Review: Blown Kisses (Whispering Winds #2) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 5 stars out of  5

Blown Kisses coverRowen Smithe’s world got infinitely larger and more complicated the day he met Mick Rutger, a friend of Finn’s.  Mick is determined to draw Rowen out of his cabin and confined lifestyle and into Mick’s much larger and outgoing circle of friends.  Rowen is equally determined to stay away and removed from the gregarious,handsome Mick.  But now that Mick has moved just across the road from him in another rental cabin, it has become so much harder to ignore his neighbor.

Mick Rutger is fascinated by Rowen Smithe.  Everything about the man from his long black hair to his secretive ways is attractive to Mick and he is determined to find out more and be the man’s friend, if not something even better.  His first move is into the cabin across from Rowen’s and a stray cat to share with his neighbor.   But then something more appears…a threat not only to their shared cat but to all the creatures of the woods, woods Rowen is bent on protecting.

Rowen Smithe’s top priority is no longer trying to quiet his inner demons but to put an end to the evil that has invaded the woods of Mountain Shadows leaving the bodies of small tortured animals in its wake.  And he will need the help of a very nosy neighbor to track and remove those behind the animal deaths.

I should just make this review as short and sweet as this story and just say “go, go now and get this series”.  Don’t dilly dally, or shilly shally around.  This story and series are ones everyone should be grabbing up (and its companions series to boot). Havan Fellows has created in Rowen Smithe, a tortured soul whose background and secretive ways has made the man an enigma to many (including the readers).   Rowen is alternately sexy. self assured and bold, or distressed, angst filled and withdrawn, and all within a space of 5 to 10 minutes.  His is such an unexpected personality and that aspect draws everyone to him like moths to a flame.  And that includes readers as well.  A true naturalist and outdoorsman, his respect for nature is boundless.  Less so  his regard for his fellow human beings.  Only a few have been let inside his personal space and now he is beginning to consider that Mick might be one more person to include in those he trusts.

The model on the cover is perfect for the larger than life persona that is Mick Rutger.  Charming, enthusiastic with all the energy of a Golden Retriever, Mick is determined to get close to Rowen and a kiss from the man in question has only fueled Mick’s desires.  But for every step forward he makes in his pursuit, Rowen takes twice as many in retreat.  Rowen is a puzzle Mick is intent on figuring out and the reader is just as eager as Mick is.  How I adore these characters.  This excerpt is sure to entice you:

Rowen slouched lower and watched through a crack between the curtain and window as the bane of his existence rocked slowly with that fat ass cat sitting on his lap, her head bouncing up and down from his attentions.

“Don’t fucking scratch her so hard. She may be big but she still has a tiny neck,” Rowen mumbled to no one.

He realized what he’d just said and twisted on his heels from his squat to land on his ass against the wall between the front door and the window he’d just been spying out of. He must be mad to be worried about a stray cat that did nothing but run from him every time he stepped outside.

The irony of that thought was not lost on him; he just chose to ignore it for the moment.

But you are mad, aren’t you?

He banged the back of his head against the wall once, twice…when he lifted his head for a third round of punishment, the knock of flesh on wood happened before the contact between his skull and the wall did.

Huh?

Rowen sat quiet for a second, wondering where the extra noise came from when it happened again, and he looked up to the right.

“Shit…” he muttered under his breath. Someone was knocking on his door.

He turned his body, slowly moved the curtain out of the way, and with only his right eye, peered out the window. He couldn’t see the front door from this window, but he wondered if a certain…

Two clear pale blue eyes stared back at him, crinkled around the edges undoubtedly because of the smile Rowen couldn’t see from this close.

Mick moved back enough to lift up Filigree—no, the stray cat—and wave her paw at Rowen.

Rowen gracelessly fell backward on his butt, the curtain fluttering closed when he pulled away. He flipped himself over and scuttled up the stairs to his second floor window and his blessed tree.

He easily climbed out of the cabin and onto the branch then froze with one hand on the window frame and the other on the limb above his head.

Standing beneath him and slightly to the left, a blond-haired man sans a stray feline smiled up at him.

“Thought I’d find you here. So, do you want steak for dinner?”

 

Irresistible right?  Mick waving that little paw at Rowen? Adorable.  But as sweet and funny as that moment and others are, the narrative also is quick to turn as dark as the voice inside Rowen’s mind.  When the small  dead animals start to turn up, its clear that other demons haunt the woods around Shadow Mountain.  Soon the hunt is on for the culprit or culprits and everyone around is drawn into the task.

The narrative is very much like a day on a mountain,  It can start off so promising with blue skies and a warm sun shinning down on you, but before you know it, a front moves in and you are caught out in the wild as a storm rages around you and rescue looks bleak.  That how quickly the mood and relationships twist and turn here.  It makes for a quick, provocative and suspenseful read.  It’s one of the elements that makes this story and series so successful and the Pulp Friction group as a whole.  You never know what’s coming next or which layer is going to be pulled back to reveal a tortured past or criminal element. It’s surprising how fast it all goes by.  It pulls you into the story so completely that when you reach the end you are ready for the next story because you want it to continue immediately.  But I have to wait and so do you, at least for a little while.

If you are new to these characters and series, start with the first story, Blown Away, then Blown Kisses.  So go now, get started reading.  You will fall in love with these characters and their series.  And then move on to the other connecting stories.  They are as addictive as they come and are highly  recommended for all.  All are listed below.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I love these covers, from the models to the branding for the Pulp Friction group.  Just perfect.

Book Details:

ebook, approximately 45 pages
Published April 14th 2014 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ISBN PF1400002
edition languageEnglish
seriesWhispering Winds #2

Round One of Pulp Friction 2014:

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

Round Two of Pulp Friction 2014:

Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire #2) by Laura Harner
Cold Comfort (In From the Cold #2) by Lee Brazil
Blown Kisses (Where the Wind Blows #2) by Havan Fellows
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) by Tom Webb

Review: Blown Away (Whispering Winds #1) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Blown Away coverHiding safely away in the confines of his Mountain Shadows cabin, Rowen Smithe is not prepared for the human tornado that is Mick Rutger when Mick enters his life.  Rowen spends his time concealed within the safety of his cabin, observing and protecting the woods surrounding his Mountain Shadows home, venturing out only at night to explore odd sightings and unexplained happenings in the forest around him.  Tormented by voices and secrets from his past, Rowen lets no one inside.  Even the tentative  gestures of friendship by his neighbor Finn have been rebuffed.  Then he meets Mick.

Mick Rutger is a force of boundless energy and optimism.  At loose ends after finishing 6 years of college, Mick figures a trip to see his oldest and best friend,Finn Lorensson, would help him figure out what he wants to do next.  Finn lives in a cabin on Mountain Shadows, surrounded by beautiful woods, a gorgeous setting that Mick appreciates.  Mountain Shadows is also the home of some apparently quirky, gorgeous men if the one Mick spies climbing a tall tree next to Finn’s cabin is any indication.  After watching a lithe and long haired Rowen easily ascend the impossibly tall pine next to his house, Mick quickly becomes intrigued by the secretive man Finn calls neighbor.

When Rowen sees metal glinting far out in the woods through his binoculars, he knows that something suspicious is up and sets off  to investigate.  But what Rowen doesn’t count on is being followed by a curious and unprepared Mick.  What follows is more than either one of them expected….

Never have I fallen in love so quickly with such a quirky and clearly wounded character as I have with Rowen Smithe.  I am not sure if it is that aspect of his person, the one that loves his woods and mountains so, that speaks to the park naturalist in me.  The familiarity with which Rowen moves through his forest environment, his appreciation and knowledge of the flora and fauna around him as well as his need to protect it all…well, it all just makes me gravitate towards his character as I would a fellow ranger. And when he climbs his trees, its more than a need to find the  highest view point, it is a havan for Rowen, emotionally and physically.  I get that too.

Character Mick Rutger makes a wonderful counterpart to all that isolation, secrecy, and wildness that is Rowen.  His is the bouncy enthusiasm and energy of a golden retriever. Thoughtless in words, impulsive in actions , he’s that little boy that never stops moving, occasionally breaking things he didn’t mean to. Mick is just someone in need of a direction and perhaps someone to care for and he appeals to the reader almost as quickly as Rowen does.  The author has certainly done a remarkable job in creating a character that is impossible to dislike while demonstrating that under all that  superficiality are depths to be discovered.  Great characters both of them.

Throw in suspicious doings in the woods as Havan Fellows does, and an unexplained “voice” that Rowen hears at the worst possible times, and you have a story guaranteed to lure you in and keep you absorbed in the characters and situations they find themselves in.  Fellows moves the narrative along at a clip, the dialog is sharp and perfect for the characters, and the plot increases in complexity as more questions pop up about the events that are happening and the people who live in Mountain Shadows.

Really, I can’t wait for the next installment.  And the ending? Well, I am still smiling and I will leave it at that.  Grab this story up and start reading.  It’s terrific and highly recommended.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I love this cover.  That model is perfect for Rowen.  Great job.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Published February 17th 2014 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ASINB00IIF4K4G
edition languageEnglish
series Whispering Winds

Buy at ARe,  Amazon

One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series

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

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

Pulp Friction’s 2014 Group Series Has Arrived! Meet the Authors, Enter to Win $25 Gift Card!

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Firestorm by Laura Harner

Cold SnapBlown Away coverHigher Ground cover

Pulp Friction Gang Rides Again!

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ScatteredThoughts is so happy to have the Pulp Friction gang (Laura Harner, TA Webb, Lee Brazil, and Havan Fellows) here again to talk about their 2014 Pulp Friction series and characters.

Contest: They have brought a $25 All Romance gift certificate to celebrate the start of the new Pulp Friction stories.  To be entered to win, just leave a comment and a email address where you can be contacted.  Contest ends 3/21.

Laura: Ever been on a roller coaster? I’m talking a no holds barred, twist and turn, wrench at your gut, show you your lunch, dislocate your spine and give you whiplash roller coaster? Yeah? They’re fun right? Try riding one for a whole year and you’ve got the equivalent of how the Pulp Friction gang felt our first year out the gate with Pulp Friction 2013 – Atlanta.

None of us knew what to expect – there was no rule book, no crib notes, not a damn cheat sheet on how to successfully do a quad-multiple series collection of books with crossovers from all the main characters and a lot of the minor ones while threading in one major mystery that would be the pinnacle of the final book written by all four authors while still spitting out a single book every fifteen days. *breathes* WOW – did we do that?

That is exactly what we did. And you know what? We nailed it! Sure, we had our ups and downs—someone forgot their character’s eye color, or that they had kissed another MC in a different book, or that they had to kill someone soon, or even that their deadline was next up—but our pow wow sessions helped keep everyone in line and were FUN!

Because if you aren’t having fun why the hell are you doing it?

But that’s enough about the past…let’s talk about what that experience did for the future of Pulp Friction. Let me introduce you to Pulp Friction 2014 Flagstaff!

We took everything we learned from last year and brainstormed about how we can learn from it and make another PF year – but do it bigger and better and bolder!
New main characters
More crossovers
Bonus books
Layers of plots that overlap
Teasers that keep you guessing
Cliff hangers
Shocking beginnings

That is one hell of a list we have going there, to make it easier let’s just focus on the first item today. Our new main characters.

I loved our boys of Atlanta, the original group of five and the four newcomers that joined them. They were terrific. So…

STRW: How did the Pulp Friction group step away from their beloved men of Atlanta and start anew?

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Tom: My first instinct was to carry over Marcus’s little (hah) brother and his new love interest into Flagstaff. Then I thought of two things; did I really want to make it “easy” on myself, and if I did, I’d have a revolt in the fan base, plus diminishing the integrity of the characters themselves.

I’ve been a little out of commission the past few months, and joined in the planning a little bit hit-and-miss. My three cohorts have been so patient and kind in their support, and when I thought about what I wanted to do next, their kick-ass enthusiasm made me want to stretch and make my next set of characters something very different. We see big alpha men and smaller mate types all the time. What if…the big guy was laid back and bottom, and the smaller guy was a little swishy, arrogant and an alpha queen? And what if he hit all the big guy’s buttons, but had a past that kept him from committing to a relationship?

Enter Charlie and Amos.

I decided to write in first person this time, and make it from Charlie’s point of view. Charlie is my almost-thirty construction contractor with a business he inherited when his dad died suddenly while Charlie was in college. So my big guy quit school, left his lover, and became the man of the house for his little brother who he adores, and his mom. Now, his brother is fifteen going on brat-aged, and his mother decides it’s time for Charlie to have a life of his own, outside work and family.

And then there’s Amos. Spiffy, smart, full of himself. He’s alone in the world, the owner of an art gallery, and a hit-it-and-leave-it kind of man. Bi-racial, a shorter, lean “mean-girl”, Amos sees Charlie, wants him, and tries his best to leave the man as a one night stand, but something draws him back. There’s heat and fire between them, and the fact Charlie is working for him, remodeling his gallery drives Amos crazy.

It’s bad enough they have their own issues that will cause them to back off from each other, but Charlie’s brother Damon, who is NOT impressed with Amos, creates all kinds of commotion.

Now, with those characters, who will notice Marcus and his Benjamin are in Atlanta, happily married?

See? PF2014Flagstaff rocks, baby!

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Havan: It wasn’t easy, I was really scared. Everyone seemed to either love or hate Wick—but they all agreed they wanted more of him. Were they going to look at Rowen and Mick and expect to see Wick in one of them? I hoped not, because personally there could only be one Wick in my life.

Then one night we were brainstorming about Pulp Friction 2014 and Flagstaff and I thought to myself—my guy is a recluse! After months of not being able to think of anybody to write the next year Rowen slammed me with an overabundance of information about himself. He was a loner who wasn’t an ass, but darn sure wasn’t an open and inviting person. He doesn’t trust easily, he has issues (I know really? lol) He…well I guess I shouldn’t say too much about him, you know? But who in their right mind would agree to go toe to toe with such a man?

Mick approached me with a huge smile on his face. Talk about the epitome of a happy go lucky no worries type of guy—oh he’s perfect for Rowen! Now comes the fun part. In book one you got an introduction to the characters…what book two has to offer, well you’ll find out in mid-April. 🙂

On a side note, I’ve been asked if I’m done writing about Wick and Ned? I believe in never saying never…*blinks* even if I just said never twice, I mean three times. I haven’t closed the door on Wick or Ned—I probably never will—but right now Wick is more interested in enjoying what Ned has to offer than what I do. *winks*

*

Lee: Some might say I took the easy way out by bringing over one of my characters from Atlanta. That seed, by the way, was carefully planted in the final books of 2013. You’ll find mention of Cannon’s relocation in Chance in Hell and Odd Man Out. It probably wasn’t all that surprising then for many people to see him.

I don’t think that using an established character lightened my work load though. Cannon is not an easy man to like. I think just about everyone who read PF 2013 absolutely loathed the man.

By moving him to Flagstaff I committed to taking this man everyone hated and showing what went on in his head, making him likeable and heroic even.

In light of the fact that Cannon was supposed to be the love interest in Chances Are, I felt I owed it to the man. After all, it wasn’t his fault that everyone, including Chance, liked Rory better. I knew by the time I finished Chances Are that Cannon had lost his place, but I continued to abuse him throughout the series. Creating a HEA for a villain everyone despised won’t be easy at all.

But after everything he went through, Cannon deserves a chance at happiness.

Finn Lorensson is just the man to give it to him. Finn was born in a single moment, from a few lines that popped into my head before I even started writing notes for the stories. If you’ve read Cold Snap, you probably recognize these lines. For me, they are the essential sum of Finn’s character.

“I like to hear a man’s voice crack when he says please. I like to hear the soft desperation in the way he breathes. I like to see his skin flush and his chest heave.
“I like to know he wants what only I can give.”

Perfect for Cannon, don’t you think?

*

Laura: I’ll echo what the others said about starting over with new characters being scary. We all have ideas for books, but it isn’t easy to come up with an idea that will meld with the ideas of three other authors.

I spent many years working for the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management and given the tragic fire in Prescott this past summer, the characters of Scott, the injured wildland firefighter, and Robby, the NPS Ranger, are a natural fit for me.

In the first book, Scott is clearly shown to be a hero, but there are hints to his personality there. He will always rush in first, consider consequences later. I think you’ll see the dark side to that character trait in the next book, Controlled Burn.

Robby tends to be the opposite. He wants to consider all of the angles, and will almost always make decisions on what he believes is best for everybody—often at his own expense.

I also have a little surprise for fans of my Willow Springs Ranch Series. Park and Tanner arrive at Mountain Shadows and interact with a few of the characters in a brand new PF 2014 Bonus Book. Kismet and Cartwheels will be out this week, along with the next release in the Fighting Fire Series, Controlled Burn.

We really want to thank all of the Pulp Friction fans who have spread the word about our crazy interconnected serial fiction: four series, 20 books, the grand finale. In Atlanta, we started with a core cast of characters, who already considered themselves family. In PF 2014, we hope you will enjoy watching this group of relative strangers grow into a family by choice. Sort of the way Tom, Havan, Lee and I have become a family, too.

Be sure to leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a $25 All Romance eBooks gift card. And again contest ends 3/21.

Thanks for hosting us, Melanie.

STRW:  Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  I can’t wait to read the next books in the series.  Again, don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address to be entered to win the $25 ARe gift certificate! Contest ends 3/21/2014.

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

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