Giveaways, Rebecca Cohen

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Overly Dramatic Blog Tour with Rebecca Cohen

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Rebecca Cohen today, on the tour for her new novel Overly Dramatic (Treading the Boards: Book One). Will Parkinson sat down and asked a few questions of Andy Marshall, the leading man in the story, so take a minute to enjoy their chat, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $20 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card and the choice of an E-book from Rebecca’s backlist.

Good luck!

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WP: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Rebecca Cohen, author of Overly Dramatic.

Hi Rebecca, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

RC: I’m a Brit living in Switzerland, with my hubby and toddler son. I’ve been here nearly four years and I’m still trying to learn German! I’ve written for many years, mainly for stress relief due to my interesting, but sometimes intense, day job, and consider myself highly fortunate that in the last few years I’ve been published by Dreamspinner Press.

Character interview: Andy Marshall from Overly Dramatic

  • What do you find attractive in a man?
  • Someone who is not a self-obsessed, bed-hopping arsehole. Hmmm, I think my break up with the ex may have skewed my opinion. But, in all seriousness, someone who is loyal and sincere.
  • The first thing that went through your head when you saw Phil?
  • He’d just dropped a box of props, so I reckon I thought he was a clumsy butterfingers. But he has a kind baby face, and filled a pair of jeans very nicely.
  • Do you think you’ll insist the author visits you again?
  • I already have. Although Phil and I weren’t available for the second story, Summer Season, but I am in the final novella, He’s Behind You. You’ll get to meet Craig and Jason. They’re a lovely couple, I’m sure you’ll like them.
  • Before you met Phil, what was your ideal man?
  • I didn’t have one. Charlie, my ex, was enough to convince me there was no such thing.
  • You’re going out for dinner. What’s your favorite food?
  • I love food and have a real sweet tooth. A desert with salted caramel will always win for me.

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Cover ArtBlurb: Andy Marshall moves to London looking for a fresh start after breaking up with his long-term boyfriend. To stave off boredom from his day job as an accountant and to meet new people, Andy joins a local amateur dramatics society called the Sarky Players based in Greenwich, South London. Despite his best efforts to avoid it, Andy is cast as one of the leads in a truly dreadful play called Whoops, Vicar, There Goes My Trousers, written by a local playwright.

The play might be bad, but the Sarky Players are a friendly bunch. Andy quickly makes new friends and finds himself attracted to Phil Cormack, a local artist helping with the props. But life doesn’t run to a script, so Andy and Phil will have to work hard to improvise their own happy ending.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press || Amazon || All Romance eBooks || Barnes & Noble

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Rebecca CohenAbout the author: Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Where to find the author: Facebook || Twitter || Blog

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THE GIVEAWAY

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MLR Press

Book Blast and Giveaway: MLR Press Presents – Storming Love: Earthquake

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The Novel Approach welcomes the six authors in the Storming Love: Earthquake collection from MLR Press today. Be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $30 E-tailer Gift Card.

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Storming Love
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Blurbs: 

 7/3   Gabriel & Avery by Ann Anderson

Loneliness has been Gabriel’s companion for since his parents’ passing, growing with each sibling that leaves home to start their own life. When a big earthquake hits Alaska, Gabriel finds himself taking in Avery, his two daughters, and their grandmother and relishes not being so alone. Yet, Gabriel feels a spark of recognition he can’t explain about Avery, but more than that, he likes the company and wishes he could have a deeper relationship with the man. But when the small family has their new home, what could make Avery want to stay?

7/10  Derek and Hayden by Megan Linden

Derek Warden is certain his boss sent him to cover the conference in the middle of nowhere, Alaska, to punish him for something. After an unpleasant phone call from his father who tries to stop him from going, Derek is ready for the whole thing to be over before it even begins.

Hayden Shaw has been looking forward to this conference for months. The problem of fracking is very dear to his heart and he couldn’t wait to spend the long weekend with like-minded people.

Neither of them expected the big earthquake, but most importantly – they didn’t expect each other. Meeting again after over a decade may result in something even more surprising that the ground trembling under their feet.

7/17  Rhody & Brendan by Diana DeRicci

Rhody Witte is on his way to Alaska for two weeks of fishing and not much else. Mountains, clean air, and all the bait he can waste. What he gets is the largest earthquake to rock the Alaskan wilds in sixty-plus years.

Brendan Skorvarski isn’t the kind of man Rhody usually finds himself attracted to, much less want to know, but there’s something in the gentle giant that Rhody can’t seem to resist.

When they’re locked up in a cabin together for days in the Alaskan wilderness, resistance seems futile when survival takes precedence. Especially their survival when Rhody sees a bear outside their window.

7/24  Anders & Ujaruk  by Caraway Carter

Geologist Anders Thorpe has sworn off relationships with colleagues, after his last one ended in a dirty little game of sabotage. Six months later and he’s preparing to camp and investigate a gold mine that might still be active. He’s joined by Ujaruk an archaeologist who fights an inner battle with the fact that he’s a native Aleut, and wondering if he’ll ever find the perfect man.

Will Anders break his vow? Will Ujaruk find the right guy? Will they survive whatever is thrown their way?

7/31  Xavier & Devin by Nicole Dennis

Tremors are a part of everyday life in big Alaska.

Bush pilot, Xavier Markovic, goes with nature’s flow and loves it. He guides guests through Denali National Park to show off his beloved state. Until health issues arise for his mentor, Daniel Chevalier, and Xavier flies him to the hospital.

An almost fatal tumble down a mountain ends Devin Chevalier’s professional mountain biking career and brings him to a crossroads. Learning his grandfather is ill, he makes a rash decision. Uprooting his life for a chance to meet Daniel, he crosses paths with a brash Alaskan.

Alaska throws them another surprise in the form of a huge earthquake. Differences put aside while they struggle to survive.

8/7  Asher and Emmett by Anna Lee

Celebrating their fifth anniversary, Asher and Emmett are on a romantic getaway in a cabin in Alaska. They have plans to adopt when they return home. But their paradise is destroyed when a huge earthquakes hits. Being a firefighter and a paramedic, both men put themselves at risk to save others when the tragedy strikes. Will they be able to make it home to start a family?

BUY LINK: Amazon

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About the Authors:

7/3   Ann Anderson

Born and raised in Illinois, Ann spends her time reading, writing, working, and playing video games whenever the cats, and her family, don’t demand her attention. The second born of four, Ann has learned to listen and observe, a skill she’s honed because the simplest words or gestures can be the next big story idea, and she’s always on the lookout for ideas.

Contact Info:

E-mail: author_ann_anderson@yahoo.com

Blog: authorannanderson.blogspot.com

7/10  Megan Linden

Megan is one of those people who dreamed of being a writer since they were a little kid and then didn’t do anything about it for years. Then as a teenager she was introduced to fandom and… well. She fell head first into it and never looked back. At some point she decided to try writing her own characters in her own stories. And that’s where she is today.

Megan is also a psychologist and continues to learn the hard way that she can’t give all her clients their happy ending (she truly believes everyone can save themselves, though). That’s why she makes sure to give it to her characters, always.

Contact Info:

Email:   meganlindencom@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megan.linden.54

Website/Blog:  http://www.meganlinden.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7789392.Megan_Linden

7/17  Diana DeRicci

Diana DeRicci is the sexy, flirty pen name of Diana Castilleja. A romance author at heart, DeRicci’s writing takes you into a saucier spectrum of sensuality and sexual adventure, where a happily-ever-after is still the key to any story. Diana lives in Central Texas with her husband, one son and a feisty little Chihuahua named Rascal. You can catch the latest news on all of Diana DeRicci’s writing and books on her website. Feel free to drop Diana an email. She’d love to hear from you.

Contact Info:

Website/Blog:  http://dianadericci.com/

7/24  Caraway Carter

Caraway Carter has worn numerous hats. He’s been a furniture salesman, a dresser, a costumer, an actor/waiter, a rabble rouser, a poet and most recently a writer. He married his husband on Halloween and they are the loving parents of two rambunctious cats. He loves words and stringing them together, he loves sex and sexy men, he loves seeing how far his muse will take him and he’s looking forward to entertaining you.

Contact Info:

Email:   carawaycarter@gmail.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/CarawayCarter?fref=nf

Website/Blog:  http://www.carawaycarter.com/

Goodreads: Group: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13539002.Caraway_Carter

7/31  Nicole Dennis

A quiet one growing up, Nicole Dennis left reality for the comfort of books, filling a personal library over the years. Characters started talking about their own stories. Writing them down whether during or after class, she continues to this day. She lets others meet her characters, walk through her worlds, and sigh as a romance overcomes all obstacles. All of her romances include delightful twists of GLBT, paranormal, fantasy, and erotica and always have their Happily Ever Afters.

She lives and works in Central Florida. Thanks to a quiet working environment, she can escape into her stories. At home, a semi-demonic tortie calico, affectionately known as Fat Cat on social media, rules their home.

Contact Info:

Email:   nicoledennis.author@gmail.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/nicoledennis.author/

Website/Blog:  http://nicoledennisauthor.blogspot.com

Goodreads: Member: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2791975.Nicole_Dennis

8/7  Anna Lee

Anna Lee graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Living with a disability, she has overcome many challenges and puts her passion for life and love into her writing. She lives with her family and dogs and enjoys writing late into the night. When she isn’t writing, Anna enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephew or chatting with her friends about her favorite books and TV shows.

Contact Info:

Email:   annalee509@gmail.com

Twitter: annalee59

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/authorannalee

Website/Blog:  www.storiesbyannalee.com

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THE GIVEAWAY

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Giveaways, Pat Henshaw

Interview and Giveaway: The Redesigning Max Blog Tour with Pat Henshaw

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Today we extend a warm welcome to author Pat Henshaw as she tours the web to promote her newest release Redesigning Max. Will Parkinson threw a few interview question Pat’s way, so enjoy their chat with each other, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win ONE of THREE Starbucks Gift Cards.

Because coffee…

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WP: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Pat Henshaw, author of Redesigning Max.

Hi, Pat, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Pat: Hi! I’m originally from Nebraska and have lived all over the U. S., landing here in Northern California. Now retired, I’ve held a number of jobs including theatrical costuming for the Alley Theatre in Houston, public relations for radio and television at WETA in D. C., and teaching English composition at a junior college in California.

Redesigning Max, the second of the Foothills Pride novellas, revolves around the unlikely pair of interior designer and architect Fredi Zimmer and the CEO of an outdoors equipment store and wildlife guide Max Greene. When he hires Fredi to redesign and update his Sierra Mountain mountain cabin, Max finds his life and heart undergoing a makeover too.

Not everyone in the small Stone Acres, California community is as excited about Max and Fredi getting together as the guys are. Because Max’s been in the closet so long, he not only has to convince his friends that he’s gay but he also has to convince Fredi, who keeps getting mixed signals from him.

WP: What genre is your book and what drew you to this genre?

Pat: I write contemporary gay romance mainly because I want two different groups of readers to know the possibilities of gay men falling in love. The first is gay men themselves, who haven’t traditionally been the protagonists of romances. Many of my former students who were gay wrote in their personal essays about how unlikely they were to fall in love and have marriages like their parents’. The second group of readers I want to touch are traditional romance readers, often housewives who might be uncertain about the recent decision to make gay marriage legal in all states. I think if these women are introduced to the idea of gay love and marriage in a setting they are familiar with—romance fiction—that they will come to understand and accept gay marriage more readily than they will from the rhetoric bandied about these days.

WP: How many days a week do you write?

Pat: I write everyday. Some days I write less than others, but I find I need to write all days of the week.

WP: On average, how long does it take to write a book?

Pat: My Foothills Pride series are all novellas of between 20,000 and 30,000 words. It takes me three to four months of writing, rewriting, and editing to come up with something I like and want to submit for publication.

