5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Holiday Romance, M/M/M and More, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus by Bey Deckard

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Title: Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus (Baal’s Heart 3.5)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 43 Pages

At a Glance: I loved this savory and sweet little morsel.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: A Baal’s Heart short, following the events in Fated: Blood and Redemption

Plagued by terrible dreams, Jon begins to distance himself from Baltsaros and Tom. Perhaps a little holiday cheer is just the thing to help the three of them find common ground again.

Dividers

Review: Well, this is a first. I never thought I’d use the words “sweet” and “Bey Deckard” together in a review, but here I am doing that very thing. Never say never…

Careened directly follows the events in this series’ Fated: Blood and Redemption, so if you’ve not read book three yet, this short holiday novella may not pack quite the same punch for you as it would knowing the full scope of events in that novel. Of course, though I say this story has a tinge of the sweet to it, it also offers just that much of the bitter to remind you that the alternate universe Captain Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon inhabit isn’t one without its dangers and grief and pain.

Jon is in a bad way after what happened to him in Sormaheine, the dark shadows of anger and regret following him through his days and nights as he tries to drink away the memories that dog him…though he can’t escape his sub-conscious and the nightmares that manipulate his thoughts and drive his depression. This is where the bitter tempers the sweet in this story, complements the storyline without overwhelming, and, in the end, makes the turnabout that much more satisfying.

Writing a convincing threesome is exactly what Bey Deckard has done. Believing in this threesome and the dynamics of that relationship is exactly what readers of this series are able to do because this author has created three men who just work, plain and simple, in spite of the challenges thrown their way. Crafting this short story to coincide with this verse’s version of a winter holiday is the perfect scenario to offer healing to Jon and begin a mending of the relationship between him and Baltsaros. There was, without a doubt, some truly romantic gestures in Careened, and, as has been the case all along, a Baal’s Heart book wouldn’t be a Baal’s Heart book without a wildly sexy scene or two to watch these three connect and command and show readers the bond they share.

I loved this savory and sweet little morsel. What a great interlude with these characters at a wonderful time of the year.

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You can buy Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus here:

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5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Horror, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Release Day Review: Better the Devil You Know by Bey Deckard

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Better the Devil You KnowTitle: Better the Devil You Know

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 39000 Words

At a Glance: Sick, twisted, brutal, filled with the unexpected, and I loved it.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Byron is tall, handsome, well spoken, wealthy, and has outstanding taste in wine and food. You’ll be impressed by his impeccable attire and eloquence in conversation, ranging from Baroque art to the newest advances in pharmacology. With his charming smile and elegant manners, Byron truly is the perfect date… and who doesn’t love a man who appreciates opera?

What’s the catch, you ask?

Just this: if Byron finds you suitable, he will subject you to utterly depraved forms of torture.

No, I’m not talking about S&M.

Byron will mutilate, rape, and then kill you. Don’t think that you will survive the encounter, because you won’t. He has a perfect record.

Intrigued? Would you like me to arrange a rendezvous? It has to be in the next few days because he’s leaving on a trip south to much warmer climes, and his calendar will be completely full.

Yes? Very good. I will make a reservation for two under the name of Smith.

Who am I? I’m Gloria, his personal assistant.

Dividers

Review: First off, let me say that one of the things I will never do is read a book that’s dark and twisted (a lot twisted), or one that contains material which some may consider triggers—or, situations that may just plain offend a person’s sensibilities—and then say, unequivocally, “You have got to read this book!” We all have comfort zones and boundaries, and pushing those boundaries doesn’t make anyone braver or more intellectual or more open-minded than someone who chooses not to do so. Having said that, I personally have been waiting a long time for this book in the M/M genre.

Okay, not this book, specifically (I’m still waiting for someone to write an M/M Jack the Ripper novel), but rather, a no-holds-barred psychological horror story along the lines of “I ate his liver with some Fava beans and a nice chianti,” only more graphic in detail and agitating in its horrifying displays of insanity. What I’ve been waiting for is a novel that would engage and repulse, all at the same time, and Bey Deckard has delivered in a big way with Better the Devil You Know, a perfectly twisted tale that looks at evil through the eyes of a serial killer, the devil, and questions a psychopath’s ability to be redeemed at the hands of Lucifer himself.

Byron Danielsen, former doctor and this story’s antagonist, is a sick son of a bitch (if you’ll pardon my français). John Wayne Gacy? Ted Bundy? Jeffrey Dahmer? Pfft. Byron makes their crimes seem uninspired and amateurish by comparison, and I’m in awe of Deckard’s imagination—which is one of the reasons I love this niche of fiction. No, I’m not living vicariously in any way through the genre, I’m not at all titillated by the extremes of perversion herein, but I am fascinated by the abnormal psychology of the depraved and irredeemable. When they say “truth is stranger than fiction” (in an ironic bit of perfection, a quote attributed to Lord Byron), they aren’t talking about books like Better the Devil You Know. It’s difficult enough to comprehend when we see crimes of a particularly brutal and aberrant nature on the news, but when we read a story such as this, all we can do is feel grateful the author’s imagination isn’t one born of experience…or fruitful as inspiration.

Byron is… what is Byron? He is repugnant yet is possessed of a certain charm and refinement, which is what makes him such a dangerous beast—what makes so many serial killers dangerous, in fact—their ability to blend in and to attract victims by preying on our inability to see what lurks behind the veil of normalcy. He has the advantage of luring his victims to him, masquerading as a human, if a little odd, when, in fact, there is a monster lurking beneath a hotbed of psychosis. That is what makes this book, and those like it, so terrifying—we know without question that human monsters exist. And his crimes against these innocents are of a nature so foul—if we can really measure murder by degrees of obscenity—that I was left with no other choice but to keep turning pages to see how the author would bring this story to a conclusion. And, I persevered gladly.

