Monthly Archives: September 2016

30Sep/16

Shelter Somerset

September 30, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce Shelter Somerset as the guest on episode 077: Wouldn’t it be Cool!

This week Shelter Somerset joins us to talk about focusing on themes, writing contemporary/historical/mystery novels that just happen to have gay protagonists and playing with your favorite genre elements.

Follow and support Shelter’s writing:

Bio:

Shelter Somerset enjoys writing about the lives of people who live off the land, whether they be the Amish, nineteenth-century pioneers, or modern-day idealists seeking to live apart from the crowd. Shelter’s fascination with the rustic, aesthetic lifestyle began as a child with family camping trips into the Blue Ridge Mountains. When not back home in Illinois writing, Shelter continues to explore America’s expansive backcountry and rural communities. Shelter’s philosophy is best summed up by the actor John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
itunes-logo-300x112GooglePlay-logo-300x112stitcher-logo-300x112

Or on Soundcloud:

23Sep/16

At The Crossroads of Queer Storytelling

September 23, 2016

Join Baz and Vance  on episode 076: The Crossroads of Queer Storytelling!

This week your hosts Baz and Vance step away from books and examine how the spectrum of diverse characters is handled in comics, on television, in movies, and in music.

 

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
itunes-logo-300x112GooglePlay-logo-300x112stitcher-logo-300x112

Or on Soundcloud:

16Sep/16

Sloan Johnson

September 16, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce Sloan Johnson as the guest on episode 075: How Far Can We Deviate!

This week the tattooed, mohawked mom Sloan Johnson joins us to talk about the world needing more M/M baseball stories, why your work should be the most fun you’ve ever had, the danger of writing for the reader, and what matters most (hint: “Write Words”).

Follow and support Sloan’s writing:

Bio:

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
itunes-logo-300x112GooglePlay-logo-300x112stitcher-logo-300x112

Or on Soundcloud:

14Sep/16

Review of Misinformation by Keelan Ellis

Misinformation

Keelan came back to chat to us earlier this year, to talk about her latest book. Find out more about Keelan and her work on Episode 061: Keep Your Word Count Up!

REVIEW

Keelan has veered away from ghost stories with this city romance between Ethan, bisexual, closeted presenter for a conservative cable news programme, and Charlie, who is Ethan’s daughter’s first grade teacher. Ethan has been obliged to take the job at the programme so he can be near his daughter, who has been taken to New York to live by his ex-wife. Charlie is commitment-phobic and fiercely independent. Brief hook-ups with closeted celebrities suit him just fine, but neither of them expected to fall in love.

So that’s the setup. Firstly, a couple of niggles, nothing to do with the writing, which is consistently great. I trust Ellis to be technically spot on and she is here as well. First niggle is with Ethan, who has left a successful job in Philly to take a position with a cable company that has totally different ideals to his own, and is regularly disparaging to the LGBT community. He is their star performer, regularly spouting things he doesn’t agree with. He says he does it purely to be with his daughter, but I can’t help wondering if any LGBT person would do this.

Number two is Charlie, the first grade teacher who very rapidly hooks up with Ethan, despite being the teacher in charge of Ethan’s child. That’s unprofessional at best, yet the school don’t seem to have an issue with it when it all comes out. I’m English, so I know what would happen here. It’s not an LGBT issue. It’s a professional issue. Maybe in the States it’s different.

Like I said, these are niggles that wouldn’t go away for me, but in the end, they didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this book. If, like me, you can push through them, you will be rewarded with a sexy, emotional love story, with some unpredictable twists and turns.

And this is what Ellis does best; throwing a curve ball into the mix just as you think this is going to go the way of many romances. It doesn’t. Ethan does come across as a bit of an ass at times, but he’s a wonderful father and his daughter is cute as a teddy bear. His ex is also a great character, flawed as well so you can see why the marriage didn’t make it, but decent, and a decent ex in a romantic novel is a rare thing indeed. In a way, her main flaw is interfering with the best of reasons. She was cleverly drawn and I liked her. So often, the ex is someone to boo and hiss at, but not here. The villain of the piece is the Fox-alike cable company Ethan works for, with a boss so vile I wanted to punch him.

Charlie is also an interesting character. First school teachers, especially male ones, can be exotic creatures. No-one really knows why they choose to spend their time with loathsome oiks, when they could be doing important things like being captains of industry, or firefighters, or heart surgeons. I thought he was totally convincing, very likeable despite his phenomenal ability to make poor life choices. The chemistry between him and Ethan, from the first fumbling, drunken encounter to the realisation that they both care for each other, is genuinely touching and well-balanced.

And finally, Ellis has really upped her game in the sex scenes. The others were good. These are great, tender and hot as prime beefsteak. That’s all I’m saying…

 

13Sep/16

Lysistrata Cove by Dena Hankins

lysistrata-coveIn January 2016, we caught up with Dena Hankins as she sailed into port, and talked about her sensual books and motivations for writing. Listen to her wonderful episode, 040: Navigating Gender Waters, to find out more about Dena and get links to her work.

REVIEW

Transmasculine Jack Azevedo runs charter trips on his sailing boat around the Caribbean. His peaceful existence is disturbed after he finds an uncharted island with a beautiful sandy cove. It seems to be too good to be true, and ultimately is, as the cove is jealously guarded by a sultry, fiery inhabitant, Eve la Sirena.

Eve is in hiding from the world. A former diva and singing superstar, she is in the midst of plans to restore creative freedom to her fellow musician. But what she is doing is illegal, and if found out, could see her being sent to jail and her work lost. Jack’s arrival on the island puts all her efforts in jeopardy, but her initial hostility turns to intrigue, as Jack cautiously gets under her skin.

This is a beautiful, complicated love story, with rip-roaring sex and lashings of sparky dialogue. As with Dena’s other work, The Heart Of The Lilikoi, her writing is vivid, effortlessly luring the reader into whichever location she is describing. Jack is a pirate at heart, a sexual explorer and BDSM bottom who isn’t afraid to push his sensual boundaries. When he sees Eve for the first time, he instantly knows who she is. He has had her music in his heart for years. Yet whilst he is smitten and cannot keep away, Eve does not want him anywhere near her.

The project she is working on is illegal, yet driven by the suicide of a former lover who saw all his work destroyed by a legal battle. She wants musicians to get the credit they deserve, and has set up a complicated control room of technical capabilities to enable that to happen. If anyone gets wind of what she is doing, her work will be destroyed.

It’s a complicated scenario. Eve has a live-in lover, Harmonie, who keeps her on the straight and narrow. Harmonie is a slightly sinister figure, and I was never sure of her motives. Their relationship is on the wane, but the way it was done was very clever. I cannot say more without adding spoilers.

Dena Hankins injects excitement in what could have been a lush, sleepy tale of sun and sex. Her experience as a sailor is obvious in Jack, the maverick hero, and he is supported by a raft of strong characters, including Marie, his right-hand woman, who I suspected was in love with him.

And the sex, sometimes brutal, always honest. The most sensual scene had no sex at all, just eating. It wasn’t very long, but enough that it was obvious these two people would be sharing more than coconut juice in the very near future.

Just a couple of niggles; the club scene seemed a little out of place. It was necessary to establish Jack’s status as a BDSM bottom, and Eve’s force of character as a top, but for me it didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the story. That being said, it was brilliantly written and very sexy. And the Eve/Evrim thing might confuse some people. I did have to read through a couple of times to figure out why the change of name was relevant. It is, but it might be missed by some.

Maybe towards the end, the story felt a little rushed. A lot happened at once, after most of the story was spent concentrating on building of the relationship and the dynamic between Jack and Eve. (Love that a waterspout was included in the storm scene, and that it didn’t end as I expected it to.) The suspense could have been drawn out even more than it was. Again, I can’t say any more without revealing spoilers. There are a few romance tropes, but Dena has cleverly couched them in her own unique style. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wanted the book to continue for longer than it did. And that has to be the sign of a great, satisfying read.

Finally, kudos for writing a book set in the Carribbean that doesn’t mention the green flash….

09Sep/16

Ryan Amador

September 9, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce Ryan Amador as the guest on episode 074: Empowering the Individual!

This week singer, songwriter, theater-maker Ryan Amador joins us to talk about letting the truth of the individual unfold through the writing of music and song.

Follow and support Ryan’s music:

Bio:

Ryan Amador is a singer, songwriter, and theater-maker from Los Angeles. Ryan has released two full length albums: the self-titled “Ryan Amador” (2013) & (In)Body’s “Becoming” (2016), and three EP’s: “Symptoms of a Wide Eyed Being” (2011), “Palos Verdes: A Teenage Retrospective” (2012), and “4S” (2014).

His music video “Define Me” garnered over 470,000 views on YouTube and led to live performances at Pride Events in New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Brisbane, Australia. Following the release of his video “Spectrum”, Ryan was honored to give a TEDx Talk in Santa Cruz, CA on the topic of diversified sexuality. In April 2016, Mather Dance Company in California used Ryan’s song “Instead” in a competitive dance competition which was then featured by DancingWithYT on Youtube.

His latest project (In)Body is a collaboration with LA-based producer/instrumentalist Daniel Weidlein. Their song “Safe In Your Heart” earned Ryan the 2013 ASCAP Robert Allen Award for Songwriting.

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
itunes-logo-300x112GooglePlay-logo-300x112stitcher-logo-300x112

Or on Soundcloud:

02Sep/16

Caleb James

September 2, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce Caleb James as the guest on episode 073: I Left My Head at the Copy Shop!

Caleb talks about his latest release, Dark Blood, and how he balances real life and writing life. He also shares some good insight on crossing genres and looking to life for writing inspiration.

You can buy Caleb’s work here:

Connect with Caleb on your favorite social site:

Bio:

Caleb James is a board-certified psychiatrist, clinical trainer, and author of both fiction and non-fiction, both under his pen name and real name. He lectures, and provides training and workshops, on topics related to mental health and the writing life.

 

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
itunes-logo-300x112GooglePlay-logo-300x112stitcher-logo-300x112

Or on Soundcloud: