December 18th, 2010

andrew potter

Twists and Turns by Stevie Woods

The Wrong Path was a sweet tale setting in a fantasy kingdom I tagged "Back to the Future", since it mixed the common elements of a Regency historical with a fantasy/futuristic setting. Someone could also call it Neo-Regency... Anyway the starting point of the story was one of the most used in a classical Regency, the heir of a wealthy and noble family, Zeke, is forced by his father to married the heir of another wealthy family, to merge the respective wealth. Only that Zeke is not so happy with his father decision, he is an artist and a dreamer and he doesn't want to marry a stranger; not that he has any decision in the matter, and so in the previous book, Zeke was on his path to the near city to meet the prospective fiance. Only that he took the wrong path and ended in the arms of Crispin, instead. Crispin is rich but not noble, he is a middle class man who has just dumped his deceptive lover and wants only to relax in his country cottage.

Twists and Turns continues where The Wrong Path ended, from the morning after of the "notorious" debauching of the virgin act led by Crispin on a very willing Zeke. Now Zeke is compromised, and Crispin has to do the right thing, talk to Zeke's father to ask Zeke's hand in marriage. The only problem is that Crispin is only a middle class man and Zeke a nobleman, and Crispin's father is not so happy to loose his commercial agreement with the other family.

This is again another short story, and it's again only a step more in Crispin and Zeke's story; as The Wrong Path lasted half a day and a night, Twists and Turns last only a day. Short story by short story, step by step, maybe in the end we will have a really nice Neo-Regency novel! Due to the strict connections between the two short stories, I recommend to read both in the right order.

Amazon Kindle: Twists and Turns

1) The Wrong Path:
2) Twists and Turns

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Behind the Cover: Gerald Gregg

Gerald Gregg started out free-lancing for Western Printing & Lithographing Co. and in 1935 was given a permanent position. In 1943 he was assigned to do the covers for the new Dell paperback line and produced 176 covers for them. He worked with an airbrush which made his work for Dell unique and striking. During his stay at Western he also drew comic strips and the back covers of their Little Golden Books.

The Dell Mapback Airbrush Guy, Gregg was born in 1907 in Lamar, Colorado and graduated from the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee in 1928. When he was hired to do cover illustrations for Dell paperbacks in 1943 he often used secretaries and stenographers as models. Gregg's highly-distinctive Dell mapback covers (he did over 170 of them) are unique among mass market paperbacks, and are among the most coveted mass-market collectibles.

Extraordinary airbrush technique and an often-abstract approach, stylistic contrasts of light and shadows, with a few bright colors used to accentuate particular features of his characters, Gregg called his style "a combination of graphic design and stylized realism."


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andrew potter

All Man by G.A. Hauser

I noticed that in her last works G.A. Hauser has tuned down a bit her bad heroes, making them probably less extreem, while in any case preserving that tad bit of selfishness that makes them unique.

Enter Chase, physical therapist from New York City who decided to move in farm country to try to save his practice. He is working now for the Army, as PT in a base in a small town in Ohio; from the bustle-hastle of New York City with all the “gay” opportunities to be “forced” again in the closet due to the small town mentality is a big step. Chase is really rethinking his decision, more out of frustration than anything else. Plus is not that Chase is willing to be less picky, as he himseld says, he not only wants a gay man, he wants him also handsome and fit (and here the G.A. Hauser’s trademark makes its appearance).

Gary is a Staff Sergeant in the same base where Chase works, but they meet out of it, in the park while Chase is jogging and Gary is playing with the only 8 other gay guys in the city. He is the first to spot Chase and so he is also the first to have the chance to make a move on him. Of course being both Chase than Gary, handsome, free and horny, it’s a match made in heaven.

I like Chase’s attitude towards Gary; Gary has to remain in the closet, with him being a soldier and just to be sent in Iraq, he cannot allow himself the freedom to be out. Chase doesn’t like it, but it’s not his decision to make. Chase and Gary’s relationship hits off from the first moment and they seems to have found a perfect balance; it’s not only a comfortable situation, even if it’s not that there are so many choices around. Looking more or less for a way to get off in a safe way, they have instead found love and the Mr. Right in each other.

Their main obstacle to happiness is not Gary’s need to stay in the closet, but the fact that he will be soon in Iraq; that is when Chase gets emotional, but not so much to make abrupt decision, like dumping Gary or something similar: like any good partner of a soldier, Chase makes clear to Gary that he loves him and that he will be missed, but he makes also clear that he will be there waiting for him, giving to Gary the needed stability of knowing that he has someone to come back to.

As often in a G.A. Hauser’s novel, there is a net that links more books together: Gary’s brother is Lyle Wilson from Secrets and Misdemeanors, Chase’s previous crush is Brock Hart from The Vampire and the Man-Eater, Chase's friend is Tyler from The Wedding Planner, Gary and Chase’s friends are Sam and Devlin from Leather Boys.

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Amazon Kindle: All Man

1) Secrets and Misdemeanors:
2) The Vampire and the Man-Eater:
3) The Wedding Planner:
4) Leather Boys:
5) All Man

Reading List:
andrew potter

Picture Postcards by J.M. Snyder

Picture Postcards is a bittersweet short story about two young men who have made some big mistake but luckily enough they are still young and able to correct them.

Donny was in love with his college mate Greg, but Greg had some issue to admit he was gay and in love with Donny; he searched the easy way out, he convinced himself and other people he was in love with a girl and he was eager to marry her, so eager that he didn’t want to wait. He was so good in convincing them that Donny believed him, up until the night before the marriage when Greg maybe in the wrong way searched for Donny’s help. But Donny was sad or angry, or a bit of both, and he was not able to help Greg.

Now years later Greg is again searching for Donny’s help, he is again reaching out towards Donny, and Donny is again unsure, he doesn’t know if he will be strong enough to help him. That is the point, despite the fact that probably it’s Greg who has made the bigger mistake, despite the fact that it was him that was unable to admit his feelings, I think he was the stronger of the two, and in the long the more honest. Even when they were in college together, Donny was able to admit with himself that he was in love with Greg, but then he was waiting like a princess in her ivory tower for Greg to do the first move, for Greg to be the first to use the L word, for Greg to be the courageous one. I think that maybe, with a little help from his side, Greg probably would have not committed the worst mistake of his life.

Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: Picture Postcards

Reading List: