Giveaways, Rick R. Reed

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Couple Next Door Blog Tour with Rick R. Reed

Rick Banner

Hi, Rick, thanks so much for being with us today to chat about your new novel The Couple Next Door. It’s always great to have you here for a visit.

And it’s always great to be here! I’m so excited to share my new release with you guys and your readers! THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR is certainly a roller coaster of emotions—mysterious, romantic, thrilling, and ultimately a love story about overcoming almost impossible odds to be together.

There are two things that leap out at us readers in the blurb for the book, the first being that it deals with the subject of domestic violence. Do you feel that domestic abuse of men is more prevalent than we may realize, and how did you come to the decision to tackle such a weighty subject?

I do feel that domestic abuse of men is a very real and prevalent thing. Studies show that it occurs as often in LGBT relationships as it does in straight ones.

As I’ve said before, when I write a book, I am completely a pantser. What that means, if you don’t know, is that I write pretty much from the seat of my pants with a general idea of the story and the plot arc. It’s my characters that really take me on a journey. When they become real in my head, which is a necessity for me, they consistently lead me to new and unexpected places, which is part of the joy of creation for me.

With THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, my first image of the two men who would become my love interests in the story was one of domestic violence. Often it’s a simple image that comes to me and shapes how I write the rest of the book. In this case, I first had the idea of an almost light romantic comedy opening, when my main character, Jeremy, comes home from yet another disappointing date. Then I do a 180 and throw the reader into shocking territory—he sees a man flinging another man down the front stairs of Jeremy’s apartment building. Here’s the scene:

I open the front door, and that’s when everything changes. My life turns upside down. I go from bored discontent to panic in a split second. 

The first thing I hear is someone shouting “No!” in an anguished voice. I look up from the lobby to see two figures on the staircase above, on the second-floor landing. One is a guy who looks menacing and so butch he could pose for a Tom of Finland poster. An aura of danger radiates from him. Aside from his imposing and muscular frame, he’s even wearing the right clothes—tight, rolled jeans and a black leather biker jacket with a chain snaking out from beneath one of the epaulets. His high and tight buzzed hair gives him a military—and mean—air. He has his hands on the shoulders of a guy who looks a bit younger and much slighter, making me want to call up the stairs, “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” The smaller guy, blond and clad only in a pair of pajama bottoms, struggles with his attacker, looking terrified. Their movements, clumsy and rough, would be comical if they weren’t so scary. The smaller guy is panting and batting ineffectually at the bigger one. 

“Please! No! Don’t!” the smaller guy manages to get out, his voice close to hysteria. 

I have never seen either of these men before. In fact, the whole scene has the quality of the surreal, a dream. The danger and conflict pulsing down the stairs makes my own heart rate and respiration accelerate, causing feelings of panic to rise within me. 

And then the worst happens. The big butch guy shoves the smaller one hard, and all at once he’s tumbling heavily down the stairs toward me. 

The fall is graceless, and it looks like it hurts. It’s over so fast that I’m left gasping. 

I look up to see the leather-jacket guy sneer down at his mate, lying crumpled and crying at my feet, and then turn sharply on his heel to go back into a second-floor apartment that had been vacant yesterday. He slams the door. The sound of the deadbolt sliding into place is like the report of a shotgun. Both slam and lock resound like thunderclaps, echoing in the tile lobby, punctuation to the drama and trauma of this short scene. 

I switch into Good Samaritan mode and drop to my knees at the sniveling, crumpled mess of a man lying practically at my feet.

That scene brought out the nurturer in me, as well as my main character, Jeremy. I hope it brings out the same sense of protectiveness in readers and will make them want to root for Shane, however mysterious he may be on the surface.

It was interesting for me to get inside the heads of all three players in this triangle of abuse, the protector, Jeremy, the protected, Shane (and he has all the low self-esteem earmarks of the abused, often blaming himself for the abuse instead of his abuser), and the man with whom Shane lives, a very enigmatic figure to say the least.

