5 Stars, Audio Book, Ethan Day, Reviewed by Jules, Romantic Comedy, Wilde City Press

Audio Review: As You Are by Ethan Day – Narrated by Jason Frazier

Audio Gem

Title: As You Are

Author: Ethan Day

Narrator:: Jason Frazier

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Run Time: 5 Hours, 51 Minutes

At a Glance: In a word – FABULOUS.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Operation Danny….

That’s all bartender and recent college graduate, Julian Hallowell has had on his mind for the past year. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he’s in love with the boy next door: the one in the next room to be exact, his roommate, Danny Wallace.

Danny owns a used textbook store just off campus, and while Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work appears to have been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than that–a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t think of a good reason to say no.

Julian has already instituted a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill.

Dividers

Review: In a word – FABULOUS. Jason Frazier’s performance of Ethan Day’s As You Are will blow you away. And make no mistake that it is a performance. There is no droning or awkward narration here. Jason’s performance is a tour de force, including at least eight different voices, and covering the entire spectrum of emotions.

We can’t give ALL of the credit to Frazier, though; he had some pretty fantastic material to work with after all. As You Are is hilarious. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud, or simply realized I had a goofy grin on my face while listening. I’m sure my fellow commuters had a chuckle at my expense on more than one occasion as I made my way to and from work. It’s not just a funny book, however. There are also many poignant and touching moments to go along with the biting social commentary and awesome pop culture references.

A huge part of what makes this book so good are the characters themselves. They must have been so much fun to perform. I couldn’t possibly adore Julian more, and while, of course, he and Danny are front and center, I also got a huge kick out of Julian’s best friend Gabby, as well as Julian’s mother, Delilah Hallowell. I love, love, loved me some Delilah.

There are so many memorable moments in this audio it’s difficult to highlight just a few – and I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will tell you there is a football game in the park that is pee-your-pants funny, and if you weren’t completely in love with Julian before his ‘sobbing while watching Anne of Green Gables’ moment, you will be afterward. There is also a hysterical dinner party scene, as well as some absolutely blush-worthy sexytimes. I’m not kidding when I tell you I had to fan myself while listening to parts of this book. Jason Frazier’s voice is like butter, people! Butter!

I highly recommend this one. As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of audiobooks, but Jason Frazier has converted me. Full stop. I fear he has ruined me for other narrators, though, so he had better keep getting gigs! ;)






You can buy As You Are here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
3 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Heidi Cullinan, Reviewed by Sammy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Wilde City Press

Review: The Devil Will Do by Heidi Cullinan

Title: The Devil Will Do

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 126 Pages

At a Glance: While The Devil Will Do is well written kink, I felt it lacked the needed bones to make it a fully developed story.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: In a land unforgiving of indulgent, dangerous sex, merchantman Eryn does his best to keep his desires in the dark…until the plight of a beautiful prince leads him out of the shadows and into adventures both sensual and terrible.

Capture, curse, and torture litter Eryn’s road to true love, along with carnal delights beyond his most wicked imaginings. His strengths and limitations are exposed—and the hard truth, that nothing holds him back more than the monster of self-loathing in his heart. Prince Wyn might be everything he’s dreamed of in a man—and master—but before Eryn can accept the exquisitely wicked affections of his one true love, he must first save himself…from himself.

This novella was originally published under the title Sweet Son and has been significantly revised.

Dividers

Review: The Devil Will Do is a case where the blurb essentially gives you the only synopsis needed for this novel. To tell you much more about Eryn and his journey would be to give away too much of the plot—what little there was in this story. Written more like a long short story, we are not privy to much about the world Eryn lives in other than it is restrictive and not favorable in any way to a person who finds themselves drawn to the same sex when it comes to romance. Therefore, Eryn must hide his natural tendencies and this is further compounded by the fact that Eryn loves kink—humiliation, gang rape, orgasm denial, being used and, yes, in many ways, abused, for pleasure’s sake. Our pseudo-hero draws the line at being physically whipped or beaten, and is not one to seek pain to help him gain his sexual release. But there is little else Eryn does not crave.

So when he is visited in his dreams by the specter of a gorgeous prince who is fleeing from the evil that threatens his palace, Eryn is torn in two. He desires so greatly to save this man, Prince Wyn, but knows deep in his heart that he is unworthy—a perverted soul who is weak and cowardly. Despite how Eryn may feel, those who would see Prince Wyn as rightful heir and safe from harm take it upon themselves to make Eryn see that the darker desires he lusts after do not make him unworthy—the only enemy Eryn must conquer is that of his own self-condemning mind in order to save his prince.

Heidi Cullinan delivers a very dark and twisted tale of finding yourself and loving your whole person so, in turn, you can be loved by others and find your happy ever after. It should be noted that the author warns us she felt she had to go big or go home and once stated, she does just that. You will be hard pressed to find more humiliation kink in any other source than in this novel. Eryn thrives on being subjugated and used, gang rape and verbal taunts that are abusive in their nature are the things on which he thrives, but he is so disgusted by his needs that he feels he resembles little more than a perverted monster.

The kink here is done well and is incredibly inventive. The number of ways the author finds to force sex on a willing Eryn is to be applauded—truly, this is an incredible novel for those who are into humiliation and the idea of dubious consent—which only has the appearance of reluctant agreement on Eryn’s part since we find out how much he craves being “forced”. So, why didn’t this novel work? I felt the place this novel fell apart was in the idea that the way in which everyone deemed Eryn should come to accept his own innate desires was by completely breaking him down and torturing his heart and mind. The idea that he would come to love himself and his need for humiliation by humiliating him till he broke just did not ring true to me.

I was confused by the way in which Eryn was whisked away and held captive by a magician in order to prove to him he liked being held captive. I am sure I do not understand the submissive psyche when it comes to BDSM, but I felt the basic idea that the submissive gives over the control was a lacking element on Eryn’s journey. By being drenched in his desire for kink, he was to be convinced it was okay to want that kink—but he was forced to admit he deserved to be satisfied—that he was worthy of his need for humiliation. This is where the novel lost me—I simply could not wrap my mind around that concept.

All in all, The Devil Will Do was a dark foray into a journey toward self-acceptance and self-love. With little more than Eryn’s journey being described, the lack of basis for his inner struggle and feelings of no self worth were diminished as we saw little of his day to day life that would support his deep seated self condemnation. This was a sexual fantasy, pure and simple, and unfortunately had little story to hold together the near constant sex scenes which proved to be the vehicle used to further the storyline. While The Devil Will Do is well written kink, I felt it lacked the needed bones to make it a fully developed story.






You can buy The Devil Will Do here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Standard
Giveaways, Heidi Cullinan, Wilde City Press

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Devil Will Do by Heidi Cullinan

Heidi Cullinan

The Novel Approach welcomes author Heidi Cullinan on The Devil Will Do blog tour. Enjoy Heidi’s guest post, then be sure to check out the giveaways and the ways you can enter to win below.

Good luck!

Dividers

Written For You: Dedicating A Story

IMG_3527

Though all my stories are dedicated to someone, some are more “for” the people they’re dedicated to than others. Sometimes I dedicate books and share them to those I dedicated them to, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the dedication is general. Sometimes it’s very, very personal.

I wrote The Devil Will Do to someone specific. I wanted to work in some of his favorite kinks and tropes for sure, but I remember I kept thinking how much I wanted it to be for him. That focus altered everything. The tone, the trajectory. I always knew exactly what the hook was, but thinking I’m writing this for Jason added a whole new element.

This was the only book I’ve ever written for a reader specifically. Since then Jason has become a good friend, and in the weird twists fate offers, he was the editor for this reissue. But at the time, we’d just started to get to know one another. I wonder if that’s why I wasn’t simply saying, “I thought of you while I wrote this” as I usually do, but rather deliberately trying to delight him as a reader.

Who a story is completely for in the end is a rather murky assignment. It’s for everyone who finds something of value in it, and they get to find whatever value speaks to them. There is something that buzzes one in the heart, though, to find you’re mentioned in the opening of a book. When friends and fellow authors have given me a nod in the acknowledgments, yes, it moves me. Every time.

I’ve had one thing written for me that wasn’t a letter to me. It’s from my daughter, written when she was quite young. It was, as it happens, pretty much a replica of something I wrote for her. She’s battled anxiety since she was born, and I got in the habit of penning her encouraging notes in her lunch, sticking them under her door, leaving them on her pillow. One particularly moved her, and she posted it on my desk. I hung it above my desk and eventually framed it. Here’s a picture of it, complete with a photo of her from about that age which as it happened was on the bookshelf where I tried to take the picture.

I can’t write stories for everyone, much as I might like to. I do enjoy writing off the beaten path, trying to give voice to people who might not often find themselves in stories. And yes, I do love dedicating stories to people I love.

Has anyone ever written anything for you? If not, I hope they do soon.

Dividers

TheDevilWIllDo_cvrBlurb: In a land unforgiving of indulgent, dangerous sex, merchantman Eryn does his best to keep his desires in the dark…until the plight of a beautiful prince leads him out of the shadows and into adventures both sensual and terrible.

Capture, curse, and torture litter Eryn’s road to true love, along with carnal delights beyond his most wicked imaginings. His strengths and limitations are exposed—and the hard truth, that nothing holds him back more than the monster of self-loathing in his heart. Prince Wyn might be everything he’s dreamed of in a man—and master—but before Eryn can accept the exquisitely wicked affections of his one true love, he must first save himself…from himself.

This novella was originally published under the title Sweet Son and has been significantly revised.

The Devil Will Do is available for purchase at Wilde City Press | Amazon US (Kindle) (Paperback) | Amazon UK (Kindle) (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble

Dividers

Heidi Cullinan head shotAbout Heidi: Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and teenaged daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.

Dividers

The Giveaways – Two Ways To Win:

On The Devil Will Do tour, Heidi Cullinan is offering readers the chance to win books in two different ways.

