It was munch night at the most elite underground BDSM club in the Rockies. Relaxed and informal, highlighted by the weekly Matchstick Challenge game.
Detective Sergeant Hunter Dane, reigning champion, looked forward to a relaxing evening to start his 3 days off. A few beers on the deck. An interlude with a sweet sub. Stumping a challenger with a new puzzle. Home early for a decent night’s sleep.
Some people are SO deadly serious about their games.
Now Hunt has a fresh body and a new puzzle to solve in twenty-four hours if he wants to find a killer.
Don’t miss this amazing Rafflecopter of the 2nd book in this phenomenal series by Adira August.
The first book in the series, On His Knees, is also available via Instafreebie
As a homicide cop, every blood-soaked crime scene settled in my bones and snaked around my spine. There was only one way to exorcise the images from my soul …
Inside the club, I stopped to scan the room. He was here, Camden Snow. A Norse sex god in the guise of unpretentious youth. Only his ice-blue eyes gave evidence of the Dom who took whomever he wished, whatever way he wanted, with a look and a nod. Merciless.
Cam found me watching him and fixed me with his arctic gaze. This time, I didn’t walk away. He cocked an eyebrow. Well?
The last thing I needed was mercy.
I dropped to my knees.
TYPOS ARE MY TRADEMEARK
I write mostly BDSM EROTICA because I love exploring the power dynamics and expanding the limits of what that is for my readers. The work is EXPLICIT but not HARDcore. I write about ALL the elements. If you have triggers about certain kinds of practices, use discretion. I do not make kink lists for my titles.
I went to school interminably, it seemed like. I studied anthropology and paleontology and genetics and literature and theology and ancient Greek. I chased down bad guys, raised children, climbed mountains, played poker, searched for dinosaurs and have had a rather large number of lovers. (I’m not giving up any numbers.) Through it all, I wrote.
Avery Duran, Leigh Ellwood, Asta Idonea, Eva Lefoy, Dale Cameron Lowry, Jodi Payne, Shiloh Saddler, Sam Thorne, A.E. Wasp
Rating: 5.0 stars
Sexy to Go Gay Romance features nine scorching hot MM romances to make your blood sing. Whether finding love at a Jewish singles dance or while crossing the River Styx, these men remind us that love is always worth fighting for, no matter what the cost. Meet a handyman who’s an ace with his tools, a king who kindles the passion of a Greek god, and an architect who erects more than buildings. From the everyday to the fantastical, these stories explore male-male love in all its simmering intensity.
Sexy To Go Romance – The Anthology:
These nine romance stories were a joy to read. Each one had a particular flavor and experience, and really no matter what you’re into, you’ll find it here. Some were better edited than others and all were good. This is why I gave the anthology, as a whole, a 5 star rating. Great, enjoyable, comfort reading when what you crave is a potpourri of short, hot reads. Perfect for a beach day or a lazy weekend evening at home
Sit back and enjoy!
Matzo Ball by Avery Duran
When Jacob’s outgoing best friend talks him into attending a party for Jewish singles, neither man realizes that it’s not a gay event. Things go from bad to worse when Jacob’s friend doesn’t show up. The night turns around when Jacob befriends Ian, a sexy bartender. After a spectacular kiss good night, they go their separate ways. But Jacob can’t forget the chemistry he shared with Ian, and hungers for more. In a city the size of New York, will these men be able to find their way back to each other?
Styx & Stone by Leigh Ellwood
What’s the afterlife really like? Charon the ferryman knows the River Styx like the back of his hand, and he enjoys giving newly departed Stone the full tour.
First Swallow of Spring by Asta Idonea
The first swallow of spring draws Seanán back to the fae circle each year, where he dances with the handsome fae lord, Iorweth. He knows the four rules he must follow if he wishes to be free to leave at the end of the night; however, Iorweth is growing ever more inventive in his attempts to trick Seanán into breaking them.
How Hercules Got His Bruise by Eva Lefoy
Hercules might have completed his 12 labors and become immortal, but he’s still not out to himself. Until he meets Sisyphus, a man who turns him on in ways not even a goddess can compete with. When Zeus threatens to destroy their new bond, Hercules must again rise to the challenge, this time to protect his right to love a man.
Loggerhead by Dale Lowry
Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles – and rekindling their passion for each other in the process.
Handyman by Jodi Payne
Danny is haunted by memories of his ex, Peter, who moved out six months ago. He recognizes just how bad off he is when he wakes up to a flood in his condo, a problem Peter would have adeptly handled. Danny can’t find the insurance paperwork, he doesn’t know who he should call first, and he’s about ready to strangle his stoner neighbors. His day starts looking up, though, when the workmen arrive to deal with the water, replace his breaker box and demolish the soaked ceiling. Ken, a handyman, shows up to handle the drywall, but can Danny handle Ken?
Clipped Wings by Shiloh Saddler
When a male swan shifter is captured by a cruel master he develops feelings for another male slave. The master has plans for the shifter that go against every fiber of his being. Will the two men bow down to their station in life or take flight to keep their love alive?
Rebuilding the Future by Sam Thorne
Allen’s peace has been seriously disturbed. As the shy architect takes on the task of extending the home he inherited from his late aunt, his life becomes a battle. The building work is going fine, but he can barely contain his one-way lust for sexy foreman Declan, who’s a one-man generator of testosterone and mixed messages. As the build completion approaches, Allen’s ready to do just about anything to keep Declan around a little longer…
Man in the Mirror by A.E. Wasp
A companion story to the Paper Hearts novel, Man in the Mirror is the first short in a new erotic series set in the world of the Veterans Affairs books.
Benny hasn’t let Mikey see him naked in a week, will barely let Mikey touch him. Mikey’s going to get to the bottom of the issue if it takes all night.
From Loggerhead by Dale Cameron Lowry
“I got up and pulled on the sweats Jake had gotten out for me the night before. The sweatshirt was dusky blue, faded from years of washings. He’d told me it was from his days running high school track in Florida. On the front was a line-drawing of a massive turtle and the words “Langford Loggerheads” printed in green beneath it.
Jake stirred, grumbling something under his breath as he turned onto his back and opened his eyes. When he saw me, he smiled. “You’re here,” he said with a degree of awe usually reserved for fireworks and the Grand Canyon.
“Of course I am.”
“I like seeing you in my clothes,” he said.
“I like being in them.” I couldn’t hold eye contact with him anymore. I wasn’t used to being looked at like one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I pointed to the turtle on the front of his shirt. “Ever seen one in the wild?”
“I was a turtle guide for a few years before moving up here. You?”
I shook my head. “I’ve never been far south enough. I’ve always been curious, though. Ever since I read about them in Ranger Rick.”
“You read Ranger Rick when you were a kid, too? I knew you were perfect.”
I blushed. “Shut up.”
“I’m serious.” He sat up in bed and reached for my hips, pulling me back into the sheets with him. “We should go on a turtle walk sometime. I’ll take you back home for nesting season.”
“Take me home with you?” I teased. “Aren’t you moving a little fast?”
“No,” he said with the solid confidence only a 35-year-old in love can have. “Not at all.”
With middle-age looming, Greg offsets his boring day job with what truly feeds his soul: photography. The camera is an extension of himself where he exposes his passion for the intersect of pleasure and pain. However, the lens also acts as a barrier, protecting his subjects from the shameful mistakes of his past, and Greg is left isolated and lonely.
Emyr stands on the cusp of fame, but adulation and abuse are both eroding his confidence, and one night, at the river’s edge, he seeks solace in the rain, hoping to hide his tears.
The photographer and the virgin rock star share an accidental connection on that dark, drizzly night. When Greg invites Emyr back to his hotel room, no strings attached, the young man should have bolted. Instead, an odd sense of trust allows him to follow Greg’s lead.
When the camera comes out, Emyr learns the stage isn’t the only place he loves to perform as Greg touches something inside him that rarely awakens. Faced with a beautiful, talented boy whose soul is as lonely as his own, will Greg be able to face his past and come to terms with it, or will he run from the connection he so desperately desires?
Bey Deckard is undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite, no questions asked, go to authors. Perhaps what called me to this book, besides my bromance with his writing, is that this one work was quite different from his other works, didn’t quite seem to fit the mold I’d come to expect from Mr. Deckard, and that’s what grabbed my attention.
Leave it to Mr. Deckard to write an exquisite Daddy Kink story. This isn’t incest, or S&M, or BDSM, or D/s. This is adult, consensual, hot as hell Daddy kink, of which I happen to be an aficionado of, amongst other adult pastimes. While Daddy kink does tend to have elements of BDSM in it, if that’s what the participants want, it doesn’t necessarily and Mr. Deckard explores all the elements involved with this particular kink in this excellent story.
Forty-two-year-old Greg has been living his life coping along after his disastrous D/s relationship with his previous partner, Travis, who used Greg for his own, twisted ends leaving Greg emotionally shattered. After a long five years of just surviving, living a celibate life due to the damage inflicted on him by Travis, Greg meets twenty-three-year-old Emyr, lead singer of an up and coming grunge rock group, whose hit Fuckhouse Blues is propelling them into the big leagues.
He turned to me, dark brows low over those big sky-blue eyes. Not as impressive as his magazine photoshoots, of course— hell, I can make anyone look good with a little Photoshop— but still handsome. No, handsome is the wrong word for Emyr Hughes. Ethereal. Innocent. I’d even used the word pretty to describe him in the past, but as he held my gaze steady, I struck that from the list. Not pretty. Too fierce— too raw.
