5 Stars, Genre Romance, Jeff Erno, Reviewed by Lynn, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Baggage by Jeff Erno

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Baggage

Author: Jeff Erno

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 244 Pages

At a Glance: Overall, this is a sweet love story. Highly recommended.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: At thirty-eight years of age, Chandler finds himself single and caring for his brother Raymond, who suffers numerous health problems.

Mired in grief from the multiple deaths of close family members, he recedes into himself, crippled with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Early one morning Chandler’s life is flipped on its end when he encounters his neighbor, twenty-five year old Marcus.

Nothing about a relationship with this young man makes sense. For one thing, Marcus is… well… YOUNG. He’s also biracial and has all kinds of tattooed muscles!

The streetwise Marcus introduces Chandler to an entirely different lifestyle, pulling the would-be hermit from his shell, albeit kicking and screaming. But how long can such a relationship last, and what about Raymond? Chandler fears a guy like Marcus, seemingly perfect in every way, won’t be able to truly accept Chandler with all his baggage.

An unexpected bombshell detonates and Chandler learns some unsavory details about Marcus, who he really is, and what he’s done in the past.

Finally, it’s Chandler who must decide if he can accept Marcus’ baggage.

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Review: I’ve read this author before and have enjoyed his stories, and Baggage is no exception. What I loved most about this story was the real life concept: two men finding each other when they least expect it. Chandler and Marcus are polar opposites. These are two people I would never in a million years put together, but fate, destiny, divine intervention, or whatever you want to call it, pulls them towards one another. And you know what? It worked and it was lovely.

When we first meet Chandler, he exudes loneliness, taking his lot in life with grace and acceptance. You see, he’s taking care of his older brother, a brother who has a slew of medical conditions, as well as being bi polar. It’s a full time job. Then we have Marcus. He’s a lot younger than Chandler, thirteen years younger, in fact, and seems to have taken a shine to Chandler. Here we go folks.

We get Chandler’s POV for the entire story. Usually when this happens, I feel like I’m missing something from the other characters; not so with this one. Mr. Erno does such a wonderful job of presenting Marcus that we really don’t need his POV. We know exactly what he’s thinking and feeling throughout the story. His intentions towards Chandler are very clear from the get-go. I loved watching Chandler’s reactions to Marcus. He really didn’t (or couldn’t) believe this young man was interested in him. But Marcus was bound and determined to change Chandler’s way of thinking.

I really enjoyed these two characters. At first I was a little leery about Marcus. I guess I was going by what Chandler was thinking, which was that Marcus could find someone his own age, and what does he want with Chandler? As I got to know Marcus better, his sincerity shined through. His humor and carefree manner was just what the doctor ordered. But then something happens (which I won’t go into because that would be a spoiler) and because of Marcus’s background, I thought the worst. Of course, when the truth comes out, I felt like an ass right along with Chandler. The lesson learned here is to never judge a book by its cover. Oh, and never assume anything.

What I loved most about this book was its simplicity. And by simple, I don’t mean boring—far from it. I love a great love story, and this is definitely one of those. Chandler and Marcus’s relationship was about overcoming stereotypes, accepting each other’s flaws, differences, and yes, baggage. I loved the realism the author gave us with these two. It wasn’t love at first sight, everything didn’t fall right into place. At times it was a struggle with miscommunication, self-doubt and worry. But when all the pieces were put together, it was beautiful.

Overall, this is a sweet love story. It has bittersweet moments, heartbreaking and sad moments, but a happy ending, for sure. Highly recommended.

TNA_Signature_Lynn

 

 

 

 

You can buy Baggage here:

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Giveaways, RJ Jones

Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: You’re the One That I Want/Hopelessly Devoted Tour with R.J. Jones

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author R.J. Jones on the blog tour for You’re the One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted. Be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a gift from Wayward Ink Publishing.

Good luck!

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Musicals 

My mum used to love musicals. She also used to sing and dance with the local theatre group. To a young teenager it was pretty embarrassing when you’d have a friend over after school and your mother would be singing at the top of her lungs.

But then there were the weekends Mum and I would sit on the couch together and watch the Saturday afternoon movie and share a block of chocolate. Nearly every weekend there would be a musical on and we’d lap them up like greedy beggers. Our favourite was The Great Race with Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon. Even now, almost twenty years after Mum’s death, I still watch this movie whenever it comes on with a block of chocolate and a secret smile. My husband thinks I’m weird. He doesn’t understand the appeal of musicals. Some of my mum’s favourite were the classics. The Sound of Music, Victor Victoria and The King and I. If it had singing and dancing, Mum and I were all over it.

I loved Grease and my girlfriend had it on VHS when it first came out. I remember having a sleep over and we watched that sucker again and again and again. I think we counted eighteen times in one weekend. It was safe to say we were fairly obsessed. I mean, who didn’t want to be Sandy and get swept of their feet but a handsome Danny?

So when I saw the submission call for an MM musical themed anthology, I knew I had to write about Grease. Let me be honest here. If I watched Grease now, I’d be rooting for Danny and Kenickie to get it on.

Who wouldn’t?

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TOTIW_Cover_RJJonesBlurb: Jason escapes into the magic of a Broadway play every weekend. Musicals always have a happy ending and for a few hours he can believe there’s a happy ending waiting for him, too. When the tall drink of water who works on the top floor of Jason’s building, wants to take him on a date, Jason is surprised. After all, Jason is awkward and skinny, and sees himself as a boring accountant, while Paul is tall, dark, and incredibly hot.

