November 4th, 2009

andrew potter

In the Spotlight: M.J. Pearson

The Book: Stephen Clair, the notorious Earl of St. Joseph, has a lover he can’t afford, a social calendar that’s out of control and a libido that rules his life. If he can’t get control of all of them, he will fall into financial ruin. Could the youthful, handsome and dependable Jamie Riley be the solution to his problems? Jamie Riley has a secret that keeps him from accepting the sexual advances of his employer, Stephen Clair, and a past he would like to leave behind. But Stephen is a man who knows how to awaken a passion that Jamie has been trying to suppress, and carries a price that Jamie would rather not pay. But it isn’t easy to ignore passion, especially when it’s so temptingly close. Julian Jeffries, lover to Stephen Clair, has found a way of living the high life without lifting a finger. It isn’t until Julian notices that Stephen has been spending time with his latest employee, Jamie Riley, that he begins to worry about losing everything he’d schemed to have. Now Julian needs to find a way of getting rid of Jamie without raising suspicion. And, as Julian knows, the best way to do that is to dig into Jamie’s past and find something to use against him.

Pearson’s charming, easygoing a well-crafted model of the genre...a breezy and solidly satisfying read. -- Richard Labonté - Books to Watch Out For

[The Price of Temptation] is a lighthearted and fun guilty-pleasure type read. -- Bay Windows

Amazon: The Price of Temptation

Amazon Kindle: The Price of Temptation

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The Author: Marlys (MJ) Pearson was born in Elizabethtown, way up in the mountains of upstate New York. After eleven barefoot years spent roaming the wilds of the Adirondacks, she moved with her family to the relative metropolis of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where she graduated with honors (and half the English prize) from St. Johnsbury Academy. After dropping out of St. John's College (Annapolis), she spent several years checking out other mountainous parts of the world (including Colorado, New Mexico, and Scotland), then returned to Maryland to study historical archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Several years in grad school at UMass/Amherst followed, before she decided to leave academia and concentrate on writing fiction. Currently, Marlys lives with her family in the Midwest, where she writes full time. Is a new book in progress? Always.

Top 100 Gay Novels List (*)

External Link to the Top 100 Gay Novels List (simple - without photos)

External Link to the Top 100 Gay Novels List (wanted - with photos)

*only one title per author, only print books released after January 1, 2000.

Note: I remember to my friends that guest reviews of the above listed books (the top 100 Gay Novels) are welcome, just send them to me and I will post with full credits to the reviewer.

Other titles not in the top 100 list:
andrew potter

The Bear by P.A. Brown

This is quite a controversial short story, it plays a lot on the squicky feelings people have with shapeshifter stories and it's also very hot, being very graphic in details when arriving to the sex scene.

Scott lives inside a park reserve. He is used to share the park with bears, he knows them well and knows how to avoid trouble. But then poachers start to kill the bears and the beasts become unpredictable. One night, after a very near proximity encounter with one of them, Scott finds the same bear wounded in his stable and calls Luke for help. Luke is a park ranger, a different type of "bear", but one Scott is bringing a torch for long time.

Scott is gay and he has no trouble with that, when he wants sexual relief, he goes into town and finds someone. But the one night stands he has are always with ordinary man, like him, and instead he likes the "bears" (not the beast but the big and strong hairy men), and in particular he likes one bear, Luke. So when fate brings them together, and Luke is not against the idea to share warm with him in a cold night, nature takes its course.

But there is a little catch, the wounded bear in the stable that disappeared and the equally wounded naked man, Bjorn, Scott found in his place. The strange familiarity Bjorn has with Luke, and how Luke doesn't seem to notice nothing of strange in Bjorn's behavior...

Short story, so there is nothing more to say, if not that, I'm not really sure to like so much the closing sentence: it's true, it's an hint more at what I said in the beginning, the fact that the author is very well aware that she is playing with a controversial matter, what's the point to write shapeshifter stories if the shapeshifter characters don't behave a bit like animals? There are some primordial instincts that you have to consider and preserve, otherwise the shifter nature of the characters has no meaning to exist.

The Rainbow Awards: Third (and last!) Phase:
andrew potter

NaNoWriMo and Ravenous Romance

Cross posted from Ravenous Romance's Blog since I think it could be of interest for many of my friends, and also thanks to Ryan Field (ryan_field) for the head up.

Original link:

"November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in which new writers are encouraged to figure out a way to write an entire 50,000 word novel in 30 days (which is a little over 1600 words a day).

Last year more than 100,000 writers participated, and every year one or two of them get published.

We'd like to increase the odds.

Ravenous Romance novels are 50,000 - 60,000 words. We love finding new writers. So, we'd really like you to write a 50,000 word novel for RR.

Although we publish just about every category of erotic romance, our readers are anxious for more M/M/, paranormal and menage. We'd love to see more science fiction erotic romance, or what we cal Futurotica. And, of course, we always love good contemporary and historical novels.

Our guidelines are up on our website:

So, from Dec. 1 until New Year's Eve, send us your completed NaNoWriMo erotic romance, and if we think you're good enough, you might win a contract, as well as a $200 advance. Your novel will be published in 2010. Should your work be chosen, we'll interview you on the RR blog and the RR Ning, so you can share your story.

Should the submissions merit it, we'll give out first, second and third place awards, but every novel published will get the $200 advance.

We're looking forward to publishing your NaNoWriMo novel!

Send completed novels, with an outline and a author bio, to: submissions@ravenousromancecom."

Ravenous Romance is a publisher of e-books and audiobooks led by three longtime publishing professionals who see digital publishing as the new mass market. They launched on December 1, 2008 and have published more than 200 novels, anthologies, and short stories since. Ravenous Romance produces and sells the “Escape with Romance Collection” of trade paperback novels exclusively on HSN, and has licensed print rights to many of its other titles to traditional publishing houses.
andrew potter

Hidden Conflict by Alex Beecroft, Mark R. Probst, Jordan Taylor & E.N. Holland

Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft

There is a mix of all the best novels by Alex Beecroft in this novella. Of course there is, the setting is the same she loves so much, a military ship sailing in stranger seas, and there are two men, two officers, who fall in love. Where is the difference? Well maybe in the way the story starts, they are safe and in love in Rio de Janeiro, retired from the Army and enjoying an almost “marriage” bliss. So here is the main difference, we can read of their story, and fear for them, but we know that, in the end, they will find a way to stay together.

And at the beginning I also thought that Alex Beecroft had become more daring, the first scene, with one of them sleepless at night looking at his naked lover in bed was quite erotic, was it the prelude to a sexier story? But no, as usual, there is a lot of hidden eroticism, desires and forbidden thirsts, but all happens behind a closed door.

The very nice thing of this novella is the narration path. First Harry, the captain, and then Garnet, his lieutenant, tell their own story from the different perspective they saw it. And from their narration you can understand the men. Harry is conservative and almost shy, despite his rank, he is not arrogant, and maybe he is also a bit naive; when he realizes his feelings for Garnet he is both tempted than troubled, and above all he thinks to be alone in his desires, that he could almost corrupt the lesser officer. And then we read Garnet’s point of view, how he almost seduced Harry, how he was always aware of the forbidden desire of the man, that were the same as his. Garnet in a way fill the voids Harry’s narration left and he is also the spirited one, who probably gives a bit of spice to the entire story.

Not to Reason Why by Mark R. Probst

When you are telling a story set in the middle of the war between Army and Native Americans, 1876, and you are aware of how tragic it was, it’s quite difficult to have an happily ever after romance. Plus, if you add to that that one of the main character is married and apparently content of his life, the quest for romance is even harder.

Brett and Dermot are fellow officers, but Dermot has also the sacred fire for his mission and instead Brett was forced into it. Dermot has all settled in front of him, a long and satisfying career in the Army, a wife who is willing to wait for him, and a good friend in Brett. On the other hand, Brett has nothing sure, the only thing he certainly knows, since it is eating him alive, is that he is in love with Dermot and that love it’s not only forbidden, it’s also impossible.

From the first pages the reader knows that the story is heaving on angst, the only thing that console him is that, in the end, Brett finds the courage to express his feelings for Dermot, and Dermot proves to be the good man Brett thought he was and the reader had the chance to see. And maybe, there is even a little possibility that a romance for Brett is at hand.

I like that, for once, it wasn’t the “gay” character the perfect one; if you compare Dermot and Brett, probably Dermot is a better man, he is not only a good officer and a good husband, but he is also able to accept Brett for who he is, a good friend, and not for who he loves, another man. On the other hand, I think Brett is a very troubled man, and not so strong: he is not a bad man, but he is for sure not perfect like Dermot. And in the end, if I have to choose, I probably prefer him to Dermot, not since he is gay, but since I have always preferred the imperfect one; but some of Brett’s actions are not exactly what I would expect from a novel’s hero.

No Darkness by Jordan Taylor

Again I had the feeling from the beginning of the story that I wouldn’t find an happily ever after here. I don’t know, but every story I read involving the WWI has never had an happily ever after. I remember my history professor told us that the WWI marked a passage in the way men did was, they lost their quality of men to become meat to slaughter. And the men in command lost their quality of knights to become even more detached from the simple soldiers.

Darnell is a lieutenant, and Fisher a simple soldier. There is no reason for them to be together if not for the war and a bomb that traps them in a cellar of an abandoned farm. In the hours they are forced to be together, Darnell and Fisher learn that they have more in common of what they thought; it’s not a clear discovery, more a play of unsaid words and uncompleted motions. Fisher is more open than Darnell, even in his childish memories the reader seems to find some sign of what Fisher is trying to communicate to Darnell, and instead for Darnell it’s more a play to understand what he is not saying: he is married but doesn’t want children. He has a good wife but he doesn’t seem to miss her so much other than missing the simple life they had together. There is a lot of possibilities for these two men, and they come out from the “darkness” in a strong way to the reader, but still, in the end, the darkness is stronger than them.

The reader is aware that Darnell and Fisher can be something more for each other. And this is the reason why, sorry, I don’t understand why the story has to be so tragic, to be faithful to the history? Since the war was so cruel that it couldn’t have been different? I can understand that, but still, I prefer to have at least a smallest chance to a better future, for how much unbelievable it could be.

Our One and Only by E.N. Holland

This is probably a very unexpected pleasure to read. Unexpected since ab absurdo, this was the most sad of all the story above, one of the two lovers of the story is already dead at the beginning of it, and from that moment on, all we read is how the remaining one has to cope with his pain, a pain he can share with only few people, the one who were aware that Philip was not only a dear friend of Eddie.

This story had me almost in tear, above all since I was not seeing any chance of happiness for Philip. Every chapter is 10 years in his life and chapter after chapter I was finding him always alone, 10 years older and with that pain still strong, so strong to blind him to any other possibility. And to make thing worse, Eddie, even if dead, chapter after chapter was coming out like a wonderful man, someone who Philip was right to mourn. How was it possible for him to forget and going on with his life?

So no, in the end I was not expecting an happily ever after for Philip, but I didn’t feel cheated by it; the author was plainly clear from the first page, Eddie was dead and there wouldn’t have been no coming back of the good soldier for relieving Philip of his grief. The only thing I was expecting was for Philip to find a way to be at peace with his pain, to find a way to stop to believe in an happily ever after. Oh guys, I’m in tear right now, writing this sentence, since I can still feel Philip’s pain and it’s so strong, but I can also feel Eddie’s love for him and also it’s stronger, so stronger that even 40 years after, he is still able to give an hope to Philip, the hope that also him can have an happily ever after. In a way, to be happy again, Philip had to finally being angry with Eddie, for being an hero, being angry with him for the exact reason why he loved and still loves him so much.

So in the end, if the purpose of this anthology was to make me cry, well it reached it. I didn’t cry for Alex Beecroft’s story, in a way it’s a sweet and light story with little angst; I didn’t cry for Mark Probst’s story, I enjoyed the setting, but not so much the characters; I maybe almost cried for Jordan Taylor’s story, but as I said, there was an oppressive atmosphere, and truth be told, the love between the two men was only hinted (the scene in the darkness when Fisher tries with all his remaining strength to reach for Darnell, that was the scene that almost brought me in tears)… but boys, how I cried and still am crying for E.N. Holland’s story! If you want a reason to read the anthology, well this story is your reason. (ebook) (print book)

Buy Here

Amazon: Hidden Conflict: Tales from Lost Voices in Battle

Amazon Kindle: Hidden Conflict: Tales from Lost Voices in Battle

The Rainbow Awards: Third (and last!) Phase: