4.5 Stars, Felice Stevens, Giveaways, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Karen, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: The Greatest Gift Blog Tour with Felice Stevens

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Amazon

Title: The Greatest Gift (The Memories Series: Book 3)

Author:  Felice Stevens

Publisher: Self-Published

Page/Word Count: 86 Pages

At a Glance: You’ll smile through the tears as you watch this family grow into everything you hoped they would become.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: After five years, Alex Stern and Rafe Hazelton have what seems to be the perfect marriage. Alex is entering his last years of residency and Rafe’s veterinary business is busier than ever. For Rafe, all that is missing is a child, but Alex, afraid of ending up to be a man like his father, isn’t as sure. He doesn’t want to make any mistakes.

When a new patient enters the hospital, Alex is drawn to the young, desperately ill single mother, who shares her fears for the future of her young son. Rafe worries about the toll on Alex becoming emotionally invested in a patient, yet he too can’t walk away once he meets the little boy, and together they vow to help in any way possible.

Families are not always born of blood— love is a gift no one can plan for. And sometimes from the darkest of tragedies, the brightest light will shine.

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Review: If you are going into this book hoping for, or thinking, you are going to get a sweet, fluffy romantic holiday story, this isn’t that book. There are many things in The Greatest Gift that are tough to read, and sad, and will completely break your heart.

But in this story, you will also find things throughout that are endearing, selfless, and sexy, as well as countless examples of absolute unconditional love. You’ll find yourself on this journey with Rafe and Alex, and all those around them, and will smile through the tears as you watch this family grow into everything you hoped they would become.

I love Alex and Rafe and love that we got to spend more time with them. The Greatest Gift really is a great gift from Felice Stevens this holiday season.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Greatest Gift here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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THE GIVEAWAY

Enter for the chance to win an e-copy of One Step Further & The Greatest Gift

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Author BioAbout the Author: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Social Media LinksTwitter || Pinterest || Goodreads || Instagram || Facebook Author Page || Newsletter

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The Fine Print:

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

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Holiday Week

Holiday Sneak Peek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love and good cheer to all of you!

Lisa and the TNA Team

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4.5 Stars, Felice Stevens, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Karen, Self-Published

Review: Betting on Forever by Felice Stevens

Amazon

Amazon

TitleBetting on Forever (The Breakfast Club: Book Two)

Author:  Felice Stevens

Publisher: Self-Published

Page/Word Count:  231 Pages

At a GlanceIf you’re looking for a sweet and romantic book without a lot of angst or drama, just a nice story about two guys falling in love, then this book is for you.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  A weekend fling in Atlantic City couldn’t be more out of socially shy Zach Cohen’s comfort zone, but a bet with his best friends forces him to put aside the humiliation he’s hidden for years and step away from behind his computer screens and online world. When he meets Sam Stein, despite their spark, Zach expects nothing more than a night of passion and a kiss good-bye. Yet weeks later, he can’t keep the man out of his head.

After a split-second decision with tragic results ends his twenty-year police career at the same time as his relationship falls apart, Sam Stein is drifting through life. At his best friend’s urging, he agrees to a trip to Atlantic City to clear his head. What Sam doesn’t plan on is meeting Zach Cohen, whose sweet nature and honesty has him thinking maybe he could move forward, until Zach leaves him without explanation, reinforcing Sam’s belief that people can’t be trusted.

Well-meaning friends refuse to let Zach and Sam hide from each other, forcing them to realize their weekend was much more than a one-night stand. Before that can happen, Zach must come to terms with his past and stand up for his own independence, while Sam has to learn to take a chance and believe in himself and people again. All bets are off when dreams become reality, and forever doesn’t seem to be long enough.

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Review: When I read the first book in this series, Beyond the Surface, it was Zach’s story that I was looking forward to the most. I have a fondness for and can relate to those characters who are a little geeky, shy, and quiet; those who sit off to the side, observing and hoping not to be noticed.  Zach certainly fit that bill, and Sam did too, in some ways.

Things aren’t all sunshine and happiness throughout Betting on Forever. There were misunderstandings and issues that needed to be worked through, but they are dealt with without a whole lot of craziness. You can sit back and are able to enjoy some of the simple things going on between Zach and Sam while they are falling in love—we get to watch them stroll down the beach holding hands, laughing and joking and letting go while flying kites, or just relaxing at home. And it’s nice that the other characters in the series are still around, and we get updates on what’s going on with them without it taking over the story.

While I loved Zach’s story, and it was nice catching up with Julian and Nick, now I can’t wait for Marcus’s story to see how his HEA will work out. If you’re looking for a sweet and romantic book without a lot of angst or drama, just a nice story about two guys falling in love, then this book is for you.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

 

You can buy Betting on Forever here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways

Excerpt Tour and Giveaway: Home for the Holidays Anthology

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Home for the Holidays – Featuring authors SJ Himes || Jenna Kendrick || Heather C. Leigh || Liv Rancourt || Felice Stevens

BLURB: Home can be a person as well as a place. Everyone deserves a home for the holidays, as the stories in this collection affirm.

Proceeds from Home for the Holidays are being donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York City to help homeless LGBTQ youth.

Release Date: November 29, 2015

Buy LinksAmazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon CA || Amazon AU

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BLURB The Eighth Night by Jenna Kendrick: Going home for the holiday only to find his parents have made other plans, Kai Meyers is thrilled to reunite with an old friend. Disowned by his religious family, Ari Fisher is used to being treated like a boy toy rather than a boyfriend, and now he only has eight days to reveal his secrets to Kai.

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EXCERPT: The last thing Ari saw as the lights went out and the elevator jolted to a stop was Kai stumbling forward. Ari started to move closer to help him up, but his foot bumped into a piece of fruit or something, so he pulled back. Kelev barked, clearly upset by the chaos, while Kai called to the dog to make sure he was okay.

Ari, felt something sniffing at his pants leg. “Kelev, c’mere boy. Good boy.” He bent over to scratch his head. He was happy to see the dog was still alive; he had to be going on twelve or thirteen by now.

“You know Kelev? Well, obviously. I suppose you know my parents, then.”

Ari chuckled. “You could say that. But I know you even better. Well, I used to.” Apparently the dog remembered Ari better than his owner. He wished he could get a look at Kai’s face as he connected the dots. When he’d first spotted Kai in the corner, he’d been relieved to see the guy was too weighed down with Kelev and a metric crap-ton of grocery bags to notice him. He’d known there was always the chance of running into Kai. Ari might have even hoped for it subconsciously. Otherwise, he could have avoided the possibility by insisting Prescott and Thomas meet him at a hotel, as he did with some of his other clients.

“Wait a minute… Ari?”

“Long time, no see, Kai.”

“I can’t see you now, either.” Kai’s voice had matured over the past eight years, familiar and new at the same time. “Sorry, I was in my own world and didn’t notice you before the lights went out.”

“Hope you’re not still afraid of the dark.” Ari remembered them leaving a lamp on when they had sleepovers, but only until they’d hit middle school.

“Probably a hard sell after screaming like a teenage girl, but no, not generally.” Kai must’ve set the rest of the groceries down because Ari heard bags rustling and felt a can roll into the side of his shoe. “I don’t suppose you want to join me here on the floor. I’d try to get up, but I have a feeling I’d wind up tripping over an avocado and inadvertently turning it into guacamole.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Kendrick writes male/male new adult and contemporary romance, her favorite genre to read. She lives in Upstate New York, where she spends the better part of the year trying to stay warm and dry. When she’s not writing, she reads, watches The Princess Bride and The Avengers far too often, spends time with her husband and friends, and drinks more coffee and tea than she’d care to admit. She shares her home office with her dog, Tally, and her cats, Loki and Tamiris.

Jenna spent most of her class time in high school writing bad poetry and short stories in which her teachers were the villains. She began writing in earnest in college, putting it aside for a few years to work as a teacher and product manager for several online services. In addition to writing fiction, Jenna also writes nonfiction technical books under another name.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSFacebook || Twitter || Instagram || Tumblr

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BLURB 24-Hour Hold by Heather C. Leigh: Detectives Damon Porter and Anderson Malloy are now partners at Denver’s Major Case Unit. The problem is, they used to be boyfriends, and now they’re feeling anything but friendly towards each other.

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EXCERPT: “Still drinking enough coffee each day to keep Seattle’s coffee houses running for a year?” I ask, leaning back on the counter while Damon turns on the tap, rinsing his hands and attempting to wipe off the spill on his shirt with a wet paper towel.

He scowls, his dark brown eyes locking on mine. “Fuck you, Anderson.” Thoroughly annoyed with me, I watch, fascinated, as my ex-lover’s hands clench into tight fists. Damon tosses the used paper towel into the garbage can before whirling back around in my direction. His mouth opens, no doubt to tell me off, then snaps back shut.

My eyes drop to that full, red mouth—a mouth I’ve tasted hundreds, maybe thousands of times before—and molten heat spreads out from my groin.

I’m in the middle of imagining a detailed scenario that involves kneeling down on the hideous linoleum of the kitchenette and yanking down his perfectly pressed dress pants to suck on his cock when I realize he’s gone.

Shit.

It takes me a few minutes, but I finally find Damon in the conference room, quietly stewing while he sets up his laptop. He has the files open on the table.

“So,” I close the door behind me and his head of brown hair twitches as he ignores me. “Show me what you’ve got.” I drop into the swivel chair closest to him and snap my gum while spinning back and forth.

“Do you mind not doing that?” Porter scowls and turns away, fiddling with his computer. Fascinated, I watch the muscles of his back tense up under his starched button-down.

“Doing what?” I ask innocently, popping the gum again. Nothing turns me on more than riling up Damon Porter. Watching him go from cool and collected to hot and bothered makes my dick hard.

“Listen, D. I—”

The beautiful man beside me jerks around, practically snarling in my face. “Don’t. Call. Me. That.”

“Whoa!” I hold my hands up defensively, noting the way his hands are fisted at his sides. “Calm down, Porter.”

“Fuck you.”

“Jesus, Porter. Hold a grudge much?”

His eyes close and I recognize the way his entire body shudders. Damon Porter is close to losing his carefully crafted control.

“Sorry,” I mumble. “I didn’t expect this,” I motion between the two of us, “to be so uncomfortable.”

Those big brown eyes of his pop open, dark lashes fluttering wide as my words sink in. “Wait,” he says. “You knew I worked here?” Oops. I can practically see his sharp mind working to quickly put the pieces together. “Did you… Did you come to Denver, to this department specifically, knowing you would be working with me?”

My skin heats up from his dead-on conclusion. Damon leans close, the familiar scent of his aftershave hitting me hard. “What’s your game, Anderson?”

I can feel the heat coming off of him, even through the multiple layers of both his perfect white dress shirt and my rumpled old blue one. My throat is tight and I have to work to swallow in order to speak. “I don’t have a game. I moved back to Denver, applied for a job, they assigned me to your department. It’s temporary, so don’t get your starched boxers in a bunch.”

It’s the truth. Stretched, but the truth nonetheless.

Damon’s molten brown eyes narrow, his nostrils flare in anger. When he speaks, the formal, uptight man I know does the unthinkable. He cracks a joke.

“Still chewing that shitty gum, huh?”

I swallow again when his gaze drops to my mouth. Desire rushes through me, sending blood pulsing to my groin. “Yeah.”

He nods, as if confirming some thought in his own head, before turning to face his laptop. His professional façade slams into place like a thick steel door. With one long, elegant finger, Damon points at the files in front of me. “I guess you’ll have to start at the beginning. You read the reports and familiarize yourself with the cases, I’ll continue trying to find a link between the robberies.”

“Sure, D. Whatever you say.”

Porter’s mouth twitches, but he doesn’t correct me for calling him D. That little victory gives me enough confidence to grin, snapping my gum as I pull open the first file.

If I can just get past the four hundred fifty-three other layers of protection my ex has put up to keep me out, I’m golden.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather C. Leigh is the author of the Amazon bestselling Famous series. She likes to write about the ‘dark’ side of fame. The part that the public doesn’t get to see, how difficult it is to live in a fishbowl and how that affects relationships.

Heather was born and raised in New England and currently lives outside Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 kids, and French Bulldog, Shelby.

She loves the Red Sox, the Patriots, and anything chocolate (but not white chocolate, everyone knows it’s not real chocolate so it doesn’t count) and has left explicit instructions in her will to have her ashes snuck into Fenway Park and sneakily sprinkled all over while her family enjoys beer, hot dogs, and a wicked good time.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSWebsite || Facebook || Goodreads || Twitter || Instagram

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BLURB Learning to Love by Felice Stevens: Returning home for the holiday, caterer Gideon Marks tried hard to push away his high school crush. But Rabbi Jonah Fine wouldn’t let him run again, or keep the secret Gideon’s tried so desperately to hide.

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EXCERPT: The bells above the shop tinkled and Sean glanced over my shoulder.

“I’m sorry, sir but we’re closed.”

“I’m not here to buy anything, I came to talk to Gideon.”

I spun around to face Jonah. “I’ve got nothing to say to you.” I walked behind the register, putting the expanse of the counter between us. Jonah had changed from this morning and now wore a heavy sweater, corduroy pants and a black leather motorcycle jacket. He looked tired, windblown and utterly desirable. Despite my words, I couldn’t tear my gaze away from his face.

Ten years away hadn’t changed the irrevocable fact that I still wanted Jonah, now more than ever. There were some people who got under your skin and no matter what you did to erase them from your mind and heart, they remained, clinging to your soul.

“Gideon, please.” He darted a quick look at Sean who’d apparently forgotten about his hot date and was intent on having a ringside seat to my sex life. “Can we please go somewhere and talk?”

“Go ahead, boss. I’ll close up.”

Rico leaned against the doorway, his dark eyes fixated on Jonah. I knew my obvious attraction wouldn’t bother Rico; we hadn’t been together in years. The deep friendship and mutual respect between us was rock solid.

Jonah hadn’t taken his eyes off of me, his face an unreadable mask. If I said nothing, I could let him think Rico and I were lovers and he would no doubt leave me alone.

“Gid, go on, man. Give the guy a break.”

Rico’s urging broke me out of my deep thoughts. “Okay,” I said begrudgingly. “Let me get my jacket and I’ll be right back.”

I hurried to my office, pulled on my jacket and shoved the contracts Rico had worked on earlier into my backpack. By the time I’d returned, Sean had finally left and Rico and Jonah were discussing the demise of the kosher deli in New York City.

“Have a good one, guys.” Rico shook Jonah’s hand and gave me a swift hug. “Don’t fuck it up man.” His breath tickled my ear. “I got a feeling this one’s for real.”

I pushed him away, giving him a funny smile and a shake of my head. “See you tomorrow. We need to plan the wait-staff for the party and then go through the other orders. Plus I need to contact some of the people I met last night, who said they wanted to maybe hire us for their small dinner parties.”

“Will you get out of here already and stop talking business?” Rico shoved me toward Jonah. “Take him and feed him so he’ll shut up.”

Jonah held the door for me and side by side we walked down the block. Christmas lights had already gone up on the lampposts and in store windows and happy people walked with bright red and green shopping bags stuffed with their purchases. The entire city was seized with holiday cheer, yet all I felt was depressed.

“Have you eaten dinner?”

We stopped at a corner waiting for the traffic light to change. “No, but it’s Saturday night. Why aren’t you out on a date or something?”

Jonah’s sweet smile disarmed me. “Um, I thought I was.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter || Pinterest || Goodreads || Instagram || Facebook Author Page

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Blurb Saving Silas by SJ Himes: Paramedic Gael Dominic wasn’t expecting much from the holidays. Blood, death, and loneliness were constants. So when tragedy puts a wounded Silas in his path, Gael takes a chance on his alleyway angel and love.

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EXCERPT: “Find my son! He was shot, for Christ’s sake, he can’t make it too far. Does this place even have security? Morris, call the local department, I want my son found.” Warner sounded mad, but there wasn’t a frantic component to his tone that most worried parents had when their kids got hurt. He sounded…aggravated.

Gael looked up, eyes searching. This was a split in the Recovery level, the hall to the right swinging around to more patient rooms, the hall to the left leading to the surgery suites, exam rooms, and x-ray….and the elevator to the staff exit. It emptied out in the sequestered lot the doctors and staff used.

He headed in that direction, eyes peeled, making swift work of his search. He kept his actions subtle, not wanting to clue anyone in to the fact he was looking for someone. He smiled at the people he knew but kept going, and passed a cart full of clean scrubs, the plastic lid ajar. The pressed piles made it apparent that a pair of pants and a shirt were missing. Someone took them before the cart made it back down the hall to the doctor’s lounge.

Gael stopped at the elevator, and was about to hit the button, but the staircase several feet away was the better option. No one used the stairs in a hospital.

He entered the stairwell, letting the door swing shut soundlessly behind him. Gael listened, eyes shut, head tilted to the side. A scuffle, the faintest hint of a quivering breath, just below him.

Gael opened his eyes and took the stairs down fast, keeping his footfalls as quiet as he could. He found his quarry the next level down, huddled against the wall, tears running down his bone-white cheeks, hands shaking as he tried to push the door open. He was wearing the purloined scrubs, and the dark blue color merely accentuated the pallor of the young man’s skin. Gael moved just as Silas started to fall over, and he caught him about his waist, holding his angel to his side, keeping him upright.

Silas’ head fell back on his shoulder, and Gael found himself forgetting what he was about to say when a pair of the truest green eyes locked on to his. Every muscle in his body thrummed with electricity, and Gael held him tighter, taking his whole weight.

“Hi, handsome,” Silas breathed out, giving him a tiny twist of a smile, eyes watering. “I’d love to make out in the staircase with you, but I kinda need to escape right now.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I’m a thirty something bisexual cisgendered woman with way too big an imagination, but that comes in handy when I’m writing. I have been writing since I was a child, when I took a four page assignment on what I was going to do on summer vacation and turned it into a 100 page fantasy epic all written by hand…in crayons. No joke.

I work a day job, but I can’t share for who, since the Old Man isn’t as liberated as the people who read my books. I’m married, I have furbabies, and I live with loved ones. I adore a certain show about a British consulting detective and his grumpy army doctor, and that spawned an addiction to Johnlock fanfiction, which then evolved into me writing it. Gawd, that’s embarrassing. Put this down in the TMI section of my Bio, okay? I enjoy martial arts, movies where things blow up, and I wish I lived in a Marvel movie.

I live in the beautiful and lonely Berkshire County in Massachusetts, and I see way more wildlife than I care to on a daily basis (bears!). My perfect day is reading surrounded by friends and family who don’t think it’s odd I want to hang out but not talk, and my favorite scent of all time is a cool fall evening with leaves burning….less a scent, and more of an experience.

My writing is focused on gay and lesbian people, who are more than interesting side characters that hang out with the heterosexual MCs. My wish for the future is that when people ask me what I do for a living, I can say, “I write gay romance,” and NOT get weird looks. Also write under pen name Revella Hawthorne.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSAmazon/SJ Himes || Amazon/Revella Hawthorne || Blog as SJ Himes || Twitter : @WriterSJHimes || Facebook/SJ Himes || Facebook/Revella Hawthorne

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Blurb Christmas in LaLa Land by Liv Rancourt: For a Danaan sidhe like Aron, touching a human has consequences, while Damian’s hiding some serious scars behind his smile. A holiday trip to LA forces them to choose between acting on their attraction or giving up on love because of the past.

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EXCERPT: “I’m sorry. The hotel is closed for a private party.” Blondie stalked over, making the most of her Heels from Hell. The huge lobby had a high arched ceiling and fabric drapes covering the walls. And every possible surface was hung or draped or covered with something red, green, or glittering.

“Um, Ophelia?”

The ploofy redhead almost dropped the string of stars she’d been draping over an enormous pearl chandelier. “I’m Ophelia.”

Her eyes were the same gray as the murk rolling in off San Francisco Bay before the sun rose. Soft, but cold. Spooky. I took a couple steps further in, trying not to let my hopes get ahead of me. “I’m Aron, Connealagh’s younger brother.”

“No shit!? Are you as big a bitch as she is?” The blonde’s shriek immediately turned into laughter.

Ophelia scrambled down off the ladder, freezing me with her ice-vision. “Connie has a brother?” She came at me fast. No time to duck. Only my face offered bare skin, so that’s what she reached for, cupping my cheek with her palm. “Aron.” Her whisper held confirmation, as if she’d been able to verify my story with a touch.

“Oh.” I started to giggle. Her fingertips held so much joy she fizzed. I turned into her, inhaling a hippie-princess mix of roses and patchouli and sweat. Love ran under the fizz, heavy and deep, the emotion tempered by danger and fear. Thoughtlessly I reached out, finding a firm, pregnant belly under her swirling, embroidered caftan. “She’s beautiful.” I smiled into my cousin’s frightening eyes. “Your Leah is a lovely little girl.”

“Um…” She raised an eyebrow. ““Not born yet.”

“Crap. I’m sorry.” I eased out of her grasp. “I can feel emotions and stuff. Sometimes. I didn’t know…”

She exhaled, puffing out her cheeks and shaking her head. “How ’bout you let me tell Gabriel we’re having a girl before sharing, okay?” Without breaking our connection, she pointed at Blondie. “Shut up, you. My cheeks will not freeze that way.”

Behind us, Damian made a choked sound. The jewel-tone fabric on the walls seemed to dim, though that had to be my imagination.

“Who’s your friend?” Ophelia took hold of my gloved hand.

Grateful for even that little display of support, I suddenly didn’t think I could deal with the say-goodbye-to-Damian thing.

“Damian Jones.” He crossed the tile floor, coming closer. I didn’t turn around. Ophelia didn’t leave my side.

His hand, extended to shake, crossed the corner of my vision.

“Sorry Damian,” Ophelia said, wrapping a protective arm around me. “It’s nice to meet you, but I don’t shake hands, okay?”

“Must be a family thing.” His footsteps retreated, and I wanted to whip myself for driving all the sunlight out of his voice.

Gathering as much courage as I could muster, I pivoted, staying within Ophelia’s circle of safety. “Thank you, Damian, for giving me a ride down here, and I’m sorry…” For knowing my limits? For caring too much to entrap you? For being afraid? If I didn’t like him so much, I’d treat him like that poor sucker in the night club bathroom. If I didn’t respect him so much, I’d try to explain. “Just, sorry.”

“Yeah? Well, all your stuff’s out on the steps. You have a happy holiday, okay?”

Ophelia’s gaze was positively balmy compared with the deep freeze in his tone.

He disappeared, leaving me with my cousin and her freakishly blond friend.

“Well, fuck if I don’t suddenly have a taste for chocolate.” Blondie squealed. She had tiny star tattoos and glitter sprinkles down one cheek and a skirt so short it should be illegal. Something triggered my memory of Ophelia’s only visit to Mari-Elle’s. Her friend, a serpent deity named Suzie or Sandy or something, had been shot on our doorstep. Nothing really kills a deity, though, so maybe this was the same girl.

“Shut up, Sally,” Ophelia said.

Yep, serpent deity.

“No way, sister-mine.” A man appeared on the other side of the ladder. Just, like, appeared. “That cocoa crisp plays for my team.” He disappeared before his voice trailed away.

My face must have asked what the fuck without words because Ophelia started to laugh.

“You have the ghost of Jason Patrick living in your lobby?” I asked.

“Jason Patrick is not dead.” The man appeared on the near side of the ladder. “But thank you, sweetie.”

“No living with him,” Sally muttered.

Ophelia left off laughing long enough to introduce me to Jimmy. “You had the ghost part right, anyway.”

“Aren’t you a pretty little fruit.” Jimmy appeared right next to me. He draped his arm around my shoulders, cool and surprisingly peaceful. “Did you invite him specially for me to play with, Ophie?”

“I didn’t invite him at all.” Keeping hold of my hand, Ophelia drew me over to an antique love seat that could have belonged to Marie Antoinette. She and I sat, and Jimmy perched on the arm next to me. Sally scooted her butt onto a large mahogany desk right across from us.

None of them looked particularly threatening. In fact, staying here could be fun. I grappled my twittering nerves and dove in. “It started because Mari-Elle and I—”

“Oh yeah, how is Mother?” For the first time since I’d met her, Ophelia’s effervescence dampened.

“Gorgeous, frightening, and kind of mean.” Wow! Did I just say that? Because slandering someone’s mother is such a great lead-in to a favor.

Ophelia snickered. “You’re giving her too much credit.”

Well at least my cousin didn’t act insulted. I relaxed against the couch. “I decided I wanted a break from the life for … reasons, and I’ve always wanted to visit L.A.” The next part was the scariest, so I spit it out fast. “I’m hoping I can crash here for a while.” I clasped my hands so tightly the leather on my palms squeaked. “I mean, I know it’s rude to just show up, but I kinda hoped I could rent a room here in the hotel.”

Sally hissed a laugh. “It’s not that kind of hotel.”

“He can totally stay,” Jimmy said. Between his square chin, curly mullet, and micro-skinny tie, he really did look like ‘80s-era Jason Patrick. “How ’bout 312? It’s right at the top of the stairs.”

A broad staircase curled up from one corner of the room, opposite a double set of very black doors.

Ophelia finger-combed red ringlets away from her face. “You know, I think that’ll work.” She fixed me in her cold-slate gaze. “You know what this place is, right? I’m not kidding when I say it’s a gateway to Hell. Couple times an hour Hell’s escorts bring in the souls of the damned, and I send them down. You can’t freak out when that happens, and you absolutely cannot go through those doors.” She pointed at the black doors, and while I generally love a good dare, this seemed like a stupid time to take up a challenge.

“You got it. I’ll even help”—I glanced around at the Christmas insanity “—decorate.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.

For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for my mailing list.

Come find me. We’ll have fun!

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSBlog || Facebook || Twitter

Dividers THE GIVEAWAY

Check out the tour-wide giveaway which includes Gift Cards and E-books!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

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

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Happy Sunday, fellow book addicts, and welcome back to another sneak peek of what we have in store for you in the week ahead. It’s going to be packed to the hilt with guests, giveaways, and reviews, so without further delay, here’s what’s coming up!

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Monday – Kicking off our week, we’ll be welcoming author Rebecca Cohen on the tour for her new novel He’s Behind You

We’ll also have author Rick R. Reed with us today on the tour for his new romantic thriller The Couple Next Door

Tuesday – Today we’ve got a big day planned, starting with a cover reveal for Lane Hayes’s new novel A Kind of Truth

Then following that, we’ll have author Kate Hill with us to chat about her new novel Blow by Blow

Finally, we’ll be hosting the Home for the Holidays Anthology blog tour with SJ Himes, Jenna Kendrick, Heather C. Leigh, Liv Rancourt, and Felice Stevens

Wednesday – Sticking with the “Big Day” theme, today we kick things off with author Cardeno C. on the audiobook tour for Just What the Truth Is, book five in the Home series

Next, author Silvia Violet joins us on the tour for her new novel Professional Distance

Followed by author JA Rock on The Subs Club blog Tour

And finally, we’ll have another installment in DSP Publications’ “Genre Talk” with Carole Cummings and Lex Chase to look forward to

Thursday – Today kicks off with author Joe Cosentino on the tour for his new Christmas novella A Home for the Holidays

And next up we’ll welcome author LB Gregg on the tour for With This Bling, book three in one of my all-time favorites, the Romano and Albright series

Friday – We have a couple of great guests today; first comes author Cate Ashwood on the tour for her new novel A Forced Silence

Then, author Santino Hassell stops back by on the tour for the second novel in his Five Boroughs series, Sunset Park

Saturday – To close out the week, we’re pleased to be taking part in a very special tour for Pride Publishing’s Racing Hearts Anthology, with contributing author Ethan Stone. All proceeds from the book will be donated to Cancer Research UK and Prospect Hospice in memory of Peter Laybourn, the late husband of Pride editor Sue Laybourn

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And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Felice Stevens, Giveaways

Teaser Tour and Giveaway: Betting on Forever by Felice Stevens

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FB_IMG_1447685786333Blurb: A weekend fling in Atlantic City couldn’t be more out of socially shy Zach Cohen’s comfort zone, but a bet with his best friends forces him to put aside the humiliation he’s hidden for years, stepping away from behind his computer screens and on line world. When he meets Sam Stein, despite their spark, Zach expects nothing more than a night of passion and a kiss goodbye. Yet weeks later, he can’t keep the man out of his head.

After a split second decision with tragic results ends his twenty year police career at the same time his relationship falls apart, Sam Stein is drifting through life. At his best friend’s urging he agrees to a trip to Atlantic City to clear his head. What Sam doesn’t plan on is meeting Zach Cohen, whose sweet nature and honesty has him thinking maybe he could move forward, until Zach leaves him without explanation, reinforcing Sam’s belief that people can’t be trusted.

Well-meaning friends refuse to let Zach and Sam hide from each other, forcing them to realize their weekend is much more than a one night stand. Before that can happen, Zach must come to terms with his past and stand up for his own independence, while Sam has to learn to take a chance and believe in himself and people again. All bets are off when dreams become reality and forever doesn’t seem to be long enough.

BUY LINKS: Amazon US || Amazon UK || All Romance

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Excerpt: I could be a totally new Zach. Someone who wasn’t afraid to take risks; someone willing to have fun and be daring.” He looked down at his lap. “Someone people would notice.”

None of this made sense to Sam. “But why? You’re a young, incredibly rich, good-looking guy. Why do you think you need to pretend? Any guy would be lucky to be with you.”

The compliment didn’t bring a smile of thanks or even a blush of self-awareness. Zach’s expression grew gloomier, and he stood, then walked to the windows.

“Perceptions rarely mirror truths. What you see isn’t how I see it, and it isn’t how most people have seen me all my life. I’ve never been confident about anything, except my abilities in school. And when you’re ten and never picked for sports or thirteen and never invited to any parties, a pattern is set for the adult you’ll be. The one on the sidelines; always there but never seen. When you’re an invisible kid, you tend to grow up to be an invisible adult.”

How wrong he’d been about Zach from the beginning. And knowing how sweet and kind a soul he was, Sam hurt for the young boy Zach had been and the sad and lonely man who stood before him.

“Is that how you see yourself—invisible?” Sam followed him to the window and placed a hand on his shoulder but made no other move.

“It’s how I’ve always been. Marcus always tried to include me, but—”

“You know what?” Sam slid his arm around Zach, turning him so that they faced each other. “You think too much about Marcus.” Sam took Zach’s glasses off and placed them carefully on the table. “You talk too much about him too. Want to know what I see?”

Zach blinked and nodded.

“I see a guy who’s kind, smart, and tenacious. A man who isn’t afraid to search out what he wants and go after it.” Sam leaned down and brushed Zach’s lips with his own, smiling at the sigh of pleasure from Zach. He pulled off his tee shirt and unbuttoned Zach’s shirt so their bare chests pressed against each other. Sam pushed Zach’s shirt off his shoulders so it fell to the floor, then slid his hand up Zach’s back, as warm and soft as he remembered. His fingers splayed out against skin, muscles, and bones, and he held Zach close. It was as if his hands were made to touch Zach. The feel of his skin was everything right and perfect.

“Don’t ever pretend with me; there’s no reason to. I’m not interested in someone who hangs out at the clubs and parties all night.” He buried his lips in Zach’s hair, his hands smoothing down the curvature of Zach’s spine until he dipped his fingers to gently touch below the waistband of Zach’s jeans.

Final BOF

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About the Author: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed. 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKSTwitter || Pinterest || Goodreads || Instagram || Author Page || Newsletter

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Other Books by Felice Stevens

Home for the Holidays Anthology Pre-order

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1QJU4Gs

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1SA7SSg

Rescued

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SVKAqS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1SA8Bmx

ARe: http://bit.ly/1WXekt8

B&N: http://bit.ly/YSu2df

The Breakfast Club Series

Beyond the Surface, Book 1

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MPImrX

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1S1zUpD

ARe: http://bit.ly/1PMdRUF

Memories Series

Memories of the Heart, Book 1

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MSZed4

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1PxZZPv

ARe: http://bit.ly/1ReSjis

B&N: http://bit.ly/1QJVUXS

One Step Further, Book 2

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1l2Fm0D

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1N95vb8

Through Hell and Back Series

A Walk Through Fire, Book 1

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MzpSbM

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NZpZlr

ARe: http://bit.ly/1MT33io

B&N: http://bit.ly/1Odz5sY

After the Fire, Book 2

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1WXcd8w

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1QsuF4J

ARe: http://bit.ly/1j5pZDk

B&N: http://bit.ly/1Odzcom

Embrace the Fire, Book 3

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1PMaflN

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1kCjZUr

ARe: http://bit.ly/1SVQMz4

B&N: http://bit.ly/1j5ramu

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

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

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4 Stars, Felice Stevens, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, Self-Published

Review: Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Beyond The Surface

Author: Felice Stevens

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 229 Pages

At a Glance: Author Felice Stevens used a delicate hand when developing her story, and left us with a romance that was very much worth every moment spent reading it.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

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Review: Two damaged men reach beyond their many years of separation to find that there may yet be a chance for them both to find love…with each other. One is a survivor of 9/11—a then rookie firefighter who obeyed an order until the last minute and found himself the only member of his squad to survive, albeit badly burned across his chest and scarred for life mentally. The other man has lived by his wits and his flair for fashion since his mother died, leaving him alone. Fighting for every scrap of fame he has earned, there is also something hollow in it all—something missing. Both look back to the past when they were in love with each other, one certain, the other frightened. A fashion designer who is fearlessly out and proud, a firefighter who is deeply closeted and horribly wounded, reunited. They will become incredibly strong and free when they finally tear down the walls that surround their hearts.

Felice Stevens’ Beyond the Surface is a tender love story that pairs two men who both have been masters at keeping the world at bay for so very long. The appeal of Julian and Nick is not their chosen professions or even their friends and family; rather, it is the way in which they slowly, fearfully emerge from behind the high, thick walls they have built around their emotions. Never allowing more than a one night stand for pleasure, both of these men are so incredibly needy, so lost and so desperate to be loved. While there were times when this novel got a bit too predictable and the language just a bit too flowery for me, one cannot deny the chemistry between these two main characters or their journey from the darkest of moments to the light of a life together.

Occasionally, I felt the continual reminders of Nick’s fears and Julian’s self-doubt were overplayed—it was at these times when I wished for more background on a few plot points that seemed shallow. For instance, I was truly mystified by Julian’s arch enemy, fellow designer Devon Chambers. Given what he did to Julian and his career, I wanted to hear a whole lot more about his backstory and their fleeting past relationship. Without that information, the level to which Chambers obviously hated Julian did not ring authentic. Also the swift capitulation by Nick’s father toward the last quarter of the novel seemed a bit forced to me, too soon and too easy. I felt that and the swift tie up at the ending of most every roadblock the two men had encountered did not do a good service to an otherwise carefully constructed story.

While Beyond The Surface may have had a few glitches, overall, one cannot deny the warm and tender love story that lay at the base of this novel. Author Felice Stevens used a delicate hand when developing her story, and left us with a romance that was very much worth every moment spent reading it.

TNA_Signature_Sammy

 

 

 

You can buy Beyond The Surface here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

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Felice Stevens, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Beyond the Surface Blog Tour with Felice Stevens

Beyond the Surface Banner

We’re so pleased to welcome author Felice Stevens today, on her Beyond the Surface blog tour. When Felice and I started chatting about topics for her visit, the first thought that came to mind was, “Let’s talk about 9/11 as a New Yorker.” So, that’s what came of our conversation, a New Yorker’s look at that day and the resulting novel that sprang from it all these years later.

Enjoy Felice’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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A 9/11 Day

Many, if not most, people remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the terror attacks of 9/11. For some people it is the seminal moment in their lives.

For those of us who live in NYC, it started out as a beautiful fall day, Primary Day, in New York. I had left for work; it was to be my daughter’s first day of 3rd grade and my son was four years old. She was to go in the afternoon session, and my babysitter was getting them out early to go to the park that overlooked the Manhattan skyline.

By 9 am word had begun to trickle in that a plane had hit the towers. Then a second plane hit, and we knew it wasn’t a weather plane or a lost pilot. We sat, fearful of more attacks, unable to get in touch with our families as our cell signals were blocked. I am lucky enough to work near my home, so my babysitter brought the kids and we sat in my office waiting. For what we didn’t know.

We all know what happened after that. The firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders who died, not to mention the thousands of other innocent people. New York was shattered and brought to its knees. For all that people say it is a cold place where people are strangers, it isn’t, at least for me. New York is a city made up of small towns. Our neighbors know one another and say hello on the street. We all became neighbors that day and for the months afterwards.

Our neighborhood firehouse is very close to the people they serve; my rabbi is a chaplain for the FDNY, and they’re an integral part of our community. They lost 6 firefighters that day, and it broke our collective hearts. We held vigils with them in the firehouse and sang songs of hope, loss and love on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

I never set out to write a 9/11 story specifically; an idea came to me to write about a man suffering from scars, and it somehow morphed into a fireman, 9//11 injuries and the resulting PTSD he endures. I visited our firehouse to talk to the men and get their take on what I was writing, to make sure I got it “right.”

Beyond the Surface is my personal tribute to the 9/11 survivors, the ones who made it out alive, beaten but not broken. Nick Fletcher, the closeted fireman in the book, didn’t believe he had a right to live and punished himself because he survived, while his buddies in his house didn’t. Julian Cornell, his lover, helped him to see that no one knows what will happen in life, that you have to live each day to its fullest and look beyond the pain to what the future holds. This isn’t a book of love conquering all, but how love and the healing powers it represents, can help.

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Beyond the SurfaceBlurb: On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

Beyond the Surface is available for purchase at Amazon.com

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Author BioAbout the Author: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Social Media Links: Website || Facebook || Facebook Author Page || Twitter || Amazon Author Page

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week!

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by to see what we have in store for you in the coming week here at The Novel Approach. We’ve a whole slew of great guests coming to visit us, including our next author feature on the Countdown to GayRomLit 2015 tour, so sit back, relax, and wait for all the fun to start.

Here’s a rundown of what you can expect!

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Monday – Author Kim Fielding is here to help us kick off a great week today, on the Rattlesnake blog tour

And joining her are the writing duo of S.A. McAuley and SJD Peterson, with an interview on their Ruin Porn tour

Tuesday – We have another installment of DSPP’s “Genre Talk” on deck today, when Carole Cummings interviews author Rick R. Reed about the re-release of his chilling and thrilling A Demon Inside

We’ll also welcome Felice Stevens today with a guest post that’s quite personal to her, as she joins us to chat about her new book Beyond the Surface

Wednesday – Today we welcome debut author A.V. Sanders, with an exclusive excerpt from her new May/December romance short, Percolation, Poetry, and Passion

Author Charlie Cochrane will also be joining us today on the tour for her new book from Bold Strokes Books, Don’t Kiss the Vicar

ThursdaySara York drops in on us today to chat about her latest release, Bonded 2

Joining us as well, is author Sedonia Guillone to chat about her latest novel Danny’s Dragon

Friday – Finally, closing out our week we have GayRomLit attending author AC Katt with us to chat about the dreaded writer’s block

And author Jessie G. will be here as well, on her Their Reason blog tour

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That puts the cap on another great week. Until next time, happy reading!

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4.5 Stars, Felice Stevens, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Karen

Review: Embrace the Fire by Felice Stevens

Title:  Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back: Book Three)

Author:  Felice Stevens

Publisher:  Loose Id

Page/Word Count:  243 Pages

At a Glance:  Right in line with the others in the series, all of which I loved.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Brandon Gilbert has spent years in hiding, but finally he’s accomplished his dream of working as a public school teacher. When offered the chance to help bullied children, there was no way he could say no. Not to mention that meeting Dr. Tash Weber, the psychiatrist who helps them, a sad yet sexy older man, ignited a spark inside Brandon he’d never had before.

Though five years have passed since the death of his lover, Dr. Sebastian “Tash” Weber has no interest in relationships or love. But young, enigmatic Brandon awakens his heart and his desire. Despite Tash’s best efforts to push him away, Brandon unlocks the passion for life Tash thought he’d lost forever.

Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan for either Brandon or Tash, but neither family disapproval nor self-doubts can stop them from embracing the fire that burns between them. And when Brandon returns home to fight for a future he never imagined possible, he and Tash discover that the one thing worth fighting for has been with them all along.

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Review:  So, out of the three books in the series this one probably isn’t my favorite. It was still really good, though, and right in line with the others in the series, all of which I loved.

This is little brother Brandon’s story, who falls for Dr. Tash. They really were quite adorable together when they weren’t having misunderstandings or hiding from one another. There wasn’t anything in particular that I didn’t like about the story, but in comparison to the others, it came across a little more sweet and lighter than the first two. Again, not in a bad way.  I think there was just something about Ash and Luke that drew me in just a little bit more.

Just like Ash and Luke, Brandon has his own past and demons to deal with, and it is Tash that he wants by his side, regardless of how much Tash continues to push him away or changes his mind.  Finally, they just give up and embrace their feelings for each other. There are family members who feel they have a say, and try to talk each of them out of it, but in the end they follow their hearts.

I am a little torn about the epilogue.  On one hand I really like that we not only get to see Brandon and Tash’s HEA but we get to see all of the guys’ HEAs.  But, the part that I am torn about is that it kind of came across as a little choppy.  All in all, though, I love this whole series, and it will definitely be on my reread list.

TNA_Signature_Karen







 

You can buy Embrace the Fire here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Felice Stevens, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Chris

Review: After the Fire by Felice Stevens

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Title: After The Fire

Author: Felice Stevens

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 253 Pages

At a Glance: I highly recommend this for anyone who loves their men a little bit broken but utterly redeemable.

Reviewed By: Chris

Blurb: A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped, taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life couldn’t free him of the nightmare of his former life; it reinforced his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.

As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

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Review: How would you handle losing the love of your life? That’s what Jordan is dealing with as we start After the Fire. This book picks up almost 9 months after A Walk Through Fire ends, and Jordan is still deep in the grieving process after having lost his partner Keith. He’s not really coping or allowing himself to heal; instead, he’s drowning his feelings in Xanax and alcohol. He doesn’t eat, he barely sleeps, and he’s pretty much cut his friends out of his life.

When Jordan’s partner Keith died, he left control of his finances to Jordan. This includes a youth center focusing on getting kids help and getting guns and violence out of their area. Because Jordan has checked out on life, the financial adviser to the foundation, Lucas Conover, threatens Jordan that he’ll have him removed as president of the board, as he’s not stepped up to help. This lights a fire under Jordan. Even if it doesn’t really change things, it gets him angry and determined to prove Lucas wrong. Lucas doesn’t believe Jordan will step up to help because he sees the alcohol controlling Jordan.

Jordan and Luke are both broken, in different ways, maybe, but both still suffer from things that have happened to them. Luke deals with a hellacious childhood and memories best left hidden. Along with what he believes to be the abandonment of his beloved older brother, Asher, who is Jordan’s best friend Drew’s partner. Jordan is broken by his grief and addiction, and the momentary blame he places on Drew for Keith’s death. Even though he knows it wasn’t Drew’s fault, Jordan can’t, or won’t, talk to Drew and share how he feels. The fact that Jordan and Luke could even attempt a healthy relationship is mired in their own self-doubt. Even though they do eventually fall in love with each other, it’s not an easy road for either of them.

Be prepared with Kleenex for this one, readers! It had some moments of sniffles that just couldn’t be held back. I’ve said with each new book, Felice Stevens can’t create a better couple, and she keeps proving me wrong. Jordan and Luke pretty much tore my heart up and then patched it all back together by the end. She also introduced a secondary character, Tash, who I utterly fell in love with and can’t wait for his story.

While there is some external conflict, this is a character driven story and what a story it ends up being. It kept this reader involved to the very last word on the very last page. I hurt for the conflict between Luke and Jordan, because neither were able to vocalize what they needed from the other at the start, and through most of the book. It was only toward the end where they were able to heal each other and be who the other needed in their lives. This was the hardest and yet best of Felice’s books out at this time.

I thoroughly look forward to the next in the series, along with any other stories this author shares with us in the future. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves their men a little bit broken but utterly redeemable.

TNA_Signature_CHRIS






You can buy After the Fire here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Felice Stevens, Giveaways, Self-Published

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Memories of the Heart Blog Tour With Felice Stevens

Title: Memories of the Heart
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: Adult, Gay Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2015
Ruthless, Controlling, A Loner. All words used to describe Dr. Micah Steinberg by the hospital staff for their next head of surgery. When a letter arrives from his grandmother’s friend at the assisted living facility, his orderly world tilts dangerously out of control. 
Josh Rosen had everything until it was revealed much of his world was a lie. Forced to re-evaluate his life, Josh gives up his career and returns home to New York City to care for his beloved grandmother. What Josh didn’t figure on was an attraction to a man who on the surface, appears to be exactly like the life Josh chose to leave behind.
As Micah struggles with the reality of his grandmother’s illness, the bond they share deepens, as Josh helps Micah heal, then open his heart. Micah discovers there is more to life than work, control and success. Josh is in deep but has yet to tell Micah who he really is.
When the fight for the hospital’s head of surgery turns ugly, Josh’s past and present collide. Micah must let go of the past and accept who he is, if his life is going to move forward.
Life is full of surprises, and as both Micah and Josh learn, love can happen whether you plan for it or not.

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What do you care about, Micah?” Josh couldn’t help but ask.

“My grandmother,” he promptly answered. “I know now what a shit I’ve been, dumping her away and thinking my money would take care of everything. I was no better than my parents, was I? Giving shelter and food, but nothing else.”

“It’s not too late, though. You’ve changed since that time I first saw you.”

Micah’s unblinking gaze focused on Josh. “Not really. I’ve spent a little more time with her and I have you and your grandmother to thank for that. But if I’m going to go for head of department at the hospital, I won’t be able to see her as much again. I’ll have too many responsibilities.”

And once again, Josh saw how different the two of them were. He’d left all that behind when he left Craig. When they’d won their big case, he’d let Craig do most of the media interviews, since he was the one who loved being on television and getting recognized. Occasionally they’d want Josh to speak and he did so, but only when necessary. Josh preferred to use his minor celebrity status for better causes and spend time at local youth organizations, lecturing at-risk teens on how they too could make something of themselves even if their parents and friends had cut them off for being gay.

Josh had no interest in being the biggest or the best in his field. He’d learned to be satisfied with what he had. Lately though, he thought he’d like to practice again, maybe open a small employment-discrimination law firm.

“Why do you want it then? What will it do for you that you don’t already have?” The money, prestige and power held no allure for Josh. He’d experienced that already and it had brought him nothing but misery.

“Are you kidding? It lets the world know you’re the most successful at what you do. You’re respected by all your peers. You have power and control, the best research opportunities. It’s endless.” Josh might have had four heads the way Micah stared at him.

“But what about you, your life? Don’t you get lonely?”

With the graceful movement of a jungle cat, Micah grabbed Josh around the waist, pulling him close. Their breaths mingled, lips barely touching. “I’m not alone now, am I?”

At those simple words, desire flooded through Josh, spilling thick and rich through his veins like warmed honey. His breath caught in his throat. All the warning signals Josh tried so studiously to pay attention to went out the window when Micah cupped his jaw, smoothing his thumb across Josh’s lips.
The spaciousness of Micah’s living room closed in on Josh, until all that was left in his line of vision was Micah’s dark, hungry gaze. Nerves fluttered beneath Josh’s skin; he struggled for his equilibrium.

“No, you aren’t alone.” Josh could barely choke out the words. He didn’t know when the rules had changed, when he had changed them, but Josh wanted this man. The air pulsed heavy with heat and sex. So long, so long. Josh moaned, his mind a whirlpool of sensation as Micah stroked his face with his beautiful hands. He hadn’t been touched like this in years, not even by Craig who was supposed to have loved him. Was he merely auditioning for another notch on Micah Steinberg’s bedpost? At this point Josh ceased caring and gave in to the need that seized him, pulling Micah’s head down to kiss his mouth.

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and thanks for coming by to see what we have in store for you in the week ahead. It’s shaped up to be another busy one–loads of guest authors, blog tours, giveaways just for you, and, of course, books. It wouldn’t be a week if we didn’t talk about books. 

Now, here’s what’s on tap.

Dividers

Monday – Author Felice Stevens is going to kick off our week for us on her blog tour for Memories of the Heart

We’ll also have Hayden Thorne joining us today to talk about her new book Sheridan Diggins and the Dead Horde

Tuesday – We’re helping Jaime Reese celebrate the release of the newest addition to the Men of Halfway House series, A Restored Man

We’ll also be helping to reveal the cover for Lou Sylvre’s A Shot of J&B, the next generation in the Vasquez and James series

Guest columnist and author Brita Addams also joins us today with her monthly article

Wednesday – Today we’ll be hosting author Con Riley on the True Brit blog tour

And joining her as our guest will be Sean Michael on the Love Matters tour

ThursdayJay Northcote drops in on the Passing Through blog tour

Jessie G. will also be with us today on The Protector blog tour

FridayMia Kerick is stopping by today on the Here Without You blog tour

We’ll also welcome Riptide Publishing and Cari Z., a contributing author in the Rules to Live By anthology

Saturday – Finally, to close out this busy week, we’ll have author Lillian Francis on the Theory Unproven blog tour

Louise Lyons also joins on the In Darkest Peru blog tour

Dividers

And that does it for us for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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4.5 Stars, Felice Stevens, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Chris

Review: A Walk Through Fire by Felice Stevens

Title: A Walk Through Fire

Author: Felice Stevens

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 239 pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Years after running away from an abusive foster family, Asher Davis still struggles with the guilt of leaving his foster brothers behind. He’s climbed to unimaginable heights as a ruthless, high-powered attorney, creating a life of power and control. He takes whatever and whoever he wants. Continue reading

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Felice Stevens, Giveaways, Loose Id

Interview and Giveaway: A Walk Through Fire by Felice Stevens

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TNA: Hi, Felice, I’m so glad to have you here with us today. Let’s start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Felice: Ok! I live in NYC with my husband, a daughter who is graduating college this year and a son who is graduating high school. I work full time as an attorney specializing in labor and employment discrimination law. With the boring pedigree out of the way, I drink coffee all day, look forward to my glass of wine at night and have yet to pass up a really good sale on a handbag. Or another pair of black pants.

Continue reading

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4 Stars, Felice Stevens, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Jackie

There’s A Little Animal Attraction In Felice Stevens’ “Rescued”

Title: Rescued

Author: Felice Stevens

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 212 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Ryder Daniels has spent the last year recovering from rejection: his parents couldn’t accept his sexuality and his lover chose drugs over his love. The only bright lights in his life are his younger brother and his rescued pit bull. But now his mother’s punishment for his lifestyle has cut him off from his brother he loves so deeply. Devastated, he throws himself into the work of the Pit Bull Foundation he and his friends started. Continue reading

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