Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tempest (Playing the Fool Book 3) by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock Blog Tour with Review, Guest Post & Giveaway


Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of TEMPEST. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!


A lot of writing depends on being a lying thief. That’s something they don’t tell you in the brochures. Or, you know, if there were actual brochures, they probably wouldn't mention that part. But basically, your life, and the lives of your family and friends, become the scavenging grounds for your story. It’s where you pick up character traits, personality quirks, and even anecdotes for your story.

So now seems like a good time to dish the dirt on how much Lisa and JA can actually be found in Henry and Mac, and vice versa.

Henry’s junk food addiction: Both Lisa and JA have a touch of this, but, in a weird case of art imitating life and then life totally imitating art, it reached epic proportions during the writing and editing of the Playing the Fool series. Skittles became a staple of Lisa’s diet. And, thanks to the cover of The Two Gentlemen of Altona, both Lisa and JA got a donut addiction. Luckily the syringe on the cover of The Merchant of Death didn’t affect them similarly. Although Lisa would like it pointed out that last week when it rained she was caught without an umbrella, so Tempest also didn’t affect her, just the donut.

Mac’s hatred of Tigger: JA. It’s all JA. While JA doesn’t hate all talking animal stories for the same reason Mac does--they’re unrealistic--she does share his intense hatred of Tigger.

Val’s love of sensible shoes: Lisa. Although it’s not a love of sensible shoes so much as it is self-preservation. Heels are for falling over in. Usually because wine is involved. Lisa just accepts that heels, like space travel, are probably something she will never experience in her life.

Cory’s love of The Exploratorium: JA and Lisa. JA has been to The Exploratorium in San FRancisco. Lisa thought about it, then made the adult decision to save her money for alcohol. She has no regrets about remaining uneducated and drunk.

Mac’s family history of crime: Look, the only reason Lisa can’t lay claim to a bootlegger in her family history is that the Australian government never tried prohibition. However, her grandfather was dodgy as all hell, and who knows how many of the stories he told were true or not? She only knows that all the identity papers he brought with him from South Africa to Australia had all the dates and most of the place names and NOK details scratched off.

Henry and Vi’s love of Shakespeare: Both Lisa and JA. This is one thing they will never argue about. Unlike spelling.

Mac and Val’s questionable decision making skills while drunk on tequila: Lisa and JA. And everyone in the world. But don’t feel bad, Val. We’d totally try and hit that too. For science.



Title ~ The Tempest (Playing the Fool Book 3)  by  Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock


Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing

Published ~ 9th March 2015

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance



goodreads add to


Something wicked this way comes.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.
While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.
If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.
Word count: 55,000; page count: 226

Macky’s Review

I'm feeling kind of sad now because I've just finished the last book in what has been one of my most favourite comedy thriller series ever! I reckon Lisa and JA have created two characters who, if they wrote about them till the end of their writing careers, I'd never get tired of. I absolutely adore Mac and Henry. As a pairing they've worked on every level for me. I've laughed at their snarky, snappy banter offs, snorted at the running jokes, tingled at the sexual tension generated, got hot under the collar when they've finally got down and dirty and been on pins every time they've got themselves into the sort of "Oh Crap!" kind of trouble you can't ever see them getting out of!

To fully enjoy the ongoing storyline, you have to read them in order to get the gist of what's going on between these two guys both plot wise and emotionally. What started out as just a sarky, crazy caper, smoke and mirrors style crime comedy, has evolved into a far more intricate murder mystery with red herrings, sub plots and loose threads coming together to form a much deeper web of deception and subterfuge. But for me as much as I've loved the crime background, it's always been about Henry and Macs relationship; or as Henry sees it..."The Mac and Cheese Show". And yes Henry, I'd buy the merchandise! LOL!

As the plot has thickened, so has the partnership and characterization of the two MC's. I've loved watching them go from a very funny 'straight man and his sidekick' duo, into two pretty complex, emotionally driven men with depths of character that go far beyond their snark and witticisms.

The whole mood of the trilogy has changed with each book and even though it's never lost the sarcastic dry wit that grabbed me originally; as the story has progressed, so has its emotional substance and I've not only laughed and giggled my way through, but there've been flashes of heartbreak; especially in this final episode which at times brought actual tears to my eyes with certain events that truly moved me. It also showcased the uncertainty and vulnerability of Sebastian Hanes: Henry's true persona, and gave me more insight into Viola, who has always been the heart of what makes Sebastian/Henry the enigma he is. Her involvement has brought in a more touching, tender arc to the story, making her a very endearing character and a major player in the scheme of things.

As for Mac, he's developed from the gruff, taciturn agent who starts as stooge to Henry the con mans pranks, but later becomes the rock and safe haven of an emotionally skittish man whose normal reaction to anyone showing they care, has been to deflect using sarcasm...or run! As Henry he's cocky, confident and a charmer but when you peel all that back, as Sebastian that confidence turns to insecurity, guilt and self doubt. Things about him that the protective side of Mac gets, but making Henry see that Mac is the safety net he's never had before isn't always an easy task.

I was thoroughly engrossed in this final installment and loved how Lisa and JA brought it all neatly together at the close. Erm...perhaps 'neatly' isn't really the right word...but anyway...fast paced and gripping, it got pretty exciting as it raced towards its explosive ending, and yeah, there were a few cliches dotted about here and there but with a Mac and Henry spin on things—"Who cares!"—because I was enjoying myself to much to let that take me out of my happy place. Then there's the Shakespeare angle that's been running throughout. I found it enhanced the quirkiness of the story and gave it a great twist; the quotes and connections adding an extra appeal to the overall feel. Another side of the story that made it all the more enjoyable.

So, surely it can't be the end of these two? They're far too dynamic and lovable not to bring out for more adventures! It would be a crying shame to retire them and the awesome supporting cast of these books because in my opinion the mileage in these characters is nowhere near empty...I can see the tag line now....

"In the writing world of Lisa Henry and JA Rock their readers are represented by two separate, yet equally adorable characters. The dedicated agent Ryan 'Mac' McGuiness who will have them drooling and his sidekick Henry Page who mercilessly charms the crap out of everyone in his path...

These are their stories...Duhn Duhn!

LOL...did I say I LOVED Mac and Henry?!?


Purchase Links

Riptide Full Logo



Series Reading Order


Book #1

The Two Gentlemen of Altona

Book #2

The Merchant of Death

Book #3



Meet Lisa Henry

Lisa Henry lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.



Meet J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.




Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and some comfy items picked especially for you by Henry: a pillow shaped like a donut, and a pair of donut-themed socks.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On March 20, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!


  1. Great review! I can't wait to start reading this series!

  2. This series sounds so good! I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the review and giveaway.


  3. I just finished book 2 and I'm excited to read book 3 :D

    @Scarletflame05 (twitter)

  4. "So, surely it can't be the end of these two? They're far too dynamic and lovable not to bring out for more adventures! It would be a crying shame to retire them..."

    I SO agree! *hopes for more Mac & Cheese* :D


  5. LOVE this series.... need more Mac & Henry(Mac&Cheese)!!!!!

  6. Great review! Perfectly encompasses what I love about the relationship between the two. I also love Law & Order, so I love the duhn-duhn!

    waxapplelover (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. I love comedic thrillers like Donald Westlake's. I hadn't hard of this series before, but it sounds like a must read.


  8. This series sounds so good, I can’t wait to read it. thank you for the chance


  9. Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway.


  10. havent started this series yet but cant wait.....jmarinich33@aol.com

  11. I really want to read this series!


  12. Can't wait to start these!

    debdeege (at) optonline (dot) net

  13. Thanks so much for the review!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(dot)com

  14. Love this series, but then again I have loved every book by JA Rock and Lisa Henry!! Thanks for the giveaway!!


  15. sounds really good , and thanks for the chance


  16. Good review, I do love the books too. Though sad we only get 3 books - I was hoping for many more!!

    Littlesuze at hotmail.com

  17. Hi gonna give it a try to this series sounds interesting intrigue,suspense like to keep me up all night! riverac511@gmail.com

  18. Great review. Can't wait!!

  19. It sounds really interesting! I'll be adding this to my to-read pile.

  20. This series is at the top of my list.
    debby 236 at gmail dot com

  21. Thanks for the post and the review! amaquilante(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. Great post & giveaway!


  23. Congrats on the newest addition to the series. It looks really good and I'm looking forward to giving it a read.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  24. interesting characters

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  25. I have this series on my WANT TO READ List already just have to add the newest book!
    ree.dee.2014 at gmail.com

  26. Cant Wait to read this

  27. Sounds like a great series and I'm adding it to my list.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  28. Thanks for the review! I just started reading Tempest and so far am loving it.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  29. Thanks for the review! Really looking forward to read this!

    Email - gabrielavela01(at)gmail(dot)com

  30. I'm going to enjoy this.


  31. This series looks fantastic - I've moved it to the top of my wish list. Thanks for the chance to win such fun gifts. lgrant1 at san dot rr dot com