Damon Suede, Giveaways, Heidi Cullinan

Are You Ready for the Big City vs. Small Town Throwdown?

Big City vs. Small Town Banner

WHO SAYS SIZE DOESN’T MATTER?

Romance takes us away from the daily grind, but where do you wanna go? Do you prefer your HEAs on Park Ave or Main Street? High rises or front porches? Metropolis or Smallville? Bright lights or quiet nights? It all comes down to location, location, location!

Join Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan on November 21 from Noon-3PM CST for the Big City vs. Small Town THROWDOWN: a light-hearted battle royale between shit kickers and city slickers. Should rustic charm or urban glitter take the day? Will the victory party be hosted in the quaint bandstand on the town square or on a swanky penthouse roofdeck?

It’s up to you to settle the setting score! Readers, authors, bloggers—come one, come all for contests, team rallies, trash talk, fabulous prizes, and a good time for all no matter who wins the day.

Mark your calendars and set your reminders. This is a Facebook Hosted Event!

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Dreamspinner Press, Kade Boehme, Piper Vaughn

Piper Vaughn and Kade Boehme Bring The “Wood, Screws & Nails” Blog Tour To TNA Today, With A Giveaway



TNA: The Novel Approach is positively giddy to welcome Piper Vaughn and Kade Boehme today on their Wood, Screws & Nails Blog Tour. They’ve both agreed to answer a few questions for us, so we’ll get right to it.

How long was this collaboration in the works? What made you guys decide that you needed to write a book together, and how far into the process were you when you felt that sense of “yeah, we’ve nailed it (pun fully intended), this is going to work”?

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Carina Press, Diana Copland, G.B. Lindsey, Libby Drew

Cover Reveal And Giveaway: “Secrets of Neverwood: The Lost Year” by Libby Drew


The Secrets of Neverwood

The Lost Year

Secrets of Neverwood is a new M/M contemporary romance anthology by Libby Drew, Diana Copland, and G.B. Lindsey, available from Carina Press June 30th, 2014.

Blurb: Three foster brothers are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. They have nothing in common but a promise to Audrey, the woman they all called mother—that upon her death, they would restore the house and preserve it as a home for troubled boys.

But going home is never easy.

Cal struggles to recover from past heartbreak, while Danny fears his mistakes are too big to overcome. Devon believes he may never break down the barriers that separate him from honest emotion.

On the path to brotherhood, they discover the old mansion holds more than dusty furniture and secret passageways. Audrey’s spirit still walks its halls, intent on guiding “her boys” toward true love, and an old mystery stirs up a new danger—one that could cost the men far more than just the house.

Secrets of Neverwood includes:

One Door Closes by G.B. Lindsey
The Growing Season by Diana Copland
The Lost Year by Libby Drew

166,000 words

Stories also available for purchase separately.

Libby chats about Secrets of Neverwood:

Welcome to Neverwood, home to lost boys and playful spirits. When Diana, G.B. and I first conceived the Secrets of Neverwood series, our biggest challenge was narrowing our idea field to something manageable. Which story would come first? There were many we wanted to explore—countless men had called Neverwod their home, and many more would do so in the future. That list of potential stories only grew as the first three novellas took shape, and the mansion’s history unfolded.

We consider Nevewood the mansion to be as important to the series as any of our living, breathing characters. In a way, it’s alive as well, host to Audrey’s spirit, as well as others. And like any human being, it’s fickle—hoarding its secrets. Cal, Danny and Devon go far in uncovering some of what’s hidden within its walls, but many mysteries still await the curiosity of other lost boys, whose stories have yet to be told.

Until then, we offer three tales of love and romance, each peppered with ample doses of heartache and suspense. I feel honored to be in the writing company of Diana Copland and G.B. Lindsey, who have been professional acquaintances for years, and whom I’ve admired for just as long. Working with them on this project was truly rewarding.

My novella tells Devon’s story…

The Lost Year: Secrets of Neverwood: Book Three

Devon McCade is no stranger to adversity. As a photojournalist, he’s seen all manner of human struggle. And as a kid, it’s what brought him to Neverwood, to his foster mother Audrey. It’s what he’s facing now, as he and his foster brothers work to restore the once-stately mansion amidst surprising signs from Audrey herself.

But when another anguished soul arrives at Neverwood, Devon can’t hide behind his camera. Nicholas Hardy is certain he saw his runaway son, Robbie, in a photo Devon took of homeless children. Devon knows all too well that a young teenager on the streets doesn’t have many options—and Robbie has been missing for a full year.

Searching for Robbie with Nicholas stirs memories and passions Devon had thought long lost, yet knowing that Nicholas will leave as soon as Robbie is found keeps him from opening himself up to something permanent. Devon must learn to fight for what he wants to keep—his love, and his home.

Carina Press did a beautiful job with our covers, which we’re excited to reveal on today’s launch of our promotional tour. Many thanks to The Novel Approach for hosting me on this special occasion.

(For a look at the cover and blurb for One Door Closes by G.B. Lindsey, pop over to Prism Book Alliance. For a sneak peek at The Growing Season by Diana Copland, visit Mrs. Condit and Friends).

Libby’s Bio:

Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school’s fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.

Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.

Libby’s State of Mind received rave reviews for being fast, clever, and relentless and was nominated for a Bookie Award for Best M/M Novel of 2011. 40 Souls to Keep, Libby’s third novel, has been described as intense and heart-poundingly good and was praised by Publishers Weekly for maintaining a high level of suspense.

An avid supporter of gay rights, Libby donates her time to the Trevor Project and organizations that work to support marriage equality.

More information about Libby’s books can be found on her Website

THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

An E-copy Of The Neverwood Anthology

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Dreamspinner Press, Jacob Z. Flores

It’s A GRL Countdown Celebration Day! Jacob Z. Flores Talks About His Newest Book “When Love Comes to Town”, And There’s A Giveaway


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Hi, everyone. My name is Jacob Z. Flores, and I’m thrilled to be back here at The Novel Approach. I just love Lisa, Jackie, Tina Marie, Lynn, and all the other reviewers here. They’ve all been so nice to me throughout the years. You really couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people!
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All Romance Ebooks, RJ Scott

In Honor Of Autism Awareness Month, TNA Is Pleased To Be Participating In RJ Scott’s Virtual Tour


According to a California Health and Human Service Agency survey of developmental disabilities conducted in 2003, Autism is the single fastest growing developmental disorder, with a 1,148% growth rate. (Source). As April is Autism Awareness Month, and author RJ Scott has a very personal passion for the subject of Autism Awareness, she invited authors, publishers, and bloggers to join in on a hop to shed a little light on the various spectrums and symptoms of the disorder, as well as to celebrate the unique and diverse challenges of those who are afflicted.

Other than a child with ADHD (who provides hours of fun when he doesn’t get his meds!), I’ve been very blessed to have three otherwise healthy children. The reason I wanted to participate in this hop, however, is to have the opportunity to talk with my daughter, Rachel, who is eighteen-years-old and will begin her college career in the fall, majoring in psychology with a focus toward a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, specifically in working with special needs children.

For the entirety of her high school career, she participated in peer tutoring and the Best Buddies program, which is where she discovered a passion for mentoring “her kids”, and even though she graduated in December, she still goes to volunteer in the classroom when work permits. Am I a proud mom? Why, yes, yes, I am, and this is why I elected to interview my baby girl about her work with the Autistic children in her class. I hope you can sense the love she has for her kids and for the work she does.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Mom: Tell me about your Autistic students. How many of them are there in your class, and how do they differ on the Autism spectrum in terms of communication and interaction?

Rachel: There are three Autistic students in my peer tutoring class. They are all unique in their own way. Zach, who is the youngest, is the most severe in terms of interaction. He won’t look you in the eyes, does not like to be touched, and sometimes has a hard time making conversation. If you get him talking about something that he’s interested in, then he can carry on a very good conversation.

Nick, on the other hand, is quite a talker, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a good communicator. He loves talking to people but has difficulty listening to what others have to say to him. A lot of the time, he’s basically carrying on a conversation with himself!

Finally, there’s Matt. Matt is 20-years-old but remains at the high school level. He is like Zach in that he does not like any eye contact or touching of any kind. And now that I think about it, I have to say he is even more difficult to communicate with than Zach. Matt gets very frustrated easily, especially when being told what to do. A few minutes in a quiet room will usually do the trick when he gets too overwhelmed.

Mom: What are some of the outward signs of their Autism?

Rachel: They each have things that make it easy to tell that they are Autistic. All of them avoid eye contact, and don’t particularly like to be touched. They all have little tics of movements that they cannot seem to control. For example, Zach randomly throws his hands behind his head and squeals.

Mom: Do you interact and communicate with each of your Autistic students in different ways? Do you find you have to customize your interaction with each of them individually in order to succeed in reaching them?

Rachel: Absolutely. With Zach, I have to stay a comfortable distance away and speak very clearly and calmly. In order to communicate with Zach well, I have to find ways to get his attention by talking about things he enjoys, like reading.

Matt is sometimes very difficult to interact with. But again, I have to give him his space and speak calmly. It is important to make him feel as calm as possible to avoid an outburst.

With Nick, I just have to be a very good listener and not get too frustrated when he cuts me off or won’t listen to me. He just needs reminded every once in a while that he needs to focus on what I am saying.

Mom: What are some of the specialized learning projects you use to help them with their schoolwork?

Rachel: We do a lot of interactive activities. For example, we will have them talk to someone new each day about what we did the day before, or what we will do the next weekend. This helps them practice their communication skills. We once did an exercise where we each had a partner standing a few feet in front of us, and one partner would begin walking towards the other. When the partner got as close as the other partner was comfortable with, the other partner would put their hand up to tell them to stop. This was to teach them how everyone needs personal space, and some need more than others. We also take walks around the school every day just so that the kids can decompress a bit.

Mom: Have you ever witnessed any incidents where your Autistic students were being teased/bullied, or are the students in your school much more evolved than that?

Rachel: I am pleased to say that I have never seen any of the kids being teased or bullied. The kids at FHS are so kind to them.

Mom: How does your school work to integrate your students into the rest of the student body? Do they get special jobs and assignments to help them feel a sense of responsibility?

Rachel: Best Buddies is a club where students get to do fun activities and outings with the special needs kids. It is amazing the amount of joy that club brings to the kids. They all have responsibilities throughout the school day. They collect recycling, dust lockers, help in the cafeteria, or deliver mail for teachers.

Mom: If you could sum up in a few sentences what makes you love your Autistic students, what would you say?

Rachel: It is hard to sum it up in just a few sentences, because I love them all for different reasons. But the one reason that I love all of them is for how genuine they are. With them, what you see is what you get. They all have such kind hearts. Their innocence and genuine personalities make them impossible not to love.

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Dreamspinner Press, Therese Woodson

Welcome Therese Woodson On The “Clockwork Horizon” Blog Tour And Giveaway


The Novel Approach is thrilled to be hosting Therese Woodson today in the Clockwork Horizon Blog Tour. Read on to see how you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Official Blurb: As a major airship port, Aerial City welcomes visitors from all over the world. Despite being surrounded by new inventions and colorful people, Malachi Covington partakes of little outside his books and studies. He aches for adventure and excitement but labors under the rules and expectations of his wealthy uncle.

Five airships arrive in port, keeping his uncle busy and, as Malachi’s best friend Millie reminds him, they’re carrying parties full of crew members. Excitement finds him in the form of Ian, a charming airship pilot who invites him to tour his ship, the Mockingbird. With Ian at his side, Malachi discovers a world beyond his books and takes daring steps to become his own man.

Clockwork Horizon is my first foray into the steampunk genre, and I’m extremely excited to share it with everyone. When writing and thinking about steampunk, everyone always imagines cool inventions like airships or clockwork trinkets or steam powered vehicles. I do too, and some of the steam mechanics are prevalent in the story. However, as part of the world building in Clockwork Horizon, I focused a lot of time and energy in building the lore surrounding airship crews and families.

My main character, Malachi, is introduced to airship crew culture throughout the story and the reader learns along with him what it means to ‘gain his sky legs,’ and the superstitions around ‘having the sky in your eyes.’ As Malachi works aboard the Mockingbird with Ian, the charming airship pilot who shows Malachi the ropes, he becomes more aware and accepting of the strange phenomenon that is the airship culture. Ian, who is from a large family of airship crew members himself, eases the transition and explains about family talismans, superstitions, and good luck charms and he introduces Malachi to the microcosm that is an airship crew.

To create the airship culture, I drew from old sailing stories and from other media sources, like Moby Dick and Pirates of the Caribbean, then I molded them to fit into the vision I had of the steampunk world of Aerial City. I had a ton of fun doing the research and loved being able to create my very own steampunk world. I hope you all enjoy reading Clockwork Horizon as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Excerpt:

An electric tension rose in the air, a heady sense of attraction building in the scant inches between them. Malachi wanted to reach out and touch, trail his fingers over the soft-looking skin at Ian’s collar, trace the shell of his ear, interlock their fingers. Malachi’s body hummed with it, his skin tingling in the slight breeze, his face flushing with warmth.

“You….” Ian licked his lips. “You really are a sight for a man who has had nothing to look at but his crewmates and the sky for the past three months.”

Malachi straightened from his slouch against the pub. It put him in Ian’s space, something he hadn’t planned but wasn’t sorry for.

“I knew you worked on an airship!”

Ian raised an eyebrow. “I thought it was obvious.”

Malachi winced. “Well, I don’t… I’ve never… I’m not allowed….” He stuttered, curled his hands into fists, and blew out a breath. “I don’t get a chance to meet many people.”

“Really? What do you do, then?”

Malachi nervously licked his lips, and Ian’s steady gaze dropped to his mouth. “I study,” Malachi said. “I read.”

“Books like on the merchant cart? The adventure ones?”

Malachi blushed. “I don’t have much adventure in my life.”

Ian reached out and brushed his fingertips along Malachi’s wrist, and Malachi’s fingers instantly slackened from their defensive curl. He took Malachi’s hand in his, and Malachi snapped his mouth shut. He stared at the sight of Ian’s fingers wrapped around his own, the contrast of tan and calloused against pale and soft. Malachi met Ian’s gaze, and Ian stared at him, amused but fond.

“You don’t have to explain anything to me, Mac,” he said. “But I get the feeling you might like to come see the ship.”

Malachi nodded, giddy with excitement, heart in his throat. “I’d love to.”

Ian twined their fingers. “Good.”

Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Author Bio: Therese Woodson is a wife, mother of two, and writer of stories, who lives in the Blue Ridge mountains. She is an avid reader of all literature. She holds two degrees—one in Psychology and one in English Literature and hopes to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing in the near future. She is a fan of watching bad television shows, superhero movies, and anything sci-fi. She loves creating interesting characters, universes, and plots with happy endings.

Purchase Links: Dreamspinner

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @writer_reese | Blog

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Chris Cox, Self-Published

Welcome Chris Cox And The “When Sean Loves Rusty” Blog Tour And Giveaway



The Novel Approach is pleased to present Chris Cox’s When Sean Loves Rusty Blog Tour. Read on for a little taste of the book and to see how you can enter to win a couple of great prizes!

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944312_179697308889640_891932645_nABOUT THE AUTHOR: In Chris Cox’s stories, men climb steep mountains of emotion and brave treacherous valleys of personal growth on a journey to love. The Bayou Boys series is about deep relationships, about finding yourself as well as your soul mate, and about learning to feel right in your own skin.

Sexy and complex, Chris’ writing delivers the stories that touch readers’ hearts. Born and raised in Louisiana, Chris worked as an electrical engineer before chucking the corporate ladder and becoming a full-time writer. Chris resides in Louisiana, where the gumbo is hot…but the men are hotter. You can check out more about Chris Cox by visiting http://www.chriscoxwrites.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook/chriscoxwrites.com and on Twitter: @ChrisCoxWrites, or on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7313513.Chris_Cox?from_search=true.

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BLURB: Best friends since grade school, lovers since high school, Sean Delahunt and Rusty Duchene thought nothing could ever tear them apart. Then Sean graduates college and his world changes, while Rusty’s stays the same.

Offered a job in Boston, Sean knows asking Rusty to leave New Orleans is a big sacrifice for his soul mate, who has a successful career and supportive family. Abused and rejected by his own family, Sean struggles with self worth and thinks this career opportunity will give him a new life.

Rusty wavers in his trust but takes and chance and agrees to follow him to Boston.

Alone for several weeks in a strange city, Sean is determined to make friends on his own. When Rusty arrives, this new Sean makes him feel insecure. Crushing student loans, being unable to find a job and suspicions about the nature of Sean’s friends strain an already tenuous relationship.

A trip home for the holidays reminds both men of all they’ve left behind and makes them reevaluate what they want in their future.

On the verge of wedding vows, a career crisis threatens to bring their lives back full circle.

Money, moves and men…will this longtime love last forever or will life in the big city destroy their young love?

Buy Now:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ljtly9o
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/kvxn2xg
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/md5j7rv
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/lr6j3xg

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EXCERPT:

Was this it? Was this the end of them?

No. It couldn’t be.

Sean bit his knuckles using the pain to clear his tears. “I have loved you since the first time you scooted over to let me sit with you at lunch. Do you remember, Rusty?”

Please, remember, Rusty. Please remember who we’ve always been to each other. Who we are to each other. Please be my lover. My love. My soulmate. My completeness.

Magnificent in his nakedness, Rusty nodded once. His dark curls tracked down the nape of his neck. Sean knew that whispering kisses right there, right where that bottom curl rested, drove Rusty wild.

“I was the new kid and nobody would let me sit with them. But you did. You pushed Toby McClellan off his chair and told me to sit.”

Rusty’s shoulder blades tightened. “You looked so sad. So lost. But you had this look in your eye, like you dared anyone to pity you.”

“So you did.”

“No. I didn’t pity you. I admired you. I admired your courage. Your bravado.” Rusty hugged himself.

Sean wanted to go to him. To wrap his arms around the boy who always included him, to the man who always comforted him.

Instead, he squeezed the pillow tighter and willed Rusty to turn around. If he would just turn around.

“Bravado. It was all bluff. I was scared shitless. Every time we moved, I was scared shitless.”

“What were you afraid of?”

“Of being alone.”

“Is that why you’re with me?” Rusty unfolded his arms and scrubbed both hands through his curls. “No, of course not. You would never have to be alone if you didn’t want to be. With the way you look, with the way you are, you’d just have to give a guy one of those sideways looks and he’d follow you anywhere.”

“No, Rusty. No. They wouldn’t. I wouldn’t.”

“You did. You said you really wanted to go to Boston.” Rusty turned around. The tears streaking his face broke Sean’s heart. “And I said I would follow you anywhere.”

“And now you don’t want to.”

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THE GIVEAWAY:

US ONLY: Bayou Gift Basket (Everything Cajun)

International: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card


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Joy Lynn Fielding, Siren Publishing

Joy Lynn Fielding Drops By Today On The “Shifting Sands” Blog Tour, And There’s A Giveaway!



TNA: Hi, Joy Lynn, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things we might not know about you but should?

Joy Lynn: Hi, and thanks so much for having me. I live near Oxford in the UK, where I indulge my passions for M/M romance, military aviation history, gardening, and horseriding, though not all at the same time.

TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance, or is that something that came along later in your writing career? What is it that drew you into wanting to explore gay relationships in your writing?

Joy Lynn: I started out writing M/F romance, though never got as far as thinking about publication for any of my stories. Some years ago I discovered gay romance and have written it exclusively ever since.

As for why….the truth is that I don’t know why I choose M/M over other genres. It’s like my love for daily mugs of coffee and the fact that I enjoy a cup of tea perhaps once every four years. I don’t know why I prefer one to the other; I just know that I do.

TNA: What was your first published M/M title? Do you remember the precise moment you came up with the story idea and knew you wouldn’t rest until it was told? What was that moment of inspiration like?

Joy Lynn: My first book was a M/M/M menage, Changing Gear. I’m not sure where the idea came from in the first place, but I do remember being very excited at the prospect of untangling the intricate relationships between three men, none of whom would actually talk to one another.

TNA: If you could go back in time, to the moment you sat down and began writing that first book, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself now that you have the benefit of experience?

Joy Lynn: Use speech recognition software! Don’t wait until your hands start hurting. More substantively, I’d want to save my editor the trauma she went through by pointing out to myself that convoluted sentence structures help no-one.

TNA: Do you remember the first M/M book you ever read? If so, what was it, and what about it made the most lasting impression upon you?

Joy Lynn: It was E. M. Forster’s Maurice, long before I knew there was such a thing as an M/M genre. Despite the ultimate triumph of love and hope, I came away feeling terrible sadness and anger at the prevailing attitudes towards homosexuality portrayed in the book and with a fresh resolve to do what I could to counter such attitudes.

TNA: How would you describe your books to someone who hasn’t read them yet? Do your characters share common qualities? If so, what’s your idea of a great protagonist?

Joy Lynn: One thing a number of readers have mentioned is that my books tend to be quite angsty, though there’s always a happy ending. Another theme I’ve noticed coming through is that romantic love isn’t the only important kind of love in our lives.

As for common qualities, I’d say most of my characters are damaged in some way and some are quite good at deceiving themselves about their feelings and/or motivations. But then a character like Tristan shows up, well-adjusted and clear-sighted, and blows that theory out of the water!

My idea of a great protagonist is one the reader can root for.

TNA: You’re here with us today promoting your latest release, Shifting Sands, book four in the Strength of the Pack series. Tell us a little bit about your shifters and what makes them and their world unique.

Joy Lynn: The series is set in a world that’s almost exactly like our own, with the difference that shifters have been known to exist from ancient times. It’s now thought they’re the result of genetic differences rather than any more mystical reason. In modern-day USA, they’ve only been granted equal rights within the last few decades, and there’s still mistrust between shifters and non-shifters as a result. That uneasiness has particular resonance for this book as the shifter politicians disagree with one another about whether or not they should integrate into non-shifter society.

TNA: Do you have the series planned out to a set number of books, or will you continue to write in this world until you run out of stories and characters to write about?

Joy Lynn: So long as the characters co-operate with me, I intend the series to have six books. I’m currently working on book five.

TNA: If you were to describe your MCs in a few sentences, what would you say about them, what are a few things about them that make up the core of who they are?

Joy Lynn: I think they’re all fundamentally decent people. There’s a courage at the heart of each of them that enables them to keep going and not give up, even if sometimes it takes a metaphorical boot up the ass from someone else to get them there.

TNA: What would you say are some of the things that attract you the most to writing paranormal romance?

Joy Lynn: This series is the first time I’ve written paranormal romance and I’ve loved the freedom it’s given me to set it in the contemporary world but to go slightly AU – exploring the ramifications that follow from just one little change in how things actually are. Also, and I don’t whether it’s just my shifters or if this is true in general, they do seem to attract an awful lot of drama, which is great fun to write!

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Shifting Sands with us?

Joy Lynn: Thank you—I would. :) This is Tom and Bryce’s first meeting:

BLURB: The visit to Elk Ridge is just another assignment for Tom Barrington. Then he encounters Bryce Reynolds, a generous, warm-hearted cowboy who has the easiest smile he’s ever seen. It doesn’t take long for Tom to break all his rules and end up in Bryce’s bed.

Bryce Reynolds believes there’s no such thing as a hot politician, right up until he meets Tom Barrington. Tall, dark, and principled, Tom overturns all of Bryce’s prejudices, and Bryce starts to forget that he doesn’t do serious and he doesn’t do commitment.

As Bryce and Tom struggle to make sense of what’s happening between them, they’re drawn into a political battle—one which could affect the future of every shifter. And when long-buried secrets start coming to light, things turn deadly. Nothing will ever be the same again for the Elk Ridge pack.

Available at Siren Bookstrand

Bryce pushed open the door, prepared for another snotty pen pusher like Taylor Cufflinks the Third, or whatever his stupid name had been. Because of that, it took him a moment to process that he was seeing what he thought he was seeing and that he hadn’t found himself in the middle of a really good dream. Except if it was a dream, presumably this guy would already be naked rather than pouring himself a cup of coffee while dressed in a crisp white shirt, open at the neck, and gray slacks that should have been illegal given the way they clung to the curves of a frankly spectacular ass.

If Tom Barrington was a pen pusher, it was a pretty heavy pen he pushed on a regular basis, because those were definite muscles betrayed by the fit of his shirt. His hair was dark and just a little wavy, his cheekbones were sharply defined beneath flawless skin, and there was the suspicion of a five-o’clock shadow on his jaw, which somehow emphasized just how strong that jawline was.

Bryce was still staring when Tom looked up and gestured with the mug he was holding. “Hope you don’t mind,” he said, then paused.

Bryce was aware that he was being studied in return and stood a little taller, opening himself up for inspection by rich brown eyes. It seemed Tom liked what he saw, because he looked for longer than was strictly polite. Bryce grinned at him when his eyes returned to Bryce’s face, and Tom suddenly looked away, biting his lip slightly as if he’d been caught doing something he shouldn’t have been. Even that didn’t stop him sending another look sideways at Bryce, and the combination of that with the way his teeth were sinking into his plump lower lip had Bryce’s stomach tightening with arousal. This security check might be a hell of a lot more pleasurable than he’d figured. And he was not thinking about Tom Barrington and body searches in the same breath, because that wasn’t helping things settle down in the least.

“Sorry to have kept you,” he said, and sat down at the table. “I figured you’d be another twelve-year-old.”

Tom stared at him, and then he grinned. It was a really good look on him. “I forgot—you had Bressingham visit you, didn’t you?”

“I wondered if it was ‘take your son to work day’ but mom or dad got lost en route,” Bryce said.

“He’s one of Cheung’s protégés,” Tom said, sitting down opposite Bryce. “He’s got potential, apparently.”

“Or a daddy with deep pockets to contribute to a re-election campaign,” Bryce said, and pushed the sugar bowl across the table. Tom nodded in thanks and took a spoonful.

“So what do you need to know?” Bryce asked, all business again. The thought that the sooner they got business done, the sooner they might get to other things was not in his mind at all. No way.

TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?

Joy Lynn: At the moment, I would pick out Red Moon Rising, book three in this series, because, amid all the drama, the heart of the story is about a guy who just won’t give up. He keeps going no matter what life does to him, and I admire that in him enormously. I’m also fond of A Gilded Cage, which is an erotic historical set in 1790s Venice. I really enjoyed playing with more formal language and customs—and then of course there are the breeches. Breeches are always a good thing!

TNA: If you could bring one of your characters off the page and into the real world, whom would you most like to spend time with, and what makes him/her someone you think you could be friends with?

Joy Lynn: Oh, what a difficult question! Perry from the Masquerade series is an absolute sweetheart and I think we could easily be besties if only I could tear him away from Jack for long enough. And then there’s Tom from Shifting Sands; he’s sincere, a good conversationalist, and he’s well-mannered enough to mow the lawn if I asked him to. But I’d probably get on best of all with Sam from the Elk Ridge diner. I think she’d be a loyal, true friend and a great person with whom to share a bottle of wine and gossip about the Elk Ridge pack!

TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Joy Lynn: A power that got all my housework done with the click of my fingers. It may not be an official superpower, but it should be. Because it’s housework.

TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?

Joy Lynn: I’m currently working on the next book in the Strength of the Pack series, which is the story of the trip that Christian and Dave take during Shifting Sands. It’s turned out differently from how I envisaged, primarily because Christian decided he’d like to join an illegal cage-fighting ring. And then he refused to co-operate with the rest of the book unless I let him.

TNA: And finally, would you kindly share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?

Joy Lynn: Of course – I always love hearing from people!

Blog: http://joyfielding.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joylynn.fielding
Email: joy.fielding01@gmail.com

Thanks again for having me on your blog today.

TNA: Thanks so much for being here, Joy Lynn, it was our pleasure! :)

Author Bio: Joy Lynn Fielding is a sucker for happy endings. She believes, however, that if characters don’t suffer along the way, they won’t fully appreciate being happy. Not all of her characters thank her for
this viewpoint, but what do they know?

Joy lives in a small English market town, but also inhabits a number of fictional worlds at any one time, reflecting what she’s writing and what she’s reading. She has a tendency to share enthusiastically with anyone who will listen to the latest fascinating facts she’s stumbled across in her research for books. Thankfully she has a very patient Labrador, who has a gift for looking as though he’s interested in what she’s saying while he waits for the food to arrive.

THE GIVEAWAY:

A $10 Amazon Gift Card

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Anyta Sunday, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Anyta Sunday Brings “Liam Davis and the Raven” Calling, And There’s A Giveaway



The Novel Approach is pleased to be a part of Anyta Sunday’s virtual blog tour for her latest novel Liam Davis and the Raven. Read on to learn a little bit about Anyta, the book, and register for your chance to win some great prizes!

Author Bio: A born and raised New Zealander, Anyta Sunday has been exploring the literary world since she start reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Inspired, stories have been piling up in her head ever since. Fast forward to her mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), and she started putting pen to paper. When she’s not writing or chasing her kid around, she’s reading, hiking, watching Joss Whedon series, attempting Pilates or curling up with her two cats. Updates on her projects can be found at anytasunday.com.

Author’s Web Page: http://www.anytasunday.com
Author’s Book Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liamdavisraven
Author’s Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anyta-Sunday/251386378229403

Acknowledgements: Caroline Wimmer (http://streiflicht-fotografie.de/?project=book-cover-art-anyta-sunday&lang=en) for the amazing cover art! I love how this so wonderfully captures the tone of the book and its setting.

Teresa Crawford for developing the story and discussing how best to shape the direction of the novel.

Lynda Lamb for keeping me sane while I took so long to get this one ready, and then for going through and catching all my nasty spelling and formatting errors.


HJS Editing (http://www.hjseditingservices.com/) for such wonderful and thorough copyediting and making my characters actually sound American.


“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” ― Benjamin Franklin


Title: Liam Davis & the Raven

Author: Anyta Sunday

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

Rating: 4.25 Stars

Blurb: Liam Davis is a serious journalist, and he’s good at it.
Continue reading

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Chris O'Guinn, Lightbane Publications

Chris O’Guinn Is With Us Today To Discuss His YA Sci-Novel “Hybrids: Arrival”, And There’s A Giveaway



TNA: Hi, Chris, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things we might not know about you but should?

Chris: Hello and thanks for having me stop by!

Let’s see, stuff about me you might not know but should…. I live a pretty open life. Most anything anyone wants to know about me can be found somewhere on line. I’m in my 40’s (not sure how that happened), I’m bisexual, I was married to a wonderful woman whom I loved until the day she died and whom I still miss. I am now in a great relationship with a guy who supports this crazy writing dream of mine. I love cats and have way too many of them. I write for the gay entertainment website TheBacklot.com, recapping shows like Arrow and Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for them. When I’m not writing or reading, I tend to be remodeling my house.

TNA: What was your first published book? Do you remember the precise moment you came up with the story idea and knew you wouldn’t rest until it was told? Did you tell anyone about it, or keep it close to the vest?

Chris: Exiled to Iowa. Send Help. And Couture was the first book I put out there for sale. Had read a lot (a lot) of gay YA and I sort of felt that the more effeminate gay boys had been left out of the genre. I was later informed that this was because effeminate gay men are sort of considered an offensive stereotype, but I don’t really accept that argument. Such men do exist and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The gay community has a nasty habit of shunning such men, though, which is a rant for another time.

Anyway, I myself had moved from the bustling (re: insane) Los Angeles area to a much smaller town. I had the idea of what it would be like for a teenager to be plucked out of the hip, exciting world of L.A. and dropped into a quiet Midwestern town. And so Collin was born. I instantly saw him glaring up at the house he had been moved to and it all came together.

I tend to not share stories until they are at least through the first draft. I worry that if they aren’t well-received, I’ll give up on the idea before it really has had a chance to prove itself. Once I have a draft done, I’ll walk back and forth over burning coals to get the book finished. Which more or less describes the process of bringing Arrival to the world.

TNA: If you could go back in time, to the moment you sat down and began writing that first book, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself now that you have the benefit of experience?

Chris: The biggest problem I have as a writer is getting obsessed with a particular story component. I have been getting better about it, with the help of a great editor and my partner. But it’s hard to tell sometimes if I’m just being stubborn or if there is a really good reason for hanging onto something I ought to just scrap.

I got really hyper focused on the framework I had for the story, which was a school play that Collin was putting on. Initially, it was the backdrop that let the story work. But what the story should have been about was the relationship between Collin and his boyfriend.

But I’m still pretty happy with the book and I’ve received some really great, really heartwarming feedback from people. As long as a book I write touches some people, that’s really all I can ask.

TNA: Who are some authors that inspire you? What is it about their writing that leaves you in awe?

Chris: My two favorite YA authors are Brent Hartinger (whom I have come to count as a friend) and Alex Sanchez.

What Brent does that is something I find too hard to do to my characters is he lets them screw up bad. Russell Middlebrook, the star of his Geography Club series, really messes up and people get hurt. It’s not that he’s a bad kid—not at all. He’s just young and trying to figure stuff out and so naturally, he makes mistakes.

I try to do that, but I back off before I get in too deep. It’s one of those things I work on, trying to find a balance.

Sanchez writes wonderfully true and honest teenage characters. His book, Getting It is one of my favorite YA books of all time. It’s hard as heck to tell a story about teenagers and make it engaging and realistic and enjoyable. But he makes his characters wonderfully real and vivid.

Other authors I really admire include Eli Easton, who writes brilliant and original gay romance that somehow does “gay for you” in a way I can believe, and R. Cooper, who writes great paranormal romances in a rich world she has built.

TNA: How would you describe your books to someone who hasn’t read them yet? Do your characters share common qualities? What’s your idea of a great protagonist?

Chris: A good friend and fan said I had this pattern of taking two outsiders/losers and bringing them together to make their lives a little less terrible. And while I can’t actually disagree with that assessment, I will say it wasn’t intentional.

I just sort of feel that the nerds and jocks are fairly well covered by other authors. And my memory of high school is that there are a lot of other cliques and tropes. I like to write about those people who don’t really fit in anywhere. The outsider is a character archetype everyone can relate to.

To me, the best protagonists do what is right even when it’s hard. Collin stood up for Austin, even at the risk of his own popularity (which, as I said, should have been the crux of the story but oh well) and Justin’s whole journey in Fearless was about learning to make the brave but hard choices.

TNA: You write Young Adult/Coming-of-Age stories, featuring gay teens from different walks of life. What is it about that particular point in a young man’s life that inspires you to craft stories around it, and why do you think your work also appeals to an adult audience?

Chris: Laziness on my part. No, I kid. Well, mostly. The second half of the teen years is a very complicated time in a person’s life. You’re no longer a child, but you’re not quite an adult. You are navigating hormones, the maze of social interactions and all the while trying to figure what sort of human you are going to be and what you are going to do with your life.

It’s a gold mine of story potential. Everything at that age is just so crucial, so important. The hurts hurt more, the victories are ten times sweeter.

As a fan of YA and someone with friends who also like YA, it’s my feeling that we never quite get over those high school years. We long to revisit those days of first kisses, first crushes, first heartbreaks. A good YA story will take you back to your own teen years.

TNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your new novel Hybrids: Arrival, which is your journey into YA sci-fi. How much fun did you have creating Joaquin, Thrace, and all the action and adventure they get into? What was the most difficult part of creating a character from an entirely different world?

Chris: Joaquin is easily the toughest protagonist I’ve ever made. I actually went through a couple of permutations with him—he was named Zac at one point. It’s easy for me to write a smart-mouth like Collin or even a cynical, sarcastic guy like Justin. I decided I just didn’t want to repeat myself like that with Joaquin.

That’s not to say he can’t be funny. He can. But he’s a very serious sort of young man. That’s mostly due to the fact that his father died in Afghanistan, which has made him sort of angry at the world. Once I decided that was the character I was going with, I made myself own it. I refused to minimize or trivialize his experience because I know there are all too many kids out there dealing with that sort of grief.

Thrace also went through a revamp. Initially, he was very responsible and heroic and utterly boring. No, really, he was the square-jawed hero that can be admired but no one cares to learn about.

Once I hit upon the idea of making him the smart-mouth, then it got fun. Instead of going with the usual sarcasm that my characters are known for, I made Thrace sort of an air-headed, relentlessly cheerful guy who is just happy to be having an adventure. He’s never been unhappy, so he has no coping mechanisms for that, which will be a problem for him as the story progresses….

It’s really hard to make an alien culture that is actually alien and yet still understandable and one that hasn’t been seen before. I don’t know if I succeeded, there’s so much Sci Fi out there I could never read it all. But I really like the Thaetauri. They’re a very orderly society, very duty-bound and honorable. But there is a cold pragmatism to them that makes them dangerous.

TNA: If you were to sum up Joaquin and Thrace in just a few sentences, what would you tell us about them to help us know and understand them a bit better, without giving away too many of their secrets?

Chris: Joaquin is a loyal friend and a good guy. He’s the sort of friend who would drop whatever he was doing to come and help you out. He’s been wounded by the loss of his father, whom he idolized. He’s angry at the world, but that won’t keep him from risking everything to save it.

Thrace is innocent. He grew up in a virtual reality world where nothing bad ever happened and anything he wanted he could have. He believes completely in the nobility of his people. But secretly he really admires humans and feels a protective affection for them.

TNA: What are some of the central themes of the story? Is there a moral to it that you hope readers take away from it?

Chris: The relationship between fathers and sons is definitely central to the story. It’s what guides Thrace and Joaquin’s actions. And it is what binds them together.

The different kinds of courage would be another theme. Thrace is pretty much bullet proof. It doesn’t take courage for him to square off against a band of soldiers. It does take courage for him to open his eyes and face the truth about what his people are doing on Earth.

And Joaquin and his friends don’t have powers or even weapons. But they learn to do what is right even when it’s scary. It’s a fun theme to explore.

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Arrival with us?

Chris: Of course I would. This is one of my favorite scenes. It takes place after Joaquin and Thrace have already met and Thrace left to finish his mission, leaving Joaquin to think he would never see the alien again. I think it’s a great example of their dynamic.

Upon entering his house, he heard rattling noises from the kitchen. Since he knew his mother was at work, he assumed a possum had gotten in again. That was not good. They sometimes slipped in through a loose screen when they smelled something appetizing in the garbage that Joaquin had forgotten to take out. When that happened, he got an earful from his mother.

He sighed and headed for the kitchen, dreading the mess he would have to clean up more than the critter he would have to wrangle. Once terrified into “playing possum,” the little nuisances could easily be taken outside. The disaster left behind would be nasty, though. It would make the whole house reek.

Instead of an unwelcome furry miscreant, though, it was a tall, blond and familiar figure raiding his fridge. He wore only a pair of Joaquin’s sweats, which left visible a host of burns and cuts on his broad back. It took Joaquin a moment to find his voice.

“Thrace?”

The ELF pulled his head out of the fridge and grinned around a Twinkie he had stuffed in his mouth. His blond curls were damp from a shower he had apparently taken. In spite of his impish gaze, he looked battered and worn.

“Srfm, mmf!” He finished his Twinkie. “Sorry, you know that regenerating makes me ravenous.”

Joaquin looked around at the kitchen. Empty boxes of crackers, pudding cup containers and candy bar wrappers were strewn about. Thrace had gone through the cupboards like a plague of locusts, devouring everything in sight. By comparison, a possum invasion would have been neater.

“I’m happy to see you, but this is not a good idea,” Joaquin said. “The government might be watching me now, and if they saw you fly into my yard—”

Thrace worked open a jar of peanut butter. “They aren’t looking for me anymore.”

“How do you know?”

“They think I’m dead.”

Joaquin frowned and then took the peanut butter away from him. Thrace pouted, which was sort of cute. “Sit and tell me what happened while I fix you some real food.”

The ELF beamed afresh and sat on a nearby stool. “Okay. Well, I was halfway to Denver when your people sent some aircraft to intercept me.” He let out one of those dry coughs, so Joaquin got him a bottle of water.

While he chugged that down, Joaquin whipped together some pancakes. “Uh huh.”

“Well, I didn’t want to hurt them, but they were very persistent. I finally had to disable their craft. Don’t worry, I made sure the pilots got out alive. I got all but one. He was clever, I have to admit. I couldn’t shake him. Then I got careless and he hit me with a missile.”

Joaquin gave him a suspicious look. “Is this one of your weird jokes?”

“No….” Thrace looked abashed. “It was a really good shot.”

Joaquin laughed softly. “Well, you did crash to Earth like a meteor, so I guess a missile would be nothing to you.”

“It stung,” Thrace said. “But not as much as when I crashed into the mountain. I was out for a few hours. So, I’m pretty sure your government thinks I’m dead.”

“It’s not just my government that’s after you.”

“Who else?”

“All of them, I think.”

Joaquin served up a stack of pancakes and then began cutting up mangos and strawberries for a smoothie. He knew from his weight-training days how to curb a serious hunger.

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Wow….” Thrace sniffed the pancakes and then took a bite. His golden eyes lit up in excitement. “These are wonderful! What are they called?”

Joaquin watched him wolf them down, unable to keep himself from smiling in amusement. “Pancakes,” he said.

Kwith.”

“Kwith?” Joaquin asked.

“It’s kind of … um … I guess it’s kind of like ‘cool.’ It’s a word in my language to describe a type of air that is fun to fly through because it lets you go really fast.”

“Oh.” Joaquin smiled. “Kwith.

Thrace beamed at him around a mouthful.

“I’m guessing you don’t know how to cook, since you couldn’t even figure out how to work the microwave.”

He nodded towards a stack of frozen foods lying open on the counter. They looked like they had been the victim of a bear attack. Frozen vegetables lay forlornly amidst the wreckage of plastic trays and shattered Salisbury steaks.

Thrace’s ears went pink. “I wasn’t sure which device was the microwave.”

“What do your people use to make food?”

“We have automatons for that sort of thing. I don’t know what all they do.”

“Huh, okay. So, how did you get back here?”

“Oh, well, I realized that I couldn’t fly anymore. So I borrowed one of those land vehicles your people use.”

“Borrowed? You stole a car?”

“No, I only borrowed it. Why? Is that bad?”

Joaquin let out a groan. “Only slightly. People really don’t like their cars being taken, dude.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

“You can’t figure out a microwave but you can drive a car?”

“I did run into a few things. But eventually, I got it right. I couldn’t figure out how to get to Denver on land, so I decided to come back here instead.”

Joaquin sighed heavily. “So, you wrecked several military planes, got shot down, stole and wrecked someone’s car and then decided to pay me a visit?”

Thrace gave him a pleading look. “I need your help.”

Joaquin felt a strange combination of excitement and panic at that admission. “Really?”

Helping Thrace had been an impulse born of the thrill of meeting an extraterrestrial. Since then, he had been rousted by mysterious commandos and threatened by Lyons. That was enough to give him pause. There was also the fact that Thrace, however inadvertently it had been, was responsible for a swath of destruction all over New Mexico.

TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?

Chris: Fearless remains my favorite. Like naming your favorite child, you tend to like the one who is the easiest to deal with, am I right? Fearless was incredibly easy to write. Even when I had to do a little rewrite, it only took a week or two.

Beyond that, I am incredibly proud of it for being a story about friendship and for being an unflinching tale about how life just isn’t always fair but even still, you can find hope and joy.

TNA: If you could bring one of your characters off the page and into the real world, whom would you most like to spend time with, and what makes him/her someone you think you could be friends with?

Chris: That’s a tough one, especially since we’re talking about teenagers who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone so impossibly old as me.

Now, when I was a teenager, it would be great if I had had a friend like Liam to smack me up the backside of the head and stop being so dumb. But then, I think a lot of people could use a Liam to help them learn to face life head on.

TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?

Chris: I’m working on Hybrids: Conversion. It’s a little hard to talk about without spoiling Arrival, but I’ll give it a try.

Joaquin and his friends discover that the Thaetauri have not given up their plans and so they have to try to stop it. It’s going to reveal more of the backstory of the Thaetauri activities on Earth. And it’s going to force Joaquin to make a very difficult choice.

I’m also working on my adult romances, which I write under D. River. I have a sequel to my shifter book Love Bites which is way behind schedule thanks to Arrival being such a challenge.

TNA: And finally, would you kindly share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?

Chris: You can follow my Facebook page for updates on my PG 13 YA work

You can go to http://lightbane.com/hybrids.html to get more info on Arrival.

Lightbane.com has all the info on all my work.

I have a Goodreads author account.

And you can always email me with thoughts, questions or feedback. I love to hear from people. c.oguinn@lightbane.com

TNA: Many thanks to Chris for taking the time to answer some questions and for sharing an excerpt from Hybrids: Arrival.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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JL Merrow, Samhain Publishing

This Is No Joke, We’ve Got JL Merrow With Us Today, And There’s A Giveaway


Ever Decreasing Circles


Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the Relief Valve blog tour.

Giveaway: I’m offering a free signed paperback copy of 2013 Rainbow Award winning romantic comedy Slam! (I’m happy to ship internationally) to a randomly chosen commenter on the tour, plus a $10 Amazon gift certificate!

I’ll be making the draw around teatime on Monday 7th April, GMT. Good luck! :D

Writers’ circles, or writers’ groups. For the uninitiated, these are organizations where writers can go for mutual support, friendly criticism, and advice.

Well, that’s the theory, anyway. The trouble is, and despite all indications to the contrary, writers are people. Human beings, with their infinite capacity for clique-iness, spite, jealousy and petty bickering.

I was very lucky, when I joined my current writers’ circle, to find a group who really are supportive, broadminded and constructive.

A big part of the activities of a writers’ circle, for the uninitiated, is giving criticism on members’ writing. Some groups do it by handing out printed copies. But there are advantages to having the writer read their work out aloud. For one thing, it makes any impossibly long sentences or unintentional alliteration glaringly obvious. For another, it’s a lot harder to kid yourself that a piece is “good enough” to be submitted to a publisher if you find yourself shying away from taking it along to read out on manuscripts night.

The first time a writer—probably, at this point, not yet published—gets up and reads his or her work in front of a group of expectant strangers can be incredibly nerve-wracking.

Which is why it’s so important to find a group that’s right for you. All circles are not created equal; one writer I know reported having been asked to leave the first writers’ group she tried because her proudly read-out work included swear words!

Phil, in Relief Valve, has one or two preconceptions about writers’ circles:

“just a bunch of old women sitting around drinking tea and writing stories about their cats.”

and

“You don’t go to these things to write. You go there to talk crap about writing.” He smirked. “So like I said, you’ll be a natural.”

“What, at talking crap? Love you too, you bastard.” – Relief Valve

Unfortunately for Tom, when he attends a meeting of the Lea Valley Literati to try to find out if any of them are responsible for poisoning his sister, he finds they’re even worse!

Or as LVL member Hannah puts it:

“sometimes I think we get just a little bit pretentious here.”

She’s not wrong. Fortunately for me, the writers’ circle I attend is nothing at all like the ones described in the book.*

*Well, except the bit about the gavel. That’s totally true! ;)

***

Question: I’ve been lucky with my writers’ group. I wasn’t so lucky with a support group I attended in university that was supposed to help us reduce our stress levels around exam time—with a bunch of highly competitive personalities thrown together, it ended up having the opposite effect to that intended!

Do you have experience of any sort of support group? Were they, in fact, supportive—or totally counterproductive?

***

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.

She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: http://www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

***

If you dig up the past, be prepared to get dirty

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing since plumber Tom Paretski and P.I. Phil Morrison became connected at the heart, if not always at Tom’s dodgy hip. Neither of their families has been shy about voicing their disapproval, which hasn’t helped Tom’s uneasy relationship with his prickly older sister, Cherry.

But when Cherry is poisoned at her own engagement party, the horror of her near death has Tom’s head spinning with possible culprits. Is it her fiancé Gregory, a cathedral canon with an unfortunate manner and an alarming taste for taxidermy? Someone from her old writers’ circle, which she left after a row? Or could the attack be connected to her work as a barrister?

Phil is just as desperate to solve the case before someone ends up dead—and he fears it could be Tom. At least one of their suspects has a dark secret to hide, which makes Tom’s sixth sense for finding things like a target painted on his back…

Warning: Contains a strong, silent, macho PI; a cheeky, chirpy, cat-owning plumber; and a gag gift from beyond the grave that’ll put the cat firmly among the pigeons.

Now available in ebook: Samhain Publishing | Amazon.com |Amazon.co.uk

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Abigail Roux, Riptide Publishing

Abigail Roux Stops In For A Visit And A Ball & Chain/Ty And Zane Giveaway!



TNA: We’re thrilled to have Abigail Roux here with us at The Novel Approach today, on the Ball & Chain Blog Tour. Thanks for being here, Abigail!

Abigail: Welcome to the Ball & Chain virtual tour! If you’re following along, you’ll be able to win yourself some goodies that might just save your life! I’ve got five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with you to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups for the less adventurous readers!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing to win one of five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can or one of five sets of trading cards with original artwork. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 1 , and winners will be announced on April 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.

TNA: Let’s start off with an easy question: have you always written gay fiction, or is that something that came along later in your writing career? What drew you to write stories featuring male love interests?

Abigail: I always wrote stories with male protagonists, I just didn’t write romance. I stumbled over what was still being referred to as slash fanfiction way back when, and I felt stupid that the idea had never occurred to me that I could write it. I’ve stuck to it ever sense.

TNA: Do you have a favorite author(s)? Is there any one author you’d say inspired you to write? If so, who was it?

Abigail: Elizabeth Peters. She wrote the Amelia Peabody series, and I devoured them in high school and college. It was the first time I could see myself doing what she had done, creating worlds like she was able to. Those books planted the seed that maybe I could do that too. She passed away last year. I was heartbroken when I heard.

TNA: Now let’s talk about Ty and Zane, because let’s face it, that’s why you’re here. Do you remember the moment you came up with the concept for these characters, and have they followed the path you’d originally seen them going down? If not, how has their story differed from the way you saw it going from the start?

Abigail: I remember sitting and talking with Madeleine, trying to figure out what to write next. We were hopping from one idea to the other, because we were both struggling with writer’s block and trying to rekindle something. She said ‘how about law enforcement’ and we started writing. The original path, while still sort of in sight, has been changed by necessity and the fact that I’m writing solo now.

TNA: Do you have a set ending to their story? Have you got this series plotted out all the way to the end, or will you just keep writing until you run out of things to write about for them? If you’ve already plotted to The End, how many more books can we expect?

Abigail: 9 Cut & Run books was always the plan. I know how the story ends, but I haven’t quite figured out how to end Ty and Zane in a way that everyone will be pleased. I’m stressing over it.

TNA: Touch & Geaux caused quite a stir in the Ty/Zane universe. Were you surprised by the strong and mixed reactions you got from readers after some of the events that unfolded in the book, or were you prepared for it? Really, as an author, how do you prepare for something like that? And what made you want to stir things up that much?

Abigail: I was prepared. I knew Touch & Geaux would illicit some strong emotions, and it was supposed to. It wasn’t a desire to stir things up so much as remind the characters of what was at stake.

TNA: Just to give readers a heads-up, yes or no, will there be any more big surprises in Ball & Chain we should prepare ourselves for?

Abigail: There will always be surprises, both good and bad.

TNA: When you came up with the concept of the Cut & Run series, did you foresee the Sidewinder spinoff, or was that something that came up only when you got to this point in the series? How many Sidewinder books do you have planned?

Abigail: The Sidewinder Series was a complete surprise to me. In the original plans, the Sidewinder guys all got killed off, so I had no intention of telling their stories outside of the Cut & Run series. I was playing around with the idea of writing some of the adventures pre-Zane, and then after Touch & Geaux, Nick and Kelly became a couple, and it worked so well I had to run with it. Because of the more episodic nature of the Sidewinder books, I’m not sure how many there will be.

TNA: Will Julian Cross and Cameron Jacobs be showing up again in the series? Had you always planned on them doing a crossover into Cut & Run, or was that simply a moment of divine inspiration?

Abigail: Crossing them over in Armed & Dangerous was not planned; it just sort of hit me as something new and fun to try. They will be reappearing!

TNA: Will Julian and Cam be getting another book of their own any time soon? If so, when?

Abigail: Probably not. Their love story was finished in Warrior’s Cross.

TNA: I know this is like being asked to choose your favorite child, but come on, I have to ask. Who’s your favorite, Ty or Zane? Why?

Abigail: My favorite will always be Ty. He was my character first, and there’s a lot of me in him.

TNA: Would you say you and Ty share the same sense of humor? Do you come up with his t-shirts, or are they ones you’ve seen and thought, man, I need to use that one in the next book?

Abigail: A little of both. Some of them I came up with, and others are ones I’ve seen around and thought were hilarious or would fit Ty’s personality. I’m sad to say Ty doesn’t get a chance to wear any of his T-shirts in Ball & Chain.

TNA: If you could bring any of your characters from the page to the real world, which would you most want to hang out with, and why?

Abigail: Probably Kelly. He seems mentally stable and fun. I don’t think any of the other characters can claim both attributes.

TNA: What are you working on now, care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?

Abigail: Right now I’m working on the 3rd Sidewinder book, Lost & Found. It’s a completely different format than any of the other books.

TNA: Thanks again for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Abigail. It’s been great having you with us.

Abigail: Thank you for having me! If you care to follow me more closely, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr!

Blurb: Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, A.J. Corza, Abigail Roux, Anyta Sunday, Chris Cox, Chris O'Guinn, Cover Reveal, GotYouCovrd, Jaime Reese, JC Wallace, JL Merrow, Joy Lynn Fielding, Julie Lynn Hayes, LE Franks, RainbowCon, RJ Scott, Therese Woodson

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week



Greetings, everyone, we hope you’ve had a quiet and relaxing weekend. We’ve got another great week ahead, filled with author visits, interviews, giveaways, and reviews, so go ahead and take a gander at what’s on tap!

MondayAbigail Roux is our guest today on the Ball & Chain Blog Tour. She’s answered a few interview questions about herself, Ty, Zane, and the gang, so be sure to check it out

TuesdayJL Merrow arrives on the Relief Valve Blog Tour, and she’s bringing along a giveaway

Jaime Reese also pops in with a Cover Reveal of, and excerpt from, her upcoming release A Hunted Man, Book Two in The Men of Halfway House series

Wednesday – Author Chris O’Guinn’s arrival is imminent on his Hybrids: Arrival Blog Tour. We’ve got an Interview and Giveaway for his visit

Anyta Sunday is also our guest today on her Liam Davis and the Raven Blog Tour and Giveaway

And, A.J. Corza’s back with another great installment of Got You Covered

ThursdayJoy Lynn Fielding is our guest on her Shifting Sands Blog Tour, and we’ve got a great interview lined up for you

FridayChris Cox drops by on the When Sean Loves Rusty Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway

Therese Woodson will also be our guest on the Clockwork Horizon Blog Tour, which includes a giveaway of an e-copy of the book

SaturdayLE Franks is our guest as we continue on with the RainbowCon Celebration fun

Julie Lynn Hayes will also be along with a guest post on her Yes, He’s My Ex Blog Tour

Sunday – Finally, last but certainly not least, JC Wallace stops by on the Curiosity Killed Shaney Blog Tour

The Novel Approach is also participating in author RJ Scott’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop today, and we’ll have a giveaway to go along with it

And that does it for a very full week of fun. Until next week, happy reading!

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Casey K. Cox

It’s A Sexy Saturday Snippet From Casey K. Cox – And There’s A Giveaway!


So, here’s an interesting thing… When I was first thinking of what to share with you lovely people about the history of Alec and his ‘Rise’, I remembered the first scene I ever wrote which didn’t make the final cut. I thought, hmmm, it might be cool to share it even though I decided to take a different direction. Hotness is hotness, right? BUT, when I decide to look at the file for that scene, I realised I must have been further into the story when writing it than I’d originally remembered. Either that or I’d edited it to fit a later part of the story. Not to worry, I thought, I shared those initial raunchy thoughts with my writing group; I’ll look it up and take the original from there. And this is where it gets interesting… the first scene I wrote for Alec was not the scene I was remembering. In fact, the whole way Alec developed was different to how I now remember it happening.

Alec has been my baby for a long time now, and it kind of freaks me out that I had completely forgotten, or rather rewritten in my head, the history of his inception. On a positive note, it has given me a new idea for another story. :)

Back to Alec.

The series was born (and this is the real version now, not my alternative history) out of a Sunday afternoon daydream—oh yeah, I love being in my head too—that was just too good not to put down on paper. I had this image of a young guy bending over the desk in his boss’s office getting more than he’d bargained for, much to his joy and elation. One thing led to another, and I was soon writing more about the developing relationship not only of the two men but of Alec with the rest of the world, and himself. It became more about character development and discovery, about the interactions of characters than about arc and plot. Alec was originally written as soap opera porn.

Somewhere along the way the porn slipped into the background (did I really just say that?) and a story appeared of a young man struggling to find his place in an elite, underground powerhouse of the country’s most important men. The Rise of Alec Caldwell: Erotic Adventures of a Young Businessman takes you through the initial steps on Alec’s path to notoriety, but also paints the picture of an inexperienced, somewhat naïve young man pushing his personal boundaries in an attempt to discover more of himself.

Along the way I’ve been blessed with some much loved characters, I know some of you have your favourites, who bring that bit of extra sparkle to Alec’s complicated life. Some of them may well see a short or two of their own in the future.

I truly hope you choose to join us on Alec’s journey, and for the hardened Alec fans, there will be some new scenes in upcoming print volumes.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

In other news…

I am working on the second installment of the Breaker Series (Part one, Finding King, available from LT3 Press). It delves more into the world and background of the boys and the potential dangers that lay ahead for a ‘their kind’. Jessie and Merrick take a back seat to Ace and Raif in this one, but they are still on hand with a few muddles of their own.

I’ve signed up for Goodreads MMR Love’s Landscape Promo and have a really exciting prompt. It takes me away from the sexfest that is Alec, the dysoptia of the Breaker and into a lighter world of college lads discovering…stuff. I don’t want to give too much away, but I hope you’ll stop by and read some of the great stories that will be freely donated, mine included. :)

In the meantime, here is a snippet from the new print edition of The Rise of Alec Caldwell: Erotic Adventures of a Young Businessman.

Excerpt Warning: This scene contains one or all of the following – Sex in the workplace, a horny virgin and his sexy boss, a touch of D/s, naughty language, a little exhibitionism, and just a hint of voyeurism.

In the unlikely (but possible) event of spontaneous human combustion while reading this excerpt, it is recommended you read the entire book for maximum effect. :)

On the Job Training

Alec listened as Chloe reeled off the latest conquest in her fuck every man in a fifty-mile radius life goal. Josh, Alec heard her say, was thirty-two and married but his wife didn’t like sex now she’d had their first child. Poor Josh had to make do with once a month—if, he was lucky. That sounded more than lucky from Alec’s corner. The words floated through his brain initiating auto-response as his mind focused on the curve of Rick Hamilton’s ass where he leaned over Sophie’s shoulder at the desk behind Chloe. Alec’s eye slowly traced the line over the hip and shoulder to—fuck… Hamilton was looking at him. Alec flushed at the smile playing over Hamilton’s lips and concentrated on Chloe, concentrated so hard that when Hamilton touched his shoulder, he jumped almost a foot in the air.

“I’d like to see you in my office, Alec.”

“Yes, sir. Now?”

“I think so, yes.”

Damn and blast. Alec tidied a few things on his desk and made his way to Hamilton’s office. He blushed as he closed the door and stood before the desk. Alec tried to fill his mind with mundane things—the sky looked gray for the time of the afternoon, maybe it would rain. The cherry color of Hamilton’s office furniture was the same as that of the toilet cubicle where Alec… not such a good train of thought. Alec coughed lightly, trying to shake the idea of jerking off to the image of Hamilton’s face out of his mind.

“No need to stand on ceremony. Take a seat.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“How long have you been here, Alec?”

“Two years, sir. Ten months on your team.”

“Do you like it here?”

“Very much.”

“And why is that?”

Was it a trick question? Was he expecting Alec to own up to the fact it was because he liked staring at Hamilton’s butt? “The salary is good, the people are friendly and I enjoy my work.”

“I may have something else for you.”

Fuck, no. Hamilton was going to transfer him out of the department. Alec’s shoulders slumped and his hands gripped the arms of the leather chair as he shuffled uncomfortably in his seat. Get rid of the embarrassing coworker with a crush. What else would it be?

“You’ll continue with your present workload. This will be along the lines of additional duties. Do you think you would be interested?”

No transfer. “Absolutely, sir. I’m very keen to increase my experience within the company.”

“Hmm. Stand up, Alec, and come here.” Hamilton swivelled his chair to the side and gestured to the space directly in front of him.

Alec did as he was told, trying not to pass out cold as he met Hamilton’s gaze. Looking down into Hamilton’s face definitely made Alec feel giddy. If only he had the courage to reach out and touch.

“You’re a sweet boy, Alec. Something tells me you haven’t quite understood what I’m offering you.”

“A chance for additional duties, reporting directly to you, sir?” Maybe, I think. No, Alec didn’t have a clue. What other possibilities were there?

Hamilton stood up and walked behind him. Alec could feel his breath so close to his neck, his cock started to swell. Think of something else. Think of anything else.

“It would mean late nights, working over your lunch hour and reporting to me personally every day.” The hot breath curled into Alec’s brain. “Will that be a problem?”

“Not at all, sir.” Not in a million fucking years would spending more time with you be a problem.

Hamilton returned to his desk and picked up a piece of paper. “There will, of course, be a pay increase to reflect the extra duties. Will this be sufficient?” He handed Alec the paper.

Fucking hells bells. An extra twenty thousand a year. Twenty–fucking–grand.

“M-more than sufficient, sir. Thank you.” Alec placed the paper back on the desk.

Restlessly, Hamilton prowled around behind him again and pressed his chin to Alec’s shoulder. His hand swept lightly over Alec’s arm to his shoulder and Alec shuddered, his body responding without his permission. Hamilton’s words came breathily quiet in Alec’s ear. “But you don’t know what the duties involve. How do you know if it’s enough?”

“Oh, well, um…” Nope. Alec couldn’t get the words out with Hamilton so close. It was difficult to breathe or keep hold of any thought other than if he were to turn his head, his lips would brush Hamilton’s cheek. Rock hard cock. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

“You look uncomfortable. Let me take your jacket.” Hamilton’s arms slid around Alec’s waist and opened the button. He slipped the suit coat off Alec’s shoulders. Nothing left to hide the erection straining against his pants now. Hamilton folded Alec’s jacket over the desk and stood in front of him. “You seem to have a problem,” he smiled, tracing light fingers over Alec’s cock. Alec shuddered again. He’d blow any second. How more pathetic could he be?

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Hamilton.” Alec closed his eyes and looked at the floor. Just shoot me already.

“Nothing to be ashamed of, Alec. I like that you find me attractive.”

“I do. I mean, you do?”

Hamilton chuckled, still stroking the line of Alec’s cock. “Oh, yes. It will help tremendously. It will ensure your new duties are much more pleasant.”

“It will?”

Hooking a hand in the waistband of Alec’s pants, Hamilton tugged him closer before sitting in his chair. He studied Alec again with those damn sexy eyes. Alec missed his touch. How fucking stupid was that? Shouldn’t he be thinking of sexual harassment? His boss had touched him up. But what did Alec expect when he was the one always making eyes at Hamilton?

“Let me help you out with that.” Hamilton wheeled forward in his chair and reached out to unbuckle Alec’s belt.

You have got to be kidding me.

Hamilton unhooked Alec’s pants, pulled the zipper and let them drop to the floor. Alec could only stare, open mouthed, as Hamilton kneaded his cock through his underwear. Hamilton winked at him as he pulled at the waistband and slipped his hands into Alec’s shorts, pulling them free of his erection and sliding them down to meet his pants. Holy, fucking, moly.

“Everything okay so far?” Hamilton said.

“Uh… oh, absolutely, Mr. Hamilton, sir.”

“Good. Then we understand each other.”

I don’t understand a fucking thing but I am not complaining—oh no, not me.

Hamilton watched Alec’s face as he leaned forward and licked a drop of pre-come from the head of Alec’s cock. Alec groaned loudly and Hamilton chuckled before taking the whole head into his mouth and sucking.

“Oh. Sweet, lord. I’ll come in about five seconds.”

Hamilton pulled back, letting Alec’s cock slip from his lips and took up a steady stroking motion with his hand as he watched Alec’s face.

“I’ll make a mess,” Alec said, squirming on the spot but not wanting it to stop.

“Yes, it does tend to do that.” Hamilton let go and sat back. “Do you suck cock, Alec?”

“Do I, uh…no, sir. I never have before.”

“But you’d like to, you like men?”

“Yes, sir. I’m happy to have a go. For you, I mean. I’m willing to learn.”

“You are a strange one.” Hamilton picked up his cell phone and appeared to send a text. He put it back on the desk and looked at Alec. “Take off your shoes and pants and bend over the desk.”

Fuck. This was it. Hamilton was going to pop his cherry. Alec couldn’t believe his body was complying with the instructions without his mind engaging. It had always been the other way around: Alec desperate to follow through but his body wouldn’t move. Now, in an office where anyone could walk in, he was half-naked so his boss could play with him, and everything seemed to be working. Was the risk of being caught the key all along, or was it the authority in Hamilton’s voice that pushed him into motion? Alec realized he couldn’t care less, he was just glad it was happening. It brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “being caught with your pants down.”

“Good boy,” Hamilton said as Alec bent over and held the edge of the desk. The words went straight to Alec’s cock and it jumped obediently. Alec heard the squeak of desk chair wheels on the floor behind him. Soft hands kneaded Alec’s butt cheeks before prying them open. A tongue lapped over his hole and he jerked. “Everything okay?” Hamilton asked.

“Yes, I just wasn’t expecting it.” Why would I think my boss was going to lick my ass? For fuck’s sake.

“Should I use lube instead?”

Damn. He was going to lose the opportunity of his life and all because he was a useless waste of a space virgin. He should lie. Just say yes and let the man get on with it.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this, Alec?” Hamilton’s hand smoothing over his back was the last straw.

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Hamilton.” Alec was close to tears. Desperately trying to hold on to a last scrap of dignity seemed silly in his current position, but he really didn’t want to cry. “I’ve never. It’s just that… I don’t know what to do.”

“You’ve never been taken before?”

“No, sir.”

“That’s okay, what do you do for your boyfriends?”

Alec felt completely stupid. There was no point lying, he was rubbish at keeping up pretence. Better to just tell the truth and get it over with. “If you want to replace me, sir, I understand. I’m sorry I’m not suitable.”

“You’ve never had anal sex?”

“I’ve never had any kind of sex. Period, sir.”

“I’m sorry, Alec, are you telling me you’re a virgin? As in, a God’s honest truth, pure-as-the-driven-snow kind of virgin?”

Alec couldn’t hold the pose anymore; he turned, fell to his knees in front of Hamilton, and reached for his hand. “Please, Mr. Hamilton. I want to do this with you, for you. I want you to fuck me. I know I’m stupid and pathetic, but I fancy you like crazy and you’re the first person to suck my cock, so it makes sense for you to be the first to fuck me. I—”

“Stop.” Hamilton seemed to be thinking. He stroked Alec’s hair and face and Alec moved into the touch. It felt so natural. “I won’t fuck you.” Alec dropped his forehead on to Hamilton’s knee. Now he wanted to cry but the tears were stuck. “Not today anyway.” Alec looked up at him. Was that a glimmer of hope? “Your first time should be special, Alec, not over the desk at work.”

“But you will?”

“Yes, of course. I’m honored, really. Beautiful thing like you falling at my feet and pleading, how could I refuse?” Alec gasped lightly at Hamilton’s smile. “So sweet,” Hamilton said, and reached forward to touch Alec’s lips with his.

Alec curled a hand around Hamilton’s neck and pulled him into a full kiss. That, at least, he knew how to do. He groaned as Hamilton’s tongue slipped into his mouth and he returned his own, searching out his taste. Incredible. Everything he’d thought it would be. Alec’s cock bounced back to attention and he stroked it while deepening the kiss.

Hamilton pulled back, his eyes sparkling. “Wow, you seem to have mastered that very well.” He noticed Alec’s hand and slapped it away. “You don’t touch unless you’re given permission.”

“Sorry, sir. I don’t know the rules. Will you teach me? Make me what you need me to be.”

“Bend over the desk again. I’ll start to open you up a little.”

Alec was more confident this time. Hamilton knew the truth and still wanted this, still wanted him. That had to count for something. Hamilton spread his cheeks and licked and kissed his pucker.

“You must tell me if I do anything you don’t like or if I hurt you.”

“Yes, sir. All good, so far.” The sound was throaty. Hamilton was already licking and sucking over his hole again and then fucking hallelujah, his tongue pushed straight inside Alec’s ass. He was clean wasn’t he? Of course he was clean, he always kept meticulously clean. But was it clean enough? There were no complaints, so Alec relaxed into the sensations. His knees buckled and Hamilton let out a short laugh as he propped up Alec’s hips while still fucking him with his tongue. Alec rocked gently back against him, imagining a cock there instead.

He’d always wanted to shove something up his ass when he jacked off but never found the courage. He always wanted to watch gay porn but was too afraid the police would come knocking on his door, even though it seemed everyone watched endless porn online these days. But now… now, Hamilton was personally inducting him into the sex club. It was such a weight off his mind knowing he wouldn’t die a virgin because of his indecision. Hamilton didn’t love him but he was obviously into him and that was more than enough. Hamilton also seemed to know exactly what Alec wanted and that made Alec’s job easy. He just had to do whatever he was told to do. The thought sent a sudden, unexpected rush to his cock. “I’m going to come,” he mumbled. Hamilton stopped. “No, don’t stop. Please.” But the moment passed and Alec’s breathing started to settle.

“First lesson, Alec, you don’t come until I tell you.”

“I’ll try not to but—”

“No buts. If you come before I say, you will be punished. Do you understand?”

Punished? What the fuck? Alec tried to gather a few thoughts together.

“Alec, do you want to learn the rules or not?”

Rules. Rules were good. Alec could follow rules. Rules kept him safe. Rules were his life. “Yes. I’m not to come, until you say.”

Hamilton stroked a hand over Alec’s back. “Good boy.” Pre-come seeped from the tip of his cock at those words. “I’m going to fuck you with my fingers. Just relax and try not to clench.” Hamilton rummaged in a desk drawer. A moment later, a slick finger slipped through Alec’s pucker into his ass. Not uncomfortable but an odd sensation. Was that all there was to being fucked? What on earth was the fuss about? A steady rhythm started and again Alec rocked into the motion. “Good boy,” Hamilton purred. “You’re a natural. Just stay nice and relaxed.”

Oh, fuck. Alec’s knees buckled again as Hamilton hit something.

“Say hello to your prostate, Alec. The reason even straight men are known to like a finger fuck.”

“I can see why. Oh, shit, I’m going to come. I won’t be able to stop it.”

Hamilton stood quickly and Alec jumped as Hamilton slapped hard over his ass. Another blow, surprisingly painful, made Alec flinch. “Do I need to continue?”

“No, sir. I’m sorry. I’ll try harder.” Harder was the right word. His cock was bordering on painful, but that stung, and wasn’t fun. Not really. Maybe a little. But he had other things to concentrate on right now.

Hamilton resumed his position and continued to fuck him, this time with two fingers. Good, it felt very good. Alec was trying to think of random things, willing away his erection when the door opened. Someone came in and the door closed softly. Alec heard it lock. Fucking hell!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Casey K Cox grew out of the wish to write and publish new works of man-love fiction. I’ve been writing for many years and as my characters develop and change so do the names I associate as their author.

In this incarnation, Casey K Cox is interested in everything homo-erotic from coming of age to the dark bitter worlds of twisted fates and broken minds.

You’ll find me hunched over my laptop, discovering new worlds with my muse, in a small country village of South West England. I live with my two beautiful kids, who think I’m more than a little crazy for my latest obsession but they roll with it and support me as always.

My interests are many and varied. Science, archaeology, remote sensing, religions, philosophy, esoteric studies, gematria, crafts (of the hands on kind), painting and watching things grow.

My favourite authors at the moment are Aleksandr Voinov, Manna Francis, Twisted Hilarity and Jade Archer.

I hope you enjoy this visit to my world.

Find Casey at the following locations: BLOG | Facebook

The Rise of Alec Caldwell: Erotic Adventures of a Young Businessman is available for purchase at the following etailers: Brunos | Amazon US | Amazon UK

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S.A. McAuley, Totally Bound

Is Merq Grayson A Liar? S.A. McAuley Will Let You In On A Little Secret, And She’s Also Giving Away A Book



You would think we know just about everything there is to know about Merq Grayson since he’s the one telling us his story. But, I’m going to let you into one of the harsh truths of The Borders War series. As it turns out, Merq…lies.

He is the most unreliable narrator I’ve worked with so far.

That’s not to say Merq is the type of narrator who is actively trying to deceive his audience. Not consciously at least. His fallibility comes from the skewed perspective of a violent and solitary upbringing. His hesitancy towards anything personal is the product of unrealistic expectations that have been laid on him since before birth, yet he’s determined to meet.

The secrets surrounding Merq are fascinating, and a puzzle to be unraveled as the series unfolds. But the core of who Merq is as a person is just as intriguing. Maybe more, for me.

I’ve read a couple thought-provoking discussions on Merq’s “voice” and whether or not it matches the man that physically dominates the pages of these stories. That Merq’s narrative voice doesn’t match who he appears to be at first glance—or who he should be based on his history and his job—is one of the most interesting aspects of his characterization.

His inner dialogue, his curiosity of world history, and his philosophical bent—the words that show a depth of reflection that his actions don’t—those are hints to who Merq really is, and more importantly, who he wants to be. Because what kind of fun would it be if Merq was solely an unthinking soldier? What would be the point of us listening to anything he has to say?

And the one question that raises so many other considerations: would Armise Darcan be willing to forfeit so much for a man who was ordinary outside of his prowess on the battlefield?

You get hints of the real Merq in One Breath, One Bullet. We discover more of who he is at his core in Dominant Predator. As he awakens to the world inside him (and not just around him) in Powerless, you’ll begin to see who Merq is, not just who he appears to be.

As with any author/character relationship, there is some of me that bleeds through to Merq. That’s inevitable. But more often than not, what Merq says and does surprises me. He has a distinct voice in my head. He doesn’t tolerate shit. He has a low patience threshold even though that trait should have been drummed out of him. He misses a lot of what happens around him because he’s blind to the emotional nuances flowing around him.

My Inspiration For Young Merq

Merq is still like a child emotionally. And for good reason. He never had parents that showered him with affection, or any affection at all. He was ripped away from his only stable home when he was five and began training to be a soldier. He was raised to view his interactions with other people with suspicion—to seek out hidden motivations and to be so detached that he has the ability to kill anyone at anytime. Even his own life is not given as much value (by himself or his superiors) as the mission.

His “romantic” relationships during his teenage years were based mostly on a mutual need for physical release. And now the one man he can’t get out of his head is Armise Darcan—the only person on the planet who is Merq’s equal and, by all rights, should be Merq’s enemy.

It’s no wonder Merq has major trust issues.

Trust. Yeah, right. I can hear Merq scoffing in my head. It’s a word Merq throws around a lot yet has no concept of what it really means. Or rather, he hasn’t so far.

The Merq Grayson that emerges from the pages of Powerless is…grown. By the time Powerless ends, it has been almost two years since Merq restarted the Borders War with his Winchester and that bullet. It’s been more than fifteen years since Armise kissed Merq for the first time.

Merq has witnessed much more death than he has life. He has experienced much more frustration than hope. And yet, he wants to live and he wants to hope.

He is a liar, but that doesn’t mean he’s dishonest. We just may have to endure more deception before Merq is ready to admit what his ultimate truth really is.

The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

BLURB: One Breath, One Bullet

Face to face, and rifle to rifle. The time and location change, but never the circumstance. Merq Grayson and Armise Darcan are enemies. And neither will be considered successful until the other is dead.

It is the year 2558. A mere decade has passed since the signing of the treaty which ended the three hundred year long Borders War. In the midst of an uneasy peace, the world gathers for the first Olympic games since the war began.

The Rifle competition showcases the very soldiers who fought in the war, pitting former enemies against one another again. Continental States Peacemaker Merq Grayson will once again battle the Dark Ops officer from the People’s Republic of Singapore, Armise Darcan, this time under the flag of their own uneasy truce. The relationship between Merq and Armise is one of violence, secrecy, and a growing intimacy that could have them both branded as traitors.

But there is more at stake than pride or medals in these games. And neither Merq nor Armise may be able to make it out alive before the fires of revolution are set ablaze again.

Dominant Predator

A relationship is the least of Merq and Armise’s concerns…

With one bullet Merq Grayson set the wealthiest citizens of the world on a collision course with the poorest-with those fighting for their freedom. As the Borders War reignites, the Revolution faces heavy losses. They scramble to maintain their advantage, to strike at the Opposition and crumble their power structure before they are able to rally.

But Merq is in the midst of an internal battle that shakes him to the core. For the first time in his life Merq will have to reconcile the inherent tragedy of war and decide just how much vengeance can be justified by spilt blood. How much can he trust the men and women around him? The President, Neveed, his former soldiers, his parents…and Armise.

Merq and Armise find themselves off grid and on the hunt for Committee members. Merq is just as unsettled with Armise at his side as he was with Armise as an enemy, but they will have to learn how to fight together-or they may just die together.

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Draven St. James, Loose Id

It’s A Draven St. James Book Blast And Giveaway Kind Of Day



BLURB: Aspen Starr is in a bind and not in a good way. His father is trying to use him to sweeten a business deal and being a bought boy toy holds no appeal. Just when he thinks he has no options left Sundae’s Custom Easter Baskets knocks at his door. Soon he finds himself blindly following a trail right into the path of a sexy new boss and a whole new mess of carnal complications.



Garren Thomas has rules and one of those is to never get involved with an employee. Easy to say, harder to enforce when Aspen is hired on. With each passing day Garren’s control slips until all he wants to do is spend his days with Aspen in his bed.

When faced with giving into his desires, Garren sees his simple life being torn apart. Can he get Aspen out of his system without losing his heart? Aspen isn’t much better off. He is drawn to Garren, but he can’t help the fear that the secrets from his past will destroy it all. As Aspen’s begins to lose himself within the confusion of sex and love one question plagues him: who sent the basket?

BUY LINKS: Loose Id | Amazon

EXCERPT: Garren pushed away from the wall and into the light of the lobby. “Looks like I missed out on a lot.”

Aspen ducked his head and went to his desk to dig around in a drawer. The first time Taylor had sent him shopping for office supplies, Aspen had bought random sheets of kids’ stickers. On the rare occasion Taylor performed child evaluations, a little bribery to bring out good behavior never hurt. Aspen came away with two sheets of fairy stickers.

“Not too much. We’re working on crowns and a new kingdom.” Aspen swerved around Garren, his eyes twinkling. “Do you want a crown?”

Garren narrowed his eyes on Aspen. He put his hands on Aspen’s shoulders to stop him and leaned in to whisper, “That was low. There’s no way I can refuse those pixies. I’m going to end up with a glittery, construction-paper crown glued to my head, aren’t I?”

Aspen looked over his shoulder. “Don’t worry there won’t be glitter on yours. I’ll be the queen,” he murmured with a grin. “So you’ll need to fill the role as king.”
Garren shook his head. “You’re trouble.”

Aspen shimmied to dislodge Garren’s hands. “You just figured that out?”
With a resigned sigh Garren followed him.

“Girls, I found someone else who needs a crown,” Aspen declared, gesturing at Garren.

The tykes jumped up and down. Garren fought the urge to reach out and hug Aspen for giving them this moment of levity even at Garren’s expense.

Aspen held out the stickers, and the enthusiasm magnified until the girls were dancing around the room. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” the girls chanted in a singsong fashion.

A softly murmured, “Oh my,” came from behind Garren.

Garren turned to yet again see the shimmer of tears in Mrs. Burgett’s eyes, but a smile accompanied the moisture.

Aspen grinned back at her. “I hope you don’t mind. The girls have been fantastic. We’ve managed to make crowns and bracelets.”

“Even for you, Mommy,” one of the twins piped up and ran over to Mrs. Burgett to carefully hand her the items as though they were made of glass.

Mrs. Baker cradled them. “Thank you, Maryann.”

“Becca and Mr. Aspen helped,” Maryann replied.

“And we ate apples and cheese crackers,” Becca added.

Garren looked briefly at Aspen. He’d seen Aspen eating the same things earlier in the week.

“That was very nice of Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett said with a hitch in her voice. “But we have to go now, girls.”

“Oh,” the girls replied with exaggerated pouts on both their faces.

“Say thank-you to Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett directed.

Both girls ran over to Aspen and threw their arms around his waist. “Sorry we didn’t get a chance to make your crown,” Becca said.

“That’s fine, sweetheart. I’ll be sure to make a matching one when you leave,” Aspen assured her.

“You need to make two,” Maryann interjected. “One for the big king behind you. That way we’ll know you’re helping rule the kingdom even if we can’t see you.”
Garren wanted to pick the girl up and hug her. Tell her that everything would work itself out and she’d never be hurt again. While it was a possibility if Mrs. Burgett went through with the charges, he wouldn’t make promises he couldn’t keep.

“Thank you, Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett said. “You don’t know how much I appreciate you taking care of my girls.”

“You’re welcome,” Aspen responded.

Maryann and Becca skipped over to their mom, and grabbed hold of her hands as they exited the office.

Garren stared after their retreating backs. He grimaced at the tattered clothes and worn shoes. His jaw clenched, and he pivoted and stalked back to his office. The lump in his throat threatened to shatter his control of his emotions. He made it through the door, placed his hands on his desk, and breathed deeply. Mrs. Burgett reminded him of his mother.

Aspen lightly touched his back, and Garren jerked around to gaze at him.
“I know you’ll do all you can,” Aspen confided.

“And you?” Garren cracked and cupped Aspen’s face with one hand. “You gave those little girls your lunch and made them laugh. You took away their stress and let them be kids.”

Aspen glanced away. “I did what anyone else would do. They deserve to have as much joy as every other child.”

“You’re wrong. Not everyone would do what you did. I think most would have set them in the lobby and spent the time telling them to be quiet.” Garren had seen that reality time and time again.

Aspen shrugged.

Garren caved and leaned in until his lips were mere inches from Aspen’s. “You are so beautiful.”

Aspen didn’t back away. His breath came faster, and his eyes flashed with that same glow Garren had seen in the past.

“Garren,” Aspen whispered with a thread of uncertainty.

Garren brushed his thumb over Aspen’s full lower lip, and desire zinged through his body when Aspen’s tongue peeked out to trace the path. Garren’s brain screamed what a huge mistake kissing Aspen would be, but at that point he wasn’t being ruled by his head.

AUTHOR BIO: I’m a born and raised Oregonian. I’ve traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill my books. My ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories both sexy and humorous. It gives me a great excuse to do some crazy stuff in the name of research. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where I find my peace.

Find Draven St. James On: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

THE GIVEAWAY: Would you like to win an e-copy of Covert Delivery? Just click on the Rafflecopter image, and enter to win. Good luck!

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Dreamspinner Press, GayRomLit, Rhys Ford

Are You Ready For Some Dirty Deeds, Some GayRomLit Countdown Fun, And An Awesome Contest?


2014GRL_BlogTour_sq200x200We are positively chuffed to bits to be kicking off the GRL Countdown Celebration at TNA today with Rhys Ford, as we also countdown the few remaining days until Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae-Min arrive on bookshelves everywhere in Dirty Deeds, Book Four in the Cole McGinnis Mystery Series.

Rhys sat down to answer some random questions for us–that last one, courtesy of Mary Calmes, deserves further exploration in an upcoming book!–and she’s also offering a truly fun giveaway to celebrate it all.

Read on and enjoy!

TNA: So, Rhys Ford, within you lurks a crafty evilness that makes you like to kill people in your books. What’s the most twisted way you’ve ever come up with to off a character, I’m talking so twisted you decided not to use it in the book because it was so out there?

Rhys: Thank you for having me here. Heh. And yes, let’s pull no punches and go directly for the pulse point, shall we?

The most twisted thing I’ve come up with and not used? Wow. See, I’ve not actually had any horrific murders happen on the page. It’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. I’ve shown the aftermath mostly. Which, in its way, is its own kind of horror. I’ve had a character carve up a whore so he could get her kidneys and give them to the nice grandmotherly lady who lived under his apartment so she could make steak and kidney pie for him. Um, I’d say maybe Tsukoi’s peeling off his client’s skin while the man was alive so he could preserve the tattoos he’d made…that story they told was probably the farthest I’ve shown.

I can get pretty macabre. But on page, for the general public, I try not to. Um… slitting a person’s skin, inserting air hoses and duct taping them down so the cuts are air tight, and then turning on a compressor to separate out the skin from the flesh. I’ve debated doing that once. Shock will usually kill a person before anything else. That and blood loss. The human body is a very delicate machine in certain cases. And the human mind can create its own horrors with very little effort on my part.

TNA: Tell us 3 things we might not know about you that we should.

Rhys: Hhmmmm, well you know me so very well. Let’s see. First, I have to try very hard to be social. It gets tiring because I’m usually off in my own little world so often. I get distracted easily. Focusing on social stuff is hard.

Secondly, coffee calms me down. It’s like an anchor. Really useful in a lot of ways. A good coffee candy is like an internal hug.

Third, I try to be a good person but oh, I feel like crap when I’m not. I hate excluding people from anything, and I always want someone to feel welcome and a part of things. Sometimes I don’t realize I’ve forgotten to check if everyone’s okay and just toddle off in my own brain. Always check to see if everyone’s been included. *nods*

TNA: If we were to ask your characters—let’s pick Jae, Bobby, Miki, and Kai—what do you think they’d each say about you?

Jae: Couldn’t you have gotten me a boyfriend without a death wish?

Bobby: No, really. What were you thinking? Are you fucking insane? What the fucking hell? This isn’t going to work. It’s all going to shit and hell, and you are fucking nuts for doing it.

Miki: Thanks. Dude, just…thanks.

Kai: Really? A fucking sidhe Lord? Why not have me screw a black dog too? It’s about the same thing.

TNA: Of all the books you’ve read in your lifetime, what’s the one book you can honestly say you wish you’d written, and why?

Rhys: God, so many. I have my old standby of Courtship Rite by Donald Kingsbury. Its elegance of language and world building. How the pieces fit together and just the sheer scope of it… but it’s all so damned simple. It’s a tesseract of language and concept, and then you get to the end… one fucking sentence and the whole book shifts and changes. Mind blown. Beyond blown. Masterful book.

TNA: Of all the characters you’ve created, which has been the most fun to write? Why?

Rhys: Miki is the most fun. He’s probably the one who thinks most like me. Well, until I get to Quinn then I’ll steep into the brain there. Miki is very flow-of-thought. There’s very little filter but his heart is so good. It really is. He’s fierce but broken inside. Or rather, not broken as much as shattered, then calcified over. I enjoy his exploration of the world because there’s still wonder there… a bit. He sees everything and stores them away in his little squirrel brain. He’s the kind of character that sort of sees sounds. Quinn’s going to be a much more intense version of that kind of thinking, but a bit more logical in how he processes it out. Miki’s a bit of a thug in a lot of ways. So much fun to write.

And I enjoyed the fuck out of writing Parker. *grins*

TNA: If you could sit down and get drunk with one of your characters, who’d be the most fun drunk, and why?

Rhys: Wow. Probably Damie and Miki? Hell, I don’t know. I wouldn’t get drunk with any of them. Maybe the Morgan clan. It’d be nice to have a barbeque with them. And just sit there, listening and eating the food. But I’d probably last about half an hour, then it’d start crawling over me like ants, and I’d have to bail. *grins*

TNA: You’re at a speed-dating event. At each table awaiting you sits Ernest Hemmingway, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Whose table do you choose to visit first, and how do you start the conversation?

Rhys: Probably Wilde’s. Because really, I think so much of his inner soul was sorrow, and I’d want him to know it’s okay. It got better for men like him. That he’d become someone others listened to and admired, even in his most debauched. I think so much of his self-destructive behaviour was because he wanted to be loved and love in return. I’d want him to have that.

TNA: Finally, Mary Calmes would like to ask Cole, “Where’s the kinkiest place you and Jae have done it, and were there condiments involved?” :-D

Rhys: The kitchen counter, despite Jae’s insistence that they not do it anywhere there is food prepared. And sesame seed oil. Cole believes it was worth every second of that two hours, and he didn’t mind that he stunk of bleach for days afterwards because he had to clean it up.

Thank you for having me, love. *hugs* I really appreciate it!

TNA: Can we get a group hug here, people? ::HUGS:: It’s our pleasure to have you here, always! ::smish::

BLURB: Sheila Pinelli needed to be taken out.

Former cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis never considered committing murder. But six months ago, when Jae-Min’s blood filled his hands and death came knocking at his lover’s door, killing Sheila Pinelli became a definite possibility.

While Sheila lurks in some hidden corner of Los Angeles, Jae and Cole share a bed, a home, and most of all, happiness. They’d survived Jae’s traditional Korean family disowning him and plan on building a new life—preferably one without the threat of Sheila’s return hanging over them.

Thanks to the Santa Monica police mistakenly releasing Sheila following a loitering arrest, Cole finally gets a lead on Sheila’s whereabouts. That is, until the trail goes crazy and he’s thrown into a tangle of drugs, exotic women, and more death. Regardless of the case going sideways, Cole is determined to find the woman he once loved as a sister and get her out of their lives once and for all.

2014GRL_BlogTour_bn400x64

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Kindle Alexander, RainbowCon, Reviewed by Jackie, Self-Published

The RainbowCon Countdown Celebration Continues Today With Kindle Alexander And A Giveaway



It’s a convergence of the Countdown to RainbowCon Celebration and Kindle Alexander’s Always Blog Tour at The Novel Approach today, as we welcome Kindle, feature Jackie’s lovely review, offer you a trailer video for the book, and point you toward a great giveaway!


“’Always’ is a good word to believe in.” ― Susan Abulhawa


Title: Always

Author: Kindle Alexander

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 280 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Born to a prestigious political family, Avery Adams plays as hard as he works. The gorgeous, charismatic attorney is used to getting what he wants, even the frequent one-night stands that earn him his well-deserved playboy reputation. When some of the most prominent men in politics suggest he run for senate, Avery decides the time has come to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. With a strategy in place and the campaign wheels rolling, Avery is ready to jump on the legislative fast track, full steam ahead. But no amount of planning prepares him for the handsome, uptight restaurateur who might derail his political future.
Continue reading

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Elizabeth Noble

And Now, A Cover Reveal And Giveaway From Elizabeth Noble


RftR final cover


BLURB: Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess named Rosie, and two cats, Murphy and Yeti. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

AUTHOR LINKS: WEBSITE

THE GIVEAWAY: Beautiful etched glass mug based on the cover

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Amber Allure, Marie Sexton

What Made Marie Sexton Write A Book About A Car Fetish? Read On To Find Out, Then Enter The Giveaway



The question that’s been asked the most in relation to Normal Enough is, “What in the world made you write about a car fetish?” Admittedly, it’s an odd choice, but it was an idea that intrigued me.

When I signed up to write a story for Amber Allure’s Grease Monkeys Pax, I didn’t have any idea what I was going to write. I asked my BIL, who’s a mechanic, if there were any juicy stories from his garage. He basically laughed and said, “Garages aren’t really very sexy.” But somehow, from that discussion, the idea of a car fetish was born.

Many years ago, I read a book on human sexuality. I’m old and have a terrible memory, so I can’t tell you the title or the author. But this author posited that much of what turns us on as adults is rooted in our childhood, usually in the years between ages two and four, when we’re first discovering that touching ourselves between our legs feels a little funny. As Americans (I can’t speak for other cultures), we really want to deny this. We want to believe that our sweet little cherubs have no sexual feelings until adolescence. In the world of small press romance publishing, we go even further. We pretend our kids never, ever feel any kind of sexual desire until that magical day when they turn eighteen. But we all know this isn’t true. Most of us discover sexual pleasure at a much younger age. Of course, many of us are told, “don’t do that,” and so we quickly learn to hide it, but the fact remains that the first feelings of sexual pleasure usually happen in these very early formative years. And, according to this particular book, this is very often where sexual fetishes come into play.

Now, “fetish” is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot these days, and I’m sure there are several different definitions, but in this particular book, a fetish was defined as something that was either required in order to achieve sexual desire, or as something that triggered an uncontrollable sexual response. So, if you like to jack off while watching Three’s Company, it would not (by this definition) be a fetish. If, however, just hearing the Three’s Company theme song causes you to pop wood, regardless of the fact that your grandma’s sitting on the couch next to you, or if you can achieve sexual gratification only while watching Three’s Company, that would be a fetish.

Again, I’m not claiming this is the ONLY definition. I’m talking about one particular book’s definition. Anyway…

The author’s premise was that this kind of fetish is almost always rooted in our early formative years. Maybe your parents put you in the bath every night at seven p.m., and you’d lie there happily soaping certain parts of your body while listening to Chrissy, Jack, and Janet argue to the tune of canned laughter. Given those particular circumstances, it’s completely feasible that you could come to link Three’s Company with sexual arousal. The point of this particular chapter was that in most cases, people who grow up with these types of specific fetishes don’t remember what started them, and because they don’t understand them, they’re often needlessly ashamed.

In the case of my character Kasey Ralston, he experiences uncontrollable arousal when inside certain types of old muscle cars. My first question of course was, where would this come from? In reality, it probably would have been rooted in his very early years, but it occurred to me that for the sake of this story, rooting it in his adolescence just might work.

Imagine a young boy with three older brothers. They live in a small house. This boy is just starting down the painful, icky path we call puberty. He has to share his bedroom, and there’s only one bathroom in the entire house. Privacy is hard to come by. However, this boy’s father has a collection of rusty old cars in the backyard, rotting away on cinder blocks. Those cars become Kasey’s haven. And, more than that, they become the place he stashes his porn, and the place he goes when he wants to look at his magazines and masturbate. With the bulk of his adolescent sexual discovery tied to cars in such a visceral way, he develops a bit of a fetish. He tells Brandon, ” I guess at some point, the porn and the cars and the feeling of getting off all got mixed up in my mind.”

Kasey’s embarrassed by his fetish until he meets Brandon, a man who not only happens to have a whole collection of classic muscle cars, but who thinks Kasey’s fetish is hot.

“Meeting you is like fate. You get off on classic muscle cars. And here I am, with a collection of them. Your fetish dovetails with my interests so perfectly.” He leaned a little closer. “It’s like we were meant to be.”

Kasey swallowed, his thoughts a jumble. Brandon’s last sentence had been said with a hint of humor. But there was note of earnestness there as well.

“So, in other words, I may be a freak, but you like it?”

“Let’s just say, I think you’re abnormal in the best possible way.”

As Kasey explores his new relationship with Brandon, he begins to realize that maybe he’s not abnormal after all. Maybe he just needs to change his definition of “normal.” After all, who among us can claim normality?

Not me.

Now, as a side note, this story isn’t exactly a stand-alone. As it turned out, L.A. Witt was also writing a story for the Grease Monkeys, Inc Pax, and at some point we decided to set our books in the same garage. Her novella is called Wrenches, Regrets and Reality Checks, and her protagonist is my main character’s boss. The stories aren’t really connected, but our characters have cameos in each other’s novels, much like in our Tucker Springs stories. Wrenches, Regrets and Reality Checks takes place about a year after Normal Enough, but that doesn’t mean you have to read mine first. (Yes, it does.) (Except not really.)

Check out Normal Enough, (and Wrenches, Regrets and Reality Checks) available now from Amber Allure.

Blurb: When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. Between what Kasey considers a shameful fetish and his long estrangement from his family, Kasey finds it easiest to be alone, even distancing himself from his coworkers. But Brandon doesn’t think Kasey’s fetish is weird. In fact, he likes it.

Kasey doesn’t know how to resist a man as charming as Brandon, and he’s more than willing to be seduced. But what are Brandon’s long-term intentions? Kasey is afraid of hoping for too much, but equally afraid that when all is said and done, Brandon will leave, and Kasey will be left alone once again.

Length: 24k words
Publisher: Ambur Allure
Release Date: March 16, 2014
Buy Link: Normal Enough

About the Author: Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Website: http://mariesexton.net/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/MarieSexton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarieSexton.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieSexton
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/msextonauthor/

THE GIVEAWAY:

The chance to win an e-copy of Normal Enough and a $50 All Romance eBooks Gift Card!

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Kol Anderson, Self-Published

Kol Anderson Is Here Today To Offer You The Chance To Win His Latest Release “The Prisoner: The Broken Series Complete Collection”



If you haven’t read the first two of the stories in this set, The Prisoner and Hell & Beyond, now is the time to find both books all in one place, as well as the third and final installment in the series, The Escape.

In celebration of it’s release, Kol Anderson is offering the chance for FIVE lucky readers to win an e-copy of the complete collection. All you have to do is leave a comment right here, and you’re automatically entered in the running.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

BLURB: Aaron Taylor is a rent-boy.
The Dream everyone wants to come true.

Vincent Greene is the client from hell.
The man who wants to make sure that dream ends up BROKEN.

Just when Aaron thinks his life is beginning to make sense, his handler sends him to a new client. Vincent Greene looks like he might just be Aaron’s best client yet, but what Aaron doesn’t know, is that under Vincent’s alluring facade, lurks a heart capable of extreme cruelty.

(Complete version with all three books in the BROKEN series.)

EXCERPT: Aaron hadn’t realized how many people there were in the world. The streets were obviously full of them and so were the buses. Every step he took, he was afraid he was going to get lost. Even with all the exposure therapy, and an entire week of trying, he wasn’t ready to do this. But he had a purpose. And that purpose gave him the kind of strength he didn’t think he had. The next street finally looked familiar enough. One of his friends from his past life had taken him here once. He had never been in need of drugs, and so had no reason to search for it, but his friend and needed something and brought him here. This was the last place he was supposed to be, and yet here he was, looking for some dealer and acting like he had everything in control, when he could feel the tension in his neck from all the strain his head was putting onto his body, and he could hear the slightly out of rhythm beating of his heart. When he found the face he had been searching for, he walked up to him, hoping his strides were confident enough. Any nervousness and the dealer would suspect foul play and Aaron wouldn’t be able to get what he came here for. It was the kind of waste he couldn’t afford.

“Hi,” he said, trying his best to act normal. “Are you, Thomas?”

The man was in his forties, and looked like he finished half of his own stuff. But when he smiled, he did it with a calmn Aaron wished he felt. “Who’s asking?”

“I’m Aaron,” he said, remembering the ‘code.’ “I was told you can get me something I need.”

“Yeah?”

Aaron tried to keep up the charade of confidence, hoping Thomas wouldn’t notice the sweat under his collar. “Please,” he said. “I really need your help. I have money. I can pay double if you want.”

The greed was apparent on Thomas’ face. “I might be able to help you,” he said. “My place is just around the corner. If you come with me, I can get you what you need.”

Shit. “I don’t think I have time for that,” Aaron tried to come up with an excuse.

“Are you a first timer?”

And now Thomas was getting the wrong ideas. Aaron knew that kind of behavior screamed undercover operation. “I’m not a first timer,” he said. “Just someone in a bit of a hurry.”

“I don’t care if you’re late to meet the damn President,” Thomas said. “You know the deal. If you need the stuff, you do the first shot with me. It’s in the best interests of all parties involved.”

When Aaron hesitated, Thomas glared at him. “Well?” he said. “Are you coming or not?”

Aaron hadn’t come this far to go back home without getting what he needed. He had gone through all the effort of trying to get here, of giving up his newfound phobias and made it all the way across town to get here on his own. He wasn’t about to leave empty handed. Who knew when he’d be able to muster the courage for something like this again? He checked to see if anyone was looking, then he turned to Thomas. “Let’s go.”

Find Kol Anderson At:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Shop For Kol’s Books At The Following E-tailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Eleanor Bruce, Extasy Books, HL Holston, RainbowCon

H.L. Holston And Eleanor Bruce Celebrate The Countdown To RainbowCon With A Giveaway



Hi! We’re Eleanor and Holly, the writing team of H.L. Holston and Eleanor Bruce. We’re extremely excited to be attending Rainbow Con in Tampa next month. It will be our very first writer’s convention, so if you are coming, please be sure to stop by our table, say hello and grab some free swag. (We’ll also be giving away a gently-used Kindle Fire, books and an Amazon gift card!)

We’re never sure what to write for these types of blog posts. Do you promote your book, yourself or perhaps both? Last time we did this, Eleanor and I talked about our undying love of all things Springsteen. :) But today, we decided to delve into the topic of werewolves since we are currently writing a series entitled, Werewolves of Baltimore.

Twilighticon776We never thought we’d be writing about shifters, since Eleanor and I both love vampires; we cut our teeth on Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire novels. Plus, I was always Team Edward, not Team Jacob, as a Twilight fan. (Hear that laughing over there, that’s Eleanor mocking me for my great love of all things Robert Pattinson.)

Our first paranormal book, The Moon’s Dirty Light is set in Baltimore. The protagonists are both cops, they’ve been partners for years, but only recently became lovers. One’s keeping a secret…he’s a werewolf and during their last little romp, Logan passed along that trait to Dylan. Who when he finds out, is not happy at all he’s going to be turning into a furry beastie come the next full moon. Add in a serial killer, knotting, bonding and a few other tropes, and you got the first novel in our series.

To celebrate us attending Rainbow, we’re doing a giveaway. Eleanor and I are offering up BOTH books in the Werewolves of Baltimore series, The Moon’s Dirty Light and Beneath the 13th Moon on The Novel Approach. Please use the Rafflecopter link to enter.

Thank you, and hope to see you in Tampa!

Holly and Eleanor
Twisting tropes since 2013!


Available From Extasy Books

Blurb:

Full moon fever.

Is there ever a good time to tell the man with whom you just had mind blowing sex that you’re a werewolf and, chances are, come the next full moon, he’ll be sporting fur and fangs too?

Police Officer Logan Robinson isn’t sure. Logan’s been in lust with his partner and best friend Dylan Reed for as long as he can remember. But Logan is a werewolf and after accidentally giving his partner the mating bite during sex Dylan will become one too.

Dylan is royally pissed when he finds out because Logan conveniently forgot to mention his little affliction until after they’d spent the night humping each other’s brains out. As if turning into a creature of the night wasn’t enough, Logan and he are investigating murders that look suspiciously like dog-attacks, but they’re not.

Finding a killer is tricky enough. Now it will be almost impossible with their personal issues clouding the investigation. And if Dylan does turn into a four-legged freak at the next full moon, the fur will fly.

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Biographies:

Eleanor has been a professional business writer since 1989 and an amateur fiction writer for over fifteen years. She never considered writing fiction professionally until her friend, H.L. Holston, asked for her help with a short story. From there, Eleanor has gone on to write two books and another short story with Holly. She hopes that someday she can quit her job and write full-time. Until then, she juggles her responsibilities with varying levels of success.

H.L. Holston (Holly) is a teacher by day and a sometimes author by night. She dreams up ideas with her writing partners Sue (they write as Sue Holston) and Eleanor Bruce, but occasionally she ventures out on her own. She admits she is a horrible blogger, even worse at keeping up on Facebook and wishes she could retire to New Orleans and eat beignets every day at Café du Monde. Until then, she will write books about sexy men loving each other.

Holly’s web site
Facebook
Twitter

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The Giveaway: Enter for a change to win an e-copy of both The Moon’s Dirty Light and Beneath the 13th Moon.

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Dreamspinner Press, Silvia Violet

Silvia Violet Answers A Few Questions On Her “Pressure Points” Blog Tour, And There’s A Giveaway



The Novel Approach is thrilled to welcome Silvia today on her Pressure Points Tour. Prepare yourselves for a Three Question Quickie, and then see what Silvia’s giving away!

TNA: What are some true stories you think would make great novel plots?

Silvia: I read an article recently about 25 year old twins who were adopted separately shortly after birth who found each other on Facebook, never having known they had a twin. One of them saw the other in a You Tube video and was stunned by how much they looked alike. Then she looked the woman up on FB and saw they were born on the same day in the same city and were both adopted. I think this would make a great book. To add a romance element, one of the twins could have a close friend that the other twin fell in love with. That might bring tension because the twins need time to get to know each other but the love interest is keeping them apart.

I also think any celebrity coming out story – sports stars, actors, musicians could easily become a novel plot.

TNA: What’s the best way to kill fictional people?

Silvia: A fictional gun works wonders. Also a knife, werewolf claws and fangs, or a Spec Ops agent with a pair of tweezers. I don’t tend to kill a lot of people in my books or to take as much glee in fictional deaths as some writers do. But when I do kill someone off, I try to make sure the death needed to happen and that the readers can feel the emotions surrounding it. I’m excited to be attending Writer’s Police Academy next fall where I’m hoping to learn more about some of the technical aspects – weaponry, forensics, etc—of writing deaths scenes.

TNA: What inspires you, or what makes you crazy?

Music, especially country music, inspires a lot of my stories. And of course, pictures of hot men. When I spot pics that need a story or ones that fit a story I’m working on, I grab them and put them in my character inspiration file. Sometimes a new inspiration will fit perfectly with one of the pics I’ve had saved and suddenly a character has a love interest. For general inspiration, I can always turn to my Karl Urban folder or scroll through tumblr. Reading inspires me because I want to write stories that touch readers as much as my favorite stories touch me.

Not having time to write when a scene is clear in my mind and I need to get it written before it slips away drives me crazy and so does seeing a scene in my head play out like a movie but not being able to figure out how to translate those images into words.

Available Now From Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

Pisgah Mountain Wolves: Book Two

It’s hard enough being an inn manager, serving at everyone’s beck and call, making sure all the guests are happy and the employees are paid on time. Add to that being a werewolf, a recovering alcoholic, and a pack leader. Add to that a brother who is trying to tear the pack apart and a dark past he can’t escape. Needless to say, Carl is under a lot of stress. Not helping: Justin, the inn’s human massage therapist—who Carl is trying not to fall for—has offered Carl a massage to “lower his stress levels.” As his boss, Carl can’t tell Justin his hands might lower stress levels, but they would raise something else.

Despite Carl trying to put him off, Justin won’t give in. Carl’s friends won’t leave him alone, and the divisions in the pack are near exploding. And it’s tourist season. The last thing Carl needs are wolf wars in the lobby. Like it or not, Carl is going to have to rely on Justin and the wolves who love him to teach him how to let go and get through everything without falling apart.

Author Bio:

Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

Visit Silvia at:

Website: http://silviaviolet.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Silvia_Violet

The Giveaway:

An E-copy of Pressure Points or a $25 Gift Certificate to Dreamspinner Press!


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Ellora's Cave, Kerry Adrienne

Kerry Adrienne Has The Artist’s Touch, And She’s Also Offering A Giveaway



Hi—thanks so much for having me on The Novel Approach. I appreciate you letting me stop by and talk about Artist’s Touch, and Kenon and Wally. Wally was inspired by a bartender I met when I was road-tripping to see Green Day on tour. The bartender was so super friendly, and I wanted him to have a happy ending. I imagined a while life story for him—and what kind of guy would make him happy. I wanted him to have a challenge. In walked Kenon. I’d figured Wally, as my friend had named him (his real name was Chris), was a creative type and would respond to another creative type. Kenon was Mr. Creative in all the wrong ways. He came with all the trappings and very little of the depth, or so it seemed. I absolutely pictured him as the good-looking Adam Lambert—on the exterior only (I don’t think Adam is the jerk Kenon starts out being). Don’t you think the Ellora’s Cave cover artists did a fantastic job bringing my vision into being? We couldn’t have Adam on the cover, but I described the characteristics Kenon had that were similar to Adam and I think the guy on the cover is spot-on.

I like “opposites attract” stories, both reading and writing them. Writing about a visual artist was fun because I’ve dabbled in most of the visual arts. Since the Guild is a series, I get to write about all kinds of art. The next book, Sculptor’s Desire, explores three-dimensional art. I’m almost done writing it—it’s been a lot different and a lot of fun, too.

Thanks again for having me!

Kerry Adrienne

Artist’s Touch
The Guild, book one (Sculptor’s Desire and Guitarist’s Wish coming soon!)
By Kerry Adrienne

Blurb: Every starlet wants master painter Kenon Alavi to do her portrait…and more. But Kenon prefers firm to soft and sates his desires with the boyfriends of the women he paints, enjoying the diversity of many lovers but shunning any attachments.

Wallace Harte’s English degree isn’t helping him find a job and working at a bar is the closest he’s gotten to being the Second Coming of Faulkner. Something’s gotta give soon or he’ll be out on the street.

Kenon zeroes in on the bartender at an art exhibition, intending to add him to his long list of conquests, but Wally bolts, initiating a heated game of cat and mouse. Kenon delights in the game until he discovers what Wally is writing. Feeling betrayed, Kenon swears off all entanglements until he reads Wally’s story and discovers true love is sometimes between the pages and not the sheets.

Inside Scoop: This book contains hot, sexy scenes of M/M interaction of an artistic nature. Who knew having your portrait painted could be so hot?

A Romantica® gay erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

EXCERPT:

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.

An Excerpt From: ARTIST’S TOUCH

Copyright © KERRY ADRIENNE, 2014

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

Another day, another drink for those who had dollars. Wally slipped the candied cherry into the Manhattan and handed the glass to the tall brunette leaning against the bar. With barely a nod, the woman slinked away as if on skates, joining one of the clusters of patrons waiting on Kenon Alavi’s arrival. The artist, notorious for being late, probably wouldn’t arrive for another ten minutes at least. Light jazz floated through the air from the ensemble set up in the far corner and spots of colored lights beamed up the walls to the tall ceilings that arched over the studio space. This would make a great setting for a novel, Wally mused. Too bad he didn’t have the plot to go along with it. His creativity had hit an impasse as cliché as the proverbial brick wall.

“Martini. Wet and stirred, no olive, no twist.” The man put his hand on the bar and looked over his shoulder toward the gallery door. “I’m tired of waiting. Don’t care how special Alavi thinks he is, my time’s important too.” He tapped his fingers on the bar. “Annoying bastard. Wouldn’t be here if my wife wasn’t so keen on having him paint her.”

Wally pulled out the glass for the martini, not speaking to the customer. He’d been hired to make drinks, not socialize. The man was just complaining anyway. He wasn’t really expecting a conversation, especially from the bartender. Plus, tonight Wally had to remember all the different highbrow cocktails. He rarely served anything but beer and frozen drinks back at the Cellar Bar. He poured the vermouth into the sloped glass, then stirred the concoction. As long as Mr. Alavi paid his wage, who cared when he actually showed up? His gala, his schedule.

“Told her we could get a portrait done for a lot less but she insists on this guy.” The finger tapping grew more vigorous. “He’s refused her calls for two months now. Arrogant bastard.”

Wally nodded and set the drink in front of the man. Mr. Alavi sounded like a typical snobby artist. Big surprise. “Here you go, sir. Wet and stirred. No olive, no twist.”

“Top shelf?” the man asked, raising an eyebrow. He toyed with the rim of the glass, running his finger around it as if he was checking for chips.

“It’s all we serve,” Wally mumbled, wiping up a few drops of condensation from the top of the bar. Alavi’s guests were snobby too. “Only the best.” Bottles of fine alcohol that could pay off his student loans with cash left over for a few months of rent. He looked out over the room of people. Wealth and privilege as far as he could see, well, except for the musicians in the corner. He smiled. At least they were making a living off their art. One day he would too—if he could ever shed his writer’s block.

The man shrugged and tipped up the glass, finishing off the cocktail in one gulp. He held the glass to the light and examined it, then set it on the bar. “Good thing Alavi has an open bar at this reception. Otherwise, I’d leave right now, no matter what my wife said. I’ll take another, please. The same.” He resumed his tapping.

Wally took out a new glass and prepared the man’s drink. The jazz music was making him sleepy. He’d much prefer something a little more lively. Having spent the previous night out on the town dancing to a club beat didn’t help. But he couldn’t refuse the extra money this bartending gig would put in his pocket. He pushed the glass over to the man and tried not to yawn.

Silence hit the entire room at once, echoing off the vaulted ceiling in thick waves. Someone gasped, then the patrons broke into applause. Mr. Alavi had arrived. The large front doors banged closed and the music softened.

Drink forgotten, the man strode off to join the mass of bodies that now moved as one as they pushed toward the door where Mr. Alavi waited to be greeted. Wally squinted to see what the excitement was but the crowd blocked his sightline. He’d heard the artist put on quite the spectacle and with the number of people and amount of money spent on the reception tonight, he didn’t doubt it for a second.

The crowd parted like the Red Sea in front of Moses and a man walked toward the grand doors that led to the open studio in the back of the room.

Wally stared.

Mr. Alavi’s stopped to shake hands with a tall gentleman and then moved on through the crowd. Light glinted like a beacon off the silver brooch at his throat. Murmurs filled the room—whispers, really. Like a creature of the night, Mr. Alavi was dressed in black from head to toe with a few flashes of silver sparkle sprinkled here and there. God, why did all the handsome men have to be rich and unattainable? Alavi was probably straight too. Life was definitely not fair.

Wally reached for the two martini glasses and bumped one over. He caught the stem of the second one just as the glass bowl shattered against the bar. His heart pounded and blood rushed to his ears. When he looked up, Mr. Alavi was staring at him, looking him right in the eye with a piercing gaze and unreadable expression. Everyone in the room watched. Wally’s face flooded with heat and sweat trickled down the back of his tuxedo shirt. Fuck.

“Sorry,” he stammered to no one in particular.

Before anyone could respond, Mr. Alavi moved in his direction and Wally’s throat tightened. Would he fire him on the spot? He began picking up pieces of glass and dropping them into the bar wastebasket, avoiding Mr. Alavi’s approach. Way to go, Wally, blow your chance to earn some extra cash. The one glass probably cost more than the night’s wages.

He bent to drop a large piece of glass into the trashcan, still holding on to the marble bar with his free hand. He squeezed his eyes closed. He’d get through this. Bile rushed into his throat. Why did he always screw things up? He took a deep breath. What was the worst thing that could happen? He’d been fired before and for worse offences.

A warm hand covered his, sending a wave of fear up his arm. Wally stood, coming face-to-face with Mr. Alavi. Wally wanted to pull his hand away and run but fifty wealthy snobs would stop him before he made it to the front door and onto the New York streets. He was trapped.

“Everything okay?” Mr. Alavi asked, his voice as smooth and dark as his slick black satin shirt.

Wally met the man’s gaze—green eyes lined in kohl, set in warm skin that shimmered in the bar light. Black spiky hair dusted with glitter.

Mr. Alavi squeezed his hand and Wally shivered.

“I said, is everything okay?”

“Y-y-yes,” Wally stammered. Even from over the bar, he could tell that Mr. Alavi was tall, well over six feet. His shoulders broadened and then tapered to trim hips. Wally’s mouth filled with saliva. The man was hot. Even if he was about to fire him for breaking the barware.

Avoiding eye contact, Wally studied the black leather jacket Mr. Alavi wore. It was no rental but made to slip around his body like water, hugging the right places, with a few silver studs and spikes on one shoulder. Designer-made, no doubt. In place of a tie, he wore a silver serpent brooch pinned at the neck, its eyes made of tiny rubies and its forked tongue licking out.

Wally gulped and his already-warm face burned. The man must think he was an idiot, drooling and fumbling like a fool. The crowd had gone back to chattering and mumbling but a few people still glared toward the bar, probably annoyed that Wally had taken the artist’s attention away. Mr. Alavi lifted his hand and pulled Wally farther down the bar, away from the rest of the broken glass. The artist looked out at the crowd. Wally didn’t see the look he gave them but anyone staring suddenly turned away and ignored the scene at the bar. The man had the power, no question about it. This was his scene and his alone. Wally’s pulse quickened. At least he wouldn’t be totally humiliated by stares when Alavi fired him.

“What’s your name?” Alavi asked, squeezing Wally’s hand.

“W-w-wall…Wallace Harte, sir. I’m sorry I broke the glass.”

He brushed away Wally’s comment with his free hand. “Ah. An unusual name. Wally for short?”

Wally nodded and gulped down the panic in his throat.

“Call me Kenon,” the artist said, stretching out his name in a French-sounding accent. He ran his thumb over Wally’s knuckles in a slow circular motion and Wally closed his eyes.

The scant hairs on his arm stood erect and he hoped Kenon couldn’t feel how damp his palm was beneath his grasp or how his pulse beat a frantic escape rhythm. From the corner, the music started playing again and the low murmur of the crowd drowned the silence in his ears. Deep breath.

“Thank you, sir,” Wally said. He opened his eyes and met Kenon’s gaze. For a moment, he stared into Kenon’s green eyes, pausing to fully examine them. Enhanced with dark eyeliner, the artist’s eyes almost glowed with feral sparkle. Predatory. Waiting. Wally looked down, not daring to move his hand. Mr. Alavi must be quite the lady-killer. Who wouldn’t want to be with him?

“Time to open the show, Mr. Alavi,” a gallery aide said, sidling up to Kenon at the edge of the bar. “Everyone’s getting impatient.” Wally had seen the aides milling around, making sure things stayed perfect. It must cost a fortune to produce an event like this.

“This is my show. Let them wait,” Kenon growled and clamped down on Wally’s hand.

The aide looked at Wally and smirked. “I’m sure the bartender won’t mind talking to you after the show.” He emphasized the word “bartender” as if it were a dirty word.

Kenon snapped his head and turned to the man. “I said I’m busy.” This growl was louder and deeper and the aide’s eyes widened and his shoulders tensed.

“Yes, sir,” he said and backed away, hands up.

Wally began to shake. He tried to tell himself it was from the air-conditioning but he knew it was from a mixture of fear and longing to be near this mysterious man. The artist must always have a rapt audience. Despite his growling, everyone seemed to be taken in by his charm. Kenon milked Wally’s finger in a stroking rhythm and Wally clenched his thighs together, willing his dick to be still. Kenon was too close and it was a good thing the bar was between them or things could get embarrassing.

“Now,” Kenon said. He tugged Wally’s hand close to his chest, tightening his grip once again. “Lean in so I can whisper what I have to tell you. Privacy you know.” He smiled, a tight line of control.

Wally leaned toward Kenon, drawing in a deep breath of what was likely the most expensive cologne he’d ever smell, combined with a fresh scent that could have been makeup or fine-milled soap. Underlying everything was an all-male scent of danger combined with sex and power. The bar was cold against his chest but the man’s breath was hot in his ear. “Yes?” he asked, voice trembling. “I’m sorry I broke the glass.”

“I said I’m not worried about the glass.”

“What, then?” Wally squeaked out.

“Why are you shaking?” Kenon touched his nose to Wally’s earlobe and Wally tensed. “Am I too close?”

“I…I…don’t know,” Wally said, his breath stuttering in his throat. Why was he shaking? He’d not had a boyfriend in ages but had never responded to man’s presence so strongly and so urgently before. Especially a straight man. At least not while he was sober.

Kenon pressed closer and his warmth radiated over Wally’s neck and face. Wally stood statue-still under the assault of heat. “I want to see you after the show,” Kenon whispered. “Will you stay around? To…talk…”

Wally nodded. Was he in trouble?

“Goooood,” Kenon blew. “See you then.” His lips brushed Wally’s ear and then he nipped it gently, holding on to the lobe for a second before releasing it. Wally shuddered as heat jolted straight to his groin. Why was Kenon flirting? Wasn’t he straight? And why was he so close? Wally squirmed as his pants tightened and his dick disobeyed the order to stand down. The ruby eyes of the serpent brooch glinted as Kenon pulled away.

Viper.

Just as quickly as Kenon had latched on to Wally’s hand, he dropped it. Turning, he sauntered off as if he were strolling along a promenade without a care. The crowd, cued into his movement, followed him through the open doors to the main exhibit hall. Wally stared after him, watching the people meander into the larger room where Kenon’s latest paintings would be unveiled.

What had just happened? And why had he agreed to meet Kenon after the show? He knew better than to tempt fate with an employer, especially one he was so attracted to and who was so out of his league. He always screwed things up. He adjusted himself and sighed. What did he have to lose?

Add Artist’s Touch to your Goodreads’ shelf HERE.

Kerry Adrienne photoAbout the Author:

Kerry writes about love in its many forms, and enjoys exploring the dynamics of relationships and the quandaries people get themselves into. She lives in suburbia, but is making plans to escape to the ocean and NYC, as both places hold a piece of her heart.


You can connect with Kerry here:

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

You can purchase Artist’s Touch here: Ellora’s Cave

The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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