Bottom Drawer Publications, Meredith Shayne

Guest Post and Giveaway: Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne

Beautiful Queenstown

BDP BADGE 1It’s not always possible to visit the places where you set your books, either for geographical or monetary reasons, and that’s fine; that’s what Google Earth is for, right? But in the cases where it is possible, I’m of the opinion that it’s a good thing to do. Google Earth can’t tell you what a place sounds or smells like, or how long it takes to walk from one end to the other in actual reality, not just Google Maps reality. So when I got the opportunity to visit Queenstown, where Shane Cooper, one of the main characters in my novel Cutting Out, lives, I jumped at the chance. 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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All Romance Ebooks, Kaje Harper, Meredith Shayne

One Small Gem & One Diamond In The Rough


What better way could there be to discover a new-to-me author than finding a free short story from her? That’s what happened for me with Kaje Harper’s Like the Taste of Summer, the short and very sweet story of Sean Brennan, a college student, and Jack Korbel, a grease monkey and lifelong resident of a small Iowa college town.

The relationship between the college kids and the townies is antagonistic at best, and it’s a random act of vengeance against Sean and his friends one night that bring Jack and Sean together after the townies vandalize Sean’s and his friends’ cars. Jack’s friends scarper and leave him defenseless against the college boys’ anger, but Sean acts quickly and gives Jack a safe place to hide until he can get Jack away safely.

This isn’t the catalyst for an instant friendship, though. The boys see each other here and there over the following weeks but don’t speak because of that invisible line drawn between them. It isn’t until Jack has the opportunity to return a kindness for a hurting Sean that the boys discover that line is well worth crossing.

This was a wonderful coming-of-age and coming out story for Sean, the boy who’d always thought he was straight, but meets and falls for the boy who has pretty much always known he was gay, though he hides it for his own safety in the small town where intolerance is the norm.

These boys don’t have an easy time of it in the “fish bowl” they live in, where everyone knows everyone else’s business. It’s the hatred and prejudice aimed directly at them that nearly tears them apart. But love endures, love thrives, and for these two characters, happily ever after did come true.

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My Diamond in the Rough is Meredith Shayne’s Eyes Wide Shut, book one in the Flying Doctors series, the story of Adam Taylor, a doctor who lives in a small outback town in Australia and works in the clinic at the Mount Keith mine where his ex-boyfriend Chris Barker works.

The men are “exes” because Chris is very deeply in the closet, and his job isn’t exactly conducive to a gay friendly atmosphere. Chris’s greatest fear is that anyone might suspect he and Adam were ever more than friends, but after a two month separation and Adam’s return to the clinic, it doesn’t take long for Chris to pay a visit that ends with the two men having sex, then Chris quickly leaving after.

Chris says he can’t be with Adam, nor does it seem he can force himself to stay away. It’s a situation that causes no small amount of friction between the two men, an insurmountable obstacle that will keep them apart in spite of their feelings for each other. That is, until Adam makes an emergency run to a collapsed mine and Chris is faced with the realization that life is not guaranteed and death could put a very permanent end to any hope he and Adam have to be together. It’s a wake up call to Chris to grab hold of love and never to let it go.

What makes this one a Diamond in the Rough for me? Well, because it struck me as a story that was filled with untapped potential. The premise was wonderful, the characters engaging, and the suspense and danger was very real but not plumbed enough, in my humble opinion. I felt there was much more to expose in both the mine cave in and Chris’s emotions and actions during and after the accident. In short, things felt a bit rushed to get to the end, when I’d have preferred a bit more depth and breadth to the plot. What’s there, however, is like getting the part of the cupcake left on the paper, which is kind of yummy, but what you really wanted was the frosting.

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