4 Stars, Christina Lee, Genre Romance, Giveaways, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: The Deepest Blue Blog Tour with Christina Lee

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Amazon

Amazon

Title: The Deepest Blue (Roadmap to Your Heart: Book Two)

Author: Christina Lee

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 228 Pages

At a Glance: There’s just enough angst to go with the sweet to make The Deepest Blue a pleasant way to spend a few hours reading.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Rugged and conventional Callum Montgomery enjoys running Shady Pines hunting preserve, except for the secret that’s eating him alive. When his sister brings a date for a family wedding, he can’t stand the arrogant city slicker with the stick up his perfectly fine ass. He doesn’t understand his draw to Dean, who pushes his buttons at every turn, but he’d never dream of betraying his sibling over some lust fueled fantasy.

Handsome and conscientious Dean Abbott is a research assistant in his university’s biology lab. When his roommate, Cassie, begs him to be her pretend date in front of her meddling family, he begrudgingly agrees to help. He doesn’t anticipate being enchanted by the countryside, the colorful cast of characters, or her sexy and brooding straight brother.

When contempt turns to passion and leads to stolen moments in a sugar cane field, Callum can’t help longing for the kind of connection he believes he can never have. But not even the world’s most heart-melting kiss can bridge the vast philosophical differences between the men.

Dean’s return to his urban lifestyle leaves him restless, his mind continually wandering to the charming setting that spoke to something missing deep inside him. Because you can take the city boy out of the country but you can’t make him forget the intriguing man he left behind.

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Review: After running across Christina Lee’s The Darkest Flame on my Amazon recs, and One-Clicking it, I knew I wasn’t really taking much of a risk in accepting The Deepest Blue for review. I liked the author’s voice in The Darkest Flame—though I must admit I’d expected it to be a bit grittier since the story is set in and around an MC—but her characters Smoke and Vaughn were easy enough to root for through the drama and on to their happy ending. Now, having finished this second book in the series, I have to say if I had to pick a favorite of the two, it’d be no contest. The Deepest Blue wins.

At its heart, this book is a City Mouse/Country Mouse story, and has everything you might look for in an angsty genre romance: one man out and proud, the other deeply in the closet; two men on the opposite ends of the spectrum, socially. This is a true opposites attract story in almost every way. Dean Abbott is the college student, environmentalist, vegetarian city boy to Callum Montgomery’s small town rural guy. Callum helps run his family’s hunting preserve; he’s the brains behind the business, so before you go and think he’s a backwater hick, he’s most definitely not. He and Dean are an intellectual match, no question, and once Callum stops being so abrasive and decides Dean isn’t a half bad guy, we see how each of these men begin to open up to each other, and how they really do complement one another. They may have diametrically opposed views on what Callum’s family does for a living, but all that does is serve to ignite the spark Christina Lee lights between them.

The primary issue when these two meet and those sparks fly, however, is that Callum believes Dean is straight. And, why wouldn’t he? Dean is attending a family wedding at Shady Pine’s as his best friend and roommate Cassie’s date/maybe boyfriend. Cassie…who just so happens to be Callum’s sister.

The complication is all neatly served, and then the fun is in getting to watch the story unfold—through the friction, the secret Dean and Cassie are keeping, and most especially through the sexual tension that’s always thisclose to the surface between Dean and Callum. The story is told in alternating points of view, so we get both sides to their story, which I thought worked well given their situation. We don’t stand by and watch Callum struggle with his attraction to his sister’s “boyfriend,” we get a firsthand account of the fear he feels of someone in his family discovering his deepest, darkest secret. And the why of it is plain as well. We also get to experience Dean’s conflict—his wanting to be truthful with Callum because the attraction between them definitely goes both ways. I ended up really liking both of these guys, individually and as a couple.

As secondary characters go, Callum’s family was pretty great. I especially loved his younger brother Billie and would gladly read a novel with a grown up version of him in it somewhere down the line. He’s sweet and innocent and struggles with some physical limitations, and he stole every scene he was in. He’s the kind of kid you just want to hug the stuffing out of. What becomes evident quickly, something we see through Dean’s point-of-view, is that Callum underestimates just how wonderful his family truly is.

Overall, as contemporary genre romance goes, The Deepest Blue ticks all the relevant boxes in the category. Its characters are engaging, and there’s just enough angst to go with the sweet to make it a pleasant way to spend a few hours reading.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Deepest Blue here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

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(photo credit: Elaine M. Johnson)

(photo credit: Elaine M. Johnson)

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M romance.  I also own a hand-stamped jewelry business, which requires me to stamp letters and/or words onto pieces of silver. They go hand-in-hand perfectly.

Visit my WEBSITE. Or my FACEBOOK author page. You can also find me on TWITTER.

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THE GIVEAWAY

A $10 gift card to your favorite ebook retailer: Amazon, iBooks, or B&N

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Schedule:

12/4/2015-KathyMac Reviews-www.kathymacreviews.com

12/4/2015-Reviews by Tammy and Kim-http://tammyandkimreviews.blogspot.com/

12/5/2015-Nose Stuck In A Book-http://ycervera.blogspot.com

12/5/2015-Obsessive Reading Disorder-http://obsessive-reading-disorder.blogspot.com/

12/5/2015-Readers Live A Thousand Lives-http://readerslive1000lives.com

12/5/2015-Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy-twochicksobsessed.com

12/6/2015-Drako’s Den-drakosden.weebly.com/blog

12/6/2015-Lili’s Books-http://lilisbooks.canalblog.com/

12/6/2015-Mikky’s World Of Books-http://mikkysworldofbooks.blogspot.fr/

12/6/2015-Sinfully-http://sinfullymmbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

12/6/2015-The Novel Approach-http://thenovelapproachreviews.com

12/7/2015-Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words-http://ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.com

12/7/2015-Unrandom Randomness-http://bronwynheeley@blogspot.com

12/8/2015-Abbey’s 1-Click Book Blog-http://www.abbeys1clickblog.com

12/8/2015-Alpha Book Club-http://alphabookclub.org

12/8/2015-Bayou Book Junkie-http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com

12/8/2015-Inked Rainbow Reads-www.inkedrainbowreads.com

12/8/2015-JB’s Book Obsession-http://jbsbookobsession.blogspot.com/

12/8/2015-Literary Nymphs Hot List-http://literarynymphshotlist.blogspot.com/

12/8/2015-MM Good Book Reviews-https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/

12/8/2015-Nautical Star Books-http://nauticalstarbooks.com/

12/8/2015-Southern Babe’s Book Blog-Www.facebook.com/southernbabesbookblog

12/8/2015-The Literary Gossip-http://literarygossip.com

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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, Alice Griffiths, Genre Romance, Leta Blake, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: Will and Patrick Do the Holidays by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

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Amazon

Amazon

Title: Will and Patrick Do the Holidays (Wake Up Married: Episode Three)

Author: Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 117 Pages

At a Glance: The soap opera fun continues for our bold, beautiful, young, and restless duo.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: A couple’s first holiday season is always a special time. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are magical when you’re in love. Too bad Will and Patrick’s marriage is a sham and they’re only faking their affection for each other. Or are they?

Sparks fly in this episode of the Wake Up Married serial. Will the sexual tension between Will and Patrick finally explode in a needy night of passion? Or will they continue to deny their feelings?

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Review: Do you ever wish you could put your own words into characters’ mouths? Words like, “I’m a big boy and you’re a big buttinski, so I would enjoy it if you’d just butt your buttinski face right out of my adult beeswax.” And, “God, Ryan, you’re such a ginormous friggin’ douchenozzle assface, so I would love if you would just bugger off right now, thank you.” Yeah, me too. I want to write Will Patterson’s dialogue. No, not really. But those are an approximation of words I wish Will would say. He’s too busy being a nice guy, though, and is also too busy feeling like shoe poop because of stupid Ryan the assface boy. I love Will. I don’t love Ryan.

But, let’s move on before this gets any more immature, shall we?

What is it about the holidays that make occurrences occur? Especially occurrences of the warm and fuzzy variety. Whatever it is, Will and Patrick do the holidays. But, do they do each other? It’s what we’ve all been waiting for since their drunken marriage and raucous sexcapades in Vegas, yes? Well, I won’t tell, but what I will say is that I love where Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths have gone in this episode of the further adventures of Will and Patrick, fauxlyweds and pseudo-husbands who, hey, I think are becoming rather fondish of each other.

I also think Patrick’s heart grew three sizes in this special holiday episode, and even though we’re still learning bits and pieces about his past, he’s showing an incredible depth of regard for Will and his health, both his mental and physical health, in spite of Patrick acting somewhat like a feral human at times. Now, for a guy who’s supposed to be an arrogant jerk, he’s behaving uncharacteristically solicitous toward the man he’s also supposed to be trying to divorce. He also kisses babies, or baby, at least, so I think Patrick’s fronting. He’s just a marshmallow playing at sauerkraut. One might also observe that Dr. Patrick McCloud seems to be getting entrenched in the day to day operations of Healing’s hospital. One might also think the place is subconsciously growing on him. Just like Will is. If you ask me, I think he’s starting to like some of the Whos down in Whoville.

As has been the case since Episode the First, Blake and Griffiths have blended their voices seamlessly to create a sometimes funny, sometimes warm, sometimes touching and even a little bit angsty story. I’ve grown to love these guys, have a full on loathe-fest with Ryan, love Will’s grandmas, think his little brother and sisters seem pretty cool. And wish his mom and uncle would quit with their opinionated opinionating (see: adult beeswax buttinski faces). But they mean well, and Will is showing some signs of learning to quit letting other people tell him how he should think and feel. That Ryan… oh, he just has everyone so snowed. Everyone except for Patrick, that is. Patrick has had Ryan’s number since day one. Now Will just needs to accept that maybe he doesn’t love Ryan as much as he’s addicted to the idea of needing him in order to stay sober. You know, replacing one unhealthy addiction for another. Patrick would hate that bit of psychobabble.

Will and Patrick have already rung in the New Year in this episode, in a wonderful way, I might add, so we won’t be seeing them again until after our holidays. Will 2016 find our lawfully wedded duo undone? Or will the clean slate of a new year see them turning over a new leaf? Is the L-dash-dash-dash word anywhere in their future? And, more importantly, when the hell is someone going to give Ryan a good old fashioned roundhouse to the nuggets for me?

Stay tuned, readers. I don’t think we’re going to want to miss any of the action and suspense and drama yet to come as this world turns.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy Will and Patrick Do the Holidays here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon UK

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Author Bios

Leta BlakeLeta Blake

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more about her by following her online:

On the web || On Facebook || On Twitter

Author BioAlice Griffiths

A long-time reader of romance novels, Alice Griffiths finally took the plunge into writing, teaming up with best-selling author Leta Blake for the ‘Woke up Married’ serialized comedy. A lover of tropes, Alice enjoys mining old ideas and putting a fresh, funny spin on them. Formerly working in the newspaper industry, Alice is now an art curator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

You can find out more about her by following her online:

On Twitter || On Facebook

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THE GIVEAWAY

Click on the Rafflecopter widget to enter for the chance to win one of two e-copies of Will and Patrick Do the Holidays.

Good luck!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Stops:

23-Nov 3 Chicks After Dark  http://3chicksafterdark.com/
23-Nov Inked Rainbow Reads  www.inkedrainbowreads.com
23-Nov Prism Book Alliance  http://www.prismbookalliance.com
23-Nov Bike Book Reviews    http://bikebookreviews.blogspot.com
23-Nov Unrandom Randomness http://bronwynheeley.blogspot.com.au
23-Nov Gay Book Reviews     http://gaybook.reviews
23-Nov World of Diversity Fiction  http://wodfreview.com
23-Nov V’s Reads   http://vsreads.com
23-Nov The Novel Approach   http://thenovelapproachreviews.com
23-Nov Joyfully Jay  http://joyfullyjay.com
24-Nov BookWinked www.bookwinked.com
24-Nov Literary Nymphs Hot List http://literarynymphshotlist.blogspot.com
24-Nov two chicks obsessed with books and eye candy  http://twochicksobsessed.com
24-Nov Sinfully  http://sinfullymmbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk
24-Nov Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  http://ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.com
25-Nov Gay.Guy.Reading and Friends  http://ggr-review.com
26-Nov JB’s Book Obsession  http://jbsbookobsession.blogspot.com
26-Nov QUEERcentric Books www.blog.queercentricbooks.com
26-Nov Mikky’s World Of Books http://mikkysworldofbooks.blogspot.fr
27-Nov Abbey’s 1-Click Book Blog  http://www.abbeys1clickblog.com
27-Nov Bayou Book Junkie http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com
27-Nov Teatime and Books  http://www.teatimeandbooks76.blogspot.com
27-Nov MM Good Book Reviews  https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com
27-Nov Alpha Book Club  http://alphabookclub.org

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Giveaways, Shae Connor

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Nobody’s Son Blog Tour with Shae Connor

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Shae Connor to The Novel Approach today on the tour for her new novel Nobody’s Son. Enjoy Shae’s guest post, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $25 Dreamspinner Press gift card and ebook copies of Unfortunate Son and Wayward Son, the first two books in the series.

Good luck!

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Boosting #OwnVoices

By Shae Connor

Thanks, as always, to Lisa and the crew at TNA for having me today. :)

Putting together this blog post was difficult. I did the usual things you do when you’re looking for recommendations for a certain kind of book: crowdsourcing on social media, searching on Google, looking through review sites. I found… not a whole lot.

As a straight, cisgender woman writing a book about two black gay men, one of the things I wanted to do for my blog tour was take the opportunity to boost authors writing about gay black men from their own perspectives. Unfortunately, finding queer men of color writing romance about queer men of color turned out to be pretty tough. That’s not all too surprising, of course. The vast majority of romance in all its forms is written by women, so the pool of men is small to begin with. Each additional specification adds difficulty.

I found four men who fit what I was looking for. I know three of them and have spent significant time with two of them in person (including a round trip from Atlanta to New Orleans in one case!). They are wonderful men with wonderful stories to tell, no matter what the characters they write about. If you haven’t read their work, please do. You won’t regret it.

Larry Benjamin (http://www.larrybenjamin.com) is the author of a number of books, but in romance, he’s best known for his titles Unbroken and What Binds Us. Unbroken was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award finalist, a 2014 IPPY (Independent Publishers) Gold Medal Award winner, and  a 2014 Rainbow Award runner up. His most recent release is Vampire Rising, a novella from Beaten Track Publishing.

Vicktor Alexander (http://vicktoralexander.com) is a prolific author of many romance stories, including (just to name a few) Perfect Mistake, The Alpha’s Beautiful Mate, and Dakota. His book Raising Shawna was a finalist in the 2014 Rainbow Awards for best Gay Paranormal Romance. His latest title, The Servant Duchess of Whitcomb, book two of the Scandalous Whispers of the Remmington Realm series, will be released by Dreamspinner Press on November 27.

Jacob Z. Flores (http://www.jacobzflores.com) has been publishing gay romance for the past three years and is known in particular for his Provincetown series, which received third place for M/M Romance Series in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2014 Reviewer’s Choice Awards. His book The Gifted One received an honorable mention in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. The latest in his The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge series, Blood Tied, released in September from Dreamspinner Press.

The fourth author is one who was recommended to me as a result of a Twitter query, so I’m less familiar with his work. Frederick L. Smith (http://fredericklsmith.com) is published with Kensington and Bold Strokes Books. He was a finalist for the PEN Center Emerging Voices Fellowship, and his most recent title (with Bold Strokes) is Play It Forward.

Do you know of other men who should be included on this list? Please share in comments! I’d love to boost even more.

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NobodysSon-CoverArtBlurb for Nobody’s Son: Who wouldn’t want a nice cup of tall, dark, and gorgeous? Shaun Rogers does. He’s working at the front desk of a clothing-optional gay resort when Conrad “Con” Brooks walks in. The sweet, funny, and smart IT guy is there to install a new network and security system, and sparks fly between the two men from the start. Trouble is, Shaun’s hiding his sexuality from his grandmother, the only family he has left, and that makes him reluctant to take the leap with Con.

Then a man claiming to be Shaun’s absent father shows up out of nowhere, throwing Shaun completely off balance. His life spiraling toward chaos, Shaun soon discovers that his “father” is hiding secrets of his own. When things come to a head between them, it’s Con who comes to Shaun’s rescue—but the incident could force Shaun into a decision he’s not sure he’s ready to make.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press || Amazon || All Romance eBooks

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Shae ConnorAbout the Author: Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at shaeconnorwrites@gmail.com or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.

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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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Giveaways, J. Johanis, Self-Published

Guest Post and Giveaway: Claimed By the Order by J. Johanis

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The Novel Approach welcomes author J. Johanis on her Claimed By the Order Blog Tour. Enjoy the excerpt we have for you, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Good luck!

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Claimed by the Order CoverBlurb: Young and eager to join the social playground of the gods, Marduk enters his first day of college at the exotic mountain retreat at the Temple of Power. But he swiftly falls into the clutches of a secret order. Confronted by the powerful gods who wish to claim him, Marduk is defenseless. His only way out: to lure another virgin god into the Order.

Marduk finds refuge in the young god Anu-Akad. Delivering Akad to the order would earn Marduk his freedom, but Marduk struggles to keep his love affair hidden from the Order. Will his efforts be in vain? He failed to save himself. Is he strong enough to save his lover?

Advisory: Contains portrayals of m/m sex, violence, non-con, & abuse. Intended for mature readers

Buy Link: Amazon

Add the Book to Goodreads

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Mystery God Excerpt

“If you were going to lose your virginity one way or another tonight in our bedroom, which type of lover would you prefer?”

“What are you talking about?”

“That’s your surprise, Marduk. Tonight, you’re going to be with a man.”

Marduk’s stomach dropped. “Okay, you can untie me now.”

“Answer me before I decide for you, and I’m thinking I really want to see you get fucked.”

“Shala! That’s not funny.” Marduk began to pull on his bindings.

Shala smiled and placed a blindfold over his eyes, plunging him into darkness.

“Okay. I would prefer someone like Aya.”

Shala kissed him again, and both goddesses got up off the bed. Marduk’s heart started pounding. Were they really doing this?

A few moments later, a door opened and footsteps approached. A hand touched his thigh, sending a shiver through his body. The touch was soft but rougher than that of a goddess. The hand slid up his thigh, along his pelvis, torso, and chest, before slipping behind his neck. Soft lips caressed his nipples, and his sex stiffened. When the man’s naked body brushed against his, Marduk’s muscles tensed, and his heartbeat quickened. All of a sudden, he wanted to break free. He had no idea who was touching him or what this man might do to him. His breathing became labored. Then the man leaned down close, lips hovering over his, and kissed Marduk gently. A vibrant shock shot through his body, making his cock even harder. He suddenly felt the need to possess the man’s mouth. He kissed the man back, and the instant the man yielded, allowing his tongue entrance, the taste of sweet peaches overwhelmed his senses. The man’s lips were like the nectar of the gods, and Marduk groaned, unable to restrain his desire. Never before had he tasted such heaven. Where did they find this man? The man’s slim, naked body lowered onto his own. Marduk’s breath hitched. He was too perfect.

“Who are you?” Marduk panted. He wanted to yank his wrists free from his bindings and tear off his blindfold to behold the beautiful creature lying on top of him. He waited for an answer, but the man said nothing.

“Answer me. Are you a man or a god?” Marduk persisted.

“A god,” a soft voice whispered. Marduk’s stomach dropped, and the blood seemed to drain from his limbs. What the hell were Shala and Nanya thinking? He struggled to rein in his senses.

“I want you to untie my hands. I need to touch you.”

“Marduk,” Shala’s voice came from beside the bed. “I’ll let him untie you as long as you keep your blindfold on.”

When his bindings were free, Marduk sat up, grabbed the slender god, and pulled him into his arms.

“I want to know who you are,” he said, running his hands over the god’s face, trying to match what he felt with a face that he knew. What god could they possibly bring to him that was like Aya? How many gods like Aya existed? Marduk let his hands glide down the god’s firm chest, exploring his sleek body, until his fingers clutched his perfect round butt. Marduk pulled him onto his lap so his legs were straddling his hips. Then he grasped the god’s erect member, eliciting a gasp, his body jerking from his touch. Marduk took a deep breath. Could he really do this? He didn’t even know who it was in his arms. Could I really fuck him?

“Why did you agree to this?” Marduk released his cock and ran his hands over the god’s buttocks.

“I really like you,” the god whispered.

“Do you like me enough to let me fuck you?” Marduk dug his fingers into the underside of the god’s thighs.

“Yes,” he breathed.

“Do you think I would change my mind if I knew who you were?”

“No.” His voice wavered.

“Why did you agree to this? Why not approach me directly?”

“I … I guess I was too shy.”

Marduk smiled, pulling the god closer. The meek responses made him want him more.

“I won’t fuck you unless I can look into your eyes while I’m inside you,” Marduk said, running his hands into the god’s silky hair. The god groaned into his neck, fingers clutching desperately to his back.

“Please, Marduk, just let me pleasure you.” The god kissed his neck, beginning a trail down his chest and abdomen, until his lips finally brushed against Marduk’s erect member. Marduk’s breath left him, and his heart began to pound.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Johanis writes dark M/M fantasy and enjoys writing plots that are historical or myth-based.

You can find Johanis here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Other books by J. Johanis: 

Siren’s Reckoning (Operation El #1) 

Upcoming:

Drago Star (Toy Soldier) – September 2015

Dream God (S-Gods #2) – November 2015

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THE GIVEAWAY

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A.L. Boyd, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: Crest Ridge by A.L. Boyd

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The Novel Approach welcomes author A.L. Boyd today on the Crest Ridge blog tour. A.L. talks a bit about the story behind the story, and is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. You can enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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The story behind Crest Ridge

You might be wondering about the backstory for Crest Ridge. The basic plot was set by this M/M Romance Group prompt.

Dear Author,

See the guy on the right? The one with the tattoo? He’s an arrogant prick and I’ve hated him since high school. The thought of him has given me nightmares ever since he humiliated me in front of our entire Senior class. Ten years later and I can’t believe I’ve run into the douchebag during my mountain vacation. I may be taller than him now, but he still knows how to make me feel small. Will I ever discover why he was so mean to me? Please help!

Since the prompt called for a few specific things, I decided to use a few settings from my real life experiences. For example, that military school is real and is where I attended Junior College. The fact that students have been sent there by judges, and parents for bad behavior is also real. Saber swats, zoom brooms, and other forms of physical hazing were still in use during the times I attended the school even though it was hushed up some. Even with all of that, I still have fond memories of the school and the friends I had there. I felt that it provided a good setting for the prompt.

The fire scenes were based on my work experiences as a wildland firefighter. I worked for five years as a Bureau of Land Management firefighter on hand crews and on engine details. I used some of that experience to create the fire and evacuation scenes. And I used the mountains of New Mexico because of all the work fighting fire in these areas. I thought an evacuation bringing them back in contact with each other would be an interesting option. And if you are wondering about the mountains of New Mexico (because most people I know usually think we are all desert here), are a couple photos of an area of the state that is similar to the location I set for the story.

A.L. Boyd

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Crest Ridge Book CoverBlurb: It was supposed to be their big night! The opening of their movie premier. Robert Owens boyfriend abandoned him, and brought another date. Humiliated, Rob left Los Angeles, and moved to a quiet ranch in rural New Mexico only to face his high school bully Dane Johnson.

Rob never expected his high school tormentor to show up at his new home, but there the man was ordering him to evacuate from an oncoming wildfire. After Rob returned to his ranch, Dane offered an apology, and an explanation of his past actions. Rob has to decide if the bully he once knew has changed his ways. Will they overcome their past and find a new start?

Buy Links: Amazon | Smashwords

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Author BioAbout the Author: A cartographer by day, A. L. Boyd spends most of her free time with her horses, gardening, or reading. She never intended to be a writer, but stories like this one sometimes just pop into her head. The writing came about as a way to get the stories out.

CONTACT & MEDIA INFOEmail | Goodreads | Facebook

Also by the Author: Crest Ridge Vacation – The short version of this story originally written in 2013 for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group writing event.

Kickass Anthology – A short story in the anthology donated to help pay medical expenses for a fellow author.

Coming Soon: The Dawn of Darkness – Contemporary short story written for the 2015 Goodreads M/M Romance Group writing event.

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Wayward Son Blog Tour With Shae Connor

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Shae Connor today on the Wayward Son blog tour. Enjoy Shae’s article on Finding the Balance: Writing a Threesome Relationship, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $25 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card and your choice of an e-book from Shae’s backlist.

Good Luck!

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First, a big thanks to Lisa for having me back again! Has it already been four months since the last time I did this? Time flies when you’re busy as heck!

Today I’m kicking off the blog tour for Wayward Son, book two in the Sons series. This is my first series, so it’s the first time I’ve worked with same characters from one book to the next. And Cory and Jimmy in particular made it very clear when I was writing Unfortunate Son that yes, I would be writing their story next. They’re demanding that way!

Cory, Jimmy, and Mikey are each loosely based on men I know. Cory matches up closely physically and personality wise with the inspiration, who also provided the name of Cory’s drag persona, Coco Lame. Jimmy’s similarities to my friend are primarily in his personality and sense of silly humor. For Mikey, it’s mostly his interest in art that’s drawn from real life.

(I won’t name the specific people here, in part because the comparisons are VERY loose, but they’re among those thanked in the acknowledgments.)

When it came to writing a three-way relationship, I also drew some inspiration from real-life and a number of polyamorous people I know. One couple I’m acquainted with falls into the category of two people very much in love who like to bring others into their bed now and then. Cory and Jimmy lived that way for years, until they met Mikey and decided to make things more permanent.

And that’s a challenge, both for Mikey and for me as the author. In writing a plausible polyamorous relationship, it’s important to make sure everyone gets equal time—or, at least, the amount of time they want. It’s particularly difficult when two of the characters are larger-than-life like Cory and Jimmy. They have a tendency to command attention in every scene, even when the focus is on someone else.

In Wayward Son, one big obstacle Mikey has to overcome is not feeling like a third wheel. Cory and Jimmy have been a couple for years, and though they’re as clear as they can be about Mikey not being an afterthought to them, it takes Mikey a while to believe it.

In this excerpt, Cory, Jimmy, and Mikey have just had sex, but the natural closeness between Cory and Jimmy leaves Mikey feeling unneeded (again). Cory does his best to reassure him:

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Cory tucked him under the covers and curled up behind him while Jimmy ordered room service. When Jimmy was done, he crossed to the bed and gave each of them a kiss with a side of groping. Cory made silly, sexy sounds the whole time, which hit Mikey like a punch to the gut. What did they need him for when they were clearly so in love with each other?

Mikey didn’t know if he’d stiffened up or what, but after Jimmy disappeared into the bathroom for a shower, Cory shifted away and pulled at Mikey’s shoulder until he rolled onto his back. Pinning Mikey with a gaze that saw too much, Cory asked, “Are you okay?”

Mikey tried to shrug. “It’s just with everything….” He tried to drop his gaze, but Cory reached out to lift his chin and force him to look at him again.

“You’re thinking you’re unnecessary again, aren’t you?”

Mikey blushed. He couldn’t deny it. It was the truth, wasn’t it? “You and Jimmy, you’re just so….” In love, he thought, but couldn’t say it. “You’ve been together so long,” he tried instead. “How can you…?”

“Want you too?” Cory finished the question. He smiled a little. “Well, you might not have noticed, but we’re not exactly small personalities.” Mikey could not hold back a grin at that. “And sometimes big personalities need a little bit more than the usual.”

Mikey jerked away at that. “So, what, I’m just a fill-in?”

Cory sighed. “You know it’s not that,” he chided. “It’s like… like a few minutes ago, when he kissed us before he went to shower. When he touches me like that, it’s not just groping. It’s like he strips away all the surface stuff, the blather and the bullshit life forces on us, and touches me. It’s just him, and just me, and it’s a feeling I never want to lose.”

“But then—”

“But nothing, honey. What I’m saying is, what he does for me, he does for you too. What he feels for me, he feels for you. And it’s the same for me, and it doesn’t take a thing away from what’s between him and me.”

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81lXQeF6EXL._SL1350_Blurb: Sequel to Unfortunate Son

After his move to Atlanta and away from the influence of his conservative parents, Mikey O’Malley finally feels free to be himself: art student, aspiring animator, and out gay man. He has friends, a new job, and not one, but two men interested in him. Cory Lassiter and Jimmy Black have been a happy couple for years, occasionally bringing a twink into their bed, but only for a brief roll in the hay. When Mikey meets the pair, the attraction is immediate, and it runs three ways. Mikey just can’t believe they’d have room in their lives for a permanent addition.

When Mikey’s newfound life is shattered by a lawsuit that accuses him of molesting a child years earlier, he’s determined to face his troubles on his own, but Cory and Jimmy are just as determined that he not have to go it alone. To reconcile his need for independence and his desire for love, Mikey has to learn that being a man isn’t just about standing on your own two feet. It’s about letting yourself lean on the ones who love you.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Shae ConnorAbout the Author: Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at shaeconnorwrites@gmail.com or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.

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Indigo LogoTour Schedule:

5/11 –The Novel Approach

5/12 –Sinfully Sexy

5/13 –Love Bytes Reviews

5/14 –M/M Good Book Reviews

5/15 –Prism Book Alliance

5/16 –Joyfully Jay

5/17 –Because Two Men Are Better Than One

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Butt Riders on the Range Blog Tour With Eden Winters

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The Novel Approach welcomes Eden Winters today, on the Butt Riders on the Range blog tour. Enjoy Eden’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy of one of the previously published Butt-Thologies (titles and links can be found in Eden’s article).

Good luck!

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Confessions of a Butt Rider…

I’ve a confession to make. Last year I became a Butt Ninja. This year I’m a Butt Rider. How does one become a Butt Ninja or Butt Rider, you ask?

Well, it all started at a little convention in Atlanta, Georgia, called Outlantacon, and an invitation from fellow authors Shae Connor and J.P. Barnaby to come on down!

Little did I know where this innocent-sounding invite would lead.

At the convention I met authors I’d first read in my early days as a M/M reader, when I’d consumed gay romance novels like Skittles: T.C. Blue, Angelia Sparrow, and Kiernan Kelly. I also met a man of fantastic wit and mad blogging skills (and a hilariously entertaining wardrobe of witty T-shirts), Kage Alan.

Now it seems these folks, along with Shae, were involved in a panel when an idea was hatched, an anthology called Butt Pirates in SpaceYou haven’t lived until you’ve heard Kiernan say the title, complete with hand motions.

I read the book, laughed so hard I cried, and was thrilled the next year when I was asked to join them in their next project: Butt Ninjas From Hell. Also joining the roster wereJevocas Green, Ally Blue, and J.P. Barnaby. Next up was Butt Babes in Boyland, a Christmas anthology, and now Butt Riders on the Range, published April 29.

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ButtRidersOnTheRange_cvr_100dpiBlurb:

Do you imagine blazing gun battles, bandits, and saloons with watered-down drinks when you think of cowboys and the West? We don’t. Our minds go right to horse shifters, bull shifters, were-leopards, urban wannabes, an interrupted journey along Route 66, a man of mystery named Dr. Feel-Good, and high noon at the edge of the galaxy! The fourth time’s the charm as the Butt-Thology authors saddle up, ride their men hard, and put ‘em away wet.

Butt Riders on the Range…the bulls aren’t the only ones being grabbed by the horns!

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What’s next? Who knows? But you can bet it’s going to be fun.

My contribution to Butt Riders on the Range is Hooves and Horns, the tale of two rodeo riders who might be more than they seem:

Bull riding champion Kerry Abrams hoped to never see “Diablo” again. He’s the only man to ever successfully ride the beast eight seconds, but Diablo probably says that to all the cowboys.

Armando Castillo’s tired of being told what to do. It’s him and Kerry the rodeo fans come to see, but family prejudices have cost Armando a man who fights as hard as he loves. Time for a little a scheming and planning to win Kerry back, and show his family he’s through with their bullshit, or rather, bull shit. 

And he doesn’t moo during sex. He really doesn’t.

Pick up your copy of Butt Riders on the Range at Wilde City Press.

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Eden WintersAlso by Eden Winters: The Diversion series. Look for the next installment, Redemption, Summer of 2015.

Eden Winters was captivated young by storytelling, and her earliest memories include spinning tales for the family’s pets. Her dreams of writing professionally took a sojourn into non-fiction, with a twelve-year stint in technical documentation.

She began reading GLBT novels as a way to better understand the issues faced by a dear friend and fell in love with the M/M romance genre. During a discussion of a favorite book, a fellow aficionado said, “We could do this, you know.”

Good-bye gears, motors, and other authors’ characters; hello plots and sex scenes. This has resulted in such prize-winning stories as Settling the Score, The Angel of Thirteenth Street, Naked Tails, The Wish, Duet, and the Diversion series.

Somewhat of a nomad, Eden has visited seven countries so far. She currently calls the southern US home, and many of her stories take place in the rural South. Having successfully raised two children, she now balances the day job with hiking, rafting, spoiling her grandchildren, and stalking the wily falafel or elusive tofu pad Thai at her favorite restaurants. Her musical tastes run from Ambient to Zydeco, and she’s a firm believer that life is better with fur kids and Harley Davidsons.

Find her at www.edenwinters.com

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdenWinters1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdenWinters

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Dragons Blog Tour With Jaycee Edward

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Jaycee Edward on the Dragons blog tour today. Enjoy Jacyee’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $15 Gift Card from Evernight Publishing.

Good luck!

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Rabbit croppedIn Dragons, Will gives young Joey a stuffed purple dragon. Years later, when Will runs into Joey again, he’s shocked to see Joey still had the dragon.

I’m not sure why he was so surprised. I adored stuffed animals as a kid. I didn’t have many, but the ones I did have were loved until the stuffing burst from their seams. I think most of us probably had one or two particular stuffed animals that gave us such comfort as kids that we just could never bear to part with them. I mean, how do you just throw your childhood confidant in the trash?

I had two very special such stuffies. First was Tiny – an oversized, very flat, tan dog with a big darker-brown spot on his back where you were obviously meant to lay your head. He had long, floppy ears just right for drying tears. Tiny originally belonged to my older brother, but was handed down to me and lived the rest of his life across the foot of my bed. In his short existence, he was hugged, cuddled, thrown up on and cried on more times than I can count. He was my non-judgmental, pretend boyfriend that let me practice kissing without ever telling me I was doing it wrong. He captured and silenced my sobs whenever life didn’t treat me fair and he helped me get through those awful, awkward pre-teen years.

As I grew up, stuffed animals gave way to real boys; Tiny got neglected and at some point, he vanished. I’m not sure when that happened. I was busy with teenage things. I’m sure my mom was counting the minutes until it was safe to get rid of him. He was threadbare and ugly by then, but like the Velveteen Rabbit, it meant he’d become ‘real’. I wish I at least had a picture of him to show you, but I don’t.

The only stuffie to survive, was Bunsy, a small rabbit – the very first stuffed animal that was all mine, not a hand-me-down. He was easy to clutch and carry, and often went outside to play with me. Bunsy started out white and fluffy, but as you can see from the picture, he’s now the dingy gray that stuffed animals become after years of being loved. I’m not sure how he managed to escape all my mom’s decluttering campaigns. Maybe because she had a real rabbit named Bunsy when she was a child. However he managed it, I’m glad he did, because he now sits on a shelf in my bedroom, still watching over me when I sleep.

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Blurb: A chance encounter in a hospital waiting room between twenty-two year old Will Messina and sixteen year old Josiah Pinkerton ends with a gift of a stuffed dragon off the hospital gift cart and a memory neither of them can shake.

Five years later, when a lonely, buttoned-up Will ventures into a gay club, he spots a pale, leather-clad specter with violet eyes tracking his every move. Will realizes he’s being watched by the grown version of the boy who’s haunted his thoughts for years.

Joey recognizes Will, but he’s no longer the sweet, brown-eyed boy worthy of Will’s attention. He’s damaged and defective and lives in a different world than Will now. When his childhood crush makes his way across the bar, Joey doesn’t have time to decide whether to be enchanted or dismayed because, unless he turns and runs, those worlds are about to collide.

Buy Links: Evernight Publishing | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Jaycee Author ImageAbout the Author: Jaycee Edward is no longer seventeen years old but don’t tell her that. She’s actually a tad older and lives in northeast Ohio with her handsome husband and one, big gorgeous dog. She has two grown stepdaughters and is proud to be the ultra-cool Nana to two amazingly incredible grand-teens. Jaycee loves pistol shooting and is has earned her Bar 7 Sharpshooter status in the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and hopes to someday reach the level of Expert Marksman. She is proud to be the token liberal at her gun range. Jaycee knows way too much about the inner workings of Walt Disney World and anything related to One Direction. She’d love to pull you into the rabbit hole with her. All you have to do is ask. Find her there or contact her through social media.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | FB Author Page | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | TSŪ | Ello | Tumblr

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Czar of Wilton Drive Blog Tour With R.P. Andrews

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The Novel Approach welcomes author R.P. Andrews today. He’s talking Kinky Sex (NSFW, dear readers!) and is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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I don’t apologize for what you’re about to read. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of what I’ve done in the name of pleasure; I am what I am and, well, it is what it is. The long anticipated BDSM erotic romance Fifty Shades of Grey opened Valentine’s Day weekend, and while it was largely panned by the critics as “insipid,” it is making a mega-fortune off wives who drag their husbands to it in hopes its dirty tale inspires them. I didn’t read the book nor plan to see the movie. But from what I gleaned from the internet, my response is one big yawn.

