Giveaways, Ingela Bohm

Guest Post and Giveaway: Last Communion by Ingela Bohm

The Last Communion Banner

We’re so pleased to welcome author Ingela Bohm to The Novel Approach on the tour for her new novel Last Communion. Enjoy Ingela’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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Rhythm Is a Writer

I tried to turn his head, but was stuck. The metal is pressed so hard against my aching teeth that I finally need clearing them. Lightning quick drove mom in stages so far that it bumped against the palate.

“What are you doing?”

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What are you doing, indeed…

Ever considered using a translation engine to churn out a book in another language? Think again. The above is an example of what can happen. The original is a perfectly ordinary paragraph in Swedish, but once it’s been through the grinder, it’s basically gibberish.

Why is this? Why can’t I feed a Swedish novel into a translation engine and have it spit out an English version at a moment’s notice?

Because a text always needs the human touch. Language isn’t a rational system of words that correspond neatly to words in other languages. There are nuances that make the word ‘wet’ different from the Swedish ‘våt’ – even the two English synonyms ‘wet’ and ‘soaking’ don’t mean exactly the same thing.

Other times, one word can mean two things, and the translation engine has no idea which one to pick. For example, consider the word ‘stages’ above. Taken out of context, it’s a correct translation. But the Swedish word for ‘stages’ also means ‘the spoon.’ To decide which word is appropriate, you need to understand the whole passage.

Also, there are grammatical differences between languages, such that in English, you need to specify whose head is turning – as in ‘I tried to turn my head.’ In Swedish, you can say ‘I tried to turn the head,’ and everyone still knows that it’s my own head I’m turning (unless we’re talking about some kind of horror story). But faced with a phrase like ‘I tried to turn the head,’ a translation engine just makes a wild guess about whose head is turning. This can result in men suddenly becoming women, or people turning other people’s heads – and not in a good way.

But quite apart from all these technical differences, there are also issues like the author’s voice, the tone of the text, and the appropriate use of metaphor. A computer can’t convey mood like a human can. Also, if I use local phenomena to add color, it may be meaningless to someone from another country. For example, ‘it tasted like cloudberries.’ Does that give you an instant feel for what I mean? No? Unless you’ve eaten cloudberries and know their peculiar, swampy taste, that simile is worthless. In such cases, I may want to change it into something more culturally appropriate.

Last Communion was first written in Swedish, and when I embarked on the journey of translating it, I had no idea how long it would take. I knew that it would require a lot of hard work, but not that it would take six months rather than a couple of weeks. I actually tried sending it through a translation engine, just to see if it could give me a useful template to start with, but of course it couldn’t. Most of the text turned out so weird that I didn’t even understand what it meant any longer – even though I was the one who had written it.

In the end, I rewrote the whole thing from scratch, because it was easier that way. Above all, it helped me find an appropriate rhythm. One of my role models once said that writing song lyrics is a lot like creating drum parts, and it stayed with me because I really agree. Sometimes you may have to cut or add words in a sentence, purely for the sake of the rhythm. I often see advice about deleting adjectives and adverbs, but sometimes they need to be added, too. A text is like music. Sometimes it’s not so much about the meaning, but about the ebb and flow of syllables.

While trying to find the right rhythm for Last Communion, I listened to the same album over and over again – Termination Bliss by Deathstars. It’s what I like to call “hum-along death music” (sounds better in Swedish, I promise…). On the surface, it’s harsh and heavy, but the melodies are nothing short of sweet. It was the perfect accompaniment to a romance that was played out against a backdrop of death and decay.

In contrast, when I edited the story, I couldn’t listen to music at all. At that stage, I wanted to feel the text swell and surge like a symphony, and I couldn’t have someone else’s rhythm distracting me. I had to listen to the words on the page, and for that, I needed absolute silence.

And yet even now, a year after I finished the first draft, I still hear my story in the Deathstars’ music. I can’t listen to those songs without seeing my nameless hero, hanging from a platform above a giant turbine, holding on for dear life. It’s part of the music, like a drumbeat at the back of my mind.

The music of the vampires.

The steady pulse of blood.

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Last CommunionBlurb: A worldwide disease has all but wiped out humankind. Only a few people survive, the doctor’s son among them. But there’s something wrong with him: he no longer wants to eat. Is he finally dying too?

The answer is as unexpected as it is horrible: one night, he discovers a new hunger – a mindless craving for blood. Horrified at himself, he flees into the night, but when he tries to find sanctuary, he almost ends up killed. Just as he starts to realize that even a predator can become prey, he runs into Garangjas – another man who drinks blood. Irresistibly drawn, he follows Garangjas to his flock of ‘Confirmands,’ a weird group of people who might just be his ticket to survival.

There’s just one problem: how can the Confirmands stay alive if the rest of humanity dies out?

Buy Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || iBooks || Smashwords || All Romance eBooks

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Watch the Trailer:

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Ingela BohmAbout the Author: Ingela Bohm lives in an old cinema, tucked away in a northern Swedish forest where she can wander around all day long and dictate her books. She used to dream of being an actor until an actual actor asked, “Do you really need to do it?” That’s when she realized that the only thing she really needed to do was to write. She has since pretended to be a dietician, a teacher, a receptionist and a cook, but only to conceal her real identity.

Her first imaginary friend was called Grabolina and lived in her closet. Nowadays she has too many imaginary friends to count, but at least some of them are out of the closet. Her men may not be conventionally handsome, but they can charm your pants off, and that’s all that matters. Recent works include the twisted online love thriller #Not Safe For Work, Shakespeare/Marlowe litslash Rival Poet and the third instalment about seventies rock band Pax Cymrica.

Ingela’s more useless talents include reading tarot cards, killing pot plants and drawing scandalous pictures that no one gets to see. Her favorite tool is the crowbar. She can’t walk in heels and she’s stopped trying, but she has cycled 1200 miles in the UK and knows which campsites to avoid if you don’t like spiders. If you see her on the train you will wonder what age she is.

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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

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Hi, friends and fellow reading addicts, welcome back to another peek into the future at The Novel Approach, and a teaser of who we have visiting with us in the coming week.

We’ve got a great lineup of guest authors to share with you, along with giveaways, and, of course, many more reviews too.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Author BA Tortuga kicks off our week this week on the tour for The Articles of Release, book two in the Release Series

Tuesday – Today we’ll be welcoming author Lexi Ander to TNA on the tour for her latest novel Dragon’s Eye

We’ll also have author Ingela Bohm joining us today to chat a bit about her new novel Last Communion

Wednesday – We’ll have author KC Burn dropping by today as a featured author on the Countdown to GayRomLit 2015 Celebration

We also have Carole Cummings and Andrew Q. Gordon stopping in for a new edition of Genre Talk

Thursday – We’ll be starting October (!!!) off with author Skylar M. Cates and an exclusive cover reveal for her upcoming Dreamspinner holiday story A Guy’s Thanksgiving

We’ll also have author AF Henley with us to chat about their new novel Wolf WY

Friday – Rounding out the second of our GayRomLit Blog Tour visits this week will be author Jaime Reese, filling us in on what she likes most about GRL

Mia Kerick will also join us today on the tour for her new book A Hard Day’s Night

And, we’ll have yet another edition of Flashback Friday for you today too

Saturday – Finally, to close out the week, we’ll have author Lex Chase here with us to chat about her new novel Bayou Fairy Tale

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And that, as they say, is that! Until next week, happy reading!

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Ingela Bohm, Self-Published

Guest Post and Giveaway: Not Safe for Work by Ingela Bohm

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Ingela Bohm today, on her promo tour for her newest novel Not Safe for Work. Enjoy Ingela’s guest blog, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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Socializing for introverts

It is a truth universally acknowledged that writing is a solitary activity, but that’s not the whole story. From idea to finished product, a book is influenced by many different people, and the writing process can be seen as very social indeed. I certainly know that without the input of a bunch of wonderful people, Not Safe For Work would never have seen the light of day.

To begin with: the spark. For a story to take flight, inspiration is vital. For me, that spark always comes from other people: friends, coworkers, people on the news or on web forums. In the case of Not Safe For Work, it started with fandom. Through writing fics, I met one of my best friends, and she sowed the seed to Jakob and Leo’s story just by being her awesome self.

You see, after years of writing in solitude, I suddenly had an audience, and that made all the difference. I dropped everything and just wrote, for the sole reason of sending it to her. Now there was someone who waited for the next instalment, and if I went too long between emails, guilt set in. She sent me her gorgeous stuff in return, and it all became a positive spiral that drove me onward and finally opened the door to m/m romance.

I guess you can see Not Safe For Work as my declaration of love to fanfic. Of course, like any cultural expression, it’s not without its drawbacks, of which Leo and Jakob are made painfully aware. In the story, Jakob discovers steamy stories about him and Leo on Tumblr – all untrue, but it looks as if Jakob is the one who’s written them. It doesn’t take long for the phenomenon to become viral, and the whole thing gets really out of hand when other bloggers start writing their own stories about the two of them. The opportunity to deny it all recedes in Jakob’s rearview mirror while he’s reluctantly drawn in by the crazy world where he and Leo are lovers. After a while, he hardly knows what’s real and what’s not.

This, too, reflects how social writing can be. Fan fiction and blogging highlight the fact that nobody writes in a vacuum, because the audience is invited to interact with the original product. Sites like Goodreads offer a platform for writing reviews and connecting with other readers and writers, and there’s hardly a website without a comment field anymore. We’ve become accustomed to a social way of consuming culture – so much so that sometimes when I watch a movie on TV, I almost miss reading the flame wars on YouTube.

Of course, there are parts of writing a book that can be quite asocial. Just ask my husband how his attempts at conversation are received when I’m in the clutches of my muse. But when you think about it, even that process is dotted with interactions. What is research, after all, but communication with people who have precious information on my topic? What is intertextuality but a conversation with earlier generations of thinkers and authors? And of course, a big part of writing a book is collaborating with beta readers and editors. This is especially true for Not Safe For Work. At times, I’ve been so stuck that I would have abandoned ship but for my wonderful betas who cheered me on, told me what to cut and nitpicked the text until it spoke to me again.

Finally, writing a book feels like talking to my future audience. In this case, gentle readers, even my characters talk to you. That’s the reason why I’ve used the much maligned present tense, first person POV. Some people don’t enjoy reading or writing that kind of story, but for Leo and Jakob, it was absolutely essential. More than anything else, these guys need someone to talk to. Their whole world is turned upside down by the strange situation they find themselves in. Unable to confide in each other like they usually do, they reach out to the reader, begging to be heard and understood. Through the first person POV, they can directly address that special someone out there who wants to listen. Now that Not Safe For Work is published, they have that listening ear, and I can get some peace and quiet for once.

To bring the social wheel full circle, the feedback I get from sales and reviews is the motivation I need to write the next book. So in conclusion, even though I may come off as a hermit when I’ve got my headphones on and I’m rattling away on the keyboard, what I’m really doing is talking to the whole world.

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NSFWBlurb: It’s Jakob’s birthday, and boy is he getting a surprise. His best friend Leo has posted a picture of the two of them kissing on Facebook, and a link to a blog full of steamy stories. Identity hijacked, his fictitious relationship with Leo laid out for the whole world to see, Jakob is beyond shocked. But when he contemplates officially denying it all, something makes him hesitate. Is there a grain of truth in the stories Leo has written – and is that why Jakob is unable to stop reading?

Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

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Excerpt: I feel the red hot build-up in my thighs and groin. I’ve had it with fragile. I don’t want any more beautiful. Feathery touches can’t convince me that he’s mine. I need the raw pounding, the eclipsing of the self.

He senses my hesitation and props himself up on his elbows. The look he gives me is full of reproach. “I’m your best friend first.”

I know what he means. What am I doing, keeping him in the dark? We’ve always told each other everything. I release his cock with a sigh and sit up. My hair hangs in apologetic wisps in front of my face, as if to filter what I know I have to say. “Leo…”

“You want something else.”

“Yeah, I…” I gesture limply, afraid to name it.

But he already knows. “Look, when I said I wanted you to use your mouth… I mean, I do, I want that, but fuck it, Jakob… I’d like to really seal it, you know?”

I nod, completely in tune with his thinking. “Mark the beginning,” I translate. “Make it real.”

“Yeah.” His cheeks are flushed, his eyes twinkling with mischief. “So who should… I mean…”

I laugh a little. “Who should fuck who?”

He rolls his eyes and then grins cockily. “Well, I’d offer, but we both know you’re the asshole.”

 

I move a stiff hand to minimize the window. “I think that’s enough for now.” I sound completely exhausted. Perhaps I am. I don’t know. I don’t know anything.

Merethe looks up with glistening eyes, surfacing as if from a dream. She looks like she’s waiting for something. My confession? My shamefaced confirmation that this is in fact completely real, exactly what happened? Jesus. This is so fucked up. Seriously, psycho fucked up. I’m letting her read Leo’s fake post about his sexual escapades with me? In my name. We’re nowhere near that level of friendship.

“It’s well written,” she says, and I know it’s her way of asking how it can’t be true: something that beautiful just has to be real. She’s always been romantic like that.

“Emphasis on ‘written,’” I mutter, but my voice grates against dry vocal cords and doesn’t sound very convincing. “Written, as in fictitious.”

She doesn’t grace that with a comment. She’s the literary theory buff, I’m the linguist. She believes everything she reads, especially if it’s well formulated. As if an adage is automatically true because it sounds good. While I doubt everything, and suspect lies at every turn.

“It is kind of romantic,” she says.

I want to explode at her, but I don’t have the energy. I just shake my head in despair. “Romantic? Are you completely bloody insane? What’s romantic about hijacking someone’s identity and rewriting their whole life?”

Merethe bites her lip. “In the beginning was the word…”

I roll my eyes. Trust her to believe that. Now she’s going to tell me that writers lie to tell the truth, that Jules Verne predicted the future and that nothing is real but what we clothe in words. The very thing I said to Dahlberg today.

She sighs, looks like she’s going to say something more, but then swallows it down. A minute of silence, then she cocks her head. “Want some coffee?”

“Huh?” I stare at her. She’s strangely out of focus.

“Coffee.” She smiles. “You seem to need it.”

I don’t reply, so she just takes an old mug from my desk and goes to fill it, leaving me a moment to gather my fraying wits. I should be grateful, but I just don’t know where to start. I try to go back to this morning, pick everything apart from beginning to end. Why did I read that blog post in the first place? What made me browse the #nsfw tag today of all days? My dream comes back to me through a fog of confusion. The image of that welcoming smile, the reddish hair, the plea to take me… And then Leo’s text, gatecrashing my embryonic jerking session. As if he knew

Drawing a hissing breath, I lean my head in my hands. I’m being completely insane. He can’t read my mind, and he doesn’t know what I dreamed. Christ, I’m being paranoid! How could a secret dream ever be related to a spoof blog post? A Professor Dahlberg question if ever there was one. Can he have hacked my computer somehow, seen my Internet history and put his crazy story on the very website I frequent most often?

He probably could do that, actually. But hacking a computer is very different from magically controlling someone’s dreams. No, that was just a coincidence.

Although Leo does have kind of red hair.

“There you go.” Merethe plonks the mug in front of me and I grab it instinctively. Too hot, I remind myself. Take it easy. She watches me while I blow on the coffee, being very careful not to spill it.

After a minute, she sighs. “Okay.” She’s scowling now, radiating disappointment. “I believe you. He made it up, fine. I mean, you’re here. Not in London.”

“Exactly.”

“Although that photo could have been taken anywhere.”

“No.”

She makes a face. “Well…”

Clenching my teeth, I reach for the mouse to go back to Facebook and show her: look, for fuck’s sake, there’s a big whopping Westminster Abbey or whatever in the background – but my finger slips and the Tumblr page refreshes, tossing up a new post that actually makes me drop the mug. Like you never do in real life: the kind of shock-limp hand that makes trays of porcelain crash in romantic movies. Coffee splashing everywhere.

I stare at the screen, heart in my mouth. There’s a video. A very real-looking video of me and him, as if we’re part of a game, and this is the promo clip for it. And it’s obvious from the still what we’re doing. What is this? What is this? my brain keeps shrieking at me, and the answer is as inevitable as it is frightening.

It’s ultimate fucking proof.

And I do mean that literally.

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Ingela BohmAuthor Bio: Ingela Bohm is a sucker for music and words, and whenever the two go together, she’s on board for the long haul. Every story she tries her hand at turns into a love story at some point, but that’s just her sentimental nature making itself known. She occasionally pretends to be a human being (as long as there are no dogs present), and she spends an obscene amount of time in front of really well-made TV series, trying to riddle out how the hell the bastards do it. Her current projects include a vampire dystopia and part four in a series about the rock band Pax Cymrica.

Find Ingela At: Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Website

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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

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Cheers, everyone, and thanks so much to all of you for stopping by to see who we have store for you in the week ahead. I hope you’ll stop back by to visit with our guest authors and take the opportunity to enter in some of the great giveaways we have in store. And, of course, we’ll have lots more reviews to share with you.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off our week this week, we’ll be bringing you authors L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov on their blog tour for On the Clock, the next installment in their Market Garden series

We’ll also have author A.E. Via with us today as she stops by on her Don’t Judge blog tour

Tuesday – Today marks the next of our guest visits on the GayRomLit Countdown Celebration, as we welcome author Cody Kennedy

Wednesday – Author J. Scott Coatsworth drops by today on the tour for his new novella Between the Lines

We’ll also welcome author Ingela Bohm on her Not Safe for Work blog tour

Thursday – Making a stop today is author Cari Z., on her Where There’s Fire blog tour, the sequel to Where There’s Smoke

Friday – Closing out our week for us, we’ll welcome author Perie Wolford on his Sam Dorsey and Gay Popcorn audiobook tour

We’ll also have a special Flashback Friday event for you today, when author J.C. Lillis stops by with an excerpt and giveaway of a book I fell in love with all the way back in November of 2012. How to Repair a Mechanical Heart is being released in print format, and we’ll be helping J.C. celebrate

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And that wraps up the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

 

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Ingela Bohm, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Review: Just Playing and The Road Taken by Ingela Bohm

PicMonkey CollageTitle: Just Playing/The Road Taken

Author: Ingela Bohn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 315 Pages/272 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Michael and Jamie seem fated to make music together. But the thrill of playing soon turns into something more, something neither of the young men can handle. Unable to just stay friends, their only option may be to avoid each other completely. But when things start moving for Jamie’s band, a decision has to be made: either this is goodbye, or they risk everything and let Michael join. Continue reading

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