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March 13th, 2009

Some random thoughts...

I don't do rates (it's like a statement, I don't do drugs, I don't drink...). I always hate scheme and similar, my Italian teacher in highschool, after fighting for years to force me to plan my writing before starting them, surrendered and let me do as I wanted; I wrote from scratch, I still do, without almost editing it... It's like I'm, you can't change me, and so, how can I summarize what I wrote with a rate?

And above all, I don't believe in rate since they are "cold": I can read a book today, and since I'm in a fool mood, I can hate or love it, and maybe next week I will change my mind. Same as you: a book for me is wonderful since touch something in me, and for you is boring, since that same spot wasn't touched.

I'm not a reviewer, I studied Economics at College, not English or Literature! I'm a reader, and I read what I like, so please, don't take offense if I don't like a book, I believe that I have never said that a book was bad, only maybe that I didn't understand it or that it left me unaffected. And I'm not a writer or an editor, so I'm not nursing the secret idea to publish a book... I have some stories that swirling in my mind, but I'm not good enough to write them, and so they will stay in my mind.

English is not my language, so I can't judge if a book is grammatically good or not, and I don't want to... I write what as a book left me, cold, happy, sad, and I believe that you can understand it from what I write. It's not like I love every book I read, but if I write a post, probably there is something in the book that pushed me to finish it: and since I have in this moment more than 400 books in my reading list, if a book managed to catch my attention for enough time for me to finish it, then it means that I like it. For the "love" verb, the book has to be very good.

Don't try to involve me in fights, I don't like them; and don't believe that I can't fight, I can, but this is my sand box and I do as I want here. But I love confrontation, so don't worry if you want to leave "nasty" comments, if they have a sense, even if bad, probably I will reply to them.

And if you heavily lift from my LiveJournal and take the credit for my work, could at least don't gloat over how good you are? Ask you to at least put a link would be too much... I love when people link me, one of the happiest moment is when I discover that someone notice my little sand box and say something. I don't pretend that you ask me nothing, don't get me wrong, it's part of the pleasure of life, and an happy surprise, when I find something of unexptected, but I hate when something I spent time to prepare get apparently unnoticed to discover that raised a sandstorm somewhere else.

Tags:

WOLF STRAP by Naomi Clark (F/F): Ayla is a female werewolf in a world where shifters are respectable member of society, but if you are homosexual it's better if you still stay in the closet. And so Ayla left home at 17 years old, finding her way in the big bad world alone, without the safe shelter of a pack. Nine years later, she has a partner, Shannon, and a good life, but an old friend calls her back at home for the funeral of her cousin, a 15 years old boy killed in a bashing against his race. Both for human than shifter standards, Ayla is not a strong woman: she is small and pretty, and she tries to hide it with short hair and piercing. But still she is not a tough woman, and this is reflected in the choice of her partner, a barbie doll type, pretty, blonde and soft. The strength of both Ayla and Shannon don't lie in their bodies, but in their behaviours, and Ayla will prove that, even if it doesn't seem, she is a real bd wolf (if not big). The interest in this short story lies in the contrast between Ayla as a human and her strength as a wolf, always retaining her female side, that makes her cute and pretty, even if she doesn't want it.
 
MOON SING by Laramie Dean (M/M): Drew is a 17 years old boy with a lot of problem: he is gay, he is a werewolf and he has no family. He was welcomed by Doll and her partner Stephanie, and they treat him like a little brother, but Drew is not happy. He doesn't know if his unhappiness is due to the fact that he is a werewolf, and has to hide it, or that he is gay, and has to hide it. In a way or another, Drew is a misfit among his similar, and to add trouble to trouble, he is starting to feel desires that he doesn't understand, an urge to hunt or to have sex, all of them mixed together. And then Drew meets Jason, another boy like him, probably gay like him, but not a werewolf. And Drew knows that he can't live in this way no more, he needs to be free, free to be a wolf and free to be gay. For how strange it could be, Drew is a very normal boy: he is feeling the uneasiness that is typical of an age that is not yet adult but that is no more child, and he is trying to find his way in a world that seems too small for him.
 