In an interesting genre-jump, the plot soon merges with the metaphysical when Byron must give the devil his due. Literally. The Prince of Darkness aims to make Byron pay for his depravity, sending him to Hell, where Byron must endure the ultimate in karmic payback in an effort to harvest even the smallest seeds of regret for his crimes. In an even more interesting twist, Lucifer becomes a sympathetic character when pitted against Byron, which was a fantastic juxtaposition in the flipping of roles, but remember, he is Lucifer, so even in our seeing him from a softer angle, he’s still Satan, still the Lord of Flies who is determined to make Byron remember the one victim he seems to have erased from his memories.

There is no doubt this book is compelling. There is no doubt this story is well written, never once sugarcoating Byron’s crimes or insanity. There is also no doubt whatsoever that this book is not a romance in any way. Nor is this a book that will appeal to anyone but the reader who loves a chilling and macabre and thoroughly bent antagonist.

Does Byron redeem himself in the end? Mmm… I shan’t even attempt to weigh out an opinion on that one. But, to quote another famous author, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

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4.5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Genre Romance, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: The Last Nights of the Frangipani Hotel by Bey Deckard

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Title: The Last Nights of the Frangipani Hotel (The Actor’s Circle: Book Two)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 78 Pages

At a Glance: Yet another lovely read from Bey Deckard

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: All James wanted was a little solitude at his favourite resort: bright sunshine overhead, soft, white sand underfoot, and a hammock to read in while the warm breeze rustles through the coconut palms and almond trees. However, when an old acquaintance shows up, and James is obliged to share “his” beach, a profound exchange over a bottle of rum leads to a lust-fuelled encounter in the dark.

Reeling from the intensity of the drunken tryst, James decides to cut his vacation short rather than face what he’s kept hidden under mountains of denial.

However, his escape is thwarted when Rudie, handsome and plainspoken, calls him out on his behaviour and makes him see that life needn’t be spent running away from his desires.

Set at a rundown old resort on a small Caribbean island, The Last Nights of The Frangipani Hotel is a story about letting go of fear and learning that passion and love can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Dividers

Review: In The Last Nights of the Frangipani Hotel, the second (standalone) novella in Bey Deckard’s The Actor’s Circle series, the author once again explores sexuality through his narrator, James Talbot, an actor who’s found his own corner of paradise in a shabby little hotel on a tropical island. The Frangipani Hotel is James’s escape when the pressures of Hollywood and his own fame begin to hem him in, and it’s here that James learns he’s also been running away from his own reality. That river in Egypt everyone’s always talking about? James has been treading its waters his whole life.

Rudie Brauer is a fellow actor who shows up at the Frangipani in search of a bit of solitude. We know that Rudie is beautiful because James tells us so every single time his eyes wander to the next perfect spot on Rudie’s body—which happens rather frequently. And it’s at that point that we, the readers, know what James doesn’t seem to get—or, at least what he’s not willing to admit to. That he’s not altogether straight.

Watching through James’s somewhat skewed lens of self-awareness, we see him struggle with his lust for Rudie, his using Rudie’s body to satisfy a need James doesn’t fully understand, and we see in Rudie a man who doesn’t mind being used for a little bit of rough, so long as they both get off on it. What Rudie does seem to mind, though, is James’s obtuseness with respect to what his desire for Rudie truly means.

Deckard uses his gift for scene setting to its fullest effect in this novella—ocean waves breaking on the shoreline; the sun shining on the soft white sand; the palm trees swaying languorously on tropical breezes; and the warm, humid nights spent in a rundown hotel room—each add to the sensuality of the story, creating a dreamy backdrop and underscoring the steamy scenes between these two men.

The Last Nights of the Frangipani Hotel isn’t a traditional romance, but there is a romanticism to the story in the sentimentality James feels towards his island hideaway, especially when it becomes clear the hotel is about to be swallowed up in the all-inclusive resort machine. Part of those sentimental feelings become wrapped up in and around Rudie, who, in their short time together, appears will become something more than just a vacation affair for James, which leads James to some decisions about his future and their little slice of heaven on earth.

I don’t know that I’d call this a coming out story. Perhaps it’s more of an awakening for James, as his story isn’t about what he’s willing to show the world but what he’s willing to admit to himself and, now, to Rudie.

This is yet another lovely read from Bey Deckard.

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You can buy The Last Nights of the Frangipani Hotel here:

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5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published, Transgender Romance

Review: The Complications of T by Bey Deckard

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Title: The Complications of T

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 15800 Words

At a Glance: The Complications of T is a timely story that had me cheering because Stuart Leandro, our narrator, raises the questions so many of us have contemplated but are, perhaps, afraid to ask.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: A bite-sized trans* love story:

Stuart Leandro knows he’s washed up, both on the big screen, and in his marriage. Then, when things take an even bigger turn for the worse one night, he winds up blind drunk and lost in a foreign city.

Thankfully, someone’s there to rescue him before his face ends up plastered all over the tabloids.

Wary of the motives of the reclusive stranger who brings the fading star into the quiet shelter of a hip but isolated loft, Stuart nonetheless can’t deny his curiosity… Or his attraction. Tim is unlike anyone the actor has ever met, but underneath the mystery and quiet attempts at invisibility, Stuart discovers someone whose life has been intertwined with his own for years.

