December M/M News

LGBT News

Elton John and David Furnish celebrated their wedding anniversary and 23 years of being together.

Donald Trump has invited various anti-gay religious leaders to speak at his inauguration.

Mike Pence, the US Vice President-elect, was voted ‘homophobe of the year’ and his neighbours have been putting up rainbow flags.

Meryl Streep to be given LGBT Ally for Equality Award from Human Rights Campaign in their 2017 Greater New York Gala.

Around 250,000 people in Taiwan attended concerts and performances in the capital city in support of making gay marriage legal.

Reviews

Through December MM Book Escape have been reviewing their favourite M/M books of 2016 here.

Back Porch Reader has a review of her favourite M/M novels of 2016 here.

More M/M festive novella recommendations here.

Popular Novels Released in December

Paranormal Novels

Wraith: The 12 Olympians Book 6” by Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Chosen Pride: L’Ange Book 3” by Mary Calmes
Buried Passion” by Aiden Bates

Contemporary Novels

Second Chances” by Jerry Cole
Break my Shell” by K. A. Merikan
Leo Loves Aries” by Anyta Sunday
The Love Song” by Kay Simone
Rejoice, Dammit” by Kaje Harper
Jumping Jude” by Lucy Lennox
Switched” by N. R. Walker
Undisputed” by Aimee Nicole Walker and Nicholas Bella

Festive M/M Books

festive-humbugHere are some stories that are great to read over the winter.  I like my books full of drama and angst, so the following stories have great characters (who tend to suffer a lot!), complex plots, likeable romances and either a festive or a snow-filled setting.

Humbug” by Joanna Chambers – wonderful novella based on “A Christmas Carol” about a workaholic man who discovers love over Christmas but has to overcome his own flaws before he can embrace it. No ghosts but a real Scrooge of a main character!

swordspointSwordspoint” by Ellen Kushner – beautifully written novel which combines a gay romance with political intrigue, duelling and a regency-style fantasy setting. When George R. R. Martin says “an unforgettable opening… and just gets better from there” it has to be good. It is set during a snowy winter, with the weather brought to life in memorable descriptions.

Frost Fair” by Erastes – enjoyable novella with likeable characters and a romance between a broke printer and a wealthy aristocrat. It’s set in 1814, with convincing historical details and atmospheric scenes of the Thames freezing over and the fair that took place on it.

news03-christmas-hexA Christmas Hex: Winter Wonderland Collection” by Jordan L. Hawk – this is a short winter novella but it fits in lovable characters – a witch and a wolf familiar – and a clever plot.  It’s part of the Hexworld universe but can be read as a standalone.

Snowmancer” by Olivia Helling – I got a copy of this novel for free – it was still available on Amazon for free when I just checked – and didn’t have any particular expectations of it, then ended up loving it. It’s a fantasy set in an icy kingdom with compelling characters, a lot of angst and plot-twists, and a poignant romance. Also a magician who can make creatures out of ice.

Merry Chrfestive-mr-migglesistmas, Mr Miggles” by Eli Easton – this novel has everything: wonderful characters, humour, mystery, drama and a Christmas romance. Toby works in a library and has a bit of a crush on the head librarian, Mr Miggles, so when Mr Miggles is arrested on a trumped-up charge, Toby is determined to help him.

Winter Quotes from M/M Novels

swordspoint‘Let the fairy tale begin on a winter’s morning, then, with one drop of blood newly-fallen on the ivory snow: a drop as bright as a clear-cut ruby, red as a single spot of claret on the lace cuff’ – “Swordspoint” by Ellen Kushner

‘Alec’s smile disappeared. “Bilairy’s Balls, it’s nearly winter and you want me to take a bath?” – “Luck in the Shadows” by Lynn Flewelling

frost-fair‘Locking up, Gideon made his way through the narrow frost-lined streets, wincing as the bitter ice-chilled wind cut through the layers of clothing right through to his bones. He couldn’t remember when it had been as cold as this; icicles hung from every roof and the frost hung around in the streets long after daylight broke’ – “Frost Fair” by Erastes

a-companion-to-wolves‘The frost lay heavy on the swell of the earth; man and wolf left footprints like dark pearls in silver as they ran across it side by side’ – “A Companion to Wolves” by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

‘Snow was falling on Riverside, great white feather-puffs that veiled the cracks in the facades of its ruined houses; slowly softening the harsh contours of jagged roof and fallen beam. Eaves were rounded with snow, overlapping, embracing, sliding into each other, capping houses all clustered together like a fairy-tale village’ – “Swordspoint” by Ellen Kushner

Luck in the Shadows cover‘Seregil woke first. It had snowed heavily the night before. Luckily, Alec had spotted an abandoned burrow just before sunset and they’d spent the night inside. The hole still stank of its former inhabitants, but it was large enough for the two of them to stretch out in. With the pack and Seregil’s saddle jammed in the opening as a windbreak, they’d managed to keep warm for the first time since they’d come down onto the Downs. Cramped but warm, Seregil was tempted to let Alec’s soft, even breathing lull him back to sleep’ – “Luck in the Shadows” by Lynn Flewelling

‘As he drifted off, he seemed to see a series of white images, scenes carved in snow. Frosty gardens, their branches lush with white roses and crystal thorns; ladies with floating spun-sugar hair escorted by ivory gallants; and, for himself, opponents with long, bright swords of clear and gleaming ice’ – “Swordspoint” by Ellen Kushner

M/M Books Based on Fairytales or Original Fairytales

fairytales-pictures01-once-upon-a-dreamOnce Upon a Dream” by Megan Derr is a large compilation of her many fairytales from her website, challenges and anthologies, including beautiful stories such as “Blood in the Water” (based on “The Little Mermaid”) and “Challenge of Quests”.

Fairytales Slashed 1”, “Fairytales Slashed 2”, “Fairytales Slashed 3”, “Fairytales Slashed 4”, “Fairytales Slashed 5” and “Fairytales Slashed 6” by Megan Derr and others is based on various fairytales as well as original ones. The first volume, written entirely by Megan Derr, is my favourite but all the books have some very good stories in them.

fairytales-pictures02-tangleTangle (Edition XY)” anthology edited by Nicole Kimberling is a mixture of fairytale, fantasy and science-fiction. There are 4 very good stories with a fairytale feel to them: “Lord Ronan’s Shoes” and “Remember” by Astrid Amara, “Los Conversos” by Jesse Sandoval and “Fag Hag” by Lawrence Schimel and the book also includes the science-fiction novella, “Feral Machines”, by Ginn Hale, which I love. “Lord Ronan’s Shoes” is an appealing, clever story and “Los Conversos” has a haunting, magical quality. Overall, I really enjoy “Tangle”.

Bedknobs and Beanstalks: Anthology of Gay Erotic Fairy Tales” by E. M. Lynley (Editor) and others – this is erotic with some very explicit sex scenes and has 9 stories based on fairytales, with some very entertaining ones including “Cry Wolf” and “The Merman’s Tail”.

fairytales-pictures02-scarletScarlet and the White Wolf 1: The Pedlar and the Bandit King” series (also includes “Mariner’s Luck”, “The Land of Night” and “The King of Forever”) by Kirby Crow – based on “Little Red Riding Hood”. In a fantasy world a bandit known as the Wolf of Omara becomes intrigued by a handsome pedlar called Scarlet.

Duck!” by Kim Dare – BDSM novel based on “The Ugly Duckling” with a strong slave/master D/s relationship and an interesting shape shifter variant with the avian shifters.

November 2016 M/M News

news03-gingerbreadLGBT News

The election of Donald Trump as new US President has caused a lot of worry, particularly with the appointment of racist and anti-LGBT people to various government posts. There are recommendations for legal protection for members of the LGBT community here

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, who recently appeared at Pride Toronto, has appointed an LGBTQ special advisor to help improve and enforce LGBTQ rights.

A shooting at a gay nightclub in Albany, New York left 3 injured.

British serial killer, Stephen Port, who killed 4 gay men, has received a life sentence.

Ellen DeGeneres has been given the Medal of Freedom by President Obama for her “courage and candour” in news03-santa-babyhelping improve issues of equality and acceptance.

Lady Gaga spent Black Friday at the Ali Forney Center, an LGBTI homeless kids shelter, singing, talking and meditating with the people there, while Madonna spent Thanksgiving at the same shelter.

Kylie Minogue and other musicians gave support for same-sex marriage at the Australian ARIA Music Awards.

Articles by M/M Writers

Thought-provoking article on historical fiction and how people are represented by Alex Beecroft here.

New Festive Releases

(Some festive reviews here )

news03-christmas-hexA Christmas Hex: Winter Wonderland Collection” by Jordan L. Hawk (released 31 October)
Gingerbread” by Avery Ford (released 7 November)
A Family for Christmas” by Jay Northcote (released 16 November
Santa Baby” by Heidi Cullinan (released 8 November)

Popular Books Released in November
Paranormal

Riding the Tide” by M. A. Church
Dark Magic” by Kayci Morgan
Daring Fate” by Megan Erickson

Contemporary

news03-family-for-christmasRomancing the Wrong Twin” by Clare London
Rock” by Anyta Sunday
The Necessary Deaths” by David C. Dawson
Falling Down” by Eli Easton
A Country Boy at Heart” by M. A. Church
Dyeing to be Loved” by Aimee Nicole Walker
Love at First Hate” by Muriel Garcia
Catch Me” by Jerry Cole
A Walk through Fire” by Felice Stevens
Summer Lessons (Winter Balls Book 2)” by Amy Lane

October M/M News

LGBT News

A UK government bill to overturn historical convictions for gay and bisexual convictions failed to be passed in Parliament due to a Tory minister’s ‘filibuster’ tactics, but will be discussed again at the end of the year.

Hilary Clinton released a video showing her support for the LGBT community – watch it here.

The United Nations launched a campaign to promote intersex awareness.

Film/Tnews02-king-cobra-posterV News

Julian Morris and Vanessa Redgrave will star in the upcoming 2-part gay BBC drama “The Man in the Orange Shirt” (no airdate as yet).

Limited release of gay film “King Cobra”, starring Christian Slater and James Franco, from 21 October onwards (US and UK).

Dead or Alive’ singer, Pete Burns died on 23 October, aged 57.

Will and Grace” star, Sean Hayes, said “I should’ve come out sooner” at a recent Outfest awards ceremony.

Interview with gay actor Robin Lord Taylor (“Gotham”) here.

Popular New M/M Books

news02-paws-and-clawsParanormal

Paws and Claws (Alphas Unleashed Book 1)” by M. A. Church
Branded (Bulletproof Book 2)” by Jenna Galicki
Wolf’s Clothing (Legend Tripping Book 2)” by E. J. Russell
PsyCops Briefs: Volume 1” by Jordan Castillo Price
news-sept-hexmakerThe Ghost of Buxton Manor” by Jonathan Ferrara
Hexmaker (Hexworld Book 2)” by Jordan L. Hawk
The Mind Spy (Juxtapose City 10)” by Tricia Owens
All Hallows’ Eve” by Annabelle Jacobs

news02-mordredFantasy

Mordred, Bastard Son (The Chronicles of Mordred Book 1)” by Douglas Clegg

Contemporary

Absinthe of Malice (Book 5 of the Sinners Series)” (audio book) by Rhys Ford and Tristan James (Narrator)
news02-always-youIt Was Always You” compilation by Cardeno C. and 6 others
Blank Canvas (Paint Book 2)” by Emma Jaye
Dinner at Jack’s” by Rick R. Reed
In Vogue” by Lucia Laurent
Can’t Hide from Me” by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Eyes Only for You (Eyes of Love 2)” by Andrew Grey
Overexposed (In Focus Book 4)” audio book by Megan Erickson
news02-danceEnjoy the Dance (Dancing Book 2)” by Heidi Cullinan
Bound to Surrender: A Doms Genesis Novella” by Jenna Jacob
Double Talk (On the Radio Book 2)” by Pandora Pine
Changing on the Fly” (charity anthology) by various
Thirds Beyond the Books 2” by Charlie Cochet – proceeds going to Big Cat Rescue
news02-chasingChasing the High” by Beth Michele
Drawn In” by Barbara Elsborg
Behind the Eight Ball” audio book by M. A. Church
Tempting Tristan” by Melissa Foster
Timing” and “After the Sunset” by Mary Calmes
Must Like Spinach” by Con Riley

M/M Halloween: The Monster in the Bed

Luck in the Shadows coverScary just got sexy’ is the tagline for the show, “Supernatural”, but certain monsters have always had an erotic side. From Dracula onwards, vampires have often been as sexy as they were dangerous. Werewolves, too, have a similar ethos, with early versions of the Red Riding Hood tale – such as Charles Perrault’s 17th century story ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’ – having the wolf represent the Seducer who will lead sexually innocent girls astray.

freebooksarticle-hunter-of-demons-spectr1In the M/M world the supernatural creature is often one – or more – of the protagonists. Jordan L Hawk’s SPECTR series has a demon as a central character. Gray is powerful and dangerous but also irresistibly attractive to exorcist John Starkweather, the twist being that Gray exists in the body of a third protagonist, Caleb, so sometimes Gray has takes control of the body and the rest of the time he lies dormant with Caleb in control.

Melusine coverIn other M/M novels, the supernatural creature or monster is the obstacle stopping the heroes have their happy ending. In Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner books Alec and Seregil have to do battle with necromancers and a resurrected god. In “Melusine”, the first book in the series by Sarah Monette, Felix has dark magic performed on him that makes him see ghosts others can’t.

Coexistence_WebMonsters are also a theme in my Human Hybrids books: the cannibal wendigoes are the obvious monsters, but there are also hidden monsters pretending to be good people and those, like werewolf Brand, who have faced so much prejudice that they feel like monsters.

So why is it sexy to be afraid? Perhaps it has something to do with confronting the fear of being vulnerable during sex or, in first time sex, a fear of the unknown. Maybe we like to imagine ourselves having supernatural powers that help make us desirable to others. Perhaps it’s just an inexplicable allure of danger. Whatever the reason, novels that let us explore these contrasting feelings have an enduring appeal and I look forward to reading many more.

Halloween Story: Pleasure and Pain

By Clare Solomon

Blood falls from the gash in his side and spreads across the layer of snow. In the moonlight the blood looks almost black and the snow is rendered blue. Blood is usually his life – a source of food and sexual pleasure – but this is his own. He’s dying.

A shadow falls over him and a blurred face leans closer and comes into focus. It’s Eric, the cop he’s been partnered with these last few weeks. The man who hates vampires. He’ll probably throw a party to celebrate Alexander’s death. It’s strange, though, because the brown eyes look almost concerned. “Why aren’t you healing?”

“The wound is too deep.” He’s too weak to say more. He’ll be dead soon and they never even managed to kill the rogue vampire who’d been slaughtering a dozen or more people each night. It’s a niggling sense of annoyance, that he will die with this work incomplete.

“Drink, Alex.” Eric is holding his wrist in front of Alexander’s mouth, the smooth pale flesh inviting. The vampire can hear the blood pumping through the veins and he swallows and lets instinct take over. He bites through flesh and Eric gasps and tenses. Alexander licks the salty wound, aware of the moment when the cop’s heartbeat speeds up and pain vanishes, then he drinks the warm liquid. His thirst increases with every mouthful and he swallows eagerly, retaining just enough awareness of the other man to stop before he takes too much. He licks slowly over the wound once more to seal it and Eric shudders, not from pain.

Quotes for Halloween from M/M Books

halloween-banners02-destroyer-of-worlds‘John had never even imagined Gray smiling; like everything else about him, it was sexy, oddly sweet, and, given the flash of fang, borderline disturbing.’ – “Destroyer of Worlds (SPECTR Book 5)” by Jordan L. Hawk

‘The Fantome was bound by the same working that gave it strength. That ring of blood held it in that room, confined it to the tower; it could not follow me out the door Melusine coverand into the deserted square, where I slumped to my knees, panting, almost sobbing for breath, my heart beating in my chest like a terrified bird’ – “Melusine” by Sarah Monette

“Because it is not only my heart and soul that crave it,” he said, his voice strained. “There is a terrible need… in the darkest part of me… and it will never be satisfied until I have wrenched you from the light of the world and into the shadows with me” – “Merrick” by Claire Cray

freebooksarticle-nor-iron-bars-a-cage‘Perhaps what separated nightmare from life was that extra edge of pain that your mind could not conceive of’ – “Nor Iron Bars a Cage” by Kaje Harper

‘The seduction frightened Tony more than the Hunger. Even shadow-held, he’d responded … He was alive because Henry wanted him alive. He’d die smoke-and-shadowswhen Henry decided it was time. Sure, that applied to pretty much anyone who shared a vampire’s territory, but he knew it. Personally. Hell, biblically’ – “Smoke and Shadows” by Tanya Huff

‘The god of wolves is the god of death … He is the god who knows that nothing comes without price’ – “A Companion to Wolves (Iskryne)” by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

black-blades-rifter-3‘They would use her to destroy their enemies and then they would poison her, bleed her, and murder her. Then they would retrieve her bones to carve another yasi’halaun, find another woman, and do the whole thing again’ – “Black Blades (The Rifter Book 3)” by Ginn Hale

‘Alec was beginning to be as frightened of Seregil as he wasLuck in the Shadows cover for him. He hadn’t intended to sleep the previous night, but the exhaustion of the past few days caught up with him and he’d dozed off. In the middle of the night he’d awakened to find Seregil crouched less than a foot away, eyes shining like a cat’s in the dark, his breathing was so harsh it was almost a growl. Motionless, he simply stared at Alec’ – “Luck in the Shadows” by Lynn Flewelling

September M/M News Round-Up

news-sept-hexmakerUpcoming

Enjoy the Dance” by Heidi Cullinan will be released on 11 October but can be pre-ordered now.

Hexmaker (Hexworld Book 2)” by Jordan L. Hawk will be out on 14 October but is available for pre-order now.

Articles and Podcasts

There’s a great podcast interview with Jordan L. Hawk about self-publishing here.  I’ve only just discovered these podcasts but they have discussed some really interesting LGBT fiction subjects and interviewed authors including K J Charles, so I’ll definitely be listening to more of them at https://thehopelessromantic.simplecast.fm/

Interesting article with Lexi Ander about her new paranormal series, including ideas about the nature of werewolves at GGR-review here.

Of LGBT interest, there’s a great BBC article celebrating LGBT history here: “Queer History Landmarks Celebrated by Historic England”.

Some new M/M novel releases for September

Paranormal

news-sept-unsafe-exposureFlux (Ennek Trilogy Book 2)” by Kim Fielding
Wild Retaliation” by Ethan Stone
Werewolf’s Tale and A Druid’s Sword (I.O.N. Book 2) by Lexi Ander
Reclaiming (Immortal Ink Book 1)” and “A Private Hunger” by Sean Michael
Shield of the Dragon (Dance with the Devil Book 6) by Megan Derr
The Persecution of Wolves” by Lucy Felthouse
Unsafe Exposure (Hidden Wolves Book 4)” by Kaje Harper
The Pill Bugs of Time (Offbeat Crimes Book 2)” by Angel Martinez
Blood and Choice (Book 2 of the Human Hybrids Trilogy)” by Clare Solomon (Mine!)

news-sept-the-autumn-princeFantasy

An Evidence of Magic (Everlight Book 1)” by Kris Michaels and Patricia A. Knight
Into You” by Jay Northcote
The Autumn Prince” by Sadie Sins
Mad Lizard Mambo (The Kai Gracen Series Book 2)” by Rhys Ford
Forgotten Things (Men of Magic Book 1)” by Hollis Shiloh
Bitterwood” by Rowan Speedwell

Science-Fiction

Flight (Queer Sci-Fi’s Third Annual Flash Fiction Contest)” by various authors

news-sept-optical-illusionContemporary

The Senator’s Secret” by K. C. Wells
Optical Illusion” by Emma Jaye
Rescued” by Felice Stevens
Tart and Sweet” by Amy Lane
The Weight of It All” by N. R. Walker
Pushing the Envelope” by Kim Dare
Just a Summer Deal” by Zach Jenkins and E. Davies
Hope for Pulse: Hate Will Never Win” anthology by various authors for Equality Florida charity
Out of My Mind (Browerton University Book 3)” by A. J. Truman
One Pulse” anthology for charity
Broken Pieces” (audio book) by Riley Hart (Author) and Jack DuPont (Narrator)