Abigail Roux, Giveaways

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: The Part & Parcel Blog Tour with Abigail Roux

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We’re so pleased to welcome Abigail Roux and the Part & Parcel blog tour to The Novel Approach today. Enjoy this exclusive excerpt and then be sure to check out details on the giveaway below.

Good luck!

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Part&Parcel_600x900Blurb: Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott had their happy ending in sight when a friend’s call for help almost ended with them losing it to the blade of a knife. Now, in the aftermath of near-disaster, both men are trying to heal and move on.

Moving on together, though, is harder than either of them realized it would be. Kelly struggles with simply being a lover instead of the Doc, while Nick is mired in his recovery. The distance between them inches along in stilted silence.

Desperately seeking solace, Nick finally gathers the courage to sort through the possessions his dear friend and fellow Sidewinder teammate Elias Sanchez left him when he died. Instead of comforting memories, Nick and Kelly find a stack of letters and strict instructions from Eli that prompt them to send out a call for assistance. With Eli’s letters in hand, Sidewinder sets out on one last mission together, seeking peace and absolution from beyond the grave—and from each other.

Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

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Excerpt: “You okay?” Kelly asked as he eased down beside Nick. His hand was warm through Nick’s thin T-shirt.

“Yeah,” Nick whispered. He slid his hand up Kelly’s arm, staring into his storm-tossed eyes.

“You sure? Your heart’s racing.” Kelly moved his fingers up like he was going to check Nick’s pulse again.

Nick licked his lips, nodding jerkily. “That’s because I’m nervous,” he practically gasped.

Kelly stared, unblinking, unflinching. His thumb rested against Nick’s chin again, and his eyes followed its progress as he slid it up the line of Nick’s jaw to his cheekbone.

It seemed like forever to Nick, like it took Kelly hours to move. It seemed like he held his breath for so long that his lungs burned, that his body screamed for him to do something, anything, to relieve the pressure building.

It wasn’t until Kelly finally met his eyes again, when his fingers finally tightened against the back of Nick’s neck, when he finally leaned closer, that Nick sucked in a breath. A moment later Kelly’s lips were on his, warm and gentle and familiar.

Nick didn’t dare move, didn’t dare make a sound beyond the involuntary whimper that escaped his parted lips once Kelly pulled back. He was left with his eyes closed and his breath stolen, grasping Kelly harder so he wouldn’t move away.

Kelly brushed his nose against Nick’s, and then his lips met Nick’s again and he shifted like he might climb into Nick’s lap. Nick tightened his grip on Kelly’s forearm, and Kelly moaned quietly against his lips.

“I miss you,” Nick whispered between gentle kisses.

Kelly pressed his forehead to Nick’s, leaning his body against Nick’s shoulder. “Asshole,” he grunted.

Nick ducked his head, but Kelly put a hand on his shoulder and shoved off of him, raising up and slinging one leg over Nick’s lap. Nick gripped Kelly’s hips to remind him to be careful as Kelly straddled him, both hands resting on Nick’s shoulders, his head cocked. Nick swallowed hard, flushing with a heady mixture of nerves and adrenaline and desire as Kelly pushed his blanket off his shoulders with a smirk.

“How’s your heart rate?” Kelly asked wryly.

Nick was embarrassingly out of breath, but he managed a smile. “Racing.”

Kelly rewarded him with a crooked grin. “Mine too.”

Nick sat up straighter, wincing, still staring into Kelly’s shadowed eyes as his fingers wandered under Kelly’s shirt to graze over his ribs. Kelly leaned closer to brush his nose against Nick’s.

“What have you done?” Kelly asked, dropping his voice to a seductive whisper.

Nick sucked in a deep breath, holding it as he tried to find a good answer that wouldn’t get him yelled at. When he finally let it gust out, Kelly rolled his eyes and sat back, pursing his lips and nodding as if he’d known Nick had been up to no good.

“I told you to sit,” Kelly huffed. “I told you not to move. I told you to rest.”

“I know, but—”

“Nick!”

Nick practically growled as he rested his head on the back of the couch and flopped his hands to the cushions. It was like being in the Marines and having to report to his corpsman all over again. “It’s been over four weeks, Kels.”

“You know if you overwork yourself it’ll set back your recovery.”

“I was looking for Seymour,” Nick said, his voice a bit more caustic than he’d meant for it to be.

Kelly sat back, eyes gone wide. “You have him?”

Nick’s attention strayed to the coffee table, and Kelly glanced over his shoulder, where he could no doubt see Seymour on the table, along with the envelope full of letters Nick had found in the top of the cardboard box full of Eli’s things. The box itself was now sitting beneath the glass top.

Kelly leaned back, his lithe body twisting and straining against Nick as he plucked up the sock monkey. “I can’t believe you found him. Where was he?”

Nick found it hard to swallow, and he licked his lips to stall as his eyes strayed to the envelope again. “It’s the stuff Eli’s mom gave me,” he said, voice gone hoarse as he thought about the letter he’d read. “I . . . I just had this sudden need to go through it, I don’t know.”

Kelly sat back on Nick’s thighs, cocking his head and frowning at the ragged sock monkey in his hands. Seymour was about twenty inches tall, with a scraggly tail, gangly arms and legs, and big ears that had more often than not been used as handles. He had at one time sported white, green, and orange stripes, with a little blue-and-green beanie and blue puffs for buttons, but the colors were faded and dirty and the button puffs were long gone.

Kelly had always been vaguely disturbed by the look on Seymour’s face, especially after they’d had to sew up his left eye, but Eli had loved him and carried him with him wherever they went, including into battle. He’d stick him in his back pocket or his pack, depending on where they were. When the monkey had taken a piece of shrapnel to the eye—and saved Eli’s ass in the process—Eli had ordered a purple heart ribbon to sew onto his beanie so everyone would know Seymour was a combat veteran.

They’d taken pictures of him at landmarks around the world, sometimes risking life and limb and jail time to position him. It had always been their understanding that Seymour was to continue traveling even after Eli’s death, until he had seen the world.

“Seymour,” Nick grumbled affectionately.

“Huh?”

“EZ was always so proud of the pun. Seymour needs to see more.”

Kelly blinked at him, then looked back at the sock monkey. “Oh my God.”

Nick chuckled, then bit his lip when Kelly glared at him. “Did that just hit you?”

“Yes. Shut up.”

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Abi RouxAbout Abigail Roux: Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year.

Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of Call of Duty throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.

Connect with AbiWebsite || Twitter || Facebook || Tumblr || Goodreads

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THE GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the release of Part & Parcel, we are selecting TWO giveaway winners! One will receive the last four Cut & Run books in audio, and the other will receive the full Sidewinder series in audio. Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 26, 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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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Holiday Week

Holiday Sneak Peek

Monday – We’ve got a fantastic kickoff to this week for you! First up is Abigail Roux, with an exclusive excerpt on the blog tour for the newest Sidewinder novel Part & Parcel

Then, author S.A. McAuley joins us to introduce (or, for some of us, re-introduce) the Borders War series. One Breath, One Bullet has undergone some major renovations and expansions, and Sam has some special news about the rerelease of the first three books in the series—One Breath, One Bullet, Dominant Predator, and Powerless—and the release of the next two books, Falling, One by One and Strength of the Rising Sun

Tuesday – Today we have two more special guests joining us. First is author Felice Stevens on the tour for her new book The Greatest Gift

We’ll also welcome author Morticia Knight on the tour for her latest novel Safe Limits

Wednesday – Author Jon Michaelsen stops by today with a guest post and giveaway to celebrate the release of his new novel Prince of the Sea

Thursday – We’re joined today by author Sean Michael on the tour for his latest release, Three to Get Ready

Friday – From our family here at The Novel Approach to you and yours, we wish you a joyous holiday season. We’re taking some time off to spend with loved ones today, but we’ll be back soon with more guests, giveaways, and reviews. Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by and visit.

With love and good cheer to all of you!

Lisa and the TNA Team

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4.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Jacob Z. Flores, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Karen, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Soul Struck by Jacob Z. Flores

Amazon

Amazon

Title:  Soul Struck (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge: Book Three)

Author:  Jacob Z. Flores

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count:  224 Pages

At a Glance:  It really is a toss up which book I like best in this series.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: Like the electricity he commands, Pierce Blackmoor streaks through life on raw power and pure sexual energy. His conquests on the battlefield and in the bedroom form his foundation, but that bedrock crumbles when his younger brothers’ abilities surpass his own. Pierce finds himself at an all-time low, and clawing his way back to the top becomes his only concern.

Pierce’s plan to reassert his dominance, however, takes a backseat when he wounds Kale Aquilo, an emissary of the Beast King, lord of all shifters.

Kale’s beguiling nature shoots like a lightning bolt straight to Pierce’s soul, and when the soft-spoken Kale relays that a virus is killing his people, Pierce abandons his quest for power to do something he has never done before—protect someone other than himself.

As Kale, Pierce, and his brothers struggle to find the root of the magical virus spreading plague across Aeaea, the shifter island, they face a gauntlet of old and new foes. Soul struck, Pierce and Kale must uncover the truth behind the conspiracy gathering in the shadows.

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Review: Before I’d started this book, I was pretty sure that this was the one in the series I was going to like the least, since Pierce was nowhere near a favorite character of mine.  I mean, come on, he kind of came off like he was a power hungry jerk in previous books, and really, not at all that likeable.

But I was so wrong. Which really shouldn’t surprise me since any thoughts I’d had regarding what I was going to think of the other books in this series were all wrong too. I should have known better at this point… When Pierce finds Kale, then seeing his reaction to him, completely changed how I viewed this character. All of a sudden, being the most powerful wasn’t what was most important to him, and the journey with these two was amazing. You see almost a complete shift in how Pierce looks at things and in what becomes important to him.

With each new book we see another aspect of this world come to life, and it really is a toss up, now that I have read Soul Struck, which book I like the best so far, because honestly, the series wasn’t something I thought I would enjoy at all to begin with. After reading the first book on a friend’s recommendation, though, I now can’t wait to see what will come next.

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You can buy Soul Struck here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 1 Star, Reviewed by Amy, Tara Lain

Review: Canning the Center by Tara Lain – Narrated by John-Paul Barrel

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Canning the Center

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: John-Paul Barrel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 9 hours and 17 minutes

At a glance: Tara Lain’s work shines through an otherwise flat and disappointing narration.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Six foot seven inch, 300 pound Jamal Jones loves football, so when he finds out the ultra-conservative owner of his new pro football team fired their current center because he’s gay, bisexual Jamal decides to stay in the closet and hang with the females. Then, at a small drag show, he comes face-to-face with his sexual fantasy in the form of Trixie LaRue, a drag queen so exquisitely convincing she scrambles Jamal’s hormones—and his resolve to nurse his straight side.

Trevor Landry, aka Trixie LaRue, hides more than his genitals. A mathematician so brilliant he can’t be measured, Trevor disguises his astronomical IQ and his quirk for women’s clothes behind his act as a gay activist undergrad at Southern California University.

To Trevor, Jamal is the answer to a dream—a man who can love and accept both his personas. When he discovers Jamal’s future is threatened if he’s seen with a guy, Trevor becomes Trixie to let Jamal pass as straight. But Trevor risks his position every time he puts on a dress. Is there a closet big enough to hold a football pro and a drag queen?

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Review: I just simply adore Tara Lain. In Canning the Center, she writes about a budding football player in the professional environment who is very aware of his sexuality and what it will mean for his future in professional sports. This is a super sweet and wonderfully told love story with a little bit of controversy and a lot of awesome.

Jamal is every man and woman’s dream man. Gorgeous, tall, dark, and handsome. I adored this character and all his sweet, gentle, and old fashioned ways—everything about him. He is coming to the realization that although he states he is bisexual, he is actually gay. Introduce him to Trixie LaRue, a wonderful drag queen who is confident even though Trevor—the man behind the makeup—isn’t, and this is a recipe for success. Trevor is a genius and all around awesome guy. It was fun to see these two fall in love.

There isn’t one bad thing I can say about this story, and that’s saying a lot considering that the narration was awful.

If you’ve read my reviews in the past, you’ll know I am not a fan of John-Paul Barrel. I don’t understand how this man is still narrating books. I’m sorry, I know that sounds harsh, but he’s monotone and speaks almost phonetically, like he’s reading out every syllable. Add in his trying to do Trixie LaRue, and she sings too? Ugh. I need to pay better attention to who’s narrating a story before I pick it for review.

For Tara Lain’s book to shine through this awful performance shows what a wonderful and fun story she wrote.

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You can buy Canning the Center here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Annabelle Jacobs, Dreamspinner Press, Freebie, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Short Story

Release Day Review: A Serious Thing by Annabelle Jacobs

Small Gems

Amazon

Amazon

Title: A Serious Thing (Will & Patrick: Book 1.5)

Author: Annabelle Jacobs

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 36 Pages

At a Glance: Annabelle Jacobs gives readers a sweet and FREE holiday treat.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Patrick has a plan, and he’ll go to great lengths to see it through.
After three weeks apart due to work and school commitments, he and Will are finally getting to spend some time together. Patrick is staying with Will over the Christmas holidays, and he intends to tell him how he feels on Christmas Day. It’s going to be perfect.
But of course, Patrick’s plans don’t always go smoothly….

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Review: For those of us who fell in love with Patrick and Will in Annabelle Jacobs’ A Curious Thing, this sweet little Christmas vignette, A Serious Thing, is the perfect follow up to the story that left us with their happy-for-now-ish ending.

Patrick is so near to completing school, and he and Will have had to make do with weekends together, but life in general and Will’s obligations have kept them apart for three weeks now, and Christmas is just around the corner. Patrick has plans to make this holiday a special one for both Will and himself, but there’s a trick to the timing of it that Will not understanding may make things tricky for Patrick to pull off. The chemistry between these two guys is still white hot, and Jacobs doesn’t bother to keep readers in suspense, waiting for the sparks to fly between them. That’s the beauty of the short story, though—the instant gratification—especially when we already know the characters, and let me tell you, Patrick and Will burn up these pages in such a delicious way.

Ben, the best brother ever to Patrick—not to mention, the best friend ever to Will—also shows up again to be supportive and generally awesome too. Bottom line here is that this short story is wonderful, beginning to end, but I wouldn’t recommend reading it as a standalone. Get to know these guys in A Curious Thing first, and while you’re at it, you can grab this freebie as a sweet bonus holiday treat.

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You can download A Serious Thing for FREE here:

Dreamspinner Press

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday and a Giveaway: The Happy Holidays! Edition

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Happy Ha-ha-holidays, everyone, and welcome to a special edition of Flashback Friday. We’ve dusted off a few of our favorite reads from Christmases past (some not so very past, really), but they’re holiday romances that have warmed our hearts and cheered us from the tops of our heads to the tips of our toes, and we wanted to share those warm feelings with all of you.

If you’d like the chance to win a couple of the e-books we’ve featured today, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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TNA_Signature_AngelI’ll Runaway for the Holidays was written in 2010, and was the first M/M romance holiday story I ever read. Incidentally, it was also my first Stephanie Hecht book. I loved it and the author’s writing style, so I sought out more of her many works. The story is one of the first on my re-read list for the holidays, and I love how all of Stephanie Hecht’s characters get their happy endings.

This story is everything great in a feel good holiday romance. It isn’t real angsty, has sexy times between two fun characters that have a sort of quirky frenemies-to-lovers relationship, as well as some life lessons thrown in for good measure. Add in the crazy antics of Madison and Anson’s family, and this book was laugh out loud funny. There’s also some seriousness in the story dealing with Anson’s grandfather, but it was delicately handled and filled out the story for me from being just cute to complete. The sweet epilogue was adorable, too.

I'll Run Away for the HolidaysScott Cooper has never liked the holidays. So when his best friend, Madison, asks him to travel to her childhood home to celebrate Christmas, he can’t refuse fast enough. Scott doesn’t even get along with his own family, so the last thing he wants is to get saddled with her relatives for a whole week of snow and holiday cheer. Madison is good at getting what she wants, though, and before he knows it, Scott finds himself in for a seventeen-hour drive back to their home state of Michigan.

Just as Scott is getting adjusted to the idea of having to deal with Madison’s crazy family, another one of her relations joins in for the car trip; her very sexy, very younger brother, Anson. Not only is Anson still in college, but he’s the baby of the family, both of which should make him hands-off for Scott. To Scott’s horror and joy, however, Anson doesn’t want Scott to keep his hands to himself. The younger man immediately makes it clear that Scott is the only present he wants to unwrap for Christmas.

Holiday miracles can happen to anyone, or so Scott would like to believe. And it will take true magic for him and Anson to survive the holiday with their sanity intact, let alone for them to find a happily ever after…

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TNA_Signature_SadonnaWhen Lisa asked for favorite Holiday reads, I knew immediately one of the stories I wanted to highlight.  This story was part of the Dreamspinner Christmas Advent Calendar from 2011 – the first year after I had started reading M/M and knew about Dreamspinner.  The name of the story is A Wealth of Unsaid Words and it was written by R. Cooper.  Fair warning that this is a difficult but beautiful story.  It’s in many ways a heartbreaking story of two men who have been apart because one of them has a mental illness that he believes threatens both of their happiness.  They spend the holidays together and try to find their way.

The words that I used to capture my first impressions of this story were as follows:

Stunningly beautiful. The hell and hope of mental illness strikingly described. The fragility of Alex’s “sanity” and life brilliantly expressed. Ultimately about the strength and power of love and hope. Amazing. Touching. Painful. Beautiful. Poetic. I LOVED this.

I raved about this story and a friend who is bipolar saw that and she read it right away – thank god she also loved it since I was worried about recommending it! Little did I realize that a few short years later, I would have a family member who would be diagnosed bipolar and is struggling mightily.  And it will be a lifelong struggle.  There is much pain for him and all of us who love him.  It’s devastating and heartbreaking the impact it’s having on his life.

This story gives me hope and I hope will give anyone else hope who reads it.  It really is ultimately a beautifully written story of love and acceptance and hope.  I urge everyone to give it a try.

WealthofUnsaidWordsAlex has always known his bipolar disorder made him too flawed for his boyhood hero, Everett. So when his feelings for Everett became overwhelming, he forced a separation that saddened them both but gave Alex the clarity he needed. Now a year has passed, and he and Everett are together again when Everett’s noisy, imperfect family reunites for Christmas, pulling Alex into their chaotic warmth the way they always have. Can Everett convince Alex that, in spite of his fears, starting a relationship would make for the perfect holiday?

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TNA_Signature_CarrieIt’s always been a game of cat and mouse.  A dangerous game both men have enjoyed.  Noel is fascinated with the staid FBI agent, and they recognize in each other a worthy adversary. Unable to keep away from the flame, Noel gives in one New Year’s Eve and allows himself the touch of the man he is desperately in love with but knows he can never have. Fast forward 10 years, and there the man stands on Noel’s front porch—all crackling electric and ice cold in more ways than one on Christmas Eve. You can feel the sparks coming off the page – so much attraction – so much mistrust – it’s amazing!

This is a second chance story between two very complicated men. You would think that with two such weighty protagonist that the story would drag, but the author brings in such witty and tension-breaking secondary characters that it keeps this story flowing and downright entertaining. Llamas. Yeah, llamas.  That’s all I’m saying.

Josh Lanyon is the queen of the short story, no one writes them better than her, and this story is no exception. The pacing here is something few authors can achieve in a short. Plus, I enjoy authors who put subtle nuggets into their writing; here it’s an FBI agent named Cuffe and a thief named Noel Snow. Yes, Cuffe finally gets “snow” for Christmas. Love it!

IcecapadeOn the eve of the new millennium, diamond thief Noel Snow seduced FBI special agent Robert Cuffe, then fled into the dawn. Now a successful novelist, Noel uses his capers as fodder for his books, and has modeled his hero’s nemesis (and potential love interest) on Cuffe. Though he leaves Robert a drunken phone message every New Year’s Eve, Noel hasn’t seen or heard from him in a decade.

So he’s thrilled when his former lover shows up at his upstate farm one Christmas Eve. Elation quickly turns to alarm when Robert accuses Noel of being responsible for a recent rash of diamond heists. Robert is all business and as cold as ice: it seems his only interest in Noel is to put him behind bars.

Innocent of the crimes, and still as attracted as ever to the oh-so-serious lawman, Noel plans a second seduction–providing he can stay out of jail long enough!

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TNA_Signature_SammyWill is returning home after several years of near non-communication with his parents.  When confronted with the fact that their son was gay, Will’s parents turned to their overly zealous Pastor and church for guidance in dealing with the shocking revelation. The more they denied who he was and tried to “pray the gay away,” the more fractured their relationship became. A few years pass, and Will realizes his dream of becoming a published author. He also uses his novel as a sort of cathartic experience, detailing under the guise of a fictional story, the pain he went through with his family.  During this time, letters from home go largely unread, and Will keeps his parents at bay in order to cope with the pain of their rejection.

However, what Will doesn’t know is how his parents have changed, how much they have finally come to understand how their blind beliefs pushed their son away. As the years progressed, they moved away from their church to one much more tolerant and take in a young man named Ryan, whose own life actually mirrors in many ways exactly what happened with Will and his parents. When Will finally returns home for Christmas, he is met with what is akin to a substitute son who is not only loved but fully accepted. While he grapples with the various emotions this unleashes within him, he is least prepared for the blooming attraction he has for Ryan.  Now Will must both confront his parents over their painful past behavior and come to terms with how he feels about Ryan.

The Healing Power of Eggnog is artfully simple yet so multi-layered with emotional overtones it seems to capture one’s heart and mind so very thoroughly without the reader realizing.  As is par for the course for this author, the characters are both realistic and intentionally flawed, yet self-aware and never pandering—never shallow or cookie cutter.

When Lisa put out the call for our favorite Christmas stories, I didn’t even have to think twice before grabbing this gem from the past. It was one of the first things I read by author Jamie Fessenden and solidified for me that this author would be an auto-buy for me in the future. This author’s skill at writing emotionally genuine characters makes him one of the best authors on the m/m scene today.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did–and still do.

19086803Will Sutherland hasn’t been home to see his parents in four years—not since they reacted badly when he came out. This Christmas, he’s finally worked up the courage to go home, where he’s surprised to find they’ve taken in a boarder. Ryan Bennett is just a couple years younger than Will, cute, sweet… and openly gay.

As Will deals with his jealousy of the man who’s been receiving the love and acceptance he was denied, Ryan finds himself falling for Will’s brooding good looks. But Ryan also suspects the Sutherlands may be using him as a pawn in their long-standing conflict with their son. Will this Christmas finally tear the family apart, or is there a chance they can put their hurt and anger behind them?

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TNA_Signature_JulesWhen asked to choose a favorite story for a special holiday blog post, I didn’t even have to think about it. I’m a Christmas girl. Without a doubt my favorite time of year. So, I look forward to all of the Christmas books every year, and there are MANY that I completely adore. But, hands down, my favorite M/M Christmas story is Blame it on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton.

Fielding Monroe is one of my favorite characters ever. I’m a big fan of quirky – and, Fielding has quirks for days! Here is a bit from my review when I first read it:

I don’t think I can adequately describe how much I adored Fielding. His character is obviously reminiscent of Sheldon Cooper, from the T.V. show Big Bang Theory; but, Fielding is even more endearing. Mick, who is also fabulous, just rolls with all of his new housemate’s quirks, and the two of them quickly become best friends. Mick is a natural caretaker, and takes on the role of teaching Fielding many things.

Things certainly get complicated when Fielding decides that one of the things he wants Mick to teach him is how to kiss…but, what happens is anything but predictable. While I think it can be very difficult to write a really strong, believable GFY storyline, Easton does an excellent job here. The timing and pace of the story are perfect. There is obviously going to be some awkwardness and tension, and that is all there. The genuine fondness, admiration, and eventually love that these two feel for each other really jump off the page. I was hooked from beginning to end.

I have read this book three times, and listened to the audio twice, and, I’ll undoubtedly read it again. If you have yet to read this one, I highly recommend you do! Eli Easton also has Fielding’s Fa-La-La, which is a must read also, available for free on her blog. Go check it out! Or, read it again if you already have. :)

Blame it on the MistletoeWhen physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.

It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.

Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.

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TNA_Signature_LisaAs I was searching through my memories trying to find a Christmas favorite, sooooo many titles came to mind: RJ Scott’s The Christmas Throwaway, Amy Rae Durreson’s Gaudete, Gale Stanley’s Bashert, L.B. Gregg’s Waiting for Winter, the books in Charlie Cochet’s North Pole City Tales series… I love a great holiday romance. The book that finally won the day, though, is a book that had me giddy with Christmas glee.

That book is Josephine Myles’ Merry Gentleman, a book I read and reviewed not all that long ago–back in November of 2013. And can I just say I think I must’ve been on some kind of Christmas crack when I wrote it? ::smh::

The first thing you have to appreciate about Myles’ writing is the thoroughly English charm of her characters. I absolutely adore Christmas stories and their sugarplum sweetness, so leave it to this author to write a holiday treat that takes place around Christmastime but has little to do with the miracles and the fa-la-la-la-la, and everything to do with romantic complications, with much hilarity and bird poop thrown in just for fun. Yes, there’s a point to the poop. It’s pointedly practical poop, relevant to the plot and character development, even, so there. Read and you’ll understand.

Myles breaks a tropey little mold in her story, taking the standard boy-meets-boy, boy-loses-boy, boy-gets-boy back formula and giving it a little twist, in that when the story opens, Riley and Stan had already met and were kaput well before the reader even gets the chance to relish in the angst of their breakup. But wait, it’s okay because when the country mouse comes back to the city, and the city mouse gets a gander at his ex-toppy git country mouse, it doesn’t take long to figure out there will still be plenty of “can I smack some sense into these two guys?” moments to get through, all to scratch and satisfy your angsty-loving itch.

And the end of my original review?

“So, if you’re making a list and checking it twice, let’s recap:
Ri + Stan=Love – Check
Plenty of Naughty Fun – Check
Face Splitting Grins – Check
Poop – Check

Really, what more could you possibly want from a book?”

What more could you possibly want? I have no idea!

Merry Gentlemen’Tis the season of goodwill to all men…even the one who dumped you.

Riley MacDermott’s ambitions are simple. Managing the annual Bath Christmas Market—which involves long hours in the cold and a whole lot of hassle—will secure the promotion he needs to afford to move out of his noisy, top-floor flat. Where not even his balcony is safe from an aggressive herring gull.

The last stallholder he expects to see is his ex. Riley never recovered from their break up, and five years on the old chemistry still sparkles. So does their habitual head butting.

Stan never wanted to leave the love of his life, but the pull of the woods was too strong—and Riley was firmly planted in the city. Reconnecting is painful, but Stan still jumps at the chance to stay with his old flame during the Market. And damn the consequences.

As the weeks pass, the two grow closer than ever. But despite scorching sex and cozy intimacy, they both know they face a cold and lonely future. Unless one of them can compromise.

Warning: Contains sex in a shed, a seagull with a grudge, glamping, awful Secret Santa underwear, misuse of an Abba song, and as many wood-related puns as the author thought she could get away with.

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THE GIVEAWAY

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The Fine Print

*Contestants must be 18 years old or older to qualify
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Giveaways, Phetra H. Novak

Character Interview and Giveaway: The Finding Home Blog Tour with Phetra H. Novak

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Please join us in welcoming author Phetra K. Novak today on the Finding Home blog tour. Phetra conducted an interview with her characters from the book, Kai Kelly and Luca Von Bergendahl, so enjoy, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win one of the following prizes:

First Place: E-copies of Haven’s Revenge and Finding Home
Runner-Up Prize: E-copy of Finding Home

Good luck!

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Me: “Hello guys. How are you today?” I smile as I watch them, these two star struck lovers. Kai is looking over at Luca who’s sitting next to him on my couch who is currently completely unaware of the way his boyfriend is watching him like he can’t stop. We are in my suite at the Hilton, the view overlooking downtown Austin, Texas. I’m there solely to interview these two lovers, whose paths I crossed by pure accident when covering a LGBT rally at A & M.

Kai: “We’re good thank you!” He tear his eyes away, reluctantly, to look at me and at the same time he reaches out to take Luca’s hand, their fingers entwine.

Luca: “Yes, everything is fantastic. Thank you!” He’s this adorable thing, everything you expect a young Swedish man to look like. He’s tall, far from skinny but slim built and these piercing blue eyes.

Me: “So, I asked you guys here to talk about you, your lives here in Texas, what you do, your plans and your love. How do you feel about that Kai?”

Kai: He smiles, looks at Luca again something he does often. “Talking about Luca is my favorite thing so ask away I’ll answer anything as long as it isn’t too private of course.” He winks at me but I can see too that there’s truth to his words.

Me: “Of course, I’ll keep it as clean as I can.” I smile and give them a humorous wink to show that I am teasing. “How about you start off with telling me how you met?” They look at each other, chuckling a little. It’s fascinating to watch these two because they move in symbiosis always in tuned with each other never facing away but always turned towards each other. While Kai is the more relaxed and obviously more confident of the two, he is not arrogant nor is Luca shy just more careful in his sense of manner.

Kai: “I stalked Luca for weeks before approaching him and when I did he threw coffee at me.” Kai grinned as Luca gasped punching him in the arm, his face going red with embarrassment.

Luca: “I so did, not, throw coffee on you. You butthead.” He smiles, cheeks still has this pinkness to them. It can only mean there is truth to his boyfriend’s teasing accusation. “It accidentally fell out of my hand when you almost startled me to death.” Luca teases Kai back. I can’t help but to chuckle at their lovely banter back and forth it is obvious that it is said with a teasing sense and with nothing but love. Turning towards me Luca says. “We were going to the same university, I was a pre med student at that time and Kai was there for a semester doing his thesis. We did bump into each other at a local café and just hit it off.” He smiles, blindly reaching for Kai’s hand again, who gladly took it.

Me: I laugh. “It sounds like you had a good start.” Looking at Kai I ask. “What was it about Luca that made you start stalking him as you so aptly put it?”

Kai: “First time I saw him he was leaving a class as I was walking by. I stood out in a crowd of twenty and he simply took my breath away.” He watching Luca the entire time he speaks like he is remembering the day. “His eyes were down, watching the ground as he walked, so shy my dearest Luca. But I could see there was more to him than that shyness. I instantly wanted to get to know him but didn’t know for a few weeks how to approach him without scaring him off.”

Me: “Why was that you think?” Kai turns his eyes to look at me for the first time since he started to speak.

Kai: “I don’t know, it was just a hunch at that time that Luca needed to be approached a little more carefully because I can be pretty abrupt and straightforward.” Luca snorts next to him.

Me: “You agreeing with that Luca is Kai to abrupt sometimes?” I ask carefully but I am really curious to what this means and if there might be something that is keeping these two lovers on edge with each other.

Luca: “A little. Kai is what you see is what you get kind of guy. He doesn’t hide who he is for anything or anyone. It’s take it or leave it with him in most things. But he is the reason why I am here today and we are together because that is who he is and he has helped me become more like that.”

Me: “OH that is quite lovely. So you were troubled when you and Kai met then?” I know instantly that I have hit upon something, because the tension between the two is obvious. So I don’t push it instead I lean back relax and let them have their time. Kai’s entire focus is on Luca who I assume there for is the one who has a story to tell.

Luca: “When Kai and I met I wasn’t out…” Luca hesitates, lift up his glass of water and takes a sip and seems very nervous, “I wasn’t out to anyone, not even myself.” He looks at Kai before he continues who just smiles and gives his silent support. “So even though we had a good start a very intense start me not being out caused some issues that was hard for both of us to overcome.” I can see Luca is getting really uncomfortable, eyes turned down and fiddling with his fingers.

Kai: “It’s okay darlin’. I love you, hmm.” Kai is so gentle but not condescendingly so, it’s like he knows exactly what to say and how to touch him to calm him right down. He pulls Luca in close so they are sitting tight together his arm around his shoulder. “Maybe we can move on to the next question.”

Me: “Yes, of course. Just a couple more questions. Luca what attracted you to Kai and what was it about him that made you be so brave and come out to your nearest and dearest?” I smile encouragingly.Luca: “Oh boy. I mean look at him.” I look at Kai instantly. “He’s a wet city slickers dream, he’s a cowboy. Tight jeans, cowboy boots, cowboy hat and let’s not forget the sexy twang.” Luca smiled the entire time eyes gleaming with love as he spoke about his lover. “But that was just the first ten minutes, after that it was his heart.” He turns to me now. “He has this amazing heart, he doesn’t hold himself back but jumps in with both feet to give you everything and all of him. He sacrificed so much to help me. To be with me.” He looked to the side at Kai. “Everything I have is because of him and well hard work.” We all started to laugh at the same time.

Kai: “Flirt.” He accused, but looking at him I can see that he loves the attention and being that special to Kai.

Me: “OK guys last question, what’s for you guys next?” I look between them their smiles contagious.

Kai: Well, I am done with my thesis and are working on my dad’s ranch. Luca has just started his first semester of vet school so the future is working hard and do what we both love. Right darlin´?”

Luca: Yes.”

Me: “And what is what you both love?” I push wanting one of those sugar sweet answers.

Luca: “Each other and the ranch. Each other and the ranch.” They both grins wide and sitting there grinning close together and in love they are the ultimate image of true love.

Me: “Thank you so very much guys for meeting me here today and for sharing your story with me!”

Kai: “Thank you for having us.”

Luca: “It was a real pleasure meeting you.”

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1 Finding Home FINAL COVERBlurb: Luca is a first year med student at the University of Gothenburg. He is following in his father’s footsteps, something he’d been programmed to do all his life. He lives a sheltered and still life, with no real friends. Luca would love to change that but doesn’t know how, since he always feels so odd around other people, like he doesn’t quite fit in. There’s so much inside him that wants out, like wanting to become a veterinarian more than a doctor. And the fact that he likes boys and not girls. But he doesn’t tell anyone about that—not even himself.

In comes Kai, an American cowboy in Gothenburg. He’s doing his thesis overseas to broaden his horizons before he does what he has always wanted to do, which is to go back home and run the family ranch. He just happens to see Luca one day leaving class and can’t stop watching the shy guy as he waded his way through the crowd with quick, silent steps, and his head down to avoid eye contact with anyone. For weeks Kai watches him from a distance, trying to figure out how to approach him.

Had he known that spilled coffee and slippery, awkward book bags would have gotten him close to the guy, he might have physically bumped into him a long time ago.

Finding Home is a book with star-crossed lovers meeting and the evil of the wicked witch in the west threatening to crush young love’s every dream!

Buy Links: Amazon US || Amazon UK || All Romance eBooks

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Author BioAbout the Author: Phetra often refers to herself as the odd man out, the dorky book nerd who rather spend her time with a good book or making up fantastic stories with even more fantastic characters, than live in the real world dealing with real people.

The real world is strange in a very non humorous way and people in it complicate it to the point of wearing you out. In the world of the written word no matter if it is in someone else’s words or that of her own things might get busy, complicated, and sometime even plain painful but somewhere along the line there is always a hero on the horizon. He might not be prime or proper, a church going pretty boy since the author prefer rebellious men and women who don’t follow the protocols of society.

One of her favorite saying are that only dead fish follow the stream and well she ain’t no dead fish.

Phetra live together with her family, two children, a domestic partner and their two cats in Gothenburg, Sweden and when reading her books you will notice that she always finds a way of bringing her on culture into her books.

The joy of writing and reading comes from her childhood and is something she has always loved, something she is passionate to share with others. Phetra loves hearing from her readers even with ideas of what they want to come next.

If you are looking for her the best place to start looking for her is at home in the quietest corner of the house where you’ll find her either curled up with her Kindle or her laptop typing away.

:: Facebook Page :: Twitter :: Google+ :: Goodreads ::

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates and Stops:

December 15: MM Good Book Reviews

December 16: Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings

December 17: Cia’s Stories

December 18: The Novel Approach

December 21: Drops of Ink

December 22: Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

December 23: RJ Scott

December 24: BFD Book Blog

December 25: Alpha Book Club

December 28: The Purple Rose Tea House

December 29: Love Bytes Reviews

December 30: Diverse Reader

December 31: Prism Book Alliance

January 1: Sid Love Writes

January 4: Loving Without Limits

January 5: Divine Magazine

January 6: Multitasking Mommas Book Reviews

January 7: Kathy Mac Reviews

January 8: Bayou Book Junkie

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The Fine Print:

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

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Bailey Bradford, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Destined Prey Blog Tour with Bailey Bradford

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Bailey Bradford today on the tour for her new novel Destined Prey. This novel was written to benefit a special young man, whom you’ll meet below. Enjoy Bailey’s guest post, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

And now, here are Bailey and Peyton Hollingsworth.

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Peyton is a funny, loving, 11-year old boy who loves playing outside, riding go-carts, and Batman. In April, we found out he had cancer. Peyton has asthma, and often had to have nebulizer treatments, so when he was having trouble breathing, his doctor thought it was asthma. But nothing worked to ease his breathing, and the doctor sent Peyton to the hospital for a suspected collapsed lung.

From one day to the next, it went from us thinking he had a severe bout of asthma to finding out that he had a tumor pressing his lung up until it was almost completely obscured, and he couldn’t get much, if any, air into it.

Peyton was sent to St. Jude’s and diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. The mass was attached to one rib, and was spreading. He has undergone radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, several transfusions and MRI’s, numerous tests and received numerous shots. It’s been a rough, rough time for the Hollingsworth family, and we are hoping to help them out.

While St. Jude’s doesn’t charge for treatment, the Hollingsworth family has accumulated medical bills from Peyton’s doctor and hospitalization before he was sent to St. Jude’s. Cherri, his mother, has been unable to work during this time, and the financial constraints are something they could really use help overcoming.

We are currently awaiting another MRI to be scheduled and done to see if all the cancer has been eradicated. We are hopeful and have faith that Peyton will be in remission and the cancer will not have spread or reoccur.

Peyton

Yep, you guessed it! We were in the hospital in isolation right up till the day of Halloween, but he was still a trooper and St.Jude is awesome at making Halloween a big event for all the kids. All the nurses and doctors dress up and decorate every floor of the hospital in different themes. Solid Tumor which is our floor did Mario Cart and Peyton went as Sub Zero. Pictured with Pdog is Sommer, one of our favorite nurses.

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Q&A With Bailey

Q: Bailey, is there a character in your books that you can’t stand? (Antagonist for example) And what makes them someone you don’t like?

A: I have a list of them. Most of the characters I can’t stand are hateful, greedy, and have delusions of grandeur.

Q: Are there misconceptions people have about your genre?

A: I can’t speak for anyone else; people will think what that will. I can say that there are many wonderful people in this genre, readers, authors, publishers, beta readers, editors, publicity people, and more. I have never met such a great group of people. I focus on that, rather than anything negative.

Q: Is there message in your novel that you hope readers grasp?

A: Most of my stories contain a redemption theme, that’s a big one for me. In this one, it’s not about redemption, however, it’s about healing, and finding your strength.

Q: How has your writing evolved since your first book?

A: Oh, goodness, it’s evolved in many ways. I like to think it’s improved :D

Q: One food you don’t care if you never eat it again.

A: Again, I have a list, lol. I’m a picky eater, and I don’t eat beef, chicken, pork…I’ll eat fish, sometimes. But I will never, ever eat wasabi again. Ick. Give me the hottest hot sauce available and okay. Wasabi? No.

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Destined PreyBlurb – Destined Prey: All Jack Tucker wanted was to come home for a little while and try to figure out where his life had gone wrong. Moving from Wyoming to New York hadn’t turned out the way he’d thought it would, and a bad breakup leaves him bruised in more than just the emotional sense.

He doesn’t expect to be glad he’s back on the Double T Ranch with his brother, Rhett, and he sure doesn’t expect to find the place crawling with coywolves, wolves, and coyotes. There seems to be some kind of animal-warfare going on, and he and Rhett are caught in the middle of it.

Coywolves—the hybrid of wolves and coyotes, hated by both, and more predatory than either. Add in the fact that all the battling species are shifters, and there’s bound to be trouble.

Ben Akers is part of his brother’s pack. The only coywolf shifters in existence, they find themselves under constant attack from wolf and coyote packs determined to make the Akers pack extinct. But coywolves don’t die out so easy, and when Ben’s life takes a surprising turn in the form of one sexy human named Jack Tucker, they’re both in for surprises, danger, and, if Destiny rules, an abiding love that most people—and shifters—only dream of.

Buy Links: Rainbow Ninja Press || All Romance eBooks || Amazon || Smashwords || Payhip

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Excerpt: Jack Tucker watched his brother retrieve the rifle from the gun cabinet in the office. “Um. Rhett? What’re you doing?”

Rhett didn’t even glance back at him as he loaded the gun. “What does it look like I’m doing? You been living in the city so long you forgot how a Wyoming rancher lives?” Then he did look over his shoulder at Jack, and Jack kind of wished he hadn’t.

He hated seeing that judgment in his brother’s eyes, and knowing he’d never be good enough for Rhett, never be the man his brother was. “No,” Jack mumbled, “I didn’t forget.”

Rhett sighed and turned until he faced Jack. “Look, that was uncalled for. I’m… I’m sorry, okay?”

Jack was so startled by the apology that he gulped and couldn’t think of a word to say.

Rhett grimaced. “Yeah. Well, okay. Gotta check on some tracks Eddie said he found leading from his property to ours. I’ll be back in a few hours.” He left, striding from the room without seeming to hesitate.

Jack groaned and closed his eyes. Of course Rhett didn’t hesitate—he never had. Rhett always knew what to do, and how to do it, and who he was, and that he was right… Except, he apologized to me, and it screwed my head right up.

“Worse than it already is,” he muttered. Jack couldn’t stop himself from touching his left side, where his bruised ribs throbbed as the pain meds wore off. He was lucky, very lucky, that Rhett hadn’t pushed him on the accident that had sent Jack running home from New York, and possibly into the unemployment line. His boss hadn’t been happy with Jack taking off, even with a medical note as an excuse. Jack hadn’t told Rhett much about any of that. As far as Rhett knew, Jack had fallen down some icy steps, and that was all he was going to ever know about the incident.

Jack replayed his brother’s apology in his head and somehow it mingled in with Alex’s. Cold fear trickled down Jack’s spine and his gut cramped hard enough to make him worry about the dinner he’d just eaten.

After several minutes of trying to calm himself down, Jack stood and left. He’d wanted to sit and talk with Rhett about finances and try to decide if he should offer to let Rhett buy him out. Jack wasn’t made to be a rancher. He wasn’t made to be a New Yorker, either.

Jack didn’t know what he was supposed to do in life, and at the age of twenty-seven, he kind of thought he should have an inkling.

His cell phone was ringing when he stepped into his bedroom. Without looking, he knew it was Alex calling. “Who else would it be?” he huffed. It wasn’t like he had any friends left.

Rather than check to see how many times Alex had called and how many texts he’d sent, Jack turned the phone off, then stuck it in the nightstand. He eased himself onto the bed, then took a couple of prescription pain meds and washed them down with the rest of the water he’d brought in earlier.

The glass was old and familiar, and he felt a pang of regret as he looked it over after he set it down. Green glass, nothing special about it, yet he remembered so much as he stared.

He could see his mom in the kitchen, fixing a pitcher of tea, talking to him, and listening as he told her about his day at school or the chores he’d had to do around the ranch. She’d always been so kind and understanding, Jack had to believe she’d have been okay with him being gay. He’d spent many afternoons in the kitchen, helping her prepare meals or just basking in her presence. Losing her had almost broken him.

For a few more minutes, he let his mind go back to happy childhood days. His dad wasn’t in nearly as many of those good memories, but Chauncey Tucker hadn’t been a bad man. His dad had been more like Rhett—stoic, focused on the ranch and less on the people around him.

Jack ran one finger around the rim of the glass. He was surprised, really, that there were any of the old things left.

The sound of gunshot startled him so badly he jerked and nearly sent the glass flying.

“Shit!” He winced as he pushed it back, then stood as quickly as he could manage.

Another shot rang out, then a third, and fear quickly overtook every other sensation he’d felt until then.

Rhett had always been an ace shot. If he’d had to use three bullets, then there was something bad outside—a bear or a whole pack of wolves.

Jack didn’t like guns, but he went and got one from the gun cabinet anyway. He loaded it as he walked to the front door, and hoped like hell Rhett wasn’t hurt.

As soon as he stepped outside, the fine hairs at his nape seemed to stand up and vibrate, like some kind of primitive survival instinct warning alert system. Jack froze, his back to the door as his heart slammed hard against his ribs.

Another shot sounded, and it jolted Jack into action. “Rhett! Rhett!” He rushed down the steps and toward the direction the shots had come from. “Rhett! Are you okay?”

When Rhett didn’t immediately answer, Jack ran, careless with the gun, aware of that but unable to make himself do anything other than find his brother as soon as possible.

“Rhett!” He stumbled over something on the ground and almost fell before he managed to flail enough to keep himself upright.

Pain tore down his injured side, but he ignored it as he called out for his brother yet again. He cursed himself for not thinking to grab a flashlight. The sky was overcast and there was no moonlight to assist him in his search, and once he was past the barns there was no light coming from the house or other structures, either.

Jack realized that the cattle in the closest field were making enough noise to drown out his voice or Rhett’s, making it impossible for them to hear each other.

The sounds of the gunshots must have scared the cattle. Jack worried about a stampede, but he’d never seen any of the critters take out a fence, so he dismissed the idea.

“Rhett!” His throat burned as he hollered again.

Lightning streaked across the sky, blinding Jack for a moment, then thunder followed and he couldn’t contain his startled yelp as his ears rang from the sound.

Or his shriek when six pairs of glowing yellow eyes appeared between him and the fence line.

“Shit!” Jack skidded to a halt and hoped he could steady his hands, and force himself to do what he had to do.

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Author BioAbout the Author: A few things about me…

I am a married mom of four who spends most of the day writing, either on stories or at the blog. I love to write as much as I love to read. I am generally quiet and laid back, choosing to let things slide off me rather than stick and irritate me.

And it’s really hard trying to think of descriptives for myself, so I’ll just let y’all e-mail me or comment at the blog if there’s something specific you’d like to know, and spare you from reading a boring bio.

Links: Facebook || Twitter || Blog || Website

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates and Stops:

14-Dec: Decadent Delights, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, BFD Book Blog, Hearts on Fire, Mikky’s World of Books, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Unquietly Me

15-Dec

Open Skye Book Reviews, Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews, I Read Selfies, Havan Fellows

16-Dec

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Carly’s Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Love Bytes, Divine Magazine, Wake Up Your Wild Side, A.M. Leibowitz

17-Dec

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Happily Ever Chapter, 3 Chicks After Dark, QUEERcentric Books, My Fiction Nook, The Hat Party

18-Dec: Jessie G. Books, Bayou Book Junkie, The Novel Approach, Inked Rainbow Reads, Kimi-Chan, Molly Lolly, Book Lovers 4Ever

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The Fine Print:

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

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5 Stars, AJ Rose, Genre Romance, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lynn, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Reaping Havoc by AJ Rose

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Amazon

Title: Reaping Havoc

Author: AJ Rose

Publisher: The Grim Writer Press

Pages/Word Count: 282 Pages

At a Glance: The concept of this story is amazing. I loved the author’s take on the grim reaper mythology.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: No one asked Mitch Seeker if he wanted to be a grim reaper. He didn’t sign up for the rumors, the lack of friends, or the erratic schedule. He doesn’t want to go through life watching people die. Especially not a man he loves. Mitch’s solution is simple—don’t fall in love. He’ll never have to explain why he doesn’t age or why he’s around death so often. Most of all, he will never be a widower.

But when his head is turned by world-class skier Nate Koehn, Mitch believes he may have the answer. If the soul attached to Nate is any indication, Mitch has found himself another reaper, in which case, his undeniable feelings don’t have to be suppressed. However, the spectral tag-a-long is only the beginning of Nate’s burdens. After a catastrophic loss, Nate is no stranger to grief and the hole it leaves behind.

The question they both must answer is loud and clear: is the pain of losing love worse than the pain of never having loved at all?

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Review: After reading a couple books from this author, I realize they’re becoming an auto buy for me. As I’m always looking for new authors to read, I’m looking for fresh story ideas too. This one was everything I was searching for.

The concept of this story is amazing. Mitch is a grim reaper. He collects the souls of those who have just died, and makes sure they get to where they’re going in the afterlife. I loved the author’s take on the grim reaper mythology. Instead of just one, there are thousands all over the world, kind of like a police force for souls. They get their assignments via email, where and when it’ll happen, and off they go. And then we have Nate, the new guy in town looking to start fresh after a devastating tragedy that has turned his life upside down. Life and death are about to get very interesting for these two gentlemen.

I loved getting both Mitch and Nate’s perspectives throughout the entire story. We see Mitch struggling with his pre-ordained destiny, and the realization that he may have to live his long life alone because of what he is, which has him resenting everything about it. Nate, still reeling from the death of his twin sister, is trying to move on with his life and make it on his own. I adored both of these characters. Any story that involves grim reapers is bound to be a little gory—there’s a lot of death and sadness—but with these two, their comic relief and off color humor made it a little lighter.

I really liked getting the visual and insight of what happens after Mitch collects the souls of the recently departed. It was fascinating to me. I just have a picture in my head of human balloons trailing behind him—kinda funny and sad all at the same time. The author’s mad writing skills definitely shine through.

I’m really trying not to give away spoilers here. I’ve seen some reviews that just blurt out everything about the story. To me that’s just wrong. The only thing I’ll say here, without giving it all away, is this: souls linger when they have unfinished business to attend to. Mitch notices a tagalong soul with Nate. This leads Mitch into thinking Nate is a fellow reaper. When the truth comes to light, it’s at times funny and endearing, but also sad and heartbreaking. But like I said before, there is a lot of humor throughout the book. It definitely balances out the death and sadness, so kudos to the author for bringing some light to the darkness.

I can’t go any further without mentioning one particular secondary character. He really made the story and without him, something would have been missing—Mitch’s father Charles. I really enjoyed his conversations with his son. Without saying the words, the respect Mitch has for his father just oozed off the page. I loved seeing that. He was full of experience and enlightened us with the backstory of how his family and others came to be reapers. For me, he was truly a memorable character.

Have I mentioned that I read this book in one sitting? Well, I did. And yes, it was that good. But let me tell you something. I’ve never had so many emotions going in so many directions at the end of a book like I did with this one. During the course of reading, I watched these two characters struggle and overcome so many obstacles. At this point, I am so invested in what happens to them that I’m on the edge of my seat. Just when you think it’s going to end one way, it loops back around and ends totally different. I literally felt like I was beat up after I read the ending. For those who like a happily ever after—oh, you definitely get one. But be prepared to go on a heart flopping ride before you get there, and it’s oh-so worth it.

What I loved most about this book was the originality of the storyline. I really enjoyed the author’s take on heaven and hell, soul collecting, and what maybe happens after death. I hadn’t read anything like this before, so to me, it was fresh, new and exciting to read. The author’s writing, as always, is smooth and seamless.

I really can’t say enough about how much I loved this book. I consider it a must read. If not for the storyline, then for those two adorable characters. Highly recommended.

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4 Stars, Comedy, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Lex Chase, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Loving and Loathing Vegas by Lex Chase

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Amazon

Title: Loving And Loathing Vegas (Sleigh Ride: Advent Calendar 2015)

Author: Lex Chase

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 62 Pages

At a Glance: This little snippet is sure to delight and amuse you this holiday season.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Jackson has loved Vegas since God created Man—literally. As a demonic incubi hailing from the Seventh Circle of Hell, Jackson and Vegas have never been anything more than roommates. Now living among humans, they run Eaven, a TripAdvisor-recommended detour-worthy diner famous for its devilishly decadent pies. Business is dead on the holidays, and Jackson will gleefully stab himself with a spatula if he has to clean spotless pots and pans one more time.

For fun—or torture—Vegas makes him a bet that should Jackson win, they take a much-needed vacation. Should he lose, he’s doomed to clean out grease traps for all eternity. When the challenge is to fall in love with other people by Christmas, it proves Vegas isn’t the least bit interested. But when they find an abandoned baby in the trash, she could be the Christmas miracle to warm Jackson’s cynical heart.

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Review:   Author Lex Chase offers up a devilishly sweet story for the Sleigh Ride 2015 Dreamspinner Advent Calendar. Even demons, in this case incubi who feed off sex, deserve a holiday, and are determined to have it when they make a bet with each other to see who can fall in love by Christmas. The only hitch is Jackson is already in love—with his long time roommate and fellow demon, Vegas. The two have settled down and run a diner that is best known for its devilishly decadent pies, but Jackson is tired of cleaning the diner’s grease traps, and more than fed up with trying to hide his feelings for Vegas. To top off the whole crazy wager, a baby is left on their doorstep, and it is up to Jackson to make sure she is taken care of, especially since she can’t seem to stand the sight of poor Vegas.

Only Lex Chase could create such a crazy-hot and adorable Christmas story with a decidedly unique twist. The relationship and interchanges between Jackson and Vegas were sharp and humorous while also bordering on the frustrating—-all they had to do was admit how they felt, and yet the constant dance around those emotions made for a fun romp of a story. With more than a fair share of snark and sarcasm, the story flew along, fraught with sexual tension that you could cut with a knife. The resolution of that tension made for a very hot sex scene that left me breathless!

Loving and Loathing Vegas is an unusual and clever contribution to this year’s Advent calendar. While it would have been great to know a bit more about the baby’s origins and the backstory of the two incubi themselves, this little snippet is sure to delight and amuse you this holiday season.

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3.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, M.J. O'Shea, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed By Carrie

Review: X Marks the Spot by M.J. O’Shea

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Amazon

Title: X Marks the Spot

Author: M.J. O’Shea

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: Send reality packing and just enjoy the ride.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Jack Hunter is always on a quest for lost art, ancient manuscripts, and anything else that’ll romance the millions of viewers who watch his show each week. He hasn’t always hit pay dirt in his searches though, and a string of empty global treasure hunts has left his show on the brink of cancellation. Jack needs a white whale, a holy grail, nothing less than a miracle to revive his career.

Aloysius “Alo” Green likes his ivory towers. He’s content to study from the comfort of a university library and publish papers nobody other than academics will ever read. But coded letters pointing to hidden Nazi treasure fall into his hands, and while colleagues warn him to keep them to himself, Alo can’t stop obsessing. He makes a huge mistake and publishes a paper on his find, ignoring the danger doing so will bring.

Jack is sure he’s struck gold when his assistant brings Alo’s paper to him. Alo wants nothing to do with Jack or his televised treasure hunt. But after Alo is threatened, it appears Jack is his best bet to silence those who seek to use him to find the vast wealth first.

By trusting Jack, Alo might’ve saved himself… or made his worst decision yet.

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Review: Alo is an academic—if he has his way he will stay in college forever, living at home and publishing papers on medieval history that no one but other academics will ever read. Working on his PhD, he longs for a job in some university’s ivory tower as far from everyday life as he can possibly get. Then his grandfather moves into an assisted living facility, and leaves Alo a stack of letters which hold a mystery no one has ever been able to solve. Alo’s life is tossed upside down when he publishes a paper on the letters, and all of a sudden, his life is in danger and apparently, there is stolen Nazi treasures to find. Alo may be a nerd, but he is a clever nerd and puzzles are a specialty of his.

Jack Hunter is an adventure seeking TV personality on a once popular show on the History Channel. If he doesn’t come up with a hook for a new show soon, its lights out for his onscreen persona. A quest for Nazi treasures is just what his career needs, and if it comes with the quirky Alo, more the better. Convincing Alo to search for the treasures is a whole different matter, but when Alo is confronted with bullets from the people who want to steal his letters, he decides finding the artifacts may be the only way to keep his family safe.

And this is where you send reality packing and just enjoy the ride, much as you do in an Indiana Jones film. Creative license is used in its entirety in X Marks the Spot, as the quest for the treasures takes you to country after country filled with iconic landmarks and old world charm. The treasure hunt is by far the most enjoyable part of this book, as I felt Alo could have been a bit more mature and embrace the opportunities and excitement around him. Instead, Alo went to all these wonderful places and experienced the thrill of the quest, all the while wishing he wasn’t there.

I didn’t really connect Alo and Jack Hunter together – the chemistry just wasn’t there for me. Take out the romance and you have a nice little adventure book. I generally love M.J. O’Shea’s work, but this book just fell a little flat for me. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a follow up of these characters, with Jack forcing Alo more out of his shell, and Alo uncovering more mysteries out there that need to be solved.

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4.5 Stars, BA Tortuga, Genre Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: Blind Ride by BA Tortuga

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Amazon

Title: Blind Ride (Roughstock: Vol. One)

Author: BA Tortuga

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 234 Pages

At a Glance: Blind Ride is a story about the love and caring of family, good friends, and the love between two special men.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Jason Scott has everything a bull rider wants—success, money and traveling partner Andy Baxter. When he loses his sight in an accident, he stands to lose it all. Jason Scott is at the top of the bull riding game, on his way to a winning season. Along with his traveling partner, Andy Baxter, he’s riding hard on the circuit, working around the country with all of the other bull riders and bullfighters, living the good life. The only thing he wishes he had is Bax, but he’s afraid to take the step that would make them more than friends, worried that it will ruin everything. When a terrible accident leaves Jason unable to see, his whole life goes south. Jason decides to chuck it all, determined to go home and hide at his momma’s ranch. Bax has other ideas. He wants to make sure his best friend doesn’t give up, and he hatches a plan that stuns Jason and makes their friends and family think he’s crazy. With the help of the other bull riders and a very persistent bull fighter named Coke, Bax convinces Jason to give life one more try. With Jason cautiously learning to hope, and his relationship with Bax going to the next level, life gets pretty complicated. Everyone gets in on the project, from Jason’s strong-willed mother to an entire ranch full of children, all of them working to help Jason do what he loves.

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Review: I am such a fan of BA Tortuga. She has added another series to my collection of cowboy stories, and has created more than just a story about bull riders and rodeos; it’s about the love and caring of family, good friends, and the love between two special men. Blind Ride also takes us behind the rodeo scene with the hard work and life threatening injuries that bull riders face.

Andy “Bax” Baxter and Jason “Mini” Scott are just two wonderful cowboys who love the rodeo. They have been friends for six years but have never taken the step to become more than friends. They spend their days traveling the rodeo circuit and even compete against each other, but they hold no grudges.

When Jason is hurt, there’s so much worry. Living in darkness, never riding again, losing out on a career that he loves, and maybe losing Bax, he even thinks of taking his life. But Bax is there for him and he doesn’t let Jason fail. When Bax goes back on the circuit he gets hurt and is done for the season, but he’s back with Jason and starts a plan to get him back on the circuit as well. It was really heartrending to watch Jason struggle with losing his sight—I can’t even begin to imagine how that would feel. He also has to deal with overbearing help, and to try to do things on his own.  Bax and Jason have a great support system besides Jason’s family.  We meet Coke Pharras, Dillon Walsh, Nate, AJ, Missy, and a sweet little boy named Benji.

The only issue readers may find in Blind Ride is in the narrative and dialogue, but BA Tortuga chose to leave things a little unpolished (see: the Author’s Note).  As for me, I didn’t see this as a problem. It just made the story more down to earth.

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Cover Reveal, Video Excerpt and Giveaway – Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

STATE OF THE RHYS

In July 2011, my life changed.

Okay, to be fair, we’ll have to back that date up about six months when I opened an email from Elizabeth North, the Executive Director of Dreamspinner Press. It was an offer to contract a book I’d submitted. That book was Dirty Kiss. So, that was kind of a pinpoint spot in my life.

But in July 2011, I got another email from a blogger named Lisa Horan. I don’t exactly remember what it said. In retrospect I should have saved it but how do you know after the fact about things one should save? In that email, Lisa told me she liked Dirty Kiss and reached out to me to say she was having a good time reading it.

Little did I know, in July 2011, I would gain a sister. And I did because of a single book.

Dirty Kiss marked a turning point in my life. A divergence in my every day activities and my interactions with the world. It changed the way I saw myself and how I needed to see others. Most of my experiences have been great. Some…not so great but those are easily shoved aside because there are always new people to meet.

And so many people to thank.

I owe a fuck ton of people a hell of a lot of thank yous.

Long story short—very long six book story—we’ve now come to the end. What was started in July 2011 will come to an end in March 2016.

For you see, Cole McGinnis will finally learn why Ben shot him.

I knew all along there was an arc to this series. In little ways we were always taking steps to the last FIN. And Lisa has kept my secret the entire time. So, smooches, Pookie. I honestly couldn’t have gotten here without you. A huge thank you to everyone at Dreamspinner, especially my editor Grace. Poor Grace. She puts up with so much. The Crewe, Greg Tremblay for giving Cole his voice, my beta readers and of course, Mary Calmes who I apparently will be handing Cole over to in March. But most of all, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who’s read the books, enjoyed them and were with me for the ride.

Thank you.

Hopefully by the time you read this I’ll have sent off Absinthe of Malice to Dreamspinner. AoM is the transition book between the band forming and the final book in the series, Sin and Tonic. It’s a bit larger than I’d expected and should be out mid-next year.

After that, it’ll be Kai 2 which I’m really looking forward to writing and then I’m going back to Murder and Mayhem or Hellsingers. It’ll be a flip to either one then the other. Then Half Moon Bay. There’s other stuff on the horizon and seriously, I wish I had more time to write. And more coffee. One cannot have too much coffee.

But that’s the sketchy future…

So… in our first step towards that March horizon, I’ll drop a cover reveal and blurb for Dirty Heart at the end of this post along with something special from Greg Tremblay. I hope you enjoy the book. It’s an odd feeling putting a series to bed. I’ve promised to do Cole and Jae one-offs in the distant future but the series—this arc—has come to a close. So thank you. Again. Still.

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Dirty Heart: Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.

Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.

As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.

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And now, a brief word from Greg Tremblay as well as an excerpt reading from Dirty Heart.

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout Rhys Ford: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys  admits to sharing the house with two cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

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Charlie Cochet, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Loving Blitz Blog Tour with Charlie Cochet

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Hello all! Thank you so much for joining me on another stop of the Loving Blitz mini blog tour, celebrating the release of the fourth novella in my North Pole City Tales series. In this series, most of the stories take place in North Pole City where the majority of our elf heroes live. Even Jack Frost has a modest little palace in North Pole City.

This Christmas themed city is vast with all of its quaint little shops decorated with twinkling lights, shimmering tinsel, and glittering baubles. The scents of Christmas are in the air, cinnamon, roasted chestnuts, nutmeg, spiced apple, and more. You’ll find an array of tasty treats, sugar cookies, fudge, cakes, pies, puddings, buns, and a host of other delights.

The snow-filled streets are bustling with busy elves, and you’ll hear the jingling bells of horses pulling sleighs. In the center of town, you’ll find the White Hart, the Rein Dear Squadron’s favorite pub. After a hard day of building gingerbread houses for elves less fortunate, the handsome and dashing elf pilots gather to make merry, drinking their favorite holiday cocktails, or a hot cup of cocoa to the sounds of Christmas carols.

Meanwhile the King’s Toy Soldiers patrol the streets, keeping everyone safe. Their position is one of honor and justice. Many of the citizens they protect can be found working in Mayor Kringle’s prestigious companies, such as the Gift Packaging Plant or the Candy Mills.

Every year just before the Big Flight, the Frost monarchy hosts the Silver Bells Christmas Ball, a truly dazzling sight to behold. You’ll find sweeping waltzes, ball gowns of the finest silk, chandeliers that sparkle like diamonds, and champagne served frosty thanks to a certain prince.

North Pole City is home to thousands of Christmas elves, but you’ll find a few other magical inhabitants as well. I loved putting my own little twist on some festive favorites. Creating this magical world was so much fun, and on top of that, I get to throw these elves into whirlwind adventures as they find their way to love.

About-Baubles-

LovingBlitz200Loving Blitz
North Pole City Tales: Book 4

Genre: Gay Fantasy Romance, Holiday
Length: Novella
Published: Dec, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781623809492

From North Pole City to Winter Wonderland, preparations are underway after a royal announcement sweeps everyone into a frenzy of festivity. At the heart of the celebration are the city’s most beloved elf pilots, the Rein Dears. Once the Big Flight is behind them, the pilots prepare for the royal event. Assigned a special task of finding an Elska rose, Cupid and Blitzen are unaware of how their friendship is about to change forever.

Yet not all that glitters is gold. The sweet, angelic Cupid hides a dark secret, one that threatens to destroy his Rein Dear status, his friends, and the elf who’s captured his heart. It’s up to Blitzen to help Cupid see the light in the darkness and show him that together they can mend broken hearts.

Loving Blitz can be read on its own, but for maximum enjoyment, it’s recommended the series be read in order as characters from previous books make appearances and previous events are mentioned.

Links-Baubles

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Kobo| International Buy Links

Chapter One | Reviews

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Author-Baubles

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Charlie’s Newsletter

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Dec 14thIt’s About the Book
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4 Stars, Clare London, Holiday Romance, Jocular Press, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: Nice and Snow by Clare London

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Amazon

Title: Nice and Snow (With a Kick: Book Six)

Author: Clare London

Publisher: Jocular Press

Pages/Word Count: 43 Pages

At a Glance: Nuri and Eddy are still just that lovable.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Nuri’s expecting a quiet Christmas, driving his cab, doing some studying, enjoying good food and drink – and devoting some serious loving to boyfriend Eduardo. Occasionally he misses his homeland of Turkey, but he’s content to share the London celebrations with Eddy.

But what with Eddy’s distress over his new role at the local comedy club, interference in their love life from Nuri’s irrepressible brothers, a disturbing number of costumed Santas on the street, the dangerous slush on the roads, and then the portly, bearded man dressed in red, in need of an urgent cab ride…

It doesn’t look like things will be that quiet after all!

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Review: Nuri and Eduardo first met in With a Kick, a book that oozed an excess of charm and wit, and now Clare London has brought them back in the excessively adorable and heartwarming Christmas short Nice and Snow, reminding me why I’d warmed up to this couple so well in the first place. Some of it, no doubt, has to do with Nuri’s family—in this case, his brothers—but there’s also no arguing that a lot of it has to do with this author’s sense of humor and, of course, then it doesn’t hurt that Nuri and Eddy are still just that lovable.

Eddy feels the same way about all the pseudo-Santas larking about the city as most people feel about clowns. But this time of the year, they’re near impossible to avoid—seems Eddy couldn’t swing a reindeer by the tale without hitting one of those jolly faux elves. As for our dear Nuri, this holiday season has brought on a bout of nostalgia for his childhood in Turkey, and the memories the two men share with each other are what make this story just that little bit extra special. That, and the fact they pick up a rather unusual fare in Nuri’s cab. Their passenger is an interesting man, to say the very least. But then, what would the holidays be without a touch of magic to make the season bright?

And what would a holiday romance be without a completely heartwarming ending? London deftly delivers that too, for this charming couple who maybe, in theory, shouldn’t work because they’re both so different, but do because they’re both so warm and wonderful.

If you haven’t read With a Kick, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend reading Nice and Snow as a standalone, but I can most definitely recommend getting to know Nuri and Eddy, so now’s as good a time as any to catch up on their story while you’re cuddled under a blanket on a chilly winter weekend.

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3 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed By JJ, Tempeste O'Riley

Audio Review: Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley – Narrated by Paul Morey

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Amazon

Title: Caged Sanctuary

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Paul Morey

Run Time: 6 hours and 26 Minutes

At a Glance: Story: This book started out pleasant and enjoyable, but I lost interest after the first date, though I think Paul Morey did an excellent job with this reading.

Reviewed By: JJ

Blurb: Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.

Kade’s fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he’s learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon’s determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

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Review: Caged Sanctuary begins at a dinner party, where Kaden, a wheelchair-bound dental surgeon, meets his future Dom, Deacon, who is an architect. The two men are attracted to each other right away, and end up setting up a date for a BDSM scene. After entering into a D/s relationship, things get more serious between them. Since Deacon is very sensitive to Kaden’s insecurity over his mobility issues and does his best to make him feel comfortable, Kaden eventually learns to trust more and gains more self-confidence. Their relationship eventually progresses into something more than a Dom/sub relationship.

This book started out pleasant and enjoyable, but I lost interest after the first date, and realized the story was not for me. I think one of the issues was that the relationship moved a little too quickly. I also thought it was a bit odd that Kaden asks Deacon if he is a Dom on the first day they meet. This struck me as unbelievable, considering they were introduced by friends who had nothing to do with the lifestyle, and neither man was wearing anything to indicate they were into BDSM. Then, after their first date, they were practically a done deal. I thought Kaden was sweet, but his lack of self-confidence made it difficult for me to imagine him as a full grown adult. In addition to not liking the characters and pacing, I was hoping there would be some kind of conflict in the book. However, after they meet, they fall in love, move in together, and soon have their happily-ever-after. Despite these issues, the sex scenes were hot, and I enjoyed the sweet moments when they were cuddling.

Narration: I think Paul Morey did an excellent job with this reading. Most of the time when I listen to an audiobook, the narration pulls me out of the book multiple times throughout. However, I was able to listen to Morey without thinking of the narration even once. Each voice was distinct and seemed to match the personality of the characters.

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2 Stars, Amber Allure, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, Sean Michael

Review: His Very Own Vampire by Sean Michael

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Amazon

Title: His Very Own Vampire

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

At a Glance: This story had so much promise, but just didn’t deliver.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Vampire Truelock’s job for the last several hundred years has been protecting the President of Archer Industries, a family-run company that has done very well for itself. Since the current patriarch, Desmond Archer, is getting ready to officially retire from the company that more or less runs itself, he sends True on a mission to protect his estranged grandson Lane.

Lane’s mother stopped speaking to her father Desmond when Lane was only a few years old and has told her son that his grandparents are all dead. He has no idea that he’s even an heir to a fortune. So when a handsome stranger steps in and saves him from bodily harm just when he needs it, he’s both grateful and a little suspicious. That suspicion only grows when bad things continue to happen to him, all seeming to stem from True’s arrival and his claim that he’s been sent by Lane’s grandfather to protect him.

The fact that there’s insane chemistry between Lane and True doesn’t help either of them untangle the mystery regarding the danger’s source. Can they find the answers before Lane’s unknown enemies manage to do him permanent damage?

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Review: I am only going to give a short review of His Very Own Vampire because if I write much more, my review would be longer than the book.

This novella had so much promise, it could have been good, but the characters were stiff and poorly written.  Truelock is a vampire who has served the Archer family for over two-hundred-fifty years. Now, Desmond Archer is dying and wants True to find his estranged grandson and bring him home. Lane’s mother ran from her family at a young age and brought her son up thinking that he had no family but her.  When True arrives, claiming he is working for Lane’s grandfather, Lane is confused and wants nothing to do with him. Outside influences fling these two together, as True must protect Lane from family members who want him dead in order to claim Lane’s share of the Archer fortune.

See? So much promise. I wish that Sean Michael had spent more time on this story and really made a novel out of it, as the characters in and of themselves are rather interesting, and the plot is plausible. There are just too many unbelievable leaps and not enough development of characters or storyline for this to be a Sean Michael success.

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5 Stars, Charlie Cochet, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Jules

Release Day Review: Loving Blitz by Charlie Cochet

Small Gems

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Title: Loving Blitz (North Pole City Tales: Book Four)

Author: Charlie Cochet

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 94 Pages

At a Glance: Go forth and enjoy Loving Blitz!!! It’s a Christmas reading list must.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: From North Pole City to Winter Wonderland, preparations are underway after a royal announcement sweeps everyone into a frenzy of festivity. At the heart of the celebration are the city’s most beloved elf pilots, the Rein Dears. Once the Big Flight is behind them, the pilots prepare for the royal event. Assigned a special task of finding an Elska rose, Cupid and Blitzen are unaware of how their friendship is about to change forever.

Yet not all that glitters is gold. The sweet, angelic Cupid hides a dark secret, one that threatens to destroy his Rein Dear status, his friends, and the elf who’s captured his heart. It’s up to Blitzen to help Cupid see the light in the darkness and show him that together they can mend broken hearts.

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Review: I guess I have to quit pouting about having to wait another whole year for the next book, and get this review written…*grumble* Heh, heh.  I really AM pouting about having to wait for next year’s book – this series is neverending, right? – but, I’m happy to write the review for this charming story!

Loving Blitz, this year’s addition to the North Pole City Tales series by Charlie Cochet, opens at the Silver Bells Christmas Ball – held this time at the King of Frost’s palace – where Jack Frost and Rudy share some exciting news. I was immediately mesmerized, as I always am in this series, by the descriptions and the language in the book. The places, the creatures, the events, the magic and history: Cochet has created a world here that is so vibrant and so delightful, I can’t wait to immerse myself in it every year.

Best friends for centuries, Cupid and Blitzen are perfect for each other. They have always been close, but when they dance together at the ball, they both begin to having stirrings of feelings that are more than friendly. I really did love this pairing; the romance felt effortless, and had the perfect amount of heat. And, speaking of pairings…I have my guesses as to next year’s potential couple, and can’t wait to find out who it will be!

The drama is relatively low in this one as compared to the other books in the series, but the story still has plenty of substance. The angle with Cupid’s secret is very intriguing and well done, and I loved the subplots here also. Dasher provides some tension and comic relief – just what is he up to with the King of Frost??? – which was fantastic, and it looks like one of Cupid’s brothers will be back in the future as well!

Ok. That’s three mentions of next year’s book. I think I’ve established that I loved this installment, and that I can’t wait for MORE. My work here is done. Go forth and enjoy Loving Blitz!!! It’s a Christmas reading list must.

TNA_Signature_Jules

 

 

 

 

You can buy Loving Blitz here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, Kenzie Cade

Exclusive Flash Fic and Giveaway: Magic in the Air by Kenzie Cade

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It’s a jolly holiday and we’re so please to welcome author Kenzie Cade today with an exclusive flash ficlet just for you, in celebration of the release of Reindeer Games.

After you’ve read this special little offering, be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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Magic in the Air by Kenzie Cade

The wind in Colorado was different than what I was used to at the North Pole—less magical, in a way, but not less beautiful. I knew the first time I led Fluffy and Flurry to the little town in the mountains that something special waited there.

Little did I know it was my bestie’s bonded.

Nik and I—we go way back. I’m the yin to his yang, at least that’s what I try to tell him. He doesn’t listen well—probably because he doesn’t speak reindeer—but I think he gets it. Why else would he offer himself as a sacrifice every time the Grand Poobah Santa blows a gasket?

I’m pretty sure Mr. Poobah doesn’t get it. I’m keeping Little Nikky on his toes. That’s the reason for my games. Maybe now, he sees the benefits. I mean, look at the awesomeness that is Dashing von Stride. He’s a sweet kid. Plus he brings me cookies. Snickerdoodles are my fave and Dash bakes the best, but don’t tell Mrs. Kringle I said so.

“What are you doing out here, Reign?”

That’s Tinsel. I liked him better in the tiny human form. He was cute and bouncy. Now he’s back to his normal muscley self, which is fine, but not as much fun.

“You’re supposed to be in the stable preparing for the preflight,” Tinsel said and I cocked my head at him. Number one, preflight was a practice run performed on the night before the Big Day Eve. Number two, I had nothing to prepare for. If you didn’t consider the gift I had waiting for my BFF and his bonded. Tinsel obviously got the point because he replied, “Yeah, yeah, I get it, but there’s no sense in wandering around out here. As soon as Niklaus and Dashing return, you’ll be ready to go.”

Pumpkin rushed from the stable doors, her bright curls waving behind her. “Come on, you two.” Now she was gorgeous in this form. If I had a human or elf form, I’d want to look just like her. Not only was she attractive, but she was strong. And she smelled like cookies. Gingersnaps. Those were my second favorite. “Reign, we still need to brush and halter you. Fluffy and Flurry are riding behind you tonight because Admiral keeps nibbling on Fluffy’s tail.”

If I could shake my head, I’d do so. My flight crew would be the death of me. I mean, just this week, I had to ground Admiral and Sir Gallopsalot due to their being spotted atop the City Hall building by Mayor Cransfield. Luckily, Nik was able to convince the human leadership that it was all an elaborate stunt, meant to incite excitement of the holiday season. Not that a town like Wassail needed a reason to be excited for the Big Day.

Instead, I gave a knowing look to Tinsel, who winked back, then followed Pumpkin back to the stables. We were strapped in—chains, leads, and a multitude of straps and braces in place. Pumpkin combed me and Sparkles huffed somewhere behind me when I heard the wheels of Nik’s wheeled carriage crunch over the new snow. I snuffled, shifting excitedly as the muted thud of the carriage doors shut.

“What are you so jittery for?” Pumpkin asked, her suspicious tone did not go amiss, but thankfully, I couldn’t answer her, for obvious reasons. Instead, I shook my head, anticipation flooding my system, while Pumpkin and Tinsel dodged my antlers.

“Where’s the sleigh?” Tinsel said suddenly.

Uh-oh. Tinsel couldn’t go looking for the sleigh yet. Not until Nik and Dash had a chance to see the surprise first.

The pair had barely taken two steps when I backed into Fluffy and Flurry, catching Fluffy’s hoof with mine. She squealed and bucked, sending Sir Gallopsalot and Sparkles into a tizzy. Admiral and Wink crashed, tugging the rest of us back. Thankfully no one else tumbled, or we’d have a catastrophe on our hands.

“What in the world is going on in here?” Niklaus had arrived, stomping regally into the stable, curiosity scrunching his expression.

“Reign,” Tinsel answered, his tone flat. The gumdrop.

I blinked, in all innocence, of course, but Nik’s narrowed eyes told me he wasn’t buying it. I was saved from further scrutiny by Dash’s giggle. Swinging my gaze around, I found him standing at the sleigh’s storage room. I shimmied in excitement and Dash met my eyes, giggling harder.

“Dash?” Forgetting his study of me, Nik made his way to his bonded and I saw him peek into the room. “What in the name of Santa?” His gaze volleyed between the flight crew and the sleigh room. Then his narrowed eyes came to me again. “Reign. What have I told you?”

Not the reaction I expected. My eyes rounded as Nik marched back to me. But for the grace of Dashing von Stride, I would have been reindeer-cicle. Dash snagged Nik’s arm and tugged him back to the doorway.

He snorted when he said, “Stop, Nik. Don’t you see?” Dash gestured into the small room. “It’s a gift. There’s a bow and everything.”

Nik’s head tilted to the side. “But the lights, paper, candy canes, and marshmallows?” He once again sounded confused.

“She wrapped it.”

I preened as Dash giggled again. The von Stride got me.

“But the sleigh?” Nik asked on the verge of whining.

His giggles melting into a sweet smile, Dash lifted onto his tiptoes and pressed a kiss to Nik’s cheek. “I think it’s sweet.”

I watched as Nik’s annoyance turned into adoration as he stared at his bonded. He leaned down and took a kiss, not on the cheek. Briefly, I wondered why human and elf-kind touched mouths so often. I hated for another reindeer to get near my nose, much less my mouth.

When Nik lifted away, he sighed then nodded and whispered something to Dash before disappearing into the sleigh room. I heard the rustle of his unwrapping my gift as Dash made his way to me. He stopped before me, his eyes shining bright.

“It’s sweet. Thank you,” he said then leaned in and wrapped his arms around my neck. “But next time why not move past messing with his sleigh?”

I chuffed and Dash moved away but not before winking at me.

Tomorrow, Dashing and Niklaus would attend the Yule Ball before the Big Day flight. Tonight, though, we would fly for fun, for freedom, and for magic. I might have been wrong about the magic in the Colorado air. It seemed love in the air was another sort of magic.

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Reindeer GamesBlurb – Reindeer Games: Dashing von Stride has one thing on his mind: winning the window display contest for the Miracle on Main Christmas Contest. His plans are set and ready—and then he walks into his toy store, Reindeer Games, to find a sleigh that shouldn’t be there. The mystery sleigh sparks a new plan, however, and now all Dash needs is the perfect Santa to model his display after.

This year, the pranks with his reindeer have gotten out of hand. Instead of preparing for the Big Day, Niklaus Kringle is hunting for his missing sleigh. Locating it should have been easy, but games easily won are seldom worth playing…

Buy Links: Less Than Three Press || Amazon || All Romance eBooks

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Kenzie CadeAbout the Author: Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and fur-babies who likes to keep her company while she writes. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.

E-mail || Blog || Facebook || Twitter: @thekenziecade

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

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

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A.V. Sanders, Giveaways

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: The Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas Blog Tour with A.V. Sanders

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Please join us in welcoming author A.V. Sanders to The Novel Approach today, on the tour for her new holiday novelette Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas. Enjoy A.V.’s guest post, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widgets for the chance to win some great prizes (**details below**).

Good luck!

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I’m thrilled to be here for the release of “Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas”! The Novel Approach has been gracious enough to host this first day in the “7 HOT Days of Christmas Blog Tour”, and is the Partridge in a White Fir Tree! 

To help celebrate, I’d like to share an exclusive excerpt from my new holiday novelette. In this scene, we learn about how our two main characters, Graham and Reid, had first met. The ‘drums’ being mentioned are drums with baited hooks floating in the ocean, designed to catch large sharks off Australia’s west coast. Both Graham and Reid were on a boat together, and a covert mission, to unbait the hooks. I hope you all enjoy the excerpt, and have a wonderful holiday!

xo, A.V.

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Excerpt: Meeting someone had been the thing furthest from his mind. But when Reid had first laid eyes on Graham, the quintessential Australian surfer, it had been hard to get them off again. Reid had been coursing with adrenaline while they’d skated across the water towards the first drum and had found himself squeezed onto a seat next to Graham. Even though there were six other people on the boat, Reid’s focus had been on the warmth from Graham’s body pressed against his. He remembered finding the scent of Graham’s aftershave or cologne particularly enticing, and with each swell in the water, Reid had leaned in, breathing the rich, woodsy scent.

They’d struck up a short conversation, centering on the sharks and the circumstances that found them both on that boat and breaking the law. Graham had seemed enchanted by Reid’s American accent, asking what part of the United States he was from, making Reid laugh. To him, growing-up in a suburb of Chicago, there was nothing special about his accent, or lack thereof. He’d told Graham, however, that he could listen to his manipulations of vowels all night long.

It was after that compliment that Reid had felt the first definitive spark of mutual attraction. Graham, a bit shy, had smiled in response. His eyes had cast down, then met Reid’s when he said thank you. During the drum line operation, Reid’s intrigue had grown. While he’d been focused on their mission, he’d made a point of getting Graham’s last name. In the wee hours later that night, Reid had friended him and sent him a message on Facebook. The conversation Reid had started with Graham that night had never stopped.

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WHAC-fTitle: Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas
Author: A.V. Sanders
Page/Word Count: 39 pages/11,500 words
Release Date: December 16, 2015
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Holiday Themed Contemporary Gay M/M Romance
Blurb: Reid, an American shark research scientist, is in Perth, Australia working to develop a mobile app that may revolutionize shark safety practices. But even the company of his boyfriend, Graham, isn’t enough to stave off homesickness as Christmas approaches, and a missing shark and Graham’s struggling business seem set to ruin the holiday for good.

Buy Links: *~Less Than Three Press~* // Amazon // All Romance ebooks // Smashwords // BookStrand.com // Kobo 

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WinterAvi2About the Author: A.V. Sanders loves and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shares her home with her husband, two cats, and tropical aquarium fish. She is an avid hoarder of Halloween decorations and inconsequential information. When writing science fiction, mystery, horror and romance with LGBTQ main characters, she can be found staying up all hours of the night listening to endless sets of EDM music. She is an advocate of love, art, animals and frivolous acts of beauty. She also has a growing suspicion that not causing harm to one another is what matters in the end.

Connect With A.V. Sanders Online Website // Twitter // Facebook // Tumblr // Goodreads

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THE GIVEAWAYS

Giveaway #1: Click on the image below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas (or, if already owned, any LT3 e-title of equal or lesser value)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Grand Prize Giveaway: Click on the image below to enter for the chance to win a Handmade, Genuine Shark Tooth Necklace + FREE ebook of Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas (or, if already owned, any LT3 e-title of equal or lesser value)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Tour Stops and Dates:

12. 16Wednesday – THE NOVEL APPROACHA Partridge in a White Fir Tree: Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaways
12. 17 – Thursday CARLY’S BOOK REVIEWSTwo Sea Turtles: ‘Christmas Memories’ with A.V. and Carly + Giveaways
12. 18 Friday PRISM BOOK ALLIANCEThree French Men: ‘Let’s Talk About: Sharks!’ + Giveaways
12. 19 Saturday BAYOU BOOK JUNKIEFour Sea Birds: ‘On Location: Inspiration for the Story’ + Giveaways
20 Sunday, Double Day! AUTHOR RJ JONES’ WEBSITE + BECAUSE TWO MEN ARE BETTER THAN ONE BOOK REVIEWSFive Engagement Rings: ‘Marriage Equality in Australia’ with A.V. + RJ Jones, Review at BTM, Giveaways at both!
21 Monday ON TOP DOWN UNDER BOOK REVIEWS Six Blokes a-Layin’…Out: Review + Story Playlist + Giveaways
12. 22 Tuesday HEARTS ON FIRE REVIEWS – Seven Sharks a-Swimmin’: Character Interview + Giveaways

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The Fine Print:

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

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4 Stars, Erotica, Genre Romance, Kink/Taboo, Liberty Lace, Reviewed by Lynn, Wilde City Press

Review: Islands in the Stream by Liberty Lace

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Islands in the Stream

Author: Liberty Lace

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 85 Pages

At a Glance: If I were to recommend a book to those thinking about getting their feet wet with father/son love, I would definitely choose this one.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: At only twenty-one years of age, Daniel Hastings is a young man headed for the top of his game. As Assistant Chief Acquisitions Assessor for a major property development firm, it’s Daniel’s job to assess the viability and investment potential of land opportunities, usually bringing in millions of dollars in profits for his firm. The key to his career is to convince the previous owners of the land to part with their precious properties, and Daniel has found that everything is for sale… at the right price.

That is until he arrives on Saint Etienne, a tiny Caribbean island that a major resort chain intends to develop into a billionaire’s playground. It’s up to Daniel to assess the situation and convince the villagers to sign over their island home… and if they refuse, Daniel and his colleague are under strict instructions to find any legal loophole they can to snatch the untouched piece of paradise out from under its owners.

But there’s one inhabitant on this island Daniel wasn’t expecting to find—his estranged father, Nick… a man who walked out of his son’s life just when the two of them where beginning to understand one another.

Will Daniel give his father a second chance? Will he discover there’s more to life than profits and acquisitions? Or will his career take priority over the life Daniel was destined to live?

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Review: Okay, we all know by now I like reading out of the norm stories. Those “taboo” reads where brothers fall in love, uncles/nephews, what have you, I’ll eat them up. This is my first father/son-to-lovers story, and I have to admit I wasn’t too sure. I worried it might take me out of my comfort zone—like, all the way out. But I’ve read this author before and love their writing style. I figured if I’m venturing into unknown territory, I had better stick with an author I’m familiar with. I think I made the right decision.

First off let me say, I loved the storyline. Daniel, a young professional, secures land titles for companies looking to build resorts on exotic beaches. I found it very interesting to read because it’s a subject I don’t know too much about, so there’s that. I also loved the people of this little island. They are colorful, eclectic and fun. The author really makes you feel like you’re right there with them, with detailed description of the beaches, homes, bugs and yes, even the humidity in the air. Really felt as though I was there.

So we have Daniel on this island, trying to make a deal and make his employers happy. The last person he ever expected to see was his estranged father, Nick, a father who left him and his mother five years prior and never came back. With all the anger Daniel had pent up inside, it’s no wonder their first meeting wasn’t a good one.

Being that it’s a short story, the author doesn’t go into minute details, but we get enough backstory to know what happened, why Nick left and how Daniel dealt with it all. To me, a story like this needs to have the believable factor. If you’re going to write in this sub-genre, I feel you have to state your case and make it stick. If not, I fear the story will come across as creepy and tasteless instead of creative. I feel this author nailed it.

As incest is the ultimate taboo in romance, the relationship needed to be handed well, and it definitely was. The mutual attraction between father and son was thought out very carefully by the author. The coupling was presented in such way that when all was said and done, we just have two men finding each other again, falling in love, and wanting to be together. The ick factor I worried about in the beginning never came, so kudos to the author for that. I don’t know if there are plans to revisit these characters because the story ended as a HEA, but I for one would love to see how they’re doing on their island of love.

I know this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if I were to recommend a book to those thinking about getting their feet wet with father/son love, I would definitely choose this one to start with.

TNA_Signature_Lynn

 

 

 

 

You can buy Islands in the Stream here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Wilde City Press

Wilde City Press

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5 Stars, Comedy, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, John Inman, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Scrudge & Barley, Inc. by John Inman

TNA Page Turner Resized

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Scrudge & Barley, Inc.

Author: John Inman

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: I found this story to be just brilliant.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: A classic tale takes off in sexy new directions! Poor Mr. Dickens must be twirling in his grave.

When E.B. Scrudge, putz extraordinaire and all-around numbnuts, is visited by his dead ex on Christmas Eve, he can’t imagine how his life could sink any lower. But the three ghostly spirits that come along after are even worse! Good lord, a dyke, a drag queen, and rounding out the trio, a big, hunky bear with nipple rings and a butt plug! What’s next?

What’s next is a good deal of soul-searching and some hard lessons learned with a dash of redemption thrown in for good measure.

And love too, believe it or not. Love that had been simmering all along at the heart of Scrudge’s miserable existence, although he was too selfish to see it—until a trio of holiday beasties pointed his sorry ass in the right direction.

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Review: Such a well-known story—that of Scrooge and his miserly life, which is interrupted by three ghostly apparitions one lonely Christmas eve. It’s a classic tale that is performed and read every holiday season. Imagine my delight when I heard that author John Inman had re-imagined the old tale and given it new life, a clever twist that morphed into an amazing story called Scrudge & Barley, Inc.

E.B. Scrudge is a nasty man. Having learned from his predecessor, Barley, Ebbie has taken to the love of money and the glee of inflicting misery on others with gusto. He has no regard for his fellow man and unashamedly uses his faithful secretary, Willie, for occasional physical release. This Christmas Eve finds Ebbie handing out his special brand of Christmas cheer in the guise of termination notices delivered by poor Willie. Once done, he ignores the small gift his secretary has for him, uses him for sex and then sends him on his way without a backward glance. After attending the ballet, Ebbie returns home to his penthouse apartment, and a night of terror, revelation and soul searching begins. By morning, E.B. Scrudge will be a changed man—but will it be too late to undo all the harm he has done and prove to Willie he does have a heart after all?

If you have never read Dickens’ version of Scrooge, then this brilliant and campy version may not mean quite as much to you, dear reader, but trust me when I tell you this piece of work was so cleverly done. Not only are the three “ghosts” who visit Ebbie simultaneously terrifying and amusing, the build up to the visits, the eerie setup with lights going off and noises rattling the night, are rather scary to read. But it is the transformation in Ebbie himself that is so genuinely played out as the hours race by—this is the real beauty of the story. Far beyond a truly delightful retelling of an old classic, Scrudge & Barley, Inc. explores the place in each of us that allows for that bit of selfishness to grow. How many times have we passed the homeless and thought they could find work if they truly tried? Or perhaps remarked that it is not “our responsibility” to save everyone? Just these few scenes—and the uncanny voice of the narrator reminding us that we too may see a bit of “Scrudge” in the mirror is enough to realize that lurking behind this simple Christmas fare is a deeper message: hold on to your humanity at all costs lest you find yourself a scrooge as well.

I found this story to be just brilliant. I enjoyed the careful way this author reworked a somewhat tired and overused story and made it relevant and entertaining again. Not only that, I loved that Willie was not a carpet for Ebbie to walk over but more a compassionate and loving man who faced his difficult life head on and knew his own mind. Scrudge & Barley, Inc. is a fantasy wrapped in love and a touch of whimsy. If you are looking for a fresh and well-written holiday story, Scrudge & Barley, Inc. will fill that ticket nicely. I highly recommend this one to you!

TNA_Signature_Sammy

 

 

 

 

You can buy Scrudge & Barley, Inc. here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Genre Romance, L.A. Witt, Reviewed By Carrie, Samhain Publishing

Release Day Review: Not Safe for Work by L.A. Witt

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Not Safe for Work

Author: L.A. Witt

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 341 Pages

At a Glance: This is another great hit from L.A. Witt!

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: They’re a match made in the dungeon…until their secret gets out.

Bored senseless in a meeting, architectural modeler Jon McNeill amuses himself with a kinky dating app on his phone. Then the app matches him with another user…who’s six feet away. Suddenly Jon finds himself on the same page as someone way above his pay grade: millionaire property developer Rick Pierce. His firm’s biggest—and hottest—client.

The app isn’t kidding either. They’re a perfect match. Jon’s a Dom, Rick’s a sub, and bondage is their thing. Both guys are well into their forties, know their way around the bedroom, and definitely appreciate a good suit. And the best part? They’re a match outside the bedroom too.

But office relationships aren’t easy to keep a secret. When the truth comes out, Jon is certain he’s about to get fired. Instead, his bosses throw him a curve ball—an ultimatum that puts both his job and his relationship in jeopardy.

Warning: Contains literal and figurative sex machines, blindfolds, a sub being punished during a business meeting, enough rope to tangle up a millionaire, and a Golden Girls marathon.

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Review: Jon McNeill is an architectural modeler. Rick Pierce is his firm’s biggest client and the reason the architectural firm is solvent. Jon has been told not to talk to clients, which ordinarily is something he has no problem with–until he hooks up with Rick on a kinky dating app. Jon is a Dom, and finding a sub as perfect as Rick is something that, at this stage in life, he thought he would never find.

L.A. Witt’s Not Safe for Work is so well written. It was refreshing to read how two men in their mid-forties navigate the real world and make their love and relationship work–I found this mature romance engaging, and the Dom/sub dynamic totally believable because these men had a very clear idea of what they wanted vs. what they needed from the relationship. I loved these characters and how they came alive off the page. I could practically smell the glue in Jon’s workroom. The secondary characters are interesting and keep the humor going when the emotions get heavy between the two men.

I highly recommend this book. The BDSM theme is there and a major part of the relationship between these men, but as they grow to love each other, it’s how they make it work day-to-day that is the real story. This is another great hit from L.A. Witt!

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

 

You can buy Not Safe for Work here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Brita Addams

The Prose Speak: A Holiday Guest Post (and Gift) by Brita Addams

gift12Well, it’s that time of year again. For some it’s Christmas (me too,) but it’s also a time of reflection.

Every year has its share of sadness and joy, and 2015 was no exception. We had loss and health setbacks, but here it is nearly Christmas and we’re still here, slightly slump-shouldered, but standing. Here’s some of the highlights of our year.

In January, our grandson, Sebastian, turned sixteen and sprouted to over six feet tall. He towers over most of the family, except his dad (6’3”) and one of his two Uncle Chris’ (6’4”.) We’re super proud of our daughter and her husband, Michael, for raising him to be the thoughtful and kind young man he is. What a guy!

In February, I took my milestone birthday well, I think, when I forbade the family to mention it and insisted they let the day pass unacknowledged. They did, except for a couple of smartasses. I can always count on them to remind me why I have gray hair.

March brought brain surgery for our oldest daughter, Kim, due to some nerve webbing (simplified explanation.) She’s fine now and is free of the blinding headaches she’d suffered for three years. I won’t detail the heart-stopping hours of waiting for the news that she came out of surgery and all was well.

Sebastian zombie pic

T’was during his visit with us during his mama’s hospital stay that Sebastian introduced me to the Walking Dead. Hooked me like a fish. Ya know, you do things to please the kids. I’m told I’m his cool Grammie. The conversation went something like this:

“Grammie, I think you’d really like the Walking Dead.”

“I don’t know, baby. Zombies?”

“Yeah, but the characters are really good and you know how you like good characters.”

“True.”

“Come on. Let’s get some of your hazelnut coffee and I’ll watch the first few episodes again with you.”

“You want coffee?”

“Yeah. Whenever I think of coffee, I think of your hazelnut coffee creamer and it makes me smile.”

He had me hooked there, thrilled that he’d remember such an obscure thing. “Oh, baby! I had no idea you knew that.”

“I love ya. What can I say?” Big hug and lemming march to the guest room to watch the Walking Dead.

We watched five episodes that day. He went home the next and I watched the first five seasons in the next nine days. He’s still on season two. And the conversation did go like that!

Tina_and_ClintMay is always joyous for us because we celebrate two anniversaries, both on the same day, the ninth. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary and the 39th anniversary of our first date. There will never be enough of these—ever.

The summer brought a turn my husband’s chronic health problems. He has Parkinson’s and he’s had his ups and downs, but from about June to now, he’s grown weaker. He takes everything in stride, God bless him. He’ll rally for a few days, and then not so much. He’s still him though, sense of humor and sharpness. He loves to cook and with me acting as sous chef, we get the job done. He still makes the best gumbo and potato salad in the South, bar none.

I don’t tell you all this for any other reason than to celebrate the life I have the privilege of living. The people I’ve lost this year made up a part of who I am. Those still with me nourish my soul and make getting up every morning something I look forward to. I’m more aware of what truly matters.

We each hold a figurative lifeline in our hands. These days, I’m holding on tighter than ever before. I want more of the good while I fend off the bad for as long as I can. I’ve also come to realize that we don’t have a lot to say about the latter. That makes the former all the more precious.

2f970d_2cefdd2cac18466c8cb19705c045b631Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you to everyone who has purchased one of my books this year. Your loyalty and support humbles me.

As my gift to you, here is a link for a free short story. Sometimes we need a little awakening to realize what matters most. Please enjoy An Evening at the Starlight, and after you read it, hug those you love a little tighter.

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