5 Stars, BJ Sheppard, Reviewed by Sammy, Self-Published, Smashwords

BJ Sheppard’s “Rainbow Connection: Volume 1” Delivers A Hilarious Fourth Installment In The Series


“You can love someone so much…But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.” – John Green


Title: Rainbow Connection: Volume One

Author: BJ Sheppard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 153 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: One man, his lover, his boss, and all the balls you can juggle.
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Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published, Smashwords

KJ Charles And Jordan L. Hawk, The Scream Team Behind “Remnant”


“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ― Oscar Wilde


Title: Remnant

Author: KJ Charles and Jordan L. Hawk

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 51 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: London, 1899. The beautiful people are dying…
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BJ Sheppard, Self-Published, Smashwords

BJ Sheppard is back and his third Rainbow Connection story leaves you Rocking with Laughter!


“I’d risk everything for one kiss, everything. Yes I’d do anything.
Anything? Anything for you.” ― I’d Do Anything from Oliver


Title: The Rainbow Connection-Part III: Unwanted Guests and Strange Requests

Author: BJ Sheppard

Publisher: Smashwords

Pages/Word Count: 15,530 Words

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: It’s a slippery slope between perfection and perversion, and Liam Adams finds himself on the wrong side of the line.
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Angela Fiddler, Self-Published, Smashwords

Angela Fiddler’s “Lineage (Master of the Lines: Book One)” Is A High Stakes Paranormal Romance


“Jealousy is love in competition.” ― Toba Beta



Title: Lineage (Master of the Lines: Book One)

Author: Angela Fiddler

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 157 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Love didn’t just kick you when [you] were down; it staked you out and turned you into a vampire. Not that Vision was bitter. His ex-lover taught him nothing lasts forever, while his ex-master taught him to submit and the fine art of not resisting silk restraints. In exchange, Vision let both of them keep their heads. He considered it a fair trade-off.
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Jay Bell, Self-Published, Smashwords

Jay Bell Makes Love Feel A Little “Something Like Spring”


“If you had a time machine, would you go back and avoid getting together with Caesar? It would spare you the heartache you feel now, but think of everything else you would have missed out on. Would you take it all back?”

“No.”

“I wouldn’t take back any of mine either. Love is worth the pain.”–Jay Bell


Title: Something Like Spring (Seasons #4)

Author: Jay Bell

Publisher: Jay Bell Books

Pages/Word Count: 458 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Nothing in this world is permanent. Friends, lovers, even family, can all disappear in the blink of an eye. Without these anchors, it’s all too easy to find oneself drifting.
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BJ Sheppard, Smashwords

“Sex, Lies and DVD Fines” leaves you breathless from laughter!


The bottom line is that people are never perfect, but love can be…” ― Tom Robbins


Title: The Rainbow Connection II: Sex, Lies, and DVD Fines

Author: BJ Shephard

Publisher: Smashwords

Pages/Word Count: 11,630 words

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: The course of true love never did run smooth for eccentric journalist Liam Adams..

After the success of his previous months column, Liam finds himself promoted and striving to impress with an article that will push the boundaries, not just of his work, but his love life as well. But will the subject of this months piece help or hinder as he struggles to keep his Rainbow Connection?
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Jay Northcote, Self-Published, Smashwords

Jay Northcote’s “Coming Home” Is A Gift Worth Giving Yourself This Holiday Season



“Sometimes all you need is a second chance because time wasn’t ready for the first one.” – Author Unknown


Are you looking for a feel-good holiday story? If so, look no further than Jay Northcote’s free Christmas short, Coming Home.

It’s a story that begins when a summer love affair ends, at a time when Jago and Will had become so much more than friends—before the logistics of college and the miles between them caused Will to decide it would be better to break up than to give a go at a long distance relationship. It’s not what Jago wanted, but it’s what he settled for rather than endure the humiliation of asking for something more, only to be rejected.
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Amazon Digital Services, Kol Anderson, Self-Published, Smashwords

At Its “Heart”, Kol Anderson Delivers More Than Just The Usual



“And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger-something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camus


Roman Woodrow and Lucas Mayer meet on a plane en route to Vienna. Roman works for his father’s tech company and Lucas’s line of work is something of a mystery. Once they arrive, they spend a week sightseeing and enjoying getting to know each other before having one passionate night together. While Heart starts out as so many other boy meets boy/boy loses boy/boy finds boy and they live happily ever after books do, it quickly takes a dark turn. Roman disappears from Lucas’s life.

After several years, Lucas has been unable to get Roman out of his head or heart. He sees an opportunity to be in the same place as Roman and decides to take a chance on meeting up again. As Roman has made it clear he doesn’t spend more than one night with any one man, Lucas is taking a chance with his already bruised heart.
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BJ Sheppard, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Romance Reads and Secret Needs” – BJ Sheppard’s Got It Covered



“Gym toned, carb ignorant and blissfully unaware of the emotional resonance of words, I have been knee deep in thigh-knockers without thought or feeling for as long as I could recall.” – BJ Sheppard


BLURB: Liam Adams thought that writing about life would be easy. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Situated at a non-functional desk in the farthest corner of his fifth floor communal office, Liam has been charged with writing a segment for the company’s gay e-zine, “The Rainbow Connection”. Trying to disseminate the role of gender in the readership of gay literature, Liam soon starts to realize the jarring juxtaposition between the sentimental tales of love and his own fly-by-night sexual agenda. Not a stranger to the company of strangers, Liam is set on a path to discover why it’s the journey that matters most of all, and it takes a village to help him on his quest. From the overeating Social Networking Executive, to the liquor-addled Editor, Liam treads the road to enlightenment; and as the article reaches completion, the man realizes his latest sexual conquest could prove to be his last.

Humour and heart collide, as one man’s journey takes a fork in the road and straight down a path of no return. Can Liam find his Rainbow Connection with a man who had been there all along?

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Self-Published, Smashwords, Thaddeus J

“The Sol of Jupiter” Is Love In The Time Of DADT


“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ― Ernest Hemingway


BLURB: Turner Michaels is an idealistic junior enlisted communicator that wants nothing more than to successfully execute his duties. After being transferred to a light armored reconnaissance unit in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the young U.S. Marine starts to feel a bit overwhelmed and out of place from his usual role of support – that is until he is reunited with his old friend Jace Sozio. Reconnecting with one another is simple, but neither of them could have imagined the intense yet awkward attraction that would grow between them. Though admitting these feelings to one another poses a dilemma for the men, as neither wants it to threaten their close friendship. Taking things to a whole new level raises a number of other questions as well. First and foremost, would their peers accept them, or would they have to forever hide their relationship? And admitting their true feelings for one another is easier said than done. Their harsh supervisor is demanding and makes life miserable for the pair, and they also have a number of very good (though sometimes annoying) friends that make them question if they even need enemies. But with the help of their family and inspiring leaders the two will discover that loyalty and support are stronger than bigotry and misperception. Proving that the Corps indeed is a sacred brotherhood where men can trust one another with their very lives.

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2.5 Stars, Justin South, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Paul & Sam” Is A Teenage Love Story Wrapped In A Murder Mystery



“Justice isn’t about fixing the past; it’s about healing the past’s future.” ― Jackson Burnett


Justin South’s Paul & Sam is the story of two nineteen-year-old boys who are brought together in a rather coincidental fashion and under some fairly serendipitous circumstances, as their lives had intertwined some years before in a near-tragic way, and now that this connection has been revealed years later, is subsequently manipulated and transformed into a romantic relationship. There is no build up to these boys falling in love because they were in love before they ever really met, which is a significant plot-point and one I won’t reveal. Suffice it to say I needed a bit more to help me to buy into their relationship.
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2 Stars, Kevin Anthony, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Feast, Stray, Love” Is A Story With Potential That Missed The Mark



“But if you’re gonna dine with them cannibals
Sooner or later, darling, you’re gonna get eaten . . .” ― Nick Cave


The advent of E-publishing has given authors, and aspiring authors, a whole new world in which to experiment with their craft. From fan fiction to self-publishing original work, the means of delivering a story to potential readers has never been easier, and sometimes for readers, it’s even infinitely rewarding because the cost of feeding our voracious appetites for the written word has never been cheaper. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be a losing side in the proposition. Sadly, however, as with anything good, there is always the potential for an equal amount of the opposite, and that’s where Feast, Stray, Love falls: solidly within the realms of a story that had some potential but fell woefully short in its execution.
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Kia Zi Shiru, Smashwords

The Past Informs The Future In “Disturbed Fate”



“Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.” ― Samantha Freber


BLURB: Marc, a small pet shop owner and seer, needs help with his store, but his new employee, Galen, brings with him more trouble than expected. Marc tries to keep their relationship professional even if Galen seems insistent on taking it to the next level. And then there is the problem of Galen’s past.
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Cherry Dare, Self-Published, Smashwords

“Prince of Silk and Thorns” Is A Can’t-Put-It-Down Read

“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love.” – Maya Angelou



It’s not often that I am surprised by romance novel and this was a very pleasant surprise, indeed. When Prince of Silk of Thorns came across for review, I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed by the cover- Cherries on a rope? What does that have to do with a Prince? The story being a mixture of historical fantasy was not my usual genre either. I have to admit that I reluctantly dove into the story and after about 10 pages couldn’t put the darn thing down!

The story is about Prince Alar and a peasant boy, Garin, who Alar finds working in a field. Alar takes Garin as a slave and takes him back to the palace. From the get-go the sexual tension and chemistry between the two MC’s is palpable and takes on a life of its own. Garin is a sexual virgin who has always been drawn to men, and the seemingly cruel Alar just seems interested in satisfying his own needs. However, the relationship between slave and master that takes at first a BDSM slant grows into something more. The two men start to fall in love and Garin, who saves the “half fallen angel” Alar, from an assassination attempt puts his own life in danger to ensure the safety and health of Alar. It’s through many political intrigues in a medieval world that Garin and Alar find love, and they work to put each man on equal footing with one another for the sake of the love they have for one another.

This book is not only engrossing in plot but let me tell you, the sex scenes between the MC’s are kept fresh and incredibly sensual. Dare makes each and every sexual encounter between Garin and Alar fresh and invigorating. The sex in this book is not the same old hat. It’s involved in the storyline and flows seamlessly with the plot, and each and every encounter makes the relationship between the two main characters palpable and real.

This book is GREAT and is something that will stay with me for a very long time. Yes the language can be a bit flowery but beyond that, this book is wonderful. I look forward to reading much more from this author. Never judge a book by its cover!

Reviewed by: Bruce

You can buy Prince of Silk and Thorns here:

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K.A. Merikan, Self-Published, Smashwords

Everyone’s Needs Are Met In “Special Needs”

“When a fantasy turns you on, you’re obligated to God and nature to start doing it—right away.” – Stuart Brand



This was a book of firsts for me. I’ve never read anything from the author, and I’ve never read about a main character being wheelchair bound. I was interested to see how the author would develop a character with special needs; would it be about the person or the chair? I’m so glad I did.

Liam has a history of sleeping with his bosses and then getting fired. He’s out of a job and living in his car, so he’s pretty desperate to find a job. He interviews for a job as a caretaker for a young B&B owner who is in a wheelchair. He gets the job and is determined to keep it, so it’s hands off his employer, who just happens to be the cutest thing Liam has ever seen.

Ryan, Liam’s employer, inherited his B&B from his late aunt. It’s not just any B&B, Ryan turned it into a kinky sex fetish B&B, where there are many themed rooms for people to come and live out their fantasies. I fell in love with Ryan’s character immediately. He’s funny, he has a cute way of just blurting out whatever he wants sexually at the most inappropriate times, he made me laugh out loud quite often. He’s very self conscience of his legs and is so shy, he’s never really had a boyfriend before. He has a website that caters to people who have a fetish for disabled people, and is happy to do his part to contribute whatever he can to make them happy.

The story itself tells the day to day running of the B&B. We meet Ryan’s two employees who work there, Rodney and Fay who add their own sauciness to the mix. We get a look at what Liam’s duties are as well, cooking meals, taking Ryan shopping and carrying up and down the stairs to his bedroom. Liam hasn’t told Ryan he’s gay. In his head its better to have Ryan think he’s straight, so he’s not tempted to have sex with yet another one of his bosses. It kinda back fires on Liam as he tries to find Ryan a boyfriend, all the while lusting after him himself. And what he doesn’t know is that Ryan is feeling the same for him.

I actually loved the slow pace of this book. We really get to know Liam and Ryan and their daily interactions with one another. Their easy going rapport with each other was very sweet and you see them evolve into more than just employee and employer. You see a very emotional bond form between them that eventually goes beyond friendship.

There are many scenes in this book that are so sweet and heartwarming. The role playing, bondage scenes Ryan wants, Liam is happy to oblige. There are some scenes that are a little disturbing too. Especially, the ones with Ryan’s boyfriend/stalker. This book has a little bit of everything and I found it to be very entertaining to read. And yes, it has a major cliffhanger at the end that I didn’t see coming, but you know, I didn’t care.

I loved this book and wouldn’t let an abrupt ending keep me from reading it. You’ll be missing out on a great, unique story if you do.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy Special Needs (Special Needs #1) here:

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Hannah Johnson, Self-Published, Smashwords

Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson

Sarcasm isn’t just a way to mask your emotions and distance yourself from others. It’s also super-duper satisfying. – Unknown.

Howie Jenkins is a man with a plan. Yeah, that’s right, his plan is to work at the locally owned Artie Kraft’s Arts and Crafts store so he can increase his odds of getting laid because, of course, arts + crafts = babes. Everyone knows that. Everyone but me, I think. If I’d been Howie’s BFF, I’d have been less worried about how sad that plan is and more concerned with the fact that the biggest flaw in the questionably brilliant idea may be that the mean age of the patrons who frequent arts and crafts stores isn’t exactly within Howie’s 18-25 year old demographic. And they have 2.2 kids. And the employees are largely older women. I’ve been to arts and crafts stores. I know these things. I am that thing. But more power to the boy. He goes for it, gets the job in spite of the fact that Howie is probably the last guy Arthur Kraft wants to hire, and score! there’s a pretty, perky, and blond teenage Kristy Quinn who works there and is just ripe for the pickin’. Almost. Too bad Kristy already has a boyfriend. And she thinks Howie’s gay. Ouch. Double whammy.

And then there’s also Cora Caldwell, of the Rocky Horror Show Caldwells, but Cora could easily eat Howie and then reassemble his bones into something edgy and artful, so Cora’s a big no. Plus, she’s fairly awesome in a totally bitchy way. I kind of girl crushed on her, as well as Howie’s above-referenced BFF Amber. And then there’s the fact that the ‘rents keep trying to make with the matching between Amber and Howie, but she only has eyes for Howie’s twinly opposite and over-achieving brother, Daniel, who’s in love with the aggressively ordinary Emily.

It’s a conundrum.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a few days now and have come to the conclusion that I think whether you like it or not will depend entirely upon whether you like Howie Jenkins, the story’s narrator. See, Howie is…slightly annoying. But in a rather adorkable way! He’s adorkably annoying. Or annoyingly adorkable, I can’t decide which. Sometimes I just wanted him not to talk for a minute, that’s all. That Howie, well, he’s turned being a wiseass into a true art form. In fact, wiseassery may very well be his first language, but there’s a valid reason he hides behind all that snarky comedy, and you’ll just have to read the book if you want to find out why. I found him utterly endearing and wanted him to shut his freaking pie hole, all at the same time. He’s kind of like my kids—can work a last nerve like a pro, but now that he’s gone, I miss him.

But Howie’s not the only character in this book who lets his snark-flag fly high and proud. No, most of the characters are quite fluent in the articulation of mocky banter, others are merely fluent in utter nonsense, while still others don’t speak anything but literal and just get lost in the crossfire of all that extra-witty repartee. While I loved the premise of this story, I have to say there were times when the sarcasm overload began to take its toll on me. There was a lot of adorable and very touching stuff going on in this book too, though, so I soldiered through and am ultimately very, very glad I did.

What began as quite possibly the doofiest plan in the world turned into such a sweet enemies-to-lovers, coming-out story, as well as an unlikely romance between the unquestionably more sophisticated and giftedly eyelashed Arthur Kraft and our cluelessly adorable Howie, who tried so hard to be straight, but one kiss from Arthur, and Doh! hey, hm, maybe Howie’s not as straight as he always thought he was. And suddenly Howie’s living a double-life, one in which he can be himself at the struggling little arts and crafts store where his friends know the new and improved Howie, and the other where he has to hide the fact that Arthur is the first person in the whole wide world who has ever made Howie feel the way he feels when they’re together.

And P.S. – Howie has the best mom ever.

There is no doubt about it; this book is just precious, but for me, sometimes it felt like it suffered under the weight of its own über-verbose preciousness, meaning that at 317 pages, this one probably would’ve been trimmed down quite a bit had it been traditionally published. As it stands, however, for a self-pub, I’d say Hannah Johnson has a very promising future in this writerly biz.

Buy Know Not Why here:

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Cary Attwell, Self-Published, Smashwords

The Other Guy by Cary Attwell

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together. – Marcus Aurelius

Have you ever just wanted to hug a book really hard and then kiss it and then thank it for giving you hours of bliss? Oh. Well, maybe it’s just me. But, gaaaah, I want to shout my love for this one from the rooftops, for it is sublime. And then it ended. And now I want a sequel. I’d settle for an epilogue. A haiku?

The telephone rang
Emory professed his love
Happy forever

Okay, I suck at the haiku, but you get the point. I want to see what happens after the phone call.

The Other Guy is the story of Emory James, and to say that Emory is unlucky in love is kind of an understatement, considering that his fiancé has just ditched him at the altar and run off with her first college boyfriend (picture Elaine and Ben at the end of The Graduate). But never let it be said that Emory’s not a classy guy. The booze, food, and band are already paid for, after all; the reception must go on. And furthermore, so must the honeymoon. Or at least that’s what Emory decided once the sobbing stopped. A trip to Thailand, where no one knows him or the humiliation he’s suffered, is just what he needs; a week in paradise where he can be someone other than Emory James – The Other Guy. Emory can be the Good-Looking Bastard and none will be the wiser. He’s such a trooper. And Jeremy Renner’s playing him in the movie.

Well, this is where Nate Harris enters the picture, and this is where things really started getting good. Chemistry? Pish. Nate is a force of nature, and it’s clear from word one that he and Emory have a connection that goes far beyond a simple bromance. But Emory? Well, Emory’s not gay and things happen and then he blurts right out why he’s in Thailand on his aborted honeymoon after Nate kisses him in the rain… Emory’s not gay? Pish. And then that force of nature that is their attraction to each other takes over. And then Nate flies home. So much for their vacation romance.

Or is it?

It wouldn’t be much of a book if that was the end of the story, would it? Nope. Months later, Fate with a capital-F makes sure to give these boys a karmic boot to the posterior, and shoves them directly back into each other’s orbit, and if there were any two people whose lives needed to coalesce, it’d be these two. But you can’t possibly think it’d be that simple, can you? Nope. So, Emory is probably gay, or at least bi, but getting him to admit it to himself, let alone to anyone else, becomes a roadblock to his and Nate’s happiness. And then there’s angst. And the return of the fickle fiancé who’s decided she made a big mistake. Yikes, conflict.

Well, if there’s anything we’ve all learned from romantic fiction, it’s that love always finds a way. Sometimes all it takes is the verbal smackdown from your best friend, and the courage to face your fears, and the chance to ask for forgiveness that all comes together in the perfect storm of resolution and helps a guy navigate his way to Happily-Ever-Afterland before he takes a wrong turn at The-One-That-Got-Awayville.

But I still want to know what happens after that phone call.

The Other Guy is Cary Attwell’s debut novel, and all I can say is that I’ll be watching for any- and everything else I can find from this author. This book is charming and clever and I adored it so much that I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I may just go ahead and read it again.

Buy The Other Guy here:

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Finn Marlowe, Smashwords

Not His Kiss to Take – Some FREE Kink From Finn Marlowe

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. – Potter Stewart

I’m going to be one-hundred percent honest here and tell you I almost stopped reading this book at least a half dozen times before I even made it to the halfway mark. Yeah, it was like that. This was a really difficult storyline for me to get rah-rah-happy about because I felt like some dirty old perverted lecher for reading it. It made me want to go shower repeatedly. And then I liked it. Oy, the conflict.

Not His Kiss to Take contains what might be considered some seriously difficult subject matter to wrap your head around: off screen rape, the repeated predatory pursuit of the victim—the straight victim, by the way—by the man who has assumed the role of the young man’s doctor and caretaker, auto-erotic asphyxiation, enema play, and then, on top of that, the book boils down to what is essentially an extended sex scene that begins immediately with the doctor penetrating the victim’s anus with fingers and that enema nozzle, and sprouting wood while he was doing it. See? I had a hard time getting beyond the fact that Dr. Evan Harrison would not only cross the line of ethics between doctor and patient, but that he’d obliterate that line in his want of Jamie, a man fourteen years younger than Evan, and a man who’s not only vulnerable and reliant upon Evan, but is also seemingly compelled to submit to Evan’s authority. At least in the bedroom.

