Friday, March 7, 2014
Will you write a sequel to Timing? No, never. Change of Heart? No, never. Every single time I say I won't do something, I get an idea and then there I am writing a sequel. The latest one is OLNL. I didn't plan to write anymore in that universe at first and then it was maybe yes, maybe no, and then it was going to be three and now it looks more like just one so in light of that...vacillating... I've decided to not use the word anymore. No more never. When people ask me from now on, will this novel be a series, I'll just say, I seriously have no clue but the whole one and done answer isn't working. I've only ever planned one series and even that didn't work how I thought it would. So I'm kicking the never to the curb.
I also need to start thinking about character names more. I mean normally I agonize, for days, over the perfect names for my main men. I have this thing where one name has to be fancy or not heard a ton, Jory for example, and the other one is plain Jane, like Sam. So Logan (dull) and Jin (cool), Rand (which I love and I've never met a Rand in real-life) and Stef (who I've known many, both men and women). Quade which is interesting and Roman which is way more common. I've noticed lately however that I am not giving my secondary characters the same depth of thought and with the sequel thing happening more and more often, I'm getting stuck. For instance, Aaron and Duncan. Those two names should not go together for a whole slew of reasons the biggest two being that they end with the same sound and both have an N as the last letter. Yes, this is dumb, but its my naming thing. I also love to make lists and fill out paperwork but that's a whole other thing. My friends laugh at me, *coughCardenocough*, but really, would I have named a character Linus if I thought he'd ever be a main one? I mean, Linus is a great name but not one I would have pulled out of a hat. You read so many fantastic ones, Carrick, Deacon and Zev, Sionn, Wolf, Griffin, Silas, Orlando, the list goes on, that if I had given this any forethought, Linus would not have been what I would have gone with. Its just like with the background of some secondary characters. I have been known to throw out who they are and where they came from willy nilly because I never thought in a million years that I would be writing from that character's POV. And then...so I've decided the cure for all of this is to figure that everyone is important until I leave the world behind. Like I recently submitted a book about two marshals to DSP that's expected to be out in late June or early July, that I have some characters from another book and I had to go back and check the list. I was not pleased to see the non-creativeness of my choices. All of this stems from using the word "never" so I'm done with it. I would say I'll give it up for Lent and see how it goes but I already gave up soda and I'm having trouble. We'll see how long I last.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
As always, thanks very much to Mary for letting The Novel Approach take over her blog today so we can share our love of some of the outstanding books we read in the month of February. BJ, Tina, Lana, Kim, Lynn, Jackie, and I never have an easy time of it, whittling our reading lists down to just one book, but we’ve done it again, so without further ado: Booyah Books for February.
BJ’s choice this month is Lex Chase’s Conventional Love, book three in her Sci-Fi/Fantasy series Checkmate. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say about the book: “I’ve been following Lex Chase and this awesome little superhero series since it first exploded into Dreamspinner Press in early 2013. It’s rare in the genre to find something so completely original that caters to a gay boy’s inner nerd, but Chase, true to form, has delivered another offering that had me shaking with excitement at the mere thought of going balls to the wall with another tasty geek-gasm courtesy of Garth and Rook. If you haven’t read parts one and two of this series, then take a few hours to fill yourself in on the creative backstory that led to the star-crossed lovers and their mission operandi to save the good folks of Axis City, and then you too can join me on this action packed journey into the darker side of the superhero life and comic book capers as penned by a woman so sincerely talented it left me awed.”
For more of BJ’s review, click HERE
Tina’s choice comes from newly minted author Johnny Williams and his debut semi-autobiographical novel Klub Kids, the first book in the series. Here’s a little bit of what Tina had to say about the book: “I didn’t want Klub Kids to end. When I swiped the last page I kept swiping, desperate to find out what comes next. I wanted more of “Johnny” and his friends, interacting in ways only true friends who really know and love each other are able to. I wanted more of the club scene and the music and the city by which I felt surrounded, thanks to Johnny Williams’ detailed descriptions. Mostly, though, I wanted to see “Johnny” find love. He may be looking in all the wrong places, but as I am writing this on Valentine’s Day, I have to believe it is out there for him.”
For more of Tina’s review, click HERE
Lana’s choice is the third book in Brandon Witt’s Men of Myth series, Clashing Tempest. Here’s an excerpt from Lana’s review: “Brandon Witt can tell a complex and entertaining story, using just the right words to create a perfect picture. The story flowed from one chapter to the next. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he needs to write a Men of Myth screenplay!
Clashing Tempest is a must read for anyone who read the first two Men of Myth books. And if you haven’t, pick up all three ASAP!!! I can’t wait to read more!”
For more of Lana’s review, click HERE
Kim’s choice belongs to none other than B.G. Thomas and his latest release Hound Dog & Bean. Here’s a snippet from Kim’s review: “Here comes the really sweet part…so Bean starts the slow process of courting Hound Dog. Oh… now you’re singing my song, because I. Love. Stories. Like this! Plus, I have the added bonus of learning more about my favorite beverage…Coffee!
So if you’re in the mood for a sweet romance with a little bit of angst and a touch of mysticism, this one comes highly recommended. For me, it’s a 5 Star read. It just pushed all the right buttons.”
For more of Kim’s review, click HERE
Lynn’s choice this month is Mark Zubro’s moving and heart wrenching story Safe. Here are a few words from Lynn’s review: “I really liked where the author went with this story. It takes a direction I wasn’t expecting, and I was fine with that. Instead of it being just about teen suicide and bullying, the author takes it a step farther and shows us exactly what hate, homophobia and ignorance can make a person do. I don’t know how many times my heart rate accelerated while reading this book. At times I wanted to reach in and grab certain characters and cause them physical pain. Yes, I was that angry.”
For more of Lynn’s review, click HERE
Jackie’s choice for February is Dawn Kimberly Johnson’s contemporary coming-out story Button Down. Here’s a snippet from Jackie’s review: “Dawn Kimberly Johnson did an absolutely wonderful job of balancing the extreme views of some of the characters to the more mainstream views of others. I was also seriously impressed with the fact that Ford, the closeted lawyer, had zero self-loathing. He was fully aware of himself and loved himself unconditionally. The only worry he had was completely believable: he was worried about his family’s acceptance and nothing more.”
For more of Jackie’s review, click HERE
Lisa’s choice for top read this month is Vaughn R. Demont’s Urban Fantasy perfection Coyote’s Creed, book one in the Broken Mirrors series. Here’s a review excerpt: “Narrated by one of the freshest voices I’ve come across in quite some time, Coyote’s Creed is, by turns, a riotously funny, poignant, sexy and suspenseful roller coaster of an Urban Fantasy, told by eighteen-year-old Spencer Crain, whose life is scripted in the bold strokes of questionable reality television, corny sitcoms, supernatural dramas, heist films, and dysfunctional family soap operas, not to mention the fear of the imminent zombie apocalypse. You wouldn’t think that’s a good thing, would you? Well, it’s not. It’s a brilliant thing when tied together with all the folklore and mythology Vaughn R. Demont has woven into this fantastical world he’s created, one filled with all sorts of legendary beings.”
For more of Lisa’s review, click HERE
And that’s that for the month of February. Until next time, happy reading!
Friday, February 7, 2014
Here's the blurb:
Tracy Brandt considers himself a lucky man. He has a wonderful family, good friends, and a dependable job. His love life, however, features a cheating ex who, though out of the house, is not yet out of the picture—with a past that just might get Tracy killed.
Homicide inspector Cord Nolan wants nothing more than to show his best friend’s little brother that he’s a reliable man, but to do that he’ll have to get Tracy to look past the player he used to be. It'll be a tough sell; reputation is everything, and Cord's is tarnished by his past indiscretions.
Tracy and Cord have spent five years trying to suffocate their fiery attraction under a blanket of grudging antagonism. When Tracy finds himself with a target on his back, Cord finally has the chance to ride to the rescue and break through the dam of Tracy's reserve. But he’d better be careful: if Cord is breaking the floodgates to wash away the past, he's going to have to hold tight to Tracy to make sure they're still standing when the tumult recedes.
Its an enemies to lovers story, Tracy's family plays a big part, and I'm just really interested to hear what you all think of this one. And these are the men who inspired me. My mind is so cluttered with gorgeous men. Its just terrible. :)
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
First, I want to say thank you to Mary Calmes for hosting me on her blog today! I've written a short little story to go along with my recent release, 6 Days To Valentine, now available from Wilde City Press. I hope you enjoy!
Why Nick Hates Valentine’s Day: Reason 32
Miss Carroll watched as her second grade class scurried around the room delivering Valentine’s Day cards to the other kids—all except little Nicholas, who stood at the side of the room clutching a single envelope in his hand, looking unsure of himself.
It wasn’t the first time since she started teaching eight years ago she’d managed a Valentine’s Day meltdown, and experience told her to nip it in the bud as fast as possible before it spread like an airborne plague, affecting the rest of her smiling, over-sugared brood. There was ten minutes to go in the school day, and the last thing she needed was a bunch of sniveling children crying to their parents.
She stepped over to the little boy, noticing his dark brown hair was shaggy and unkempt and needed another cut. She’d have to send a note home soon to remind his mother of their dress code. At least it was clean this week.
“Honey? Is everything okay?” She used her ‘motherly voice’—the one designed to encourage calm cooperation, though Nicholas seemed to ignore it most days. Now he just nodded his head, eyes to the ground.
“What’s that in your hand? Is that a Valentine for someone?” He nodded again still not looking up, and she bit her lip, vexed. A quick glance around told her she was within minutes of losing control. While most of the children had returned to their seats and were quietly opening up the little white envelopes filled with cartoon characters stamped on heart-shaped cardboard, a handful had started standing on chairs, waving cards around.
“Do you need me to deliver it for you?” She glanced at her watch. The bell would ring in five minutes…if they could just hold on… So focused on her escape, she almost missed him looking up at her with such gratitude, that she jumped in surprise.
“Oh, is this a special valentine for someone you care about?” It was always so cute when the shy ones had their first crushes. Nicholas smiled and held out the card.
She turned it over in her hand several times, looking for the name of the girl who’d managed to draw Nicholas out of his shell…but the only thing written on the envelope in firm black pencil was “Rick”.
“Oh, I see the problem—you wrote the wrong name on it!” She looked over to her desk to see if she had an eraser handy when the tugging on the sleeve became quite insistent.
“It is for Rick.” Nicholas looked up at her with shining green eyes, and her heart sank. Every few years this happened. She wished parents took a firmer stand and told their kids the facts of life before sending them off to school.
“I’m sorry, honey—but boys don’t give other boys special valentine cards like that.”
“They don’t?” The shine in the boy’s eyes seemed to be increasing so Miss Carroll hurried on.
“No, honey. You need to pick a girl to give your special card to. That’s the way it works. You don’t want Rick to feel bad, do you?”
“But he’s my friend. Why would he feel bad?”
Miss Carroll sighed. There was no doubt about it. Those were tears sitting on Nicholas’ thick, long lashes—another thing that only belonged on girls.
“Yes, he is Nicholas, and you don’t want him to stop being your friend do you? Come on. Lets get your things ready to go.”
She dropped the card in the wastebasket, satisfied of her good deed and dismissed the boy from her mind. Teaching was hard, and the twenty-nine wriggling bodies spread out across the classroom, some on chairs, some crawling under the tables playing floor tag, only made it worse. Thank God the school day was nearly over.
She never noticed Nicholas carefully picking his card out of her trash and smoothing it against his chest as the bell rang, thankful another Valentine’s Day was done for the year.
* * * *
In Nick’s perfect world, Valentine’s Day would be struck from the calendar.
Nick’s dreams of a Happily Ever After were shredded long ago and the last thing he and his customers need is a bunch of happy loving couples rubbing it in their faces.
Bouncer Fat Boy Newman is willing to bet he knows Nick’s heart better than he does. He has just six days to change Nick’s mind about romance and the holiday and the perfect man to do it.
Too bad it’s not him.
Too bad Nick’s not going down without a fight.
Too bad he cheats.
Buy Link: http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-romance/6-days-to-valentines/
* * * *
LE Franks lives in the SF Bay Area, surrounded by inspiration everywhere. After years of ignoring the voices in her head, LE is finally taking off the filters and giving the stories free rein. These days, she can be found frequently writing about sexy men who desperately need a happily ever.
LE writes M/M Romance in a unique mix of humor and drama with enough suspense to produce fast paced stories filled with emotion and passion and featuring characters that are quirky and complicated. Don’t expect the typical rugged hero or sophisticated businessman with the world at their feet; LE’s men are living in the margins--they're in the middle of their journey, doing the best they can while searching for a connection to something bigger than themselves. With a little effort and a lot of luck they may actually find their happily-ever-afters.
When not writing, LE wrangles an odd assortment of jobs (six – at last count), houseguests (including pro baseball players), family, and friends. Manifesting an odd combination of contradictory talents and traits, LE is tragically honest and personally deceptive, and makes the best piecrust – ever.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Greetings from The Novel Approach, and welcome to the first installment of Booyah Books! in 2014. We’re looking forward to another great year of reading, and are especially looking forward to sharing some of our favorite books with you for the next twelve months.
So, without further ado, here are our top picks for the month of January!
Guess Who’s Coming at Dinner: A title like that could come from the minds of only these two men—Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day—this little zombie tale made BJ’s choice for top read this month. Here’s a snippet from his 5 Star review:
“The story was well paced, each event masterfully chronicled, and the building love between Chandler and Zane was a treat to read. I also loved the way the authors created the cure, to give our wayward lovers a chance at their HEA, which they got in the best possible way. It had drama, conflict, a hobbit-esque mission of redemption, and a love to make you laugh and cry simultaneously. The side effect of uncontrollable horniness was a perfect aside too, and gave the story that sexy edge we were expecting all along.”
BJ’s full review can be found HERE
Ghost of Bourbon Street: Sammy’s choice this month comes from author Rowan Speedwell, an author who seems never to fail to please. Here’s a snippet from her 5 Star review:
“In her novella, Ghosts of Bourbon Street, author Rowan Speedwell creates characters that are both emotionally wounded and completely real. They leap off the page and remind you that really good storytelling begins with fascinating people who capture your imagination immediately and never let it go. Then this author delivers a compelling story rife with problems that are neither easily solved nor insurmountable. Rather, she allows her characters to grapple with the day-to-day dilemmas and make hard choices that bring lasting consequences.”
Sammy’s full review can be found HERE
Sparks & Drops: Kim’s choice of top reads this month is a magical love story from author Susan Laine. Here’s a snippet from her 4.25 Star review:
“Gus Goodwin came off as smart and adorable, with a dash of a temper when the mood suited him. And as a Wicca shop owner, I found him to be a very interesting character for a practicing witch, but his turning amateur sleuth….well…he needs some work. He tends to jump into situations head-first, and that’s where Niall Valentine comes in as his other half. Even though Niall was the one investigating the case of the missing girl, Joy, it didn’t take long for Gus to volunteer himself as soon as he figured out it was right up his Wiccan alley of expertise.”
Kim’s full review can be found HERE
In the Absense of Monsters: Jackie’s choice of books this month is a heart wrenching story told in only the way J.P. Barnaby knows how to tell it. Here’s a snippet from her 5 Star review:
“This is a very emotional story from J.P. Barnaby. There is plenty of family drama, love, loss and self-destruction. As always, though, Ms. Barnaby takes these broken men, patches them up, and sets them back on their feet to carry on. This story is a journey for both Jayden and Ethan. They both have plenty of things they have to come to terms with. Ethan’s childhood, Jayden’s acceptance of his own submission, and these two men who believed they were straight have to try to come to terms with loving another man.”
Jackie’s full review can be found HERE
Love and Salvage: Loving Emmett: This month’s selection from Lana was penned by self-published author Mathew Ortiz. Here’s a snippet from her 5 Star review:
“I was looking forward to reading Love and Salvage: Loving Emmett because I’ve read the Renovating Love series by Mathew Ortiz and found it enjoyable. I was expecting Love and Salvage to be on par. I was totally wrong. I was blown away by Love and Salvage! It was on a completely different level than the previous books. The writing, storytelling and overall feel of the book were so much richer. In fact, I had to re-read the book because I read it before going on vacation and had to refresh my memory. I think I loved it more the second time around.”
Lana’s full review can be found HERE
Hot Mess: Rowan McAllister made Lynn’s choice of memorable and outstanding reads this month. Here’s a snippet from her 5 Star review:
“I really enjoyed the flow of the story. The author didn’t let these two get a quick fix. They both had to work out their feelings on their own. I believe the slow build up was done intentionally by the author so we would come to know and love these characters. It was done to perfection. I loved not knowing until the bitter end if Sam and Cameron were actually going to be together. It was a nice surprise.”
Lynn’s full review can be found HERE
Something Like Spring: Tina’s choice of great reads this month comes from the mind of author Jay Bell, who is inarguably one of her all-time favorite authors. Here’s a snippet from her 5 Star review:
“I blame Jay for my abuse of over-the-counter pain medications and any potential damage to my liver caused by said abuse. I won’t hold it against him, though, because if he somehow managed to find a heretofore undiscovered fifth season and wrote a book about it, I would savor every word. I have learned that among the tears is so much beauty and love and joy and family that it is all worth it. To quote Jay Bell, ‘Love is worth the pain.’”
Tina’s full review can be found HERE
Collide: After hours of deliberation and reasoning this one out—it was a tossup between Amy Rae Durreson’s high fantasy novel Reawakening, Libby Drew’s sci-fi time travel thriller Paradox Lost and N.R. Walker’s Breaking Point—I chose Riley Hart’s friends-to-lovers romance, not because the other novels on my list aren't every bit as outstanding as Collide, but because overall I think its “out for you” theme is a particularly relatable struggle and Riley Hart translated it into an emotionally satisfying novel. Here’s a snippet from my 5 Star review:
“Riley Hart plays out the sexual tension between the two men to perfection, as they begin to reconnect and they see each other not only through the filter of memories but with the eyes of the men they’ve become. The chemistry and attraction sizzles between Noah and Cooper, fairly leaping off the page, while Cooper’s confusion and jealousy and possessiveness all weigh perfectly against his desire to be much more than just Noah’s friend.
Collide is a story that challenges labels. What does it mean to be bi or gay, when all you truly know for sure is that you love someone for who that person is and how they make you feel rather than what they look like physically? Cooper and Noah have a history that transcends the ability to place a definition on how or why they evolved from loving each other to being in love with each other.”
My full review can be found HERE
And that does it for this month’s installment of Booyah Books! Until February, stay warm and happy reading!