Monthly Archives: July 2016

29Jul/16

Matthew Bright

July 29, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce Matthew Bright as the guest on episode 068: Get Together and Put Things In Certain Places!

Join us as we discuss his artistic journey as a writer, editor, and cover-design monkey (totally his words). We go into his triple-threat career, why erotica is as much an artform as other literature, and how Publisher’s Weekly’s review of Threesome caught him off guard!

You can buy Matthew’s work here:

Connect with Matthew on your favorite social site:

Bio:

Matthew Bright is a writer, editor and designer who is uncomfortable writing in the third person, but soldiers on regardless. His short fiction has appeared in a number of venues, including Nightmare’s Queers Destroy Fiction, and he is the co-author of Between The Lines, an experimental novella, with Christopher Black. He is also the editor of several anthologies, including The Myriad Carnival, Threesome: Him, Him and Me and forthcoming titles Gents and Clockwork Cairo. With the release of Threesome, Publishers Weekly declared him ‘unambigiously…an editor to watch’, which is a quote he’s inclined to have printed on business cards and hand out to complete strangers on the street. By day, he pays the bills as a book cover designer in Manchester, England, where he lives with his partner and a dog who likes to eat valuable hardbacks.

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27Jul/16

A More Perfect Union (Anthology – various)

a-more-perfect-unionWe were fortunate enough to have all four authors of A More Perfect Union on the show! Listen to their interview and get links to their work on Episode 062 – Celebrating Perfect Unions

REVIEW

A delicious quartet of stories to celebrate the first anniversary of marriage equality. Poignant, tense and at times horrific, some are based on personal experience. It’s humbling to read these tales of ordinary people who just want to get married, to have legality as well as equality. It isn’t about swans and over-the-top nuptials, just the simple fact of being acknowledged and recognised as a legal married couple. That right has been denied for so long, and to hear the things that some couples have been through is shocking, though sadly all too true.

Flames – J Scott Coatsworth

What happens when your partner is involved in a terrible accident and taken to hospital in a coma, but because you are not legally “next of kin” his family are entitled to keep you from seeing him? Alex has made a terrible mistake and is desperate to be by Gio’s side and talk him out of his coma, but Gio’s mother has other ideas. Alex has always resisted the idea of marriage, thinking it’s an unnecessary formality, but now he will do anything to make sure Gio knows he really is committed to him. If he ever wakes up. A romantic tale from a terrific author who knows how to tug at the heartstrings.

Jeordi and Tom – Michael Murphy

Jeordi is also involved in an accident, and has bigoted parents who disagree with his relationship with Tom. Despite all the odds, they run away to get married in another state, only to be thwarted by a Kim Davis-like figure who won’t do her job on account of her “beliefs.” Then their luck changes, and the gay community rally round in the best way possible. A sweet, romantic tale with an undertone of despair from another accomplished author.

Destined – Jamie Fessenden

Jay and Wallace are destined to be together, but somehow, keep missing each other. When they finally do get together, it isn’t all sparkles and cupcakes. They have obstacles to overcome and have to stay strong. Their love is the tie that binds them, but this story illustrates that HEA’s do not come easily if you’re not straight. I love Jamie Fessenden’s writing, and his warmth for these characters shines through.

Someday – B G Thomas

A massive story, crammed into a shorter one. It all starts with a shoelace, and turns into a love affair that at first seems unrequited. Lucas is the boy determined to marry Dalton, from their first day at kindergarten. In less skilled hands, this might have seemed stalkerish, but it doesn’t. It works, from teenage antics to deep lasting love, Thomas has created a grand love affair between characters that deserve more than just a short story.

So in effect, all four of these tales touch on the problems that gay couples have come up again and again, even since the marriage equality bill was passed. There is a lot of work still to do, yet they are ultimately uplifting, all very different, and massively enjoyable to read. I learned a lot, but also, could not put this book down. The writing is exemplary in all cases, so it’s impossible to pick a favourite. Love against the odds, the importance of honesty in relationships, the need to be strong in order to fight for the things that others take for granted. Every Bridezilla should read this, and be bloody grateful she has never had these kind of issues to deal with.

 

27Jul/16

Glen & Tyler’s Honeymoon Adventure by JB Sanders

glenIt was great to have JB Sanders on our show recently. Listen to our interview with him and get links to his work on Episode 053: Glen & Tyler’s Unexpectedly Quiet Life!

REVIEW

Lots of things going on in this funtabulous fantasy. Glen and Tyler are bisexual loved-up newly-weds, the twist being that Tyler asked Glen to marry him as a business arrangement (he is only able to access his trust fund if he’s married) and it is only on their wedding day that they realise their friendship has been cunningly disguised as love all along. They even buy each other hockey teams as wedding gifts!

So far, so sweet, apart from Tyler’s ghastly family, his corporate mogul father, a beautiful but evil stepmother, a cunning bastard of a grandfather, able to screw things up from beyond the grave, and a brother that tries to seduce all of Tyler’s love interests purely for his little brother’s own well-being. Society eyebrows are raised as Tyler’s marriage to another man was not was expected or hoped for. They constantly come up against homophobia and scepticism that they are in love and their relationship is not just a marriage of convenience. And the serious point is made that they are constantly having to “come out” to people they meet for the first time. There isn’t just one “coming out” if you’re gay, it’s a process that goes on throughout life.

Meanwhile, cunning plans are put in place to separate the two cute lovebirds, and Tyler from his vast quantities of cash. There are moustache-twirling villains, (Tyler’s father and his evil, glamorous trophy wife, who doesn’t have a moustache…,) several nefarious plots to kill and kidnap, corporate intrigue, and some grumpy but very capable security guys, as well as lashings of gorgeous settings and gadgets to satisfy your inner James Bond. The hockey theme runs through out the book, but it is mainly the corporate intrigue, ruthless businessmen, nice suits and eye-watering amounts of cash being spent that I enjoyed so much.

Like I said, it’s a fantasy, a fairytale (excuse the pun), where the main heroes are gay men, married, in love and actually stay that way throughout the book without one of them dying tragically! Their affection for each other is the steel core that runs through the story, however fantastical the plot twists become. Glen is the voice of reason and calm, Tyler is the overly-generous, overly-trusting (at first) stupidly rich man who just wants to spread love around the world. Inevitably, there are people who want to stop him. There were times when I wanted to shake him and say “stop telling people how wealthy you are! They’re going to use you!” And some do, but Glen’s sensible presence strikes a note of reality.

Finally, no sex scenes but quite frankly, the book didn’t need it. There was more than enough going on without breaking off the action for a bit of rumpy pumpy (although they do have sex A LOT off camera, as it were.) And I believe that on Mr. Sander’s website, there are short stories with Glen and Tyler going at it, if you’re interested.

This book is the first in a series, and a very fun series it looks, with the newly-weds getting in all kinds of scrapes. I like Glen and Tyler. This isn’t a book for the cynical, but huge fun for anyone with a sense of fantasy, with oodles of intrigue thrown in.

22Jul/16

Redfern Jon Barrett

July 22, 2016

GiddyDeathOfGaysandStrangeDemiseofStraightsIt gives us great pleasure to announce Redfern Jon Barrett as the guest on episode 067: Hell is Being a Conforming Adult!

Join us as we discuss his artistic journey, the role of polyamory in LGBTQ+ culture, the importance of writing polyamorous fiction, and the expanding and expansive nature of queer identity.

You can buy Redfern’s work here:

Connect with Redfern on your favorite social site:

Bio:

Born in the north of England in the summer of 1984, REDFERN JON BARRETT is a writer and polyamory rights campaigner. Armed with a doctorate in literature from Swansea University/Prifysgol Abertawe, they are author to novels The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights (finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards) and Forget Yourself, as well as having contributed to publications including Guernica Daily, PinkNews, Van Winkle’s, and Strange Horizons on topics ranging from 18th century nonmonogamy to 23rd century science fiction. Redfern has worked with both Guernica and PEN America as a reader, and currently divides their time between Britain and Berlin, where they live with their two partners.

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15Jul/16

Chained In Darkness (Episodes 1-5) by Nicholas Bella

 

chained-in-darkness-nicholas-bella-audiobook (1)

Yes, I wish to woo the Dark Lord of gay erotica onto our show, but the following review is absolutely genuine. His website is nicholasbella.com and is definitely NSFW!

REVIEW

Nicholas Bella has written several series, and this is a standalone story told in five excoriating episodes.

They tell the story of Noel, captured by vampires after being betrayed by his best friend. The vamps rule over a kingdom of Dystopian bleakness, where the humans are an inferior species kept alive to do menial tasks and feed the vampire’s lust for blood.

Told in the first person, Noel describes in brutal detail the punishments bestowed upon him, and how his initial horror turns to hunger as he is turned into one of the fanged ones and becomes the favourite whipping boy of Theoden, one of the most sadistic Vampire Lords in the city. He is put through a series of challenges and punishments before he can earn the title of Theoden’s child and the privileges that Theoden’s other children already enjoy.  “Children” is just another way of saying “fuck slaves.” The punishments include descriptions of piercings (guiche, Prince Albert, apadravya) done with silver, which is like Kryptonite to vamps and stings like hell (squirming yet? I sure was…)

So you might have guessed by now that this is not a series for the faint of heart. Full strength erotica, chock full of BDSM, horror, punishment, and reams of bottom-clenching sex. I was actually reading some bits through my fingers, and I know that sounds dumb, but it’s true. Sometimes, only having one eye on the page is the only way to read the really gruelling bits.

And yet …. It’s strangely hot as well. Even when you think “hang on, I’ve just read a description of a guy being forced to drink piss from another guy’s arsehole.” The author stops short of making his MC indulge in Human Centipede-style Scooby snacks, but only just. Maybe that’s in next season’s episodes. I don’t know, but I feel strangely compelled to find out.

And so do a lot of other “Bellaholics,” Bella’s avid fans of all sexes, who are practically (ball) gagging for more and more. That takes a certain set of skills on the author’s part; not only punishing the reader with the literary equivalent of the Cruciatus Curse, but making them love it.

Needless to say, it isn’t all grim reading or grinding sex. It is the story of a man’s gradual submission and acceptance of his fate, very cleverly executed and well-balanced. Eventually, Noel discovers that as a Vampire, his virginal arse heals after every brutal gang-ravishing and bodily fluids taste like nectar. This might elicit eye-rolling from cynical readers (if they haven’t already thrown the book into a corner and are hunched on the sofa, keeping it in full view of their staring, bulging eyes) but it shouldn’t. Bella has created a dark world where anything is possible, and any punishment that could be meted out is done so with lavish gusto and salacious glee. He’s written a series where it’s okay to read uber-gritty, filthy, hardcore erotica and not feel grubby/cheap/perverted whilst doing it. He’s successful and rightly so. He plays his readers like a finely tuned instrument whilst simultaneously flogging them into submission with every relentless sexual encounter. Well played, Mr. Bella.

So, in one word – phew!

In several words – Recommended for anyone who would really like to see Edward Cullen’s pretty twinkly arse pounded. Again and again.

And again.

15Jul/16

Conjuring The Shroud by Tim O’Leary

ConjuringTheShroudTim O’Leary joined us in April this year. Listen to his interview here! Episode 055: Five Stars Are Better

REVIEW

A short (20 pages) and funny book about practising safe sex, aimed at LGBTQA teens. Featuring a story within a story, about Adrian and Jesse, friends who fancy each other but haven’t had the opportunity to even kiss, let alone make out or do any more. Then Adrian’s mother has to go away for the night, and the perfect opportunity presents itself.

The awkwardness of a first sexual encounter, between two friends and fellow gamers, is hilariously yet sensitively told via their avatars, fighting the One Eyed Snake (stay with it…) with sheathed swords (safer, but just as fun….) There’s a lot of frat boy humour, yet the language isn’t too crude, just boys being boys. It doesn’t seem patronising, or too simplistic, just a fun read (even if you’re not a gamer) with a serious message which it doesn’t try to ram down the reader’s throat.

Not everyone has liked the story within the story, but I did because it saved the excruciating embarrassment that some (most?) teens feel when launching into sex for the first time. I’d recommend this book to any LGBTQA teen with a sense of humour, especially if they have an elven fetish.

15Jul/16

Michael Broderick

July 15, 2016

 

JBScoversIt gives us great pleasure to announce Michael Broderick as the guest on episode 066: A List of Things I’m Not Getting From Porn!

Join us as we discuss his artistic journey, how he came to draw what he didn’t see in the world around him, studying art vs. the business of art, book covers as a brand, his other works for sale, and Erotic Art – Because Porn Doesn’t Give Us Everything We Want.

You can buy from Michael’s gallery here:

Some of Michael’s personal work includes:

  • “WE MOVE AS ONE”
  • “MY CREATION”
We Move as One

We Move as One

My Creation

My Creation

Some of his book cover work includes:

FFcover

His piece “YEAR OF THE RAM” is part of the traveling art show “STROKE”

YEAR OF THE RAM

Bio:

Michael Broderick was born in a dreary little burg in upstate New York. Despite the shrill consternation of his decidedly mainstream parents, an insatiable passion for his sister’s Fashion Plates consumed his childhood and the traditional red blooded propensities for cars and football never developed. The Fashion Plates mysteriously disappeared one summer while Michael was at camp, the Style-Me Barbie head ran away with the spoon, and, to this day, everyone in Michael’s family swears the pink Play-Doh never existed.

Denied those modes of expression, Michael, like most little gay boys stranded in the god-forsaken suburbs, turned to movies and television for solace. Adolescence had lifted a curtain and the strobe of flickering screens, large and small, illuminated a procession of square-jawed gods who fought, loved, and occasionally danced across the boards of young Michael’s burgeoning sexuality. Hunks like Mike Henry, John Gavin, Guy Madison, Gene Kelly, and Sean Connery thrilled while making love to sirens like Lana Turner and Joan Crawford in exotic locales but there was one missing component: an overtly gay context.

Fortunately, Michael wasn’t just ogling—he was inspired. He collected a smile, cataloged a stance, captured a pair of roguish eyes and locked them away until he was able to flee the middle American wasteland, move to New York and get a BA in Graphic Art and Drawing. With each piece Michael seeks to conjure the situations absent from those nights by the fire presenting a revisionist history of sorts for those of us who grew up gay in America.

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08Jul/16

Linda Legters

July 8, 2016

 ConnectedUnderneath It gives us great pleasure to announce Linda Legters as the guest on episode 065: We’re All Part of the Fabric!
Join us as we discuss her writing journey, her first queer centric novel – Connected Underneath and her road to publication, queer boutique publishers, writing queer protags from an allied author position, the fabric of life and how were all connected despite the isolation we often feel, community, POV in writing, teaching college level creative writing and English.
 
You can buy Linda’s first work here:

Follow Linda on your favorite social site:

Bio:

Linda Legters comes from the far western reaches of New York State. She earned her B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. After a stint in New York, she settled in Connecticut to raise her three sons. Her stories are about people from across the social spectrum and her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals. Her debut novel, Connected Underneath, was released in May 2016, and her second novel, The Vanishing Point, will be available May 2017, both from Lethe Press.

This Podcast Episode is
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04Jul/16

Anywhere You Go by Keelan Ellis

anywhere

It was our pleasure to have Keelan on the show on a couple of occasions. Listen to her latest interview and find links to her work here.

REVIEW

The first book was a lot of fun, with the story of the two friendly, mischievous ghosts who haunt the B&B now belonging to Jess and Eli. It was an unusual concept, combining tragedy and serious issues around being gay in different periods of time, with a contemporary love story. If you enjoyed it, then this book will be a huge delight. Ellis is comfortable with her characters and knows them intimately.

Jess and Eli are adjusting to married life, having to deal with jealousy when Eli’s friend Travis turns up, having split with his boyfriend, and Jess’s proprietorial behaviour towards his former fiancee, Cassie.

Ellis also has fun with the naughty ghosts causing sexy mayhem in the room they reside in, as well as giving them a plot thread of their own which is touching, sexy and woven cleverly into the main story, as they take Travis under their wing in order to save his relationship.

She writes her characters with affection and a light touch. Jess and Eli’s early marital troubles are convincing, and she deftly deals with the open questions left by the first book. As for randy ghosts Clay and Silas, their time in Paris (whilst they were alive) is colourfully drawn and you can feel the love between them, even after a threesome that throws a shadow over their loving relationship.

This is less a ghost story than a story about love, loyalty and family, with ghosts added to lighten things up. I love Ellis’s writing because it is easy to get lost in the story. This is a book for those times when only a day under the duvet will do. It’s warm cuddle of a book, with just a hint of edge to keep the reader on their toes, by an assured story-teller. Can’t wait for the next one!

04Jul/16

Paulyanna – International Rent-boy by Paul Douglas Lovell

paulyanna

This review was written in 2014, but I still stand by it. Find out more about Paul’s work at powerpuffgeezer.wordpress.com

REVIEW

try to avoid overused adjectives like poignant, heart-warming, life-affirming or compelling, but this book is all four. I have barely been able to put it down.

Put simply, it is the biography of a young gay man scraping a living on his back, finding punters on the streets of London in the 80’s and 90’s and partying hard in between. He is an alternative working class hero who makes no apology for his profession or his sexuality, who is painfully aware of his own vulnerability and foibles. This isn’t an erotic novel, but one that is an excruciatingly honest account of a life lived on a knife edge. Drugs, sex, AIDS and poverty are all recounted with a refreshingly perky style, punctuated by moving passages of great beauty.

At the same time as reading this, I have also been reading John Rechy’s City of Night, and whilst Paulyanna lacks the artistic tics of Rechy’s seminal novel, I would stick my neck out and say he gives the great man a run for his money. In fact, Lovell’s style is more engaging and readable, less intimidating. This is Rechy-lite, English style, and an important read for those who are gay and struggling with their identity or straight and curious.

For a self-published novel, this is one of the best I’ve read. Yes, the editing could have been crisper and some descriptive passages earlier on in the book could have been lost without detriment, but as a piece of social history, as well as a very personal story, it is one of the best I have read this year.