Friday Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan

Hello! I’m Erin, and welcome to the blog tour for my m/m college romance, Controlled Burn! I can’t wait for you to meet Joel and Paulie, and hope you enjoy their romance as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Follow along as I stop off at several blogs throughout the week, and don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card!

All writers struggle with mental blocks, writer’s block, or even burn out from time to time, and my favorite thing to do when I have a block is find pictures or images that inspire me.

This was really fun for me with Controlled Burn because I was so inspired by the setting of the book on a large scale—western Oklahoma and the Kansas Flint Hills—and a small scale—college. Here are some of the pictures that helped me through those moments of writer’s block!

I chose a lot of these images, like the one with the wind turbines, because they reminded me of western Oklahoma or Kansas. Some of the other pictures won’t make sense until you read the book, but I’d like to tell you a little about three of them.

Dance Club

Many of Joel and Paulie’s first interactions take place at a gay bar—the Lumberyard—that is close to campus. The Lumberyard was loosely based on a bar that I really liked to go to in college that had rave nights every Thursday. One of my favorite scenes to write in the whole book takes place at the Lumberyard. It involves Joel, Paulie, and a guy named David McDavid.


Joel is a history major who is particularly interested in studying the West. During the book, he is working on a research proposal about the effects of the railroad on the settlers and inhabitants of the Midwest. I did a lot of research for this that didn’t end up in the book, but I hope Joel’s love and connection to the past still comes through.

Controlled Burn Fire

The image in the bottom left is of a patch burn in the Flint Hills. This is also sometimes called a prescribed burn or controlled burn, which is where the book gets its name. Controlled burns restore nutrients and promote growth in tallgrass prairies, and they are very common in the Flint Hills. Burning prairie is a practice that dates back to the earliest Native American inhabitants of the Great Plains, and continues to this day.

Title: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Erotic, Multiple Partners, Romance
Length: 293 pages/Word Count: 82,900


At eighteen, Joel Smith’s life fell to pieces. His boyfriend died in a car crash while reading a sext from him, the local newspaper outed them both in the aftermath, and his parents got a divorce. Joel did everything possible to outrun his past: he moved to Oklahoma for college, legally changed his name, and started over.

Since then, he hasn’t let anyone get close—not his classmates, not his roommate, and definitely not his hookups. The strategy has served him well for over three years. Why would he change it now?

But Joel doesn’t plan on the articles about his boyfriend’s death being used as a case study in one of his classes. And he doesn’t plan on Paulie McPherson, who is sweet and giving and fun. In Paulie, he finds a home for the first time in years.

But love isn’t simple, and lies have a tendency to get in the way. Joel must figure out if he’ll allow his grief to rule him, or if his connection with Paulie is worth letting all of his walls come tumbling down.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

Author Bio

Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance, often set in the South or Midwest—particularly Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas—with characters that are complex, good-hearted, and sometimes a little quirky. Erin likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.

Erin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed writing, but becoming a librarian and meeting enthusiastic romance readers helped her find her own writing passion. Now Erin cheerfully writes romance with characters across the LGBTQIA spectrum. A former public librarian, she still enjoys being surrounded by books and readers, but Erin hopes to find her stories on the shelves as well.

Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska with her husband, and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.

Author Links: Website * Twitter * Goodreads * Instagram * Pinterest


To celebrate the release of Controlled Burn, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 19, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Friday Feature, Guest Blog

13 Responses to Friday Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan

  1. Christina Riggs

    Congratulations Erin on your release

  2. Suze

    I have this one already, looking forward to it. A new area to me to visit via Google!!

    Littlesuze at hotmail com

  3. H.B.

    Thank you for the post!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Joanne B

    Congrats on the new release. I look forward to reading Controlled Burn. It sounds fantastic.


  5. Anne

    Controlled Burn sounds enthralling.

  6. susana

    Congratulations on the release. It is really intriguing

  7. Ami

    Congratulations on your book release, Erin. Thanks for sharing those; the photos are gorgeous


  8. Lee Todd

    congrats on the new release


  9. Samantha Hodges

    Controlled Burn sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway.

    samanthahodges64 at yahoo dot com

  10. Serena S.

    I hope you’re having a great release week!

  11. Lisa

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration pictures!
    legacylandlisa at gmail dot com

  12. Purple Reader

    Congrats, Erin, and thanks for the pics and explanations. This is exactly why I love the locale and premise, all captured so well by that compelling cover. – Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  13. Trix

    Good luck with the release!