A Hundred Little Lies is an absorbing historical debut. This is an author I’ll keep an eye out for what they do next. The story is an easy day in the life narrative in the first person told by Jack. His bias colors the story and as the plot progresses the reader realizes that Jack may or may not be telling the truth. He’s built his life on lies so it’s difficult to tease out the truth from those lies, even within the context of the story. Thus sometimes the story assumes the reader knows more than they actually do and numerous important details are late in coming or omitted entirely. This is the weakest part of an otherwise engrossing and satisfying story. Continue reading
Michael Jones, a young gay artist and part-time prostitute will do anything to stage his first exhibition. When he falls in love with rich financier, Jack Hutchinson, he seems set to achieve his […]
After finishing A Dangerous Man I’m incredibly impressed with Brooke’s ability to evoke emotion, tension, angst, and mystery. This novel is a compelling story that left me breathless, heart broken, and depressed. I’m glad I could experience the author’s incredible talent yet I wish I’d never read this either. I can easily recommend the story but with the caveat that it’s not easy and definitely no happy ending, yet the brilliance of the writing is something to experience.[…]
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Having returned to Elizabethan London after an absence of two years, Hugh Seaton is happy to resume his old job as tailor to the company of actors known as Strange’s Men.
He is less content when he finds himself looking for a murderer, and hiding his former lover, playwright Christopher Marlowe, who is suspected of stabbing one of the players to death. [contd…]
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Title: The Glass Minstrel
Author: Hayden Thorne
Publisher: Bristlecone Pine Press
Length: Novel / 200 pges
The Christmas season in mid-19th century Bavaria is brought to life in the THE GLASS MINSTREL, a new, original historical novel from acclaimed author Hayden Thorne. Two fathers, Abelard Bauer and Andreas Schifffer, are brought together through the tragic deaths of their eldest sons. Bauer, a brilliant toymaker, fashions glass Christmas ornaments and his latest creation is a minstrel with a secret molded into its features. [contd..]
Taming Groomzilla by E.N. Holland
Joel Harfner and Luke Townsend, lovers for two years, have just bought their first home together in Scarborough, Maine. In a moment of domestic impetuosity, Joel proposes to Luke, who says yes. Then, to Joel’s surprise, Luke says he wants a wedding with “all the bells and whistles.” Joel, who never expected to be married, suddenly finds himself in the midst of planning a full-scale destination event to be held in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Why Massachusetts? As Joel says, "We can’t get married in Maine — yet — but we are ever hopeful."
Taming Groomzilla tells the story of how Joel and Luke navigate the tribulations of the six months from “Will you marry me?” to “I do.” And while they do seal their union, complete with a kiss, there is more than one twist and turn in store to complicate their journey and keep the reader hilariously entertained. A portion of the profits from the sale of this book will be donated to Maine Freedom to Marry and EqualityMaine, organizations that are fighting to keep same-sex marriage legal in Maine.
A delightful, entertaining story about a very happy gay couple that turns into funny but crazy grooms when planning their wedding. Joel and Luke are moving into their first house together and on the spur of the moment, Joel proposes. Although the proposal starts offhand, the emotion and sentiment involved is very true. Luke wants a real wedding with all the trimmings and soon Joel is overwhelmed with clothing choices (kilts?!), cakes (who knew they were so expensive!), venues (six months, are you nuts??) and through it all, Joel struggles to remember why they’re doing this in the first place. Thankfully the committed couple has enough time together to solidify what is important to them.
This story is wonderfully written with great characterization and often poignant moments of emotion mixed with hilarious planning antics. As an introductory novella from a new author, this shorter story is a true gem. The characters are fully realized and developed. Joel is the first person narrator and has a fun, witty voice as a stereotypical gay hairdresser that is anything but predictable. Both Joel and Luke get caught up in wedding plans and gift registry, injecting a lot of humor and sympathy into the narrative. The fag hag attendants are a perfect touch, especially as Joel stresses over his recent hag-less state.
The occasional overwhelming details of planning a wedding are offset by the solid relationship between the two men. Their love is clearly shown in various small details and gestures. Even without any explicit sex scenes included, the suggestion of a vigorous and satisfying sex life is obvious. Here the author is able to please fans without lengthy graphic scenes by adding tantalizing phrases such as:
“That night we made love and it was hard and fast and more intense and passionate than it had been in awhile—and I loved it. He pounded my ass into the mattress.”
Often the importance of gay marriage is highlighted in subtle but poignant moments. Most especially is a conversation between Joel and his mother. It’s too long to include in its entirety but the emotion is touching and moving. Without needing to preach or argue, the simple truth of the issue is stirringly depicted. Here is only a short excerpt but portrays the sentiment of the scene:
“But there’s another group of people who… while they might not approve, won’t actively fight to prevent you getting married. They ‘tolerate’ you… go ahead and get married, but do it privately and quietly. Don’t put wedding announcements in the paper, don’t have a big, splashy ceremony… and I think those people are just as wrong. Joel, you are my son, and I love you. You are not someone to be ‘tolerated.’”
Fans of the genre will enjoy the story and laugh, perhaps even cry, along with the characters as they plan what they thought would be a simple affair. The clean writing, evocative emotion and creative imagination all deliver a thoroughly engaging and delightful story. The ending is romantic, sweet, and very fitting as life and love is more important than any particular event. For only 60 pages, this story has few missteps, with crisp, clean prose and brings a fresh, entertaining voice to the narrator. You’ll definitely want to pick up a copy.
Get it HERE!
LA Mischief by P.A. Brown
Chris Bellamere and David Laine were lovers but great sex doesn’t make a great relationship. David is a homicide detective for LAPD and barely out of the closet. Chris screwed up outing David. He doesn’t regret it and he wants David back, but David can’t give him the commitment he wants. David is busy solving grisly murders and enjoying his new-found libido. He’s picking up guys in bars and having fun but Chris is always in the back of his mind. Chris is partying too hard and waking too many mornings barely remembering the guy in bed next to him, all in the hopes of getting David out of his system, but it’s not working.
When David gets hurt in the line of duty Chris goes to see him. Can they pick up where they left off, or are they just reaching for something that just isn’t there?
A Face Without A Heart by Rick Reed
A Stunning Retake on the Timeless Themes of Guilt, Decadence, and Despair in Oscar Wilde’s fin de siecle classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Amidst a gritty background of urban nihilism, a young man bargains his soul away, while his painfully beautiful holographic portrait mirrors his each and every sin and each nightmarish step deeper into depravity … even cold-blooded murder. A Face Without a Heart takes you on a thought provoking tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction, and violence.