5 Stars, Kage Alan, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Kathie, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Falling Awake by Kage Alan

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Falling Awake

Author: Kage Alan

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 84 pages

At a Glance: True romance, fantasy, and comfort food all packed into eighty-four pages makes for the perfect combination and a great story!

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Imagine waking up in a place you can’t remember, with a face you don’t recognize, and a name that may not be your own printed on a ticket in your back pocket. And of the five people you meet during the next few hours, four of them hold clues to your past, present, and two possible futures. The outcome of the encounter will determine your soul’s fate, and the only way out of the nightmare may be through falling awake.

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Review: Taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight, the five senses. Falling Awake by Kage Alan is a story that allows the reader to experience all the senses along with the main character, Daniel David.  And the last chapter, titled Rolling Meadows, Illinois, adds one more experience: feelings that smack you alongside the head. They hit you in the gut when Daniel whispers, “Light,” and Tam answers, “Heart,” and it just takes your breath away, wanting for more.

Falling Awake is a fast read. No, I take that back. It seems like a fast read, but I ended up reading it three times in a row just to make sure I caught every detail. I expected it to be snarky, so much so that when I went back and read it the second time, I went looking for the snark I was sure I missed.  Why was I so sure there would be snark? Because Kage Alan writes a blog titled Kage Allen, Let the Bickering Begin.  Just the title alone screams snark, don’t you think?

Where does Falling Awake fit into the M/M genre? It’s a true romance built over many lifetimes. It’s a paranormal fantasy story about the travelers Daniel encounters and the “voice” he hears in his head.  It’s a story about comfort food and how that plays such a role in our lives, served by Martha—I would like to think that we all have had a Martha in our lives, knowing just what to get us to make us feel better.

True romance, fantasy, and comfort food all packed into eighty-four pages makes for the perfect combination and a great story!

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You can buy Falling Awake here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Smashwords

Smashwords

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Giveaways, Kage Alan

Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Falling Awake Blog Tour with Kage Alan

Falling Awake Banner

Today we’re pleased to welcome author Kage Alan to The Novel Approach, on the Falling Awake blog tour. Enjoy Kage’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a signed print (US Residents Only) OR e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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Asian Flavor

Konnichiwa! That means “Hello and welcome to most esteemed author Kage Alan’s Day 7 post for the Falling Awake blog tour!” If you ever happen to visit Japan, or have already visited Japan, you’ve undoubtedly heard this word. Now you know how popular I am in Japan. It’s a burden, but one I gladly live with. I also don’t do too badly in China or Vietnam, probably because I tend to feature Asian characters in my stories. We’re not just talking secondary characters either, but leads and folks who play important roles in the overall arc of a story. Why do I do this? I think, probably, because my husband is half Chinese, and he isn’t exactly being represented in literature. Heck, he’s not being represented in movies for that matter either.

Being part of a minority can be a truly bizarre feeling. Yes, I’m white and I’m not what some refer to as stereotypically gay, so I tend to blend in. However, I’ve gone overseas with my husband to Japan, mainland China, and Hong Kong before. It’s there I stick out like a sore thumb. Young children have stared at me and some people have even avoided sitting next to me on the bus or subway from time to time, which really contributes to the minority feeling. But I’ve also come to appreciate these experiences.

We’ve all felt like outsiders. Sometimes a movie or book comes along that speaks to us and seamlessly blends minorities into their fabric. When it comes to featuring characters who happen to be Asian, there are cultural differences and those can’t always be ignored, nor should they. Sometimes it’s better to just explore them. I did this in Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, only that one was a comedy. Falling Awake is anything but. It’s my first full-fledged non-comedy, so I knew it had to be special. The story needed to be intriguing, the characters had to feel real, and it had to unfold in a very real way.

I think one of the important elements I added in this particular story is that in the grand scheme of life, the idea of having lived before, and maybe living again, is that we could be Asian in one existence, white in another, black in another, etc. I didn’t get into whether or not we could be heterosexual in one and homosexual in another, or male in one and female in another, but those are certainly things that could be tackled. I’m just not about to take them on at this time. Falling Awake is a novella, so there’s only so much I can squeeze in.

The characters in this story are diverse as are their backgrounds, ethnicities, and role they play in what could be life or death beyond where they currently are. As for where they are, you’ll have to read to find out. So please check out the blurb and excerpt and see if you’d fancy giving Falling Awake a read.

And I’ll see you on Day 8 of the blog tour!

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falling-awake-finalBlurb: Imagine waking up in a place you can’t remember, with a face you don’t recognize, and a name that may not be your own printed on a ticket in your back pocket. And of the five people you meet during the next few hours, four of them hold clues to your past, present, and two possible futures.

The outcome of the encounter will determine your soul’s fate, and the only way out of the nightmare may be through falling awake.

Buy Links: Amazon e-book || Amazon paperback || Barnes and Noble || Kobo || Smashwords

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Excerpt: Daniel studied the latest addition to the group. The man stood around five foot four, was probably in his mid-twenties, and had short cropped dark hair that was even shorter on the sides. He wore a blue and yellow striped shirt, blue jeans, and gray tennis shoes. He was, for all intents and purposes, very attractive.

The man chose to sit next to Daniel, despite Tam pointing to the seat next to himself.

“I’m Eddie,” he introduced himself while Daniel scooted over. “And there’s only one Asian here,” Eddie corrected Larenz. “I’m Chinese. He’s Vietnamese. He doesn’t count.”

“Eddie is our resident—”

“Slut,” Larenz cut Tam off.

“Keep it up,” Eddie warned, “and I’m going to come back as one of your future son’s best friends and you’re going to catch us in bed together.”

“Why should it be any different than how I found out about you the last time?”

“You had that one coming.”

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Kage Alan Author PicAuthor Bio: Non-award winning and utterly non-famous LGBT author Kage Alan lives in a suburb of Detroit, MI with his husband, who answers to “His Majesty,” and their fish and shrimp, who answer to “fish” or “shrimp.” He enjoys attending Sci-Fi and horror conventions, adding to his tiny Blu-Ray library, and fibbing about buying Blu-Rays on New Release Tuesday from the US, UK, Germany, and/or Japan. Kage also lives in fear of His Majesty’s Hong Kong Grandmonster, who God apparently doesn’t want to spend time with.

Website | Facebook |Twitter |Goodreads

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS: 

1 Signed Paperback copy (US Residents Only)

1 eBook copy

Start Date: Sept 6, 2015

End Date: Oct 1, 2015

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Schedule:

Sept 7 – Dirk Greyson

Sept 9 – My Fiction Nook

Sept 11 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sept 15 – World of Diversity Fiction

Sept 17 – Bike Book Reviews

Sept 21 – Dawn’s Reading Nook

Sept 23 – The Novel Approach

Sept 25 – LoveBytes Reviews

Sept 28 – Prism Book Alliance

Sept 30 – JP Barnaby

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*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

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Hi, friends and fellow readers, welcome back to another preview of what we have coming up for you in the week ahead. We’ve got some really great exclusives to share with you, and I can’t wait, but for now, here’s just a taste of what you can expect!

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Monday – Helping us kick off our week we have a few great features to offer today, the first being a cover reveal for Cardeno C.’s upcoming novel Jesse’s Diner

We’ll also have author JL Merrow with us today, on the promo tour for her new World War I era novel To Love a Traitor, a book I read and loved

Divine Magazine has also organized a blog hop in which The Novel Approach will be participating, and we’ll be offering a giveaway, so stay tuned for that

Tuesday – Author Courtney Lux joins us today on the tour for her newest release, Small Wonders

Heloise West will also be stopping by for a visit to chat about her new book, If I Were Fire

And, our final guest of the day is Brita Addams, who stops by to talk a little history

Wednesday – Today we welcome author Kage Alan as he tours the interwebs to introduce readers to his new novel, Falling Awake

We’ll also be hosting Cardeno C. again today, as the Perfect Imperfections audiobook blog tour stops by TNA

Thursday – Author Cheryl Headford is with us today to talk about her new Harmony Ink release, Hostage

Therese Woodson also joins us on the tour for her latest release, Betrothed: A Faery Tale

Friday – To close out another fantastic week, we’ll have author RJ Scott with us today on the tour for Texas Wedding, the book she promised readers when Marriage Equality went nationwide here in the US

Cardeno C. makes it a trifecta for the week and joins us again today on the tour for the audiobook release of Walk with Me

And finally, we’ll be featuring another edition of Flashback Friday. And this time, it’ll actually fall on Friday! Probably. No, it really will. :-D

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And that does it for this week’s sneak peek. Until next time, happy reading!

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4.5 Stars, Anthology, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Wilde City Press

Review: Butt Riders on the Range – An Anthology From Wilde City Press

Title: Butt Riders on the Range

Authors: Kage Alan, JP Barnaby, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Shae Conner, Jevocas Green, Kieran Kelly, and Eden Winters

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 448 Pages

At a Glance: An enjoyable and eclectic mix of cowboy stories from the mundane to the fantastic.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: 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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Review: Wait! Don’t let the title drive you away! LOL! I can imagine your first thought seeing it, because I am certain it was similar to my own. However, after a bit of searching I found out this anthology is one in a series of unconnected stories—except for the authors. These fabulous people gathered at a convention and came up with the idea of an anthology. They have since added to their numbers, as this is the fourth one in a not quite series for different takes on a genre. Did they ever deliver, especially with this anthology! I, for one, hope these talented authors continue their good work of providing us with awesome stories.

Short stories aren’t for everyone, but I can say this about them, they introduce you to new authors and give old favorites a chance to entice you again. That’s exactly what I have found here in this anthology. Here’s a short summary and review of each of the stories.

Hung Like A Horse by JP Barnaby: JP Barnaby is a new author for me, and I enjoyed my introduction to her work. My summary won’t do this short shifter story justice, but here goes. Riley Harper is a young man with a problem. He’s on the run and has decided to hide on a ranch where he’ll never be found. Not as a hand, though, as a horse. John North is a horse shifter who owns a ranch which houses abused horses. He knows his newest acquisition isn’t all he seems, so he is just biding his time until the day comes when he can confront the shifter hiding on his ranch.

Shifters aren’t out. In fact, if the government does find one, they are taken and imprisoned to be experimented on. It is one of these facilities that Riley has escaped from, and he isn’t willing to go back. He trusts no one, and after running himself to the limit, he’s forced back into his human form. North knows, and has known, that Riley was a shifter as he himself is a shifter. It’s been a long time since North has been around another shifter, and what he feels for the skittish young man isn’t something he’s felt in a long time, but it is going to take a gentle hand to settle Riley and rebuild his trust.

Barnaby has taken the tropes of shifters and turned it on its side. I loved the different take on this troupe and how distrustful Riley was. That John stood up for the young man and showed him there were still good people out there, people who would protect him regardless of his status, makes this story all the more intriguing. There is a background story on both North and Harper that the author barely touches on, and it caught my attention more so than the sexy scenes. I would love for the author to expand on this -verse if she ever decides to return to it.

Chinchilla Chimichangas by Kage Alan: Chris is an author, traveling on a bus, and he’s on a mission. He not only has to finish his next novel, but he’s making an homage trip with his father’s ashes. He’s having a bit of trouble doing both because the weather is wreaking havoc with his trip and the final destination. After a storm washes out the road, he’s stuck in a podunk little town. Here he meets Cameron, who offers him a little southern hospitality.

Alan is another new author for me, and I liked this story. I loved that Chris’s characters were real to him, enough so that he speaks to them in his head and also out loud. This was a hilarious take on how a writer lives with the voices in their head. Cameron is a down to earth guy just working his family farm. The relationship between the two characters seems a bit rushed as they try to cram all their life stories into a few select days before the roads are cleared. Both men have issues and while it isn’t exactly accepted to be gay in the little town, they make the promise to try to have a real relationship once Chris’s trip is over. The epilogue was bittersweet, in one way, but gave us the hope of a happily ever after.

Squatting with Spurs On by Kieran Kelly: Dooley McCallister finds himself the sudden owner of a ranch in Montana, bequeathed to him by an unknown man. Or, so he thinks. Once he arrives and takes possession of the ranch, he finds that it is rundown and in desperate need of repair, and that he has no way to unload the property. He also founds out that the place is haunted.

Kelly is a new author to me and while I enjoyed the writing style, I really don’t know what to say about this one without giving away the entire plot line, except to say I laughed some and cried a bit. It made me so sad in one way, but also there is a running theme of eternity and forever love throughout the story.

Faux Cowboy by Shae Conner: Jackson James is dressed to the nines in his cowboy regalia and has an image to uphold. Douglas Shaw is on vacation and visiting the Big Apple for the first time.

Shae Conner is another first time author for me, and I liked this one. It was a short, sweet and sexy romp. First time impressions can be deceiving, and this little story makes good use of that ideal. Jackson is hiding that he isn’t a real cowboy, and neither is Doug, for that matter. Not really, but they did enjoy one another.

Hooves and Horns by Eden Winters: Another shifter story with a bull shifter and a horse shifter, and the two classes just don’t mix. They are also rodeo men, and were building a life together until Armando’s family stepped in and Kerry felt betrayed. Each are the other’s nemesis on the circuit now too, and the chemistry between them is spark-worthy. I loved how Kerry, the horse shifter, and Armando, the bull shifter, traded out the dominance in their volatile relationship, both in and out of the rodeo ring. They had only ever allowed the other to ‘win’ against one another as their shifter selves while out on the circuit, so their final coming together and settling with one another was excellent after the disaster of their past.

The Boy from Battalion Bluff by Jevocas Greene: Unfortunately, this was my least favorite story in the book. I like sci-fi but this one was almost too much sci-fi for my taste, with an outer space succubus/incubus going at it almost in public, and a local boy getting caught up in the middle. The town waited with bated breath to see who was going to be chosen to experience Dr. Feel-Good’s wiles, but I just couldn’t connect with the story. The writing was easy to read, though I don’t think I’ll read more by this author.

The Five Hells War by Ally Blue: Ally Blue is new to me and I loved this story. It was a sci-fi tale of big corporation hustling the little guy on a backwater planet that has hidden resources. The BC lawyer is supposed to be a shark, but when he finds out what exactly is going on at the Five Hells Ranch, he puts aside his job and works to help out the very man he was sent to persuade to give up his ranch.

Rocky owns the Five Hells and came by it through his family. It was passed down and he owns the land fair and square, and he is not leaving without a fight. The romance that ensues between the two men was fun, and I liked seeing how the uncouth Rocky could unseat Balthazar, so much so that when they do win their suit, Balthazar decides to stay with Rocky on his farm.

And The Horse He Rode In On by TC Blue: I really liked this story, but it was so busy, and I think would have been better suited to a novella or longer version. Tyler is a horse shifter who runs a sheep farm, and something is killing his lambs. Turns out the something is a leopard shifter named Jason. Tyler takes Jason in after almost killing him while they were both in their alternate forms, and a romance begins. Personally, I loved Jason calling Ty the “attack pony,” and I laughed out loud when Tyler dumped a bunch of creamer packets and cat toys into Jason’s bed.

There is also an entire back-story going on at the same time as the romance, where we discover that predatory shifters usually don’t mix with prey shifters, and that there are severe consequences if it does happen. Jason was basically turned against this will, is without a Pard, and Tyler is a bit of a loner when it comes to his pack—or whatever it is you call a group of horses. He seems to have a good relationship with his sister Ari and her husband Blake, who is the horse shifters’ vet.

So, yes, I think I would have enjoyed this more if it were longer, but it does tell the tale well enough at its current length.

A huge thank you to all the authors for an enjoyable read!

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You can buy Butt Riders on the Range here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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