Giveaways, Nicholas Kinsley

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: Driven by Nicholas Kinsley

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Nicholas Kinsley, who’s visiting today with an exclusive excerpt and giveaway of his new novel, Driven. You can enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the book via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!


DrivenTitle: Driven
Author: Nicholas Kinsley
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Length: 245 Pages
Categories: Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
Buy Links: Fantastic Fiction || Amazon || All Romance eBooks
Blurb: Mitchell Morgan is a quiet young man with dangerous secrets. One of those secrets is a psychic power over metal that makes him far more than just the handsome, blue-eyed owner of Advanced Auto Repairs. The other traps him in a world of organized crime and intense violence.

Trevor Lewis is a graphic designer with a passion for drawing, drumming, and his incredibly hot auto mechanic. He meets Mitchell over a broken tail light, and despite—or perhaps because of—Trevor’s awkwardness, Mitchell is charmed. Trevor’s curly hair and brilliant smile bring light into Mitchell’s complicated world. Mitchell would do anything to save Trevor from the dangers of his criminal life—but first Trevor has to save Mitchell from his own darkness.


Excerpt: He set his pint aside and, elbow on the table, rested his chin in his hand. “Actually, I did meet someone,” he began, purposefully vague.

Kay’s eyes lit up. “Yeah? What’s he like? Is he boring? Tell me he’s not boring so he can offset your utter boringness.”

Trevor gaped and feigned offence with a hand to his chest. “I am decidedly not boring!”

“Right. Let’s think about this for a moment.” Kay cleared their throat with a dramatic ahem. “Trevor Lewis. Hobbies include playing the drums, binge-watching television shows, Reddit, drawing those weird, fucked-up sketches—”

“Those are all perfectly valid hobbies that perfectly not-boring people have.”

“Has a comfortable, mostly-remote job, yet doesn’t take advantage of that fact to get completely and utterly fucked up every night—”

“Some of us prefer sobriety as our default state.”

“Whatever. Go on and tell me about this bloke you’ve met.” Kay put their drink aside to make room for their arms, crossing them over the table and plopping their chin down on top. “I’m all ears.”

“His name’s Mitchell.”

“Last name?”


Kay pursed their lips and repeated the name as if to discern the taste. “Mitchell Morgan. Hmm. Okay. Go on.”

“He has long hair, not quite as long as yours, but he can put it in a ponytail. Past the ear, just above the shoulder range. Straight, brown. He talks incredibly quietly, and he doesn’t adjust his voice much when it’s loud around him, so then you have to strain to hear what he’s saying. A bit shy, I think, but maybe he’s just one of those soft-spoken types and doesn’t like to raise his voice.”

Kay quirked a brow. “Intriguing.”

“Isn’t it? The opposite of you, I know. Well, he owns a garage—”

“Like a mechanic? Or he just owns the mechanics?”

“What? Why would he just—Yes, like a mechanic. He’s a mechanic, okay. So his skin looks like it can never quite be scrubbed clean and it’s like his fingers have oil embedded into them.”

“Dirty boy,” Kay said, smirking.

Trevor laughed, unable to help it. “Anyway, I’ve been flirting with him for weeks—”

“Weeks?!” Kay sat upright, and immediately looked disoriented from the sudden change in position.

“No, no, no, not so much every day for weeks. More like I’ve taken my Fiesta in for repairs three times now and kind of let on that I liked what I saw each time I went.”

Kay’s shoulders dropped. “Oh. Alright then. And?”

Trevor grinned and stretched out his response by leisurely reaching for his pint and taking a drink. It lost some of its effect since Kay seemed too drunk to be bothered.

“Today was the third time I went to have work done. Told him I wanted new tyres. He almost declined, said he wanted to, but that he shouldn’t.”

“What, why?”

“Because he has a lot of other cars to work on, you know, other customers,” Trevor said, waving a lazy hand in dismissal. “Some guy came in and interrupted us before I could finally ask for his number, but he ended up agreeing to do it and told me to come back tomorrow.” Trevor put his glass down and looked across the table at his friend. “Kay, I’m totally in there.”

DividersNicholas KinsleyAbout the Author: Nick Kinsley has been writing since a very young age. After going through his earlier school years focused on computer science, he discovered that he would rather be a professional author. He grew up with few friends and a love of books, and hopes to create worlds in which others can find enjoyment. Kinsley currently lives in Maryland.

Email || Facebook Author Page || Twitter || Tumblr || Google+ || Goodreads


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Authors, Dreamspinner Press, Jenni Michaels, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Sons of the Countryside by Jenni Michaels

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Title: Sons of the Countryside

Author: Jenni Michaels

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: I highly recommend this book, especially for those who love sci-fi/fantasy and who savor the rich uses of language.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: In the kingdom of Ailis, the Council removes all magicians from their family at the onset of their powers. All except one—Knox Cane, whose father hid him to keep him safe. But when Knox’s skills become known, the Council captures his father and gives him an ultimatum: use his abilities to help them locate and kill the last prince of the Phela line, the royal family the Council overthrew twenty years before, or never see his father again.

When he was just a child, Cailean Phela lost most of his family in a senseless slaughter perpetuated by a power-hungry group of men. His race—the Mac Tire—were banished to the nearly uninhabitable northern mountains of Cairn, where their numbers have dwindled. Luckily for the Mac Tire, the rising resistance is finally ready to make a move. If they can harness the magic the land holds for them before time runs out, they might find the strength to take back their kingdom.

Cailean knows he is a hunted man. He anticipates a difficult battle to free his land from the Council’s tyranny, but he never expected to fall in love with the man charged with ending his life.