Option One: THIS PORTION OF HEIDI’S GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

Option Two: Enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget for a chance to win THREE books – The Devil Will Do, Miles and the Magic Flute, and Hero in the winner’s choice of Print or E-book

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Dividers

path Quote Pic

Standard
5 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie, Sandrine Gasq-Dion, Wilde City Press

Review: A Healing Man by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Title: A Healing Man (Men of Manhattan: Book Five)

Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 150 Pages

At a Glance: Sets us up beautifully for the next couple of books in the series

Blurb: Dario Ramos thought he’d left the fighting behind in the war zone when a life-threatening injury sent him home. But a certain Irishman crossing his path everywhere he went convinced him that his biggest battle might be ahead. Tiernan Callahan is a bigoted jerk. Ramos finds himself constantly in the man’s orbit, even in a city as big as New York. The wounded warrior knows all about pain and loss — and that sometimes anger is the only form of release. When Tiernan once again crowds Ramos’ space, his eyes are opened to the possibility of other forms of release.

Tough NYC cop Tiernan Callahan is still mourning the death of his beloved youngest brother, Mason. Fearing his close-minded family’s reaction, the young soldier never got to tell them his secret — that he was gay and engaged to the love of his life. Tiernan is surviving on anger and guilt. When he continues to run into Dario Ramos, who continues to push his buttons, something inside him snaps. Suddenly, anger isn’t the only emotion he feels.

Two very different men, still trying to heal: Can they come to an understanding and heal each other?

Dividers

Review: It is hard to believe but this is already the fifth book in Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s “Men of Manhattan” series. I’ve been reading it since book one and have to say that this is one of my most anticipated books of the series. I’ve loved Ramos since he was introduced in the earlier books. On the other hand, I loathed Tiernan from the moment I was introduced to him. I have to admit that I didn’t know if Ms. Gasq-Dion was going to be able to sell me on Tiernan as a love interest, but I am happy to say that all of my doubt was just downright silly.

All of Tiernan’s faults were thought to be because he is homophobic. When the truth of Tiernan’s anger began to unfold in this story I found myself doing the unthinkable: feeling sympathy for his sorry behind!

Ramos is just…Ramos. He’s sarcastic, flirty, funny and protective of the ones he loves. His one liners were, as always, epically funny.

What began as a story of two men who hated each other on principal, turns into a story of two men who hate to love each other and man, that is totally sexy.

Ramos is a “take life as it comes” kind of guy, living in the gray areas of life. Tiernan is a by-the-book cop who has lived his life the way everyone expects him to. When these two immovable forces meet, it is inevitably going to cause an earthquake, and what an earthquake it is. These two had the temperature rising when they finally got together and WOW did they get it together. Heat wasn’t the only thing these two shared, though. It seemed like they just GOT one another. Tiernan accepted Ramos just the way he is, and Ramos saw the real Tiernan when no one else could. They really did seem to be made for one another.

It was so much fun to see the usual cast of characters again and we get to meet a few new guys who are sure to turn some of these men inside out. Danny, Tiernan’s new partner on the force, is AMAZING, and all I have to say is that he should never be allowed to spend any time alone with Slater. That would surely be the start of the apocalypse.

As with most of her books, Sandrine Gasq-Dion has set us up beautifully for the next couple of books in the series and if they are anywhere near as good as this one, they will be totally fantastic.






You can buy A Healing Man here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Standard
4 Stars, Historical Romance, Owen Keehnen, Reviewed by Rena, Wilde City Press

Review: December 1903: The Iroquois by Owen Keehnan

Title: December 1903: The Iroquois

Author: Owen Keehnan

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 36 Pages

At a Glance: Owen Keehnen is able to construct a complete story that not only provides us with some great background material about theatre life in the early 20th century, but also the terrible cost of poor planning

Blurb: Chicago during the holiday season in 1903 was a bustling place. This is a tale of passion and love set against a backdrop of the tragic fire at the Iroquois Theatre which killed hundreds. As a love story it is the tale of two men from very different worlds who meet by chance on the street. Frankie is an actor working in the show Mr. Bluebeard which is currently playing at the Iroquois. Following a cast meeting, Frankie leaves the theater en route to his room at a local boarding house until the evening show. On the street he makes knowing eye contact with a handsome and dapper man. The two make small talk. The stranger introduces himself as Otto and in only a few moments the two head off to Frankie s boarding house. Though Frankie knows absolutely nothing about Otto s life outside of the room, they meet again the next night, and the next. As the cold winter wind howls outside the boardinghouse window, they make plans to run away and start a new life elsewhere. They agree to meet on the alley behind the theater that day after the matinee. Frankie has bought Otto a gallery ticket so that he can see him upon the stage. During that day s matinee tragedy strikes and the tragic inferno consumes the theatre. Will one or the other or both lovers perish in the blaze? Can love even survive in the wake of such unspeakable tragedy.

Dividers

Review: At around 14,000 words, Owen Keehnen is able to construct a complete story that not only provides us with some great background material about theatre life in the early 20th century – at least in America – but also the terrible cost of poor planning, the absence of safety laws, and, in the middle of all of that, a love story in the process of blooming. I do want to emphasize that this novelette is a tragedy on many levels. If you’re looking for a romantic HEA, I’ll warn you that this book doesn’t guarantee anything, having a real-life tragedy for its dramatic backdrop, and its conclusion is something that works on a very realistic level. There’s so much mystery behind Otto that ending Frankie’s story the way Keehnen does makes a lot of sense.

