Giveaways, Sue Brown

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Rogue Wolf Blog Tour with Sue Brown

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Sue Brown on The Rogue Wolf blog tour. Enjoy Sue’s guest post, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $15 Amazon or ARe Gift Card and 2 further prizes of Sue Brown e-books. Contest deadline is 27th November at 00:01 GMT.

Good luck!

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For a pantser like me, writing a story arc is an interesting process. When I write the first story I have no clue about the world-building ahead of me. The characters leap out whether I plan them to or not. Some minor characters demand their time in the sun, and some roll under the table and are never heard of again. I decided to be more organised with Sapphire Ranch wolves and plan in advance. *hangs head* I can honestly say that I’ve not managed to stick to single word of that plan.

I have a vague idea of who the last two books are about, but somehow I managed to throw in an additional wolf. You’ll have to read The Rogue Wolf to understand. That’s a hint to buy it, you understand. Does that mean I have to write a sixth book or do I stick this wolf in a box marked ‘not this time’?

Zeke and Owen’s story isn’t finished. Zeke has a request, and he’s not going to be happy until he gets it. I plan on their happy ever after, but it might have to wait until they’ve taken out the hunters. Oh lord, that might take another five books.

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The Rogue WolfBlurbWill Owen submit, or will the lone wolf run?

Shifter Owen Pope is a bitter man, a lone wolf, banished by his pack for defying his Alpha. He survives day by day, working as a laborer, sometimes living for months as a wolf. On the borders of Sapphire Ranch, he catches a scent that calls to his wolf as he hunts.

Then he’s cornered, trapped with nowhere to go, and Owen realizes to his horror that the delicious scent belongs to the human pointing a gun right between Owen’s eyes.

He escapes, only to be confronted by two wolves, and his world is turned when he realizes one of them is a shifter from his former pack. Owen has so many questions but he’s not sure he’s going to like the answers.

Zeke is huge and fierce to his co-workers in the Cavalry, but he has one desire; to protect Owen and create a life together. Will Owen submit, or will the lone wolf run?

Buy Link: Love Lane Books

The Sapphire Ranch Wolves series

#1 The Last Wolf

#2 The Hidden Wolf

#3 The Rogue Wolf

#4 The Forgotten Wolf (to come 2016)

#5 The New Wolf (to come 2016)

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Excerpt: Under the cold full winter moon, Owen padded through the fields, now devoid of sheep or cows, and contemplated his options, limited though they were. He could smell something ahead but he couldn’t identify what was teasing his senses. Suddenly he froze, one paw in the air. A tall—no, huge—dark-skinned human, dressed in black jacket and pants, faced him, a high-powered rifle pointing between Owen’s eyes. The human seemed equally still, his eyes locked on Owen. Then he lowered the weapon. Owen managed to recover his senses enough to back away, not taking his eyes off the human who seemed to be the source of the glorious scent. He had the oddest feeling—like the human didn’t want him to leave.

Owen turned and fled, his senses on high alert. As he ran into a clearing Owen spotted two wolves ahead of him. They hadn’t seen him yet, too busy playing like young pups. He should warn them about the human with the rifle.

What the hell are two wolves, two shifters, doing here?

They noticed him and stood rock still, the three of them at an impasse. Owen made the first move, retreating backwards into the darkness. They could take their chances. He breathed a sigh of relief when they didn’t follow him, but it was short lived as he contemplated the identity of one of the wolves. They weren’t the first wolf shifters he’d met since his banishment, but none of the others had been from his previous pack. He would have to move on now he’d been discovered. What was Cal Pope doing here, so far away from home? Owen had questions. Lots of questions, but he wasn’t sure he was going to like the answers.

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Sue BrownAbout the Author: Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. Sue discovered M/M romance at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favourite television series. The kissing was hot and tender and Sue wanted to write about this men. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

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THE GIVEAWAY

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
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5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, HelenKay Dimon, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing

Review: Stranded by HelenKay Dimon

StrandedTitle: Stranded

Author: HelenKay Dimon

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 155 Pages

At a Glance: Oh heavens, this was a good book!

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Brax Hughes lived hard and retired young to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Well, that was the plan, but before he can hang up his sniper rifle, he has one last mission: win back Kyle Cabe. Brax wants another chance, wants to come clean, but after months of lying to Cabe, he knows he could face a bullet — or worse — when they meet again. And they will meet. Brax made sure of that.

With a storm moving in and someone lurking outside the cabin, time is running out. Brax needs to talk fast and keep his weapons ready. And his best weapon is the truth.

* * * * * * *

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

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Review: Do you like military style men with intriguing stories to tell? Then you will love this book like I did!

How do you describe Cabe and Brax… They are intense, male, alpha, dominating, controlling, broken, fierce, passionate, powerful, and consuming. These two men NEED the truth they find in each other, but they both have trust issues and control issues, and it is painful but oh-so-worth-it to watch them work through them.

Kyle Cabe was a product of the foster system; if it taught him anything, it taught him not to trust anyone. Ever. It was that lesson that makes him such a great operative and keeps him alive. That is, until Brax Hughes, another operative, wormed his way inside Cabe’s walls. Of course, then Brax shot and tried to kill him. Now Cabe is retired, as retired as a man can be from the business, and he wants to fade into anonymity and find peace.

Brax wants to retire also. After all, he is supposed to be dead. But Brax has one last mission, and that is to make sure that Cabe knows the truth of what happened that day he shot him. How does he convince the only man he has ever loved that he shot him in order to save him? These men’s lives are built on carefully crafted lies, and to get to the heart of them is a convoluted story full of intrigue, with missions gone bad and good intentions gone wrong. The passion between the two is never in question and, oh my, the sex is hot, but these two men have big obstacles to overcome, and the largest obstacles are inside themselves. I highly recommend this book!

HelenKay Dimon has dipped her toe into the M/M genre before, even though she mainly writes M/F, but all of her books are intense romances about intense people, and the attention to detail is what makes them so freaking good. I hope she produces more for the M/M genre, as it is greatly enhanced with her presence.

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You can buy Stranded here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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5 Stars, Anthology, B.G. Thomas, Dreamspinner Press, Eli Easton, Genre Romance, Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Spirit by Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding, Eli Easton, and B.G. Thomas

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Spirit (Gothika: Book Four)

Authors: Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding, Eli Easton, B. G. Thomas

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 260 Pages

At a Glance: Four top-notch authors have once again created an incredibly well written anthology with stories that are both entertaining and thoughtful.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Seeing dead people. Haunting and being haunted. Ghosts and those trying to deal with them add a supernatural flair to these four tales of romance. 

In Among the Dead, Neil Gaven sees dead people. A gentle ghost guides him to Trist, who needs his help. But Trist is tormented by spirits, so maybe together they can find a way to live among the dead.

Dei Ex Machina is the story of Sabbio, a Roman slave who was killed 1700 years ago. He’s been alone until he meets landscaper Mason. But because they’re separated by centuries, it will take a miracle to make love work.

The Mill brings a supernatural challenge to Frank Carter and his team of paranormal investigators. The owner’s personal psychic, Toby Reese, is supposed to help. Frank doesn’t have much respect for psychics, but when the dangers of the old mill threaten his team, he realizes he and Toby will have to work together to survive.

Mike Ellsworth finds himself suddenly deceased. Now he’s a ghost with lots left undone in Unfinished Business. He’s never been able to be honest with his wife. He’s never been able to tell the man he loves how he feels. He’s barely been able to admit he’s gay. If only there were a way he could make up for all he’s failed to do….

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Review:   There is a new Gothika anthology out, Spirit: Volume Four, and this time it has a supernatural and ghostly bent. Four top-notch authors have once again created an incredibly well written anthology with stories that are both entertaining and thoughtful.

The Mill by Jamie Fessenden:

Our first story is an incredibly well-crafted tale about paranormal investigators and psychics. Drawing from historical fact about the many horrific warehouse fires that took place in the early 1900s, the story focuses on an old sewing factory that burned to the ground with over one-hundred souls locked inside. Since then, Hawley Textile mill has attempted to house other industry, but most recently, plans were made to demolish the old building and turn the land into a shopping mall. However, several unexplained injuries and setbacks caused any renovation or demolition to come to a screeching halt.

The current owner, elderly Mrs. Hawley, has hired a paranormal investigative team to come in and debunk or verify the idea that the building is haunted. While visiting her favorite psychic, she also enlists his help to check out the site. When Frank Carter and his team begin to investigate, his little brother sees something on an upper floor of the building. Before any of the team can move to help him, Louis runs screaming from the large hall and falls down a flight of stairs. While he only suffers a concussion and a broken leg, for some inexplicable reason Louis slips into a coma-like state, and nothing the doctors can do seem to wake him up. Around this time, Frank and his team meet up with Toby Reese, and the general reaction is a lot of skepticism and even a bit of hostility. However, Frank slowly begins to understand that Toby is the genuine article. Not only that, but feelings long dormant are stirring in both Toby and Frank, and now they must team up to confront whatever is haunting the factory–and hope they come out unscathed.

What an incredible story. The pacing, the charged atmosphere that permeated every scene in the abandoned factory, and the growing attraction between Toby and Frank made for an exciting tale all around. Ghost stories are tricky things, and to make them raise that tingly feeling along your spine takes some real dedication to making the story as believable as possible. I really enjoyed how Jamie Fessenden used the distrust between the science of paranormal investigation as opposed to the “feelings” of the psychic. Setting up this foil between Frank and Toby made each supernatural moment in the story just that much scarier and more realistic. This was one of those types of short stories that I would love to see in serial form with many more adventures for this paranormal team. Rating: 5 stars

Dei Ex Machina by Kim Fielding:

In her story, Dei Ex Machina, Kim Fielding offers up a story of second chances. Focusing on two men–one corporeal, who has recently lost his husband, and the other one, who has lived in limbo for hundreds of years–this author brings the two together in a lovely story that focuses on the healing and redemptive power of love.

Once upon a time, centuries before Mason ever walked the earth, a young slave named Sabbio was taken from his home and forced to work on building a majestic palace in a small coastal town called Split.  When he died, he did so without ever understanding what real love is, without ever feeling the touch of a lover’s hand, and without ever fully realizing how love transforms a person. Because of that, Sabbio was destined to live a life in darkness, in a terrible form of limbo where he would often forget who he was and what he had once been. When he is able to pull himself from the dark pit, he walks the small town of Split to which his spirit is forever chained.  One day he sees a young American man, Mason. Mason is still grieving several months after his own husband was shot down on campus grounds where he worked. Having the one man he loved ripped from his life has left Mason empty and hurting.

As the days progress on this vacation Mason has agreed to take with his brother and friends, he will become increasingly aware of the feeling that someone is watching him. Little does he know that a chance encounter with one of the locals will lead to his dreams of being able to love again becoming a reality.

More than a ghost story, Dei Ex Machina, speaks of an instant connection, a spark that only one person can provide for another. That spark leads to recognition and, in Mason’s case, to a second chance at love. When two wounded hearts come together there is often healing, but Kim Fielding goes one step further in the story. Not only are Mason and Sabbio destined to be together, they discover they are the one thing that completes the other, they are soul mates.

This delightful story is complete and total fantasy, and I dare you not to fall in love with its two main characters. Rating: 4 stars

Among The Dead by Eli Easton:

In the third offering of this wonderful anthology, author Eli Easton gives us Among the Dead.

After a near fatal accident while windsailing, Neil finds himself with a brand new ability: that of being able to see dead people–spirits who are not yet at rest. At first he thought he was crazy, and after some intensive therapy, he realizes that the knock on his head has actually left him with this very real and horrifying ability. In an attempt to save his sanity, slowly but surely Neil becomes a recluse, only leaving the house every first Tuesday of the month for a check in with his boss at his IT job. Other than that, he has little interaction with the world around him.

On one such Tuesday jaunt, Neil sees a man in a bowler hat. Unlike other spirits, this man seems calm, slightly sad, and desiring to somehow communicate with Neil. At first Neil is terrified, for right after his accident he did try to help the spirits that he saw, sometimes with disastrous results. So, when this gentleman appears in Neil’s apartment, he decides to engage him in conversation. After many attempts, Neil is finally able to understand what the man wants. There is someone who needs Neil’s help; someone who Neil had seen before the accident, at the local park. When he agrees to help the man, the comfortable, quiet life he has been enduring will change forever.

This story had quite the shocker of an ending, but the ride getting there was really sublime. Neil was so cut off from everything and everyone after his accident. Alternating between the thought that he was insane, and grappling with the reality that he could see dead spirits, Neil coped by simply choosing to shut out life as much as possible. When he finally decides to help Trist, at the prodding of the ghost in the bowler hat, he is overjoyed to finally find someone like him–someone who also interacts with the spirit world. The instant attraction, the need to cling to one another, and the reality that neither of them is alone anymore is so incredibly beautiful. While the transition into lovers is rapid, it is also utterly believable. This was such a sweet story about finding your soul mate and defying all odds to hang on to him forever. Rating: 4.5 stars

Text by B.G. Thomas:

The last thing Mike remembers is that stupid text, the one that now has him walking the earth as a dead man–or nearly so. Prior to the accident, Mike had lead a double life. For years he has denied that he is gay; instead, he runs a successful business alongside his trophy wife. And for the last year, has been meeting the one person he really loves, Joel. Having met at one of Mike’s seminars, Joel and he have been meeting clandestinely every time Mike can get into the city. In fact, it is Joel who Mike is texting when he accidentally runs that red light and loses his life…sort of…

You see Mike is now seemingly brain dead, on life support and running out of time. He must somehow reach out to both Joel and his wife to let them know how he feels. He must set things straight before he passes on. But will there be time?

B.G. Thomas writes the most compelling story about what is most important in our lives, and the foolish way we have of taking it all for granted. By writing the character of Mike, the author hits the reader hard with the idea that any second may be our last, and we must live life to the fullest, be honest with those we love and never, ever take our eyes off the prize–love.

One should not look at this short story as just an advert against texting and driving—although it is a very strong reminder of just that idea. No, there is a bigger message here. While we watch those who Mike loved, and who loved him in return, agonize over things that were left undone and words of love that were left unspoken, we are forcibly reminded that every second of our lives counts. Now the question remains, what will you do with that very important message? Rating: 5 stars

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You can buy Spirit here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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4 Stars, Mythology, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Jennifer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, T.A. Chase

Review: Pestilence by T.A. Chase

Amazon

Amazon

TitlePestilence (The Four Horsemen: Book One)

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 170 Pages

At a Glance: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in a romance novel? Yes, please!

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: For Pestilence, the White Horseman, love becomes the most powerful cure.

Having lost his wife and child during the Black Death, Pestilence accepts the fate destiny has given him as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. For centuries, Pestilence did his job, spreading plagues and disease around the world. He does it to keep the balance between good and evil, yet he hates every minute of it. He longs to be left alone, but suddenly fate seems to have a different plan for him.

When Bart Winston stumbles into an Amazon clearing, he’s terribly ill and sure he’s going to die. A tall white-haired man with unusual black eyes catches him in his arms and Bart’s life takes a turn into the unbelievable. Blaming the whole situation on his illness might have worked, but as he gets better and learns about the strange man who heals him, Bart must accept there are more things in the world than he ever guessed.

Pestilence and Bart heal each other, and begin to wonder if there can be a future for the White Horseman and the mortal he’s fallen in love with.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released under the same title. It has been re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

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Review: It’s not often you find new books about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but every time I find one, I have to snatch it up. I’m not sure why exactly, but the mythology/legend/whatever you want to call it about the Horsemen has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s my love of post-apocalyptic fiction or dystopian societies that draws me to them, but I know when they show up, the end is near and everything is about to go from bad to worse, and I’m thrown into the societies either collapsing from their presence or struggling to overcome them. A few years ago I read a fantastic YA series that reimagined the Four Horsemen by drawing teenagers suffering from different problems into the roles. I adored it. I never thought I would find m/m fiction with the Horsemen. But here we are!

This first book is about Pestilence. In life he was an Italian doctor during the bubonic plague. After losing his wife and son, he commits suicide and is thrust into the role of Pestilence. He exists to bring plagues to mankind in order to maintain the balance between heaven and hell. But after several hundred years of doing this, while Pest is settled in his role, he’s far from happy. How could he be with what he does? Spreading plagues is the exact opposite of what he did when he was alive. When Bart literally stumbles into him in his home in the Amazon, Pest is drawn to the man suffering from an unknown disease. While he first attributes the attraction to the potential for finally helping a human, the attraction changes into desire, and soon he is lusting after his ward. And the feeling is mutual. Despite his illness, Bart is drawn to the white-haired, black-eyed man named Pestilence.

What follows is a story of love and redemption. Pestilence needs to find a way to forgive himself before he can let himself love—and be loved.

As the first book in the series, it clearly follows the first of the four horsemen who ride. Now, in religious mythology the first horseman on a white horse is more frequently known as Conquest, but there have been some changes, and he is more often known in pop culture as Pestilence. War and Famine do not make an appearance at all, but Death does, because Death rides with them all as the “de facto leader” of the Horsemen as Pest calls him. Also involved is Lam, one of the lambs of God. He’s the messenger for Death, and is more or less unwillingly dragged into helping Bart.

Each character is well developed and I loved reading about them. They each display distinct personalities. Though he isn’t in the book too long, I loved Lam and his desire to both help and please as well as fight against Death’s request. Pest does his job well, but when he’s not needed, he retreats to the Amazon, obsessed with finding cures for diseases in the undiscovered flora of the jungle. Even if he can’t cure people, he still needs to maintain his role as a doctor. And poor Bart, dumped in the jungle—literally—by an ex who used him for his research and then left him to die from an unknown disease; he unwittingly bumps into the one person who literally causes disease in anyone he touches with his hands, and has to rely on him for help. Of course, he doesn’t know Pest’s true nature, and it takes a long time for Pest to reveal it as it goes against the rules of the Horsemen. Then, when this unknown disease starts to spread, it’s up to Pest and Bart to stop it before it reaches epidemic levels that will upset the balance of the world, and the rider of the white horse must use his abilities for good rather than ill.

If you’re like me and you find reimagining mythology great reading, I highly recommend this book. I’m thrilled that I’ll also be reading and reviewing the next three books in the series. So watch out for them!

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You can buy Pestilence here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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Rodion Rebenyar, The Prose Speak

The Prose Speak: With Author Rodion Rebenyar

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We’re so pleased to have first time visitor author Rodion Rebenyar join us today to introduce himself and his work to you.

Welcome, Rodion!

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No case of mistaken identity

No temporary phase I’m just going through

Not something I’ll grow out of in time

Not a choice

Not by accident

Rather by design

I like boys on purpose.

                                                      — from BOYS ON PURPOSE: A Collection of Poetry,

                                                                    Prose and Stories with Decidedly Gay Overtones

Available for purchase at Amazon

Having stumbled into writing not on purpose, I have discovered that authors count on several factors to attract readers. Naturally the quality of our writing is foremost, and our ability to hold the reader’s interest ranks high on the list. Having an attractive book cover also pulls in many more interested parties, and it can also boost sales.

As a voracious reader, I found that a clever title always worked well for me. Using a familiar phrase or set or words in an extraordinary way never ceases to fascinate me. I began playing with words and deconstructing familiar phrases to come up with a title for my first book. I felt I had latched onto something catchy when I composed several gay-themed poems. One of the shorter ones is featured above, and three words from the last line became the title of my first collection, self-published in April 2011.

For my second book, I wanted to continue on the same theme: a story with decidedly gay overtones. And I wanted to make it my story, but fictionalize it to a greater extent. I harkened back to three words from my poem: “not by choice.” I began to ponder why so many people outside the LGBTQ community insist that homosexuality is not something a person is born with, but a choice. I thought back on various ways our community has been maligned: Anita Bryant’s pro-family campaign of the 1970’s, the fears surrounding the first cases of AIDS in the 80’s, and ongoing issues of same-sex marriage and transgender rights worldwide.

In each of these levels in the struggle, I watched opposition forces try to demonize our community. Their attempts only served to galvanize us more each time. So our choices are within the lifestyle. As I developed material for my novel, I considered the choices I had to make, the conditions I had to weigh in moving forward in my life. Having to conform to a Leave It to Beaver model confused me as a kid. Even as a young adult I still had doubts: why was I different? Why didn’t I have positive role models to help me grow and mature? I reflect some of the perils in this excerpt from chapter five of THE CHOICES WE MADE: A Story of Gay Friendship, Love and Tragedy – Amazon

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My mind travelled back again to visions of how stoic and jaded all those little cocksuckers at the party had acted. I’d have bet anything that they had suffered the same humiliation I had as they were growing up. I could not imagine it any other way.

I shuddered as I recalled all the spat-upon cafeteria lunches I had endured. Recalling my bashed-in hall locker with the words PUSSY and YOU DIE FAGGOT scrawled across it still pains me today.  Taunts, jeers as well as veiled threats were  made  right  to  my  face.  And all the while no one lifted a finger to help me, the  school administration least of all.

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Author BioAll of my self-published books are featured on my website: crowbird52.wix.com with links to the purchasing sites. Both paperback and Kindle formats are available.

My spouse is an also an author, and I must credit him and several writers gatherings in the Sacramento, California area for allowing me to accompany him to their meetings, getting me involved in “free writes,” and continuing to encourage me in my literary workouts which, as most of my fellow authors know, can be as strenuous as doing something similar at the local gym…if not more so!

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Boys-On-Purpose-CoverBoys On Purpose: Poetry, Prose and Stories with Decidedly Gay Overtones: A collection of poems, prose and stories with decidedly gay overtones and a nostalgic bent.

Boys growing up in the United States during the 1950’s and 60’s has little, if any, information about being “different.” There was literally no one to turn to for advice or encouragement. If anything, the dictates of the culture and societal pressures made them feel insecure and outcast.

In this first-published collection, Sacramento-based writer Rodion Rebenyar has complied a variety of poems (written specifically for and with those who don’t normally like to read poetry in mind), prose and stories which highlight one boy’s journey through this turbulent decade. It is a time of discovery, terror and ultimate victory over body, mind and soul.

Mature readers will relate to much of what is discusse here. It will make them laugh, cry, relfect and perhaps feel uncomfortable at times.

Younger readers may gain insights from this collection and come to the conclusion that growing up gay in the United States hasn’t changed that much in half a century.

The collection is illustrated with many magazine covers and ad copy of the era, plus a series of classic cartoons by artist Richard Steen (all of which seem tame by today’s standards, but which were highly controversial at the time they were published in male model and physique magazines).

Buy Link: Amazon

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Choices-We-Made-final-frontThe Choices We Made: A novel about true friendship overshadowed by the choices, both good and bad, made by several young gay men during an eight year period encompassing the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

You’ll be seduced by Damian’s sophisticated charm, won over by Jeremy’s good looks and debonair “Southern fried” style, fascinated by Tim’s weird and kinky proclivities, struck by Tony’s undying devotion, confounded by the stark contrast of Kofi’s willingness to serve and comfort to Carlos’s passion for domination and control, confused by the strange duplicity of the ostensibly straight guy Marcus, cringe at the ins and outs of being a roommate with Keith and Ernie, not to mention being amused by the narrator’s self-styled “den of iniquity,” admiring his often wise and frequently zany parents, laughing at his campy sidekick Randall, marveling at the effervescent Uncle Frank as well as a host of others from various stations in life.

The author reflects the tastes, attitudes and styles of the times, in addition to highlighting several significant events which made headlines for the gay community, both in positive and negative ways (the Anita Bryant controversy, religious and moral intolerence, AIDS, urban challenges, fashions and fads — just to name a few).

The reader will come away with understanding and sympathy reflected in the experiences of true-life characters in a world which existed not that long ago and is worth recalling with pride, affirmation and dignity.

We truly have come a long way in THE CHOICES WE MADE!

Buy Link: Amazon

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Giveaways, RJ Scott

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Accidental Hero Blog Tour with RJ Scott

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author RJ Scott back to The Novel Approach to chat about her newest book in the Sanctuary series, Accidental Hero. She’s also giving the chance for one lucky reader to win some great prizes, which includes a $15 Gift Card from Amazon or ARe, plus 2 further prizes of an ebook from RJ’s catalogue. Competition closes 4th December – midnight GMT.

Good luck!

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It’s always so hard to come up with ideas for blogs but this time I thought I would explore bits of my favorite spy/action/buddy movies, given that Accidental Hero is a bit of both.

My favorite car chase is from The Matrix. The suspension of disbelief is vital in all the Matrix films. You have to fully immerse yourself in the concept of nothing being real, and hence carnage on the roads in any action movie is okay. I love the car flying into the helicopter scene in Die Hard (can’t recall which one… lol) and I adore James Bond parking his car remotely into the rental shop.

There is something about flipping cars, and speeding, and the cool way the directors slow down the point of impact. Very clever special effects.

In Accidental Hero there is a car chase, and I wrote it, realizing I wasn’t able to describe the terms, get to the gritty of it. So I called on my petrol-head husband and he detailed the car chase that I then took and added to… so when you read the car chase, remember that at the core of it is a Ferrari loving petrol-head.

Do you have a favorite car chase?

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Accidental HeroBlurb: Chicago Cop Simon Grant and Sanctuary operative Cain Brodie, have to be the heroes of their own stories, just to stay alive.

Everyone wants Chicago cop, Simon Grant, dead. Armed with an address, he is on the run and heading for Sanctuary, only to end up at the wrong end of a gun. Is it possible the tall amber-eyed man holding the gun is actually going to be able to help him?

