Monday, August 31, 2015

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

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

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

Good luck!

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

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

You can read Taz's full review HERE

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

You can Read Lana's full review HERE

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


You can read Sammy's full review HERE

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


You can read Karen's full review HERE

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


You can read Lynn's full review HERE

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


You can read Sadonna's full review HERE

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


You can read Jules' full review HERE

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


You can read Maryann's full review HERE

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


You can read Carrie's full review HERE

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


You can read Lisa's full review HERE

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THE GIVEAWAY
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Sunday, August 30, 2015

Guest Blogger: Dirk Greyson

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6793


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

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

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

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

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

Purchase Link: http://bit.ly/1JEM7iq


Friday, August 28, 2015

Guest Blogger: Rayna Vause

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



DemonOfMineFSClimbing the corporate ladder can be hell….

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

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

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1hAMcJV | B&N: http://bit.ly/1hRGYZY | Kobo: http://bit.ly/1KcDVGS |Dreamspinner Press: http://bit.ly/1UJgrfC | All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1MsRTWG



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

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

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

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



About Rayna Vause


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

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

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

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A reminder and news

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6727
Just a reminder that Piece of Cake is FREE at Dreamspinner Press you all. I wrote it as a thank you so I want you all to take advantage of the lack of funds needed to read about Jory and Sam and their special day. I appreciate you all so much so make sure you download it there.
 In other news, Fit To Be Tied, Ian and Miro's second book, will be out Sept.18th and there will be the 4th Mangrove book, Easy Evenings out in October, and the 5th, Sleeping 'til Sunrise, out in December. I am currently still working on Jon's book so it won't be out until January. Sometimes real life kicks your butt, as you all know, so hence the reason for the delay. But we're all busy during the holidays anyway, after the first of the year is a better time to snuggle up on the couch with hot chocolate and a blanket and hot shifters is always a good choice. 
That's it, hope you're all having a lovely weekend. :)