I mean what’s the big fuckin’ deal?

I can’t speak for str8s, but unless you’re totally vanilla without sprinkles in the bedroom, most of us gay guys have “been there, done that” somewhere along our checkered careers. I know I certainly have as a seasoned leather man: I’ve been cuffed, had my balls tied up and weighed down with fish hooks, had hot wax dripped on my privates, have deep fisted and punched fisted at least a dozen men, tightened a belt around the neck of a guy who craved breath control till he passed out, had a young guy who looked as squeaky clean as a farmer’s son eat out my dirty asshole, wore a gas mask while a guy shot poppers up the hose and a third blew me, and get a hard-on in Home Depot and Office Depot when it comes to looking for new toys. That’s just for starters, and most of the time I wasn’t even high.

Not bad for a former Sunday school teacher, huh? (No, you’re right, pretty awful.)

Take, for example, my introduction to electrical simulation or e-stim. The closest I came to being adopted by the Mafia, besides living and working on Staten Island, a borough of the Big Apple, and the most Italian American county in the U.S., was Peter, a short (like me), stocky, swarthy, hairy, Italian gorilla with a shaved head and thick black beard and a build that Tom of Finland would have used as a model. It was mutual lust the second we eyed one another in the Lure, NYC’s legendary leather bar. Pete said he was in “construction,” but at 47 was already retired, and living on Staten Island all those years taught me not to ask too many questions.

After screwing around at his Jersey mansion a few times, we rendezvoused at his other estate a bit closer to New York City, in Caldwell, Jersey. I took the afternoon off from work to play, and this is where Peter introduced me to this new kink. With us squatting on the bed, face to face, he placed a long metal rod beneath our ball sacs wired to a large lantern battery and another wire around the base of each of our hard cocks, then flipped some switch and began slowly racketing up the voltage with a dial. It was the first time I shot without touching myself, and the sight of globs of cum spurting from our twitching cocks up onto our furry bellies and chests almost in unison would have been a ratings winner on xtube.com if it had existed then.

Peter actually wanted to keep me, but I was too self-reliant a person to be held down. Looking back now, thirty years later, I think I was plain stupid. Peter, who was almost twenty years my senior, might be dead by now, and I would have been set for the rest of my life, like some jerk I met on the beach years later in Fort Lauderdale who, after taking care of his “partner,” thirty years his senior, for fifteen years, and not working a day all those years, is now living off a trust fund. But, hell, at least Peter didn’t hire a hit man when I deserted him.

Then there’s that very acquired taste: fist fucking. The first time I fisted a guy was in the Clubhouse II baths in Lauderdale, on one of my snowbird visits in the nineties. The guy, a lean and mean, lightly furry, handsome fucker, all of thirty, was obviously strung out on something when he gave me the eye as I passed his open room door. Even if I wasn’t quite as versed in the ins and outs of gay sex as I am today, I knew the can of Crisco on his bed stand wasn’t there for frying chicken.

That night I also learned I was a born fister. I had the strong but tightly built hand of a musician and, in fact, had been a concert pianist by the age of eight, but gave it all up when my piano teacher moved to another town. It took very little effort for me to slide first two fingers, then three, then my tapered fist, and finally my whole hand half way to my elbow up his stretched hole. He was a clean machine – you know what I’m saying – and all I felt was wet, warm tissue enveloping my arm. Frankly, I wasn’t sexually turned on by the experience, but neither was I turned off – just curious. My buddy, on the other hand, was in Fistee Heaven. I’m sure whatever he was on certainly helped the cause.

I thought guys who loved getting fisted may have gotten bored with conventional dick fucking or even super-sized dildos. I also knew from that first night that it had to be far more than massaging the guy’s prostate since the prostate is only a few inches up the rectum while your hand feels like you could grab the guy by the throat from inside. But as a seasoned fister buddy explained to me, the anal sphincter is another erogenous zone which becomes so sensitive after a fisting experience, just touching it continues to drive the guy wild and even more hungry for a hard cock to enter next.

OK, I’ll buy that, but I still think there’s also something of a mind game going on here, the fact the guys knows that once you’ve got half your arm up his butt, you have complete dominion over his life. And his soul.

Over the years I had my fair share of asses, but increasingly I found the experience, well, a little boring. While I knew that the guy I was doing it to was obviously enjoying it – I could tell by the level of his grunts – my mind would often wander to my weekly food shopping list.

That is, until I met my fisting brothers from LA, Tim and Tom.

We connected on Manhunt; they were on vacation here in Lauderdale, staying at one of the overpriced guest houses by the beach, but they were willing to make it easy for me by coming to my place. Hairy, masculine, gym-built fuckers with thick uncut cocks, they looked like the types who would want to tie me up to a post and take turns fucking the shit out of my tight virgin ass. Tim, 44 had a shaved head, his younger brother, Tom, 40, sported a buzz. But no, instead it was I who took turns fisting their glorious furry butts, Tim’s first while Tom went down on my dick, then vice versa, as they say. Reciprocation made all the difference for me, something that could only happen in a threesome arrangement. We took it slow but the more arm I gave them, the more each of them wanted, till I felt I could rip their hearts out if I willed it.

And when they had both gotten off, flaccid dicks spurting away, Tom twisted my nips while Tim went down on me and took my load like a pro. Then they packed up their stuff, in as organized a fashion as they had unpacked, slipped back into their jogging shorts and tight tanks, and thanked me for a good time. For once had by all.

A few years later, this studly bearded furry handsome Cuban named Marcos hit me up on Daddyhunt and invited me over to his Miami luxury condo. Marcos wanted one thing and one thing only: for me to pound his bull balls with a mallet or, when he was really warmed up, a baseball bat, while he lay there, those thick muscular, hairy legs spread. No touching, no kissing, just three hours of solid whacking while we smoked meth.

Ever wear one of those Israeli gas masks you can pick up cheap for twenty bucks on one of those online sex shops? The feel of confinement is over the top. A meth head buddy introduced me to his while he gave me a bj and I watched through the mask goggles. Later, a geek FB and I had loads of sensual sex with mine as he blew some poppers up the hose while he ever so slowly stroked my tool. He told me later his best hard-on was watching me go into some kind of trance. But, shit, this was child’s play compared to what that guy years ago in Columbus, Ohio, asked me to do to him.

I was on a drive vacation to Chicago and decided I’d stop along the way at lesser cities I’d never been. Columbus, Ohio, was among them. I’ve forgotten the name of the place, but one glance said bear/leather/levi bar. It was August, hot and sticky (the bar had only ceiling fans) and when I saw a few other guys shirtless, I slipped off my T and strung it through my belt loops.

“So you gonna enter the contest?” asked the burly, bearded bartender as he handed me my Bud Lite.

“Contest?” I asked.

“The best hairy chest contest. We do it every Friday night. Winner gets fifty bucks.” Then he reached over the bar to stroke my chest. “Yep, you sure do qualify, mister, yum yum.”

Not exactly being shy, I signed up with the MC but knew that bars held these things to milk the crowd for more drinks, so that “Contest at Midnight” actually didn’t happen until closer to one.

I was on my second Bud when Gary strolled in. Tall, lanky and hippish with long flowing black hair and a long scruffy beard, he wore big horn rimmed glasses, a baggy, button down shirt that he had open to his navel to show off some lightly fuzzy flesh, and baggy black jeans. I was used to mentally stripping the superfluous off a guy, though, and could tell underneath his disguise that he had the bod and the looks. I was holding up the wall by the bar as he came over to stand directly across from me.

“Ten more minutes till we crown this week’s hairest chest!” announced the MC, along with a drink special. Gary used the cue to open up.

“So I hope you entered buddy. I’m sure you’ll be the hands-down winner.”

“You never know,” I replied, moving over to him. “There’s always somebody better.”

“Hey man, I live here and I can tell you nobody I know has got you beat. Not by a long shot.”

I laughed. He groped. I told him about my trip. He told me about his life as a sometime employed graphic artist.

“Listen,” he went on more in a whisper,” If you win, will you come home with me? I live only a few blocks from here.”

“And if I lose?” I asked.

“Then I’ll come home with you.”

“Hotel, you mean.”

“Hotel, motel, convent – shit. As long as it’s got a bed.”

There were only three other guys up there competing with me and frankly, it was a slam dunk. Hell, I had more hair on my left shoulder than one of them had on his whole body. I collected my money and fifteen minutes later, we were in Gary’s cramped cluttered apartment, naked on his waterbed, foreplaying away.

That’s when he sprang it on me.

“You into breath control?”

I tried to look and sound ecumenical.

“Never tried it but if you like me to do it to you …”

With that, Gary stood up, reached for his jeans he had flung on a chair and slipped off his wide leather belt. Then he lay back on the bed, tucked a pillow beneath his head, and handed me the belt as I sat down on his belly, straddling him.

“I want you to put it around my neck and pull it tight.”

As I did what he told me to do, I could see his chest first become more agitated, then his breath more labored. I stopped.

“No, no,” he said softly, grabbing my hand. “Keep going. Don’t worry, I’m okay.”

I hesitated a second, then continued my tug on the belt until his face turned blue and he appeared to fall into unconsciousness.

That’s when I panicked, slapped his face a few times, and getting no response, sprung up, grabbed my T and headed for the door.

“Where you’re gonna?” he shouted in a gruffed tone. “I’m not done yet.”

“I am,” I shouted back, slamming the door behind me.

But nothing quite beat going over the top than the time I was in a bath house in Montreal and a big brute of guy, J, asked me to punch fist him and was disappointed when no blood showed on my hand.

Now do you get why I can’t understand all the hoopla about Fifty Shades?

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Czar CoverBlurb: The Czar of Wilton Drive, the story of Jonathan Antonucci, a 21 year old, barely-out-the-closet gay man from suburban New York who overnight finds himself a multi-millionaire, thanks to a bequest by his late gay great uncle. Uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving him the sole owner of several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale’s gay ghetto, making Jonathan the Czar of Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors’ main drag.

Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately submerged in Lauderdale’s scene of unbridled sex and heavy drugs. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle.

Book Links: Kokoro Press | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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RP Andrews PicAbout the Author: RP Andrews spent most of his life in New York City as a public relations executive before relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 2002, where he enjoyed a brief, second career teaching writing at a local university.
All his works of erotic gay fiction and non-fiction are available on amazon.com and Barnes and Noble; and other select publishers’ sites.

His first work of erotic gay fiction, a collection of edgy short stories called Basic Butch, was originally published by San Francisco-based GLBT Publishers in 2008. Basic Butch features characters who go down life paths that, in the end, they wish they had never explored.

His latest works of serious gay fiction include: The Czar of Wilton Drive, is the story of Jonathan Antonucci, a 21 year old, barely-out-the-closet gay man from suburban New York who overnight finds himself a multi-millionaire, thanks to a bequest by his late gay great uncle. Uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving him the sole owner of several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale’s gay ghetto, making Jonathan the Czar of Wilton Drive.

Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately submerged in Lauderdale’s scene of unbridled sex and heavy drugs. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle. In the end, Jon is torn between avenging Uncle Charlie’s death or loving the man responsible for it. From Kokoro Press.

Not In it For The Love, set at the turn of the new millennium. Josh, a young street-smart Florida drifter is snatched from his dead-end existence as a male hustler in a cheap Key Largo motel by Bishop, a Wall Street power broker who sets him up as his trophy boy in Manhattan society.

There, Josh, after leading a promiscuous lifestyle within New York City’s gay sub-culture, meets Hylan, a young, bi-racial, down-on-his luck, wheelchair-bound musician who awakens in Josh what love can be between two men. But their chance at happiness and the lives of those around them are forever changed by 9/11.

Buy Guys, RP Andrews’ newest novella scheduled for release late spring, 2015, is the story of Blaze and Pete, two young, gay handsome drifters with nothing, and nothing to lose. Blaze convinces Pete, who is falling in love with him, to leave dreary New Jersey and lead free and easy lives as male prostitutes in sunny Fort Lauderdale. Blaze, however, soon pulls Pete into a much larger, more dangerous scheme, a scheme that eventually threatens to destroy them both.

RP Andrews’ daily social commentary blog on gay life in America has been running since 2010 at str8gayconfessions.com, and a second edition collection of these commentaries is available as an e-book on amazon.com.

Confessions of a Str8Gay Man is RP Andrews’ unvarnished, unorthodox views of Modern Gay America which are often counter to today’s political correct gay media. In addition, there is Furry Man’s Journal, his erotic memoirs as a hirsute gay man as told through his experiences with the dozen iconic men in his life

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Strangers in the Night Blog Tour With Jaycee Edward and Helena Stone

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The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome authors Jaycee Edward and Helena Stone today, on their Strangers in the Night blog tour. They’re here to share a bit about their writing habits and space with you, as well as offer one lucky reader the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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WHERE DO YOU WRITE?

JAYCEE:

While I get most of my good ideas in the shower or in the car, I can only write at my desk. And the desk can’t be cluttered or I won’t be able to focus. I used to tell my boss, “Just so you know, the cleaner my desk is, the busier I am.” If I have tons of things to do, I have to hide all but the one thing I’m working on or I’ll lose my mind.

As for music, I love to use it as white noise – to block out the TV in the other room or outside noises, but it can’t have lyrics. Like, right now I’m listening to One Direction – no big surprise if you know me – but writing this doesn’t require me to get into the same headspace that writing fiction does. I don’t know why it’s different, but it is.

When I’m writing fiction, I listen to music like Enya or E.S. Posthumus, which Theo Fenraven turned me onto – and I love them! Unearthed is an amazing album!

Jaycee Office

HELENA:

The similarities between Jaycee and me are striking and at times almost scary. We finish each other’s sentences, tend to have the same opinions on most (but not all) subjects and often react simultaneously. That clearly couldn’t continue.

My writing space is almost the exact opposite of Jaycee’s. While she works at a dedicated desk, me and my laptop can always be found at the kitchen/dinner table. Where clutter makes working impossible for her, the clutter surrounding me (which I’ve mostly removed for the picture below) becomes invisible as soon as I hit my keyboard.

While I write my stories (or procrastinate on social media) my husband can usually be found next to me on his laptop where he studies (sound engineering) or enjoys some procrastination of his own. I like this set up. I tend to binge write and could easily disappear from the world for days on end while I’m lost in my story. Since my husband is sitting next to me we are able to interact, even while I’m writing. Of course his position next to me means he listened in while Jaycee and I planned and wrote our story. He may or may not have uttered the word ‘recording’ once or twice and should have enough blackmail material to keep both me and my co-writer on our best behaviour.

