3 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed by Sammy, Sean Michael, Torquere Press

Review: Jack of All Trades by Sean Michael

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Title: Jack Of All Trades (Box Of Nails: Book Four)

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 137 Pages

At a Glance: Unfortunately, Jack of All Trades is not one of this author’s better works.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Brad is crashing in his cousin Stephen’s room while he tries to sort out his life. A perpetual student, he still hasn’t settled on a major after a half dozen years at University. He loves learning, but so far that’s the only thing that’s been a good fit.

Dill is a full-time Dom who hasn’t found the right sub yet. He’s not worried about it — he figures it’ll eventually happen and in the meantime, there’s plenty of boys at the Hammer Club who are eager to share a scene with an experienced master.

When Brad and Dill meet at a party at Barney and Devon’s house for subs, the attraction is immediate and undeniable and Master Dill feels that Brad is the perfect sub for him. He also believes that as his submissive, Brad will learn the focus he needs to fulfill his potential and find satisfaction with his life. Now he just needs to help jack-of-all-trades Brad see they belong together

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Review: Brad is adrift—more than just a perpetual student who floats by from one major to the next, he is barely surviving monetarily as well. Now couch surfing at a friend’s place, Brad meets Dill, a Dom in search of a submissive. When the two meet, Brad is still a virgin and certain that the kinky life of BDSM is not for him…or so he thinks. Dill recognizes in Brad a sub in need of direction and education, and sets out to be the impetus for both in Brad’s life.

After arranging for Brad to become his intern who will help research his many articles concerning the D/s world, Dill begins to wear down Brad’s resistance to trying out the lifestyle for himself. With much gentle reassurance and a heap of nudging, Brad seems ready to consider the idea he could be a submissive—but, will he be willing to explore that with Dill as his Master? Only time will tell.

If you know anything about Sean Michael’s work then you know it is filled with hot sex and varying degrees of BDSM, and Jack Of All Trades is no exception. Honestly, were this a piece of erotica and not a novel that should have a serious and steadily moving plot, I could have given this story five stars and called it a day. There is no doubt that this author can churn out one hot sexual scenario after another. In fact, the Doms that proliferate this author’s books are always kind, gentle and fully invested in their submissives, even when that means pushing them well beyond their comfort zone and exploring deeply ingrained painful memories that often seem to go hand in hand with being a submissive in one of Sean Michael’s stories.

Jack of All Trades delivers on this successful formula of needy sub and patient Dom quite nicely. However, what’s lacking here are the specifics surrounding Brad’s insecurities. I never really got to know Brad on any other level than he was a virgin and in need of being told it was okay to explore BDSM. He seemed to have no real family, there was no real meat or hidden reasons behind his inability to commit, and, to be frank, I was hard pressed to see his character’s growth throughout the novel. Other than his committing to a relationship with Dill, Brad remained one-dimensional and I am sorry to say, rather boring.

This novel fell short merely because it failed to establish what was really the root of Brad’s inability to commit to life—whether that be a college major or being Dill’s submissive. Instead, there was simply heaps of great sex and little else.  I found myself wanting this story to move on—to get to the point where Dill would dig deep enough to see why Brad was so adrift. Instead, he took the man into his home, gave him a rather contrived “internship” by becoming his “patron,” and introduced him to the world of BDSM. Other than Brad agreeing to becoming exclusive and willing to “try” the lifestyle, I failed to see any real change in either character. Hence, we had a series of sex scenes tied together with very little plot.

Sean Michael has turned out some very good and provocative novels where the characters develop and change, finally growing into a less wounded and more complete person. Unfortunately, Jack of All Trades is not one of this author’s better works and therefore, fell short of the kind of stories this author is capable of producing.

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2.5 Stars, Genre Romance, L.J. Hamlin, Reviewed by Maryann, Torquere Press

Review: The Dusty Hat Bar by L.J. Hamlin

Title: The Dusty Hat Bar

Author: L.J. Hamlin

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 96 Pages

At a Glance: I liked Noah and Lennie, but the author’s writing style made the reading difficult at times.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Noah Kimberly walks into his usual bar, same as he does most Friday nights. It’s surprisingly busy for this time of night, even for a Friday.

Tonight things are different. Tonight Noah will meet Lennie Boyce, the son of Earl Boyce the biggest ranch owner in the area and Noah’s ex boss. His friend and bar owner Dusty might warn him away from the other man, but Noah’s just not sure he can resist this cowboy.

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Review: L.J. Hamlin’s The Dusty Hat Bar begins with Noah Kimberly at the bar, having thoughts of revenge against Earl Boyce, Lennie Boyce’s father. Noah knows revenge isn’t the way to handle things, though, and I was glad he changed his mind because he’s not a bad guy. When Noah actually meets Lennie that same night, they hit it off pretty well and mutually agree to have sex right away. I liked Noah and Lennie, but I sort of wish that hadn’t happened so fast.

Lennie has just turned twenty-one and wants to be a teacher. He has no interest in his family ranch. He is also the youngest of five, the only boy, and I liked the relationship he had with his sisters, who are very supportive of him and Noah. I also liked Dusty and Richard Draper, as they give support and advice to Noah.

I really want to give The Dusty Hat Bar a fair review. With that in mind, I have to say that, at times, the writing was like reading a list of instructions, which made the relationship between the MCs feel unreal, and I caught myself trying to reconstruct some of the wording to make it read in a more relaxed way. Which, unfortunately, took away some of the enjoyment of the reading.

For me, The Dusty Hat Bar boiled down to being about the father and son relationship, and Earl trying to protect Lennie but going about it the wrong way. Earl worries about how others will react towards Lennie being gay, fearing his son could be attacked or killed by intolerant people—things Earl knows about from his past. I must say I didn’t care for some of the things Earl does to his son and Noah.

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5 Stars, Anthology, Reviewed by Lana, Torquere Press

Review: Plaid Nights Anthology from Torquere Press

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Title: Plaid Nights Anthology

Author: Various (see blurb)

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 186 Pages

At a Glance: This book has a little of everything: sexy bad boys, a little mystery, a little paranormal, and a lot of entertainment. It’s a must read.

Reviewed By: Lana

Blurb: In Plaid Nights, men in kilts are as varied as they are hot. Whether they’re caber tossers, rugby players, Highland warriors, country dancers, or time-traveling vampires, they’re up for surprises and sexy good times.

Rob Rosen starts us off with humor in “Tossing It.” Contemporary men discover love in unexpected places in “Whiskey and Want” by Megan McFerren, “Some Like It Scot” by Julia Talbot, “Perfect Working Order” by Elizabeth Coldwell, and “Off-Kilter” by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae. We get a taste of the paranormal in “Sir WW” by Angelique Voisen, “Feumaidh Mi Ruith (I Have to Run)” by Missouri Dalton, and “Kilt in the Closet” by Logan Zachary. And we’re treated to forbidden love in historicals “Hunting for a Highlander” by Lila Mathews, “A Time to Heal” by Anna Mansel, and “As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad” by McKay.

