Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Booyah Books And A Tribute To An Author Who Left This World Far Too Soon


Last month, a man was laid to rest, at the age of 41. Rick McGranahan passed away suddenly and unexpectedly of complications from diabetes, leaving behind a husband, family, dear friends, and mere acquaintances whose lives he’d touched either deliberately or incidentally through the sharing of his journey. I’m not going to pretend like I knew Rick well, though I can say I do know some of the most very intimate details of his short but amazing life.
Rick and I met online because I’d been given his book, Visiting the Ghost of Puppyboy, to read and review back in September of 2010. The book is a memoir of the years of a life spent as a club kid, Go-Go boy, stripper, drug addict; you name it and Rick had probably done it. He lived hard and loved harder, and though this isn’t a romanticized version of a gay man’s life and struggle to find love, it does end in a happily-ever-after. Sadly, however, the final chapter has been rewritten and The End came all too soon for this bright and wonderful man.
The following is an excerpt from my original review of “Puppyboy”. If you haven’t read this book yet, I encourage you to do so. And please note that Rick's memories are published exactly the way he lived his life: Fully Unedited.
Visiting the Ghost of Puppyboy is a story that highlights the reality that there is a very real difference between being alone and being lonely, that there is a difference between being loved and being worshiped, and that there is a vast difference being loved and being used for a night.
This book is neither for the judgmental nor the squeamish. It is a book that should be absorbed and appreciated for its candor and its value to the author, as well as to those whose lives he touched. I was profoundly moved by it and am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have shared the author’s memories.
Buy Visiting the Ghost of Puppyboy HERE


I have a new reviewer at The Novel Approach. Bruce is a husband, father of three children, a doctor, and a great reviewer too! He liked SJD Peterson’s latest book Pup so much that he’s thinking about a lifestyle makeover. Here’s what he had to say about the book:
Now as a gay man, I must admit that I have played “dress up” in leather and even have dabbled with “role play” on occasion with my sexy husband. I view these times as visits to Disneyland and though I may enjoy visiting on occasion, living in Disneyland has never had much of an attraction to me. So, when I saw SJD Peterson’s new book, Pup, I was intrigued but not too sure if it was the right book for me. I had never read a BDSM novel but I thought, “What the heck, this may not be my cup of tea but since BDSM seems to be relatively prevalent in the genre right now, I might as well give it a try.”
Oh my goodness, was I ever wrong about me not wanting to live in Disneyland! I am in current negotiations with my husband to negotiate our own BDSM contract!!! This book is HOT and had me enthralled from about chapter 2.
Trackett Austin is a Dom in his mid 40’s wondering what he’s doing with his life. He’s never had a long time commitment and seems to be wandering somewhat aimlessly. A young mid 20’s bartender the character of Micah has been pursuing Trackett wanting to become the Sub to his Dom. Their story and how they forge a relationship is what this novel is completely about.
As a reader of the m/m genre, I at times get tired of the endless sex scenes that get injected into stories that seem to have little purpose in spurring the story along. Now I recognize these as a necessary part of the genre, but often they are not what keep me engrossed in the story. However, with “Pup” all the sex scenes are very relevant to the story and I found myself more than once a little breathless at the end of said sex scenes. I was amazed at how loving a BDSM relationship could be portrayed and watching the love between the two characters develop in the context of a BDSM relationship was titillating, to put it mildly.
Now this book is not without its faults. I found the multiple third person points of view in the same chapter, and often the same scene, a bit confusing. I also had a hard time picturing what the characters looked like. Now I admit that may be my own fault, as I was devouring this read rather voraciously, but a little bit more physical description for the rabid reader would have truly amped up the volume for me in this great book.
Overall, this novel was a great read and I applaud Peterson for her ability to make me want to sell my house and go live at Disneyland.
Buy Pup HERE


Last but certainly never least is Jordan L. Hawk’s Master of Ghouls (SPECTR #2), the follow-up to the fantastic Hunter of Demons.
John, Caleb, and Gray are back and at it again, and by “it” I mean all the jinkies! and acks! that make me go EEP! in the night. This installment of the series is filled with some gut-clenching excitement amidst relationship tension, not to mention the ghastly bits and the parts that made me think, whoa, that Jordan L. Hawk’s imagination is kind of impressive in a very cool way. It’s an episode of twists and turns in which the hunter becomes the hunted in a game of avarice and mutiny, when the garden of good and evil becomes tangled with the thorny truths and prickly deceptions of betrayal and set-ups, when a former ally becomes the enemy because he covets, blurring the lines of whom the true monster is.
Jordan L. Hawk has done nothing but deliver another fresh and fantastic book to add to her repertoire. It’s filled with plenty of action and suspense, top notch storytelling, not to mention how very skillfully she baits the not-so-fast-dear-reader hook, offering just enough to lure you in and then leaving you dangling, and doing so happily.
Buy Master of Ghouls HERE

And that’s it for the April installment of Booyah Books! Until next month, happy reading.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

RT here I come!

I am not going to bore everyone with recounting my trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown with my smallest child and the rest of the fifth grade. It was good that we went, he learned a lot, but 11hours one way on a bus is just... long. Nothing else to say but that. So I got home, got back to editing Duncan, because I get sick if I read in a car, on a bus etc, and now I'm getting ready to go to RT next week.

I'm super excited and way intimidated by the size and scope of the event. I am so happy to have Amy Lane there to hold my hand and can't wait to see friends and fans. I have no way of knowing how much swag to take and will probably end up shlepping most of it back home but that's okay. If any of you are there, please come by the Dreamspinner Party (FAN-Tastic Day Party) Saturday May 4th. I will also be at the Giant Book Fair and the E-Book, Indie Publisher & Graphic Novel EXPO. I am excited to be attending some panels and getting to listen and take notes. Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

On the coming soon page



My new novella Still, coming out on May 15th, is up on the Coming Soon page at DSP. Here's the blurb:

What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still.

When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.

I look forward to hearing what you all think. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring

Okay so I really thought that spring was going to be better then winter but hello, no one told me all the bugs would come out. In Hawaii, the bugs are always out but I was used to it. But in Kentucky, they went away. Like I saw nothing. Zilch, nada, until today.
Today, I open my front door and there are bumble bees on the frou-frou spring flower wreath I put on my door to replace the red berry one I had for winter.  Stupid bees, do they not know the difference between real flowers and fake ones? And I screamed like the girl I am and it was dumb. But two is a lot of bees at one time right? And I got my very first sting last year and had a reaction. I called my sister because she has a PHD in Biology and so I always figure, she'll know.
"A bee stung me."
"And?"
"And  a bee stung me!" I was freaking out at this point.
"Okay," she started being soothing because she knows I'm melting down and she's known me all her life and I love her like mad and so she gets that I'm on the verge of a complete panic attack."Did you get the stinger out?"
"Yes, I think so. It was like a teeny black thing."
"Yes, good. Now go home an put ice on it."
"This really hurts. What if I die?"
"You'd be dead already." She said dryly.
"What if I go into anaphylactic shock?"
"Again, this would have already happened."
So I calmed and went home, took a pic and sent it to her.
"Wow that is big."
"See!"
"You're not dying."
It took like a week to go away so the whole "bee thing" freaking me out.
So I leave the house, (darting by the way), and there is a wasp buzzing around the bottom of the stairs. What the... when I get home after picking up the kids and going to the store, I open the trunk and waaaaaah bee on the grocery bag. For crissakes! So now I'm stuck there, waiting for the bee to move, its on the eggs, and I finally get up the guts to kill it because it's threatening my children with starvation if cooking does not commence. I feel very motherly and valiant and I crush the honey bee to death with my shoe.
"Mom its totally dead."
"I killed it!"
Neither of them were impressed. So yes, its warmer. I am no longer freezing but allergies are back, and man, the whole bug situation is lame.
*coughs*
Okay so in other news...(bee rant over), it looks like Still will actually be out mid-May, but my Daily Dose story, Heart of the Race, will be out June 1st along with all the others. The Daily Dose has a sports theme this year. I can't wait to read the others. But yeah, I'm happy. Its a small 20k novella but I really loved writing it and my cover is completely awesome. Is it not the coolest?


Saturday, April 6, 2013

March Madness And Some Booyah Books!

Lisa from The Novel Approach is here again with another installment of Booyah Books!

Hello, all, and welcome to another month of some pretty awesome reading! I have so many great books to share for March, so I'm going to keep things short, sweet, and to the point. Some are hysterical, some are historical,some made me ugly-cry, some warmed my heart, and some pushed the strictest definitions of what we think of as romance. So, here they are, a few books I thought went above and beyond simply being good.

The first on the list is Melanie Tushmore's The Green Eyed Monster, the first book in her Crucifox series that follows the rise of a young British rock band back in the days when the hair was almost as big as the egos, and sex, drugs, and music pretty much explained the true meaning of life.

The story centers on Sky St. Clair, the band's guitarist, and the newcomer to the group, Brandon Fox, the group's Scottish, flamboyant, bisexual singer, and all the sour notes these boys hit before they decide that they want each other more than they want anyone else.

If you dare to dive into this one, be prepared to laugh, growl, and generally get a little bit honked off at some of the antics that Melanie gets these boys up to, but most of all, just prepare to have fun, maybe fall a little in love with these guys, and really, all you need to do is rock & roll with it.



*buy link*

Next on the list is A.F. Henley's Honour, a story of pride and of the way in which that single word becomes an agent of indignity and betrayal. It's the story of ship-rat, Emmett Fielde, and of the way he catches the attention of the royal family, specifically of Prince Andrewe, the epitome of everything that defines both the good and the bad of monarchical rule.

This is the story of how Emmett comes to be in service to Prince Andrewe, and eventually, of how he becomes a traitor to his love for his prince. It's a story of regret and duty and respect and betrayal and redemption, and questions the definition of the word honour. The writing is lush and lyrical, erotic and romantic, rife with emotion and conflict between two men who must fight for every moment of unity while, at times, they seem bent upon tearing themselves apart. I loved this story for exactly what it was: a grim fairytale with as happy an ending as was realistic for the prince and the man he refused to live without. 

*buy link*

If you decide to read Alex Kidwell's After the End, all I'm saying is make sure you have a box of tissues handy, because Quinn O'Malley may very well make you ugly-cry. He knows a little bit about grief, you see, because Aaron Paterson taught him everything about what it means to love someone with everything that you are... And then Aaron died and tore Quinn's life apart. For two years, Quinn's been going through the motions of living but hasn't really been practicing what it means to truly be alive. Until, that is, a force comes into his life, a whirlwind by the name of Brady Banner swoops in and turns Quinn's life upside down and teaches him that moving on doesn't mean forgetting; it simply means healing.

Alex Kidwell brings friendships and family together to tell an utterly romantic story filled with universal truths and emotions, and does so with words that I didn’t read so much as feel; this is a story that washed over and through me, and I was reaching for the tissues before I even made it out of chapter one. This is a book that exemplifies the difference between reading a book and living a story, and is the difference between words written on a page and a portrait being painted with words, in all their contrasting colors, from the blacks and grays of sorrow to the rich and vibrant and sometimes violent tones of happiness and love and guilt and anger and hope and fear and redemption. It is a story that introduces this profound truth: when life’s music inevitably changes, so must the steps we use to dance our way through it.

*buy link*

This next book is a very short little story, but is one that's just so different there's no way I could leave it off my list for this month. It's Iyana Jenna's Just a Little Unwell, the story of a once famous actor, Patrick Tafford, who, through a series of life altering events, loses touch with anything that might resemble reality.

This is the story of Patrick's recovery and of the doctor, Damien Abner, who helps him find his way back to reality, though it's not a simple process. 

Iyana Jenna has written a beautiful and heartwarming story of betrayal and tragedy and, ultimately, of hope and of recovery from the unforgiving grasp of mental illness. It’s a story that’s written in the language of compassion and emotion, and illuminates the power of faith and persistence. It’s the story of Damien seeing a lost man and becoming his compass, never giving up on the belief that he could help Patrick find his way home again. If you’re in the mood for something just a little different, perhaps even unexpected, I can’t recommend this short story enough. I loved it, wish it’d been much longer, which is a compliment to how well it resonated with me.

*buy link*

And finally, Kendall McKenna wraps up this month of the Booyah with her book Nights in Canaan, the story of a vampire and his avenging angel, whose bond is irrevocable and painful and spiritual and primal. It is the story of the balance between passion and horror and the horror of the passion they feel for each other, tormented by their love yet consumed by their need for it and for each other.

This is the fate of Jayden and Kareem, who begin as Jesse and Saul more than a thousand years before the common era, to die and be reborn some two thousand years later as Imad and Christophe, only to die again and to be resurrected once more in the modern era as the vampire and the avenging angel whose destiny it is to slay his lover infinitely, and act as the shield between the vampire and the humans he wants nothing more than to enslave. It's a story that isn't what you'd define as strictly romantic, and there's no HEA to this story, but what it is, is a gorgeous story of contrast.

I thought this story was practically perfect in every single way, atmospheric and simmering with the sexual tension between the sinner and the saint, who was not in any way infallible or immune to the temptation of the darkness in spite of the side of the balance he fights for. I loved the loyalty and faithfulness to duty and the sacrifices each man made to honor their roles in the script of their existence, and that they themselves fought for the balance between them, the balance between their love for each other and the loathing for what each was sworn to uphold.

*buy link*

And that's it for this month. Until next time, happy reading!