Category Archives: Romance

Interview: Andrew J. Peters, Author of “Werecat: The Rearing”

WerecatTheRearingCover2Description: For Jacks Dowd, a college senior who feels ungrounded from his family and life in general, an alcohol and sex-infused weekend in Montréal sounds like a pretty good escape. His Spring Break binge takes a detour when he meets Benoit, an admiring drifter with startling green eyes. A hook-up turns into a day, two days, and then a full week in Benoit’s hostel, making love and scarfing down take-out food. But at the end of the week, Benoit demands that Jacks make an impossible choice: stay with him forever or never see him again.

The night before Jacks is supposed to return to college, he meets Benoit in Mont Royal Park to try to work things out. Benoit springs on Jacks an unfathomable secret: he’s a werecat. He traps Jacks in an abandoned cabin and performs an occult rite so they will be mated forever.

With his dual nature, Jacks can shape-shift at will, and he has amazing new senses and physical abilities. But how will he live as an unfathomable hybrid creature? When Benoit shows Jacks the violence he’s capable of, Jacks may need to find a way to destroy the one person who can help him survive.

“Werecat: The Rearing” is the first book in a paranormal romance series published by Vagabondage Press.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I write mainly fantasy and some young adult and contemporary fiction. First and foremost, I write to entertain. For me, fantasy is the best outlet for that. Fighting for social justice is also a big part of who I am, and it comes up in my writing. I worked for eighteen years as an advocate and social worker for LGBT youth. So I think I’m drawn to fantasy because it gives me the opportunity to show the world the way it “ought” to be. One aspect of that is reclaiming traditional stories, or myths and legends, for LGBT audiences.

In “Werecat,” I wanted to tell a dark story in the vampire/werewolf vein that centered on a gay man’s journey through danger and romance. Homoeroticism is touched on a lot in that genre. But as a gay reader, I tend to find the mainstream portrayals unsatisfying to the extent that essentially they’re about non-gay people navigating a terrifying and erotic world, with some minor queer characters or dalliances thrown in. I like my stories with queer characters front-and-center. That doesn’t mean that I treat them with kit gloves, but they’re usually the heroes driving my stories.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was a shy, introverted kid so writing came pretty naturally to me as an escape. When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school principal let me read from a murder mystery I wrote, using the school’s P.A. system during lunchtime. I don’t even know if they use P.A. systems in American schools anymore; it stands for public address, and every classroom used to have speakers for listening to the principal read off the cafeteria’s lunch specials at the start of the day. Anyway, I didn’t actually take up writing professional until my 30s, since it didn’t seem to be a practical career, but it’s always been part of who I am.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Gregory Maguire is my all-time favorite author. I especially loved his Wicked series. There’s a lot that I admire about his work – the incredible settings he creates, the humor, the flawed, embattled characters that I find so endearing.

More broadly, I’m drawn to the idea of retelling stories from an unexpected point of view, whether that’s vindicating a character who has previously been portrayed as a villain or taking a familiar story from a minor character’s perspective. I think Maguire’s books are really appealing for those of us who have felt like outsiders and didn’t see our experience of living in the world reflected in traditional fairytales or legends.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in Amherst, New York, which is a suburb of Buffalo.

Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing?

I actually need complete silence when I’m deeply involved in writing a story. But when I take a break or I’m getting warmed up to write, I sometimes listen to an epically dramatic movie-musical soundtrack like Phantom of the Opera or Les Misérables.

 

What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career?

In 2011, I was accepted as a Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow and participated in LLF’s annual LGBT writers retreat. Being immersed in a community of talented, outspoken queer writers and poets was hugely inspirational. I talk about it in the Acknowledgements of each of my books. The LLF retreat   bolstered my belief that queer stories, in their infinite varieties, are the beautiful, subversive stuff that dreams are made of.  

What can readers look forward to in the upcoming months?

My début novel “The Seventh Pleiade” comes out in November from Bold Strokes Books. It’s the story of a young gay prince who becomes a hero during the last days of Atlantis. The book is the launching point for a series of adventures based on that legend.

I also have Books 2 and 3 of “Werecat” coming out in 2014.

 

What was your first published work and when was it published?

My short story “The Vain Prince” was picked up in 2009 by a great, gay American journal called Ganymede that sadly went out of print when its editor John Stahle died. “The Vain Prince” is a retold fairytale that’s sort of a mash-up of “The Frog Prince” and “Beauty and the Beast.” I’m incredibly grateful to John Stahle for giving me the break that helped launch my career.

 

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I tend to believe that all characters are an extension of the author. So while I veer away from memoir, there’s a bit of me, and the people from my day-to-day life, in the stories I write, even if those characters transform into cats or live in ancient places or whatever.

In “Werecat,” I think my main character Jacks is a somewhat jagged reflection of me as a college student. Jacks is more impulsive and self-destructive than I was, but we both wanted the same things: to find a place to belong and to fall in love. What’s real for him was more a fantasy for me. I never ran away with an older man to escape from the world. But the fantasy of finding someone who would provide me with emotional safety when I was confronted by—what felt like—a frighteningly uncertain future, was definitely appealing.

 

Where do you get your daily dose of news?

For better or for worse, I find myself informed the most by Twitter. That’s skewed information for sure based on who I follow. But if there’s national or world news coverage from a leftist bent or breaking stories regarding LGBT entertainment or politics, I’m in the know pretty promptly.

Author Profile

andrewjpeters

Andrew J. Peters likes retold stories with a subversive twist. He is the author of the paranormal romance series “Werecat” (Vagabondage Books, May 28, 2013). His début novel “The Seventh Pleiade” (upcoming in November 2013 from Bold Strokes Books) is the story of a young gay prince who becomes a hero during the last days of Atlantis. A 2011 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow, Andrew has written short stories for many publications. He lives in New York City with his partner and their cat Chloë. For more information, visit: http://andrewjpeterswrites.com.

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, M/M Fiction, Romance, Writers and Writing

Book Launch: September 12, 2012 “The Runaway” by Nephylim, From Flying With Red Haircrow

 

“When all you ever wished for is the last thing you ever wanted….”

  • Title: The Runaway
  • Author: Nephylim
  • Publisher: Flying With Red Haircrow
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance, Gay Interest
  • Length: 290 pages
  • Cover art and design: Maria Korte and Mika Star
  • Trailer: The Runaway

Description: “Cierrai is running away from a past that’s still breathing down his neck. Jack has no past, his memory wiped in the accident that killed his parents. They meet and their lives move forward like stones skimming the surface of the water, dipping into memories that want to surface and those that want to lie buried forever.

Together, they struggle to come to terms with what happened in the past and where they want to go in the future, but can Jack cope with a man who likes to dress in leather mini-skirts and silk kimonos? Can Cierrai trust Jack with the secrets of his past; secrets he can’t escape, secrets that are snapping at his heels?

When those secrets catch up, forcing Cierrai back to the life he’d left, a life that was slowly draining his life away, he and Jack’s love is both threatened and tested by forces from without and within.”

About The Author:

 

Born into a poor but loving mining family in the United Kingdom, Nephylim grew up in the beautiful and history rich South Wales Valleys, becoming the first in her family to attend university. As a lawyer practicing Family Law for several years, the profession allowed Nephylim to learn more about human nature at its worst and best moments, and develop empathy and a view of life not limited by social standing or background.

Tapping into the heritage of her people that throughout Earth’s ages welcomed the wandering bard into the hearts of their villages as keepers of lore, Nephylim trained as a Druid and brings the richness of her Celtic past and spiritual training to enrich and elevate her writing. Since a child Nephylim has been fascinated with other worlds, which exist within and alongside her own and has reveled in creating worlds and characters for others to enjoy.

Despite lack of family support, Nephylim continued writing privately and eventually found the Gay Authors website. With the positive response and a warm welcome received, she found the confidence to pursue her passion to a greater degree. Feeling gay fiction was a woefully neglected corner of the market where readers were all too often presented with what amounted to erotica, Nephylim strives to write quality gay fiction where sex and sexuality is not the central premise. Instead, concentration is given to character and narrative development through storytelling that goes beyond the physical.

Nephylim still resides in Wales, UK, and enjoys writing, reading, art, and taking part in medieval reenactments.

Author Links:

http://nephylim-author.blogspot.com/

http://shadowofthefallen.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Nephylim.author

Interviews with the author:

By Brandon Shire

At Rising Up From the Ashes by Phoenix

By Michael Offut

Dawn’s Reading Nook

Other works by the author at Flying With Red Haircrow:

Enigma, Book 1

Fighting the Man, Enigma Book 2

About the Press:

Opening its doors on October 31, 2010, Flying With Red Haircrow, is an independent publisher and writer cooperative with a large range of interests and possibilities who entreats everyone to, “Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.” http://theredhairedcrow.wordpress.com/.

Contact:

If you are interested in a review copy for your website, wish to schedule an interview with the author or wish general information about this release or press, please write Nephylim at chakira@hotmail.co.uk or Red Haircrow theredhairedcrow@gmail.com.

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Filed under Books, Contemporary Fiction, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance, Writers and Writing

Enigma by Nephylim, now Available on Smashwords!

Blurb: When nurse-in-training River Caulfield improbably finds love with Silver, a mysterious patient at the Care House where he works, he’s faced with a dilemma that his career may be threatened because of their attraction. Yet when dangerous elements from Silver’s past catch up to them both, he realizes there is much more at stake than his professional dreams. Their very lives may be forfeit!

Description: Troubled residents come and go at the Care House where River Caulfield is a caregiver, working towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a nurse. When Silver arrives, a patient found on a roadside near death after suffering terrible abuse, River finds his previous personal detachment is compromised. Seeking to help the mysterious and enigmatic young man locked inside his own mind and memories, River finds his professionalism slipping as Silver begins to open up and live again.

But as their relationship begins to blossom, the roots of Silver’s past abuse and the abuser who forced him into such a mental state sends forth new shoots of darkness enveloping them in dangers threatening not only Silver’s sanity, but their very lives. With River’s devotion and help, will Silver finally be able to break away from his past? The answer lies in the words of a priest, a painting and a long walk through a churchyard harbouring the secrets of the enigma that is Silver.

 

Title: Engima, Book 1 in the Enigma Series

By: Nephylim

Published by: Flying With Red Haircrow

Publication Date: 3 December 2011

ISBN: # 9781465837509

Genre: M/M Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Drama

Available at Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks, and soon at other online distributors.

 

About the Author:

 

Born into a poor but loving mining family in the United Kingdom, Nephylim grew up in the beautiful and history rich South Wales Valleys, becoming the first in her family to attend university. As a lawyer practicing Family Law for several years, the profession allowed Nephylim to learn more about human nature at its worst and best moments, and develop empathy and a view of life not limited by social standing or background.

Tapping into the heritage of her people that throughout Earth’s ages welcomed the wandering bard into the hearts of their villages as keepers of lore, Nephylim trained as a Druid and brings the richness of her Celtic past and spiritual training to enrich and elevate her writing.  Since a child Nephylim has been fascinated with other worlds, which exist within and alongside her own and has reveled in creating worlds and characters for others to enjoy.

Despite lack of family support, Nephylim continued writing privately and eventually found the Gay Authors website. With the positive response and a warm welcome received, she found the confidence to pursue her passion to a greater degree. Feeling gay fiction was a woefully neglected corner of the market where readers were all too often presented with what amounted to erotica, Nephylim strives to write quality gay fiction where sex and sexuality is not the central premise. Instead, concentration is given to character and narrative development through storytelling that goes beyond the physical.

Nephylim still resides in Wales, UK, and enjoys writing, reading, art, and taking part in medieval reenactments.

 

Links:

http://shadowofthefallen.co.uk

http://www.gayauthors.org/nephylim/index.html

 

If you would like a copy for review purposes, please contact us at theredhairedcrow at gmail dot com. along with information about where they review would be posted.

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Fiction, Romance

Heart by Oliver Frances, A Collection of Love Stories

Review: When I saw this in my queue, I was looking forward to reading another work by Oliver Frances, whose title “Summer Love,” I had previously reviewed. His writing is often contemplative, and what some might call subtle. Sometimes the concept or actual message by the author isn’t easy to discern. Often there is the suggestion the author is actually speaking to the reader directly in the narrative, yet you question also, whether this is a character’s thoughts and feelings. In this particular case, this set of three tales, the author is telling the stories line by line. Not the most effective way, but you get the sense of what is being presented more readily.

Honestly, for native English readers, if you don’t have an understanding of someone writing in a language other than their mother tongue, certainly one might feel perplexed by the prose. Conversely, one might look at it from another angle, and believe an author should know more exactly what readers might want. I don’t agree with the latter, Oliver Frances has a unique style and voice all his own. Some get it, some don’t. To me, it’s important for each reader to decide this entirely on their own, for when exposed to too few writers from a variety of background and nationalities, I think it’s self-limiting, simply put.

That being said, each story in “Heart” read more like a prologue of a book, or possibly a long description. I wanted the details to be fleshed more, and not simply told that so-and-so happened and this person did this or another. I enjoy short stories more often these days, as many authors can provide a great story with a minimum of words, but I was left wondering what really was the point of collection. The stories aren’t bad but they lacked depth for me even though several interesting ideas were mentioned, but brevity wasn’t the issue. “Heart” would appeal to some, but understandably not to others.

 

Description: Heart is a collection of three stories about just love. It features “The Little Ugly Duck”, Cynthia’s remarkable beauty makes her gain fame and admiration but not love, consequently disappointment and sadness are the prize for such a comeliness. Unexpectedly she finds love in the most unthinkable place after suffering a terrible accident which turns upside down her own existence.

“The Writer”, a young lady whose big expectations about love are those depicted in fairy tales and simple love can’t fulfill her wish. Ironically a writer that builds worlds of fiction, but whose life isn’t led in the lines of his fantasy, is the man who shows her what true and real love is about.

And the last story that completes the collection is “A Marriage of Convenience”, one story of a girl and boy, from Italian families respectively, who find the most sought in life -without searching for, and they do not by a lovely casualness but by one unpleasant fact.

 

Published February 10th 2011
Publisher: THE LITTLE FRENCH
ISBN: 0012633860
ISBN13: 2940012633866
Available: Amazon and Smashwords, and other locations online
Source: Publisher

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Filed under Reviews, Romance

Raven’s Kiss by Toni C. LoTempio

Review: “Out of the ordinary”, would be my first description of this story: average, career minded gal turned shifter after being bitten by demon. Giving up her previous aspirations, Raven begins a life as an officer in an organization very much like your typical police department, yet the perpetrators come in all different forms: vampires, gnomes, trolls and more. When it becomes evident the same demon who attacked her is on the prowl again, she’s determined to bring him to both professional and personal justice.

Written in first person, the sole perspective didn’t become overpowering to me even if the main character had a little too much snark for my own tastes. I love strong woman, ones who get things done and don’t take any nonsense, but I suppose it’s a fine line. It’s all in what you think is amusing and phrases tossed that you might have said yourself or cheered. I don’t care for sarcasm and perhaps would have enjoyed Raven more if that style of delivery had been used less. I think overall that makes even problematic characters more sympathetic, even likeable if there is balance.

As for the romance aspect and the object of her affections, Finn, I’ll have to put him into the fantastic category for his description was over the top. Not to my tastes, but definitely worthy of applause. There were some structural and punctuation issues and periods where I felt it was overly descriptive (rather like the official blurb), but you have to give Toni LoTempio serious marks for a totally inventive tale that stands out from the rest.

Description: “Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame.

Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…”

Published: April 11th 2011

Available on Amazon in both print & Kindle
ASIN: B004W9CMII
Source: Author
For more information about the author, please visit their website:

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Reviews, Romance