WOLF LOVER by Michael Itig (M/M): Nigel is a werewolf's lover, means that he likes to have sex with werewolves while they are in shifted form. And since werewolves don't like to be exposed, he tricked them. Till now he was lucky, nothing bad happened to him, but his last werewolf told him that he is doing a dangerous game, and give him an advice. And so Nigel finds a place where humans and shifters play together in a safe haven and among them he finds Luke, a nice guy that, with the fact that he is also a werewolf he could be the perfect partner for Nigel. But Luke is young, in age and also as werewolf, and Nigel becomes almost a training ship for him; they start a sweet relationship, made of wooing and tenderness, and Nigel starts to think to have find the real deal, if not for the fact that Luke is always shy dealing with his inner wolf, he doesn't like to show it to Nigel. And Nigel doesn't know if for him is enough to have a good man by his side, or if he will miss the wolf. For Nigel arriving to term with his relationship with Luke, is like for a straight man to accept that he is in love with another man; apparently Luke is not the man for Nigel, he is not "wild" enough, but if Nigel manages to move on to his fetish, maybe he will realize that the happiness is near him ready to be taken.
 
SHY HUNTER by Ginn Hale (M/M): David is a werewolf, but he is not the classical strong big bad wolf, he is more like an overgrown puppy; during the day he works in a kennel, and sometime he shifts to become a rescue dog, helping the police to find missing person. David was turned by a rogue werewolf that still haunts the city, and every time David is searching for a missing person, he fears to find out that the evil struck again. The fear is always with David and his work partner is worried for him, and in the end she convinces David to try to date. David is lucky, his first night out he finds Edgar, a shy boy like him. Edgar is perfect, apparently innocent, he is eager in bed and David finds in him the welcoming mate he needs; Edgar's body and home are like a safe haven for David, but more he is with him, more David starts to realize that Edgar is not a normal guy, and above all, he seems to be the target of the rogue werewolf. Even if in this story David plays the role of the hero, he is not at all in the role; David has too much the good boy feeling in him, he is not bad enough. Apart from the shifting thing, and even when he does it, he is still a good "boy", more a pet than a wild wolf, David has no one of the characteristics of a werewolf: he is not driven by lust, he is not bloodthirsty, he is not sex obsessed... really, David is more like a big mutt searching for a warm spot to cuddle, than a lust filled werewolf...
 
THE STRAY by Anel Viz (M/M): John has finally manages to convince his lover Farkas to come to live with him, but even if they now live together, Farkas is still a bit of mystery for John: sometime he disappears for hours without notice only to reappear with a good excuse and a lot of cuddling to make John forget. At the beginning of their relationship maybe John was not happy of it, but lately he found something else to distract him: a stray dog that visits him every time Farkas is out. The dog is friendly and protective, and John feels safe with him; sometime John feels like he is not in the same league of Farkas, his lover is athletic, always active, and instead John sometime likes to stay at home and cuddle on the couch, and the dog allows him to do that while Farkas doesn’t… in a way Farkas and the big dog complete themselves, and they never met! John realizes that something is missing, there is a piece in this story that eludes him, but, or he doesn’t want to understand it, or he really has no idea that such a thing could exist, and Farkas smiles behind his shoulders, and plays along. The story is really light and funny, and the reader smiles along with Farkas of John’s naïveté.
 
NEW BEGINNINGS by Cari Z. (M/M): Michael is the second in command of an all gay werewolves pack. Some weeks before he welcomed Tori, a young runaway shifter in the pack, but after entrusting him in the hands of the Alpha, he didn’t want to have to deal with him. Apparently Tori is the one who needs a new beginning, but also Michael has his own issue, he doesn’t trust too young men for relationship, since he doesn’t believe them serious, and Tori is barely 20 years old. But Tori is not a normal guy, he has seen a lot in his young age and this made him older than he appears; Tori is respectful, quiet and able to follow a good leader, the perfect partner for Michael, if only Michael will see the obvious. But his Alpha is a lot more wise than him (he is an Alpha after all), and forced Michael to take Tori under his wing… it will not take longer for nature to have its course.
 
WHERE THE SLED DOGS RUN by Jerome Stueart (M/M): Drew is a fourth grade teacher and in a way he is innocent like the kids he teaches to. He likes stories, he is romantic and he has faith, and so when he receives and anonymous card asking for an appointment, he is willing to try. Girdard, the man who sent the card, probably chooses Drew for the ability of the man to believe in dream, since what he has to say to the man, only a fool will believe, or a dreamer. The story is very short, even among all these short story, and has quite a fairy tale feeling on it. Probably it’s not even a romance, even if Drew and Girard “dated” (like told us Drew), but they never ever kissed during the tale! Anyway I like the old fashioned feeling of it, and Drew is really cute as elementary teacher. I also like the small town feeling of the place where he lives, a place where he can be an elementary gay teacher, attend a liberal church and fall in love through an anonymous card.
 
PAVLOV’S DOG by Andi Lee (M/M): A really “fast” story, barely a scene, and mostly sex, about Josh and Caleb, two lone wolves that decided to build together a pack, to be their family. Caleb owns a isolated pub near a forest, Caleb is a wandering musician that when enters the Pavlov’s Dog, Josh’s pub, knows that he is finally at home. Now it’s only question to make it official, filling the necessary forms for the Werewolves council to recognize them as a pack and family.
 
WOLVES OF THE WEST by Charlie Cochrane (M/M): Rory and George are a more than 100 years old couple of werewolves, but they are not your usual alpha / beta pair, all rutting around and snarl and sex, they are English and even in shifted form they behave! During the day they work as professors in an science history museum, and they are also member of a council of werewolves; usually their meeting are boring science lessons, but sometime they need to take care of the misbehaviour of one of the pack… more or less every one hundred years, and if you think that this is a long time, remember that Englishmen have very long memory. Tinged with a sharp humour, this is mostly a funny tale; sometime there is a sad undertone, when Rory and George remember all the atrocity they witnessed in their life, but above all is a sweet tale of the life of a long loving couple, that was lucky enough to find each other and that is happy to grow old together. BTW it’s the second time in few day that I read a story set in England, among Englishmen of an more than average class, and there is a not so friendly hint to Australians… being in Australia or having relationship with Australians seem to be the worst case scenario ever!
 
FAMILY MATTERS by Moondancer Drake (F/F): Another really short story, almost a glimpse in a more complicated and long tale that we have no chance to read but from which we have some hint. Tala is a big female werewolf who is in a committed relationship with Mirabella, a lynx shifter. They have two boys, born from Mirabella and a donor, a gay man who is still part of their enlarged family. Tala is obviously the strong side of the couple, while Mirabella is the caretaker, the one who cooks and raises the kids. In this short story both the kids than their surrogate fathers remain on the edge, and all the story turns around a mission Tala and Mirabella have to bring on for the pack, and so there is not even a kiss or a bit of romance between them if not for the protective behaviour of Tala with Mirabella, and the little signs of her affection for her lover.
 
WRONG TURN by Stephen Osborne (M/M): A night Kevin takes the wrong turn and finds himself in an unknown world. The only good thing in all this is that he has the chance to meet Shawn. There is no mystery in what Shawn is, since Kevin discovers from the first night that Shawn is a werewolf and that the pack is not happy for him to mix with a human. So from that moment on, Shawn and Kevin’s relationship progresses like a very normal one, with the two that have the time to know each other, with some sex here and there, and mostly with them dealing with all the little things that have to be overcome to build something together. There is a bridge that divides human world from the werewolves and in this case, the separation is not only physical, but also of mind; to be together, Kevin and Shawn have to find a place in the middle of both their world.
 
LEADER OF THE PACK by Robert Saldarini (M/M): Adolfo is an Austrian who now lives in USA. He is a werewolf and he was turned past in the ’30 of the twenty century in a Vienna occupied by the Nazi Army. Adolfo managed to escape the war with his friend Yeller, but Conan, the sire of both him and Yeller, died. Now Adolfo has a new lover in his bed, Raul, and he is so like Conan, that memories flood his mind… only that Yeller has a surprising information for him, that maybe will change his perspective in the story. Again this is not a romance; Raul is barely making an appearance at the beginning of the story, and he soon disappears to leave space to Adolfo and Yeller’s personal story, that is one of friendship rather than love. The short story could be well be listed as “historical”, since it’s mostly set in Old Vienna, but it’s really short. There is good material here for something more I believe, and the style is dry and neat, but interesting.
 
WAR OF THE WOLVES by Charles Long (M/M): It’s a strange pack those of Hunter, his Alpha female gathers all the gay kids in trouble she can find and offers them a choice: being a werewolf and safe with her pack. It was like that for Hunter two years before, and now Hunter himself was sent by the Alpha to make the same proposal to Jared. In the two years he was with the pack, Hunter has had plenty of lover, but he has not met the One. When he sees Jared, he knows that he is special, but Jared has to take his decision in freedom. In this case being a werewolf is a metaphor of being someone strong enough to survive and win above all the abuses. These kids have no support from the family or friends, and the pack will replace all of them; the pack is like a community, where sex is free and no one judges you for your bed-choices, but only for what you do for the care of the pack itself.
 
FLIP CITY by Lucas Johnson (M/M): Strange things are happening in the city and Ryan fells victim: one night he is bitten by a wolf, and the morning after a young guy, barely eighteen, named Danny, knocks at his door asking Ryan to forgive him since he turned him in a werewolf. If not for the strange urges he is feeling, Ryan will believe Danny crazy, but unfortunately he is not. And Ryan needs him to get used to his new life; but while among them the city is becoming always more strange, Ryan will find out that his crazy life with Danny is not so crazy after all, and that he can control the wolf in him.
 
NIGHT SWIMMING by R.J. Bradshaw (M/M): This is quite a funny tale; while Joseph is swimming naked in the river he meets Todd, another werewolf. Joseph is a city guy, his only “wild” adventure being the swims he takes by night in the river, and instead Todd is a wild wolf, who lives most of the time in wolf form. But they are mates, both of them can “smell” it, and Todd wants for Joseph to come to live with him… imagine it! Joseph that for living grooms dogs, and that is also quite proud of it, asked to become a wolf in the wilderness… Joseph who is still living with his parents and that has always had his life planned and ruled by the pack… But Todd is quite convincing and maybe they can find an agreement…
 
IN THE SEEONEE HILLS by Erica Hildebrand (F/F): Claire was turned into a werewolf by her occasional lover Jules; if it was deep real love with Jules maybe the thing would be not so bad, but Claire is not sure of her feelings for Jules. Meanwhile at the clinic she is frequenting for her “disease” she meets Geneva, a werewolf of another packs, and in Geneva maybe Claire finds the mate she hasn’t found in Jules. On the contrary of Jules, Geneva wants for Claire to take full possession and awareness of her new status as werewolf, and with this new awareness maybe she will finally find also the love that she didn’t know she was searching.
 
A WOLF’S MOON by Quinn Smythwood (M/M): It’s quite a strange tale this one, the reader is plunged in the action without much notice. Sebastian is the alpha lover, but he seems no more content of his life. Hadrian, the Alpha, plays almost a Jesus Christ role, waiting for his favourite disciple to betray him like Judas did. The story has a strong gothic tone, and it seems like it was always played by night or in closed spaces. There is no wild ride by night for these werewolf, no joyous lovemaking, the feeling is one of oppression and repression, and the wolf inside Sebastian is caged.



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