about them. Maybe with Sean in the mix.

Overall, an entertaining story with likable enough characters. It lacks the emotional connection from other books from this author, but it’s a good one to start a somehow related story.

Narrator: The narration was pleasant but not remarkable. Dorian Bane did a good job getting the characters’ voices to differentiate from each other. For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about MSNBC reporter Craig Melvin. I felt as if he was narrating the story, and I didn’t mind. 🙂

The cover for the audiobook is an adaptation of the e-book version created by L.C. Chase. It’s interesting, and let the reader see the road from the rider’s perspective.

Sales Links:  Riptide | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 7 hours and 15 minutes

Published:  September 26, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language: English

Series: Havoc

Book #1: Running Wild


The Narrator and Audiobooks – Our Interview with Narrator Joel Leslie (Audiobooks Part II/Giveaway) & This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words



The Narrator and Audiobooks – Our Interview with Narrator Joel Leslie (Audiobooks Part II)

Last Sunday, I started our conversation about the fast-rising audiobook industry with my blog  Are You Listening Now? The Popularity of Audiobooks.  This Sunday, that conversation continues with The Narrator and Audiobooks – Our Interview with Narrator Joel Leslie (Audiobooks Part II).

As I have said before, and as reviewers/listeners we have noted many times in our reviews, a good or great narrator makes or breaks an audiobook.  It doesn’t matter that you have read it before.  Listening to a book makes it fresh once more.  It gives a reader a new and different perspective.  Often times I hear things I missed in the story, or  catch things from a narrator’s inflection that highlights a previously hidden element.  I love that about this format.

Also the opposite is true.  A narrator you don’t connect with, or one with a flat delivery, or monotone voice…well, that can sink a terrific story faster than a lead anchor.  So what’s the key?  How to get some insight into those people behind the voices we love to listen to?

Well I was so lucky to hook up with the very talented Joel Leslie who agreed to answer some questions for me.  A favorite narrator for both Barb, our Zany Old Lady and Ali, I was delighted to have this chance to talk audiobooks, voices and favorite genres.  Here is my interview with Theatrical Director, Designer, and Audiobook Narrator Joel Froomkin , known to most of the LGBTQIA listeners of audiobooks as Narrator Joel Leslie.  For you authors out there thinking of putting your story out on audio?  Hmmm, I think you might find this as enlightening as our readers.


Welcome, Joel, to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  We love our audiobooks here, including several you have narrated including Dinner at Fiorello’s by Rick R. Reed and  Ali’s Audiobook Review of Desert Heat and Native Tongue by Lucy Felthouse. I have so many questions for you but these were the first ones that came to mind.

My Interview with Joel Leslie

  •  How did you get started with narrating audiobooks?
Long answer… lol…
It was a long and winding road actually – but I’m so grateful to have landed here. My undergrad was in performance at USC and then I did my MFA there in design and directing.  My entire professional career up until the past few years has been concentrated on directing… I did a lot of assisting as well, working on shows with Dame Maggie Smith and lots of other amazing folks.  About ten years ago my partner and I started a theatre company in Indiana.  It was a labor of love, but despite our efforts the community wasn’t able to financially support the scale of professional productions we aimed to do.  I have also been a college professor, teaching dialects at NYU and I was the Director of Drama at a university here in Indiana for a while.
While we were doing shows, in between productions I would sometimes present one-man radio dramas… I would abridge classics like Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, Jekyll and Hyde and do them for a few nights.  The audiences loved them.  As we were looking to be able to move the theatre company to another area, one of my long time friends who is a fantastic female narrator suggested I give it a try.  So I began auditioning and the first contract I landed has actually been most successful series (the SkylerGo Foxe Mysteries by Haley Walsh).
It is a perfect blend of skills really – because 99% of the time with audiobooks you are directing yourself… so my performer background is obviously helpful, but also being able to listen to yourself with a critical ear and shape the performance I think is a terribly useful tool.  And now it’s a full time job.  I’m booked through February at the moment!  Eep.
  • Do you listen to audiobooks yourself and was that an element in your career or just a plus?
I came to audiobooks largely because I was a huge fan of them.  I have always loved the theatricality of an actor playing multiple roles in front of an audience… the ability to be a chameleon.  And I fell in love with audiobooks because of that.  My favorites were Jim Dale, Davina Porter and Roy Dotrice… they don’t just read a story – they perform it for you.  I listen to an audiobook every night… I think that one of the trickiest things is actually working of authors who AREN’T listeners to audiobooks, because they don’t really have a familiarity with the art form and what the audience wants.
  • What is the hardest part of narrating a story?
Gosh – great question.  I narrate under two names… Joel Froomkin for most of my material and Joel Leslie for my m/m material (simply so that I have a consistent brand for my m/m listeners).  But Joel Froomkin does a lot of historical and fantasy stuff – and I hate doing battle scenes.  It’s difficulty to not try to over act them, or speed up to make it seem exciting… and those are traps.  I just think they are hard.  Maybe cuz I’m not into sports lol!  Other than that, I have a tough time when there are a lot of alpha american men in conversation with each other in a scene.  Flamboyant characters can have quirks and personality that make them easily identifiable… and when you are doing a British book it’s so much easier because class and level of education is so distinctive with their speech and also dialects change in England every 21 miles… so you have great variety for how you make characters sound to pull them out for the listener.  But if I have a bunch of super-butch American alpha males in a room having a conversation in a book I usually have a panic attack.
It’s also very challenging to do a series where the author gives you multiple POV chapters.  Usually you would make your main character your own voice… because it’s going to be the most authentic and resonate as the most truthful with the reader… but when you have a bunch of characters speaking in first person… you can’t do that.  And it can be a real challenge.  I’ve had two like that recently (“Absolution (The Protectors #1)” by Sloane Kennedy (which is the first in an amazing series) and “Guns Blazing” by Eva Lenoir and Andrea Smith) that I sweated bullets over.
  • And the easiest?
People are so shocked to hear this…but the sex scenes.  Because usually there isn’t that much dialogue and it’s all descriptive.  So you can just settle back and read… it’s kind of like putting your car on cruise control.  And after doing this for almost two years now, there really isn’t much I can read that will make me blush!
  • I can remember listening to books being read to me as a child.  How they were read had a huge impact on me.  Using different voices, no matter how silly it might have seen to the adult (bears, rabbits…you know…childrens books).  The same carries over here.  In some stories, you play many characters where there are different pov.  Or do you only narrate stories with a singular pov?
It depends on the narrator… but I am very much a narrator who creates characters.  It’s funny that you mention animals, because when I first get a book I send the author a bunch of questions and one of them is “if your character was an animal what would they be”… Finding the voice for someone is much easier if you know the author thinks they are a ferret  vs. a hamster or a Persian cat. But I think the m/m listeners that really respond to my work usually do so because they enjoy how much individuality I try to give my characters.  Also, because I grew up in the UK with American parents, I’m kind of a dialect ambidextrous lol.  I jump between authentic British and American accents and I do as much British work for British authors as I do for American authors.  Listeners who have tried multiple books of mine are often confused about what my real voice sounds like.
  • I would imagine, being a narrator lets you go into any genre you want…am I correct in that?  Or do you have a particular favorite
Well I love that I get to do so much m/m work. I find it really important and empowering to be able to put those kind of stories out into the world.  I know the main audience is female for m/m romance, but I also think about the young adults who are struggling to feel ok with themselves and they might discover one of these stories by the brilliant authors I get to work for and find some hope.  And the thing about audio is it’s so private… you really are one-on-one with the listener.  So it means a lot to be able to give voice to m/m romance.  I also love doing fantasy stuff because it means you can use every dialect in the universe and play with crazy voices.  You don’t get to do everything you want – I think you can get pigeonholed as a narrator.  But I’m luckily not in that place yet, and my audiobook career has a lot of room to grow.
  • What’s your favorite types of stories to read or listen to?
I am such a sucker for cozy mysteries.  I don’t know why.  I LOVE MC Beaton and the Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin books.  I think that’s why I love doing Haley Walsh’s Skyler Foxe so much…because it really is a gay spin on that type of mystery.  I think TJ Klune is one of the most amazing authors out there in any genre.  I don’t think I could ever get tired of listening to Jim Dale doing Harry Potter or Roy Dotrice doing Game of Thrones… they are just extraordinary examples of old-school storytelling.  I’m also so lucky to have an ongoing relationship with authors like N.R Walker, Kim Fielding, Andrea Smith, Kiernan Kelly, TM Smith and Grace R Duncan – they always seem to have something wonderful for me to play with.
  • What current projects are you working on that you want to share with our readers?

Absolution, the first in the protectors series by Sloane Kennedy just came out, as did Fame and Fortune by TM Smith.  Upcoming things I’m really excited about are the sequel to Black Balled called Hard Edit by Andrea Smith and Eva Lenoir, the second book in the Red Dirt Heart series by NR Walker and The Naked Prince and Other Fairy Tales by Joe Cosentino.

  • If you were an bard of old….how would you start your story of your life and what would it be called?


“Once upon a time there was a kid who could never keep his big mouth shut… It took two decades for him to realize there was a career for that.”

Thank you, Joel, that was a wonderful interview.  I’m sure there are many more questions rumbling about inside my head.  I hope you will stop back by Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for another conversation about  narration and audiobooks and any future projects you want to share with us.


To listen to Joel, here are three different excerpts:


If you want to reach out to Joel, we have listed his contacts below.  We also have a giveaway today for our readers brought to you by Joel who is giving away 10 copies, yes 10 winners… the winners could choose the first book in any of my series they wanted to try (Skyler Foxe, The Protectors, Jimmy McSwain Mysteries, All Cocks, or Black Balled)!

About Joel Froomkin

Joel is a UK transplant, growing up with an American parents in a British commonwealth.  He is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of both American and British sounds.  His wit and comedic timing also appeal to producers.  He has developed a strong body of work for young audience, historical, fantasy, new-adult, romance and m/m fiction.

His author’s have praised him as “a narrator among narrators, a man whose ability to create different characters rests on the power of his voice and his impeccable delivery”,  and a “true delight…” “legendary, and his professionalism, good humor, and charm make him a dream to work with”, “Anyone else would only be second best”.

Joel records under two names, for mainstream and children’s fiction as Joel Froomkin, and for m/m and adult material under Joel Leslie and has consistent access to home studio for all production needs.


You can contact Joel Froomkin at:



We are giving away 10 copies (1 copy a winner so 10 winners overall) , all thanks to Joel Froomkin!  The 10 people chosen will get to chose from the first book in any of Joel’s series they wanted to try (Skyler Foxe, The Protectors, Jimmy McSwain Mysteries, All Cocks, or Black Balled).
To be entered, tell us who’s your favorite narrator or narrators are. Tell us what you like best about a narrator and maybe name some of your favorite audiobooks. New to audiobooks?  OK,  name the ones you’d love to be able to listen to if you had a way to listen to audiobooks.  And after you do that, make sure you leave a contact name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.  Contest is open until midnight, September 30th.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
(Special Note:  If you are a Amazon Prime user, Audible is now free with your account.)

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words


Sunday, September 18:

  • The Narrator and Audiobooks – Our Interview with Narrator Joel Froomkin (also known as Joel Leslie)(Audiobooks Part II)
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A Paul B Audiobook Review:  The Autumn Lands by J Scott Coatsworth

Monday, September 19:

  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway ~ Bitterwood by Rowan Speedwell
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Dad’s Nerdy New Boyfriend by JM Snyder
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Power Bottom by Rowan McAllister
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Safe House (Buchanan House #4) by Charley Descoteaux
  • A Paul Review: Orion’s Circle (Sirius Wolves # 1) byVictoria Sue

Tuesday, September 20:

  • Release Blitz & Tour – Sweet Summer Sweat by Clare London
  • An Alisa Review: Broke by Amanda Young
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Pill Bugs of Time (Offbeat Crimes #2) by Angel Martinez
  • An Ali Review: Looking for Group by Alexis Hall
  • A Stella Review: Three More Wishes by Sean Michael

Wednesday, September 21:

  • Its Release Day for Flight: Queer Sci Fi’s Third Annual Flash Fiction Contest Anthology (QSF Flash Fiction #2) by J. Scott Coatsworth , Angel Martinez , et al.
  • Series Recap Tour – Guns n’ Boys by KA Merikan
  • A Stella Review: Resistance (Village Love #1) by Lillian Francis
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Taming the Wyld by Lucie Archer
  • A Ali Review: David, Renewed by Diana Copland

Thursday, September 22:

  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway: Gambling on Love by Jane Davitt
  • A Stella Review: Gambling on Love by by Jane Davitt
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Run for it All by Carolyn Levine Topol
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Queen & the Homo Jock King (At First Sight #2) by T.J. Klune and Michael Lesley (Narrator)

Friday, September 23:

  • Keep Me In Mind tour: Deanna Wadsworth ‘Too Good To Be True‘ (Excerpt and Giveaway)
  • In the Spotlight: Immortal Watch by Olivia Helling (blitz, excerpt and giveaway)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)
  • An Ali Releases Day Review: Raven’s Rest by Stephen Osborne
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Model Citizen (Haven Investigations #1) by Lissa Kasey and Mike Pohlable (Narrator)

Saturday, September 24:

  • A MelanieM Review: Wriggle & Sparkle by Megan Derr





An Ali Audiobook Review: For Real (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall and John Hartley (Narrator), Paul Berton (Narrator)


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

For Real AudiobookLaurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.

My heart is so zing I can’t even….. Seriously. Not enough words to express how much I loved this story. I had a bunch of friends who had read this and loved it but although I like this author’s work I was still a little dubious about the age gap. It wasn’t the amount of years as much as the fact that Toby was only 19. I went into this feeling a lot like Laurie did. I thought Toby was too young for this story to feel real to me.

This story looks at two very different men at two very different stages of their lives. Toby is working and still living at home with his mother. He knows he has dominate tendencies but really all he has are fantasies. He’s not had any real experience or opportunity to learn how to be a Dom. Laurie is on the opposite spectrum. He’s in his late 30’s and is a doctor. He has an established career and is financially stable. He’s had both short and long term sexual and bdsm relationships. While Laurie should be the one with the most self-confidence he really isn’t. He’s jaded and a tad bitter and he really doesn’t believe love will happen for him again. Toby also has a lack of self-confidence in some ways but his is more an age thing. He’s not sure what he has to offer Laurie. Watching these two try to work through their respective issues was just beautiful. While Toby struggles with not knowing what he wants to do with his future and how to have the sexual relationship he wants, he’s filled with enthusiasm and maybe most importantly, hope. And after awhile with him, those thing start to spread to Laurie.

I felt the author did a great job with both characters. The magic in the storytelling for me was that we got the story told from each characters point of view. I felt like this really helped me to understand what each of them were going through. I found myself identifying with both of them at one point or the other. I understood the doubts Laurie had in regards to Toby’s age. I’m not sure I could date someone that much younger than me. On the other hand I’ve been 19 and I though Toby was a great representation of what it’s like to be at that stage of life.

I also really enjoyed the kink aspect of the story. So often in BDSM books there is a type of formula that seems to be used. This book contained none of that. Toby has the desire to dominate but no real idea how to do it and it stands to reason a young Dom would need to be taught by someone. I loved how Laurie does that in this story and how he gently helps Toby to figure out who he is and what he wants in that regard.

An added bonus to this story was listening to it on audio. I highly recommend you give the audiobook a try. There are two narrators and they both do an excellent job. I think a great narrator can add to and enhance a story and in this case I feel like these narrators did just that.

I read a lot, like 300+ books a year, and there are usually only a handful that really stand out as something unique. Something that makes me think about it for days after I’m done. This book is one of those stand outs and I really can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Cover art by Simoné. I liked the cover and I feel like it does a good job representing the characters and the plot.

Sales Links: Riptide PublishingAudible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 13 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Audible Studios (first published June 1st 2015)
Original TitleFor Real
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSpires Universe
Literary AwardsRITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Best Erotic Romance (2016)

A Lila Audiobook Review: Love Hypothetically by Anne Tenino ~ Narrated by Nick J. Russo


Rating: 4 stars out of 5


LoveHypothetically_AudiobookPaul’s been called many things—graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke—but “forgiving” isn’t one of them. When the new women’s softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul’s forced to put aside his strict “no athletes” policy for the sake of his paycheck.

Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one—the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance.

There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.

Love, Hypothetically is a sweet second chance novella. I read Frat Boy and Toppy about four years ago, but it was easy to remember Paul and his larger than life attitude. As a series, the two stories have a great sense of place and age group. The author did an excellent job bringing the previous characters into this installment.

I’m not a fan of YA or NA, but this book was a good example of the genre done right. The characters acted their age; first as high school students, and then, as young adults. Their story is believable and doesn’t go over the top to get the characters separated or back together. The chain of events that brought them back into each other’s life seems possible.

