Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Great Reads to Fall in Love With - Booyah Books! The September Edition

Cheers, fellow bookworms, and welcome to the September installment of The Novel Approach's favorite books! I hope you found your fair share of wonderful reads over the past 30 or so days, we sure did, and I'm here to share a few of our picks with you.

As always, be sure to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of TWO of our book of the month selections by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!


KarenSloe Ride by Rhys Ford – “Quinn and Rafe’s relationship, compared to the others in the series, seemed to flow and develop much more smoothly, more sweetly. I love how Rafe handles Quinn’s quirks, and even finds them adorable. Throughout the story you still get doses of the rest of the guys you already love, along with watching Quinn and Rafe get together. Having the little snippets of the others seemed to give this book that little edge we are used to in the series, while keeping Quinn and Rafe’s story sweet.”

SadonnaCronin’s Key III by N.R. Walker – “I have to say that I for one am sad to see this series end, and I’m hoping we at least get some little visits along the way with Alec and Cronin – and their friends – because they are a great couple and I will miss them. The way the author has woven history and mythology together throughout the series, along with creating such an interesting cast of characters in these vampires (with a couple of humans thrown in), it has been really fascinating. I still think these would make great movies, with Alex O’Loughlin playing Alec. :)

Once again, well done and highly recommended for a guaranteed great time reading a fun, interesting and exciting story.”

AngelTerror by Moonlight by Hank Edwards – “Hank Edwards is a new to me author, and I loved my first go round with him. I opened up Terror by Moonlight and then couldn’t put it down, reading the entire novel in one sitting. The fast paced story revolves around two men, who are best friends, and the new business they have just started.

Cody Bowers is fun loving and out of control, and Demetrius is his gay best friend. I loved the snark between the two, and the UST (unresolved sexual tension) is so thick it permeated the pages. These two attract more trouble just trying to do their job than seems humanly possible. I loved how the supernatural was just accepted as if it was an everyday occurrence—very little disbelief among the characters, and it was great.”

JulesVespertine by Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn – “This book blew me away. Blew. Me. Away. It was surprising in the best way. I don’t know why I was surprised, really…I’m a big fan of Leta Blake’s books; and Indra Vaughn, though I hadn’t read her work previously, definitely has some popular titles, but I had no idea this one would be this good. The blurb intrigued me; I just didn’t know how the authors were going to pull it off. I mean, he’s a priest, you guys. Ha! But, pull it off they did. Vespertine is beautiful, emotional, raw at times, funny at times, definitely sexy, and just a gorgeous, gorgeous love story.”

LanaThe Carpenter by Serena Yates – “The Carpenter is a sweet, workplace romance between two men who find love where they least expect it.

The story follows the usual formula of a carpenter, Tom, who gets a remodeling job that he needs in order to keep his business running. His client, Matt, needs the house he’s inherited renovated so he can sell it and move on. I’ve read countless stories with this plot line, but I still like it, and this one delivered. I like the dynamic between a blue collar, rough around the edges guy, being with a polished professional.”

MaryannThe Articles of Release by BA Tortuga – “BA Tortuga brings humor, caring, love and a special friendship between all the characters to The Articles of Release. I love this author’s writing style, and this book, with its simple truths, is relaxed and really gives a nice feel to the Release series.

It was such a pleasure to have Win and Sage from The Terms of Release included in this installment of the series. They play a big part in Eric and Troy’s story and bring a nice camaraderie to it. I thought they gave Eric a real eye opener, especially Sage. There is nobody like Sage; he’s just so down to earth. I hope that BA Tortuga continues with the Release series and shares more of Troy and Eric’s life with us, along with Win and Sage’s.”

CarrieFeat of Clay by Susan Mac Nicol – “Let me start by saying I love Susan Mac Nicol, and I have read and recommended all the books in the Men of London series. These books are so well written, and I didn’t think she could do better than Suit Yourself, book three, but yeah, she proved me wrong and I am so glad she did.

Tate is broken, part of Clay is broken also. How do two alpha males overcome a disease that is all in Tate’s head? Feat of Clay takes you on their rocky journey to their HEA. I couldn’t put this book down because I couldn’t leave Tate there – in that place – trying so hard to be strong for Clay while Clay is trying so hard to be strong for Tate. You will love these men, together as a couple, and individually, as they each fight their demons and come out stronger and more in love than they thought possible.”

KimThe Tin Box by Kim Fielding – “I’m a bit biased when it comes to mental asylums, since I’ve had a family member who’s been in and out of them since he was seventeen. He’s now sixty-two and is residing in one, in their dementia and brain trauma unit. Mental hospitals have come a long way since I first visited him in one when I was eleven years old, and yes, there are some abuses that still occur with patients if family or advocates are not on their toes and looking out for them.

I was so impressed by the way William used Bill’s letters to motivate him into leaving his comfort zone and become more confidant as a gay man. Colby was such a tease as he flirted with William, and I loved how these two interacted with each other.”

LisaDangerous Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk – “I’ve probably uttered the words, “Oh my god, this is my favorite Jordan L. Hawk book. Evarrrr!” every single time I’ve finished reading a Jordan L. Hawk book. That sort of redundancy is an occupational hazard of which I never tire. And, once again, it’s entirely true.

Putting my finger on the pulse of my love for Dangerous Spirits is simple—the paranormal plot elements in this story are exceptional. How exceptional are they? I was so frustrated by my inability to read fast enough that I kept skipping down the page to see what would happen next, and then going back to read the parts I’d skipped just so I wouldn’t bust a vein from the tension and suspense woven into those scenes. If you’re a fan of horror—the vivid prose and chilling metaphysical story elements that not only get the adrenaline pumping but the goose bumps popping at the deadly visitations from beyond the grave—then this book will scratch every single one of your horror-loving itches.”


And that does it for another month of Booyah Books! Until next month, happy reading!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chatting with Poppy Dennison about Dogwood Days

I'm so pleased to have Poppy Dennison on my blog today and excited to have her answer questions about her newest novella due out on October 21st.

Mary: So, this is your first contemporary romance with Dreamspinner, what prompted you to make the change from Paranormal to Contemporary?
Poppy: I’ve always wanted to write a small town story that honored the town where I grew up. The idea had percolated in my brain for a long time before I finally found some inspiration for Holly Creek. This is the first time a setting came to me before characters and I really liked how it worked. I was able to create characters who fit into the town and the story practically wrote itself!
 Mary: Jefferson Lee, your main character, is definitely very sassy. What can you tell us about him?
Poppy: Jefferson Lee is probably my favorite character that I’ve ever written. He is definitely full of sass and has so much heart. He’s one of those people who you want to be around because he has such good energy. I’ve never had a character stick with me for so long. I still see something and can immediately hear Jefferson Lee’s voice in my head with his thoughts. He’s so much fun, and when he finally gets his head out of his rear end and sees his love interest, well, it’s one of my favorite things ever. LOL
Mary: Since he stuck with you, will there be more books in the series?
Poppy: There will be more books, yes, but not necessarily more of Jefferson as the main character. The town itself is so full of interesting personalities that I can't imagine I'll be moving on from Holly Creek for a while.  
Mary: So does that mean no more paranormal? 
Poppy: Not forever, my first love will always be paranormal but I'm enjoying my time in the town I've created and with the people I feel like I've always known. It's like that warm feeling you get when you see family and old friends, share a good meal and then sit around and visit into the wee hours. There's nothing better and that's the warmth I'm hoping to spread. 
Mary: Well it sounds wonderful and I for one can't wait. The book is now available for preorder at Dreamspinner Press:

Small town heroes and big town hearts.
Jefferson Lee Davis is happy with his life in the city until his favorite uncle has a bad fall and he rushes to Holly Creek to make sure Uncle Sherman is okay. Jefferson Lee knows how to navigate small Southern town’s politics and the residents greet him with open arms. Everyone but the town’s sheriff, Zane Yarbrough, that is.
Dogwood Days, the town’s biggest festival is looming, so Jefferson has to step up and take over his uncle’s job as the town blogger, even if that puts him right in the sheriff’s path. Quirky neighbors, meddling family, and a sassy best friend all come together to make Jefferson Lee’s life in Holly Creek a full-time adventure. When he loses his job back in the city, Jefferson Lee has to start a new job search that will take him away from the town he’s learning to think of as home. Will this big city boy find sweet romance in the arms of a small town sheriff or will the allure of the city call him back?

Find Poppy here:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Release Day for my marshals!
I'm excited and nervous that my marshals are out today! I hope you all enjoy reading about Miro and Ian's further adventures.:)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Booyah Books! Brings You An August Full of Great Books and a Giveaway

Cheers, everyone, and many thanks for dropping by Mary's place to check out the books we loved in the month of August.

As always, The Novel Approach is giving one reader the chance to win an e-copy of TWO of this months chosen titles, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

And now, here they are, August's Booyah Books!


Taz – Violated by Jamie Fessenden – “While highly disturbing and difficult to read, it was clear Mr. Fessenden had researched the experiences of men who had been raped. The honesty of the physical experience was described, but moving forward, the book focused on the emotional damage as the protagonist struggles to regain his shattered sense of self-control and power.
And that was what made this story a brave and important read. I don’t know of anyone who has admitted being raped to me, and therefore I have no first-hand knowledge of what the experience is like after the fact. In reading Violated, I feel like I have a better understanding of the multi-faceted and deeply rooted injuries (both physical and emotional) that impact the victim, making recovery an uphill battle.”

You can read Taz's full review HERE

Lana – Plaid Nights Anthology – “The Plaid Nights Anthology is a collection of stories about men in kilts. Yes, I said men in kilts! What else do you need? If your kink is men in kilts, like mine, then this book is for you. If it’s not, then it’s going to be if you read this book. I have three words to describe this anthology: Men. In. Kilts! All the stories were ridiculously hot and very well written, but really, all you need to know is that they were hot.
Any book that has gorgeous kilted men in it, who love sex and sin, is one I can get behind. This book has a little of everything: sexy bad boys, a little mystery, a little paranormal, and a lot of entertainment. It’s a must read.”

You can Read Lana's full review HERE

Sammy – Sunset Lake by John Inman – “I never saw it coming. The murderer? The gasp worthy ending? I never had a clue, and I am an avid mystery reader. In fact, one of my pet peeves is that I often figure out the ending of a novel and solve the mystery before it is revealed. But not this time. No, this one was so cleverly written, so intricately drawn that I had absolutely no inkling of how it would all play out. When John Inman finally disclosed who was viciously killing the old women in town, I was shocked. But Mr. Inman was not done with me, not by a long shot, for the ending of this novel was perhaps the most gut-wrenching solution ever offered up by a novelist.
However, the mechanics of this mystery were not the only thing that made this story a nail-biting page turner. What this author does with defining his characters and revealing their inner thoughts and emotions is nothing short of brilliant! In this case, even the town of Nine Mile becomes one of the “people” in his book.”

You can read Sammy's full review HERE

Karen – BOSS by Ashley John – “It is no secret that I am a huge Ashley John fan. He has a unique way of making you feel for the characters, but not always happy, loving feelings, even for the main characters in the story.  Whether you love them or hate them, though, you want to know more.
I found myself, through a lot of this story, wanting to punch one (or both) of the main characters in the face, then randomly mumbling to myself, “What is wrong with you two?” But I was also so invested and drawn in to the story that I couldn’t put it down. Each character has his own past that has caused him to put up walls and mask how he really feels, and until he meets the person who is willing to break through the mirage, he coasts through life, convincing himself he is doing exactly what he wants, when just below the surface he really wants so much more.” 

You can read Karen's full review HERE

Lynn – Double Heat by Lynn Kelling – “First off, this is a series that should be read in order. My Brother’s Lover and Dual Affairs are the first two books in the Twin Ties saga. Second, this books deals with some pretty heavy issues that may be triggers for some readers: rape, pedophilia and incest. Please take heed to the warnings.
Having read the first two books, I thought I knew where this story was headed. We’ve already met both sets of twins, and watched as all four men evolved into a relationship with one another. They went through some rough spots, figuring it out along the way, and by the end of the second book, Evan, Brennan, Alek, and Luka are moving in together. So, I’m thinking the third book is going to be an adjustment period, a “getting to know you better” phase. I mean, when you’re in a relationship that involves four people, there’s going to be some issues to tackle, right? Oh boy, was I wrong.”

You can read Lynn's full review HERE

Sadonna – Cherish & Blessed by Tere Michaels – “This combination of two shorter episodes in the lives of Evan and Matt gives us more insight into how they are adjusting to combining their households and lives. Once again, Matt is the standout character for me in this series. He is the real glue that holds this couple and this family together, much to the chagrin of Miranda. He calms Evan, takes charge when needed, backs off when things get too hot to handle and pretty much absorbs the shockwaves of this family.
Finally, we also get to enjoy a weekend away for Matt and Evan with no distractions, no kids, no commitments to anyone else – just a focus on themselves. They get down to the heart of their relationship, and it’s really sweet. Evan still struggles with expressing his feelings, but he’s come a long way. These guys are so fun to watch grow together, and it’s nice to see them work through their relationship and continue to move forward together.”

You can read Sadonna's full review HERE

Jules – Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan – “One of my other favorite things about the story is that it is once again filled with music and pop culture references. At my house we are massive Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli fans, so I LOVED all of the nods to Howl’s Moving Castle (Baz and Elijah’s relationship is compared many times to Howl’s and Sophie’s, which is…wait for it…perfection) and all of the other Miyazaki films. Also, for a chunk of my reading I listened to Heidi Cullinan’s Spotify playlist that she made for the book. Completely. Fabulous. If you’ve never done this, I highly recommend it, especially this playlist; it was too good.
In closing…
Go. Read. Now.”

You can read Jules' full review HERE

Maryann – Enigma/Blood & Dirt by Lloyd A. Meeker – “Enigma is so much more than a case of blackmail, it’s a mystery melded with the mystical. If there is any chance you can listen to Enigma’s music, do so because the lyrics will define James Richardson’s character.
I liked what Mr. Meeker did with Russ Morgan’s character. He doesn’t flaunt, overuse or abuse Russ’s abilities. In fact, Russ could solve a case with just his investigative skills. Mr. Meeker had me fascinated with Enigma from the beginning to end. Excellent story and excellent music!!
After reading Blood & Dirt I have definitely become a fan of Lloyd A. Meeker and the Russ Morgan Mystery series. This is the second installment, so if you have not read Enigma, it’s a must read before Blood & Dirt. Mr. Meeker takes us on another roller coaster ride, with so many clashing personalities for Russ to examine before he can solve the case.”

You can read Maryann's full review HERE

Carrie – Winter’s Wolf by Tara Lain – “This book has a more complex storyline than the others in the series, and as such, there was no skipping ahead or putting it down mid-read. This was an excellent book to listen to as well as read along with because you got a good and captivating story, which kept all your book-loving senses engaged.
Winter’s Wolf is a story about finding family, discovering family, and becoming family. In the end, Winter discovers that having mates you would live and die for is what pack is all about.”

You can read Carrie's full review HERE

Lisa – Charmed and Dangerous Anthology – “If you’ve looked at this lineup of authors and thought to yourself that there’s no possible way this anthology could fail…you’d be absolutely right. For fans of speculative fiction, Charmed and Dangerous is a collection of wild wonderment that’s been long overdue. This company of ten of the genre’s consummate storytellers dug into their depthless cache of talent to ensure each of these tales lived up to the challenge presented to them: to create new worlds, to introduce both new and familiar characters within the allotted word count, and to do so without sacrificing a single iota of detail, imagination, or compromising the quality of each tale.
Mission: Accomplished
Whether you’ve only read one of these authors before, or, like me, you’ve read all ten, Charmed and Dangerous is a spec fic lover’s Wonderland… Or whatever it is you call that place we go during those not-quite-aware-of-reality moments when we lose ourselves in a great book.”

You can read Lisa's full review HERE


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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Guest Blogger: Dirk Greyson

I’m always honored when Mary Calmes has me on her blog, she is an awesome friend.  Challenge the Darkness is one of those stories that takes you by surprise.  A few months before writing it, I went on a paranormal shifter story kick and read a lot of them, including Mary’s L’Ange series.  Kate Douglas had also sent me her Dark Wolf series and those two things combined to inspire this particular story.    Originally I hadn’t seen myself as writing paranormal stories.  I thought it was something I didn’t have in my wheelhouse and I knew I wanted to come up with something different as well as a world that would seem to fit within our current reality.  

