26Apr/19

Abigail de Niverville

April 26, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Abigail de Niverville as the guest on Episode 213 – Unnecessarily Mysterious!

Abigail de Niverville joins us to discuss her new novel, I Knew Him, as well as how her musical composition informed her work and her take on YA literature.

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Bio:

Abigail de Niverville is a Moncton-born composer and author living in Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2017 with a Master’s of Composition, having studied with Alexander Rapoport. She has previously studied with Kevin Morse at Mount Allison University. Her experiences in theatre performance and production often influence her creative works.

Recent musical works include: Letters (for tenor and piano), Let Me In (for Ensemble Atlantica), and October 4th, 1967 (a mini opera).

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19Apr/19

Steve Turnbull

April 19, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Steve Turnbull as the guest on Episode 212 – Try Playing It With The Other Hand!

Steve Turnbull, screenplay writer, novelist, poet and computer programmer joins us for a lively conversation about his many works.

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Bio:

When he’s not sitting at his computer building websites for national institutions and international companies, USA Today bestselling author Steve Turnbull can be found sitting at his computer building new worlds of steampunk, science fiction and fantasy.

Technically Steve was born a cockney but after five years he was moved out from London to the suburbs where he grew up and he talks posh now. He’s been a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy since his early years, but it was poet Laurie Lee’s autobiography “Cider with Rosie” (picked up because he was bored in Maths) that taught him the beauty of language and spurred him into becoming a writer, aged 15. He spent twenty years editing and writing for computer magazines while writing poetry on the side.

Nowadays he writes screenplays (TV and features), prose and computer programs.

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18Apr/19

Empire Of Light (Voyance #1) by Alex Harrow

Alex Harrow was recently on WROTE! To hear their interview and check out their work, you can find them on Episode 200: Wait Wait This Is A Thing!

Empire of Light has a lot of warnings, including for for graphic violence and explicit sex. The danger with trigger warnings is that the reader will then read the book and think, so where was that violence then? Or where was the sex?

For the former, the author wasn’t kidding. From the get-go, this book has crunchy action scenes, lots of blood and flailing fists from our tough-talking main character, Damian, hitman and mercenary. 

On paper, he doesn’t sound too promising, but I sort of liked him by the end. If Quentin Tarantino had made a sci-fi, it might be something quite similar to this, shot in monochrome with flashes of blood and fire. Turns out Damian has a soft and squishy side, although he does his best to hide it. I would like to take him out for a beer and tell him how to keep in touch with his emotions.

I really enjoyed this book, despite the dizzying pace. It’s well-written, though I would have appreciated a few more calm moments to get to know the characters more.  It has balls-to-the-wall fight scenes, and a man torn between saving his lover and lusting after the man (Raeyn) who has threatened to kill him if he doesn’t do what he wants. There isn’t much in the way of complicated emotion, but we get the picture. Damian is a bit of blunt instrument. In fact, most of the characters are, apart from the blind woman, who I would have liked to get to know a bit. I loved Raeyn’s sense of style, and slinky Aris who seemed to oscillate from good to bad to good again. 

I wouldn’t say the sex is hugely explicit (though it depends what kind of books you usually read I guess) but the language can be coarse (it would be odd if it wasn’t, TBH) and there is an aura of blood-drenched lust running throughout the whole book. 

Good world-building, and a fast-paced, visceral plot. My one quibble would be the last few pages, where a LOT seemed to happen, and it felt as if there were at least one climax too many (if that’s possible.) I felt a bit breathless reading it; not in a sexy way, but in a “please make this stop” way. I fear some subtleties might have been lost in translations, but all in all, a wild ride, and a huge amount of “fist-in-the-face” fun.

BLURB

Damian Nettoyer is the Empire’s go-to gun. He kills whoever they want him to kill. In exchange, he and his rag-tag gang of crooks get to live, and Damian’s psychokinetic partner and lover, Aris, isn’t issued a one-way ticket to an Empire-sanctioned lobotomy.

Then Damian’s latest mark, a suave revolutionary named Raeyn, kicks his ass and demands his help. The first item on the new agenda: take out Damian’s old boss—or Raeyn will take out Damian’s crew.

To protect his friends and save his own skin, Damian teams up with Raeyn to make his revolution work. As the revolution gains traction, Damian gets way too close to Raeyn, torn between the need to shoot him one moment and kiss him the next. But Aris slips further away from Damian, and as Aris’ control over his powers crumbles, the Watch catches on.

With the Empire, Damian had two policies: shoot first and don’t ask questions. But to save the guy he loves, he’ll set the world on fire.

18Apr/19

Credence by Delphia Baisden

Delphia Baisden was a recent guest on WROTE! To listen to her interview and find out more about her work, check out Episode 208 – A New Jewel In My Crown!

I approached this book with some wariness, and I recently read another book dealing with a rock band, mental health issues, and non-con sex, which I found unbelievably upsetting. However, there ARE trigger warnings in this book, so anyone choosing to read Credence will be warned right from the start.

So I tiptoed in, and yes, the first chapters are hard to read, but they are extremely well-written, and 100% necessary to the plot of the book. The author has trodden lightly, not shying away from the pain of sexual abuse but dealing with it in a sensitive way. I knew I would be able to read the rest of it within a few pages. Trust had been gained, and Credence was a really good read, even enjoyable, given the gruelling premise. 

The blurb sums up the plot pretty well, so I won’t rehash it, but I loved James’s best friend Phil, and the supportiveness of the other members of the band (Eden) once they realise what has happened to their friend. This is a book about fighting back from a traumatic past, about letting go and finding love, both with another person and for oneself, about healing, and the struggles of mental illness. It’s all dealt with deftly and not too reverently, and I applaud the author wholeheartedly for that.

I loved Keiran, the love interest and femme lead vocalist for a less successful band, Lost and Found, who initially resents James for walking away from the the tour they were heading, thus denying Lost and Found crucial exposure to potential new fans. But as James’ band picks up the pieces and forms a new outfit, and Keiran is given the chance to show them how good he is, love begins to blossom undercover, as James is not out and is nervous about his bandmates finding out.

James is sweet, talented and modest, a lovely guy who adores his music. All the members of Eden have their demons, but are basically decent people who just want the best for each other. What a refreshing change to the endless drug and alcohol-fuelled sex parties which usually go hand in hand with “rock star” genre.

This is a hugely satisfying read, dealing with issues so relevant in today’s #metoo climate, and a really strong debut novel by this author. I will definitely be looking out to see what else she does.

BLURB

James Morgan, lead guitarist for the rock band Eden, seems to have it all. That is, until Theo, Eden’s lead singer and James’s secret lover, violently betrays him, sending James into a deep depression and cutting their current tour and the band’s life short.

Kieran Jackson, the lead vocalist for the less successful band Lost and Found, is at his wits’ end. At thirty-three, he never dreamed he’d still be opening for bands comprised of twentysomethings. When Eden pulls out of the last few shows of their summer tour, Kieran returns home burned out and heartbroken.

Over a year later, James, Phil, and David of Eden decide to reform under a different name with Kieran as their new vocalist. James, never having forgotten his single interaction with Kieran, nor the only time he ever listened to him perform, knows Kieran’s the best choice.

James is still closeted—and skittish after his last relationship—and one fumbling, drunken kiss threatens to undo everything he’s worked so hard to rebuild, as well as the cover he’s fought to maintain.

Can James overcome his past, confront his demons, and reclaim his former fame? Or will he and the newly formed True North remain in Eden’s shadow forever? Can he finally find comfort in who he is, accept his past, and reopen his heart? Or will the memories of Theo’s betrayal and the subsequent fallout dash any hope of finding—and trusting—love again?

Trigger warning: this book contains explicit rape, as well as one failed suicide attempt by a main character.

12Apr/19

Hans Hirschi

April 12, 2019

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Hans M. Hirschi back as the guest on Episode 211 – Are We Supposed to Respond?

Hans M. Hirschi shares his latest book and audiobook releases for children (The Dragon Princess) and young adults (The Golden One trilogy).

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Bio:

Hans likes to read books that deal with issues he can relate to, tackling the big as well as the mundane questions facing humanity and particularly the LGBT community today, from parenting, family relationships, love, loss, but also difficult subjects like our environment, trafficking, child abuse, racism, global warming, aging etc.

He’s a fifty-one-year-old father married to the most amazing man, Alex. Together they have a beautiful five-year-old son, Sascha. He considers himself a citizen of the world, having lived on two continents and traveled extensively (a hobby) through another three. He has friends all over the world. When he’s not writing, he has a new side venture working as a tour guide in Gothenburg.

