Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Virtual Tour: M/M ~ Lodestones by Naomi MacKenzie ~ (Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Virtual Tour: M/M ~ Lodestones by Naomi MacKenzie ~ (Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Author Name: Naomi MacKenzie
Book Name: Lodestones
Release Date: September 8, 2015

Buy The Book:


On the eve of a new school year, several groups of college students cross paths as they seek out a secret end-of-summer lake party—including Robin and Charlie, two inseparable friends who discover of the course of the twenty-four hours that their relationship is something much deeper than simple friendship.

Pages or Words: 226 pages

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Young Adult

Larry holds up the flyer to study the map Florence drew. Barry is leaning to look at it, too, when it's ripped from between Larry's fingers.
A greasy man in a campus security uniform stands over them with a pinched expression. His faded nametag reads: Ron Anderchuk. "Another one," he all but growls. "Where in heck did you get this, boys?"
Barry tries his best to look innocent. Which isn't all that hard, since he knows nothing.
"Found it on the ground," Larry lies.
"Uh-huh, uh-huh," the security guy says. "Extra trouble for littering." He glares hard at the paper for nearly a minute before looking back at them. "You do know parties like this are illegal, don't ya, boys? And frowned upon by this here establishment." He raps his knuckles on the table. "I think it best you stick around here this weekend. That would be best, don't ya agree?" He widens his beady eyes while he waits for their assent.
Barry looks to Larry. Seeing him nodding, he mimics the gesture.
The security officer's answering grunt sounds disbelieving. He mutters as he walks away; the flyer with their map is gripped in his fist.
"What are we—"
Larry holds up his hand, stopping Barry's question in its tracks. "Not to worry; I have a photographic memory. I've got the map in here." He taps a fingertip against his temple.
"Even after all of that? And we do have another problem, if Florence is to be believed."
Larry hums and strokes his chin. He picks up Barry's tray and they walk  to the windows. The orientation officers are indeed spread across the entire expanse outside, handing out pamphlets and organizing games of lawn bowling and oversized croquet. The entrance to the student parking lot is completely blocked.
Barry should throw in the towel, admit defeat and convince Larry to do the same. And he would, if not for one thing. The one detail that has roped him into the excitement over the lake festivities fully and completely is Kate Zimmermann, captain of the Dicaroon Seadogs field hockey team. Barry was looking through the school's website while Larry was plotting behind him and he caught sight of her picture. He informed Barry that she was one of the girls who was carrying the van's bench seat into her dorm room and invited him to the party early that morning.
Barry is in love with Kate Zimmermann. He has been since seeing her on the Dicaroon University website the previous summer. Well, he's in love with the image of her and her red hair and blue eyes and adorable freckles that are so voluminous that they connect on her face. He has dreamed of red-haired kids calling him Daddy and hitting balls with sticks. Possibly. And she's throwing the party, so even if Barry will never get up the nerve to speak to her should he live for a thousand years, he has to go. For his future dream-wife.
"Well, then," Larry says. He sets Barry's lunch tray down on the bussing station and rubs his hands together. "I guess we are in need of a foolproof plan."
"A stratagem," Barry says. He feels immediately foolish for being such a huge dork.
But then Larry grins at him. "Ooh, yes, I like that. A stratagem."

Mari's Review:

***ARC provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest Review. *** 

This was a nice read, it consists of 5 different storylines are interconnecting, and some are more interesting than others. 

Robin and Charlie have been best friends for three years, and it's obvious for everyone except them, that they would be perfect for each other. Robin was in a relationship though, and keeps putting everyone before Charlie until he is faced with the possibility of losing his best friend.

Charlie was my favorite of the two. He's loyal, kind and patient. He's willing to do just about anything to help Robin, even when Robin is not exactly the easiest to get along with. After years of waiting on the wings he's finally ready to make his move, but is Robin ready to let him in completely?

I liked Christa and her friends, Silas, Ray and Julie, and of course, the main couple. The multiple POVs detracted from the main story. I would've prefered that the author had concentrated on just two or three stories and not five, because it was too much at times. Still, it was a good, solid read, enjoyable for the most part, and it was well-written, I just wish the main couple had had more screen time, so to speak. 

Rating: 4 Stars!

Author Interview:

Today we're very lucky to be interviewing Naomi MacKenzie author of Lodestones.
Hi Naomi, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hello! It's great to be here. Thank you for having me.

I'm a Canadian gal from the east coast, currently living in the Toronto area and pining for the sea. I've been writing for myself since I was very young, mostly poems and short stories. I have several novels on the go at all times, but Lodestones is the first novel I have completed.

  1. Tell us about your book.
Lodestones is an ensemble story that follows five different groups of high school and college students during the last weekend before Labor Day. They're all headed for a secret end-of-summer party at a lake in the middle of nowhere. The main couple are best friends, Robin and Charlie. Over the course of the night they have some realizations about the nature of their three-year friendship.

  1. How difficult was it to get into the main characters head?
Robin took me a lot longer to figure out than some of the other characters. I have very little in common with him, so I had to write several character sketches before I got a handle on him. I found writing him through other character's eyes also helped me see him properly.

  1. Is this book a standalone or do you plan on visiting it again?
This is a standalone. I may write short stories involving these characters again, but only for my website. No matter how hard it is to say goodbye to some of them.

  1. Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
Diversity is so important to me. Everyone should be able to pick up a book or watch a film and see someone they can relate to. In YA books, I think this is doubly important. The Robin/Charlie relationship stood out to me while I was plotting the book and sketching out all the characters' relations to one another. They were special, so I gave them the primary focus.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from all over. Walks in the woods or on the beach, sitting in a coffee shop, on the train. Sometimes while doing mundane tasks like cleaning the kitchen or washing my hair. Characters and story ideas pop into my head at random. It makes one wonder if the Muses do exist.

About the author:
Naomi MacKenzie is a writer and photographer from the eastern coast of Canada. She considers herself a Maritimer first and a Canadian second, or so she told the standardized testing people in essay form during the eleventh grade. She enjoys vegan baking, walks in the woods and, contrarily, hiding from the sun. Lodestones is her first novel.

Where to find the author:
Connect with Naomi MacKenzie at http://naomimackenzie.com/; on Twitter at @_naomimackenzie and on Facebook at Naomi MacKenzie.
Publisher: Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Design by Buckeyegrrl Designs
Cover and Interior Illustrations by Abby Hellstrom

Tour Dates & Stops:

Rafflecopter Prize: 1 - $25 Interlude Press Gift Card, 5 e-copies of ‘Lodestones’

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hello Naomi congratulations on your new release the book sounds fab and I'm adding it to my wish list.

  2. Thanks for having me. It was really fun!

  3. Hi Naomi! Congratulations on your new book! I'm looking forward to reading more.