Harmony Ink Press, Mia Kerick

Mia Kerick Proves There’s Hope If You’re “Not Broken, Just Bent”

“Forgiveness requires a sense that bad behaviour is a sign of suffering rather than malice.” ― Alain de Botton

BLURB: Braving the start of high school, longtime childhood friends Benjamin Wells and Timmy Norton quickly realize they are entering a whole new world colored by their family responsibilities. Ben is trying to please his strict father; Timmy is taking care of his younger sisters. While their easy camaraderie is still comfortable, Ben notices Timmy growing distant and evasive, but Ben has his own problems. It’s easier to let concerns about Timmy’s home life slide, especially when Timmy changes directions and starts to get a little too close. Ben doesn’t know how to handle the new feelings Timmy’s desire for love inspires, and his continuing denial wounds Timmy deeply.

But what Timmy perceives as Ben’s greatest betrayal is yet to come, and the fallout threatens to break them apart forever. Over the next four years, the push and pull between them and the outside world twists and tears at Ben and Timmy, and they are haunted by fear and regret. However, sometimes what seems broken is just a little bent, and if they can find forgiveness within themselves, Ben and Timmy may be able to move forward together.

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N.J. Nielsen, Silver Publishing

“Family Connections (The Connelly Chronicles #1)” Is Only The Beginning

“Your first family is your blood family and you always be true to that. That means something. But there’s another family, and that’s the one you go out and find. Maybe even by accident sometimes. And they’re as much blood as your first family. Maybe more so because they don’t have to look out for you and they don’t have to love you. They choose to.” – Dennis Lehane

Everyone around Ray Connelly knows he is gay. His grandmother keeps asking when he’s going to bring home a boyfriend, but Ray isn’t ready to come out yet. He is worried about how his parents will take it. He comes from a wealthy, prominent family, and has learned that to embarrass them has devastating consequences.

Christopher “Viv” Vivvens is straight. Always has been. He and his half-brother Dan own a club. Why is Viv unable to keep his eyes off the singer in the last minute substitute band? Why does it seem that every time he looks at the stage, the singer’s staring back at him? Dan and Ray’s niece (whom he raised and thinks of more as a daughter) cook up a scheme behind the two men’s backs: they find themselves in a position where they are forced to pretend to be boyfriends. The benefits are different for each of them, but the charade has to be convincing.
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Dreamspinner Press, Hollis Shiloh

Sometimes It Takes Years To Claim “You Were Always the One”

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” ― Marcus Aurelius

Summary: After a traumatic coming out, Max has forged a good life for himself—a great house, a solid job as a cop, and the companionship of his dog Alex. It looked a lot like perfect, until one day his former best friend’s little brother is arrested in his police station, bringing back a storm of boxed emotions from a life he had just started to get over. As the police detective takes the younger boy under his wing, truths start to unfold about what really happened the day Max left Jamie’s life all those years before.

As the two young men reacquaint themselves with each other, and the passion that was always denied starts to unravel, Jamie’s personality starts to threaten the foundation they had begun to build. Throw in the intervention from Max’s former best friend and Jamie’s older brother, Mason, and the whole situation threatens to buckle under the pressure. Can nearly a decade of mounting emotion overcome all the obstacles or does fate have other ideas for the young lovers? Can Max save Jamie with the realization that he was always the one, or is the impulsive young man just beyond his reach?
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Backlist Book Bump, Dreamspinner Press, Less Than Three Press, Piper Vaughn

Twas The Fright Before Christmas And All Through The ‘Net, Piper Vaughn Was Stirring…And Giving Away A Book!


Christmas and zombies and giveaways, oh my!

Hi, all! Thanks to the peeps at The Novel Approach for having me today. I’m participating in their Backlist Book Bump, and being that the holidays are right around the corner, I figured I’d share a little bit of info about Zombie Wonderland, my Christmas horror M/M novella, as well as offer up a copy to one lucky winner. Because nothing says Christmas like droves of the undead. ;) So, if you’re up for a bit of holiday fright, check out the tale of Emery and Ross, two guys hoping to avoid being eaten long enough to go on a proper date. But first, they have to make it through the night.


All Emery wants for Christmas is someone to share it with. It looks like he might finally be getting his wish in Ross, the sexy customer he’s been crushing on for months. But neither of them counted on the zombies, or on being caught in the worst blizzard in half a century. Even with a plan for contending with the zombie hordes, surviving will take a miracle.
It’s not exactly how Emery dreamed of spending Christmas with Ross, but he can’t think of a better way to spend a zombie apocalypse.

**If you can’t wait to sink your teeth into this gory little holiday tale, buy it here.

And if horror isn’t your thing, check out some of my other books! We have a tatted up party boy trying to win the heart of a sci-fi loving geek in The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek. And in the One Thing books, we offer up sweet contemporary romance with just a dash of angst. Because sometimes a little goes a long way. ;)



Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Website: http://pipervaughn.com

Less Than Three Press, Piper Vaughn

Piper Vaughn Wants To Take You Stalkin’ In A “Zombie Wonderland”

“Sometimes you have to do something ugly so that something beautiful can grow.” ― Cedric Nye

Ah, Christmastime, that time of year when we all settle in for our long winter’s naps, with visions of sugarplums dancing in our wee little heads. Unless you have zombies hunting you down and trying to chew through your skull to get to your tasty center. Then all you’re likely to think about at that point is trying to keep your noggin off the brain buffet. Ew. Piper Vaughn is deliciously wicked.
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BJ Sheppard, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Romance Reads and Secret Needs” – BJ Sheppard’s Got It Covered

“Gym toned, carb ignorant and blissfully unaware of the emotional resonance of words, I have been knee deep in thigh-knockers without thought or feeling for as long as I could recall.” – BJ Sheppard

BLURB: Liam Adams thought that writing about life would be easy. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Situated at a non-functional desk in the farthest corner of his fifth floor communal office, Liam has been charged with writing a segment for the company’s gay e-zine, “The Rainbow Connection”. Trying to disseminate the role of gender in the readership of gay literature, Liam soon starts to realize the jarring juxtaposition between the sentimental tales of love and his own fly-by-night sexual agenda. Not a stranger to the company of strangers, Liam is set on a path to discover why it’s the journey that matters most of all, and it takes a village to help him on his quest. From the overeating Social Networking Executive, to the liquor-addled Editor, Liam treads the road to enlightenment; and as the article reaches completion, the man realizes his latest sexual conquest could prove to be his last.

Humour and heart collide, as one man’s journey takes a fork in the road and straight down a path of no return. Can Liam find his Rainbow Connection with a man who had been there all along?

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Guest Contributor, John Goode

“It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…” According To John Goode

It was a dark and stormy night…

So let’s get down to the brass tacks, the things that make a good writer a great writer—invoking emotion using the printed word, for example. Using images, it is so much easier since your brain can take visual information and then fill a story in for it, creating an emotional connection without a word being said. Look at those Humane Society commercials; they have become so heartrending in my mind that just hearing Sarah McLaughlin makes me feel both sad and guilty.

So what the people who made the commercials are doing with images of poor animals and a song is what we are trying to do with our words. If you’ve tried this before, you know how hard it is. If you haven’t, well, this should show you how hard it can be.
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Backlist Book Bump, Jade Buchanan

Who’s Afraid Of The Big “Black Wolf”? Not Jade Buchanan. Check Out This Backlist Book Bump Giveaway!

Why did I choose Black Wolf?

Black Wolf is one of my favourite stories for a number of reasons. It was originally plotted over drinks with my sister and my cousins and stemmed from a comment my cousin made about licking furry balls… Don’t ask. So, every time I think of the story I do think of my crazy family. But, it’s also the first story I wrote where I just completely let go with my sense of humour. My earlier books had been a lot of fun to write, but I used to hold back on some of the things I wanted to put in them because I thought readers wouldn’t appreciate the quirky stuff. When Black Wolf came out I was pretty floored by the response to it. It changed the way I look at my writing, and really allowed me the opportunity to get rid of my filters. Whether that was a good thing or not is up to everyone else. LOL!

My quirkiness definitely showed up in the sequel to Black Wolf, titled Duck Fart. Duck Fart was written on a dare, when a friend of mine said I couldn’t make duck shifters sexy. I should have known she was trying out reverse psychology on me, but it worked like a charm and I penned a m/m threesome as a result. The third book in the series was pushed back as a result of a demanding day job, but it will feature a hedgehog shifter who finds a big, bad wolf of his own in Rick Black (introduced in the excerpt below).

The book:

Adam Bates is in trouble. He’s virtually penniless, is being threatened by his landlord, and now he’s late for work at his new job. Expecting to be chastened by his boss, Adam doesn’t expect to be provided with a protector instead. He definitely doesn’t expect his minder to be a big, bad wolf with attitude.

Marcus Black has just arrived back home, but he won’t refuse his brother when he asks him to help a little tabby cat. When Adam is threatened by his landlord in front of Marcus, his alpha wolf won’t let him stand by and let it happen.

Adam is about to find strength in submission, and his own set of claws. Marcus is about to find the mate he’s been searching for in a deceptively small tabby. Let the games begin…


Marcus Black inhaled deeply the minute he got out of his truck. Home. He loved that smell. Fish and saltwater combined with the scent of wolves and all sorts of other creatures of the night. Christ, what did his brothers do, sleep out here? Unobtrusively looking around to make sure he was alone and unobserved, Marcus stepped up to the side of the building and relieved himself. He hummed. Rick was going to hate that.

Done with his first order of business, Marcus walked around Wolf Creek Bar and Grill and stood looking out at the water. He loved it here. Dozens of sailboats bobbed in front of him, spread out along the Discovery Harbour Marina that Wolf Creek bordered. He started down the gangway, nodding at a couple wandering along the docks. Quadra Island was a welcome site across the water. He wondered if his brothers wanted to go camping soon. He itched to be out in his fur.

For a few peaceful minutes, he wandered up and down the dock to his family’s berth. Damn, she looked fine. The Four Howlers was a prime example of why you shouldn’t let your half-wild wolf children name a perfectly good 44’ sailboat.

With that thought in mind, he figured he should finally go inside and figure out what his brothers wanted.

Half an hour later, he cradled his beer protectively in his hand, lifting his arm above the people around him. They were packed like sardines inside the bar, and he desperately needed some fresh air before he snapped and growled at someone. He’d been bumped from behind one too many times tonight, and he wasn’t exactly in the most peaceful frame of mind. The fact that he hadn’t been able to speak to Rick yet just made things worse. What the fuck did his brother want?

Reaching the back of the bar and the door marked Private, he turned his nose up and fought the urge to sneeze at the strong odor of wolf. His brother’s scent was nearly overpowering. What did he do, rub on everything?

“Goddamn bastard.”

He grinned at the surprise Rick had in store the next time he stepped out into the parking lot. The man obviously spent too much time here.

Hey, that’s just what brothers did. Although, he’d take one of his pack over a human any day. The ones crowded into the bar tonight had no respect for personal space or decorum. Fuck, he couldn’t stand this.

Curling his lip, Marcus sidestepped a lady wearing a tiny bit of lace over a stupid excuse for a skirt. She batted her eyes up at him in what she probably thought was a seductive expression, but it only served to make him want to slap her upside the head and tell her to go put some damn clothes on. This night was fast turning into a waste of time.

“This is why I fucking hate coming out in public,” he muttered. The woman stopped with a smile, probably thinking he was talking to her, and Marcus beat a hasty retreat.

He was just about to leave the bar, his promise to Rick that he’d talk to him be damned, when the sweetest scent drifted close to him. Marcus froze, ignoring the body that bumped into his back, and the accompanying curse, to try and pinpoint the scent.

He turned, raising his nose and drawing air deeply into his lungs. Almost instantly, his cock hardened, testing the limits of his jeans. Christ, he hadn’t had that happen since he was a randy teen, popping wood at the slightest breeze.

Snapping his head to the right, his gaze was unerringly drawn to the small man making his way through the crowd. He moved sinuously, gracefully, stepping around people without touching them. His right leg dragged briefly and Marcus frowned.

A low growl came from deep in his chest. He cursed silently, trying to grasp control of his wolf. He couldn’t let it take over in a crowded bar, but it took everything in him to stop from plowing through the crowd and screaming for the assholes around the man to move out of the way. What the hell was wrong with his wolf?

The man had his head tucked down so it was almost uncanny how he seemed to know where to move next. The low light in the bar wasn’t the best for seeing the man’s features, but Marcus felt that they were arresting. Although, it wouldn’t really matter if he looked like the ass end of a hedgehog. He was about ten minutes away from belonging to the big, bad wolf in the bar. Marcus stepped forward, making his way closer to the man, uncaring of the people he was cutting off.

Stripes of brown, ochre and black hair tufted up around the man’s face, with a little black M shaded in the hair right above his forehead. Marcus had only ever seen that on…wait. Being closer to the man made the subtleties in his scent intensify. He smelled like a cat and he looked like a tabby.

Actually, he smelled like more than cat. He smelled like mate. Deep inside him, he felt the wolf give an impatient snap of teeth, anxious to get out and claim what belonged to him.

Marcus grinned, ignoring the two men who abruptly backed away from his feral expression.

He kept his gaze locked onto the small tabby, the man who was completely unaware that he was now being hunted. He licked his lips, starting forward. This was going to be fun.


The Giveaway:



Happy Thanksgiving!

We here are The Novel Approach are wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving (or simply a lovely Thursday), and please…

Don’t forget to kiss the cooks!

Harmony Ink Press, M.J. O'Shea

MJ O’Shea’s “Blood Moon” Might Make You Wish Your Childhood Memories Were This Exciting

“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

***Warning: This Review Contains Major Spoilers!***

I was very excited to read Blood Moon because it was about my favorite subject: vampires! After my last book, I needed something fun and sexy. Blood Moon delivered on all fronts! It was fast paced, fun and sexy. Yes, I used those words before, but it was. Enjoyed the book so much I could have read on.

The story is about childhood friends Zack and Noah. The boys meet on a summer vacation at an upstate lake, when they are 5, and become inseparable. When I was a kid, I too went upstate to spend my summers. I never met a vampire but hey, the fantasy is nice. This brought back fond memories for me and made me enjoy the book so much more. Every year they would spend their summers together. The friendship turns into love and when they are both 17, they share their first kiss. Everything is fine until the next day when Noah rejects Zack with a flimsy excuse. Zack’s devastation is palpable.
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Deanna Wadsworth, Decadent Publishing

This Is A Trio Of Holiday Sexy By Deanna Wadsworth


“It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100. Embrace your sexy-ass self and express it!” ― Steve Maraboli

Pip’s Boxing Day Wish


Having been sent to the North Pole with the Santa’s Little Helpers outreach programme as a child, Pip has always worried what the other inhabitants of Christmas’s homeland thought of him. But after spending a heated Christmas with two other elves, selected from Ms Claus’s super sexy list, Pip is even more worried. He didn’t mean for everyone to think he was just another guy trying to get his sugar-balls off. Pip wants love and a boyfriend, and that pretty much makes up his Christmas list.

When Santa employs the elf for a super important Christmas mission, Pip is over the moon. But his guide on that mission is to be someone he shared mind-blowing sex with for the randy Ms Claus at that fateful Christmas party. Judging by the looks he’s getting, Pip is sure that this elf thinks of him like all the rest do. Could he be wrong? Could this mission turn things around and grant Pip his Boxing Day Wish?


I will start this review by saying that this is the second instalment of Ms Wadsworth’s endearing Christmas tale from the Naughty North Pole (the first was a tale of Ms Claus and so I skipped it and went straight for the man-on-man section of the holiday romp). Naturally, coming in at a later stage in a tale is always tricky, as some parts of the fable are missed, but true to her style, Deanna Wadsworth has all bases covered and leads the reader by the hand and straight into the fantasy with all questions answered. Next, I will commend the author for taking a story that has been an institution for hundreds of years and giving it a fresh and original take. What Twilight did for vampire lore, Wadsworth has done for the candy coated tradition of the classic Christmas stories of yore. To summarise, the team at the North Pole are derived from Norse mythology, Santa and Ms Claus being descendants of a God and thus, their power inherited. The elves in this story are not the little people with curly toed booties; instead, they are light and dark elves who have been sworn to the cause from their distant lands. Think Legalos instead of Willow, and you are getting the right idea.

For me, this story was quite a delight to read, despite being an erotica story, which is something I don’t generally get involved with. But lucky enough, I’m a Christmas junkie, so I liked it anyway. Whilst still capturing the essence of the holiday, the author has delivered a great little tale of life at the top of the world, with characters that we can all relate to. The dark and brooding elf, Erik, seemed complex and stoic. Light elf Lars was cocky and arrogant. And then there is Pip. Pip for me was the epitome of the holiday, his playful nature and childlike ponderings slotting perfectly into a holiday tale of finding love where you least expect it. However, his innocence may or may not have made the sexual parts of this story a little hard to swallow (much like the candy-cane flavoured orgasms these little guys seem so fond of exchanging). But ultimately, I couldn’t help but love each of these characters, all so different yet all so familiar at the same time.

The stories progression was executed with precision and delivered gift wrapped in colourful words that truly embraced the reader. Each little event was planned and delivered down the chimney of my imagination and for the short time it took to ingest the tale, I was right there, knee deep in snow, playing games and riding reindeer with the fictional offerings. This story also served to be an introduction to the character of Nick (that’s Santa Claus to you and me) and give us just a little teaser of what’s to come when Old St Nick (who is more like an Abercrombie model) takes the reins.

This tale is not meant to be taken seriously; it was written in good humour with an erotic twist that had me finishing reading it in no time at all. Whilst it sated the dirtier side of my mind, it also made me excited for the impending holiday festivities. If you want some light-hearted Christmas cheer, then this series is right for you. Though the thought of peanut butter flavoured spunk repulses me, this addition to the prolific works of Ms Wadsworth left me hungry for more. Luckily, Santa hears all our wishes and is delivering me another story, his own story, from the Naughty North Pole.

While this wasn’t my favourite instalment from the series, it still did the trick for me. 3.5 glistening snowflakes for Pip and his sexy Boxing Day wish.


A Gift for Santa


As a young man, Nick watched as the party boomed, his eyes fixed on the handsome weather sprite as he painted images on the window in ice. The two men bonded, their attraction building into the perfect kiss. And then Jack walked away. Decades later and Nick is still smarting from the rejection, his heart still longing for Jack Frost the way it had when he was younger. So when Jack approaches him on the street, Nick cannot deny the attraction is still roaring between them. Almost on a dare, they retreat to a nearby hotel and indulge in the pent up sex they missed out on as young men. But Jack’s frosty outer layer has always been their biggest obstacle, and Nick is left out in the cold once again. How could Nick feel so strongly for a man who hates everything he stands for? What kind of man hates Christmas?


After reading the light-hearted prequel to this Christmas jaunt, I was not expecting what I read in this short novella. I was expecting scenes of sex and blazing lust with a twist of good humour. But as with most great writers, Deanna Wadsworth set to shading outside the lines in this beautifully romantic erotic tale that left me pining right there with Nick. Nick, for those of you who don’t realise, is actually Santa Claus, only much younger looking, with an athletic body and sans beard. Both Nick and Jack being God-like characters of mythology make a perfect match for each other, and their tale has so many levels that I was taken in and cosied up with the men within the first page. Wadsworth transcended the genre when she put this story together, and the best part about this was the romance that, I must admit, had me shed a tear or two throughout.

It might seem a little tacky to make jolly old Santa a hot and sexy guy, but with the twisting etymology of his roots, based in ancient mythology in this case, the character stood as a beacon for the old ways, whilst still embracing the traditional values of the holiday. It was like reading that same jolly giant but with much more sex appeal. And what made it better? Santa was holding out for the man he loved and had not made love to another in decades. Jack seemed to be the opposite of Nick; dark where Nick is light, smooth where Nick is hairy, bitter where Nick is optimistic. He literally had his frost sewn into the fabric of his character and together, the two men made a duo of unexpected yet completely natural antithesis. From very early on, it was clear that Jack’s dislike of the holiday was more than just his razor tongue and his ingrained cold veneer. There was more bubbling beneath the surface.

This book also saw the return of some of our previous beloved cast; Nick’s half sister, the optimistic elf Pip, the jaded elf Lars. This is what I love from a series. It takes great skill to interweave characters like this, but Wadsworth seemed to do it effortlessly and it flowed perfectly like a fresh glass of eggnog, right down my gullet and warming me all the way.

Now let’s talk sex. For an author known for her raunchy plot twists and tangles of heated flesh splaying out across the page, this addition actually saw a tenderness I was not expecting. The sex was slower, more calculated and appreciated as something more than just body contact. That’s not to say it wasn’t hot as hell (or cold as ice). Here’s a hint…Jack can make anything out of frost, including things shaped like a cock. I‘m still reeling from that little treat. I also found the fight for sexual dominance very intriguing, as both characters were rooted in typical views of masculinity, and having them fight for the upper hand was both increasingly erotic and so typically alpha male. A lot of time and thought clearly went into the creation of this power struggle, and it backed the story up magnificently.

Ultimately, what we have here is a Christmas tale that transcends the norm. It is a tale of want and desire and the complexities of a love that won’t diminish through time. It was effortlessly easy to get drawn in and impossible to escape the feelings between these two men. And to top it all off, it was a very original take on all our Christmas traditions. I strongly recommend this book. Read it by the fire with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and the Christmas tree lights illuminating the room. A 4.5 snowflake addition to a cracking Christmas series. Deanna Wadsworth has truly outdone herself. And she isn’t stopping there. Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment.


Fun and Games with Rudolph


Ever since that fateful night where Lars was picked from Ms. Claus’s list, the light elf has had the niggling feeling that something big is missing from his life. After countless one-nighters and the ease of sex from the newly developed Elf4Elf app, Lars could have any ass he wanted. But his correspondence with an elf over the app has led him to break his cardinal rule; no repeats.

Something about Mike has him hooked. So when Mike abandons his daily messaging, Lars is back in his slump.

At Santa’s request, Lars sets out across the snow to Sugar Plum Ridge on a mission to deliver a Christmas gift to the shamed elf Rudolph, who has put himself into isolation after the embarrassing events of his failure to breed flying reindeer with glowing noses. A storm traps the two men together on the ridge, and what should have been a night of magical Christmas cheer, might just turn into something neither elf had ever dreamed.