Despite Jason’s reservations, Paul and Jason start dating and attending the shows Jason adores. But if Paul likes musicals as much as Jason, why does he always doze off? Is Paul leading a double life? Does he have a wife tucked away somewhere?

Jason knows Paul is hiding something and when the secrets come out, Jason finds his fantasy comes to life, right there on the stage.

Buy Links: WIP || Amazon US || Amazon AU || Amazon UK || Amazon DE || ARe

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HD_1000x1595Blurb: One year on from Paul’s proposal, Jason is living a life he never dreamed of. As he fusses with his tie and readies to walk down the aisle, he reminisces about the previous twelve months. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the happy couple in the lead up to their wedding, with obstacles big and small thrown in their way.

Marrying one of New York’s most eligible bachelors has Jason’s stomach in knots. Expectations of their society wedding are high, but out of love for Paul, Jason goes along with the grand plans because he understands Paul’s family has a reputation to maintain. But Paul has a surprise up his sleeve that just may see Jason getting the wedding of his dreams.

Follow Jason on his journey as he prepares to marry one of the most eligible bachelors in New York and find out just how Dave got his name.

Buy Links: WIP || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU || Amazon DE || ARe

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The One That I Want

Excerpt 

“I HAVE a delivery here for Mr. Jason Jennings.”

“That’s me. Thanks,” I said, signing the slip for the enormous package.

Once I closed my apartment door, I put the box on the counter and read the accompanying card.

Put these on. All of them. I’ll pick you up at 1:00 p.m. P xxx

Pushing aside the enormous amounts of tissue paper, I pulled out the items one by one. Black jeans, white T-shirt, and black boots. A black leather jacket with T-birds written on the back. Finally, a black wig, complete with sideburns and Danny Zuko big hair.

It occurred to me then that Paul wanted me to go out—in public—looking like this. Oh no. Where the hell was he taking me dressed like this?

My phone buzzed with a message.

Stop thinking and start dressing. P xx

I did as I was told and stopped thinking about it, but when I looked in the mirror after dressing, I looked ridiculous. I sure hoped Paul was dressed as Sandy. That would be the only way he’d look even remotely as ridiculous as I did.

But when I opened my door to Paul, my heart stopped.

Kenickie Murdock was standing in front of me. Complete with cigarette behind the ear. Paul was dressed in blue jeans and sky-blue T-shirt, just like Kenickie. His wig was the same as mine but brown instead of black. He wore a pair of aviators, chewed gum, and had slung his leather jacket over one shoulder.

I was going to come on the spot.

He snapped his gum. “Hey, baby, you wanna hickey from Kenickie?”

“Ungh.”

Paul chuckled. “I see words have fled your company again. Come here, I need to kiss you.”

I put my hand on his chest, stopping his advance. “Uh uh. If you touch me I’ll come in my pants.”

Paul laughed so loud, Dave ran off down the hallway. “Okay, I’ll try not to touch you. C’mon, I want to get there early.”

“There? You actually want to go out looking like this?”

“Don’t worry, we’ll blend right in.”

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RJ JonesAbout the Author: R.J. Jones started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write.

It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower…

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

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

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

R.J. is a wife and a mother to two boys. She is surrounded by males. Even her dog is a boy.

R.J. Jones can be found atWebsite || Facebook || Twitter || Tumblr || Pinterest

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
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3.5 Stars, A.B. Gayle, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kim, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Tyler Knoll’s Just For Fun: Books One thru Four by A.B. Gayle

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Amazon US

Title: Tyler Knoll’s Just For Fun: Books One-Four

Author: A.B. Gayle

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 180 Pages

At a Glance: What can I say about Tyler Knoll’s Just for Fun? It’s an interesting take on a romance from the writer’s point of view.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Tyler Knoll was born one wild, stormy night in April 2013.

Of course, Tyler might tell you he was born twenty years earlier, but should we believe anything he says? That’s for you to decide.

In Tyler’s first adventure—like many a gay man before him—he was SNARED by gay porn, wallowing in tales of bigger, stronger, harder….

Then his fickle mind was seduced and SHREDDED by the prospect of BDSM and slavery.
When a Big Misunderstanding SLASHED at Tyler’s sanity, almost costing him his life, he turned to another genre for his salvation. But even this encounter proved potentially hazardous—not from freezing temperatures, but at the hands of irate fans.

Finally, tired and SCREWED by his all his trials and tribulations, he discovers—like many storybook heroes before him—that sometimes Mr. Right is closer than we think.

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Review: I’ve enjoyed a majority of what I’ve read by A.B. Gayle, but Tyler Knoll’s Just for Fun proved to be a little different than what I’m used to reading by her.

Tyler claims (at the beginning) that he’s nothing but a red blooded American twenty-year-old male who’d like nothing better than to get laid. So when a group of his friends go clubbing where all the suits hang out, and they decide to invite Tyler along…well…things start to happen that end up way out of his league.

In Book One, it was the humor that hooked me into the story. I loved how Tyler described his sexual activities, co-workers and friends. Especially when Tyler meets up with Gareth Harrison, and things kind of turn a little bit bizarre during that hook-up. But getting laid and getting a possible promotion is all kinds of worth it for this young man…right?

Wrong! In Book Two, not only does Tyler not get a promotion, he’s sent to the basement of his building to shred paper. It’s here that Tyler starts to hear “the voice” because as he’s writing his story down, he continues to breach the fourth wall by talking to his readers, asking questions. Okay, it’s Twilight Zone time! Also, it’s about this time he meets up with Mr. Document Disposal, Gareth Evans, who has a sexual proposition for Tyler.

All right, in Book Three, I started to get a little lost. In fact, there’s not much in the book that I followed, except for that Tyler was being used and abused by Seven Huge-Dick Dwarfs when he managed to get away. It’s here that I’m not sure that things are real for Tyler. I had a few moments where I was trying to figure out what was going on. Especially when his Hero showed up to save him. Poor kid sounds like he’s in shock.

That leaves Book Four, which kind of leaves the Twilight Zone behind and returns to somewhat normal. But it’s here that I’ll stop and say no more except that it has a surprise and a HEA that made me glad I read it through and didn’t quit when I got just a tad lost in Book Three.

What can I say about Tyler Knoll’s Just for Fun? It’s an interesting take on a romance from the writer’s point of view.

TNA_Signature_Kim

 

 

 

You can buy Tyler Knoll’s Just for Fun: Books One-Four here:

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4 Stars, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Maryann, Taylin Clavelli, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Dakota Skies

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

At a Glance: Dakota Skies is an Old Western saga, an entertaining story with plenty of action.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Born in the wrong time…

In 1875 Dakota, Sheriff Jamie Carter has to hide his interest in men, even from his gutsy twin sister, Anna. On a good day, the truth can mean a bullet between the eyes, and on a bad, one in the back.

A man on a mission…

Jamie leaves Anna in charge of Blackrock and he hits the bounty hunting trail, along with his faithful equine companion, Houston. Five territories, scores of ‘Wanted’ posters, and many bullets later, his path unexpectedly converges with that of enigmatic loner, Kit Brooks.

Two men with one soul…

Will the smoldering fire between them rage into an inferno and break down protective barriers, allowing them to find love? Or will it separate and kill them?

Beneath Dakota skies…

Jamie and Kit’s story is a sweeping saga of cowboys, Indians, persistent broads, and vengeful villains, where the cowboys aren’t always the good guys, and love can’t be taken for granted.

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Review: Jamie Carter shares the title of Sheriff with his twin sister Anna. Anna can shoot, fight and ride better than any man. We learn a lot about how Jamie and Anna followed in their father’s footsteps.

Kit Brooks has a story of his own to share, which is much different than Jamie’s. Mason Lee Anderson, the gambler, card player and sharpshooter, will be a big part of Kit’s story. Mason has a very special connection to Kit, Kate, and the Sioux tribe.

Anna befriends Hayley, who teaches her how to cook, as well as the fine art of being a lady. Anna teaches Hayley the fine art of shooting. Poor Morgan Haynes, Jamie’s best friend and saloon owner… Anna has a plan for him!

We meet members of the Sioux tribe, who are a very important part of this story. Chief Wahchinsapa, Tala, Howahkan (the medicine man), Takoda and others, and learn the beliefs and ways of the Sioux, taken into the spirit world along with Jamie and Kit, where we meet Chenoa.

And, last but not least, there’s Houston, Jamie’s faithful companion, his horse. Not just any old horse, a very talented one. He will have you chuckling!

I think the cover of this book deserves a mention, it really reflects the story behind it, as well as the map inside the book, which gives us an idea of the places Jamie and Kit traveled. Dakota Skies is an Old Western saga, an entertaining story with plenty of action, good guys, bad guys, working girls, heartbreak, hijinks, love, and the mystery of the spirit world. The story centers on Jamie and Kit, but the other interesting characters and their stories deserved a mentioned.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

You can buy Dakota Skies here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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Giveaways, Sedonia Guillone

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Danny’s Dragon Blog Tour with Sedonia Guillone

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Join us in welcoming author Sedonia Guillone to The Novel Approach today, on her Danny’s Dragon blog tour. Enjoy her guest post and some of the other great things she’s sharing today, including the giveaway for which you can find details and enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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If you have read into Danny’s Dragon at all, you may have asked yourself, “What’s with all the quotes at the beginning of each chapter?”

When Danny’s Dragon first came out years ago, reader comments on the quotes ranged from enjoying them and finding them inspiring to a kind of “meh, I’m not really into philosophy,” kind of attitude. No one disliked them or complained. Perhaps people thought I was strange for including them, especially so many.

The reason I wanted them there is that Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching was introduced to me by my spiritual teacher and has had a strong influence on my life. I wanted to be able to share my enthusiasm for the sayings of Lao Tzu through my writing and I also was learning Tai Chi at the time. So while the Tao of sexuality that I covered in my first guest blog comes into play in Danny’s Dragon, the Tao is also intimately interwoven into the nature of Danny’s character and when I selected the poems that are at the header of each chapter, I endeavored to choose what I felt was relevant to what was happening in the story at that point.

wayof lifecovI won’t give any spoilers here if you are planning to read the book (which I certainly hope you are and enjoy!), so suffice it to say that the ways in which Taoism has influenced Danny’s character manifests in some very interesting ways that amaze his new lover, Dave, and which I hope will endear Danny to you, the readers.

Taoism is not a religion. It’s a way of life, an approach in which a person lives naturally, not forcefully, in accordance with life. Hence, the title, “The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu,” entitle by the German poet Witter Bynner who did one of the most comprehensive yet artful translations of the Tao. (The version that I read, though not often enough!)

In China, Taoism was woven into the very fabric of life and when Buddhism came into China, also helped to mold the practices of Buddhism, making it a part of one’s everyday life in all aspects. For example, Lao Tzu says, “Man at his best, like water, Serves as he goes along: Like water he seeks his own level, The common level of life, Loves living close to the earth, Living clear down in his heart, Loves kinship with his neighbors, The pick of words that tell the truth…”
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In this approach to life, everything can run smoothly because people are behaving honorably, treating each other fairly and with kindness. Greed and ambition are unnatural forces that cause peoples’ lives to become out of balance and create suffering. Indeed, it is what you could call common sense wisdom, yet grievously un-practiced in the world at large. I wanted to bring the spirit of practice to Danny’s Dragon and hope that I succeeded.

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dannysdragon

Title: Danny’s Dragon
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Genre: Gay romance, contemporary
Length: Novel
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

A rugged, muscular cop.

A sexy computer genius.

Secret desires.

Brought together by a crime committed on a cold dark night.

From the moment they meet, their lives can never be the same again…

Wild and rugged Dave Pearce is haunted by the demons of his past. He’s done his best to make a life for himself after the devastation of his lover’s suicide years earlier, but the trauma has left its mark on his soul.

Danny Wong is what Dave considers a “nerdy Bruce Lee.” Handsome, refined, out of his league.

But that doesn’t matter.

Dave believes himself to be dangerous for any man who would love him. So he stays back in the shadows, letting the desire he harbors for the hot grad student remain unrequited.

Danny has demons of his own. Duty-bound to his family’s goals for him, he remains shy and closeted, contenting himself with his secret fantasies about the sexy Irish cop who patrols the campus building where Danny does his graduate work.

Until one freezing winter night…

Leaving the building, fate steps in and their paths cross in a new…deeper way. Neither man can turn back. Danny and Dave must face the demons rearing their heads with full force, or lose their chance at an epic love…

Buy Links: Wayward Ink Publishing || Amazon || Amazon UK || Amazon AU || Amazon DE || ARe || Barnes & Noble

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Book trailer

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Giveaway

Prizes: $20 WIP Gift Card; ebook copy of Danny’s Dragon

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SedoniaAbout the author: Award-winning, multi-published author of erotic romance, SEDONIA GUILLONE spends her days writing deliciously naughty romances—when she’s not cuddling with the man she loves or watching kung fu and samurai films and eating chocolate.

Sedonia welcomes comments from readers.

Sedonia Guillone can be found at: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Pinterest

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5 Stars, Reviewed by Jennifer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Of Heaven and Hell – An Anthology From Wayward Ink Publishing

Title: Of Heaven and Hell

Authors: Anthology

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 253 Pages

At a Glance: An anthology that offers a delightful mix of good, evil, and everything in between.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Whether you like your angels and demons naughty or nice…
Whether you like them angelic or demonic, we have a story for you.
Our authors have tuned up their harp strings, and let loose their inner demons.
We have demons with inner angels itching to be let loose.
And angels teetering on the brink.
We have dark. We have light.
We have angst. And forbidden love.
We have happy endings and not so happy endings…
We have the stories OF HEAVEN AND HELL.

CORRUPTION by Kim Fielding
Tenrael was once a proud demon who carried nightmares to humans. Now he exists in miserable servitude to men who plunk down ten dollars to fulfill their dark desires. Agent Charles Grimes figures a captive demon is just another assignment… That is until he meets Tenrael.

PURGATORY by M.C. Rayne
Bailey discovered that losing the person you love can do more than break your heart. It can shatter it into a million different pieces. And have you stepping into darkness. All he wanted was to be reunited with Greyson. He didn’t know his actions would lead him to his nightmare.

SIN TO GET SAVED by Michael P. Thomas
Earnest anti-gay evangelical Hubert dies in a freak accident. When a handsome angel named Bartholomew makes brazen overtures in the Afterlife, humble Hubert realizes his soul may have taken a wrong turn. But turning back to the straight and narrow isn’t quite as easy as he hopes it will be.

CARDINAL SINS by Mann Ramblings
Black magic, angels, and decadence bind Jacob and Ozzie together in a twisted web of fascination with each other. Now a new element has risen to test them: Danger.

A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY DEMON by Asta Idonea
It should have been an easy job: a contract signed and a new soul earmarked for Hell. But when suave demon deal-maker Saul chooses nerdy Thomas Ives as his next target, little does he know what lies in store.

PURGATORY PINK: A FABULOUS FABLE by Eric Gober
A fable with no morals . . . About an angel with desires . . . For the demon who torments him. Will they both burn in hell?

FADE TO LIGHT by Nephy Hart
One of them has no past. One has no future. Loss is inevitable, but when demons come calling, a soul is too high a price to pay.

GUARDIAN by Eddy LeFey
A Guardian Angel’s whole being is controlled directly by God. Callum trusts in that. So when he meets his new human charge—a special college student named Rory—he doesn’t count on feeling attraction. And he certainly doesn’t expect Rory to change his life… forever.

DRAWING DEAD by S.Zanne
Devin is a demon. James is merely human. But who holds the winning hand is still in question…

A WOLF IN THE FOLD by Jana Denardo
For centuries Carduus followed his incubus nature. Joyfully seducing and draining the life force of his lovers. That is, until the day he met Mark, a lover Carduus didn’t want to kill. Before he knew it, Carduus found himself helping the detective by taking out criminals. But can a demon really work for the side of the angels?

DRIPPING IN SIN by Kassandra Lea
Finding an appropriate outfit to wear for an important date is never easy. Not even for a demon Flynn is trying but it’s a hard task… Especially when encounters with his angel usually involve no clothing at all…

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Review: It’s very rare for me to like every single story in an anthology, but that has happened in Of Heaven and Hell. I was a bit wary, to be honest, going into it because Wayward Ink is a fairly new-to-me press, and anthologies are so difficult, even with presses I’m familiar with. But, the premise behind it intrigued me. I’m so glad I gave it a chance because every story is unique and offers a different perspective on the themes of Heaven and Hell.

Part of me wants to review every story in this anthology, but I can’t. There are eleven and this review would easily pass twelve pages. Instead, I’ll pick out some of my favorites, which isn’t easy to do. I will say this: the blurbs given for each story don’t do them justice. They are so rich and complex, and the book blurb shortened them to barely recognizable.

What makes this so unique is the duality of the book. Some stories focus on Heaven, some on Hell, and some on both. Some of the stories are explicitly Heaven and Hell, while others just have terms that make it seems as if it fits those categories (“Purgatory Pink”). Some have angels, some demons, and again, some both. Some have explicit sex, others have none. It’s such a broad range of ideas that, really, every facet of the subjects are covered. Well done!

First up, “Drawing Dead” by S. Zanne: I think this was my favorite in the volume because immediately after reading it, I took to Twitter and asked the author of there was more. I didn’t want the story to end, but it did. This story focuses on a demon, Devin, who returns to earth to look for a new victim to play with. His victims always follow the same pattern, though, and it’s hinted at that it is because when he was human, his husband looked like them. When Devin runs into James, he thinks he’s found a fun, easy target to pull the screams from.

This story isn’t for everyone because it’s dark. I would say the top two in terms of darkness in the anthology for themes of pure evil. Devin is a demon and he thrives on pain. It’s very apparent in this story. However, James is not the easy target he appears to be at first. In fact, there’s a lot going on with him, and readers see glimpses of his childhood scattered throughout the story, while his and Devin’s history is slowly revealed.

Honestly, it was brilliant and by the last page, I was dying to know what came next. The author painted a vivid world set in the near future.

Next is “Corruption” by Kim Fielding. This is another dark one that deals with demons, however Tenrael is not that evil. He’s been taken captive and put in a circus, where men can view him and, for the right price, abuse him. All he wants is to be free to bring nightmares to sleeping humans. When a human agent is sent to kill the demon, he quickly realize Tenrael is not the evil creature he’s supposed to be, and the human is drawn towards him.

I felt for Tenrael in this story. It heavily features abuse, so trigger warning for some people, but of all the characters, the demon Tenrael seemed the most human.

Finally, I’ll review a story with angels: “Guardian” by Eddy LeFey. While some of the story seemed a little too perfect, I enjoyed the idea of guardian angels popping in during a trying time in our life to help us make the best decisions. Of course, it goes a little past that in this story, when Callum is assigned to Rory and reveals his true name and nature to the enigmatic college student. What follows is a change for both of them, and they must trust in each other and God in order to overcome the trials they face.

I would have liked to read more to see what’s in store for Rory and his angel, but the story is a great length and perfect for the anthology, and it introduced me to a new author I would like to read more from.

I highly recommend this anthology. Whether you love angels or demons, there is something for everyone in here.

TNA_Signature_Jennifer

 

 

 

You can buy Of Heaven and Hell here:

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Giveaways, James Comins, Wayward Ink Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Fool School Blog Tour With James Comins

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The Novel Approach welcomes author James Comins today on the Fool School blog tour, to talk “Writing Genre”, and he’s also offering the chance to win a $20 Wayward Ink Publishing gift card OR an e-copy of the book. To enter just click on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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I believe, honestly and sincerely, that there is a hierarchy of books. Some books are better than others. It isn’t, I think, quantifiable exactly; different books will be better or worse for different people, since we all read in different ways. (I, for example, tend to read up to twenty books at the same time, sometimes swapping books mid-sentence. I’m gradually getting better at not doing this.) But just as you can tell how good a restaurant tends to be by checking the aggregate Yelp reviews, with an understanding that there are sometimes biases and distortions, I think books can be ranked in a straight line from worst (Life’s Little Instruction Book, by the way) to best (whichever my favorite one happens to be today. Gormenghast, for example).

The list is not, it turns out, ordered by genre.

Gormenghast, for example, is some sort of fantasy, even if its world doesn’t contain anything that ours doesn’t. Yet it’s my pick for best book ever written, outpacing realists Middlemarch and Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone by several millimeters of book goodness. 1984 and Frankenstein are solidly science fiction, and they certainly make the list of Top X Best Books. One Hundred Years of Solitude is fantasy. So are the stories of Borges and Barthelme. A Christmas Carol is fantasy and possibly horror, categories which Rabelais and Aligheri wrote nothing but. The first story written solidly in what we call English, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, is a fantasy and a romance to boot. Most of Chaucer is romance of one sort or another, as is Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Madame Bovary. Turns out most of the greatest books ever written are genre–that’s the “Literature” sobriquet in the “Fiction and Literature” section.

If you venture into any given “genre” section of the bookstore, what you most often find are the books that didn’t quite make the grade to advance into the upper echelons. There’s plenty of books in every category worth reading–scifi writer Theodore Sturgeon once quipped that 90% of everything is crud, which means a solid 10% of the stuff is worth your time–but only a select few from any category get to call themselves literature. You can usually tell when an author moves up into that apartment in the sky. Their name appears on the covers of books they didn’t even write, singing other people’s praises in tiny letters. They get treated like rock stars when they go on tour. Their name gets compared to Shakespeare, usually by people who aren’t quite sure what they mean by that. Neil Gaiman, Agatha Christie, and Michael Chabon seem to have made the leap, although they can also be found in their “genres” (and let’s not kid ourselves, bookstore “Fiction” is a genre, even if it gets filed next to literature). Iain Banks straddled the two, using his middle initial M as a euphemism for Mmmbarrassingtobeseeninthispartofthebookstore. Others, like Frank Herbert and Octavia Butler, have gotten close enough to smell the respect of their peers.

So why does “Fiction,” i.e. the kind of book that I like to call “Upper Middle Class White Lady Travel Porn,” get shelved in the same section as “Literature”? I figure it’s mainly because of money, since most of the book industry is directed toward upper middle class white ladies, who get to decide where the line of respectability is to be drawn, but also because the book industry is a slow, lumbering, five-hundred-year-old behemoth which still considers novels to be novel, which still thinks Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allen Poe are a couple of impudent young upstart, and for whom Science Fiction is less essential to its bottom line than light-up bookmarks.

So my books sometimes wind up in genre. I never take it personally. Although maybe my next book will be an upper middle class white lady discovering her spiritual side in the Hindu Kush or something. Time will tell.

~James Comins

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FoolSchool_FinalCoverBlurb: In the year of our Lord 1040, fourteen-year-old aspiring jester Tom is en route to Bath to begin his studies in the art of being a Fool, following in the footsteps of his father, and his father before him.

Along the way he meets Malcolm, a fire-haired boy with eyes green as forest glass. A Scotsman who’s escaped from the ravages of the usurper Macbeth, Malcolm elects to join Tom at school. Though the journey to Bath is hazardous, it pales in comparison to what they face at the austere and vicious Fool School, where all is not as it seems. A court jester must aim to be the lowest rung on the ladder of life, and the headmaster will not abide pride.

As they journey through life’s hardships together, Tom and Malcolm find they only have each other to depend upon.

Buy Links: WIP | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | All Romance eBooks

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TRAILER:

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Author BioAbout the Author: JAMES COMINS is incapable of writing about himself in the third person. His future autobiography will probably be titled, “The Man Who Groaned His Way Toward Death.” He writes stories for children and adults.

Born down the street from Stephen King, he now divides his time between Denver and Seattle.

JAMES COMINS can be found at: Smashwords and Twitter

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2 Stars, Genre Romance, Kay Ellis, Reviewed by Pia, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Young at Heart by Kay Ellis

Title: Young at Heart

Author: Kay Ellis

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 129 Pages

At a Glance: I really wanted to like this story, but it just wasn’t for me.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Devon Alexander is a wealthy successful businessman. The world is his oyster. In his work life he is decisive and in control.
His private life is another matter.
There, he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going in his on-off relationship with Jesse Young, an unemployed aspiring model half his age.
Can Devon and Jesse overcome the obstacles and outside influences standing in their way? Can they leave behind their own fear and mistrust? Or will they be their own worst enemies?

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Review: In Kay Ellis’s Young at Heart, we meet Devon Alexander, older, wealthy business man; and his much younger boyfriend, aspiring model Jesse Young. I love May/December romances and think they’re wonderful when done right. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this book didn’t quite pull it off.

I always get nervous when our MCs are an established couple at the beginning of a book, because you kind of hold your breath waiting for something bad to come along and break them up. In Young at Heart we don’t have to wait long at all, and the whole book felt a little rushed, the characters all over the place. At times I wanted to shake both Devon and Jesse; they should have either been sticking together and helping each other, or just staying away from each other. I think that if the pace was slowed down and we had more backstory and depth in the characters this book could have been a real winner. They were supposed to be together but hardly ever actually speak to each other.

I was also concerned about how nobody thought to get Jesse any kind of help after everything that had happened to him. Don’t get me wrong, Jesse is no angel, but it broke my heart that nobody helped when he clearly needed it.

I really wanted to like this story, but it just wasn’t for me.

TNA_Signature_Pia






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4 Stars, Anyta Sunday, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sadonna, Short Story, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Hearts by Anyta Sunday

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Title: Hearts

Author: Anyta Sunday

Publisher: Wayward Ink

Pages/Word Count: 29 Pages

At a Glance: Another beautifully poignant short story from this master storyteller – bittersweet, hopeful and satisfying.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: What if your fate is to lose the one you love and be doomed to live in a city of lost hearts?

Is it possible two dead hearts can see life again?

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Review: I feel like each time I pick up an Anyta Sunday story I get something fresh and beautiful and moving. Once again, this story is no exception.

This is the story of Daniel, who is living with a broken heart since his lover of a decade, Sam, left him. He can barely keep on living, and he continues to torture himself with trying to figure out what he did wrong and how he wasn’t enough for Sam.

Then, Toby and Kyle move into the house next door. They avoid Daniel after he warns them away. He tells them they live in a city of broken hearts and that they should move on now to save themselves from the coming heartache. Soon enough, the inevitable happens and Toby is left alone and brokenhearted.

Then something changes. Toby and Daniel begin spending time together. They still miss Sam and Kyle, but they seem to be making some adjustments with each other at least. They tentatively begin helping one another with some of the things that have been left to slide – the garden, cooking, spending time outside with yard and house upkeep. Toby is still a bit hostile about Kyle’s leaving, and he still can’t figure out why he’s been left alone, which leads to some tough moments for Daniel as well.

As time passes, and Toby and Daniel begin to do more outside of their homes, they begin to explore the city and see things through new eyes. Maybe the city is not the problem after all, and the hearts are not really so dead here.

I really recommend this lovely story of love and loss, second chances and perhaps new beginnings – very touching and at times melancholy, but ultimately hopeful as well.






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3.5 Stars, Anyta Sunday, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sadonna, Short Story, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: It Could Be You by Anyta Sunday

Title: It Could be You

Author: Anyta Sunday

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 19 Pages

At a Glance: Another well-written short story from an author who is quickly becoming a favorite.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Ted has just won 15 million quid. Or at least, he would have won 15 million quid if he could find his bloody lotto ticket…

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Review: Anyta Sunday is really a master at telling a good story in a very short word count. Originally part of an anthology, this story is now available as a standalone.

This is a short story that begins with Ted seeing his numbers called for the lottery – so, of course, he cannot find the winning ticket. He’s been out to dinner with his best mate Jenson, and this could be the answer to all his problems—if he can find the damn ticket! As Ted retraces his steps, Jenson tries to get his attention to share some big news. Ted doesn’t want to hear it, though, and does his best to cut Jenson off at every turn. He’s very worried that what Jenson wants to share means their relationship will change, and he will get left behind. Turns out Jenson’s news isn’t exactly what he expected. ;)

I am a big fan of this author’s writing style. She manages to write authentic dialog, and she can very succinctly tell a compelling story. Well done again, in nineteen short pages. Recommended for short story lovers, especially.






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Alina Popescu, Giveaways, Wayward Ink Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Craving Stains Blog Tour With Alina Popescu

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Alina Popescu today on her Craving Stains blog tour. Enjoy Alina’s guest article, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $20 Gift Card from Wayward Ink Press (one winner), or one of three e-copies of the book.

Good luck!

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Titles and Blurbs, the Bane of an Author’s Existence

Depending on the author, one or both of these will be a constant source of stress, angry cuss words, and a lot of rewrites. Okay, in most cases, it’s blurbs. But the titles are just as bad. Or is it just me and my headlines that have such a love/hate relationship?

My educational background includes having studied journalism at Uni. Then I worked in Marketing and PR for most of my career. To say titles mattered is an understatement. Did I mention I’m also a veteran blogger? About ten years of writing and publishing posts. Plus I’ve been writing fiction since I was ten. You’d think I’d have the hang of it by now, wouldn’t you? I know, right? But you’d be wrong…

When it comes to finding a title for a story, my muse is fickle. Or just plain sadistic, depends on how you look at it. In some cases (not very often), I just strike gold fast. And by gold I mean a title that makes sense and that I am happy with. Craving Stains was one of those few rare cases. Wynn’s pristine prison, his spotless apartment void of any danger or color or life, just spoke of his need to go out and get high and dirty on life. The title struck me, much like lightning, while I was furiously typing the first variant of Craving Stains, the short story version that was published in Wayward Ink Publishing’s anthology Stranded.

I treasure these happy moments, because when my muse doesn’t feel like doing his job (yes, my muse is a man, gorgeous and inspiring), he really slacks off! It took me about three years to come up with a title for my debut novel, The Edge of Hope. What I used as a working title became the tagline. My second choice became the series title, Bad Blood. I had a title, but I wasn’t feeling it. So years after completing the draft (and rewrites on it), I finally found what I was looking for. It took almost as long to come up with the title for book 2, The Breaking of Bonds.

When the title muse is out to play with my other muses… Yeah, it’s a harem, what can I say? Well, when that happens, I have to do his job and look for inspiration. I find music, movies, drawings, and photos very inspiring. I came up with the title for my first novel in the series Tales of the Werewolf TribesStrength to Let Go—while watching an episode of Criminal Minds, for example. When that isn’t working, I start to look within the character, their struggles, their desires, their experiences. Something stands out and I toy with it until I get a title that sounds good to me. I mull over it for a while, then do a few test runs, then I am finally free! Well, till I need a new title and the muse is a no-show.

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cravingstains-waywardinkpublishing-JayAheer2015-finalCoverBlurb: Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?

Genre: Sci-Fi/Paranormal, M/M Romance

Buy Links: Wayward Ink Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | All Romance eBooks

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Alina PropescuAbout the Author: Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

Social Links: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Kim Fielding, Reviewed by Kim, Short Story, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Standby by Kim Fielding

Title: Standby

Author: Kim Fielding

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 30 Pages

At a Glance: Kim Fielding has a flair for throwing the unexpected into her stories.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Who’d have thought being stranded at the airport could possibly have some long term benefits?

Certainly not Tom.

But then, he hadn’t bargained on meeting Rafael…

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Review: I didn’t know this at the time I started reading, but Standby is part of the Stranded anthology, produced by Wayward Ink Publishing.

Due to a delay on his previous flight, Tom missed his connecting flight by 10 minutes! Stranded in Minneapolis, and dealing with a rude ticket agent, he finds he’s in “standby” hell, waiting for the next available seat on an airplane that will take him home to Iowa. With very little money for a motel, Tom finds himself wandering the airport. Weary, he sits down and dozes…until he notices someone sitting down next to him. For various reasons, Rafael comes to the airport to watch the planes fly, and as the two strike up a conversation, it doesn’t take long to realize they’re attracted to each other.

I rather enjoyed Standby. Kim Fielding has a flair for throwing the unexpected into her stories and since the blurb doesn’t give much information about what you’re going to read, I will say she didn’t pull any punches with this short story. I would love to read more about Tom and Raphael. It seems to me their story isn’t quite finished. Yet! Thirty pages is just a warm-up to a pretty interesting introduction of characters.

So, Ms. Fielding, is there a longer version of Standby in the making?






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Giveaways, Louise Lyons, Wayward Ink Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The In Darkest Peru Blog Tour With Louise Lyons

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The Novel Approach is happy to bring you Louise Lyons today, on the In Darkest Peru blog tour. Enjoy the guest post and the excerpt from the book, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win one of the following prizes:

$20 Wayward Ink Publishing Gift Card
$5 Amazon Gift Card
1 eBook copy of In Darkest Peru
1 eBook copy of Conflicted or Second Bite of the Cherry (winner’s choice)

Good luck!

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My Current Projects

I have lots going on at the moment and 2015 promises to be a busy year.

I’ve recently finished the edits on my latest short story, “What’s Up, Pussycat?” which is a musical-based romance for Wayward Ink Publishing’s next anthology, “Encore”, due out March 20, 2015, so I’m excited about that. There will be a variety of great stories in the book and I’m looking forward to reading those from my fellow authors.

I’m currently awaiting the first round of edits for my second full length novel, “The Eye of the Beholder”, which is a supernatural romance featuring vampires. The main character, Vince Voss, is obsessed with beauty and isn’t a very nice man. He doesn’t see anything wrong in the way he behaves, but eventually he’s forced to confront his cruelness to others and take a close look at himself. His love interest is lonely vampire, Peter, who at first Vince only sees as a means to an end, until much to his surprise, Vince’s heart gets in the way. But he’s already made a mess of things and hurt Peter badly, so he has his work cut out to put things right.

Following that, I’ll be editing my third novel, “Beyond The Scars”. This was a story I’d had notes written for since last summer, but another idea got in the way and I didn’t begin writing it until NaNoWriMo. I succeeded in getting 50,000 words down during November and finished “Beyond The Scars” in the few weeks afterward. It’s the story of Tommy, who has suffered at the hands of abusive boyfriend, Colin, for almost three years. In the first chapter, Tommy leaves Colin, but walking out the door isn’t the end of his mental torture and he struggles to move forward with his life, until he meets older martial arts instructor, Marcus. I wrote this story from personal experience in the early 1990s and the writing process turned out to be very cathartic, and I got through a few tissues in the process.

And one more novel, I’m currently waiting for the “yay or nay” on, is “Beautiful Thunder”, set in the 1990s, during the second wave of glam rock music. This was “my era” and I regularly travelled 100 miles to the city of Nottingham, UK, to attend Rock City, the best nightclub within reach of my home. This club revolves around Alex, a singer attempting to find fame and fortune – or at least a band to become part of. When he finds a local band, the River Rats, he finds himself instantly drawn to their lead guitarist, Richard “Lindsay” Lindstrum, but Lindsay has recently had a relationship gone sour, and is reluctant to dip a toe in the water with Alex, who is unsure of his sexuality.

I’m incredibly excited about the releases of “The Eye of the Beholder” and “Beyond The Scars” and as for “Beautiful Thunder” – it’s a case of wait and see right now.

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IndarkestPeru-WAYWARDINKPUBLISHING-smallpreviewBlurb: Shy and geeky Rhys White, has recently been ditched by his boyfriend of five years. On top of that he’s been made redundant from his job as a computer programmer.

Tired of being boring and unadventurous, he throws caution to the winds and buys a plane ticket to Peru.

Rhys’ adventure in Peru starts out well, but then disaster strikes. All of his belongings are stolen. Everything is gone—passport, wallet, phone, clothing, the lot.

Stranded in Cuzco, not too far from the famous Machu Picchu, Rhys tries to find someone to help him. He’s about to give up, when a sexy Brazilian named Rafael, comes to his rescue…

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Wayward Ink | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

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Excerpt: Rhys was tempted to join Rafael in the shower, but he couldn’t make himself move from the bed, as weak as he was from his orgasm. He lay still, catching his breath, with a happy smile on his face. Who would have thought the initial disaster his trip had been would turn out like this?

Rafael emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, his dark skin glistening with droplets of water which he hadn’t bothered to dry off. Rhys stared unashamedly as a tiny rivulet formed in the middle of Rafael’s chest and traveled quickly down his torso, eventually disappearing into his bush of black pubic hair. Rhys unconsciously licked his lips and Rafael laughed.

“You look like you want me for breakfast.”

“I want a photograph of you,” Rhys blurted. “If that’s okay.”

“So you can remember me? Sure. You want it like this?” Rafael winked and stood still in the middle of the room.

“Hmm…yeah.” Rhys rolled to the side of the bed and picked up Rafael’s phone from the top of the cabinet. He opened the camera function and took three shots of Rafael; one close up of his face and two of his whole body, wet and sexy and beautiful. Rafael dried his hands and took the phone from Rhys.

“My turn.”

“Oh, no, Rafael, I’m not very photogenic,” Rhys protested. He felt his face flush.

“Not very…?” Rafael’s brow wrinkled into a puzzled frown. “You are very hot. I want a picture to remember. You have three.”

“Okay, then. If you insist.” Rhys fiddled with his hair, hoping it wasn’t too messy from sleeping and fucking. Then he arranged himself on one side, his head propped up on his hand. “Go on, then, I’m ready.”

Rafael took a single picture and Rhys reminded himself to email the photos of the Brazilian to himself later. Then he took his turn in the shower while Rafael got dressed.

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louise-lyons-social-logoAbout the Author: Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the Church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered Fan Fiction in her late twenties.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Nephylim, Wayward Ink Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: Project X by Nephylim

Project X by Nephylim

Title: Project X
Author: Nephylim
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

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