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May 23, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Hans M. Hirschi back as the guest on Episode 165 – Don’t Do This Without Parental Supervision!!

Hans M. Hirschi returns to the show to share his latest novel Returning to the Land of the Morning Calm, to talk about how he weaves all the elements of life into a story, and why he’s a feel-good writer!!

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Bio:

Hans likes to read books that deal with issues he can relate to, tackling the big as well as the mundane questions facing humanity and particularly the LGBT community today, from parenting, family relationships, love, loss, but also difficult subjects like our environment, trafficking, child abuse, racism, global warming, aging etc.

He’s a fifty-one-year-old father married to the most amazing man, Alex. Together they have a beautiful five-year-old son, Sascha. He considers himself a citizen of the world, having lived on two continents and traveled extensively (a hobby) through another three. He has friends all over the world. When he’s not writing, he has a new side venture working as a tour guide in Gothenburg.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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October 13, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Hans M. Hirschi as the guest on Episode 133: Hits Close to Home!

This week Hans M. Hirschi joins the show to discuss his latest release, Disease, writing about the tough topics that face families of every type, and the upcoming GayRomLit Retreat!

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Bio:

Hans likes to read books that deal with issues he can relate to, tackling the big as well as the mundane questions facing humanity and particularly the LGBT community today, from parenting, family relationships, love, loss, but also difficult subjects like our environment, trafficking, child abuse, racism, global warming, aging etc.

He’s a fifty-year-old father who clings to the illusion of still being his pen-age of twenty-seven, despite his body’s daily wake-up reminders to the contrary. He’s married to the most amazing man, Alex, and together they have a beautiful four-year-old son, Sascha. He considers himself a citizen of the world, having lived on two continents and traveled extensively (a hobby) through another three. He has friends all over the world. When he’s not writing, he likes to do public speaking or training (where he has his professional background).

 

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05Apr/19

Cameron Yorke

April 5, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Cameron Yorke as the guest on Episode 210 – The New Normal!

Cameron Yorke joins us to share his experiences with the chemsex culture, how they inspired his memoirs Chasing the Dragon and Candy Flipping, and his experience as a world traveler.

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** NOTE: Chasing the Dragon is a FREE ebook for the month of April 2019 at all online bookstores!!!

Bio:

Cameron Yorke is a 2017 Koestler Trust Award winner and Author of five books. He was born in New Zealand, and has worked as a freelance Journalist for the past 20 years. He has a love of food, wine, travel and fashion, is an acclaimed food critic, writing for international travel and lifestyle magazines worldwide, He has traveled extensively and lived in many countries before moving to Britain in 2005, where he has written presented and produced documentaries, television series and short films.

His books are mainly of a memoir and self-help genre, or travel and lifestyle, but all are based on personal experience. He is a keen advocate for gay rights, along with prison reform and rehabilitation, and has also founded a charity to support victims of drugs and the chem-sex culture, funded by the proceeds of his books of the same genre. He is currently single, bloody hard to live with, set in his ways, and incredibly selfish! He is a dedicated Europhile, is trying hard to be Euro-trash, and divides his time between homes in Gran Canaria and Monaco.

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29Mar/19

Marolyn Krasner

March 29, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Marolyn Krasner as the guest on Episode 209 – Have To Have That Light and Dark!

Marolyn Krasner shares her journey as a journalist, queer writer, and ex-pat living in New Zealand! We also discuss her soon-to-be-released novel, The Radicals, and how she’s turned it into a serial podcast!

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Bio:

Marolyn Krasner grew up in southern California. She wasn’t a big reader of fiction as a child, but she clearly remembers spreading the Sunday newspaper out on the living room floor on the weekends and reading it all of the way through. She watched the film “All the President’s Men” in junior high school and decided print journalism was her calling. She went on to edit her high school and college newspapers and then became a real life newspaper reporter in the mid 90s and then she promptly quit.

She began writing quirky and queer stories in her early 20s. Fast forward 20 years, three countries, one wife and two children later and Marolyn has written her debut novel called The Radicals, which will be released as an ebook and a podcast in May 2019.

Marolyn lives in New Zealand with her wife and two kids.

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22Mar/19

Delphia Baisden

March 22, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Delphia Baisden as the guest on Episode 208 – A New Jewel in My Crown!

New indie author, Delphia Baisden, joins us to discuss her first novel, Credence, and tough topics like surviving sexual abuse. A very worthwhile conversation that needs to be had in the #metoo era.

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Bio:

Delphia Baisden is a first-time indie author. In 2016, she finally decided to use her passion for writing to tell the love stories of her heart. She is an avid rock ‘n’ roll fan who feels most comfortable in a band tee and a pair of jeans. She currently lives in a small town near Columbus, Ohio, with her mom, Lola, and their three cats, Cassy, Maggie, and Charlie.

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21Mar/19

Imminent Dawn by R. R. Campbell

Imminent Dawn (Empathy Book 1) is a complex and involved debut sci-fi novel, first in a series, with a large cast of characters and several different POV’s. There’s no doubt it is well-written and evenly-paced, with great world-building and realistic dialogue.

For me, the number of POV’s were a bit of a stumbling block. I’ve read a lot of books, the the ones I’ve enjoyed most have been the ones with a single or double POV. Once it gets to more than that, with equally important characters, It has to work harder to keep my attention. 

I found this with Imminent Dawn, which at times seemed over-complicated for what it was. Essentially, one woman is used as pawn by a powerful corporation, whilst an investigative journalist and a company employee, each with their own agendas, try to outdo each other in order to achieve their ambitions.

It took a while to unpick all of this, and because of that, I found it difficult to engage with the characters. For me to want to read about a character, I need to care about them or hate them. It was a shame that I didn’t find a particular character to root for in this book, as I was too busy trying to figure out what exactly was going on.

I believe this is down to personal taste though, rather than a fault of the author. Others will find much to enjoy in the characterisations of the enigmatic and ruthless tech magnate, and will relate to Chandra and her predicament. They will enjoy unpicking the complexities of the plot, and will rejoice in subtleties that I may well have missed. In short, I think this novel has far more to it than I was able to glean from it, but I only have a finite amount of time to figure things out before I have to move on. It’s a shame, but as a book reviewer, it’s life.

Finally, this is a solid sci-fi novel, confidently written, with plenty for avid sci-fi readers to enjoy. I really hope they take it on board and run with it.  

BLURB

Four people. One study. The internet-access brain implant to bind or destroy them all.

Art-school dropout Chandra would do anything to apologize for her role in her wife’s coma—including enroll in the first round of human trials for an internet-access brain implant.

At first, the secretive research compound is paradise, the perfect place to distract Chandra from her grief. But as she soon learns, the facility is more prison than resort, with its doctors, support staff, and her fellow patients all bent on hatching plots of their own, no matter how invested they might seem in helping her communicate with her wife.

Making matters worse, a dark wave of uncertainty crashes down on the compound, forcing Chandra to become an unlikely but pivotal player in conspiracies stretching from the highest levels of the North American Union government to the lowest dredges of its shadowy hacking collectives.

To save herself and her wife, Chandra and her newfound friends from the study will have to overcome the scheming of a ruthless tech magnate, the naïveté of an advancement-hungry administrative assistant, and the relentless pursuits of an investigative journalist, all of whom are determined to outpace the others in their own quests to resurrect lost love, cover their tracks, and uncover the truth.

A twistedly delightful clockwork of intrigue and suspense, EMPATHY: Imminent Dawn is an electrifying sci-fi debut from author r. r. campbell. 

15Mar/19

Fessenden & Feeley

March 15, 2019

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Jamie Fessenden and Freddie Feeley, Jr back as the guests on Episode 207 – More Fun With the Creepy Scenes!

Authors Jamie Fessenden and Freddie Feeley, Jr team up to share with us their forthcoming horror novel, Borderlands, and what it was like to team up.

NOTE: Jamie accidentally said “bodega” in this episode. He caught it after the fact and knew he meant “botánica” – offering his apologies to anyone he confused.

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Bio:

Jamie Fessenden is an author of gay fiction in many genres. Most involve romance, because he believes everyone deserves to find love, but after that anything goes: contemporary, science fiction, historical, paranormal, mystery, or whatever else strikes his fantasy.
     Jamie set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple short pieces in his high school’s literary magazine and had another story place in the top 100 in a national contest, but it wasn’t until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie wrote several screenplays and directed a few of them as micro-budget independent films. He then began writing novels and published his first novella in 2010.
     After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis.
     Jamie recently left his “day job” as a tech support analyst to be a full-time writer.

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.

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