4 Stars, Anthology, Holiday Romance, Less Than Three Press, Reviewed by Angel

Whaddaya Know, It’s Christmas in April – A Touch of Mistletoe from LT3 Press

Title: A Touch Of Mistletoe

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Pages/Word Count: 182 Pages

At a Glance: An enjoyable mix of stories that had me visiting all ranges of the emotional spectrum.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Less Than Three Press presents a collection of stories about people brought together by the magic of mistletoe…

Here for You by J.K. Pendragon
Warren’s life has been shrinking ever since his wife passed away. Blind, and finding it difficult to adjust to life on his own, it’s easier to hide away in his house. When his friend Missy invites him to a Christmas party, an unexpected kiss with a stranger under the mistletoe leaves him confused and wondering…

The Christmas Spirit by Talya Andor
Christmas in Japan is no big deal for Ash Harmon, with his family half a world away and supernatural problems that have no respect for the holidays. When he picks up a bodyguard job for a rising star of figure skating who seems to be encountering trouble with a restless spirit, he stubbornly resists the unexpected attraction to his charge, wary of the risks that come with relationships. But the mistletoe has other ideas…

A Beautiful Thing by A.F. Henley
Sometimes, Fate gets tired of being ignored. And some nights, Fate decides something will just have to be done about it. Enter Drualus, Senior Correspondent for the Collective Assembly of Christmas Fae, working with the Night Before Reach Out Program. He’s got a few short hours to change Scott Misener’s outlook on life, love, and understanding. Lucky for Scott, Dru knows a tried and true trope that might just do the trick…

Ad Meliora by E.E. Ottoman
It’s Christmas Eve and An-An and M.C. have plans to spend Christmas in Texas with An-An’s family. But their plans are cut short when M.C. takes on a last minute case. Thankfully, though, it should be an easy exorcism.

Until they arrive at the snowbound lodge where trouble resides, and come face to face with a demon wolf unlike anything they’ve ever encountered.

Two Parts Mistletoe by Megan Derr
Kingston has worked hard to get where he is: owner of his own shop, master potion maker, well-respected… and lonely, too busy with life to enjoy more than his regular visits to Acacia House. If he wishes his loneliness might be eased by Hux, the man he meets at Acacia twice a month, well, someday he’ll work up the nerve to ask. Maybe.

Then Hux unexpectedly visits his shop, distressed and in desperate need of help to save his employer from a love potion…

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Review: I really enjoyed this diverse mix of stories, and the settings and themes.

Here for You by J.K. Pendragon: An odd sort of GFY/Bi-curious story and even now, I still don’t quite know how I feel about it. It was well written and had atmosphere, but the situation left me with something not unlike a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Warren was kind of a jerk to Kyung, and it also seemed as if Kyung was pushing Warren into the relationship. Not a very good start to things, in my opinion. However, I did like the individual characterization of both men, and the added details of the Korean culture were interesting. I’m not certain I’ll go looking for more of this new-to-me author’s works or not, but I won’t go out of my way to avoid it either.

The Christmas Spirit by Talya Andor: Another new-to-me author and a very interesting story with a Japanese and Southern flair this time. I loved the details about the culture and how Ash adjusted to being in a foreign country. The paranormal aspect and world building was fun, and I enjoyed that it had its roots in the real world. I will definitely seek out more by this author.

A Beautiful Thing by A.F. Henley: A cute and hilarious retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I so loved this one. I felt totally onboard with Scott and his grumpiness about the holiday, and when he goes off on a child whose parent was otherwise engaged, I laughed out loud. Who hasn’t wanted to scream at both the child and parent of said child when they are being rude, and you are given the excuse of ‘kids will be kids’?

Anyway, the reactions to Scott’s tirade were spot on, and I adored the changes to the script from there on as well. Dru was rather annoying at times, but I loved him as the Christmas Past/Present/Future vehicle, and I liked the way the ending wasn’t set in stone. Also, I adored that Scott’s awareness afterward was more along the lines of ‘gee, I need to quit being such an asshat’ than the ‘Magic of Christmas saved me’. I will look for more of this new-to-me author’s work.

Ad Meliora by E.E. Ottoman: Let me first say that finding a F/F story in the middle of what I thought was a M/M romance anthology was a surprise, but I went with it. I love the lady loving as well. Then, while in the midst of the awesome paranormal world building, it is thrown at you that one of the characters is transgender. Not a problem, again, love is love, I say. I was, however, thrown a bit by the overly clinical descriptions and pronoun usage. This just seemed to come out of nowhere. Perhaps it is just my unfamiliarity with transgender characters, but it was quite confusing, though I loved how accepting An-An was. The MC’s reaction was a bit off-putting, especially as she was the assertive character asking for the changes, and then she was suddenly reserved with An-An after their talk. Next, we have a bit of danger, which was great in moving forward the paranormal aspect, then the paranormal mystery was over, finished off-screen in a wrap-up talk between An-An and MC. One venue change and the focus of the rest of the story was on An-An and MC’s unexpectedly descriptive version of kinky sex and talk. I’m not certain I’ll go back for more of this author’s work, unfortunately.

Two Parts Mistletoe by Megan Derr: New-to-me author and I loved this story. I would have enjoyed more world building because the story was just that magical. I liked all the details for the potion making. I adored Kingston and Hux. They were so sweet on one another. I will definitely seek out more of this author’s work.

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Giveaways, Torquere Press

Interview and Giveaway: Kristi Boulware Of Torquere Press

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The Novel Approach is please to welcome Kristi Boulware today to talk a bit about Torquere Press, where it’s been and where it’s going to meet your LGBT reading needs for the future. As a special thank you, Kristi is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win either an e-book of choice from their extensive backlist, or a gift certificate good toward a future purchase.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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TNA: Hi, Kristi, welcome to The Novel Approach, it’s great to have you hear with us today. Why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you became involved with Torquere, and where, when, how Torquere came into being?

Kristi: Hi y’all! It’s great to be here spending some time chatting. A little about me…Well I’m a Texan through and through, have two beautiful kids, work with a dog rescue and have a degree in business management/marketing. About 5 years ago, Shawn & Lorna had me come on board with Torquere as the General Manager and doing marketing. Torquere was started in 2003 when a core group of authors were tired of not having anyone interested in publishing GLBT romance on ebook.

TNA: How has the press changed over the years, and where do you see it going moving forward?

Kristi: Torquere originally started with a core group of 5 authors. It has grown to over 200 authors and over 2000 titles in publication. They also branched out with Prizm Books for Young Adult and New Adult stories. Moving forward Torquere will continue to grow and thrive, allowing for many more categories in our releases.

TNA: What is your submission process, and will that be changing at all under the new ownership? Is there a certain sub-genre you hope to branch out into that you’ve never focused on before?

Kristi: You can find our submission information at Torquere Press Submissions. We ask that all submissions are complete manuscripts. We have several year round calls as well as monthly anthology calls available. We are currently branching into mysteries as well as transgender categories.

TNA: What’s your marketing plan as you move Torquere into the next generation of ownership? Will you be sticking to the current business model, or do you have plans to take things in a new direction?

Kristi: We are branching into several new marketing channels, building our social media presence as well as starting pre-order options. We are also doing blog blast tours for every book release with Will from Pride Promotions.

TNA: What advice would you give to authors who’ve never submitted a manuscript to Torquere before?

Kristi: Don’t be afraid to submit to us or any publisher. When you submit to a publisher and they say no, then take the recommendations given and move forward from there. Never give up!

TNA: Tell us where you can be reached and where authors and readers can find all the news about Torquere on the internet.

Kristi: At Torquere Press, Torquere Books, and we are also on Twitter @torquere and Facebook/Torquere Press.

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Dreamspinner Press, Vicktor Alexander

Guest Post and Giveaway: Groom of Convenience by Vicktor Alexander

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Line? What Line? I Don’t See No Freakin’ Line

First of all I want to thank the Novel Approach for having me here today. Yay!! I’m so excited to be on this site. Everything’s so shiny. –touches everything- -breaks a vase- I’m totally going to pay for that. Promise.

Anyway. When I talked to Lisa about doing a blog post for the site, especially since I wanted to feature my newest release, Groom Of Convenience, I told her, honestly, that I had no idea what to write about. When she suggested that I write about the book, its characters, and why I liked to shake things up a bit in the romance genre with creative settings, storylines and characters, I knew that she understood me. I also knew that I had definitely found my blog topic. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Drama, Historical Romance, Lisa Henry, Reviewed by Lynn, Riptide Publishing

Review: Sweetwater by Lisa Henry

Title: Sweetwater

Author: Lisa Henry

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 240 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Lori Toland, Reviewed by Jackie, Self-Published

Review: Encore by Lori Toland

Title: Encore (The Replacement Guitarist: Book Four)

Author: Lori Toland

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 376 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Blaze Shinozuka is a bonafide rockstar with his band, Razor’s Edge. After his romance with music manager Jason Stockton crashed and burned, Blaze is free to live and love. It’s been a wild and heady year that’s been blissfully drama free until the one man he’s been avoiding comes careening back in to wreak havoc on his heart once again. Continue reading

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Nya Rawlyns, PubRight

Interview and Giveaway: Pumping Iron by Nya Rawlyns

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Pumping Iron Nya PicTNA: Hi, Nya, thanks so much for being here with us today. Let’s start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Nya: My main claim to infamy amounts to a case of possession—by two creatures who stole my heart: Little Miss Mayhem, a rescue kitty abandoned by the side of the road in a storm, and my mare Miss Winnie who crossed the rainbow bridge but is never far from my thoughts.

Other than that, I deal with a warren of characters subletting space in my head. Occasionally I knock on a door, to be greeted by a complete stranger, almost always male (*waggles eyebrows*, my headspace, my fantasy), who invites me in for coffee—or something stronger—and tells me a story. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina, T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Review: Mountains to Climb by T.A. Chase

Title: Mountains to Climb

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Sometimes the past can be the biggest mountain to climb.

Toby Schwartzel has never forgot Jensen Brockhoff, the man he loved and the one who disappeared six years ago. He thinks he’s moved on, but when Jensen appears again and wants to explain what happened, Toby realises he never got over Jensen. He’d only built up walls to keep from being hurt again. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Jay Northcote, Reviewed by Sammy, Self-Published

Review and Backlist Title Giveaway: The Dating Game by Jay Northcote

Title: The Dating Game

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 103 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Five sex-free dates—how hard can it be?

When they were at uni, Owen always had a bit of a crush on Nathan. But Nathan was apparently straight, and Owen was too busy with other guys to take his crush seriously.

When Nathan moves back to Bristol after a year away, Owen hears that Nathan has come out of the closet, and he propositions him. Nathan doesn’t want to be just another notch on Owen’s bedpost, though, so he challenges Owen to prove he can be serious: five dates before they have sex. Continue reading

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Boroughs Publishing Group, Susan Mac Nicol

Excerpt and Giveaway: Love and Punishment by Susan Mac Nicol

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Title: Love and Punishment
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Length: 245 Pages

Blurb: On the search for a serial killer, Detective Anthony Parglietto and Flynn Parker learn that every man must make a choice: to kill, to live, to love.

FROM DARKNESS AND LIGHT Continue reading

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5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Kim

Sound Bite Sunday – Review: Redemption by Fire by Andrew Grey – Narrated by Peter B. Brooke

Title: Redemption by Fire

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator:: Peter B. Brooke

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 Hours, 29 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Dirk Krause is an asshole of the first degree. His life is a hell of his own making, and he makes everyone around him just as miserable. When he’s injured on the job while fighting a fire, he’s nearly unbearable to the hospital staff, and of course no one from his unit cares enough to visit. Continue reading

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4 Stars, B.G. Thomas, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lynn

Review: Summer Lover by B.G. Thomas

Title: Summer Lover

Author: B.G. Thomas

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Seasons of Love: Book Two

Scott Aberdeen doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God. Or love—at least, he knows no one will ever love him. After all, he has carried a torch for his best friend Sloan for a decade, hoping his feelings will be returned one day. But when Sloan finds springtime love with another man, Scott’s fantasies are crushed and his skepticism confirmed. Continue reading

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Margie Church

Interview and Giveaway: The Camera Never Lies by Margie Church

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

M.C.: Thanks for hosting me! It’s always fun to be at a new place. About me? I promise not to answer the door wearing lingerie. It scares the visitors and embarrasses my teenager and husband. You will find me in the stands cheering on my oldest son who plays snare drum in a world-class drum corps. I prefer my beer and my whiskey to have plenty of flavor. No light beer for me. Irish and Canadian straight up, please. My flower gardens are my summertime passion and if you follow me on social media, you’ll see plenty of gorgeous photos of them. I’m a native Minnesotan and love snow. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Amber Allure, Genre Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lana

Review: The Paranormal Detection Agency by Anne Brooke

Title: The Paranormal Detection Agency

Author: Anne Brooke

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 57 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: When paranormal investigator Jack Atkinson meets new client Aaron Riley, he doesn’t expect the level of attraction he instantly feels for the man. Neither does he expect the kind of haunting Aaron describes, which Jack is determined to solve.
Continue reading

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Heidi Cullinan, Reviewed by Jules, Samhain Publishing

Review: Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan

Title: Fever Pitch

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 339 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Love Lessons, Book 2

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Continue reading

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Rachel Sparks, Self-Published

Interview and Giveaway: To Be Whole by Rachel Sparks

TNA: Hi, Rachel, thanks so much for being here with us today. Let’s begin by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rachel: I’m from South Carolina. I live in South Carolina with my son Matt, daughter-in-law Brittany, who does my book covers, and my orange tabby cat Little Hoss. I’m a huge Doctor Who fan. David Tennant and Matt Smith are my favorites. I have a portrait tattoo of Matt Smith on my leg and plan to get David Tennant and the Tardis on the same leg soon. I have been a published author for 10 years. I have always said I have millions of stories and characters running around in my head.

TNA: To Be Whole is your first gay romance novel. What was it about this book and these characters that led you to the genre and to this point?

Rachel: Every author has a story that dying to be heard. This story has been in my mind and heart for some time. I finally decided it was time that it was heard. Love is love and nobody has the right to say a person cannot love whom they are destined to love. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, J.H. Knight, Reviewed by Taz

Review: The Last Thing He Needs by J.H. Knight

Title: The Last Thing He Needs

Author: J.H. Knight

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Tommy O’Shea is raising his seven younger brothers and sisters without any help from his drug abusing father and stepmother. Since he was fifteen years old, he’s managed to keep the children fed and out of foster care. It takes up every ounce of his energy and the last thing he needs is romance complicating his life further. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Clare London, Jocular Press, Reviewed by Lisa, Romantic Comedy

Review: A Twist and Two Balls by Clare London

Title: A Twist and Two Balls (With a Kick #1)

Author: Clare London

Publisher: Jocular Press

Pages/Word Count: 66 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Eduardo Mancini is going to be a star of the London stage and screen. Or that was the plan. His alter ego Eddy March hasn’t got further than the chorus and a bit part in a TV series. His parents aren’t supportive, his agent can’t place his particular skills, and he’s finding it hard to hang onto his young dreams. Things go from bad to worse when he’s late for an important audition, hasn’t got enough to money to pay the taxi fare, and is chased across the streets of Soho by the irate driver. Continue reading

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Dreamspinner Press, EM Lynley

Interview and Giveaway: Spaghetti Western by EM Lynley

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TNA: Hi, EM, thanks so much for joining us at The Novel Approach today. Why don’t we start things off by having you tell us a bit about yourself?

EM: Thanks for having me back here yet again. This is one of those questions you get in job interviews or first dates, and never know just where to start!

I’m a full-time writer. That’s a good place to start. It’s exciting and scary not to have a regular paycheck, but I feel privileged to be able to sit down and make up stories all day. It’s a lot easier to come up with ideas than it is to write, so my job isn’t quite as fun as it sounds on the surface.

Besides writing, my passions are cooking and travel. If you’ve read one or two of my books this should come as no surprise. I’d love to be able to make my way around the world again trying different foods in different places, and learning how to cook them.

And I’m a Taurus. What’s your sign? Continue reading

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5 Stars, Carolyne Chand, dik-dik books, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Rena

Review: The Knife of Narcissus (Parts One and Two) by Carolyne Chand

Title: The Knife of Narcissus (Parts One and Two)

Author: Carolyne Chand

Publisher: dik-dik books

Pages/Word Count: 123 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Lucius Sentius, along with most people in the city of Rome, assumes that the debauched days of Nero are behind them now that Rome has settled down under a sober new ruler, Vespasian. Lucius may be only the son of a merchant, but his newly arranged marriage to an older widow will bring powerful connections and an enviable life. If he keeps himself on a respectable path. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, EM Lynley, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kim

Review: Spaghetti Western by EM Lynley

Title: Spaghetti Western

Author: EM Lynley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: A Novel in the Delectable Series

Cordon-Blue trained pastry chef Riley Emerson arrives in Aspen, Colorado for a summer season at the best restaurant in town, only to discover his jerk of a boyfriend has dumped him, leaving his heart and his summer plans in tatters. Doubting himself and longing for a change of pace, he takes a low-paying position as chef at a guest ranch, the Rocking Z. The scenery is gorgeous, but he expects that nature up close and personal can’t hold a candle to his exciting Paris lifestyle. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Laura Baumbach, MLR Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Addicted by Laura Baumbach

Title: Addicted

Author: Laura Baumbach

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 27 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Vampires are impervious to human ailments and blood-borne disease. But what happens when one gets a taste of a new, powerful designer drug made from an element vampires have never encountered before? Continue reading

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5 Stars, Cameron Dane, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Kathie

Review: Brokedown Hearts by Cameron Dane

Title: Brokedown Hearts (Foster Siblings: Book Three)

Author: Cameron Dane

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 332 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Ex-con David Joyner returns home knowing he must atone for his past sins. Working at an animal shelter, David keeps his head down, desperate to prove to a hostile town he’s a new man. The one time David looks up, he spots fellow motel dweller Ben, and is terrified by his attraction to the man. David doesn’t want to feel anything. He can only damage what he loves. Continue reading

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Heidi Cullinan, Samhain Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: Heroes With Big Ears by Heidi Cullinan

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At this point when I make my writing collage, I go find a stock photo, because when the cover artist asks for my models, I can send them something they might actually be able to use. I worried at first I’d be limited to stock polished, boring specimens, but to my happiness, this is not the case. In fact, I’ve found some real characters in those stock photo files, and my favorite of all time is Giles.

I hadn’t fully fleshed out his character—sometimes I use the collage building as a way to find bits of the story that elude me, and Giles the stock photo guy delivered big time. In every one of his poses, he always looked a bit off the mark. His hair was a bit weird. His gestures seemed a little forced. He was not the most graceful man I’d ever seen. And I absolutely loved him for it. Continue reading

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Cover Reveal, Dreamspinner Press, Tere Michaels

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Tere Michaels’ Who Knows the Storm

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Title: Who Knows the Storm
Author: Tere Michaels
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Futuristic/Dystopian/Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: October 17, 2014

Blurb: Who Knows the Storm

In a dystopian near future, New York City has become the epicenter of decadence—gambling, the flesh trade, a playground for the wealthy. And underneath? Crime, fueled by “Dead Bolt” a destructive designer drug. This New City is where Nox Boyet leads a double life. At night, he is the Vigilante, struggling to keep the streets safe for citizens abandoned by the corrupt government and police. During the day, he works in construction and does his best to raise his adopted teenaged son, Sam.

A mysterious letter addressed to Sam brings Nox in direct contact with “model” Cade Creel, a high-end prostitute working at the Iron Butterfly Casino. Suspicion gives way to an intense attraction as dark figures from Nox’s past and the mysterious peddlers of Dead Bolt begin to descend—and put all their lives in danger. When things spin out of control, Cade is the only person Nox can trust to help him save Sam.

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