Then I saw the video, Wolves Change Rivers in YouTube and the idea was born.  It took a few months to percolate, but when I sat down to write Challenge the Darkness, the story seemed to pour out of me.  Mikael and Denton were in a huge hurry to tell me their story and they included all the amazing hot details.  It seems these two guys have very little shame at all, which certainly made my job easier.  Denton and Mikael are also men of action, both in and out of the bedroom, strong, powerful, and definitely a formidable pair, once they got their act together.  

I have so many people to think for helping with this story.  Mary and Amy Lane for listening to me prattle on as I wrote the thing, Kate for letting me use the idea of her goddess.  And to Lynn West and Elizabeth for their constant inspiration and support. 

But he’s gone,” Anna mumbled. “The other half of my soul has been ripped away from me. We’ve lost our home and our family. All of it was taken from me in the instant Gregor died.” Her voice remained steady, though, and Mikael knew she’d keep it together. She was the mate of an alpha, and that alone would sustain her.
“I know. But the boys will need you, and your new pack will need you.”
She turned to him. “You lied to Anton.”
“In a way. When Gregor asked me to come to ensure the fight would be fair, he told me if anything were to happen to him, he wanted me to take care of his family. You and those two boys were important to him. So when Anton tried to claim you, I had to step in.” He glanced in the backseat and saw that both boys were asleep, lying down on the seat, curled together just the way he’d slept with his siblings, Karl and Catherine, when they were pups. “What he was doing violated everything I believe in, and if I could have, I’d have helped everyone in the pack, but I can’t. They are beyond me, but not you and the boys.” He had to save a piece of his old friend. If Anton had taken the boys, odds were good that at some point they would end up dead too. Gregor’s blood in Anton’s pack would have been a threat to him, especially if they grew to be as strong as their father.
“What if they grow up to challenge you or your sons?” Anna asked with a touch of pride.
“They won’t. I won’t have children.”
“You’ll find a mate,” Anna said.
“I might, but I know my mate will be another man. The Mother told me so in a dream when I was eight years old. She showed him to me—another eight-year-old boy. I remember his blond hair, fierce eyes, and the way he looked back at me. It was like we could see each other for a brief time through the ether. Then he was gone, but I always knew he was my mate. I just haven’t met him yet.”
“What about your brother and sister’s children?” Anna asked.
“You’ll see. Karl is my beta and he’s fantastic at it. He always has my back, and Catherine is an enforcer. No one messes with her, including her husband, Stan. My younger brother, Christopher, is away at college.” Christopher’s role in the pack was up in the air at the moment, by his choice. He’d always seemed to go his own way and follow his own drummer. “They are my support, always, and I couldn’t be the alpha I am without them. We’re not a large pack, only about twenty in all. The core of the pack is my family—my siblings and their spouses, their children, and my uncle and mother. And now you and the boys. So if they grow up and follow in their father’s footsteps, as long as they care for their pack the way Gregor always did, they’ll have my blessing and support.”
Anna didn’t say anything right away. “Thank you, Alpha,” she finally said softly.


When alpha shifter Mikael Volokov is called to witness a challenge, he learns the evil and power-hungry Anton Gregor will stop at nothing to attain victory. Knowing he will need alliances to keep his pack together, Mikael requests a congress with the Evergreen pack and meets Denton Arguson, Evergreen alpha, to ask for his help. Fate has a strange twist for both of them though, and Mikael and Denton soon realize they’re destined mates. 
Denton resists the pull between them—he has his own pack and his own responsibilities. But Mikael isn't willing to give up. The Mother has promised Mikael his mate, told him he must fight for him, and that only together can they defeat the coming darkness. When Anton casts his sights on Denton's pack, attacks and sabotage follow, pulling Denton and Mikael together to defeat a common enemy. But Anton’s threats sow seeds of destruction enough to break any bond, and the mates’ determination to challenge the darkness may be their only saving grace.

Purchase Link:

Friday, August 28, 2015

Guest Blogger: Rayna Vause

I'd like to thank Mary so much for celebrating my released day with me. My name is Rayna Vause and I write urban fantasy and paranormal romance. My first full length novel is releasing today from Dreamspinner Press and I can't tell you how excited I am. Let me start by telling you about my book Demon of Mine.

DemonOfMineFSClimbing the corporate ladder can be hell….

As a Collections Demon, Zavier grants his “clients” one wish in exchange for their souls. His job sucks, but once you make a deal with Corporate South, they own you. The trouble is, Zavier’s not a very good Collections Demon, with his tendencies to spurn authority and find loopholes to help deserving clients out of their contracts. He’s under scrutiny from the head of his department, who would quite literally like to see him burn. He just needs to close a simple deal to get upper management off his back. Instead, he meets Ryan.

Ryan is desperately searching for a way to save his dying sister. He doesn’t believe in magic and demons, but he’s out of options. Zavier’s not what he expects in a demon, and even more unexpected is the strong sense of familiarity—very intimate familiarity.

While trying to free Ryan from his contract, Zavier discovers secrets unscrupulous even by South standards. Exposing them could cost Zavier everything, but it might be Ryan’s only hope.

Amazon: | B&N: | Kobo: |Dreamspinner Press: | All Romance eBooks:

When I told Mary about the sale she asked me what inspired the book. I'm a huge paranormal romance fan. I love stories filled with shifters, and magic. Stories where the seemingly impossible becomes possible. So when I started writing I always tended to gravitate toward writing these types of stories. As I was saying to a friend the other day, I love stories that includes explosions, then pec, then someone teleports.

So when I saw a call for submissions on a publisher's website, my brain started churning. At the same time, there was sort of a perfect storm of events. I'd finally watched the movie Office Space, I'd been doing a binge watch of Supernatural, and I'd just discovered the wonder full world of m/m romance. Of those three items, biggest inspirations for Demon of Mine was an episode of Supernatural, I love this show. For the record, if you're in the mood to binge watch a series I can highly recommend the show, it's a ton of fun.

I was watching an episode of season 2 called. Crossroad Blues. In this episode, they play with the Urban Legend of Robert Johnson, a Mississippi blues musician, who supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his talent. So with all of that in my head plot bunnies started hopping around and multiplying and all of these questions emerged. What if Hell really was a corporation. What if demons wore suits, and wheeled and dealed like business men in a conference room. What if one of the branches of this corporation focused on recruitment. Perhaps they offered people the opportunity to have their greatest wish for a while in return for an eternity of "employment". With that Corporate South was born. Of course every company needs a disgruntled employee, enter Zavier, a demon who hates his job but is stuck. Now what is said disgruntled demon encounters someone important to him from his human life who is in a dire situation. Hello Ryan. Now let's throw in a bitch boss, a corrupt board of demons, a few angels and the world of Demon of Mine came to life. I even managed to incorporate my own version of Milton's red staple. If you've ever seen Office Space you'll know what I'm talking about.

Demon of Mine has been a long time in the making and I'm so glad I finally get to share it. I'd like to thank Mary for letting me take over her blog for today. If you do decide to check out Demon of Mine I hope you'll find me on my website or social media and let me know what you though. If you're interested in finding out more about me you can find me at

About Rayna Vause

Rayna Vause loves to craft romances that mix a little action, a little adventure, and, often, a touch of the paranormal. She’s voracious reader and a perpetual student. Rayna has collected more degrees and certifications then she cares to admit and eventually she’ll probably earn a few more just because. She is a proud geek who injects a little bit of her geeky, tech obsessed soul into every story she writes.

When Rayna isn't busy make up stories, she’s likely indulging her love of video games. Why? Because playing through the action, adventure, and romance in a role playing game is as good as reading a romance novel and is sometimes great inspiration for her writing. She’s a martial artist having studied American Kenpo Karate. She is also a Disney fanatic of epic proportions.

Rayna is a member of RWA, RRW, and a founding member of Liberty States Fiction Writers. She lives in southern NJ, just a bit outside of Philadelphia and shares a home with a cat who thinks she’s royalty.