Book four in the Naughty North Pole series, Fun and Games with Rudolph, is the story of Lars, a light elf who has popped into all the previous books. Lars has a reputation for being quite the cad, using and abusing his conquests before kicking them to the dirt. I liked the way this characters ambiguous thoughts on relationships were hinted at in the earlier stories, and when we meet Lars, the reader already feels they know a thing or two about the detached Lothario. Whilst we have been trained to dislike this character, being inside this elf’s mind gives the reader a view of the softer side of Lars and uses the exposure to Ms Claus’s powerful pheromones as the stimulus that opened his eyes to a new way of thinking.

I was quite fond of the introduction of Elf4Elf, a newly developed dating app created by Pip, one of our former protagonists who found love in book two. This not only modernized the story, but truly gave Lars the means to have all the loveless flings he wanted, which were what started him to questioning his motives for his detachment. On the app, Lars meets Mike, and the two strike up an inexplicable bond that suddenly breaks one night after Lars asks to see Mike’s face (after performing a particularly raunchy sex act on video).

It was just good fun. This whole book was a silly, sexy jaunt through the snow and I liked it a lot. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who Mike was and it didn’t take long for Lars to find him, but it was sweet and endearing and I liked it all the same. Rudolph was a very complex character, made almost stubbornly to accommodate Lars’s sexual thirst. I choose to think of it as a match made in heaven, when in actual fact it was just a way that Lars could stay true to himself and have all the sex he wanted since Rudolph didn’t think monogamy was such a big deal. I’m not a huge fan of open relationship stories in my romance. I mean, I don’t see the point. But for the sake of these characters, one insatiable sex fiend and one hermit with a kinky side, this arrangement was the best they were going to get.

I think this book stuttered after being released following the epic love story of Nick and Jack. It was never going to compare when its predecessor was a romantic tale of the fathers of winter, but it was good fun nonetheless. Wadsworth used Nick and Jack’s tale as a way to manipulate Lars and Rudolph into their version of an HEA and did so with good humor, excellent adventure and a whole lot of sex. These two characters seemed made for each other, two outcasts finding love against the odds. Not my favorite book in the series, but definitely a good, fun read. 3 stars for this unconventional holiday romance.

You can buy the Naughty North Pole series here:

Astrid Amara, Loose Id

Astrid Amara Serves Up A Little “Sweet and Sour” For The Holidays

“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book, or simply close it.” ― Shannon L. Alder

BLURB: Miles Piekus thought he and Itai would make a great team, despite the infidelities haunting their past. After all, Itai is smoking hot, they’re both driven entrepreneurs, and they love each other. What else did a person need?

Well, a lot more, apparently, because not only are they no longer passionate, they don’t even share the same passions. Like people, affections change, and Miles wonders if a relationship this broken is truly worth repairing.

Itai’s business launch with his ex-boyfriend isn’t helping. And Miles himself has a new business to grow over a busy few weeks where Thanksgiving and Hanukkah collide to form either the best holiday season ever, or a kosher caterer’s worst nightmare.

But help comes in the unexpected, ruggedly handsome form of Detective Dominic Delbene, a pickle aficionado with his own ghosts, who stakes out the deli to capture a dangerous drug dealer. As Hanukkah’s eight days come to an end, Miles discovers that Nic is not only good with pickling; he’s good at everything.

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Harmony Ink Press, Johanna Parkhurst

Johanna Parkhurst Is Here To Tell You Things About Zeb Pike You Never Knew. And She’s Giving Away A Book!

TNA: Hi, Johanna, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, interests, odds and ends things that make you, you.

JP: Thanks so much for having me! I’m honored to be here.

So…about me. I’m a middle school language arts teacher and curriculum writer by day, YA lit author by night. I’ve been called quirky, and I take that as a compliment. I ski badly, but I do it anyway. I read A LOT. I love football. I recently had to retire from a pretty solid fantasy football career because of its adverse effects on my blood pressure. I have a super supportive husband who seems totally fine with my writing obsession. Oh, and I grew up on a dairy farm, so I have mad cow-milking skills. Really.

TNA: Your new Young Adult novel Here’s to You, Zeb Pike has just recently been released by Harmony Ink. Is this your first published work, and if so, what made you decide to make your first book not only YA but also M/M?

JP: This IS my first published book—and as I often say, I can’t thank the fine folks at Harmony Ink enough for taking a chance on it.

I definitely never decided to write YA. I just always…have. I’ve always loved reading young adult fiction, so I’ve always gravitated towards writing it. Then I started teaching middle school, and all I ever had time to read was YA, so the pattern continued. I have attempted a few adult short stories here and there, but every novel-length work I’ve ever written has been for young adults.

How this story came to also be an LGBT novel is another tale entirely. I wrote a blog post for Madison Parker’s blog (www.madisonparklove.com) about how the main character in this novel came out to me…and I’m not really kidding when I say that’s what happened. I actually didn’t intend, when I started writing this book, to write a story with LGBT characters. Emmitt and Dusty just ended up being so perfect together–the more scenes I wrote about their friendship, the more I realized that they weren’t just friends.

With that said, I pushed to publish this book and have written more LGBT characters since because I strongly believe that teens need more LGBT role models in their libraries and classroom readings. Authors like Alex Sanchez and David Levithan are doing a great job of breaking more LGBT YA characters into mainstream lit, but it’s still a grossly underrepresented field in terms of what teens are encouraged to read and given direct access to.

TNA: Do you remember the moment you came up with the idea for the story? What drew you to Zebulon Pike as a source of inspiration?

JP: I still remember the first time I heard Zeb Pike’s story. I didn’t live in Colorado yet, and I was visiting the area with a friend who’s a native. We were driving past Pikes Peak, the mountain named after Zeb Pike, and my friend mentioned something about what it would be like to be in Zeb Pike’s shoes and come across an amazing mountain like that…and then not be able to get to the top. That image stuck with me. Later on, when I started writing Dusty’s story, I decided I wanted to explore Zeb Pike’s story through Dusty.

TNA: What’s the most interesting fact you discovered about Zeb Pike that we may not know?

JP: The man’s actually a mountain of weird facts. (Get it?) I still think the most fascinating one is that he never made it to the top of the mountain named after him, but there are plenty of others. He joined the army at 15. He got lost a lot, but being lost usually led him to interesting adventures. He really was (as Dusty mentions in the book) captured by the Spanish during his travels in Colorado. He really did (as Dusty also mentions) record his explorations in journals that were very popular with the public.

TNA: Would you like to tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Dusty Porter? What is it about him, do you think, that will appeal most to readers?

JP: I think Dusty’s pretty real. He’s based on a lot of teenagers that exist in my own real world. He’s sometimes self-conscious, usually well-intentioned (but not always), and generally just trying to figure out who he is and how to mesh that with who the world wants him to be.

TNA: If you could bring him off the page and into the real world, what’s the one thing you think he might try to change?

JP: Ha! I love that question. He might try to re-write himself as a little taller. He’d also want to be a much better skateboarder. But I think that by the end of this book, Dusty’s actually become pretty happy with who he is.

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Here’s to You, Zeb Pike with us?

JP: I’d love to!

This is one of my favorite scenes—it’s the first time Emmitt and Dusty meet.

Excerpt from Here’s to You, Zeb Pike

A tall kid, who I can only assume is Emmitt, is waiting outside Jack’s office when we arrive at Colby. “Hey, Emmitt.” Jack puts down his bag to unlock his office and motions for us to shake hands. “Emmitt LaPoint, this is Dusty Porter. Not Dustin. Dusty Porter, this is Emmitt LaPoint. Not Emmy.”

He seems to think that’s pretty funny, but I’m not amused. Emmitt cracks a little bit of a smile, but he’s all business in a matter of seconds. “Nice to meet you, Dusty. You sure look like Coach Morton.”

I guess I’m going to be hearing that a lot around this school, considering we’re mirror images.

“Hey, Coach, do you know his locker assignment?”

Jack frowns as he finally gets his office door unlocked. He fishes around inside his bag for a moment before he comes up with a green slip of paper. “Here, Dusty. It’s the total enrollment package. Locker assignment, homeroom location, schedule.”

Emmitt looks over my shoulder at the paper in front of me and nods. “Cool. Okay, Coach, I’ll start taking him around the school before everybody gets here.”

Maybe I suddenly have a deer-in-the-headlights look, because Jack puts his hand on my shoulder. “Is that okay, Dusty? I mean, if you guys can give me a few minutes, I can come around with you.”

Excellent—my uncle baby-sitting me on my first day. “No, Jack, I’ll be fine.”

A few minutes later, Emmitt and I are walking down the wide school hallway. Emmitt studies locker numbers as he looks for mine, and I study Emmitt. He has dark-blond hair that’s kind of curly and hangs down around his ears. His eyes are really green, as green as—well, once I start thinking about it, my dad’s. Even though he doesn’t look that big, you can tell he’s pretty built. Must be the hockey. He’s wearing khakis and a button-up shirt. I look down at my black polo and old jeans and wonder what the other kids at Colby are going to be dressed like. The fact is that this guy is really good-looking, and I can’t keep my eyes off him as he explains what the classrooms are on each side of the hall we’re walking down. I’m definitely going to get lost at some point during the day.

It was probably late last school year—the end of eighth grade—when I got really worried about the fact that I just didn’t think girls were all that amazing-looking. Race could babble on about them for hours. Jasmine has the most amazing boobs, I’d love to get to second base with her and Did you see those jeans Erin’s wearing today? Holy shit, that ass, Dusty. Jasmine’s boobs and Erin’s ass never did anything for me, but when I had my first PE class with Daniel Garcia-Allan, I started to realize why. I got a B in that PE class only because I missed most of the directions Coach Cartwright gave us.

At first it completely freaked me out, and I spent about a month trying to figure out what I was going to do. Then I realized there wasn’t much to do. I was so busy taking care of Matt and Julia that it wasn’t like I had time to date anyway, and Race always just assumed that was why I didn’t ask any girls out. I’d still dance with a few of them at Prescott dances, and nobody ever seemed to guess that if I had it my way I would have been dancing with a six-foot-three basketball player who definitely did not have C-cups.

Emmitt finds my locker for me, and I tear my eyes away from him long enough to get it open. It isn’t too far away from my homeroom—only about two hallways—so mornings will be a breeze.

Emmitt proceeds to lead me on a tour of my schedule, taking me to each of my classes one by one. He’s thorough. He hits every detail of the school, which is big, right down to where I am welcome to sit with him and his brother in the cafeteria. He’s so thorough that I manage to forget how amazing his eyes are long enough to actually figure out where my classes are.

“So, do you do this as a job or something?” I finally ask him. “You really have a routine.”

Emmitt starts laughing. “Nah. I just did this at the beginning of the year for my little brother, so I sort of repeated it for you. I think that’s why Coach asked me to do it.” By this time we’ve circled back to my locker, but he hangs around and keeps talking. “Coach is a cool guy, but I didn’t think you’d want your uncle showing you around on your first day or anything.”

Very true. Since “Wanna go to the movies this weekend?” probably isn’t an appropriate question to ask at this point, I decide to ask something else I’ve been curious about. “Is your brother really into skateboarding or something?” I haven’t seen any skate parks around town or any kids with skateboards coming into school, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I like to skateboard, and I sure don’t carry a board around with me—I don’t even own one.

Emmitt rolls his eyes. “Obsessed, for about the last two years. Why, you into boarding too?”

I start unpacking my backpack and loading notebooks into my locker. The notebooks are all empty, white, brand-new and newly purchased by Beth. Already I miss my old history notebook from Prescott, completely covered with the Calvin and Hobbes cartoons I’ve been drawing on the cover since August. “Yeah, a little. I’d love to find out where there are some skate parks around here.”

“Sure, no problem,” Emmitt answers. “I’ll make sure Casey sits with us during lunch so he can tell you all about that scene. Me, I’m just into hockey.”

By now it’s almost time for homeroom. The hallways have started to completely fill up, and people are yelling hello to Emmitt from every direction. “Man, I gotta get my stuff,” he says. “You gonna find your homeroom okay?”

I look around at the giant crowd of people that seems to have materialized around me. “I’ll be okay.” I grab my books and start pushing my way through the hall as Emmitt heads in the opposite direction.

TNA: Did either of your main characters give you fits as you were writing, not wanting to cooperate with where you saw their story going? If so, which one?

JP: I think Dusty coming out of the closet on me was about the biggest plot twist I’ve ever had occur during my own writing process. Emmitt’s pretty happy about it, though, so it was definitely worth the epic rewrite.

TNA: What would you say are the best and worst parts of the writing process for you?

JP: I am what some might call a “binge” writer. I tend to write for large chunks of time and then go on hiatus for a while. (This is also partly because I have a really demanding day job that requires a lot of weekend writing.) In some ways, this is awesome—I generally feel very accomplished at the end of a large chunk of writing time. On the other hand, I sort of exist in a perpetual state of NaNoWriMo, which can be exhausting. (And is also probably the reason that when everybody else gets so excited about NaNoWriMo, I’m like, “what’s going on?”)

TNA: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Whichever you are, why do you feel that method works best for you?

JP: I think I’m a little of both, actually. I usually have my plot thought out when I start writing something, but I end up changing said plot so many times that I eventually just feel like a pantser. (Also, I had to look up the terms “plotter” and “pantser” because I’d never heard them before. I will now proceed to use them constantly, because they are fun.)

TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

JP: The ability to freeze time! I’d get so much more writing done. I’m sighing with happiness just imagining the possibilities.

TNA: If time travel were possible, where would you go and why?

JP: Wow, that’s tough. I think I’ve been teaching history too long—every time I think of some really cool time period to visit, I think of a horrible downside to said time period. (Example: “Would be kind of cool to go hang out with Hemingway. Oh, wait, I don’t wanna end up in a world war.” Or, “Hey, I could go travel the Oregon trail! Hold on. Why would I want to do that? Minimal reading material AND they had to kill their own food.”) I can’t go into the future because then I’m just in the plot of Back to the Future, and while that plot’s fun to watch, who wants to actually go through it? (Hoverboards aside, of course.) As such, I’ve decided to stay in 2013, thanks.

TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?

I’ve got one in the works that is, quite possibly, the most angsty story I’ve written. And that’s saying something, as I write a lot of angst. I’m also perpetually working on the sequel to Here’s to You, Zeb Pike. I’m really enjoying writing it, but it’s taking some time. I just love these characters so much that I want everything about their next chapter to be perfect. The durn thing might not see the outside of my computer for several years at this rate.

TNA: Where can readers find you on the internet?

I recently learned how to tweet (no big deal), so I’d love if people want to join my approximate six Twitter followers. Right now, to paraphrase a friend of mine, I feel like I’m talking to myself. And frankly, I felt schizophrenic enough before Twitter. @johannawriteson. Same with Facebook, if you’d care to like my page (hopefully you’d like me in real life, too).



