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!

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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

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Locations and inspiration

Court of the Two Sisters
I get inspired by all kinds of things. Sometimes its a song, a ton of times it's a picture and other times, it's a location. That's what happened to me with Just Desserts. I was in New Orleans, walking around at night when I was at RT last year and got inspired. I will say that from looking at all the art on display in Jackson Square, that everyone has the same reaction to the city. There is history everywhere, ghost stories, magic, amazing architecture and the music and art overflows. I of course was ready to move there. Put me in the quarter, put me in the Garden District and I would be content. Of course there are real world considerations, so that's where my characters come in. They can live wherever I want them to. So I wrote my cookbook novella and that's where Boone lives, in NOLA, so I get a little wish fulfillment by living vicariously through him. It's really sort of wonderful. He gets to live in a city I'm in love with and I get to go along for the ride.

I love Chicago, clearly, which is why so many of my people live there. Jory and Sam live where I used to, Miro and Ian eat at my favorite places, and live where I would love to now. San Francisco, another favorite, my warders live there and Tracy and Cord and I lived there a long time ago when I was young.


Lately, I've also fallen in love with the idea of small towns but not sleepy southern ones but touristy ones by the ocean like Seaside, hence the inspiration for Mangrove.
Seaside, Florida
I try to never write about places I've never been with the exception of Egypt, but I'd love to go someday. Here's hoping.

I hope everyone has an awesome, productive, week. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cover Reveal for Just Desserts

So this is what my cover in the Curious Cookbook anthology with RJ Scott, Maire Sexton, Amber Kell, and Amy Lane looks like. The stories will be out one every weekend in April at Dreamspinner Press beginning with RJ's and concluding with mine. There is a paperback as well that will be out once all the stories are released. The amazing Reese Dante has again come through with beautiful covers for all and one for the the anthology. Here are the links to the wonderful authors I got to work with:

RJ Scott
Marie Sexton
Amber Kell
Amy Lane

Here's my blurb:
Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He's invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and in his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.

Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone's past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.




Cookbook blurb:
It’s called comfort food for a reason.

Not much is known about the cookbook, except that years ago, the mysterious Granny B collected a set of magical recipes and wrote them down. Over the years, each book has been modified, corrected, added to, and passed down through the generations to accumulate its own unique history. The secrets behind these very special recipes are about to find their way into new hands and new lives, just when they’re needed the most.


Food created out of love casts a spell all its own, but Granny B’s recipes add a little something extra. This curious cookbook holds not only delicious food, but also the secrets of love, trust, and healing, and it’s about to work its magic once again.

 Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

News

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6022
 I'm late and one of my New Year's resolutions was to post more on my blog and already, fail. But...from here on out, every Sunday is my plan. I worry that I won't have exciting things to always share so you all might end up listening to me blather on about Hawaii Five 0 but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. :)

 So I've been under a rock which I'm technically still under (the book is due this Thursday, ask me if I'm done yet?) until later this week when I turn in the very last Change of Heart book. And that's good and bad because yeah, excited to see Jin and Logan again, but very sad that this is it, the end, no more.

When I left off with Jory and Sam, I knew I'd still see them with my marshals and I knew there'd be one last wedding novella at some point. This is different, this is really goodbye for my werepanthers and I find myself a bit verklempt as I finish up. And I know I said there would be no more Jin and Logan books before but it was weird. When I sat down to write my Wick and Dov book (they were mentioned at the end of Crucible of Fate), I couldn't get more than a thousand words out. It was crazy. I tried but, nothing.I tried for 2 years and it just wasn't working. And some books are crafted, like you put them together and you work at it, and others are what Amy Lane calls "dragon ridden" and they just flow out of you but in this case, neither was happening. So I talked to my editor and she said, if the characters aren't speaking to you, if the idea of the book isn't speaking to you, then you need to find the characters who will. Of course, the characters that worked, were Jin and Logan. So the very last book, Forging the Future, will be theirs.

In other news, the second in my Mangrove Stories series called Quiet Nights will be out February 9th at Dreamspinner Press and I can't wait for you all to meet Kelly and Coz. It's very different from the first one but still friends to lovers which is a trope I find I really enjoy writing as love growing from friendship is such a natural progression. In that vein, I had a wonderful night last night at the Good Reads Awards and was so honored to be in such wonderful company with the other wildly talented authors. I was particularly thrilled that my book All Kinds Of Tied Down won first place in the Friends to Lovers category.


That's it for now, I hope everyone has a wonderful, productive week.