The story, from the get-go, isn’t a happy one. Not only do we see Frankie’s struggles to survive as an actor and the lengths he’s forced to go to in order to make it, we also watch him find solace from his loneliness as a gay man by skulking in shadowy alleys, keeping an eye out for possible one-night-stands. When he and Otto cross paths one evening, he knows he’s found the one, and even Otto claims the same thing. There’s so much hinging on their moments alone that even their lovemaking is somewhat tainted by a mild undercurrent of paranoia. Frankie lives in a run-down apartment, and every movement seems magnified by the floorboards or the walls. So that even within the privacy of his home, he really can’t feel safe enough from discovery.

Frankie falls hopelessly in love with Otto, and in an uneven kind of relationship that bummed me out, Frankie shares everything about himself while Otto holds back. Right off the bat, Otto’s at a complete advantage, and it doesn’t take him much to woo Frankie with gifts and declarations of love. When the lovers talk about running away, I could still sense some odd distance from him, and after a certain point, I was questioning my own judgments about the character. It’s one of those kinds of characterization that I enjoy reading – the mystery, the riddle, the person with that quality that’s a little off in such a subtle way. He came across to me as a gray area, who can go either way: throw everything to the wind and run away with Frankie, or suddenly vanish without another word.

And it’s that mystery that muddies the waters following the tragic fire in the theatre where Frankie works.

The fire itself did happen, and the novelette ends with some notes regarding the incident. As can only be expected, so many people died in the fire – both audience and performers alike. With it being the early 20th century, you can only imagine the state of such buildings back then. Emergency exits, fire alarms, what have you – none of those existed then. In fact, reading through the detailed account of the fire, its progress, and the horrific aftermath called to mind the Triangle Factory Fire, another tragedy that makes me ill just thinking about it. The victims’ entrapment are similar. The desperate and ultimately doomed attempts at fleeing, particularly from the upper floors, are also the same.

What follows after the tragedy is almost dream-like in atmosphere and approach. Since we’re seeing everything unfold from Frankie’s POV (first person), we’re very limited in our understanding of how the tragedy affected his and Otto’s relationship. Scenes seem to blend into each other, almost as though we’re walking around in a daze.

For this story, there’s a great deal more telling than there is showing. On the one hand, it distances us from the raw emotion of the events; on the other hand, it distances us from the raw emotion of the events. As much as I’d like to see the narrative broken up more often by dialogue and action (or interaction), particularly after the fire, on another level, I was also somewhat grateful that the tragedy and the aftermath were muted in a way through the heavier reliance on telling.

There are a number of ways one can interpret the story’s denouement, the way I see it. And to Keehnen’s credit, every possibility I could think of works very well with the story, given the nature of the lovers’ relationship and the fact that we’re limited to Frankie’s POV – his biases, his weaknesses, his dreams. Every possibility is realistic, regardless of whether or not it pains us. It’s an effective – not to mention gutsy – way of following through Frankie’s story, and I’m grateful we’re not cheated out of it with something implausible or just plain far out there.






You can buy December 1903: The Iroquois here:

Wilde City Press

Wilde City Press

Standard
Izzy van Swelm, Wilde City Press

Character Interview and Giveaway: The Soulmate for SIN Blog Tour With Izzy van Swelm

wcp_SoulmateforSin_fbk (1)

The Novel Approach is pleased to have author Izzy van Swelm with us today as she tours to promote her debut novel Soulmate for SIN. Please join me in welcoming Izzy, enjoy the character interview, then be sure to enter for the chance to win a signed copy of the book. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

Dividers

Hello, can you tell us your name and who you are please?

Hello. I’m Sally Newton and I’m SIN’s mother. I live in a village outside of GTown with my husband, Snowy. (Brushes down front of skirt) He’s a lovely man, we’ve been married for thirty-five years and never a cross word. He’s an accountant…very respectable and loves his family. Don’t know how he puts up with me sometimes. (Giggles)

What can you tell us about the story in Soul Mate for SIN?

Hey, you asked the boys to describe their appearance in their interviews? This is just what happens, middle age women, we’re invisible. One minute you’re complaining with your girlfriends about sexist builders wolf whistling as you walk by, and the next…they don’t even look. (sighs tragically) Sorry, what was the question?

Um…your hair looks very nice…What can you tell us about the story…?

Thank you, I had it done especially for this interview. Yes…yes the story…Well it was all a bit hard, and a terrible shock. They’re all such lovely boys…I can’t understand it myself, and when I found out how and why!! Well I’m sure you understand how guilty we felt, Snowy and me. If I’d had any idea…well it’s no good looking back like that is it… we’d all do things differently if we had pre-knowledge wouldn’t we? Oh dear, I haven’t given too much away have I?

No, I can honestly say, you haven’t. As a mother do you have any problem with SIN being gay?

Good grief no. Why would I? He’s the same little boy he always was, just grown up. Listen to me… all a mother wants, or should want, is for their children to find a way in life to be happy, productive, fulfilled, and find a loving companion to go through that life with. SIN is a good boy and he’s had a lot to cope with, but he had us and his gorgeous boyfriend to get him through.

Part of me thinks it’s sad they have to ‘come out’ formally. Why don’t we just support and love our kids and be happy that they want to bring their boyfriends or girlfriends home to meet us, at all.

What will readers find if they read Soul Mate for SIN?

Well, they will find a good story…I think that’s important don’t you? Lots of nice people and a couple of not so nice…well it’s not like it first seems…oops…can’t say that. Some funny bits…I had a chuckle…some bits were a bit hard, but there you go things happen and you just go on don’t you? Oh and some sexy bits but I skipped over those…some things a mother doesn’t need to know…it’s quite tasteful I’m told. (Clears throat) oh and a lovely happy ending. :)

Thank you very much for your time Sally.

Oh you’re welcome. Anything for Izzy.

Dividers

SoulmateForSin_cvrTitle: Soulmate for SIN

Author: Izzy van Swelm

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Publication Date: 28 Jan 2015

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Genre: Contemporary, Gay, MM Romance

Blurb: The effects of an attack on SIN, a twenty-nine year old University lecturer, reach out fur-ther into his future than SIN could ever imagine. In a story, which seems doomed to start with an end, SIN learns about the forever kind of love, and how family is not just biological. ‘Soul-Mate for SIN’ shows how twists of fate can take a loving, but ordinary family, from a small market town in Lincolnshire, England and turn them into something extraordinary.

Dividers

Author BioAuthor Bio: Izzy van Swelm is English, but took her Mother in Law’s maiden name as a pen name. Izzy dreams of a world where all sentient species have rights and respect. A world where LGBTQ lovers and friends, old and young, can walk holding hands meeting nothing more than the occasional affectionate eye roll. A world where intelligence, gentleness and compassion are the overwhelming attributes of politicians, and religion is practiced by those who believe, but never forced on those who do not.

Izzy is a romantic, a dreamer, a vegetarian and just a little eccentric. Izzy writes because she loves to tell stories, and she hopes that her stories will bring happiness, enjoyment and maybe to some…a little hope.

Author Page | Facebook

Dividers

The Giveaway: A Signed Print Copy Of Soulmate for SIN

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Dividers

Tour links:

27 Jan – Prism Book Alliance

28 Jan – Diverse Reader

29 Jan – RJ Scott

30 Jan – Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews

31 Jan – The Novel Approach

1 Feb – Rainbow Gold Reviews

2 Feb – The Hat Party

3 Feb – Hearts on Fire Reviews

4 Feb – JP Barnaby

5 Feb – Love Bytes

6 Feb – GGR Reviews

7 Feb – Kimi Chan Experience

Standard
3 Stars, Edward Kendrick, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Rena, Wilde City Press

Review: L’histoire de François: Vampire by Edward Kendrick

Title: L’histoire de François: Vampire (Mortal Angst #1)

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 64 Pages

At a Glance: A good deal of missed opportunity

Blurb: Since his turning in 1022 young spy, François, has hated all humans. And yet, in 1347, he falls in love with one, only to be betrayed by Giles who tells his liege lord that François is a vampire. The lord blackmails François into spying for him. Years later, François gains his revenge on Giles through his son.

In 1876 New Orleans, François joins forces with Vasile, a master of the city, to take on human vampire hunters. Then Vasile’s human lover dies and Vasile turns to François for comfort. Will love ensue, or is François destined to always be alone?

Dividers

Review: L’histoire de Francois… is a paranormal historical novella that’s quite sweeping in its scope, as far as time period goes. It’s also the first volume of what looks to be a novella series centering on Francois, a young Frenchman who’s turned into a vampire and subsequently becomes a pawn for humans in times of war or bitter political rivalry. It’s a clever use of vampirism, really, seeing as how vampires are immortals and can withstand torture should they be caught spying. Francois – whose last name’s never revealed, but he comes from aristocratic stock – has a pretty rich history, which includes his turning, but we’re really not given much to savor.

The first half of the book focuses on Francois’s past, and the second half skips forward a few centuries and moves the action from France to New Orleans. Because of the novella’s length (about 20K words), so much history covered in such a short book means a lot of summaries and details left out. And that’s too bad because Francois’s history is incredibly rich and fascinating, and that doesn’t include his turning. He’s a seasoned spy at twenty-three, he comes from a line of nobles, and he’s got a bit of a rivalry going on with his older brother, Lothaire, who becomes peripherally instrumental in Francois’s fate. Since his family knows nothing about his secret life, the resulting tension or even perhaps ambivalence in Francois could’ve been explored.

As it happens, though, only his time with Giles is given some attention, and even then, it still has a rushed quality to it. The result of this for me was a lack of emotional connection with Francois. I felt no sympathy for him, even during those moments spent with Giles, and everything seemed so ephemeral and barely fleshed out that I didn’t care much about him by the end of the book. There’s a good deal of missed opportunity, and I wished the book just focused on the events of the first half, expanding Francois’s past and his experiences with Giles and the aftermath of Giles’ betrayal. If anything, the only real sense of emotion I got from the book was how much Francois hated humans, and that’s only because we’re always reminded of that fact, not necessarily shown or allowed to explore those experiences that ultimately led him to that much loathing.

The setting’s also not fully established or described in enough detail as to firmly plant the reader in both time and place. Besides the more generalized references to cities, we don’t really get to “see” Francois’s world, regardless of time period. And that just added to the diminishment of any emotional connection I might’ve enjoyed with the hero.

As this is the first book in a series, however, it probably serves a more general purpose of establishing Francois’s past, and the rest of the novellas following it might offer us something meatier to sink our teeth into – no pun intended.






You can buy L’histoire de François: Vampire (Mortal Angst #1) here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Standard
BJ Sheppard, Giveaways, Videos, Wilde City Press

Video Excerpt and Giveaway: Always Have, Always Will by BJ Sheppard

Banner

The Novel Approach is so honored to be kicking off BJ Sheppard’s Always Have, Always Will Blog Tour today, and to be bringing you some very exclusive content to celebrate the book’s release at Wilde City Press.

Not only did this very dapper man do a video reading from the book for us, but he has also revealed that his well of talent runs deep. The song he’s shared with us today? Yes, he not only composed it, but that’s him performing it as well.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

Dividers

Title: Always Have, Always Will

Author: BJ Sheppard

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Length: 64 Pages

Genre: Gay Fiction, Contemporary 

Blurb: Imagine losing everything you ever loved in the blink of an eye. For Clayton Palmer, that terrible fate has just become a reality as he buries his lover, Gregg, after a brief and futile battle with cancer. Now, in the house in which they shared their love for all those years, Clay’s own life is slowly fading. In a war with his ailing body, Clay reminisces over the life they shared. Knowing time is running out, memories of their joy and sadness come to him; vignettes forming a road map back to the man he always loved; always has and always will.

Buy Links: Wilde City Press, Amazon, ARe

Dividers

Bj SheppardAuthor Bio: My name is BJ Sheppard and all at once I found myself an author. Such a strange sensation to actually feel you deserve the thing you had aspired to for many years. After all, all it took was computer access and an inner world that reads like a Sheryl Crow song to pound the keys and translate my crazy ideas onto the page. I feel like I could have business cards printed. Maybe wear a black roll neck and perch my glasses on the tip of my nose. I could drink whisky and smoke a cigar and do all those really stereotypical things I imagine all writers do. Perhaps I could get laid a little more? This is not the end. Nor the beginning. Hell, it isn’t even about me. My boys write themselves; I really don’t have that much say in the matter. As long as my characters need a voice, I have two chubby typing fingers and a need to please— watch this space: there is more to come.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter

Dividers

Dividers

Follow BJ’s Tour For More Exclusive Content And More Chances To Win An E-copy Of Always Have, Always Will:

January 5The Novel Approach

January 6Rhys Ford

January 7GGR-Review

January 8Joyfully Jay

January 9Love Bytes

Standard
TC Blue, Wilde City Press

Guest Post and Excerpt: The Butt Babes In Boyland Blog Tour With TC Blue

ButtBabesInBoyLand(Totally Awesome)Title: Butt Babes In Boyland

Written by: Kage Alan, J.P. Barnaby, T.C. Blue, Shae Connor, Jevocas Green, and Kiernan Kelly

The Blurb: The holidays are a time for visiting with family and friends, and sharing tales of peace, childlike innocence, and good will towards all mankind. These are not those stories. This year, the Butt-thology authors cordially invite you to join them in creating a new tradition.

This holiday season, it’s not just turkeys getting stuffed! Continue reading

Standard
5 Stars, BJ Sheppard, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Sammy, Wilde City Press

Review: Always Have, Always Will by BJ Sheppard

Title: Always Have, Always Will

Author: BJ Sheppard

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 64 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Imagine losing everything you ever loved in the blink of an eye. For Clayton Palmer, that terrible fate has just become a reality as he buries his lover, Gregg, after a brief and futile battle with cancer. Now, in the house in which they shared their love for all those years, Clay’s own life is slowly fading. In a war with his ailing body, Clay reminisces over the life they shared. Knowing time is running out, memories of their joy and sadness come to him; vignettes forming a road map back to the man he always loved; always has and always will. Continue reading

Standard
3 Stars, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Owen Keehnen, Reviewed by Rena, Wilde City Press

Review: Springtime 1962, The Lawson YMCA by Owen Keehnen

Title: Springtime 1962, The Lawson YMCA

Author: Owen Keehnen

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 72 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: A diary is found in a secondhand bookstore. The narrator opens the dusty cover and discovers that the book is the intimate diary of a man named Joseph. Reading the entries, the narrator is quickly drawn into a passionate gay intergenerational love story of two retail workers in Chicago during the spring of 1962. In his mid 40s, Joseph has worked at a large downtown department store for years. One day a young muscled man in his early 20s named Clint is hired. Later, Joseph sees him again at the Lawson YMCA and realizes that they both live there. Soon the two began spending a great deal of time together, going to movies, working out in the weight room, taking work lunches together in the park, and so on. Soon they fall in love despite the closeted nature of their work and lives. Both men thought the feelings that they have for one another and love they share were impossibilities. In time Joseph learns that Clint harbors a grave secret that threatens their relationship and both of their futures. Will outside forces destroy the magic they have discovered? Continue reading

Standard
5 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie, Sandrine Gasq-Dion, Wilde City Press

Review: A Working Man (Men of Manhattan: Book Four) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Title: A Working Man (Men of Manhattan: Book Four)

Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 134 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Matthew Hawke’s professional life is soaring as high the powerful bird of prey whose image is inked on his back. He’s at the top of his game as the owner of an advertising agency that is scooping up prime accounts like a mighty hawk wrapping its talons around an unfortunate ground rodent. Yes, work is good. Too bad his love life has more in common with the dying rodent than the triumphant hawk. When the thought of a sexy man trumps actually being with a sexy woman, Matthew thinks it might be time for a change. And there IS a gorgeous man at the gym he’s noticed. Continue reading

Standard
5 Stars, Geoffrey Knight, Historical Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lynn, Wilde City Press

Review: Buck Baxter, Love Detective by Geoffrey Knight

Title: Buck Baxter, Love Detective

Author: Geoffrey Knight

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 90 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Welcome to Wilde City, 1924—a crane on top of every skyscraper, a party in every club, a romance on every dance floor, a shooting every night, a broken heart on every street corner and a dirty secret behind every window with the curtain drawn. It’s the kinda town that keeps Buck Baxter, private detective, in business. Continue reading

Standard
Kevin Klehr, Wilde City Press

Guest Post and Excerpts: Starting Out by Kevin Klehr

10304003_597363280373592_2516288725210816068_n

Sometime over ten years ago I decided to write a novel. In my early years I loved writing stories but gave away this early passion during puberty. For some reason as a thirty-something, I decided to put pen to paper and write again.

I had a plot where characters in the Afterlife found themselves in the theater district, rehearsing plays which highlighted each actor’s unfinished business. They’d finally need to face the life lessons they avoided, here in the hereafter.

But thankfully that idea was lost as I began to write. A lot happened during the many years, and during the many drafts, that first novel took shape. But the best thing to happen, happened early in its life. I was put in touch with an assessor. Continue reading

Standard
5 Stars, Genre Romance, J.K. Hogan, Reviewed by Kathie, Wilde City Press

Review: Love and the Real Boy by J.K. Hogan

Title: Love and the Real Boy (Coming About: Book Two)

Author: JK Hogan

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 196 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: How much heartache can one man take before he breaks? Rich Langston asks himself that question every day.

A Seattle advertising exec who uses his designer suit and showy car like a suit of armor, Rich refuses to let the world get to him. His traumatic childhood has ruined any faith he had in people, friendship, and love. After a meltdown that led to him alienating everyone in his life, Rich agrees to help with the restoration of an antique sailboat as a form of penance. Continue reading

Standard
5 Stars, Drama, Eric Arvin, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lisa, Wilde City Press

Review: Wave Goodbye to Charlie by Eric Arvin

Title: Wave Goodbye to Charlie

Author: Eric Arvin

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 196 Pages (.pdf)

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: My name’s Charlie. I’m many things, though none of them having to do with any real talent. I’m a runaway, a hustler when I need to be, a ghost when I have to scare hoodlums away from my home, and a loner who maybe reads too much. But most of all, I’m the keeper of the carnival. That’s how I see myself. I look after the place ’cause even dying things need to be cared for. Maybe it’s illegal. Maybe that rusty metal fence around the carnival is supposed to keep me out too. Or maybe me and this place were meant to find each other. Truth is, I never felt at home anywhere but here, not even in all the foster families and orphanages I was placed in as a young shit. They don’t look for me no more, those places. I suspect I ran away so much they finally just said, “Fuck! Let him go.” I am a hangnail on society’s manicured middle finger. I’m older. One year past the age anyone gives a shit.

And this is my adventure…
Continue reading

Standard
Ethan Day, GayRomLit, Wilde City Press

GayRomLit Guest Post and Giveaway: Ethan Day – Come to GRL As You Are!

2014GRL_BlogTour_sq200x200Hello TNA peeps and many thanks to Mistress Lisa for allowing me access to all of you today! She will very likely wanna smack me for that whole BDSM-ish sounding Mistress Lisa bit, but she can’t really do so without offering evidence that I may be right! ‘Insert evil-genius laugh here.’

In preparation for the audiobook release of As You Are, available for purchase on Audible and iTunes October 10th, I’m here on this good Friday to offer you an exclusive ‘first listen’, in addition to an introduction to Jason Frazier, who performed and produced the audiobook. I was introduced to Jason by Sara York and after listening to the audio version of Pray the Gay Away, also performed by Jason, I was completely audio-smitten. Though Sara’s book deals with some pretty weighty issues and As You Are…doesn’t, lol, I could close my eyes and hear Julian in Jason’s voice. That’s when I knew I’d found the right performer to breathe life into everything I’d placed on page. Continue reading

Standard
4 Stars, Literary Fiction, Michael Kudo, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Jackie, Wilde City Press

Review: Red Rose (Blood) by Michael Kudo

Title: Red Rose (Blood)

Author: Michael Kudo

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: “I don’t like to be called an Assassin, I prefer the term problem solver.”

My name’s Alex. I’m an average guy. I kill people for a living. But don’t judge me.

I don’t take jobs on just anybody though. I only kill the really annoying people, like cheaters or abusers. So if you think about it, I’m actually doing God’s work—okay, maybe that’s stretching things a bit. Continue reading

Standard
4 Stars, D.H. Starr, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie, Wilde City Press

Review: “The One I Choose” by D.H. Starr

Title: The One I Choose

Author: D.H. Starr

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 33k Words

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Cal’s been with his partner Rhys for three years, their life together was perfect—or so he thought. When Rhys’s culinary path in NYC is detoured, Cal uses his inheritance to relocate them to Boston. While using his contracting skills tirelessly to get Rhys’s restaurant operational, Cal realizes that Rhys’s happiness, their very relationship, may not be as solid as he’d once thought. Cal struggles as he realizes the many ways he’s taken Rhys for granted and needs to make some hard choices if he doesn’t want to lose the man he loves. Continue reading

Standard
D.H. Starr, GayRomLit, Wilde City Press

Countdown to GayRomLit Character Interview and Giveaway: “The One I Choose” by D.H. Starr

Title: The One I Choose
Author: D. H. Starr
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Buy Links:
Wilde City
Amazon
(Coming Soon To:)
• ARe
• Barnes and Nobles

Blurb: Cal and Rhys have been together for three years. Having met and lived together in New York City, their lives were travelling along the same path. That is, until Rhys started working for a jealous chef and got blacklisted in the culinary world of New York City. They move to Boston, Cal using his inheritance to purchase a restaurant to give Rhys a fresh start. Cal’s biggest challenge is figuring out how to balance work and Rhys. Struggling to make the right choices, will Cal figure out how to accomplish both things without hurting the man he loves? Continue reading

Standard
5 Stars, Comedy, Hank Edwards, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Kim, Wilde City Press

Review: “Repossession is 9/10ths of the Law” by Hank Edwards

Title: Repossession Is 9/10ths of the Law

Author: Hank Edwards

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Alan Baxter barely scrapes by working as a deejay in suburban Detroit. To make ends meet, he takes a job as an automobile repossession agent, and discovers his very first assignment is a car owned by his drug dealer ex-boyfriend. On top of that, a body is discovered in the trunk…by a cop. Soon Alan’s life is completely upturned as he is pulled into a mystery involving more bodies, a highly lethal new street drug, a mysterious man with a top hat and cane, raging dwarves, a house fire, a cranky police detective, and his even crankier cat! Continue reading

Standard
Michael Kudo, Wilde City Press

Guest Post and Giveaway: “Red Rose (Blood)” by Michael Kudo

10641173_578038805658142_2364026403445333936_n

Greetings Everyone!

I’m Michael Kudo the author formally/informally known as Michael Chulsky.

I’m here by the graciousness of the lovelies at TNA to introduce you to Alex Rose, the main character of my newest novel Red Rose (Blood), the first in The Deadly Rose Series. And I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than to share an excerpt with you guys.

I hope you enjoy!

Contact Michael at: Blog | Twitter | Facebook Continue reading

Standard
Geoffrey Knight, Wilde City Press

Interview and Spotlight: Welcome Geoffrey Knight and “Buck Baxter, Love Detective”

Buck Baxter Banner

TNA: Hi, Geoff, thanks so much for visiting with us at The Novel Approach today. Why don’t we start by having you share a bit about yourself?

Geoff: Thanks so much for having me, I always love coming to The Novel Approach. For those who don’t know me, Hi, I’m Geoff. I’m an author and I also own Wilde City Press along with Ethan Day. I’ve been writing gay fiction since 2007, my first book was a gay adventure called The Cross of Sins which one reviewer described as “Gay Raiders of the Lost DaVinci Code”. I loved that line and now it’s kinda stuck! The Cross of Sins was the first in a series called Fathom’s Five, which is about five hot, hunky adventurers who travel the world solving ancient mysteries, sort of like a gay Indiana Jones… except hotter… and there’s five of them. Continue reading

Standard
Ethan Day, GayRomLit, Wilde City Press

GRL Countdown Celebration and Giveaway: Welcome Ethan Day

2014GRL_BlogTour_sq200x200Are you ready for an exclusive excerpt from Ethan Day’s forthcoming Sci-fi/Time Travel Romance novel Meteor Springs from Wilde City Press? Good, because we have one for you right here at The Novel Approach today, and in honor of his visit with us, Ethan’s offering one lucky reader the chance to win an e-copy of any title from His Backlist (excl. Meteor Springs), winner’s choice.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Continue reading

Standard