Mary Calmes's Blog, page 2

January 3, 2014

I won't  procrastinate this year. It was my big resolution. And even though I'm late with the New Year's wishes, I hope everyone had a great and safe one. My hubby and I had plans to drink in the new year, just the two of us at home, but we ended up having sparkling apple cider with the kids instead and playing board games. He fell asleep and my kids and I watched the second Percy Jackson movie. I'm so old.

Be that as it may, for me New Year's Day was more important then the eve because I made my 2014 writing plan. I have 7 things in my writing queue and I don't expect it to change. My plan is to write nothing but sequels after I finish the book I'm working on now. So far for 2014 I have a novel out in March called Floodgates, it's a contemporary with a bit of a thriller aspect to it. Then in April my shifter book with Cardeno C, Control, is out. And as I said, I'm working on finishing a novel now and then off to 5 sequels. I'm writing a sequel to Old Loyalty, New Love, Glenn's book (I know, but I really am, he's difficult), the last Warder novel, Conrad's book, and then Wick and Dov which will be my last werepanther book where I'll be checking in on Jin and Logan. So I'll wrap up the Warders and Change of Heart this year. I'm excited, I hope 2014 will be great.
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Published on January 03, 2014 22:49 • 218 views

December 31, 2013









Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! The Novel Approach crew has been busily compiling our list of the top reads of 2013, which is never easy considering we read and review hundreds of books each year, but we’ve managed to come up with a few that we felt stood out from all the rest and have put them together for you. They are in no particular order, just the books and characters that made us think, laugh, cry, smile, or touched our hearts and minds in their own unique ways.

As a special celebration of these and the many more hundreds of books that aren’t on this list because of space constraints, but very well could have been, The Novel Approach would like to give you the chance to weigh in on your own favorites.

Leave a comment on THIS POST at The Novel Approach and tell us about some of the books, couples, and/or covers you’ve loved in 2013, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a $25 gift card from Dreamspinner Press.

Comments must be received by Sunday, January 5, 2014 to be eligible to win. One winner will be selected at random on Monday, the 6th, and notified via email for prize delivery.

Good luck!

And now, here they are—our Top Picks of 2013


Favorite YA/Coming-of-Age

Lisa:

1.) Fearless by Chris O’Guinn
2.) Atom Heart John Beloved by Luke Hartwell
3.) The Battle for Jericho by Gene Gant


Tina:

1.) Omorphi by Cody Kennedy
2.) The Cost of Loving by Wade Kelly
3.) Just Between Us by JH Trumble


Jackie:

1.) Memorizing You by D.W. Skinner
2.) Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick
3.) Superhero by Eli Easton


Lynn:

1.) Relationships 101 (Dear Diary 3) by Allison Cassatta


BJ:

1.) Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan



Favorite Contemporary

Lisa:

1.) Muscling Through by JL Merrow
2.) King Mai by Edmond Manning
3.) Disasterology 101 by Taylor V. Donovan


Tina:

1.) Billy's Bones by Jamie Fessenden
2.) With or Without Him by Barbara Elsborg
3.) Catch My Breath by MJ O’Shea



Jackie:

1.) A White Coat is My Closet by Jake Wells
2.) Hungry for Love by Rick R Reed
3.) More Than Everything by Cardeno C


Lynn:

1.) Double Full by Kindle Alexander


Lana:

1.) The Trouble with Tony (Sex in Seattle #1) by Eli Easton
2.) The Hardest Thing by James Lear
3.) Stripped Clean by Ellis Carrington


BJ:

1.) Blame it on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton
2.) Probation by Tom Mendicino
3.) Home Team by James Dash



Favorite Historical

Lisa:

1.) The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe by Charlie Cochet
2.) Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story by Ruth Sims
3.) Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1) by Jordan L. Hawk


Lynn:

1.) A Place To Call Their Own by L. Dean Pace-Frech


BJ:

1.) The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton



Favorite Fantasy (Incl. Urban Fantasy/Alt U/Steampunk/Sci-Fi/Fairy Tales)

Lisa:

1.) The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric Arvin
2.) The Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson
3.) Infected: Undertow by Andrea Speed



Jackie:

1.) Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford
2.) Moral Authority by Jacob Flores
3.) The Harvest: Taken by M.A. Church


Lynn:

1.) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Deanna Wadsworth


Lana:

1.) Submerging Inferno by Brandon Witt
2.) Rising Frenzy by Brandon Witt
3.) Full Moon Dating by Julia Talbot


Favorite Paranormal

Lisa:

1.) The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) by KJ Charles
2.) Spook Squad (PsyCop #7) by Jordan Castillo Price
3.) Someday It Will Be by S.A. McAuley


Jackie:

1.) The Haunted Heart by Josh Lanyon
2.) Fish & Ghosts by Rhys Ford
3.) Airos by Jennifer Wright


Lynn:

1.) Thicker Than Water by A. F. Henley


Lana:

1.) Every Drop of My Love by Jane Davitt
2.) Bloody Love Spats by Valentina Heart
3.) Blood Moon by MJ O’Shea


BJ:

1.) Last Dance With Mary Jane by John Goode



Favorite Series

Lisa:

1.) The Borders War Series by S.A. McAuley
2.) The Wode Series by J Tullos Hennig
3.) The Whyborne & Griffin Series by Jordan L. Hawk


Tina:

1.) The Collars & Cuffs Series by KC Wells
2.) The Market Garden Series by Alexsandr Voinov & L.A. Witt
3.) The City Knight Series by T.A. Webb


Jackie:

1.) The Cut & Run Series by Abigail Roux
2.) The Diversion Series by Eden Winters
3.) The Johnnies Series by Amy Lane


Lynn:

1.) The Broken Series by Kol Anderson


Lana:

1.) The Men of Myth Series by Brandon Witt



Favorite Couple

Lisa:

1.) Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae Min – The Cole McGinnis Mystery Series by Rhys Ford
2.) Percival Whyborne and Griffin Flaherty - The Whyborne & Griffin Series by Jordan L. Hawk
3.) Larry Morton and Al Fletcher – Muscling Through


Tina:

1.) Marcus & Ben – City Knight Series by T.A. Webb
2.) Aiden & Finn – Marshall’s Park Series by Lisa Worrall


Jackie:

1.) Bo & Lucky – Diversion Series by Eden Winters
2.) Chase & Tommy – Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane)
3.) Brian & Jamie – The Little Boy Lost Series by JP Barnaby


Lynn:

1.) Wes and Micah – Livin' on the Edge by Dee Dee Brock


Lana:

1.) Brett and Finn – Submerging Inferno by Brandon Witt
2.) Brett and Schwint – Rising Frenzy by Brandon Witt
3.) Tony and Jack – The Trouble With Tony by Eli Easton


BJ:

1.) Michael and Finn – Bring Him Home by Sammy Goode
2.) Tavio and Tommy – Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek by R. Cooper
3.) Sir William and Sir Christian – The Lion and the Crow by Eli Eston



Favorite Cover

Lisa:

1.) Stung by K.A. Merikan
2.) The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric Arvin
3.) Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships by Kim Knox









Tina:

1.) Heart of the Race by Mary Calmes
2.) Billy's Bones by Jamie Fessenden
3.) Collide by J.R. Lenk









Jackie:

1.) Inside Out by Andrew Grey
2.) Whiskey & Wry by Rhys Ford
3.) Newton's Laws of Attraction by M.J. O'Shea









Lynn:

1.) Black Hurricane by Erica Pike









Lana:

1.) Submerging Inferno by Brandon Witt
2.) Rising Frenzy by Brandon Witt










BJ:

1.) Northern Star by Ethan Day
2.) Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
2.) Blame it on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton














And that does it for The Year In Reviews. Don't forget to leave a comment at The Novel Approach for your chance to win a $25 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card! :)
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Published on December 31, 2013 12:00 • 186 views

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday season. I am editing and writing, staying up super late and drinking lots of coffee. I hope Santa brings you all wonderful goodies.
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Published on December 24, 2013 09:32 • 117 views

December 18, 2013

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4470Its contest time for Where You Lead over at  
Stumbling Over Chaos so hit the button and head on over.
Good luck everyone. :)

http://www.stumblingoverchaos.com/archives/25712

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Published on December 18, 2013 00:27 • 115 views

December 5, 2013

http://www.stumblingoverchaos.com/archives/25495My friend Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos is running a giveaway of Old Loyalty, New Love on her blog starting today so if you'd like to enter to win a copy just hit the button and you'll be there. Hope everyone has a nice rest of the week.
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Published on December 05, 2013 05:17 • 103 views

November 30, 2013

Hello again, everyone! We here at The Novel Approach hope you had a lovely November and are ready to roll straight on to December. ’Tis the season for cuddling up in front of a fire with a good book, right? So we hope you’ll find a few to add to your winter TBR list here in this month’s Booyah Books.
Here are our choices for the month:
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Jackie’s Choice:Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick
“I completely loved watching these boys grow up together. The strength Timmy displayed while surviving his home life was offset by the vulnerability he only showed to Ben. At the same time, Ben was so used to people leaving him he felt he couldn’t be honest about his sexuality for fear he would lose his father. When Timmy and Ben are reunited, will they be able to move forward or will they both have to live with what could have been?If you enjoy young love and coming of age stories this book is sure to strike your fancy. I highly recommend this book, and I would absolutely love to read more about Ben and Timmy if Mia Kerick ever felt the need to revisit them.”
You can read Jackie’s full review HERE
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
BJ’s Choice:Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote
“This is one of those remarkable stories that wasn’t burdened with too much external interference, instead opting to focus on the flourishing romance and the involved parties’ own emotional baggage. They provided their own conflict in spades, issues and self-esteem pitfalls cropping up left, right and centre. Let’s face it, that is the most realistic thing in a new relationship; we are our own enemies. No one needed to be stuffed in the back of a tinted-windowed van or be the victim of human trafficking. They came to the table with their own issues, and thus, to me, they were real and true.
A very British story from a very British author, I see a glittery future ahead for Jay Northcote. This book ticked all the right boxes, and I am very excited to see more from the author and her upcoming works with Dreamspinner Press. From a young lad from Blighty, I give this little slice of Brit-romance a really well-deserved 4.5 stars.”
You can read BJ’s full review HERE
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Tina’s Choice:The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari by Sarah Black
“No one writes romantic, loving words that will melt your heart out your eyes like Sarah Black. The words of love exchanged between John and Gabriel, oh my god. I just read them over and over again. It was like they couldn’t express their love for one another for twenty five years, and they used that time to compose the most beautiful, eloquent words to tell each other how truly and deeply they loved each other once they were able to verbalize their feelings.
That is one of my favorite things about reading gay romance novels. That the men, these strong warrior/philosophers (read the books, you’ll understand that) who are able to take on the world and walk away with hardly a scratch, are so vulnerable with one another. They lay themselves open and their hearts are there for all to see. Even the way Ms. Black describes the looks that pass between them when they see each other after being apart is hot and heartwarming. I can almost see their faces and the way each of their hearts and bodies just relax at the sight of the other. They are Home.Very highly recommended.”
You can read Tina’s full review HERE
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Lynn’s Choice:Soulmate by Kol Anderson
“This novella isn’t done yet. So much has happened already, but the events that lead up to Hunter and Kayden dealing with their feelings seemed to come out of nowhere. This author is brilliant at making the most insane and unpredictable twists believable that I completely trusted everything would make sense. And, of course, it did.
By the end, on top of a great, thought provoking and emotional story, the reader is left with wonder for what happens next. The fate of the brothers is up in the air, and Kol Anderson can’t write fast enough.”
You can read Lynn’s full review HERE
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Lana’s Choice:Bloody Love Spats by Valentina Heart
“• The supporting characters all added to the story line. Tait, Stone’s hothead brother. Jenela, the vampire queen who is also Tomi’s sister. Naji, the shifter child who Stone adopts and treats as his son. And Arik, Tomi’s cheating boyfriend who gets what he deserves. They were all complicated characters with interesting stories of their own.
• They were very well written and I’m hoping there will be some sequels!
• The plot was enjoyable and a little bit different from what I was expecting.
• Fast passed action kept me engaged.
• A very happy ending!
Bloody Love Spats is a perfect storm!! A must read for anyone who loves vamps and shifters!!!”
You can read Lana’s full review HERE
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Kim’s Choice:Serenading Stanley by John Inman
“What really kicked this story into gear was how the tenants of Belladonna Arms helped in bringing Stanley and Roger together. Let’s just say, they knew how to put the “fun” in dysfunctional, and a few of them even stole my heart with their antics. I’m still debating whether to stick pins in my eyes whenever I conjure up an image of Arthur, and whoever left the brownies at Stanley’s front door…thank you…it sure moved things along in the romance department. Sure was cute, seeing Stanley like that.
My cheeks were hurting from all smiling I did throughout the story. Mr. Inman, I love your sense of humor, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your books.”
You can read Kim’s full review HERE
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Lisa’s Choice:Merry Gentlemen by Josephine Myles
“Merry Gentlemen is, at its heart, a story of adaptation—a life lesson in which the city mouse must decide whether he’d rather live in his country mouse’s world than live without him in his own (Gladys and the Pips, bring it home). Can Ri give up everything he’s ever wanted—or thought he wanted—to be with the one man who makes him happy beyond all reason? Don’t worry: this isn’t a story about Ri sacrificing everything just to be with his man. This is a story of Ri waking up one day and discovering that everything he’s ever wanted has absolutely nothing to do with what he needs to be happy. And what he needs has just walked out the door again. This time for good. See? Angst.
So, if you’re making a list and checking it twice, let’s recap:
Ri + Stan=Love – Check
Plenty of Naughty Fun – Check
Face Splitting Grins – Check
Poop – Check
Really, what more could you possibly want from a book?”
You can read Lisa’s full review HERE
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

And that does if for the month of November. Until next time, happy reading!
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Published on November 30, 2013 08:36 • 127 views

November 28, 2013

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday.
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Published on November 28, 2013 08:10 • 74 views

November 22, 2013

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4470Yesterday it was the new shifter book, and today on the coming soon page at Dreamspinner is my Christmas novella that will be released on Christmas Day. Here's the blurb:

ATF agent Peter Lomax isn’t a hearts and flowers kind of guy, but he can be possessive, and it caused problems until Carver Fleming. Carver may be part of the art world, but he gets Peter, loves belonging to the man, and Peter treasures the way Carver understands them together.

Carver loves Peter, but he's fully aware that six months doth not a commitment make. Carver wants to make the relationship last forever, but he’ll have to leave their life in Chicago to take care of the family he loves. He wants to do it with Peter by his side, but going from the city of Chicago to tiny Colt, Kentucky is a big change.

Carver has only one Christmas wish: Please, oh please, let Peter fall enough in love with Carver's family to follow Carver home.

I hope you all enjoy it. Have a great weekend!
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Published on November 22, 2013 05:14 • 225 views

November 21, 2013


http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4464
My new shifter book is on the coming soon page at Dreamspinner and will be released on December 13th. I'm so excited! I never thought after Jin & Logan that I would fee like writing more shifters but the story just coming back, over and over, couldn't shake it. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here's the blurb:

When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father's prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.

Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.

I can't wait to hear what you all think.
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Published on November 21, 2013 05:14 • 296 views

November 13, 2013

So November is sort of a transition month. Its not quite the awesomeness of October where it's windy and crisp, and it's not cold winter like December is. Its the middle and so it's to be endured until Thanksgiving which is when it finally gets good right before it ends. What's even weirder is how fast this year has gone. 2013 has been a strange one for me. I feel like I never really got going, like yesterday it was May and then the summer dragged on for like six months and then October showed up and now it's almost December. Amazing. I expect to wake up tomorrow and it will be January first. I finished my contemporary novel, Floodgates and submitted it. Hopefully it will be accepted. Right now I am working on a novella before I get back to Glenn's book. Its weird, I have the romance part figured out it's the rest that's fuzzy and normally it's the other way around. Leave it to Glenn to be backwards. I hope everyone has a terrific rest of the week. :)
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Published on November 13, 2013 19:45 • 188 views