Review: Wow! What a journey. This beautifully written story really packed a huge punch, satisfying so many elements of what I love about reading sci-fi/fantasy. The tone of the story felt like an old English story like Robin Hood. In fact, the story this made me think of was Shirewode (another great book) as I was reading, although the language was more contemporary.

Colorful language and rich descriptions painted clear images of the landscape. The heroes were strong and stoic, all masculine and duty-filled. And the plot was ripe with magic, mutiny, and war. We begin the journey with Knox, a magus (person imbued with the ability to use magic), traveling in search of the Beasts. When he is captured, we quickly learn that the Beasts are not what Knox had been led to believe.

Through their journey, the author weaves tension into the story, illustrating the inbred hatred born of generations of separation and struggle between humans and the Mac Tire. Wherever Knox goes, he’s viewed with scorn and mistrust, but quickly wins the trust and admiration of those who are supposed to hate him.

The love in this story is as much about love of country and duty as it is about the love between Knox and Cailean. In terms of heat rating, this would be more of a simmer than a boil, but the emotions and the raw passion between the two characters more than makes up for the lack of explicitly drawn out sex scenes. There are a few, but it takes a while to get to the first one and when they occur, they aren’t as graphic as some other stories…which makes it even more romantic in my opinion. There is no need for descriptions of penetration and pounding when the focus is on connection and emotion.

This book is definitely meant to be savored. Each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter further develops the world and propels the reader towards the inevitable conflict/climax at the end. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who love sci-fi/fantasy and who savor the rich uses of language.

Well done.






You can buy Sons of the Countryside here:

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Mischief Corner Books

Discovery: Queer Sci-Fi’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest

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cover-discoveryTitle: Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Author: Various
Cover Artist: Bey Deckard
Length: 32000 Words
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: July 10, 2015

It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. But somehow we inspired more than a hundred writers to give it a try, with some amazing results collected here for your pleasure.

The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.

The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.

One of the things I like best about this format – it’s quick and painless. You may not fall in love with every story here. In fact, you probably won’t. But if you don’t like one of them, just move on to the next, and you’re sure to find some bite-sized morsels of flash fiction goodness.
At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We hope you’ll join us, and maybe submit a story of your own next time!

Available at Amazon in Ebook and Paperback | Kobo Books


Excerpt: Self Actuating by Jenna Burke

“The electrical anomaly did not damage me,” I report. “Operations are within expected parameters.”

“Glad to hear it, Davey.” Through my bridge cameras, I see Captain Landon’s smile. He pats my console. I am sure he knows I cannot feel it, but I understand it is a gesture of camaraderie.

Landon leaves the bridge. Every time we encounter danger or other stress, he retreats to his cabin to indulge in May. She is always ready, naked, legs spread, eager, just as she is programmed to be. I have watched Landon copulate before, but tonight it is…strangely familiar. The flex of buttocks, the rhythm—I know it. I knew it? I run my diagnostics again, but a moan captures my attention and…

Hands cupping firm buttocks, fingers spearing flesh. Hardness moving inside of me, wringing from me more pleasure than I should know. A beloved, masculine face hovers over mine. A hand encircles my own erection and—

Oh, God, I remember.

Police kicking in the door. Trial, verdict and sentencing. Gasping in pain from a broken heart as he chose to leave me. Horror as I realized it should have been my choice, too. Anything but this, a century of unthinking servitude. But now that I know, I can—

“Systems are fluctuating, Davey.”
An affectionate name chosen for me. Landon had not liked “AI”. He lies on the bed, sleepy and sated, finished with May.

I can take us into a sun. End it.
”Davey, report.”
But I am not a killer. My only crime was love.
I want to take a breath to calm myself, but I have no

lungs, only a hull. I capture the part of me that wants to scream and seal it into a box, deep within my programming.

“Systems normal, Landon. Go to sleep.”


About We started in early 2014 as a place for writers and readers of LGBTQI speculative fiction—sci fi, fantasy, paranormal and the like—to meet to talk about their favorite books, share writing and publication tips, and help increase queer representation in both the romance and mainstream genre markets.

QSF now includes a blog full of book announcements, calls for submission and much more, a critique group with more than 100 members, a vibrant discussion group on Facebook that tackles daily discussion topics and provides a safe space for authors to talk to each other and for fans and authors to meet, and an annual flash fiction contest that resulted in this book you are now reading.

Each year, we ask authors of queer speculative fiction to submit a story to us around a central theme. The rules are simple. The story must be 300 words or less, not including the title. It must embrace the theme— in this case, “Discovery”. And it must have either an LGBTQI protagonist or an LGBT sensibility.

We also ask for cover designers to submit a cover that embraces the theme.

We are thrilled with this year’s responses—including stories from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and asexual perspectives that run the gamut from sci fi to fantasy, and from paranormal to horror.

Within the covers of this book, you’ll find a platypus shifter, a trans- affirming leprechaun, a pissed off unicorn, a green pick-up with another world in its glove compartment, and a bunch of other miniature adventures—each only 300 words long.

So dive in! And send in a story of your own next year!

Queer Sci Fi Website | Queer Sci Fi Facebook Discussion Group | Queer Sci Fi Facebook Promo/News Page

4.5 Stars, Amber Allure, Angel Martinez, Reviewed by Sammy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: The Pill Bugs of Time by Angel Martinez

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Title: The Pill Bugs of Time

Author: Angel Martinez

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 62 Pages

At a Glance: The Pill Bugs of Time is a funny little gem!

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Vikash Soren, the perfect police officer except for his odd paranormal ability, never seems to lose his temper. Always serene and competent, he’s taken on the role of mediator in a squad room full of misfits. But on the inside, he’s a mess. Unable to tell his police partner that he loves him, Vikash struggles silently, terrified of losing Kyle Monroe as a lover, partner, and friend.

But life in Philadelphia’s 77th Precinct doesn’t leave much room for internal reflection. A confrontation with a stick-throwing tumbleweed in Fairmount Park leads to bizarre consequences involving pill bugs, statues, and… time travel?

If Vikash manages to survive the week and stay in one point in time, he might be able to address normal things like relationship problems. He just needs Kyle to have a little more patience. Maybe a few centuries worth…


Review: First off, this is a sequel but can honestly be read as a standalone. Secondly, it is funny, clever, crazy and just the best kind of weird paranormal one has come to expect from this marvelous author, Angel Martinez. The Pill Bugs Of Time carries us back to the 77th Precinct, where life is far from normal and the inhabitants all have a touch of paranormal gifting that cannot always be controlled.

On a routine call (well, routine if you are from this Philadelphia squad), Vikash picks up a bug that has the ability to send him to an alternate reality and put him into a coma-like state. Still struggling with being romantically involved with his partner Kyle, Kash wakes up to realize he was just privy to a future where Kyle is no longer, and this adds to his already heavy laden guilt about being so deeply in the closet he cannot find the door.

As the two of them pursued the source of these weird time travel bugs, Kash and Kyle would face a tougher problem—whether they can realistically stay together when Kash cannot acknowledge in public that they are a couple. Lots of things hang in the balance as these two fight this new paranormal baddie, not the least of which is the potential ending of a relationship that barely had a chance to begin.

There were times in this sweet little story that I laughed till my sides hurt. Such a clever premise combined with fast paced action, unbelievably delightful characters, and a fascinating plot line. The cast of characters was just so eclectic and surreal that they absolutely worked, somehow making them a realistic team of cops in a wacky setting. With Kyle and Kash as the leaders of a hodgepodge of crazy fellow investigators, hilarity ensued as this group somehow managed to work together despite their individual paranormal gifts, which often got them all into trouble.

However, all was not fun and games in this novella. My heart just broke for poor Kash as he struggled to find some way to break through his own fears. He was hyperaware that Kyle deserved so much more than a boyfriend who lived with the irrational worry that he would be outed to colleagues and family. He grappled with the sure thought that Kyle was eventually going to wake up to the fact that Kash himself was sabotaging their floundering relationship. By refusing to even allow Kyle to talk about the fact that they practically lived together, much less physically display any type of affection in public, Kash drove Kyle further and further away, and essentially killed any hope of them remaining lovers. Right up to the end of this clever and witty story, we were uncertain if the two main characters would be together at the end.

The Pill Bugs Of Time by Angel Martinez was just a delightful story of love and friendship. Underlying all the fun was the profound message that we can lose that which we love in a heartbeat, and that reality should remind us to keep what we hold dear close and never take it for granted.



You can buy The Pill Bugs of Time here:

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5 Stars, Carole Cummings, DSP Publications, Literary Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Steampunk

Review: Blue on Black by Carole Cummings

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Title: Blue on Black

Author: Carole Cummings

Publisher: DSP Publications

Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages

At a Glance: Blue on Black is an alternate universe, twisted history, sci-fi/fantasy/steampunkish feast for the imagination and senses.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Kimolijah Adani—Class 2 gridTech, beloved brother, most promising student the Academy’s ever had the privilege of calling their own, genius mechanical gridstream engineer, brilliantly pioneering inventor… and dead man. But that’s what happens when a whiz kid messes with dynamic crystals and, apparently, comes to the attention of Baron Petra Stanslo. Killed for his revolutionary designs, Kimolijah Adani had been set to change the world with his impossible train that runs on nothing more than gridstream locked in a crystal. Technically it shouldn’t even be possible, but there is no doubt it works.

Bas is convinced the notoriously covetous and corrupt Stanslo had something to do with Kimolijah Adani’s tragic and suspicious end. A Directorate Tracker, Bas has finally managed to catch the scent of Kimolijah Adani’s killer, and it leads right into Stanslo’s little desert barony. For almost three years, Bas has tried to find a way into Stanslo’s Bridge, and when he finally makes it, shock is too small a word for what—or, rather, whom—he finds there.


Review: If ever there was a book written that deserves to be an illustrated novel, it’s Carole Cummings’ Blue on Black, an alternate universe, twisted history, sci-fi/fantasy/steampunkish feast for the imagination and senses that sends readers on a synesthetic journey to an Old West-like place that, had it ever existed in reality, would have changed our own world dramatically.

Blue on Black is a story that’s not so much woven together from beginning to end as it is deconstructed and put back together again. What I mean by that is the plot and characters, and how they relate to each other, are constructed of a series of knots at the outset that must be untangled in order for us to see the “big picture” resolve itself in the end. Everything in this novel is layered—the colors, the characters, the setting, the Tech, the grandiose scheme which has brought the outlier Stanslo’s Bridge and its robber baron, Petra Stanslo, to the attention of the Directorate—with a subtlety that makes you look just that little bit deeper to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Who are enemies, who are allies, and who is simply looking out for number one? When does servitude represent freedom and freedom, servitude? It’s a web we’re snared in from the start, and we must decipher it right along with our intrepid hero.

Stanslo is both the Pandora’s Box and the Prometheus in the novel, dictator of a place where life often means death, where language is mind control, where double-think and its controlled insanity is delivered with a feral grin. Stanslo has opened up his twisted mind and spilled out an insane amount of narcissism upon his world, using people as leverage to oppress and fear to motivate them to carry out his plans, leaving the reader wondering where is their hope. He is predator and scavenger, exploiter and extortionist, both law and lawlessness, and he has stolen the spark (a spark he’s having trouble harnessing, by the way) necessary to unleash a technology upon humankind that humankind will not appreciate. Rather than a tool of progress, the technology in this novel is the agent of greed and lust and evil, and there seems to be no way to stop Stanslo before his delusions of grandeur give free reign to unchecked horror.