Cain Brodie is in charge of Sanctuary’s new Chicago office, C-Tower. His well organised administration day takes an unexpected turn when he has a man wanted for murder right in his gun sights. Thrust into a situation he has no control over suddenly he needs to be the one in control.

Accidental or not, Simon and Cain have to be the heroes of their own stories, just to stay alive.

Buy Links Can Be Found HERE

Sanctuary Series:

Book 1 – Guarding Morgan
Book 2 – The Only Easy Day
Book 3 – Face Value
Book 4 – Still Waters
Book 5 – Full Circle
Book 6 – The Journal Of Sanctuary One
Book 7 – Worlds Collide

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Excerpt (Chapter One)Everyone wants us dead.

Cops. The entire Drugs & Gangs team. Varga. Any of them, all of them, they all want us gone.

Simon Grant crab-walked backward, reaching the wall and curling his knees up so that he was as far away from the body as possible. Blood pooled in a macabre circle of scarlet, spreading almost to his feet. What was left of Jamie Harrington’s face was toward him, and Simon couldn’t look. He closed his eyes tight, aware the sight of broken skin and shattered bone would never leave his memory.

I’m telling you, we should talk to someone outside the precinct.

The last words Jamie had said just a day before. Mere hours before Simon had found this tableau of blood and gore, laid out before him.

A noise had him plastering himself against the wall, belatedly realizing it was he himself who had made the sound, halfway between a groan and a keen of denial. Horror had nausea rising and he tried to breathe to calm his gorge, but all he could smell was cordite and blood.

“I should have—” not said a fucking thing to anyone. Simon finished the harsh words that had begun out loud and ended inside, where he knew he would keep them forever.

He pushed his hand through his hair, anchoring his fingers in the length of it, blood smearing his skin. Then he crawled over, the wetness of blood soaking his pants, and felt for a pulse.

Jamie had half his face missing, his dark hair and skull matted, and one of his eyes blasted away… no face.

He’s gone, and I checked for a fucking pulse.

Simon froze in place. A gun lay in the blood, obscenely black against the red, just inches from Jamie’s outstretched hand as if he’d been reaching for it, looking up at his attacker and hoping to hell he reached the police-issue gun before he was killed. Why had it been left?

For fuck’s sake, think. Analyze the situation.

Was Simon supposed to pick it up, put his prints all over it? Was the killer watching, waiting for him to fuck up, waiting for him to be blamed for the death of his partner?

He had to box away the horror, push aside the shock and grief, and think.

He counted down from five and considered what next. The apartment was on the second floor. Whoever did this could be waiting or coming for him next; there was a gun in the blood, and Jamie was dead. What if it wasn’t Jamie’s gun? Simon looked around the otherwise spotless room, grabbed the nearest bag he could see—a brown grocery bag—upending it. The apples and cans inside spilled into the scarlet on the wooden floor. Had Jamie been out shopping? Did his murderer follow him home?

Just to one side, a bouquet of red roses lay half in and half out of the pool of blood. The white paper they were wrapped in had darkened in places; petals lay on the ground, weighed down by blood.

Simon used the grocery bag to pick up the gun. Long strings of sticky scarlet linked the gun to the floor for a moment and Simon pushed back sickness again. He’d seen death before, but never one that hit so close to home.

He turned his head to get some fresh air from the open window. The sound of sirens closing in was enough to have him leaving the apartment, turning left instead of right, moving to the back of the building and the way he knew he would be able to get out. Going up instead of down, he made it to the roof in record time, only a little winded. The gun was in the bag, pushed firmly into a pocket of his jacket.

He stepped back right near the edge and centered himself. Counting in his head again, he sprinted toward the next building and jumped the six-foot gap, landing and rolling onto solid roofing on the other side. He fell heavily on the gun, shoving it into his ribs, but he’d made it across and that was no mean feat.

The exit plan had been formed amid teasing and laughter over beers at Jamie’s last get-together for colleagues, on that clear Chicago night.

“You’ll never make it across,” Jamie had said on a belch. “Your short ass and stubby legs will have you tumbling into the alley. You’ll end up in a dumpster, and don’t think anyone’ll come get your stinking body.”

Simon had shoved him. “Five ten is not short, asshole.”

I can’t think of Jamie now. I made it over.

He looked around for somewhere to hide the gun. No way was he getting caught with it. He shoved it into the air intake, pushed it a long way back to a small shelf area. Done.

Why am I even keeping it?

“Because there may be other prints, or a trace, or something,” he answered his own question. “If it isn’t Jamie’s gun, we might be able to….”

To what? Why did you take it? Are you stupid? You took evidence?

With stealth he made his way across the roof and to the stairs, taking them three at a time and landing lightly on the first floor. From there he took a joining walkway to yet another apartment block and finally left that by using the fire escape, stopping only to scrub his face to clear away any blood. Finally he joined the crowds walking the sidewalk with purpose. They parted before him, some acknowledging him with nods, others bypassing him, and some shooting him guilty looks. A couple cursed him as he walked against the flow, but no one stopped him. No one shot at him, no one shouted. There was no recognition of who he was inside the uniform.

He was just another Chicago cop on the beat. Nothing to stand out. As long as he walked steadily and with resolution and didn’t break out into a panicked run, no one would look twice past the badge.

At soon as he could, he stepped into business premises—a coffee shop. He went straight to the bathroom, washed his face and his hands properly, then looked critically at his uniform. There was blood there—Jamie’s blood—but the dark blue of the uniform was enough to cover it. He pulled out his cell and stared at it for the longest time. It was nothing special, but it had all his numbers in there. Including Elliot’s. It also had a GPS chip that could be traced. No way was he calling anyone or reaching out.

He fingered the card in his pocket.

“Here, if you need anything…”

Elliot had told both him and Jamie. Promised them a place where they could get help. Even at that moment Simon had placed his faith squarely in the cops he served with, Jamie as well.

“This is bigger than just you two,” Elliot told them.

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RJ ScottAbout the Author: RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Mercy Celeste, Reviewed by Karen, Self-Published

Review: Out of the Blues by Mercy Celeste

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Amazon

TitleOut of the Blues

Author:  Mercy Celeste

Publisher: Self-Published

Page/Word Count:  219 Pages

At a Glance:  If you are already a fan of Mercy Celeste, you need this book. If you haven’t read her yet, I think this would be a wonderful place to start.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: Whoever said you can’t go home again should change that to should not go home again. As in EVER!
Mason Foxworth swore on his grandmother’s bible never to return to the small Georgia town he sort of grew up in. And for eight years he’d succeeded in keeping that promise. Until his twin sister decided she needed to get married…back home…and she’d invited their parents. Wasn’t this going to be a just a fabulous weekend?
Since leaving the Marines, Kilby Adams rarely ever left his farm and now here he was in Georgia, as best man at his stepbrother’s wedding. Out of his comfort zone and with too many people that he doesn’t know Kilby has nothing to keep his mind off the past except the gorgeous brother of the bride.
And wouldn’t you just know it, there was only one room left at the Inn and Kilby would have to share it, with Mason, who was straight and….yeah, this was going to be one hell of a weekend.

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Review: Back in February I was gifted a book. It was one of Mercy Celeste’s books, and I loved it!  Since then, I have proceeded to buy every one of this author’s books that I could. I haven’t gotten them all yet, but I will get there. She is absolutely on my list of auto-buy authors.

I am usually not a huge fan of angst or tear-your-heart-out books—truthfully, I have enough tears in my real life and reading is my escape from that—but I can honestly say I have no problem picking up a book by Ms. Celeste, knowing it is going to rip me to shreds. The stories are really just that good, and Out of the Blues is no exception.

There is a lot of drama going on in this book, multiple difficult issues addressed, and crazy family to deal with, but it is done so wonderfully.  And, boy oh boy, can Mercy Celeste write some hot scenes. As much as I enjoyed all of the developments and the relationship between Mason and Kilby, the relationships they had with other characters were almost more enjoyable at times. The relationships with their siblings were sweet and made me even more grateful I am close to mine.

Then, when Mason’s dad shows up and he tells him about Cody, I was a hot mess. I was actually a hot mess through multiple parts of the book, but luckily I remembered to put my Kleenex next to me while I cuddled up on the couch for hours to read. I couldn’t seem to force myself to put this book down.

I don’t know what to say without giving away parts of the story, but really if you are already a fan of Mercy Celeste, you need this book. If you haven’t read her yet, I think this would be a wonderful place to start.

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You can buy Out of the Blues here:

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3 Stars, Genre Romance, L.A. Witt, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing

Review: Rain Shadow by L.A. Witt

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Amazon

Title: Rain Shadow (A Bluewater Bay Novel)

Author: L.A. Witt

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

At a Glance: All in all, another solid addition to the Bluewater Bay series.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Jeremy Rose came to Bluewater Bay to work as Anna Maxwell’s bodyguard, not to escape his increasingly bitter relationship with his estranged kids. He just wants to focus on his job and be alone for a while. He’s done with love, especially now that three years after his long overdue divorce, he’s got a front-row seat to the rapid deterioration between Anna and her girlfriend. Cynical doesn’t even begin to describe him.

Then Anna and Leigh’s attempts to reconcile put him in the crosshairs of marriage counselor Scott Fletcher. Scott’s exactly what Jeremy needs right now: gorgeous, hot, horny, single, and 100% uninterested in a relationship. The problem is, too much no-strings-attached sex — and too much time in each other’s company — inevitably builds emotional connection.

Except Jeremy refuses to seek counseling for his broken family, and Scott refuses to get seriously involved with men who work dangerous jobs. They both need to realize they can only hide for so long from the pain they came here to escape. They must face their pasts before they lose their shot at a happy future.

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Review: Normally I love mature romances – give me two older men in love every time.  I like that older men have more of a backstory to tell and that they have established lives, aspects that are generally not a part of the storyline for younger characters. However, when the “start of life” storyline is taken away, then you have to come up with a reason why these men are still single and what their particular angst is going to be. For this story, it is the death of a previous partner for Scott, and a divorce for Jeremy. The storyline with Scott is heartbreaking, and you can totally understand his unwillingness to get close to another man.

For Jeremy, though, his divorce haunts him every day, and I think it took over the book. And, not in a good way.  Jeremy spends too much time blaming himself for the condition of his family, and his ex-wife and children are happy to let him have all the guilt and responsibility. When I finished the book I felt like I could go on and on with just how much was wrong with the way those relationships were written. This book was a bit of a dichotomy for me.  I loved aspects of it and I hated aspects of it.

However, I loved the romance between these two men. Jeremy and Scott have both loved and lost, and they approach their “just sex” agreement in a mature, seemingly rational way. Unfortunately, the heart is rarely rational, and the comfort and sense of belonging these men find in each other is amazing. Neither wants a relationship, but they cannot deny the ease with which they fit, like two adrift puzzle pieces that are finally placed home.

I really wanted to like this book as I have read all the Bluewater Bay stories, and thoroughly enjoyed them, not to mention I am usually a big fan of L.A. Witt, but this one is a fifty-fifty for me.

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

 

You can buy Rain Shadow here:

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4 Stars, DSP Publications, Jamie Fessenden, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Taz

Review: By That Sin Fell the Angels by Jamie Fessenden

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Amazon

Title: By That Sin Fell the Angels

Author: Jamie Fessenden

Publisher: DSP Publications

Pages/Word Count:  191 Pages

At a Glance: This is the second book I’ve read by Jamie Fessenden, and while the topics are tough and some of the events made me squirm, I applaud this author’s courage and talent.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: It begins with a 3:00 a.m. telephone call. On one end is Terry Bachelder, a closeted teacher. On the other, the suicidal teenage son of the local preacher. When Terry fails to prevent disaster, grief rips the small town of Crystal Falls apart.

At the epicenter of the tragedy, seventeen-year-old Jonah Riverside tries to make sense of it all. Finding Daniel’s body leaves him struggling to balance his sexual identity with his faith, while his church, led by the Reverend Isaac Thompson, mounts a crusade to destroy Terry, whom Isaac believes corrupted his son and caused the boy to take his own life.

Having quietly crushed on his teacher for years, Jonah is determined to clear Terry’s name. That quest leads him to Eric Jacobs, Daniel’s true secret lover, and to get involved in Eric’s plan to shake up their small-minded town. Meanwhile, Rev. Thompson struggles to make peace between his religious convictions and the revelation of his son’s homosexuality. If he can’t, he leaves the door open to eternal damnation—and for a second tragedy to follow.

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Review: I read Violated by Jamie Fessenden and was so impressed by his courage and style that I had to pick up this book as well. I wasn’t disappointed.

In By That Sin Fell the Angels, we face the tragic issue of teen suicide and homophobia in a small town. The book opens with an ominous phone call from a teen who needs someone to talk to before he kills himself. One of the main protagonists, Terry, who received the call, is helpless to do anything to prevent the horrific event.

As the story unfolds, we meet Jonah, the other main protagonist in the story. He is a high school student who is closeted and gay. We see him interacting with the one open gay student, as well as his crew of homophobic friends. Slowly, as the story develops, we see how he comes to terms with his own failings and, ultimately, acceptance of who he truly is.

Add to this a zealous preacher (the father of the child who committed suicide), a flamboyantly gay peer at Jonah’s school, a ridiculously supportive boyfriend to Terry, Jonah’s mother, who is dating a man half her age, and a general town aura of intolerance. The mixture is a recipe for nail biting intensity.

My only complaint about this book was that it went a bit over the top. I only say this from my deep familiarity with school systems and school boards. The manner in which the school board and the principal handled the events was extreme and wouldn’t happen in real life. The feelings might be there of intolerance and hatred, but the words and actions wouldn’t have unfolded the way they did. That said, it made for good drama and added to the depth of the emotions in the story.

What I loved about the book was how the author wove together a rich web of experience, shifting point of view frequently so that we could get inside the heads of a full range of characters. By doing so, we were able to truly look at this town and the topic of homosexuality, and see a highly religious small town through the eyes of an outsider with omniscient knowledge of everyone’s thoughts and feelings. Had the story only been told from one point of view (and I have no idea whose point of view Mr. Fessenden would have chosen), the story would’ve suffered for it.

As I said, this is the second book I’ve read by Jamie Fessenden, and while the topics are tough and some of the events made me squirm, I applaud this author’s courage and talent. I certainly intend to continue reading his work (starting with a backlog of his sizable completed manuscripts).

TNA_Signature_Taz

 

 

 

 

You can buy By That Sin Fell the Angels here:

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Kenzie Cade, Piper Vaughn

Guest Post: Prickly By Nature by Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Piper Vaughn on the Prickly By Nature blog tour. Thanks so much for joining us.

Enjoy!

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Knotty By Nature by Piper Vaughn

Hi, all! Thanks to The Novel Approach for having me. :D

In case you missed it, my book with Kenzie Cade, Prickly By Nature, book two in the Portland Pack Chronicles just released on November 16th.

If you’ve read the first book in the series, Prickly Business, you’ll know that one of our main characters is a hedgehog shifter and the other one is a wolf. And if you’ve read a lot in the shifter subgenre, you’ve probably run across knotting, which also occurs in this series.

What is knotting, you ask?

Well, allow me to explain. :3 In reality, when wolves (and other canines) mate, the base of their penis swells and essentially locks the penis inside the female wolf. The female wolf’s muscles play a role in this whole process, but essentially, the swelling of the knot (aka, bulbus glandis, for the scientific folk) prevents the male from withdrawing to promote insemination. Basically, Mother Nature is trying to produce more wolf pups ASAP. (There are videos of wolves being locked together and being pretty pissed off about it, while others simply settle down to grudgingly wait it out.)

The concept of knotting is something I’ve read in a lot of fanfiction, but it’s showing up more and more in shifter books lately. Some people hate it, some people love it, and I’m in the latter category. Yes, I am a fan of the idea of two mates being “tied” together for a certain period of time during sex. In real wolves and dogs, this can last up to 30-35 minutes. The timing runs across the gamut in the stories I’ve read—from a few minutes to an hour. In our world, it’s only a few minutes before the knot wanes… and let’s just say our hedgie shifter (Avery) is a fan of his mate’s knot. ;)

For those who haven’t read about this yet, but would like some recs, these are some of my favorites. And, of course, every book in the Portland Pack Chronicles will feature a scene or two.

First, we have Toni Griffin’s Holland Brothers series, starting with Unexpected Mate. This is one of my favorite shifter series, and there is knotting in every book. My favorite of them all is Forbidden Mate, which I love, love, LOVE.

Then there’s The Protector by Cooper West. These are dog shifters and the world building was really unique. The “Protectors” can shift into dogs, and the “Handlers” are their human partners. The main character, Alex, is the first Protector to outlive his Handler, and he’s crippled by grief with no hope for the future…until he unexpectedly bonds with another Handler, which is an unprecedented event. I loved this story!

There’s also I, Omega by Kari Gregg, and actually she has a couple of others with knotting too. This had some hurt/comfort and the mate bond, which is a concept I always enjoy, and alpha/beta/omega dynamics, which I like reading about. And Kari Gregg can write one helluva sex scene, let me tell you.

And for a more recent—and free!—title, check out Ezekiah by Lisa Henry, which included some BDSM, knotting, a/b/o dynamics, and great chemistry between the characters. I’m really hoping she’ll do more in this world at some point. (Warning for some dub-con, though.)

Last but not least, He’s Just Knot That Into You by Nico Jaye. I mean, I was hooked by the title alone! I love a good pun (if you can’t tell from the title of this blog post). It was different than the norm, set in a world where everyone knows about werewolves already. Tanner is on the hunt for his mate when he sense him but can’t figure out who he is. Bad date hijinks ensue!

What are your knotting faves? If you haven’t read it before, would you be willing to try a book that featured knotting scenes? It might just be an acquired taste for some, but I think it’s fun… and it can be really sexy too, in the hands of the right author. ;)

DividersPricklyByNature 500x750Blurb: In the four months since hedgehog shifter Avery Babineaux started investigating the disappearance of a young female werewolf from the Portland Pack, he’s discovered his life’s passion. Now he’s apprenticing under established PI Corbin Reid. Avery hopes his training with Reid will help him finally bring Lacey home, but detective work isn’t without its perils, and the potential dangers strain his relationship with his new mate, Dylan.

Dylan Green would be perfectly content with his mating and his motorcycle shop if it wasn’t for his constant worry about Avery’s safety and the fact that Avery’s never home. Proud as he might be of Avery’s determination to prove his worth and fulfill his promise to Lacey’s father, Dylan can’t stand the thought of Avery being hurt. Yet what right does he have to demand Avery give up his job when it’s clear Avery’s found his true purpose? Still, Dylan wishes he could, and the appearance of a new police detective who sets his sights on Avery only adds to the tension.

Something has to give, but stubbornness runs in both their veins, and it might take a catastrophe for them to find a compromise they can live with.

Buy linksAmazon || DSP || ARe 

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Author BioPiper Vaughn Bio: 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.

Visit Piper at: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Google+

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4 Stars, Alice Griffiths, Genre Romance, Leta Blake, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: Will and Patrick Do the Holidays by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

Will & Patrick Do the Holidays Banner

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Amazon

Title: Will and Patrick Do the Holidays (Wake Up Married: Episode Three)

Author: Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 117 Pages

At a Glance: The soap opera fun continues for our bold, beautiful, young, and restless duo.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: A couple’s first holiday season is always a special time. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are magical when you’re in love. Too bad Will and Patrick’s marriage is a sham and they’re only faking their affection for each other. Or are they?

Sparks fly in this episode of the Wake Up Married serial. Will the sexual tension between Will and Patrick finally explode in a needy night of passion? Or will they continue to deny their feelings?

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Review: Do you ever wish you could put your own words into characters’ mouths? Words like, “I’m a big boy and you’re a big buttinski, so I would enjoy it if you’d just butt your buttinski face right out of my adult beeswax.” And, “God, Ryan, you’re such a ginormous friggin’ douchenozzle assface, so I would love if you would just bugger off right now, thank you.” Yeah, me too. I want to write Will Patterson’s dialogue. No, not really. But those are an approximation of words I wish Will would say. He’s too busy being a nice guy, though, and is also too busy feeling like shoe poop because of stupid Ryan the assface boy. I love Will. I don’t love Ryan.

But, let’s move on before this gets any more immature, shall we?

What is it about the holidays that make occurrences occur? Especially occurrences of the warm and fuzzy variety. Whatever it is, Will and Patrick do the holidays. But, do they do each other? It’s what we’ve all been waiting for since their drunken marriage and raucous sexcapades in Vegas, yes? Well, I won’t tell, but what I will say is that I love where Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths have gone in this episode of the further adventures of Will and Patrick, fauxlyweds and pseudo-husbands who, hey, I think are becoming rather fondish of each other.

I also think Patrick’s heart grew three sizes in this special holiday episode, and even though we’re still learning bits and pieces about his past, he’s showing an incredible depth of regard for Will and his health, both his mental and physical health, in spite of Patrick acting somewhat like a feral human at times. Now, for a guy who’s supposed to be an arrogant jerk, he’s behaving uncharacteristically solicitous toward the man he’s also supposed to be trying to divorce. He also kisses babies, or baby, at least, so I think Patrick’s fronting. He’s just a marshmallow playing at sauerkraut. One might also observe that Dr. Patrick McCloud seems to be getting entrenched in the day to day operations of Healing’s hospital. One might also think the place is subconsciously growing on him. Just like Will is. If you ask me, I think he’s starting to like some of the Whos down in Whoville.

As has been the case since Episode the First, Blake and Griffiths have blended their voices seamlessly to create a sometimes funny, sometimes warm, sometimes touching and even a little bit angsty story. I’ve grown to love these guys, have a full on loathe-fest with Ryan, love Will’s grandmas, think his little brother and sisters seem pretty cool. And wish his mom and uncle would quit with their opinionated opinionating (see: adult beeswax buttinski faces). But they mean well, and Will is showing some signs of learning to quit letting other people tell him how he should think and feel. That Ryan… oh, he just has everyone so snowed. Everyone except for Patrick, that is. Patrick has had Ryan’s number since day one. Now Will just needs to accept that maybe he doesn’t love Ryan as much as he’s addicted to the idea of needing him in order to stay sober. You know, replacing one unhealthy addiction for another. Patrick would hate that bit of psychobabble.

Will and Patrick have already rung in the New Year in this episode, in a wonderful way, I might add, so we won’t be seeing them again until after our holidays. Will 2016 find our lawfully wedded duo undone? Or will the clean slate of a new year see them turning over a new leaf? Is the L-dash-dash-dash word anywhere in their future? And, more importantly, when the hell is someone going to give Ryan a good old fashioned roundhouse to the nuggets for me?

Stay tuned, readers. I don’t think we’re going to want to miss any of the action and suspense and drama yet to come as this world turns.

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You can buy Will and Patrick Do the Holidays here:

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Author Bios

Leta BlakeLeta Blake

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more about her by following her online:

On the web || On Facebook || On Twitter

Author BioAlice Griffiths

A long-time reader of romance novels, Alice Griffiths finally took the plunge into writing, teaming up with best-selling author Leta Blake for the ‘Woke up Married’ serialized comedy. A lover of tropes, Alice enjoys mining old ideas and putting a fresh, funny spin on them. Formerly working in the newspaper industry, Alice is now an art curator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

You can find out more about her by following her online:

On Twitter || On Facebook

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24-Nov Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  http://ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.com
25-Nov Gay.Guy.Reading and Friends  http://ggr-review.com
26-Nov JB’s Book Obsession  http://jbsbookobsession.blogspot.com
26-Nov QUEERcentric Books www.blog.queercentricbooks.com
26-Nov Mikky’s World Of Books http://mikkysworldofbooks.blogspot.fr
27-Nov Abbey’s 1-Click Book Blog  http://www.abbeys1clickblog.com
27-Nov Bayou Book Junkie http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com
27-Nov Teatime and Books  http://www.teatimeandbooks76.blogspot.com
27-Nov MM Good Book Reviews  https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com
27-Nov Alpha Book Club  http://alphabookclub.org

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Hi, fellow fiction fans, welcome back for a look at what we have coming in the week ahead. Many of us here in the US will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family this week, and I have to say that I couldn’t be more thankful for this community, the books, and the opportunity to share it all with friends and fellow readers.

Thanks so much for stopping in. Here’s a peek at what awaits!

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Monday – Authors Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths kick off a busy holiday week here at TNA, on the tour for the third installment in their Wake Up Married serial, Will and Patrick Do the Holidays

We’ll also welcome another duo of dynamic authors, Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade, on the tour for their newest collaboration Prickly By Nature

Tuesday – Author RJ Scott returns today, making us a stop on the tour for her new release, Accidental Hero, book eight in the Sanctuary series

We’re also pleased to have author Rodion Rebenyar stopping by today to introduce himself and tell us a bit about his books

Wednesday – Today we have author Sue Brown on the tour for her new book The Rogue Wolf

Thursday – While Thanksgiving is being celebrated here in the US today, we’ll be thankful to have Cardeno C. visiting with us on the tours for her books Jesse’s Diner and the Home Collection. I’m pretty sure there’ll be giveaways too ;-)

Friday – Author Liam Livings begins our day on the tour for his new novel The Guardian Angel

We’ll also be featuring another giveaway from Cardeno C. today on the Family Series book blast tour

SaturdayA.T. Weaver joins us for a visit today, on the tour for her new book Old Spark

Sunday – And closing out a busy week, we welcome author Elizabeth Wilde on the Defiant Loyalties blog tour

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

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Amber Kell, Giveaways, RJ Scott

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Case of the Purple Pearl by Amber Kell and RJ Scott

The Case of the Purple Pearl

We’re so pleased to welcome authors Amber Kell and RJ Scott today, as they tour the web to chat a bit about their new collaboration The Case of the Purple Pearl. Enjoy and be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $15 Amazon/ARe giftcard, and 2 further prizes of RJ Scott e-books.

Good luck!

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Where/how did you & Amber first meet? What first decided you to write together? xx

RJ: We first physically met in Tennessee when we both attended a convention given by our then publisher. We’d Facebooked before, because basically she annoyed me. She would always be hogging the top spots on the publisher’s website and I was jealous. So I teased her and we became friends. I think that is an awesome start to this…

Amber: And she hasn’t stopped teasing me since.

RJ: you’re such an easy target

Amber: I’m trying to remember why I thought it a good idea to write with her…*ponders*

RJ: Because you love me really. And if i remember rightly it was you that said (in our cabin at that table) *when are we writing together*

Amber: I had obviously consumed too much wine.

RJ: It was ten am.

Amber: What was your point again?

RJ Sniggers… anyway, looks back at question… oh writing together… well, it seemed like a good idea at the time… and then it happened, and it worked, and now we’re stuck with each other

Amber: Just think of RJ like that gum on the bottom of your shoe you can’t get off…or dog poop. She sticks!!!

RJ: :O… *moves onto next question after hiring hit man*

Amber: *hee hee*

Who thought about Smudge? I love that cat! Wonder how he will look like a human….*hint*

RJ: I have no idea. Smudge is a familiar, which fits in with folklore, and I am sure Amber named him Smudge, with the same irony as naming the vampire Bob.

Amber: I did name him but I don’t remember who thought of giving Sam a familiar.

RJ: I think it was you. As a magical foil against Sam who is *completely human*

Amber: *nods* I think you’re right. *watches Rj’s head expand*

RJ: I’m always right, you just don’t accept that.

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End Street 5 600Blurb: After failing in a quest to win the Fae Queen’s approval, Halstein is locked in a world of stone. Forced to remain a gargoyle he spends his days on Sam’s desk pining for his lost love.

Prince Idris’s lover went missing and was presumed dead. Alone, Idris lives a life away from court, starved of energy but unwilling to sleep in the room he once shared with his beloved.

Can Sam and Bob save these fated lovers before it’s too late? And will Bob’s ultimate sacrifice be enough to free Hal from his prison?

Buy Links Here When Available: RJ Scott’s Blog

Volume 1 – Books 1 & 2

Book 1 – The Case of the Cupid Curse 
Book 2 – The Case of the Wicked Wolf

Volume 2 – Books 3 & 4

Book 3 – The Case of the Dragon’s Dilemma 
Book 4 – The Case of the Sinful Santa 

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Excerpt: Chapter One

“What are you doing?”

Sam sighed. This was the fifth time today their visiting gargoyle had asked him that. Three weeks had passed since it had decided to stay at the house and wait for Sam to find it a master. And those three weeks had lasted a very long time.

“Taxes,” Sam muttered. The same answer he’d given every single time he’d been asked.

“I don’t like math,” the little gargoyle said. He waddled across Sam’s desk, leaving small muddy footprints on a neatly filled-in form. Sam couldn’t even muster the energy to get angry.

“Are you going to tell me your name yet?” Sam asked. He placed his pen on the desk and leaned back with a stretch, eying the small gargoyle against the hulking monstrosity that sat immobile on the corner of his desk. They were so dissimilar, in size and expression.

“You know I can only tell my master.”

“I can’t keep calling you the little gargoyle. I’m going to have to give you a name.”

The little gargoyle turned in a circle to face Sam, then squatted into a pose with his mouth open in a snarl. It looked pretty mean, and Sam edged back.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

The gargoyle’s expression changed back to the one he usually had; that of a dopey baby.

“Nothing, I was just giving you my fierce face so you can give me the right name. I’m not having you calling me Sunshine or Cutie. I want something strong like Zephariel Angel of Vengeance.”

Sam couldn’t help the snort of laughter, then immediately felt guilty when the gargoyle’s expression fell. “Sorry,” he apologized. “It’s just, uhm, that name is taken. How about Leo, like a lion, a brave, strong lion.”

The gargoyle tilted his head in contemplation, then nodded. “Leo, I like Leo. I’m done with you now. You already have a gargoyle. I’m going to find my true master.”

That decided, he jumped down off the desk and waddled over to the door, sidestepping awkwardly when Smudge slunk in with intent in every step. In a leap, Smudge was up on the desk, sitting right on the tax forms and staring straight into Sam’s face.

“What are you doing?” Smudge asked telepathically.

“Taxes,” Sam answered. He didn’t add a sigh this time.

“You should be tracking down what kind of other your uncle’s pet gargoyle is.”

Leo, the newly named visiting gargoyle, had declared that the old paperweight on Sam’s desk that looked like a gargoyle, walked like a gargoyle, and was stone like a gargoyle, wasn’t actually a gargoyle at all, but other.

“Where do you suggest I start? And why can’t you tell what it is, oh powerful familiar.” Sam couldn’t help the sarcasm. Smudge was capable of putting souls back in bodies and using heavy magic, but he couldn’t track down what kind of paranormal had been transformed into an ancient crumbling gargoyle paperweight?

“I’ll forget you said that,” Smudge said condescendingly. “I’ve been busy.”

“With what?” Sam asked. Privately he thought Smudge spent too much time cleaning himself with his paws up in the air and his tongue—

“I can hear you,” Smudge warned. “And who else do you think can keep your attic spider infestation at bay?”

Sam shuddered. He didn’t like small spiders at best, let alone the giant ones Smudge had suggested lived only a few floors up. “Good work,” Sam praised. “And as to our paperweight friend here—” Sam tapped the solid stone thing on the head with a stapler. “—I’ve put out a request to everyone I know as to who may be missing someone. I used the ParaGoogle to see if anyone knows anything. Not sure what else I can do at this stage.”

Smudge gave a feline version of a huff, deliberately washed himself on the desk for a good five minutes, then disappeared out of the room. Sam shook off the fur that had fallen on his paperwork. This needed to be done and, unless he finished it soon, he’d have the authorities fining him all over the place.

A knock on his office door jerked Sam from his sad contemplation of the bills he had to pay. Although he’d earned some money recently and he owned the building where he worked and lived, the flow of money going out far exceeded the money rushing into his pockets.

Taxes were a bitch.

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Author BioAbout the Authors:

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Email || Website || Twitter || Facebook || LibraryThing || Tumblr (some NSFW photos) || Pinterest

Amber Kell is one of those quiet people they always tell you to watch out for. She lives in Dallas with her husband, two sons, and one extremely stupid dog.

Email || Website || Blog || Facebook

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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4 Stars, Edward Kendrick, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: Reaper by Edward Kendrick

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Reaper

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 208 Pages

At a Glance: Reaper has action, suspense, and two very likable MCs.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Leading a double life can be challenging, as Reaper well knows.

Take one self-styled vigilante—Reaper. Add his alter ego, successful forty-one-year-old, investment counselor, Zack Ward. Then throw in Dallas Comstock, thirty-two, a beat cop, Zack’s lover and the only person who knows Zack is Reaper. The result is men on a mission. They protect homeless kids living on the streets while trying to find a new building for a soon-to-be demolished shelter belonging to Zack’s mentor, Brian Foster—the man who helped Zack get off the streets.

Someone seems to be kidnapping streetwise young girls. Reaper pulls together a team of street kids—Zip and his boyfriend, Colly, Raven and Sway—to stop the predator. At the same time Zack, with the help of his business clients, sets up a charity ball to raise money for the new shelter, Off-the-Street.

What happens next may strengthen Zack’s and Dallas’ love—or destroy it.

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Review: Edward Kendrick’s Reaper is a unique story that I could see as a graphic novel that would appeal to young adults, with a few minor changes. Reaper and Wrath are definitely the superhero types, and the setting seems to take us to another place and time, even though the Rockies are mentioned. This story has action, suspense, and a sense of safety and empowerment.

There are two very likable MCs, Zack Ward and Dallas Comstock, and there’s lots of warmth, humor and love shared between them.  Zack is an investment counselor during the day, and has a very comfortable life, but growing up wasn’t anything like it is now. He lived on the streets as a young teen, and did what he had to do to survive. With the help and encouragement of Brian, he got his life together, and now strikes out to help others who are less fortunate.

Dallas comes from a different family lifestyle.  He’s a police officer and is dedicated to his job. He worries but also understands Zack and his plight to take care of the homeless and the young people who have to survive on the street. There are very few people that know that Dallas and Zack are partners in more ways than one.

There are a lot of supporting characters in this story, especially all the young teens who befriend Reaper and Wrath.  We get to meet these colorful characters:  Zip, Colly, Raven, Sway and many others. Our superheroes also have a special friend in Brian, who runs “Off-the-Street” a shelter for homeless youth, where Reaper recruits Nate Brown to teach self-defense to the young people and helps to empower them to also be protectors for others.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

 

You can buy Reaper here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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2.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Niko McQueen, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: Deranged by Niko McQueen

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Deranged (Ivy Hollow Chronicles: Book One)

Author: Niko McQueen

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 126 Pages

At a Glance: Deranged needed a bit more storyline for me to buy into its romance.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Adam Rossmore is a rich party boy who doesn’t answer to anyone. He’s played the orphan card for too long and it’s gotten him out of every DUI, arrest, and fine.

Until now.

When a judge slaps him with community service at the insane asylum, Ivy Hollow, Adam thinks it’s all a joke. Until the doors lock and he starts meeting the residents.

Christian Hale has lived at Ivy Hollow his entire life. He seeks solace in his music—and whatever orderly happens to be nearby.

When Adam hears Christian play the piano for the first time, the music draws him deep into Christian’s web and he must fight an arousal that is both confusing and exciting.

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Review: Sometimes a blurb makes a book irresistible, and I was totally hooked by the premise of Niko McQueen’s Deranged. The idea of music and one man’s affliction coalescing into a love story is one you don’t run across often, and I wanted to see what the author did with it.

Christian Hale’s mental breakdown isn’t spelled out to the letter when the story begins, but we do get just enough innuendo to know what’s happened to cause it. The scene was written in a way that vaguely reminded me of the movie Shine and David Helfgott’s psychological collapse during the Rachmaninoff solo—an intense and slow motion wreckage of a man’s mind caught in the grasp of his music. Christian’s psyche shatters while playing the piano, but the story then fast-forwards without offering any more information about the schism, so we can only assume that his suffering at the hands of someone he thought he could trust has lead to the PTSD-like episodes we’re told about later.

Adam Rossmore is a musician in a band, though details about that are sketchy at best. We do know that he’s an arrogant party boy womanizer, though, and in spite of him thinking he’s above the law, he’s finally used up all of his get out of jail free cards when he’s busted for DWI, so one bender too many offers him two choices—community service at Ivy Hollow, or prison time. Adam is advised by his attorney/uncle to choose what should be the lesser of those two evils, and, of course, Adam isn’t happy about either, but Ivy Hollow gets one-hundred-fifty hours of his service. This is the basis for the setup of the story’s romance, and I have to say I had a difficult time buying into the idea of what boiled down to live-in community service as a means of plopping Adam into Christian’s orbit. I’m no expert on community service, though, so maybe it is a thing.

And now, here’s where I get to be nitpicky and difficult. Not only that, but I also get to start by saying that I really wanted to love this story so much more than I did. In the end, Deranged didn’t work for me because it left too much plot and character development on the drawing board, which, for me, left the story hobbled and the romance not terribly credible. I can buy into the insta-love romantic trope, but I need something to make it believable, and there just wasn’t enough narrative in this story for me to do anything but try and fill in the blanks of an already difficult relationship to grasp hold of. I can’t go into much detail without giving up spoilers, but suffice it to say that the plot didn’t allow its characters to evolve in a way that made their relationship convincing. A common love of music is great, and would have been a fantastic foundation to build something on, but the attraction starts out with lust and ends with sex, with no real exposition of why we should believe these characters belong together long-term, and, all told, that wasn’t enough for me to root for them.

In addition to the insta-love theme, Adam is also straight, so this is a gay/bi/out-for-you story as well, an idea that, when done well, is one of my favorites in the genre because it supports one of the more romantic tropes—that labels can mean squat. But again, going back to the insta-love the story leaned on, I didn’t see much from Adam to make me believe he’s got any feels for Christian that go anywhere beyond lust and curiosity. We get a lot of inner monologue and self-directed incredulity that he’s hot for Christian, but that’s angst not character construct, and there were too many important details missing for me believe that Adam had fallen in love with another man. Add to that a conveniently timed and somewhat coincidental side-story that introduces Christian’s “real” one true love, a guy who appears and then disappears again within the space of a mere few pages (there are several other characters who are introduced then do little more than serve as set dressing as well), and all it really does is give Adam the chance to show his jealous and possessive streak.

Overall, this novella all went rather sideways for me. What I was left with at the end of Deranged is the impression that sex was the magical cure-all for Adam’s straightness, and that Christian was in no way healthy enough to be the guy Adam should be hanging his future happily-ever-after on. His mental instability, whatever it is, and the cause of it, is sort of brushed off as a non-factor, which was too bad because I think it could have been a really compelling part of the storyline.

As much as I loved the idea of this novella, and in spite of there being some sexy moments, Deranged left me wanting.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy Deranged here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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Felice Stevens, Giveaways

Teaser Tour and Giveaway: Betting on Forever by Felice Stevens

BOF Teas 2

FB_IMG_1447685786333Blurb: A weekend fling in Atlantic City couldn’t be more out of socially shy Zach Cohen’s comfort zone, but a bet with his best friends forces him to put aside the humiliation he’s hidden for years, stepping away from behind his computer screens and on line world. When he meets Sam Stein, despite their spark, Zach expects nothing more than a night of passion and a kiss goodbye. Yet weeks later, he can’t keep the man out of his head.

After a split second decision with tragic results ends his twenty year police career at the same time his relationship falls apart, Sam Stein is drifting through life. At his best friend’s urging he agrees to a trip to Atlantic City to clear his head. What Sam doesn’t plan on is meeting Zach Cohen, whose sweet nature and honesty has him thinking maybe he could move forward, until Zach leaves him without explanation, reinforcing Sam’s belief that people can’t be trusted.

Well-meaning friends refuse to let Zach and Sam hide from each other, forcing them to realize their weekend is much more than a one night stand. Before that can happen, Zach must come to terms with his past and stand up for his own independence, while Sam has to learn to take a chance and believe in himself and people again. All bets are off when dreams become reality and forever doesn’t seem to be long enough.

BUY LINKS: Amazon US || Amazon UK || All Romance

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Excerpt: I could be a totally new Zach. Someone who wasn’t afraid to take risks; someone willing to have fun and be daring.” He looked down at his lap. “Someone people would notice.”

None of this made sense to Sam. “But why? You’re a young, incredibly rich, good-looking guy. Why do you think you need to pretend? Any guy would be lucky to be with you.”

The compliment didn’t bring a smile of thanks or even a blush of self-awareness. Zach’s expression grew gloomier, and he stood, then walked to the windows.

“Perceptions rarely mirror truths. What you see isn’t how I see it, and it isn’t how most people have seen me all my life. I’ve never been confident about anything, except my abilities in school. And when you’re ten and never picked for sports or thirteen and never invited to any parties, a pattern is set for the adult you’ll be. The one on the sidelines; always there but never seen. When you’re an invisible kid, you tend to grow up to be an invisible adult.”

How wrong he’d been about Zach from the beginning. And knowing how sweet and kind a soul he was, Sam hurt for the young boy Zach had been and the sad and lonely man who stood before him.

“Is that how you see yourself—invisible?” Sam followed him to the window and placed a hand on his shoulder but made no other move.

“It’s how I’ve always been. Marcus always tried to include me, but—”

“You know what?” Sam slid his arm around Zach, turning him so that they faced each other. “You think too much about Marcus.” Sam took Zach’s glasses off and placed them carefully on the table. “You talk too much about him too. Want to know what I see?”

Zach blinked and nodded.

“I see a guy who’s kind, smart, and tenacious. A man who isn’t afraid to search out what he wants and go after it.” Sam leaned down and brushed Zach’s lips with his own, smiling at the sigh of pleasure from Zach. He pulled off his tee shirt and unbuttoned Zach’s shirt so their bare chests pressed against each other. Sam pushed Zach’s shirt off his shoulders so it fell to the floor, then slid his hand up Zach’s back, as warm and soft as he remembered. His fingers splayed out against skin, muscles, and bones, and he held Zach close. It was as if his hands were made to touch Zach. The feel of his skin was everything right and perfect.

“Don’t ever pretend with me; there’s no reason to. I’m not interested in someone who hangs out at the clubs and parties all night.” He buried his lips in Zach’s hair, his hands smoothing down the curvature of Zach’s spine until he dipped his fingers to gently touch below the waistband of Zach’s jeans.

Final BOF

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About the Author: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed. 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSTwitter || Pinterest || Goodreads || Instagram || Author Page || Newsletter

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Other Books by Felice Stevens

Home for the Holidays Anthology Pre-order

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1QJU4Gs

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1SA7SSg

Rescued

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SVKAqS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1SA8Bmx

ARe: http://bit.ly/1WXekt8

B&N: http://bit.ly/YSu2df

The Breakfast Club Series

Beyond the Surface, Book 1

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MPImrX

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1S1zUpD

ARe: http://bit.ly/1PMdRUF

Memories Series

Memories of the Heart, Book 1

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MSZed4

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1PxZZPv

ARe: http://bit.ly/1ReSjis

B&N: http://bit.ly/1QJVUXS

One Step Further, Book 2

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1l2Fm0D

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1N95vb8

Through Hell and Back Series

A Walk Through Fire, Book 1

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MzpSbM

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NZpZlr

ARe: http://bit.ly/1MT33io

B&N: http://bit.ly/1Odz5sY

After the Fire, Book 2

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1WXcd8w

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1QsuF4J

ARe: http://bit.ly/1j5pZDk

B&N: http://bit.ly/1Odzcom

Embrace the Fire, Book 3

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1PMaflN

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1kCjZUr

ARe: http://bit.ly/1SVQMz4

B&N: http://bit.ly/1j5ramu

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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Giveaways, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles

Guest Post and Giveaway: Boys Who Go Bump in the Night by Josephine Myles and JL Merrow

Genie Lamp

photo credit: CIMG3470 via photopin (license)

 

If you were granted three wishes, what would you spend them on?

Today JL Merrow and Josephine Myles are here talking all things magic, in celebration of of their latest paranormal anthology, Boys Who Go Bump in the Night. The last story in the anthology features the classic genie in the lamp trope, so we wondered what three wishes the authors would choose, should they ever be surprised by a genie when polishing a lamp.

Jo: I think this is highly unlikely as I hate using Brasso, but let’s just imagine a genie might respond to my cursory occasional use of a feather duster…

Hmm, wishes are tricky things. They have a way of backfiring and being taken too literally–a lesson I learned through reading Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story pretty much every year during my childhood. So what I’d need to come up with is a set of wishes that are bulletproof. I’m going to have to ponder some more. What do you reckon, Jamie?

Jamie: You’ve made me think, there. I was going to wish for all my novels to magically plot themselves as I write them, but now I’m thinking of all the ways that could go horribly wrong. I could end up writing in an entirely different genre!

But wishing to win the lottery jackpot would probably be safe, right?

Right?

*imagines self mugged for ticket/murdered for money/suffering fatal heart attack when numbers come up*

Jo: I think wishing for long term health and happiness for you and your loved ones has got to be a safe wish, right? That’s my first. For me and my loved, ones, obviously. You can do your own wish, Jamie!

Jamie: Maybe it’s just me, but even with that I can see a possible twist–you could, say, be kept alive indefinitely on life support and your system flooded with mood enhancing drugs, which might technically qualify, mightn’t it? Then again, in the stories it’s usually the “greedy” wishes that get punished, not the relatively modest and benign ones like this, so maybe you’re safe!

Jo: I hope so! Okay, second wish: a five bedroom detached country house with a large garden and swimming pool. I’m not going so ridiculously large that I lose the family in there, but big enough to have a “me” room I can escape into and keep all my sewing stuff there. I have a lot of sewing stuff. Oh, and it has to be within ten miles of my current address. I’m not having that pesky genie dump me down in deepest, darkest Wales, thank you very much. (the author would like to point out that she loves Wales. She just doesn’t want to live there!)

Jamie: Living as I do near St Albans, where a massive sinkhole recently opened up and narrowly missed swallowing a family home, maybe it’s my inner cynic but I’m not sure I’d trust any house a genie chose to put me in!  Maybe one of my wishes ought to be for a map of underground mines in the local area. ;)

Third and last wish, Jo?

Jo: Umm, it’s a toss up between having my own personal time machine or a household robot that would do all the chores for me. Actually, what am I saying? The robot would win every time. Just imagine never having to mow the lawn or clean the toilet! I’m afraid my wishes are all rather domestic. I must be getting old!

What’s your last wish? Maybe it should be world peace or something altruistic…

Jamie: *looks shifty* So probably not the endless supply of red wine and chocolate I was thinking of, then? ;)

Readers: We’d love to hear what your wishes would be. Can’t promise to grant ‘em, mind! ;)

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Giveaway: one lucky commenter will win a book of their choice from both Jo and Jamie’s backlists!

Contest closes at midnight Pacific time on Saturday, November 28, 2015.

Good luck!

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Boys Who Go Bump in the NightBoys Who Go Bump in the Night

A Mad About the Brit Boys collection

When boy meets (supernatural) boy

Buckle up as two queens of British gay romance take you on a whistlestop tour of all things paranormal. Vampires, genies, ghosts, magicians and shifters all get their chance for a bit of boy on boy action, in five erotic stories that span the range from the humorous to the sublime.

Will you seek to make your fortune with magic and ritual, or pin your hopes on a genie’s power to grant wishes? Discover a shifty young man on a Scottish shoreline, meet a hapless garlic farmer who’s been turned into one of the undead–and if you dare to venture into the cellar, gird your loins for a horny ghost!

These stories have all been previously published, but are now available exclusively in this anthology.

Available now from Amazon for a  bargain $0.99/£0.99!

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JL MerrowAuthor bios:

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.  Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

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Josephine MylesEnglish through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo publishes regularly with Samhain, and now has over ten novels and novellas under her belt. Her novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and a soon-to-be toddler.

Website and blog || Facebook || Twitter: @JosephineMyles

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The Fine Print:

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5 Stars, Damon Suede, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lynn

Release Day Review: Pent Up by Damon Suede

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Pent Up

Author: Damon Suede

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 290 Pages

At a GlanceI enjoyed the little twists and turns the story gave me. And the great reveal…well, I didn’t even see it coming. I loved it.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.

Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.

Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?

What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.

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Review: I literally threw myself at this book when I saw it up for review. Why? Well, it’s Damon Suede, duh. Having read everything by him, I was quite intrigued by the blurb and couldn’t wait to get reading. This story has a little something for everyone: action, mystery, a budding romance, and lots of soul searching. I loved it.

When we first meet Reuben, he’s down on his luck. A recovering alcoholic who’s recently divorced, he’s moved from Miami to live and work with his younger brother in New York City. Totally out of his element and having not quite come to grips with all that has happened, he finds himself taking a job as a bodyguard for uber rich Andrew Baur. Let the fun begin.

Even after reading this book and mulling over it for a few days, I’m not real sure how I feel about Reuben. My first impression was to feel sorry for him. Being in a new city, leaving all he knows behind, getting over his divorce, and on top of all that, trying to stay sober. That’s a lot for one person to handle. As the story progressed, I could see that Reuben can definitely hold his own. He’s not one to back down from anything. I loved being in his head as he questions what the hell is going on with Andy. I especially loved seeing him wonder why he’s fantasizing about Andy too. He’s straight for god’s sake, what is wrong with him?

Andy was even harder to figure out because we weren’t in his head; we can only go by his actions and Reuben’s impressions. To me, he came across as a spoiled brat who gets want he wants, no matter the cost. He’s got the money. He’s slippery, secretive and definitely hiding something. For most of the story I wasn’t impressed with him at all. As we get a little deeper into his situation, though, I felt he redeemed himself a little. Not to make me like him more, but I think I understood him a little better. And besides, Reuben has to live with him, I don’t.

I really liked the mystery aspect here. It wasn’t front and center, but was always lurking in the background. The further we get into the story the more layers are peeled away. With confessions, revelations, and a little snooping, it all comes to an action filled climax. I enjoyed the little twists and turns the story gave me. And the great reveal…well, I didn’t even see it coming. I loved it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely call Pent Up a GFY story. I loved going on the journey with Reuben as he comes to realize that, yes, he is attracted to a man. His struggle to keep sober was real and, at times, heartbreaking. I really liked seeing two men at total opposite ends of the spectrum getting together and literally saving each other. It may be cliché, but it worked.

On a final note, my new favorite saying is “cock snot”. Thank you Damon.

TNA_Signature_Lynn

 

 

 

 

You can buy Pent Up here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday and Giveaway: It’s a Mystery

Flashback Friday

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to another peek into the vault of novels past, as we dust off a few great Mysteries from the Gay Romance/Fiction genre. As always, we’re giving you the opportunity to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of one of these selected titles by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

But before we get to this week’s recs, I want to announce last week’s “Bad Boys” winner, H.B., who selected Stories Beneath Our Skin by Veronica Sloane.

We’ll be taking next week off due to Thanksgiving weekend, but will be back before Christmas with some of our favorite holiday reads.

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TNA_Signature_MaryannI first ran across Geography of Murder and its sequel, A Forest of Corpses, in 2012, and even after the third time reading this series, it still gets me. There’s just something about the way P.A. Brown wrote these stories in the first-person and gave life to her two MCs, Spider and Jason. I have to say, Spider and Jason are explosive, complex, like oil and water. Ms. Brown builds a page turning mystery that’s believable, with intricate investigation details.

From the outset, you would think this is just too easy a crime for Spider to solve. He’s got a dead body and a very live body next to it. He’s sure Jason Aaron Zachary is the killer. But once Jason is taken in for questioning, Spider has the feeling that Jason is innocent, though he’s still sent to jail. When Jason is cleared, Spider is waiting for him.  Then, another murder occurs and there are two dead pedophiles, lots of suspects, and Spider and his partner Nancy have their hands full.

Detective Alexander Spider, you will (or almost) hate! He’s cocky, abusive and has a dark side.  I know. Being a detective, Spider has seen a lot of horror. But I won’t make excuses for him. He’s in control no matter what, is into BDSM, and to be fair, I will warn you that it turns to abuse.

Jason Zachary is twenty-two, lost and trying to find himself. Family, drugs and his own mistakes have put him in a bad situation. He’s also got a sweet side to him, loves nature, and is so knowledgeable in ornithology. And Jason also has to make a decision to save himself.

Spider and Jason come back in A Forest of Corpses, and we see their personalities and lives have changed. There’s murder, drugs, and danger ahead, and an unlikely hero in this story.  I couldn’t find other books in this series from P.A. Brown, but maybe this is the best way to leave Spider and Jason.

Geography of MurderAll Jason Zachary wants is to keep the loneliness and despair at bay. He escapes to the clubs where drugs and a warm body for the night offer fleeting comfort. But when he wakes one morning, dazed after another blackout, to find himself in bed with a dead body, his life careens him into the arms of Detective Alexander Spider. For Jason, Spider becomes an addiction, a drug that makes him feel alive and safe; his body craves Spider’s control, and Jason falls hard.

But Alex Spider sees the darker side of humanity daily, and he isn’t looking for connections, only to drown himself in encounters with nameless subs willing to let him play his bondage games. His attraction to Jason begins as lust for one more golden boy, but their games of pain and pleasure grow into a tenuous trust, arousing feelings in Spider that are the first light he’s seen in a long time.

But as Spider races to solve a brutal homicide, the daily grind of the job takes its toll, and Spider’s control slips dangerously. A killer closes in, and Spider must confront his own inner darkness, while Jason struggles to save himself by making some hard choices.

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TNA_Signature_SammyOMG!  My favorite genre and I had so, so many novels to choose from for this flashback, but hand’s down the mystery I chose was simply outstanding!

Sinner’s Gin is the name of a hot and rising band whose lead vocalist, Miki St. John, is a former street kid haunted by his abusive past at the hands of a diabolical community “good guy,” and his equally slimy cohort, a Chinese restaurant owner. When that same pair end up hacked to pieces and left to be discovered, it is obvious that one of the former “foster boys” had vengeance on the mind and, for some reason, wants Miki dead as well.

Kane is one of the detectives assigned to the case, and he is a genuine good guy who rapidly finds himself falling for the lonely Miki. So much has happened to Miki in a short time–devastating events that have left him emotionally compromised.  A few months before, the other three band members of Sinner’s Gin, which included Damien, Miki’s best friend, were killed in a fatal car crash, leaving Miki behind.  Now someone wants him dead and Miki has nowhere to turn.

Now the race is on to figure out who is doing the killing.  As the story progresses and Kane begins to lose his heart to the fragile Miki, the action picks up and you are suddenly in the midst of a taut, fast-paced mystery.  Throw in a visit from Kane’s Irish fireball of a mother, and a visit to the family home, and you have an incredibly well written story with some genuinely hilarious comedic moments thrown in besides!

I really loved this book. I wanted to wrap these guys up and take them home. The sex was both incredibly intimate, intense and erotic and, to be frank, it was so smoothly written that it fit perfectly into the overall plot–just the right amount and carefully written to address the idea that Miki was formerly sexually abused.

Be forewarned this is book one of a series and when you read the absolutely SHOCKING ending to this book, you will want to order up book two, Whiskey and Wry, immediately. What an incredible cliffhanger!!! LOVED IT!

Sinner's GinThere’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.

After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.

Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.

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TNA_Signature_SadonnaI seem to keep picking series for these Flashback Fridays, and this week is no exception. :)

My mystery series of choice is a group of books by one of my favorite authors (also one of my favorite people), Eden Winters.  This series is five books—so far—that center around two undercover narcotics agents for the Southern Narcotics Bureau, Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter and Bo Shellenberger.  These two men could not be any more different.  Lucky is the former lover of a drug dealer who got caught up in the life and is working off his sentence.  Bo is a former Marine and pharmacist who got a little too close to his product.  During their first case together, their clashing work styles lead to some pretty intense disagreements, but those disagreements don’t stop what’s quickly becoming a relationship beyond work partners. The stutter and stop of the progress of this pair is fun to watch.  Lucky is a smartass redneck who has some issues with his people skills – and he has one of the most distinct voices of any character I’ve read.  Bo is just about Lucky’s polar opposite – a health nut, by-the-book kind of guy, who doesn’t always appreciate Lucky’s “corner cutting” and less than SOP style.  But they manage to work together in case after case. They also have to keep their relationship under wraps because of department policy and because they don’t want their team to be split up.  With each book in the series, the stakes become higher and higher for both Lucky and Bo and for their relationship.  As they deal with more dangerous and deadly enemies, the constant threat takes a toll on them as well.  The well-drawn and believable progression of these men as a couple is enough to recommend this series.

But beyond the amazing characterizations of these two protagonists, these books are really smart.  I learn something new and fascinating in each new book – whether it’s the illegal drug dispensing and theft of pharmaceuticals, the so-called “grey markets” for scarce drugs, new designer street drugs or cross-border drug running, I’m always amazed at the content of these stories.  Ms. Winters does a LOT of research for these books, and it shows.

The fifth book in this series has been published this year and as the series has expanded, we also have gotten to know a number of impressive secondary characters.  Walter, Lucky and Bo’s boss at SNB, is still a bit of an enigma, and particularly in books four and five of the series, the reader is never quite sure who to believe and who may/may not be the bad guys.  Agent Loretta Johnson is also a breath of fresh air – in so many ways.  I would really like to know more about her and maybe we’ll get that in the next book. :)  One of the best things about this series is that while there may be the resolution of a particular case or plotline in each book, there are definitely underlying mysteries that continue to thread through the series that keep me coming back for more.  I am anxiously awaiting more of Lucky and Bo!

DiversionThere are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.

Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.

Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.

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TNA_Signature_LisaOnce again I’m going to throw out a few titles this week just to make things fun and interesting, and once again, I hope to have thrown in enough variety to highlight the uniqueness of the mystery genre.

My first title is an Urban Fantasy mystery I read back in 2010, Andrea Speed’s Infected: Prey.

Roan McKichan is a virus child, which is Speed’s way of delineated Roan from the rest of this series’ infected. In other words, Roan, rather than being bitten, was born with the gene that makes him part human/part shifter, and the Roan we see at the beginning of this series is not only an anomaly but also becomes an evolutionary enigma that no one can explain by the time the author wraps things up. In fact, to put a finer point on it, Roan shouldn’t even be alive… But Roan’s entire being is sort of one big Fuck Off to norms and convention, so why shouldn’t he be just that contrary? Especially when he’s king of the urban jungle.

I’ll be perfectly honest right here and tell you that Prey isn’t the best book in this series, and I’ve spoken to a few people who gave up on its sequels after reading it, but in the history of all fiction, if there’s a series I’d beg anyone to stick with, Infected is right up there at the top of the list. Speed has such a fantastic sense of humor and a knack for creating characters you want to hang out and have a beer with that it’s impossible not to become emotionally invested in them, and even though this series is NOT a romance, Roan and Paris’s relationship is a love story for all time. I can say with at least 99.99% accuracy that I’ve never cried at a book the way I did at Infected: Bloodlines (okay, maybe when Dobby died, but that’s it! And Snapey, but that’s my final offer). But that’s the beauty of this series–though Roan’s an ex-cop turned PI, and there are mysteries to be solved, so much of these books are also about Roan as a person and a lion and a freak of nature. And we can’t forget about the people who love him and just want him to live–they’re awesome.

When I finally got to Infected: Epitaph, the final book in the series, I almost felt this sense of wonder and awe that Roan and Dylan and Holden and the Hockey Boys don’t truly exist somewhere in this world, because for those eight books they were so alive in my imagination and had earned a spot in my wee li’l heart. And there’s not much better than that. If I ever meet Andrea Speed in person, I want to frigging high-five her for staying true to her canon, too, for not pulling any punches or God-In-The-Machine miracles to appease us readers. There may not be any happily-ever-afters promised, but sometimes a happy-for-now is the best we can hope for. Especially when you’re a walking time bomb.

Infected PreyIn a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them.

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My next recommendation started something–I don’t know what to name it, really–but before I even made it out of chapter one, I’d emailed this author. To be more precise, when a white, coiffed helmet of artfully arranged hair, along with rosy cheeks and a pert bow mouth, were all revealed to be sitting atop a pleasantly round and huggable body…clad in a leather bra and panties, and toting a shotgun, I was hooked.

Who the hell but Cole McGinnis could find himself being chased by a lesbian leather granny with a mad desire to swiss cheese his ass? Nobody. Who could ever dream of writing it? Rhys Ford.

Cole hasn’t had what anyone would call a perfect life. Rejected by his father and stepmother, abandoned by his birth mother, navigating a fragile relationship with his brother Mike, and victim of a horrific crime that not only stole a lover but a best friend, when Cole meets the beautiful and elusive Kim Jae-Min…God but does he ever need some one to love, and for that someone to love him back.

So alongside the murder mystery, which looks like a suicide but, of course, isn’t, we also watch the beginning of what evolves into a difficult and crazy-making and frustrating and gorgeously real love story of a man who’s Japanese/Irish ancestry are vague labels of his lineage. And the other? His Korean heritage means duty and honoring its traditions and is, at times, unfathomable to our Western sensibilities that there are actually people in this world who put cultural expectations before their own happiness. But, that’s the beauty of watching Jae unwind, and watching Cole give everything of himself to a man who has a difficult time allowing himself the joy of loving Cole back.

Dirty Kiss is a true mystery, i.e., I hadn’t the foggiest clue who the killer was until the moment that person was revealed, but along the way, I got to meet Scarlet, Claudia, Bobby, Cole, and Jae, and they are, to this day, some of my all-time favorite people. Along with the book’s author.

Dirty kissCole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.

Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.

It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. The death of Jae-Min’s cousin is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.

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All right, readers, you want the wayback flashback? How about a book first published back in 1970? This next recommendation is some seriously perfect noir fiction, and if you’ve ever had anyone try to explain to you the difference between gay romance and gay fiction, this book is that difference.

Joseph Hansen’s Dave Brandstetter Mystery series is a seminal work in the genre. Yes, Dave is gay, but his sexuality is not the focus of these books. In fact, Dave is a Private Investigator who happens to be gay, not a gay man who happens to be a Private Investigator, and there-in lies the difference. The series isn’t about Dave’s sexuality and all the obstacles he faces being gay in the 70s, but it’s about the fact Dave is damn good at what he does, and when he smells a fraud, he’ll scrape and gnaw at every single clue until he uncovers the truth. That’s not to say, however, that there isn’t a certain romanticism to the book Fadeout, for both Dave and for the man whose death Dave is investigating.

Because the blurb for this book is seriously lacking, let me give a quick and dirty recap. Fadeout is this: The year is 1967. Dave Brandstetter is a death claims investigator for Medallion Insurance, the company owned by his father (who’s pretty damn accepting of his gay son, considering the time period). He’s looking into what appears on the surface to be the accidental death of Fox Olsen, a popular public figure in the small town of Pima. Fox was many things: a husband, a father, an entertainer, a performer, an aspiring author, a mayoral candidate, and a man with a secret. Fox had just reached the point in his life where he was worth more alive than dead, after years of living hand to mouth. But then he died in an accident that left behind a car but no body, and an insurance policy with a hefty payout. It’s Dave’s job to find Olsen’s body because no sign of foul play means his company will have to pay the claim on the one-hundred-fifty thousand dollar policy that, let’s face it, could inspire murderous tendencies in a desperate enough person. Greed and desperation have caused people to do murder for a lot less. No corpse, however, now means it’s Dave’s job to sniff out all the facts behind the incident to prevent a fraudulent payout.

If you’re not familiar with the noir style, this book is a perfect representation of that. The short, choppy sentences and dark atmosphere, along with what is, at times, a stream of consciousness delivery, doesn’t have the customary flow and cadence of other sub-genres. If you love long, lush sentences that go on for paragraphs, noir isn’t representative of that writing style. This book is also not written in the first person, which, for whatever reasons, I was anticipating, but not a bit of intimacy is lost in the third person telling, as Hansen not only wove a suspenseful narrative but endeared his forlorn hero to readers at the same time.

I loved his book, for Dave as much as the mystery, so much so that I bought book two before I’d even come close to finishing Fadeout. This is exactly the book you’re looking for if you want a tightly plotted whodunit with a slightly downbeat but nonetheless endearing protagonist.

Dave Brandstetter stands alongside Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade and Lew Archer as one of the best fictional PIs in the business. Like them, he was tough, determined, and ruthless when the case demanded it. Unlike them, he was gay.

Joseph Hansen’s groundbreaking novels follow Brandstetter as he investigates cases in which motives are murky, passions run high, and nothing is ever as simple as it looks. Set in 1970s and 80s California, the series is a fascinating portrait of a time and a place, with mysteries to match Chandler and Macdonald.

In Fadeout, Dave is sent to investigate the death of radio personality Fox Olsen. His car is found crashed in a dry river bed. But there is no body – and as Dave looks deeper into his life, it seems as though he had good reasons to disappear.

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Cardeno C., Genre Romance, Giveaways, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kathie, Self-Published

Audio Review and Giveaway: He Completes Me by Cardeno C. – Narrated by Alexander Collins

Header - Audio He Completes Me copy

Audio Gem

Amazon

Amazon

Title: He Completes Me (The Home Collection: Book Two)

Author: Cardeno C.

Narrator: Alexander Collins

Publisher: Self-Published

Run Time: 8 hours and 25 minutes

At a Glance: He Completes Me gives us just what Cardeno C. promises: a love story with a happy ending.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Not even his mother’s funeral can convince self-proclaimed party boy Zach Johnson to tone down his snark or think about settling down. He is who he is, and he refuses to change for anyone. When straight-laced, compassionate Aaron Paulson claims he’s falling for him, Zach is certain Aaron sees him as another project, one more lost soul for the idealistic Aaron to save. But Patience is one of Aaron’s many virtues. He has waited years for a man who can share his heart and complete his life, and he insists Zach is the one. Pride, fear, and old hurts wither in the wake of Aaron’s adoring loyalty, and as Zach reevaluates his perceptions of love and family, he finds himself tempted to believe in the impossible: a happily ever after.ch doesn’t need to be fixed, and he refuses to be with someone who sees him as broken.

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Review: What a great love story! Cardeno C. just does it for me.  Each of the books in this collection are unique yet tell a story about coming together to form a more perfect union.  Roll your eyes, I get it.  But what is a perfect union? My definition is two or more people who come together and protect each other, love each other through sickness and in health, happiness and sadness, and trust each other no matter what comes their way. And there is pleasure in knowing that in any book I read by this author, I will get my happily-ever-after.  There’s comfort in that.

He Completes Me gives us just what Cardeno C. promises: a love story with a happy ending.  Zach is quite a character, showing up at his mother’s funeral in a skin-tight pink tank top and white pants, trying to tell the relatives he just doesn’t give a damn what they think. But what we learn about Zack as the story unfolds is that he does give a damn and uses anonymous sex, clothes, and a snarky attitude as armor to protect himself from being hurt yet again.

Aaron Paulson is Zach’s complete opposite. Or so it seems. His defense is to take care of people at the expense of himself. Zach points out many times that Aaron is taken advantage of way too often, especially by Zach own brother, Dean, and sister in law, Kimberly. Aaron is also blessed with patience, and to get Zach to admit his love for Aaron, it takes a lot of patience. It also takes a lot of trust on Aaron’s part to wait for Zach to come to his senses (that’s my opinion).

The audiobook is fantastic. The narrator, Alexander Collins, just has the sexiest voice. It sounds like smooth butter and sweet cream, and he does a great job of capturing the personalities of both Aaron and Zach. The added surprise for me was the additional chapter that was added on the end. Thank you, Cardeno C. and Alexander Collins. You make this reader/listener a very happy person.

TNA_Signature_Kathie

 

 

 

 

You can buy He Completes Me here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Cardeno C.About the Author: Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.

Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Cafe Risqué ~ SharedBlog | Pintrest | Google+ | Youtube

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THE GIVEAWAY

Cardeno C. is offering the chance for one lucky listener to win an audio copy of He Completes Me.

Good luck!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Lynley Wayne, The Prose Speak

The Prose Speak: Creating an Effective Website (Part 2) by Lynley Wayne

Author Wesbite pt2

As I said in the last post, you don’t have to have a fancy website. The point of an author’s website is to have a place where readers can go to find out all about your books and you. There is no need to spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to have someone design a site for you. Blogger and WordPress both have free templates that can be adjusted to fit your needs.

We’ve already covered the importance of creating your site to represent the genre you write in and you as an author. Another thing to consider is, feel. If you write sweet romances, then having a dark website doesn’t make sense. If you write horror, then having a light-hearted design doesn’t work. Keep that in mind when considering your color scheme.

One thing do stay away from, even if you do write horror, is a black background with white lettering. It’s hard on the eyes. You want readers to visit your website and stay for awhile. If they can’t read it without getting a headache from eyestrain, then they’re not going to stay very long.

Which takes me to my next point. Not everyone has perfect eyesight. Make sure your font is large enough for everyone to read, or at least the majority of people.

Pick a font that is easy to read. Fancy fonts might look pretty, but they can be hard to read. I would suggest using them only for things like headers or quotes. The rest of your website should be using a legible font. That doesn’t mean you have to use Times New Roman or Arial, there are a lot of legible fonts out there.

Another thing to consider, while those moving or flashing graphics might look cool, they can also cause problems with some medical conditions, like epilepsy.

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In part three of author websites, I’ll talk about things every author website should have. If you have a question, please feel free to leave a comment on this post or contact me directly by email at lynleywayne(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Banner_LynleyWayne.com

Lynley WayneLynley was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. She published her first book in September of 2012 and hasn’t looked back. When not writing she can found reading or coming up with creative ways to avoid housework. While Lynley Wayne may be a pen name, the woman behind it is very real and believes everyone is entitled to their own version of happiness. She looks forward to the day when who, or how, we love is no longer an issue.

Website || Twitter: @LynleyWayne || Facebook || Facebook Page

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Damon Suede, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: Pent Up by Damon Suede

Pent Up Banner

We’re so pleased to welcome author Damon Suede today on the Pent Up blog tour. He’s joined us to chat a bit about noir fiction, and don’t forget, you can enter for the chance to win a signed print copy of the book by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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Tough Guys: the homoerotics of noir

by Damon Suede

kissPent Up started out as a fun, fast project built around the idea of secrets and obsessive desire. Last year, I’d been wanting to write a romantic suspense, and the idea of a moody bodyguard story started to gel in my mind in stark images: rain-slicked streets, dark suits, and a sleek penthouse crammed with conspiracy. I wanted something shadowy and sexy aggressively male in the exaggerated mode of midcentury cinema.

Besides that, bodyguard/billionaire sounded like a blast to write and tailor made for an intense out-for-you. From the get-go I had a solitary hero brooding about his shady past, a polished target with a zillion dollars and no sense, and intense attraction that endangered both of them. I could see it all right up front: the penthouse at night and the two guys circling each other warily a half mile above Park Avenue. After about two days I realized that the story wanted to be a kind of neo-noir romance.

Film noir grew out of the gritty crime stories published in pulps in the early part of the twentieth century. Focused on paranoia, seduction, and a sense of looming menace, these movies revolutionized Hollywood during the studio era. They were cheap to produce, easy to cast, and walked a fine line between sleaze and restraint.

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In the runup to World War II, an influx of European cinematographers and directors turned these cheap potboilers into highly stylized, urban dramas that revolutionized crime genre by introducing sexiness and explicit violence. Modern films like Blade Runner, LA Confidential, Bound, and Sin City expanded on that lexicon. The archetypes of noir have leaked across entertainment: femme fatales, grizzled detectives, chiaroscuro lighting… high stakes and low morals set in nighttime cities where everyone is crooked and you can’t trust your eyes.

Because Pent Up was a bodyguard romance, voyeurism and violence were gonna factor in a big way, right? Two men forced into intimate proximity hiding their flaws and misdeeds from each other. Adding real threats accelerated that process and turned unexpected attraction into something perilous. Ruben was escaping a divorce and alcoholism. Andy felt trapped and hunted in his glass tower. Each of my heroes had spent his life playing a role to survive…and though neither has been with a man, their fantasies overlap in explosive ways.

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Since I imagined the book as a gritty Out-for-you story, I wanted to play on the tough guy personas of film noir: kingpin and bulletcatcher, thug and victim, suit and brute. So often noir stories play with intense male loyalty and betrayal. They’re intensely erotic and anxious…Sure those old films focus on the ladies, I could see no reason why I couldn’t crack open the woozy danger to look at the passionate homosocial bonds under noir storytelling.

In the end, my heroes spent a lot of Pent Up crashing together in the dark. NYC high society peaks at night, and Ruben and Andy waded in: swanky parties and tactical socializing. Night is also a lonely time and ripe for crime. Not for nothing do many film noirs never show sunlight. Water played a huge part too, because of the ways they find ways to spy on each other: in the shower, the pool, the rain. Wetness wound up carrying even more weight for Ruben, because as a recovering alcoholic, his thirst is literal and painful.

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To work as a romantic suspense, Pent Up had to allow for a happy ending in a way that film noir almost never does. Ruben and Andy knew their own failings, and might be able to outgrow crappy habits. The more they groped towards each other the more they demolished the lives they had prior to meeting. In a classic noir, that would have left them both devastated, in a gay romance it made for a entertainingly rough road to that happily ever after.

When I’m writing romance I love exploring fantasies and stereotypes. Noir offers plenty of both in an aggressively macho environment. All that moodiness and menace made for an obsessive attraction and constant escalation. Ruben and Andy’s love story gave me a terrific opportunity to investigate the noirish possibilities of two self-identified straight guys staggering together under extreme duress…and took the book to all kinds of unexpected places.

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Pent UpBlurbPent Up: mix business with pleasure and take cover.

Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.

Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?

What’s a bulletcatcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.

BUY LINKSDreamspinner || All Romance Ebooks || Amazon || iBooks || Barnes & Noble || Goodreads

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Damon SuedeAbout the Author: Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at DamonSuede.com.

LINKSFacebook || Twitter || Newsletter || Goodreads

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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Damon Suede, Giveaways, Heidi Cullinan

Are You Ready for the Big City vs. Small Town Throwdown?

Big City vs. Small Town Banner

WHO SAYS SIZE DOESN’T MATTER?

Romance takes us away from the daily grind, but where do you wanna go? Do you prefer your HEAs on Park Ave or Main Street? High rises or front porches? Metropolis or Smallville? Bright lights or quiet nights? It all comes down to location, location, location!

Join Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan on November 21 from Noon-3PM CST for the Big City vs. Small Town THROWDOWN: a light-hearted battle royale between shit kickers and city slickers. Should rustic charm or urban glitter take the day? Will the victory party be hosted in the quaint bandstand on the town square or on a swanky penthouse roofdeck?

It’s up to you to settle the setting score! Readers, authors, bloggers—come one, come all for contests, team rallies, trash talk, fabulous prizes, and a good time for all no matter who wins the day.

Mark your calendars and set your reminders. This is a Facebook Hosted Event!

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3.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Tempeste O'Riley

Review: Whiskers of a Chance by Tempeste O’Riley

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Whiskers of a Chance

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

PublisherDreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 204 Pages

At a Glance: Overall, this book was really sweet and kept my interest.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Jason Grant runs his own IT business from home, owns his own home, and has the best friend he could imagine. What he doesn’t have, or believe he will ever have, is love. When Jason catches a glimpse of his new neighbor on moving day, his libido ignites and his fascination in piqued. He even manages to concoct an excuse to go over and meet the man who makes him hope and want for more than he has in years.

Keith Skyler is a shifter in a world where his kind is known to only a few, but they don’t often mix and they never mate. Keith has been hoping for a mate since before he can remember, but gay lynx don’t have true mates. As far as he knows, they don’t have mates at all. However, while moving his little family across Seattle—and away from their tribe—his reality tips and spins more than he thought possible.

When these two men meet over a dish of five-cheese broccoli-noodle casserole, sparks fly. Who knew a welcome to the neighborhood gift could give both of them their chance at love?

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Review:  Tempeste O’Riley is a new-to-me author, and I enjoyed her writing style. However, the story itself was a bit disjointed for me.

There was some excellent world building and a unique take on the world of shifters, which I really enjoyed. Keith and Jason were utterly adorable, and I really liked Keith’s nephew and sister. There was some telling that glossed over issues I would have rather seen, and a repeating of various happenings from different points of view, which slowed the story for me.

Overall, this book was really sweet and kept my interest with some of the other characters in addition to the MCs. It wraps up neatly with an HEA for all.

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You can buy Whiskers of a Chance here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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