Monthly Archives: February 2017

25Feb/17

Book Review: The Hunt For Magic (Yuletide Knights Book 3) by Johnny Miles

I have to start this review with a caveat. I was given this book for honest review without having read the first two books in the series, so there may be some plot points I have noticed which have already been addressed.

I have mixed feelings about this book. First off, the Prologue did not seem to have any relevance at all until much later, which is always something that makes me nervous. It took a while for me to feel confident in the author, because at first, it felt as there were a lot of elements that had been thrown haphazardly together (see above paragraph.)

This ain’t for kids…

When the story settled into its stride, it was clear that Kris Kringle and his Elf, Bucket, had a mission to accomplish; to find out who was kidnapping Magicals and why, as well as finding a worthy successor to his own role as Santa Claus. But, as the luscious front cover suggests, this ain’t for kids. Lusty Santa has a thing for Bucket (named because the elf is *delicate cough* roomy.  This was obvious right from the beginning, and for me it was too much, too soon. I hadn’t had enough time to get to know the characters before discovering that Santa comes more than once a year. And when he does, he fills a ….. you can guess the rest.

Anyway, so they head off, and in the grand tradition of buddy/road trip adventures, they pick up strangers with their own problems along the way. Griffin has (rather carelessly, I thought) lost his boyfriend, Jackson Frost, as well as dealing other issues of death and abandonment, and Woden, Jackson’s father, is breathing down his neck. Nothing like an irate Winter God with an army of Wild Hunt harpies to ruin your day. It is their journey to the Ninth Realm, to face the entity suspected of holding the Magicals, and the epic battle that commences therein, on which the book is themed.

A great story

It reads a little unevenly. There is hot sex, but IMO it isn’t actually needed. The author has a great story on his hands and the rumpy pumpy feels a little shoehorned in. There is also more “tell,” where I would have appreciated a bit more “show.” For example, Santa is black. I know this because I was told at the beginning, and it is mentioned again halfway through (which was good because by then, I had forgotten.) Whilst I didn’t expect, or want, him sounding like Samuel L. Jackson, there were no clues apart from an obligatory mention of the Civil Rights Movement. I wanted a bit more of how he, a black man, felt about holding the position of Santa Claus, the embodiment of white peoples’ hopes and dreams. And he’s gay! A gay black man is Santa Claus! That’s epic in itself and I felt he had more of a story to tell.

There are other issues that are handled pretty well, considering this is paranormal romance. Dementia, bereavement, rape, brutality are all issues that need careful handling and overall, the author succeeded. I did wince a bit at some of the verbal violence, and I’m no shrinking violet. Like the sex, it seemed a little over the top in places.

A convincing and complex world

There were also a few places were I thought the editing could be sharper. Long curling horns was mentioned twice in a paragraph, and notable use of the word “throbbing,” but what the author has done has built a convincing and complex world, with repellent villains, exciting scenarios and a boo-hiss Krampus who obviously has mommy issues. Not everyone survives. Not everyone is beautiful. And I loved that.

Overall, this is a flawed but storming book, with great chemistry between the characters and colourful scenarios that jump off the page. The author knows how to spin a good yarn, that’s for sure.

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 1027 KB

Print Length: 263 pages

Publisher: Loose Id LLC (19 Dec. 2016)

Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Language: English

ASIN: B01N6IZR5Y

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Someone is kidnapping Magicals. Kris Kringle and his soulmate, Bucket the Elf, are determined to find out why. Only then can they spend the rest of their lives together. But first they must find a suitable candidate to take over the mantle of Santa Claus. They find Griffin Kloss in the backwoods of North Carolina and realize they must get to him quickly. Someone else is after Griffin and it’s not his former boyfriend, Jackson Frost. Whomever is after Griffin doesn’t want him for his good looks.

Putting themselves at risk, Kris and Bucket, together with Griffin, Old Man Winter, and members of The Wild Hunt, travel to the Ninth Realm. There, in a dark and dismal place, Griffin and Jackson are reunited, the missing Magicals are found, and Krampus, an ancient evil once thought dead, is found alive. Together they must all join forces to battle demons and the menace that threatens their existence, if they are to return to Earth Realm for their happily ever after.

Publisher’s Note: Readers with a history of rape or sexual abuse may find elements of this story disturbing.

24Feb/17

Johnny Miles

February 24, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce Johnny Miles as the guest on episode 100: I Didn’t Know I Had This In Me!

This week Johnny Miles joins us to talk about his latest book series and his radio-drama style audiobook, his favorite aspects of the craft, and the good side of social media.

Follow and support Johnny’s work:

Bio:

Johnny Miles began his writing career in 1985, when his first erotic short story was published by Numbers magazine. His work has since then appeared in various adult magazines, including Blueboy, First Hand, and Honcho.

After working in varied careers – from typesetting and graphic design to massage therapy, from customer service to copywriting – Johnny re-entered the world of erotica in 2008 with the release of his first full-length novel, Casa Rodrigo. The controversial story was followed by Lauderdale Hearts, Learning To Samba, The Rosas of Spanish Harlem, Yuletide Knights and Yuletide Knights 2: A Spring Frost, all available from Loose Id, as well as The Last Stop: USA, released by MLR Press. Non-erotic titles include Christmas Baby and My ABCs.

In 2015, Casa Rodrigo was adapted from novel format into an audio book. With four and a half hours of pure aural entertainment and 12 outstanding actors, the story is richly layered and textured with sounds effects that will stimulate your senses. It’s an immersive experience not to be missed!

Johnny is currently at work on Book Three of the Yuletide Knights series. He lives in Fort Lauderdale with his husband of 19 years and a grumble of pugs.

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17Feb/17

Brad Vance

February 17, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce Brad Vance as the guest on episode 098: No Heads in the Sand!

This week triple-threat author/playwrite/narrator Brad Vance returns to talk about his latest audiobooks, his foray into acting and screenwriting, his new book, and the M/M writer’s obligation to stand up to Trump.

Follow and support Brad’s work:

Bio:

Podcast alumnus Brad Vance writes romance, erotica, and science fiction (the latter as Adam Vance). He offers freelance editorial work, and he narrates his own audiobooks.

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June 24, 2016

altbsticker gtcnewbaskerville It gives us great pleasure to announce Brad Vance returning as the guest on episode 063: Dan Brown, You’re My Bitch!
Join us as we discuss his past year’s journey, his recent trip to EuroPrideCon2016 (where Brad was a featured panelist!), the importance of research when writing about tougher subject matter (mental illness or homophobia, for example), making the shift from MM Romance/Erotica to more mainstream fare, reader expectations and author responsibilities in crafting novels and stories.You can buy Brad’s work here:

Check out Brad’s audiobook samples here:

Follow Brad on your favorite social site:

Bio:

Brad Vance is the author of, among other books, A Little Too Broken and Given the Circumstances, and he writes Science Fiction under the name Adam Vance. An audiobook version of A Little Too Broken, narrated by the author, is now available at all fine retailers, with more audiobooks coming soon.

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May 26, 2015

It gives us great pleasure to announce Brad Vance as the guest on episode 002!

BradVance_reasonably_smallJoin us as we ply him with more than twenty questions. Using his own career as an example, he shares his thoughts on Traditional vs. Self-Publishing. We then ask him about his current work, and he talks about the inspiration and research that led him to write Would I Lie To You?

Buy your copy on Amazon

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17Feb/17

Review of Man & Beast (The Savage Land Book One) by Michael Jensen

The not-so-beastly Michael Jensen joined us earlier in January 2017. To find out more about Michael and get links to his work, check out Episode 093: Plans for the Blue Hoodie!

This is a first for me, a gay historical novel which left any preconceived perceptions I might have had, standing at the door. Sometimes, reading a historical novel can be like carrying your hefty mother through a swamp. It’s your duty. You know it’s the right thing to do, but all you really want to do is drop the bitch and make her walk.

Not in this case. Michael Jensen has meticulously researched his subject, yet has woven a story that wears it’s history as lightly as a cashmere cloak. The sense of place and time, is expertly captured, never getting in the way of the story, never bogging down the pace with so much detail in order to prove he had done his homework (the biggest reason I get turned off historical novels.) Instantly, I had the impression he knew what he was talking about, so therefore, I could move on and enjoy what was about to unfold.

The novel’s dark heart becomes even blacker

And what a story, as greenhorn John Chapman is brutally shown life lessons by the rugged and somewhat odious Daniel (I kept thinking of a young Jack Nicholson.) Their relationship is fraught with mounting sexual tension as well as gruesome detail. There are some bloody scenes worthy of 1970’s horror movies. A North American winter takes no prisoners. It’s every man for himself. The novel’s dark heart becomes even blacker after John finally breaks away from Daniel’s grasp and sets up home for himself, supposedly far, far away. He meets Palmer, and they strike up a “romantic friendship.” The way they have to deal with their sexuality in the midsts of a deeply religious community, is again deftly handled. No stereotypes here. No thinly disguised Kim Davis boo-hiss characters. The language feels authentic with no 21st century idioms sneaking in, but still feels fresh and easy to read.

John Chapman’s character is deceptively mild, but he has a core of steel. Also, I didn’t pick up on any gay angst. Rather, his concern is the prejudices and misconceptions of others. He is intelligent and likeable, somewhat gullible at the start, but in desperate circumstances, sometimes trust is the only way to survive. The story goes to places that are totally unexpected, and that unpredictability keeps the reader alert and braced for some truly harrowing scenes at times.

In short, the book was thoroughly enjoyable, an intelligent, entertaining as well as informative read, and I couldn’t put it down. So much so, I began reading Man & Monster straight away. If you like your fiction hard and your horror gristly, it’s a worthy sequel.

Print Length: 307 pages

Publisher: BK Books (November 29, 2016)

Publication Date: November 29, 2016

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B01LYVEJ0T

 

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What is the line that separates man from beast?

The year is 1797, and 24-year-old John Chapman is lost on the American frontier with winter falling fast. Near death, he stumbles upon a lone cabin, and the owner, a rugged but sexy frontiersman named Daniel McQuay, agrees to let John winter over.

John and Daniel quickly find themselves drawn to each other, the sex between them unlike anything John has ever known. But as the weeks turn into snowbound months, Daniel begins to change into someone brutish, and the line between man and beast disappears.

With the arrival of spring, John flees, eventually finding refuge in the company of a group of frontier outcasts, including a brash young settler named Palmer. But in the wilds of this savage land, love is not so easily tamed, and John soon finds himself calling upon the raging animal within him to save the man he loves.

16Feb/17

Book Review: The Road Home by Brad Vance & Elsa Winters

The Road Home is the newest release from Brad Vance, this time collaborating with fellow writer, Elsa Winters.

To be truthful, I didn’t know what to expect. I love Vance’s work, having read several of his novels, but wasn’t sure how someone with such a strong voice would be able to merge successfully with someone else.

Turns out, I needn’t have worried. This is a terrific story, told in inimitable Brad Vance style, with a distinctive narration by Nick, the story’s main character.

Nick has braced himself for working with his new paramedic boss, Andrew, who is notorious for his rough treatment of EMT’s. But Nick is no pushover. Having been brought up in the care system, and with an innate ability to survive, Nick has prepared himself, and gradually wins Andrew’s trust. They become a good partnership, then friends, but all the while, Nick is fighting growing feelings for Andrew, knowing that he has a girlfriend. Nick is also unwilling to jeopardise their friendship by making his feelings known. When Andrew reveals his plans to go to the UCLA Medical school, Nick has to face up to his own ambitions and feelings, and act accordingly before it is too late.

A deep understanding of his characters

There is a lot going on here. As well as great insights into the lives of paramedics and EMT’s, there is a story of two men, one born to great privilege and the other dragged up through the care system, having known loss and pain.

It is a buddy story, of two dudes doing dude things; hiking, climbing, shooting the the shit whilst backwater camping and flipping burgers.

It is the careful crafting of their relationship, and the gradual revealing of their stories. No family is perfect, no matter how much money or care is thrown into it.

It is the love between them, and what they decide to do about it before they end up in bed. In short, it is a terrific tale with two very likeable characters, and a cast of family members who have their own interesting stories to tell. If this is the first Brad Vance book anyone picks up, then it’s a great introduction. The storytelling style is easy, drawing the reader in almost as if having a conversation face to face, yet the detailing which I always love in a Brad Vance novel is there. He has a deep understanding of his characters, their chosen careers, their flaws and vulnerabilities, I felt that with a couple of his recent books, he floundered a bit, but now he’s back, with a romance that feels solid and masculine as rough-hewn oak. A great introduction for Brad Vance newbies.

Format: Kindle Edition

Print Length: 183 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Publisher: Pub Yourself Press (25 Dec. 2016)

Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.Language: English

ASIN: B01MT2PX43

 

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Nick Carpenter grew up in the foster system after watching his parents die in a car crash. Now, he’s finally found a place for himself as an EMT. Partnered with a gruff but very competent paramedic as his first assignment in Seattle, he figures that it’s best to keep this working relationship strictly professional, even if Andrew is hot as hell.

“You let the patient talk, Nick, because sooner or later they’ll probably tell you what you need to know.”

Andrew Hazard loves his job, even if he gets paired with a different EMT every couple weeks. Once an EMT proves himself incompetent, Andrew makes no effort to be friends with them. That’s why it’s such a relief when Nick comes along. He keeps the ambulance stocked, he can drive well, and he knows how to start an IV. He’s great at saving lives, and also a great person to hang out with. From hiking to movies, they find themselves spending a lot of time with each other. Nick’s homosexuality definitely isn’t a problem, even though Andrew’s girlfriend jokes that he wants to spend more time with Nick than with her.

“You wanna go on an adventure?”

When Andrew gets the chance of a lifetime – going to the prestigious UCLA Medical School – his girlfriend doesn’t share his enthusiasm. And so, freshly broken up, Andrew asks Nick to go with him on a road trip down south to check out the area. Nick wants to keep him as his best friend, even though his romantic feelings have reached a fever pitch. But he also realizes that this could be his last chance to let Andrew know how he feels. Will Andrew let Nick into his heart, or will this road trip be their last hurrah?

13Feb/17

Our Soviet State of Mind or WWRD (What Would Ronnie Do?)

 

I was born April 12, 1981. On the day I was born, the shuttle Columbia was on it’s maiden voyage. And when I was a little guy – Ronald Reagan was President of the United States.
I was so little at the time I was really unaware of who he was – except that he would be on television from time to time.
I remember seeing his face, and his wife Nancy’s face flash across the television screen briefly.
But the memory that sticks out in my head the most is when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.
I remember watching it happen with my sister Sam.
At that age, I couldn’t conceptualize the finality of death, but I knew something really bad had happened.
I also remember, later on, this man came on television, Dressed in a dark suit, as he addressed the country.
“My fellow Americans.”
I remember seeing his face and thinking he’s at least as old as my grandpa and not as young as Mr. Rogers – at least as old as Mr. Dressup.
It was January 28th, 1986.
I remember the comforting sound of his voice. The deep baritone timber as he honored Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Reznick, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, and teacher Christa McAuliffe.
To the schoolchildren, myself included, The President said this, “And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.”
As he extolled the virtues of our space program and our quest to the stars – he comforted a nation, as well as NASA, that had been rocked by this tragedy.
With his final words memorialized forever, we heard this bit of poetry as he described the final moments of the astronaut’s final mission as they left us all, “….and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”
I remember being comforted by those words from a man who’s power I couldn’t quite understand at that age. The power that – until recently – has been for the most part, benevolent.
But a lot has changed in this country since he was alive. Some for the good but most recently, for the bad.
The biggest of Ronnie’s legacy – despite the AIDS epidemic that scared it, despite the recession, despite the assassination attempt on his life by a Christian fundamentalist with a weird obsession for Jodi Foster – was his staring down The Soviet Union.
Since WW2, the United States had waged what had become known as A Cold War with the far eastern nation – and growing up I knew in no uncertain terms, communism was wrong.
In the 1990’s the USSR crumbled and fell apart because of Ronald Reagan outspending the Soviet Union in military buildup – up to, and including, a missile defense shield and a project called “star wars” that was intended to protect our allies in Europe by striking down Russian nuclear weapons.
But while Ronald Reagan has been gone lo these many years – and a lot has changed in this country in just the beginning of this year – there is an old enemy out there who’s managed, somehow, to worm his way into our political world. His name is Vladamir Putin. While he may be the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation – as they call themselves today – he’s also the former head of the Russian Intelligence Agency known during the time of Reagan as the KGB.
Mr. Putin as said repeatedly that the greatest tragedy of the 20th century was the fall of the Soviet Union. Which I don’t doubt, since, under his leadership hundreds of Civil Rights Attorneys have gone missing, political dissidents have been found murdered, political dissidents in foreign cities’ like London, were poisoned and there is plenty of reason to believe that Putin hacked into our own Presidential Election to help bolster Donald Trump for President. He also participated in a propaganda war – inside of the United States – that was used to jerry-rig American sentiment regarding our democratic process.
Since Donald Trump has been sworn in – There have been bans on Muslims entering the country, there have been appointments of known anti-Semitic people like Bannon. There have been appointments of people like Betsy Devos who would tear down public education. There has even been an appointment to Attorney General – the highest law enforcement officer in the country – that is so outrageous if I didn’t see it on the news I’m so belligerently angry about – I wouldn’t believe it. That was the nomination of Jeff Sessions – an uber religious bigot.
But the biggest fear I have – and I think the country should all have – is that the once proud party of Lincoln and of Ronald Reagan has put a Soviet Sympathizer inside of our White House in our head of state -Donald Trump. And I am going to use Soviet as a descriptor as Russia is a democracy in name only and Vladamir is a Prime Minister – in name only as once a year Russia’s city Volgograd fights to become Stalingrad again.
Many years ago – it was hypothesized by Russian politicians that America would never fail because of its morality. It was assumed at the time that that morality was wrapped up in a certain kind of people here in the United States – and that once America allowed homosexuality to run rampant – then, and only then, would they (The Russians) gain a foothold in our territory.
But, Ironically enough it isn’t ‘the gays’ nor was it ‘the left’ whom McCarthy went after in the 1950’s so viciously – that ultimately handed over the keys to our kingdom to Soviet interests.
It was the ‘moral’ among us – who lacking any kind of personal heroes among themselves strong enough and powerful enough to bolster their voting bloc- who found a love for an old enemy through the vulgarity of this current administration.
It was this group of people, of baby boomers, evangelicals, degree holding white men, anti-feminist / anti- equality females, who – out of fear of losing their stranglehold on a country that was doing its best to grow up and out of a lot of old hang-ups it had, turned and smiled at a warmongering dictator, a known murderer of his own people, while turning their backs on a country their parents and grandparents and children fought so hard to protect. And found themselves inspired by him.
They – who had accused Barack Obama of every possible thing a human being could be accused of – from communist to fascist, from racist to a supporter of religious zealots – turned around and handed the country to Donald Trump and his posse who embody every accusation that laid at Obama’s feet.
There are plenty of reasons to be afraid right now. Just like those days when space flight was in its infancy – what to do next feels like the million dollar question. But right – is ALWAYS right no matter who says it’s wrong. And while America has had days when it’s been wrong, it’s always struggled and struggled hard to be the shining city on the hill.
Going forward, even in the darkness that has descended on our world, even amidst the uncertainty of this current administration – we should know that the face of God is still out there to be touched.
That bravery and patriotism and love of country are still there to be claimed and that light on the hill is still there to guide our way home. This land is still our land and we are still Americans. That still means something.
So, I encourage you all to reach back into your memory. Reach back to the days after 9/11 when our country rallied around itself, reach back to the days when Barack told us the enemy of our country – Osama Bin Laden was killed in a raid, reach back to when George Bush Sr. defeated Sadam Hussein’s forces in Kuwait, reach back to when the wall that divided East Germany from West came crashing down, reach back to when the forces for good triumphed over evil – go back to a time when clear lines were drawn in the sand and draw one for yourself now.
For ladies and gentlemen, despite the bluster of twitter, despite the ‘moral’ princes in high places being appointed for special task forces to take on and reforming ‘higher education’, despite the rash out hate crimes being perpetrated by cowards in the night – despite the ban on refugee’s, understand the biggest and most sincere threat to this country remains the worst.
There is a Soviet lurking in the shadows within our country – and his un-American president is sitting in our White House. To quote Ronnie, “I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.”

We must be brave. God Bless Us All.

 

F.E.Feeley Jr

13Feb/17

The Ire in my Fire

The ire in my fire

For years – since I started writing – I had railed against people like Jeff Sessions, like Jerry Falwell, about the intentions of the right.
For years I’d talked about The Koch Brothers, the ambitions of the religious, etc.
I grew up in that stuff.
People like to call me angry, they like to point at how cutting my words can be, but I can guarantee you – I didn’t get this way on my own.
I grew up in that world. I know those people. I know the way they think and I was subjected to them and their beliefs. I paid for it in flesh.
While I am encouraged by people standing up, I am discouraged by those who are suddenly aware of the world at the moment – after people like me had been jumping up and down trying to warn you of what was coming.
The religious right isn’t looking for a government that is what you’re familiar with. They are trying to set up the kingdom of God on earth or creating an environment that would bring about that. They don’t believe in democracy. They want a biblical monarchist system.
This is what’s so dangerous about our version of religious extremism.
There has been talking about fear of A Caliphate from radical Islam being set up here but understand these people want to set up the same thing, here.
And we’ve seen a world – in history – where great religions and politics were combined – it was called the dark ages for a reason.
Furthermore, something my husband brought up – is the superficiality of our political awareness. All we do is reiterate into the void the same thing that is being pushed around by media outlets. No one is bothering to learn how the system works, or, they would stop about what CNN wrote and start talking about the issues bubbling under the surface no one is willing to talk about. And that is the realignment of political groups into opposing parties. The U.A.W and the AFL-CIO didn’t do as much when it come to gay rights as say, Google, Apple, these massive corporations that those on the left disparage.
The UAW and the AFL-CIO is interested in protectionism – while the liberal elite is interested in Globalism and the free-flowing exchange of ideas.
Those that work for these unions are usually poor, religious, working class people who at the end of the work week – expect a paycheck that equally balances out the amount of work they’re doing.
That’s why the blue wall, fell. Donald Trump promised them that their jobs would be in place. It’s easy to say – well, they have to get better jobs or go back to school. When a massive voting bloc just flipped you the bird and said, “no. We’re not.”
Texas told my husband’s company that they can fire him if their religious stance is offended by his presence. His company, a massive corporation, said ‘no, we have nondiscriminatory policies and we won’t be doing that.”
All of this simply results in political exasperation because no one feels at home, anymore, in their respective parties. Because the parties no longer represent the interests of its people.
All we’re doing is muddying the water so that no one can identify the problems in government – so they can change it.
Right now, with our globalist ambitions feeding into the free-flowing exchange of ideas – all we have is a bunch of shouting that does nothing but make the situation more opaque than what it needs to be.
So all people do is blame the government for not being what it was never intended to be and the keys to the kingdom are handed over to a tyrant who says he can fix all our problems. That’s exactly what happened in Rome.
That;s what makes me angry. That’s what sets me on fire and puts the bite into my speech. Is that someone stood here shouting – watch what you’re doing and no one paid any attention. People were dismissed as angry.
It is that superficiality that allows the aforementioned to make political gains because there exists so much confusion no one knows who to vote for or who they should be aligned with.

F.E. Feeley Jr

10Feb/17

Jerry Wheeler

February 10, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce Jerry Wheeler as the guest on episode 097: Going Down Editing Holes!

This week author Jerry Wheeler returns to talk about the re-opening of his review site Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews, the status of Queer literature in general, a bit about the life of the editor, and we have a good bit of fun.

Follow and support Jerry’s work:

Bio:

Jerry L. Wheeler is the editor of the Lambda Literary Award finalist Tented: Gay Erotic Tales from Under the Big Top (Lethe Press, 2010) as well as Riding the Rails: Locomotive Lust and Carnal Cabooses, The Dirty Diner: Gay Erotica on the Menu, and is the author of Strawberries and Other Erotic Fruits (Lethe Press, 2012), also a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He’s working on his first novel, The Dead Book.

He lives, works and writes in Denver CO, where he misspends time in fleeting encounters with men best described as trashy. Some on work release programs. Despite this, he heads a freelance editorial service, Write and Shine. Please feel free to contact him at his website, www.jerrywheeleronline.com.

Furry men with tats and shady backgrounds please step to the front of the line!

This Podcast Episode is
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November 4, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce Jerry Wheeler as the guest on episode 082: Work For It!

This week author Jerry Wheeler pulls into the depot to talk about erotica vs romance, his role as an editor, his own writing and being a Lambda finalist, and his audio narration career.

Follow and support Jerry’s work:

Bio:

Jerry L. Wheeler is the editor of the Lambda Literary Award finalist Tented: Gay Erotic Tales from Under the Big Top (Lethe Press, 2010) as well as Riding the Rails: Locomotive Lust and Carnal Cabooses, The Dirty Diner: Gay Erotica on the Menu, and is the author of Strawberries and Other Erotic Fruits (Lethe Press, 2012), also a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He’s working on his first novel, The Dead Book.

He lives, works and writes in Denver CO, where he misspends time in fleeting encounters with men best described as trashy. Some on work release programs. Despite this, he heads a freelance editorial service, Write and Shine. Please feel free to contact him at his website, www.jerrywheeleronline.com.

Furry men with tats and shady backgrounds please step to the front of the line!

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
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03Feb/17

Arshad Ahsanuddin

February 3, 2017

It gives us great pleasure to announce Arshad Ahsanuddin as the guest on episode 096: Write to Let the Demons Out

This week Arshad Ahsanuddin joins the show to talk about his two series Pact Arcanum and Interscission, how his background led to his stories, gay romance themes in science-fiction/fantasy, and the joys of managing all the self-publishing tasks.

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Bio:

Arshad is a hematopathologist living in Canada. The irony of a physician who specializes in blood disease creating a series of vampire novels has been remarked upon by roughly every person he has ever met.

He’s always been fascinated by the creative arts, and has dabbled in various media from poetry to prose, film photography to digital design. The idea for the Pact Arcanum Saga has been kicking around in his head for over ten years. Why vampires? Because Joss Whedon made them popular back then, just like Stephanie Meyer has now. The story was a product of its times, and he created it purely for fun, never intending to write it down.

He had always wanted to write a novel, though, and started with the story that he had played around with in his head for so long. Purely for practice, you understand. It wasn’t until the words were on paper that he realized how complex and detailed the story had grown. The people he showed it to pushed him into adapting it for publication, and here we all are. It has been an enjoyable obsession and a labor of love.

 

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03Feb/17

Book review: ZENITH The Interscission Project: Book 1 by Arshad Ahsanuddin

REVIEW

Here is a man who knows and loves his sci-fi. I’m guessing (and this is a pure guess) that the author has ingested Star Trek and Deep Space Nine and Stargate and any other space-related series on both telly box and the big screen by osmosis since he was out of diapers. Which is why, when I came across phrases like “it became obvious the mobile device was designed to lock out navigation control and retarget the foldspace drive to jump the ship to a specific set of coordinates – that’s if it survived the gravitic torsion of opening a foldspace gateway inside a planetary well,” I could nod my head and say, ‘yeah, that makes total sense.’

Of course, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but the point is that the author knows his subject so well, that it came across in a way that didn’t make me feel like a dumb schmuck for not totally getting it. There were a lot of instances like this. A lot of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff barely concealing a boiling undercurrent of emotions. And this book has a whole lot of it. Corporate intrigue, revenge, complicated love stories. This is as much a drama of human conflictions as well as a rip-roaring, time-warping adventure.

And it is an adventure on the high and stormy seas of deep space, elevating my heart rate when the tension is ratcheted up. Will they make the jump successfully? Will they ever see their loved-ones again? Who is the saboteur who seems determined to destroy the teleport project in its infancy? I found I was speed-reading just to see what was going to happen next – not because I’d had it with the geeky stuff, but because the book was so gripping. There were a few cornpone phrases (“no-one dies tonight” or something like that…) but I love all that gung-ho stuff. It made the characters human and familiar, in deeply unfamiliar surroundings.

And damn it all, if the author didn’t make his characters so likeable, and cunningly gave them great back stories. The brilliant and mysterious twins, Stella and Edward, Marty, the all-American pilot hero, Charles, his equally capable best friend, the slippery CEO, Henry and taut-jawed Trevor. I loved them all because of their vulnerabilities. And the author cleverly built relationship between them with actions was well as words. It wasn’t so much what they said, as what they didn’t say. There wasn’t a wasted word between them.

And finally, the love element, so heartbreaking, so subtly done. The characters’ sexual identity was dealt with then that was it. I didn’t notice the words, “gay” or “queer” or any of those other adjectives throughout the whole book. There was no feeling of “look, LGBT characters and everyones’ okay with it! Isn’t that great! Love is love!” There was no angst about being gay. No issues that I picked up at all. Everyone just got on with it. People were professional, and more concerned about inter-company relationships affecting their job performance rather than who they wanted to sleep with. I only noticed it because most books do seem to be about the issues surrounding being LGBT, or at least touch on them, because to ignore them isn’t right either. I didn’t feel the book was ignoring the issues, but that in this instance, they really didn’t matter. People are being murdered whilst they try to jump through space and time, for God’s sake! Let’s concentrate on that!

This book is the first part of The Interscission Project trilogy, so there are some unanswered questions, hopefully addressed in the next two books. If you want something science-y and genuinely moving, about humans wrestling with the convoluted mysteries of space and time, as well as those of head and heart, I really recommend this.

Please, Harvey Weinstein, pick this up and make it a movie. Put LGBT characters in the major roles, distribute it all over the world and watch your bank balance go interstellar.

It’s a sure thing.

Arshad Ahsanuddin, March 2014
ISBN:
9781927528402
Language:
English
Pages/Words:
245 pages/71k words

BLURB

Grounded after a rescue attempt in Earth orbit goes bad, Commander Martin Atkins of the Confederation Navy is approached by the Interscission Project, a consortium of civilian corporations on the verge of perfecting the technology to travel to another star. Despite his misgivings, the chance to get back in the pilot’s seat is too much to pass up, and he convinces his best friend and crewmate, Charles Davenport, to leave the military temporarily and join him as part of the crew of the Zenith, humanity’s first starship.

Edward Harlen is a brilliant young engineer, and a key player in the construction of the Zenith to take advantage of the untested technology of foldspace drive. But Edward has his own agenda in joining the project, and a bitterly personal score to settle with his boss, Trevor Sutton, a vendetta of which Trevor is entirely ignorant. But when Edward’s sister Stella enters the picture and manages to secure a position on the project, all of Edward’s careful plotting is upset, and she might spell the downfall not only of his plans for revenge, but of the entire Zenith mission.

The spark of attraction between Edward and Martin is a complication that Edward can’t afford, but of which he can’t let go. For Edward knows the secret at the heart of the Interscission Project, the hidden potential of the technology that in the wrong hands could become the ultimate assassin’s weapon: the ability to rewrite history, not just once, but many times. As an unseen enemy moves to destroy them, and the body count multiplies in their wake, Martin and Edward must choose whether they will allow the possibility of love to challenge their destinies, or will they instead take up arms in a war to control the most ancient and terrible power in the universe.

Time, itself.