As for sounds while I’m working. I’m a strange one. I prefer to work in total silence but have no problem writing through talk radio. I find it almost impossible to write with music in the background though. You’ll never see me sharing a playlist to go with my books.

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StrangersintheNightBlurb – Strangers in the Night: When Army veteran, Slade, stumbles upon an isolated cottage on a cold, dark, night, the young man finds more than just the shelter he’s seeking.

Former club Dominant Callum is surprised to find a handsome stranger knocking at his door but invites him in despite his reservations. A nightmare reveals Slade’s deep-seated emotional issues, and Callum knows he needs to get creative if he’s going to help Slade leave the past behind.

Neither man is prepared for the feelings Slade’s introduction into the world of BDSM will unleash, and thirty-six hours will either be enough to bind them, or they will remain forever strangers in the night.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble | Beam-Ebooks | Google | Add the book to your Goodreads Shelf

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Jaycee Author ImageAbout the Authors:

Jaycee: Jaycee Edward is no longer seventeen years old but don’t tell her that. She’s actually a tad older and lives in northeast Ohio with her handsome husband and one, big gorgeous dog. She has two grown stepdaughters and is proud to be the ultra-cool Nana to two amazingly incredible grand-teens. Jaycee loves pistol shooting and is has earned her Bar 7 Sharpshooter status in the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and hopes to someday reach the level of Expert Marksman. She is the token liberal and constant source of fascination to the other members at her gun range. Jaycee knows way too much about the inner workings of Walt Disney World and anything related to One Direction. She’d love to pull you into the rabbit hole with her. All you have to do is ask. Find her there or contact her through social media.

You can find Jaycee Edward in the following locations: her website, Facebook, FacebookFan Page, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, TSU, Ello, or Tumblr.

Helena Stone Author PhotoHelena: Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.

Helena Stone can be found in the following places: Twitter, Facebook, Website, Pinterest, Goodreads, or by email.

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Guest Post and Giveaway: Deep Desire by Z.A. Maxfield

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The Novel Approach is thrilled to welcome author Z.A. Maxfield today on the Deep Desire blog tour. Enjoy what ZAM has to say about her vampires, then be sure to check out the great giveaway below.

Good luck!

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Hi! I’m Z.A. Maxfield, better known as ZAM. I want to extend my sincere thanks to The Novel Approach for helping me celebrate my latest release, Deep Desire, book one of The Deep Series.

These books have been edited. They’ve been retitled. There are new, cool covers. They’ll be available simultaneously in ebook and print.

Things that I never realized about vampires!

When I started thinking about writing a vampire novel, I had to ask myself a lot of questions. What would my vampires be like? What would they care about? How would they dress and act? Would the world be aware of their existence? Would they have lost their humanity or retained some sense of who they were?

All of this falls under the category of World Building, which, when you’re very new to writing…can sometimes be problematic. On the one hand, you really want your vampires to be different from everyone else’s. On the other, you don’t necessarily want them to sparkle.

And then there’s the physiology of vampires. Do they have to make themselves breathe when they want to talk? What about circulation? If the heart doesn’t beat, there can’t be circulation, and if not, how do they—er—do that thing we love to read about in erotic romance…?

Because without a blood supply…This could be problematic!

At some point, I had to accept that my vampire stories are more about humanity and loneliness. About living so long you lose everyone you care about. They’re about an insatiable hunger, and not simply for food. In the end, I chose to make the story more of an emotional journey, than a scientific one.

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deep-desireBlurb: As the Indiana Jones of historical erotica, there is no document existing—or just rumored to exist—Adin Tredeger can’t unearth. Why he would risk the biggest coup of his career to join the mile-high club is beyond him. But the disarming, dark-eyed man who somehow enters Adin’s locked airplane washroom has him completely nude and coming apart. All without a whimper of protest.

From that moment, Adin and Donte Fedelta engage in an international battle of wit and cunning. The prize—a priceless, 500-year-old journal with illustrations so erotic it could make the Marquis de Sade blush.

Yet Donte’s desire for the journal goes far beyond simple possession. The undead nobleman wrote it. And he’s not above using every trick in his otherworldly arsenal—including seduction—to get it back.

Chemistry draws them together even as fortune tugs them apart. But when a third party joins the chase, they must unite to fight an enemy with a deadly goal—to erase Donte from history.

This book is a rerelease of a previously published book, with substantial rewrites.

Warning: This product contains one cocky college professor, one centuries-old vampire who is out to show him who’s at the top of the food chain, and red wine. Because it goes so well with humble pie.

Buy Links: Samhain Publishing | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

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Here’s a snippet:

As usual, Vin was packed; even late at night, a crowd thronged the bar. Adin figured they’d have to wait for a table, but Donte turned on the full power of his charm and the electrified host sat them at a lovely, private table immediately. Adin noticed others staring hard in their direction, no doubt wondering who they were that they got the star treatment. Adin shrugged, and Donte took it as his personal due, nodding regally at those who gazed at him.

“Noblesse oblige?” asked Adin.

“It never hurts to be kind, Adin.”

“Said the aristocrat vampire pornographer.” They sat in silence until it was time to order wine.

“Hartford Court Pinot Noir 2005,” Donte told the sommelier. “If you have it.”

“We do,” the man said. “A good choice.”

Donte returned his attention to Adin. “He’s thinking, ‘not an excellent choice,’ and wondering why I would order a small California wine here, in a restaurant famous for its cellar.”

“So, you read minds?”

“No, I read faces. And to be honest, they are all beginning to look remarkably similar. It puts me in rather a quandary. For instance, how much of my attraction to you is because of you, and how much is because you remind me of a certain French portrait artist named Gilbert who completely rocked my world during la Terreur?”

“I can see the dilemma.”

“Can you? Do I remind you of anyone?” Donte asked idly.

“No, Donte,” Adin admitted. “You are like no one I’ve ever known in my life.”

The wine arrived, and the sommelier enacted the wine drama that never failed to make Adin wish he’d just ordered a Bushmills. Donte didn’t play along much, refusing the cork, then simply breathing in the aroma of the wine in the glass. “Fine.” He smiled. “Thank you.”

The sommelier retreated.

“This wine is delicious, but to be honest, I picked it because it goes very well with—and I hope you won’t take this wrong—you.”

“Ah.” Adin was almost speechless. “Well. I was going to order the roast pork.”

“Oh, that has a cherry sauce. You’ll find that dish goes with the wine as well, as there’s a complex cherry-berry note that comes right through. Taste it if you want. You’ll notice it right away.”

Adin lifted his glass and took a small sip. Donte was right. In its dry elegance, it had a definite note of cherry, and something indefinable and sweet, like winter food.

“It tastes like Christmas.”

“Ah, that’s the allspice. You noticed? You have a good palate.”

“Not really,” Adin demurred, absurdly pleased.

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Vampire novels. Revamped. Here’s your New Title Cheat Sheet:

Original title            New Title
Notturno     Deep Desire coming Feb. 3 2015
Vigil             Deep Deception coming July
Matins         Deep Deliverance coming December

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Z.A. MaxfieldAbout ZAM: Z.A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Readers can visit ZAM at her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

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Giveaways ZAM will be running two giveaways for this tour! At the end of the tour, she will draw a winner from the comments section of each blog to win a copy of Deep Desire! There is also a tour-wide Rafflecoptor where readers can enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Contest Begins: February 2, 2015
Contest Ends: February 10, 2015

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