Monday, March 30, 2015

Booyah Books: March Madness Giveaway!

Thanks so much to Mary, as always, for allowing The Novel Approach to come take over her blog with another edition of Booyah Books!

We've come up with eight great titles this month, ones we felt were the best of the best, and I'd love to give one reader the chance to win TWO of the titles we're featuring from March.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget and follow the instructions. One winner will be selected at random at the end of the contest and notified by email for prize delivery.

Good luck!



LanaThe Protector by Cooper West – “The Protector is not your typical shifter story. It was something new that brought a fresh spin on shifters and I enjoyed every word of it. And you know I love my shifters!

The story is set in an alternate reality where dog shifters are common and have been around since the beginning of the human race. The shifters are known as Protectors, and their bonded mates are the Handlers. Both manifest their traits at puberty and then are nurtured and valued by society. The world building with a shifter twist, and references to our history, was very cleverly done.”

Read Lana’s Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

SammyCronin’s Key by N.R. Walker – “The way in which author N.R. Walker intelligently handles this need for an insta-love effect in the story was nothing short of brilliant. Alec is written as a sharp, determined man whose last thought would be to fall instantly in love. And yet, the immediate bond between he and Cronin is a physical and emotional reality; but Alec questions it and his emotions constantly, all the while falling more deeply for the taciturn vamp. The growing relationship, coupled with sweet banter and humorous interchanges, make for a delicious adventure that is peppered with wit and smoldering attraction.

All in all, the first book in this new series, by an author who has firmly placed herself on my auto buy list, is just delightful! I highly recommend Cronin’s Key. This is a series destined to make even the most wary paranormal readers stand up and cheer.”

Read Sammy’s Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

ChrisThe Family We Make by Kaje Harper – “I really fell in love with Rick and Travis as they were finding their way, and when the last thing hit them, well, it even got me sniffling. It was like, “just how much more can these boys handle at their age?” but handle it they did, and with the grace and strength of someone twice their ages might. Sam and all the secondary characters really filled out the storyline, giving that extra depth and support to Rick and Travis. It also showed how building their new family affected all of them individually, as well as together as a whole.

I recommend this book for all of us who’ve ever struggled to feel accepted, and those who’ve had to forge their own bonds of family. Kaje Harper really got everything in this book perfectly right, at least for this reader.”

Read Chris’s Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

JulesYES by Brad Boney – “My reviews on Brad’s books are always more about the reading experience than the actual story because to give things away would spoil it. One needs to experience all the ‘gasps’ and ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhhs’ for him or herself, and, as with his other books, YES has plenty of those moments. Boney is able to invoke so many feelings by bringing everything and everyone together. There are so many subtleties from the other books, so many little touches…a re-read should almost be mandatory in order to pick up on everything.The style is so easygoing and readable, yet there’s nothing ‘simple’ about it. YES is a beautifully complex and moving adventure you do not want to miss out on. This is the kind of stuff that favorite books are made of.”

Read Jules’s Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

KathieShawn’s Law by Renae Kaye (with an honorable mention to Loving Jay – Audiobook) – “Renae Kaye seems to not want you, as the reader, to get too comfortable in thinking this is a boy-meets-boy, boy-falls-in-love story. And while it is a love story between Shawn and Harley, it is also a love story between Shawn and his mother and Lisa, his sister; and Harley and his Dad. I think the core of this story is learning to trust and grow in the love you have found. Harley puts it very well, “Like all relationships, Shawn and I require a lot of work, a lot of talk, a lot of compromise and heck of a lot of sex.” As the reader, we get to go along for the ride, and it’s a great ride. Every time “Shawn’s Law” happens, you can’t help but laugh, giggle and feel just a little ashamed of yourself for laughing at someone’s misfortune. But it’s so funny!”

Read Kathie’s Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

JanetVulnerable by Amy Lane – “As an opening book in a series, there are a lot of details being layered into the background of the story, but I never felt a lack of connection to the characters due to this. They were always clearly identified in whatever they were doing, either as a narrator of a chapter or as the actors in the scene taking place on the page. Amy Lane introduces us to many of the characters we will see in future books, but she still managed to kill off a few in Vulnerable, which just about killed me too. Who does this? Makes me love a character, then promptly kills him? I can’t wait for the next book, sincerely can’t wait.

The only other thing I can add is I strongly recommend you read this book, as I would hope it would please you as much as it did me. It will give you hours of enjoyment, and there is the promise of more as the rest of the series unfolds.”

Read Janet’s Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

JenniferThe Fear of Surrender by Morticia Knight – “Okay, so book four. I’m hoping there will be a book four, and my prediction is Ned and Evan. I hope so, at least! Although, I really, REALLY want to read more about Francesco and Theodore. Francesco is just so different from the other subs. He loves being disobedient and every time he’s on the page, I end up laughing.

In this series, there really is a different type of character for everyone’s tastes, and I’m finding that’s part of what I love about the series so much. Not one character is too much like another, despite there being quite a few so far. Each one has his idiosyncrasies, and his partner complements him to make the book balanced. It takes skill to maintain that level of consistency throughout a series, and so far there’s not a slip in sight.”

Read Jennifer’s Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

Lisa(Watch Me) Unmask You (Run This Town: Book Three) by Avril Ashton – “There are surprise alliances that, as these stories unfold, reveal the true measure of these men who are criminals, yes, but criminals who will give their lives willingly for the sake of those they hold dear. There should be a contrast in the way they deal in both death and intimacy, but there isn’t because they are both approached with a passion born in protecting the part of their lives that make them whole and better men.

Unmask You is easily the most sentimental of the three books so far in the Run This Town series, simply because of what Lucky and Elias had built together–a marriage, a home, a family–before their house of cards came crashing down around them. Lucky and Elias’s relationship is poignant, their longing for each other palpable, their love for each other tangible, and the pain that comes from the revelation of Elias’s secrets is bitter. It all blends together to make for an emotional and consuming read, and another win for the author and this series and, as a result, its readers.”


Read My Full Review and Find Buy Links HERE

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And that does it for this month. Until next time, happy reading! 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

News and Where I'll be

Lynn West. Jaime Samms and Amy Lane
Last weekend I went to the DSP Author Workshop in Orlando Florida. When I left home it was like 17 degrees and got there and it was 90. Not even kidding. It was so odd to look outside and see the green when at home we had just gotten 14 inches of snow. Crazy. And while I enjoyed being outside without my parka, I have to say that now I remember one of the reasons I was happy to leave Hawaii. The sticky, icky, humidity that makes my hair look like a Chia pet is just one of the reasons. I'm officially done with the tropics. It's like whenever I'm on Pinterest and I see pics of other people's dream vacations and it's all hammocks over the ocean or nature walks or cabanas in rain forests and I think, ugh, what are the bugs like there? It's one of the reason I love fall the most and then winter second. No bugs.

But I digress.

The workshop was awesome even though I had to sit on a panel. When I'm done with a panel and I did not throw up on my shoes, that's a considered a win. I got to hear Damon Suede speak and Tere Michaels and I always get so much from listening to them. It's time well spent. Poppy Dennison had an incredible marketing presentation that I learned a lot from as well. It's amazing to visit with all the wonderful DSP authors and staff and hopefully I can go next year as well.

For the rest of the year, I'll be at the Create Something Magical Conference, March 21-22 in New Jersey, then in September I'll be at Yaoi-Con, and in October, at GRL. So if any of you are around in those cities, please pop over to the events and say hello. Have a nice weekend everyone. :)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hot Booyah Books For A Cold February... And a Giveaway

Cheers, everyone, and welcome back for the February edition of Booyah Books, the place where we share some of our favorite reads with you, and you get the chance to win.

We've brought 11 titles to you this month, all books we loved, and if you leave a comment below, you'll be entered for a chance to win TWO e-books of your choice from the list.

Comments must be received by Midnight Pacific time on Thursday, March 5, 2015, to qualify. One winner will be drawn at random on Friday, the 6th, and contacted by email for prize delivery, so be sure to leave your email address with your comment as well.

Good luck!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Jackie – Stones in the Road by Nick Wilgus – “Even though this book is chock full of some very serious moments and issues, there is still that vein of humor that was present in the first book. I caught myself laughing out loud when Wiley and Jackson’s mom start going back and forth with each other, and we certainly can’t forget Papaw’s own personal brand of crazy. Nick Wilgus has taken a small town country boy and written him with determination, humor, and just enough humanity to make me believe I could head on down there and visit with Wiley and this motley crew of characters.

I hope this isn’t the last we hear from Wiley, Jackson, Noah and their crazier-than-they-should-be family. That would surely be a shame since I don’t feel like I have heard all they have to say. I highly recommend this book, and if you haven’t read Shaking the Sugar Tree, make sure to check that one out first.”

Find Jackie’s full review and buy links HERE

Chris – Temptations of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley – “I have to say that I have loved all three books in this series. All have been very well written, with wonderfully strong characters. However, Alex/Lexi really and truly stole my heart and won’t give it back. Both as Alex and Lexi, he shows different sides of himself. As Alex he is confident in his abilities as a chef, and as Lexi, he’s strong and sexy, and that isn’t always something he feels as Alex. Lexi allows Alex to walk a little taller, be a little bolder, and to feel free and comfortable in himself.

The author really couldn’t have crafted a better character than Alex/Lexi. Add in the storyline of Alex’s past history and the relationship with Dal, and this just made Temptations of Desire one of my favorite books so far this year.  I hope everyone takes the time to discover this phenomenal character set in this wonderful story. And once done with this story, go back and read the rest of the series!”

Find Chris’s full review and buy links HERE

Lana – Cherish & Blessed by Tere Michaels – “Blessed is a chapter in Evan and Matt’s lives. New opportunities and life changes are on the horizon. Evan is up for a promotion, but he’s afraid he’ll just be a gay poster boy for the new and improved inclusive police force. Matt’s security business is taking off and as the kids get older and move out, he’s getting more content in his life. As always, the extended family/friends are all there and are as lovable as ever. Bennett and Daisy are getting ready for a new baby. Helena and Shane are still in a honeymoon state, and Jim and Griffin are at a crossroads in life. Griffin has baby fever and Jim is not sure what the next step in their life is.

Every storyline was perfect. Okay, so I’m a huge fan and just couldn’t get enough. I want to know these people in real life. I want to be their friend! The love they have for each other jumps off the page, and the emotions are of the charts.”

Find Lana’s full review and buy links HERE

Janet – How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton – “Eli Easton is a technically perfect author. Her plot flows well, with no stumbles or holes. The story and the relationships grow with conflicts and resolutions, and the character are well built and fully developed. They are believable, as is the world she builds for them in Mad Creek. This is all absorbed by the reader and because the base is so solid, she is able to direct the focus of the book to the story itself; the “aw” moments and the smiles and outright laughing we do are a result of these skills, and reflect the feelings her words invoke in us.

How to Howl at the Moon is a book you should read. It is a well written, fun book. It will capture your attention and hold it firmly until the last page, although you will probably smile at random memories for a few days after you have read it, because that is another skill that this author has – her words stay with you, and just seeing the cover of the book on my kindle makes me smile still weeks later.”

Find Lana’s full review and buy links HERE

Rena – Liberty & Other Stories by Alexis Hall – “Liberty goes beyond the private worlds of the characters we love and raises issues regarding power and its abuse. It’s also the most complex of the stories in the anthology, told in a series of a few random journal entries and letters, but mostly court documents. Other characters are introduced, their purposes mostly nefarious save for one man who risks execution as a traitor to England by listening to his conscience at the very last minute. It’s a fun adventure in which different characters tell their stories (to the court, of course), their voices so wonderfully distinct from each other that you end up not wanting to have the chaotic incident in Liberty recounted in any other way. Expletives are, of course, redacted, to hysterical effect. And, as icing on the cake, we’re given pretty serious warnings or instructions from transcribers regarding recordings on wax cylinders and what one can hear when said cylinders are played back or played backwards.

This anthology really serves its purpose in further fleshing out the world created in Prosperity.”

Find Rena’s full review and buy links HERE

Jules – A Clean Break by Keira Andrews – “I have so much love for David and Isaac, you guys. So much. When they left Zebulon at the end of A Forbidden Rumspringa, I was equal parts excited and scared for them. Both feelings are validated in Keira Andrews’ gorgeous sequel, A Clean Break. It’s a big world out there, and our guys find both triumphs and trials as they navigate the complicated waters of their new “English” life in San Francisco.

While the greatest joy for them is the freedom of being together, it’s also very tricky. It’s not easy to leave all of one’s childhood teachings, beliefs, and hang-ups behind, and David and Isaac find themselves constantly confronting their own self-doubt and fear about how being gay fits into their belief system. How can something that feels perfect and natural be wrong? How can it go against God’s will if it was God who made them the way they are?”

Find Jules’s full review and buy links HERE

Angel – Follow My Lead by Lisa Worrall – “I really enjoyed this sweet short story. It has a bit of everything for everyone, in my opinion: angst, sweetness, a nasty ex and a cute kid all rolled up into a sexy romance between the MCs. Despite the shortness, the story is complete, and it is just one of those happily ever afters that makes you feel good.

The story moves quickly, as does the romance. I would love to see more of these two in about five years, if the author ever decides to expand or return to this verse.”

Find Angel’s full review and buy links HERE

Jennifer – The Harvest: Journeys End by M.A. Church – “In order to read this book, you really need to read the first one. Though many books in a series can work as a standalone, this one cannot. When I received this book to review, I had not read the first one (though another reviewer on this site did). Since the story seemed interesting to me, I did go out and purchase the first one to read in order to better understand this book.

I regret nothing.

The characters in this book are great. While Dale is the narrator and his relationship with Keyno does drive the story, it’s far more than that. There’s the friendly banter between Dale and Chad, the mutual respect between Dale and Cielo, the adorable John, and later, Kia. The characters clearly develop between the two books, and it was fascinating to see them all deal with the changes in their lives.”

Find Jennifer’s full review and buy links HERE

Lynn – Brothers LaFon by Joseph Lance Tonlet – “Wow, just wow. This is my first time reading this author and he’s got me hooked. I’m definitely going to be reading more from him in the future. This brotherly bond has to be, hands down, the most warped, heinous and blood curdling relationship I’ve ever read, and I loved every minute of it. I know, I’m warped, it’s okay.

This is a strong beginning of a series. The author does a great job of whetting the reader’s appetite and left me wanting more. I know this isn’t going to be for everyone, but for those like me who love a dark, gritty read, don’t miss out. Read. This. Now.

I will give a warning here, this isn’t for the faint of heart or those with triggers. There’s physical abuse, animal abuse/killing, incest and dub-con sex.

Find Lynn’s full review and buy links HERE

Kim – The Cop and the Geek by Cat Blaine – “Squeeeeeeee… Oh, I just fell in love with The Cop and the Geek! And I loved having to reread it so I could do this review. For a short story, The Cop and the Geek hit all my romance buttons. It’s well written, the characters well developed, and I’d love a sequel!

These kinds of stories just turn me into a cream puff.”

You can find Kim’s full review and buy links HERE

Lisa – Desdemona Darkly: When Mickey Met Hugh by Mathew Ortiz – “What Mathew Ortiz has done in Desdemona Darkly is written a believable opposites attract story filled with delightful characters, comical moments, and the truth about what it’s like to begin a new relationship, feeling things out and making things up as you go along, from deciding whether the toilet paper should roll over or under (and those passive-aggressive little battles to assert over/under toilet paper dominance) to working on their relationship and building a home from a place of equality. There are times when these two men say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, but then they come to each other from a place of forgiveness, and it’s in those moments the author establishes the foundation for why Mickey and Hugh work as a couple. They know what they’ve stumbled into is worth hanging on to and fighting for. And, in Mickey’s case, it’s worth changing just a little bit for too, not because he’s being forced to but because he’s learned from his mistakes and isn’t bound to let history repeat itself.

As someone who doesn’t read much contemporary genre romance, I’m always excited when I take a chance on one and it pays off. Desdemona Darkly is a relationship book, at its heart, but what sets it apart from some other contemporary romances is that it’s funny and playful at times; at others, it tugs at your heartstrings and makes you want to go back and start reading it all over again because it’s just that satisfying to cheer Mickey and Hugh on. I was completely charmed by this book. It was a win, start to finish.”

Full review and buy links can be found HERE

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Guest Blogger: Andrew Grey

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6020


I'm so excited to welcome Andrew Grey to my blog today!

***

I want to thank Mary for having me as a guest on her blog.  She is such a wonderful friend!  I’m here today to talk a little about my new book, Backward.  This is the third story in the Bronco’s Boys series.  The funny thing about the books in this series has been that a lot of the talk about these books has been about the covers which I love and have had the opportunity to work with some amazing guys.  But here today I want to talk about the story itself.  Backward is Harry and Tristan’s story.  In the previous two books, Harry has been the man in the background taking care of business.  In this book he gets a starring role and Harry turned out to be everything I’d hoped he would, strong, smart, and willing to stand up for the ones he loves.   He’s a great person, one that I grew to admire.
Of course I introduced Tristan in the previous books as well.  He’s part of Zach’s group of friends and the third to get his story.  I loved Tristan.  He’s made bad choices and gotten himself into trouble.  But he’s also got spunk and life.    One of the things I love to do in my stories is to add a little humor.  We all have our fears and foibles.  In this book, its Tristan’s that come forward.  Among other things, Harry loves animals and has a cat.] Butterscotch. Or as Tristan refers to her, a ball of hairy death.  Tristan is afraid of cats.  Don’t ask me where that came form because I have no idea.  Sometimes when writing a story something will pop into my head and flow out onto the page without any thought.  Basically Tristan told me he was afraid of cats.   That helped make Tristan more human for me.
I really hope you love Backward as much as I enjoyed writing it.  The story has heat, drama, passion, action, and intrigue.  It also introduces some new characters that you’ll be seeing in the future. 

Blurb: 
Club owner Harry Klinger has had his eye on Tristan Martin for months, but never had the nerve to approach him. He’s watched as Tristan dated Eddie and then reluctantly sat on the sidelines during the emotional breakup when Tristan discovered Eddie was dealing drugs. Now that Tristan seems to be healing, Harry hopes to get his chance.
When Eddie sends his men into Harry’s club to harass Tristan, Harry steps in to help. Tristan is reluctant at first since he admittedly has terrible taste in men, but Harry seems genuine, and Tristan can’t help but think Harry’s sexy as well and begins to hope for happiness for both of them.
Unfortunately, Eddie isn’t behaving rationally, sampling too much of his own product. With his determination to take Tristan back, it’ll take more than Harry’s help to keep Tristan safe as Eddie ratchets up his attempts to get what he wants.

Excerpt:
Harry Klinger stood just outside the doorway to his domain at Bronco’s. He managed the business end, while Bull was the real face of the place. He was also head of security and someone none of the patrons wanted to deal with. Bull had been his friend for years, and he trusted the man completely. They had had each other’s backs often enough, and he had no doubt they would again. A friend—no, brother—like that was worth more than gold in Harry’s opinion.
“We’ve got trouble,” Bull said as he somehow materialized next to him. Harry had no idea how a man as huge and distinctive as Bull could possibly go anywhere unnoticed, but he managed to pull it off quite often.
Harry turned and followed Bull’s gaze. At first he wasn’t sure what he was looking at. It was a table crowded with men, like every other one in the packed club. The music pounded and throbbed through the seductively lit space, the energy of the place pulsing through him. That was what he loved about this business—the energy and vitality he felt when he was out here.
“Watch the man at the far side of the table,” Bull said.
Harry turned, taking his gaze off the place it always seemed to wander of its own accord. For almost two years now, he had watched Bull’s partner’s friend Tristan, one of the fabulous four, as he thought of them. “What am I looking for?” he asked absently.
“Just watch,” Bull said.
Harry shifted so he could see better across the crowded club and noticed a man he hadn’t seen before: dark hair, eyes, and beard, smoldering good looks. If Harry were closer, maybe seated at that table, he figured he’d smell the raw scent of masculine sexuality over the alcohol, sweat, smoke, and musk that pervaded the club. Harry pushed that out of his companionship-, gratification-, and love-starved brain and returned to the task at hand. Men shifted around the table, almost like the dance the men did on the floor of the club. It wasn’t until one of the men on the right side moved back for a few seconds that Harry saw what Bull meant. The man on the left side of the dark-haired man at the center clasped his hand. Harry knew in that instant what he was seeing. Money was placed in the dark-haired man’s hand, and the hand disappeared under the table. He couldn’t see it, but he knew what was going on. The hand reappeared again, another touch, and then the man moved away and another took his place.
“What do you want to do?” Harry asked. “He needs to go, and be taught a lesson.”
“I know.” Bull stepped forward, and Harry placed his hand on his shoulder to stop him. Tristan approached the table.
“What the hell is he doing?” Harry asked Bull. “Do you think he knows him?” Fury rose inside to the point he could barely think. “I wonder if that guy is some associate of that scumbag ex of his.”
Tristan approached the table but didn’t sit down, which was a relief. He stood at the end, partially blocking Harry’s view.
“I’m going to break this up and put the fear of God into that bastard,” Bull said. He took two steps, just as Bull’s partner, Zach, made his way over to Tristan. Bull stopped, and Harry heard him swear under his breath. The two of them were inseparable, and Harry saw the tension in Bull’s body ramp up to unbelievable heights. Bull would move heaven and earth to protect Zach; he’d done it before.
Zach took Tristan’s arm and pulled him away. He turned and appeared to say something. The swarthy man’s expression changed to a lusty leer, and Bull was halfway across the floor before Harry could say a word. He followed behind Bull, signaling to the other bouncers that they had better get their asses over there. Bull was usually coolheaded and generally thought things through, but when it came to Zach, he was as growly as hell and could be vicious if he thought anyone would hurt the man he loved more than life itself.
Zach moved away from the table, with Tristan in tow, as Harry hurried to catch up with Bull. The big man stormed toward the table, the tide of men in the club parting like the Red Sea.
“Excuse me!” Bull boomed over the music as he reached the edge of the table.
“Can I help you?” the Hispanic-looking man asked as he leaned back, looking completely unconcerned. This guy was either really cocky or as stupid as they came. Bull leaned over the table and grabbed the men to either side of the man, lifted them off their seats, and pulled them away.
“You two, get out of the club now before I take you out of here in a trash can.” Bull’s growl stopped both of them from reacting.
“It’s all right. He and I will just have a little talk,” the man said to the other two men, who looked like bodyguards.
“Okay, Carlos,” said one of the two men Bull was still holding on to. Bull released them, and they walked off toward the front door, with bouncers following them.
“The rest of you—beat it,” Bull said to the other customers at the table.
The boys who had gathered around for their chance to do “business” bade a hasty retreat, and soon it was just the three of them: Bull, Harry, and Carlos. The man didn’t seem surprised or nervous in the least.
“So what can I do for you gentlemen?” Carlos asked. Bull placed both hands on the table and leaned over it but said nothing. Harry stood back and watched. Carlos blinked, the first sign of nervousness, and Bull pulled the table away, swung around, and set it down before stalking into the vacated space. “I was only doing a little business.”
“Not in my club you don’t,” Bull said.
“Your club? I hardly think—”
Bull reached out and yanked Carlos to his feet, then pulled him into a nearby corner. “Yes, my club. I own it, and your kind of business is never welcome here.” Bull shook him sharply. “And don’t you dare insult me by making an offer to cut me in on your action, or I’ll shake you until your head flies off. You got me? This is a clean club, and people like you are not welcome here.” Carlos tried to pull away. Bull shifted, grabbed Carlos’s arm, and wrenched it behind his back. “Try anything, and I won’t just break your arm, I’ll make sure you never use it again. Am I making myself clear?”
“Yes,” Carlos gritted out. Bull released him, and he staggered slightly. Bull shoved him, probably to keep him off-balance.
“Good. My bouncers are all over this club, and nothing happens here without me knowing about it. So I suggest you leave while you can still walk, and tell your friends not to show their faces in here.”
Carlos straightened his shirt, most likely to hide the fact that he was trying not to shake in his shoes.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Release day for Quiet Nights

 It's release day today as we are 40 minutes into Monday the 9th. I realize now that I should have said I'll blog every early Monday morning because Sunday sort of comes and goes without warning. But it's a special day for me because it's release day (yeah!) and Kelly and Coz are out. So here's a little excerpt of them chatting on the street.

***

Coz was mouthwatering. The long-sleeved navy shirt set off his dark hair and eyes, the black dress pants clung to his muscular thighs, and he’d worn the new monk strap ankle boots we’d bought the last time we were in Miami. He had his suit jacket draped over his arm and had pinned the shirtsleeve up, and even though I knew he thought his missing left arm was the first thing people noticed, it wasn’t true. Any connoisseur of beauty noticed Coz’s gorgeous black eyes first, then his broad, strong shoulders, long legs, and perfect ass. My throat closed up just looking at him.
“Wow, Kel, look at you,” Hutch said smoothly, reaching out to touch the collar of my pale blue dress shirt. “You clean up nice.”
I could, upon occasion, and would have added a tie if I was eating with Coz at Delarosa. It was in no way a casual restaurant, and I was wondering how Hutch was going to get a pass with his denim. Coz was dressed up so I had to wonder why Hutch was slumming.
“Did you tell him where you were eating?” I asked Coz.
He grunted the no.
“That was shitty,” I admonished my friend.
“Are you eating with us?” Hutch asked. “I mean, you’re certainly dressed for it.”
I was in my three-piece white suit—it was summer, after all—and the only thing missing on me was the tie. I even had a pocket square. I’d worn it to make a good impression on Emmett’s son and to get noticed and hopefully laid later.
“You’re on a date, aren’t you?” I said snidely.
“Well, yes, but—”
“What kind of stupid question is that, then? Am I joining you,” I retorted, trying not to snarl. “What the fuck?”
Hutch bristled; I could tell from the narrowed eyes and how quickly he crossed his arms. “What’s wrong with you?” he snapped.
Coz interrupted our rapidly disintegrating conversation. “I think I know. Look at me.”
Tilting my head back just a little to meet Coz’s gaze—with me at five eleven, he had those four inches on me—I couldn’t help grinning.
He squinted. “Are you stoned?”
“Just a little,” I confirmed, unable to stop a sigh from escaping.
“Since when do you—oh, your charming neighbors.”
I shrugged, shifting closer, unobtrusively inhaling his clean, masculine scent—soap and a trace of the cologne he wore, citrusy and smoky at the same time. “It’s fine.”
“It’s really not.”
“Why? I’m not driving or operating heavy machinery. I’m no threat to anyone.”
“Except yourself.”
The psh sound I made did not go over well.
“You should go home.”
“Fuck that,” I said dismissively. “After I charm the socks off of Emmett’s kid, I’m hittin’ Laredo.”
“To dance?” Hutch asked brightly.
“To pick somebody up,” Coz informed him.
My smile widened as I stared up at Coz, enjoying the proximity, the heat I could feel rolling off him, watching the muscles in his jaw clench and seeing the scowl darken. The man was truly just edible. Licking him all over crossed my mind.
“Mia called me, told me about what’s his name,” Coz continued.
“Mmmmm.”
“You don’t care?”
Trance broken, I shook my head and leaned back out of his personal space. “No, man, I don’t care. I already knew I’m forgettable.”
I turned to go, but he grabbed my upper arm, spun me around, and dragged me back to his side.
“You’re not forgettable,” he said, staring down into my eyes, his voice all quiet thunder. “That guy’s a fuckin’ idiot.”
I licked my lips, I couldn’t help it; the urge to taste him was almost overwhelming. The whimper from the back of my throat was unmistakable.

***

I hope you all enjoy them and hope you have a wonderful week. :)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Booyah Books Starts 2015 Off With a Bang

Greetings, everyone, and welcome to our first Book of the Month selections of 2015. It’s hard to believe we’ve already sped our way through the first month of the new year, but I suppose that’s what happens when you spend all your time with your nose in a book. :)

As in previous months, we at The Novel Approach would like to give you the opportunity to read a couple of this month’s recommendations, on us, so leave a comment right here, and you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win an e-copy of any two of the books we’ve selected as this month’s top reads.

Comments must be received by Midnight Pacific time on Thursday, February 5, 2015. One winner will be selected at random on Friday, the 6th, notified by email for prize delivery, so be sure to leave a valid address in your comment.

Good luck!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Jackie – Poz by Christopher Koehler – “As a parent, this book makes me realize that even as open and honest as I am with my kids, I could be inadvertently hurting more than helping at times. It seems at times that no matter how much we love and accept our children, we can do harm even while trying to protect them. Remy and his family both learned a hard lesson in this book, but I feel this is a topic that has to be covered with our youth.

I would highly recommend this book for any kid who feels like their parents just don’t understand them. I would hope they would get the message that when life pushes us, we don’t always have to push back harder. Sometimes we just bend so we can snap back and be stronger.”

You can find buy links for Poz HERE

Lynn – Return to Me by James Oliver French – “Wow, this story was an amazing read. I had expectations when I started the book but set them aside, one by one, the deeper I read. The complex inner workings of Todd, the main character, is the true focus of the story and kept me fascinated. We see him meet a man while they are both in college, and their relationship blossoms quickly. Still, this is not your typical romance. The author goes places I did not expect, which I appreciate. And there is neither a HEA, nor does it have a HFN. Just putting that out there. You’ve been warned.”

You can find buy links for Return to Me HERE

Lana – Takedown and Tap Out by Cat Grant – “Takedown and Tap Out are character driven, emotional stories. They also give an insight into the world of MMA and what kind of mental and physical resolve is needed to get to the top. I had a love/hate relationship with these characters because I was totally drawn into their lives, and some of their actions made me smile while others pissed me off! LOL. I love complicated characters because just like in real like, nothing is black and white; there’s a lot of gray.

Takedown and Tap Out score a KO and are well worth reading. They will not disappoint!”

You can find buy links for Takedown and Tap Out HERE

Sammy – The Two Gentlemen of Altona by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock – “Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock create amazing characters. Mac and Henry are real, flesh and blood type guys whose dance is captivating and deliciously fun. The foil, which Mac’s solid, curmudgeonly personality creates for the whirling dervish that is Henry Page, is just genius. Quick and witty interchanges keep this novel alive, making its pacing near breathless and the sexual tension between the two men almost palpable. However, the real stroke of genius here is Henry’s shady past. The mysterious Viola and the cadre of “friends” or fellow con artists he hangs out with when in town all lurk in the shadows where Henry religiously keeps them protected, even from Mac.

The Two Gentlemen of Altona is the first in a three part series called Playing the Fool. If this first installment is any indication of the ride we are set to take with this collection of novels, sign me up for the next one in the queue because this one was simply fantastic!”

You can find buy links for The Two Gentlemen of Altona HERE

Jules – Gives Light by Rose Christo – “It’s going to be difficult to sum up my feelings on these books. Part of me wants to be all fangirly and crazy…GIVES LIGHT IS AMAAAAAAAAAZING!!! And part of me wants to be more serious…Gives Light is an important piece of literature that is at once a beautiful coming-of-age love story, and also an extremely thoughtful book dealing with several pressing Native American issues. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a balance between the two.

There are so many fabulous moments in these books, too many to count. I definitely got good use out of my Kindle’s highlighter! I can’t recommend this series enough. Some of the best YA I’ve read in the genre. These books, and these characters, are going to stay with me for a long time.”

You can find buy links for Gives Light HERE

Kathie – The Fight Within (Audio) by Andrew Grey – “Andrew McFerrin again does a great job narrating this story. His gift is that he has the ability to develop each characters’ personality with his voice. Paytah’s life has been filled with disappointments; you can hear it in his voice, not just his words. Bryce has also withdrawn from the world, trying to cope with the loss of his partner. Bryce’s voice grows stronger as he learns to trust and fall in love again. The sadness is there in the beginning, and the happiness is there in the end. And let’s not forget Mr. Grantham. You can hear the sneer in his voice, the snake in the grass whine. Oh, I wanted to stomp on that man’s foot.

Andrew Grey writes romance, and does a great job, but sometimes he plants a seed in his books, a seed of awareness.” 

You can find buy links for The Fight Within HERE

Rena – Lessons for Survivors by Charlie Cochrane – “As with the previous books in this series, this book’s perfectly balanced in tone, with darker elements involving murder, an abusive father and husband, and a rejected child are woven neatly together with the lighthearted, witty banter fans of this series have long grown to love and expect. Jonty and Orlando might be fourteen years older from the time they first met, but they still behave like lovesick twenty-somethings, and they still kick each other’s shins in warning or as punishment, if not call each other names, with a great deal of affection. They throw euphemisms around when it comes to sex, but with their maturity comes a good dose of self-awareness that sometimes borders on rueful whenever they try to talk about not just their still-outlawed relationship, but the act of lovemaking. I tend to interpret those euphemisms – and the manner with which they’re used – as something more along the lines of nostalgia, like a keen awareness of their younger, more frightened versions as a kind of a reference point for their current selves. While the act itself has never diminished in passion, there’s a deeper understanding of its significance, considering how far they’ve gone and how the laws have yet to change. While still eager and passionate, their intimacy is also edged with – and enriched by – a certain level of pragmatism.”

You can find buy links for Lessons for Survivors HERE

Chris – Down and Dirty by Rhys Ford – “What drew me into this story are the characters. Rhys Ford has major skills developing her characters and the right story to fit them. I can’t tell you how she does it; I just know that her characters rock, the story flows perfectly, and the end result is a book that I wanted to re-read the moment I finish it.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough because for me, all the elements worked perfectly. If you like the Cole McGinnis series, you must read this book because it’s Bobby and Ichi, after all. Otherwise, grab this entire series because you’ll be missing out on a fantastic group of characters and one hell of a storyline.”

You can find buy links for Down and Dirty HERE

Jennifer – Dreamlands by Felicitas Ivey – “Oh my God, this book. I stayed up way too late reading it when I had to work the next morning, and after I had been sick for days, but it doesn’t matter; it was so worth it.

Felicitas Ivey has created an imaginative, beautiful world where mythology lives on, and an alternate, urban fantasy world for us where sometimes those demons from the Dreamlands cross over into ours. The creatures are fantastic and vivid, the characters are engaging, and the situations are explosive.”

You can find buy links for Dreamlands HERE


Janet – Black John by Amy Lane – “Redemption is a recurring theme in Amy Lane’s books, and it is a nearly overwhelming battle for John, but he earns it. He does good long enough and strongly enough for it to stick. John’s return to Sacramento to make amends and to continue shoring up the walls of his life are a pleasure for the reader, as we visit with our favorite guys again. When John and Galen bring their best to each other, the absolute best part is that it’s not the end of their story. We are already looking forward to Reg and Bobbie’s turn, and we want to see how Jerzy’s video turns out. There is no need to say goodbye. We can soak in the feels for a while longer. This book is a fabulous addition to the Johnnies universe. I will re-read it often and cannot recommend it strongly enough to anyone who enjoys reveling in a love story that is so much more!”

You can find buy links for Black John HERE

Lisa – Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk – “With a brilliance I’ve come to rely upon with each new submission, Jordan L. Hawk has delivered another winning novel and has made me an immediate fan of her new Spirits series. Restless Spirits is a Gothic Horror novel in which the setting is as alive and integral to the plot as are the characters, their relationship to one another, and a malevolent spirit that imprisons them within its own hell.

One of the things that stood out for me as I started this book is that it wasn’t until a fair ways into it that the time in which the story takes place is firmly established. This is a Gaslight novel, but I’ll just throw out there for those readers who don’t usually gravitate toward Historical fiction: though Restless Spirits is set in the past, there is nothing within its pages that should dissuade you from reading it.”

You can find buy links for Restless Spirits HERE

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


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