In these stories, some tartan-clad men wear their kilts in the “traditional manner,” while others are less daring. But all find love, and of course, a happy ending—especially at night, when the plaid comes off.

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Review: The Plaid Nights Anthology is a collection of stories about men in kilts. Yes, I said men in kilts! What else do you need? If your kink is men in kilts, like mine, then this book is for you. If it’s not, then it’s going to be if you read this book. I have three words to describe this anthology: Men. In. Kilts! All the stories were ridiculously hot and very well written, but really, all you need to know is that they were hot.

There’s a good assortment of styles and genres. While most of the stories were contemporary, two were historical: One about William Wallace, which I guarantee you’ve never read anything about him like it before. The other story was a fantasy about a witch and a highlander giving in to their desires despite being enemies. Both stories were very entertaining and in a short amount of time, totally sucked me into their worlds. I wish they were longer!

But, the story that was just up my alley was Feumaidh Mi Ruith (I Have to Run) by Missouri Dalton. Cary meets a sexy kilt wearing bad boy, Marcus, in a bar, and hooks up with him. Cary is a thief, so when the opportunity presents itself, he steals something from Marcus. Marcus just happens to be a cop and makes a deal with Cary: if Cary helps him retrieve a piece of jewelry, Marcus will let him go. Well, as you can imagine, it’s not that simple. They get tangled up with bad guys and have hot sex in between. I wanted more sex. Marcus is a typical Alpha, which I love, and he’s also part of a paranormal family. Cary is a twink thief with a heart of gold and some persuasion powers up his sleeve. This element of the story wasn’t really developed, but I wish it was because from the little tease, it sounds like fun! He’s the perfect foil for Marcus. The title is in reference to Cary wanting to run from Marcus, but in the end, he lets Marcus catch him. This was a sexy and romantic story that I didn’t want to end.

Any book that has gorgeous kilted men in it, who love sex and sin, is one I can get behind. This book has a little of everything: sexy bad boys, a little mystery, a little paranormal, and a lot of entertainment. It’s a must read.

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4 Stars, Ashavan Doyon, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, Torquere Press

Review: Andrew’s Prayer by Ashavan Doyon

Title: Andrew’s Prayer (The College Rose Romances)

Author: Ashavan Doyon

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 267 Pages

At a Glance: Andrew’s Prayer had incredible potential but simply lost its way in the latter part of the story.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: For Andrew Tuttleman, sex is a means to an end. With a mother too sick to pay the bills on her own and college bills to pay, Drew has spent years resorting to sex with strangers to keep a roof over his mother’s head and keep himself at school, far away from the hell where he grew up. This summer, his usual tricks are still paying the bills. But there’s a new one, Grant, who never got the memo that a trick is a no-strings deal. Convinced that Drew is the answer to a hopeless prayer, Grant seems ready to pursue Drew to the ends of the earth.

Drew, on the other hand, isn’t so convinced. Grant comes with trouble in the form of a wife and three kids, not to mention a single and unwavering requirement: that Drew give up his livelihood. Grant’s kiss makes Drew ache for more, a romance that he never dreamed possible. He finds himself unexpectedly willing to try. Can Drew weather Grant’s angry father, wife, and a daughter determined to kick him in the shins so hard that he’ll leave Grant’s life forever? It all relies on Grant’s faith in an impossible prayer.

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Review: Ashavan Doyon writes boldly about a subject one doesn’t often see in m/m romance novels. He delves into an area that faith and, by extension, prayer, can soothe and replace despair with hope. The extent to which both main characters’ reliance on prayer infused the plot of the story made it a risky venture for this author. At this time when organized religion seems to be hell-bent on destroying the gay community, this author’s novel seems particularly timely.

Andrew Tuttleman is home for summer break. In the fall he will begin his last year at university, and he hopes sincerely that his mother will be able to see him graduate. While her illness is never really given a name, we are assured it was a byproduct of a violent episode in her life. Andrew and his mother are dirt poor. Subsisting on scholarships to pay for not only his courses but his food and books as well, he lives as frugally as possible. Every cent he does make goes to pay the rent and toward the cost of the medicines keeping his mother alive. How does Andrew make his money? He is a high paid prostitute.

With little time for matters of faith, Andrew has been kicked around one too many times to believe in any god swooping in to rescue him. On one of his first nights home, he sets up a meet with a client. Grant is struggling in his marriage. With three little girls at home, and a wife who he found cheating with a younger man, he’s finally worked up the courage to learn once and for all whether or not the feelings he has buried for so long are true. Andrew will be his test case. Grant is nearly certain that he has been living in the closet for years.

However, the meet up doesn’t go quite as planned, for once the deed is done, Grant can’t seem to put Andrew out of his mind. Through a series of texts, he begs Andrew to meet him again. For the first time ever, Andrew had more than just sex when he met up with Grant. Strange and long buried emotions are struggling to get to the surface. Andrew was terrified of those feelings and the vulnerability that accompanied them. From the time of their second meeting on, these men would explore what it means to be honest and real, not only with each other but with their families. It is going to be a rocky journey, and with one more year to finish at school, Andrew may lose everything, including the man he now loves.

The first three quarters of this novel were stunning. Emotions ran rampant and the storyline was stark and gritty, refusing to sugarcoat what Andrew did to make his living. The angst factor ran high, as it should with both main characters forced to face facts about themselves they had kept hidden and buried. There was such harsh truth running throughout this entire section of the story. The plot most definitely drew me in, rapidly investing my emotions and compelling me to read further. While faith and the ability to trust in God’s providence was discussed throughout this section, I felt that it was realistically handled, particularly for Grant’s character. I also appreciated that Andrew craved the stability that seem to come from Grant’s expressions of his beliefs. Things were going well until the last quarter of this novel, when Andrew returned to college and, unfortunately, this is where the story began to turn preachy and just a tad bit unbelievable.

The struggles that both men had with the distance that lay between them, and the fact that Grant’s wife had come back on the scene to sew real turmoil, were understandable. However, there was a huge amount of back-story concerning how Andrew had been outed the year before that never was fully explained. I actually went looking for this novel’s listing to make sure it was not a sequel. I failed to see any indication that it was. Along with that, he also hooked up with various people on campus on the sly, and confrontations with them left me wondering just what had gone on in his previous three years. Also, there was an overuse of what I gather folks down South call homosexuals. The moniker given was “sissy boy,” and while I understood it being used while he was home, when he returned to school I felt the phrase really would’ve been out of place.

These things, along with what I felt was an unbelievable return to faith on Andrews part, made the last portion of this story a little unbelievable for me. I do enjoy this author’s writing style. I felt that most of this novel was incredibly real and touched on things that other authors adroitly avoid. However, I felt the direction that was taken toward the end, where the storyline became heavily influenced by religion and prayer, diminished the very real and raw emotions preceding it.

Andrew’s Prayer had incredible potential but simply lost its way in the latter part of the story. I do look forward to reading more by this author. Ashavan Doyon has a strong and important voice with a true talent for storytelling.

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed By Carrie, Sean Michael, Torquere Press

Review: The Briar Rose: Blended Family by Sean Michael

Title: The Briar Rose: Blended Family

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 134 Pages

At a Glance: A great addition to the Briar Rose series.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Matt and Adam are back and this time they’re welcoming two established Master/sub pairs who want to play together. Without ruining their friendship.

Subs Peter and Max have been best friends forever, since before they met their masters. They were lovers once, but both men needed the influence of a Dom to stay on an even keel. Happily in love with their masters, Devon and Swan, the boys nonetheless want more.

Devon and Swan care deeply for each other and are willing to give becoming something more a try and the Briar Rose seems like the perfect place to give it a go. As neutral ground, if things go wrong, they should be able to put the whole thing behind them and go back to their lives as simply friends.

Can Devon, Peter, Swan, and Max become the blended family they yearn to be?

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Review: Adam and his Dom, Matt, run The Briar Rose, a bed and breakfast that caters to those seeking help and advice for the BDSM lifestyle. This is the third installment in the Briar Rose series, and Matt and Adam seem to be settling into their roles as facilitators for the couples who come to visit.

Blended Family is about two couples coming together, to play together, and hopefully to create a blended family together – without ruining their friendships. Max and Peter are the two subs in this pairing – best friends who used to be lovers before they both had masters – and they miss the closeness they once shared. Devon and Swan are the Doms – both strong masters and good friends. When Peter asks Devon if they can play with Max and Swan, the idea of creating a polyamorous grouping begins to form. They come to The Briar Rose for a trial run in a safe environment, to create new rules, new expectations and boundaries. It’s not easy, there are missteps, but all four men are committed, and it is a pleasure to watch them create their new reality.

Sean Michael has written another solid addition to this series. Each of these stories is short and leaves you wanting more. I am really looking forward to the next set of guests at The Briar Rose Inn.

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5 Stars, Chris Owen, M/M/M and More, Reviewed by Kim, Torquere Press, Tory Temple

Review: Never too Early: Finding Their Way by Chris Owen and Tory Temple

Title: Finding Their Way

Author: Chris Owen and Tory Temple

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 153 Pages

At a Glance: Chris Owen and Tory Temple are making the relationships between these four men work.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Continuing from the first book in the series (Never Too Early: The Beginning), Chance and Tucker and Jake and Tor find themselves involved in a friendship that goes much deeper than any of them initially suspected.

Jake has been released from the hospital following his fall from the roof, and Chance and Tucker agree to stay in Arkansas for several days to help Tor with Jake’s care. Chance, however, spends much of his time trying to resist the growing attraction he has for Jake. The confusion between the love he has for Tucker and the new feelings for Jake play tricks with Chance’s mind. Is any of this a good idea, or are all of them headed for disaster?

For his part, Jake has to reconcile not only his growing feelings and physical attraction to Chance, but also the promises he and Tor made to each other. They rebuilt their own relationship in the wake of mistakes neither one of them wishes to repeat. How much communication and longing can one — or two — relationships take?

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Review: Oh, my poor Jake! He really hurt himself when he fell off the roof of his place. His head and ribs are a big hurting mess, but luckily he has not only Tor to look out for him, but Chance and Tucker as well.

Jake, as he’s recovering, realizes he’s becoming more and more attracted to Chance. Now, I know in Bareback both Jake and Tor agreed to “no more playing” around, especially after the trouble they went through during the second half of that book. But, this is different from what happened then. Both he and Tor are finding that there’s enough love to share with Chance and Tucker without risking their own relationship.

How did I feel about all this?

I loved it!

I fell in love with all four characters way back when I first read about them, especially Jake! And now I got the added bonus of finding out a bit more about his youth and time in prison.

Chris Owen and Tory Temple are making the relationships between these four men work without worrying that there could be problems ahead. They’ve stepped out of the box, broke with traditional relationships, and have made it a foursome that works for me.

Being that it’s the first time Chance and Tucker have ventured into this unknown territory, I’m curious to see how they’ll handle the shift in their relationship. But, I can tell that Jake and Chance are the mature ones who will handle anything that may lead to a problem, and there were a few moments that I held my breath while reading Finding Their Way, as everything was worked through when something did came up.

I will warn you that if you’re not into an established couple swapping with another established couple, then Finding Their Way is a book to avoid. There is a third installment in this series which I’m eager to read when it comes out. What can I say? I’m hooked on the outcome!

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2.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed By Carrie, T. Strange, Torquere Press

Review: Lock and Key by T. Strange

Title: Lock and Key

Author: T. Strange

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 88 Pages

At a Glance: This book has a great premise but it just kind of fell flat for me.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: After meeting Terry at a motorcycle show, Gavin is sure he’s found the man of his dreams. While he’s fantasized about BDSM for years, Gavin has never had a play partner and Terry is happy to teach him. After playing together for a few months, Terry has to leave on a business trip. Terry gives Gavin the key to his apartment so Gavin can sleep in, but Gavin isn’t sure he’s ready for that level of commitment. While he likes and trusts Terry—and loves the kinky sex they have together—Gavin has to decide which he can’t give up: Terry, or his freedom. Part one was originally published as Boots and Leather by Torquere Press.

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Review: Lock and Key is about the beginning – sometimes awkward – few weeks in a relationship between Terry and his new sub Gavin. They meet at a motorcycle convention, go for coffee, and the relationship sparks off from there.

Gavin is a bank teller who haunts motorcycle shows in the hopes of finding a leather daddy Dom to fulfill all his fantasies. Terry is an artist, a big man with mutton chops and worn leather chaps… He has seen Gavin at other shows and is determined to finally meet the boy he has had his eye on.

This book has a great premise but it just kind of fell flat for me. I really wanted it to be better. Terry and Gavin are both great characters, and they deserved a better written story. The skeleton is there – the meat is there – but there is just not enough connecting it all to make a complete picture. The sex is hot, however, so if you’re looking for a short and steamy read, you will probably enjoy Lock and Key. I just needed a little more depth in the storyline that would connect their lives and how they intertwine.

Terry and Gavin click and the sex is provocative, though, so if you want that then this novella is for you.

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Erin McRae, Genre Romance, Racheline Maltese, Torquere Press

Guest Post and Excerpt: Phoenix by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae

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Who hasn’t heard someone say boys don’t cry? Or seen readers debate whether they’re okay with that in their books on Goodreads or Facebook. As authors, we have this conversation too. We want to avoid stereotypes; we want our characters to reflect men that we know; and we want the story to have what it needs, too, in terms of emotional development and evolution.

While we were working on Phoenix (Love in Los Angeles, Book 3), we struggled mightily figuring out how to navigate men and grief. In the end, we decided to write the problem. Which means that when tragedy strikes in Phoenix (Love in Los Angeles, Book 3), not only do characters have to deal with the loss, they have to navigate how they perform that loss. Grief is hard and messy enough, before Paul and Alex — the main couple — have to figure out who they can act upset if front of, and to what extent.

Because boys don’t cry doesn’t, of course, mean that men do not feel emotion and sadness. It just means that dealing with grief when others — family, friends, audience members of all kinds — are watching is that much harder. Because boys do cry, and the fact that they do so does not make them any less masculine, or heroic, or anything else anyone wants them to be. Phoenix is a romance novel and has an HEA, never fear; and the characters earn their happily ever after through navigating their own emotions of grief and loss.

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phoenixSometimes the end of everything…

Now happily married to writer and producer Paul Marion Keane, television star J. Alex Cook’s life has been a fairytale of success and romance for years. But when an unexpected tragedy throws his and Paul’s social circle into chaos, the alumni of hit TV show The Fourth Estate are forced to pick up the creative pieces left behind.

…is just the beginning

Confronted with his own mortality, Paul suggests he and Alex start a family. But figuring out what family means when your best friends’ polyamorous marriage may be melting down and you have Hollywood’s most malevolent fairy godmother to thank for your success is no easy proposition.

As Alex questions whether anyone in a profession full of make believe can truly have fame, fortune, kids, and the happily ever after of their dreams, he sets out to take control of his own life and discover that the best love stories never truly end.

Phoenix is Book 3 in the Love in Los Angeles series.

Buy Links: Amazon | Torquere

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Excerpt: Alex’s eyes flutter shut when Paul slides his hands into his back pockets and pulls him closer. They’re not dancing so much as grinding together, but they’re hardly alone in that regard—at least they still have their shirts on, and if Alex is willing, Paul has absolutely zero desire to stop.

Paul can’t hear it, but he can feel the breath of a moan on his neck when Alex gets insistent about digging his fingers into Paul’s hair while he mouths at the skin above his collar. Six months apart, with only two weeks in the middle, was a very long time, and the time they’ve had since has barely been enough to get used to sharing space with each other again, much less fall back into their relationship with all their knowledge of each other’s bodies and hearts intact.

“This is possibly a stupid idea,” Alex murmurs at some point.

Paul isn’t sure how much time has elapsed since things crossed into slightly inappropriate but totally expected territory. “I don’t think you care.”

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Author BioBio: Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry — Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) — from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world — Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.

Connect with Erin & Racheline online:

Blog | Facebook Page | Erin’s Twitter | Racheline’s Twitter | Erin’s Goodreads | Racheline’s Goodreads | Erin’s Amazon Author Page | Racheline’s Amazon Author Page

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T. Strange, Torquere Press

Release Day Playlist: My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange

**Be Sure To Join The Novel Approach And Yours Truly On The My Zombie Boyfriend Facebook Page Today From 3-4pm Eastern Time For An Hour Of Games And Prizes!**

Author: T. Strange
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genres: M/M, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary

Blurb: Edward Grey is a medical student by day, necromancer by night. He lives alone with the first zombie he ever raised, his childhood cat, Boo. Edward’s life is simple: studying medicine, training his necromantic powers with his mentor, Mariel, and having weekly dinners with his parents. When he finds a very attractive corpse in a park and brings it home to reanimate, he accidentally creates a sassy, free-willed zombie who believes Edward is the one who murdered him.

With no memory of his former life, Edward names the zombie Kit and tries to win his trust. Kit slowly adjusts to his new un-life with Edward’s help, though he’s still suspicious of Edward’s role in his death and is convinced that Edward is hiding his former identity. Edward is very attracted to Kit, but understands why Kit doesn’t trust him. As they become closer to one another, Kit turns to Edward for comfort and love. The fragile trust they’ve built together will be tested when Kit unexpectedly regains his memory and seeks revenge on his murderers.

Buy Link: Amazon US

Learn more about what inspires Kit on Pinterest.

Enjoy a playlist of some of Kit’s favourite music!

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Author Bio: My Zombie Boyfriend is T. Strange’s first full-length novel, though she has published several shorter works with Torquere Press. When not writing, T. enjoys gardening, spending time with her horse, and, of course, reading. T. lives in Canada with her wife, surrounded by pets.

Social Media Links: Blog | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Tsu | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest | Torquere | Google+ | Tumblr

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TA Moore, Torquere Press

Guest Post: The Labyrinth of Stone Blog Tour by TA Moore

Labyrinth of Stone

The Novel Approach welcomes TA Moore today on the Labyrinth of Stone blog tour.

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Writers are creatures of habit. Not all – but most – have a few routines that in place that lubricate the flow of inspiration. They write in a specific place or play a specific song; they write in the morning or at night; they write long hand or only on their desktop. Just anything that sets their brain up to expect ‘creativity incoming, here and now’. Oh, and sometimes the habits are ingrained enough to count as ‘rituals’ and get a bit odd. I know one quite well-respected local author who writes with his trousers undone so if he needs to get up to pee it doesn’t interrupt his train of thought too much. I think that verges over to the odd. I mean, that’s fair isn’t it?

Of course, I’m not one to talk. If I see a magpie I rhyme off ‘Hello, Mr Magpie, how’s your wife’ to ward off bad luck. I mean, yes, my website is a bit magpie themed – I love them, and there’s a family that make their nest in my back garden every year. They still give me the superstitious twitches.

As far as my writing goes, though, I think I stick on the right side of habit. However, it definitely doesn’t feel right if I try and write without the trappings. So what are my habits? Ok.

Medium

This depends what I am doing. If I am plotting or planning story elements then it has to be on paper. I have stacks of notebooks with story ideas and plot outlines, with lots of crossed out bits and arrows linking different sections. My brain just can’t plot things on a computer screen, I need the tactile involvement of my hands, paper and a pen.

Writing is always on a computer. For years it was in a word document, but I’ve moved to Google Docs in the last few years. The clean interface is just what my brain needs for writing, plus it means I can find it anywhere.

Location

I can write on almost any PORTABLE computing device. Laptop, tablets…I’ve written done a few lines of my phone if inspiration struck when I was on the move. I find it really difficult to write creatively on a desktop. I think it is spending years working and writing non-fic on the desktop. When I sit down at a desk, my brain expects something analytic and it takes lots of fidgeting about to settle down and get words out.

My favourite place to write is the living room, wedged in the corner of the sofa with my laptop balanced half on my knee and half on the arm of the sofa. This is the position that lets inspiration flow unhindered – and screws up my knee and back something fierce. The brain wants what the brain wants though!

Background

Coffee shops. I know, I know. You’re thinking that should have been in location, not background, right. Thanks to coffitivity, though, you can bring the coffee shop to wherever you are! I like background noise when I write. Complete silence is distracting in its own way. I can’t do music. I usually have playlists associated with what I’m writing, but I listen to them in the car or on public transport. Or in the shower, I have a cool waterpoof radio with bluetooth so I can play my phone through it. I pay too much attention to music to have anything with words on while I write, and instrumental music usually makes me sleepy.

I’m too nosy to actually have conversations going on in the background, I just stop writing and start eavesdropping. Coffivitiy is the perfect blend of nonsense noise and reassuring coffee sounds.

Refreshments

Big bottle of water. I should probably drink less – I pee too much for productivity – but it tends to be a place-holder for me. When I need to think, I sit and hydrate absently until my brain clicks in. I’ve tried tea. The problem is that there’s too much potential for faffing around with tea – making it, waiting for it to cool enough to drink, forgetting about it and taking a gulp of cold tea, and then making a whole new cup… It ends up being an excuse.

Pre-Writing Internet Checklist

Before I write anything, I check my Flipboard for any interesting news and then give a quick once over to the Guardian G2 site. Anything I think might be useful, or that I want to come back, I stick into evernote for later.

Man, writing it down it sounds like it takes ages for me to get into the writing frame of mind! It doesn’t really. Most of these are already set up and ready to go. The only one that takes time is the last one, and I tend to scan any longform articles and read them properly in evernote later.

And that’s how I write!

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LoS_TAMoore_500Blurb: 10 years ago the Black Rapture transported thousands of people, seemingly at random, from Earth to the strange, inimical world they call the Labyrinth. Will Teller was one of them. Surviving that meant joining an army and becoming better at killing than he’s comfortable with. It’s enough upheaval for anyone’s life. The only problem is, apparently no-one told his commanding officer that.

Pride, and heart, stung by abandonment, the icily controlled General Nathan Kearney has decided that Teller can either find the wayward lover, or he can take his place in Nathan’s bed. That’s pretty good motivation for a straight guy, only thing is – Teller’s sexuality seems to have gone a bit Magic-8 Ball on that issue. Suddenly Nathan’s starting to look pretty good, and the only question is whether or not Teller wants to be the consolation prize?

Buy Links: Torquere Press | Amazon US | All Romance e-Books

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Excerpt Five – Ben Colt: Ben took the second watch shift, leaning against a pile of suitcases as Nathan flopped down and dropped instantly to sleep. It was cold, a damp sort of high-place chill, and the stink from the water made him cough with shallow, irritating regularity. The drear nothing of the place made it dull, and he was just about to get up and stretch his legs to wake himself up when something – somethings – dropped on him.

Legs poking at his eyelids, tickling the insides of his ears. Hard bodies pushing against the seam of his lips and squirming into his nose. He jolted to his feet in instinctive panic, slapping at his face and scratching the back of his neck. Pain nipped at his ear and the back of his neck as he shed the nasty little things.

Fuck, Nathan.

He scrubbed his hands through his hair, yanking on the knots in his panic, and dropped to his knees next to Nathan. One of the things dropped off his shoulder and landed in Nathan’s curls, trying to wriggle down into the strands. Ben swore in disgust and swiped at the thing. It crunched in his fingers. The ooze that squeezed out of it stung his hands, itching like poison ivy only immediately.

Nathan rolled over and up, waking up on the move. Confusion made him squint for a second and then he registered the itch. He jumped up, swearing and shaking the skittering, twitching things out of his clothes and of his skin.

‘Little shits,’ he panted, trying to stamp on the bugs as they hit the ground. They just burrowed down into the moss, disappearing from view. ‘Get the little bastards off me. Ben, are they off me?’

He was sweating, almost hyperventilating. Nathan’d always hated spiders, cockroaches, bugs of any sort. When they’d been deployed in Iraq, he’d obsessively checked his boots and bags for any hitchhikers.

‘They’re gone. OK? You got them.’

Ben grabbed his shoulders, running a hand around the back of his neck and up into his hair. He patted him down, checking for bugs under his cuffs on clinging to his jeans. Blood dripped from divots taken out of his jaw and the back of his hands – from the wet trickle on his face and in the back of his neck, Ben was probably leaking too – but there were no more bugs.

By the time he finished, Nathan had cooled down and the rest of the survivors were starting to wake up.

Screams broke the stubborn twilight – did the sun ever come up here? – as people jumped and danced and kicked their feet.

‘What the hell!’

‘Oh Jesus, they’re everywhere.’

‘Ah. They bite. God. It stings.’

One woman couldn’t seem to get up, she lay on the ground jerking around like she was having a fit. It was, Ben registered, the same woman who’d told them this was God’s corpse. One of the attendants, still shaking from the bugs, crouched down to try and calm her. Something made his eyes widen and he jumped back, falling into the moss and dragging himself frantically back to his feet using another man as a ladder. He backed away, shaking his head, and the other passengers pulled back from the woman. It was that familiar trauma circle, bystanders pulled back enough to avoid contagion, but close enough not to miss anything.

‘That’s not good,’ Nathan said. He wiped sweat off his face and grimaced at his bloody hands, blotting them on his jeans. ‘Is that…?’

‘Yeah,’ Ben said gruffly. He started forwards – hearing Nathan hesitate, curse and take two long strides to catch up.

‘It’s not our problem,’ Nathan muttered, falling into step at Ben’s shoulder.

‘No? What if we’re the only people stuck here? She’s our problem then.’

He got a grunt in answer. Since Nathan stayed where he was, that made it his ‘fine, we’ll do it your way’ grunt. The woman had stopped flailing when they reached her. She lay on her back in the moss, whimpering softly through the knuckles she’d shoved in her mouth.

Her leg was caught in a knot of the Spanish moss stuff they’d been sleeping on. Ben heaved a relieved sigh. The way these idiots had been getting on, he’d thought –

Then she tried to get up again, kicking and making a mad, trapped rabbit squeak down her nose. Blood sprayed out from her foot and that’s when Ben say it.The moss wasn’t wrapped around her leg. It was growing through it.

’Right,’ Ben said roughly, filling the air just to fill it. He knelt down next to her and put his hand on her knee. Something wriggled against his palm, and he had to clench his teeth and resist the urge to scream and leave the woman to it. Instead he grimaced a smile. ‘Let’s get you out of that, huh?’

Her chest hitched and fell with ragged, unhappy breaths. A woman in sweat pants and a headscarf sniffed at him. ‘You aren’t meant to have weapons on a plane.’

Ben glared at her. ‘It wasn’t. It was in my luggage,’ he said. ‘You wanna help?’

She didn’t. So Nathan sat on the woman, pinning her arms and free leg down, while Ben went to work on the moss. The blonde screamed like he was cutting off her fingers when he sawed through the moss. It wasn’t hard. The stuff was fibrous, but dry and brittle. It snapped against the edge of the knife and sunk back into the woman’s skin.

The taproot was plugged into her foot, blistered skin bubbled over the heel. Ben gripped her foot, thumb digging into the narrow arch, and tried to pull it out. It slid out an inch, wet and slimy as tendons, and the woman’s leg…it slid. It felt like disjointing a boiled chicken, tendons stretching under skin that was too loose.

He gave up on pulling, swallowing the bubble of bile in the back of his throat. Options snapped through his head. He could take the leg off. Instinct told him that, this was the sort of fucked up mess that needed cut back hard. Except there were no painkillers, no hospital. All the water they had was in little plastic bottles and…well, survival was a heartless game. Wherever this was – whatever this was – Ben had the feeling there’d be no help coming.

Not soon. Maybe not ever. They couldn’t afford an invalid.

He licked his lips and glanced at Nathan. The same numbers game had turned his lover’s eyes cold. A dip of a beard-scruffed chin meant they were in agreement on final numbers.

Ben carved the root off close to the heel, shaving off wet, stretched blister skin and some meat. Maybe – what did he know? – maybe that would be enough.

It wasn’t. They only learned that later though. That was when Ben realised the lucky ones died early.

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tammyAuthor Bio: As a small child TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid and no-one had told her. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in Northern Ireland with an unimpressed cat and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a day (she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing).

TA Moore believes that adding ‘in space’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any dog she meets and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach and chickened out. She writes about vampires, werewolves and ghosts (*whispers* ‘in space!) and once wrote zombie erotica to prove it could be done.

The author can be found at: Facebook | Twitter

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Playlists:

Labyrinth of Stone

Labyrinth of Stone

Labyrinth of Stone

Labyrinth of Stone – Teller’s World

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Giveaways, Torquere Press

Interview and Giveaway: Kristi Boulware Of Torquere Press

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The Novel Approach is please to welcome Kristi Boulware today to talk a bit about Torquere Press, where it’s been and where it’s going to meet your LGBT reading needs for the future. As a special thank you, Kristi is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win either an e-book of choice from their extensive backlist, or a gift certificate good toward a future purchase.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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TNA: Hi, Kristi, welcome to The Novel Approach, it’s great to have you hear with us today. Why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you became involved with Torquere, and where, when, how Torquere came into being?

Kristi: Hi y’all! It’s great to be here spending some time chatting. A little about me…Well I’m a Texan through and through, have two beautiful kids, work with a dog rescue and have a degree in business management/marketing. About 5 years ago, Shawn & Lorna had me come on board with Torquere as the General Manager and doing marketing. Torquere was started in 2003 when a core group of authors were tired of not having anyone interested in publishing GLBT romance on ebook.

TNA: How has the press changed over the years, and where do you see it going moving forward?

Kristi: Torquere originally started with a core group of 5 authors. It has grown to over 200 authors and over 2000 titles in publication. They also branched out with Prizm Books for Young Adult and New Adult stories. Moving forward Torquere will continue to grow and thrive, allowing for many more categories in our releases.

TNA: What is your submission process, and will that be changing at all under the new ownership? Is there a certain sub-genre you hope to branch out into that you’ve never focused on before?

Kristi: You can find our submission information at Torquere Press Submissions. We ask that all submissions are complete manuscripts. We have several year round calls as well as monthly anthology calls available. We are currently branching into mysteries as well as transgender categories.

TNA: What’s your marketing plan as you move Torquere into the next generation of ownership? Will you be sticking to the current business model, or do you have plans to take things in a new direction?

Kristi: We are branching into several new marketing channels, building our social media presence as well as starting pre-order options. We are also doing blog blast tours for every book release with Will from Pride Promotions.

TNA: What advice would you give to authors who’ve never submitted a manuscript to Torquere before?

Kristi: Don’t be afraid to submit to us or any publisher. When you submit to a publisher and they say no, then take the recommendations given and move forward from there. Never give up!

TNA: Tell us where you can be reached and where authors and readers can find all the news about Torquere on the internet.

Kristi: At Torquere Press, Torquere Books, and we are also on Twitter @torquere and Facebook/Torquere Press.

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Giveaways

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

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Cheers, everyone, and welcome back for another look at what we have coming up in the week ahead. Great guests, giveaways, and chats about books complement a full week of reviews.

Here’s what’s on tap just for you!

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Monday – To kick off the week, Riptide Publishing brings you the Misfits blog tour with Garrett Leigh

TuesdayApril Kelley stops by on her Whispers of Home blog tour

Torquere Press is also with us today, with an interview about where the publisher has been and where it’s going in the future

And guest contributor Brita Addams drops in to chat a bit about promotion

WednesdayJL Merrow is our guest today on her Heat Trap blog tour, Book Three in The Plumber’s Mate series

Thursday – We welcome Lou Sylvre on the A Shot of J&B blog tour

Keira Andrews and Leta Blake have also revised and rereleased their Jack and the Beanstalk Fairy Tale Rise. They’ll be here to talk a bit about the book today

FridayKD Worth (aka Deanna Wadsworth) stops by to talk a bit about her new Young Adult novel The Grim Life

Saturday – Finally, author T.A. Moore closes out the week on the Labyrinth of Stone blog tour

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

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Cover Reveal, T. Strange, Torquere Press

Cover Reveal and Excerpt: My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange

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Title: My Zombie Boyfriend

Author: T. Strange

Publisher: Torquere Press

Length: 64,000 words (Novel)

Genres: Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary, M/M

Release Date: April 15, 2015

Add It To Your Goodreads Shelf

Blurb: Edward Grey is a medical student by day, necromancer by night. He lives alone with the first zombie he ever raised, his childhood cat, Boo. Edward’s life is simple: studying medicine, training his necromantic powers with his mentor, Mariel, and having weekly dinners with his parents. When he finds a very attractive corpse in a park and brings it home to reanimate, he creates a sassy, free-willed zombie who believes Edward is the one who murdered him.

With no memory of his former life, Edward names the zombie Kit and tries to win his trust. Kit slowly adjusts to his new un-life with Edward’s help, though he’s still suspicious of Edward’s role in his death and is convinced that Edward is hiding his former identity. Edward is very attracted to Kit, but understands why Kit doesn’t trust him. As they become closer to one another, Kit turns to Edward for comfort and love. The fragile trust they’ve built together will be tested when Kit unexpectedly regains his memory and seeks revenge on his murderers.

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Excerpt: Shopping with Kit was a nightmare.

I expect my clothes to cover publicly unacceptable bits, keep me warm, and protect me from the environment. That’s about all I require of them.

No. Kit was into Fashion. With a capital F. He looked at racks of shirts that, color aside, all seemed identical to me. He kept staring at the labels.

I got more than a little impatient. It had been a long day. Not to mention my long night raising the temperamental dead. “Kit,” I groaned, “money is not an issue. Just pick whatever you want and I’ll buy it for you. I literally do not care how much it costs.”

Kit’s mouth fell open in a perfect, sexy ‘O’ of exaggerated horror. “You think I’m looking at the prices? Oh, Edward. That’s so cute.”

He thought I was cute? I knew he was teasing me, but I still liked hearing him say it.

My headache was back. This seemed to be a trend with Kit around. If he wasn’t looking at the prices, what was taking him so long? I took a deep, soothing breath. On the plus side, Kit had obviously relaxed since being out in public. I had heard of retail therapy but never before witnessed its effect. He was practically glowing as he chattered on about the relative merits of this and that brand, designer and logo. It was a soothing wash of words that meant absolutely nothing to me, so I nodded, smiled, and tried not to focus on how pretty his mouth was, the way his hands seemed to hang in the air when he spoke, how amazing his hair looked even in the terrible mall lighting.

It was a good thing he was so pretty, or I probably would have killed him and left. It would be so easy, too. One word and he would collapse, his reanimated essence disappearing while I walked out of the store and back into my nice, normal medical student/necromancer life.

“Hello? Earth to Edward. I’m ready.” He thrust a very large bundle of clothes into my arms and stood there, all but tapping his foot. He smiled and said, “Oh, yes. We still have to get shoes.”

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Author BioAbout the Author: My Zombie Boyfriend is T. Strange’s first full-length novel, though she has published several shorter works with Torquere Press. When not writing, T. enjoys gardening, spending time with her horse, and, of course, reading. T. lives in Canada with her wife, surrounded by pets.

Author Links:

Blogger | Facebook | Twitter | Tsu | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest | Torquere | Google+ | Tumblr

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3 Stars, Genre Romance, Jane Davitt, Reviewed by Jules, Torquere Press

Review: House Call by Jane Davitt

Title: House Call

Author: Jane Davitt

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 74 Pages

At a Glance: There is lots of promise here, but just not enough steam to really make it great.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Country doctor Paul Jackson is passionate about his work, but he can’t stop thinking about the chance he took on a one-night stand when he lived in the city. Steve never called, but Paul can’t forget him. Discovering Steve is the grandson of one of his dying patients brings them together again, but Paul’s worried about the town’s reaction. In the midst of tragedy, misunderstandings, and manipulative exes, their love will need plenty of TLC to survive.

Previously appeared in the ‘Bedside Manners’ anthology, published by Torquere Press.

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Review: I love the idea of this story. The small town, country doctor. Young… handsome… making house calls…*sighs and stares into space* Hahaha. Kidding aside, it is a great premise for a romance. Lots to play with. You have quaint settings, the townsfolk, handsome stranger from the city…which is where Jane Davitt goes with things in her novella, House Call
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When cutbacks cost him his position at a hospital in the city,Paul takes a job as a country doctor in a small town outside of Chicago. He’s trying to get into the swing of things, sort of butting heads with his boss, Dr. Raines, and definitely doesn’t want anyone in town to know he is gay. So, when he runs into Steve, a one-night stand from two years ago, things get a little uncomfortable.

Steve is a great guy. Taking care of his ailing grandfather and making sure his end-of-life wishes are carried out, we get to see a little bit of the kind of man he is. It’s also obvious that he was very taken with Paul during the one night they spent together, so when Paul basically rebuffs him, it stings.

There is lots of promise here, but just not enough steam to really make it great. Paul and Steve have good chemistry – there are a couple of verrrrrry steamy bits, one moment in particular at the end – but, we’re not given enough to become truly invested in them, or form much of a connection. Individually there were some things I really liked: Steve’s job is different and interesting; there was a good moment between Paul and his boss which showed some redeeming qualities; Steve himself is a strong character and had lots of sex appeal. But, Paul’s character was a bit flat to be honest, and collectively, it wasn’t enough.






You can buy House Call here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Erin McRae, Racheline Maltese, Torquere Press

Guest Post: Doves by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae

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The Novel Approach welcomes back authors Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae to talk about their upcoming release in the Love in Los Angeles series, Doves.

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Doves (Love in Los Angeles 2) isn’t a BDSM book despite the ropes on the cover. It is, however, a book about consent — in life, in love, and yes, in the bedroom. And while we all know what consent is, how people ask for it and how people give it can, and does, vary.

One of the characters in the Love in Los Angeles series has a developmental disability. That’s been true since he first appeared in our very first draft of the very first book. Readers, however, may or may not have noticed this yet because his disability hasn’t been mentioned explicitly on the page, and this character works hard to make sure no one notices anything about him that he doesn’t want them to notice.

Besides, a disability isn’t a plot point. It’s more like the weather. Sometimes you mention it’s raining, and sometimes it’s just raining. But like the weather, if you have a disability, it’s always there whether you comment on it or not. And sometimes it merits more comment than others.

In Doves, the fact that this character has a disability is a bit more obvious than it was in Starling. At times it affects how he communicates, and that, in turn, affects how he consents.

But, it doesn’t affect his ability to consent.

Despite being a writer, and a pretty verbal person in almost every way, sometimes speech is hard for me. If I’m tired or overwhelmed or anxious, the seven years I spent in speech therapy as a child elude me. My words are not clear, or I struggle to find them and place them in the right order. When this happens, instead of saying yes (or no) with my voice, I say it with my hands or my keyboard or my eyes.

When Erin and I started writing this series, we didn’t know we were going to include a developmental disability. We never said, “Hey, let’s do this.” Instead, one of us said, “So, I think this is what’s going on with this guy.” We didn’t decide he was disabled; he informed us he was.

We know that Doves is, in many ways, a dark, confronting book. On the way to their happily ever afters, our characters face a lot of obstacles, reveal horrifying moments from their personal pasts, and sometimes fail to maintain the resiliency they have come to rely on. But we hope the periodic silence of our character, who hasn’t yet chosen to explain or justify why he is the way he is to most of the people he shares a book with, won’t be part of that.

Instead, we hope that readers will see themselves, or people they love, or people they might love, and recognize there are many different ways to communicate and to receive information.

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Doves CoverAbout Doves: The ties that bind…

Two years after the events of Starling, Cinderella story and star of The Fourth Estate J. Alex Cook is living happily ever after with his boyfriend, television writer Paul Marion Keane. But when Paul’s pilot, Winsome, AZ, gets picked up, the competing demands of their high-profile careers make them question their future together.

…can tear you apart

As Paul becomes increasingly absent from their relationship, Alex tries to regain control of his private life and establish a career path independent of Fourth’s enigmatic, and at times malevolent, showrunner Victor. But the delicate web of relationships that connects Alex, Paul, and their friends — including Alex’s excitable ex-lover Liam and his no-nonsense fiancée Carly — threatens to unravel.

With the business of Hollywood making it hard to remember who he is when the whole world isn’t watching, Alex is forced to confront major changes in the fairytale life he never wanted as he discovers that love in Los Angeles often looks nothing like the movies.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Torquere Press

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Author BioAbout the Authors: Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese are authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry (Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015)), all from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella Midsummer, Book One of the Love’s Labour series, about a summerstock Shakespeare company, is from Dreamspinner Press (Summer 2015). They also have a forthcoming story in Best Gay Romance 2015, edited by Felice Picano. Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller; Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. They write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire. You can find them on the web at their Joint Blog, Joint Facebook Page, Erin’s Twitter, Racheline’s Twitter

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Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

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

2014

Hi, everyone, we’re back again with the second round of our Best of the Best (be sure to check out Sammy’s and Tina’s lists HERE), and another chance for you to win e-copies of THREE of the titles selected by Jackie, Lana, and Jules, winner’s choice! THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED Continue reading

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4 Stars, Chris Owen, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kim, Torquere Press, Tory Temple

Review: Never too Early: The Beginning by Chris Owen and Tory Temple

Title: Never too Early: The Beginning

Author: Chris Owen & Tory Temple

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Firefighters Chancellor Shanahan and Tucker McBride have been together for years. They’ve been through the rough patches and come out the other side, although shift work, misunderstandings, and stubborn personalities can make things interesting. Chance knows that he and Tucker love each other, however, and neither of them have any interest in other people. So what happens when they meet another couple with a similar relationship? An unlikely friendship could take a possible turn. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Reviewed by Taz, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Torquere Press, V.L. Locey

Review: Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3 – He’s a Lumberjack and He’s Undead by V.L. Locey

Title: Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3: He’s a Lumberjack and He’s Undead

Author: V. L. Locey

Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc.

Pages/Word Count: 130 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Paul and Gordon aren’t your typical zombie hunters. They’re a loving couple of educators who might be infected by the virus that is turning the world’s population into mindless, undead eating machines. So why haven’t they turned? Well, Gordon has a theory about that. He suspects that those who march under the rainbow flag just might be carrying the cure for the plague in their bloodstream. Zendra, the massive pharmaceutical company where the mutated virus was made, certainly seems to be in a hurry to round up all the gay survivors they can grab.
Continue reading

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3 Stars, Anthology, Drew Zachary, Reviewed by Lana, Torquere Press

Review: Ordinary Heroes by Drew Zachary

Title: Ordinary Heroes

Author: Drew Zachary

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 65 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: These four tales by Drew Zachary celebrate the everyday hero. Whether it’s a midnight romp in a corn maze under the moonlight at Halloween, or a vet returning to his small hometown years after leaving for the big city, a guard in an office building or a waiter at a holiday resort, these ordinary men are heroes to the men who fall in love with them.

These four previously published stories include Maze and Moon, Peter’s Day Off, Night at the Office, and You Can Go Home Again. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Literary Fiction, Missouri Dalton, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Taz, Torquere Press

Review: Sleeping on the Job by Missouri Dalton

Title: Sleeping on the Job

Author: Missouri Dalton

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 118 pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: At sixteen, Simon Murphy was an accomplished jewel thief, at eighteen he was released from a boy’s reform school and these days, he’s a detective with Chicago’s Night Shift. When a familiar killer strikes again, Simon is forced to confront his past, his mob boss father, and the brother he hasn’t seen in years. Of course, on the Night Shift, Simon also contends with ghosts, vampires and other things that go bump in the night. Add angry boyfriends in the mix, and Simon’s going to need all the help he can get. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Ari McKay, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Taz, Torquere Press

Review: The Demon’s Door by Ari McKay

Title: The Demon’s Door

Author: Ari McKay

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 42000 Words

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: When Thomas Carter discovers his grandfather’s hidden journals, detailing the old man’s fight against the supernatural, he knows he’s found his true calling at last. Yet when he sets out to stake a local vampire, he quickly learns that the difference between Good and Evil is very different than what he had believed. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Ari McKay, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie, Torquere Press

Review: Line in the Sand (Herc’s Mercs: Book Two) by Ari McKay

Title: Line in the Sand (Herc’s Mercs: Book Two)

Author: Ari McKay

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 104 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Alec “Red” Davis is Hercules Security’s director of operations, a man who is brave and honorable and yet also a stickler for following the rules. When Cade Thornton says that Alec is losing his touch, Alec takes a position as private bodyguard to Jonathan Baldwin, an up-and-coming actor starring in one of Hollywood’s hottest new franchises. Continue reading

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Erin McRae, Racheline Maltese, Torquere Press

Guest Post and Giveaway: Starling by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae

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When my co-writer Racheline Maltese and I started writing the first draft of Starling over a year ago, we discussed whether we should write it in past or present tense. While Starling was a first novel for both of us, we’d both written a lot, in multiple genres and styles, before we decided to write a queer romance novel about the terrible fairytale of Hollywood fame.

It was the Hollywood part of that that clinched it for us: we were writing about people whose lives — both personal and professional — were steeped in the film industry. And film scripts — for TV shows and movies — are written in the present tense. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, Katarina Palokova, Reviewed by Rena, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Torquere Press

Review: The Stonechild Betrothal by Katarina Palokova

Title: The Stonechild Betrothal

Author: Katalinya Palokova

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 55 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Estli is a professional bodyguard and fighter for hire who stumbles on a job that looks like easy money: escort a cursed magician named Maurin Stonechild from a remote mountain village to the bustling town of Plains City to investigate an offer of arranged marriage. Complications begin right away, of course. Maurin’s curse is the stuff of legend. He is one of twelve people, referred to as the stone children, who were cursed at birth to carry a physical manifestation of their birthstone on their bodies. The stones give them enhanced but dangerous magical abilities, and many of them are feared and living in seclusion. Continue reading

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