2 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, Tia Fielding

Review: Up to Boil by Tia Fielding

Title: Up to Boil (A Daily Dose Story)

Author: Tia Fielding

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 36 Pages

At a Glance: Up to Boil doesn’t live up to Tia Fielding’s usual standards.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: When plumber and builder Jordan Novotny goes to take a look at the home of the town’s openly gay, recently dumped librarian, he doesn’t expect to find anything other than a falling-apart old house and a water heater in need of repair.

Instead, he finds an older man in need of some TLC and a new circle of friends after his ex tossed him aside for a newer model. Stephen might be attracted to Jordan, but he thinks the young man is exactly that—too young. It takes Jordan’s family interfering and a bit of a mishap to make them see that it’s never too late to find a new love, and that age is just a number. All that matters is compatibility and the courage to take a chance.


Review: I just do not know where to begin on this one. Tia Fielding has written some wonderful novels. I have really enjoyed her work, but this short story, Up To Boil, was so out of character for this writer I am just dumbfounded.

The story is built on the May/December trope; in other words, one fairly older man falling for a much younger one. In this case the town librarian, Stephen, is fifty-one, and the town plumber, Jordon, is twenty-two…I think. I mean, the age twenty-two was mentioned and then it disappeared. In fact, this entire nuance to the story seemed to be hit on and then tossed quickly aside, as did most of the highlights of their courtship. And that is the key issue I have with this story. We were told what happened in a pseudo outline fashion, with very little detail, and then expected to swallow that these two fell in love.

Let me give you a quick synopsis. Stephen lost his partner of many years to a younger man, so how funny is it that when the bisexual/possibly gay plumber Jordan Novotny comes to fix his pipes, both men are instantly attracted to one another? The very thing that Stephen hates his former partner for doing, he, in turn, does. As Jordon comes to terms with his attraction to the much older man, Jordon’s family begins this strange courtship of their own—inviting Stephen over for meals, fixing up his house for just the cost of supplies, etc. In fact, Jordon’s parents seem to have no issue with the fact that their twenty-two year old son is attracted to a man their age; actually, they seem to encourage it. That left me a little nonplussed.

From there the story goes at lightning speed, showing us snippets of Stephen and Jordon’s interactions. Next to none of these moments were done in real time; rather, they were mentioned as having had occurred, and we were to take it on faith that the guys were falling in love. I cannot express to you how disappointing this was. The lack of chemistry, of action, and of intimacy leaves the reader with little more than a retelling of events in fast forward speed.

Finally the story ended abruptly, and at 66% on my kindle. This means that roughly 34% of the document was given over to Ms. Fielding’s past novels. To be frank, I felt cheated. Surely more time could have been dedicated to evolving this story? All in all, Up To Boil was not the story I have come to expect from this author. I know how exciting Tia Fielding’s stories can be, but this was not up to her normal standard.



You can buy Up to Boil here:

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Tina, Tia Fielding

Tia Fielding’s “Mirage” Made This Reader Stand Up And Cheer – Reviewed by Tina

“And lastly, I want to thank Harrison Ford. Because I can. And let’s face it, he shaped as much of my world and imagination as anyone else I can think of. I owe him a hell of a lot.” – Rhys Ford

Title: Mirage

Author: Tia Fielding

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: When forty-six-year-old washed-up country musician Jasper “Red” Blue looks at the past, all he sees is a series of failures. His one treasured success is six years battling alcoholism without the help of AA. To secure his children’s future, Jasper desperately wants to produce a new album, but he can’t write alone. And he won’t work with just anyone.
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Dreamspinner Press, Tia Fielding

No, It’s Not A Mirage, We Really Do Have Tia Fielding Here With Us Today

TNA: Hi, Tia, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things we might not know about you but should?

Tia: First of all, thank you for having me! I live in the middle of nowhere town in eastern Finland. Pretty much like the town in my shifter series, the one that’s closest to the farm. I love where I live, so it sort of ended up starring in a series because the environment is such a bit part of the story there.

I’m chronically single, a romantic at heart, and a wee bit on the kinky side. I’m also a crazy cat person, and I would adopt all stray dogs from Spain if I could (I have one already, wish I could add more to my fur family!)

TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance, or is that something that came along later in your writing career? What was your first published M/M title, and if you could go back in time to the moment you sat down and began writing it, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself now that you have the benefit of experience?

Tia: I have one other-than-M/M romance title that was once upon a time published by Summerhouse Publishing. That came out I think a couple of weeks before my first M/M novella, Auld Lang Syne, did. The first story is a short M/M/F piece called The Double Ds. (If anyone wants to still read it, just email me and we’ll talk. ;))

I’d written fan fiction for a couple of years-ish by the time I looked at an anthology call on the Dreamspinner website. I had this idea for a story and went “oh well, they’ll never take it, but at least I’d have written something original!”

Turns out they didn’t want the story for the cowboys anthology, but they offered me a separate contract which blew me away completely. Still sort of does! I don’t think there’s anything to add to that me, she needed to learn all the stuff she did with that process, and I compliment her on taking the risk to submitting to her favorite M/M publisher.

TNA: Do you remember the first M/M book you ever read? If so, what was it, and what about it made the most lasting impression upon you?

Tia: I THINK it was Bareback by Chris Owen, one of those (for me) early cowboy M/M books. I loved the gritty, the hot smexy, and the MCs were wonderful from my POV. I don’t look at the book the same anymore, but I can still see why I loved it back then. It’s a good book, but MANY have come after it and stolen my geeky heart away. ;)

TNA: How would you describe your books to someone who hasn’t read them yet? Do your characters share common qualities? What’s your idea of a great protagonist?

Tia: I’d, firstly, say that I have a writing style that’s not for everyone. It’s a fact that I acknowledge completely. I also always try to leave something to the reader to figure out. It might be much in one story, but a lot in another. It’s about the little things for me, and I tend to write very character driven, slightly outside-the-box stories.

I’ve yet to write something I didn’t need to get out of my head. I also tend to tackle some things and issues that people shy away from sometimes in romance (HIV, alcoholism, threesomes as a way to actually just spice up a relationship or to serve another non-menage purpose, and so on.)

I’d like to think my protagonists tend to be faulty men in some ways, and mostly they know exactly what their problem is, but they can be a bit in denial about it and that’s where the romance steps in to correct their ways. ;)

TNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your latest release, Mirage. In a sea of twenty-something romances, what made you decide to make Jasper a more, shall we say, mature character? Are there advantages to writing about a man who’s reached middle age? Did the broader range of his life experiences offer you a richer vein to tap from while writing this book?

Tia: First of all, Mirage came from the idea of a closeted, already past his prime, country star. It was obvious pretty soon that Jasper’s Major Problem was his alcoholism and his feelings of worthlessness. He also needed reasons for surviving that long, and having children—because he’s such a loving person—seemed obvious and realistic with how Jasper had lived his life.

He also needed to have a career in music behind him. Those things won’t come quickly. There was also something very rugged about the way Jasper is, and that, from my point of view, often comes from a hard life and/or age. No twenty-something could be where Jasper is, I don’t think. So yeah, there’s so much more to write about, and the age adds a layer of things they already know about themselves but, like in Jasper’s case, might still be struggling with.

TNA: If Jasper “Red” Blue were to describe himself in just a few sentences, what would he want us to know about him?

Tia: I think he’d say he’s finally happy, but still a bit scared of his demons. And he’d certainly say he won’t ever be a surfer, but he won’t mind watching Cade surf with Jasper’s kids. Then he’d go get some coffee and pet his dogs, most likely.

TNA: Cade Wallace is the man who turns Jasper just a little bit inside-out. If Jasper were to describe Cade in just a few sentences, what are some of the things he’d want us to know about him?

Tia: Somewhere in my head, Jasper snorted when I read the question and Cade said “Libido-awakening.” Then there was some playful wrestling that turned into making out…. Wait, what was the question?

I think Jasper would just say Cade is beautiful in every way that matters. He’d also probably add something about Cade’s long hair just because he likes it so much and it would be a perfect way to tease Cade a bit.

TNA: What would you say makes Jasper and Cade work as a couple? How do they contrast and complement each other?

Tia: They both have a need to belong to someone in a very basic way. They both want a home to be a person, not a place, and they need to know the other person won’t just get up and leave when the first obstacle comes along.

Jasper is more serious and needs a bit of a boost sometimes because his view of himself is pretty low. Cade can be the person to remind him of his worth and love him without condition.

Then, if we look at it the other way, Cade needs someone calm and kind to be there for him to balance him out. And someone who knows he might get restless and know how to deal with it.

TNA: What made you decide to settle on country music as Jasper’s forte? Did you have a playlist you listened to as you wrote, and if so, what’s the one song that brought everything together for you as you wrote this story?

Tia: I think one of the reasons I chose country was that I used to say for a long time I’d listen to anything but country music. I was very prejudiced and thought I’d never find country I’d like. Then a friend managed to introduce me to some country in the right moment, and here I am, actually voluntarily listening to some of the newer country songs out there.

There’s also the age old thing about country being very white and straight, and nothing else isn’t accepted easily, if at all. But then when you look around, there are people trying to change that, and something about it all fascinated me enough to write a whole book around the world. I have to admit though, when I first started to write it, I thought it would be much more into the country politics and fears of GLBTQ than it turned out to be. For the life of me I can’t seem to write anything but character driven stuff!

I’ll do you one better than just sharing general song inspiration (there was a lot of that!) and show you the contents of the cover album Jasper records in the book in addition to his actual new album. Just picture the songs being performed in a low, raspy male voice in country style, and you’re pretty much there.

Mirage Playlist

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Mirage with us?

Tia: Oh yes. This is from when the guys meet for the first time, and their dogs meet one another as well.

Sighing, Jasper closed his eyes in the welcome shade of the sunroof.

He woke up with a start a few hours later when Smith got up from next to his chair. The dog stood still as a statue, cropped ears fixed toward the house. Wesson was on alert too, his blessedly intact ears looking for the sound Smith was hearing.

“What is it, boys?” Jasper got up and took a look at his wristwatch. “Damn it!” He’d slept for hours!

He made his way inside and through the house, the dogs flanking him on both sides. He opened the front door and stepped out to see headlights in a cloud of dust approaching from the main road.

Jasper had no time to be worried or panic, because he could see it was a truck and he needed to put one foot in front of another to get to the spot he had thought was perfect to park the large vehicle.

By the time he was there, the gleaming dark-gray truck was slowing down already. Jasper waved a hand toward what was possibly going to be a riding ring eventually—if he ever got to it—and Wallace pulled into the spot like the pro he was.

When the guy opened his door, a few notes of the latest Carrie Underwood single Janey had been singing during their movie night drifted into the summer evening before the radio was turned off.

And then it was time to face the music.

Cade Wallace dropped down from the cabin and told his dog—Jasper could see a white head peeking from the window—to stay put. The man closed the door and turned toward Jasper.

“Red Blue, I presume,” Wallace said, and extended his hand for a shake.

“Cade Wallace.” Jasper tilted his head and shook Wallace’s hand.

“Just call me Cade, since that part is real and not invented.” Cade grinned, his teeth white in his tanned face.

“On this property I’m either Jasper or Red.” Jasper nodded and let go of the offered hand.

“These your boys?” Cade nodded at the dogs that still stood behind Jasper, guarding him.

“Yeah.” Jasper turned so that Cade could see the dogs better and to hide his obvious staring.

The man was, in one word, stunning. From his tanned arms to the dimples when he smiled, to the mystery of a crocheted hat on his head that seemed to hide a mass of hair based on the way it was stretched in the back.

“Hello, boys.” Cade knelt down to be at the dogs’ level.

“This is Smith, and that’s Wesson. I’ve had them for four years or so.” Jasper introduced the dogs, who were trying to figure the newcomer out.

They sniffed Cade’s hands, and Wesson was warming up faster. Smith, on the other hand, was still a little stiff if not outright cold, and kept flicking his gaze from Cade to the truck.

“Smith wants to meet your dog. He’s not convinced yet.” Jasper smiled and reached down to pet his dog. “He won’t be aggressive, he’s just cautious and hates fights for obvious reasons.”

“Obviously…,” Cade said in a disgusted tone and glanced at Smith’s scars. Then he suddenly burst out laughing.


Cade held up a hand and went to open the door to let his dog out.

“Jasper, Smith, Wesson… this is Will.” Cade’s blue eyes twinkled with barely contained humor, and when Jasper finally made the connection and snorted, Cade started to laugh in earnest.

“Will, Smith, and Wesson….” Jasper stared at the dogs, who were making their own introductions by the usual posturing and butt sniffing, and let out a laugh. “This should turn out to be an interesting time….”

“You met me at a very strange time in my life.”

“Quoting Fight Club?”

The expression on Cade’s face showed his pleased surprise.

Suddenly Jasper felt slightly awkward, and he gestured at the house in the distance.

“Let’s go in. I have a doggie door for the boys,” he said both for information and to fill in the strange, not-quite-awkward moment.

TNA: Thanks for sharing that with us, Tia. Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?

Tia: I’m writing a story for the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s event. It’s one POV of a certain time in a WIP, a novel, I’m currently writing. There’s also another novel in that same universe, and in addition to those I’m also trying to figure out what to do with my NaNoWriMo novel from 2013 with which I’ve gotten up to about halfway through.

The stories are about parenting-while-inked-and-pierced, overcoming an unusual childhood and facing the world as an adult, figuring out who you are in the world of gay dating (the working title is Silver Fox and the Cub for this one ;)). Those are only the three things in the same universe.

The NaNo is a story set in Britain about a former dancer from the US and an English lad who has to come terms with his family problems and some other pretty interesting stuff. Sounds much more lame than it is, really!

I don’t have four WIPs at the same time, ever. So this is scary, yet oddly wonderful.

TNA: And finally, would you kindly share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?

Tia: I have my website at http://www.tiafielding.com, and then I also have a Facebook author page at http://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding. You might want to check out my other links, and the easiest way to do that is to go to my website and look around.

Dreamspinner Press, Tia Fielding

Welcome To The Tia Fielding Book Blast




Even after a decade, the life that journalist Brent Walsh and Milwaukee homicide detective Shawn Mackey have made together is far from boring. But when a new case cuts a weekend getaway short, they aren’t quite prepared for how it will impact their personal lives. Suddenly there’s too much to juggle: Shawn will be working the case of the sharpshooter who is trying to infect random people with HIV, Brent needs to cover the story but fears a conflict of interest, one of Shawn’s colleagues is attracted to him, and Brent sincerely needs to mend the painful break with his childhood best friend, Ollie, and heal their broken hearts.

Though the case comes to a close, it’s not the end of their troubles. Shawn and Brent still face a past of old white lies, a present possibility of inviting another man to their bed, and a future with children, not to mention health issues and national fallout from the case. It’s enough to make them want to run away—until they realize they have to face those challenges head-on so they can get on with the life of love they’re hoping for.

Book Links:

Goodreads Ι Dreamspinner Ι Amazon


HIV isn’t going away

That’s the sad truth. It’s World AIDS Day, and I’m here to promo a book. Why this book and why today? We’ll get to that shortly, but first, I have some bad news.

It’s kind of odd, really, to think about the news I read the other day about HIV and AIDS being on the rise among young gay men. My first thought was “Haven’t we learned anything?”

Why is this true? Have we taken “Oh but it’s not the death sentence it used to be” too seriously, which means we’re taking the risks too lightly now? Are we in denial? Why now?

There are no definitive answers, or at least I don’t have them. I can only speculate and try to come up with something that makes sense on some level.

Let’s think of the demographic of “young” gay men. Let’s say you’re a gay man in his late teens or early twenties somewhere in the US. Now, take a look at the straight counterparts to see the bigger picture.

Maybe we’re expecting too much of the gay ones, just because they’re gay. I mean, who is surprised of teen moms or twenty-year old dads of several kids anymore? There are parents too young to be parents, ones who didn’t want the children in the first place, for the same reason there are HIV positive youth out there: they didn’t use protection. An accident happened. It was a heat of the moment kind of thing. Maybe they were forced by someone? The scariest possibility is this: They did not know any better.

Yes, I realize I’m comparing Human Immunodeficiency Virus to getting pregnant by accident. It’s not the best comparison, I know that, but have you thought of it in those terms before?

When we look at who is making the laws in the States, who are deciding things like women’s rights to their own bodies, doesn’t it look a lot like a bunch people who might not understand or accept the importance of informing the young people who are having sex of the consequences?

Will that gray-haired old man with old fashioned, conservative views understand the importance of getting the information out there? Whether the teenager who is going to have sex for the first time is gay or straight, they need to know what they should do to protect themselves for any kind of negative repercussions. They need to understand the significance one wrong (or right) choice can make with their whole life.

Yes, teenagers use the internet and know a lot more about things than we did even fifteen years ago. Does that mean they’re safe? The statistics show they’re not.

So what if the worst happens and you find yourself or a loved one having contracted HIV? You will find your way. There is help. There is support. But mostly I hope you’ll have that special someone that stays by your side, no matter what. And that right there is what my novel Positive is about.




3: Howl Sweet Howl by Tia Fielding

Life at the Jarvela farm hobbles on when the new year rolls in. Losing his wife and co-alpha in the storm of the decade emotionally paralyzed Sean, though he tries to cope and attempts to pick up the pieces with their children. Rider, another alpha, could give him the love and comfort he needs, but Sean is too depressed to recognize the possibility of having a male partner, and he goes into mental tailspin.

Rider makes the hard decision to leave for a while, and Sean turns his energy and sadness into working on the neighboring Metsala farm with the other members of their farm family. But Sean isn’t really getting better, and that won’t change until he can let his wolf out again. If he doesn’t, he might lose his sanity too.

Book Links:

Dreamspinner (Pre-orders) Ι Goodreads


Author Bio:

Tia Fielding is a 30-year-old Scandinavian. She is a self-proclaimed “queer girl”, lover of everything pretty, witty people, words, cats, sarcasm, autumn, and caffeine.

She uses her nights with her head in the clouds and her feet on the coffee table, right next to her laptop. Her days? She uses those by sleeping way too much.

Tia started writing stories early on, almost as soon as she learned how to write. The early stories about horses and ghosts have changed into romantic tales about people in love. She stopped writing at some point in her late teens and early twenties, but began again a few years ago, after finding fan fiction. Tia is not ashamed of her past of borrowing other people’s characters, but has found creating her own much more satisfying.

Social Media Links:

Twitter Ι Facebook Ι Goodreads Ι Website

Brita Addams, Jade Buchanan, Johanna Parkhurst, John Goode, RJ Scott, Sneak Peek, Tia Fielding

And Now, Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week!

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend (or had a fantastic one, for those of you in time zones where it’s already Monday). We’ve got a slightly shortened but busy week ahead, so here’s what we have on tap for you here at The Novel Approach.


MondayRJ Scott is here to give a little Bump and love to The Decisions We Make and to offer a great giveaway opportunity to one lucky reader.

TuesdayBrita Addams is stopping by on her “Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent” Blog Tour to talk a little bit about the book and her lifelong love affair with Hollywood.

WednesdayJohanna Parkhurst drops in on her “Here’s to You, Zeb Pike” Blog Tour to tell us a bit about herself AND she’ll be giving you the chance to win an E-copy of the book.

The ever lovely and delectable A.J Corza is going on hiatus until after the holidays. I know. Everyone join me in an “Awwww”. But never fear! She’ll be back after the first of the year.

Thursday – From all of us here at The Novel Approach, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving (or a Happy Thursday to our international friends)! We’re taking this day off to spend some time with family and friends. :)

FridayJade Buchanan will also be here to do a little Backlist Book Bumping of her novel Black Wolf, so be sure to stay tuned.

And John Goode will be back today with Part Three of his writing series: “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…”

SaturdayPiper Vaughn is coming over to scare the Christmas britches off of you with a Backlist Book Bump of “Zombie Wonderland”, and a giveaway.

SundayTia Fielding will be joining us on her Positive/Howl Sweet Howl Book Blast Blog Tour, so do plan to stop in and say hello.


And that’s it, plus lots of reviews for the coming week. Wishing you all happy reading! :)

Dreamspinner Press, Tia Fielding

Tia Fielding’s “Positive” Is A Mix Of Mystery And Romance

“Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.” – Soren Kierkegaard

At the beginning of this story we meet Shawn and Brent, a married couple that are a policeman and a journalist, respectively. The two men have been together for most of the last ten years. About five years in the past, they took a “break” due to a misunderstanding. This break unfortunately led to a life altering event that changed reality for both men. Brent contracted HIV due to a sexual assault, and it changed his and Shawn’s life forever.

In a strange twist of fate, Shawn’s newest case involves a perpetrator that is shooting random people on the street with darts that contain HIV positive blood. Due to the fact that all of Shawn’s co-workers and supervisors know about Brent’s status he is made the “face” of the case by his boss and his boss’s boss. The fact that Shawn is basically forced to appear on a local morning show brings Shawn and Brent to the attention of the serial shooter Shawn has been tracking. With a surreal ending to Shawn’s case that actually helps Brent professionally, the couple moves on to more personal issues.

While visiting Shawn at work one day Brent meets Malik, an undercover narcotics officer, and he recognizes the attraction shared between the three of them. After discussing the attraction Brent noticed between the three men, he and Shawn decide that Malik is interested and they would love to spend one night with the man. I don’t understand why a committed couple that are genuinely happy with one another would want or need to invite another man into their bed, but the scene was well written, and both Shawn and Brent got some comfort from the night with Malik. I think this was one final step for the men to recognize the strength of their relationship.

I truly enjoyed watching this story unfold. Getting to see these two men mend fences with an old friend and make a few new ones was truly entertaining and heartwarming. I also appreciated how Shawn and Brent grew as a couple. The two men learned the importance of telling the whole truth and also saw exactly how the decisions of one person can determine the future of countless others. After the stress of the case is over Shawn and Brent have some very important decisions to make. They both want a family of their own and they find that there are more options then they previously thought.

Tia Fielding put together a wonderful story full of mystery, romance and some downright smexy moments! I hope this book may be the first of a series because I am anxious to find out what happens to some of the wonderful secondary characters that added so much to Shawn and Brent’s story.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Positive here: