Giveaways, J.A. Rock

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Subs Club Blog Tour with J.A. Rock

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Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release The Subs Club—Book 1 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win your choice of two backlist ebooks and a $10 Amazon gift card!

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The Subs Club Supporting Characters

At other stops on the tour, you’ll meet the four main Subs Club members: charming, snarky Dave; uptight perfectionist Miles; big-hearted dudebro Kamen; and super shy Gould. At the start of the series, they’re still reeling from the death of their fifth friend, Hal, but are steeling themselves to go back to playing at Riddle, the dungeon where he died. Here’s a look at some of the supporting characters who populate Riddle, and the Subs Club universe in general:

Bill Henson: The dom who was playing with Hal at Riddle the night Hal died. Bill was charged with second-degree murder when Hal strangled to death after Bill left him tied up, alone, in one of the playrooms. Bill was later found innocent in court—though the kink community has been less forgiving. Prior to the Hal incident, Bill had a reputation for being an arrogant, sometimes careless dom who exaggerated his experience level. This makes him an easy target for angry, grieving kinksters looking for someone to blame. But Bill might not be quite the monster everyone thinks he is…

Cinnamon the Ponygirl: The Subs Club’s mortal enemy, Cinnamon is famous in the pony play world, but far less popular at Riddle. Rude, self-centered, and fond of stirring up trouble, she was also the only witness to Hal’s death—and she spoke in Bill Henson’s defense at the trial, incurring the Subs Club’s further wrath. Dave, who has an irrational fear of furries, is particularly uneasy around her, because he considers pet players a little too close to furries for comfort.

Kel and GK: The owners of Riddle, one of two kink clubs in the city, GK and Kel are a married couple who had a dream: to run a dungeon together. But three years after that dream became a reality, things went to shit when Hal died at Riddle, causing kinksters to question whether GK and Kel are capable of maintaining a safe play environment. Kel and GK struggle to keep their club afloat in the wake of tragedy, making questionable decisions along the way. They also seem to have a real thing for Gould.

Ricky Chuy: The smoothest, twinkiest, innocent-est newbie imaginable. The Subs Club sometimes lets him tag along with them to Riddle to learn about the scene. Dave describes it as “like taking the goddamn Little Mermaid to a bondage club.”

Rachel, the Human Menorah-Maker: Okay, Rachel’s a bit elusive. But other clubgoers look fondly upon her annual Hanukah rope work, where she creates rope candleholders on people’s arms and turns them into human menorahs.

Regina: “Biggest hair I’ve seen outside a Winger video,” according to Dave. A Riddle staff member, Regina loves to play matchmaker at the club, introducing players with similar kinks. Regina can usually be found tending the dry bar, working the front desk, or else DM-ing.

Mrs. Pell: Kamen’s mom. She’s been in the scene for years, but she usually plays at Cobalt, the “White Castle of BDSM clubs.” So as long as Kamen sticks to Riddle, he can usually avoid, y’know…running into his mom at a dungeon. Much to Kamen’s mortification, Mrs. Pell is very frank about and comfortable with her lifestyle, and loves to show off the string of hairy-chested play partners she doms.

Bowser: A big, burly, Viking-esque man with a ginger beard, an extreme medical play fetish, and a laugh that sounds just like Bowser’s in Super Mario 64. Apparently he and the very masochistic Miles have a bit of a past together.

Fucktopus: A mysterious “tentacle furry” who shows up on the Subs Club message board to talk about his eight robotic tentacles of fun. Dave’s absolute worst nightmare.

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TheSubsClub_600x900About The Subs Club (The Subs Club #1): A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.

A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.

But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.

Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.

I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.

—Dave

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About The Subs Club Universe: After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

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Author BioAbout the Author: J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website || Blog || Twitter || Facebook

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Giveaway

Don’t forget! To celebrate the release of The Subs Club, J.A. Rock is giving away two titles from her backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 12, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! And don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, J.A. Rock, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing

Release Day Review: The Subs Club by J.A. Rock

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Amazon

Amazon

Title: The Subs Club (The Subs Club: Book One)

Author: J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 297 Pages

At a Glance: I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for Pain Slut, coming out in February of 2016.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.

A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.

But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.

Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.

I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.

—Dave

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Review: We all have preconceived notions of not just ourselves but the people and the roles they have in our lives. What happens when that reality is shattered and you are left to reinvent yourself inside a new paradigm? Like taking an old well-loved coat and repurposing it to something new and better than it was before – something that will grow with you and make you a better person. It hurts, but it is worth the transformation.

Dave. He’s complicated, witty, and a little immature (but trying so hard), loyal and an advocate for others. He’s a sub but he’s gonna make you work for it – especially if he feels you don’t deserve it. He is secure in himself as a submissive, and he knows what he needs and is convinced he will never find it or have the guts to ask for it, especially now. There used to be five of them, a circle of friends who are all subs. Now there are only four.  His best friend died at the hands of an irresponsible Dom, and it’s a wound that hasn’t healed for any of them. Their first night back at an event at Riddle, a local BDSM club—and the one where Hal died—Dave spies a man he nicknames Pornstache, and falls into insta-lust. “Come save me, Pornstache. But, I mean, don’t, because I’m not attracted to you and I’m not here to have fun. I’m here to reflect on how stupid-lonely I am, and how I prefer meaningless sex to relationships, and meaningless spankings to meaningless sex.”  Pornstache is actually Dave (yes, the main characters have the same name!), a Dom who goes by the name The Disciplinarian and, yeah, he noticed Dave too.  But Dave isn’t easy, and the wounds he carries for not just himself but for all of his friends, make this relationship painful and not just from the spankings.

This book really delves into a serious issue in the fet community—subs having a voice. Who is responsible when something goes wrong in a scene? Rules are there for a reason and should never be broken, and when they are, who do you blame?  Dave has an idea to start an online blog called The Subs Club where subs can go and talk about anything, and that includes the Dom’s they play with. It’s all about being safe, knowing who is playing safe and who isn’t and what kind of experiences they are having as subs. Sounds good, right? But what happens when people start talking about your new Dom on the blog?

This book is about moving forward from tragedy, wrapped inside the complicated world of discipline and submission. Brilliantly written, Dave is a man you truly want to find his HEA inside the domestic discipline relationship he craves, and Pornstache is just the Dom to give it to him! Dave finally realizes “Oh my fucking God.  Love really is the most dangerous game. And I want to play it.”

I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for Pain Slut, coming out in February of 2016.

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Subs Club here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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Giveaways, GRL 2015 Featured Blogger Tour, J.A. Rock

Guest Post and Giveaway: The GayRomLit Countdown Celebration Continues With J.A. Rock

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Today, The Novel Approach welcomes author J.A. Rock as we continue the countdown to GRL 2015. Enjoy J.A.’s guest post, then be sure to check out the instructions on how you can enter to win one of J.A.’s backlist titles.

Good luck!

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Celebrating Diversity at GRL

Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and I’m so happy to be back at The Novel Approach! I’m also super excited to be attending my second GRL in October. One of the things I’d heard about GRL before I ever went was that it was a safe place for people to be themselves. And I was like, “Take me to this utopia of costumes, dancing, books, and widespread acceptance!” I wasn’t disappointed. The diversity and openness I witnessed at GRL 2014 extended not just to people, but also to books. It’s called Gay Rom Lit, and m/m romance is certainly the focus, but the conference celebrates books featuring characters who are all over the LGBTQIA spectrum, and stories spanning a wide array of genres.

As a queer author of stories that are sometimes hard to classify, I really appreciated my experience in 2014. I met so many amazing people and was introduced to so many awesome books. And I danced. A lot.

Since I’m on tour this week for my new release, THE GRAND BALLAST, which may or may not kind of I guess possibly be a romance, I’m using my GRL slot at TNA to talk a little about what I write, and about some of the experiments I’m doing in 2015, and how those have been going so far.

I don’t come from a romance writing background—I’m more horror/spec fic/general creepery. But I absolutely fell in love with queer romance in 2012, and over the past few years I’ve had a blast writing lighthearted books with low body counts like the WACKY WEDNESDAY series and—with my lovely cowriter, Lisa Henry—THE PRESCOTT COLLEGE series and the PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy. I’ve had an equal amount of fun writing darker novels with Lisa, from WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS to ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE.

I’m spending 2015 getting back to my roots a bit. So far I’ve had TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, a coming of age dark comedy about a volatile young man dealing with family issues and first love. The aforementioned THE GRAND BALLAST, a gay spec novel about a world where people value little beyond sex and violence. And in October, I’ll have MINOTAUR, a horror/urban fantasy novel about a young criminal who takes on a mythological beast in a quest for redemption.

I’ve loved playing around with genre this year, but I’m looking forward to rounding out 2015 with a return to kinky romantic comedy when THE SUBS CLUB books start releasing in December. The series focuses on a group of submissive friends who go vigilante when a member of their circle is killed in a BDSM scene gone wrong. They form a club to try to ferret out dangerous doms in their community, and antics ensue.

So that’s a little about me, what I write, and why I heart GRL. I’m looking forward to celebrating diversity in literature and in humanity once more in 2015, and I hope to see many of you there!

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The Grand Ballast CoverBlurb – The Grand Ballast: In a future where live sex shows abound to keep a jaded population entertained, dancer Bode Martin falls for the brilliant and unstable Kilroy Ballast, who molds Bode into the star attraction of his erotic circus, the Grand Ballast. Drugged beyond any real feeling, Bode trades freedom and his once considerable pride for an illusion of tenderness—until he inadvertently rescues a young man from a rival show, and together they flee to an eccentric town in the west where love still means something.

Valen’s not an easy man to know, and Bode shed his romantic notions under Kilroy’s brutal employ. Yet their growing bond becomes a strange and dangerous salvation as they attempt to overthrow the shadows of their pasts and wade together through a world of regret, uncertainty, beauty, and terror.

But Kilroy won’t let Bode go so easily. Long ago, Bode was responsible for the loss of something Kilroy held dear, and he still owes Kilroy a debt. As the three men battle toward a tangled destiny, Bode must decide if his love for Valen is worth fighting for—or if he was and always will be a pawn in the story Kilroy Ballast will never stop telling.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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Featured Blogger Tour BadgeAbout the Author: J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

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THE GRAND BALLAST is out this week, and in the spirit of its nontraditional romancey-ness, I’m giving away an e-copy of any of my backlist titles that exist in that sort of Is-this-a-romance-novel? gray area. Choose from TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, THE SILVERS, and ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE (co-written with Lisa Henry). More information about each title is available HERE.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Sammy, Riptide Publishing

Review: Tempest (Playing the Fool: Book Three) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Title: Tempest (Playing the Fool: Book Three)

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count:

At a Glance: So good, this novel, Tempest, just so very good.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

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Review: In this third and (sob) latest installment of the Playing the Fool series, Mac and Henry are indeed on the run from the shady agent from internal affairs who is ready to charge Mac with everything from murder to cocaine possession. To make matters worse, Mac has finally leveled with Henry and asked him to give their relationship a try. Nearly uttering those three little words, Mac is hoping desperately that Henry will stay put and fight the trumped up charges with him. Little does Mac know just who is behind all the framing and just how determined they are to see Mac pay—not just with his life but also with the lives of all he holds dear.

I simply loved this series. Creative, playful, witty and fast paced, the writing by this fantastic duo of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock was nothing short of outstanding in my book. Henry is so deeply conflicted and his struggle over guilt for his sister’s condition and his feelings of abysmally low self worth prevent him from embracing what Mac is clearly offering—love. While the first half of this book focuses more on the budding relationship or Henry’s fight against that lovely dangling carrot that is Mac’s trust in him, it also lays important groundwork for the latter half of the novel. So well written, it is vital that we understand how very difficult it is for Henry to lay down his running shoes and trust that Mac will stay, will find something inside Henry to love.

For Mac’s part, he very quietly embraces the fact that he is in love with a con artist, and stoutly refuses to acknowledge how very wrong it is that he is falling in love with not only a petty criminal but a witness to a murder as well. In the second half of this nail-biter, it becomes so very clear how important Mac’s trust in Henry not running when the chips are down factors into how they will weather the impossibly dangerous character from their combined pasts.

So good, this novel, Tempest, just so very good. Bringing us full circle on these two delightfully needy and sweet men, the story leads us to a most satisfying ending. I can only hope this immensely talented team opt to extend these boys’ run a bit further and give us just a few more stories about this delightful team, Mac and Cheese…er, I mean Henry.






You can buy Tempest here:

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All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Tempest by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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From Lisa and J.A.: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and some comfy items picked especially for you by Henry: a pillow shaped like a donut, and a pair of donut-themed socks.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On March 20, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

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Tempest_400x600Blurb: Something wicked this way comes.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

Buy Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

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Excerpt: The drive back to Altona was nerve-racking. It wasn’t the police cruisers Mac was worried about—not that he even saw any of those on the busy stretch of the I-69 between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne—it was the black or gray or dark-blue sedans that screamed FBI when they were framed in the rearview, but then turned out to be full of bored businessmen, or moms with kids, or, once, a bunch of teenage girls. Mac really only noticed them because the one in the front seat was changing into her cheerleading outfit as they barreled down the highway, her ass pressed up against the window.

“Seat belt,” he muttered, and wondered when he’d turned sixty. When he’d gotten boring.

Not that a bunch of cheerleaders was exactly likely to flip his party switch. Where was a carload of college lacrosse players when he needed one?

Nowhere. That’s fucking where.

He rattled along the highway in his dad’s beaten-up old truck and tried not to think about how Henry Page had ruined him for college lacrosse players. Sometimes he felt like one of those rugged, taciturn heroes from a 1940s’ movie, who was stuck with some talkative, troublesome broad with a wit as sharp as the cut of her jacket. Driven to distraction by the sway of her hips and the curl of her smile and the way she just didn’t listen. Then, right in the final scene of the movie, the hero would grab her by the wrist and crush her to his powerful chest. “You are the most irritating, annoying, confounded woman!” the hero would begin, and then he’d kiss her almost violently until she shut the hell up.

That was Henry. Driving Mac way past distraction and straight to the kissing part.

He tapped the steering wheel as he drove.

He really didn’t need Henry, not on top of everything else. Yet he couldn’t imagine being without him, for all his fucking craziness. He’d never understood the whole bad-boy thing before. Was Henry even a bad boy? He was a criminal, but hardly gave off the dark, brooding, and dangerous vibe. Mac didn’t even think he owned a leather jacket.

Henry was undoubtedly bad for Mac’s career. Bad for Mac’s sanity. Bad for Mac’s heart.

Sugar. Henry was like sugar.

More addictive than heroin.

No, that was caffeine, not sugar.

Or no, maybe it was sugar. Henry had told him that, so it was probably bullshit. Still, it had a ring of truth to it, so what did it matter?

And that was Henry too. Mac liked his world in black and white, but there was Henry, bringing in the gray areas. Bringing in other colors too. Lighting up his world with a laugh or a smile.

Jesus fuck.

Lighting up his world with a smile?

He shook his head to try to clear it as he turned off the highway toward Altona.

He had it real bad.

He stopped at a supermarket in Altona to get a prepaid phone and a candy bar—fuck it, he was on the run. He needed the extra calories. Or some other completely senseless justification.

The clouds were coming in again, low and dark, and the first drops of rain hit as he turned onto Holloway Road. He watched as one slithered into a fine crack in the windshield. A few others splattered the glass. He flicked on the wipers and smeared dust across the windshield.

It was pouring as he turned onto the gravel driveway of his parents’ farm. He wondered if Henry and Vi were over at the old house. He’d go and see his folks first anyway, let them know he was okay and return the truck.

He pulled up outside the house, then strode through the rain to the front door.

“I’m home!”

His mom came out of the kitchen, a relieved smile on her face. “I’m glad you’re back! Everyone was getting worried.”

He looked around. “So where are they all?”

“Well, your father went out to the shed to work on the tractor. You know how he gets when he’s anxious.”

He knew. His dad’s approach to dealing with a problem, however abstract, was to take a piece of machinery apart and put it back together again.

“Cory and Vi went to play pirates and princesses in the basement—” She raised her hands at the expression on his face. “Ryan, she’s a little girl. She’s allowed to be a pirate if she wants. And I think Henry fell asleep waiting for you in your room.”

“My room?”

“Mmm.”

He glanced at the stairs.

“You’re not in high school anymore, honey,” his mom said. “You can close the door if you have a boy in your room.”

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About the Authors:

Lisa Henry:
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house a log-suffering partner, too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa:
Blog | •Twitter: @lisahenryonline | •Goodreads

J.A. Rock:
J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. A lover of m/m BDSM romance, J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.

Connect with J.A.:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.A. Rock, Loose Id, New Adult, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Take the Long Way Home by J.A. Rock

Title: Take the Long Way Home

Author: J.A. Rock

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 225 Pages

At a Glance: J.A. Rock serves up an edgy and twisted story that is a journey so important I think each of us will find a small piece of ourselves in Dresden.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Dresden Marich has failed out of high school three months shy of graduation. He’s infatuated with his online friend, Evan, alienated from his family and former classmates, and still trying to recover from his father’s death six years ago. He’s also keeping a troubling secret about his older brother, Gunner, who is away at boot camp.

Then Dresden meets Caleb, a judgmental environmentalist who’s hardly Dresden’s fantasy come true. But Caleb seems to understand Dresden’s desire for rough sex, big feelings, and, ultimately, safety. As Dresden becomes embroiled in a farmers market drama involving Caleb, a couple of bullying tomato enthusiasts, and a gang of vigilante vegans, he discovers he might be willing to trade a fantasy relationship with Evan for a shot at something real with Caleb.

But Dresden fears telling quick-to-judge Caleb his secret, and the news that Gunner is coming home sends him fleeing to California for a chance to meet Evan in person and hopefully fall in love. When the encounter doesn’t go as expected, Dresden faces a choice: stay in California and carve out a new life, or take the long road home to his family, Caleb, and a past he must face if he has any hope for a future.

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Review: Dresden Marich spends each waking moment second-guessing everything he does, feels and says. Due to both the trauma of losing his father, and his brother committing abuse that went well beyond normal brotherly rivalry, Dresden is locked in a downward spiral that finds him failing school three months before graduation. Not only must he contend with a mother who holds herself aloof at the best of times, he must also grapple with spiking and flagrant emotions that bring up such harsh anger and self-hatred inside him that they leave him breathless. Every day he logs online to not only have online sex with Evan, who lives in California and is shadowy at best, but he hooks up with older men and performs degrading acts just to see how far he can push himself. He is, in a word, wounded and out of control.

Then he meets Caleb. Caleb who reclaims old wood and carves it into something new and fresh. A young man who himself is equally trapped in a house full of memories that hold him captive. These two young men come together and something happens…Dresden gradually realizes he wants more from life, he wants more for himself. He can beat the anger and sadness if only Caleb can put up with him long enough for him to become a better person…a person who can accept and, in turn, give love. And Caleb realizes it is time to let go of the past and its regrets and live in the moment where love awaits him.

I would like to assure you that this brief synopsis along with the author’s own blurb gives you enough of this incredible story to make sense of all that goes on in Dresden’s world. But, I am afraid I can make no such claim. Each page of this story is a moment of decision, a second of truth, and Dresden must adjust to each thing that happens or lose himself irrevocably. The damage done by his mother in refusing to acknowledge what happened between Dresden and his brother, Gunner, serves to be the rotten core from which springs most of Dresden’s own self-loathing and anger. But Caleb, sweet, lost Caleb, will be the one to finally break through to Dresden and make him see what potential lies within him and help him to discover he is worthy of love and happiness.

J.A. Rock serves up an edgy and twisted story that is a journey so important I think each of us will find a small piece of ourselves in Dresden. He embodies those moments where we cannot seem to find our own goodness, our own worth. In equal moments of sadness and joy, Take The Long Way Home leads us on a trip that systematically sheds all our safety nets and leaves us bare, ready to be remade, to discover our own value and that we can love despite how we feel.






You can buy Take the Long Way Home here:

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All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Merchant of Death by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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The Novel Approach welcomes Riptide writing duo Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock today on the Merchant of Death blog tour. Enjoy the excerpt and enter for a chance to win some great prizes.

Good luck!

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Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of THE MERCHANT OF DEATH. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!

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Today we’re sharing an excerpt from THE MERCHANT OF DEATH. And things at work are just about to get very complicated for Mac:

Mac’s attention was caught by the sudden hush that descended. He saw two men and a woman he didn’t recognize out on the floor.

OPR. Office of Professional Responsibility.

Their reputation was enough to shut down conversations in mid laugh, but Mac didn’t hate them—had no reason to. He’d always played by the rules. Sure, it was a pain in the ass when they investigated some bullshit complaint, but there was no point getting defensive about it. In light of the news Val had broken when he’d arrived at work, Mac half expected it to be about Jimmy Rasnick.

It wasn’t.

“Mac.” Val appeared in his doorway again. “Do you have a minute?”

“Sure.” Mac stood up and slipped the sticky note into his pocket, then followed Val to the conference room. Sat down beside her.

The two men were studying files and didn’t look at Mac. But the woman was staring at him. She had dark hair pulled into a ponytail at her nape and wore a navy suit. “Agent McGuinness?” she said. “Agent Janice Bixler, OPR. This is Agent Lawrence and Agent Talbot. We’d like to ask you a few questions.”

“All right.”

Agent Janice Bixler didn’t ask him any questions, though. She left that to one of the guys—Lawrence or Talbot—and sat taking notes on her sleek black tablet while Mac went over, in painstaking detail, what exactly had happened at the cabin in Altona.

Well, not exactly. There was some stuff that Mac was keeping to himself. The impromptu Shakespeare performance. The stolen groceries. And especially the way Henry had just fucking melted against him when they’d kissed.

It was strange to have a name to put to the guy he’d killed. Robert Jones. And such a prosaic name. A schoolteacher name. A guy-in-the-street name. Not a hired-killer name.

For an hour and a half, Mac went through the sequence of events in the cabin. And didn’t even get pissed when one of them asked him if he’d considered using an alternative to lethal force.

“He was a hit man. He was there to kill my witness.”

His witness.

“The witness you then lost,” the guy said.

Okay, Mac was keeping his cool, but he officially did not like this guy. He was even more creeped out by Janice Bixler, who sat making notes, her expression never changing. Every few minutes, though, Mac could feel her gaze on him. “After I got shot, yes, I lost him. He ran. Anyone would have.”

“Your office seems to have some trouble holding on to this particular witness,” the guy said. “Where is he now?”

Val bristled. “Mr. Page is staying nearby. If you need him brought in for questioning, that’s certainly something that can be arranged, but I assure you that his version of events matches Agent McGuinness’s. I took his statement myself.”

Of all the things that Mac admired most about Val, it was her ability to bald-faced lie. He leaned back in his seat and let her take over.

“In addition, Agent McGuinness has my full support in this matter.” Val closed her folder. “And I would advise him not to continue this interview until he is medically cleared to do so.”

“We’ll talk again soon,” the guy said.

“Actually, I have one more question,” Bixler said, looking up at Mac.

He waited. Nothing warm in her eyes. It was like staring into a hole in the ground.

“How well do you know your witness, Agent McGuinness?”

He couldn’t speak for a moment. His mind was caught on an image of Henry, lying on Mac’s bed, his pants around his ankles, his cock hard and straining his underwear.

“Not very well.”

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MerchantOfDeath_400x600Blurb: All’s fair in love and war.

There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.

But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.

You can check out THE MERCHANT OF DEATH at Riptide.

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GiveawaysThanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and Mac’s favorite coffee mug. What? It’s not like he’s supposed to be drinking coffee.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On February 12, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Sammy, Riptide Publishing

Review: Merchant of Death by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Title: Merchant of Death (Playing the Fool: Book Two)

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 205 Pages

At a Glance: Merchant of Death is a masterful second story in an outstanding series.

Blurb: All’s fair in love and war.

There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.

But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.

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***SPOILER WARNING***

Review: Mac and Henry (Sebastian) are back—and oh my golly, they are even a tad bit better than before!! In Merchant of Death, the second installment of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock’s Playing The Fool series, the tables are turned and Mac finds himself being targeted by a former drug kingpin he put behind bars. And by former I mean dead, and how is it exactly that a dead con is managing to make Mac’s life a living hell? Merchant of Death has so many delicious twists and turns that I nearly clapped my hands in glee as I read this fast paced, gritty and sexy novel.

For those familiar with book one, Two Gentlemen of Altona, you will recall that novel ended with Henry once more running out on Mac to go find and help the mysterious sister named Viola. When Henry finds her, we finally get the back-story of these two wounded twins and their drug addicted mother. As the story unfolds, we are made aware of exactly what happened in Henry and Viola’s past when Henry went by his real name, Sebastian. Without giving too much of this rich plot away, suffice it to say that Vi is now living in a mental care facility and gives her twin brother the story that a “bad angel” has killed her friend, the elderly Mr. Crowley. Henry disguises himself as his twin and gets inside the facility, only to uncover a plot to milk elderly terminal patients out of their money and then help them meet an untimely death.

Once again Henry is in the thick of it, and this time Mac will be the hero who rescues the damsel in distress. However, things are not going well back at the office for Mac. Still on medical leave from the bullet he took protecting Henry at the cabin, Mac has discovered that a team has been sent to investigate the shooting. While seemingly routine, they are actually investigating the death of an informant who has stated that Mac was buying cocaine from him and threatening him. I know—can this plot get any thicker? But, here is the genius of this team of authors: never once was I lost or confused in this story—every step down the rabbit hole was clear and neatly tied together and by novel’s end, I was breathless with anticipation for the next installment in this magnificent series.