Neither could have predicted that Tim’s act of kindness would lead to one of the most intense encounters of their lives—but, are they willing to weather the media storm their extraordinary relationship will cause?

Dividers

Review: It’s no great secret by now that I’m a fan of Bey Deckard’s work, not for the least of the reasons that his characters are always compelling, whether they be pirates or soldiers. This novelette, however, is yet another departure for the author, not a story set in a past or future alternate universe but a very real, compelling, and timely story that had me cheering because Stuart Leandro, our narrator, raises the questions so many of us have contemplated but are, perhaps, afraid to ask.

Beginning with the title, which has a meaning significant to the plot in a dual way, this story presents what, on the surface, seems as though it’s going to be a simple tale of a man and woman meeting and falling into a whirlwind love affair. It’s not until Stuart, who is not only going through the breakup of his marriage but is publicly very drunk, is taken home by his rescuer—someone he believes to be a woman who’s just saved him from the paparazzi, not to mention a sure social media and PR nightmare—and we are presented with an altogether different complication.

Tim White, movie critic and Stuart’s would-be nemesis, is a trans* man and a fantastically sympathetic character—not because we feel a sense of pity or despair for him but because we admire him for his courage and the strength to live life on his terms and to be the man he was born to be. Tim’s forthright answers to Stuart’s question about his biological anatomy and sexual preferences are not only questions I’ve had myself, but are also questions my kids have asked as well, sparked by Caitlin Jenner’s forthright and public transition. The end result of those discussions boils down to sexuality not being something that can be analyzed and deconstructed and then tucked into neat little boxes of conformity. Human sexuality is simply something we accept in others, and that’s the result of Stuart’s relationship with Tim. It’s not about being gay, bi, male, female and all the various permutations, but Stuart simply accepts Tim for who he is and embraces his feelings so honestly to the point that Tim has to play the voice of reason, and does so in a way that prevents this story from falling into the predictable.

I loved The Complications of T, beginning to end. Its characters are relevant, the topic important, and I would recommend it wholeheartedly as a story whose time has come.

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Murphy by Bey Deckard

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Title: Murphy (F.I.S.T.S.: Book Two)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 59 Pages

At a Glance: Add another “W” to the win column for Sarge, Murphy, and Bey Deckard.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Sometimes when it seems like it’s too late, the right person comes along and opens your eyes…

Murphy is the continuing story of a D/s relationship between two Space Marines who found each other in the midst of hopelessness and misfortune.

Sarge and his newly minted squad travel across the galaxy on a top-secret mission that could help win the war. However, to Murphy something about the mission stinks, and it’s not just the planet they’ve landed on.

Dividers

Review: One of the things author Bey Deckard has proven to do so superbly, book after book, is to write a different breed of men. Not that they are particularly unusual—well, maybe a little unusual—but that they are men who aren’t given over to softness or grand expressions of the heart. Yet…these men, who are hardened by life or circumstances, sometimes both, who don’t always express themselves openly, are capable of the kind of love that can mend a wounded soul and make good a future that otherwise might have been somewhat less than underwhelming.

When we met Sarge and Murphy in book one of this series, they were just finding a tentative connection through Dominance and submission, and we watched them suffer through and fight to survive a battle in the war that’s being waged in the sci-fi setting the author has created. The collateral damage to Murphy was on the fortunate side of fatal, his life saved thanks to the futuristic technology that may not have saved his leg but has made it possible for him to recover and still serve as a Marine under the command of the man who also commands him sexually.

Once again, this installment in the series is told in the first person, from the point of view of both Murphy and Sarge, which is perfect because readers are never once left to wonder what each of these men are thinking—exactly what’s necessary since they aren’t always forthcoming in the communication department. What becomes so clear in this book, things we could only assume in book one, is that while Murphy is the submissive in this relationship, it’s Sarge who is being led by the heart, and it’s Murphy who owns it.

Their evolving relationship plays out against the backdrop of speculation from their fellow Marines about their connection, as well as what is the big business of war—who’s expendable and who isn’t, what a man is willing to do to ensure a victory, when the value of a man’s life is measured against the bottom line, and the importance of winning at all costs.

The more that’s revealed about Sarge and Murphy and their bond—something beyond sex, verging on soul deep—the more I want to see of them, so here’s to F.I.S.T.S. 3, Mr. Deckard, and to the characters you let storm their way into our hearts.

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5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Release Day Review: Fated: Blood and Redemption by Bey Deckard

Title: Fated: Blood and Redemption

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

At a Glance: If it’s a measure of how well I loved this series to say it’s one I’ll read again once its end has had a chance to settle, then consider Fated, and the entire series, well loved.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: With the captain’s mind in shambles, Jon and Tom set out to find the passage home through the black mountain range, hoping to find a cure for Baltsaros’s madness. However, when the men are forced to part ways, darkness takes root in the schism created; fate, lust, and vengeance become obsessions threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds holding the three together.

Following on the heels of Sacrificed, Fated takes the pirates on a quest to find those responsible for the captain’s bloody beginnings. But can they survive what awaits them where past and present meet?

Dividers

Review: Sometimes starting a review is not only hard but pretty damned intimidating, especially when you harbor such a fondness for a series you’re afraid you can’t do it the justice it deserves…other than telling people just to read the books. I guess a reviewer’s job is the “why” of it, though, so here it goes:

The characters—Captain Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon: One a charming, ruthless and deadly pirate; one a former slave born into nobility, cheeky and irresistible; one an innocent young man kidnapped to be used as a tool of the Captain’s bidding, strong and at the same time, vulnerable. What makes these characters special is their individual charisma. Apart, they are a trichotomy—three individual pieces of a puzzle that perhaps shouldn’t fit together; together, however, they are a troika, an interworking of want and need that works as the completion of a relationship which must have Jon at its center for balance. He is the hinge for Baltsaros, for Tom, and at the intersection he plays the important role of not only loving both men but helping them learn how to love each other, to overcome their own insecurity and jealousy.

