Lights, Camera, Cupid! Back To Bluewater Bay on Valentine’s Day (contest)

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Its Valentine’s Day at Bluewater Bay!

Thanks for joining us on this tour! Check out the great Valentine’s Day stories from Bluewater Bay and comment to win a Valentine’s gift basket sent to you or a Valentine!

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Lights, Camera, Cupid! (A Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Day Anthology)

Cupid is visiting Bluewater Bay, and he’s leaving chaos in his wake.

Nothing’s been the same in this sleepy little logging town since Hollywood came to shoot the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing—especially Valentine’s Day.

In L.A. Witt’s Just Another Day, beloved actors Levi Pritchard and Carter Samuels have an announcement for their fans, while in Z.A. Maxfield’s I’ll Be There, actor Spencer Kepler and his boyfriend Nash Holly brave a blizzard and a fan convention to spend their first February the 14th together.WolfsLanding_transparent

Of course, it’s not just TV stars celebrating the day. In Anne Tenino’s Helping Hand, an aspiring artist eager to escape Bluewater Bay decides he just might have a reason to stay: lust-inspiring logger Gabriel Savage. In S.E. Jakes’s No Easy Way, a local teacher reconnects with an old lover working security on the film set. And in Amy Lane’s Nascha, a Bluewater Bay elder recalls how his own unconventional family used to celebrate the holiday.

Real life may be nothing like TV, but when Cupid comes to town, there’s plenty of romance and drama to go around.

Sales Link:  Buy It here at Riptide Publishing.
About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by ten award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Aleksandr Voinov, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, and G.B. Gordon. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

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Contest/Giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a Valentine’s gift basket sent to you or a Valentine! We’ll send anywhere local delivery is available (and offer a $40 store credit in the event that delivery is not available in your country.) The winner will pick the type of basket they want (either fruit, flowers, or candy/snacks) and we’ll send your basket out!

Mother’s Day and the Week Ahead in Reviews, Book Tours and Stuff!

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It’s Mother’s Day and I am taking the day off for family events and such.  So without much further discourse, here is the week ahead in reviews, author guest posts, book tours and contests.  It looks to be a wonderful week:

This Week’s Schedule:

Monday, May 12:              Author Spotlight: Kimber Vale on Double Takes

Tuesday,  May 13:             Riptide’s Hostile Ground Book Tour with Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt

Wed., May 14:                    Daylight Again by SE Jakes

Thursday, May 15:            Double Takes by K. Vale

Friday, May 16:                  Author Spotlight: RJ Scott

Sat., May 17:                       One Night by RJ Scott

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!

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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…
Continue reading

Review: Free Falling (Extreme Escapes, Ltd.) by S.E. Jakes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Sometimes falling in love is the most dangerous thing of all…

FreeFalling_500x750Expert thief Blue first met Mick, a mercenary and a hitter, when the millionaire they were working for sent them out to “retrieve” a priceless statue and ship it out of the country.  Blue was adamant about working solo, Mick was just as adamant that he was coming along as ordered.  The argument only ended after a bet was made and agreed upon.  A bet Blue lost.  But Mick never showed up, leaving Blue hanging  and alone in the hotel room that had been part of the bet.  Blue was angry, humiliated, and more than a little frustrated at the way the evening turned out.  Blue swore that Mick wouldn’t get a second chance.  And then a year later he sees him again.

A year later finds Blue in Bogota.  The job Blue is on should be quick and easy, its also one he has been paid for.  But things start to go wrong almost immediately.  Blue spots Mick in a meeting in a bar, catching not only Mick’s eye but that of the dangerous drug dealer Mick is working with.  It takes finesse and quick thinking by Mick to get Blue away from the criminal and a deadly situation that was getting out of control.  Recovering, Mick and Blue realize that they care for each other.  But their jobs and personalities make going forward impossible.

Then Mick disappears on a job and its up to Blue to save him.  Suddenly nothing is impossible if only he can save Mick first.

Blue and Mick first appeared on my radar during the Hell or High Water series.  SE Jakes gave us tantalizing glimpses of this duo throughout those stories as Blue popped in to visit Prophet only to be followed by Mick still chasing after him.  A few sentences of dialog, a quick scene that telegraphed the deep love and affection these men felt for each other, and then, poof, they were gone.  Blue would jump out the window with Mick close behind him.  And the reader was left wondering who were these crazy men and what was their backstory?

In Free Falling, we finally get some answers, but only some.  Blue is an unrepentant thief.  He enjoys his work and is one of the top “procurement” people in the world.  He is never going to change, a fact that has acted as a bulwark against any lasting relationships except one. But what happened to make Blue this way?  SE Jakes has created an almost heartbreaking answer to that question.  From Blue’s memories and several phone calls he gets while on the run, the reader gathers the pieces to the puzzle that is Blue.  From his dysfunctional family background to his raison d’être, all are clues which help us better understand Blue. It also makes his need for stealing understandable and almost honorable, almost.  Blue is a complicated man, surprisingly full of insecurities and yet still so confident in his abilities and intelligence.  And he meets his match in Mick.

Ah, Mick.  A massive mountain of a man.  A killer, a soldier, full of unwavering loyalties. And yet….still capable of friendship and love.  His complexities are a perfect match for the compulsions and intricacies that is Blue.  I haven’t read all of the Extreme Escapes Ltd. stories, so I don’t know if his backstory is already out there.  But again, SE Jakes gives us enough to cobble together an understanding of this man and the forces that drive him.

These men need a plot as intense, dangerous and wild as they are and they get it in Free Falling, a perfect metaphor for their lives.  Someone is manufacturing a drug that whips a person into a long lasting sexual frenzy, one that compels them to want more and more sex.  It’s the ultimate blackmail tool and perfect for creating sexual slaves.  And EE and Mick are out to stop its manufacture and distribution.

Free Falling is such great high wire fun! The action is fast-paced and explosive.  The sex scenes intense and incendiary.  And the pathos when it comes, well, it’s heartbreaking.  No idling, no slow speed to this narrative,  it’s just revved up and roaring down the road!

So buckle up, grab this story up and prepare for one wild ride.  You are going to love it.

Cover Art by Croco Designs, http://www.crocodesigns.com.  Can that cover get any hotter?  I  don’t think so.  Love it.

Book Details:

ebook, First Edition, 150 pages
Published December 5th 2012 by SEJ (http://sejakes.com)
original title Free Falling
edition language English
Books in the Extreme Escapes Ltd universe are:
  • Hell or High Water Series: Catch a Ghost, Long Time Gone, Daylight Again (coming soon), If I Ever (coming soon)
  • Dirty Deeds Series (EE, Ltd.): Dirty Deeds, Dirty Lies (coming soon), Dirty Love (coming soon)
  • Men of Honor Series: Bound by Honor, Bound by Law, Ties That Bind, Bound by Danger, Bound for Keeps (EE, Ltd.), Bound to Break

Snow Again and The Week Ahead in Reviews

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Snow again.  ‘Nuf said.

The Pulp Friction 2014 contest continues  until 3/21 for the $25 ARe gift card.  Visit wp.me/p220KL-28d with all the Pulp Friction authors to learn about this year’s characters and series. Then leave a  comment and email address to be entered into the draw. I am reviewing TA Webb’s story, Higher Ground, this week, the first in his series.  The 2nd story in Laura Harner’s series, Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire) has just released and promises to be a good one. Look for a review of that story in the coming weeks ahead.

This week SE Jakes and Kerry Adrienne are visiting on tour, bringing insights into their latest releases with them as well as contests to enter.  And books in all different stages in many series are reviewed this week. There is fantasy and contemporary romance with Oracle’s Flame by Mell Eight and The Artist’s Touch, both of which are the first books in new series by their authors.  Free Falling is from SE Jakes wonderful  Extreme Escapes Ltd series.  Higher Ground is TA Webb’s 1st story in his Pulp Friction 2014 series. And finally, To the Very Last Inch by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley finishes The Professor’s Rule series with a flourish.  Truly something for every one.

And later today I will be announcing the winner of the ebook Song from Spring Moon Waning from E.E. Ottoman’s contest.  All while resolutely ignoring any white stuff that may be falling outside the window.  Again ‘nuf said.

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Here is the week ahead:

  • Monday, March 17:     Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men by Susan Laine
    To the Very Last Inch by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley
  • Tuesday, March 18:    Author Spotlight: Kerry Adrienne ,Book Tour & Contest                                                                                                            ………………………………The Artist’s Touch by Kerry Adrienne
  • Wed., March 19:          Higher Ground (PF2104) by TA Webb
  • Thur., March 20:         Oracle’s Flame by Mell Eight
  • Friday, March 21:        Free Falling with SE Jakes Book Tour and Contest
  • Sat., March 22:             Free Falling by SE Jakes

January 2014 Summary of Books Reviewed

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Winter trees longs

The new years has started with an explosion of wonderful books and new authors for me.  SE Jakes and two of her marvelous series dropped into my hands and heart so I will be passing those recommendations on to you.  SA McAuley released a new contemporary fiction novel, Treadmarks and Trademarks, the start of a new series.  Ditto Susan Laine with her Sparks & Drops.  LA Witt inspired with her gender shifter novel Static, a must read for all.  Shira Anthony’s Symphony In Blue brought her Blue Notes characters together for a series holiday story, perfect reading for all lovers of romance and music.  Horror, fantasy and comedy are all represented here as well as a great non fiction tale by Joel Derfner, Lawfully Wedded Husband:How My Gay Marriage Will Save The American Family, a must read.

So many great books, see what stories you have missed, and make a list.  And don’t forget to check out the best book covers of the month at the end.
*Key:Winter_2
S series
C contemporary
F-fantasy
SF-science fiction
PN-paranormal
SP-supernatural
H-historical
HR-horror
N-Nonfiction
YA-young adult

Rating Scale: 1 to 5, 5 stars is outstanding
5 Star Rating:

Catch A Ghost by SE Jakes C, S
Long Time Gone by SE Jakes C, S
Static by LA Witt, SF
Symphony In Blue by Shira Anthony, C, S
The Engineered Throne by Megan Derr, F
The Fall by Kate Sherwood C. S

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

A Small Miracle Happened by Mari Donne, (4.5 stars) C, holiday
Dirty Deeds by SE Jakes (4.75 stars) C, S
Home for the Hollandaise by BA Tortuga,Julia Talbot *4.5 stars) C
Horsing Around by Torquere Authors, (4.5 stars) A, C
In Discretion by Reesa Herberth (4.5 stars), SF
Lawfully Wedded Husband by Joel Derfner (4.75 stars) N
Refined Instincts by SJ Frost, (4 stars) SP, S
Serenading Stanley by John Inman (4.5 stars), C
Sparks & Drops by Susan Laine (4.5 stars), P, S
Texas Christmas by R.J. Scott (4.75 stars), C, S
The Dreamer by M. King (4 stars), HR
The Lightning Moon by Sylvia A. Winters (4.75 stars) SP
Tread Marks & Trademarks by S.A. McAuley (4.5 stars) C, S

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Ashland by Lynn Lorenz (3.5 stars) SP, S
The Actor and the Thief by Edward Kendrick (3.75 stars) C, S
Tor by Lynn Lorenz (3.5 stars), SP, S

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

Dime Novel by Dale Chase (2.75 stars) H

1 to 1.75 Star Rating:  None

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Best Book Covers of January 2014

This month includes just an overall gold star to LC Chase whose great covers include the Hell or High Water series and Dirty Deeds.

InDiscretion_500x750Mindscape_500x750Sparks & Drops cover

Tread Marks and Trademarks cover

Static coverCatch a Ghost cover

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In Discretion by Reesa Herberth, Artist Simone’
Mindscape by Tal Valante, Artist LC Chase, who is having an incredible year
Sparks & Drops by Susan Laine, Artist Brooke Albrecht
Static by LA Witt, Artist LC Chase.  A Stunner with it’s Shifting Gender Person
Tread Marks & Trademarks by S.A. McAuley, Wilde City Press, no artist credited

Review: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water #2) by S.E. Jakes

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When a tornado meets a volcano, nothing is safe.

Long Time Gone coverAfter their last “off the grid” mission was finished, Tom Boudreaux was given a choice of partners,  Cope or Prophet.  Tom chose Cope thinking that he would keep Prophet safe by removing him from Tom’s bad luck.  But now three months later Tom’s decision has brought him nothing but regret.  Regret and a constant anxiety over Prophet’s whereabouts and  safety as Prophet has left EE Ltd and no one is sure of his whereabouts.

When Tom Boudreaux walked away from him and their partnership, Prophet realized two things.  One that he no longer wanted to work alone, and secondly he had just let the man he wanted walk out of his life.  After Tom left, he wrote Prophet emails, including one that asked him for a personal favor, never sure if the man would get them.  He did.  And now Prophet is heading to New Orleans to see Della, Tom’s aunt,  to make sure she stays safe as a hurricane approaches.

Fearing for his aunt’s safety as a hurricane bears down on New Orleans, Tom disobeys his employer’s orders and leaves for his old home town and an explosive reunion with Prophet, a man he hasn’t been able to forget.  The horror that is Tom’s past rises up around them along with the flooding bayou waters bringing alligators, murder, and old enemies to the surface. Tom and Prophet must fight not only to stay together but for their lives as well.

SE Jakes has done it again! Long Time Gone, the 2nd book in the Hell or High Water series, is one sexy, tumultuous, and action-packed roller-coaster of a novel.  A Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Spy Hunt for adults and it couldn’t be more satisfying.  With  Tom Boudreaux and Prophet Drews, Jakes has added to her pantheon of complicated, conflicted Alphas intensely connected by their pasts as well as professions as spies and covert ops.  These are tough, wary, secretive warriors.  So it makes sense to make these men (and us) work hard to establish any sort of realistic relationship, if one is possible.

As Catch A Ghost ended, we saw Tom accept a new partner, walking away from Prophet and their intense relationship.Three months have passed since that event and things can’t be more different for both men.  Tom is bored out of his skull, buried in a job he doesn’t want with a partner who is making him crazy.  He is missing Prophet so deeply that he is writing the man emails he isn’t sure Prophet will ever receive.  Why?  Because the man has disappeared and even those closest to him are unable to find him.  Prophet left EE, Ltd, their agency after a fight with their boss.  And now he wanders the globe on his own dangerous missions that by their varying nature send pointed messages to the security agencies around the world.  These men are coming to a crossroads and it will take a hurricane to set them back on the path together.

The world is familiar with the impact a hurricane can have on the City of New Orleans and it’s surrounding parishes.  So it definitely works to bring the reader immediately into the setting for this novel by bringing this natural disaster back to life in the same place where Katrina left so much devastation and death.  It lays an emotional, knowledgeable base for the actions that follow and the choice of New Orleans, with its fantastic mix of voodoo and beignets, of alligators and corruption, is the perfect stage for a story where “the seventh son of a seventh son”, and a man named Prophet will reunite to deal with Tom’s demons, ones that have haunted him from birth, just as a new hurricane bears down on a town familiar with disasters of every kind, natural and man made.

With the hurricane coming, and New Orleans as the setting, Jakes has all the elements she needs to create a story wide ranging in emotions, explosive in actions and incendiary in the sexual heat generated by  Tom and Prophet, really this story has it all.  Tom and Prophet were enigmas in Catch a Ghost.  Here we start to flesh out their backstories, Tom’s especially.  The angry, out of control agent seen fighting in the first novel is laid bare, his character explained through the bayou, his family and the past events that continue to stain relationship and friendships today.  The bayou and the Cajun culture flourishes here in the touches  and in the metaphors Jakes creates for her two battled scarred men fight nature and others to be together, including their own  doubts and best intentions.  As the lightning flashes and the storm rages outside the house where Tom’s aunt lives, it parallels the passion and emotional chaos occurring within Tom and Prophet as they meet up again under dire circumstances.  It’s scary hot, swirling with anger and longing yet still oddly humorous at the same time.  The water rises along with Tom’s past, bringing up bodies, old enemies seeking revenge and retribution  in a maelstrom of hate, anguish and pain.

It’s also not just Tom’s past that is dealt with, Prophet brings his own share of torment as well.  The thunder and lightning flashes mimic the sounds of guns and warfare throwing Prophet into paralyzing states of PTSD and flashbacks.  One man’s horror combines with another’s man terrifying upbringing but salvation or success is never a given.  Not with these two, the most they can ask for is time and hope.

I suppose this is the best time to bring up alligator kink.  I now have one thanks to SE Jakes and her boys.  I never saw that coming. I admit that when someone mentions alligator ‘rastling’ in the past, it conjured up images of good old boy poachers ,bootleg tanners and hokey sideshow venues in the south or any show on TLC.  No more.  Now I think of Tom and Prophet and New Orleans. It’s a wild scene as they roll passionately about Aunt Della’s kitchen floor, as well as a cabin in the swamp.  It’s sexy and funny and yes, satisfying as the boys reunite after 3 months of separation. All those wet, naked rolling bodies is further later detailed as Tom puts on a show as he wrestles and rolls an alligator into submission.  It opens a new sexual kink for Prophet, one that plays out in a white hot moment to come.

So much lovely, lusty sex here, which works on many different levels.  Sex is the number one choice of communication between Tom and Prophet.  They use it to defer those “we have to talk” situations while saying so much to each other by their touches,caresses, and telling strokes.  Because these boys have forgotten how to talk, how to open themselves up to another person, if they ever knew how to begin with. So when Jakes’ plot forces them to share parts of their past with each other, its realistically painful and monosyllabic.  It also makes us (and the person on the receiving end of said pertinent data) so appreciative of the information that we do get while making us a little frustrated at how much more there is to know and understand about the complicated men before us.

To continue the metaphor, Jakes’ narrative is a pitching deck on hurricane waters.  If the story feels a little choppy in places, its because that format works to keep every one off balance, as the waves throw one thing after another at our couple.  Sometimes it looks like they are going to drown in their past other times they crest towards the surface and safety.  I love that we are never sure what the next page and scene will bring us.  The suspense is wonderful and agonizing for us as well as Tom and Prophet.

Tom Boudreaux and Prophet Drews are the real deal, that addictive couple that snares us at the beginning of a potential relationship and never lets us go.  Each stumble forward, every tentative gain made towards a lasting relationship is met with a realistic picture of just how fragile and momentary those new stages in their relationship are.  Just one phone call, one appearance by the wrong person and all could be lost.  Such an overview paints a veneer of uncertainty and suspense over all the events and actions that occur within the story.  Tom and Prophet are together again but for long how?  Where is the next enemy coming from?  Their present or their past?  Jakes keeps us teetering on the edge of our emotions along with Tom and Prophet as they navigate the rough waters ahead.  I can’t wait to see how they will handle what this fine author has to throw at them (and us).  It is guaranteed to be chilling, unexpected and downright sexy.  I was always one for the E Ticket rides and this is that in spades.  I just hope we all survive the journey.

Long Time Gone and the Hell or High Water series are highly recommended to all.

LC Chase has again supplied us with an outstanding cover, perfect for the man and  his story inside.

Books in the Hell or High Water series in the order they should be read:

Catch a Ghost (Hell or High Water, #1) 
Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water, #2)

Associated Series: Men of Honor and Dirty Deeds:

Dirty Deeds (DirtyDeeds #1)

Book Details:

ebook, 270 pages
Published October 28th 2013 by Riptide Publishing (first published October 27th 2013)
ISBN139781626490604
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/long-time-gone
seriesHell or High Water #2

Brrrrr…..its cold Outside and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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DSCN4168Our region has seen single digit temperatures, ice, snow and flash freezing.  OK, it is January, a winter month, but still this is far too cold for this area and I think we are in shock.  I have kept the bird feeders full, as they are emptying them almost within an hour of being filled.  Same goes for the suet cakes hanging in the trees.

My yard is full of evidence of nightly visitors, deer tracks, fox tracks, raccoon and opossum. That is the opossum track to the left, notice the tail drag in the middle.  Their ears and tails are naked, getting frostbitten on nights like these. They crisscross and circle in search of food and shelter from the bruising cold winds and frigid Arctic air.   I always loved tracking in the woods after it has snowed.  So many stories are written on the glistening surface just waiting for someone to read them.

It snowed considerably the first year I worked as a Park Naturalist in Rock Creek.  And my first journey into the woods was amazing.  I remember walking  deep into the hickory oak forest and finding a small pile of Red Shouldered Hawk feathers on the ground, the snow spotted with blood.  As I looked around I noticed another grouping of feathers about 12 feet away, and then another.  And here and there the wing prints of a large bird, one who had landed with its prey, plucked for a while before taking off again with its heavy load.  Further and further I tracked until I finally found my culprit.  A great horned owl’s nest, high in a dead white oak tree, the base of which was strewn with owl pellets and fresh feathers.  I stood in awe of such a majestic and efficient predator.  A silent killer whose wings were capable of carrying a meal almost its own size, a shark of the skies where everything was considered fair game, including other owls.  I stood there for a while until throughly chilled, picked up a feather and owl pellet and headed back to the nature center, memorizing my path as I went.  I knew I would return there to check for owlets in another month or so and to see what other prey the Great Horned Owl had found.  This adventure cemented  my love for raptors and owls in particular.

This week a Snowy Owl appeared in downtown Washington, DC.  It appeared unconcerned that it stopped all traffic, vehicle and foot, as people gazed on in amazement.  How marvelous….