Mac and Henry, er, Sebastian are simply magical together. Clever dialogue punctuated with smoldering glances and stolen hot kisses means these two manage to heat up every page of this novel. The journey they are on where they try to avoid falling in love with each other, only to discover they have already lost that battle, is part whimsy, part hard-core mystery and part romantic comedy. Somehow all these pieces weave together to work with stunning resolve. Lisa Henry and J. A. Rock have always been top-notch authors in my book but collaboratively, they are publishing gold!

Merchant of Death is a masterful second story in an outstanding series. I am hanging on by my fingertips for the third installment to this incredible series.






You can buy Merchant of Death (Playing the Fool: Book Two) here:

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, J.A. Rock, J.E. Birk, Jess Buffet, Keira Andrews, Liam Livings, Lisa Henry, Rhys Ford, RJ Scott, Sue Brown, Z. Allora, Z.A. Maxfield

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak PeekHappy Sunday, everyone, and many thanks for stopping by to see what we have in store for you in the coming week. We’re starting off February in a great way, with more guest authors, great posts, outstanding giveaways, and, of course, more reviews to share with all of you.

Now here’s a look at what’s up in the week ahead.

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MondaySue Brown is first up, helping us kick off the week on the The Next Call blog tour

Liam Livings is also helping us start the week off right on the Escaping from Him blog tour

TuesdayRhys Ford’s Black Dog Blues blog tour makes us a stop today, and I hear there be dragons

WednesdayKeira Andrews joins us today on the A Clean Break blog tour

J.E. Birk is also with us to do a little release day celebrating of the new Dreamspinner Press novella Depending on You

Thursday RJ Scott drops in today for a visit on The Bucket List blog tour

Z. Allora also joins us today with a guest post and giveaway on the Transgender Romance blog tour

FridayJess Buffet makes TNA a stop on the Always Been You blog tour

The writing team of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock also stop by on their Merchant of Death blog tour

Saturday – And finally, Z.A. Maxfield closes out the week on the Deep Desire blog tour

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That does it for this week, folks. Until next Sunday, happy reading!

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Loose Id

Guest Post and Giveaway: Take the Long Way Home by J.A. Rock

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Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and I’m so happy to be visiting The Novel Approach today to talk a little about TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, which is now available from Loose Id. TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME is about growing up. And screwing up. And family. And…farmer’s markets.And low level kidnapping fetishes. It’s about a lot of things, but I think mostly it’s about searching for connections with people. And since it deals so much with family, I wanted to talk a little about the process of mercilessly stealing—er, borrowing—from the people I love most.

I remember being younger and getting nervous when I borrowed things from my loved ones to use in my writing—mannerisms, physicality, mistakes, life goals, verbatim quotes, painful breakups…I was always afraid one day I would get published and my family and friends would see the ways I had fictionalized them.

And kill me.

Then I read that brilliant David Sedaris essay “Repeat After Me,” about that story his sister told him that he absolutely was not allowed to use in an essay—and that he immediately used in an essay. He made the ethical stumbleground of being a writer and writing about people you know sound hilarious and fun.

And then Anne Lamott spoke at my college, and she promised that all you had to do was change one physical feature about the person you were writing about—like hair color—and the person would never know they were the basis for that character.

So I grew more confident in the general okayness of borrowing from my loved ones. (I borrow a lot from people I’m not particularly close to as well, but I don’t feel as bad about that.) I started feeling like a master of disguise, since I rarely borrow in a very direct way—my characters are all amalgamations of lots of people I’ve known. No one will ever recognize themselves, I told myself.

Except they totally do.

My mom reads pretty much everything I write. And she’s very perceptive. Changing a character’s hair color is not going to stop her from being like, “Oh, look, you used that thing I said about my divorce,” or “Still find your brother’s orthodontic headgear from age 14 funny, do you?” But she’s a writer too, and she gets it. She also told me once that I was welcome to use anything from her life in my writing. Except I think maybe she wasn’t counting on me taking her quite so literally, because there have been a couple of borrowings she’s seemed a little dubious about.

Like that essay I published about the time she said she’d chop off our family dog’s head for nine million dollars. Or when I stole some of my favorite of her OCD quirks for Deacon’s mom in MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA.

I saw her over Christmas, and she had just read TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME. And she’d recognized bits of herself in a couple of the characters. But what’s funny is that she knows me so well—knows the jobs I’ve held, the places I’ve been, knows the friends I’ve had my whole life and the kind of relationship I’ve had with each of them—that she also recognized a lot of what I’d borrowed from my own life.

Which made me think maybe I’ve been worrying about the wrong thing all these years. Maybe what’s really unnerving isn’t the idea of getting caught borrowing from my family, but that the things I give my characters that come from me, and from my experiences, my relationships, my insecurities—the things I think I’ve cleverly disguised by chopping them up and mixing them into a story at random—are not as disguised as I think.

Maybe the people I’m closest to aren’t seeing themselves when they read my work so much as they’re seeing me. Which makes me feel a lot less like an evil puppet master and a lot more…exposed. But I like that there’s at least one person in my life whoreally can pick apart the threads of my work and see where certain ideas or characters or scenes came from.

So my question for the writers out there—how much do you borrow, and do you ever get caught? And to nonwriters and writers alike, what about yourself would you be most afraid someone would “borrow” for a story? (Please tell me, so I can use it! I’m kidding… Or am I? J)

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JAR_take the long way home_coverinBlurb: Dresden Marich has failed out of high school three months shy of graduation. He’s infatuated with his online friend, Evan, alienated from his family and former classmates, and still trying to recover from his father’s death six years ago. He’s also keeping a troubling secret about his older brother, Gunner, who is away at boot camp.

Then Dresden meets Caleb, a judgmental environmentalist who’s hardly Dresden’s fantasy come true. But Caleb seems to understand Dresden’s desire for rough sex, big feelings, and, ultimately, safety. As Dresden becomes embroiled in a farmers market drama involving Caleb, a couple of bullying tomato enthusiasts, and a gang of vigilante vegans, he discovers he might be willing to trade a fantasy relationship with Evan for a shot at something real with Caleb.
But Dresden fears telling quick-to-judge Caleb his secret, and the news that Gunner is coming home sends him fleeing to California for a chance to meet Evan in person and hopefully fall in love. When the encounter doesn’t go as expected, Dresden faces a choice: stay in California and carve out a new life, or take the long road home to his family, Caleb, and a past he must face if he has any hope for a future.

Buy Link: Loose Id

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Giveaway: One commenter will receive a choice of any backlist title—including co-written titles. The winner will be drawn at 11:59 p.m. on January 23rd

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Author BioBio: J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives in Chicago but still sees West Virginia behind Illinois’s back.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Sammy, Riptide Publishing

Review: The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool: Book One) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Title: The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool: Book One)

Author: Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 215 Pages

At a Glance: Sign me up for the next one in the queue because this one was simply fantastic!

Blurb: Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page—the world’s most irritating witness—alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.

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Review: Oh, ladies, what have you done? Now I am going to have to sit on my thumbs for book number two, wondering what is going to happen to my beloved Henry, and whether or not Mac is going to go after him. The torture!

How lovely it is that the collaborative genius of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock has spun yet another deliciously twisted tale of mayhem and insanity for us to enjoy. The Two Gentleman of Altona dances across the page like a slightly neurotic racecar, hell bent on following a path of destruction yet pulling itself back again and again with witty dialogue, smoking hot sexual innuendo, and a mysterious past—and all this just from the character of Henry Page. Meanwhile, the stoic, diet challenged Ryan “Mac” McGuinness tries to hold onto what little sanity he has left after spending just mere hours with the sweet little con artist who has slowly wrapped himself around Mac’s heartstrings. The two men could not be more diametrically opposite and more totally suited for each other!

The story is this: Henry, while running a con on an old woman, witnesses a murder in her kitchen. The murderer in question just happens to be someone Special Agent McGuinness has been trying to nab for quite a while. But Henry is a slippery one and manages to disguise himself and sneak past Mac before he can be hauled in to give his statement. Mac, however, is tenacious and good at his job, so it doesn’t take him long to track Henry down and, once again, attempt to get his cooperation. But Henry has been on the run for a while—from what or who is unclear, but whatever it is that has Henry scared, he won’t be stopping long enough to play nice with the FBI. Mac has other ideas and before long, the two men find themselves holed up in a remote cabin, hiding not only from the mobster intent on murdering them but from a potential mole in the FBI office as well. Being alone with Henry is a very bad idea for Mac, for he can’t seem to keep his mind on the job and not on Henry himself.

Oh golly, where to begin. You are either going to love Henry Page or want to murder him and for either, you will have to get in line behind Mac and wait your turn. Hyperactive, keen as a whip, and barely able to keep from spinning a lie or shoplifting some candy, Henry is a walking disaster who desperately needs someone to want him—to care for him—to want to come back to him at the end of the day. Mac has recently questioned his sexuality, only to decide he wants a nice, calm, standard guy who likes football, certainly not someone as erratic or frustrating as Henry. No sir, no way… So why does can’t Mac seem to keep his eyes off of Henry and on the job?

Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock create amazing characters. Mac and Henry are real, flesh and blood type guys whose dance is captivating and deliciously fun. The foil, which Mac’s solid, curmudgeonly personality creates for the whirling dervish that is Henry Page, is just genius. Quick and witty interchanges keep this novel alive, making its pacing near breathless and the sexual tension between the two men almost palpable. However, the real stroke of genius here is Henry’s shady past. The mysterious Viola and the cadre of “friends” or fellow con artists he hangs out with when in town all lurk in the shadows where Henry religiously keeps them protected, even from Mac.

The Two Gentlemen of Altona is the first in a three part series called Playing the Fool. If this first installment is any indication of the ride we are set to take with this collection of novels, sign me up for the next one in the queue because this one was simply fantastic!








You can buy The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool: Book One) here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Two Gentlemen of Altona Blog Tour With Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!

Lisa: When it came to writing the PLAYING THE FOOL series, I think the first email went something like this.

JA, don’t panic, but I have this idea for this thing that we would need to plot.

JA and I don’t plot. We are pantsers, through and through. We start off with a vague idea, then just see where the hell it takes us. Spoiler alert: It usually takes us somewhere really kinky.

I think sometimes that people have the wrong idea about pantsers. It’s not that we don’t do any of the heavy mental lifting when it comes to plotting, it’s just that we do it at the end. This one time, we used a spreadsheet and everything. Pantsing means a lot more editing—a lot—to get a cohesive story. And every change at the start of the story has an effect on every subsequent chapter. A tiny edit that begins as a ripple in an early chapter becomes a monster tsunami toward the end, tearing down and sweeping away whole scenes that no longer make sense.

So plotting was different. And a part of me feels weird even calling it that. I’ve seen some people that have these intricate Excel documents where every little box (is it called a box? I know nothing about Excel except it has numbers. That’s enough for me. I’m out.) is for a different character’s arc, or for the primary plot, or the subplot, or the subtext, and wow, that seems like a lot of work. I’m definitely more of a “Well, let’s just start writing words and see what happens” kind of person.

So while I won’t lie and say that we reached anywhere near that level of plotting, we definitely plotted this series enough that we can see the benefits of working this way. The editing we did at the end was mostly for grammar and spelling rather than to cover our previously undiscovered massive plot holes. So have we been converted from pantsers into plotters? Will we ever plot like this again?

Um…. Over to you, JA.

J.A.: Welcome to the thrilling conclusion of…WILL WE PLOT?

No.

Probably not.

I mean, we haven’t really done it since then.

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TwoGentlemenOfAltona_400x600About THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA: Mischief, thou art afoot.

Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page—the world’s most irritating witness—alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA is the first in our PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy. Book 2, THE MERCHANT OF DEATH, will be available on February 2. Book 3, TEMPEST, will be released March 9.

You can preorder the series, and check out excerpts, at Riptide.

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The Giveaway: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and the contents of Henry Page’s bag during his arrest in THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA: that’s some Shakespeare and a bunch of Henry’s favorite candy!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On January 9, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Loose Id

Guest Post and Giveaway: Fall on Your Knees by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Hi, we’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, and we’re riding our magical smut sleigh around the Internet to pimp our holiday release. It’s a kinky m/m/m ménage novella called FALL ON YOUR KNEES, and it’s part of Loose Id’s RATED: XXXMAS ANTHOLOGY, which also features SHEPHERD, WISE MAN, AND THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY by E.F. Mulder.

We’d like to tell you a little more about FALL ON YOUR KNEES and offer you a chance to win some holiday themed goodies! Continue reading

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J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Loose Id

Interview and Giveaway: Brandon Mills Versus the V-card by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

lh_jr_brandon_mills_versus_the_v-card_3TNA: Hi, Lisa and J.A., I’m chuffed to bits to have you both with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you both tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Lisa: Thanks for having us! Um…about me. I live in Townsville, the most unimaginatively named city in the world. It’s in north Queensland, Australia, and is more interesting than the name implies. It’s right on the Great Barrier Reef. At the moment it’s getting into summer here, my house smells like mangoes, and I think when I was away last month a possum moved into my ceiling. I can hear weird scratching sounds from up there. I really, really hope it’s a possum and not something worse.

J.A.: We’re really excited to be here! About me…I live in Chicago. It is NOT summer here. I walk dogs part time and write the rest of the time. I don’t like to wear pants. I have a major shark fixation. Lisa and I are planning to take over the world, but don’t worry about it. You all go back to whatever you were doing. Don’t look over here. Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Derrick Knight, Heidi Cullinan, J.A. Rock, Jay Northcote, Jordan L. Hawk, Joseph Lance Tonlet, Keira Andrews, L.B. Gregg, Lisa Henry, Meredith Shayne, Sandrine Gasq-Dion, Susan Mac Nicol

A Sneak Peek and An Uber-Unscientific Poll

TNA BadgeGreetings, everyone, and welcome back to a look at what we’ve got coming up in the week ahead, but first I’d love your feedback.

You may have missed it, but earlier this week I wrote a blog post about ratings. For two days, the review team here at TNA and I had long conversations about assigning numerical ratings to our reviews and, as Rena so deftly stated it, quantifying the unquantifiable. If you’ve seen the post, you know by now that I loathe ratings with every fiber of my being because it’s often little more than giving a number to something as intangible as the feelings we have for a book. Trust me when I tell you there are times it’s more difficult to come up with the number than it is to write the review, and, let’s face it, in the end it’s the words that matter with books, regardless of which side of them we land on—author or reader/reviewer.

So, what I’m asking of you today is to take a brief moment of your time, both readers and authors, please, to weigh in on my desire to do away with the numerical rating system here at The Novel Approach, and to simply allow our reviews to speak for themselves. In order to continue recognizing those books that we want to designate as standouts, however, they would be awarded the designation “A TNA Page Turner” (thank you for that, Taz!), because when we really love a book we do feel it should be offered a little special affection. :) I also welcome your comments on the subject below.

Many thanks and warm regards!

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

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MondaySusan Mac Nicol kicks off our week on the Love you Senseless blog tour, with a giveaway

Joseph Lance Tonlet also drops by today to talk a bit about his debut novel Grif’s Toy, and to give one lucky reader the chance to win an e-copy of the book

TuesdayL.B. Gregg was kind enough to take the time out of her writing schedule to answer a fiew questions for me on her There’s Something About Ari blog tour, and there’s a giveaway

Bottom Drawer Publications presents Meredith Shayne and the Cutting Out blog tour and giveaway

WednesdayJordan L. Hawk is here with an exclusive cover reveal her Brand New Series

Jay Northcote also joins us on the Nothing Series blog tour, with an interview and giveaway

ThursdayKeira Andrews is our guest today with a guest post and giveaway on the Semper Fi blog tour

Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock also stop by with an interview and giveaway on their Brandon Mills Versus the V-card blog tour

Friday – The holidays come early to The Novel Approach with Heidi Cullinan and the Sleigh Ride blog tour and giveaway

Then Derrick Knight joins us on the Miracle on Mistletoe Lane tour with a guest post and giveaway

SaturdaySandrine Gasq-Dion’s Strange Addiction blog tour makes a stop here with a giveaway

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And that does it for the week ahead. Thanks for being here and, as always, happy reading!

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B.G. Thomas, Deanna Wadsworth, GayRomLit, J.A. Rock, Jacob Z. Flores, Jordan L. Hawk, LE Franks, Lex Chase, Rhys Ford, Z.A. Maxfield

GayRomLit Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway: Basket Seven

1237Cheers, everyone! We’ve made it to the end, this is our final GRL Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway, but that doesn’t mean the giving is quite done yet. We have a final Grand Prize giveaway coming up tomorrow for one lucky GayRomLit attending reader, so be sure to stay tuned. And in case you missed them, there’s still time to enter in the Baskets Four (exp. at Midnight PT tonight), Five, and Six giveaways.

In the meantime, here’s what’s up for grabs in Basket Seven:

The Novel Approach: A $25 Amazon Gift Card
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GayRomLit, J.A. Rock, Loose Id

Countdown to GRL – Guest Post and Giveaway by J.A. Rock

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2014GRL_BlogTour_sq200x200This will be my first GRL, and I’m stoked. I’ve seen the pictures. I’ve heard the stories. I’m ready to be initiated.

I’m still not exactly sure what to expect. If I go by the GRL website and schedule, GRL looks like an opportunity to meet my favorite authors and learn more about the world of queer romance writing. And if I go by the pictures and the stories, GRL looks like a Bacchanalicious three-day plunge into utter depravity, replete with crocheted penises, painted porn stars, and an abundance of hugging.

I’m hoping it’s both.

To encourage the universe to make my dreams come true, I’ve made a list of the top five things I’m looking forward to at GRL. Continue reading

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Brigham Vaughn, E.S. Skipper, Elin Gregory, GayRomLit, J.A. Rock, Jason Lloyd, Jay Northcote, Kindle Alexander, Lex Chase, Lissa Kasey, Lou Hoffmann, Piper Vaughn, Poppy Dennison, Rhys Ford, Sneak Peek, Susan Mac Nicol, T.T. Kove

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to another peek at what we have in store for the week ahead, which, as usual by now, I guess, will include lots of great author visits, giveaways, and reviews.

Here’s what we have on tap:


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MondaySusan Mac Nicol kicks things off for us this week on her Love and Punishment Blog Tour

Jay Northcote will also be offering a Backlist E-title giveaway today along with Sammy’s review of The Dating Game

Lex Chase also drops in today on the second leg of her promotional tour for Americana Fairy Tale

TuesdayJason Lloyd drops back by on his Salty Aftertaste Blog Tour

And Nya Rawlins also joins us on her Pumping Iron Blog Tour and Giveaway

Wednesday – We have author J.A. Rock with us to help in the countdown to these final weeks before GRL

And to go along with the GRL celebration, we’ll also be hosting the cover reveal for the anthology From Chicago With Love, a compilation put together exclusively for GayRomLit

Author E.S. Skipper also joins us today on the Flight of the Kiwi Blog Tour

ThursdayLou Hoffmann joins us today on The Key of Behliseth Blog Tour and Giveaway

We’ll also have Lissa Kasey with us on the Hidden Gem Blog Tour

FridayKindle Alexander stops in today on the Full Disclosure Blog Tour

And we’re also kicking off what will become a monthly installment here at The Novel Approach – Dinner and a Book With Piper and Poppy – featuring, who else? Piper Vaughn and Poppy Dennison

SaturdayT.T. Kove stops by today on the More Than Anything Blog Tour and Giveaway

Elin Gregory will also be with us on her A Taste of Copper Blog Tour and Giveaway

Sunday – And finally, to finish up the week, we’ll have Poppy Denison and Rhys Ford with us on the Creature Feature 2 Blog Tour

And Brigham Vaughn will also join us on the Partners Blog Tour

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

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A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Guest Contributor, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – This Week’s Feature – “When All the World Sleeps” by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock



This week’s cover of the week is…bum bum bum…When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock artwork by Amber Shah.

I see a lot of covers every week, as we all do. On Facebook, on Google, on my Photoshop, but they don’t all stand out. In fact, a lot of them are just typical. I kinda love that this one is not “typical”.

The first thing you see when you look at this cover, in big or small size, is the title. Bold, bright, easy to read, but oddly enough, even though it’s very prominent, the title doesn’t overpower the picture. I like the texture too. It looks like rough concrete, or even an earthen texture, which goes well with the ground it’s superimposed over and also goes well with the almost pre-tornado like feel of the cover.

I have no clue what the story is about. I know, I know, I really need to read some of the books I review covers for. It’s probably a good thing I don’t review the books, isn’t it?

As I said, I have no clue what the story is about, but it reminds me of either a house that is waiting for a tornado to come or a fire to consume it; the calm before the storm so to speak. I love the juxtaposition of the gold/red sky with the blue/green grass. Is some tragedy coming to claim this house? Are the men waiting on the porch because whatever is coming is going to consume them, so why run? Or is it the cold, empty world around them that is coming to overtake their warm hearth? Not…a…clue.

But I want to find out. If it’s a fire, I really want to run over there with my hands waving and warn those guys, “Get off the damn porch, you’re gonna be barbeque.” Then again, on closer inspection, the house has an empty feel to it, so perhaps I’m seeing a vision of the past. A secret love affair, perhaps, that has long since died but has never been forgotten?

All I know for sure is that based on this cover, this does not look like a story that will let me avoid the Kleenex box. Just sayin’. Dramatic, possibly romantic, yes, but there’s some pain in there. I can just feel it emanating off the cover as I write.

I would hazard a guess that the men were put onto the house and the house put onto the background. I can’t be sure, but if that’s the case, it’s well done. The shading/highlights look great, the colors all complement one another, and the gradients on both the ground and the background are compelling and shocking in the stark contrast.

I love that the house seems small in a vast space, without it being small on the cover at all. This is one of the things that vexes me sometimes when I do cover. (Yes, I said vex, and no I am not your grandmother writing this article. I promise!) I have the toughest time with placement: how big is too big, and how small is too small. That sounds like a joke I once heard, but um…we’ll keep it PC, shall we? But really, it’s tough sometimes to judge. That, and just figuring out the very placement of the pictures can be equally as hard. It’s just like drawing a picture: you get an idea into your head, you get all excited go to execute, and bam… a big ol’ overlapping mess. You try to make it smaller and you lose the guys on the porch. You try to make it bigger and you lose the leaf bare trees and part of the sky. But this cover manages all that and more. I’m really quite taken.

Anyhow, guys and gals, I’m lacking in the chatter this week for some reason, so instead of bending your ears and eyeballs, I’ll just leave you with a sampling of the beautiful covers by Amber Shah from her website Book Beautiful . I can only aspire to make book covers as stunning as these someday.

The last one is actually a pre-made but still…pretty. *sighs wistfully*

That’s me, signing off.

Have a great day and may all the good books be with you!

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

Check me out on Facebook @ : https://www.facebook.com/ajcorza

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J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Reviewed by Lynn, Riptide Publishing

Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock’s “When All the World Sleeps” Might Make You Lose Sleep – Reviewed by Lynn


“There is a loveliness to life that does not fade. Even in the terrors of the night, there is a tendency toward grace that does not fail us. ” ― Robert Goolrick


Title: When All the World Sleeps

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 405 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.
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Anna Zabo, Freebie, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Loose Id

I Share Because I Love…

I’m not sure how long these two short stories are going to be FREE!, but grab them while they’re hot! Who doesn’t love freebies? :-D

Click On The Cover Image

Brin and his Dom, Ferg, have enjoyed a fun, sexy domestic discipline relationship for years. Brin knows his role–flamboyant, fabulous brat–and Ferg knows it’s his job to play the big bad Dom, giving Brin the punishment he desperately craves. When Brin is tasked with dressing his new friend Lane Moredock for a date with Brin’s ex, Derek, he’s excited–fashion is what he knows best, and Lane is going to look stunning. But what should be a fun afternoon takes a serious turn when Brin sees that Lane has been injured, and Lane’s reluctance to tell Brin the truth about it makes Brin start to question who he is, why things didn’t work with Derek, and what people really think of him. Is he just a flittery, glittery fashion fairy? Or does he mean something more to the people he loves? And can he find a way to bring these doubts up with Ferg–or is Ferg going to have to Top his way to the bottom of this?


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New lovers Rhys Matherton and Silas Quint finally have a chance to breath easy and enjoy a well-earned respite on board a transatlantic cruise to New York City. But the lack of danger gives Rhys too much time to think about the enormity of falling in love with a man who isn’t human. He’s not sure love at first sight can last, especially when your lover is fae. Sure, the sex is fantastic, but that’s not enough to hang the rest of your potentially immortal life upon.

To distract himself, Rhys suggests he and Silas take a set of lessons to learn to waltz. The plan backfires when they are paired with two older women—one of whom reminds Rhys of his recently deceased mother. Instead of being able to ignore thinking about his future with Silas, he’s actively questioned about his lover. And it seems the whole boat knows who he’s sleeping with.

As Rhys learns the steps of the waltz, he has to decide if he’ll continue to dance around what he feels for Silas or if he’ll finally learn to trust in his partner’s love for him.

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