Monday, October 12, 2009

5 Top Queer Mystery writers come to Indy Oct 17th!

I am sooo excited to announce this. My writer friend, Greg Herren and an writing acquaintance, along with others, will be coming to Indy this coming weekend. :-D I hope I can hook up with one or more of these writers for dinner or lunch this weekend.

I absolutely love Ellen Hart's Jane Lawless mysteries and Greg Herren's Scotty series (I haven't read a Chanse yet). I'll have to buy one for this event.

See you there,

Listen to and Meet the top queer mystery authors in the nation! Pick up your free ticket at Out Word Bound!

Event to be held at Theatre On The Square (TOTS), 637 Mass Ave. ~ Limited Cabaret seating

* * Pre-purchase a book and go to the front of the autographing line!

Don't miss...

Anthony Bidulka, author of 'Aloha, Candy Hearts', the latest in the Russell Quant series

Ellen Hart, author of 'Sweet Poison' and 'Mortal Groove', the latest in the Jane Lawless series

Greg Herren, author of 'Murder in the Rue Ursulines', the latest in the Chanse MacLeod series

Neil Plakcy, author of 'Mahu Vice', the latest in the Mahu series

Mark Zubro, author of 'Hook, Line & Homicide,' the latest in the Paul Turner series and 'Schooled in Murder,' the latest Tom and Scott mystery

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pre-order Nerdvana at Amazon

One of my authors let me know that Nerdvana is available for pre-order at Amazon.

Go check out the cover. :-D


Friday, July 3, 2009

Ultimate Gay Erotica 2009

I am so excited. I just received my contributor copies for Ultimate Gay Erotica 2009 today. My story, Revenge Visits Vegas is published by Alyson in Ultimate Gay Erotica 2009 edited by Jesse Grant.

It includes some great writers. My writing friend, Gavin Atlas is also in this collection. Some authors I've met via the internet are also included, such as Shane Allison, Neil Plakcy, R. Kramer Bussel, and Rob Rosen.

I've published in two of the Ultimate Gay Erotica anthologies. The other one is UGE 2008.

I found it at my local GLBT bookstore, Out Word Bound, so check with your local queer bookstore before buying online. I prefer supporting my local bookstore because I remember how lost I was during the lapse when Dreams and Swords closed and Out Word Bound opened.

Let me know what you think of my story. :-D

Smuttily yours,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lammy Award Winning Editor: Richard Labonte

By Fred Towers

Recently the winners of the 21st Lambda Literary Awards were announced. I was so glad to see an editor I have respected and tried to sell to for years on the list. So, I sat down with him virtually (via email) to discuss his recent win.

1) How did you feel when you learned that you won a Lammy for Best Gay Erotica 2009?

Pleased of course, though I wouldn't have minded if any of the other nominees had won, particularly James Lear's novel, The Secret Tunnel - but since he was my judge for BGE2009, he was a winner anyway. That said, I've been involved in the judging process for the Lammies in one way or another since the very first year - now I'm dating myself – and I know how the sausage is made... that is to say, I know that when everything else is equal in terms of quality, which is usually the case when many nominations have been whittled down to a few finalists,
the subjective taste of the judges comes into play - perhaps the judges this year didn't like long-form erotica, as with James's novel (I thought he pulled it off with great style), or prefer books with 20 authors to books with four (the equally readable Hard Working Men, the other finalist from 2009.

2) What other titles have you edited that have won a Lammy?

Best Gay Erotica 2005, with novelist and biographer William J. Mann, won a few years ago, and First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far), from Arsenal Pulp Press in Canada, which I co edited with Lawrence Schimel, won in 2007. Again, It's a treat to win - but when an anthology wins an award, I'd say as much credit goes to the contributors as to the editors, so I don't really consider these to be *my* Lammies... I'm just the custodian.

3) What do you look for in a Best Gay Romance or Best Gay Erotica story?

Let me start my answer here with a wee excerpt from my foreword to Best Gay Erotica 2010, which will be out from Cleis in November: "I take the “erotica” part of the title seriously: porny is good, and that’s what this annual anthology hews to. But every year I encourage writers of a literary bent to sex up their stories some, and every year I coax polished prose from writers who honed their horndog skills in the glossy gay mags."

So: what I look for in the erotica best are stories where narrative arc, complex characterization, and vivid, inventive writing predominate; in the romance best, I look for stories that are less
overtly sexual but no less smart. Not every story achieves that ideal, I know, but it's what I strive for; and because neither anthology is a "theme" title - stories about Daddies, Bears, surfers, firemen, cops, frat boys, S/M, etc. - I like to mix and match sexual interests and fetishes. Again, the quality of the writing is paramount. I also look for new writers, and if I discern a story in the rough - something unusual or distinctive in terms of plot or character or setting but which needs a lot of editing - I'm willing to work with writers to polish the story. Almost every book I edit - and I've done almost 30 now - has one or two of this kind of discovery.

4) Besides editing, where else can gay readers find your work?

I'm not really a writer. I'm a reader. Plus, I appreciate writers, and collect some great ones. So I don't write fiction at all, and not many essays, either, except for intros to my anthologies. When asked, I've penned short forewords to a few books - Vincent Diamond's collection, Rough Cut, and Jack Fritscher's collection, Stonewall: Stories of Gay Liberation among them. And I was nagged enough to contribute to Sex by the Book, edited by Kevin Bentley, and Out in the Castro, edited by Winston Leyland. But compared to real writers, those constitute just half a can of spilled alphabet soup.

On the other hand, I review four lesbian/gay/queer books, fiction and nonfiction, every two weeks for Book Marks, distributed by Q Syndicate to a number of gay papers; that's 100 books a year. I also review contemporary fiction (nongay), books on nature and the environment, and the occasional gay nonfiction books for Publishers Weekly, about 35 of those a year. Google "Book Marks Labonte" and you'll find the reviews; PW reviews are anonymous...

5) What advice would you give a gay writer during these tremulous times in the publishing world?

Keep writing. Don't balk at being edited. Keep submitting to anthologies. Track down online magazines. Pay attention to the e-world. Have a good sense of what a publisher publishes before
submitting your work. Did I mention, don't balk at being edited? The publishing world is going through a shakeup and a new cycle, but there will always be people who want to write and people who want to read. A good number of queer presses have closed, but relatively new ones come along regularly: MLR, Torquere, Lethe, Dreamspinners, Rebel Satori/Queer Mojo, BigFib, Samhain, PD Publishing, Alpha World, Cheyenne, Palari, Seventh Windows, Zumaya... and I'm sure I've forgotten a few. So: do your homework, and your writing will find a home.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I'm interviewed in the April issue of Bare Back Magazine. No "bare back" doesn't mean what you think. LOL For them it's an erotica thing, but doesn't mean without a condom like it does in the gay community. Safe Sex still lives, except in our fantasies. At least for some folks.

Please read the interview and let me know what you think. You do have to be 18 years of age or older to read. Sorry! No underage readers please.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Book Review: Boy Meets HERO

Boy Meets HERO by Chayne Avery & Russell Garcia
TITLE: Boy Meets HERO AUTHOR: Chayne Avery & Russell Garcia
ISBN: 978-3-86187-891-9 PUBLISHER: Bruno Gmunder

BOOK REVIEW: I absolutely loved this graphic novel. The illustrations really popped. The colors in the illustrations were magnigicient. The story was well thought out and had several twists. Even though this graphic novel wasn't as sexual as Dick Master by Roy Klang, but I liked it that way. I think the lack of explicit sex in this graphic novel will make it more appealing to heterosexial superhero fans than Dick Master. I really liked the profiles of the characters at the end describing their abilities and their biography. I recommend this to readers who love gay romance fiction, gay superhero stories, and graphic novel readers of all sexual orientations and ages above 13. The superheroes and supervillians have great powers.

Review by Fred Towers

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Review: Dick Master: Leatherland Under Attack

Dick Master: Leatherland Under Attack by Roy Klang
TITLE: Dick Master: Leatherland Under Attack AUTHOR: Roy Klang
ILLUSTRATED:Roy Klang ISBN:3-86187-970-0 PUBLISHER: Bruno Gmunder

BOOK REVIEW: I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel with some great gay superhero action and some sexually explicit action. I wasn't sure if it would be heavier on one over the other, but the story was balanced between the two. The supervillians, Sperminator and Cyber-Drag are aliens invading the gay city, Leatherland. Dick Master and his friends have to conquer them with wit, strength, and great technical gadgets. The illustrations are great with depth and strong lines, but I wish they were in color. The story is creative, and I hope Roy Klang writes more superhero graphic novels. As the title implies, the sexual matter in the story is BDSM centered around a gay leather bar. I recommend this for adult (over 18) readers of gay fiction and/or superhero graphic novels, who won't be bothered by the sexual content. It is quite an adventure.

Review by Fred Towers

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Book Review: Hero

Hero by Perry Moore
Gay Book Reviews/Young Adult, Gay Book Reviews/Fantasy
TITLE: Hero AUTHOR: Perry Moore
ISBN: 978-142310195-6 PUBLISHER: Hyperion Books

BOOK BLURB: At the same time that he's coming to terms with his sexual orientation, basketball star Thom Creed is trying to figure out exactly what his untrained superpowers can do. In an attempt to break away from his seemingly non-understanding father (an ex-hero with something to hide) and homophobic community, Thom runs away, only to find himself in the middle of a multi-hero rescue operation. Using his ability to heal, he keeps an injured woman alive until the League superheroes arrive and impresses them enough to get an invitation to try out for a hero apprentice position. Thom is teamed with an old woman who can see into the future, a spiteful girl who unleashes her power through fire, a sickly boy who is able to inflict disease on anyone, and a demoted hero with insane speed. With superheroes dying in mysterious circumstances, Thom is forced to admit publicly that he is gay in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice, but finds himself cast out of the League. He organizes his ragtag team to figure out what is really going on and to fight society's prejudices as well as the criminal element of the town.

BOOK REVIEW: Some reviews I've read have said that this book starts slow, but I found that not to be true. This novel packs in teen angst about fitting in, coming out as gay, coming out as a superhero and more. This novel packs in a great deal of story into 428 pages. Thom has to come to terms with his newfound realization of his sexual orientation as well as the fact that he has superpowers, which is made worse by the fact that his dad is a fallen superhero who is against super-powered people and gays, too. What a conflict for a young male teen? His mother abandoned him, so he has no one to turn to about these feelings he's having. Except for maybe a villain in disguise. Or is he the villain? I won't give it away. Read it to find out.

There's also a lot of superhero action on top of that. The reader will find great, quirky characters to adore, be aggravated by, and befriend. Great action that goes out with a boom. Relationships of all types will be tested in this story.

I hope the rumors are true that this one will be turned into a movie for the big screen. I'll be first in line for it.

I highly recommend this one for all ages, even though it's considered a young adult novel. Don't let that hold you back from diving into this one. It has action, adventure, friendship, and so much more.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: Simple and Easy

Simple and Easy by Gavin Atlas
Gay Book Reviews/BDSM, Gay Book Reviews/Erotica
TITLE: Simple and Easy AUTHOR: Gavin Atlas
PUBLISHER: Forbidden Publications

BOOK BLURB:Derek, a young New Yorker, is tired of being treated like a piece of meat by his boyfriend. He moves to Richmond, a smaller city in the South, hoping to find love. However, he's not prepared for the overwhelming response to his arrival. Sure, he was considered cute in New York, but handsome guys there are a dime a dozen. In Richmond, he's the hottest bottom around. Derek isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, and quickly earns a reputation of being “simple and easy.” He tries to behave, but before long, the city's tops are tricking him into giving up his rump all the time. Derek discovers that he loves every minute of it. Will he decide he still wants romance or that he wants to be the official town sex toy?

BOOK REVIEW: At times, I wanted to slap Derek silly for falling for the tricks the tops pulled on him, but I chuckled to myself because I realized that he had become a real person instead of just a character in a gay porn novella. If you like your erotica grittier than most anthologies, you'll love this one-handed reading by Gavin Atlas. He's developed Derek into a real person that you want to root for, be in his place with his boots in the air, and sometimes, want to be the naughty top, taking advantage of his sweet ass.

The only thing that didn't ring true for me was that he came from New York. In my mind, he'd be more street smart than he is if that were the case. This little detail didn't hold me back from stroking myself while reading about his sexual adventures in his new town.

If you like gay porn, give this one a read. It'll have your cock standing at attention in no time. I recommend it.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Gay Superheroes

Unmasked by Eric Summers
Gay Book Reviews/Fantasy, Gay Book Reviews/Anthology, Gay Book Reviews/Erotica
TITLE: Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Gay Superheroes AUTHOR: Eric Summers
ISBN: 1-934187-20-8 PUBLISHER: Starbooks Press

BOOK BLURB: Next time you are rescued from a burning building by a tall, hung, muscle-bound man in tights, will you offer your services in appreciation? Why not? Superheroes have needs just like everyone else. All you have to do is promise to protect his secret identity and try not to damage the spandex! Some things just won't wash out. With any luck, you might become a sidekick. Every superhero has a super ability, and this latest Eric Summers collection of erotic short stories highlights those incredible talents that seem to come out when the sun goes down and the bedroom door closes. But, every superhero also has a weakness. Be careful because one such superhero in Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Gay Superheroes loses his powers if he has an orgasm. What is a boy to do?

"Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Gay Superheroes" tells the stories of those hot men who are powerful in a dangerous situation and equally powerful under the covers. Try not to fall in love because the life of a superhero can be a lonely one, and the life of a heart-sick admirer can be even lonelier. Just lie back and enjoy the moment as a man with a cape and a mask takes you to new levels of ecstasy.

BOOK REVIEW: This is a hot collection of erotica, and for the superhero freaks like me, it's an amazing collection. The stories are great superhero fiction as well as hot erotica. I didn't want to like this collection, since my story was accepted at first, but was cut at the last minute. But this collection is too great to pass up.

The reader will enjoy the superheroes and the super villains in this anthology. The short stories have fully developed characters and plots, which go beyond the erotic elements. The erotica is a bonus for battling the bad guys.

I recognized some of the authors, such as Jay Starre and my friend, Stephen Osborne. You can't read an erotica anthology without coming across one of these guys. There are probably more authors that others would recognize. Whether they are known or not, all of these stories are topnotch.

I highly recommend this to superhero freaks and readers of smut. Don't miss this one!

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: First Person Plural

First Person Plural by Andrew W.M. Beierle
Gay Book Reviews/Fiction, Gay Book Reviews/Romance
TITLE: First Person Plural AUTHOR: Andrew W.M. Beierle
ISBN: 978-0-7582-1970-1 PUBLISHER: Kensington Books

Owen and Porter Jamison are conjoined twins inhabiting one body with two heads, one torso, and two very different hearts. As children, they're seen as a single entity ~ Owenandporter, or more often, Porterandowen. As they grow to adulthood, their differences become more pronounced: Porter is outgoing and charismatic while Owen is cerebral and artistic. When Porter becomes a high school jock hero, complete with cheerleader girlfriend, a greater distinction emerges, as Owen gradually comes to realize that he's gay.

I was enthralled with this book after I read the back of the book. The whole idea of conjoined twins with two different sexual orientations was very intriguing, and this book delivered everything I expected and much more. I half-expected and feared this novel would be a comedy like the movie, Stuck on You, but the book treated the subject matter with compassion and honesty that transcended that movie. This novel is a literary masterpiece.

Even though Porter's teenage years are the American dream with him being the school jock dating a cheerleader, Owen's narration describes it in a way that the reader realizes this is not your typical story. Their music career is also a little far-fetched, but the narration keeps it from becoming cliche. Even though it's written from Owen's viewpoint, all the characters are three-dimensional and realistic, breathing individuals, including the minor characters. His narration is always honest.

At times, I forgot that Owen and Porter were conjoined twins because they are painted as two different individuals, but then, the plot reminded me that they were indeed conjoined, and that fact added tension to normal everyday things that I would take for granted. Beierle takes all the characters beyond the stereotypes. For example, Faith is much more than the Southern Baptist wife of Porter. Her emotional struggles with pregnancy, marriage, and Owen's sexuality are realistic and never stereotypical. It would have been easy for Beierle to go with the stereotypes, but he broke away from them until all his characters could walk and talk to the reader like a friend.

This novel is a literary coming-of-age, romance novel, which doesn't fit most labels associated with books. I struggled with putting this book under gay fiction because I didn't want to limit its readership. It's a book we should all read and digest. It has something that all readers could learn and grow from. The novel includes a reading group guide with questions for discussion. I HIGHLY recommend this book for ALL readers.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: Through Neon Eyes: Zoner

Through Neon Eyes: Zoner by Michael Barnette
Gay Book Reviews/Science Fiction, Gay Book Reviews/Erotica
TITLE: Through Neon Eyes: Zoner AUTHOR: Michael Barnette
PUBLISHER: Mojocastle Press

David Jessman has it all. A great job, a wonderful home and wealth. What he doesn't have is a lover, but that's about to change ...

The setting of this futuristic BDSM yaoi story is established by the author early. He describes how the main character, Mr. Jessman was kidnapped by NeuroTech from Megalli-Loran Corporation. He wonders why MLC hasn't tried to get him back, while he waits for someone he's hired to entertain him for the evening. He soon discovers the truth about MLC's desire for him, when Bells arrives.

I believe I felt distanced from both characters because the narrator never allows the reader to get too close to them. The fact that both characters are always referred to by what I believe is their last name is part of that distance. I don't know if the author wanted it that way because of the BDSM theme with one character being a sadistic top, while the other one discovers his desire for the bottom role. I wanted to be able to get inside the characters more and learn more about them. I wonder if the author wanted to stretch the character development throughout the series of stories. I wanted more depth, but they may come in future installments in this series. Based on the cover art, I thought Bells was female, but that wasn't the case. An effeminate male is typical in the yaoi genre. I did enjoy the sex scene, which extended throughout the majority of this installment of the Through Neon Eyes series. I recommend this for yaoi fans and scifi erotica fans, who are willing to take a chance on a series of short, futuristic novellas. This was a fun, entertaining read.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: When You Don't See Me

When You Don’t See Me by Timothy James Beck
Gay Book Reviews/Fiction
TITLE: When You Don't See Me AUTHOR: Timothy James Beck
ISBN: 978-0-7582-1686-1 PUBLISHER: Kensington Books

For nineteen years, he's been "the one who disappears" to his disapproving, Midwestern family. And now in New York City, a metropolis of anonymity built on not making eye contact, he feels right at home. Walking the streets of the Village, sneaking into dive bars, cleaning apartments, and trying to co-exist in a cramped apartment with his three roommates, Nick's trying to find his way without doing anything to put his wounded heart at risk, all the while wondering, "Does anything last?"

In this novel, New York City is as much a character as Nick Dunhill. At times, Nick is very mature, but then, he shows how young and immature he is. I wanted to slap him, when he did something stupid, but then, I realized that I had been sucked into Beck's world and that the characters were so well-developed they felt like real people ~ friends. Even the minor characters become real and feel like they can walk off the page.

Since the novel is written in first person from Nick's point of view, it took me a few chapters to realize that not everything with his family and friends was what they appeared. I really enjoyed the insight into how the family and friends felt and thought about Nick in the letters from them to him slipped in between the chapters. Without these letters, the reader wouldn't get these glimpses into the other character's heads and hearts about him.

This novel follows Nick through several ups and downs, such as dealing with losing someone on September 11th, losing his job, dropping out of school, moving into his own apartment, finding out his roommate works in a fetish shop, and so much more. I laughed out loud, cried, and wanted to strangle Kendra, Nick, Fred, and several of the other characters. I wanted to hug them to me, during a bad time, or shake my head at a stupid decision they made. They were so real that I didn't want the book to end.

I loved to watch Nick grow and mature with each event in his life. This author has gained a fan, and I look forward to the next novel. I highly recommend this book and this author to everyone.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: A Scarecrow's Bible

A Scarecrow’s Bible by Martin Hyatt
Gay Book Reviews/Fiction
TITLE: A Scarecrow's Bible AUTHOR: Martin Hyatt
ISBN: 978-0-9763411-4-7 PUBLISHER: Suspect Thoughts Press

In a house trailer in rural Mississippi, Gary, a married Vietnam veteran, addicted to drugs, haunted by memories of the past, is on the brink of collapse. Just when he thinks the dream of another life is over, the unspeakable happens. He falls in love with a frail, ghostly younger man who reminds him of youth, beauty, and the possibility of a life beyond the prison he has created for himself.

Hyatt has created a wonderful group of dysfunctional characters, who live and breath in every small town. He shows the working class life and struggles with compassion and grace. At first, the second person viewpoint takes a couple of paragraphs to get used to, but once, the reader accepts the role of Gary, the story takes over. My partner struggled with the second person narrative and couldn't read the book, but I loved it. After he meets Zachary, there are a few passages in italics, which are in third person, to allow the reader to understand his perspective on life. This is a gay love story not like any I have read before. In fact, it is so much more. This is a literary masterpiece from a debut author. He handles the characters, their struggles, and triumphs with a skill of a seasoned author. I couldn't believe this was his first novel. An example of his mastery of the character and language is "As you go down the steps you realize that it's not looking so rainy anymore. The light is a little stunning to you, causing you to almost drop the dresser. Once you dropped a dead man, and you never went back to pick him up. Then you began to drop them all of the time because that's what you did when people became heavy. And now Gina has done it to you." This passage shows how Hyatt interweaves various times of the character's life into a single moment of moving a dresser. Amazing skill. I highly recommend this book.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: Through Neon Eyes: Control

Through Neon Eyes: Control by Michael Barnette
Gay Book Reviews/Science Fiction, Gay Book Reviews/Erotica
TITLE: Through Neon Eyes: Control AUTHOR: Michael Barnette
PUBLISHER: Mojocastle Press

David Jessman has found his lover, what he's lacking is control of himself, the situation he's in and the blond gunwhore known to him only as Bells. Bad as that is for a man used to being in charge, he's finding that losing control may not be that terrible after all.

This is the second installment in the Through Neon Eyes series, and it's a much hotter, erotic story than the first. The first installment was bogged down with telling the reader the background material of the story. TNE:Control is about the developing affection between these two men, the obstacles they face to be together, and the steamy BDSM sex between them.

In this installment, I felt like the writer developed the characters more because I learned about their internal lives. Bells is still mysterious, but the reader gets a better sense of his motives and struggles. There are still some people mentioned, but never seen. Instead of being distracting, it entices the reader to continue reading to find out who they are.

I could finally sympathize with these characters, which wasn't true in the first installment, Through Neon Eyes: Zoner. I highly recommend this installment of the series. Hopefully, the next segment will be just as HOT.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: The Positions of Love: Book 1

The Positions of Love: Book 1 by J.M. Snyder
Gay Book Reviews/Fantasy, Gay Book Reviews/Romance,
Gay Book Reviews/Erotica
TITLE: Positions of Love: Book 1 AUTHOR: J.M. Snyder
ISBN: 978-1-60272-173-9 PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press

When Matt diLorenzo gives his lover, Vic Braunson, a copy of the Kama Sutra for Gay Men as a Christmas gift, they find it doubles as a handy reference guide to Vic's super powers. All they have to do is test out the positions to see which one gives him what ability ...

Matt and Vic have been living together almost a year now, and this is their first Christmas. Not a big fan of the holiday, Vic is unsure what to buy his lover. Matt gives him two guidelines to go by ~ the gift must be under $50, and must be something sexual, because Vic has some time off during the holidays and Matt plans to spend that time together.

I may be a little biased because I'm a superhero freak, and I crave more gay superhero fiction. There just isn't enough. This installment of Matt and Vic is more erotic than superhero. At this point, they are exploring what lovemaking positions gives him what powers, instead of how his powers can help other people. I can't wait for future installments to see how that side of the story develops.

I did get Matt and Vic confused at times, but the writing was so crisp I didn't worry about it. I just continued reading, figuring that it'd work itself out. The characters are distinctly different in the descriptions, so I don't know why I'd get bumped in who was who. Despite this minor confusion, I fell in love with the characters.

The author does seem to love the word "bulbous" when describing the cock's head. It was used at least twice to describe it in two different sex scenes. Since I wasn't sure what the word meant, it jumped out at me.

One phrase that I fell in love with was "A cutting wind pulled at his robe like a hungry lover." The language in this story is smooth and captivating.

I highly recommend this book to all erotica lovers, romance lovers, and superhero freaks. I can't wait to see how his superpowers manifest themselves in future installments, such as what happens when the top and bottom flip in bed.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: Tears of Gold

Tears of Gold by Dana Erikson
Gay Book Reviews/Fantasy, Gay Book Reviews/Romance
TITLE: Tears of Gold AUTHOR: Dana Erikson
ISBN: 1-60180-021-5 PUBLISHER: Mojocastle Press

Merrick chose to become a soldier to protect his friend, a young man named Ambrose. He returns to his home, only to find Ambrose is missing. His rescue mission lands him back in the arms of a man from his past.

Is love really lost forever? Or can time and maturity change everything? Merrick Underson has the chance to tempt fate once again. But will he make the right choice this time?

The book opens with an erotic scene between Lord Andrus and his slave, Ambrose. Soon, the reader realizes that Ambrose was Merrick's lover, and he escaped from their village after being attacked. Merrick goes on a quest to find him. As Merrick travels, he discovers that the place where he grew up isn't the same. It has become a dark place where friends have been raped, tortured, killed, or are slaves.

The reader may think this is a historical romance, but will find that it's a dark and dangerous quest where love may not survive. This story is well written, fast paced, and intriguing. Merrick has to fight demons within him and throughout his journey.

There are times when modern language doesn't seem appropriate in the historical time period of the story, but the reader will enjoy the story if they can overlook these terms. For example, " the first chapter says, "the king had outlawed same-sex relationships." That phrase threw me at first.

I highly recommend this story. Don't expect a happy ending, but be surprised if it happens. This story is more about the journey, than about living happily ever after. You'll be surprised by the twists and turns of this fascinating story.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Book Review: The Bonds of Love

The Bonds of Love by J.M. Snyder
Gay Book Reviews/BDSM, Gay Book Reviews/Fantasy,
Gay Book Reviews/Erotica
TITLE: The Bonds of Love AUTHOR: J.M. Snyder
ISBN: 978-1-60272-202-6 PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press

Vic Braunson has a special kind of problem ~ his lover, Matt DiLorenzo, somehow imbues him with enhanced superpowers every time they have sex. It’s something Vic has learned to live with in the years they’ve been together, and something he won’t let stand in the way of their relationship. Matt hates the powers, however, particularly when they put Vic in danger, but what can they do?

When Vic stops an armed robbery at a local convenience store, his picture appears in the morning paper. Later that day, Matt receives a phone call at work from Jordan Dubrowski, a guy he knew in high school. Jordan was his first, in every way ~ it was through him that Matt discovered his ability to transfer superpowers to his lovers. Jordan had a taste of those powers, and after reading about Vic’s role in the hold up, he’s decided he wants those powers back.
But Matt is in love ... and Vic won’t let him go without a fight. Still, Jordan will stop at nothing to get what he thinks rightly belongs to him...

This novel is a gay erotica superhero story with plenty of action in the bedroom as well as in the streets. Vic saves the day, but when his picture ends up in the paper, the real intrigue begins. He has to save his relationship from being torn apart by Matt's ex-lover.

For action adventure readers, there is plenty of intrigue and action to get their hearts pumping. They can live vicariously through the superhero adventure. This action adventure superhero novel takes the superhero novel to the next level. It doesn't close the door on the relationship behind the hero.

The erotica reader will enjoy the sex scenes between Matt and Vic, but they will get more than their crotch throbbing. They'll be on the edge of their seats wanting more.
Snyder writes strong characters, plots and moves from the bedroom to the streets with ease. I believe all readers who enjoy erotica, action, and more will enjoy this gay novel. I highly recommend it, especially to the gay superhero geeks like me.

Review by Fred Towers

Reprinted from Rainbow Reviews

Monday, January 5, 2009

Nerdvana Update

My computer broke down, so I am behind on editing Nerdvana. I'm reading through the stories now. I'll get back to you.