Friday, October 31, 2014

Boo!-yah Boo!-ks - October Edition

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by to have a look at the books we from The Novel Approach have selected as our top picks for the month of October. Once again we’ve each selected our favorite reads of the past thirty-one days, which means an even dozen recommendations—all treats, no tricks.

And now for something completely different... Because it’s Halloween, which happens to be one of my two favorite holidays, The Novel Approach is offering the chance for one lucky reader to win two of the e-books we’re featuring this month.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment right here by Midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. One winner will be selected at random on Wednesday, the 5th, and notified via email for prize delivery. **Be sure to leave your email address in your comment**

Good luck, and here they are, October’s Books of the Month!


Chris – Embracing His Syn by A.E. Via: “This is a very solid, very strong story in this loosely connected series. I’ll admit that this isn’t as high of a rating for me as Nothing Special was, but I had an instant connection with both God and Day in that story. Syn and Furi took a little more for me to snuggle up with than the others because of their personalities. There were fantastic moments in this story, though, and the characters are really well written. Really the story for Syn and Furi has a lot more humorous moments and literally sets fire to the pages with the sex between these two. The story overall is very good, different than the previous two, which is what makes me return again and again to this series.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Lynn – Vanished by Carter Quinn: “There isn’t too much I can say without giving away the plot, but I will say this, I can read the darkest of the dark stories out there and be fine with it. They don’t affect me like they do other people. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any triggers and don’t usually associate myself with many characters. I feel for them, surely, but I can separate myself from the story. The closest exception to that habit is when a long established couple is threatened in some way. Vanished just hits home for me. I can totally identify with Henry, that kicked-in-the-gut feeling of maybe losing your significant other forever. You’re living a nightmare, and that’s exactly what Henry is going through while he’s searching and wondering where his husband could be.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Lana – Campus Cravings – Anthology: “College brings many freedoms, and sex is just the tip of the iceberg. Some of the characters come to college to come out and explore, and a couple of the stories dealt with the first times. I loved those because the first time theme is my favorite, but most of all they are the sweetest, and what’s better than reading about a perfect first time?

The stories run the gamut from unrequited love turning into real love, to a virginal teacher only wanting sex ed lessons but getting love in return. All the stories had the balance of angst, lust, sex and love. All these stories had a good dose of humor that just made me laugh out load. In other words, perfection.

I usually pick one story and review it, but this time I just couldn’t pick a favorite because I truly enjoyed them all. But I will mentionWinning Bracket by Annabeth Albert, because there’s a reference to another book with an Asian lead character, No Souvenirs. I love this book, and it’s my go to book when I need something funny and hot. If you haven’t read it, you must!”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Taz – All Fired Up by Morticia Knight: “There were many things about this story which I really enjoyed. The heat index is truly scalding. The sex is frequent and detailed. Unlike some books where the characters heat up to a boil and then explode in a few paragraphs, these love scenes go on for pages. They’re creative, explicit, and sexy as hell. The emotional development of each character is sweet. Each has growing to do and they progress through their personal issues individually and together. And this author clearly did her research, the professional actions and decisions made by all characters true to life and accurate.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Tina – Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane: “Amy Lane has done what she does best here. These characters are people you want to know. I mean, really know. I felt like if I could crawl inside the book and interact with them, I’d do it in a New York minute. The layers Ms. Lane uses to build these young men from the ground up gives them such a strong foundation that before we realize it, we are completely sucked into their world, and they feel real to us. This is the magic that she uses as effortlessly as the rest of us breathe.

This isn’t just a series of short pieces which make up a novel that Amy Lane has written. There are songs too, original songs that Mackey, as the lead singer and sex appeal of the band, writes and keeps in a pile of notebooks that travel everywhere with them. Once I finally figured out that he wasn’t real, it dawned on me that Amy had written those lyrics. They ripped my fucking heart out.”

Buy Link HERE

Sammy – Then the Stars Fall by Brandon Witt: “Every chapter in this book produced more to love about these men. Every page revealed just a bit more about the unique relationship Travis had shared with his Shannon, and by novel’s end you were grieving her loss, even though without it there would be no second chapter for Travis and no Wesley for him to love. Time after time, Brandon Witt exposed both the love and hate that the town felt toward Wesley and Travis. This was no happy fairy tale where everyone accepted and got along, yet there was such a subtle move toward acceptance from a town that had never liked change and refused to consider it. I must fully admit, I fell in love with this book. My heart bled for Travis and my stomach burned at some of the slurs, and more, that Wesley endured, but overall, I felt the author offset all the potential hate with one soothing layer of compassion and healing after another for this sleepy town and the Bennett family.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Kathie – Love and the Real Boy by J.K. Hogan: “Why did I give this book a 5 star recommended read? The research, the storyline and the natural flow of the book. Instead of just going back and forth in time by inserting chapters, Rich would be sparked by a something that would make him remember . I liked the natural flow of that. The twist of the story was unexpected, and I liked that it wasn’t resolved in just a few pages but twined throughout the book. It kept the book a lot more interesting.

This book and I Survived Seattle, the first book in the series, is worth your time. You will read a great romance book and learn something on the way. Patrick O’Dowd’s accent is worth the price alone.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Rena – Flight of the Magpies by KJ Charles: “Flight of Magpies is another brilliant addition to KJ Charles’ magnificent A Charm of Magpies series. Reading the book was one of those instances where I was so deeply immersed in Lucien and Stephen’s world that I actually got upset when I realized how far I’d gone and how little I had left to read. It’s an experience that’s not new to me; it began with The Magpie Lord,and it had yet to show signs of fading or slowing down. That said, I don’t want it to happen, considering how much I adore this series.

Though each book in the series is partially episodic in approach, there’s still a good deal of continuity from the first book to this one. Stephen’s insane devotion to his work at the expense of his fledgling relationship with Lord Crane, as well as Crane’s rapidly fraying patience, serve as the main thread linking these books together. The effects of both come to a head in Flight of Magpies, the simmering tension bubbling over till the inevitable blow up happens. And it’s something that never catches you off-guard; in fact, as far as I was concerned, I was wondering why in heck it didn’t happen sooner. Then again, that’s also the appeal of Charles’ writing. Even with all of the nutty unpredictability of magic, she still manages to sustain a superb balancing act by juggling the personal with the greater, larger picture. And that means a lot of time and especially care devoted to every aspect of the plot and character development.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Kim – Family Unit by Z.A. Maxfield: “All I can say about the audio version of Family Unit is that I still love it! JP Handler did an excellent job of bringing this story to life! It was a perfect way to re-experience the story and to give it a new perspective.

Also I would like to add a big thank you to Z.A. for updating the book cover. The original cover had a picture of two men who looked more in their sixties than their forties, so big thumbs up for the change!

Family Unit is still a happy 5 Star rating, and I’m hoping for more audible by this author, especially Drawn Together and Crossing Borders ::hint hint::”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Jackie – The Brick Yard by Carol Lynne: “Carol Lynne worked her magic with words yet again in this story. I found myself drawn in immediately, and I didn’t stop reading until the book was finished. Dray and Lucky were both damaged in their own ways, but they weren’t broken. Their healing came from more than one place, and that made it so much more believable for me. Lucky began to find his path by helping a young man who sought help at The Brick Yard, and Dray found his purpose through Lucky. There was no quick fix, no magical cupcake, or any of the other easy peasy things that we see so much of in books. These two men had to put in some blood, sweat, and tears to get to their happy ending, and it was a journey that I would take with them anytime.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Jules – Patchwork Heaven by Jamie Samms: “I do have to say that Patchwork Heaven took me a few chapters to really get into it – it didn’t immediately grab me like some of Samms’ other books have – but once things starting cranking for me, I really enjoyed it! The story itself was fast paced and had lots of different nuances. The main storyline revolves around the stalker, but there are several very intriguing threads throughout the main story. There is the twin phenomena, the BDSM bits, some twists and really good mystery surrounding the stalker, and also Coby’s ever-present color-music-swirl. I loved the parts where we get to see a piece of music come to life in Coby’s mind. The couple of scenes where he plays for Gregor – one where he is literally composing on the spot – are amazing.

The supporting cast is also wonderful. I completely fell for Kip, who plays a very important part throughout, and also really liked Cade, who we met very briefly but seemed such a solid character. I totally adored Jake and Lewis, Patchwork Heavenbandmates, new lovers, and occasional comic relief. And, finally, the villain. I won’t tell you who it is, of course…but suffice it to say that he will creep you out!”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE

Lisa – Wave Goodbye to Charlie by Eric Arvin: “Wave Goodbye to Charlie is a story that will make you question your own beliefs, perhaps fear the unknown just a little, but then, in one glorious moment, will make you believe that Death is not merely life’s final bow but its Second Act, that Death is not an end but a new beginning, not a tragedy but a miracle that comes for us not as a hooded and sickle-bearing horror but as the last someone who showed us love, compassion, affection, or a simple kindness.

With originality, imagination, and a subtle grace, Wave Goodbye to Charlie earns its place front and center among Eric Arvin’s best. It is a love story at its heart, in all the forms love can take, spiritual and uplifting in only the way a novel that explores the true ever-after can be. There is a message of joy among the sorrow, a sense of order to the chaos that is the unexpected and unknown. Charlie is a must read—to love him is to know him.”

Full Review and Buy Link HERE


And that does it for the month of October. Until November, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The books that changed my life by Ariel Tachna

Yes, I’m supposed to be writing a blog post to convince you how wonderful the Partnership in Blood books are so you’ll go out and read them all and tell the world how much you love them. I’ll let Mary do that for me.
I’d rather talk about the amazing journey that I’ve been on in the ten years it’s taken me to write this series and how that journey, all wrapped up in these books, changed my life for the better. 

Ten years ago, I discovered a world hitherto unknown to me, the world of fanfiction, and along with that discovery, I found gay romance, better known in those circles as m/m romance. I was fascinated. I was already a writer, so it didn’t take me long to try my hand at it, and it didn’t take long after that before I started meeting people.
Those people changed my life. I was teaching at the time and still loving it, but they gave me an outlet for a side of myself the classroom never did. And they believed in me. They invited me to a writers’ forum that had monthly themed challenges and they welcomed my entries. They nurtured my skills and encouraged me to keep exploring this world. Then in October, something magic happened. I started writing Partnership in Blood and people had opinions about my characters. Ones I hadn’t intended or anticipated. Raymond and Jean were supposed to be the couple that failed, you know. They weren’t ever supposed to be together. But I kept writing and readers kept believing in them for no other reason than the way I put them on paper. Jean and Raymond decided they liked the idea of being together far more than they liked the idea of being my failed partnership, and I decided maybe this story had more going for it than just a way to keep myself entertained.

The next year was a little bit of hell. We had three adoptions fall through in a span of a few months before Carolyn came to us in April. My grandmother died. My husband and I both struggled with depression. All in all, it’s a year I’d rather forget, but as awful as it was, I had new friends to support me, and they did, in ways I would never have imagined possible for an online community. I was never alone. If I disappeared for a day or two, people came looking for me with emails and messages on my blog. And when Carolyn came home with us, I received more baby gifts online than I did from colleagues I’d work with for ten years. 

When I decided I might want to publish some of my writing, those same people lined up to encourage me. When Healing in His Wings came out in the Size Matters anthology, they lined up to buy the book and helped launch a writing career that eventually grew to the point I could leave the classroom I no longer enjoyed and start a new life for myself.
As I grew and changed, so did the world I was creating. Those friends stood beside me and helped me navigate what that meant, expanding the settings, characters, and scope far beyond the original four books. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and a journey into a whole new world. Ten years and one million words later, very few things remain the same from when I started the series, but one thing hasn’t changed.
Nicki, Rhianne, Madeleine, Connie, Alix, Gwennie, and Itsu, this one’s for you.

Excerpt from Partnership Reborn:

“Tell me again why we’re doing this?”
Raphael Taravaud looked up from his perusal of his closet, where he had been searching for the perfect shirt to wear when they went out. Kylian Raffier, his best friend since childhood, leaned casually against the doorframe, looking far too good for Raphael’s peace of mind. Kylian had long, straight black hair and just the hint of a beard, exactly the kind of man Raphael would go for, except for one small detail: Kylian wasn’t for him. He had tried more than once to translate that into words everyone else could understand, but he had never managed, even to his own mind. He could only say that he knew. The very essence of his being cried out for its mate, and Kylian was not it.
“Because I’ve looked everywhere else I can think of,” Raphael replied. “The same vampires show up at l’Institut practically every time they have their dinners, and none of the others want partners. He’s out there somewhere, Ky. I just have to find him.”
“So you’re going clubbing in Paris in the hope of miraculously running across him, and you’re dragging me with you because I have nothing better to do on a Friday night than follow your sorry ass around from club to club,” Kylian scoffed. “This is your worst idea yet.”
“Then come up with a better one,” Raphael challenged. “You think I enjoy this? You think I enjoy walking around feeling like half of me is missing?”
“You’re so damn sure,” Kylian said with a shake of his head. “How do you know this?”
“I don’t,” Raphael admitted, because for Kylian, he would try again to do what he had yet to manage for anyone. “I just know something’s missing—and from everything I’ve learned about partnerships, that’s what it feels like, except my partner isn’t here. You remember some of the accounts we studied of partners who were separated during the war, or later for various reasons? How the bond helped them find their partners again by sense alone? I have that sense. I feel that tug, except I’ve never met the man on the other end. I’ve tried following it, but it’s too nebulous to lead me anywhere.”
“You’re so sure it’s a man. What are you going to do if it’s a woman?” Kylian teased.
“I guess I’ll learn to like tits,” Raphael said with a shrug, but he was not worried. He could not explain the connection he had felt—and missed—for as long as he could remember, but he was done waiting for his partner to find him by conventional means. His vampire was out there somewhere, and he was going to find him. Whatever it took.
“I still say you’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” Kylian said. “Even if you find your partner, the kind of bond you’re looking for is incredibly rare. It wasn’t just any separated partners who found each other again by sense alone.”
“Not as rare as it used to be,” Raphael replied. “There were two in the previous generation.”
“And one is dead, and the other now lives completely retired from society,” Kylian reminded him. “Not a great recommendation for anyone considering that choice.”
“But what grand love stories they were!” Raphael said. “Like you wouldn’t jump at the chance for that kind of love if it came your way.”


Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their two dogs.  Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with France, where she met her husband, and India, where she hopes to retire some day.  She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit and is as in love with languages as she is with writing.

Twitter: @arieltachna
To purchase my books, you can always go to Dreamspinner’s web site,  or you can go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or All Romance eBooks, I’m sure there are probably other eBook outlets as well, but I don’t go searching for them. Also, if you want to buy the book in print, any bookstore that allows special orders can order the book for you with the title and my name.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

GRL 2014

Will Prater and me.
Seeing friends and fans at GRL was a phenomenal experience. There was so much hugging going on that even though it was cold outside, (hello, Chicago in the fall,) it was warm and wonderful indoors.

Before I left home, I was worried about my shifter panel with Poppy Dennison and Lynn Lorenz, but it actually went pretty well. We all talked, shared, answered questions and it was so nice of everyone to show up and support us. I will always be so grateful.

Me and Jessie Potts
Kate, me, Rayna and Tere
The parties at night were wonderful and I even put on a dress for Casino night. Everyone was stunning as evidenced by my pics on Facebook. And now Madison Parker's pics are up from the con so everyone should go look at those to get a feel for the festivities. I never go to the Juke Joint but after seeing the pics, I might have to change my mind. :)

The costume party was mind-blowing, everyone looked fantastic. It made me want to think outside the box for next year.

I can't really convey what a wonderful gathering it is, but if you go, there's such a feeling of community that you really feel as though you're among friends. If you can go next year to San Diego, you should definitely try. I look forward to seeing you there. :)
Shira Anthony

Rowan McAllister
Ethan and Tere

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Release Date for Blue Days
I'm excited to announce that Blue Days is on the Coming Soon page at Dreamspinner Press with a November 5th release date! This one is about Dwyer and Takeo, (that's Dwyer there on the cover) and how they go from not-friends, to friends to falling in love. Here's the blurb:

Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions.

Takeo’s life is a string of failed attempts to please his traditional Japanese father. Unfortunately, succeeding in business turns out to be just as difficult for Takeo as changing from gay to straight. In fact, the only thing Takeo seems to truly excel at is taking notice of Dwyer Knolls.

When Dwyer and Takeo head to Mangrove, Florida on a real estate buying trip, their tentative friendship combusts and becomes much more. Is their sudden connection real enough to bank their futures on, or should they chalk the whole thing up to the daze inspired by the blue ocean breeze?

And here are the men that inspired the story:
I hope you all enjoy reading about them. :)