Self-Published, Smashwords, Thaddeus J

“The Sol of Jupiter” Is Love In The Time Of DADT

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ― Ernest Hemingway

BLURB: Turner Michaels is an idealistic junior enlisted communicator that wants nothing more than to successfully execute his duties. After being transferred to a light armored reconnaissance unit in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the young U.S. Marine starts to feel a bit overwhelmed and out of place from his usual role of support – that is until he is reunited with his old friend Jace Sozio. Reconnecting with one another is simple, but neither of them could have imagined the intense yet awkward attraction that would grow between them. Though admitting these feelings to one another poses a dilemma for the men, as neither wants it to threaten their close friendship. Taking things to a whole new level raises a number of other questions as well. First and foremost, would their peers accept them, or would they have to forever hide their relationship? And admitting their true feelings for one another is easier said than done. Their harsh supervisor is demanding and makes life miserable for the pair, and they also have a number of very good (though sometimes annoying) friends that make them question if they even need enemies. But with the help of their family and inspiring leaders the two will discover that loyalty and support are stronger than bigotry and misperception. Proving that the Corps indeed is a sacred brotherhood where men can trust one another with their very lives.

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Dreamspinner Press, M. King

You Might Want To Consider Adding A Little “Filth” To Your TBR List

“Whenever she imagined her child, grown up without interference from a judgmental world, she imagined its male and female halves as complementing each other, and as being secretly, almost magically powerful.”–Kathleen Winter

Filth is the first book I have read about a transitioning main character. Toni is physically a man. She identifies as a woman. Toni is unable to afford the quality medical care or proper dosages of medication required to undergo such a major change. She buys her drugs online from Mexico and decides her own doses according to what she has read on the internet. Kel loves her to distraction. He supports them both by turning tricks. Toni used to work as a rentboy, but Kel can’t handle the thought of another man touching his “honey”, so he is now their major source of income, while Toni works part-time in a book store.
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All Romance Ebooks, Brandon Shire, Self-Published

Brandon Shire’s “Heart of Timber” Brings You In From The “Cold”

“If only. Those were two very big, impossible words.” – Brandon Shire

Blurb: Two years after watching Anderson walk out of the prison gates, Lem has a visitor who informs him that Anderson desperately needs his help. He scoffs at the idea until he is given an offer that he cannot refuse. He doesn’t know if he is finally ready to make peace with himself outside prison, or if he is ready to face the pain he has caused, but he also understands that he will never get another chance like this.

Anderson has tried to push Lem to the back of his heart, but he cannot find anyone who can measure up to the man that Lem was. Letters he meant to send sit on the table, and the dreams he had about rebuilding his life go by the wayside as he pines for a man he cannot have. He doesn’t believe he will ever be happy again and finds it increasingly difficult to keep up the cheerful facade his family expects.

But unknown to Anderson, the women in his life have colluded to bring him and Lem back together again. Will he and Lem rekindle their love, or will they burn everyone around them by falling back to their past mistakes?
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Brita Addams, Dreamspinner Press

Look Who’s Back For A Visit- It’s Brita Addams Stopping By On Her “Tarnished Souls” Blog Tour

Brita Logo

Today I come to my second home on the internet. Thank you, Lisa, for having me back.

presentFirst, down to business. Of course I am offering a giveaway. There will be two winners per blog stop. One random commenter will win an ebook copy of Tarnished Gold or For Men Like Us. Another commenter will win a swag pack, with signed bookmarks, and a couple other goodies. I’ll chose the winners on November 27.


My lifelong love of Hollywood and the Tarnished series

I’ll admit it, I am a movie fanatic. Though I won’t lay claim to much concerning my father, the one thing we had in common was fandom. He and I spent many a weekend morning watching Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, when they were old movies even to my dad. I watched the Keystone Kops and Boston Blackie in lieu of the proffered Saturday morning cartoons.

While I had teen idols pictures taped to my mother’s precious wallpapered walls in my bedroom (I didn’t have to deal with the fallout, as they were still there when I moved out at 18,) I also had pictures of Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino, and Ramon Navarro.

When I was 18, I won a bowling tournament, and as a reward, my coach took me to see the re-release of Gone With the Wind. Rhett Butler completely mesmerized me when he spoke his immortal line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

My husband was a movie lover long before I met him, and we bonded over Saturday matinees and our Friday night dates. We have rather eclectic tastes in films, from Sci-fi to RomComs, and most everything in between. Horror is never an option. Won’t happen. For us the question is never, “What movie do you want to go see?” Rather it’s, “What haven’t we seen yet?”

Grauman's Chinese (2)
Sometime in the early ‘80s, we went to Los Angeles, just the two of us, to explore that fabled world I had so loved for so many years. While it wasn’t the Hollywood of my dreams, it was Hollywood, with Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Walk of Fame, and that poor homeless man outside Denny’s. That dude scared the life out of me!

At Grauman’s, I stood in the footsteps of Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, and Clark Gable, among others. I’m huge on things like, “OMG, he actually touched this.” Grauman’s is the place for that kind of thing. I’ve watched hundreds of videos on YouTube, filmed when the stars actually put their prints in the concrete. Here’s the link to the one for Tyrone Power. The pictures here are ones I took during that visit.

PicMonkey Collage

The thing about old Hollywood is that those folks were real stars. They exuded glamor and the glitz that thrilled audiences everywhere. There was a mystery to them, they didn’t splash their lives all over the news and tabloids. Surely, some did, but those weren’t enduring stars. Audiences respected Cary Grant and Vivian Leigh, and they forgave them their human frailties because the stars gave so much back to their fans.

The rumors linger today about Gable’s sexuality, as well as Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn’s. Books have been written on the subject, but ultimately, we learned only what the stars (and the studios) wanted us to know. Why? Because of the Star System. Stars were commodities, studios traded in flesh, and to do so successfully, they had to keep their stars in line. After 1930, everyone signed a morals clause, conveniently embedded in every contract. Stars, directors, makeup artists, and set designers agreed to behave themselves, while in public and in private. All inclusive.

To counter the bad behaviors of such stars as Humphrey Bogart and the assorted Barrymore or two, the studios had what they called fixers. These guys cleaned up messes, told the cops what they wanted them to know, and babysat those stars inclined toward rebellion.

With Tarnished Gold, I started a series which takes on various facets of old Hollywood. TG is a story about a young gay man bent on stardom, and, after a long run as the box office darling, ran head on into the morals clauses. When confronted with a ruthless decision to either marry or lose his career, Jack Abadie makes a choice that changes his life entirely. While fictional, Jack faced the same dilemma many closeted stars faced in the 1930s through even today. Should they live their authentic lives or have their life dictated by the studio machine?

In the second book, I tackle the mob and their hold on anything that made money. I touch on their grasp of the extra’s union and the studios, where they get payments from both, each for a different reason. The extras paid a premium to work and the studios paid so the mob didn’t keep the extras from working. While Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent isn’t exclusively about this part of Hollywood folklore, bits of it are there. More, Tarnished Souls is the story of two gangsters, one who controlled the extra’s union, who have lived a life beyond our imagining.

Frankie has run Hollywood for the New York syndicate, but has run afoul of their dictates. Gent is a hit man sent to bring Frankie back to New York to answer for his negligence. Frankie and Gent know each other from the old days, they had a thing that ended when one of Sal’s men discovered them together, and Sal separated them. Five years later, Sal sends Gent to clean up after Frankie and bring Frankie back for punishment.

This first novella is only part of Frankie and Gent’s story. In the second part, I’ll finish their tale, while I tell the story of Mac, a detective who plays a significant part in the first part and Gray, a newspaper reporter. Mac and Gray struggle with their relationship because of Mac’s job. I’m working on that novella now and I expect to have it finished after the holidays.

After that, I’ll tackle the gossip columnists, a book I can’t wait to write.

For now, I hope you enjoy Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent, and if you haven’t read Tarnished Gold, I’d be honored if gave it a read.

Here’s the blurb for Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent:

Hollywood’s Golden Age is not all glitz and glamour. Mob boss Frankie Monetti controls the unions and the studios, which makes him and the syndicate very rich. But after five years, Frankie runs afoul of the law and those who put him in power.

Primo hit man, and Frankie’s lifelong friend, Arvin “Gent” Vitali, goes west with orders to clean up the mess and then bring Frankie back to New York to answer for his double cross. But as the noose closes tighter around Frankie’s neck, Gent questions where his loyalty truly lies. Is business just business or is freedom worth the risk?

Purchase Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent

Here’s the blurb for Tarnished Gold:

In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a secret that his country hometown would never understand.

After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust.

Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty.

As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood’s decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.

Purchase Tarnished Gold from Dreamspinner Press

Schedule for Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent Blog Tour

November 14 –The Rainbow Studio
November 18 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
November 18 – Brita Addams
November 19 – Sid Love
November 20 – Joyfully Jay
November 21 – You Gotta Read
November 25 – Jacob Flores
November 26 – The Novel Approach
December 3 – J.P. Barnaby
December 4 – Lynley Wayne
December 5 – Michael Rupured

About Brita Addams:

Brita LogoBorn in a small town in Upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals, as well as few contemporaries, have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

Tarnished Gold, the first in her Tarnished series for Dreamspinner, received honorable mention, and is a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, historical romance category.

Brita and her husband love to travel. They’ve taken no less than twenty-five cruises and countless long car trips, as well as completed a Civil War battlefield tour, and visits to many sites involved in the American Revolutionary War. Their 2013 anniversary tour of England, Scotland, and Wales gave Brita fodder for many new tales.

On a trip to Hollywood, California, Brita stood in the footprints of some of her favorite actors—Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, and many others, at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and has even kissed Mickey Rooney.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Twitter: @britaaddams
Fan page
Monthly column at The Novel Approach

Dreamspinner Press, S.A. Garcia

You Know You Can Believe In “The Gospel According to Cher”

“Love is the most common miracle.” ― John Green

Blurb: Hindy Nardella, gallery owner and tidy leather diva, isn’t sure about love anymore. His most-recent ex-lover said “sayonara” and headed for Japan despite a week of Hindy begging him to stay. The man before that bid Hindy “namaste” before heading for Nepal seeking salvation. Hindy will accept advice from anywhere, even a tacky Cupid music box which only plays Cher’s “Believe,” and vivid dreams that compel him to leave NYC and head for the Adirondacks.

Cupid leads Hindy straight to a leather bar in the mountains and an exotic drag queen named Patrice O’Malley. For Patrice, who’s near-perfect beauty belies his lack of confidence, it’s lust at first sight, but Hindy has doubts born of his recent run of bad luck in romance. But when Patrice saves Hindy from death by a falling chunk of airplane blue ice, Cupid slams into Hindy’s heart, and Hindy begins to believe in miracles again. Dangers and challenges arise, involving, among other things, crazy ex-lovers, rampaging mosquitoes, and a phantom moose. But life together awaits back in NYC, if they can survive, trust in each other, and believe in life after love.
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Bold Strokes Books, Jennifer Lavoie

Why Not Take A Chance On “Meeting Chance”?

“Pets have more love and compassion in them than most humans”– Robert Wagner

Wow, I needed this book. I have had several disappointing YA LGBT reads lately. Books where abusers got away with their crimes and date rape was treated as just another mistake. I told myself I was finished with YA novels. But I had already committed to read and review this one. I don’t put much stock in God or Fate or whatever, but this book was the right one for me at the right time. It made me feel hopeful. There are authors writing age-appropriate LGBT fiction! Jennifer Lavoie is one of them. It is not only age appropriate, it is good! I read this in half a day. Made frozen pizza for dinner because I wanted to keep reading.
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Amber Allure, Rick R. Reed

Rick R. Reed’s “Orientation” Is A Journey Of Loss And New Beginnings

“Drama is life with the dull parts left out.” ― Alfred Hitchcock

BLURB: Christmas, 1983: A young man, Robert, tends to his soul mate, Keith, who is dying from AIDS. Robert tries valiantly to make this a special Christmas for his lover, but loses the fight late Christmas night. Christmas, 2007: Robert ventures out late Christmas night and finds a young girl about to fling herself into the unforgiving waters of Lake Michigan. He rescues her, and the two form a bond forged from an odd feeling they share of familiarity, and even love. Neither understands it, since Jess is a lesbian and Robert has never been attracted to women. But there’s more … Jess begins having strange dreams, reliving key moments she couldn’t know about in Keith and Robert’s life and courtship. Robert and Jess begin to wonder if their inexplicable feelings might be rooted in something much more mystical than a savior/victim relationship. As the two move toward and pull away from each other, Ethan, Robert’s younger lover, plots the unthinkable. His crystal meth-addled mind becomes convinced there’s only one way to save himself, and that is through Robert’s destruction. Christmas 2007 spirals downward to a shattering climax in which both love and lives hang in the balance. There’s a murder attempt … salvation … redemption … And a new love is born.

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Backlist Book Bump, Love Lane Books, RJ Scott

How’d You Like To Win Your Choice Of Any Book From RJ Scott’s Backlist? Check Out This Bump!

Why did I choose The Decisions We Make?

“Decisions” is one of my first written stories, and certainly one of the first from my own publisher Love Lane Books. I love the story so much. Daniel is the young orphan who is taken in by a beautiful family. When I look back at this book I see it as my idealistic book, along side The Christmas Throwaway. With images of how I wish things could be but so often aren’t. This book was originally written as a story for adults but seems to have found its niche in the YA section.
The Book

Daniel Keyes is an orphan, fostered by the Walker’s. The product of a lonely childhood, he is thrown into the chaos of the Walker family and into the life of his new foster brother Jamie.

This story is the journey of Daniel and Jamie finding their place in the world. Through Jamie being a victim of hate crime to coming out to family and friends, there are many decisions the boys have to make before they become men.

“….RJ Scott delivers the goods one more time in this quietly stunning beauty. She grabbed my attention on page one and my heart on page two. And never let either one go….”

“….If The Decisions We Make has done anything, it’s proven to me that RJ Scott has definitely found her place in the YA LGBT genre…”


Chapter 3


Six feet of sweating, laughing Jamie dove into Daniel’s room, shutting the door behind him and flicking the lock. An irate Mark pounded up the stairs and banged on Daniel’s door seconds behind him.

“Jamie, get your ass out here now so I can kill you.”

His eyes full of laughter, Jamie snorted, flopping down on Daniel’s bed. “I made it in here, dude; you can’t touch me.” It was an unwritten rule between brothers that, in the years he had been with them, Daniel’s room was “home”. There was muttering outside the door, veiled threats and then more banging before Mark stomped down the stairs.

“Hey, Dan.” Jamie finally acknowledged him.

Glowering, Daniel sat at his desk, which was littered with books. He fixed his gaze firmly on his foster brother and the sweat rubbing off of him and onto Daniel’s clean quilt.

“Get your skinny ass off my bed.”

“Two hours practice and a run home; I am fucked, can’t move.”

“You might as well go now and get the beating over and done with ’cause he’s going to get you when you leave, you idiot.”

“Nah, I’ve got you to back me up.”

“Uh huh, calculus and geography. Some of us need to work to get to college.”

“I work.”

“On your jump.”

“I have a good average.”

“Without trying. Imagine what would happen if you actually tried.”

“I try.” Jamie looked a bit hurt. School was an easy journey for him and Daniel both, but Jamie chose to let it ride, sailing close to the wind sometimes but always scraping through. Daniel, on the other hand, worked hard and had an impressive average, one guaranteed to get him into a good school.

“You’re an idiot, Walker.”

“Says the guy studying on a summer day when the hoops are calling.”

“And exactly what did you do to Mark now to make him wanna kill ya?”

“Changed the ringtone on his cell to the Muppets.”

“Uh huh.”

“And then phoned him in the middle of a lecture.”

“Jeez, Jamie, not the English lecture with that girl?”


“You are a complete ass.”

“Yeah, but can you imagine Mark I’m-so-popular Walker and his unrequited love in the same room as a Muppets ring tone?” Jamie snorted, and Daniel couldn’t help but laugh. Yeah, that would have been kind of funny. “Anyway, like I said, you got my back, and he’s scared of you.”

“Dude, he’s like half a foot taller than me and built.”

“Nah, it’s the woobly eyes and lips of doom and misery that get him.”

“The what?”

“The woobly eyes and lips of doom.”

“You so just made that up.”

“Yeah, but it kind of fits. One look at your woobly gray eyes and Mark is scared.”

“You are kind of an idiot, Jamie.”

“It has been said, it has been said.” Jamie smirked “Little bit of one-on-one?”

“Like being beaten thirty to two is something I enjoy.”

“Hey, you got two. Trust me, Shorty; that is good.”

“We can’t all be long-armed Gigantors.”

“So?” Jamie sounded hopeful.

“Calculus, dude.” Daniel sighed. He hated calculus, couldn’t see the point of it, and didn’t have Jamie’s instinctive enjoyment of numbers.

Jamie huffed and leaned over his shoulder. “5%, 3.14, xy, there, done.”

“Thanks, but I need the proofs that go with it.”

“I’ll do it with ya later.” Jamie’s voice changed to a whine. “C’mon, dude, let’s go and work off all the crap we eat.”

“The crap you eat.”

“Whatever… c’mon.”

Somehow Daniel got talked into it, got pulled and pushed and finally stood facing a loose-limbed confident Jamie. He bounced the ball, visualizing shooting the hoop… one, feign to the left, two, actually go right, snaking past Jamie’s defenses, three aim and shoot, score a net, taking the score to a glorious fourteen-one. Problem was he missed and Jamie grabbed the ball getting the shot and whooping with glee. Daniel sprawled on his back huffing and sweating and grimacing, even getting to one point was so not working.

Jamie sprawled next to him, grinning. “Fifteen to zero, a new Walker record.”

Daniel couldn’t even string two words together for a comeback, let alone anything remotely witty.

“Jamie, you little freak!”

Shit, Mark.

Jamie jumped to his feet, laughing as Mark launched himself round the corner and the two fell into an impromptu wrestling match on the grass. Mark definitely had the upper hand, finally pinning his giggling brother by his arms to the ground.

“Uncle, uncle.” Jamie couldn’t breathe for the laughing.

“Say you’re sorry,” Mark pushed, a serious expression on his face.

Daniel wished Jamie would stop with the laughing. He was sure it wasn’t going down too well with his brother.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jamie finally croaked out.

Mark rolled off him, lying sprawled next to him, a superior smirk on his face. “Turns out, little brother, Sarah loves the Muppets.”

And then the two just lay back, looking up at blue sky, laughing like loons.

Neither noticed when Daniel left.


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Barry Brennessel, Wilde City Press

Barry Brennessel Wants To Help You Find “Paradise at Main and Elm”

“All of us are a culmination of vital parts of our parents and their past. A vital part of the circumstances we were raised with. Everything that happens to us, good and bad, leaves a lasting impression in our souls.”… His head was pounding from trying to digest all of this. “I’m so overwhelmed.” “Most of us are, Nick. Even though we look calm and peaceful on the outside, most of us are barely hanging on by our fingernails.” — Sherrilyn Kenyon

This was a strange read for me. The story was excellent, the characters compelling. Where I ran into trouble was all the italics. Not the font, the part of the story being told in italics. Sometimes it was a dream. Occasionally it was a story or poem that one of the characters had written. Sometimes a memory. A few times it was happening in real time but the character wasn’t in his right state of mind. The italics explained a lot about the young men I was getting to know and care about. They were easily a third of the book. But I had a hard time determining into which category each particular set of italics fell. It would take a page or two after returning to the regular font for me to figure out what I had just read in pages and pages of italics. Did I mention that the story was excellent?
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Brita Addams, Jade Buchanan, Johanna Parkhurst, John Goode, RJ Scott, Sneak Peek, Tia Fielding

And Now, Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week!

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend (or had a fantastic one, for those of you in time zones where it’s already Monday). We’ve got a slightly shortened but busy week ahead, so here’s what we have on tap for you here at The Novel Approach.


MondayRJ Scott is here to give a little Bump and love to The Decisions We Make and to offer a great giveaway opportunity to one lucky reader.

TuesdayBrita Addams is stopping by on her “Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent” Blog Tour to talk a little bit about the book and her lifelong love affair with Hollywood.

WednesdayJohanna Parkhurst drops in on her “Here’s to You, Zeb Pike” Blog Tour to tell us a bit about herself AND she’ll be giving you the chance to win an E-copy of the book.

The ever lovely and delectable A.J Corza is going on hiatus until after the holidays. I know. Everyone join me in an “Awwww”. But never fear! She’ll be back after the first of the year.

Thursday – From all of us here at The Novel Approach, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving (or a Happy Thursday to our international friends)! We’re taking this day off to spend some time with family and friends. :)

FridayJade Buchanan will also be here to do a little Backlist Book Bumping of her novel Black Wolf, so be sure to stay tuned.

And John Goode will be back today with Part Three of his writing series: “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…”

SaturdayPiper Vaughn is coming over to scare the Christmas britches off of you with a Backlist Book Bump of “Zombie Wonderland”, and a giveaway.

SundayTia Fielding will be joining us on her Positive/Howl Sweet Howl Book Blast Blog Tour, so do plan to stop in and say hello.


And that’s it, plus lots of reviews for the coming week. Wishing you all happy reading! :)

Dreamspinner Press, John Simpson, Robert Cummings

“Rolling Thunder” Signals A Brewing Storm

“The past is a very determined ghost, haunting every chance it gets.” ― Laura Miller

BLURB: Budget cuts shuffle the decks of the Prince George’s County Police Department. Separated after years as partners, Hank Capstone and Patrick St. James find themselves having to make a new start. Assigned as a training officer, Hank takes on the tough task of showing hot, fit young rookie Jessie Morgan the ropes. Unfortunately, Jessie’s beauty is only skin-deep as he seems to have a habit of spouting homophobic comments to anyone who will listen. Still, Hank watches closely, figuring his rookie hides a deeper secret.

While Hank is distracted by his new partner, secrets from his past resurface. A former Iraqi general with a grudge against Hank arrives in the area seeking revenge. Does his appearance connect to a terrorist threat made against the local mall? Hank and Patrick must reunite to save the day.
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