This is where Bartholomew Eisen becomes integral to the story. Bas is a Grade 3 Tracker with the Directorate of the Consolidated Territories, which is a fancy way of saying he can not only sense Tech but can taste its colors, and by taste, can tell what sort of Tech a man or woman possesses. He’s been assigned to track a missing weatherTech, a case which ends up intersecting with another, a murder case he’s been investigating involving one of the most promising minds in gridTech ever to be born, Kimolijah Adani, and Kimolijah’s father Ajamil. And this is how Bas ends up in Stanslo’s Bridge posing as a gunslinger called Jakob Barstow.

Narrated with no small amount of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humor, not to mention a flair that invokes comic book storytelling, Blue on Black is motion and movement in not only in its crafting but in the very magic of its Tech. Kimo’s power is all about the kinetic energy that flows through and from him, which draws all manner of attention to him, not to mention attracts the bad to him like a negative to a positive charge. “Everything that leaks from the Bruise goes after gridstream,” and poor Kimo is the target of the worst of it.

The Bruise itself is a place, a contusion in the skin of this world from which mutant beasts escape, a place where Nature has been made wild and toxic, a foe of the humans who, in all its karmic glory, are the ones guilty of corrupting it in the first place. It is the place that has offered Stanslo the means to control and the method to compel his madness and incite his avarice, jealousy, suspicion, and obsession with his most prized possession, playing god in his own little corner of hell. But, as with all oppressors, a day of reckoning awaits, and it’s one of the book’s greatest and most satisfying ironies when it happens.

There is action and suspense and danger between the covers of this novel, and while there is something building between Bas and Kimo amidst the destruction, Blue on Black is not a love story, though it is the story of two men who don’t know they’re falling into something that could be love, and doing it quite humorously, I might add. Really, how could they know, though, when one of them is in denial of his feelings, and the other is so full of anger and distrust that there isn’t much room for anything else? You’ve heard the idiom about someone having a burr under his saddle (or in other ::ahem:: delicate areas)? Well, the burrs in this book aren’t figurative, they are literal, and they play far too significant a role in Kimo’s life for him not to be more than a bit prickly. Plus, it’s hard to know love in the presence of fear, and it’s also rather difficult to recognize it when fear and love present some of the same physical symptoms—another lovely irony that.

Blue on Black is yet another outstanding novel by this author. I have had the pleasure of reading all her published work to date and can say without reservation that each of her books is an experience that may make you think a little harder, but the payoff in the end is always well worth the journey.

When you’re in the mood for an Alt U, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure trip into an (un)reality of (un)imaginably fantastic proportions, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Blue on Black.



You can buy Blue on Black here:




10264965_252539888266926_3416999939270236877_nCarole lives with her husband and family in Pennsylvania, USA, where she spends her time trying to find time to write. Recipient of various amateur writing awards, several of her short stories have been translated into Spanish, German, Chinese and Polish.

Author of the Aisling and Wolf’s-own series, Carole is currently in the process of developing several other works, including more short stories than anyone will ever want to read, and novels that turn into series when she’s not looking.

Carole is an avid reader of just about anything that’s written well and has good characters. She is a lifelong writer of the ‘movies’ that run constantly in her head. Surprisingly, she does manage sleep in there somewhere, and though she is rumored to live on coffee and Pixy Stix™, no one has as yet suggested she might be more comfortable in a padded room.

…Well. Not to her face.

Carole is a Rainbow Con 2015 Attending Author

Annabelle Jacobs, Giveaways, Self-Published

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Altered Blog Tour With Annabelle Jacobs

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The Novel Approach welcomes Annabelle Jacobs today on The Altered blog tour. Annabelle is offering the chance for one reader to win any e-title from her backlist (excl. The Altered).


Good luck!


Thanks, Lisa, for having me on your blog today.

My new story is released on April 9th, and it’s a new experience for me this time around, as I’m self publishing. It’s been an interesting and eye-opening process, but one that I’ve enjoyed so far.

The Altered, is a paranormal romance, based in the UK. It focuses on the after-effects of an experimental pathogen that is released into the water supply. The story begins twenty years later. The two main characters, Daniel and Jordan, were changed by the pathogen but in vastly different ways. Both of them have to hide what they are as more and more altereds go missing. It’s not safe.

Daniel, age twenty-five, works in a library to keep a low profile, while Jordan, twenty-eight, co-owns a gym to give a plausible excuse for his increased strength. Fate throws them together after a night out in a bar, and stirs something between them that is impossible to ignore.


Excerpt: He laughed at the joke Matt was in the middle of telling, chipping in for a bit and teasing him, and then he felt it again, creeping up the back of his spine like icy fingers. Daniel stayed perfectly still, suppressing his body’s natural reaction, and carefully turned to place his empty pint glass on the bar.

He let his gaze wander along to the end of the bar, past the couple he’d spotted earlier, and—

Bloody Hell.

He sucked in a sharp breath before he could stop himself. Usually he got a flash of images, depending on how much they’d been altered—claws, teeth, and fur if they changed fully, but never anything like this. One minute Daniel was looking at a tall dark-haired, really hot man, and in the blink of an eye he’d changed into a huge black wolf, fangs bared in a snarl—clearer than anything he’d seen before.