WP: Do you have a trailer for your book? If yes, give us the link. If not, do you think you’d like to have one done at some point?

Pat: No, I don’t have a trailer, but I’m considering the idea of making one. I just wonder how many readers actually look at them. By YouTube count, m/m trailers get between a few hundred to a few thousand views. Compared to other YouTube offerings, that seems a little low. I’m wondering if it would be more worthwhile coming up with an author vlog instead.

WP: If I could be a character in a book, I would be _______?

Pat: I would be feisty, inquisitive, and lovely in an off-beat way. I’d definitely have auburn hair and tiger eyes. I would be an older, sexy, romance version of the Hardy Boys, someone who would get caught up in adventures and wasn’t afraid to fight his way out of situations that called for fists and martial arts. I’d be a great friend or sidekick.

TNA: You can find Pat Henshaw on the internet at Facebook | Goodreads | Book website | Website | Tumblr | Twitter: @phenshaw | And via E-mail

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Redesigning MaxBlurb: Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Hunting and Fishing, hires him to remodel his rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out and proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes’ he remodels, and Max is just too hunky gorgeous for words.

When Max starts coming on to Fredi, the designer can’t imagine why. But he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, even if it’s just in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated rustic cabin into a showplace. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually?

Max, for his part, is grateful when Fredi takes him in hand, both metaphorically and literally. Coming out, he finds is the most exciting and wonderful time of his life, despite the conservative former friends who want to stop his slide into hell.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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THE GIVEAWAY
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Giveaways, RJ Jones

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Black and Blühe Blog Tour with RJ Jones

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Today we’re pleased to welcome author RJ Jones back to TNA. Enjoy the excerpt from her new book Black and Blühe (Out of the Blue: Book Two) that she’s selected to share with you, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Good luck!

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Black and BluheBlurb: Grayson Black has never forgiven himself for not saving his identical twin brother, Jet, from a savage beating at their father’s hands ten years ago. Jet’s near-death never would have happened if Gray hadn’t been so focused on his boyfriend at the time. He has sworn to take care of his brother ever since. Gray can’t afford a distraction from his self-imposed mission, the type of distraction presented by the gorgeous blond showing up at their gigs.

Kris Larson is a firefighter with the San Francisco Fire Department. Since splitting from his girlfriend, his favorite way to spend nights off is watching the Black Brothers play in the bars of the Bay Area, especially the guitarist. But it’s not until the brothers are left homeless after a fire at their apartment building that Kris has the opportunity to know the real person behind the brooding façade.

Gray fights his attraction to Kris, but with a meddlesome twin who just wants him to be happy, it’s a losing battle. Before Gray and Kris can have a lasting relationship, though, Gray must learn to forgive himself, let go of the past, and lay more than one demon to rest.

Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

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Excerpt: I WOKE the next morning to the smell of coffee and it took me a minute to realize I wasn’t in my own bed. I presumed it was Kris’s arms that were wrapped around me. I was in his bed and there was a semihard cock nestled against my ass. It must’ve been Jet who put the coffee on, and my mind was eased knowing he’d stayed the night too.

The memory of yesterday’s events flooded my brain and bile rose in my stomach. I was such an idiot and the embarrassment was mortifying. Kris probably thought I was a right nut job.

If he thought that, why is he wrapped around you like a lover right now?

I had no idea. I knew I didn’t want to move. Ever. I wished time would stop and I could stay here with Kris’s arms around me, feeling safe and loved. Nothing could harm me here. No thoughts, memories, or people could get to me in this perfect little bubble.

I didn’t want to move, but I wanted to see what Kris looked like in his sleep. Did he wear that little smile that seemed permanently etched on his features?

I rolled over, ensuring Kris’s arms never left my body, and was met by an icy blue stare, a small smile making his eyes gleam. My own smile made his get bigger in return.

Neither of us spoke. We lay facing each other in complete silence. Kris’s hand moved hesitantly under my shirt and rubbed gentle circles at the small of my back and his smile grew wider as I melted into the pillow, savoring his touch on my skin.

Placing my hand on his cheek, I leaned in and pressed my lips to his. There was no heat, no pressure, just a gentle coming together.

I pulled back and Kris’s eyes remained closed for a long second afterward, like he was memorizing the feel of our lips together.

“Hey,” I whispered.

Kris’s smile seemed never-ending. “Hey.”

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RJ JonesAbout the Author:

RJ started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.

RJ’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of the day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work.  But they didn’t shut up.  They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days.  Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by the bed.

Whilst RJ was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.

You see the problem? If RJ ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.

RJ is a wife and a mother to two boys. Even her dog is a boy.

She is surrounded by males.

RJ writes emotionally charged, character driven romances. Her guys will always get their HEA, but it will never be easy.

Find RJ At: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog | Email

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Giveaways, Kenzie Cade, Piper Vaughn

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Prickly Business Blog Tour with Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade

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We’re so pleased to welcome Piper Vaughn, of the Vaughn/Cade writing duo, on the Prickly Business blog tour.

Enjoy Piper’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a copy of the ebook or paperback (when it’s released) AND a $20 gift card to Amazon, ARe, or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s choice).

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Hedgehogs & Characteristics

Hi, all! Thanks to The Novel Approach for having me today! It’s an honor to be here. :)

Those who follow me on social media know I have several big obsessions. One of the biggest is hedgehogs. I think they’re completely adorable from their spikes to their little twitchy noses and tiny paws. I often post pics of them and usually have a hedgie as my avatar on Facebook. Yes, the love goes that far. One day I hope to have my own, but we try to limit ourselves to two pets in the household, and we’re already full with a cute Yorkie and my adorable cat, Yuki. Someday I will own a hedgie! But for now, let me share some hedgie factoids with you.

When people in the US think about hedgehogs, often the ones that come to mind are the African pygmy hedgehog (aka the domesticated hedgehog), as those are the ones commonly seen when people post pics of their pets online. These are smaller than the wild European hedgehogs found in people’s gardens in Britain. Avery, our character in Prickly Business, who is a hedgehog shifter, comes from English and French descent, so when he shifts, he turns into the wild European hedgie (as seen on the cover).

When we were developing Avery’s character, we looked to some traits of the European hedgehog that we could carry over into his human personality. First and foremost is his prickly attitude. That’s a given. ;) But beyond that, he’s also very solitary, as hedgehogs are in nature. Sometimes a male and female might share a hibernating spot, but usually they separate, and after breeding, the female raises the hoglets alone. They don’t stay in packs the way most wolves do.

In nature, European hedgehogs will hibernate for the winter season. Pygmy hedgehogs will go into hibernation if you allow them to get down to a certain temperature—which can lead to death from starvation if not caught in time, because unlike their wild counterparts, they didn’t bulk up and put on extra weight in order to prepare for being asleep all that time. So, we incorporated certain hedgehog reactions to temperature into Avery’s human side too. He hates to be too cold, but he also hates being too hot. This is why he loves living in the Pacific Northwest, as the climate in Portland is fairly temperate and not really given to any extremes in either direction.

Hedgehogs are also nocturnal, and so is Avery, though he’s worked on putting himself on a diurnal schedule pretty much all his life so he can fit in better with humans. He tries, but really, he loves being awake at night best. (He also loves to sleep.)

One big difference between Avery and his hedgehog side is that hedgehogs are by nature omnivores. They mainly eat slugs, earthworms, and a variety of insects. Sometimes they will also eat mushrooms and fruit. For his part, Avery is primarily an ovo-lacto vegetarian. He only really eats meat when his body is demanding it, and of course that’s directly opposite to his meat-loving werewolf mate, Dylan. Yet another difference between them, but by far the least of them. While the hedgie side of his personality might have contributed toward their estrangement, Avery’s human half and their combined stubbornness added some issues too.

Things might be prickly along the way, but we hope you enjoy Dylan and Avery’s story!

And if you’re considering a hedgehog for a pet like I am, be sure to do your research first! They’re not the ideal pet for everyone, but Hedgehog Central is a great resource for anyone who wants to find out more about our little spiney friends.

Thanks for reading! :D

~Piper

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Blurb: Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He’s a hedgehog shifter from an old-money Louisiana family with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn’t want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.

No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn’t need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can’t stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.

Yet once Dylan steps into Avery’s world, he realizes there’s more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan’s protective instincts. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he might be the wolf for the job.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

DividersAuthor BioAbout the Authors:

Piper Vaughn Bio — Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Social Media Links: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Google+

*~*~*~*

Kenzie Cade Bio — Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/Long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes the fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story. Contact Kenzie at kenziecade.author@gmail.com.

Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Blog | Google+

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Giveaways, Less Than Three Press, Lexi Ander

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Surrounded by Crimson Blog Tour with Lexi Ander

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Lexi Ander back today, on the Surrounded by Crimson blog tour.

Since the color red is referenced in the title of the book, I asked Lexi if she’d like to chat about symbolism, what the color represents in the story, and if the symbolism was intentional or synchronstic.

Enjoy what she has to say on the subject, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win one of the following prizes:

  1. $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
  2. $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
  3. hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
  4. e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson
  5. e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson

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Lexi: Do I include different symbolic elements into the story? Ah… yes and no. I don’t usually use symbolism on purpose. Most of the time it’s accidental and I have a moment where I think, “Hey, that would fit like a beaut!” Sometimes I insert symbols of the culture that I’m writing about. But… when I sat down to pen Surrounded by Crimson, I did intend to us the some symbolism for the color red.

Red is powerful and invokes a wide range of emotional responses in people that goes from the sexy side of passion, seduction, and love to the negative reactions of violence and anger. With prehistoric people, the color was associated with the primal forces of fire and blood.

When I was writing Dreams of the Forgotten, I was also reading The Rise and Fall of Babylon. There was a description of a burial site that predated Babylonia. At the excavation of Uruk, there was a list of items found along with an explanation of red being the color of mourning for the area. There were other tidbits about the length of time they mourned along with habits and rituals, which fascinated me—and some pieces made it into the ending of Dreams of the Forgotten. Tristan wears red as he mourns for the loss of Brian.

Tristan’s red robes were carried forward into Surrounded by Crimson, but had nothing to do with the title, at the beginning. No, I had meant for the symbolism to be about sacrifice because this was supposed to be the book in which some died. The idea was nixed when I was in the middle of book three, but I kept the title based on the replacement scene which would be pivotal to the storyline. When my writing finally dropped my off at that point, I had a thought went something like this. “Well, hell, how is Tristan going to show people what this looks like when he can’t step outside of himself to show everyone that?” Briefly, I considered changing the title.

All wasn’t lost, though. When I finished, I noticed I had woven in the mourning element, along with the love, the rage, and well, I won’t give away spoilers, but there was another element, and it all fit. The title came to represent several things instead of that one snippet of a scene. In no way was the symbolism intentional, but I happen to think that since I had the title picked out long before I began writing helped to bring everything together than if I had planned it. ^_^

Fun Facts About Red

Red is one of the top two favorite colors of all people.

Red is the most popular color used on flags in the world. Approximately 77% of all flags include red.

Red is the international color for stop.

Red districts sell sex and pornography in every European culture.

The history of languages reveals that red is the first color after black and white. (All languages have words for black and white. If a third hue exists, it is red.)

Cultural Meanings

Red is the color of good luck in Asia and is the most popular color in China.

Most Japanese children draw the sun as a big red circle.

In East Asian stock markets, red is used to denote a rise in stock prices. (Note: In North American stock markets, red is used to denote a drop in stock prices.)

Red is an auspicious color for marriage. Brides in India and Nepal wear red saris; in Japan, a red kimono symbolizes happiness and good luck.

In Russia, the word for “red” means beautiful.

Thank you for stopping by and reading! Good luck with the giveaway!

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Cover Surrounded by CrimsonBlurb: Tristan has agreed to bond with Ushna but there is still much to do and returning to Tribe Enkidu puts everyone on edge. Tristan is being stalked like prey all the while fighting depression as he mourns the loss of Nikita and enduring a battle of wills with the Elder Council over his birthright. The pleading of his adoptive daughter only adds still more stress to the situation.

Stumbling onto a secret prison while searching for Ushna leads Tristan to risk everything to free a lost God. But breaking the tie to his Flame has more repercussions than Tristan knew and the assistance of a forgotten Goddess and a centuries old lover may not be enough to save him.

Buy Links: Less Than Three Press | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

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Lexi Ander Bio PicAbout the Author: Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

Where to find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | E-mail | Goodreads

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Stops:

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Giveaways, Havan Fellows

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Synchronous Seductions Blog Tour with Havan Fellows

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We’re happy to welcome author Havan Fellows to The Novel Approach today, on her Synchronous Seductions blog tour. Enjoy the excerpt from the book she’s chosen to share with you, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $20 All Romance eBooks Gift Card.

Good luck!

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Synchronous SeductionsBlurb: Seven years ago one of them made a mistake.

That mistake will change six lives forever.

Today.

Ryder made a mistake Harlan can’t forgive. Will Ryder cross a line no man should cross to obtain a second chance?

Ritchie won’t admit he’s heartbroken. Emery won’t accept less than all of Ritchie’s affection. How will arrogant Emery win snarky Ritchie for his own?

Fuzzy is an unsatisfied ladies’ man. Geoff’s a bear-loving man who satisfies. Problem? Convincing a straight man that satisfaction might be just around the bend.

Warning: This book is chocked full of domineering men who don’t like to take no for an answer. If arrogant alpha men make your heart beat faster and other places tingle, this is the book for you.

Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

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Excerpt: Attempting to display a calm that he didn’t feel, he opened up the portfolio to the proposal that he had slaved over when Emery didn’t fill his daydreams up. The click of the door closing and footsteps approaching notified him that his appointment indeed had arrived. He gestured to the seat in front of him without raising his head.

“Please allow me a moment, Mr.—” Oh shit! He’d forgotten the guy’s name. He straightened his glasses and sorted quickly through the papers in the portfolio, positive it was there somewhere. Ah! Found it! Odd, no first name, only, “Mr. Hutchins? As in…Hutchins Hauls Logistics?” A meeting with the owner? And why did that name sound so damn familiar to Ritchie?

The chuckle that floated from the chair, over the desk, and caressed his skin immediately engorged his cock. He slowly raised his face to stare Emery in the eyes. “Mr. Emery Hutchins.” He ground out each word through clenched teeth.

“At your service. Now, I’m here to fully explain to you how I can rock your world. I’ve been told recently that I tend to age myself with that phrase. But I like it and am good with that.”

Ritchie seethed. “This is my job. My livelihood. How dare you appear here and play with it like you don’t give a damn. Or is that it precisely, Emery? You just don’t give a damn. You played with me at the coffee shop knowing damn good and well who I was. You played with me at your house enjoying every single time I stuck my foot into my mouth. Now you want a piece of me on my turf? Will that prove that you’re bigger and badder than me? I get it, okay! I’m not all that, thank you for sharing that important tidbit of information with me. You succeeded in your job here. To put my career on the line for your antics, well, that’s low even for you.”

He fumed as Emery leaned back in the plush chair, crossed his legs, and steepled his hands under his chin. “That’s what you believe I’m doing here? Proving my alpha-ness to you? I’m here for a business meeting. After we conduct our logistics business appropriately, then we can address our personal business.” Emery winked at him then slid his hand into his briefcase and tossed a set of bound papers onto Ritchie’s desk.

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Author BioAbout the Author: I annoy, love, respect, scare, seduce, hurt, anger, infatuate, frustrate, flatter, envy, amuse and tolerate everyone. I just do it better in writing thanks to a little thing called…edits.

Okay no, seriously…I’m a simpleminded person who enjoys the escape from real life through a book. I write with the group Story Orgy and hope to continue doing so for a long time. I also am privileged to be with the Pulp Friction writers, creating intermingling books in a world all our own.

I recently took the drastic step of quitting my EDJ (evil day job) and am now living in the gorgeous desert in Arizona making a go at this writing stuff full time…and I can’t see me regretting this decision ever.

Just like every other red-blooded human—I get a little bouncy when I get mail (any kind too…email, comments, private messages…you wanna do it, do it with me *winks*). So feel free to drop me a line—whether it’s on my blog, twitter, PInterest, or you track me down on FaceBook or Google +…it’s easy to catch someone who wants to be caught.

I specialize in writing boyxboy though I read almost everything…and I fancy myself as slightly funny every once in a while. :)

Where to find the author: Facebook Author Page | Facebook Group | Pulp Friction Love FB Group | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog | Wattpad

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates:

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Chris T. Kat, Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways

Interview and Giveaway: The Breeding Stations Blog Tour with Chris T. Kat

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We’re so pleased to have author Chris T. Kat with us today on her Breeding Stations blog tour. Enjoy our short chat and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Good luck!

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TNA: Hi, Chris, I’m glad to have you back for your Breeding Station blog tour.

CTK: Thank you, Lisa, I’m very glad to be back on The Novel Approach. :)

TNA: What are a few of your favorite things about writing Sci-Fi?

CTK: Breeding Stations is the first sci-fi book I’ve written. I wanted to try my hand at writing in this genre for a long time, but always balked. There’s so much to consider when writing sci-fi—the characters (humans, aliens), setting, plot, etc. I feared I’d tie myself into knots trying to create a world and plot that would come across as believable. In the end, I absolutely loved writing Breeding Stations and its sequel, Final Battle. It’s also the first time I wrote both books in a series one after another. It made everything much easier, and the books flowed. There were often times in which I could barely keep up with the story. Normally, I write about 1500 to 2000 words on a writing day. During the writing of Breeding Stations, I wrote 4000 to 6000 words in each session. Says something about my excitement, right?

But to get back to your question: my favorite thing about writing sci-fi is the creation of new worlds and a different take on society and social rules. I love to play with gender roles, and certain expectations, and did so freely in Breeding Stations.

TNA: Do you remember the book you read, or movie/TV show you saw, that first sparked your love of Science Fiction? What book/movie/show was it, and what are some of the things you loved about it?

CTK: My father and my grandmother were both big fans of science fiction and horror movies. I grew up watching Star Trek, the original series. I remember that I regularly visited my grandmother on Saturdays. Whenever a new episode of Star Trek came on, no one was allowed to speak a single word, and I got to sit on my grandmother’s lap. Unfortunately, my grandmother died at a young age.

My father kept my interest in all things sci-fi, though. We still watched Star Trek and later on Star Wars—much to the dislike of my mother, who doesn’t like sci-fi or paranormal. Later on, I discovered the paranormal genre in books and devoured whatever I could get my hands on.

What I loved about Star Trek? Hmm, the first thing I remember is Mr. Spock, the way he behaved and spoke. Second thing is his interaction with Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. I absolutely loved their relationships. When it comes to Stark Trek: Next Generation, I adored Mr. Data and loved all the technology introduced throughout the series.

TNA: What are some of the futuristic inventions (i.e. teleportation, food replicators, etc.) that you wish were a reality you could see in your lifetime?

CTK: Teleportation is something I’d love to see in reality. It would allow me to see my best friend who lives in the USA (I live in Germany) more often. Having thousands of miles between you and your best friend really sucks…

I’d also love to see the changes in medicine and medical treatments in my lifetime. How much suffering could be stopped with new technologies and better understanding of the human body? That would be awesome, in my opinion.

TNA: If a habitable planet were discovered in a distant galaxy, and the United Nations decided to band together to attempt to populate it with volunteers from all corners of the world, would you consider being a pioneer in that movement? Why or why not?

CTK: That’s a difficult question. While I’d definitely be interested in being a pioneer, I probably wouldn’t do it in my current position. The kids are still young and I wouldn’t want to pull them out of their normal environment. A few years ago, we actually thought about relocating to the US, but didn’t go through with it because of our children. There’s a lot to think about before making a life-altering decision.

TNA: Finally, if you had to pick a favorite USS Enterprise captain, given the choices of Kirk or Picard, who do you think was the better captain and why?

CTK: I never thought I’d say this but—Picard. For a long time I didn’t want to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, because I didn’t believe they could hold a candle to the original Star Trek team. However, I realized later on that I didn’t watch the show or the movies for Captain Kirk, rather Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy. Even when I was a kid, William Shatner’s acting skills never really convinced me. Captain Picard felt more layered to me. He was more serious, more in command, but he always took good care of his crew. Well, at least that’s how I feel about these two captains—other opinions will most likely differ. :)

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Breeding StationsBlurb: Spunky commander Berit Turner is known for two things: his huge libido and his lack of a filter—he says what he thinks. Berit sets his mind on being part of the mission to Ligador, to make sure the planet is habitable for humans. He’s ecstatic when his team is assigned to the task force. A delegation of Nadisc, a humanoid alien race, accompanies them, and passion ignites between Berit and their commanding officer, Tom. But Berit is determined that Tom is just another notch on his bedpost, as he doesn’t do relationships.

The excursion to Ligador goes wrong from the beginning, when they discover Ligador has been established as a breeding station by their worst enemy: the Tash’Ba. Dinosaur-like creatures become the team’s worst nightmare, and staying alive is going to take everything they’ve got… and then some.

You can find Breeding Stations in Paperback and E-Book at Dreamspinner Press and Amazon, or in all E-formats at All Romance eBooks.

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Chris T. KatAbout the Author: Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Where to find the author: Facebook | Twitter

Other: GoodReads | Blog | Amazon Author Page

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates:

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Giveaways, Viki Lyn

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Woodland Village Series Blog Tour with Viki Lyn

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Viki Lyn today, on her Woodland Village series blog tour. Viki and Will Parkinson put together a fun character interview, and there’s also a chance to win an e-copy of one of the books in the series by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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Welcome Skye Taylor and Drew Adams, Ryan Adams and Martin Pierson, and John Kramer and Scott Marwick. This week the couples from Woodland Village are going to answer a few questions Newlywed Game style on each blog tour stop. We’ll see how well they know each other! Visit the alternate blog stops on Monday and Friday to hear more from our couples!

HOST: Since Blue Skye is the first book in the series; I’ll begin with Skye and Drew. Skye, what is your partner’s favorite comfort food?

Skye: Drew likes to eat healthy but when he’s upset he goes for the salt. (Holds up his card) French fries.

Drew: (Kisses Skye’s cheek) How well you know me. Now Skye here goes for sweets. He loves his dark chocolate. And, just about anything with whipped cream.

Skye: (Wiggles his brows) Especially if I can lick it off your—

HOST: Hey, this is a PG audience! Ah, you guys have been together the longest, right?

Skye: Yeah, since we were kids. I’ve always loved Drew. Even when he stood me up at the train station after high school graduation.

Drew: Hey, don’t air our personal life for everyone to hear! It’s bad enough that you talk about our sex life.

Skye: The whipped cream? But you love it when I use the can and squirt it along the length—

Drew: (Slaps his hand over Skye’s mouth.) Enough. Be good.

HOST: Like scolding a child. (Laughs)

Drew: Okay, so I never made it to the train station, but all’s well that ends well.

Skye: (Eyes sparkling with warmth) Yeah, I’m a very happy man with our Harlequin ending, as your brother likes to call it.

Drew: And Ryan’s an airhead.

Ryan: Hey, I can hear you. And who has a successful gaming company and makes more money? (He grins with a devilish look in his eyes)

Drew: (Holds up his hands in surrender) Okay, I give, but only on that issue.

Ryan: I also beat your ass swimming.

Skye: (Shakes his head) Those two always have to outdo each other. I’d have to say Ryan usually wins.

Drew: (He holds Skye’s hand) Yeah, but I got you, didn’t I. I’d say I came out ahead.

HOST: So cute together! Thanks Drew and Skye. Don’t forget to visit today’s alternate blog for more insight into our couples. Visit the next blog stop tomorrow where are next couple on the hot seat is Ryan and Martin from Ryan’s Harbor. See you soon! And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter.

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Blurbs:

Blue SkyBLUE SKYE

After years apart, two childhood friends are reunited– but will Skye settle for less than love and will Drew face his greatest fear?

Skye Taylor lives the artist life in Manhattan, openly gay and proud. Drew Adams, socially conservative and from one of Woodland Village’s wealthiest families, lives within the limits of his father’s expectations. A successful architect, Drew is content with his work and his marriage. The secret he desperately hides remains safely hidden behind lies and deception, so he thought.

Best friends in high school, Skye and Drew were inseparable. Quiet and serious, Drew was drawn to the outgoing Skye and his hippy loving parents. Then graduation night changes everything. Uncontrollable urges are discovered in a night of passion, a love Drew refuses to acknowledge, a love Skye refuses to deny. Skye leaves town, leaves Drew and leaves all his feelings behind. But he never forgot Drew and that one night that changed their lives.

Years later, painful memories surface with Skye’s arrival and Drew’s carefully constructed world begins to unravel.

Buy Link: Amazon

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Ryan's HarborRYAN’S HARBOR

One-night stands and pretty women don’t seem to give Ryan that buzz that it once did. When he meets his architect, Martin Pierson, there’s a deep connection that goes beyond friendship. Can they cross the barrier into love?

The boys of Woodland Village are back. This time it’s Drew’s brother, Ryan Adams, that’s going through a crisis of doubt. He’s always been the guy who breezed through relationships, never getting serious with the women he dates. He doesn’t know why, but one-night stands and pretty women don’t seem to give him that buzz like before.

Then one night, at his brother’s barbecue, he encounters Drew’s assistant, Martin Pierson. Martin agrees to design Ryan’s new building for his gaming company – Fantasy Arts. As they spend time together in and out of the office, their working relationship grows into friendship and something more. But Martin can’t forgive himself for causing his brother’s death to allow for love. Ryan wants to be Martin’s safe harbor, a steadfast place where Martin can heal his heart. But can Martin put his trust in the notorious playboy of Woodland Village?

One-night stands and pretty women don’t seem to give Ryan that buzz that it once did. When he meets his architect, Martin Pierson, there’s a deep connection that goes beyond friendship. Can they cross the barrier into love?

The boys of Woodland Village are back. This time it’s Drew’s brother, Ryan Adams, that’s going through a crisis of doubt. He’s always been the guy who breezed through relationships, never getting serious with the women he dates. He doesn’t know why, but one-night stands and pretty women don’t seem to give him that buzz like before.

Then one night, at his brother’s barbecue, he encounters Drew’s assistant, Martin Pierson. Martin agrees to design Ryan’s new building for his gaming company – Fantasy Arts. As they spend time together in and out of the office, their working relationship grows into friendship and something more. But Martin can’t forgive himself for causing his brother’s death to allow for love. Ryan wants to be Martin’s safe harbor, a steadfast place where Martin can heal his heart. But can Martin put his trust in the notorious playboy of Woodland Village?

Buy Link: Amazon

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John's MatchJOHN’S MATCH

Fantasy writer Scott Marwick just might be John’s financial savior if John can convince Scott to sign over the character rights for a new computer game. John befriends Scott for one purpose — to get him to sign — never planning on falling in love. When John shatters Scott’s trust, can Scott forgive and move on from his past mistakes?

John Kramer discovers two guys humping on the hood of his Ferrari in the parking lot of the local gay bar. When he finds one of the pair alone and in a drunken stupor, John drives him home. To his surprise, the young man’s father is his new next door neighbor, Scott Marwick. Tempers flare when Scott accuses John of getting his son inebriated and taking advantage of him. John plans to never see the man again.

Then John’s boss flips out when he finds out the jerk next door is the Scott Marwick, a temperamental, but famous fantasy writer. The elusive author could save their company from financial ruin if they can get him to sign over his characters for a computer game. Ryan insists John befriend Scott, show him around the Village and get him to agree to a meeting.

The last thing Scott needs is friends. He moved to Woodland Village to forget about the past and to write. Since his partner’s death three years ago, he hasn’t written one word, and his agent, publisher, and fans are clamoring for the final book of his award-winning series. His life is spiraling out of control and he doesn’t know if he can finish his series. He doesn’t need the complication of love and he certainly wouldn’t associate his name with a computer game.

But when John’s life begins to fall apart, Scott must decide where his loyalties lie — with John or his principles.

Buy Link: Amazon

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Author BioAbout the Author: Rainbow Award winner, Viki Lyn is a successful writer of sexy romance, both gay and straight. She likes a challenge and at times breaks the rules of her genre. But always, it’s the romance that drives her stories to their happily-ever-after. You can also find her at Viki Vina Romance – the site of her books co-authored with Vina Grey. Check out their popular Orbus Arcana m/m vampire series!

Where to find the author: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:

27-Jul

The Novel Approach

Love Bytes

28-Jul

Molly Lolly

29-Jul

Havan Fellows

30-Jul

BFD Book Blog

31-Jul

Prism Book Alliance

MM Good Book Reviews

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Charlotte Ashe, Giveaways

Interview and Giveaway: The Sidhe Blog Tour With Charlotte Ashe

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome a first time visitor to The Novel Approach, author Charlotte Ashe. Charlotte is here with us to chat about her new novel The Sidhe and is offering one lucky reader the chance at a Grand Prize $25 e-gift card at Interlude Press, and an e-copy of the book to FIVE runners-up.

Good luck!

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Hi Charlotte, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thank you for having me! I am a social worker in Portland, Maine , and The Sidhe is my first novel. I majored in creative writing and literature way back in college, but it took me some time to find my way back to writing. I am so excited to finally write the books I’ve always wanted to write, combining elements of fantasy and romance with a focus on LGBTQ characters.

1) Why did you choose to write M/M stories?

I kind of feel like M/M stories chose me! It wasn’t a conscious choice, really, and I don’t strictly write M/M, though I do prefer to write queer romance of one variety or another. I think part of it is that I like turning traditional stories and tropes on their head, and when you write an M/M or F/F story, you are forced to think about gender roles in a way that you might not if you are writing hetero romance. I find that especially in fantasy settings, this can be an interesting challenge with limitless possibilities. I mean, sure, I’ll admit that two gorgeous men together is hot, and that’s definitely part of the appeal, but they’re fully realized characters. I could strip all of the hot boy-on-boy action out of The Sidhe and it would still be a meaningful love story between compelling characters. I guess what it boils down to is that the characters were male, with or without my permission, and I was more than okay with that.

2) What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to write a book that I wanted to read but couldn’t find. I’d always wanted to write fantasy novels, and I’ve always been a closet romantic. I wanted to lose myself in a love story and a rich fantasy world at the same time, I wanted the love story to be queer, and I wanted to  depict queer love and sexuality as something sacred. so I decided to see if I could make it work.

3) When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing for pleasure very, very young (age 6 or 7) and began to take it seriously at age 8. I started writing because I loved it immediately and because I got fidgety if I went too long without writing. An active writing life has always been essential to my well being.

4) What are you current projects?

I’m currently writing book 2 in The Heart of All Worlds trilogy. It’s titled The King and the Criminal, and it comes out in 2016.

5) Off topic: What secret talents do you have?

I’m an insanely good parallel parker, and I’m also quite good at untangling jewelry without breaking it. I’m a pretty decent cook, too, if I do say so myself.

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TheSidhe 1600px Cover-FrontBlurb: Since his childhood, Brieden Lethiscir has admired The Sidhe, the beautiful and magical beings native to the Faerie world outside his homeland of Villalu. Though he grew up in a culture accepting of Sidhe enslavement by Villalu’s elite, Brieden finds that he can no longer tolerate the practice when he becomes a steward to Prince Dronyen, who is viciously abusive of his sidhe slave Sehrys. Captivated by the handsome and mysterious sidhe slave, Brieden vows to free and return Sehrys to his homeland.

As they escape the capital and navigate a treacherous path to the border, Breiden and Sehrys grow close. Breiden soon learns both the true power of The Sidhe, and that the world that he thought he knew is not what it once seemed. If they survive to reach the border, he will have to make a choice: the love of his life, or the fate of his world.

Buy Links: Interlude Press | Amazon | Smashwords

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Excerpt: The sidhe was tall, supple and lithe, as all sidhe tended to be, with milk-pale skin that glowed like moonlight over lean, taut muscles. Like all the others before him, he was naked, giving potential buyers a full picture of what they were bidding on.

And he was extraordinary, head to toe.

His chin-length hair was violet-red and it gleamed in the afternoon sun. His lips were pink and delicate with a pronounced bow, his nose had a narrow, smooth slope and his eyes…

His eyes.

It wasn’t that they were the most incredible color imaginable: a storm of deep, contrasting, impossible greens unlike any Brieden had ever seen. And it wasn’t that they were large and almond- shaped beneath a fan of plum-colored lashes.

It was that they were full to the brim with life.

Never before had Brieden seen a sidhe slave with such lively and expressive eyes, even as he stood for auction. Those eyes were not dull or defeated in the slightest. Wary, yes, and utterly devoid of trust, but also blazing.

Blazing like the eyes of that sidhe Brieden had seen at the riverbank when he was twelve years old— the only free sidhe Brieden had ever had the chance to behold.

The elf stood on that platform as if he owned it. As if he were judging every human man before him, and not the other way around.

He tucked a lock of hair behind a delicately pointed elfin ear, then jutted his chin to reveal a chiseled jaw that contrasted beautifully against his tender features.

And though he knew it was insane, Brieden was quite sure that he was in love.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Charlotte Ashe is a social worker by day and a writer of romantic fantasy by night. A long-time fan of speculative fiction that skews feminist and features LGBTQ characters, Charlotte loves writing stories that are sexy, heartfelt, and full of magic and adventure. She has put her B.A. in literature and creative writing to use over the years as a writer of online fan-based fiction, and her most popular work has drawn more than one million readers worldwide, been translated into several languages, and been featured in online publications including The Backlot.

Charlotte lives in Portland, Maine and can be found sleeping at the beach all summer and clomping along the cobblestones in her Bean boots all winter, writing fairytales in her head to distract from the cold.

Where to find the author: Facebook | Twitter: @CobwebsandAshes | Website

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Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:

21-Jul: Prism Book Alliance | MM Good Book Reviews | Multitasking Mommas

22-Jul: My Fiction Nook | Carly’s Book Reviews | Bike Book Reviews

23-Jul: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words | The Novel Approach

24-Jul: Parker Williams | Bayou Book Junkie

27-Jul: Decadent Delights | Nephylim

28-Jul: BFD Book Blog

29-Jul: The Hat Party | Velvet Panic | Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

30-Jul: Amanda C. Stone

31-Jul: Inked Rainbow Reads

3-Aug: Molly Lolly | Rainbow Gold Reviews

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C.C. Dado, Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Imposter in Zebra-striped Briefs Blog Tour With C.C. Dado

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The Novel Approach welcomes author C.C. Dado today, on the Imposter in Zebra-striped Briefs blog tour.

