Giveaways, Heidi Belleau, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Tin Man Blog Tour with Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Tin Man Banner

Hi! Welcome to Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau’s blog tour for our new release, Tin Man. We’re visiting some of our favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing Tin Man, and sharing some of our influences, our ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win prizes!

Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Riptide credit and an ecopy of Bliss, the first book set in this universe. Entries close July 25, 2015, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so we know how to reach you!

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Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Tin Man. In this excerpt, Ace is scoping out the headquarters of the Anti Terrorist Unit, hoping to see Soren again.

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The headquarters of the Anti-Terrorism Unit had been built on the site of the old Government House. Ace knew that because he’d seen the collection of faded old postcards his mom had kept in the back of the closet, postcards that showed stately, beautiful buildings along the riverbank. The war had changed all that. A decade or so of shelling and bombing—way before Ace’s time—had leveled all the grand old buildings of Tophet. They had been replaced by gray, concrete structures, smog-stained and windowless.

Ace told himself that he’d crossed the river just because he hadn’t done it in years, but that didn’t explain why he’d been drawn to ATU headquarters. He bought a lukewarm cup of tea from a vendor on the corner and stood around with the group of people outside the welfare office down the street from the ATU. The day was cold enough that he was able to pull the hood of his jacket up and keep his face hidden without it appearing unusual.

The welfare office was closed, the doors padlocked shut. The screens in the window were broken and flickering, but the occasional message scrolled along the bottom of the screens under the news bulletins: workers wanted in District Two, a factory opening in District Five, applications now open. Government mandated wage. No accommodation. No benefits. Citizens only.

Citizens only, Ace knew, meant only those without criminal records. You couldn’t be a citizen and a crim, and once you were a crim, there was no going back. He’d stood at this same welfare office back when he was a kid, listening to his dad beg the staff for a chance to get a job so that he could feed his family. They’d only left when the staff had threatened to call the police and have his dad arrested again.

Ace saw the same desperation on some of the faces of the men and women who studied the scrolling adverts. Most of them seemed resigned, though, weariness etching deep lines in their faces and bowing their backs.

A cold wind blew off the river as the afternoon softened slowly into dusk. He shivered, the rubbish littering the street scattering about.

Ace had told himself he hadn’t come here looking for Soren Lau, but it was a lie.

He just wanted to make sure the kid wasn’t dead, that was all.

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TinMan_600x900Blurb: Petty thief Ashoka “Ace” King knows better than to get in the way of Tophet’s Anti-Terrorist Unit. Rightfully feared in Tophet’s crime-ridden underbelly, a face-to-face encounter with an ATU is almost certainly a death sentence. But Ace has never been one to follow the rules.

Soren Lau might be an ATU rookie, but he’s not naive enough to believe everything his superiors tell him. Then again, he’s not stupid enough to disobey them, either. If he doesn’t shoot and kill as ordered, he might be next on their list.

But when Soren meets Ace, a moment’s hesitation is all it takes to put both their lives on the line. They don’t know each other, they don’t trust each other, and there’s no way in hell they can both walk away from this alive. But with suspicion and mortal danger mounting against both of them—and the forbidden attraction blazing between them—there’s nothing they can do but try.

Tin Man is out on July 20. You can order it now at Riptide.

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TinMan_TourBanner

Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

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Heidi Belleau

Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.

She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!)

When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.

Connect with Heidi: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Email

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and thanks for popping in to see what we have in store for you in the week ahead. We’re helping some authors do a little celebrating this week with anniversaries, cover reveals, and our next GayRomLit guest post, and, of course, we’ll have lots of reviews too.

Here’s what’s coming up!

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Monday – Author Susan Mac Nicol is back to kick off the week, as she celebrates the second anniversary of her first M/M publication, Stripped Bare

Tuesday – We have not one but two cover reveals coming your way today, the first an exclusive for Jordan L. HawkDangerous Spirits, the sequel to Restless Spirits

The second reveal is for the upcoming anthology Charmed and Dangerous, a collection of spec fic stories from some of the genres best paranormal/fantasy authors, one of which happens to be Jordan L. Hawk

Wednesday – We bring you another Countdown to GRL guest today, with a guest post from author Lissa Kasey

Thursday – Today we’ll welcome author Charlotte Ashe on the tour for her novel The Sidhe

Friday – And finally, authors Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau will close out the week on their Tin Man tour

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And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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4 Stars, Anthology, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed by Jennifer, Riptide Publishing

Review: Rules to Live By – An Anthology From Riptide Publishing

Title: Rules to Live By

Author: Heidi Belleau, Anah Crow, Dianne Fox, Lisa Henry, Anna Zabo, and Cari Z.

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 250 Pages

At a Glance: Four very different tales of BDSM, each one well-crafted, with unique characters.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Four intimate tales of power exchange, discipline, risks taken, and pleasures earned.

A list of rules to live by.

In Cari Z’s House Rules, jealousy leads Jonathan to break the rules his lover has established. He can’t decide which he enjoys more: his punishment, or the reward afterward. Good thing he gets both.

A lesson in humility.

In The Harder They Fall by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry, spoiled college boy Tad hires a prostitute, but “Daddy” couldn’t care less about what Tad wants. Instead, he’s going to give his spoiled little boy exactly what he deserves.

A cage that means freedom.

In Master Key by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox, Marquis offers Navin the key to the most intimate of locks, hoping it will help them to prioritize their relationship. And it does—until work and insecurities threaten to drive them apart again.

A spool of rope and a desire to be bound.

In CTRL Me by Anna Zabo, a night out between friends turns hot and tempting when Gabe deliberately pushes Tom’s submissive buttons. Then Tom discovers rope in Gabe’s glove-box—and not the type for securing luggage.

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Review: This short anthology features four short stories featuring different couples experimenting with or engaging in BDSM. Seeing as there are only four stories, I decided to review each one on its own to give credit where credit is due.

