RainbowCon

The Countdown To RainbowCon Celebration – Let The Fun Begin!


On April 17th through the 20th, authors, publishers, bloggers, and readers alike are all set to converge on Tampa, Florida for the first annual QUILTBAG convention, RainbowCon.

To kick off the fun, FIVE blogs have joined together to host a group of FORTY attending authors for guest posts, giveaways, and general merrymaking as we count down to the big day! Amethyst Daydreams, Hearts on Fire Reviews, Pants Off Reviews, Joyfully Jay, and The Novel Approach will each be hosting the event on alternating and some corresponding dates, so be sure you stay tuned in for the announcements. The fun starts tomorrow, March 1st, with author Zoe Lynne at Amethyst Daydreams, and continues on March 3rd right here at TNA with Sandrine Gasq-Dion, and March 5th with Michael Rupured.

Carrying on the merriment at TNA later in the tour, we’ll welcome:

• Grace R. Duncan
• Sue Brown
• HL Holston & Eleanor Bruce
• Kindle Alexander
• VJ Summers
• LE Franks
• Allison Cassatta
• Nicole Dennis
• K-lee Klein
• JR Loveless
, who ends the tour on April 16th! It promises to be a great countdown and a fun weekend in Florida.

Hope to see you there!

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Dreamspinner Press, Indra Vaughn, Reviewed by Tina

Indra Vaughn’s “The House on Hancock Hill” Is An Emotionally Engaging Read


“That casual kiss on my cheek would have meant nothing until recently; I realized I was in love with him. Not that ‘I love you, man,’ type of love. Nope. I was ass over teacup in love with my best friend. The ‘let’s get married and grow old together’ type of love.” – Summer Michaels


Title: The House on Hancock Hill

Author: Indra Vaughn

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Pastry chef and bakery owner Jason Wood bakes a mean chocolate soufflé, yet his love life keeps falling flat. He’d blame his past if he wasn’t trying so hard to avoid it.
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A.E. Via, Amira Press

A.E. Via’s “You Can See Me” Makes A Menage Relationship Work


“There’s none so blind as those who will not listen.” ― Neil Gaiman


Title: You Can See Me

Author: A.E. Via

Publisher: Amira Press

Pages/Word Count: 369 Pages (.pdf)

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Renowned Chef Prescott Vaughan was at the height of his career when a car accident leaves him completely blind. His fiancée leaves him in a state of desperation and depression. Prescott pines for love and happens to find it in his neighbor; male neighbor Dr. Rickson Edwards. Prescott never considered himself gay, but when Ric saves him, Prescott begins to view his rescuer differently. However, when Ric and Prescott have problems, Prescott seeks comfort from an escort but was unprepared for the sexy, southern, hotness that is Blair McKenzie. Prescott now has to choose between his two men…or does he?
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A.E. Via, Amira Press

Welcome A.E. Via And The “You Can See Me” Blog Tour And Giveaway!


Author A.E. Via
Title: You Can See Me
M/M/M GAY EROTIC CONTEMPORARY
WORD COUNT – 78,200
Release Date: February 07, 2014

Blurb:

World renowned chef Prescott Vaughan was at the height of his career. Right before he’s to leave for Paris to work alongside his idol, a horrific car accident leaves him completely blind.

His female fiancé leaves him in a state of desperation and depression. He pines for love, companionship, and so happens to find it in the form of his very sexy neighbor. Sexy male neighbor, Dr. Rickson ‘Ric’ Edwards.

Prescott’s not gay – at least he never considered himself gay – until Ric saves him from a date, gone terribly wrong. The two neighbors hit it off quickly and waste no time exploring and learning each other. Things are great until Ric begins to have his doubts about meeting Prescott’s many wants.
When Ric insist he and Prescott take a breather, Pres finds himself lonely and lacking again. Enter, male escort and aspiring chef, Blair McKenzie to fill the void.

In the meantime, Ric works on his issues that prohibits him from displaying the love he knows he has for Prescott. When Ric is finally ready and returns to claim Prescott he’s not sure that Pres can let go of the sexy, southern, hotness that is Blair McKenzie. After Ric has his own personal encounter with the sinfully sexy man, he can’t help but become entranced and crave more as well.

Pres soon realizes that there’s no need to choose between his two men, because when all three of them finally come together – grab a cold drink – the heat is going to go all the way up!

This is not your typical gay ménage romance. Everyone is not happy, skipping along, and loving life. These men are at each other’s throats. They live completely separate lives; fuss, cuss, and fight until they all realize exactly what the problem is…too damn much sexual tension.

Excerpt:

Ric leaned his head back against the elevator paneling and watched the numbers light up all the way to floor ten before his eyes drifted shut for the rest of the way. When the doors opened, he came face-to-face with Prescott’s Texan.

Fuck me.

Instead of the gorgeous prick getting on the elevator and leaving, the cocky bastard took a couple steps back and leaned against the wall on the opposite side of the hallway and stared openly at him as if he hadn’t a care in the world. His hazel eyes scanned Ric up and down, taking in his disheveled, stressed-out appearance.

“Do you have a fucking problem?” Ric growled, refusing to pretend to be cordial to the man even though he was a complete stranger and had done absolutely nothing to him.

The man had the nerve to smirk at him and shake his head as if pitying Ric, or perhaps throwing it in Ric’s face that he’d definitely had a better night than he had. Ric did try to hide his anger at knowing the man had slept with his Pres. Why the hell else would he be leaving at five in the damn morning? Unless he delivered newspapers or milk, he had absolutely no reason to be on this floor this time of morning. Bastard.

“No, I don’t have a problem,” he drawled slowly, making sure to put extra enunciation on the “I” part of his sentence. “But, obviously, you do. Or else you wouldn’t be scowling at me for no reason.”

“Fuck you,” Ric snarled, stepping just a little closer. He wanted to tear the man’s lips off for talking with that accent. Then he wanted to rip his hands off for daring to touch his Prescott. The man’s probably a male gold digger.

“Did you enjoy taking advantage of Prescott? Did you get what you came for?” Ric growled like a rabid animal three inches away from the man’s face, but he’d be damned if the asshole didn’t even flinch at his showcase of fury. No reaction whatsoever.

The Texan had one hand casually tucked in his jeans pocket, kicking back one side of his stylish blazer, while he lazily rubbed his other hand over his taut chest and washboard abs that showed through the thin material of his untucked dress shirt. Ric hated to admit it, but the man looked well fucked, and he wore it well.

“How could you do that to someone like him?” Ric fumed, and it took everything in him to control his rage.

If I hit him, no one would know. There’s no one around, no witnesses. It’d be his word against mine.
“I knew I’d peg you in less than five minutes.” The man spoke with one dark brown eyebrow cocked up. He ran his fingers through his bed-tousled dark brown hair and let out an exasperated breath.

“Excuse me?” Ric blinked.

“Now I know why you were too stupid to hold on to Prescott Vaughan. You were too busy feeling sorry for him. Instead of you seeing a brilliant man, a world-renowned, accomplished chef who happens to be one of the most talented men to ever set foot in a kitchen, you see a needy, helpless man. Ahhh. Now it makes perfect sense.”

“Don’t try to act like you know me because you don’t,” Ric growled, still trying to be mindful they were in the hallway of the floor that he lived on.

The Texan pushed off the wall and closed the few inches between them. His six feet, two inches of height had him eye to eye with Ric, and the man showed no fear. His handsome face was now a mask of furious anger.

“I saw you treat him like shit on the bottom of your shoes last night. I watched him beg you for five fuckin’ minutes of your time, and you spat in his face. Now, you have the audacity to say I’m mistreating him? Fuck you,” he snarled right back at Ric.

Just as fast as the man’s anger came, it disappeared, and he composed himself to reveal that smirk that Ric selfishly rejoiced Pres couldn’t see, because it was sexy as fuck…and the man knew it.

Ric watched his competition push the elevator button as he rubbed his hand over his morning stubble before speaking again. “You know what they say, don’t you, Doc? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Prescott Vaughan is definitely a rare, precious treasure.”

The Texan inched in even closer, which surprised the hell out of Ric since they were practically nose to nose. Ric was smacked in the face with a faint soap-and-water fragrance that made his eyelids flutter and his own dick jerk to life. Ric’s half-lidded eyes were riveted to the Texan’s plush lips as he leaned in and whispered directly into Ric’s open mouth.

“If you don’t pull your head out of your ass and claim Prescott Vaughan like he wants, I won’t stop until I’ve fucked the sexy strawberry ten ways to Sunday and there’s not a single trace of your existence left in his mind, because with or without you, he needs love, and I was the one there last night to lick his sweet tears when you walked away.”

The elevator doors opened at his final words, and the smooth Texan took a few graceful steps backward into the elevator and gave Ric a sexy wink right before the doors closed.

Fucking asshole, Ric thought.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon | All Romance eBooks

AUTHOR BIO:

A.E. Via is the new best-selling author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, A.E. runs a very successful paralegal-for-hire business and in her spare time, she devotes herself to her family – a husband and four children – her two pets, a Maltese dog and her white Siamese cat, ELynn, named after the late great gay romance author ELynn Harris.

While this is only her second novel, she has plenty more to come…so sit back and grab a cool drink, because the male on male action is just heating up!

Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on up-coming work, free reads, and where she’ll appear next.

Links:
Publisher | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

THE GIVEAWAY: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Harmony Ink Press, Reviewed by Tina, Winter Sandberg

A Very Public Love For Winter Sandberg’s “Private Display of Affection”


“…Not everything needs to be about sex. Just doing what you’re doing right now is fulfilling. Hold each other. Kiss for hours. Kissing is the best. It’s two souls communicating.” – Winter Sandberg


Title: Private Display of Affection (North Star #0.5)

Author: Winter Sandberg

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Hugo Thorson knows he’s gay, but coming out during high school is not part of his plan. His parents are open-minded, but Hugo doesn’t want to add more stress for anybody, especially his dad, who is fighting terminal cancer.
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Mischief Corner Books, Reviewed by Jackie, Toni Griffin

Toni Griffin’s “Protective Mate” Is A Story Of New Beginnings


“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ― Joseph Campbell


Title: Protective Mate (Holland Brothers #3)

Author: Toni Griffin

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Pages/Word Count: 50,250 Words

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Life isn’t meant to be easy, but for Zachary Bennet the last two years have been downright hell. The one shining light in his life, his precious daughter, Hayley. Deciding he needs a clean break, Zack gets a new job in a small town called Leyburn in the hopes they can settle down and live a peaceful life.
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Reviewed by Lisa, Samhain Publishing, Vaughn R. Demont

Vaughn R. Demont Strikes In The Same Place Twice With Lightning Rod (Broken Mirrors #2)


“Reality means you live until you die…the real truth is nobody wants reality.” ― Chuck Palahniuk


Title: Lightning Rod (Broken Mirrors #2)

Author: Vaughn R. Demont

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 312 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Always stand. Never fall.
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Dreamspinner Press, Susan Mac Nicol

Susan Mac Nicol’s “Waiting For Rain”, With A First Kiss And A Giveaway!


The Novel Approach is thrilled to welcome Susan Mac Nicol back on her Waiting for Rain Blog Tour. Read on for an excerpt, watch the gorgeous trailer, and see how you can win an e-copy of Worth Keeping or Waiting for Rain!

BLURB: The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.

Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.

Excerpt: a scene from Rain’s POV- their first kiss…

The next couple of hours were spent dragging equipment from the van into the bar room. Lucas and I were sweating like the condensation on an ice-cold Coke by the time we’d finished. I’d just finished straining to put down a particularly big saw blade. As I let it drop to the floor, there was a loud ripping sound, and I felt a cool breeze where no breeze should blow. Lucas broke into peals of laughter as he pointed at my back.

“Fuck, Rain, you’re showing your skin, mate. Your bloody shirt has just ripped in two right down the middle!” His hilarity was not only off-putting, it was also really not on. I was standing in the middle of a swanky hotel with a shirt on my back that was ripped in half, flapping like wings.

“Christ, what do I do now?” This denim shirt had definitely had its day. “I don’t have anything else to bloody change into.” I looked at Lucas in dismay. He was laughing so hard now the tears fell down his ruddy cheeks. I was going to get no help from him.

I growled at him. “I suppose I’d better see if I can find the manager or someone and see if they have a lost property section. Maybe they can loan me a shirt, or it’ll mean driving home to go get one. I don’t fancy that much.”

I walked to the door and down the corridor, shrugging my shirt off as I did so. I rolled it up into a ball, about to throw it in a rubbish cart in the corridor on my way to reception, when I heard a soft cough behind me. I turned to find a man about my age staring at me. His right eyebrow was raised questioningly, and his face was very polite. He was well dressed in a suit and tie, his mid-length dark-blond hair artfully mussed and gelled. He was lean and wiry and very bloody sexy. My groin twitched in interest. I gazed at him, and he gazed back warily.

“Sir, we don’t generally allow people to wander around the hotel shirtless. It’s hotel policy. May I ask what’s wrong?” His voice was quite deep, a mix of Cambridge posh and something else. I scowled.
“I don’t usually make a habit of walking around half-naked. Not in public in hotels, anyway.” The other man’s eyes narrowed slightly, and his nostrils flared. “I can assure you that if I had a choice, I’d still be wearing a shirt. It ripped in half, so it was no bloody good to man or beast. I was going to ask the management staff if they had an overall or something I could put on. Maybe something from lost property—I assume you have one of those?” I raised an inquiring eyebrow at him. He licked his lips. He had very nice ones, I noticed distractedly. Full and pouty, definitely good for kissing.

Christ, Rain, get a grip, man! Stop ogling the staff. I was twenty-eight years old, but I was acting like an adolescent kid.

“I see.” He moved forward and extended a hand. “Toby Prentiss. I’m the general manager here. I’m sure we can find you something to wear, Mr.…?” He raised his eyebrows again, looking very alluring, and I gave a mental groan.

It has definitely been too long since I’ve gotten laid.

“Rain Engel. I’m here to build the new bar you guys ordered.” I shook his hand. A slight electric current ran through my palm as he touched it. He pulled his hand away quickly. He tried hard not to stare, but his gaze seemed hypnotically drawn to my hairy, bare chest. I suppressed a grin. This could be fun. I felt the thrill of the chase. My instincts at spotting other gay men were normally spot-on.

“Rain? That’s an unusual name.” He swallowed as I moved a little closer to him. I wanted to test my theory.

“It’s a long story. My name is Reinhardt. It was shortened to Rhine, mostly. But my last boyfriend didn’t like it. He said it was too Germanic. So he called me Rain, and the name stuck.”

I knew I smelled rank, but I could still see his pupils dilate slightly. He nodded. He’d definitely noticed the word “boyfriend.”

“You have a slight accent too. Where’s that from?”

I moved a little closer, watching his lips. He seemed mesmerized by my slow dance forward. “South Africa. I was born in Durban, then moved over here when I was ten. Eighteen years ago. I never seem to have lost some of the accent, though.” I cocked my head at him. “Are we done with the inquisition? I’m getting a little cold.” I looked down pointedly at my nipples, which were indeed hardening—but not from the cold. He cleared his throat as his eyes were drawn to them, and his pale cheeks grew rosy. He looked absolutely fucking adorable. I felt the stirring in my groin and smiled slightly.

Chalk one up to me.

“Of course. Let me try and find you something to wear. I don’t think we have any overalls, but I do have a lost property section with some tee shirts and such. But if you’re worried about wearing someone else’s clothes, perhaps I might have something that will fit you….” Toby’s voice trailed off as I shifted my shoulders. His face fell, and he shook his head in resignation as he realized we really weren’t a match.

Not in that way, anyway.

“No offense, but I’m not sure your clothes would fit.” I shrugged. “Lost property will do just fine. Let’s see what you’ve got.” I wasn’t sure whether he took the double entendre in my words, but I think he did. He stared at me, nodded, and motioned at me to follow him. It was a good move. His arse was a really great fit in his fancy pants, tight twin globes that moved with every step he took. I enjoyed the view. I spotted his face in the mirror as we passed down the hall. He was smiling.

My first thought was, shit, he’s seen me watching. My second one was, God, he has a great smile.

“Are you ogling my backside?” Toby asked in amusement. “I kind of think you were.”

I gave the only comeback I could think of. “It’s a nice backside. Who wouldn’t?”

He looked back at me and grinned as he reached a wooden door in the hallway. He took a bunch of keys off his belt, chose one, and inserted it in the lock. The door swung open. The room was dark and musty. He flicked on a light switch and entered, muttering to himself as he checked shelves.

“I know there was a sweatshirt and a bunch of tee shirts that some guy left from the wine-tasting convention we had here about a month ago. And then there was a suitcase that was left behind which had some really good stuff in it.” He sounded envious. “It was all Pierre Cardin and designer wear. I don’t know how anyone could just leave that behind. Where the hell is that bloody stuff?”

I listened to him ramble, thinking I’d never heard anything so completely cute. Although Toby might have boxed my ears for describing him as “cute.” He gave a sudden exclamation of satisfaction and pulled out what looked like a dark-green tee shirt and a large red hoodie, turning to me with a flourish.

“Eureka. I thought….” His voice trailed off as I moved forward, closer to him, and breathed in his ear.

“Toby, you are the sexiest thing I’ve seen in months. And I really want to kiss you.” I hoped my gaydar was right, or I could be about to get decked or arrested for sexual harassment. His breathing deepened. Toby was about six foot and I was six three, and I found him looking up at me a real turn-on. His lips parted slightly, and I took that as a yes. I moved in quickly, pressing my mouth against his, feeling the warmth and softness as he sighed slightly and leaned into me. I forced my tongue against his lips, parting them roughly, sliding my tongue in to touch his, slicking it against the underside of his as he slicked back. In that small room, with the smell of unwashed clothing, my sweat, and his cologne, time seemed to stop, and there was only the taste of this man in my mouth and the hardness of his cock against my groin. I felt like exploding. It had been too long.

Toby tasted like coffee and warmth and pure sex. His breathing into my mouth drove me crazy with sheer want, and the movement of his lips and tongue on mine was expert, teasing. I cupped his backside in my hands, pressing him against me, feeling his body shudder against mine. Lost in the moment, I groaned when he pulled away, his lips wet, his eyes unfocused. I reached out a hand to pull him back, and he moved away.

THE TRAILER: Featuring the stunning and talented Andre Corey

FAN ART:

AUTHOR BIO: Sue Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. The first year Sue was back in the UK, it snowed on her birthday, as it did the day she was born in 19*coughs* and she swears this was England welcoming her back.

Sue’s career has mostly been in the financial services area and she specialises in what she calls ‘boring’ compliance and regulatory work. That’s why she escapes into the world of writing and fantasy where she chats to her characters ad nauseum and is overjoyed when they reply. It beats the monotony of legalese, contracts and legislation and let’s face it, writing hot scenes between men can only be rewarding.

Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group called the Talliston Writers Circle, whose ‘creator’ is a man who is both a Bard and a Shaman. It makes for a really interesting evening and dinner conversation. She lives in the quaint village of Bocking in Essex, set in the countryside and not far from the sea should she get the yen to eat oysters.

Find Susan on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

BUY LINKS:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Dreamspinner | All Romance eBooks

THE GIVEAWAY: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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B.G. Thomas, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Kim

There’s More Than Puppy Love In B.G. Thomas’s “Hound Dog & Bean”


“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ― Charles M. Schulz


Title: Hound Dog & Bean

Author: B.G. Thomas

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 276 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: There’s been little love in H.D. “Hound Dog” Fisher’s life since the death of his beloved mom when he was a boy. Bounced around the foster care system, he ran away as soon as he could… and took the foster dog with him. As far as he’s concerned, only dogs have no ulterior motive, never hold a grudge, and offer unconditional love. Now he helps run a no-kill shelter and leaves relationships where they belong: in the back room.
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A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd

She’s Baa-aack – A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered



If It’s Pretty…Pick It Up!

You know what I’ve noticed? *pauses for a moment, waves to everyone* Um yes, hi guys, it’s me again. *resumes speaking as if it’s only been minutes* I’ve noticed that there are a lot of covers out there that are visually stunning, and I’m sure have something to do with the story under said cover, but honestly if you were just looking at the picture and didn’t read the blurb, would you have any clue what the story was?

Did that make any sense? I’m thinking it might just be me. Admit it you missed my random babbling didn’t you?

Maybe it’s always been this way and I just now noticed but take for example the covers I chose for my return foray into ogling pretty pictures for your pleasure.

My first reaction? I love all of these covers and yet I have no idea what the story is inside.

None. Zip. Nada. I got nothin’.

However, that being said, I WANT to pick these books up and see what the hell is going on in them because THE COVERS ROCK!!!

Yeah, ok, we could make the argument that Paradox Lost by Libby Drew cover art done by Tad Aronowicz is maybe about genetics? I’m just going with the mathematics superimposed over the top and paradox lost makes me think that maybe they’ve figured out how to make clones? But you see what I’m getting at? I really don’t have a clue. However, it’s interesting enough to make me want to find out.

Filth written by and cover art made by M.King. The guy is half naked with a great body, the title hints at titillation, but yet the muted tones of the mudlike color overlay makes me think this is going to be a heart tugging, possibly gut wrenching fic. Yep, I’m sold. Hell, it could be about mud wrestling in the illegal farmland underground for all I know, but I want to investigate further!

And seriously someone has got to write a book about the dark seedy underbelly of illegal farmland mud wrestling. Any takers?

And we’re moving on.

Flare and Fusion by Posy Roberts with cover art by Anne Cain, are clearly from the same Trilogy. This is what you want your trilogies to look like, guys and gals.You’re clearly able to see that they belong to the same series even without reading the tagline that states it. And that’s what you want. Notice it doesn’t have to be the same pic on the covers. By using the same style of pic, in this case a large interesting photo, and then keeping the same fonts and placement of the entire format, both books are treated to their own unique feel without any worry of one obscuring the other. Again, at a loss as to what the stories are about, but I know that the covers would catch my eye long enough for me to think, hmmm, I wonder.

Rare by Garrett Leigh cover art by G.D. Leigh (who I’m guessing is also the author?), I’m thinking is not about a steak. Maybe a shapeshifter novel? Alien abductee? (I’ve been re-watching the X-files, sue me.) Maybe the man on the cover is ill? The picture is provocative. The coloring is sad and lonely yet like the picture, the slight splash of red hints at pain. The cracked font bold yet raw feeling. Combine all of that, and I’m gonna guess this is going to be a bare bones, hard to tear your eyes away, but keep the Kleenex handy, page turner. Again, it could be about a modern day Beauty and the Beast, but I’m guessing probably not. But don’t quote me.

And lastly, Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote cover art by Anna Siroska . I like this cover. It’s so simple, it’s not a deep thoughtful cover, and yet there’s something about the picture of the model that was chosen. Is he guilty? Is he trepidatious? Anxious? Thoughtful? He reminds me of a guy who works in the back of a restaurant, or maybe is a struggling artist? I dunno, but he’s interesting. The font is outstanding, the colors blend beautifully, and it’s just so understated and yet cool looking. This one would be a cool movie poster for some rom-com or LGBT based movie. Maybe coming-of-age. Funny how I said it’s not a deep, thoughtful cover and yet here I am, thinking.

My point is that with all these wonderful covers, even if you have no clue at all what the story is about, the covers make you want to buy them to find out. So go ahead, pick it up, or click the links, you know you want to read the blurb. At the very worst, maybe it won’t be what you were looking for but at the very best, maybe it will be a gem you didn’t expect.

This is me signing out, have a great day and may all the good books be with you!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

**On a side note I want to say that I and Lisa (the owner of TNA Reviews) try very hard to find the information for the artists connected to the covers, but sometimes they don’t have sites, or their publishing house doesn’t give them credit for some reason. I and Lisa even go so far as to email the authors/publishers in order to find out the artists who are involved so we can give them credit. I just wanted to clarify that when there are links missing such as the one for Tad Aronowicz on Paradox Lost, this is why. Not because we don’t fully support the artists. Cause we do!

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All Romance Ebooks, Carter Quinn, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Love Helps A Man Find His Way “Out of the Blackness”


“The marks humans leave are too often scars.” – John Green


Title: Out of the Blackness

Author: Carter Quinn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 361 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: A childhood of abuse has left Avery so physically and emotionally scarred he believes he shouldn’t be alive. His only sanctuary has been his relationship with his older foster brother Sam. Avery finally lets Sam convince him to start therapy to help overcome his crippling anxiety, but even that can’t prepare him for the upheaval caused by meeting Noah Yates.
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All Romance Ebooks, Josephine Myles, Self-Published

Please Welcome Josephine Myles And A Mini-view, Excerpt, And Giveaway That’s “Tailor Made”



TNA: We’re so pleased to have Josephine Myles dropping in as our guest today on her blog tour to promote the re-release of Tailor Made, in anticipation of the long awaited sequel, Custom Fit. Take it away, Jo!

Josephine: Hi, Lisa, thanks for inviting me over to chat about Tailor Made. :)

TNA: What made you decide to revisit this particular book?

Josephine: It had always been my intention to write a sequel, but I decided I wanted to wait to do so until it was out of the original two year contract with Amber Quill Press. This meant I could get a sexy new cover and a strong series identity for the two books.

Revisiting Tailor Made was essential to make sure I was prepared for starting the sequel (Custom Fit, out in the summer!), but I’d have wanted to anyway before self-publishing it. I felt like readers deserved the best I could write, and so I went through it all again with a fine-tooth comb, and paid for a professional proof-read to catch any errors that slipped through in the first edition.

TNA: As you went through your revisions, what things stood out upon revisiting that you wish you’d done differently in its original inception?

Josephine: Honestly, apart from minor things like word choice, there wasn’t anything I wanted to change. I’d thought initially that I might want to stretch things out and add a scene or two of Felix and Andrew getting to know each other before the first sex scene, but when I read it again I changed my mind. I think I’d just been influenced by a couple of reviewers who questioned how quickly Andrew gave in to Felix’s seduction. Reading it, though, I thought that was perfectly in character for a horny teenage lad, even if he was intending to save himself for Mr. Right.

I suspect some readers look for reflections of how they would have behaved in a situation, and I think men tend to be a lot less picky than women are about who they will sleep with, and how soon they’ll do so after meeting someone. Please feel free to argue with me on that in the comments—I know some men and women are different!—but as a general theory I’ve found it backed up by most men (gay, straight and bi) that I’ve spoken to.

Basically, I want my characters to read like “real”, everyday men, not like some idealised version of them. While I know I could appeal to more readers if I made them closer to the romance novel ideal, I have to write what feels true to me.

TNA: Did Felix and Andrew stand the test of time, did you find things about them you felt needed changed and/or perfected?

Josephine: I was very happy with both their characters, but what I did take issue with was my tendency to use overly complicated words and phrasing. While I could accept Felix using some pretentious words (he’d been studying academic texts about art, after all), I just couldn’t see them being part of Andrew’s vocabulary. I had him saying things like “dissonance” when he could have just said “clash”. That all needed cleaning up.

TNA: How did you come up with the idea for the story when you wrote it?

Josephine: The original prompt was for a college story, and I remember thinking I’d write one about an art student and a lecturer at university, because I thought the whole transgressive thing would be fun to write. But for some reason the arrogant art lecturer just wasn’t an appealing character, and I ended up making him into Saul, the antagonist in Tailor Made. Proof that even bad ideas have some uses!

Andrew was created as the perfect foil for Felix. Someone who values craft over the pretentiousness of conceptual art. At the time of writing I was frustrated at not being able to use my sewing machine, as I’d moved to a very small house in order to save money when making the gamble of going full time as a writer. There was no room to set up even a small table for dressmaking! I think Andrew sprung from that frustration, and my annoyance at myself for not having pursued dressmaking more seriously when I was younger.

TNA: Do you believe art should challenge perception and push the envelope?

Josephine: No. My issue there is with the word “should”. I take a craftman’s approach to art and I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with art intended purely for aesthetic appreciation, or indeed in art that is functional—making beautiful furniture, for instance. I don’t object to conceptual and abstract art per se, but I get annoyed when pretentious academic types hold that up as the purest form of art there is. I’m more a follower of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, who believed things should be both beautiful and useful.

Thanks for having me over to chat, Lisa, and I’ll see you at GRL in October!

Jo x

TNA: Thanks for being here, Jo, see you in Chicago!

BLURB: When Mr. Wrong measures up just right!

College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show, he’s planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. However, if he’s going to do this right he’ll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn’t shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.

First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only—and plans to keep things that way. Andrew’s determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn’t be more different from his ideal Mr. Right. There’s only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix’s body: a model for his end of year project. Trouble is, it’s going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew’s never had temptation quite so close at hand!

Buy Tailor Made in all e-formats at:

EXCERPT: Chapter Two

Felix was halfway down the art block corridor before he realised he hadn’t peered into Saul’s office like he usually did. He halted for a moment, contemplating heading back. Saul was usually in his office at this time of day, and Felix could always come up with some kind of excuse to monopolise his attention for a few minutes. But nah, he’d give up the pleasure today. After all, Felix was on his way to sort out his sexy suit, which would definitely catch Saul’s attention in the long run. Actually, doing it naked would have been the best bet, but nudity had been banned, just like the bodily fluids—which, contrary to what Andrew thought, hadn’t been entirely down to Felix’s coloured-watermasquerading-as-piss iceberg.

Last year, Grant deHavilland had grossed out every last exhibition goer by sitting at a wooden desk eating out of a catering sized jar of apple sauce, and then throwing up into a bowler hat after every fifth mouthful. The stench had been unbelievable. He’d called it “Magritte, Reconstituted.” Felix still hadn’t quite been able to figure out what the purpose was behind that little piece of subversion, but if it had been to annoy the university management, it had worked like a treat.

As he crossed the deserted quadrangle on his way to the textiles block, Felix wondered what on earth had possessed him to sign up for a degree at an institution that prided itself on conceptual art. He knew he’d been swayed by the sheer beauty of Bath the city, but he’d been offered other places. He could have chosen a university where his drawing and painting skills would have been fostered, but instead he found himself desperately thinking up new ways to shock the tutors out of their jaded, “seen it all before” attitude. What had been fun in his first year was becoming more and more like hard work, and the thought of moving to London and trying to make a career out of more of the same didn’t exactly have him jumping up and down with enthusiasm. Try as he might, he just couldn’t picture himself hanging out with Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin, swapping notes on the best way to pickle a sheep or embroider the names of all your past shags onto a tent.

Still, if there was one thing he was looking forward to, it was seeing Andrew again. Felix hadn’t been able to get the bloke out of his head all day. Every time he moved, his unfamiliar underwear reminded him of their impending meeting. How the hell did anyone ever concentrate on sport, wearing a jockstrap? There’s no way he’d be able to keep his mind on the ball—not unless it was one of the pair
currently being cradled by the silky fabric.

This time, when he pushed his way through the textile studio door, Andrew was waiting, leaning against the wall looking all neat and buttoned up in his blue shirt and flawless black jeans.

“Your top male model has just entered the building,” Felix announced as he twirled on the spot. Unfortunately he misjudged the closeness of one of the tables and ended up bumping into it. “Whoops! Better get practicing those moves, hadn’t I? Will you be wanting any mincing, because it may not come naturally but I reckon I can have a good stab at it.” He demonstrated with a hand on his hip and a pronounced pout.

Andrew’s lips gave a twitch, just like they had yesterday. God, Felix wanted to make this man smile. He’d look amazing happy. Everyone did though, didn’t they? Well, except Saul, who had smouldering arrogance down to a T and only ever gave cruel smiles.

“Let’s leave the catwalk practice till nearer the time. You don’t need to do anything outrageous.”

“But outrageous is my middle name, Andy-baby.”

“Would you stop calling me that!”

Felix grinned. “Whatever you say, sugarplum.” He shrugged off his leather jacket and threw it on the table. “Now, where do you want me? And I must warn you, I didn’t manage to get hold of a vest.”

Andrew huffed, but then drew in a sharp breath as Felix stripped off his T-shirt.

Felix turned around slowly, giving Andrew time to get a good look at his torso. It was a pleasant view, even if he did say so himself. Felix might not be a bulked up gym bunny, but he had a set of weights and made sure he put in a good hour’s work out a couple of times a week, and walking up and down all the bloody hills in Bath took care of the rest of his fitness regime. God knew how anyone ever managed to get fat in a city like this. Starving, carless art students certainly couldn’t afford to.

When Felix turned back to face Andrew he was delighted to see the want written plain in those eyes. They glittered with it, dark and demanding. Felix started on his jeans, flipping the buttons slowly, teasing.

“Please tell me you’re at least wearing underpants,” Andrew rasped, his voice a cracked parody of its usual tone.

“Oh yeah. Well, kind of. I think you’d have to classify them as that.”

“Bugger.”

© Josephine Myles – February 2014

The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Reviewed by Lisa, Samhain Publishing, Vaughn R. Demont

Vaughn R. Demont’s “Coyote’s Creed” Is An Urban Fantasy Worth Howling About


“It takes all kinds to make the world, right? Hell, you’re looking at a bisexual half-Coyote small-time grifter, and in the last week I’ve stolen, committed fraud and assault, and nearly killed someone. Who the hell am I to pass judgment?” – Vaughn R. Demont


Title: Coyote’s Creed (Broken Mirrors, #1)

Author: Vaughn R. Demont

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 273 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Always have an ace up your sleeve.
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Ari McKay, Reviewed by Sammy, Torquere Press

“Dandy’s Little Girl” Explores How Difficult Finding Love Again Can Be


“Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again you must learn to trust again.” -Nicholas Sparks


Title: Dandy’s Little Girl

Author: Ari McKay

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 103 Pages

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Blurb: Noah Coleman doesn’t do casual relationships.
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Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jackie, Xavier Mayne

Romance Meets Reality Television In Xavier Mayne’s “Husband Material”


“Maybe they’d turn every program on television into one of those reality shows.”

“That’s mostly done already, Harry.”

“Oh. Well. I’ve got to believe that the world is worth saving anyway.” ― Jim Butcher


Title: Husband Material

Author: Xavier Mayne

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Husband Material is a long-running reality show, where eighteen lucky guys compete for the hand of one lucky lady. Meet contestant number one, Riley. Since being left at the altar, he’s hit the gym to get into the best shape of his life. Now he’s in it to win it. Contestant number two, Asher, doesn’t really want the bachelorette; he needs the prize money for his sister’s cancer treatment. Asher’s upbeat personality brings Riley out of the funk he’s been in since his breakup. They make a formidable team, with one complication: Asher’s falling for Riley.
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Hayden Thorne, JMS Books LLC

“Arabesque” – The Inspiration And A Giveaway From Hayden Thorne


I. Inspiration
Several years ago, I stumbled across an odd, surrealist take on Sleeping Beauty called Briar Rose by Robert Coover. It was a post-modern retelling of the folktale that went well beyond the usual princess – prince – curse – one true love conquers all trope; in fact, it was a bitterly humorous take on the folktale. Cyclical and repetitive, it shows a helplessly trapped situation the three main characters find themselves in. The prince is caught in the briars. The princess is lost in dreams as she waits for her savior. The old crone’s caught up in the princess’ dreams, telling the girl never-ending stories that further feed those dreams. What blew me away was the fact that Coover also made use of several old versions of the Sleeping Beauty folktale that added a pretty disturbing layer to his retelling. Incest and rape come up the princess’ dreams. That ties with certain versions of the folktale in which the princess wakes up from a hundred years’ sleep and finds herself surrounded by babies.


Another book I discovered, adored, and was inspired by was Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, an anthology of feminist retellings of different folktales. Carter’s prose is difficult to slog through if you’re not used to it, but it works incredibly well in creating a certain atmosphere and tone in each story. Her stories are sensual, gothic, opulent, and somewhat angry. That last detail could be subjective. It was a tone I easily caught on to as I read every story, which was an exploration of female strength, oppression, and liberation.

In Coover and Carter’s books I discovered a different approach to writing folktale retellings. Things didn’t need to follow tried-and-true variations, and a writer can certainly venture down a different fork in the road. I learned that it was good to experiment with themes and tone while using familiar stories for my foundation.

II. Satire
Arabesque is a satire. More specifically, it’s a dark satire. Now our common interpretation of satire runs along humorous lines, and while that’s partly true, satire isn’t just comedy. From Wikipedia:

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.

There are two kinds of satires: light (Horatian), which is gentle and humorous, and dark (Juvenalian), which is angry and bitter.

Arabesque is the latter, and I wanted it to be the latter. I’ve never written satire in the Juvenalian sense, and it was an odd experience for me. I wanted to express my disgust toward reparative therapy, which was the primary goal for my writing Arabesque. Along the way, homophobia and misogyny were instantly woven into the story, and it was inevitable since these three items are, to me, inextricably linked.

And in order to pull that off, I needed to step back and use the omniscient point of view, showing what went on with different characters, both major and minor. That “zooming out” approach helped me maintain a distant – even cold – voice that I thought would work well in satire. I wanted the tone to be dry and matter-of-fact, sometimes with a touch of dark humor here and there, but still overall critical of what I’ve always known to be the hypocrisies behind bigotry and especially among proponents of reparative therapy.


III. Fairy tales within a fairy tale
The book uses a number of other fairy tales mostly in brief references except for Roald’s nightmarish adventures, which make use of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” in a longer and more detailed way. Traditional fairy tales are, unsurprisingly, awfully heteronormative, and it was that which inspired me to explore historical fantasy for gay kids when I started writing and publishing gay YA fiction.
In Arabesque, I wanted to show how those classic fairy tales can be used to break Alarick and Roald, how neither boy can be a part of those stories of grand adventures and true love because they don’t fit the bill. They’re gay. Sucks to be them. If they don’t see themselves reflected in those stories – stories from their childhood, stories they’d always held dear – it could only be because these tales favor the status quo, and if they wanted to be deserving of hope, redemption, and edification, they needed to change their behavior. Or, according to the cursed cottage, they needed to grow up and get over themselves. After all, homosexuality’s only a phase.

IV. Hybrid of mythology and folktale
I chose 18th century Germany for the setting as my way of honoring the Brothers Grimm. We usually associate fairy tales with the Middle Ages, with the romantic images of elaborate headdresses and robes. But I prefer the image of 18th century court life as well as the 19th century bourgeois and the 19th century poor for my fairy tale settings. 18th century court life is much more excessive in terms of visuals compared to the 19th century, so I stuck to that period. Exploring the increasingly out-of-control decadence and corruption of Lambrecht’s court tied in with images of tall powdered wigs, hoops, lace, satin, etc., and it was rather fun juxtaposing immorality and hypocrisy with finery and wealth. I’ll admit that it was an odd, somewhat unnerving headspace to be in, considering I’ve never written anything that purposefully attacked and ridiculed certain behaviors and mindsets. But I wanted to do it; I wanted to express my disgust toward reparative therapy in a story. Treading unknown waters was a way of testing myself as a writer. In the end, despite the doubts, I found that I enjoyed stepping outside my usual comfort zone, and I wouldn’t mind doing something like this again.

The three goddesses who figure largely in Book Two were inspired by Greek and Roman Mythology. When I first self-published this book, I took the German words representing each goddess and turned them into names: Kummerene, Weisheitta, and Liebella. For the second edition, I dropped those names and simply gave them their corresponding English identities: Grief, Wisdom, and Love. Roald’s adventures, while a form of reparative therapy, are also allegorical once we figured those goddesses into the mix. You can certainly read them literally as goddesses representing grief, wisdom, and love, but you can also interpret them a different way. Are they all part of Roald? Or do they come from people who surround him? Alarick’s adventures are a lot more straightforward, but I wanted to keep Roald’s a little more open to interpretation.

V. Blue roses
I love blue roses. I love their symbolism. In Arabesque, they’re everywhere, and they represent impossible dreams. There’s not much to say about them other than they’re very much a part of the setting as well as a recurring little detail that says something about the principal players (and two minor ones): Ulrike, Amara, Alarick, Roald, Trennen, Wilmar, and even Grief herself. Whether it’s about reclaiming their humanity (Ulrike and Amara), surviving the darkest times to live and to love (Alarick and Roald), finding acceptance (Trennen and Wilmar), and looking past one’s cursed existence and feeling empathy for others (Grief), these characters are up against a number of odds stacked up against them. There’s redemption in the end, and it always seems to be impossible, just beyond their reach. It’s this struggle that the blue rose represents.

VI. Final word
I initially wrote Arabesque as an experiment. It was my first attempt at pure (dark) satire, at an omniscient point of view, and at a sustained dry tone. It was also my first attempt at self-publishing a book. The second edition’s been trimmed down quite a bit and also cleaned up with the help of an editor. But the lesson I got from this remains. It’s scary stepping outside one’s comfort zone, but it’s necessary, I think. I feel more confident in tackling stuff like this further down the road. I love knowing how many options I have in telling a story, and I feel I’ve grown as a writer from this experience. And even if I were to not write another book like Arabesque, at least I can look back and reassure myself with the thought that, once upon a time, I set out to do something I’d believed to be risky and unreadable, and I did it. It might turn off more readers than attract them – I can’t say for sure, but that wasn’t my goal when I wrote this book. In this sense, I can safely say that Arabesque would be my most personal book to date.

BLURB: An ambitious young princess, Ulrike, turns to the dark arts in order to become queen despite her younger sister’s warnings of a fatal consequence to mortgaging her soul. She succeeds, yet Ulrike finds herself trapped in a hateful marriage, her mind slowly being devoured by her powers, while conceiving and giving birth to a boy.

Alarick — “the bastard prince” — becomes the court’s favorite object of mockery because of the scandal of his conception, his mother’s spiraling madness compounding his ordeal. When Alarick falls in love with a childhood friend, Roald von Thiessen, the added sin of an unnatural romance gets caught up in a tumultuous aristocratic environment that’s rife with hypocrisy, cruelty, betrayal, and murder.

Forcibly separated from each other during a bloody uprising, Roald and Alarick become helplessly ensnared in nightmarish adventures designed to twist their characters and destroy their minds in the process. The young lovers fight for their souls and a way back to each other in a world weighed down by the forces of dark and light magic, and gods grapple with each other over mortal destinies.

Arabesque is more than a gothic, homoerotic retelling of the Snow White folktale. It is at once allegory and a darkly satirical account of contemporary issues such as misogyny, homophobia, and the process of reparative therapy.

Author Note: This is not a work of Young Adult fiction and is intended for a mature audience.

Arabesque was reviewed in February of 2012 HERE

The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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All Romance Ebooks, Marshall Moore, Reviewed by Kim

Marshall Thornton’s “The Ghost Slept Over” – In Which Things Aren’t How They Seem


“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue.” – Carl Sagan


Title: The Ghost Slept Over

Author: Marshall Thornton

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 236 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: When failed actor Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his famous and estranged ex-partner he discovers something he wasn’t expecting…the ghost of his ex! And, worse, his ex invites Cal to join him for all eternity. Now. As Cal attempts to rid himself of the ghost by any means he begins to fall for the attractive attorney representing the estate.

Will Cal be able to begin a new relationship or will he be seduced into the ever after?
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Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Lisa, Riptide Publishing

There’s A Sexy And Pretty Romantic “Payoff” In This Market Garden Tale


“Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending.” ― George Eliot


Title: Payoff (A Market Garden Tale)

Author: L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 57

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Tristan and Jared have got it made. When they aren’t raking in the cash together at Market Garden, they’re burning up their own sheets and getting closer by the day. But something isn’t right. Tristan’s on edge, and Jared doesn’t understand why.
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JJ Black, Reviewed by Jackie, Totally Bound

Enemies And A Sinister Plot Keep The Pace In JJ Black’s “Accepting the Alpha”


“The unexpected always happens.” – George Bernard Shaw


Title: Accepting the Alpha (Great Lakes Wolves #1)

Author: JJ Black

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 145 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Can an Alpha wolf convince his straight mate to give love a chance, before an unexpected enemy tries to rob them of all they hold dear…even their own lives?
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Dreamspinner Press, Jay Northcote

An Interview With Jay Northcote, An Introduction To “Not Just Friends”, And A Giveaway!



TNA: Hello, Jay, many thanks for being here with us today. We’re thrilled to have you visit.

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.

Jay: Well… as well as writing, I also own an online retail business and run a choir, so juggling my time between those other commitments is a challenge. I have two school-age kids, so have to fit being a mum into my schedule too. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for hobbies. But I read a lot (of course) and try and make sure that I work out regularly because I need it for my sanity!

TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance, or is that something you began exploring only recently? What is it that compels you to not only read but write about M/M relationships?

Jay: I only started writing fiction about four years ago. I became interested in writing after reading fanfiction and felt inspired to try it for myself. My first story was m/f, but my second one was slash (m/m) and I never really looked back. It’s what I love to write. I still don’t really know why, exactly. I think the reasons are incredibly complex—for me anyway. I’d probably need several hundred hours of therapy to unpick it all *grin*

TNA: Speaking of reading, do you recall the first M/M book you ever read? What was it, and how did it influence your views on the romance genre?

Jay: I guess the first one I read in the modern gay romance genre would either have been Hot Head by Damon Suede, or maybe Scrap Metal by Harper Fox? I can’t remember which order I read them in. I loved both of them, although they’re very different writing styles. I was thrilled to find that there was stuff like that out there, because although I still love fanfiction I really enjoy the variety of original fiction in the m/m genre.

TNA: What is your concept of the ideal romantic lead? Do you feel your men need to be terribly flawed in order to be perfect?

Jay: Not really, no. I do like some flaws in a character, because it makes them feel more realistic, but I don’t need them to be really messed up. That’s not to say that I dislike flawed characters at all, but I don’t need that for me to be able to love them.

TNA: If you could go back in time to the moment you sat down to begin writing your first book, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

Jay: Stay grounded and put your mental health before your writing. Take time to do things that make you feel good about yourself. Because when you’re stressed, exhausted and anxious you can’t write anything coherent anyway.

TNA: Let’s chat a little bit about your new book, Not Just Friends. Will you tell us about it and how you came up with the idea for the story?

Jay: The novel is very loosely based on a short piece of fanfiction that I wrote a couple of years ago. I wanted to go and back and expand on the simple trope of roommates to lovers. Once I started making notes on it and fleshing out the bare bones of the story, it was clear that it was going to end up as a novel. I find it really hard to say exactly where my ideas come from because sometimes it’s very hard to pin down. This story grew very organically in the planning stage, and once I started writing it just flowed.

TNA: Describe Lewis and Max for us, if you will. What are they like, and how does the relationship between them develop?

Jay: Lewis is fairly quiet and self-contained. He’s not super shy but is cautious in his dealings with others. At the start of the story Lewis still assumes he’s straight—he had a girlfriend all through sixth form at school and was happy to fit in and be what everyone expected him to be. His unexpected feelings for Max take him by surprise.

Max is very different to Lewis. He’s open about his sexuality and doesn’t take any shit from people. He’s also quite snarky and funny. He was a lot of fun to write.

Lewis is immediately drawn to Max and his crush soon develops into full on puppy love, particularly after he finally acts on his feelings. But Max is less sure at first, because he’s wary of being an experiment for Lewis.

TNA: Did either of them give you trouble as you were writing their story, not wanting to cooperate with where you saw them going? If so, which one and how so?

Jay: They both behaved pretty well for me. Lewis was very easy to write (the story is all written from his POV and he was quite predictable in his reactions). Max surprised me a little in just how vivid and ‘present’ he was. Right from the first bits of dialogue I felt that he was taking the reins and I was just going along with it. It was pretty cool actually. I have never felt that level of connection with a character before and Max holds a really special place in my heart as a result.

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from the book with us?

Jay: This is a scene from the first night when the boys move into their student flat together:

Lewis sat back in his chair and looked around at the four guys he’d be living with for the next year. They seemed pretty cool so far, and he figured he could have done a lot worse. His gaze caught on the little black studs in Max’s ears, where they stood out starkly against the pale lobes.

Max’s lashes flicked up as he raised his gaze from the drink he was pouring and caught Lewis looking. Lewis looked away quickly.

“So how many girls have you shagged then?” The conversation had turned to sex and Dean cut straight to the chase.

Lewis’s ears burned hot as a blush flooded his face and neck. The question wasn’t aimed at him, but he knew he’d have to answer eventually. They’d already done the rounds for what age they’d lost their virginity, and Lewis had already seen how persistent Dean was about getting answers.

“My magic number’s five,” Dean continued, his voice loud and a little slurred from alcohol. “But I had a girlfriend for most of Year 12, otherwise there could have been more.”

Andreas answered three, Rob two, but neither elaborated on their replies. All eyes turned expectantly to Max, who was sitting on Lewis’s right.

He lifted his mug and took a mouthful of tequila before fixing Dean with a cool stare as he calmly replied. “Only two, but I didn’t really like it. I prefer boys, personally.”

Dean choked on the brownie he was currently chewing on. Andreas smacked him between the shoulder blades, a little overenthusiastically, and in the ensuing confusion he knocked over the bottle of tequila, which thankfully had a lid on at the time.

Lewis shot a sidelong glance at Max and saw his perfect face lit up with a grin that was pure mischief.

“Are you really gay?” Rob asked him. “Or are you just messing with him?” His tone was interested rather than shocked or challenging.

“I’m really gay.” Max shrugged. “But I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make Dean inhale his brownie. And in the spirit of equality, I’ll answer the question anyway. I’ve had sex with two girls, and with several guys, depending on what we’re counting as sex for this discussion. I know you straight boys are all about penetration. But I’ve had penetrative sex with four people.” He grinned. “Does that mean I win?”

Dean had just about recovered now, and he looked grudgingly impressed as he wiped his watering eyes. Lewis chuckled along with the others. Max had definitely won that round.

TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the books you’ve written so far, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?

Jay: I would have to say this most recent one—Not Just Friends—for some of the reasons that I’ve already mentioned above. The story was so much fun to write because it flowed well and I never really got stuck.
I also felt I did the best job I could with it. It’s only my third book, but I learned a lot through the editing of my first two stories and I hope that the result is something even better this time. I’m really proud of it, so I hope it will hit the spot for readers too.

TNA: If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would you choose, and why do you think s/he’s someone who should exist outside of your imagination?

Jay: Well, Max seems like an obvious choice because he’s so much fun and is utterly adorable. But I’ve already talked a lot about him, so I’ll give one of my other favourite characters a mention. Jamie in Nothing Serious is another character that I’m particularly fond of. He’s a gentle giant, sweet and passionate, yet very modest and lacking in self-confidence because of his dyslexia. A lot of my readers loved him too and wanted a Jamie of their own.

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

Jay: The best part is when it’s working: the story is flowing, the characters are talking to me and I almost feel as though they exist somewhere outside my imagination and I’m just bringing them to life. That feeling is pretty much the best thing in the world for me as writer.

The worst is the opposite. On a bad day I feel blocked and stifled and every word is a struggle. Then even if I manage to crank some out I usually hate them.

Luckily I have more good—or at least in-between—days than the bad ones!

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

Jay: Over the years I’ve experimented with both, and have come to the conclusion that I’m more of a plotter. I get too stressed out when I try and pants (Can that be used as a verb? It can now!). I’m far more likely to abandon a story if I don’t have at least a clear outline.

Having said that, I’m always happy to veer wildly away from my outline if my characters drag me off course. But overall I find that I’m more productive and get a story written faster if I have a fairly clear idea of where it’s going.

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

Jay: I’d like to be able to dematerialize and appear somewhere else. I love travelling, and I have friends all over the world and am always frustrated that it’s so expensive to visit them.

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

Jay: I’d like to see real dinosaurs—but from a safe distance please. I have a son who is a dinosaur geek so I’d have to take him with me.

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

Jay: I have just completed and submitted another novella, but I don’t want to say too much about it until I know it’s going to be published in case I jinx it! I also have two short stories in the pipeline that will be published in anthologies from Dreamspinner Press. One will be in the Juicy Bits anthology in April, and the other will be in the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology in June.

I’m at the planning stage for my next project at the time of writing my answers to these questions, but hopefully I will have started by the time this blog post goes up. That’s the plan anyway, the goal is to get it drafted by the Easter holidays.

TNA: Many thanks again to Jay for spending some time with us.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED


BLURB: Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis is not prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max—given that Lewis had always assumed he was straight. Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction.

When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. But after a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends. Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents, and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends.

Not Just Friends is available at Dreamspinner Press





ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

LINKS:
Website: http://www.jaynorthcote.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jay_northcote
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Jay’s books: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_953

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A.F. Henley, Less Than Three Press

The “Second Star to the Right” Is Where You’ll Find Love


“For to have faith is to have wings.” ― J.M. Barrie


Title: Second Star to the Right

Author: A.F. Henley

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Pages/Word Count: 43000 Words

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Be it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel.
Continue reading

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A.E. Via, A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Hayden Thorne, Jay Northcote, Jayson James, Josephine Myles, Lynn Kelling, Sneak Peek, Susan Mac Nicol

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Hi again, everyone, I hope you’ve all a great week and quiet weekend filled with lots of great reading. Thanks for stopping by to see what we’ve got in store for you in the coming week. We’ve got some first time visitors to TNA headed our way, and are excited for the return of some old friends, so here’s what we have on tap:

MondayJay Northcote is our guest on her Not Just Friends Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway of an e-copy of the book.

TuesdayHayden Thorne drops in to tell us about the re-release of her book Arabesque, and she’s offering an e-book giveaway.

WednesdayJosephine Myles comes calling on her Tailor Made Blog Tour today, so be sure to stay tuned for her visit.

And, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Yes, A.J. Corza returns today with “Got You Covered” and a review of some great cover artwork.

ThursdaySusan Mac Nicol has a new release from Dreamspinner Press, Waiting for Rain, and she’ll be stopping by on her blog tour to talk a bit about the book.

FridayA.E. Via is our guest on her You Can See Me Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway.

Saturday – The Absolute Write Blog Tour stops here, and there’ll be a giveaway of the anthology.

Jayson James is also back today to talk about his newest release, T.E.D., and to give away an e-copy of the book.

SundayLynn Kelling is our guest today on her Twin Ties Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway.

And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Guest Contributor, Kingett Reads

Kingett reads Basketball Jones chapter 5



In chapter five of Basketball Jones everything gets heated as the plot blazes into a startling and suspenseful kick off. You are so not prepared for what’s going to go down. Intrigued? It’s time for Kingett to read Basketball Jones.

Right, I am jumping right into this chapter because this is the chapter that things blast off from, and this is the start of what I’m sure will be a psychological roller coaster that will have me gripping the edges of my earphones and yanking on the pads.

There’s also huge development in this chapter as well, dealing with Drey and AJ, but I will get to that sweet spot in a bit.
Continue reading

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A.F. Henley, Less Than Three Press

AF Henley’s “Second Star to the Right” Blog Tour Lands Here Today, And There’s A Giveaway


Welcome to the new visitors of the tour, and hello again to my returning friends. As I’ve been explaining throughout, Second Star to the Right is a romance story about a man seeking to define himself, an escort caught between the desire to find connection yet keep himself grounded, and how the brilliance of love can be the brightest light in dark skies if we’re willing to let it burn.

So… in an effort to attempt something a little different for this blog tour, I decided it might be cool to connect with you, the reader, and explain how I define myself. I sent out a call, asking “Inquiring Minds” to throw some questions at me, and offered to do my best to answer them. Let’s light up the sky together, and hopefully have a little fun in the process…

(Be sure to read through to the end for details on the release, as well as a chance to WIN your very own ebook copy.)

vinvalen asks: As someone incredibly prolific in your writing, I always wonder where you find your inspiration! <3

Henley replies: First of all, thank you. That’s very nice of you to say so. Some days I feel more prolific than others, most certainly. As for your question, I don’t get inspiration from any one thing. I wish I did – that way I could just hit up whatever it is whenever I’m looking for a mental boost. Inspiration can come in the form of a person that I know, a problem that I’m dealing with, a prompt from a friend or an open call, a picture of a man with a seemingly happy smile but hauntingly sad eyes, something from my past that’s started to gnaw at me from out of the blue, or a set of stairs that gives me a moment’s pause. If it hits, it’s stuck there until I finally write “The End.” And on the other side of things, if there’s nothing, man, oh man, there is nothing. I can’t force an idea to grow.

I tend to feel like I just wander along with an open mind and something in the Universe throws out a story tentacle, and then forces that tentacle up one of my nostrils whether I’m interested in it or not. For example, I used to swear that I’d never write about vampires. I, obviously, was a great big ‘ol liar. More recently I sat down and wrote an eighteen-hundred-word plot synopsis for a new novel, start to finish, about characters I’d never thought about, in a world I didn’t know, and a story that I couldn’t even figure out the point of until I wrote the last line.

Drawboy7 asks: You just typed the very last word of a new novel. What are your thoughts then?

Henley replies: There is a ridiculous amount of relief in typing out the words “The End.” It is, however, a short-lived moment of gratitude. Once you’ve been through the process once or twice, and you have a handle on what happens next, you know, in that moment, that the next few weeks are going to be emotional hell.

See… the elation of completion is immediately followed by the self-loathing that takes place while you run through your own personal editing process, and do your best to convince yourself that it’s not all a bunch of hogwash. Or, if necessary, that it is and needs some major revision.

That feeling is quickly replaced by the angst of submitting. Waiting for a reply can be all-consuming and gut-wrenching. (God, they have some issues with it. No, they don’t like it. They actually hate it. They hate me. They hate my whole family! Why do I do this for a living? I’m obviously terrible at it! Oh, hey, is that an email…)

Then comes the official editing process. Now, I’ve been lucky. I’ve had supportive, considerate, reasonable editors. However … I also have a tendency to, well … wax poetically. As the gods are my witness, nothing slices deeper in the soul of a creator than the emotional turmoil of having to accept the beheading of one’s flowery prose. (See what I mean?)

After that comes tour planning, blog writing, dealing with those first few reviews … Terrifying process start to finish. Knowing what’s coming next can definitely put on an edge on the joy of finishing your newest work.

Christopher D asks: Do you have any causes that are near and dear to you?

Henley replies: Cause (noun): a principle, aim, or movement that, because of a deep commitment, one is prepared to defend or advocate. (Thank you, Google.)

That’s a surprisingly tough question to answer. Mostly because my “causes” tend to jump from day to day, depending on whatever’s got me riled most at that given moment. In other words, there are a lot of things I’d be more than happy to pick up a sign for. The problem with causes though, is that I’ve got to an age where the black and white of my beliefs have bled into grey. I can’t stand on a soapbox and scream about things without pointing out that there is, indeed, a level of responsibility and some kind of a cap to how far things can be pushed. For example, I’m all for freedom of speech, as long as your speech isn’t hateful or destructive to somebody else. I think everyone should have the right to live their life as they see fit – as long as they aren’t hurting anyone or anything in the process. Worship the God of your choice, but don’t try and shove your beliefs down anybody else’s throat. I could go on… but I promise, I won’t.

That being said, if I was standing in front of some kind of pearly gate, and being asked to recant the things I did to make the world a better place, to recite the principle aim that I committed myself to, I’d probably tell the petulant angel staring at me over the rim of his glasses, that I chose to preach the gospel of Universal Connection and do my best to offer the world a tiny taste of romance to the tune of “Happily Ever After.”

Bet you weren’t expecting an answer quite that cheesy, were you? :D

Second Star to the Right
By AF Henley

Be it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel.

Mason can’t resist. After all, who wouldn’t be interested in a guy who loves kid’s movies, is a self-professed Peter Pan, and has no problem throwing caution to the wind at a moment’s notice. But then interest quickly blooms into a whole new emotion—an emotion that Mason knows far too well, especially when Jack has no interest in returning it, preferring to keep his heart safely tucked away in Neverland.

• Word count: 43,000
• Pairing: M/M
• Content: Contains some explicit content.

Purchase Link

About the Author:

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.

Find me at:

AFHenley.com
Goodreads
Less Than Three Press
Amazon
twitter

The Giveaway:

As a thanks for reading, I’m offering up an ebook copy of Second Star to the Right, in the format of the winner’s choice. Simply leave a comment below to be entered in the draw.

And! As an extra bonus! All participators in the blog tour giveaway will AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED in a future-dated contest for a signed print copy of the novel, and a genuine Swarovski pendant, hand-picked for Second Star to the Right significance. Stay tuned to any of the above-referenced AF Henley sites for details.

Rules:

• Please ensure The Novel Approach has a way to notify you of the win.
• Contest is open from now until March 2nd, 2014.
• Winner will be picked using a random number generator.
• By commenting below you guarantee that you are legally able to accept the prize.

~*~

A huge thank you to The Novel Approach for having me today, as well as to the readers, friends, associates, and followers who stopped by to take part. Here’s hoping you have an awesome and adventurous day. And off we go…

THE E-BOOK CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

:D

AF Henley <3

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