Both main characters have very defined personalities that stayed true through the story and varied depending on their interaction with other characters. I wanted them to get another chance to happiness from the very beginning, and the pacing of their reconciliation worked for the short format.

Perhaps I wanted a little more, but that happens with every novella. I wished we got more time for Trevor to beg for forgiveness and to see how their future turns out. But since this is only book #2 in the series, I guess we will have a chance to learn a little bit more about them in the next installments.

The hypothetical conversation Paul has is perfect for the story. I can see anyone having that type of exchange with a friend. It was well-written and quirky enough to keep the reader entertain. Plus, his friend attitude added to the color of the story. We get to see how much Trevor means to Paul and how he used this hypothetical situation to open up and think about a solution to his troubles.

Overall, a story that has found a way to stay relevant several years after publication. The plot is universal, and the ‘love conquers all’ theme closes the deal. A sweet summer read.

Nick J. Russo is one of my favorite MM narrators. His voice went accordingly with the characters ages and the rest of the characters’ voices were well-represented. It was easy to be into the story the further it got. The difference between the main characters worked nicely.

L.C. Chase did an excellent job creating a cover that felt young as the characters were when their love story started. At the same time, it includes one of their dates during their rediscovery.

Sales Links: Riptide | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Length: 3 hours and 2 minutes

Published:  June 13, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language: English

Series:  Theta Alpha Gamma
Book #1: Frat Boy and Toppy
Book #2: Love, Hypothetically

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Until September by Chris Scully ~ Audiobook narrated by Michael Pauley


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

UntilSeptember_Audiobook (1)Archie Noblesse, a Cree native from a remote area in Canada, knew nothing but pain and heartache when he was a child. Emotionally and sexually abused, he found himself responsible for the care of his younger sister, Marguerite, when his drug-addicted mother abandoned them. He managed to claw out an existence by working the streets and through shoplifting and other minor crimes. Thankfully he never got caught.

Now an adult, Archer Noble is a well-known and respected author, though he’s not loved by all. He manages to offend the gay community with every word he writes, being outspoken against gay marriage and long-term commitment. He accuses gay men of trying to fit into the mold set by heterosexuals and goes out of his way to disprove the possibility of gay men having loving, committed relationships. So when his sister, Margie, dies and he’s informed that he’s been named temporary guardian of her two children, he freaks out before eventually showing up to help settle her estate.

He loved Margie more than anything else in the world and even knowing she has no other relatives to care for her children doesn’t make him want to be there for them. When he learns that her friend, her son’s teacher Ryan Eriksson, was named backup in case Archer couldn’t, or wouldn’t, assume responsibility, he breathes a sigh of relief. Now he only has to convince Ryan that he would be the best caretaker. But Ryan, knowing exactly who the despicable Archer Noble is, refuses to take responsibility for the kids. The two compromise and decide to give it until September before a final decision is made. And, of course, both men are determined to show the other just how much the children need them.

But what they don’t realize is that they are also going to learn just how much they need each other.

I loved, loved, loved this audiobook! It’s the first I’ve read from this author, and I was attracted to it by the narrator, Michael Pauley, whom I’ve heard previously and enjoyed. But what a double whammy I got! An extremely enjoyable story told by an extremely talented narrator. It’s been well over twenty-four hours, and I can’t get these characters out of my mind.

The story was an emotional, poignant family drama and dealt with the grief of losing a mother, sister, and friend. The author took the time to fully develop the characters—all of them, including the children—and to weave a very believable story. I am so invested in this family now that I am going to have to listen to this one again in the near future. Watching Archie heal and watching Ryan’s awareness of his own needs unfold was beautiful. The voices the narrator gave to the characters were varied and interesting, and the children’s voices were amazing. I especially loved eight-year-old Dillon. Oh my gosh, this story was so good, I highly recommend it to all lovers of MM romance, particularly to those who enjoy family drama or stories about men with children. And I most definitely recommend the audiobook. As I said before—Chris Scully and Michael Pauley are a winning combo and pack a lot of punch!


Cover art by Lou Harper depicts the back view of two men, each with an arm around a child, sitting peacefully on a grassy area with autumn leaves gently falling at the top of the page. It captures the essence of the hard-won cohesiveness of this family.

Sales Links:  Riptide AudiobookAudible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audio release: June 13, 2016
Original TitleUntil September
ISBN 1626493553 (ISBN13: 9781626493551)
Edition LanguageEnglish