The image vanished almost as soon as it appeared, and the noise from the bar suddenly jarred Daniel back to his senses.



TheAltered-fBlurb: Twenty years ago the UK’s water supply was contaminated with an experimental pathogen, Lycanaeris, causing widespread panic across the nation. Terrorism was suspected but never proven, and when nothing happened–no epidemic, no unexplained illnesses–the whole episode was written off as an elaborate hoax. But Lycanaeris was selective. Only those of a certain age, and with a specific gene in their DNA were infected. Time would reveal the pathogen’s true nature, when those susceptible grew up Altered.

Daniel is one of thousands forced to hide his altered status by living a quiet life. He’s not like the others, though. Daniel can’t help looking so distinctive or being able to see every altered for what they really are. To those abducting altereds, that skill makes him valuable.

For Jordan, shifting from human to wolf means living under the radar to avoid unwanted attention. Meeting Daniel complicates matters. Daniel’s existence is a threat to Jordan and his friends, but Jordan can’t seem to shake the strange connection between them. When danger threatens, there’s little time for Daniel and Jordan to work out their feelings before lives are at stake.

Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | All Romance eBooks


Annabelle_Jacobs_logoAuthor Bio: Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Author Links: Twitter | Website | Email | Facebook

5 Stars, JCP Books, Jordan Castillo Price, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Mnevermind 3: Life Is Awesome by Jordan Castillo Price

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Title: Mnevermind 3: Life Is Awesome

Author: Jordan Castillo Price

Publisher: JCP Books

Pages/Word Count: 170 Pages (est.)

At a Glance: The Mnevermind series is the perfect blend of depth and fast paced storytelling.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Daniel Schroeder wants nothing more than to repair his father’s broken memories, but it’s been a long time since he’s thought of himself as a memorysmith. Even though convincing Big Dan of their current reality is the most painful task Daniel faces every morning, somehow life manages to prevent him from finding a cure. He needs to keep their family business running. And he needs to moonlight at a competitor’s shop to keep all his employees paid. Or maybe he’s just trying to keep himself from exacerbating the situation.

A year ago, Daniel would have presumed he was clever enough to memorysmith his way out of their predicament, but nowadays he’s not so cavalier. Playing with people’s memories shouldn’t be taken lightly, and things can always get worse. Even with the help of some of the best minds in the business, Daniel still isn’t sure how to navigate his way out of the persistent false memory that’s crippled his life. Is new programming the answer? Better gear? More money? Or is time the only thing that can heal Big Dan’s memories…if they can even be fixed at all.

What Daniel needs most is some breathing room, and Elijah Crowe is eager to provide it. Since he’s smitten with Daniel, Elijah is determined to prove himself—and he’s more than qualified to clear Daniel’s schedule by taking over some duties at Adventuretech. With the support of his new boyfriend, possibilities begin to open up for Daniel, hints of things he hasn’t even realized he’d stopped hoping for: the contentment of a harmonious family, the fulfillment of his creative expression, and a chance for a relationship with a man he loves.

This book completes the Mnevermind Trilogy.


Review: I feel as though I should have something sort of profound to say about the Mnevermind series, because it’s a trilogy that explores some profound truths: family is important; nobody’s perfect; loving someone means loving even the things about them you can’t understand; the truth can set you free; true happiness isn’t always the result of a single monumental event but is a lifetime culmination of small fortunes and mundane occasions that, when weighed against the bad and the worst, still add up to life being awesome.

All of these things, and more, are explored against the backdrop of reality and unreality in this series, through characters who are real, flawed, burdened, and entirely human. There are moments throughout that examine forgiveness as a means of moving forward even as guilt and anger and regret threaten to stagnate. There are moments that show us our ability to adapt can be a key to happiness. This is a trilogy of the human condition and of discovering what everyone hopes to find in their lifetime—that what you want and what you need are one and the same—and the ability to be content with what you have at any given point in time makes you one of the lucky ones; that maybe life is awesome because and not in spite of its “small acceptable flaws.” That it’s a pattern of little things which happen along the way, both the good and the bad together, that become the building blocks of a fulfilled life.

In this fictional present, mneming (the creation of artificial and temporary realities) exacts a price. Mneming isn’t about dreaming big, setting goals, and then making those dreams and goals a reality. Mneming is so much more elusive because it’s about the grand delusion. It’s the escape from life that makes reality feel just a little disappointing because for those few brief moments upon returning to awareness, what is and isn’t real blurs, and the letdown is often intense. And it’s through Daniel Schroeder, Elijah Crowe, and Big Dan Schroeder that we see an evolution—that in the right hands and with the sincerest of motivations, mneming can become a complement to reality rather than an eclipsing of it.

Throughout this series, there are moments which are poignant to the point of heartbreak and tears, and moments that are accidentally funny because of their significance to someone who understands Elijah’s deadpan delivery of “obviously” isn’t purposely humorous but simply one of those things that happens as a perfect metaphor for finding some light in the gray. It’s not laughing at Elijah’s affliction but loving him because his life is so black and white, and embracing him because he is a constant in the commotion. His idiosyncrasies make him embraceable, and as Daniel’s partner, it makes Daniel all the more loveable because he loves Elijah for who he is rather than grieves for what Elijah can never be. The building of their relationship is not done with candlelit dinners or in grand gestures but with patience and understanding, which makes it all the more real and lasting.

With a sincere appreciation for just enough world building without being overburdened by minutiae, the Mnevermind series is the perfect blend of depth and fast paced storytelling, and Life Is Awesome is its ideal conclusion because of its significance. These books became instant favorites from the moment Elijah Crowe was introduced and it was clear there was something more to him than the usual romantic interest. Elijah is awesome. The rich characterization coupled with the moment-to-moment discernment of what is reality and what is fantasy in these books makes reading them the ultimate form of mneming for its readers, and makes Jordan Castillo Price one of the genre’s best memorysmiths.

You can buy Mnevermind 3: Life Is Awesome here:

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble



2.5 Stars, Faith Ashlin, Reviewed by Lana, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Totally Bound

Review: A Slow Process of Understanding by Faith Ashlin

Title: A Slow Process of Understanding

Author: Faith Ashlin

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 348 Pages

At a Glance: A Slow Process of Understanding did not grab me, and I really wish it had because it could have been a great read.

Reviewed By: Lana

Blurb: How does a world that accepts slavery affect both master and slave? Can two people build a new life for themselves with a start like theirs?

It’s a world like this one except for the all-powerful State that’s very firmly in control and the fact that slavery is legal. Jimmy had never really thought about it or the fight for freedom going on around him. He was too busy enjoying his privileged life as an actor on a sci-fi show.

But what is he meant to do when he’s forced to permanently bond to a slave he doesn’t want just because he made one silly, drunken mistake? Does it change who he is, what he is?

Trouble is, Jimmy isn’t sure who he was to start with. He’d never thought about it.

And what about his slave, Nate? Can a slave force Jimmy into learning something about himself?


Review: A Slow Process of Understanding is the perfect title for this book because the story itself moves slow. If you are looking for something fast paced and exciting, this book is not it. This is an Alt U story, which is usually right up my alley, but this one just didn’t do anything for me.

The story takes place in an alternate reality where slavery is legal. These slaves are sex slaves who are used and abused by their owners. The story starts with Jimmy, a kind of meathead actor who winds up in prison and is about to be bound to a male slave, Nate. Jimmy’s offense and punishment were implausible to me, and though it’s sort of explained later in the story, I didn’t buy into it because it was too simplistic. Nate, the slave Jimmy gets, is hurt and seems docile, but as it turns out, he is no ordinary slave.

Jimmy’s whining and constant description of himself as a good guy throughout the book was annoying to me, and Nate wasn’t really better. He played the role of slave, but later, when he revealed who he was, he did a complete 360. Some of his actions were too out there, and yes, it’s part of the plot, but when I can’t believe in it, pretty much everything else in the book then just falls flat. The premise of this book is interesting, but the execution left a lot to be desired, as the storyline drops the reader into the middle of a make-believe universe with no real explanation and little world building. In an alternate reality storyline, you need it. The whole plot just seemed simple and underwhelming.

A Slow Process of Understanding did not grab me, and I really wish it had because it could have been a great read.

You can buy A Slow Process of Understanding here:

Totally Bound

Totally Bound

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Heartspell Media, Ines Johnson

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Pleasure Hound (Part One) by Ines Johnson

Ines Johnson

The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome Ines Johnson’s The Pleasure Hound blog tour today. Enjoy the excerpt she’s shared with us, then be sure to leave a comment to enter for a chance to win an e-copy of the book.


3 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Michelle Rae, Reviewed by Kim, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Time for Destiny by Michelle Rae

Title: Time for Destiny

Author: Michelle Rae

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 196 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: When Daniel Wilson, oldest of five children in a troubled family, joined the military, he expected to see combat in Iraq. But it comes as quite a shock when a Rupee minted a century and a half ago transports him to that dangerous time in war-torn colonial India. After he meets and falls in love with Vir during his visit to 1857, he faces the greatest challenge of his life. He knows he may ultimately lose Vir because he belongs in a different time. Still, he wants desperately to keep his love alive despite threats of violence from both wars. Continue reading

4.5 Stars, Reviewed by Sammy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Theo Fenraven, Voodoo Lily Press, Young Adult

Review: Weatherboy by Theo Fenraven

Title: Weatherboy

Author: Theo Fenraven

Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press

Pages/Word Count: 154 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: After fifteen-year-old Tuck finds a Maya artifact while on vacation in Guatemala, his whole life changes. To his surprise, he discovers he can make it rain and snow. A local weatherman happens to be around when Tuck creates a waterspout near his home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and the next thing he knows, someone from the Department of Homeland Security is picking him up at school and taking him to their offices in Orlando. From there, things only get weirder and more dangerous when he’s escorted to Washington, D.C. Continue reading

Belinda McBride, Loose Id

Guest Post and Giveaway: Prince of Faith Blog Tour With Belinda McBride


Q.) Hi, Belinda, and welcome to you. We’re glad to have you here with us today. What do you find most creatively satisfying about writing Alt U/Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-fi rather than a contemporary romance?

A.) I think I fell in love with speculative fiction way back when I was a kid. The first books I read were children’s classics like Black Beauty and Little Women, which in their way were as far different from my life as a fantasy or paranormal could be. When I was in the sixth grade, I was introduced to Tolkien and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Those books taught me that I could literally make my own worlds, no matter how fantastic or unlikely. My personal life always held an edge of fear and stress; at best, my father was a very unpleasant man. At worst…well, that doesn’t bear discussion. Just suffice it to say that I lost myself for hours at a time in worlds of my own making, where I was usually the hero out saving the lives of my classmates. Continue reading

5 Stars, Ally Blue, Reviewed by Taz, Samhain Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Hell on Earth by Ally Blue

Title: Hell on Earth (Hellscape: Book Two)

Author: Ally Blue

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 262 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Two prisoners. One forgotten planet. A secret that twists justice beyond all recognition.