The journey these men take isn’t always measured in nautical miles but in milestones which draw them closer together and sometimes threaten to tear them apart. Fated: Blood and Redemption is the completion of the trilogy and marks the turning point where the Captain must freely offer of himself in order to bring deliverance to Jon, Tom, and, ultimately, to himself. Fated has an almost dreamlike quality to it, alternating between the past and the present, and steering readers through the psychological stigmata which threatens Baltsaros’s sanity, not to mention affecting both Jon and Tom in myriad ways. Is Fate at play in this story, are these men simply ghosts in the machine? Is every action, reaction, and decision—regardless of how well planned or impulsive—destined to bring these men through hell and spit them out on the other side as if they had no real choice at all? It would seem so. And through it all, they fuck and fight with intensity, as they have from the beginning, part of what makes these books so fantastic, that visceral tension that runs between the three of them.

The Adventure—This series is cleverly crafted Alt U/Fantasy, a bit of swashbuckling, a bit of mysticism, and so captivating because it’s not only original but draws one in emotionally as well. Each time Baal’s Heart sets sail, these men are affected by that journey, and, on the flip-side, these men affect each journey they undertake. It’s impossible not to become invested in the relationship these men have built, to grin madly at Tom and to sympathize with all three of them, and while the books aren’t necessarily romances, there is a romanticism to them: the idea of each loving two men for different but no less powerful reasons, living by their own rules and answering to no one but themselves and those they’ve chosen to keep close.

Fated brings the trilogy full-circle, the end is the beginning, and one can only assume the cycle will continue for these passionate men until the end of their days together. If it’s a measure of how well I loved this series to say it’s one I’ll read again once its end has had a chance to settle, then consider Fated, and the entire series, well loved.






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Bey Deckard, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Character Interview With Captain Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon – The Baal’s Heart series by Bey Deckard

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In what I can assure you is one of the most interactive interviews ever done here at The Novel Approach, I’m happy to bring Bey Deckard to you today. Or, rather, Captain Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon of the pirate ship Baal’s Heart, in anticipation of the April 11, 2015 release of Fated: Blood and Redemption, Book Three of the Baal’s Heart trilogy.

There’s a reason Caged and Sacrificed made my list of Best Reads of 2014, not the least of which is the charm of the three characters who make this series all it is. To know them truly is to love them.

So, without further ado, here they are, the captain, Tom, and Jon.

Dividers

TNA: Gentlemen, thanks to you for agreeing to answer a few questions for me. I have to confess to feeling a bit intimidated by this interview, so let’s start with an easy question and see where it goes from there.

Will you introduce yourselves (or each other) to the readers who may not know you yet?

B: *laughs* There’s no need to feel intimidated, my dear. I assure you that we’re all on our best behaviour. *leans forward in his chair* Lisa, is it? May I call you Lisa?

TNA: Oh, Captain… you may call me anything you wish, but Lisa will do just fine. *winks*

T: *chuckles but stops at a look from the captain*

B: *inclining his head in a little bow* Lisa, it’s very nice to meet you. I’m Captain Baltsaros, captain of the pirate ship Baal’s Heart. We’re honoured to have been invited to speak with you. *smiles and leans back, hands clasped loosely in his lap* Now… let me introduce you to the two young men I have with me. On my left, trying to affect an air of disinterest, is Jon. More recently, Captain Jon Black.

J: *laughs* Well… Not captain anymore, but thank you for that. Pleased to meet you, Lisa. I’m not acting “disinterested”. I’m just… well, I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to be saying.

T: Yer supposed to say yer how-do-ye-do’s, love. Then ye bloody answer all the nice lady’s questions smartly, like a good lad… aye? *shifts in place patting at his trousers looking for something*

J: *rolls eyes* Don’t mind Tom. He’s chafing a little because the captain made him put on a shirt.

T: *snorts*

B: A little decorum goes a long way, Tom. Lisa, I apologize for my first mate. Though he’s the only one of us with legitimate noble beginnings, he enjoys playing the savage.

T: Thomas Hinchliffe of Averdown the Fourth. *side eyes Baltsaros before looking back at Lisa* Pleased to make yer acquaintance, I’m sure. How’s that for bloody decorum?

J: *choking* What? Where in the hells did that come from?

B: *laughs*

T: It’s my bloody name, ducky. *finds what he was looking and pulls a match out of his pocket*

J: I’m sorry, but you hate it when your mother calls you anything but Tom. The look you gave her—wait, the fourth? So your dad was… Ohh… is that why you don’t like being called… *trails off at a scowl from Tom*

T: D’ye mind if I smoke here, lovey? *pulls a slim cigar out from behind his ear and holds it up*

TNA: *gapes* Erm… well… *clears throat* Yes, please, be my guest.

Jon, Tom, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well. Tom, I had no idea you were a member of the nobility. *desperately shuffles notes* And Jon, he doesn’t like to be called what? You can’t just leave readers hanging like that. I mean, you can, but you won’t… will you?

J: Oh, well he just doesn’t like it when his mother calls him “Thomas”. I figured it’s just because he likes being an ass, but… it’s got to do with your dad, right? *furrows brows as he looks at Tom*

T: Aye, the name don’t sit right with me for a couple’a reasons, love, that bein’ one of them. The gutless bastard that put me in my ma’s belly is Lord Thomas. I’m no coward like he was. Let’s just stick with Tom, aye? *holds the match to the end of his cheroot and puffs it to get it lit, then goes to drop it on the ground but stops at a soft noise from the captain*

Sorry. *balances the charred match on his knee*

B: *shakes his head and hands Tom the cup of water he’d been drinking from to use as an ashtray* We seem to have hijacked your interview, Lisa. Apologies,please… continue.

TNA: How are all three of you doing after your last adventure, especially you, Captain?

B: I’m recovering, thank you. *the words are said politely, but his expression is a little grim, and Tom and he share a look*

J: *staring down at his hands, face pale* Fine.

T: Aye, we’re fine, missy. It ain’t peaches and rainbows, but we’re gettin’ on the way we do.

B: Indeed we are. *the look he gives Jon is both worried and fond, and Jon lifts his head with a wan smile when he notices Baltsaros watching*

TNA: What are some things you know for sure about the three of you that you didn’t know even a few months ago?

J: *brightens* Tom’s name for one…

T: Don’t make me regret I told ye. *the words are a playful growl, and he blows out a plume of smoke*

J: *laughs* Ok… Sorry, Lisa. Let me think… Things we know for sure… Ummm. Do you mean things we learned about ourselves? Or about each other?

TNA: *grins* Please, do you think I ever have this much fun doing interviews? So, how about if we say a little of both? The roles have changed a bit for all three of you, in your relationship as well as on board ship, yeah? Are you all three comfortable with where you are now, especially in, shall we say, private?

J: Oh. *face reddening a little, he scrubs a hand through his curls and glances over at Tom*

T: For lord’s sake, love! It’s not like she’s askin’ to see yer pecker. *laughs*

TNA: Well, a lady would never ask, but a woman… There’s no telling what we’re apt to ask for. *grins*

J: *stares wide-eyed at Lisa for a moment, then his face splits into a self-conscious grin as he looks down at his hands, slowly shredding the hem of his shirt.*

B: *smirks at Jon and then turns to Lisa with a graceful smile* Things have… changed, yes. I think it’s fair to say that the roles we have both in public and private have shifted in just the past year. While Tom remains my first mate, he and I are much closer thanks to Jon. Jon’s role aboard changed following my… ah… mental lapse, and he continues to function as a failsafe for me in his role of quartermaster. *his smile becomes a little self-conscious* I now know for certain that I obviously need to relinquish control more oft—

T: Ha!

B: —en. *shakes his head at Tom, but he’s still smiling.*

J: I know that both of you learned basic human concepts like “trust” and “lo—

T: Bloody hells! Why d’ye two have to be so fuckin’ meaningful all the godsdamned time? *laughs and then leans forward in his chair, brow furrowed and blue-green eyes mischievous* Lisa, lovey, what I know for certain now that wasn’t bloody apparent before… is that Jon, feeble li’l fucker that he once was, is a right demon when it comes to givin’ me a deep dickin’—

J: Tom!

B: *sits back looking amused*

T: Lemme finish, lad. The lady asked for private, so I’m givin’ her bloody private, savvy? Sorry… where was I? Aye… when Jon’s balls-deep, he can be a real devil, every bit o’ rough that my da is and—*looks over at Baltsaros with a grin*—Da here, can be every bit o’ soft that Jonny-boy can be. It’s a bloody miracle, as far as I’m concerned. If ye ask me, I’m the one who got the best out of this deal. What d’ye think, love? *winks at Lisa*

TNA: Me? *laughs* I think you just changed me from a lady to a woman with one answer, you charming scoundrel. *winks back*

T: *waggles his brows and slouches back in this chair, puffing on the end of his cigar*

B: So, Tom, you’re saying that what you just said isn’t “meaningful”? *chuckles*

T: *shoots a look at Baltsaros, and for a moment the two men just smile at each other*

TNA: *stares* Uh, okay, assuming it can get a little stir crazy spending so much time on board ship, what’s your favorite way to blow off steam?

*All three laugh, and Jon goes an even darker shade of red*

T: C’mon, lad. You tell ‘er, since yer so bloody keen on torturin’ me lately…

J: *looks over at Baltsaros, but when the captain nods in encouragement, it looks like Jon wants to disappear into his chair* Uh… *rubs his face* Ok. Well… the long table in the stateroom got wrecked in the fight against the Reaper—long story *waves it away*… anyway, we had it up on crates at first, but then we found a replacement on our way home, and we had nowhere to put the old one. It just ended up propped against the wall… We were just going to throw it overboard, but one night I was telling Tom about what we called the “begging cross” in the dungeon I used to work in—I was a sort of interrogator in a dungeon in Portsmouth for my—

B: Jon, stay on the subject.

J: *breathes deep with a small nod, one hand picking nervously at the front of his tunic* Tom built a fair replica of a begging cross—it’s really just a big X—with the pieces of the old table and bolted it into the floor of our quarters. *glances over at Tom* And… well… now instead of spending time in the brig like he used to every time he gets into trouble… we tie him to the cross instead so we can take turns… at… *looks at Lisa and falters*

T: *starts to laugh*

J: Hey, you’re the one who’s been doing everything he can to get tied to the fucking thing, why do I have to talk about it?

T: Because ye turn a lovely shade o’ pink, lovey, and it makes my cock hard hearin’ ye speak words that do it to ye.

B: *brow cocked in amusement* Our first mate also took it onto himself to bring some new toys aboard… They’ve proven to be an excellent source of divertissement. Especially coupled with the cross. Tom, do you want me to tell our lovely host exactly what it was that Jon and I were doing that had you begging so charmingly last night?

T: *looking a little abashed, he shakes his head then focuses on Lisa* So what was that next question, lass? Did ye ask it? Can ye ask it?

J: *laughs* turnabout it fair play.

TNA: *fans self – reaches over and pats Tom’s hand* No worries, Tom, I knew that would be a, shall we say, loaded question. I also knew the answer would be a lot of fun. I’ll ask the next question, but pardon me if I seem a bit distracted from here out. My imagination… Oy.

T: *grins crookedly*

TNA: If you were each to write his own memoir, what would the titles of your books be?

B: I think mine would have to have something of madness in it *chuckles* but what about Of Monsters and Maelstroms: The Voyages of Captain Baltsaros?

*Jon and Tom both laugh*

T: Sounds like ye been thinkin’ o’ that for a while, aye? So ye gonna write a bloody memoir?

J: *helpless laughter* Oh gods… emphasis on the bloody

B: *for a moment something like anger crosses his face, but then he joins in on the laughter*

T: Ok… I think… if I were to put my life to paper… it’d be somethin’ like… uhhh—

J: Fucking and Fighting or Hungover and Horny

T: *grinning wide* D’ye see why I love Jonny-boy here so fuckin’ much? He bloody knows me.

B: What about you, Jon?

J: Me? I have no idea. Why would I want to write about what’s happened to me in my life? *he suddenly looks a little withdrawn*

T: *drops his cigar in the cup of water, gets up from his chair, and puts his arms around Jon’s shoulders to bury his face in the side of Jon’s neck*

J: *eyes closed, he listens to the words rumbled against his skin by the first mate and gives a little nod, his brow smoothing out*

B: *watches the exchange and then turns to Lisa with an apologetic smile* Jon’s memoir would be called something like The Burden of Trust.

J: *lets out a small, bitter-sounding laugh*

T: *instead of returning to his chair, Tom sits cross-legged on the floor in front of Jon’s*

TNA: Oh my… well, on that note, last question, gentlemen – can you give us a wee hint as to what your next journey will be? Just a little tease?

*Jon and the captain share a long look*

B: For now? We are heading to Madierus. I’m afraid it’s not a very interesting answer… but I’ve promised Jon that we won’t budge for a little while. Then, once we’re rested and tired of staying in one place, we’ll see.

T: Aye, we’ll see… see how long it takes for Abetha to drive us all bloody mad. Oh, that’s a thought: we could write a memoir together and call it Three Madmen in a Leaky Tub 

B: Baal’s Heart has yet to leak.

T: Aye, but the bloody state of her… unseemly with all them patches.

B: *frowns and nods thoughtfully* We’ll have plenty of time for repairs once we get to Madierus.

TNA: So you’re just going home?

J: *smiles softly, his grey-blue eyes soulful as his fingers stroke the side of Tom’s neck* Nah. Madierus is just… a break. It’ll never be home. Home is the Heart. It’s Baltsaros and Tom and me together. That’s home.

Now, if that’s all the questions… I think it’s actually time to be getting home now. I’m sorry that it got a little serious there. You have to understand that we’ve been through somewhat of an ordeal, and things have been a little rough.

I want to thank you for having us, and I hope you’ll have us again one day.

B: Yes, it was a definitely a pleasure, Lisa. I’ll be sure to send you a letter, should we find ourselves heading for strange waters. *his smile is friendly, and he bobs his head in a quick, charming bow*

T: If ye ever want to come sail with us, I’m sure I could find ye some room, lovey. Just let o’ Tom know. *he winks and quickly pulls Lisa’s knuckles to his mouth for a brief, rough-stubbled peck*

TNA: *gasps* Tom, you are a wicked scoundrel. And I can assure you, gentlemen, the pleasure was entirely mine.

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Fated(200x300)Blurb: With the captain’s mind in shambles, Jon and Tom set out to find the passage home through the black mountain range, hoping to find a cure for Baltsaros’s madness. However, when the men are forced to part ways, darkness takes root in the schism created; fate, lust, and vengeance become obsessions threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds holding the three together.

Following on the heels of Sacrificed, Fated takes the pirates on a quest to find those responsible for the captain’s bloody beginnings. But can they survive what awaits them where past and present meet?

Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble

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Bey Deckard, Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal and Exclusive Excerpt – Fated: Blood and Redemption (Baal’s Heart III)

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Title: Fated: Blood and Redemption
Series: Baal’s Heart
Author: Bey Deckard
Cover Artist: Bey Deckard
Release Date: April 11th, 2015
Word Count: 117 000+
Pre-Order Now: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Goodreads Link: Fated

Blurb: With the captain’s mind in shambles, Jon and Tom set out to find the passage home through the black mountain range, hoping to find a cure for Baltsaros’s madness. However, when the men are forced to part ways, darkness takes root in the schism created; fate, lust, and vengeance become obsessions threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds holding the three together.

Following on the heels of Sacrificed, Fated takes the pirates on a quest to find those responsible for the captain’s bloody beginnings. But can they survive what awaits them where past and present meet?

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Excerpt: Tom gave Jon a faint smile as he took his place behind the ship’s wheel. Pitching the bastard overboard wasn’t what was bothering him; the man’s life or death hadn’t concerned him in the least… though being ripped apart by those things sure made for a good tale to tell. No, it was the way that Jon’s voice had taken on the same cold, precise tones that so often fell from Baltsaros’s lips. Even his accent had changed a little. Tom shook his head and tightened his hands on the handles without a word.

“You’re worried about me,” said Jon softly.

Frowning, the first mate nodded, keeping his eyes forward.

“Don’t be worried about me, Tom,” said the young captain.

Chewing the inside of his cheek for a second, Tom nodded again.

“We ready?” he asked gruffly. He looked over at Jon and saw that he was staring at him with an odd expression on his face.

“I’m not turning into him,” said Jon. “If that’s what you’re worried about.”

Tom shrugged and turned the wheel a little back and forth, impatient to get going.

“Ye bloody sounded just like him, Jon.”

When Jon reached for him, he wasn’t expecting the sudden, sharp pain in his scalp as his fingers snarled a wicked handful of Tom’s hair and tugged his head back. Jon brought his face close, his storm-grey eyes furious.

“You wanted me to be captain, so I am being captain. It is not easy for me, but I am fucking doing it the only way I know how,” Jon growled through clenched teeth. “If you don’t like it, you can go fuck yourself. And… What makes you think you can go behind my back and string up passengers without my say-so?”

Tom opened his mouth to speak, but Jon’s hand tightened its hold, and he let out a pained grunt instead.

“The issue should have been brought to me first. Me. The captain. Isn’t that how it works on this fucking ship? No. Instead you go around terrorizing people and then suddenly come dump the problem in my lap with no warning, putting me on the godsdamned spot to figure out what sort of punishment fits the crime. I had no idea what to say… Shit, how do you think that makes me look in front of the crew? Half of them still see me as some kind of fucking bed warmer for you and Baltsaros.”

Jon gave Tom’s head a little shake, and he winced.

“You need to work with me, Tom. Not against me. Godsdammit, you know Punga could have sat, not hung, in the brig for another day or two, and we could have taken care of things together. And, for hell’s sake, you ass, of course I was going to pull him out of the water. I saw that look on your face, Tom. I’m not a godsdamned killer. I’ve killed three men now, and I’m pretty damned sure it’s not going to become a hobby. I don’t want to see you doubt me like that again. Understand?” He let go of Tom and stood glaring him.

Tom rubbed the back of his head.

“Yes, Cap’n,” he said sedately with a small nod. Then Tom let the grin he’d been holding back curve his lips and cocked his head. “Feel better?”

Jon’s face creased into a sheepish smile, and he chuckled, nodding.

“Much,” he confessed. “Gods, I am not cut out for this shit.”

Tom shook his head.

“Naw, love. I think yer doin’ just fine. Yer bloody right, ye know. I should stop worryin’ about you so much, and I should’a come to ye the second that red-haired witch came to see me.”

“Ceara came to you?” Jon heaved a sigh and raked both his hands through his mess of curls. “Argh! Fuck. Ok. I’ll take care of her too. If she’s trying to win me over, she sure as hells is taking the wrong path. I can’t stand the idea that people would take things like this into their own hands rather than bother me. Bother me, for fuck’s sake. I know I’m stressed as fuck, but bloody hells, how else am I going to learn?”

Tom grinned wider at Jon’s increased use of profanity.

Jon furrowed his brow and leaned forward, his blue eyes dark in the dying sunlight as he studied Tom for a long moment. When he finally spoke, his voice was low and intimate.

“What? You think this is amusing? Just so you know, if you get us through these mountains in one piece, I plan on using you so thoroughly that the only words left to you will be please and more.”

The first mate blinked, a sudden pulse of heat taking him as his heart kicked up in surprise. He laughed and Jon smiled back a little wolfishly.

“Aye, aye, sir,” Tom said and eagerly grabbed the ship’s wheel again.

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Author BioAuthor Bio: Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.

Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy.

Links: Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon

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Bey Deckard, Brad Vance, Joseph Lance Tonlet, Rain Carrington, Varian Krylov

Hot Reads for the Trevor Project – Great Books for a Great Cause

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Get ready to lower your thermostat because your winter is about to get hot! For a limited time only, get SIX great reads by some of the hottest authors in M/M! A guilt-free guilty pleasure at an incredibly low price with all proceeds going to The Trevor Project! Continue reading

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Bey Deckard, Self-Published

Interview and Giveaway: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires by Bey Deckard

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TNA: Hi, Bey, welcome back to The Novel Approach, it’s great to have you here with us today. Let’s talk a little bit about Sacrificed. Have you modeled Captain Baltsaros after any one particular pirate, or is he more an amalgamation of the entire piratical lore? Or, would you say he’s entirely unique among pirates, real or fictional?

Bey: Well, he has Captain Kidd’s style, became pirate-by-mutiny like Capt. Jack Avery aka “The King of Pirates”, has the sadistic, bloodthirstiness of Francois l’Olonnais (pirate fun fact: he was rumoured to have eaten an enemy’s heart), and the ruthless iron-fist rule of Ching Shih (pirate fun fact: Ching Shih’s husband, Zengh Yi, was bisexual and adopted a young man to cover up the fact that they were lovers. Ching Shih eventually became lovers with the young man after her husband’s death, and he became her second-in-command).
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A.J. Truman, Aleksandr Voinov, Bey Deckard, CJane Elliott, Coastal Magic Convention, DH Starr, GayRomLit, JL Merrow, K.A. Merikan, Kevin Klehr, Morticia Knight, Sneak Peek, Tere Michaels

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic weekend. We’re gearing up for a great week ahead here at The Novel Approach.

In case you’ve missed them, we still have two outstanding giveaways open to close out our Countdown to GRL Celebrations: Sherrie Henry, Gift Basket Seven, and our Grand Prize giveaway, so be sure to check those out before they expire.

Now, here’s what we have coming up in the week ahead.


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Monday – Kicking off the week, we’ll be hosting Aleksandr Voinov on the A Taste for Poison Blog Tour, with a giveaway

Wilde City Press author Kevin Klehr joins us today to talk a bit about his books Drama Queens With Love Scenes and Drama Queens and Adult Themes

TuesdayJL Merrow drops in to visit today on the Raising the Rent Blog Tour, with a giveaway

A.J. Truman also joins us today with a giveaway on his Out in the Open Blog Tour

WednesdayTere Michaels is here today to answer a few questions on the Countdown to Coastal Magic Convention Blog Tour

We’ll also have CJane Elliott with us on the Aidan’s Journey Blog Tour, with a giveaway

ThursdayDH Starr joins us today on the Meant for Him Blog Tour, with a giveaway

K.A. Merikan also stops by on the Guns n’ Boys Blog Tour

FridayMorticia Knight is our guest today on the All Fired Up Blog Tour, with a giveaway

Bey Deckard also drops in on his Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires Blog Tour, with a giveaway

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And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Erotica, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires by Bey Deckard

Title: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Reunited once more, the crew of Baal’s Heart must make the long and treacherous journey south to the towering spires of the Devil’s Isles. The path through the mountain range is fraught with peril; mayhem and tragedy plague the pirate ship, but what the men find beyond the spires is the most shocking of all.

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Bey Deckard, Cover Reveal, Self-Published

Cover Reveal: “Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires” By Bey Deckard

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Title: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires
Sequel to: Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas
Author: Bey Deckard
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 127k Words
Genre: Historical Fantasy, M/M Romance, Erotica
Expected Release: October 2014
Available for Purchase Upon Release at the Following E-tailers: Amazon, Smashwords, Indigo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Apple (Paperback will be available in November) Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Ashe Barker, Ashlyn Kane, Bey Deckard, Cardeno C., Charlie Cochet, Cover Reveal, D.H. Starr, GayRomLit, Hayden Thorne, JC Wallace, K.A. Merikan, Keira Andrews, Morgan James, Rebecca Cohen, Rhys Ford, T.M. Smith, T.T. Kove

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to anyone who’s popped in today to see what we’ve got in store for the week ahead!

If you missed my announcement on RJ Scott’s blog about the Virtual Gift Basket Giveaways we’ve got coming up at the end of the month and into the first week of October, I’ll repeat the news here because, well, it bears repeating. We’ll be doing a giveaway of SIX baskets, courtesy of Team TNA’s GayRomLit featured and supporting authors. Each basket will include $25 in E-Gift Cards to various retailers, as well as E-books from the following participating authors: Jordan L. Hawk, Erica Pike, Zathyn Priest, DH Starr, Rhys Ford, Sophie Bonaste, Ethan Day, JK Hogan, Rafe Haze, LE Franks, Edmond Manning, Jacob Z. Flores, Jamie Lynn Miller, Lex Chase, RJ Scott, Sherrie Henry, Katey Hawthorne, Charlie Cochet, Deanna Wadsworth, and a late but very welcome addition to the giveaway, Z.A. Maxfield.

That’s a lot of titles and a lot of gift cards to give away, and I’m so excited to get the party started in just a few weeks’ time!

But for now, here’s what’s happening this week. Continue reading

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Bey Deckard, Self-Published

Salty Dogs, Spicy Language? What Else Would You Expect From Pirates? Welcome Bey Deckard And A Giveaway!


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TNA: Hi, Bey, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start with the sharing part of the interview? Would you tell us a few things about yourself: hobbies, interests, odds and ends stuff?
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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, A.J. Corza, Bey Deckard, Chase Potter, Devon McCormack, HAHAT Blog Tour, Hunter Frost, JP Kenwood, K.C. Wells, Max Vos

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Hi, everyone, and welcome back! We’ve got more great guests and interviews coming up, and we’re also playing host, for our third consecutive year, to the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. If you’ve never followed along on this tour before, make sure to check out the list of all the participating authors/bloggers/publishers. It’s an informative and uplifting experience. Add to that some more giveaways and reviews, and it’s shaping up to be a great time.

Here’s the complete rundown on what we’ve got on tap for the week ahead.

MondayJP Kenwood kicks off the week with her historical novel Dominus, as well as an interview and giveaway

TuesdayKC Wells is our guest today on the Love Lessons Learned Blog Tour. She sat down to answer a few questions for us, so make sure to stay tuned for that, as well as a tour-wide giveaway

WednesdayMax Vos stops in on his V Unit Blog Tour, and there’ll also be a tour-wide giveaway for you

A.J. Corza’s back today with another installment of Got You Covered

ThursdayDevon McCormack is dropping by to do give us the lowdown on his book Clipped, and he’s offering a giveaway

FridayChase Potter is our guest on the blog tour for his new book The Race for Second, and there’s a giveaway

SaturdayThe Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia kicks off with a special guest post from my friend B. Addler, who talks about something that’s not in the tour title but is no less prevalent, Biphobia

Hunter Frost is also with us today to talk about her story in Torquere Press’ upcoming Men in Uniform anthology, and she’ll also be offering a giveaway

SundayBey Deckard is our guest today with an interview that makes me want to hoist the Jolly Roger and parlay on the poop deck! I dunno… it sounded good. Bey’s also offering a giveaway of his book Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas, so stay tuned

And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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4.5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Bey Deckard’s “Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas” Just Might Steal Your Heart


“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Title: Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas (Baal’s Heart #1)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 356 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Sheltered and lonely, Jon’s life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal’s Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.
Continue reading

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