29Mar/18

Closer by F.E. Feeley Jr.

Listen to F.E. Feeley Jr’s latest interview on Episode 155: A Fun Return to the Dark Side!

This book had a lot to live up to. After the sublime When Heaven Strikes, I put a lot of (rather unfair) expectations on this book. The author’s writing skill and storytelling ability isn’t in doubt, but would I feel the same about Closer as I did about Heaven?

The truth is, they cannot be compared, because they are intrinsically different. Yes, there is a new relationship at the heart of the novel, when Hayden moves into his new lakeside house and meets the gorgeous, straight-seeming Tommy, but then the mystery begins. At first, I thought it would be a straight-up ghost story, but the horrors begin to build, and Maplewood, the eponymous small town on a lake, is the centre of some very disturbing activity.

The action and tension builds very nicely. Tommy seems devoid of the angst that straight people can have when faced with unfamiliar feelings for a member of their own sex. It makes a refreshing change and as a result, doesn’t get in the way of the main story. The good people and bad people are established quickly and don’t really change. In the best tradition of horror novels, you kind of know who is going to get offed, yet there definitely some I didn’t expect. I liked the way the characters were drawn, reminiscent of Dean Koontz. (It’s a compliment. I LIKE Dean Koontz’s work. It seems more accessible and human than some of Stephen King’s…) There is a touch of religion without pulpit posturing, some vivid imagery, and an exciting denouement, leading on to another book whilst nicely rounding off this one. The author likes to leave things tidy, and so he does, with very satisfactory results.

The two leads were very personable and believable. Hayden’s grief over losing his partner was raw and handled brilliantly. Tommy’s love for Hayden, being devoid of the gay-for-you angst I mentioned earlier, was very touching without being sugar-sweet. Yes, a leap of believability was needed at the end in regards to both Hayden and Tommy’s incipient powers (no spoilers,) but I was beguiled by the author’s storytelling. If the reader goes with it, they will be well-rewarded.

Finally, there is an alluring ‘To be continued…’ at the end, but this book can easily be read as a standalone. However, this couple are shaping up to be an interesting team, and I’m curious to know what else the author has in store for them!

BLURB

Maplewood, Vermont is a picturesque town filled with unique shops, unique homes, and a quaint familiarity all centered around a lake with an unusual history.

Legends, old as well as Urban, float around like the mist that hovers above the lake at break of dawn.

But they’re just stories, right?

Hayden Moore’s life was destroyed when his husband, Malcolm, was murdered. Giving up his job as an assistant district attorney in Boston, Hayden moved to the little burg of Maplewood to recover.

A new life.

A fresh start.

However, something underneath the water is stirring. Something rotten. A deadly secret wakes underneath the black waters of Lake Veronica so disturbing it haunts the nightmares of the local residents.

It’s coming closer…

23Mar/18

Debbie McGowan

March 23, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Debbie McGowan as the guest on Episode 156: Connoisseur Sounds Much More Classy Than Fanatic!!

This week Debbie McGowan joins us to talk about her experience as an author on the submission treadmill and how those experiences led to her founding Beaten Track Publishing to provide assisted independent publishing for authors!!

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Bio:

Debbie McGowan is an award-winning author of contemporary fiction that celebrates life, love and relationships in all their diversity. Since the publication in 2004 of her debut novel, Champagne – based on a stage show co-written and co-produced with her husband – she has published a further thirty-five works (twenty novels, fifteen short stories and novellas). She is the author of two ongoing series: Hiding Behind The Couch (a literary ‘soap opera’ centering on the lives of nine long-term friends) and Checking Him Out (LGBTQ romance). Debbie has been a finalist in both the Rainbow Awards and the Bisexual Book Awards, and in 2016, she won the Lambda Literary Award (Lammy) for her novel, When Skies Have Fallen: a British historical romance spanning twenty-three years, from the end of WWII to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. Through her independent publishing company, Debbie gives voice to other authors whose work would be deemed unprofitable by mainstream publishing houses.

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

16Mar/18

F.E. Feeley Jr.

March 16, 2018

It gives us great pleasure to welcome F.E. Feeley Jr. back as the guest on Episode 155: A Fun Return to the Dark Side!

This week F.E. Feeley Jr. returns to discuss “Closer” – his latest novel, his adventures in poetry, and the meaning of art.

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Bio:

F.E.Feeley Jr is married to his wonderful husband, John. He’s a father to their German Shephard, Kaiser. Freddie is an avid reader of Mysteries, Horror, and Suspense, and biographies. He’s also a gamer. His favorites include Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Star Trek Online, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, and Civilization Five. He LOVES to cook and dives into trying new recipes (hint hint). He’s an avid music junkie from POPular music to Opera, to Showtunes, Gospel, Rock, Rap, and Hip Hop. Finally, he’s a Poet – a lot of which is offered on his site for free.

As if that weren’t enough, he’s the author of six published works – four full length novels and two short stories featured in anthologies.

 

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


June 9, 2017

Cover Reveal: When Heaven Strikes

It gives us great pleasure to welcome F.E. Feeley Jr. back as the guest on Episode 115: Pin Him Down!

F.E. Feeley Jr. returns to the show to unveil the cover of his upcoming novel, and to talk about what a Paranormal Romance Guild membership can do for you. He then drops a hint about his next work in progress. We’ll give you a hint… “paper faces on parade.”

Follow Freddie and support his work:

Bio:

F.E.Feeley Jr is the author of six published works. Four full length novels, two short stories featured in anthologies, and poet. Married to the love of his life, John, he came to the writing world about four years ago where he fell in love, again, with the written word.

 

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


23 July, 2015


Indigent
Still-Waters
Timber
It gives us great pleasure to announce F.E Feeley Jr. as the guest on episode 009: Fingers Grasping the Veil!
Join us as we talk with Fred about his journey, writing horror, and the truth beneath the fiction.
You can find Fred’s novels here:

Follow Fred’s blog:

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

09Mar/18

J. Scott Coatsworth

March 9, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome J. Scott Coatsworth back as the guest on Episode 154: And Then This Happened!!

This week J. Scott Coatsworth returns to talk about his latest release Lander, breaking into self-publishing, and announce the Queer SciFi Flash Fiction Contest Theme!

** NOTE: You can read Jayne Lockwood’s reviews of Skythane (here) and Lander (here)!**

Follow Scott and support his work:

Bio:

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecting their own reality.

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


October 14, 2016

It gives us great pleasure to announce J Scott Coatsworth and Angel Martinez as the guests on episode 079: Flash Fiction Takes Flight!

This week J. Scott Coatsworth (Moderator of Queer SciFi) and Angel Martinez (of Mischief Corner Books) join us to talk about the art that is the Flash Fiction contest, what they looked for as judges, and to announce the release of the contest’s anthology: Flight. As a bonus, SA “Longform” Collins shares what he learned as a competitor!

Check out the Flight anthology and join the Queer SciFi community:

Connect with and support J. Scott Coatsworth:

Connect with and support Angel Martinez:

Bio:

J. Scott Coatsworth has been writing since 4th grade, when he won a University of Arizona writing contest for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid-twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member. Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some started years before. After seeing his first sale, he’s embarking on a new trilogy. He also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Angel Martinez is the unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower, intellectual family. She has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

 

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



TH-Cover_sm
It gives us great pleasure to announce J. Scott Coatsworth as the guest on episode 007: Describe Yourself In One Word: “Ooooh…”!
Join us as we talk with Scott about writing Science Fiction and building communities.
You can find Scott’s most recent novel here:

Follow Scott on your favorite social site:

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

02Mar/18

Kevin Snow

March 2, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Kevin Snow as the guest on Episode 153: The Price of Admission!!

This week Kevin Snow joins us to talk about his latest work Fear and Loathing in Mouschwitz, his experiences with sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, and the meaning of gonzo journalism!

** WARNING: This episode contains frank discussions on sensitive topics that might make some listeners extremely uncomfortable. Please listen at your own discretion. And, as with every episode, the views of the guest do not necessarily represent the views of the podcast or its founders. **

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Bio:

Raised in Norway, Denver-born Kevin Snow has been a writing consultant, production consultant, and acting coach in Hollywood and New York since 2005. He has worked on major programs and projects for Zentropa Productions, the Danish Film Society, National Public Radio, Pacific Resident Theatre, the Walt Disney Company, Random House, and Fox. He holds an MA in Math Education from California State University, Los Angeles, and a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he was an editor for the International Law Journal. He is a co-founder of the NORML Business Network and NORML Denmark, and he is an advocate for Free Leonard Pickard.

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

23Feb/18

Trevor Barton

February 23, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Trevor Barton as the guest on Episode 152: Not All Of Them Spark!!

This week Trevor Barton joins us to talk about his Brobots series, futurology, and keeping the writing accessible!

** NOTE: Trevor Barton composed and performed all of the music used for this episode, and has graciously allowed us to use it for his interview! **

Follow Trevor and support his work:

Bio:

Trevor Barton was born on the south coast of England to a biker and a supermarket attendant (whose brother was a trucker). He got sent to Air Training Corps for toughening up. His curious local town was into line dancing and hard-line Baptist theology (making it closer in vibe perhaps to a southern US State than to South East England).

“Myth of the Cyborg: The Perpetuation of a Cultural Fantasy” was the title of his M.A. Dissertation in 1998. Part of this involved studying the philosophy of artificial intelligence with Ray Monk and looking at issues in representation with Deniz Göktürk (now at Berkeley).

There not being many jobs in Cyborgology, Trevor took the editorial helm of a U.K. search engine (because Google U.K. had not been heard of then). His tie-in magazine had distribution throughout the U.K. and the actor who plays Blackadder’s Baldric was the advertising voice.

With later jobs involving a great deal of U.S. business travel he’s published globally recognized websites, bar-crawled around Nashville and taken sidewalks with alligators in Florida. He’s also slept rough (for charity), established a peace center, helped save four lives, been ordained as a Buddhist and cleaned satellite dishes with a mop and bucket.

Trevor has lived experience with mental health. His mother died when he was 16 and his father was disabled. Trevor lives in the U.K. with his husbear.

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

23Feb/18

A World Apart by Mel Gough

I read this in two days as despite the subject, it was an easy, compelling read. Without adding any spoilers, it does deal with some kicker subjects, and it deals with them sensitively and realistically. What I thought was a “wrong side of the tracks” love story is actually something a lot deeper and darker than that, and I enjoyed it all the more for it.

Ben seemed something of a saint. He was endlessly patient and unassuming, and as a result, people did things for him that raised a sardonic eyebrow on my part. (If I was his newly estranged wife, I’m not sure I would have been as understanding.) Also, Ben’s voice was somewhat passive at times. We weren’t let into his world enough to really feel for him. It was as if one of my oldest friends had suddenly turned around and said, “by the way, I’ve bought you a house.’ Wait, what? When did this happen? There were a few instances where Ben did things “off-camera,” which were as much of a surprise to me as to Donnie. Again, no spoilers, but it’s obvious when it happens.

Donnie was a sweetheart, not the aggressive thug he first appears. I thought he and Ben were perfect together, once their differences had been dealt with. He did seem to have rotten luck, though, namely in the guise of his drugged-up brother, Floyd, with whom her had an uncomfortable, I would say abusive, relationship, and a history of drug misuse.

As I said at the start, there are some tough themes here. Drugs, abuse, long-term illness, homophobia. Having said all that, a few things fell into place almost too easily. Ben’s reaction to his newly-discovered gayness was almost a shrug of the shoulders, the only worry being what his best mate would think. Jason (his best friend, although he seemed a bit of a toss-pot to me) didn’t take it well…. And the ending had all the feels, possibly too many for cynical bitch like me. As for the sex, this isn’t a one-handed read. I thought it was dealt with very well, considering the circumstances. It felt awkward, poignant, a little desperate. Not easy to read but it needed to be there.

In all, I enjoyed the book, despite the dark undertones, and would definitely read more by this author. I like their easy-to-read style and character development. The plot was paced just right. Apart from a few niggles (see above) I thought it was a great read.

BLURB

Ben Griers is the darling of Corinth Georgia’s Police Department—intelligent, handsome, and hardworking. Thanks to his beautiful wife and clever daughter, Ben’s family is the envy of the town. Yet desperate unhappiness is hiding just below the surface.

When Donnie Saunders, a deadbeat redneck with a temper, is brought to the Corinth PD as a suspect in a hit-and-run, Ben finds himself surprisingly intrigued by the man. He quickly establishes Donnie’s innocence but can’t shake the feeling that Donnie is hiding something. When they unexpectedly encounter each other again at an AA meeting in Atlanta, sparks begin to fly.

With his marriage on the verge of collapse, Ben is grateful for the other man’s affection. But he is soon struggling to help an increasingly vulnerable Donnie, while at the same time having to deal with the upheaval in his own life. Ben eventually realizes that they cannot achieve happiness together unless they confront their darkest secrets.

23Feb/18

Beneath The Surface (The Outsider Book 1) by Rebecca Langham

The beauty of science fiction is there no real rules other than the science has to stand up, and it has to sound plausible, even if it isn’t. I’ve read more varied books under the “science fiction” label over the last few months than I ever have with romance, which is why I love it.

Beneath The Surface is a meaty read, an involved novel with a plethora of secondary characters surrounding the two main protagonists, privileged Lydia and sharp Alessia, her Outsider counterpart.

This story could have been written in a simpler style, and it still would have been a good read, possibly a little easier to get through. There seems to be quite a bit of set-up, when really, the story just needed to get on with it. Having said that, the author has done a great job in lovingly creating the world inhabited by the humans and Outsiders, and whilst doing so, keeping relevant with various issues troubling the world today. The refugee crisis and alienation of races seem horribly familiar, with the aliens being almost too human so at times. It didn’t seem too preachy, but if you’re looking for escapism rather than realism, this may not be the book for you.

There is a lot to pick over, and it would take me a couple of readings to pick up all the subtleties. Like I said at the start, it is a substantial read. At times I felt it seemed longer than it should have been, and it took me a while to warm to the characters but the last third of the book was definitely worth waiting for.

Finally, I thought the book was well-written, a serious sci-fi novel for far less frivolous readers than myself. I stand in awe of the world the author has built and the gravitas of the overall book. It will be very interesting to see where the series goes from here.

BLURB

When a change in collective conscious sends the Outsiders, a group of aliens, to the shadows below the city, humans reason that the demonization of their peers is simply more “humane.” There’s no question, nor doubt. Just acceptance.

Lydia had embraced that sense of “truth” for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a powerful governor, she has been able to live her life with more comforts than most. Comforts can be suffocating, though, and when the opportunity to teach Outsider children in their private, “humane” community becomes available, she takes it.

What she finds beneath the city is far from the truth she had grown to know. There she meets Alessia, an Outsider with the knowledge and will to shake the foundation of all those who walk above ground. The two find a new and unexpected connection despite a complete disconnect from the technological world. Or perhaps in spite of it.

Still, it takes a lot more than an immutable connection to change the world. Lydia, Alessia, and a small group of Outsiders must navigate a system of corruption, falsehoods, and twists none of them ever saw coming, all while holding on to the hope to come out alive in the end. But it’s a risk worth taking, and a future worth fighting for.

16Feb/18

Tom Baker

February 16, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Tom Baker as the guest on Episode 151: All The Positive Things In Your Life!!

This week Tom Baker joins us to talk about his latest novel Green, life in the military before Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell, prose poetry, and to share his 2018 recommendations!

Follow Tom and support his work:

Bio:

Tom Baker is a graduate of the College of William & Mary. He enjoyed a successful career in the advertising world, winning many awards for the ads and commercials he produced. He now writes full time. Baker lives in a tree house in Santa Monica Canyon. His longtime companion, Gary, left for a better world in 2011.

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

16Feb/18

Lander by J. Scott Coatsworth

The scene was set in Book 1: Skythane, and the danger with second books is that the plot can fall a little flat, but that is not the case here. Wisely, the author has created another world out of the old one, with the occupants of Oberon and Titania having to get used to their new reality.

Not everyone is happy with this new world order, and conflicts from the last book rear their ugly heads. The good news is that Quince makes a discovery laced with tragedy, and Xander and Jameson’s fledging relationship suffers a knock when an old flame arrives on the scene. Amidst all the fantasy elements, there is a good old human story of love, of struggle and torn loyalties.

I loved how human these characters are. Having got to know them in the first book, I really cared about their various predicaments. There is an element of fairy tale as well as sci-fi, which stops the plot from being too tech-heavy, with panoramic scenes to enable the characters to spread their wings. And it had a very welcome dash of corporate intrigue which was a great foil to the fantasy element. It is a very visual book, as the last one was, and painted in vivid colours. I could definitely see the climax being directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) It had that kind of cinematic feel.

The story lagged slightly in the middle of the book, but soon picked up again when Jessa, Jameson’s former fiancee, is thrown into the mix. She could have been given a bigger role, as she was a strong character, but I loved her kick-ass feistiness. The big message of this novel seems to be “seize the day” although it never actually says that. It was done beautifully and it’s hard to say which book I enjoyed more, the first one or this one. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

BLURB

Sometimes the world needs saving twice.

Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.

Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander’s kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.

In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel artificial? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most.