In “Master Key,” Anah Crow and Dianne Fox have crafted a story about an interracial couple beginning to test the waters of BDSM. Marquis has had the desire to experiment before, but he’s never mentioned this to Navin. Navin, meanwhile, is growing frustrated because it seems that he is constantly being pushed aside in favor of work. And it’s true, because Marquis forgets a lot. I mean, his memory is worse than mine. Marquis thinks he finds a solution involving his secret desires, but as always, things don’t go as planned.

I enjoyed the dynamics between Marquis and Navin. They both come from different backgrounds, but they’re comfortable—for the most part—in who they are. More interesting is how they balance power. In his day job Marquis is important and responsible for a lot. He has a lot of power it seems, and he’s always working. He pretty much takes workaholic to another level. He’s just that dedicated. But he craves more, wanting to experience things as a submissive. Navin, on the other hand, has very little power in his family business. He’s pretty much described as his mother’s purse at the start of the story, and I felt for him. His older brother screws up a lot, and makes life difficult for Navin. But while he seems to be a pushover, once Marquis gives him the power, a Dominant side comes out that both men love.

This switch was great. It gave both characters depth, and I cheered for them the entire time. They have their bumps in the road, but what relationship doesn’t?

The second story is “House Rules” by Cari Z, which features two Hollywood stars: one an actor, the other a screenwriter. Shorter by far than the first story, this focuses on Jon at home the night of the Oscars, watching his partner, Alistair, on the red carpet. The description in the blurb makes it sound pretty lighthearted, but it has a lot of depth for such a short story. Jon not only has difficulty being in the spotlight, but a crazy lifestyle when he was younger has left him with HIV. Alistair helps ground him by setting rules for him to go by whenever he’s away from home, filming or doing publicity. After he’s been away for too long, Jon starts to neglect the rules and his health starts to suffer as a result. When Alistair comes home, he has to deal with Jon’s jealousy and the after effects.

This really tugged at my heart. Alistair is a strong, calm Dom who clearly cares for his partner and wants what is best for him. And Jon might be whiny at times, but he grows over the course of the story when he realizes Alistair really does want the best. Even though it did have its serious moments, I laughed hard when Jon received his first smack and he yelled “Jesus Christ!” and Alistair’s simple response was, “The Lord isn’t considered a unit of measurement, Jonathan. Try again.” Brilliant. I think for the next few days every time I utter that phrase, I’ll be thinking of that line.

Next up is “The Harder They Fall,” co-written by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau. This one may not be for everyone. To be honest, throughout I was torn between loving it and being so bothered by it that I didn’t want to love it. But I guess that’s good writing, right?

This one follows Tad, a rich, spoiled brat, as he returns to a brothel in order to get some release. He’s gone before, and in his last visit he got Conor, the newest guy there, and treated him terribly. Seems he has a thing for being in control and abusing people. This time he decides he wants the oldest man there so he can further exert his power and abuse. What he gets might be the oldest man there, but he’s in for a surprise. Instead of being in control, this man, who insists Tad call him Daddy, is in complete control, and Tad is torn between going with it, and leaving. He fights at first, but then he decides to see what happens. He struggles the entire time they’re together and doesn’t just fall for the man, but the ending had a pleasant twist that I didn’t see coming.

Tad is pretty much the stereotypical spoiled rich boy. He hasn’t a care in the world, knows his absent parents will bail him out and do whatever he wants just to save face, and so he lacks all control even though he thinks he has it all. Daddy is pretty straightforward for the most part. He’s a Dom, he treats Tad like a little boy (and girl, sometimes, which disturbed me a bit), and expects his commands followed. The push and pull of their meeting was what kept me reading, because I wanted to know what followed. Even though Tad was a complete jerk to Conor, I did feel for him. Sure he has money, but as he points out later in the story, once everyone—friends included—have their money, they leave because that’s all they expect from him. So, though he’s terrible and has no empathy whatsoever, he was still a mildly sympathetic character. I would actually like to read a full story between them to watch Tad’s progress.

Finally, last but not least, “CTRL Me” by Anna Zabo. Tom and Gabe work together coding and share a cubicle. After a breakup with his girlfriend, bisexual Tom is asked out for a drink by Gabe, who he’s had a crush on since he moved to Pennsylvania. In Gabe’s car, he finds rope. Of course, Tom is a sub, and this immediately turns him on, but Gabe isn’t gay. And this isn’t a date. Or is it? Turns out it is, and not only is Gabe also bisexual, but he’s a Dom, and he’s wanted Tom for just as long.

Gabe and Tom click really well together. Their time out—and in—just felt natural, and I didn’t really think I was reading a first date between them. There was a lot of chemistry between them. Gabe has a thing for shibari—rope work—and Tom is eager to participate. He loves being tied up. The two just complement each other really well. Both are strong in their roles, and both enjoy and dislike the same things when it comes to BDSM. I would have loved if the story continued on to the party on Saturday where Gabe is going to demonstrate rope work on Tom. Heck, I’d like to read beyond that to see how they deal with dating at work, pushing each other to the next level, and so on.

As a whole, this anthology is fantastic. It really has something for everyone, and because the stories are fairly short, you might be able to try something new. All of the authors crafted fantastic stories with characters I cared about.

TNA_Signature_Jennifer






You can buy Rules to Live By here:

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Sammy, Riptide Publishing

Review: Tempest (Playing the Fool: Book Three) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Title: Tempest (Playing the Fool: Book Three)

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count:

At a Glance: So good, this novel, Tempest, just so very good.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

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Review: In this third and (sob) latest installment of the Playing the Fool series, Mac and Henry are indeed on the run from the shady agent from internal affairs who is ready to charge Mac with everything from murder to cocaine possession. To make matters worse, Mac has finally leveled with Henry and asked him to give their relationship a try. Nearly uttering those three little words, Mac is hoping desperately that Henry will stay put and fight the trumped up charges with him. Little does Mac know just who is behind all the framing and just how determined they are to see Mac pay—not just with his life but also with the lives of all he holds dear.