How does all of this plays out and how it results in a very poignant and real love story? I leave that for the reader to discover…

The second thing that stands out, then, is that Cole may display signs of multiple personality disorder—or, at least he’s more than just Cole. Was it fun to write a character who presents so atypical in personality? How easy or difficult was it to get in Cole’s headspace, and what did you do to prepare yourself for letting loose your darker side?

It was really interesting writing a story that had elements of multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder, as it’s called today. It was fun, in an evil way, to write Cole/John/Vera because the character is so multi-faceted and so enigmatic. Is he good but damaged? Or is he evil and plotting? These are the kind of questions I think readers will be scratching their heads and asking about him as they wind their way down the twisted pathways of my story. There are plenty of switches and shocking revelations, so that once a reader is comfortable with who they think Cole/John/Vera might be, I pull the rug out from under them. That might seem cruel, but this is the kind of book I like to read—one that has an element of romance, but one that keeps me turning the pages so that I can discover what happens next. I think readers will be surprised by the twists and turns the story takes, especially where Cole/John/Vera is concerned. As the tag line says on the cover, “Things aren’t always as they seem.”

This would be a good time to give a shout out to readers and reviewers and plead with them: PLEASE DO NOT REVEAL ANY SPOILERS. This book, more than any other I’ve written, has unanticipated twists and turns that I hope readers can come to without expectation, so they can have the appropriate emotional reaction.

As far as letting loose my dark side…. Well, it doesn’t get nearly enough play. When I write, this is my chance to let out my twisted side, the one people who’ve met me are always surprised that I have. After all, I’m so quiet, mild-mannered, and a real sweetheart. Right?

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The Couple Next DoorBLURB: With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.

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

DividersRick R. ReedAbout the Author: Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction.  Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

Where to find the authorWeb || Blog || Facebook || Twitter || E-mail || Goodreads Link

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THE GIVEAWAY

Enter to win an e-copy of Rick R. Reed’s TRICKS

TricksBlurb: Tricks can mean many things: sex partners, deceptions, even magic—or maybe all three.

Arliss is a gorgeous young dancer at Tricks, the hottest club in Chicago’s Boystown. Sean is the classic nerd, out of place in Tricks, but nursing his wounds from a recent breakup. When the two spy each other, magic blooms.

But this opposites-attract tale does not run smooth. What happens when Arliss is approached by one of the biggest porn producers in the business? Can he make his dreams of stardom come true without throwing away the only real love he’s ever known? This question might not even matter if the mysterious producers realize their dark intentions.

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Tour Stops and Dates:

7-Dec
The Novel Approach

8-Dec
Prism Book Alliance

9-Dec
MM Good Book Reviews

10-Dec

BFD Book Blog

11-Dec
Havan Fellows
Inked Rainbow Reads

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann, Sarah Masters

Review: Outcast Cowboys by Sarah Masters

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Title: Outcast Cowboys

Author: Sarah Masters

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 202 Pages

At a Glance: I was not disappointed in this page-turner at all.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: What’s His Passion?

You can run but you can’t hide. Problems have a habit of following you, even if it’s only inside your head.

Ross decides to start a new life away from the grim belly of London, England, unable to stomach being a cop any longer. He tells himself he’s moving miles away to find himself a bed partner, but he’s lying. He has to. Facing up to the real reason he’s leaving isn’t something he can handle. His last undercover job proved too much—his life was at risk—and if he stays in London he’ll likely end up dead. Nightmares plague him, his subconscious unable to switch the past off. So he moves to a ranch in America, thinking the new surroundings and different lifestyle will help him to heal—and to forget. What he soon realizes is he’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire…

Joe’s passion—that of caring for the horses—is the only thing that keeps him sane. He’s a surly man, and for good reason—a reason he hasn’t told a soul. Folks think he’s mean and unapproachable and suspect him of committing murder. More than once. Locals assume that Joe got let off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Joe lets people think what they will. He’s done with their speculation and sly looks.

When Ross and Joe meet, tension is rife. The air between them prickles with animosity as well as sexual tension. Both have a past they can’t get over. Both have skeletons in their closets they wish would turn to dust. And both have to make a decision. Can they cast their fears aside and trust each other, or have the terrors they’ve experienced ruined them for love?

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Review: Sarah Masters is one of my favorite authors, so I decided to see where she was going with Outcast Cowboys since cowboys and ranches are not usually what Ms. Masters writes. I was not disappointed in this page-turner at all. Outcast Cowboys is heartrending, with a dark psychological feel, and is a little eerie too, as death seems to be a part of this ranch—along with a horse that has a mysterious role. The book does have a warning about non-consensual sex, but it also contains several suicides, which might be disturbing to readers as well.

When the story begins, we meet Ross Jones arriving in America to start a new life on a ranch—which is extremely different from being a cop in England. As a former police officer, he doesn’t scare easily, and he’s out spoken and suspicious. As the story goes on, it takes us into Ross’s world: him working undercover, the intolerance he faces because he’s gay, and the realization he’s never felt safe. He fights to face his demons too.

Ross arrives at the ranch and meets Grenadier, Joe, and Limmy, and learns of a fourth brother, Mike. The brothers are hiding terrible secrets, and Joe is always at the center of all the trouble at the ranch. Jealousy, threats, guilt and harassment, it was heartbreaking to see brothers treat each other so badly.

When Ross first meets Joe, Joe’s rude and mean. The more we learn about him and his brothers, we see Ross’s feelings change towards Joe. Ross did have his doubts about Joe at times, but he also defended him, struggling with his cop-side and wanting to do the right thing, especially when he begins to fear for Joe’s life and comes up with a plan to take him out of this ugly environment.

l feared for both Ross and Joe throughout the story, especially Joe because of his brothers. Sometimes I even doubted Joe’s innocence. And even towards the end of this story, tragedy prevailed, but Ms. Masters did leave me feeling that Ross and Joe had an HEA and found closure in their lives.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

You can buy Outcast Cowboys here:

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3 Stars, Driven Press, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lisa, Rodd Clark

Review: Rubble and the Wreckage by Rodd Clark

Title: Rubble and the Wreckage (A Gabriel Church Tale: Book One)

Author: Rodd Clark

Publisher: Driven Press

Pages/Word Count: 254 Pages

At a Glance: Not a bad story, but doesn’t live up to its fullest potential.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Gabriel Church knows you can’t take a life without first understanding just how feeble life is, how tentative and weak it stands alone. If you desire murder, you hold a life in your hand. Whether you release it to grant life or grip tighter to end it, it is at your command and discretion. Gabriel is a serial killer with a story he wants told.

Christian Maxwell studied abnormal psychology in college but chose instead to focus on a career in writing. His background comes in handy when he thinks of writing about a serial killer. He can’t think of anyone more qualified to write the story of Gabriel Lee Church, and do so in the murderer’s own words. It’s been done before, but never with a killer who has yet to be captured or convicted.

There was never anything more than a gentleman’s understanding between the two men that Christian would record Gabriel’s life story. The killer did not ask for his complicity in any crimes, nor did he ever ask for his silence. Christian’s interest in the man, though, is fast becoming something more than academic. When the writer and his subject become unexpected friends and then lovers, the question remains: What is Gabriel’s endgame . . . and why does he want his story told?

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Review: The mind and motives of a serial killer are rich soil from which an author may reap myriad plots. The killer, after all, is the ultimate antihero—immoral, unrepentant, an insane man skirting social norms while participating in the day-to-day lives of unsuspecting humans. This while he studies and bides his time, the predator awaiting a moment of inspiration and a viable opportunity to present itself so he may successfully cull an unwitting sheep from the herd of victims.

Abnormal psychology and atypical behavior are the norm in Rodd Clark’s Rubble and the Wreckage, a book with a fantastic premise and a wealth of suspense that should have been waiting to unfold within its pages. There are no definably sane characters found in this novel, other than the possibility of it being Gabriel Church’s victims, but amongst the living, they are each suffering from bouts of psychopathy, sociopathy, or simply display a disturbing penchant toward obsessive bouts of fantasy.

Christian Maxwell is the author who, through feats of investigative prowess and deductive reasoning, has discovered the identity of this book’s antagonist, Church, a prolific serial killer. There may be some suspension of disbelief required to accept Maxwell has done what neither local authorities nor the FBI have been able to accomplish; Church having admitted to committing some forty murders across state lines, yet eluding capture. Christian, however, tracks Gabriel Church down in Seattle and sets out to interview the man, thus hoping to collect enough material to pen the ultimate biographical account of a killer, in that killer’s own words, while he remains at large and unfettered by the legal system.

As is expected with a premise such as this, there are questions raised, the most significant perhaps being Christian’s legal and ethical obligation where Gabriel’s crimes and identity are concerned. This is addressed in a couple of ways—the first being Christian’s own admitted antisocial personality, which allows him the leeway to behave other than how we’d expect; though, to his credit, he does suffer pangs of doubt and conscience from time to time. The second is Church’s own charisma and magnetism to which Christian, who had up to then been portrayed as asexual, succumbs as the two men spend more time together. When the question of God comes into play during the interview process, the names Christian, Gabriel (man of God), and the obvious Church all play cleverly into the story’s plot as well, as the religious motif contrasts the ultra-secular behavior of these characters, also juxtaposing quite nicely Gabriel’s justification for doing what he does.

Of course, as Christian and Church delve into a sexual relationship, the chemistry and composition of the biographer/killer relationship changes as well, bringing along with it the expected complications and questions, the most complex being what sort of a future can these men possibly have together, regardless of whether or not Christian’s book is published? Will Gabriel quit killing for Christian, or will Christian deign to accept his lover is a mass murderer? This case in point provides for the greatest of conflicts and ultimately, would be the saboteur of any sort of relationship.

There is a lot to sink one’s mental chops into in this novel, much of which I enjoyed, but where I feel this book fails itself is in the execution. The third person omniscient narration offers a great deal of telling but not much showing throughout. All the murderous events being recounted in hindsight, told in third person rather than in the first in Gabriel’s own words, leaves the reader with the unfortunate byproduct of a peripheral view of the crime scenes. The result of this detached delivery, in what could have been a quite chilling narration, is no more effective in eliciting an emotional response to the events as they occurred than if one were reading a newspaper article about the crimes weeks, months, or years after they’d occurred—somewhat dry and rote.

Sadly, this same sense of detachment plagues the development of these characters and the relationship between Christian and Gabriel as well, again leaving the reader a spectator of the events as they’re being told rather than our being drawn into the privacy and intimacy of their growing bond by being made privy to more dialogue rather than an extensive narrative prose. This issue coupled with the apparent lack of a good solid editing to smooth transitions, eliminate grammatical errors, and do away with extraneous or repetitious content which neither advanced the plot nor further developed the characters were each a detriment to this novel’s delivery.

As the dénouement of Rubble and the Wreckage approaches, the snake in the tree of knowledge is introduced and becomes the metaphorical apple of temptation upon which Church feeds. This particular character appears every bit as atypical as either Church or Christian, fantasizing a meet-cute with Church, then displaying a stalker level of behavior which placed her dead-center on target as a convenient means of climactic catalyst for the two men. I must say this character felt more a caricature than a portent of conflict at times but did provide a viable means for the author to wind down to the end of this novel, and was also the perfect method for allowing Church to display his “Scorpion” nature to Christian’s “Frog”, which I enjoyed.

Rubble and the Wreckage is labeled the first book in the Gabriel Church series. As this book seems to have concluded quite decisively, I’m not sure where the next will go, but there’s a wealth of chills and horror which could be tapped into with this character. I can only say I hope it’s mined more effectively in the books to come. Overall, this wasn’t a bad novel, not by any stretch, but, as I see it, simply didn’t live up to its fullest potential.

TNA_Signature_Lisa






You can buy Rubble and the Wreckage here:

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Carole Cummings, DSPP's Genre Talk, Rick R. Reed

DSPP Presents: Genre Talk With Carole Cummings and Rick R. Reed

DSP Publications

Hullo, all! Since Lisa has yet to bar the doors of The Novel Approach, I’m here today with DSP Publications author Rick R. Reed to talk about suspense and serial killers and anonymous hookups. But all in a good way! (…Wait, is there a good way to talk about serial killers? 0_o Eh, Rick will figure it out.)

But first, let’s take a quick look at what Rick has in store for us with his new release, IM:

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IM-400x600The Internet is the new meat market for gay men. Now a killer is turning the meat market into a meat wagon.

One by one, he’s killing them. Lurking in the digital underworld of Men4HookUpNow.com, he lures, seduces, and charms, reaching out through instant messages to the unwary. When the first body surfaces, openly gay Chicago Police Department detective Ed Comparetto is called in to investigate. At the scene, the young man who discovered the body tells him the story of how he found his friend. But did this witness play a bigger role in the murder than he’s letting on?

For Comparetto, this encounter is the beginning of a nightmare—because this witness did more than just show up at the scene of the crime; he set the scene.

Comparetto is on a journey to discover the truth—before he loses his career, his boyfriend, his sanity… his life. Because in this killer’s world, IM doesn’t stand for instant message… it stands for instant murder.

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Carole: Thanks for being here with us, Rick. How about we kick things off with the basics: tell us about your genre.

Rick: Thriller, suspense, horror…I think there are many overlaps here (even with mystery) and they all fascinate me. I think IM falls as much into the psychological suspense category as it does the thriller category. Either way, the book (and the genre) are marked by escalating peril (suspense) and, usually a sense of dread. What should keep people turning the pages in any good thriller is an investment in the characters, so you need to keep reading to discover what happens next.

Carole: Why M/M?

Rick: I write M/M or gay fiction because I’m a gay man myself. I have an investment in telling the stories of my “people” in a way that I hope is entertaining, thought-provoking and, more often than not, touching.

Carole: I’m sure your fans would say your work is all those things, Rick. So tell us about this release in particular. Tell us about IM.

Rick: It’s been a long journey with IM, because this is its third edition. It was originally published in 2007 as a paperback by the Quest imprint of Regal Crest Enterprises. The book struck a chord because it plays on both the fear and excitement of anonymous online hookups, a form of meeting up that continues to grow. This new edition is, if I may say so, the most awesome edition. Starting with the arresting and gorgeous cover design by Reese Dante, the book has been thoroughly re-edited, so I think this is the best possible version of IM for readers.

Carole: IM is being published through DSP Publications, Dreamspinner Press’s imprint for nonromance genre novels. Tell us about the relationship in IM and why it doesn’t fit the accepted definition of Romance in the M/M genre.

Rick: I was thrilled that one reviewer recently compared the terror in IM to that found in The Silence of the Lambs, one of my favorite thriller/horror tales. I suppose IM fits better at DSP Publications because of the escalating suspense and sense of dread that defines the plot arc. We have one twisted serial killer at the heart of things—and a compelling mystery: is this killer even alive? Or was he murdered himself? The romantic aspect of the story is strong (it’s between the Chicago cop investigating the case and the love interest he finds along the way—a librarian who helps him with more than just research). Because the suspense of the story is so predominant, the romance naturally takes a back seat, so I think that’s why IM is such a splendid fit for the new imprint.

Carole: Okay, you’ve told us about the journey of IM’s publication. Now tell us about the evolution of the story. What was its earliest incarnation as a concept and when did it begin to take the form of IM?

Rick: It occurred to me, when I was younger and single and guilty myself of doing a little hooking up online how anonymous it all was. How you could, on many of these sites, interact via the site with instant messages and in no time at all, have a stranger at your door. While that stranger could be key to all sorts of earthly delights, he could also be your worst nightmare—and thus, a story was born. Add to that the fact that these online connections are difficult to track, and you have an almost perfect crime scenario—something very tempting for a psycho killer.

Carole: In today’s online/high tech world, a plot like this would seem to have such broad appeal, whether in mainstream or gay lit. circles. Why did you feel this story needed to be told with the M/M dynamic?

Rick: I think that’s fairly obvious. While I’m sure online hooking up takes place all the time in the straight community and even the lesbian community, I think it’s pretty safe to say that it’s nowhere more prevalent than in the gay male community. It’s that two-sided coin of risk/excitement versus danger/peril that, I think, makes the story work particularly well with gay men as antagonists and protagonists.

Carole: So, besides the obvious Awesome book, you’ve gotta read this! every author hopes a reader gets from their book, what’s the one thing you’d like to see readers take away from IM?

Rick: I think one thing people have told me, over and over, is that IM made them think twice about hooking up online. You just never know, with such anonymity, what you might be getting yourself into. You could end up with a future lover, future fuck buddy, future husband…or having no future at all. It’s the chance you take when you roll the dice online.

Carole: Excellent advice, Rick. Thanks for chatting with us today, and happy hookup—er, I mean best of luck on your release! :D

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Rick R. ReedRick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction.Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

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Buy IM now in ebook, paperback and Kindle.

Follow Rick through his website, his blog, or through Facebook and/or Twitter.

Join us next time on Genre Talk when Andrew Q. Gordon will come bearing yet more gifts!

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Giveaways, Joseph Lance Tonlet, Self-Published

Guest Post and Giveaway: Brothers LaFon by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Brothers LaFon - JLT

The Novel Approach is please to welcome author Joseph Lance Tonlet today, on his Brothers LaFon blog tour. Enjoy Joseph’s guest post, then be sure to leave a comment for the chance to win a paperback copy of Grif’s Toy: Tease and Denial Book One (US Residents Only), or a $10 Amazon Gift Card (International Residents).

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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The Allure of Psychopaths

One doesn’t have to look far to find a famous fictional psychopath. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, Sherlock Holmes from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond from Casino Royale are just a few. And with each of them, we find ourselves intrigued, if not downright attracted to them.

Sure, the fictional world is conducive to this intrigue and attraction; if the characters weren’t interesting then the books and movies that featured them wouldn’t be nearly as successful as they are. I often find the characteristics they frequently share—the same ones that firmly define them as societal outcasts—utterly appealing. These characteristics, according to Psychology Today, include:

• Egocentric
• Lack of guilt
• Grandiose
• Lack of empathy
• Shallow emotions
• Impulsive
• Need for excitement
• Antisocial behavior

As a writer, what more could I creatively ask for? The above short list opened doors of nearly limitless possibilities.

Jeremiah, one of the two main characters of Brothers LaFon, my latest novelette, is unquestionably a psychopath—and he was an utter joy to write.

In this scene excerpt below, Alexander has posed the single question to Jeremiah that he longs for an answer to: Why? Jeremiah responds,

“I know I hurt you—that I intend to hurt you—and it makes me feel good to hear your screams and pleas, to see the blood and scars. But your pain, what it means to you, it has no effect on me; I don’t feel anything about it in regards to you as a person. I don’t feel…empathy, Alexander.”

His tone was serious but honest and nonthreatening. Alex decided to push his luck a bit more.

“B-but, you know it’s w-wrong, what you do to me, right?”

“I know it’s not what other people consider right, yes…but, it does feel right to me.”

Alex gave a jerky nod of understanding but said nothing more.

Damn! Given a character like that—one who feels no regard toward others, and only thinks of his own needs—again, the possibilities were staggeringly endless. Add into the mix that Jeremiah and Alexander are brothers, one gay and one straight, and my creative juices were on overload.

Of course, I had to decide how I was going to present Jeremiah. In the end, I tried to write him as honestly and non-judgmentally as I could. Indeed, I attempted to simply tell his story as it was. Hopefully, if I was successful, the story places the reader in a difficult position. Jeremiah—although undoubtedly heinous—is a person with deep-seated needs. His primary need is Alexander. It’s my hope that the common need most of us share, to have a connection with a special someone, makes Jeremiah not only relatable, but perhaps on some level, even likable. And for some readers, harboring an attraction to a psychopath can be…conflicting. *wink*

Without question, if you choose to pickup Brothers LaFon, it’s my deepest desire that you find yourself asking an uncomfortable question: “Do I loathe Jeremiah, or do I adore him?”

Peace,
JLT =)
#pleasurethroughdenial

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Blurb: Alexander LaFon lives a nightmare, but he deals with it. Deals with the fact that his mother abandoned him as an infant, deals with the fact that his father is never home, and deals with the fact that his older brother, Jeremiah, tortures him.

He dreams of escaping his mobile-home prison and finding a normal life. Of breaking free of his agony, finding a woman to love, becoming a teacher.

But some horrors you can never outrun. There’s nowhere to hide. Some nightmares chase you in your sleep and steal your freedom like a brutal thief. Some brothers never give up and never answer why.

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

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5 Stars, Joseph Lance Tonlet, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lynn, Self-Published

Review: Brothers LaFon by Joseph Lance Tonlet

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Title: Brothers LaFon (Part One)

Author: Joseph Lance Tonlet

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 56 Pages

At a Glance: This is a strong beginning of a series.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: Alexander LaFon lives a nightmare, but he deals with it. Deals with the fact that his mother abandoned him as an infant, deals with the fact that his father is never home, and deals with the fact that his older brother, Jeremiah, tortures him.

He dreams of escaping his mobile-home prison and finding a normal life. Of breaking free of his agony, finding a woman to love, becoming a teacher.

But some horrors you can never outrun. There’s nowhere to hide. Some nightmares chase you in your sleep and steal your freedom like a brutal thief. Some brothers never give up and never answer why.

Dividers

Review: Wow, just wow. This is my first time reading this author and he’s got me hooked. I’m definitely going to be reading more from him in the future. This brotherly bond has to be, hands down, the most warped, heinous and blood curdling relationship I’ve ever read, and I loved every minute of it. I know, I’m warped, it’s okay.

In the stories I’ve read that have a twisted brother relationship, there has always been a reason to the question of ‘why?’ Why are they behaving this way? Why do they do the things they’re doing? With this one, however, there is no complex backstory or sympathetic yet unjustifiable reason offered for Miah’s sickening behavior towards his younger brother, Alex. At least in this first installment, anyway. Oh yeah, “I don’t like you” is the only response we get. Chilling.

The author makes you totally empathize with Alex by putting us in his shoes and his head while these traumatizing events are going on, feeling the emotions right along with him, the pain, the hurt and most of all the immense fear he feels around his brother. I just wanted to yank him out of the book to stop him from being hurt. He’s a gentle person who only wants to be loved and doesn’t understand his brother’s hatred towards him. But this is where my head goes while reading stories like this: what happened to make Miah into this monster? Was he born psychotic? Was he abused in some way early in life? Why does he need this control over Alex? We are privy to Miah’s thoughts too, and his lack of feelings for his brother is frightening. He gets pleasure from causing his brother pain, that much we know. What we don’t know are the whys. This leads me to think the author purposely left out any explanation to Miah’s behavior, and I’m okay with that. It’s a serial, there’s more to this story.

With this being such a short read, the author makes it seem like a novel. There’s so much story here. It starts out with them as adults and transports us back to when they were kids. I can tell you, it got my heart beating with fear for Alex because I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty; what it was is downright disturbing. We then come full circle to present day. Alex has severed ties with his brother, leaving for college right after high school, and never looking back. But Miah has set in motion a series of events that brings Alex to him. With an ending that had me screaming for Alex to run, I can only imagine what the author has planned for these two. I await anxiously for part two.

Now, as I read in the acknowledgements, I see the author lists Kol Anderson as one of his inspirations. I’ve read all of Mr. Anderson’s books and can see his influence in this story. The similarities I’ve picked up on are how both authors make you have a love/hate relationship with the bad guy. For me, there is always a reason as to why a person becomes who they are. My hope is that Mr. Tonlet give us some kind of resolution behind Miah’s actions towards his brother. Will it condone his behavior, absolutely not. But I believe it’ll make us understand the why of it.

This is a strong beginning of a series. The author does a great job of whetting the reader’s appetite and left me wanting more. I know this isn’t going to be for everyone, but for those like me who love a dark, gritty read, don’t miss out. Read. This. Now.

I will give a warning here, this isn’t for the faint of heart or those with triggers. There’s physical abuse, animal abuse/killing, incest and dub-con sex.






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