But then… Then why, if I had all these squickalicious greasy-brained feelings, did I end up reading this book in a single sitting, getting a mere four hours of sleep because I couldn’t put it down? I can’t say it’s because it’s the best book I’ve ever read, because, while I liked it, it’s not. I can’t say it’s because these characters have darted their way to the top of the list of my all-time favorite couples, because, while I liked them (or eventually did), they haven’t. I can’t say it’s flawlessly written, because it isn’t—but it’s free, so I’m definitely not complaining. So why did I start justifying things in my mind? Things like, Evan isn’t technically a practicing physician because he suffers from migraines, so that being the case, has he really breached the doctor/patient code of ethics? Can there be a breach of trust if the very damaged person you’ve brought into your home doesn’t really trust you in the first place? Things like, hey, these guys are two consenting adults, so who am I to question what constitutes stepping over that invisible moral line, even though Jamie’s consent felt more than a little manipulated at times by Evan’s sexual magnetism.

Then I finished the book and decided I’m still not sure what drew me in, at least nothing I want to examine too closely, like the fact that it was incredibly (and maybe inappropriately?) provocative and erotic. But beyond that, I truly did want to see if Evan would ever come to the conclusion that what he’d done was in any way questionable, if not flat out wrong. And he does. And I needed to see that Jamie was okay with the way his relationship had evolved with Evan. And he was. Eventually. Was it convincing? Mmmm… sure, why not? I was honestly happy for them in the end, which I’m not sure I believed would or could happen in the beginning, considering I wasn’t even certain I’d finish the book to find out.

So, if you feel like putting on your kinky-boots and not having to pay a lot of money for it, give this one a try.

You can download it here:

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Amelia C. Gormley, Smashwords

Acceleration (Impulse, Book 2) by Amelia C. Gormley – There’s Still Time To Enter To Win!

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. – Jan Glidewell

Amelia C. Gormley’s “Impulse” series could easily be subtitled The Erotic Anatomy of a Relationship, and whether you like it or not may depend on how much you love to get into the nuts and bolts of what makes a man who he is, and why everything that has happened to him in the past has a bearing on everything he does and feels and says—or doesn’t allow himself to say—in the present.

Acceleration is the continuation of the story begun in Inertia, the story of Derrick Chance and Gavin Hayes, two men who have brought a fair amount of baggage into their relationship, and the ways in which they’re working to sort out their trust and communication issues outside of the bedroom—the one place Derrick seems to be able to understand what he needs from Gavin—and how the backdraft of their sexual connection influences them in other ways, as Derrick learns he wants the pleasure/pain of sexual submission, and Gavin accepts that his dominance and the need to mark and claim Derrick is not in any way a form of hatred, neither of himself nor of gay men in general, but is simply an innate part of who he is.

The two men still have a ways to go to mend all the things that are wrong with their relationship, both in the ways Derrick tends to alienate Gavin in his instinct to keep parts of himself to himself, as well as in what’s becoming the unfortunate realities of prejudice and what it means to Derrick now that he’s living as an openly gay man. And of course, there’s also the overarching shadow of Gavin’s HIV status and the weight it places upon so many of Derrick’s actions and reactions.

I’m completely hooked on these guys, no question about that. This serial is one-hundred percent character driven and is an erotic interface of psychological boundaries and sexual release and relationships 101. I want to stick around and play voyeur in their bedroom, and I want to follow them headlong into all the challenges they still have coming their way in the next book, Velocity.

Available for purchase at the following E-tailers:

AMAZON
ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS
KOBO
SMASHWORDS
RAINBOW EBOOKS

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Amelia C. Gormley, Smashwords

Oh Look, Amelia C. Gormley Had A Sudden Impulse To Give Away A FREE Book!

Hi, Amelia! Welcome to The Novel Approach; I’m so glad to have you here with us today. :)

Hi! Thank you for having me! I’m very excited you’ve decided to feature me!

Before we get to the contest portion of your visit, let’s just start right off by having you tell us a little bit about yourself, and then we can get down to the big questions.

I am a 38-year-old homemaker and mother. I live in the Portland, Oregon area with my husband and 5-year-old son. I originally hail from Michigan, I’m a huge fan of choral music and musical theater, studied voice when I was younger, and until I got pregnant, I was in school to become a midwife. I have zero drawing/painting talent, but I can cross-stitch and crochet.

Q. Was Inertia your first published novel?

Yes. I’ve written a number of novels that were posted as fanfic over the years but this is my first original piece.

Q. How long did it take you to write the book?

I began writing in, I think, late November or early December of 2011, and finished around mid-January 2012. It took me until May to find an editor, however, and then I had to rewrite about 40-50% of the book from scratch, which took another few weeks.

Q. And now you have Acceleration, the second book in the series, set to release on November 30th. How many books do you have the series planned out for?

Impulse is a trilogy. The third part is Velocity which is written and will be going to the editor next month. I hope to publish it in late February or early March, 2013, but that will depend on whether or not I need to do much re-writing.

Q. Are you a plotter, or do you write in a more freestyle fashion?

I tend to write very freestyle. I diligently attempt outlines and mapping plot, but somewhere along the lines, my characters almost always grab the reins and say “No, we’re going in this direction, and then I’m along for the ride and my outline is rolling with the tumbleweeds somewhere in the dust of our tracks.

Q. Derrick and Gavin are cautiously pursuing a relationship in spite of the chance Gavin may have been exposed to HIV. What made you decide to bring that particular conflict into the storyline?

It actually began with a character question regarding Gavin’s ex, whom I knew was a character who had a “cause” that could have been a very worthy cause, except that he warped it somehow into something insupportable. I was already aware of AIDS denialism, and I started to ask myself, what if someone packaged themselves as someone who wants to spread awareness and education about AIDS, only if you look beyond the “AIDS awareness educator” label they plastered themselves with, what they’re actually preaching is the exact opposite of AIDS awareness, willful, deliberate AIDS ignorance.

Once my friends, with whom I was plotting, knew what drove Gavin’s ex, we then had to ask what effect this would have had on Gavin, coming out of that relationship, and then upon Derrick, with his own painful history.

Q. Was there one particular scene in either book that you found more difficult to write than the others?

The scene where Derrick walks out. God, that hurt to write. I know a lot of readers really sympathize with Derrick, but it was a shitty thing to do. So Gavin was hurting. But Derrick had reasons for what he did and he was hurting too, and I had both of them hurting in my head and ouch. Just ouch.

Q. Have you always written M/M romance? If not, how did you find your way to it?

No, this is actually a fairly recent development for me. Up until a couple years ago, I wrote exclusively het, until I found a slash pairing that worked for me in a way that none of the others I had encountered before had, with regards to situational plausibility and characterization. Then I started writing m/m and I was hooked. It just felt like I could explore my characters in whole new ways.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received with respect to writing and publishing?

Hm, that’s a good question. There’s been quite a lot. I was advised right off the top to keep my distance from reviews of my work, good or bad, because I don’t want to creep readers out making them think I peer over their shoulders as they’re reading or discussing my work. I don’t even go near negative reviews, which, thankfully, I’ve not had many of. “Keep writing” is a good one, of course, because they say the best way to sell your first book is to write your second, and I could have easily got bogged down in obsessing over the sales of my book and neglected writing in favor of trying to figure out how to market better.

Q. If you could trade lives with any one fictional character, just for a day, who would it be and why?

My initial response was going to be “Just about any denizen of Terre d’Ange from Jacqueline Carey’s amazing Kushiel’s Legacy series, except maybe Phèdre, because her life frequently sucks.” But then I remembered Joscelin, whom I adore, and of course he’ll never be with anyone but Phèdre. So yeah, I’d have to be Phèdre, even with the high risk of suck.

Joscelin aside, I love the idea of Terre d’Ange. A place where there is no kink-shaming, no slut-shaming, no homophobia, where sex and pleasure are revered as art forms and practiced as a form of worship, where the highest crime, nay blasphemy, a person could possibly commit would be to disregard someone’s consent. I love the idea of it and I want to live in that world.

And I want Joscelin. Just sayin’.

Q. Have you ever read something and thought, damn, I wish I’d written that? If so, what was it?

You mean, aside from Kushiel’s Dart? That book. God, that book. It was life-changing for me. Carey’s prose. Her lush, eloquent, gorgeous, overblown prose. I don’t know how to do it but God, I want to.

Q. How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?

Dry and quirky. I tend to make a lot of bad puns. In an author interview that was posted not long ago elsewhere, I was bemoaning my lack of ability to write comedy and I remarked, “For an author of gay romance, I write a lot of straight-men.”

I don’t think anyone got it.

Then of course, there’s this exchange from Acceleration:

“(Derrick, speaking to Gavin, who has just been clapped in irons on their way to a Halloween party):

“I thought you said this wasn’t that sort of party.”

“BYOB,” Gavin said with a careless shrug. “Bring Your Own Bondage.”

So I guess you could describe my sense of humor as “Get ‘em with a groaner.”

And I make myself laugh, whenever I get ridiculously proud of myself for one of those sorts of jokes.

“See, I can be witty!” Which, of course, I really can’t, but I try.

Q. Do you have news of any works-in-progress you’d care to share with us?

Well, as I mentioned before, the third book of the trilogy, is titled Velocity and it’s completed (causing me no small amount of angst as I try to find a way to say goodbye to Derrick and Gavin.) Beyond that I actually have to play my next project close to the vest because I’m not entirely certain where it’s going to end up.

Q. Where can we find you on the internet?

Pfft! Where can’t you find me? Here’s a list. I’m all over the place:
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Facebook (Fan Page)
GoodReads
Tumblr
ManicReaders

I have accounts at LibraryThing, Shelfari, Pinterest and Google+ as well, though I never use those.

Q. Would you consider sharing an excerpt from one of your books with us?

Sure! This is an excerpt of a scene from Chapter Eight of Acceleration:

******

Grateful for the distraction of driving, Derrick kept his eyes on traffic and worked on shaking off the tension of his argument with Devon. “You sure you’re all right?”

“Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?” He couldn’t tell Gavin, he thought, keeping his expression blank as he navigated through traffic. Gavin had enough to worry about without Derrick adding to his troubles. Worse, he might blame himself, or worry that being with him caused too much trouble for Derrick.

No. It was better just to suck it up, deal with it quietly, so Gavin wouldn’t have to worry.

“I don’t know,” Gavin murmured, turning to stare out the passenger window.

Something began to ache inside Derrick’s chest again, clenching in counterpoint to the drumming of a single thought over and over in his mind. As he had that morning, when Gavin had asked him about his music, he knew without a doubt that he had let Gavin down.

He just didn’t know how.

“Maybe I should go home,” Gavin said as they pulled into Derrick’s driveway. He opened the door of the truck before Derrick had even turned off the ignition. “I don’t think either of us is in a very good frame of mind tonight. I’ll go inside and get my things.”

The hollow sense of failure transformed into a heart-racing jolt of panic. He followed Gavin quickly into the house.

“I really wish you wouldn’t.”

“Are you going to tell me what’s eating you, then?” Gavin demanded.

“I don’t know,” Derrick said with a frustrated shrug. “It’s not anything worth ruining our night over, that’s for certain. Just…don’t go. Please.”

He wasn’t sure just what his expression gave away, but something in Gavin softened. He reached out and drew Derrick close, and the sense of anxiety began to abate. Touching Gavin, being touched, even when everything else felt wrong, that was right.

Derrick slid his hand along Gavin’s jaw, pulling him into a kiss that grew urgent and needful. He felt the overwhelming tide of emotion he’d fought to keep in check that morning begin to rise again, threatening to drown him. He pressed his forehead to Gavin’s, seeking something, anything, to say to hold it all at bay. Fear made his breath come short and fast as he cupped Gavin’s face and drew back to look at him.

“I love you,” he murmured, panic and elation fighting for room in the constricted confines of his chest. “That’s…that’s all. That’s what this is about.”

Gavin’s eyes widened, and Derrick cut off whatever response he was about to give with another kiss.

He didn’t have to talk again that night.

******

Thanks again very much for being here today, Amelia. I hope you’ll come back and visit again soon! :)

I would absolutely love to! Thank you for being so wonderful and hosting me!

How would you all like the chance to win a FREE E-copy of Amelia C. Gormley’s Acceleration: Impulse, Book 2? It’s easy enough! All you have to do is leave a comment (including your email address) for Amelia right here on this post and you’re automatically entered to win. Just be sure to do it before 11:59pm Pacific time on November 29, 2012. A single winner will be drawn at random on November 30, and contacted for prize delivery. Good luck!

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Amelia C. Gormley, Smashwords

Inertia (Impulse, Book #1) by Amelia C. Gormley

“I have ever since seemed to myself … a kind of solitary wanderer in the wild of life.” – Samuel Johnson

Derrick Chance has been alone for ten years, ten years during which he has lived a half-life of working and taking care of the needs of others, all while ignoring the fact that his own risk-free and insular existence is adding up to little more than a pole to pole exercise in denial; denying himself the right to love and to be loved in return, to feel all the beautiful fears of falling, and instead being paralyzed by the risk that comes with trying to weave your life into the tapestry of another’s, the needing of that intimacy and the sharing of all the uncontrollable and unpredictable good, bad, ugly, and indifferent that fate sometimes throws your way just to make sure you’re paying attention.

And Derrick was fine with it, or at least resigned to it; not that he was unaware there was a different way to live, but he was content with his life, as monotone as it was—until he was hired by Gavin Hayes to do a small home-improvement job; then suddenly he saw someone who made him want things, need things, things he knew were missing but were absent from his life by his choice rather than by his fault. And then there was fear, because losing his heart and letting someone in meant leaving himself open to the pain of losing…again. And it’s more than he’s willing to forfeit…for at least a short while, until a pair of whiskey-colored eyes brought an intensity of feeling to his life, and he found he couldn’t look away.

Inertia, book one in the Impulse series is an exploration of the tenuous beginning of a relationship between two men whose pasts have very much influenced who they are and what they’re willing to compromise in order to see where their attraction to each other could go. Potentially devastating truths nearly undo them before they even have a chance to explore their potential—truths that for Gavin could be life altering, truths that for Derrick could be too much to overcome because they signal the possibility of a repeat of his painful past.

Amelia C. Gormley has treated me to something that, as a reader, I love more than just about anything: a character driven story that’s allowed me the chance to become invested in the lives and trials of the people she’s created, and the promise of what will be an emotional journey, for sure, as Derrick and Gavin continue to navigate their way into a relationship that seems destined for both hope and hardship.

Inertia offers no quick resolutions or easy answers for these two characters—there’s still too much for them to work through and too far yet to go, but there’s progress and promise and that’s all I need to keep me coming back for more.

Be sure to stay tuned, because Amelia C. Gormley is going to be back on November 25, 2012, to offer one lucky reader the chance to win Book Two in the Impulse series, Acceleration!

Buy Inertia (Impulse, Book #1) here:

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Amber Allure, Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Eden Winters, Ethan Day, Geoffrey Knight, K. Piet, Less Than Three Press, P.D. Singer, Piper Vaughn, Rhys Ford, Smashwords, Storm Moon Press, Xara X. Xanakas

And I’m Off To GayRomLit Land…

It’s early. Early! ::yawns:: But there’s something a little less difficult about getting up at 4:00am when you know you’re off to the airport for a long weekend of fun, right? Sure, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ::Starbucks::

I want to take a minute to do two things. First, to say thank you so much to all the authors who very generously donated their immense talents to my GayRomLit Countdown Celebration. Without the help of Eden Winters, Rhys Ford, Amy Lane, K. Piet, Piper Vaughn & Xara X. Xanakas, P.D. Singer, and Geoffrey Knight & Ethan Day, there wouldn’t have even been a celebration to be had, so I will forever be grateful for your kindness and participation.

Second, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to the fans of all these authors, who stopped by and left comments. I’m sure your interest in them and their work is greatly appreciated and extremely gratifying to each and every one of them.

And last but not lease, a big congratulations to all those who have received, or will soon be receiving, their prizes!

Here’s a recap of the lucky winners:

Winner: trisha2144




















Winner: Boxtersushi






Winner: Rosie M






Winner: K. Piet’s “Surrender” and one backlist book: pearls

Winner: Melora






Winner: Anna






Winner: Nancy




















Ready or not, Albuquerque, here I come!

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Ethan Day, Geoffrey Knight, Smashwords

Wanna Catch A Fox? Leave A Comment And You Just Might!

“Secrets are made to be found out with time.” – Charles Sanford

Are there any two authors who were destined to collaborate more so than Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day? I mean, Knight and Day? Come on. It’s synchronicity, isn’t it? Well, let me tell you, I’m thinking this was a long time coming and they should just keep it coming for a very long time. All the things I love about their work individually, is something to celebrate collectively in To Catch a Fox, the story of Jonathan Fox, a hardboiled New Orleans Private Investigator who’s up to his eyeballs in family secrets, murder threats, and some steamy manlovin’ with Tucker Wilder, a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who finds himself up to his eyeballs in family secrets, murder threats… Yeah, you get the picture.

There’s danger and action galore, explosions and explosive intrigue, when past sins and a sinister betrayal threaten everything Jonathan had believed to be true about his father and the way in which he died. A rich and colorful palette of characters paint the landscape of this story with vibrant personalities and just the right touch of humor, suspense, scandal, angst, and romance.

There’s even an albino alligator. Yes, you read that right, and trust me when I say she (he?) takes a right nasty bite out of crime.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, there’s an evil, evil ::shakes fist:: cliffhanger to bring this installment of the series to a close. You didn’t think Jonathan and Tucker were going to ride off happily into the sunset just yet now, did you? Where would the fun be in that? No, you’ll have to tune in next time for the continuing saga in A Fox in the Hole, Book two in the Knight and Day Fox Mystery Series, coming soon to theaters near you.

Okay, not really, but it should be.

Geoff and Ethan are busy gearing up for GayRomLit 2012, but I have them here in spirit today to offer one lucky reader the chance to win To Catch a Fox. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you’ll automatically be registered to win! And please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so we know how to contact you! Good luck!

**Contest deadline is 11:59pm Pacific (2:59am Eastern) on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. The drawing will be conducted on October 18th, the first day of GRL, so there may be a slight delay in either Geoff of Ethan contacting you with your prize. Thanks in advance for your patience.** :)

BUY LINK

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Daniel A. Kaine, Self-Published, Smashwords

Dawn of Darkness (Daeva #1) by Daniel A. Kaine

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” – William Shakespeare

Nearly a century ago, humans and vampires lived together peacefully, even amidst the religious prophesying that their integration would most certainly bring about Armageddon one day. When a great plague swept across the globe and decimated nearly all the world’s population, it appeared the prophets were right and the vampires were indeed a scourge, and the resulting demise of the human race. It’s now the year 2105, vampires and humans are once again predator and prey, but within the dystopian landscape of what had once been France, one civilized community still exists among the ruins, Rachat, a stronghold in which an army of young men and women with supernatural abilities become lethal weapons in the fight against the vampiric enemy.

Mikhail Hart and Ashley White are two newly minted soldiers in the Silver Dawn Battalion, two young men with powers that give them an advantage in this war against the undead. They, along with their preternatural comrades, have been spoon-fed from the propaganda vessel, taught to believe that the course of their history was directed and dictated by the nightdwellers who have the power to control their thoughts and feed on them like human cattle. But the truth is that the truth is still out there waiting to be discovered. And when Mik gets a little too close to those truths, life as he knows it becomes something more like a small corner of hell, where the devil he knows is every bit as dangerous and the devil he doesn’t, and some of the worst lies are the lies he tells himself, for those are the lies that convince him the one person in the world he loves is lost to him forever.

The battle lines are drawn, and Mik has chosen sides. It’s the invisible line of warring ideology that has separated him from Ash, and now they’re on opposing ends of the personal and political agenda that has sprung from the deception and manipulation of the puppet regime. It is the fine line they both toe but cannot cross until they learn to trust that their love is the most powerful weapon they have in this battle between good and evil, and that survival can mean the difference between living or merely existing.

If you’ve read any small amount of paranormal fantasy over the past few years, you might feel, like me, that vampires have been done to death. After reading everything from Bram Stoker’s original to those of the sparkling variety, I feel like I’ve seen every possible permutation of the bloodsucker theme in between, but I have to say I was very pleased with Dawn of the Darkness, Daniel A. Kaine’s self-published debut. Mr. Kaine’s vampires are a mixed bag of daywalkers, nightdwellers, those who have striven to hang on to a bit of their humanity and to prove they’re not all the soulless monsters they’ve been made out to be, as well as those who are very much the monsters vampires have always been. There’s no attempt to bend or break the roles and rules, no sensationalizing for the sake of introducing something different. These vamps are sometimes horrific, sometimes entirely humane, and I liked the contrasts.

This novel is introspective speculative fiction, a blend of horror and young adult romance. It’s a story of betrayal and of healing and forgiveness, at once altogether gory, then utterly poignant in its portrayal of the broken pasts that have shaped who Mik and Ash have become. Though the going was a bit slow at times, and there were some rough edges to this gem, I was thoroughly invested in the journey and am looking forward to its continuation in Origin of Darkness, book #2 in the Daeva series.

Daniel A. Kaine is a GayRomLit participating author. Find out a bit more about Daniel HERE.

Buy Dawn of Darkness HERE.

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