It takes a sense of humor to come up with a title like that, so I asked C.C. to chat a bit about that. And, there’s also a chance for you to enter to win and e-copy of the book by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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Hi Lisa,

I would say my humor is self deprecating but lighthearted. For me romance has never been, eyes catching across a crowded room, followed by sexy dancing. It’s more like tripping and smacking my face on the ground in front of the guy I’ve been secretly eyeing all night. With me it’s awkward romance, where they can’t help but fall for you because you’re so unintentionally adorable. As far as the zebra-stripes, no big story there, it was just what I pictured in my head when I wrote the scene.

Thanks for having me,

C.C. Dado

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CC Dado CoverBlurb: When recent college graduate Nathan Harris makes a life-changing move out from under his mother’s thumb and into his own place, he is determined to take some risks. He is tired of not being good enough, tired of allowing his fears to control him.

What he thought would be an exciting adventure ends up being one jaw-dropping mishap of embarrassment after another, leaving him with a life he doesn’t even recognize anymore.

His once boring, lonely existence has been replaced by a brownstone filled with colorful friends, a rough around the edges, tattooed bad boy best friend, and a stripper for a boyfriend who’s not even sure he’s gay.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Author BioAbout the Author: I write painfully awkward, usually embarrassing, romance because long confident gazes followed by sexy dancing never happens to me.

I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, and will probably never leave since I’m a hypochondriac sundae, with claustrophobic sprinkles, and a cherry of anxiety on top. I read and write to relax my mind and I love getting lost in someone else’s story, even if it is only for a little while.

Follow C.C. Dado On Twitter

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Giveaways, J.K. Hogan, Wilde City Press

Interview and Giveaway: The Shadows Fall Blog Tour With JK Hogan

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The Novel Approach welcomes author JK Hogan on her Shadows Fall blog tour today. JK answered a few questions for her visit today, and is also giving one lucky reader the chance to win an e-copy of the book. To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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TNA: How did the writing experience with this book differ from the writing of the books in your Coming About series? Do you feel it was a greater creative challenge for you?

JKH: The biggest difference was all the intricacy that went into building a mystery, complete with a police investigation. I wanted it to be as true to life as possible while still being interesting so I did a lot of research in everything from murder investigations and autopsies, to genetic experimental research and American gypsies. It was absolutely a greater challenge for me, if for nothing else than the sheer about of work and brain power that went into it.

TNA: You went with both supernatural elements and a murder mystery this time around, not to mention there’s a romance that develops along the way. What do you find intriguing about bringing two people together and having them fall in love in what might otherwise be considered a rather unromantic setting?

JKH: It’s intriguing because, in my opinion, it’s more realistic. The situation was obviously fictional, but the majority of people I know didn’t fall in love over wine & chocolates or jet trips to Paris. They fell in love while life was happening. I just happened to make the “life” that was happening to my characters a bit more wild and complicated. :) 

TNA: Do you have a favorite scene in the book, one that while you were writing it you just knew it was the scene that would bring the story together and make it that much better? If so, can you tell us a bit about it without giving too much away?

JKH: Wow, that’s nearly impossible to decide. I don’t know if it necessarily brought the story together better than any other scene, but one of my favorite ones to write was the scene where Titus’s grandmother Hester arrives. She is quite the character, the embodiment of all of the research I did on the gypsy culture. She is an old-timer, set in her ways and extremely indelicate. She was freaking hilarious to write.

TNA: What makes Titus and Charlie work? What would you say is the most important part of their chemistry as a couple?

JKH: I think it would be the contrast between Charlie’s kindness and sense of duty, and Titus’s independence. I could have made Charlie a typical alpha-male-cop-type and Titus a (forgive me)damsel-in-distress type. Instead, Charlie is quiet and self-contained, but he truly cares for Titus enough to want to keep him safe. However, Titus is no simpering maiden. He accepts help when he needs it, but he likes to stand on his own, for better or worse. He doesn’t need Charlie to save him, but he likes knowing Charlie will be there just in case.

TNA: Is Shadows Fall book one of a series? Could you see yourself writing more novels in this setting, or is this a one-off story?

JKH: It’s definitely a series. There may be bigger gaps in between the books than my other series, because these themes are more technical and intensive, but I intentionally left a few loose ends in Shadows Fall to set up for the next adventure. :)

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ShadowsFall_FinalCoverRGBBlurb: A gift—or curse—gives Titus McGinty the unwanted ability to talk to ghosts. When he starts seeing the same few apparitions repeatedly, appearing with similar gruesome injuries, he begins to wonder what they want from him.

Detective Charlie Hale has a serial killer on his hands. On the loose for weeks, the Queen City Slayer has left the police nothing to go on, no forensic evidence other than what he wants found. The city is running out of time.

The crisis brings Titus and Charlie together—Titus stumbles upon a body and finds himself a suspect. Their budding romance is tested as they are sucked into a web of underground laboratories, restive spirits, and religious fanaticism. They’ll have to work together to find the identity of the killer before he takes his next victim…Titus.

Buy Links: Wilde City Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Author BioAbout the Author: J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visitwww.jkhogan.com.

Where to find the author: Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Google+ | Instagram

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Upcoming Tour Dates:

1-Jul – Prism Book Alliance

2-Jul – Hearts on Fire

3-Jul – Inked Rainbow Reads

6-Jul – Chris McHart | Multitasking Mommas

7-Jul – Molly Lolly | The Blogger Girls

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Cover Reveal, Dreamspinner Press, Kenzie Cade, Piper Vaughn

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Prickly Business by Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade

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Title: Prickly Business
Series: Portland Pack Chronicles
Authors: Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 27, 2015
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Add Prickly Business to Goodreads: b8f9d-add-to-goodreads-black

Blurb: Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He’s a hedgehog shifter from an old-money Louisiana family with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn’t want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.

No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn’t need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can’t stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.

Yet once Dylan steps into Avery’s world, he realizes there’s more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan’s protective instincts. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he might be the wolf for the job.

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Author BioAbout the Authors: Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Piper’s Social Media Links: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Website | Google +

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Author BioKenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/Long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes the fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.

Kenzie’s Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google + | Tumblr | Blog | Email

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THE GIVEAWAY:

A copy of the ebook or paperback (when book is released) and a $10 gift card to Amazon, ARe, or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s choice)

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Dreamspinner Press, EM Lynley, Giveaways

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: The 24-Karat Conspiracy Blog Tour With EM Lynley

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The Novel Approach welcomes author EM Lynley today on her 24-Karat Conspiracy blog tour. Enjoy the teaser she’s offered up, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the tour-wide giveaway.

Good luck!

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24-Karat ConspiracyBlurb: Sequel to Jaded
Precious Gems: Book Four

Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.

This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.

Available At: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

Jaded Series

Excerpt: “Reed, do you still want to go to that New Year’s Eve party I mentioned?” Trent waited for Reed to come up with some lame excuse.

“The one on someone’s boat?”

“That’s it. Beth did some work on one of Wes Tremayne’s films, and he invited her to bring some friends.”

“Who’s Wes Tremayne?”

“The actor? The one who got outed last year and there was that big fuss with his network?”

“I remember now, vaguely. Are you sure Beth can bring us and your parents?”

“It’s all taken care of, as long as you’ll be back by then.”

“I promise.”

“I’ll still love you anyway. But I am going to spend New Year’s Eve with Wes Tremayne, even if you aren’t there.”

“Uh-oh. I don’t like the sound of that.” Clicking noises came across the miles into Trent’s ear. “Oh, hey, no. Uh-uh,” Reed said.

“Uh-uh what?”

“I just googled Wes Tremayne, and you are not going to that party without me.”

Trent nodded and smiled to himself. “Yeah, he’s pretty hot, isn’t he? Afraid you can’t trust me?”

“No. I’m afraid I can’t trust him around you.” Reed made a kissing sound and hung up.

Trent lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling, smiling until his face hurt.

This was too good to be true.

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Author BioAbout the Author: EM Lynley writes sizzling gay romance with a hint of mystery. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

Author Links: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Free Reads

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Giveaways, Iyana Jenna

Book Blast and Giveaway: Strictly Professional by Iyana Jenna

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JustDesserts1 (1)Title: Strictly Professional
Anthology Title: Just Desserts
Author: Iyana Jenna
Publisher: Secret Hungers Publishing
Release Date: June 20, 2015
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Romance

Blurb: As the only senior graphic designer at Downey Handbags, Zane Kotsky expected to become the head of the creative art department when the company planned to expand its business. His hope crashed when it turned out that the company wanted someone from outside to be the manager. Knowing that, Zane planned to leave the place at once, but that was before he met the man who would become his boss, Joachim Wessling.

Buy Link: Amazon

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Excerpt:  “I don’t know, but…” He sighed and began telling her everything that was said in the meeting, including his own thoughts and self-promise not to go. He also asked her not to tell anyone.

“Of course I won’t. But I agree with you. You can’t leave. You have to show them how good you are and how wrong they are not to pick you.”

“Thank you, love.” He sniffed and sank his fork into his warm, moist muffin. It looked tasty enough that it helped him forget about the meeting though only for a second.

“Still, there’s a chance you might like this new guy.”

Huh? Zane’s head whirled up so fast he got dizzy. “I thought you were on my side.”

“I’m not taking sides. I’m just thinking of what’s best for everyone. For you, for the company.”

“Then you must think I’m not good enough to be the art department manager.”

“I never said that.”

“No, seriously.” He set his muffin aside and folded his arms on the table, facing her straight on. “What do you think I need to improve? Like I told you earlier, the management people thought I wasn’t mature enough.”

“I don’t think there’s something wrong with you. I said something about the new person because I think finally you’ll get someone equal to you. Someone you can argue with about a design and who can argue back. You realize that no junior designers dare say anything against you, right?”

“I, err…” Zane didn’t know what to say. He always thought he treated them fairly. He wasn’t a tyrant.

“You can be childish sometimes.”

“See? You think there’s something wrong with me.”

Mira sighed. “Come on. It’s for your own good. If you behave properly, management will see that you’re serious. That newcomer is an outsider anyway. He won’t know shit about our company.”

“Whoa.” He had never heard dirty words out of her mouth before. Then he shrugged and took a sip of his caramel macchiato.

“You promised yourself you’d show Downey they couldn’t get rid of you easily.”

Zane still said nothing. She nudged at him, almost tipping over the contents of the cup he was holding.

“Hey.”

“Promise me.”

“Okay, okay.”

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Author BioAbout the Author: Iyana writes M/M short stories and novellas. Her works have been published by Evernight Publishing, JMS Books, Books to Go Now, Torquere Press, Bitten Press, Leap of Faith Publishing, Breathless Press, and Alfie Dog Fiction.

Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.

Where to find the author: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog | Tumblr | LinkedIn

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THE GIVEAWAY: A $5 E-tailer Gift Card

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Shira Anthony

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Running with the Wind Blog Tour with Shira Anthony

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The Novel Approach welcomes Shira Anthony today, on the Running with the Wind blog tour. Shira talks a bit about the world building in the Mermen of Ea series, and is also offering the chance to win some great prizes on this tour. Just click on the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter for the chance at one of the following:

*December Diamonds Wedding Mermen Ornament (or a free download of the audiobook version of Stealing the Wind for non-U.S. Residents)

*Geneva Nautical Wrap Watch (or an e-copy of a backlist title for non-U.S. Residents **excl. Running with the Wind)

*Anchor Cord Bracelet (or an e-copy of a backlist title for non-U.S. Residents **excl. Running with the Wind)

Good luck!

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Hi Shira,

Welcome back to The Novel Approach. I’d love to chat a bit with you about the world building in this series.

  • Was there quite a bit of research involved when you began building the foundation of the series?

Part of the inspiration for the series was when my husband and I got certified for open water scuba diving. So I had thoughts and images from those dives in my mind when I created the underwater universe in the Mermen of Ea Series. He and I also own a 35 foot catamaran sailboat, so I had some knowledge of sailing ships. That knowledge, however, didn’t extend to the sailing ships I used to model the Sea Witch and the Phantom. I spent a lot of time reviewing diagrams of the old square riggers used in the Age of Sail. I also spent hours discussing marine battle tactics with my husband, who has read more books than I can count on the subject.

I also researched dolphins and dolphin mating in order to create the sex scenes in shifted form. You’d be surprised how many dolphin sex vids there are on Youtube! Half of them feature embarrassed parents filming as their little kids ask what the dolphins in the tank at the aquarium are doing to each other. I had a blast taking those and creating an Ea mating dance, complete with Ea heartsong. The rest of the Ea universe, however, was purely based on my experiences traveling in the Caribbean and my overactive imagination.

  • Did you learn some new things about merpeople and their legends that you hadn’t known before? If so, what are some of those things?

I read up on merfolk legends when I was writing the first book, Stealing the Wind. What I discovered was that the earliest merfolk stories seem to come from the myths of Enki, a.k.a. “Ea,” the Sumarian god who was not only the god of mischief, but of creation, intelligence, and of course, water. Enki is often portrayed as half man, half fish. The Ea/Enki myth was a great jumping off point, and became the name of the mershifters’ people. Even better, there are other Sumarian gods, including Anuki, the god of the heavens. But I won’t spoil it and tell those who haven’t read the story yet how that might factor into the plot!

  • What are some things that make your merfolk a bit different than those in stories we’re familiar with?

I honestly hadn’t read any other merfolk stories other than The Little Mermaid when I started to write the series, so that’s a tough one to answer. I can say that my merfolk are true shifters who can exist on land in human form, and in the water in their Ea form. They also have magical powers that allow them to see the past, to manipulate the elements, and to sense others’ feelings. They communicate telepathically under the water, and while in their merforms, they experience sex differently than in their human forms.

  • Did you ever get to a point where you feared there was too much attention to detail? How do you know where to draw that line between too much and not enough?

That’s always a tough call when creating an entirely new universe. I relied on my beta readers and my editors to help guide me, since there’s definitely a risk of a forest for the trees sort of thing in writing fantasy. Ultimately, it’s a tough call, and “enough” and “too much” becomes a subjective analysis. You can throw much more detailed worldbuilding at those readers who are used to reading fantasy with significant worldbuilding, as opposed to those new to the genre. Having beta readers and editors who aren’t big fantasy readers can really help in figuring out how to strike that balance.

For me the proof that we got it right is in the comments and reviews from readers who felt there was enough to immerse themselves in my new universe, but didn’t complain about being overwhelmed. I did learn, however, that writing fantasy is much more difficult than writing contemporary romance in the sense that you need to sprinkle the unique elements of the universe over the entire story so that you don’t lose your readers!  I consider myself very fortunate that many of my contemporary romance readers were willing to try this series and most of them have enjoyed it.

  • Thanks for stopping by today, Shira, it’s always great to have you here with us!

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Blurb: With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Shira AnthonyAbout the Author: In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Where to find the author: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:

1-Jun: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings | 2-Jun: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words | 3-Jun: My Fiction Nook | 4-Jun: Amanda C. Stone | 5-Jun: Carly’s Book Reviews | 8-Jun: Bayou Book Junkie | 9-Jun: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews | 10-Jun: Decadent Delights | 11-Jun: MM Good Book Reviews | 12-Jun: Inked Rainbow Reads | 15-Jun: Divine Magazine | 16-Jun: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves | 17-Jun: BFD Book Blog | 18-Jun: The Novel Approach | 19-Jun: Because Two Men Are Better Than One | 22-Jun: Kimi-Chan Happily Ever Chapter | 23-Jun: Prism Book Alliance | 24-Jun: Cate Ashwood | 25-Jun: Love Bytes | 26-Jun: Molly Lolly

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Brynn Stein, Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The For Mac Blog Tour With Brynn Stein

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Brynn Stein today on the For Mac blog tour. Brynn talks a bit about the theme of sacrifice in the novel, answers a few questions for us, and is also offering multiple chances to win some great prizes, including an autographed paperback copy of For Mac, an e-copy of the book, or the chance for THREE winners to receive an e-copy of any book from Brynn’s backlist titles. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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On Sacrifice: I think, when a child is totally dependent on one person, or feels they are, it sets up a situation where they feel they owe that person everything. I’ve seen this happen in real life over and over. It’s dangerous in some respects because it can set up situations like Branson’s, though, thank goodness, most usually aren’t that severe. When a person feels they owe another everything, they deny who they are and what they need, and that’s never good. I’ve lost (and almost lost) loved ones to situations like this.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there is such a thing as healthy self-sacrifice. Mothers give up their own desires to put their children first. Missionaries give up better paying jobs to help others. Strangers give up money, time, and/or energy to help those in need. Those are healthy ways to sacrifice for others. But in all those cases, that’s a choice. Those people choose to give up something in order to help others. They don’t feel they owe the other group. They don’t feel they have to give up those things. They don’t feel they have to give up everything.

It’s when motivations cross from choice to obligation (at least in the person’s mind) that sacrifice becomes unhealthy, and that’s where Branson is when we meet him. That kind of mindset doesn’t just go away, even when he can finally admit that it doesn’t make logical sense. He’s going to need help to get over that. Fortunately, he finds that help. Not everyone does.

TNA: Was there ever a time during the writing of the book that you became frustrated with Branson for denying himself? And if so, was it difficult for you to slow down the pace of the story on the way to the resolution in order to fully explore and do justice to him as a character?

Brynn: All of the above having been said, though, it was frustrating at times to see Branson stuck in that never-ending cycle. Sometimes I wanted to just slap him and tell him to get over himself. But if I wrote a quick fix to that kind of anguish, it would not have been true to life and I wouldn’t have been happy with the overall outcome. Emotional healing takes time.

TNA: What do you find are some of the more satisfying things about giving a character like Branson a happy ending?

Brynn: Emotional healing takes time and hard work, but it’s possible, and that was rewarding. To help Branson reach that. I’ve seen people in my real life struggle through situations like this. Some have had happy endings. Some haven’t. It was nice to be able to write a happy ending.

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ForMacFSBlurb: Branson Farrell lost his parents when he was thirteen, and for the last ten years his brother, Mac, eight years his senior, has taken care of him. But Mac’s love came at a price. Both brothers were raised to believe being gay was completely unacceptable, and Branson has almost convinced himself he can be what Mac expects. When he looks at a man in a bar and Mac notices, Mac drags him off in horror.

Mac’s distress and disgust leads to a car accident that leaves Branson injured and Mac in a coma. Branson heals and stays at Mac’s bedside, but when Mac doesn’t recover, he is moved to a long-term care facility. There, Branson meets openly gay, confident, and attractive Liam Sullivan. Liam stirs feelings Branson thought he’d rid himself of, and to honor his brother, Branson fights tooth and nail against his attraction. When the cost of denying who he is becomes too high, Branson must battle a lifetime of hatred that’s been beaten into his body and mind to try for something of his own.

Buy Link: Dreamspinner Press

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Author BioAbout the Author: I’ve always loved to write and wrote fan fiction before I even knew what it was called. When computers came along, with online communities and places to publish fan fiction, I wrote even more. Then a friend convinced me to try to have an altered version of an AU (alternate universe, meaning all but original) published. My manuscript was accepted and now I’m a ‘published author’.

Where to Find Brynn: Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Giveaways, Inkslingers Publishing, J. James

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Denial, Deceit, Discovery Blog Tour With J. James

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The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome author J. James on the Denial, Deceit, Discovery blog tour. J has answered a couple of my questions about the book, and is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win one of five e-copies of Denial, Deceit, Discovery. To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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TNA: Hi, J, I’m so glad to be hosting you on your Denial, Deceit, Discovery blog tour.

I’d love to have you discuss with us what it was like for you to write this book. Are there any (or all) parts of it that are autobiographical? Was the writing of it at all cathartic for you personally? If so, in what ways?

JJ: Thank you so much for hosting me – really grateful to you for that.

The book is totally autobiographical – it is based on true events in my life. The reason why I did not call it a ‘true story’ was because sometimes the chronology has been altered to make it easier to read or the characters have been changed to protect the feelings of others. But the struggles, torture and heart break that Jack faced were my own challenges. The reason why I created the character of Jack to tell the story through was to enable me to detach myself a little and encourage myself to see things in different ways – it is hard to explain but it was too painful to sometimes write it as if myself so I tried to tell myself I was writing about someone else. Despite that it was incredibly cathartic and healing for me to write this book and that is why the success of the book in terms of sales is an added bonus. Writing the book forced me into thinking carefully about past events, experiences and feelings. It encouraged me to face up to my own mistakes but also empowered me to accept me for who I really was. Even though the book was finished two years after coming out I feel like in some ways I was still not accepting my homosexuality because I had not really faced up to it. Yes I had told people I was gay but that was all to do with other people. I had not actually given myself any ‘me’ time to heal and reflect and look forward. Having to relive many of the more difficult times in my life enabled me to forgive myself for the mistakes I had made – mostly unknowingly and also to forgive others for their mistakes in not recognising my struggles during the most difficult times. But I also recognised through writing the book that our memory is a flawed at times and memories are very inaccurate and often changed to suit our current needs so I also accepted that the most important outcome would be to use the experience to look to the future and not focus on the past. The completion of the book led to total acceptance of myself, which is a wonderful result.

TNA: Finally, what is some of the most memorable feedback you’ve received from readers who’ve reached out to you after reading the book?

JJ: Every time I find the publishing industry a little frustrating I have a read through the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and it reminds me why it was so important that I shared my story. So many men talk about how the story resonates so strongly with their own lives and that gives them such piece of mind – knowing you are not the only one to have experienced such feelings or have gone through such challenges provides support and acceptance. Reading reviews that from across the world – Russia, India, America, Australia, Indonesia etc. is so incredibly rewarding. To know that something you have written is impacting on the lives of others.

The most memorable feedback was from a teenager in America, whom I am still in contact with now. He was one of the first to read the book and provide feedback. He was struggling with his own homosexuality and at the time had a girlfriend. He told me that as he read the book he saw his own life in front of him, He knew that if he did not say something now he would end up following a similar path to myself, and knowing the pain that had led to, he did not want this. On finishing the book he went straight downstairs and told his parents he was gay, and told his girlfriend. He was surprised by how supportive they were and two years on, he is now living with his boyfriend and extremely happy. To know that I prevented just one guy from some of the agony I faced, and that I brought to others, makes the whole experience worthwhile.

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Book coverBlurb: Denial, Deceit, Discovery is the heart-rending story based on true events in the life of Jack Ellis; a young Catholic man deep in denial of his own homosexuality. It tells the story of how his own denial and the denial of his loved ones forced him to conform to the straight world, resulting in his marriage to his high school sweetheart. After years of cruising gay porn sites, chatting online with endless guys and intimate encounters with close friends, Jack was pulled into a life of deceit with a string of sexual partners.

The story explains the pain and suffering of those around him as his secrets unfold and honesty rises up. The torture endured as Jack struggles to piece together the complex story of his own sexuality is truly moving. Escaping the shame, Jack flees to Bangkok with his gay lover where a much greater world of deceit and discovery awaits them both.

Denial, Deceit, Discovery will make you laugh, cry, cringe and blush as Jack’s story unfolds from a life of shame to one of hope and acceptance for homosexual men.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

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Author BioAbout the Author: Denial, Deceit, Discovery is a new work of fiction by J. James. Written in the style of a personal memoir, James tells the complex, engaging and moving coming out story of the book’s main character, Jack Ellis. Jack is a young Catholic man living in the UK who struggles mightily on the road to self-awareness. Jack’s life is inspired by many events experienced by the author, but the universal themes of honesty, personal growth and acceptance transcend one person’s story. Denial, Deceit, Discovery will make you laugh, cry, cringe and blush as Jack’s life evolves from shame and embarrassment, to hope and acceptance. It’s a wholly relatable tale that will speak to anyone who has struggled to understand an aspect of his or her identity.

After over a decade of teaching, educational management and administration, James needed to find an outlet to share his personal story. As a lifelong lover of literature and writing, James has dedicated his career to educating students, helping them develop the tools they’ll need to share their stories in the future.

His first manuscript was inspired by the response James received from the Catholic priest who officiated his marriage annulment. As part of the process, James was asked to submit a small document outlining his feelings about the events that culminated in the failure of his marriage. The priest commented that the piece was the most moving and impactful account he had ever read. He called it an “inspiration” to other men and women struggling with similar situations. After exploring many options, James realized that his story could help people to understand the complex issues facing gay men in denial – hopefully, helping to spare others from the heartache he and his loved ones experienced.

James currently lives and works in Southeast Asia. He enjoys the tropical climate, and the relaxed pace, which has provided him with the opportunity to continue developing ideas for his second novel.

Where to find the author: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Website

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Blowing Off Steam Blog Tour With Joy Lynn Fielding

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The Novel Approach welcomes Joy Lynn Fielding today on the Blowing Off Steam blog tour, and she’s here to tell us about a very special character in the book. She’s also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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TNA: Hi, Joy Lynn, I’m happy to be hosting you on your Blowing Off Steam blog tour.

JLF: Thanks so much for having me, Lisa—it’s lovely to be back here!

TNA: I couldn’t help but notice in the Product Warnings you’ve included a spider named Mabel in the book. Being a MAJOR arachnophobe, can I first just say, “Eeek!”? LOL. But now, I’d love to hear a bit more about Mabel.

JLF: Sorry to do that to you!  I’m an arachnophobe too, so Mabel’s appearance was as much a surprise to me as it was to poor Ryan.  She just turned up in Sam’s bathroom one morning. :)

TNA: Is she a pet? Why not a dog or cat? Why a spider?

JLF: She’s not actually Sam’s pet, although he’s very fond of her.  She just follows the (accursed) arachnid routine of being in the same place at the same time most days.  Not that I’ve been scarred by this, you understand.

It’s a very good question why Sam doesn’t have a pet. I think the possibility has never occurred to him, simply because he didn’t have one growing up. Sam sticks to his routines and habits because they’re where he finds comfort and safety, and he tends not to think outside of those.

TNA: Does Mabel play a significant role in the book?

JLF: She appears every now and then, keeping Ryan on his toes.  He’s not scared of spiders, because Ryan Saunders isn’t scared of anything. He just doesn’t like them.

Her role, which only became clear to me as I got further into writing the book, is to underline to Ryan the extent of Sam’s loneliness.  Sam has a surprisingly large number of casual acquaintances for someone as shy as he is, reflecting his uncle’s active social circle, the small-town atmosphere of Cardale, and the fact most people can see he’s a sweet guy, but he’s desperately lonely living on his own.  Even a spider is better than no company.

TNA: How will you convince me and my fellow arachnophobes she’s a sympathetic character?

JLF: Er….  Well, she doesn’t run around the place and turn up in unexpected places, and whenever she does appear, Sam scoops her up and puts her in the garden, safely out of the way, so I hope Ryan is the only person she actively traumatizes. 

Also, Sam loves her.

TNA: If you can think of anything else you’d like to say about Mabel, riff away! :)

JLF: There’s her gender for a start. :)  I have no idea how one sexes a spider and there is no way I was going to research that because it would have involved pictures!  Sam is convinced she’s female and I’m happy to take his word on that.

The thing that most intrigues me about the writing process is how inspiration works, and I’m still trying to work out how Mabel came into existence.  Perhaps my subconscious is trying to do something about my fear of spiders after all these years of letting it shape my reactions and choices (when buying my house, one of the reasons I turned down a sweet little Victorian cottage with open fireplaces in every room was because I knew it would be crawling with the things).  Or perhaps in the world in which Sam exists, he just needed that company for a while. 

For the benefit of my subconscious and any future characters who may be lurking, I’d like to make it clear that one spider in my books is quite enough, thank you very much.

I’d love to hear what other people think about spiders – or anything else, for that matter, if talking about them makes you uncomfortable. :)

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SMBlowingOffSteam_72lgBlurb: Two guys, a train, and lots of steam.

Sam Chancellor has been in love with the steam engine Old Bess since he was six years old. Well, maybe not literally, but even when he’s lost everything else in his life, he’s always had her. But now her place in his heart has been unexpectedly challenged. Her new driver, Ryan Saunders, is the embodiment of all Sam’s fantasies.

Ryan has written off Sam as just another geeky trainspotter—until the moment Ryan sees him without his usual shapeless hoodie and realizes that, for a nerd, Sam’s pretty built.

When Ryan overlooks Sam’s awkwardness long enough to suggest a hook-up, Sam seizes the opportunity—and Ryan—with both very eager hands. Finding common ground in their shared love of Bess, their time together is better than Sam ever dared dream.

But there’s a reason Ryan never talks about his past. And when Ryan’s job is threatened, Sam’s well-meaning intervention puts both Ryan and Bess in deadly danger.

Warning: Contains train geekery, bed-hogging, a hero with no experience and another with plenty to spare, and a spider called Mabel.

Buy Links: Samhain Publishing | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Author BioAbout the Author: Joy Lynn Fielding lives in a small English market town, where she indulges her passions for vintage aircraft, horse-riding and gardening (though not all at the same time).

Joy has a tendency to wax lyrical about the fascinating facts she discovers during her research for books. Thankfully she has a very patient Labrador who has a gift for looking interested in what she’s saying while he waits for the food to arrive.

Author Links: Blog | Facebook | Email

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: The Coming Clean Blog Tour With Silvia Violet

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Silvia Violet today on the Coming Clean blog tour. Enjoy the excerpt she’s offered to tease you just a bit, and then be sure to enter for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or All Romance eBooks gift card by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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ComingClean400x600Blurb: An unexpected inheritance lands Jeremy a large house and plenty of money to take a sabbatical from his job teaching poetry at a small college. He intends to sell the house and take off on a new path to discover what he wants out of life. Then he meets Connor. The attraction he feels to a man so different from himself is no less shocking than his change in financial circumstances, but Connor is in the closet and Jeremy wants a life lived out in the sun.

Connor is a former Force Recon Marine who runs a housecleaning business. When he’s hired to get Jeremy’s house market-ready, he’s startled by how attracted he is to his client despite their many differences. But his past, especially his final mission, weighs heavily on him. He’s not certain he can be the man Jeremy needs, but no man has ever made him want to take a risk like Jeremy does.

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

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Excerpt: Connor took a step toward him. “I’m gay.” He paused and Jeremy watched his chest rise with a slow inhale. “I’ve never said it out loud before, but I’m Connor McMurtry and I’m gay.”

Jeremy grabbed Connor’s hand and pulled until they were nearly touching. “Show me just how gay you are, Connor McMurtry.”

Connor’s look of pure hunger did shivery things to Jeremy’s insides. His bearing shifted as his confidence returned. Now his wide-legged, take-charge stance made him look every inch the Marine, but instead of being intimidating, it was the sexiest damn thing Jeremy had ever seen.

Connor took hold of Jeremy’s hips and brought their bodies together. Jeremy knew from the way Connor held him that he wasn’t going to be the dominant one in this encounter. Do you trust him? Should he when Connor might freak out again? And yet Connor had come over of his own free will. He’d humbled himself, apologized, and assumed Jeremy wouldn’t want him. And Jeremy was desperate to know how it would feel to have Connor inside him, driving deep, filling him up.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring. Come visit me at my website.

You can also connect with Silvia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Tour Dates & Stops:

18-May Prism Book Alliance | 19-May Cathy Brockman Romances Bayou Book Junkie | 20-May Angel Martinez | 21-May MM Good Book Reviews | 22-May 3 Chicks After Dark | 25-May Amanda C. Stone | 26-May Molly Lolly | 27-May Love Bytes | 28-May The Novel Approach | 29-May BFD Book Blog Parker Williams

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Love Spell Blog Tour With Mia Kerick

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Mia Kerick today on her Love Spell blog tour. Enjoy the mini-interview we did together, then be sure to enter for the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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TNA: Hi, Mia, it’s good to have you back for a visit.

Mia: Thank you. As always (I write a lot of books) I am thrilled to be here!!

TNA: Could you come up with a paragraph or two (or more) for us about your writing process?

Mia: I start the writing process by doing research on what is going to be the major theme of the book. This constitutesa good part of the hard work I conduct prior to the fun stuff, which is the creating of characters. (Character creation=frosting on the cupcake.) For Love Spell, my research focused on gender confusion. I had a concept in my mind of Chance César—a teenage boy who is quite in touch with his feminine side, even admitting he wishes, at times, that he were a girl. But he has no urge to physically transition to become a woman or even to live his life as a woman. Chance just wants to be all-girl sometimes, all-boy others, and a little bit of each in-between.

After researching the theme I will tackle, I spend time creating a rough version of a plot. This part is difficult and intense. For the most part, I just sit and think. I think about popular culture, events in the news, what kinds of things kids deal with everyday, current music, and music that spoke to me as a teenager. Themes of different song lyrics give me ideas, as do people I see in real life and issues I am confronted with on social media. Sometimes I even think about fairy tales to get plot ideas. This can feel like a desperate time for me until I have the plot idea, and then I feel AWESOME.

The next step in my writing process involves creating a very rough outline of the events that will take place in the story. I do not use a standard outline form, just a long rambling list.

And then the fun part—creating the characters. I take the mental image I have conceived and flesh it out fully. First I write a description of the character’s personality and appearance, very detailed, and then I search for visual images. This part is fun, but can be tough. I do not stop until I have a visual “YOU ARE MR. RIGHT” feeling about the image I have chosen for each character. My original mental image of Chance César was a Johnny Depp-as-a-pirate kind of guy-but with Edward Scissorhands hair in neon ORANGE. Heavy eyeliner included.

Time to start writing!!

TNA: Do you go into the writing of a book like Love Spell in a different mindset than you would, say, a book like Not Broken, Just Bent? Does the difference between writing a lighthearted book and one with a weightier theme affect your mood away from the computer, or are you able to leave your emotions at the keyboard when you step away?

Mia: Love Spell was so much fun to write, from the very birth of its concept. Similar to my mental preparation for writing The Red Sheet, I told myself that, as an author, I was just going to let myself go. I would write whatever I wanted—I’d break rules. And let my sense of humor show. Some of my most recent releases, like Here Without You, for example, required me to stay within a rigid structure. Each of the three young men in Here Without You had speech patterns and behaviors and pasts to which I had to stay consistent. Inclination involved two boys with a very certain mindset, that of devout Christians, and as such, they did not veer much from their life goals. Although they were learning and changing, I was to some extent restricted by these characters’ well-defined convictions.

Chance is “totes” different. He is unpredictable and wears no label. (He claims to hate labels but is constantly searching for one that would fit him, in terms of gender.) Writing about Chance was extremely freeing for me. And like I said, it was fun. I brainstormed creative use of language with my college-age daughter and we had a lot of laughs as I chose Chance’s unique style of verbal expression. I spent a lot of time on Urban Dictionary finding hip ways of saying everyday things.

Not Broken, Just Bent, on the other hand, and many of my other YA books, are, as you mentioned in the question, weighty in theme and plot. But althoughLove Spell’s plot is humorous and outwardly light-hearted, it contains a heavy theme, as well. Chance is dealing with gender confusion, and though he is an extremely upbeat sort of person, it drags him down. The difference between Chance and many of my other YA characters is how he deals with conflict—by spitting at it rather than avoiding it.

I do feel differently when I write humor than when I write drama. Humor fills my heart with a sense of joy—cheesy, but true. Drama fills my mind with anticipation, because I write with a constant sense of waiting for the moment when the paths of the two young lovers finally cross, and then for the moment when they meld together. Both are satisfying to me, but in completely different ways.

Thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog today! I hope everybody checks out Love Spell—a romantic comedy with an inner lining of poignancy!

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PhotoBlurb: Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.

As far back as he can remember, Chance has been “caught between genders.” (It’s quite a touchy subject; so don’t ask him about it.) However, he does not question his sexual orientation. Chance has no doubt about his gayness—he is very much out of the closet at his rural New Hampshire high school, where the other students avoid the kid they refer to as “girl-boy.”

But at the local Harvest Moon Festival, when Chance, the Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue, the Pumpkin Carving King, sparks fly. So Chance sets out, with the help of his BFF, Emily, to make “Jazz” Donahue his man.

An article in an online women’s magazine, Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You (with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure), becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.

Quirky, comical, definitely flamboyant, and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen.

Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Mia KerickAbout the Author: Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, CoolDudes Publishing, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Stop by Mia’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind. Find Mia on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Amazon.

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Hush Blog Tour With Jude Sierra

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The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome author Jude Sierra today on the Hush blog tour. I asked Jude to chat a bit about the title of the book, so enjoy the conversation and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $25 Gift Card at Interlude Press.

Good luck!

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TNA: Hi, Jude, I’m so happy to have you at The Novel Approach for a visit on your Hush tour.

JS: Thank you so much for having me, I’m happy to be here!

TNA: Speaking of Hush, I’d love for you tell us a little bit about the title of the book. Was the book titled something else while you were writing it, or did you always know it would be called Hush? If so, what was the working title?

Hush as a title was a collaborative effort involving the Interlude team and myself in a hysterically funny phone call. The working title for the book was Dark Horse, because the origin of the book came from the Katy Perry song by that name. It never actually fit any theme in the book, it was just a placeholder. I am terrible at titles, and I rarely title things until I’ve completed them. Re-reading a work often generates an idea, but in the case of Hush, it just wasn’t happening. I think we’d all become so used to calling it Dark Horse, it was hard to imagine anything else. At one point during the conference call we became so desperate that our promotions director actually performed a dramatic reading of the lyrics to the song. That’s a moment I’ll never forget.

In the end, I think Hush was one of several ideas we were tossing around; at first we all kind of rejected it, but the more we talked about it, it just made sense.

TNA: How did you decide it was the perfect title for the book?

JS: Hush worked in little and big ways. The cover gives us one of them: a tryst in the library stacks at the university they attend. There’s a lot of that furtive, public sex in the book. Partly because it’s hot, but more because it creates a perfect set up for the dynamic they both enjoy — they both get a rush from the danger that requires a level of secrecy, but also the urgency they bring out in each other that makes it hard to stay quiet.

But more importantly than the sex, Hush is a book about secrets: ones the characters keep from each other, the ones they keep for themselves. Secrecy is one of the rules Wren sets down as a part of their game, and as the book progresses, one secret gives way to more, uncovers more, exposes more.

TNA: What’s the significance of the title in relationship to the book/characters?

JS: The secret Wren asks Cam to keep seems simple at first — that no one can know. The secrecy Wren asks for isn’t only for a specific sexual dynamic though: it is a part of a complicated set of rules Wren keeps for himself, both to protect his partner, but himselfas well. It becomes clear in the course of the book how much of himself Wren tries to keep from Cam, and how hard Cam fights to keep his true feelings as they develop from Wren. Through the book, we see how influential the secrets Wren is keeping — about himself, about his motivations, about his past — are in his decisions and choices, and how deeply informed they are by his fears. We see the toll complicated secrets can be, not only on Wren and Cam, but on their friendships and selves. The more tangled things get, the harder it is for either of them to keep secrets from each other.Hush covered the themes in this story so perfectly; once we thought it through, it became clear that it was absolutely the right title for the story.

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HUSH 900px COVER-FrontBlurb: Wren is one of “the gifted”—a college sophomore with the power to compel others’ feelings and desires. He uses his power as a game of sexual consent until Cameron, a naïve freshman, enters his life. As Cameron begins to understand his sexuality and gain confidence under Wren’s tutelage, Wren grows to recognize new and unexpected things about himself. Can their game become a relationship as the power shifts from teacher to student?

Buy Links: Interlude Press | Amazon

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Author BioAbout the Author: Jude Sierra first began writing poetry as a child in her home country of Brazil. Still a student of the form, she has expanded her repertoire with her first novel, Hush.

She began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007, and in 2011 began writing in online fan communities, where her stories have thousands of readers.

Where to find the author: Website | Facebook Author Page | Twitter: @judesierra | Goodreads

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Love Complicated Blog Tour With Teegan Loy

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Teegan Loy today on the Love Complicated blog tour. Teegan chats a bit today about the world of sports and gay athletes, and she’s also offering the chance for one reader to win an e-copy of a book from her backlist, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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Thanks for having me.

People always say write what you know and the stories you want to read. Well, I love sports, both competing and watching. It’s only natural for me to want to set my stories in the world of sports. Also I’m attracted to the physically fit body and all the work that goes into becoming a professional athlete.

Another thing that attracts me to the world of the pro athlete is the dynamics in the locker room and on the playing field. The camaraderie of teammates and how the best teams seem to be operate like a family.

Love Complicated is a bit different because the main character’s (Jalen) love interest is a tennis player, so there are no teammates. This story is about exploring how someone deals with newfound fame and a future career. Jalen worries constantly about the impact of Austin having a boyfriend. He doesn’t want to hurt Austin’s chances of playing the game he loves and making money from product endorsements. He feels every choice he makes could have an impact on Austin. The choice to “come out” or ignore the rumors is always hanging over their heads.

The idea of an athlete having to “come out” intrigues me. I don’t understand why it’s necessary to know who an athlete has sex with. If one athlete is forced to tell, everyone should have to spill his or her secrets. Who a person sleeps with has nothing to do with their talents. If the athlete chooses to let everyone know who they are dating, great, but don’t make it an issue.

Find joy in watching the professional athlete compete and don’t worry about who they are sleeping with. It has nothing to do with how well they shoot a puck, hit a tennis ball, or throw a football.

I sincerely hope one day being gay or bi or straight or whatever, will have no bearing in the sports world. Really, it shouldn’t have a bearing anywhere.

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LoveComplicatedFSBlurb: Life is all about making choices. Some are complicated. Some are simple. But for eighteen-year-old Jalen Marten, none are easy. Jalen has managed to stay invisible for his entire high school career. He has a small group of friends, and it’s enough for him. He doesn’t want or crave attention from his peers. All Jalen wants is to survive high school.

Austin Suter is the hot, talented tennis player who has the entire school bowing at his feet. Girls routinely throw themselves at him, and boys like Jalen stay the hell out of his way. Austin is destined for greatness on the world stage of professional tennis.

The kiss between them wasn’t supposed to happen. Falling in love definitely hadn’t been part of Jalen’s plan.
And when Austin turns pro, Jalen begins to realize that the choices he makes will affect Austin’s life. One wrong choice and Austin’s career could be over before it really begins. Jalen is not sure where he fits, or even if he fits at all in Austin’s life. But the more complicated things become, the less the idea of being apart appeals. Love should simplify things, not complicate them.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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74336_115486038514744_7475434_nAbout the Author: Teegan Loy began writing a long time ago. Notebooks filled with ideas were stacked around the house. One day, she sat down with renewed ambition and something fantastic happened; she completed a story. (unbelievable, but true) Now most of her time is spent writing, but she takes an occasional break to go to the movies, where she imagines her stories on the big screen. She also enjoy watching hockey (love, love hockey) filling her iPod with music, and driving her daughter around town (amended…around the country) to various activites.

Where to find Teegan: Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Go Your Own Way Blog Tour With Zane Riley

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Zane Riley today on the Go Your Own Way blog tour. For Zane’s visit, I asked him to chat with us about “Bad Boys”. Just what is it that makes them so irresistible? Enjoy his answer and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $25 Gift Card at Interlude Press.

Good luck!

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Bad boys: You can’t live with them, you can… probably can live without them.

A lot of people do. They live inside the lines and in their boxes and houses without ever second guessing themselves. For some people, that life is enough. They follow every guideline and rule placed before them and never have a want or need to question it. And for others, they do nothing else. Bad boys can come to life in a single instance of rebellion—throwing their food at someone, dumping the finger paints on the floor, or dropping a cherry bomb in a mailbox. Sometimes they’re forced into a world where they have to fend for themselves at a young age. Others just think the jacket and attitude make them look cool.

A bad boy represents the one thing we’re always encouraged not to do: Break the rules. They challenge what’s set before them. That’s an appealing idea in many cultures for reasons different to the individual. But every culture comes with a set of instructions, not on a piece of paper, but through actions and words of encouragement from the people around you. Bad boys take those instructions and stomp them into the dirt.

They’re a life away from the moral obligations you’re raised to adhere to throughout your childhood. In a modern western culture, that bad boy takes a fairly distinct shape: dark, brooding, handsome, a rebel without a cause with a leather jacket and a smirk. James Dean is a popular icon for the role. Han Solo is another and my personal favorite.

It’s sexy to be bad, to live both outside the law and for yourself. But there’s a balance that needs to happen as well. Every bad boy needs a redeeming quality—one little characteristic (that evolves into several) that makes people like them. They need a kind heart. It might be buried and chipped, even cracked like a window that’s been shot up, but their heart, ultimately, must be kind. They can be crass and crude and misguided, but they can’t be cruel. Otherwise, their counterpart, the “good” character will want very little to do with them. A balance needs to be maintained between them to accompany a slow revealing of the bad boy’s kindness that builds with their relationship.

One of the greatest parts of writing such a relationship is the little moments where all the sparks between them erupt into a little plume of flame, a true flame and not the bursts of fire that come with heated attraction. It should be something real and lasting, a moment that alters a life forever. They can spend so much time despising one another and never take a moment to stop and know each other, that when it happens, it’s stunning. It knocks the breath right out of you when you see two such characters realize what’s so obvious from your vantage point. Every person is more than what you see or hear. It’s in what they say and don’t, how they breathe and sleep, whether or not they wipe their mouth on a napkin or their sleeves. That’s the greatest moment in these stories, as a writer, when you take characters that appear so opposite on the outside, and bring them together under the surface. It’s almost as if they’re meeting for the first time all over again. In a way they are. Every second spend learning something new about another is like starting all over again.

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GYOW 900px COVER-FrontBlurb: Will Osborne couldn’t wait to put the roller coaster ride of his public education behind him. Having suffered bullying and harassment since grade school, he planned a senior year that would be simple and quiet before going away to college and starting fresh. But when a reform school transfer student struts into his first class, Will realizes that the thrill ride has only just begun.

Lennox McAvoy is an avalanche. He’s crude, flirtatious, and the most insufferable, beautiful person Will’s ever met. From his ankle monitor to his dull smile, Lennox appears irredeemable. But when Will’s father falls seriously ill, Will discovers that there is more to Lennox than meets the eye.

Buy Links: Interlude Press | Amazon US

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Author BioAbout the Author: Zane Riley wrote his first work of fan fiction in the fourth grade, a Star Wars story in a notebook recently unearthed from the back of a closet.

Zane is a transgender writer and recent recipient of a degree in English: Creative Writing from the University of Mary Washington. Go Your Own Way is his first novel.

In his spare time, Zane is a musician and frustrated fan of the Baltimore Orioles.

Find Zane At: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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