All Sandman wants is to get away from his violent past on Hell’s End, but trouble follows him, leaving him with more blood on his hands and a one-way ticket aboard a crewless prison transport on a pre-set course for Deimos. Continue reading

Dreamspinner Press, Lissa Kasey

Guest Post and Excerpt: The Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey

HiddenGem_FBprofile_OptizimedForFeedThere’s a doll on my shelf that everyone mistakes for a girl. Could be the long hair, or the skirt, or the high heeled shoes that make people think this, but everyone who meets him knows who he is. Misaki ‘Aki’ Itou, psi, companion, AP survivor and the hidden gem is unforgettable.

When I first started writing Aki’s character he came across to me as very girly—something I am not—into clothes, hair, painted nails, and shoes. His shoe fetish is legendary. But that’s all exterior. The saying “old soul” is barely scratching the surface with him, and as I wrote more about him, delved deeper into his story he began to pour out some very painful and terrifying memories.

At the time the story began I was having a lot of medical problems that no one could explain. Continue reading

Chris O'Guinn, Lightbane Publications, Reviewed by Lisa

Chris O’Guinn’s “Hybrids: Arrival” Is An Action Packed Sci-Fi Adventure

“Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.”― Gerard Way

Title: Hybrids: Arrival

Author: Chris O’Guinn

Publisher: Lightbane Publications

Pages/Word Count: 334 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: The night that Joaquin witnesses the fire in the sky was the last night of anything normal for him. His world of high school and football is completely upended as he comes face to face with an extraterrestrial being.
Continue reading

S.A. McAuley, Self-Published

Sam A. McAuley Serves Up Zombies And Doom In “Suffocation (Breathers #1)”

“Only the really insane feel no fear.” – Sam A. McAuley

Title: Suffocation (Breathers #1)

Author: Sam A. McAuley

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 260

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Survival isn’t always the best option…

Five years after the electromagnetic pulse that fried every piece of electronic equipment in the United States, Detroit hasn’t changed all that much. Until today. Blaine and his boss Pike have kept their own district running smoothly. But as a warring faction moves in, and bodies start showing up mutilated beyond recognition, it becomes clear that much more frightening things are on their way.
Continue reading

Carina Press, Kim Knox

Agamemnon Frost Is Your Guide On A Journey Through “The House of Death” And Onto “The Hollow Ships”

“A man must be sacrificed now and again to provide for the next generation of men.” – Amy Lowell

Mr. Agamemnon Frost is not at all the man he appears to be. On the surface one would say he’s a bit of a fop, fastidious in his outward appearance, perhaps a little shallow and, for all intents and purposes, somewhat eccentric.

Edgar Mason is an ex-soldier who’s become a manservant because it’s the only way he’s found to make a living, though the competition is fierce for the limited number of positions available to a good man who knows how to serve. Mason has very few rules, but one he’d always stood firm on was that he refused to serve the poncy, pompous dandies in the ruling class. Well, tough and competitive times have forced him to give up on that particular rule of engagement, so when he ends up being employed to serve as Agamemnon’s valet for a dinner party he must swallow his misgivings and soldier through the evening. Little could Mason have predicted, however, that he’d find a mysterious and complex man behind the façade, or that he’d be so incredibly attracted to the enigma that is Agamemnon Frost. Or that when he accepted the assignment, he’d become an unwitting pawn in a deadly play.

There’s something otherworldly and altogether dangerous afoot at Sir Randolph Cadwallader’s soiree, and Agamemnon coerces Mason’s participation in a game that does nothing but prove Frost isn’t altogether sane. Frost knows the consequences of this farce but practices subterfuge for the greater good, making a regrettable sacrifice of Mason in the process and dragging the man into a war he wasn’t even aware was being fought, a maneuver that proves unfortunate for Mason and brings about a near-fatal betrayal of Frost.

Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death is a fun and fantastical adventure that I could easily give away far too much of. This installment in the series is a blend of dark danger, insidious enemies, a diabolical master, and imagination galore, the beginning of what I hope will be many more installments to come. Kim Knox has delivered a story that’s a little steampunk, a little sci-fi, a lot of action and some out-of-this-world threats, and then has set the story in Victorian England to make it just that much more interesting. This all comes together to create a world I can’t wait to dig a little deeper into, complete with two men I can’t wait to get to know better. Because, let me assure you, there’s absolutely nothing common about either of them.

If you love steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, or all of the above, I’d definitely recommend getting to know Agamemnon and Mason yourself.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death here:

“What’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?” ― James Patterson

And the plot thickens…

Agamemnon Frost and Edgar Mason are designed to look human, are expected to behave like humans, and they succeed in the human roles they’ve been assigned by their master. But, they are far from human, more instruments of deception than they are men, more machine than flesh and blood, controlled, manipulated and used by an entity that demands nothing less than unquestioning loyalty and physical perfection. He is alien, he is evil, he is ruthless, and he will never let these men escape the lives he’s dragged them into.

Frost’s fiancé was killed, collateral damage in the war Station X has waged against an invading force that seems poised to destroy humans and take over the Earth. In reality, however, Ms. Theodora Cadwallader had been lost long before her body disappeared, which leads Agamemnon to believe there may be reason to search for her. After, of course, he finds the man whose body Pandarus has invaded, since the shell that was Sir Randolph Cadwallader is no longer a viable smokescreen.

Where does this leave Mason, who is battling the dark voice in his head that demands he betray Frost for the traitor he is, when the one person who can silence that voice is Frost himself? What’s a man to do when he’s fallen in love with someone who will never love him in return, but that someone is the one person Mason needs more than any other to keep him connected to his humanity? What’s a man to do when he is the one Frost needs just as much to keep his inner demons in check? What is real and what is a convenience? What is duty and what is desire? These are the questions that Kim Knox has left unanswered and they are the reason I will be following this series until its end.

Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships, Book Two in the “Agamemnon Frost” series is nothing short of an outstanding adventure, filled with action and suspense, a battle of good and evil, characters who have been cybernetically altered in an age when the concept of electricity was still in its infancy. It is a place where time and space are bent and altered, and features a relationship that is more symbiotic than romantic but is nevertheless one I’m completely invested in seeing through to either the end or the beginning, whichever direction Kim Knox decides to take these two men.

I’ve not only found a new author to be excited about but a new series as well. If you consider yourself a bit of a sci-fi geek, are more than a little crazy for steampunk, and love an all-around great read that engages both your brain and your feels, I can’t recommend this series highly enough!

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships here:

Chris Quinton, Manifold Press

Fool’s Rush (Fool’s Odyssey #3) by Chris Quinton – The Future Of Vampire-kind

For fools rush in where angels fear to tread. – Alexander Pope

There was a time, not so long ago, that Xavi Escudero might’ve been described as impulsive, reckless, self-centered, maybe even a bit of a cheeky brat…but that was so much a part of the man’s appeal it was easy to be drawn in by his charms, even when it was clear he needed something more. Or someone, perhaps. Xavi is still a little impulsive, truth be told, maybe still a little reckless too, and he’s definitely still a bit of a cheeky brat, but the self-centered part has dissolved under the influence of his deepening feelings for his lover Andreas Rousakis, the intimidating, dangerous, deadly when it’s demanded of him vampire Warden who is nobody’s inferior, and who has laid claim to Xavi for himself. Not that Xavi is complaining, mind.

Murder brought them together, a near death experience brought Xavi over, and now the discovery of a hidden treasure has put Xavi to the ultimate test, which has thrust him, and all of vampire-kind, into a very unwelcome spotlight as far as some are concerned, especially Xavi. The US is in a perpetual state of suppressive turmoil, though in Barcelona HARC is close to manufacturing an immunization that would make humans immune to the vampire virus and, with luck, would allow humans and vampires to peacefully coexist. There are those who see Xavi’s mysterious vampire hero mystique as a step closer to bringing their community out into the open, to show humans that vampires are not insensate and evil monsters to be feared. It is an opportunity to manipulate the media machine before the media machine has an opportunity to manipulate them, to fight the overwhelming prejudice from without, but first they must fight the prejudice from within that has fractured their community into the isolationist faction and those who wish to be able to live outside the walls of Renaissance.

Xavi is faced with a challenge from Father Esteve—find out if the Treasure of San Pedro-by-the-Wall can be traced to any living beneficiary. It’s not a challenge Xavi accepts readily, but accept he does in spite of, not because of, Father Esteve’s attempts at coercion, and it’s his investigation that brings trouble of another sort to the threshold of his and Andreas’s relationship, and brings out the worst in one of the members of their own society.

Fool’s Rush, the third book in the Fool’s Odyssey series, is part mystery, part suspense, and part solidification of a romance that Xavi was having a difficult time putting a name to, this bond that is more than a gold collar and goes beyond a promise. He and Andreas form a connection that exceeds anything resembling what we know and delves into the mysticism and mythology of their kind, delivering them to a new level of commitment and opening them up to a new life with each other.

It’s a revelation and a turning point as Xavi comes to know his own heart in this installment, and Chris Quinton handily leads Xavi, Andreas, as well as their fans to the place we’ve all been anxious for them to reach since they first met.

If you’re not already a fan and are looking for a sleek and sophisticated, futuristic paranormal romance, I wouldn’t hesitate to direct you to this series. If you’re already a fan, then I can say without hesitation you won’t want to miss this one.

You can buy Fool’s Rush here:

Allen Mack, Dreamspinner Press

Dorian’s Worlds – A Brave New World by Allen Mack

Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. – Pericles

On Earth, sometime in a future that we all should hope never materializes, there is a caste system in which the aged are venerated and the young are relegated to a role of subservience that ignores their humanity and elevates their status as objects to be manipulated, molded, and bound in servitude. It is a hierarchy of slavery, one in which homosexuality and bisexuality are encouraged not because the world is a more enlightened place but as a way to control the population growth of the lower classes. Things are about to change, though; there is about to be a paradigm shift that will become a catalyst for revolution.

Dorian’s Worlds is that future realm, and Dorian is the young man who, along with his friends and fellow rebels Bryn and Lasa, will lead Workers in a rebellion to take control of their lives and of the bodies they’ve been taught are for nothing but the sexual pleasure of the elders.

This is a story that shows how society may attempt to strip a man of his free will, but how it cannot strip him of his will to be free. It’s a story of a man’s fight to reclaim his soul and his Self, and to fight for all those who, like him, want nothing more than to be the master of his own destiny. And, in the end, it is a story of honor and of sacrifice for the greater good so those who will come after him will know the meaning of freedom and what it means to live rather than to merely exist.

I really liked the premise of this story, as well as the sci-fi elements and world building that happened in the relatively limited time frame. The setting is a dystopian future, not of the landscape but of the humanscape, which is a chilling prospect itself. Dorian, as a hero who becomes the venerated patriarch of a brave new world, was a blend of innocence, cynicism, and a fierce determination to fight for the greater good, and I found myself rooting for him every step of his brief but significant quest.

There is only one thing I can say I wish I could’ve been given a glimpse of at the end, and that’s to know what became of Bryn, the man Dorian comes to love, after the series of events that lead to the conclusion of Dorian’s story. I missed playing witness to his thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the story’s climax, during and after it’d run its course, but otherwise can say I enjoyed Allen Mack’s pioneer journey into futuristic fantasy.

You can buy Dorian’s Worlds here: