4.5 Stars, Carina Press, Diana Copland, G.B. Lindsey, Libby Drew, Reviewed by Lisa

G.B. Lindsey, Diana Copland, And Libby Drew Reveal The “Secrets of Neverwood”

“Because brothers don’t let each other wander in the dark alone.” ― Jolene Perry

Title: Secrets of Neverwood

Author: G.B. Lindsey, Diana Copland, Libby Drew

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 431 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars Overall

Blurb: Three foster brothers are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. They have nothing in common but a promise to Audrey, the woman they all called mother—that upon her death, they would restore the house and preserve it as a home for troubled boys.

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Carina Press, Diana DeRicci, G.B. Lindsey, Libby Drew

Constructing A Family – “Secrets of Neverwood” by Libby Drew

The Secrets of NeverwoodI had the honor of crafting the Secrets of Neverwood universe with two wonderful authors, Diana Copland and G.B. Lindsey. From the beginning, we knew “Neverwood” would be more than a decrepit mansion. It would be a home. And within it would exist a beacon of love, acceptance and hope—a woman named Audrey Rasmussen. Our Audrey opened her home to strangers and dedicated her life to creating a family, nontraditional as it may have been.

Diana, G.B. and I met often while writing Secrets of Neverwood—sometimes every day. Before long, Neverwood took on a life of its own. It grew beyond its dozens of rooms, secret passageways, and dusty attic full of furniture. It became a symbol of safety. A fortress for those who were ostracized, thrown away, and abused for who they love.
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A.M. Sexton, Bailey Bradford, Brandon Witt, Clare London, GayRomLit, Jena Wade, Libby Drew, Rain Carrington, Rhys Ford, Sneak Peek

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Halloo, everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week! We’ve got more great guests, lots of great giveaways, and reviews coming up in the week ahead, so here’s a wee peek at what we’ve got on tap.

MondayLibby Drew kicks off the week on the Secrets of Neverwood Blog Tour

TuesdayBailey Bradford is our guest today on the Unexpected Places Blog Tour

WednesdayJena Wade stops in on the Technically Waiting Blog Tour

A.M. Sexton (aka Marie Sexton) is also with us to talk a little bit about her new book Release

ThursdayRhys Ford is dropping by on the Tequila Mockingbird Blog Tour, with a little Hair of the Dog

FridayBrandon Witt joins us on the Countdown to GRL Celebration Blog Tour

SaturdayRain Carrington comes back for a visit on the Penny’s Lane Blog Tour

SundayClare London is here on the “No Angel” Blog Tour

And that wraps things up nicely. Until next week, happy reading!

Carina Press, Diana Copland, G.B. Lindsey, Libby Drew

Cover Reveal And Giveaway: “Secrets of Neverwood: The Lost Year” by Libby Drew

The Secrets of Neverwood

The Lost Year

Secrets of Neverwood is a new M/M contemporary romance anthology by Libby Drew, Diana Copland, and G.B. Lindsey, available from Carina Press June 30th, 2014.

Blurb: Three foster brothers are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. They have nothing in common but a promise to Audrey, the woman they all called mother—that upon her death, they would restore the house and preserve it as a home for troubled boys.

But going home is never easy.

Cal struggles to recover from past heartbreak, while Danny fears his mistakes are too big to overcome. Devon believes he may never break down the barriers that separate him from honest emotion.

On the path to brotherhood, they discover the old mansion holds more than dusty furniture and secret passageways. Audrey’s spirit still walks its halls, intent on guiding “her boys” toward true love, and an old mystery stirs up a new danger—one that could cost the men far more than just the house.

Secrets of Neverwood includes:

One Door Closes by G.B. Lindsey
The Growing Season by Diana Copland
The Lost Year by Libby Drew

166,000 words

Stories also available for purchase separately.

Libby chats about Secrets of Neverwood:

Welcome to Neverwood, home to lost boys and playful spirits. When Diana, G.B. and I first conceived the Secrets of Neverwood series, our biggest challenge was narrowing our idea field to something manageable. Which story would come first? There were many we wanted to explore—countless men had called Neverwod their home, and many more would do so in the future. That list of potential stories only grew as the first three novellas took shape, and the mansion’s history unfolded.

We consider Nevewood the mansion to be as important to the series as any of our living, breathing characters. In a way, it’s alive as well, host to Audrey’s spirit, as well as others. And like any human being, it’s fickle—hoarding its secrets. Cal, Danny and Devon go far in uncovering some of what’s hidden within its walls, but many mysteries still await the curiosity of other lost boys, whose stories have yet to be told.

Until then, we offer three tales of love and romance, each peppered with ample doses of heartache and suspense. I feel honored to be in the writing company of Diana Copland and G.B. Lindsey, who have been professional acquaintances for years, and whom I’ve admired for just as long. Working with them on this project was truly rewarding.

My novella tells Devon’s story…

The Lost Year: Secrets of Neverwood: Book Three

Devon McCade is no stranger to adversity. As a photojournalist, he’s seen all manner of human struggle. And as a kid, it’s what brought him to Neverwood, to his foster mother Audrey. It’s what he’s facing now, as he and his foster brothers work to restore the once-stately mansion amidst surprising signs from Audrey herself.

But when another anguished soul arrives at Neverwood, Devon can’t hide behind his camera. Nicholas Hardy is certain he saw his runaway son, Robbie, in a photo Devon took of homeless children. Devon knows all too well that a young teenager on the streets doesn’t have many options—and Robbie has been missing for a full year.

Searching for Robbie with Nicholas stirs memories and passions Devon had thought long lost, yet knowing that Nicholas will leave as soon as Robbie is found keeps him from opening himself up to something permanent. Devon must learn to fight for what he wants to keep—his love, and his home.

Carina Press did a beautiful job with our covers, which we’re excited to reveal on today’s launch of our promotional tour. Many thanks to The Novel Approach for hosting me on this special occasion.

(For a look at the cover and blurb for One Door Closes by G.B. Lindsey, pop over to Prism Book Alliance. For a sneak peek at The Growing Season by Diana Copland, visit Mrs. Condit and Friends).

Libby’s Bio:

Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school’s fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.

Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.

Libby’s State of Mind received rave reviews for being fast, clever, and relentless and was nominated for a Bookie Award for Best M/M Novel of 2011. 40 Souls to Keep, Libby’s third novel, has been described as intense and heart-poundingly good and was praised by Publishers Weekly for maintaining a high level of suspense.

An avid supporter of gay rights, Libby donates her time to the Trevor Project and organizations that work to support marriage equality.

More information about Libby’s books can be found on her Website


An E-copy Of The Neverwood Anthology

A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Brita Addams, Christa Tomlinson, F.E. Feeley Jr., J.K. Hogan, Jacob Z. Flores, Kade Boehme, L.A. Witt, LE Franks, Libby Drew, M.J. O'Shea, Marie Sexton, Piper Vaughn, Poppy Dennison, Rafe Haze, Riley Hart, Saloni Quinby

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week. It was a busy and fun-filled weekend at RainbowCon, having the opportunity to meet some new-to-me authors and participating on some great panels, where the conversation was always interesting and informative. Next stop: GayRomLit in Chicago!

Here’s what’s on tap for the week ahead.

MondaySaloni Quinby kicks off the week on her Weapons of Redemption Blog Tour with a giveaway

Jacob Flores drops in as well, with a GRL Countdown Celebration for his newest release, When Love Comes to Town, and there’s a giveaway

TuesdayRiley Hart is our guest today on the Stay (Blackcreek: Book Two) Blog Tour. She sat down to answer a few questions for us, so make sure to stay tuned

Libby Drew is also with us to do a Cover Reveal of her new novella The Lost Year, included in the anthology Secrets of Neverwood

Brita Addams visits today with a guest article about misused idioms/clichés

WednesdayPiper Vaughn and Kade Boehme stop in on their Wood, Screws & Nails Blog Tour, and they’ve also got a giveaway for you

Rafe Haze is also with us to talk a little bit about his new book The Next, and he’ll be giving an e-copy away to one lucky reader

ThursdayPoppy Dennison is dropping by to do a little Mind Magic for us, and there’s a giveaway

L.A. Witt and Marie Sexton are also here on their Roped In Blog Tour, with a giveaway

FridayLE Franks is our guest on the Can This Be Real Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway

M.J. O’Shea also drops in on the Rising Sun Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway

SaturdayChrista Tomlinson is our guest on The Sergeant Blog Tour and giveaway

F.E. Feeley Jr. will also be here on the Objects in the Rearview Mirror Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway

SundayJ.K. Hogan is here with a Countdown To GRL Celebration Guest Post and Giveaway

And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

Carina Press, Libby Drew

Libby Drew’s “Paradox Lost” Is An Action Packed Sci-Fi Thriller

“It doesn’t have to conform to whatever is usual. It doesn’t have to be kismet at once, or rhapsody by the third date. It just has to be. In time. In place. In spirit. It just has to be.” ― David Levithan

Title: Paradox Lost

Author: Libby Drew

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 228 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Time travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job—taking eager tourists whenever they want to go—is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return—or Reegan will lose more than just his job.
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Carina Press, Libby Drew

“Bending the Iron” Is On The Fast Track To A Happy Ending

“No one can change a person, but a person can be the reason someone changes.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Being gay in a rural Pennsylvania town isn’t easy, just ask Michael. He’s trapped in a small life, in a small town, in a dead end job, with a grandfather, Pete, who has the dubious honor of being the town drunk. Michael’s stuck in a life he never intended to live, as he has slowly watched his big dreams wither and die under the weight of his even bigger responsibility to care of his grandpap. Michael had dreams at one time that would have taken him places and shown him new things, but now those dreams only lead him to a place called Regret.

Michael does leave Hickory every so often, when his life begins to feel like it’s choking him off from the actual living part of it, and travels, if you can call it that, to the big city of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is where he goes to find sex when he can manage to get away from Pete for a few hours, which isn’t nearly often enough, given the frequent lapses Pete takes into an alcoholic stupor. But finding another gay man in Hickory, well, that would be nothing short of a miracle for Michael.

But sometimes, you know, miracles do happen.

Eric is the new curator of the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum, and he’s the last person anyone would expect to find in Hickory—he doesn’t exactly blend. Not that he tries to stand out at all, but let’s just say he looks like one of them hippie tree-hugger types, though he takes his new job—and his history—very seriously, which is how he and Pete form a connection that changes Pete’s life and unwittingly draws Michael into his sphere.

Michael’s and Eric’s attraction to each other is immediate and powerful enough that their first meeting leads to a full-body-contact groping session right there in the storeroom at the museum, nearly under Pete’s nose. Their “relationship” starts out in a strained push me/pull you, back and forth, yes/no/maybe-so battle of wondering how much they ought to hold back and how much they want to ride the rails of this relationship train and see where it takes them.

But there’s fear there, and some baggage, and an obligation that’s holding them back, and when Eric tries to impose his will upon Michael in an effort to convince the man not to give up on his dream of becoming an architect, it drives a wedge between them they must either overcome or let it push them on in their separate ways.

Libby Drew has painted a lovely picture of a Western Pennsylvania landscape, a place it was fun visiting in my imagination, though I’d never want to live there in this place where news travels faster by word-of-mouth than it could hope to via any social media. This is a romance that addresses some familiar themes, but is set against a unique backdrop that added some very nice touches to the story.

There were some things in Bending the Iron that prevented it from being a truly exceptional read for me, however, one being I felt that Pete’s “recovery” was far too over-simplified for the sake of moving Michael’s story, and his relationship with Eric, quickly forward. It felt like a bit of an easy out to me that might’ve offered some weightier conflict and complications to the story were it expanded a bit. And while on the subject of Pete, what felt very much like his all-too sudden acceptance of Michael’s homosexuality after years of ignoring that Michael is gay was a bit of a stumbling block as well, and is also something I’d have liked to have seen explored a bit more.

Michael and Eric’s relationship is one that begins and builds on physical attraction and plenty of lust, which isn’t a problem as long as I get supporting dialogue between the characters along the way to build the relationship and make it about more than the physical. The old cliché says actions speak louder than words, and there were some truly romantic gestures in the book that I very much liked, but I’m also a huge fan of good conversation to help tell a story and move it forward, and I felt it was missing. This is not an insta-love book, but it is an insta-lust book that needed a bit more depth for me to buy into and connect with to help endear me to Michael and Eric’s romance.

This really is a quiet little book set in a sleepy little town, with a little conflict thrown in for good measure but is not at all an angst-ridden story. If that’s exactly what you’re look for, you might want to give this one a try.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Bending the Iron here: