October 19th, 2011

andrew potter

The Inside Reader: Aleksandr Voinov

Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir Mitchell
Storm Moon Press and its new imprint, Wild Moon Books, will be traipsing over the blogosphere throughout October for their yearly blog tour. Today I'm hosting Aleksandr Voinov and a special edition of the Inside Reader serial.

1. William Faulkner: As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, Light in August
I read those at university – people kept messing with how many credits I needed in what, and just as I thought I was finished and was complete, they changed the system again and I was one literature course short. I joined the only course that didn’t clash with my schedule and ended up, late, in a course examining Faulkner’s three masterworks. Faulkner is of course not unproblematic, but he’s a master of the English language and probably the technically best writer I’ve ever read. There are so many passages that leave you stunned and breathless, and, if you’re a writer, thoroughly humbled. Whenever the muse runs dry, I go back to Faulkner. (Yes, I know that’s three books, but I love ethem all for the same reason.)

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About Aleksandr Voinov: Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London where, after four years in financial journalism, he is now making his living as an editor at an investment bank, freelance writer and creative writing teacher. At 35 years of age, Voinov has written about 13 novels and commercially published five with German publishers. After many years working in the horror, science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy genres, Voinov has set his sights now on contemporary and historical erotic gay novels. He published his non-commercial work as Vashtan.

Voinov's characters are often scarred lonely souls at odds with their environment and pitted against odds that make or break them. He described the perfect ending for his books as "the characters make it out alive, but at a terrible cost, usually by the skin of their teeth. I want to see what's at the core of them, and stripping them down to that core is rarely pleasant for them. But it does make them wiser, and often stronger people."

Voinov's style has been called "dynamic to the point of breathlessness", "dark to the point of fatalism" and "disturbingly poetic" by publishers and literary agents.

Voinov has just barely enough time to take care of a Chinese elm bonsai standing on his desk, goes weight-lifting, and confuses opponents as a left-hander in foil fencing. Intellectually, Voinov is drawn to the dark side of human nature and history. As a trained historian, Voinov is fascinated by wars, religion and the conflict between the individual and society (see "Test of Faith" and "Spoils of War").

Blurb for Counterpunch from Storm Moon Press.

Fight like a man, or die like a slave.

Brooklyn Marshall used to be a policeman in London, with a wife and a promising future ahead of him. Then he accidentally killed a rioter whose father was a Member of Parliament and had him convicted of murder. To ease the burden on the overcrowded prison system, Brooklyn was sold into slavery rather than incarcerated. Now, he's the "Mean Machine", a boxer on the slave prizefighting circuit, pummelling other slaves for the entertainment of freemen and being rented out for the sexual service of his wealthier fans.

When Nathaniel Bishop purchases Brooklyn's services for a night, it seems like any other assignation. But the pair form an unexpected bond that grows into something more. Brooklyn hesitates to call it "love"—such things do not exist between freemen and slaves—but when Nathaniel reveals that he wants to help get Brooklyn's conviction overturned, he dares to hope. Then, an accident in the ring sends Brooklyn on the run, jeopardizing everything he has worked so hard to achieve and sending him into the most important fight of all—the fight for freedom.

All pre-orders will be entered into a drawing for one of three prizes: a poster of the Counterpunch cover art signed by the author, a copy of the Counterpunch paperback signed by the author, or the grand prize: choice of a Kindle or a $115 gift certificate to Amazon! In addition, everyone who pre-orders the ebook will be able to access it 48 hours prior to the official release date! Go to http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/Counterpunch.aspx to pre-order your copy now!

Storm Moon Press was founded January 2010 with the goal of publishing quality GLBT erotic romances and erotica. They publish all genres, including fantasy, paranormal, horror, urban fantasy, contemporary, and science fiction. They are also very open to not only gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans* stories, but also those showcasing alternative lifestyles such as BDSM, ménage à trois, and polyamory.

During their 2011 year, they decided to branch out with an imprint for mainstream erotic romances and erotica that had the same goal: publishing only quality erotic fiction. Storm Moon Press and Wild Moon Books both have many anthology calls out and are actively seeking novella and novel length submissions. Readers can see what they have, what's in store, and maybe even be introduced to a new author or two. Follow them around on the blog tour, get to know them, and comment! Comments get you into contests, and contests are just fun. ;)

The contests, of course, include their annual Swag Bag Giveaway. To enter for a chance to win our HUGE swag bag, go to THIS POST HERE. You can either comment on the post or make a twitter mention to be entered. For their international fans (outside the USA), they have a special International Giveaway HERE. Follow along and have fun!
andrew potter

In Noble Pursuit by J.C. Natál

I remember I like In Service by J.C. Natál but after reading In Noble Pursuit I feel like that book is even better than I remembered. In Noble Pursuit is not a sequel, it’s more a completion of that book and I strongly suggest you to read the two books together one soon after the other.

The story follow aristocrat Elias and his newly married husband, former slave, Jared from their honeymoon into the first year of their marriage. It’s not an easy year, above all since the threats from their enemy, Lord Stuart, are still there and they are getting dangerous. What I probably liked of this book is that, while in the first novel Lord Stuart got some of those threats striking, and there was a lot of pain both for Elias than Jared, and also separation that brought them even more pain, in In Noble Pursuit they are fighting always together and never once they are separated, always as proving that now that they are married they are as one only thing.

Both Elias and Jared change a lot from the boy they were in the first novel. Being involved in big things, it’s easy to forget they are only respectively, 25 and 21 years old, but readers realize that in this second book: there is an obvious evolution in Jared, learning to be an “adult” husband and not a “boy” slave. But who probably changed more is Elias; not in the fact that he fell in love with his slave, that was clear in book 1 and in the sacrifice he made then; Elias in this second book is learning that Jared is actually his peer, that he is a man and not a boy Elias has to protect. Jared is someone Elias could rely to in a same opportunity relationship.

I had the feeling that In Noble Pursuit was more romantic than In Service. Maybe even sweeter, like if the author was regretting a little all the ordeal of the previous novel and wanted to “gift” the heroes with some downtime, their honeymoon indeed.


1) In Service: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1343505.html
2) In Noble Pursuit

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle