Shorts.

I seem to be doing more reading than reviewing lately. This is not such a bad thing as I’ve read some truly wonderful books in the past couple of weeks.

Strange Fortune by Josh Lanyon was a great fantasy read. I did find it a little difficult to get into initially, but after a couple of chapters I was totally sucked in. Unique world building aside, it was the characters and their budding attraction that kept me engrossed. I liked Valentine Strange and his lithe good looks, snippy comebacks and that he did not suffer fools gladly. He was a good foil for Aleister, who seemed rather vulnerable at times. Not in such a way that was irritating to read, but he definitely had a fragility about him that belied some of his actions. Characters with many facets always make for wonderful reading and I think this is something that Josh Lanyon does particularly well. Great read. Get it in paperback here at Blind Eye Books.

Broken Boundries by Evangeline Anderson is a bit of a weird one for me. There were definitely some bits that I liked, but lots of the book just drove me a little bat shit. I am willing to whip out my big ole suspension of disbelief undies for a good story, but unfortunately some of the world building and details of the ship flying were a little over the top. I liked some of the tension between the characters and the whole I don’t wanna be different thing, but the way some of the sexual stuff was dealt with and the non con just got on my goat. So, some good, some bad. Parts were definitely a guilty pleasure. Definitely an author I’ve enjoyed, but this one was just not my cuppa tea. Get it from Ellora’s Cave.

Immortality is the Suck by A.M. Riley was a seriously cool read. I did not pick it up initially as I was feeling a little over the whole vamp genre, but I really like the author so eventually gave in and brought it. Despite there being a very obvious romantic relationship between Adam and Peter, most of the book is seen through Adam’s POV and is about him dealing with waking up a bit dead and wanting to snack on people. I liked that Adam is a total shit and needs a boot in his ass, but it’s his underlying goodness that peeked through every now and then that kept me totally wrapped up in this book. Loads of drama and fast paced action that does not miss a beat. That and some seriously smutty sex. Loved it. Buy it from ARe and Loose Id.

Gatekeeper by Rayne Auster was an interesting read. The descriptions of Duiem, the Land of Earth and Fire, were reasonably well developed and provided enough detail to give you a good picture of the characters and their lives. Mystery over where Aniol comes from and how he and Kaji are going to save their respective lands provided pretty standard fantasy fare. The authors characterization and slow building of tension between the leads was nicely done and the book proved to be rather entertaining. Loads of wonderful secondary characters and adventure, definitely a pretty cool read. Check it out here at ARe.

Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell

ka-mitchell-collision-course-largeI read Collision Course at the end of a seriously crappy week and it was truly a pleasure to just loose myself in this book. The characters were compelling and the writing was tight and flowed beautifully. I can honestly say that there were no points where I drifted off to surf the net (which I often do when I am reading. Attention span=gnat) and I was throughly entertained with Joey and Aaron’s story.

This is a drama and a lengthy one at that. I am always impressed with K.A. Mitchell’s ability to write such meaty books that don’t drag. The writing always has a point and never seems to descend into mindless page filling fluff. Yay! The premise was cool and her characters were complex and likeable. I think Joey and Aaron might have to be one of my favorite pairings in recent memory! K.A. has also slipped in some seriously cool music, so I had a ready made sound track in my head. heh. Goldfrapp ?? Woot! I wondered at the end, was the theme in Joey’s head Strict Machine? 

You might also want to read this with a fan handy as the sexual tension is off the chart. The instant and compelling attraction the boys have, that makes getting to a bed impossible, was so hot and absolutely worthy of much praise, like the Jake and Remi getting on knees scene. It wasn’t over the top, but sexy, varied and delectable.

John Ganun photographer

It was so nice to see characters from one of her previous books, Diving in Deep, which I also enjoyed. I had a few sniggers at Joey and Noah and there endless navel gazing and am now jonesing for Doctor Jae Sun Kim’s story. Please!!!!

If you’re still not rushing off with credit card at the ready, perhaps the prequels over at K.A. Mitchell’s blog might convince you that this is must read material, or you can get the goodness at the Samhain site. Gorgeous summer night reading and I cannot wait for the next one.

Check out the warning below that the book comes with…
Warning: This love story may overheat readers or the devices used to read it. Explicit male/male sex scenes involving extra penetration, toys, and spanking. 

Merow.

Reignbow & Dee-Va by Brian Andersen.

A cool review of Brian Andersen’s Reignbow & Dee-Va, by the the lovely Paul. I totally enjoyed this comic and you should read it! I must say I have to agree with Paul and hope it is not just a one off as it would be cool to have a series of this ass kicking goodness! Brian is so clever but not only that it is so cool to see him teaming up with different artists and creating much goodness!

Zahn by Patrick Fillion

zahn_pic_0Zahn is a barbarian who lives in a small village called Mazudun in the land of Varda. As men are want to do, he sets off on a vision quest to seek his destiny. Several weeks into his journey he is attacked on a mountain top by a clan of vicious harpy men (who did look very pretty I must say). He fights back but during the battle he slips and looses his balance on a cliff face and falls. A blue man appears and saves him but this is all he remembers, until a year later when he is suddenly on the mountain again. Now though, he is dressed as a warrior complete with brand spanking new weapon, cape and looking delicious – but with a touch of amnesia. You’d think things might be a little more smooth sailing from here for our gorgeous wild man Zahn, but his run of bad luck is not quite over yet! He is waylaid by the brutish Almesti and has to suffer more err… trials (OMG!) before his new powers make themselves known in the most interesting ways…

characterstudyzahn01This comic was seriously cool. The story has a lot going on because it’s the 1st issue so plenty of world building, back story and scene setting. It is not to the point of an info dump though and you really get the essence of who Zahn is as a character. New to the hero game he needs a bit of a shake up to take on his powers initially but once he gets going he kicks ass. He is seriously sexy and there is this hint of sweetness in him which appealed to me immensely. The love interest, Jonah is terribly smooth, and a dancer so he’s athletic and kinda bendy. Merow. And, finally Maymay who has been enchanted and is in the form of a cat. Whenever they’re in danger she goes back to her original form and turns into a feisty sidekick . She was wicked. There is this one scene with her fighting off a nasty beast with tentacles and she almost feels a little like a manga character with her pigtails and elaborate clothing.

zahn_pic_2Patrick’s art is not only gorgeous but clever too as is the colour both he and Hernan did. They have both got an eye for what looks good and it is beautiful! There are a few pages that appealed to me in particular; the Harpy men, Maymay’s fight, when Jonah welcomes Zahn back with a seriously hot night at the inn and there was one page near the end that I thought was just wicked. It encapsulates several weeks of Zahn’s journey on one page. In each panel Zahn is fighting off a different nasty; so very cool. Of course the comic is also super sexy although the Almesti made my eyebrows nearly climb into my hairline. hehe. The scene’s between Jonah and Zahn are hot and appealed to my inner grub. And, was it just me or does Zahn have the sexiest ass? Merow. The little demons were rather fetching also, which was odd as they were the bad guys. Go figure. And, I definitely want to see more of the mysterious Blue Man.

zahn_pic_8This is such a great comic and one I have now read several times. I will not even pretend to know the whole story line of Masters of the Universe but color me Conan – that I get. Conan movies in particular featured very high on the video watch list of my friends and I back in the day (Video you say? So old!! Ufff!). I swear I had the biggest crush and I also watched more Commando that you can shake a stick at. Which has very little to do with the beautiful art of Buscema and Alcala, I know! He was just so big and… well, BIG. The Conan comics can be checked out here

The art and story are tight and it was a total pleasure to read. If you’d like to get this goodness yourself you can check it out here at Class Comics. Also have a look at Patrick’s very cool online magazine Boytoons and have a nosey at an interview with him too, done by moi!

Goodness on the Internets.

Here are some things one must check out on the internet. 

Lisabea has been guest blogging over at DIK with Josh Lanyon. Check it out here, because they’re wicked fun and cool.

This week, I have enjoyed reading Regina Lynn’s site. There are also archives on Wired which you can check out here. It is kinda sex and tech and totally interesting stuff! She also has some links to like minds worth having a nosey at.

Prism Comics and Sequential Tart. Go have a look, just ’cause they’re cool!

I really enjoy reading some of the reviews at Obsidian Book Shelf and also at Book Utopia. They’re both thought-provoking and articulate. I particularly liked reading the Death of a Pirate King review at Book Utopia. 

And last, but by no means least, this is for you LB, would you believe the band is called Less than Jake…

But this one? – beary goodness!

Edited to correct stupid typos. Ass.

The Art of Mike.

There is nothing nicer than getting mail and my package from Class Comics the other week was very, very nice indeed!

Class Comics has put out 3 portfolios. The Art of HvH, The Art of Mike and The Art of Ismael Alvarez. The first one I got was Mike’s, I spend far too much time dribbling over his work on his blog and website. The thought of having my own copy just made the inner book geek quite happy. 

The volume is 24 pages in full color. There are images that have been published before from his magazine work, gorgeous takes on Class Comic characters and some new material. His work is really quite beautiful. The color use is bold, rich and the backgrounds always seem to frame his men perfectly. I really like his use of curlicues, it is a cool touch.

The men are muscular and seriously hot. There is a very nice young man on the inside cover who is just wrapped in his underwear. He has the most incredibly sexy look on his face. Merow!! His couples are really smexin. I especially like the idea I saw in one piece, of being so over come with lust after shopping that the groceries are just left on the floor. See, I am usually just happy to get them put away! hehe. 

This is a great portfolio and I hope to see more of Mike’s work soon. It is just luscious!

Go here to purchase.
Mike’s Website.
Mike’s Blog. 

 

Finding that perfect book.

A blog entry over at Nose in a book by lisabea about grading books has got me thinking. How do I choose an ebook? What makes me pick one book over another and does the cover, excerpt or blurb play a role in my choice? Made me think about the process I go through, especially when it comes to trying new authors.

So back to where I started… (imagine flashback scene music)

I read my first book with gay characters years ago in the early 90’s. It is a dark, gothic horror called Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite. It’s beautiful, and in the midst of my then huge Anne Rice glom a welcome change. I went on to read her short story book Swamp Foetus and another one edited by her called Love in Vein. By far my favorite book by her is Drawing Blood. When I read her comments on this book about it being a very “druggy book” and how the “bong was never far from her desk” I cracked up. heh. It is lush, scary, angsty, dark and sexy and even though she has moved away from writing the smex in her books, she is an excellent read and incredibly talented. (OK, so I like sex in my books!!!) She is also responsible for us drinking a lot of Chartreuse during this time! I can still feel the burn… The two leads in this book, Trevor and Zachary, are among some of my favorite characters. Check out this link to the last chapter of the book here, er…not particularly wk sf.

I spent a lot of time re watching Maurice written by E.M. Forster and directed by James Ivory. I had this great anthology called His edited by Robert Drake and Terry Wolverton. It was lovely and sexy but had some really depressing elements and I really like my m/m with plenty of candy coated goodness. There is quite enough crap to have to deal with in life without having to pour over it in a book. My GLTB collection was quite wee.

I have pretty much stuck to het romance since then as there was just no m/m romance to be found where I live. Honestly, our book shops blow much. I also think that there is a bit of a difference in what I consider m/m romance and gay fiction which I often got out of the local library. Josh Lanyon discusses the differences here, which is very interesting. Although, I am not sure I totally agree with the sex for sex sakes comment. In a recent Emma Holly book, All u can eat, there is a scene, with the heroine and the hunk of spunk kitchen aproned bloke, that is incredibly hot and so not about romance. To me it was more about fulfilling a need. I guess you could call it promiscuous but I did not connect with the character any less because of this. The aproned kitchen guy was not the hero and I did not consider the encounter at all romantic, it was more about people connecting physically. But, I like this more human touch to a book it made it more real and I was really ok with it. Might be an interesting discussion to have! 

With the advent of the internets at our house and online shopping I discovered ebooks and online bookstores that order lovely smexy goodness in from overseas. The credit card has not been the same since. I first read Crash Course by Juliet Hastings which had a menage scene. I then read Emma Holly’s book Menage which had a m/m partnership in it and from there started trawling Amazon for similar reads. I saw  Hard Candy advertised somewhere and managed to get it in pb form. It was bloody marvelous and I got a serious jones for Morgan Hawke’s books from this first short story of hers. She is a good writer and I just adore her Interstellar Service & Discipline series, which you can check out here. They are totally hot and it all kind of opened up from there. I got into buying some loose id books, and found JL Langley, which was one of the first strictly m/m romances I read in ebook form and she is absolutely one of my favorites. 

I found some sites that had reviews and now I always check them out before I buy anything as I have brought a few lemons. I am such a tightwad and books are incredibly expensive to get in. If it costs 10 in the US you need to add on another 3$ for exchange rate then then postage which is exorbitant. So, I usually check out librarything.com. I have a few libraries on my favorites page that I have found to have similar tastes to mine own and they often have new authors I have not tried. Also, ebooks are generally cheaper! I regularly read The Naughty Bits, not only to find good books but because teddypig cracks me up with that occasional acerbic wit. I am so missing the pig at the moment! Lisabea at Nose in a book is a daily stop. She not only has reviews but new authors on there I may not have read before, like James Buchanan, my current squee. There are a couple of other sites I have found that have similar tastes to moi and also have graded books how I would have, so I often trawl through them. When I read an review online, I look less at a review grade and more at what the reviewer has said about the book and the feel I get from their words. You can tell if its hit a nerve by the tone of the review and any gushing or tellingly absent gushing.

I am not at all that keen on readying excerpts unless I have actually read an authors work already. I am more inclined to pick a book up due to a review, book cover (shallow I know) or the synopsis will appeal to me. They only time I really get into reading an excerpt is usually for a favorite authors new book. My latest fav is The Englor Affair excerpt by J.L. Langley. I find reading an except cold without having read other work a bit meh. I have no knowledge of the authors voice and no feeling of connection, god that sounds overwrought and emotional!! but it is true. When I like an author I am just that much more inclined to pick up another one of their books if I’ve enjoyed the 1st one.

I feel kinda lucky to have discovered some wonderful authors in the past year or so that feed my reading addiction so well. J.L. Langley, Josh Lanyon, Jet Mykles, Morgan Hawke, Emma Holly, James Buchanan and a whole load more.  I am so impatient though, they can never write fast enough, so am always on the look out for the next glom!

Seeing and reading.

I finally picked up my new glasses last night and I can actually see again. I am such a slack ass and had not been to sort it for 4 years. Terrible I know! I think I made my younger brother just a little nervous a few weeks ago driving home from a show in the rain, hunched over the dash and squinting into the night. His knuckels were just a tad white, heh. My beloved likes my new glasses and reckons they’re a bit like David Tennant’s glasses on  Dr Who. I think this is a compliment?? He does so lurve the Dr. Sexy geek chic!  

This week I have picked up a few anthologies. Scared Stiff with Laura Baumbach, William Maltese, Josh Lanyon and Sarah Black. I have not read the Maltese as yet but I really liked the other three. I thought Rhys and Sam from Josh Lanyon’s book were a delight and I have a real soft spot for Sam. Sarah Black’s story was lovely. A story about another chance at love and historical ghosty badness. Laura Baumbach does a hot tale in Soul Desire. Despite not having read one of the stories as yet (or I would never get any sleep) this was a fab read and well worth picking up.

The 2nd one I picked up was Arresting Developments by Josh Lanyon, James Buchanan and L. Picaro. Josh has Tim and Luke looking into an freaky old memory from when Tim was younger. Luke is a cop and his spidey senses start tingling at Tim’s spooky story retold during a dinner party.  It is so worth reading for Tim coping (or not coping) with camping and thinking he is lost, heh. I identified lets just say. In  James Buchanan’s tale Rick has just left his prick of an ex and is working the border in New Mexico. Augi, is the brother of his best friend from High School and is participating in some rather questionable activities when they run into each other. I loved the attraction Rick felt for Augi and there was this hint of forbidden as he was his best buds younger brother. Super hawt tension! I am looking forward to reading some more of this authors work. The last story I was not as keen on. I understand the constraints of a short story but for me it lacked tension, which is a must for me as a reader. I reckon Marc would have been interesting if he had held out or been more standoffish and hesitant. I dunno, it was just one that did not speak to me personally as a reader.

All in all a good week so far for reading…and seeing! If you have not already, you should check out the totally cool post Lisabea and  James Buchanan did on hero types. It is an excellent piece. Not sure which one is my fav, although I do love the accidental beta hero and the redemptive is so cool. I lurve the character of Zsadist!!!! Maybe the broken hero, I do so pine for some Jake goodness or is that badness?? Happy reading.

On Fire by Drew Zachary

Robert and Sam meet at a Canada Day fundraiser for a local firehouse, and man do the sparks fly. Sam is a college kid, only a year over legal. Robert is a studly thirty-something fireman. They come together and make a blaze that’s hard to put out.  

There’s a lot of living between nineteen and thirty-something, though, and Sam and Robert find they have a lot to work out. Can they keep fanning the flames of their romance, or will family and friends, and their different places in life, throw a wet blanket over their love?

Continue reading “On Fire by Drew Zachary”

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