I simply loved this series. Creative, playful, witty and fast paced, the writing by this fantastic duo of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock was nothing short of outstanding in my book. Henry is so deeply conflicted and his struggle over guilt for his sister’s condition and his feelings of abysmally low self worth prevent him from embracing what Mac is clearly offering—love. While the first half of this book focuses more on the budding relationship or Henry’s fight against that lovely dangling carrot that is Mac’s trust in him, it also lays important groundwork for the latter half of the novel. So well written, it is vital that we understand how very difficult it is for Henry to lay down his running shoes and trust that Mac will stay, will find something inside Henry to love.

For Mac’s part, he very quietly embraces the fact that he is in love with a con artist, and stoutly refuses to acknowledge how very wrong it is that he is falling in love with not only a petty criminal but a witness to a murder as well. In the second half of this nail-biter, it becomes so very clear how important Mac’s trust in Henry not running when the chips are down factors into how they will weather the impossibly dangerous character from their combined pasts.

So good, this novel, Tempest, just so very good. Bringing us full circle on these two delightfully needy and sweet men, the story leads us to a most satisfying ending. I can only hope this immensely talented team opt to extend these boys’ run a bit further and give us just a few more stories about this delightful team, Mac and Cheese…er, I mean Henry.






You can buy Tempest here:

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All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Tempest by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Tempest_TourBanner

From Lisa and J.A.: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and some comfy items picked especially for you by Henry: a pillow shaped like a donut, and a pair of donut-themed socks.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On March 20, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

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Tempest_400x600Blurb: Something wicked this way comes.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

Buy Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

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Excerpt: The drive back to Altona was nerve-racking. It wasn’t the police cruisers Mac was worried about—not that he even saw any of those on the busy stretch of the I-69 between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne—it was the black or gray or dark-blue sedans that screamed FBI when they were framed in the rearview, but then turned out to be full of bored businessmen, or moms with kids, or, once, a bunch of teenage girls. Mac really only noticed them because the one in the front seat was changing into her cheerleading outfit as they barreled down the highway, her ass pressed up against the window.

“Seat belt,” he muttered, and wondered when he’d turned sixty. When he’d gotten boring.

Not that a bunch of cheerleaders was exactly likely to flip his party switch. Where was a carload of college lacrosse players when he needed one?

Nowhere. That’s fucking where.

He rattled along the highway in his dad’s beaten-up old truck and tried not to think about how Henry Page had ruined him for college lacrosse players. Sometimes he felt like one of those rugged, taciturn heroes from a 1940s’ movie, who was stuck with some talkative, troublesome broad with a wit as sharp as the cut of her jacket. Driven to distraction by the sway of her hips and the curl of her smile and the way she just didn’t listen. Then, right in the final scene of the movie, the hero would grab her by the wrist and crush her to his powerful chest. “You are the most irritating, annoying, confounded woman!” the hero would begin, and then he’d kiss her almost violently until she shut the hell up.

That was Henry. Driving Mac way past distraction and straight to the kissing part.

He tapped the steering wheel as he drove.

He really didn’t need Henry, not on top of everything else. Yet he couldn’t imagine being without him, for all his fucking craziness. He’d never understood the whole bad-boy thing before. Was Henry even a bad boy? He was a criminal, but hardly gave off the dark, brooding, and dangerous vibe. Mac didn’t even think he owned a leather jacket.

Henry was undoubtedly bad for Mac’s career. Bad for Mac’s sanity. Bad for Mac’s heart.

Sugar. Henry was like sugar.

More addictive than heroin.

No, that was caffeine, not sugar.

Or no, maybe it was sugar. Henry had told him that, so it was probably bullshit. Still, it had a ring of truth to it, so what did it matter?

And that was Henry too. Mac liked his world in black and white, but there was Henry, bringing in the gray areas. Bringing in other colors too. Lighting up his world with a laugh or a smile.

Jesus fuck.

Lighting up his world with a smile?

He shook his head to try to clear it as he turned off the highway toward Altona.

He had it real bad.

He stopped at a supermarket in Altona to get a prepaid phone and a candy bar—fuck it, he was on the run. He needed the extra calories. Or some other completely senseless justification.

The clouds were coming in again, low and dark, and the first drops of rain hit as he turned onto Holloway Road. He watched as one slithered into a fine crack in the windshield. A few others splattered the glass. He flicked on the wipers and smeared dust across the windshield.

It was pouring as he turned onto the gravel driveway of his parents’ farm. He wondered if Henry and Vi were over at the old house. He’d go and see his folks first anyway, let them know he was okay and return the truck.

He pulled up outside the house, then strode through the rain to the front door.

“I’m home!”

His mom came out of the kitchen, a relieved smile on her face. “I’m glad you’re back! Everyone was getting worried.”

He looked around. “So where are they all?”

“Well, your father went out to the shed to work on the tractor. You know how he gets when he’s anxious.”

He knew. His dad’s approach to dealing with a problem, however abstract, was to take a piece of machinery apart and put it back together again.

“Cory and Vi went to play pirates and princesses in the basement—” She raised her hands at the expression on his face. “Ryan, she’s a little girl. She’s allowed to be a pirate if she wants. And I think Henry fell asleep waiting for you in your room.”

“My room?”

“Mmm.”

He glanced at the stairs.

“You’re not in high school anymore, honey,” his mom said. “You can close the door if you have a boy in your room.”

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About the Authors:

Lisa Henry:
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house a log-suffering partner, too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa:
Blog | •Twitter: @lisahenryonline | •Goodreads

J.A. Rock:
J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. A lover of m/m BDSM romance, J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.

Connect with J.A.:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Giveaways

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Hi, everyone, and welcome back to another look at what we have coming up in the week ahead! It’s a busy one, to be sure, and will feature some fantastic guests, great giveaways, and, of course, lots more reviews. Stay tuned and I hope you come back to join in the fun.

Now, here’s what’s on tap!

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MondayCleis Press kicks off our week with a giveaway of their new anthology Best Gay Romance 2015

Author Aimee Brissay also joins us today to do her part in helping to countdown to Euro Pride Con

TuesdayLisa Henry and J.A. Rock drop in on the Tempest blog tour

And we’ll also be featuring Rick R. Reed’s new DSP Publications release IM

Wednesday – We’re welcoming author Amber Kell today as she visits to celebrate Euro Pride Con

We’ll also have a new edition of Genre Talk with Carole Cummings and A.J. Marcus

Thursday – Today, Ana J. Phoenix stops by with her contribution to the countdown to Euro Pride Con

Heidi Cullinan will also be here to offer the chance to win an e-copy of her new book Nowhere Ranch

FridaySue Brown joins us today on the Eddie & Marchant blog tour

Jaycee Edwards and Helena Stone also drop in on their Strangers in the Night tour

Saturday – Today we welcome author Suki Fleet on the Innocence blog tour

Sunday – And we close out the week with author T. Strange and a cover reveal of her new book My Zombie Boyfriend

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And that does it for a busy week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

 

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Merchant of Death by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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The Novel Approach welcomes Riptide writing duo Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock today on the Merchant of Death blog tour. Enjoy the excerpt and enter for a chance to win some great prizes.

Good luck!

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Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of THE MERCHANT OF DEATH. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!

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Today we’re sharing an excerpt from THE MERCHANT OF DEATH. And things at work are just about to get very complicated for Mac:

Mac’s attention was caught by the sudden hush that descended. He saw two men and a woman he didn’t recognize out on the floor.

OPR. Office of Professional Responsibility.

Their reputation was enough to shut down conversations in mid laugh, but Mac didn’t hate them—had no reason to. He’d always played by the rules. Sure, it was a pain in the ass when they investigated some bullshit complaint, but there was no point getting defensive about it. In light of the news Val had broken when he’d arrived at work, Mac half expected it to be about Jimmy Rasnick.

It wasn’t.

“Mac.” Val appeared in his doorway again. “Do you have a minute?”

“Sure.” Mac stood up and slipped the sticky note into his pocket, then followed Val to the conference room. Sat down beside her.

The two men were studying files and didn’t look at Mac. But the woman was staring at him. She had dark hair pulled into a ponytail at her nape and wore a navy suit. “Agent McGuinness?” she said. “Agent Janice Bixler, OPR. This is Agent Lawrence and Agent Talbot. We’d like to ask you a few questions.”

“All right.”

Agent Janice Bixler didn’t ask him any questions, though. She left that to one of the guys—Lawrence or Talbot—and sat taking notes on her sleek black tablet while Mac went over, in painstaking detail, what exactly had happened at the cabin in Altona.

Well, not exactly. There was some stuff that Mac was keeping to himself. The impromptu Shakespeare performance. The stolen groceries. And especially the way Henry had just fucking melted against him when they’d kissed.

It was strange to have a name to put to the guy he’d killed. Robert Jones. And such a prosaic name. A schoolteacher name. A guy-in-the-street name. Not a hired-killer name.

For an hour and a half, Mac went through the sequence of events in the cabin. And didn’t even get pissed when one of them asked him if he’d considered using an alternative to lethal force.

“He was a hit man. He was there to kill my witness.”

His witness.

“The witness you then lost,” the guy said.

Okay, Mac was keeping his cool, but he officially did not like this guy. He was even more creeped out by Janice Bixler, who sat making notes, her expression never changing. Every few minutes, though, Mac could feel her gaze on him. “After I got shot, yes, I lost him. He ran. Anyone would have.”

“Your office seems to have some trouble holding on to this particular witness,” the guy said. “Where is he now?”

Val bristled. “Mr. Page is staying nearby. If you need him brought in for questioning, that’s certainly something that can be arranged, but I assure you that his version of events matches Agent McGuinness’s. I took his statement myself.”

Of all the things that Mac admired most about Val, it was her ability to bald-faced lie. He leaned back in his seat and let her take over.

“In addition, Agent McGuinness has my full support in this matter.” Val closed her folder. “And I would advise him not to continue this interview until he is medically cleared to do so.”

“We’ll talk again soon,” the guy said.

“Actually, I have one more question,” Bixler said, looking up at Mac.

He waited. Nothing warm in her eyes. It was like staring into a hole in the ground.

“How well do you know your witness, Agent McGuinness?”

He couldn’t speak for a moment. His mind was caught on an image of Henry, lying on Mac’s bed, his pants around his ankles, his cock hard and straining his underwear.

“Not very well.”

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MerchantOfDeath_400x600Blurb: All’s fair in love and war.

There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.

But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.

You can check out THE MERCHANT OF DEATH at Riptide.

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GiveawaysThanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and Mac’s favorite coffee mug. What? It’s not like he’s supposed to be drinking coffee.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On February 12, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Sammy, Riptide Publishing

Review: Merchant of Death by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Title: Merchant of Death (Playing the Fool: Book Two)

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 205 Pages

At a Glance: Merchant of Death is a masterful second story in an outstanding series.

Blurb: All’s fair in love and war.

There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.

But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.

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***SPOILER WARNING***

Review: Mac and Henry (Sebastian) are back—and oh my golly, they are even a tad bit better than before!! In Merchant of Death, the second installment of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock’s Playing The Fool series, the tables are turned and Mac finds himself being targeted by a former drug kingpin he put behind bars. And by former I mean dead, and how is it exactly that a dead con is managing to make Mac’s life a living hell? Merchant of Death has so many delicious twists and turns that I nearly clapped my hands in glee as I read this fast paced, gritty and sexy novel.

For those familiar with book one, Two Gentlemen of Altona, you will recall that novel ended with Henry once more running out on Mac to go find and help the mysterious sister named Viola. When Henry finds her, we finally get the back-story of these two wounded twins and their drug addicted mother. As the story unfolds, we are made aware of exactly what happened in Henry and Viola’s past when Henry went by his real name, Sebastian. Without giving too much of this rich plot away, suffice it to say that Vi is now living in a mental care facility and gives her twin brother the story that a “bad angel” has killed her friend, the elderly Mr. Crowley. Henry disguises himself as his twin and gets inside the facility, only to uncover a plot to milk elderly terminal patients out of their money and then help them meet an untimely death.

Once again Henry is in the thick of it, and this time Mac will be the hero who rescues the damsel in distress. However, things are not going well back at the office for Mac. Still on medical leave from the bullet he took protecting Henry at the cabin, Mac has discovered that a team has been sent to investigate the shooting. While seemingly routine, they are actually investigating the death of an informant who has stated that Mac was buying cocaine from him and threatening him. I know—can this plot get any thicker? But, here is the genius of this team of authors: never once was I lost or confused in this story—every step down the rabbit hole was clear and neatly tied together and by novel’s end, I was breathless with anticipation for the next installment in this magnificent series.

Mac and Henry, er, Sebastian are simply magical together. Clever dialogue punctuated with smoldering glances and stolen hot kisses means these two manage to heat up every page of this novel. The journey they are on where they try to avoid falling in love with each other, only to discover they have already lost that battle, is part whimsy, part hard-core mystery and part romantic comedy. Somehow all these pieces weave together to work with stunning resolve. Lisa Henry and J. A. Rock have always been top-notch authors in my book but collaboratively, they are publishing gold!

Merchant of Death is a masterful second story in an outstanding series. I am hanging on by my fingertips for the third installment to this incredible series.






You can buy Merchant of Death (Playing the Fool: Book Two) here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, J.A. Rock, J.E. Birk, Jess Buffet, Keira Andrews, Liam Livings, Lisa Henry, Rhys Ford, RJ Scott, Sue Brown, Z. Allora, Z.A. Maxfield

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak PeekHappy Sunday, everyone, and many thanks for stopping by to see what we have in store for you in the coming week. We’re starting off February in a great way, with more guest authors, great posts, outstanding giveaways, and, of course, more reviews to share with all of you.

Now here’s a look at what’s up in the week ahead.

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MondaySue Brown is first up, helping us kick off the week on the The Next Call blog tour

Liam Livings is also helping us start the week off right on the Escaping from Him blog tour

TuesdayRhys Ford’s Black Dog Blues blog tour makes us a stop today, and I hear there be dragons

WednesdayKeira Andrews joins us today on the A Clean Break blog tour

J.E. Birk is also with us to do a little release day celebrating of the new Dreamspinner Press novella Depending on You

Thursday RJ Scott drops in today for a visit on The Bucket List blog tour

Z. Allora also joins us today with a guest post and giveaway on the Transgender Romance blog tour

FridayJess Buffet makes TNA a stop on the Always Been You blog tour

The writing team of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock also stop by on their Merchant of Death blog tour

Saturday – And finally, Z.A. Maxfield closes out the week on the Deep Desire blog tour

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That does it for this week, folks. Until next Sunday, happy reading!

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Sammy, Riptide Publishing

Review: The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool: Book One) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Title: The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool: Book One)

Author: Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 215 Pages

At a Glance: Sign me up for the next one in the queue because this one was simply fantastic!

Blurb: Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page—the world’s most irritating witness—alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.

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Review: Oh, ladies, what have you done? Now I am going to have to sit on my thumbs for book number two, wondering what is going to happen to my beloved Henry, and whether or not Mac is going to go after him. The torture!

How lovely it is that the collaborative genius of Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock has spun yet another deliciously twisted tale of mayhem and insanity for us to enjoy. The Two Gentleman of Altona dances across the page like a slightly neurotic racecar, hell bent on following a path of destruction yet pulling itself back again and again with witty dialogue, smoking hot sexual innuendo, and a mysterious past—and all this just from the character of Henry Page. Meanwhile, the stoic, diet challenged Ryan “Mac” McGuinness tries to hold onto what little sanity he has left after spending just mere hours with the sweet little con artist who has slowly wrapped himself around Mac’s heartstrings. The two men could not be more diametrically opposite and more totally suited for each other!

The story is this: Henry, while running a con on an old woman, witnesses a murder in her kitchen. The murderer in question just happens to be someone Special Agent McGuinness has been trying to nab for quite a while. But Henry is a slippery one and manages to disguise himself and sneak past Mac before he can be hauled in to give his statement. Mac, however, is tenacious and good at his job, so it doesn’t take him long to track Henry down and, once again, attempt to get his cooperation. But Henry has been on the run for a while—from what or who is unclear, but whatever it is that has Henry scared, he won’t be stopping long enough to play nice with the FBI. Mac has other ideas and before long, the two men find themselves holed up in a remote cabin, hiding not only from the mobster intent on murdering them but from a potential mole in the FBI office as well. Being alone with Henry is a very bad idea for Mac, for he can’t seem to keep his mind on the job and not on Henry himself.

Oh golly, where to begin. You are either going to love Henry Page or want to murder him and for either, you will have to get in line behind Mac and wait your turn. Hyperactive, keen as a whip, and barely able to keep from spinning a lie or shoplifting some candy, Henry is a walking disaster who desperately needs someone to want him—to care for him—to want to come back to him at the end of the day. Mac has recently questioned his sexuality, only to decide he wants a nice, calm, standard guy who likes football, certainly not someone as erratic or frustrating as Henry. No sir, no way… So why does can’t Mac seem to keep his eyes off of Henry and on the job?

Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock create amazing characters. Mac and Henry are real, flesh and blood type guys whose dance is captivating and deliciously fun. The foil, which Mac’s solid, curmudgeonly personality creates for the whirling dervish that is Henry Page, is just genius. Quick and witty interchanges keep this novel alive, making its pacing near breathless and the sexual tension between the two men almost palpable. However, the real stroke of genius here is Henry’s shady past. The mysterious Viola and the cadre of “friends” or fellow con artists he hangs out with when in town all lurk in the shadows where Henry religiously keeps them protected, even from Mac.

The Two Gentlemen of Altona is the first in a three part series called Playing the Fool. If this first installment is any indication of the ride we are set to take with this collection of novels, sign me up for the next one in the queue because this one was simply fantastic!








You can buy The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool: Book One) here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Two Gentlemen of Altona Blog Tour With Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

TwoGentsOfAltona_TourBanner

Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!

Lisa: When it came to writing the PLAYING THE FOOL series, I think the first email went something like this.

JA, don’t panic, but I have this idea for this thing that we would need to plot.

JA and I don’t plot. We are pantsers, through and through. We start off with a vague idea, then just see where the hell it takes us. Spoiler alert: It usually takes us somewhere really kinky.

I think sometimes that people have the wrong idea about pantsers. It’s not that we don’t do any of the heavy mental lifting when it comes to plotting, it’s just that we do it at the end. This one time, we used a spreadsheet and everything. Pantsing means a lot more editing—a lot—to get a cohesive story. And every change at the start of the story has an effect on every subsequent chapter. A tiny edit that begins as a ripple in an early chapter becomes a monster tsunami toward the end, tearing down and sweeping away whole scenes that no longer make sense.

So plotting was different. And a part of me feels weird even calling it that. I’ve seen some people that have these intricate Excel documents where every little box (is it called a box? I know nothing about Excel except it has numbers. That’s enough for me. I’m out.) is for a different character’s arc, or for the primary plot, or the subplot, or the subtext, and wow, that seems like a lot of work. I’m definitely more of a “Well, let’s just start writing words and see what happens” kind of person.

So while I won’t lie and say that we reached anywhere near that level of plotting, we definitely plotted this series enough that we can see the benefits of working this way. The editing we did at the end was mostly for grammar and spelling rather than to cover our previously undiscovered massive plot holes. So have we been converted from pantsers into plotters? Will we ever plot like this again?

Um…. Over to you, JA.

J.A.: Welcome to the thrilling conclusion of…WILL WE PLOT?

No.

Probably not.

I mean, we haven’t really done it since then.

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TwoGentlemenOfAltona_400x600About THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA: Mischief, thou art afoot.

Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page—the world’s most irritating witness—alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA is the first in our PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy. Book 2, THE MERCHANT OF DEATH, will be available on February 2. Book 3, TEMPEST, will be released March 9.

You can preorder the series, and check out excerpts, at Riptide.

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The Giveaway: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and the contents of Henry Page’s bag during his arrest in THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA: that’s some Shakespeare and a bunch of Henry’s favorite candy!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On January 9, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

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Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014: Round Three – The Year In Reviews And A Giveaway

2014

Greetings, everyone!

The Best of the Best continues today in our selections for top reads of 2014. Just in case you missed them, Sammy’s and Tina’s choices can be found HERE, Jackie’s, Lana’s and Jules’ choices can be found HERE, and just like those, we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win e-copies of any TWO of the titles in today’s selections, winner’s choice. Continue reading

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Loose Id

Guest Post and Giveaway: Fall on Your Knees by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Hi, we’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, and we’re riding our magical smut sleigh around the Internet to pimp our holiday release. It’s a kinky m/m/m ménage novella called FALL ON YOUR KNEES, and it’s part of Loose Id’s RATED: XXXMAS ANTHOLOGY, which also features SHEPHERD, WISE MAN, AND THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY by E.F. Mulder.

We’d like to tell you a little more about FALL ON YOUR KNEES and offer you a chance to win some holiday themed goodies! Continue reading

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J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Loose Id

Interview and Giveaway: Brandon Mills Versus the V-card by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

lh_jr_brandon_mills_versus_the_v-card_3TNA: Hi, Lisa and J.A., I’m chuffed to bits to have you both with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you both tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Lisa: Thanks for having us! Um…about me. I live in Townsville, the most unimaginatively named city in the world. It’s in north Queensland, Australia, and is more interesting than the name implies. It’s right on the Great Barrier Reef. At the moment it’s getting into summer here, my house smells like mangoes, and I think when I was away last month a possum moved into my ceiling. I can hear weird scratching sounds from up there. I really, really hope it’s a possum and not something worse.

J.A.: We’re really excited to be here! About me…I live in Chicago. It is NOT summer here. I walk dogs part time and write the rest of the time. I don’t like to wear pants. I have a major shark fixation. Lisa and I are planning to take over the world, but don’t worry about it. You all go back to whatever you were doing. Don’t look over here. Continue reading

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Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Spotlight and Giveaway: Sweetwater by Lisa Henry

Sweetwater_TourBanner

Hi! I’m Lisa Henry, author of Sweetwater! I’m touring the web talking about my inspiration, my writing process, and giving you a behind-the-scenes look at Sweetwater. And of course there’s a giveaway! To celebrate the release, I’m giving away an ebook from my back catalogue, as well as a $20 Riptide gift voucher.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, with a way for me to contact you–be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because I won’t be able to see it otherwise! On October 8, I’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize! 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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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Erotica, Genre Romance, Heidi Belleau, Horror, Lisa Henry, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Tina, Riptide Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau’s “Bliss” Is Too Good To Be True

“If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” — Every Parent Ever


Title: Bliss

Author: Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: They’re always happy.

Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it. Continue reading

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Heidi Belleau, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Bliss_TourBanner

Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau, authors of Bliss. We’re touring the web talking about our influences, our writing process, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at our book, and even a sneak peek or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? We’re giving away a copy of the first novel we wrote together: King of Dublin!

On the tour today, Lisa interviews Heidi:

L: So, a few months ago I emailed you this vague idea I had about a society where chips were implanted inside convicted criminals’ brains in order to turn them into perfect citizens. Or, you know, slaves. What attracted you to the idea enough to agree to write it with me? Continue reading

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A.E. Via, B. Snow, Brita Addams, CJane Elliott, Garrett Leigh, Hayden Thorne, Heidi Belleau, Heidi Cullinan, J.P. Barnaby, Lisa Henry, Perie Wolford, Poppy Dennison, Shira Anthony, Sneak Peek

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, thanks so much to all of you for stopping by to see what we have in store for you in the week ahead. It’s going to be a full one, so be sure to check back frequently to catch all the guest posts, giveaways, and reviews.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up…


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MondayHayden Thorne kicks off the week with a guest post and giveaway of her Young Adult Historical Fantasy, The Glass Minstrel

A.E. Via also stops in on the Embracing His Syn Blog Tour

TuesdayShira Anthony is here with a giveaway on the Dissonance Blog Tour

B. Snow also drops by with a guest post on the Bedtime Stories Anthology Blog Tour

Brita Addams will also be here today in her monthly guest spot

WednesdayHeidi Cullinan makes TNA a tour stop on the Hero Blog Tour, with a guest post and giveaway

CJane Elliott is here today, as well, with a giveaway on the Stepping Through Blog Tour

ThursdayLisa Henry and Heidi Belleau are here with a giveaway on the Bliss Blog Tour

FridayPoppy Dennison stops in today on the Coconut Grove Blog Tour

Saturday – Today we have Perie Wolford here with a giveaway on the Turning 17 Blog Tour

J.P. Barnaby is also here today with an exclusive (and naughty!) little ficlet featuring Brian and Jamie of the Little Boy Lost series

Sunday – Finally, to close out the week, we have Garrett Leigh here today on the Bold (Blue Boy: Book Three) Blog Tour, with a giveaway

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

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A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Guest Contributor, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – This Week’s Feature – “When All the World Sleeps” by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock



This week’s cover of the week is…bum bum bum…When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock artwork by Amber Shah.

I see a lot of covers every week, as we all do. On Facebook, on Google, on my Photoshop, but they don’t all stand out. In fact, a lot of them are just typical. I kinda love that this one is not “typical”.

The first thing you see when you look at this cover, in big or small size, is the title. Bold, bright, easy to read, but oddly enough, even though it’s very prominent, the title doesn’t overpower the picture. I like the texture too. It looks like rough concrete, or even an earthen texture, which goes well with the ground it’s superimposed over and also goes well with the almost pre-tornado like feel of the cover.

I have no clue what the story is about. I know, I know, I really need to read some of the books I review covers for. It’s probably a good thing I don’t review the books, isn’t it?

As I said, I have no clue what the story is about, but it reminds me of either a house that is waiting for a tornado to come or a fire to consume it; the calm before the storm so to speak. I love the juxtaposition of the gold/red sky with the blue/green grass. Is some tragedy coming to claim this house? Are the men waiting on the porch because whatever is coming is going to consume them, so why run? Or is it the cold, empty world around them that is coming to overtake their warm hearth? Not…a…clue.

But I want to find out. If it’s a fire, I really want to run over there with my hands waving and warn those guys, “Get off the damn porch, you’re gonna be barbeque.” Then again, on closer inspection, the house has an empty feel to it, so perhaps I’m seeing a vision of the past. A secret love affair, perhaps, that has long since died but has never been forgotten?

All I know for sure is that based on this cover, this does not look like a story that will let me avoid the Kleenex box. Just sayin’. Dramatic, possibly romantic, yes, but there’s some pain in there. I can just feel it emanating off the cover as I write.

I would hazard a guess that the men were put onto the house and the house put onto the background. I can’t be sure, but if that’s the case, it’s well done. The shading/highlights look great, the colors all complement one another, and the gradients on both the ground and the background are compelling and shocking in the stark contrast.

I love that the house seems small in a vast space, without it being small on the cover at all. This is one of the things that vexes me sometimes when I do cover. (Yes, I said vex, and no I am not your grandmother writing this article. I promise!) I have the toughest time with placement: how big is too big, and how small is too small. That sounds like a joke I once heard, but um…we’ll keep it PC, shall we? But really, it’s tough sometimes to judge. That, and just figuring out the very placement of the pictures can be equally as hard. It’s just like drawing a picture: you get an idea into your head, you get all excited go to execute, and bam… a big ol’ overlapping mess. You try to make it smaller and you lose the guys on the porch. You try to make it bigger and you lose the leaf bare trees and part of the sky. But this cover manages all that and more. I’m really quite taken.

Anyhow, guys and gals, I’m lacking in the chatter this week for some reason, so instead of bending your ears and eyeballs, I’ll just leave you with a sampling of the beautiful covers by Amber Shah from her website Book Beautiful . I can only aspire to make book covers as stunning as these someday.

The last one is actually a pre-made but still…pretty. *sighs wistfully*

That’s me, signing off.

Have a great day and may all the good books be with you!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

Check me out on Facebook @ : https://www.facebook.com/ajcorza

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J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Reviewed by Lynn, Riptide Publishing

Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock’s “When All the World Sleeps” Might Make You Lose Sleep – Reviewed by Lynn


“There is a loveliness to life that does not fade. Even in the terrors of the night, there is a tendency toward grace that does not fail us. ” ― Robert Goolrick


Title: When All the World Sleeps

Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 405 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.
Continue reading

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Heidi Belleau, Lisa Henry, Reviewed by Lynn, Riptide Publishing

It’s A Dark And Brutal Future In Lisa Henry And Heidi Belleau’s “King of Dublin” – Reviewed by Lynn


“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” ― George Orwell, 1984


Title: King of Dublin

Author: Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 382 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Twenty years after a deadly pandemic ravaged the world, Darragh Fergus Anluan and the people of his village have carved out a hard but simple life in the Irish countryside. But with winter comes sickness, and Darragh must travel to Dublin in search of medicine. What he finds there is a ruined city ruled by a madman, where scavenging is punishable by death . . . or conscription.
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Heidi Belleau, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Riptide Publishing Presents – Lisa Henry, Heidi Belleau, And The “King of Dublin” Blog Tour




Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau, authors of the new post-apocalyptic romance King of Dublin. We’re touring the web talking about Ireland, the post-apocalyptic genre, a behind-the-scenes look at our book, and even a sneak peek or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? We’re giving away two ebooks and a souvenir from Ireland to one lucky commenter, so read on!

Thanks so much to The Novel Approach for having us, and to all you readers for following along. And now without further ado, today’s look at King of Dublin!

Hi, I’m Heidi Belleau! Today on the King of Dublin tour, I interview my co-author Lisa Henry to get the inside scoop on our latest novel, out now from Riptide Publishing.

The first book by you that I read was The Island. It was such a tense, twisty thriller that I instantly became a fan–of the book, and of you. A few months later, I was asking you to co-write! What can other fans of The Island look forward to in King of Dublin?

Lisa: Thanks! I guess King of Dublin is an extension of The Island in terms of non-con. Vornis was king of his little island, and made the rules where the outside world couldn’t intervene, and Boru is the king of Dublin in a world where there are no longer any rules. King of Dublin is more explicitly violent, though — Ciaran doesn’t get to escape into his head the way that Lee did in The Island.

Tell me a little about co-writing. I know you and JA Rock have a really awesome, productive co-writing relationship. How does writing with me differ from writing with JA? (I won’t ask you to pick favourites though!)

Lisa: JA and I had no idea what we were doing. No idea. We had a Word doc that we emailed back and forth. And then you came along and showed me instant chat and plot planners and Google Docs, and wow, we could write in the same document at the same time. Everything you showed me I took straight back to JA and pretended I discovered it on my own. So thanks for that. :)

But the main difference is both of us working on the document at the same time. JA and I still prefer to scribble behind each other’s back, mostly working offline and then uploading to the document. You and I tend to only work when we’re both online and can see what the other person is doing. Which is great fun, because sometimes words magically appear on the screen and I get to go, “Oooh! That’s unexpected!”

Let’s talk about King of Dublin. Who was your favourite character to write? Who did you relate to most?

Lisa: Rabbit was actually my favourite character to write, because he was full of optimism and humour and had a few lighter moments. When it comes to relating to the characters, I think I probably related most to Ciaran. In an actual apocalypse I’d hope to be more like Darragh — steadfast and hard-working, but I think I’d be the one crying over the books as well.

King of Dublin takes place in Ireland. Have you ever been there? What landmark from King of Dublin would you most like to visit?

Lisa: I have actually never been to Ireland. Like a lot of Australians, I did a big backpacking trip once. Started in Istanbul and worked my way west. Totally ran out of time and money in London, dammit. But I would love to go to Ireland — mostly to see the library at Trinity, actually. My mother raves about it. But my family is Irish, so does a tradition of storytelling, bullshitting, and drinking count?

You’re such a bubbly, pleasant person to work and associate with. How do you get into the headspace to write the dark material you do?

Lisa: Writing is like cheap therapy for me. My day job can be quite stressful, and nothing relieves that stress like coming home and torturing a character. It works all that frustration right out! For me, it’s the lighter stuff that’s often more difficult to write.

Now for the evil question: without spoiling our readers too much, what was your favourite part of the book to write?

Lisa:Any scene with Boru. The fun thing about Boru was that a scene didn’t have to go from A-Z. It could go absolutely anywhere, and Boru could have absolutely any reaction because he’s insane. Like Ancient Roman emperor level insane. Terrifying characters are always fun to write, but when they don’t have to follow the rules they’re even better.

Contest:

Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away a great pair of prizes! Up for grabs are: a book from BOTH of our backlists (that’s one Lisa Henry title and one Heidi Belleau one!) and a King of Dublin-themed souvenir from the National Irish museum, mailed straight to your door! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! Two weeks after King of Dublin’s release, on March 8th, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win this awesome prize!

About King of Dublin

Twenty years after a deadly pandemic ravaged the world, Darragh Fearghal Anluan and the people of his village have carved out a hard but simple life in the Irish countryside. But with winter comes sickness, and Darragh must travel to Dublin in search of medicine. What he finds there is a ruined city ruled by a madman, where scavenging is punishable by death . . . or conscription.

Ciaran Daly came to Ireland with aid and optimism, but instead was enslaved by the so-called King of Dublin. After months of abuse from the king and his men, he has no reason to believe this newcomer will be any different. Except Ciaran finds himself increasingly drawn to Darragh, whose brutish looks mask how sweet and gentle he really is.

The tenderness Darragh feels for the king’s treasured pet is treason, but it’s hardly the only betrayal brewing in this rotten kingdom. Rebellions and rival gangs threaten the king’s power, but not nearly as much as Darragh and Ciaran—whose only hope for freedom is the fall of the king.

You can read an excerpt and purchase King of Dublin here.

About the Authors

Lisa Henry lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

You can visit Lisa her website, at Goodreads, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.

Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.

When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her daughter or sipping a drink at her favourite coffee shop.

She also writes queer-flavoured M/F as Heloise Belleau.

Chat with her on Twitter using the handle @HeidiBelleau.
Browse her website at HeidiBelleau.com or HeloiseBelleau.com.
Check out her books on Goodreads.
Follow her Facebook and Tumblr accounts.
Or contact her using good old-fashioned email: heidi.heloise.belleau@gmail.com

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Heidi Belleau, Heidi Cullinan, Kelly Wyre, Khloe Knight, LE Franks, Lisa Henry, Mary Calmes, Michael Rupured, RainbowCon, Riley Hart, Sandrine Gasq-Dion, Sneak Peek

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Greetings, everyone, I hope you’ve had an outstanding week! We’ve got six weeks of celebrating ahead, as we do our part to help count down the days to RainbowCon 2014. Watch for guest posts, giveaways, and more reviews ahead. Here’s what we have on tap.

MondaySandrine Gasq-Dion kicks things off for the RainbowCon Celebration today, talking about her upcoming release of Dirty Ross, and offering a special combo giveaway for FOUR, count ’em four lucky readers.

Riley Hart also stops by with a character interview with Mateo, Josiah, and Tristan from Broken Pieces, and she’s got some swagalicious swag she’d like to give away.

TuesdayRiptide Publishing presents Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau on the “King of Dublin” Blog Tour

WednesdayMichael Rupured is our guest for Day 2 of the RainbowCon Celebration, and he’ll be giving away a couple of autographed books to a lucky reader.

Mary Calmes has a guest post for us today. She’ll be talking about Cord and Tracy and her new book “Floodgates”, and offering a giveaway.

A.J Corza will also be back with some more great insights into the cover art we all see and love.

ThursdayHeidi Cullinan is back today on her Double Blind Blog Tour. She’ll be talking about the book and offering a giveaway.

FridayLE Franks stops in on her 6 Days to Valentine Blog Tour

SaturdayKelly Wyre will be here today on her Fight Blog Tour, and she’ll be offering a giveaway of the book.

And that’s it until next week. Happy reading!

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