Snowy Owl in DC

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snowy owl in dc 2http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/01/24/snowy-owl-joins-capital-weather-gang-at-the-washington-post/

The cold is lingering into this coming week, a perfect time for reading a book or two or three.   Here are the books I reviewed this week.

Monday, Jan. 27:                  The Dreamer by M. King

Tuesday, Jan. 28:                  The Fall by Kate Sherwood

Wed., Jan. 29:                        Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water #2) by SE Jakes

Thurs., Jan. 30:                     Refined Instincts by SJ Frost

Friday, Jan. 31:                      January 2014 Best Covers and Book Review Summary

Sat., Feb. 1:                             Bloody Love Spats by Valentina Heart

Get Personal with SE Jakes On The Dirty Deeds Book Tour and Contest

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have SE Jakes here today to talk about her outstanding new release Dirty Deeds, the first in the new Dirty Deeds series.

Hey everyone!!! Thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me back here for my Dirty Deeds blog tour 🙂 Dirty Deeds is the first in this spin-off series of Hell or High Water. Dirty Deeds focuses on Cillian and Mal, two characters who’ve been in both Hell or High Water books 1 & 2 (Catch a Ghost and Long Time Gone.) Dirty Deeds # 1 captures a very specific moment in time for the Cillian (the spook) and Mal (the former SEAL in exile).DirtyDeeds_150x300
STRW: 1.  What was the first story you wrote?

SEJ:  I actually wrote the proposals for Bound by Honor and Bound for Keeps at the same time, and I wasn’t sure which one should go first. I picked Bound by Honor, because I knew Law would have a story, and then I realized that Bound for Keeps needed to wait a bit. I realize now I needed to wait for Prophet to introduce himself (since he shows up in Bound for Keeps)…

STRW 2.  What was the subject matter?

SEJ:   Bound by Honor is the first in my Men of Honor series. It’s the story of Tanner, an Army Ranger (who is training for Delta Force). His dying teammate made Tanner promise to go visit his Dom a year after his death. Damon, Jesse’s Dom, doesn’t want anything to do with that, but he decides to honor Jessie’s wish.

STRW 3. I love stories where the mc are undercover.  What made you decide to pair a Navy Seal with a British Black Ops?

SEJ  :They honestly paired themselves. It surprised the hell out of me. They showed up separately in the Hell or High Water series and halfway through writing Long Time Gone, out of nowhere I realized they were going to be together.

STRW 4. Which of the two characters was hardest to write?

SEJ: Probably Cillian, at least at first, because he didn’t really reveal himself to me right away. Definitely a mysterious spook. I found out things I didn’t know about him writing Dirty Deeds, and I think readers will be pretty surprised too. He’s definitely been a polarizing force in the books.

STRW 5. How many books do you have planned for the Hell or High Water series?

SEJ: There are four books for Hell or High Water, plus one short (all Prophet & Tommy as main characters). Dirty Deeds # 1 runs along the same timeline for the Hell or High Water series (all with Mal and Cillian as main characters), but for Dirty Deeds 2 & 3, they really have their own plot apart from the Hell or High Water plot.

Thanks, SE, for stopping by.  Dirty Deeds is part of the Extreme Escapes universe.  All the connected stories from Hell or High Water can be found here.  Dirty Deeds is one of ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Highly Recommended Books/Must Reads of 2014.

DirtyDeeds_400x600Dirty Deeds: Dirty Deeds book 1:
Two seasoned operatives finally meet their match: each other.
Cillian works for the mysterious Special Branch 20: an organization that runs black ops commissioned by the British government. His specialty is deep undercover assignments with virtually no support. He’s been alone for so long that he no longer knows anything else.

Mal’s also used to being alone. Wanted in several states and even more countries, he’s not allowed in the vicinity of any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. And his current assignment is to track Cillian in order to discover the spook’s endgame. Except he’s no longer sure which one of them is getting played.

Cillian isn’t about to let the mission that’s consumed him for the past several years crumble because an outsider is poking around where he doesn’t belong. But Mal forces his way through Cillian’s defenses—and into his heart—exposing a devastating betrayal that could destroy them both.
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This title is part of the Extreme Escapes, Ltd. universe.

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Contest Rules and Other Stuff You Need To Know:

To enter the contest, visit http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a31df32/

Prizes:

  •  1st prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • 2nd Prize: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • 3rd prize: $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

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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…

Connect with SE:
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Goodreads author group: Ask SE Jakes

Review: Dirty Deeds (Dirty Deeds #1) by S.E. Jakes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5 (should be 4.99 as it is so close to perfection)

DirtyDeeds_400x600British black op Cillian is deep undercover, his assignment so complicated, so twisted that not even Cillian is sure what the real purpose of his mission is.  Working for Special Branch 20 has meant doing whatever it takes to move his investigation forward.  It has also meant being totally out on his own without any support from his employers, alone for years.  Cillian has made a tenuous connection with the agent in the floor above him, Prophet Drews of EE, Ltd, for investigative purposes and a little pleasure too.  But now there is someone else on Cillian’s radar.  Someone who likes his sex rough and silent.  Cillian knows he should leave it at that.  But this new man is driving him wild and Cillian can’t seem to keep from pursuing him even though it might compromise his mission.

Former Navy Seal Mal is an operative for EE, Ltd.  Wanted in several states and countries, Mal is also considered crazy and dangerous by most of the people he works with. He is also a friend of Prophet’s.  His current assignment?  Tracking Cillian to try and find out exactly what and who the British agent is after.   But the mission has already turned personal for both Mal and Cillian through intimate encounters that should have stayed anonymous.  Soon the dangers are mounting as well as the body count.  But neither man is prepared for the  pain and betrayal yet to come when a devastating secret is exposed.

How can just 94 pages be so explosive?  The emotions and events of this story just seem to erupt like a geyser that has been building up pressure until it cannot be contained.  That’s what the men are like that SE Jakes has created for her Dirty Deeds story and series.  Mal and Cillian are titanium tough loners, made that way through their tortured pasts that include abuse and death, seasoned through brutal training as well as a variety of missions both successful and failed until it has all solidified into the dangerous, intelligent men they are today.

SE Jakes brings her characters vividly to life through descriptions and events guaranteed to have you hanging on by your fingernails.  Both Cillian and Mal have made appearances before in the Hell or High Water series, especially Cillian as he occupied the condo below Prophet Drews, an EE operative.  Now these men are the focus of their own action-packed, suspense-filled storyline,the characters who teased us unmercifully in the previous books are fleshed out with convoluted histories and traumatic events that are still only hinted at.  Mal and Cillian are playing with each other psychologically as well as electronically, each jockeying for the upper position in their investigations and surveillance of each other.  That each man’s methods include a playbook made up of mental games and sexual ones just serves to deepen a portrait of complicated men so sure of themselves and their methodology that they can risk their bodies without question.  It also includes some of the most combustible sex written. I’m talking incendiary hot, so hot and explosive that it starts to melt away the formidable walls each man has erected around their hearts and souls.

Mal and Cillian are men who have killed, perhaps tortured, schemed to reach their many goals.  And its to the author’s credit, that we care immensely for these men as we watch them teeter on the brink of a relationship with each other, against all odds and their own proclivities.  Because as hardened as these men are, deep underneath they still retain the ability to be hurt by the right person and events from their pasts.

Jakes keeps us and her characters guessing at every step in the storyline.  We are never sure who are the bad guys or when they will pop up to deliver a death blow and derail an investigation.  The phrase “pins and needles” was surely meant to be used in reference to the Dirty Deeds men and their stories.  There are so many twists here I stopped counting halfway through the story.  There are twists in their missions, surprises in their backgrounds, mind blowing revelations and one huge whopper of an ending that I never saw coming.  God, I love books like this.

Jakes keeps her narrative flowing rapidly along, like a river about to rise out of its banks at flood time.  It pulls in everything around it, sweeping it along a merciless path.  You are transfixed by the scene in front of you,unable to look away.  It’s dramatic, its mind boggling and its hold on you is magnetic.  Most of you will want to howl at the ending.  So howl away.  What a revelation! What a great way to end this story!  Only a small lack of context kept this from a perfect five but oh how close it came.  Pick it up and run to the nearest place and start reading.  Make sure you are comfortable because you will be there a while.  Consider this story,Dirty Deeds, and its connected series, Hell or High Water, highly recommended.

Cover art by LC Chase.  Once again the artist has created a cover that is perfect for the story and its characters.  Just terrific.

Book Details:

ebook, 94 pages
Published January 13th 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published January 11th 2014)
ISBN13 9781626490932
edition language English