Twenty-three-year-old, gorgeous Emyr, is having a bad evening when Greg stumbles upon him in damp, dank, rainy London. Greg feels a kindred spirit towards Emyr, besides the obvious physical attraction, and asks Emyr back to his hotel room to have a beer and talk. What follows is the beginning of a beautiful love story and cathartic relationship for both men
What a phenomenal Daddy kink story this is.
Greg, with his baggage from his previous relationship with Travis, a user and passive/aggressive abuser and Emyr, the twenty-three-year-old virgin who is the real deal: waiting for the right person to fully let himself go, are the two ideal characters to carry this work through.
The way Mr. Deckard develops the relationship between Greg and Emyr with the backdrop of the various, richly developed characters is nothing short of pure enjoyment. Barry Ward, Emyr’s “uncle” and unbeknownst connection to his long-gone father, Emyr’s mother, Owain and hunky Ladislav, and the threesome of Connor and Eammon and Maisie all make for a wonderful canvas on which to hang this fulfilling and rarely told story.
Please be fully aware that this is most absolutely adult material, and while it is not incest in any way, shape, or form there is a potential for some trigger situations for some. I personally found it rocks!
Mr. Deckard has an inimitable style that carries through all his works. There is an unwavering attention to detail and execution to the story that makes for such enjoyable reading. There are no hiccups, no editing issues, no WTFs that make you backtrack while you scratch your head and go ‘huh?’. This is quality writing at its best, the story just flows so you can immerse yourself in this universe that’s been created. Yeah, good stuff boys and girls.
Bey Deckard currently lives in the wilds of Montreal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy.
I would like to thank Bey Deckard for providing OJ He Say! with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Hey everybody, just wanted to pass along this Freebie Alert from one of our favorite authors, Joseph Lance Tonlet. He’s giving away copies of his dark and brilliant Brothers LaFon, Part One: Crucial Lessons
Warning: This is dark BDSM. Please check the tags.
This work of Gay Literature contains graphic content and can be considered triggers for some readers.
Falling Hard features nine of Dale Cameron Lowry’s best short romance stories, available for the first time in one book. Meet a sign language interpreter who finds unexpected love at middle-age, college students in their first relationships, a vampire who would rather be a vegan, and a proudly gay ex-Mormon atheist who sells Bibles for a living. From sweet to erotic, this collection exhibits the quirkiness, fun, and diversity Dale’s writing is known for.
Falling Hard – The Anthology:
Reading and doing a review of Falling Hard was an easy yes for me as, fortunately, I had previously sampled some of Dale Cameron Lowry’s work and had really enjoyed it, so… being that there were new, as yet unread, stories in this anthology it was an easy, logical decision.
The stories are all excellent in their own right, each fully developed and highly enjoyable in their short story format. The stories ramp up in from mild to scorching hot as they go on in the book which makes for a really nice progression. The emotional and romantic quotient is there and the heat factor is definitely there.
Of course, I have my favorites as I’m sure you will too. Let me know which ones you favor.
Sit back and enjoy!
• Mi Alma — Ex-Mormon Alma Larsen doesn’t know the first thing about alcohol, so he hires bartender Damian Banks to help out at his winter holiday party. They build a friendship that simmers with sexual tension—and possibly something much deeper. • Loggerhead – Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles—and rekindling their passion for each other in the process. • Reading the Signs — The only thing twenty-three-year-old Theo De Jong expects when he enrolls in a summer school for linguists in New Mexico is to get more ideas for his master’s thesis in Dutch Sign Language. But then he meets the American sign language expert Alfonso Grossman, and sparks fly. • Born of Fire — The fairies on Ireland’s north coast are notorious for kidnapping, and Aodhán of County Donegal has the scars to prove it. When the fairies abduct the handsome youth Cainnech, Aodhán seeks to free him—but risks losing his health and Cainnech in the process. • Ghost of a Chance — When shy Jeremy Anderson meets mysterious and dapper Frank at his spooky old university library, their connection is instant. Their romance waxes with the full moon—but just as quickly, Frank’s interest seems to wane. He insists that he loves spending time with Jeremy, but then why does he keep Jeremy at arm’s length? • Far From Home — Rajiv met and fell in love with his husband, Mateo, when they were both members of the scientific team responsible for transforming Mars into a home suitable for humans. But years into their shared mission, Rajiv is ordered back to Earth to restore the barren lands of the American Midwest. With a little help from technology, the two men find innovative ways to nurture their long-distance relationship while they wait to reunite. • Sweeter Than Blood — Keith was a vegan before a hot encounter with a stranger turned him into a vampire. In the year since, his sire, John, has tried to make up for the mistake by teaching Keith everything he knows about being a non-murderous bloodsucker. But temptation is strong in the form of Andres, a regular customer at the barbershop where Keith works. When Andres finally asks Keith on a date, the real danger begins. • Rough Love — Blake thinks new boyfriend Michael doesn’t like French kissing. Michael thinks Blake doesn’t like rough sex. Neither are virgins, except in the art of conversation. Can they set things straight before the honeymoon’s over? • Pacific Rimming — On Mike’s fortieth birthday, his husband, Ken, takes him on vacation to Vancouver Island in Western Canada to celebrate. While Mike mourns his loss of youth, Ken encourages him to recapture it by bedding a gorgeous twenty-something man they encounter while hiking in Pacific Rim National Park. A night of no-holds-barred passion among the three men reveals a sizzling chemistry, and when Mike and Ken return home they find themselves longing to reconnect with the young Jason. Can what started as a one-night stand transform into a threesome that lasts?
Dale Cameron Lowry lives in the Upper Midwest with a partner and three cats, one of whom enjoys eating dish towels, quilts, and wool socks. It’s up to you to guess whether the fabric eater is one of the cats or the partner. When not busy mending items destroyed by the aforementioned fabric eater, Dale is a writer and editor who enjoys wasting time on Tumblr, listening to podcasts, studying anatomy, getting annoyed at Duolingo, and reading fairy tales. Previous careers include sign language linguist, grocery store clerk, journalist, gardener, and camp counselor.
Dale began writing for fun at the age of eight and has been making up stories ever since, from overly workshopped literary fiction to off-the-cuff fanfic. Queer Mormons have a way of popping up in Dale’s work, whether it’s romance or erotica, sci fi or fairy tales, slice-of-life contemporary fiction or spine-tingling horror. So do immigrants and emigrants, people with disabilities, multilingual folks, and others who live their lives navigating multiple cultures.
Otto Digmore is a 26-year-old gay guy with dreams of being a successful actor, and he’s finally getting some attention as a result of his supporting role on a struggling sitcom. But he’s also a burn survivor with scars on half his face, and all indications are that he’s just too different to ever find real Hollywood success.
Now he’s up for an amazing new role that could change everything. Problem is, he and his best friend Russel Middlebrook have to drive all the way across the country in order to get to the audition on time.
It’s hard to say which is worse: the fact that so many things go wrong, or that Russel, an aspiring screenwriter, keeps comparing their experiences to some kind of road trip movie.
There’s also the fact that Otto and Russel were once boyfriends, and Otto is starting to realize that he might still have romantic feelings for his best friend.
Just how far will Otto go to get the role, and maybe the guy, of his dreams?
The Otto Digmore Difference
When Mr. Hartinger offered me the ARC of the first book in a new series I was first totally dumbfounded and then completely flattered. I mean, Brent Freakin’ Hartinger?! Hell, yes I was accepting his ARC! Of course, I thought it was a Young Adult book, but hey Brent Hartinger! Boy, was I wrong. What I got was nothing short of true Gay Literature. An engrossing, excellently written, at times poignant and at times funny story of a very important time in gay men’s lives.
As a gay man there comes a time in our lives, usually in our 20’s, when our lives become defined. We are old enough and mature enough at this phase in our lives to form those first bonds of our extended families – the family we create for ourselves, not the inherited family that doesn’t necessarily get what our lives are. It is at this crucial juncture that the lifetime bonds are created with friends, oftentimes ex-boyfriends and their new mates and sometimes with completely new acquaintances. That is what this book is about. Oh, and yes, there is romance. The romance and love of a longtime friend that continues to love deeply, and that unexpected romance that comes out of the blue, like a bolt of lightning, that smacks us silly.
I turn and look out the window, but the lights are still on inside the plane, so all I see is the reflection of the First Class cabin in the clear plastic. I also see my face — the whole right side. It’s covered with scars. In some places, it looks a little bit like my face is melting. This is the other reason the businessman was staring at me. The good news is that I still have both my eyebrows. I have more scars too. They run down onto my shoulder and chest, hidden by my clothes, and also up under my hairline. Most of my hair is real, but one small part of it isn’t — it’s a hairpiece that’s woven into my actual hair. It was really expensive, and it has to be adjusted every three weeks, but it looks real. Not even my friend Russel knows about it.
When Russel opens the door to his apartment, I’m about to tell him what a great time I had at his wedding. But before I can speak, he says, “What is it? What’s wrong?” Russel has dark red hair and the lightest smattering of freckles on his nose, but right now his brow is wrinkled with concern. He sees something on my face. I go inside and take a seat. Russel and Kevin aren’t rich — Russel’s a screenwriter, a really good one, but hasn’t sold anything yet, so he makes his living as a barista. Kevin is an editor at IMDb.com. And so their apartment is pretty modest compared to mine: a saggy couch, cluttered shelves. I can’t help but notice that it smells lived in, unlike mine. It’s nice, musky, a little lemony — like two handsome men.
Greg – Fiona’s assistant:
Inside her waiting room, I find Greg, her assistant, sitting at his desk. He’s this Native guy, big and tall, with a ponytail and a Los Angeles Rams jersey. Greg is another way Fiona isn’t like most other agents, because most of their assistants all look exactly the same, in pressed white shirts flashing creepy robot smiles. “You’re here!” he says, beaming. For some reason, it doesn’t seem like a big guy like Greg should be giddy, but he usually is — today maybe even more than usual.
This was such an engrossing story that I literally couldn’t put it down. I was eager to get back to it as soon as I could whenever I had to put it down. Otto’s story, in and of itself, isn’t quite as unique as it may seem. Yes, he has a physical disfigurement due to a childhood accident when he was playing super hero and ended up burning himself, but this just means that his scars are visible on the outside instead of inside, mostly.
At an early age, Otto discovers his love for acting, for becoming that special character, wholly and completely, and bringing it to life, so he pursues his dream even with his physical scars. He ends up going to Hollywood and meeting Fiona, his agent who totally believed in him and his potential and she gets him a role in a television series, Hammered, unfortunately the series is cancelled.
As he zeroes in on a new role, a part in a major studio film, the story becomes the quintessential road trip story with Otto surrounded my those that love him, truly love him: Russel and Greg and Kevin. Can Otto look beyond his own self-centeredness, a condition that afflicts us all, and see love for what it truly is? And can he give the one man who falls in love with him that one chance? I think you’ll be really taken by this story, and a masterful story it is.
The writing is impeccable. Clean, crisp, witty, the story rolls out smoothly with no hiccups and double takes. Mr. Hartinger has a clear style that is not florid or overdone, instead it is refreshing, crisp and enticing. In a tongue in cheek manner Mr. Hartinger takes on the famous road trip story with its bits of comedy and emotion coming through at the end with the inevitable realization. Bravo.
Brent Hartinger is an author and screenwriter. He wrote the YA classic, Geography Club (2003), which was adapted as a 2013 feature film co-starring Scott Bakula, and is now being developed as a television series. He’s since published twelve more novels and had eight of his screenplays optioned by producers. He has won both the Lambda and GLAAD Media Award, and been nominated for the Edgar Award. Visit him at brenthartinger.com.
I would like to thank Mr. Brent Hartinger for providing OJ He Say! with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Maybe Charlie should have waited until he graduated high school before coming out, because since that revelation there’s been a growing distance between him and his friends. Charlie’s tough, though. He doesn’t mind eating lunch alone or watching his former gang interact with their new best buddy. What he does mind is seeing Drew Lavoitt suffer the same fate.
Drew didn’t come out. As far as he, or anyone else knows, he’s straight. What Drew did is accidentally hit and kill a little girl. Now the boy who was voted Most Popular, and who Charlie has maybe had a crush on since eighth grade, faces financial ruin, expulsion, and the fear that if he’s not everything, he’s not enough.
Popularity, wealth, acclaim—these things are easily lost. In each other’s arms, Drew and Charlie find something that can’t be taken from them. Together the two build a foundation on which they can re-create their lives.
WHEN IT ALL FALLS DOWN
So… you’re thinking a YA book, right? Well yes, and it’s so, so much more. In reality this is a coming of age story more than a YA book, and in that it excels brilliantly! I didn’t know I needed a good, well written, gay coming of age story until I read When It All Falls Down. I was absorbed into the story and I could not put it down. What a sweet/bittersweet/enlightening story this is. Trust me, this is a great read, told well.
Andrew ‘Drew’ Lavoitt:
Andrew Lavoitt was never meant to be an island. He was the most popular boy in our graduating class after all. Literally. In our yearbook, fresh off the presses last week, there was a photo labelled Most Popular Boy, and the photo was of Andrew Lavoitt—lacquered dark brown hair and wide, dark brown eyes, dressed in a lime green polo and over-dyed skinny jeans, sporting a grin so sincere it didn’t make you want to smack it off his face, not even with the label “Most Popular” hanging over his head.
Charlie ‘Chaz’ Steger:
“Hair wants to be free,” I joked. I pushed back my own hair which hung straight, falling down to my shoulders. Most days I tied it up because the fine blond strands got everywhere… My dad didn’t bug me about my hair, but he bugged me about plenty. I’d never gone full Emo or Goth but I preferred the dark look—studded belt, heavy boots, a little black nail polish for special occasions. My dad’s objection was that I was stereotyping myself, that I was too cliché, but you gotta find a place to fit in somewhere. I might be smart and into computers and math, but I wasn’t doing the button-up geek thing full-on any more than I was the Emo/Goth thing. A healthy mix, right?
When It All Falls Down is a wonderful, enjoyable MM coming of age story, brought up to 21st Century standards and it excels in its delivery and execution.
The story of Drew, voted most popular boy in his class and now a social pariah due to a horrible accident that cost a little girl her life, and Chaz, geek extraordinaire that comes out to his close circle of friends only to be shunned by them, is completely riveting as an updated, gay version of The Breakfast Club.
As Chaz and Drew draw each other out of their somewhat self-imposed shells, we witness what we’ve all gone through as they come into their own selves along with their friends and school mates. The sense of wonderment and discovery, uncertainties and apprehensions, joys and fears in this book is simply, wonderfully brilliant in their honesty and delivery.
Ms. Chris’ writing is uncomplicated, unhurried and extremely enjoyable. The story flows smoothly and grabbed me and hugged me so I couldn’t let go, couldn’t put this book down. I must give a nod to the editing in this book. Fantastic editing, well done.
One personal note: The book cover is so spot on that it’s freaky! I rarely comment on the covers, however this one couldn’t be more of a snapshot if it tried. It rocks!
Tanya writes in a variety of romantic and erotic genres, being an avid follower of many of these genres herself. Some of her favorites are M/M romance, MFM threesomes, and BDSM with male submissives.
Tanya lives in New England with her boyfriend and her cat and has participated in many of the activities about which she writes, but not all of them. It’s left to the reader to decide which are which.
It’s 1799, and Cole Seavey is a trapper running from a guilty past, seeking refuge on the vast American frontier. Lost in a raging storm, he finds himself face to face with a terrifying, otherworldly creature that seems to have emerged from a nightmare.
Cole is saved from certain death by a handsome Delaware Indian named Pakim. Together they learn that the monster is the fearsome Wendigo from native legends: a creature with a heart of ice, drawn to the evil of men.
Soon the Wendigo is terrorizing the frontier — settler and Indian alike — and Cole and Pakim join to defeat the mysterious monster. In the process, Cole finds himself falling for the strapping brave and the promise of a new life together.
Unfortunately, the legends say that the Wendigo can only be killed by another creature with a heart of ice. But how can Cole hope to defeat the monster if it means denying the love he’s finally allowed himself to feel?
MAN & MONSTER
After reading Man & Beast I knew I’d come across an author that would join my list of go to authors. Now after reading Man & Monster there is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Jensen is one of a few, a rare breed of author, with an incredible story telling ability.
His ability to so eloquently tell the story of what gay people went through in those strange, unique years at the beginning of the European colonization of America is just a beauty to experience via his prose. The characters are so well developed, so rich in their complete humanness whether evil or benign, that to be able to feel the experiences of the men and women of different ethnicities with all the underlying prejudices of the time and to be able to bring that to life as he does is something wonderful to experience.
I cannot wait for more of this series as I am now invested in this story.
Cole ‘Cold Blooded Cole’ Seavy:
My already thin face was even leaner and when not bound with a leather thong, my black hair hung down to my shoulders. My eyes tended toward a brown so dark as to be black in certain lights — or, I was told, in certain moods. My face was always tanned from being out-a-doors, yet showed a goodly number of freckles scattered over my nose and cheeks. I was rather darkly complected to have so many freckles, but it was a Seavey trait shared by all the men in my family. Handsome was a word I had heard frequently to describe myself, though, frankly, I couldn’t see it.
He slowly rose, facing me. He was perhaps ten years older than me, though I couldn’t be sure. An enormous bearskin hung from his shoulders, but his arms were bare. Several feathers adorned his black hair, which was pulled back into a ponytail. Despite my wandering mind, or perhaps because of it, I thought the Indian had the most appealing face I had ever seen on a man… The brave was taller than I and possessed broad shoulders that his hair would just touch when unbound. His skin was nut-brown — not red as implied by the slur “redskin” — and his face was clear and smooth, untouched by the pox. A small tattoo of a turtle lay upon his right cheek, but most striking were his black eyes that, despite their color, seemed warm and inviting.
Cole Seavey leaves his home in Virginia under the not totally untrue guise of going to find his no-good brother, Gerard. In truth, he’s running away from the fiancé whom he does not want to marry. Cole has never felt attracted to women in the sense that he sees other men attracted to them, so off to the new frontier of the Ohio River Valley. On his way through the high plains he encounters a fierce storm. It is during this storm that he stumbles upon a seriously injured girl and the creature that is hunting her, a Wendigo. Badly injured after his encounter with the fantastical creature, he literally stumbles into Pakim and collapses. It is Pakim that takes him to John and Palmer’s new home.
It is against this backdrop that we’re treated to a riveting story of blooming love between two men, one of which is just becoming aware of what his feelings really mean, and survival in a new frontier, painted against the backdrop of the prejudice, avarice, and malevolence of the era.
This is some of the best writing I have come across, right up with some of the other authors that are my go to authors. The prose flows freely, smoothly, effortlessly, allowing the reader to simply immerse his/herself in the story. It truly becomes a completely immersive experience. I was actually there with Cole and Pakim, John and Palmer and Gwennie and the other so exquisitely developed characters. I really must warn you: this writing is highly addictive!
I don’t do spoilers and yet I must say I was treated to one of most unique and sensually erotic love scenes I’ve ever read. The whole scene at the pima’kan sweat lodge ceremony is one of the most masculinely sensual I’ve ever read. Yeah, I was sweating afterwards.
This the kind of writing that takes one beyond to the next level of reading experience.
Michael Jensen is an author and editor. His books of gay historical fiction include two series, The Drowning World, which is set in 5500 B.C., and The Savage Land, which takes place on the American frontier. Man & Monster, the second book in The Savage Land series, was a Lambda Award Finalist (under the title Firelands).
Michael is also the co-founder of AfterElton.com, which covered pop culture for gay and bisexual men, and eventually become one of the largest and most influential LGBT websites on the internet. In 2006, AfterElton.com was sold to MTV/Viacom in a multimillion dollar deal. As editor, Michael interviewed hundreds of writers, directors, and actors, breaking numerous stories and advancing the issue of LGBT visibility in Hollywood.
Michael lives in Seattle, WA with his husband, writer Brent Hartinger.
You have quite an extensive book portfolio and yet these are the only ones, I believe, that are fantasy books and have M/M romance as a major theme. Fantasy isn’t something I’d necessarily expect from a Yale University faculty member, but here I am inexplicably caught in your masterful storytelling. Can you tell us a bit about this?
First, thank you for having me on your blog and for the props. So don’t let the Yale thing derail you. It’s where I did my psychiatric residency, and they’ve allowed me to stay on the volunteer faculty, I suspect because of the amount I publish.
Now let’s talk fantasy. I love this stuff, but I’m aware it’s not for everyone. That’s why I do these books as Caleb James and not as Charles Atkins. My novels as Charles Atkins, with the exception of a wicked parable about doctors and the drug companies entitled, Go To Hell (Argo Navis), don’t veer from reality.
But starting with Haffling (DSP Publications), I wanted to mix things up. In this trilogy I keep one foot in a gritty New York story while the other slips on the banana peel and tumbles into the upside-down world of the Sidhe.
Having read Haffling and now Exile, it’s obvious that you’ve done some research on this topic. Is this a new interest or have you always been interested in the fey?
I love mythology. It started when I was a child. I devoured Bullfinch’s Mythology, and would prowl my hometown library and area museums for anything and everything. It started with the Greeks and the Romans, spread to the Norse, the Egyptians, the Incas, and hasn’t stopped. In one of my Charles Atkins’ thrillers, Cadaver’s Ball (St. Martin’s Press), which is set firmly in the real world, I dove deep into Amerindian folklore and shamanistic medicine. It’s a trippy read. And in Dark Blood (DSP Publications), a creepy paranormal thriller with a gay protagonist, I used Rom folklore and a bit of the Brother’s Grimm for much of the fantasy element.
So as I thought about worlds that have not been overdone, the fey and Irish folklore seemed a rich and beautiful source to mine. All you have to do is read WB Yeats’ The Stolen Child, and you know you’re going to sob… a lot. Yeats was my inspiration for the general feel of these books, where the music of the prose is more important—to me at least—than perfect grammar. Although I advise aspiring writers to learn the rules before they break them.
Haffling pulled more than a mild trigger for me with the schizophrenia, and yet I kept on and was handsomely rewarded for persevering with the story. I’ve heard it say that schizophrenics can tap into alternate universes? Any thoughts?
The opening of Haffling sees sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus, his little sister, Alice, and their mother with schizophrenia. He’s a kid thrust into a miserable situation, and he’ll either figure things out or bad stuff will happen to him and Alice. I drew on my experience as a psychiatrist when I painted his world and their life. I’ve spent my career working with people with serious mental illness and substance use problems. I talked with thousands of people who hear voices that others can’t. Schizophrenia, when the science finally figures things out, will likely be a variety of brain anomalies. This is where those of us who don’t have schizophrenia need to take a step back and consider the following: Our brain is the organ through which we perceive reality. If part of that reality includes hearing voices and/or seeing things that others can’t, does that make it less real? You might not hear the clatter in my head, but don’t tell me it doesn’t exist. Which is of course what the medical community does.
As to alternative universes, I haven’t run across any, though I have met people who were convinced that their friends and families had been replaced by aliens or doubles (Capgras Syndrome). To me, psychosis is like listening to a radio tuned to a different station. In the case of Alex’s mother, Marilyn, her madness has a unique origin that factors heavily into the mythology of these books. She was broken by travelling between the human and fey worlds. The price of her passage was her mind.
Finn Hulain. Wow! Now there’s a character I can sink my teeth into. Tell us more about him and when can we expect his story.
Yes. Well you can’t name a character Finn Hulain in a book using Irish folklore and not suspect that there will be more. Or as my friend and editor Liz commented, it’s like naming a character Clay Golum in a book with Jewish themes—you know he’s going to get all big and Frankensteiny. Just as I pulled Liam Summer, a not-so-likeable character from book one, and cast him as the star in Exile, a book about redemption, Fire Marshal Finn Hulain, gets front stage in book three. Hound will be the third and final in this trilogy. Earlier today I sent the manuscript to the publisher.
Where to from here? Any more M/M romance books in our future? Please say yes.
I’ve got two books floating around in my head right now. One will feature my two female detectives, Lil and Ada. The last of their outings, Done to Death (Severn House) was a recent finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. The other will be set in the real world, and might be a medical thriller with a gay protagonist. Something cat-and-mouse and similar to Dark Blood, albeit without the Nazi-doctor, heads-in-jars stuff. And yes, the romance line matters. I just happen to like my hearts and flowers with a bit of blood.
I’d like to thank Caleb James for stopping by and chatting with us. We sincerely look forward to more of his wonderful writing.
Caleb James is a pen name used by psychiatrist and author Charles Atkins, MD for his paranormal fiction. He lives and works in Connecticut, is a member of the Yale volunteer faculty, loves a flea market, gives a lot of workshops (including experiential writer’s trainings), and lives with his partner and too many cats.
Liam Summer, with the face of an angel and the body of an underwear model, has done bad things. Raised as the whore and cat’s paw of a murderous fairy queen, his beauty has ruined many. When Queen May’s plot to unite and rule the fairy and human realms fails, Liam wakes naked and alone in a Manhattan building on fire. Unaware the blaze is arson, and he’s its intended victim, he prepares to die.
Enter ax-wielding FDNY firefighter Charlie Fitzgerald, who Liam mistakes for an ogre assassin. As Charlie rescues Liam, he realizes the handsome blond has nowhere to go. So he does what he, and his family, have always done—he helps.
As for Queen May, trapped in the body of a flame-throwing salamander, she may be down, but she’s not out. Yes, she failed the last time, but Liam, and others, will pay. She knows what must be done: possess a haffling, cross into the human world engorged with magic, and become queen and Goddess over all.
As Liam realizes the danger they all face, he discovers unexpected truths. That even the most wicked are not beyond redemption, and that love—true love—is a gift even he can receive.
EXILE – HAFFLING BOOK 2
To be honest I’m not one for fantasy usually, however after having read Dark Blood by Caleb James and then seeing that he’d gone on and written other fantasy I just had to give this a whirl, and I am so glad I did. Mr. James, AKA Charles Atkins, weaves an incredible tale of fantasy in the modern world that, for me, makes it all work wonderfully. By bringing the age old stories of the fey in to the 21st Century one can see the plausibility of such happenings. To do it as masterfully as he does? That’s an awesome talent! One bit of advice: read Haffling, the first book in this series, as Exile follows the happenings in book 1.
The man, who had to be about his age, in his early twenties, with matted blond hair that glinted gold from the reflected flashers on the streets and the shoots of fire that surrounded them, met Charlie’s gaze. Even in the dim light, Charlie marveled at the color of his eyes— purple. Guy’s naked in an abandoned apartment, wearing colored contacts. Stop staring at him, Charlie. “Come on. Can you stand?” Is he totally naked? Shit! He averted his eyes. Don’t be a perv… It didn’t help that, even covered in soot and sawdust, He’s perfect. Like someone out of an underwear ad, only… no underwear.
For an instant he couldn’t recognize the tall man, but he knew those blue eyes, the dark hair matted to his scalp from the helmet Liam had originally taken to be an ogre’s head…
He’s not hurt, just filthy. His face, hands, and arms were smudged with soot, and his thick wavy hair clung matted to his scalp from the Kevlar hood of his respirator.
Exile, Haffling Book 2, is the story of Liam Summer, a gorgeous, blond fey whose gift is the ability to glamor others. May, Queen of The Fey, enslaves him as a youth after she kills and eats his parents and uses him as her tool to glamor others so she can eat them, as that is how she maintains her powers.
Exile picks up at the end of Haffling as Liam escapes the world of the fey, the Unsee, into the realm of humans. Even though May is being held prisoner by her sister Lizbeta she is steadily regaining her powers and re-starting her attempted conquest of the human realm. May attempts to kill Liam by sending a ball of fairy fire after him and instead ends up burning down the condo where Liam has entered the human realm. As the building is burning down Charlie Fitzgerald, a hunky, tall black Irish firefighter, rescues Liam and falls head over heels for him.
As I don’t do spoilers I’ll leave it for you to continue with this wonderfully written story of gorgeous, magical fey and hunky Irish firefighters. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Mr. James’ writing, AKA Charles Atkins, is simply, superbly flawless. This is the third book I’ve read by him and I can honestly say the experience is consistently flawless. It’s that rare ability to develop the characters and build a universe with such laser-like precision that allows the reader to totally and completely immerse him/herself in the story and go along with the ride.
Caleb James is an author, member of the Yale volunteer faculty, practicing psychiatrist, and clinical trainer. He writes both fiction and nonfiction and has published books in multiple genres and under different names. Writing as Charles Atkins, he has been a Lambda Literary finalist. He lives in Connecticut with his partner and four cats.