Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bitter Harvest by Kim Knox

Title: Bitter Harvest
Author: Kim Knox
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: science fiction
Length: 30,000 words

It's 2050, and humans are an endangered species. Lieutenant Robert Sutton has survived the collapse of civilization by luck, his wits, and a chance mutation that makes him immune to the nano-virus that has wiped out millions. Now, his compound of survivors is surrounded by the infected, who are driven by the need to spread the contagion through sex. It is only a matter of time before they attack. So when Sutton is assigned to interrogate a prisoner who claims to have overcome the infection, he immediately suspects a trap...

Nicholas Rider may have survived the virus, but he's a changed man, ruled by his desires. But his need for Sutton is different. Rider craves an end to his overwhelming needs, and Sutton could be the man to do it.

Secure in his belief that he's invulnerable, Sutton can't understand or resist his intense attraction to his prisoner. Will Rider be his downfall-or his savior?


When I read m/m, I like the men hard. I like my science fiction hard, too. If it’s offered as romance, I like the relationships developed. So I was not very happy with this story, because one out of three isn’t enough.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fairytales Slashed: Volume 3 (anthology)

Fairytales Slashed: Volume 3
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: GLBT, Fantasy
Length: Word count: 143,000
Authors: Megan Derr, Mara Ismine, A.R. Jarvis, and Remington Ward.

In this third compilation of fairytales, see what happens when people and places are more than they seem...

Rasnake tells the tale of a man returning home after years away, only to find his home in shambles, his Princess missing, and his brother a stranger. It will take the help of his sworn brother, a battle bonded elf, to regain his blood brother and restore the fractured kingdom... Pretty tells the tale of a young man faced with a marriage he cannot bear to go through with, who runs away from home and finds himself stranded in a forest... He Shall Go to the Ball is the tale of a young man whose best chance at escaping his despicable stepfather is by making the most of the fact he teased relentlessly for his feminine beauty... Greenwood tells the story of a man who lost everything defending the man he loved, and who now spends his days as a mysterious figured in a dark hood, leading a band of thieves... and Moth to the Flame is the tale of a man sent on assignment to a castle where he meets and falls in love with a beautiful prince. But the prince later has no memory of their night together, and the young man determines to deduce the mystery and gain back his prince at any cost.


Rasnake by Megan Derr

Told from the POV of Tallant, the elf and the outsider, we see a kingdom brought to its knees by the weaknesses of its ruler. Tallant’s sworn battle-mate, Milton, is returning home after an absence of years, to find that his younger brother Cecil is doing his best to hold the place together. By necessity, Cecil’s become a much harder man than the dreamy scholar he’d been as a boy. Beset by dragons coming through the crumbling wards, and now with mysterious kidnappings and deaths, the kingdom needs the strange skills and outside viewpoint Milton and Tallant bring home.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

It's Thursday once again, and who has a little fic (100 to 1000 words) or an excerpt to go with these two? Do they need a study break? If an author wants to put words to them, send it with cover, blurbs, news, and links to CryselleC at gmail dot com. Otherwise we'll just drool.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Snow Day is out!

I posted this horrible stormy picture a few months back, and author Juniper Gray saw all sorts of possibilities in it! She sent us a little taste for Thousand Word Thursday,  but Jim and Johnny got a much larger story from that blizzardy walk home. Torquere Press just released it, it's called Snow Day.

snow day juniper gray cryselle bookshelf

Snow Day from Juniper Gray

Jim and Johnny have been best friends and neighbors for two years, and although neither knows that the other is gay, they secretly yearn for their relationship to be more than it is. Jim has had a difficult year, and Johnny doesn't want to add to his worries and possibly alienate him by confessing. Jim would like nothing more than to take Johnny in his arms, but is afraid Johnny won't feel the same.

A bitter snow storm helps them both to realize that life is all about taking chances.

Find it here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Amethyst Cat Caper by Charlie Cochet

Title: The Amethyst Cat Caper
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Historical, Detective
Cover Artist: Alessia Brio

Two years ago, Remington Trueblood left England and everything he held dear, all for the chance at a new life. Now the successful owner of The Purple Rose Tea House in Manhattan, Remi has come across the perfect addition to his business: a stunning amethyst cat. But Remi's acquired something else with his latest purchase: the attention of the notorious Gentleman Thief!

Detective Stanley Hawk doesn't know the first thing about tea. He's strictly a java kind of guy. What he does know, is crime, and someone's just committed one. As a Pinkerton’s, Hawk always gets his man, and when his investigations lead him straight to Remi, never have truer words been spoken.

Can Remi and Hawk resist each other long enough to figure out who the thief is and what the heck is going on? Or will the Gentleman Thief get his hands on more than just the Amethyst Cat? From a quirky antique shop, to a high-society tea house, The Amethyst Cat Caper is a delightful romp through 1930s New York. Whether you prefer tasty tea or steamy java, grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy!

Anyone who ever dreamed of slashing Sam Spade would feel right at home with Charlie Cochet’s detective romance. Set in 1934, this novella has the gritty feel of the ‘30s, where a country still mired in the Depression remembers the high life.

A priceless antiquity stolen by the Gentleman Thief ends up in a curiosity shop, taken for a counterfeited gew-gaw and sold to an expatriate Englishman. What looked to be a pretty bauble is suddenly sought after by everyone from Pinkerton’s agents to foreign government inspectors, and hapless purchaser Remington Trueblood is on the run. The Gentleman Thief wants his prize back, and if he can steal a little more in the bargain, he’d take it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thousand Word Thursday from Kelly Wyre and HJ Raine

Asher Collins raced ahead of Joe, holding an overflowing laundry basket in a precarious grip. Wash day always meant more interesting wardrobe choices than normal for Asher. Today, however, was conservative: a long-sleeved salmon t-shirt and snug, checkered shorts that stopped just above Asher's bony knees. "C'mon, Joe-Joe," Asher trilled, coyly over one narrow shoulder. "We're gonna have to mud-wrestle for machines as it is."

Joseph Smith eyed Asher, hefting the duffle bag with the sheets, towels, detergent and fabric softener. "They have a mud pit at the laundromat?"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lucky by Tia Fielding

Lucky by Tia Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: GLBT, Contemporary
Length: 24 pages

Sloane would've given anything to have been born with the right body, but he hadn't. He’d have given anything to have his family back, but his father insisted that until Sloane was ready to become his heterosexual daughter again, he wanted nothing to do with him. So Sloane dealt with the challenges of living transgendered as best he could. Luckily, his best friend Jace was there with him every step of the way. Jace is the best man Sloane has ever met, but Jace is gay and Sloane still doesn’t have the right parts – until Jace proves that he loves Sloane just the way he is.


Tia Fielding has crammed a great deal into this small but compelling story. Lucky touches on several hugely important issues: gender dysphoria, what to do to bring body and self into alignment, family dynamics, dating, sex, and love.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Love Notes Anthology

More Love Notes by Vicki Lyn
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: GLBT, Contemporary
Length: Word Count: 80000

Love always has perfect timing.

Across battle lines, foolish games, and conflicting tempos, love always finds a way. From rock and roll to symphonies, modern day geeks to 19th century soldiers, this collection of sexy and romantic stories shows even the loneliest of moments can be made right when the perfect note is delivered. Let More Love Notes find a home in your heart, a reminder that love happens all over, any time, any place. Written by four of the hottest authors in gay erotic romance--Lydia Nyx, Scarlett Parrish, Viki Lyn and Jenny Urban--these stories will definitely add an edge of spice to your Valentine's night.

Blue Gray Lines by Lydia Nix

This is an epistolary story – while a lot of the action takes place on Wendell’s farm most of the relationship development happens in the series of letters between him and his lover, Declan, who’s gone for a soldier in the Union Army in the War Between the States. The two clearly love one another: as the horrors of the war drag on, they cling to each other more and more. When Declan finally gets a bit of furlough, it’s just in time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

Ain't he cute? And domestic? At least a little. If anyone has a little fic or excerpt to go with him, send it on to CryselleC AT gmail Dot com. and I will post it with your blurb, cover, and links. And if you can't stop droolling on your lap, he'll just wash your jeans for you. (One hundred to 1000 words if you wanna play.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eden Winters named Lambda Literary Awards Finalist!

Oh wow do I love it when other people agree with me! Eden Winters' Settling the Score has been named a finalist in the 24th Lambda Literary Awards in the Gay Romance category!

Anyone who hangs around here knows that Eden is a must buy for me, and Settling the Score is one of my favorites. There's a 5 Marble review here, and this is one I go back to when I'm too tired to start something new and need an old friend.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Editing Does Matter

This is from something I'm reading, what exactly isn't important. But it does explain why understanding punctuation and doing the proofreading matter.

And he had been good, no more than that, a talent to be reckoned with.

Really? He'd been no more than good, but still so fabulous? This doesn't make sense, one part contradicts the other. Or maybe he's getting by on other attributes than his skill.

This is what I think the author meant:

And he had been good, no, more than that, a talent to be reckoned with.

Now he's all sorts of top flight! And my perception of the character is really different.

Next time someone thinks editing and proofreading shouldn't be counted for a rating, remember that one little comma can completely change the direction the story's going.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Thousand Word Thursday Story from Jared Rackler

The water beat a steady stream against their skin until no trace of the blood was left. Looking at Lawrence’s skin, he could almost believe it had never happened. If he tried hard enough, he could almost believe they were back in London, bathing together in the big copper tub that sat in his home in Mayfair. Sharp press of stone at his back ripped the vision from him and he was again standing underneath a waterfall on a small rocky outcropping. Even the sight of Lawrence’s nude flesh did little to stir his excitement. Of all the regrets that sliced at his conscience, bringing Lawrence along hurt the worst. Knowing that he was responsible for not only the wound that marked the flesh of his lover’s left shoulder but the curse that was winding its way through Lawrence’s body as well was almost too much to bear.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont

Title: The Starboard sea
Author: Amber Dermont
Genre: recent historical
Length: 310 pages
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and compelling novel about a young man navigating the depths of his emotional life, finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.


The Starboard Sea is an inside peek into the world and lives of the preppies of the late 80s, that highly bred, over-privileged group that the rest of us either aspired to be or loathed. This is a coming of age novel with some very striking characteristics.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Thousand Word Thursday Story from JL Merrow

This is a short epilogue to my story Angel, available from Dreamspinner Press here:  All you need to know from that story is that Michael is a demon, and Don his human lover.


Don raised an eyebrow at the package his lover held out to him. It was wrapped in thick brown paper, tied with twine. “Did I forget an anniversary, or something?”

Michael shook his head, a familiar half-smile playing on his lips. “I just saw it in a shop window on my way home from work, and I knew I had to get it for you.”

Goodreads Giveaways

While poking around the community, I discovered that three books that I either liked (Blue Notes and The Rare Event) or expect to like (Diversion) are being offered in hard copy at Goodreads. If you don't hang out at all at Goodreads, it's an enormous forum of book lovers talking about hundreds of thousands of books, from classics to the newest releases. I crosspost my reviews there.

P.D. Singer, Eden Winters, and Shira Anthony each have their latest releases in a giant lottery, but just like the lottery, you can't win if you don't enter! It's free, and while you don't have to review the book there if you win, I can tell you for sure you're more likely to win again if you do. I review my winnings like any other book I talk about, you can do a paragraph or two and call it good.

Click on the covers: these books should go to contestants who will love them.

If you guys like these posts, say so, I can do them regularly.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

Someone's got to have a few words of excerpt or ficlet to go with this picture. One hundred to one thousands words please -- see here for details on playing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Aisling Book 3: Beloved Son by Carole Cummings

Aisling Book Three: Beloved Son by Carole Cummings
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: GLBT, Fantasy
Length: 119,000 words or 388 pages

Newfound love might not be enough. Trust holds the possibility of both salvation and damnation.

Circumstances having forced them to seek asylum in Lind, Wil and Dallin are momentarily safe, but find themselves at the center of a convergence they’re not sure they’re strong enough to face. The power of the land and the Mother awaits Wil in the bowels of Lind, but it comes with strings attached. With Dallin's help, Wil must find a way to defeat the soul-eater, save the Father, Her Beloved, and manage to keep his soul in the process.

Through deduction and magic and mutual strength, Dallin and Wil must accept their roles as the Guardian and the Aisling and stand together against a ruthless god in a climactic battle of dreams and wills. The fates of their souls and those of all mortals hang in the balance. But what good is the power of love if the one who needs it doesn't know how to trust?

Aisling: Book Three, Beloved Son, is the third book in the Aisling series. Other titles in the Aisling series include Book One: Guardian, and Book Two: Dream.


Carole Cummings has presented a sweeping dénouement to her stunning trilogy. Aisling Part Three, Beloved Son, completes all the story arcs that have been building to give as a monumental tale of men, gods, love, and oh yeah, saving the world, too.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thousand Word Thursday Excerpt from Carole Cummings

From Aisling Book Three: Beloved Son


“You should’ve had a happy boyhood,” Wil whispered. “You should’ve had so much more than what you had, you should have so much more now.”

“So shouldn’t we all,” Dallin answered, just as quietly, dropped a kiss to the top of Wil’s head. “You should laugh all the time, like you did today.” He took hold of Wil’s arms and pushed him gently away. Wil could almost see him, once again, put away the small bit of his past he’d allowed himself to remember, bury it and then move on. He turned, gestured for Wil to follow. “C’mon, I want to show you—”


He kept walking. “—how clear the water is. It’s all rock here, so you can see right down to—”


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

Someone's got to have an excerpt or a ficlet to tell us what these two are doing standing in a waterfall!

Authors? See the upper left link for "How Thousand Word Thursday" works. One hundred words, up to 1000 to satisfy our curiosity, please!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper

Title: The Rebuilding Year
Author: Kaje Harper
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 298 pages

Losing nearly everything leaves room for the one thing they can’t live without.

A few excruciating minutes pinned in a burning building cost Ryan Ward his job as a firefighter, the easy camaraderie of his coworkers, his girlfriend, and damn near cost him his left leg. Giving up, though, isn’t an option. Compared to the alternative, choosing a new profession, going back to school, and renting a room from the college groundskeeper are simple.

Until he realizes he’s falling in love with his housemate, and things take a turn for the complicated.

John Barrett knows about loss. After moving twice to stay in touch with his kids, he could only watch as his ex-wife whisked them away to California. Offering Ryan a room seems better than rattling around the empty house, but as casual friendship moves to something more, and a firestorm of emotions ignites, the big old house feels like tight quarters.

It’s nothing they can’t learn to navigate, though. But when dead bodies start turning up on campus—and one of the guys is a suspect—their first taste of real love could go up in smoke.

Product Warnings

Contains two hot men wrestling with a shift in their sexuality, as well as a few positions probably listed in the Gay Kama Sutra. But it’s not all about the hot and sweaty—especially when your previously straight life knocks on the door and comes back to visit.

Given the astonishing amount of baggage the protagonists have to carry, Kaje Harper has done a superior job of presenting just the right amount of seriousness leavened with humor. Both Ryan and John are in the middle of redefining their lives when they meet, and manage to come together as part of it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

No Pirates

I'm getting a lot of hits again from people who are clearly looking for a free download of various books. That's not what we're all about here: this is a review site, not a pirate site. Don't knock on my door hoping I will help you steal, because I won't. The authors put their hearts and souls into their stories, and the social contract is, you wanna read, you pay the fee. It's damned little for what these folks go through to bring you a worthwhile book.

Do I get free files? Not exactly. I don't pay money, I pay in words, in reviews. That's a social contract too and believe me, I could earn the money to buy the book in the same time as it takes me to write a review, and probably with less effort.And there's days when that seems like a better idea than reviewing. I buy a lot of books too.

Yeah, I've heard all the arguments for why stealing is okay. They're bullshit. It's not okay and it never will be okay. Maybe I can't stop the pirates but I sure won't help them.

I have way too much respect for the authors to steal their work. And I want all my visitors here to feel the same.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Permanently Legless by JL Merrow

Title: Permanently Legless
Author: JL Merrow
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Amber Quill
Genre: contemporary
Length: 30 pages

The Taliban may have taken both of Chris's legs, but he came back from Afghanistan with his sense of humour and his lust for life firmly intact. The one thing that can shake his confidence, however, is meeting Josh, the one-night stand from before his tour of duty he hasn't been able to forget.

It turns out Josh hasn't forgotten Chris, either. But with Chris such a changed man, can they still have a future?


JL Merrow dops us into the middle of the story, beginning as she means to go on, with our narrator rolling over the toes of those too dim to get out of the way. Chris has already had the worst happen, and now he’s ready to go on with his life in the best way he can.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

Don't we all need a little break from winter? Maybe someone has a little story or excerpt to tell us how well these two know each other, and where the sand has, or will, get stuck. Email with links, blurb and a cover to CryselleC AT Gmail Dot com or heck, just drool. (A 100 word drabble? Or up to 1000 words of your choice)