Monthly Archives: June 2018

29Jun/18

Blood-Bound (Ace Assassin Book 1) by Kaelan Rhywiol

Kaelan Rhywiol was on our show back in April To find out more about xyr and get links to xyr work, check out Episode 161: The Vale Between Worlds!

Blood-Bound is a haunting and Gothic vampire novel, the first part of the Ace Assassin series, yet can be read as a standalone novel. The story features a strong female lead who is described as grey-aromantic. I wouldn’t normally bang on about a character’s chosen gender or sexuality but it does form a major aspect of the book, and to understand the characters, you kind of have to get a handle on what their preferences are. In this book, the author is very clear from the start, so the main character’s relationships with their closest friends are not in any doubt. Xie has also included a comprehensive glossary at the back of the book, which proved invaluable when I was losing my way with some of the unfamiliar words and meanings, especially pertaining to Welsh folklore. (Welsh does seem a language where consonants are thrown up in the air and where they land, there forms a word….)

So the story revolves around Rhian, who resents being sent to Ontario as an ambassador as it brings her too close to her husband, who she believes betrayed her. Inevitably their paths cross, with messy and sticky circumstances. There are trigger warnings at the beginning of the book, referring to self-harm, violence and sexual violence, but actually, it all worked and didn’t feel gratuitous at all. At times it was a fetid, sometimes sexy, always lusciously described brew of the good, the bad and the ugly. I felt I was in safe hands with the author, despite an initial mis-step. There was an element of confusion to start with, as xie mentioned London, so I started out thinking the action was based in the UK. Rhian definitely speaks with a British accent, so this caused a mental switcheroo when I realised the book was based in Canada. It’s a small thing, but I didn’t need that element of doubt right at the start of the book. It threw me off for a while.

When I did find my stride again, there were two things I really liked about this novel. Despite the brooding atmosphere, there is a slash of humour which tells me it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s very subtle, a hint of a wry smile, but it’s there.

The other thing is the author’s mix of Welsh folklore and unabashed attempts to challenge the reader’s expectations of a character’s sexuality and gender. It was cleverly done and didn’t feel arch or “topic of the moment.” In a world of shape-shifters and vampires, it was a good introduction to the challenges of being a world-class human being.

And, of course, there are the lashings of sex and violence, which is always welcome (by me, anyway) set against a glamorous backdrop that I could picture perfectly. The cover, though, beautiful, almost suggests a book of sparkling vampires and teenage angst, but this is far from it. This is a very adult book, and a challenging, exciting read.

BLURB

Rhian is content in her life. As a pwca, a Welsh shapeshifter, she is bound to the Dark God Arawn as an assassin. So when he assigns her as ambassador to oversee Ontario for him, it’s a shock.

Her new job? To find out who murdered her predecessor and bring them to justice, as well as to oversee the otherkin and clean up their messes before the humans find them—all to preserve the illusion that magic and supernatural creatures do not exist.

The problem? One of the otherkin she’s supposed to oversee is her estranged husband, Kai, the only person Rhian never regretted having sex with, and the only one she can’t forgive.

29Jun/18

J.S. Fields

June 29, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome JS Fields back as the guest on Episode 170 – Lesbians Working With Wood in Space!!

JS Fields returns to share Ardulum Third Don, the final book in her trilogy – except for maybe a fourth, to share how fungi respond to Michael Bublé, and to reveal the story behind the scene readers have been wanting!

Follow JS Fields and support her work:

Bio:

J.S. Fields (@Galactoglucoman) is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. She enjoys roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, but prefers female pronouns.

Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Her current research takes her to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where she traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. She lives with her partner and child.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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Or right here:


September 15, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce J.S. Fields as the guest on Episode 129: Lesbians in Space!

This week J.S. Fields returns to discuss her latest work, Ardulum – Second Don, how wood science has grown since her first book, and why being a vendor at a Pride event is different from a book event.

Follow J.S. and support her work:

Bio:

J.S. Fields is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. She enjoys roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, but prefers female pronouns.

Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Her current research takes her to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where she traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. She lives with her partner and child, and a very fabulous lionhead rabbit named Merlin.

This Podcast Episode is
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June 23, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce J.S. Fields as the guest on Episode 117: And She Really Liked Ladies!

This week J.S. Fields joins us to discuss her latest work, Ardulum – First Don, wood science as sci-fi technology, and being a queer author and educator in a sometimes conservative field.

Follow J.S. and support her work:

Bio:

J.S. Fields is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. She enjoys roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, but prefers female pronouns.

Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Her current research takes her to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where she traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. She lives with her partner and child, and a very fabulous lionhead rabbit named Merlin.

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
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Or right here:

22Jun/18

J.P. Jackson

June 22, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome J.P. Jackson as the guest on Episode 169 – Put Strange Things in Your Mouth!!

This week JP Jackson returns to the show to give us a behind-the-scenes on his new novel Magic or Die, explains the continued percolation of the apocalypse, and encourages you to try new things!

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Bio:

J.P. Jackson works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night however, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shape shifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summoning’s in the basement. And apparently imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive travelling and believe it or not, knitting.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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Or right here:


July 7, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce J.P. Jackson as the guest on Episode 119: I Like Flirting with the Darkness!

This week JP Jackson joins us to discuss his first novel, what happens when you flirt with darkness, finding your genre, and the year of too many projects.

Follow J.P. and support his work:

Bio:

J.P. Jackson works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night however, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shape shifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summoning’s in the basement. And apparently imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive travelling and believe it or not, knitting.

 

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
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Or on Soundcloud:

15Jun/18

Katze Snow

June 15, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Katze Snow as the guest on Episode 168 – I Can’t Escape the Kink!!

This week Katze Snow joins us to share her novel Sinister Hunger, along with the re-release of Conflicted. She also talks about her love of dark, twisted men and tatties-mince-and-dough-balls.

Follow Katze and support her work:

Bio:

After leaving school and renting a crummy flat at sixteen, Katze Snow now lives in Scotland with her wolf-dog and kitty. When she’s not writing or listening to music, she works for a top-secret, underground organization, but sshhh, it’s a secret. She finally published her debut novel in 2016.

Her writing is dark, gritty, and takes satire to a whole new level. Come and join her! But be warned: Katze likes her men dark, twisted and all kinds of messed up. She hopes you do too.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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Or right here:

08Jun/18

Craig Barker

June 8, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to announce Craig Barker (T.C. Orton) as the guest on Episode 167: Always An Underlying Message!

This week Craig Barker (T.C. Orton) returns to talk about what he’s been up to since we last talked, letting go of one genre (MM) to write LGBT Lit Fic under his own name, the fear of reading base not following, and discovering new readers who will appreciate the direction he is going.

Follow Craig and support his work:

Preview of Oscar Knight Cover

Preview of Oscar Knight Cover

Bio:

Craig Barker has had a passion for supernatural stories from a young age, often scribbling down his latest ideas instead of focusing on whatever task was at hand during the long school days. At the age of twelve, he penned his first romance story featuring himself and the boy he had feelings for set in a fantastical land full of werewolves and wizards. Ever since that day, Craig has made it his mission to entwine his leading gay protagonists with epic paranormal adventures.

Craig resides in the United Kingdom, living with his partner Peter Jones and their dog, Drake.

 

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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Or right here:


June 30, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce T.C. Orton as the guest on Episode 118: Cheerios for Breakfast!

This week TC Orton returns to discuss his latest work, a choose-your-own-adventure titled Iudicium, the challenges of his works in progress, and the importance of good food.

Follow Craig and support his work:

Bio:

T. C. Orton has had a passion for supernatural stories from a young age, often scribbling down his latest ideas instead of focusing on whatever task was at hand during the long school days. At the age of twelve, he penned his first romance story featuring himself and the boy he had feelings for set in a fantastical land full of werewolves and wizards. Ever since that day, T. C. has made it his mission to entwine his leading gay protagonists with epic paranormal adventures.

T. C. resides in the United Kingdom, living with his partner Peter Jones and their dog, Drake.

 

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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Or right here:


March 24, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce T. C. Orton as the guest on episode 104: If There’s a Puddle, I’m Happy!

This week T. C. Orton joins us to talk about the gods of storytelling (like the creators of Buffy) who use metaphor and symbolism, the surprise warmth of fan support, the amazing author camaraderie, and telling a story about becoming a monster.

Follow and support Craig’s work:

Bio:

T. C. Orton has had a passion for supernatural stories from a young age, often scribbling down his latest ideas instead of focusing on whatever task was at hand during the long school days. At the age of twelve, he penned his first romance story featuring himself and the boy he had feelings for set in a fantastical land full of werewolves and wizards. Ever since that day, T. C. has made it his mission to entwine his leading gay protagonists with epic paranormal adventures.

T. C. resides in the United Kingdom, living with his partner Peter Jones and their dog, Drake.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:

08Jun/18

Social Media Central by Kevin Klehr

Kevin Klehr came to visit us on WROTE recently! To listen to his episode and find links to his work, check out Episode 163: A Good Femme Fatale!

Considering how relevant the role social media plays in our lives, I’m surprised I haven’t come across a book that deals with the phenomenon before now.

Social Media Central deals with one lonely man who doesn’t buy into the whole world-wide obsession and god-like status of media celebrities, but he gradually gets sucked into it after meeting Madeline Q, a fashion blogger, and her glamorous colleagues. The story is set fifty or so years in the future but frankly, we’re seeing elements of Klehr’s vision now. Klehr’s future world has no books, empty offices, most ordinary people shut in their own rooms to work, preferring to “mirror meal” (a chilling phrase if ever there was one) with friends instead of meeting them face to face. The exceptions were the glamorous ones, the media stars, the celebrities famous for being famous, who set the trends and tell people how to eat, what to wear etc. Again, not that different from now in many aspects.

Tayler is a lonely geek with a dim view of the whole on-line celebrity thing. I found it difficult to get to know him at first. There was a dispassionate tone to the dialogue which meant I didn’t feel I had full access to the Social Media world, but was looking at it through smeared triple-glazing. Having said that, Tayler was the easiest character to identify and sympathise with. I couldn’t get to the heart of who Madeline was, which was frustrating.

As the story progresses, the plot thickens when a girl’s body is found in a nightclub. No spoilers, but what follows is a lot of smoke and mirrors, some of which I didn’t get at all. Madeline isn’t who she seems, and her actions seem incomprehensible at first. The pace of the story was uneven in places, but I did find myself compelled to read to the end. Before that, I did struggle a bit, mainly because the characters (apart from Tayler) aren’t people I would choose to spend time with in real life.

I’ve since read some parts of the  book again, and have enjoyed it a lot more, although “enjoyed” might not be the right word. The world of Social Media Central is bleak, very well-crafted, and ultimately rather depressing, but with a whodunnit thrown in, and a dash of glamour, it does make for a compelling read, and I had definitely warmed towards the characters by the end.

One final note: A couple of reviews mentioned the “lack of LGBT content.” I disagree. The characters were diverse and fluid, without a lot of rainbow flag waving. It was subtly done, and a worthy addition to the mainstream as well as LGBT+ sci-fi genres.

BLURB

In an age where everyone lives their lives through a screen, no one has more celebrity status than fashion blogger, Madeline Q. In a chance meeting, Tayler, loner and geek, is introduced to her world of parties, fan worship, and seduction.

But as his own star rises, Madeline Q is arrested for murder. There’s just one problem—there is no corpse. Tayler soon learns that fiction blurs reality on Social Media Central.

01Jun/18

Gabriel Lyons

June 1, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Gabriel Lyons as the guest on Episode 166 – Drooling Just Thinking About It!!

This week Gabriel Lyons shares his novel Ice on Fire. He also talks about leaving his day job, fiction and queer identity, and how writing as therapy has helped face an attack in his past.

Be advised this episode does briefly mention rape.

Follow Gabriel and support his work:

Bio:

While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.

Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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Or right here: