Rolling Out The Welcome Mat For Jacob Z. Flores, Author Of Moral Authority

Thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today, Jacob. We’d love if you’d start by sharing a bit about yourself and your background?

First off, let me thank you for taking the time to interview me. I truly appreciate it more than words can adequately express.

As for information about me, there really isn’t much too exciting about me personally, at least from my perspective. I’m pretty much your average man with a family. I have a partner of 9 years, and we have 3 children whose ages range from 17 to 11. Like any parents, our lives are filled with homework, dance recitals, soccer practices, and ferrying children to and fro.

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, where I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from St. Mary’s University. In 1996 shortly after graduation, I moved to Victoria, Texas, when I received a job teaching college English full time at Victoria College.

When did you discover your passion for writing? Was there someone in particular who encouraged and inspired your love of storytelling?

I discovered my passion for writing at an early age. Growing up in the barrio of San Antonio, one quickly learns to occupy himself in order to escape the harsh realities of the neighborhood. Writing was one of those escapes. Instead of getting in trouble or having trouble find me, I sat in the dining room of my grandparents’ house and wrote my own comic books, plagiarizing heavily from DC Comics. Most of the characters I wrote about came from the pages of The Justice League of America or The New Teen Titans. Those early stories paved the way for my writing ability. They taught me a great deal about character development and creating interesting story arcs and subplots.

My mother always encouraged my writing or whatever I was interested in, really. She would listen to every story I wrote, no matter how awful the story might have been. Sometimes, I would read her my stories to help her fall asleep after a long day at work.

Your book, Moral Authority, takes a look into the not so distant future of an America in which homosexuality is a crime. Will you tell us a little more about it and share with us how you came up with the idea for the story?

Moral Authority takes place in the year 2050, where a fourth branch of American government called The Moral Authority has been established and in existence for thirty-five years. This part of the government acts as the moral compass for the nation and helps enact lifestyle legislation to keep Americans on a rightful moral track. Homosexuality is illegal, but so is smoking, drinking, and excessive caloric intake, to name a few. But the lifestyle legislation goes even deeper. Moral codes of conduct are established based on high moral standards of care, fairness, loyalty, respect, and purity. Any action that contradicts those precepts in personal relationships or in an individual’s daily life is cause for a stay in a moral prison—or worse!

The idea actually came to me about two years ago. I was at my desk, wondering what would have happened to this country had Obama lost the election and a lunatic like Sarah Palin came within a stone’s throw of the presidency. After that, ideas started to steamroll. I wrote The Moral Constitution of the United States, which basically helped outline the social-political environment for Moral Authority.

If there was any one message you’d hope readers will take away from the book, what would it be?

I want readers to understand just what can happen if ideas, such as morality, are universally defined for everyone. Morality isn’t something that can be prescribed; what’s moral to you might be immoral to me. But that doesn’t give me the right to impose my beliefs on you anymore than you have the right to impose yours on me. Granted, there are universal moral codes that all people adhere to—murder is inherently bad and sexual assault of another is just plain wrong, but when we get down to other concepts or beliefs that aren’t about one person inflicting pain on another, such as homosexuality, then those beliefs can’t be dictated by one person or one group of persons. When one group starts defining life for others, that’s when freedom is truly lost and that’s when a country begins to fall from grace.

Did you find, as you were writing, that you drew upon any of your own life experiences or based any of the characters on people you know?

I think most characters have some infusion of me or of people in my life, but I do my best to make them their own individuals. As such, my characters tend to be amalgamations of different parts of people I know. Sometimes, I take the best qualities of a few people and put them all in one character and then take all their bad qualities and put them in another. This way, my characters are still real but still individuals in their own right.

From conception to publication, how long did the process take?

I began writing Moral Authority in November of 2009 and finished it in February of 2010. I was quite surprised at how quickly I wrote it, but the novel seemed to write itself—almost as if some higher power possessed me until the story was finished. The revision process took awhile as I am a perfectionist and work full time. In fact, I was still revising until I finally published it in August of 2011.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received with respect to writing? Did it change the way you approach your craft?

The best piece of advice I ever received actually had to do with reading, not writing. Diane Gonzales-Bertrand, one of my college English professors and a published author herself, told me that reading for authors is crucial.

In college, I didn’t understand that advice. I do now. After I read a few novels, I find my creative juices rejuvenated. When I read I do so as an author. I look to see how particular authors made me love or hate a character or how I responded to this plot twist or that resolution. This helps me when I write because I gain a broader sense of the writing process beyond my own. I contemplate how others have created their fictional worlds and then apply that to my own writing. Each novel is a teaching tool, and I grow as an author every time I finish reading a new novel.

If you were to offer a word of advice to a new author, what would it be?

My advice would be to not give up. It’s far too easy to say, “Okay, I’m done. I can’t get anyone to publish my manuscript, so I must be an awful writer.” That’s just not the case. All writers have a voice, and if we are true authors, we will do whatever is necessary to share our visions and our creations with others. We will hone our craft by attending conferences, finding reading groups, starting blogs, or whatever else is required to get our words out there. So if your desire is to be published, keep trying. One day, someone will be interested in what you have to say, and when that day comes, all the frustration, tears, and long hours will be worth the joy of someone reading your book and liking it.

Do you have any new projects/works-in-progress you’d care to share with us?

I actually have two new projects in the works. Moral Authority is the first book in a series. I’ve completed more than 300 pages of the second book—tentatively titled Moral Panacea, which picks up two years after the conclusion of the first book.

I also have finished a m/m romance novel, which is currently in the editing process. I don’t want to give away too much about that book yet, but it’s currently titled 3.

Where can readers find you on the internet?

I have a blog at www.jacobzflores.com. The blog tends to be highly political as I discuss current news events. I also blog about gay culture, entertainment, and personal anecdotes. I try to blog at least twice a day, so my website is updated on a regular basis.

It’s been a pleasure having you with us, Jacob. Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions. We’d love if you’d consider sharing a favorite excerpt from Moral Authority with us.

Moral Authority by Jacob Flores

“Alright, you pansy ass butthole fuckers, it’s time to get going!”

The angry voice of the K3 officer screaming at them in the boat hold roused Mark from his tentative slumber. He couldn’t remember falling asleep, but he often drifted off when he escaped inside his own mind.

The K3 officer flipped on the lights in the boat hold for the first time since he shut them off four days ago. Mark tried to shield his eyes from the brightness, but the shackles and chains around his wrist prevented much freedom in arm movement. All he could manage was to squint and hope his eyesight recovered quickly.

“Hurry up and get on your God damn feet,” the K3 shouted while yanking one of the prisoners to his feet. Since no one had the chance to stand for four days, the prisoner crumpled to the ground, his legs numb from sitting in one position too long. The officer proceeded to kick the prisoner repeatedly. The man screamed for help as his body was mercilessly assaulted by the K3 who Mark now referred to as Officer Asshole.

“Stop it! You’re going to kill him,” shouted someone from up front. Immediately, Mark knew that to be a mistake.

“What the fuck did you just say?” Officer Asshole asked, while kicking the man on the floor one final time. Mark heard a snap on that final kick, no doubt a rib or two being broken.

Unfortunately, Mark’s eyes adjusted well enough now for him to see Officer Asshole pull out his side arm and fire it pointblank at the outspoken prisoner. The ringing peal of the shot blasted through the boat hold, and the noise frightened Mark. Most law officials now carried electrical weapons in order to subdue offenders without serious bodily harm. When discharged, those guns sizzled, not exploded like this one. Lead ammunition guns hadn’t been in use for decades. Apparently, at detainment camps, they were standard issue.

Mark averted his eyes as the man’s lifeless body fell to the floor, where Officer Asshole kicked it twice. Afterward, Officer Asshole looked around. “Does anyone else have something to say about me kicking the shit out of this butt fucker?”

No one responded. Even the man who sobbed for most of the boat trip remained silent.

Officer Asshole resumed kicking the man he lifted from his seat. The man no longer screamed but moaned in pain; his moans were interrupted by the wet sound of gurgling blood escaping his lips. Still, Officer Asshole attacked. The man’s anguished moans became too much for Mark to bear. He tried to block out the whimpers with his hands, but the chains restrained him.

Blow after blow filled the boat hold, and the interior walls of the boat amplified the beating until it sounded like a percussionist banging out a macabre beat in some nightmarish band.

Finally, the moans stopped. The man was most likely dead, but his death failed to deter Officer Asshole. He kicked the man, at least ten more times.

“That was fucking fun,” Officer Asshole said in delight. “Who’s next?”

The officer’s delight filled Mark with rage. More than anything else, even more than being free of this hellish place, Mark wanted Officer Asshole to die.

“That’s enough, Davies,” a voice from behind Officer Asshole commanded. “Bring them above deck. Now.”

“Yes, sir!” Officer Asshole returned his gaze to the prisoners. His smirk foretold even more hell to follow. “Alright, you fairies, let’s get those loose asses of yours up those stairs and off the boat for inspection.” Officer Asshole bent down and unlocked the chains of the two men he killed. Their torment was over while Mark’s, and the other hundred or so prisoners, had just begun. Officer Asshole then pushed another man toward the stairs leading up to the deck. The procession out began.

As they filed out, Mark looked around at his fellow prisoners all dressed in bright orange jumpsuits. Some were soiled by their own body excrement, which they sat in for the past four days. Even though Mark had to go, he fought the urge. He would be damned if he gave his jailors the opportunity to mock him for a simple human bodily function.

Most of the prisoners looked awful and defeated. Eyes wide in terror, they shuffled forward carefully since everyone’s ankles were also chained together. Dried snot caked some of their faces. Others showed no emotion, as if they detached themselves from this world, their bodies merely on autopilot.

Mark didn’t feel defeated or detached. He was terrified, but he was mostly furious. No human being deserved to be treated as they were being treated. Every fiber of his being knew this to be wrong.

How could anyone, much less the supposed moral majority of this country, think this was just or moral?

“Pay attention, man. Our line is moving,” the man behind him whispered while nudging Mark forward. The men in front of him shuffled forward. His lack of attention might have upset the line when his chain linking him to the man before him pulled taut. The man in front of him could have stumbled or fallen backwards, unbalanced, which likely would have resulted in a beating, or worse, for them both.

“Thanks,” Mark whispered back and shuffled forward.

As he made his way closer to the stairs leading up, the sunlight at the top shone brightly down on him; its warmth felt good on his skin. He closed his eyes briefly, freely giving himself to its embrace. The sun told him everything would be all right, that he would be watched and cared for. Mark found this soothing. He listened to the roll of the waves as they gently rocked the boat against the dock, and it lulled him into a tentative peace. Even the sea breeze that rushed down to him, carrying the smell of salt and sea life, filled him with renewed vigor.

Mark climbed the stairs toward the sun, exiting the darkness of the boat hold.

On deck, he looked around at Provincetown harbor. Boat slips surrounded the area, but there were no boats. At one time, Provincetown was home to many boats, both commercial and private. Now, the only boat was the one he currently stood on. No doubt all other water transportation was forbidden since Provincetown had been turned into a detainment camp. Forced by K3’s, citizens and businesses relocated off the cape.

The line of men in orange jumpsuits extended all the way down the pier, toward a New England styled building with white trim and a grey roof. No doubt the building was once a visitor’s center or some official site for Provincetown tourism. Now, it was where the processing of prisoners occurred. It even had K3 guards standing sentinel along the white ramps, their weapons drawn and their muscles tense, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to shoot someone.

He focused his attention instead on the cool sea breeze that continued to swirl around him, whispering to him that he wasn’t alone. Mark then stepped off the metal plank used for disembarkation and onto the wooden slats of the pier. As he walked forward, Mark imagined what Provincetown might have been like a generation or two ago.

Mark pictured the excitement his gay brothers in the past must have felt when exiting the ferries that used to shuttle them back and forth from Boston. When their feet touched these same wooden slats he now walked across in chains, they no doubt felt liberated from their daily selves. He imagined their excitement, as opposed to his dread, about their arrival. Instead of being detained like Mark, they had arrived at a destination where they were the most free, where they could be who they truly were and express that without hesitation or fear of reprisal.

He clearly saw them in the past, walking hand-in-hand as they hurried to join the rest of their kin at the local bars or shops. Each person they encountered was a potential new lover or friend. In the past, there were no limits here, no boundaries, like the rows of chain linked and barbed wire fences that extended for as far as the eye could see along the beach in both directions. Provincetown was whatever they wanted it to be. It could be filled with dancing and debauchery, shopping and sight seeing, or relaxing and lounging, or it could be all those things.

In fact, if he listened hard enough, he still heard the thumping bass beat of a long ago silenced speaker churning out the dance music to which the boys used to love to dance. The music drifted on the air currents, refusing to die and challenging the present to ever erase that part of this town’s past. The vibe was in the air. It was the essence of what Provincetown was and what it promised to be again. He felt it. This was no doubt what he sensed while climbing out of the boat hold. It was the spirit of Provincetown and the ghosts of his gay brothers from the past. They were here, they told him. They wouldn’t be chased away.

Himiko Warrior by CB Conway


Title: Himiko Warrior
Author: CB Conway
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 192
Characters: Matt and Pietr
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Science Fiction
Kisses: 5




Blurb:

When the aliens arrived on Earth, it turned out that Plato was right. You really can find your other half – your soul mate, and Matt found his. Now he’s got an unbreakable mental bond to his mate and some intriguing telekinetic abilities to explore. Full of excitement, Matt returns to his old life, but he’s completely unprepared for the anger and rejection he encounters because of his bond with Pietr. Shunned and assaulted, Matt realizes the hard way that you can never go back. Especially not when you’re bonded with the enemy.

Giving up isn’t an option, though. Even though Matt’s pretty sure that Pietr’s the most annoying alien in history, he’s also sure that his mate is more important to him than anything else. But Matt’s mental strength is increasing, and Pietr can no longer hide the one secret he’s been desperate to keep. Matt’s world falls apart, and he’s not sure if he’s ever going to be able to put it back together.

He might not have a choice. The hostility between humans and Himika is increasing, and Matt is forced to face some unwelcome truths about his own nature in order to ensure not only his own survival, but that of his fellow human beings as well.

Review:

Let me start by saying there is no way you can read this book if you have not read the first story, Himiko: Bonding. Himiko: Warrior picks up right where the fist story ended and the relationship building, as well as Matt’s introduction to Pietr is important to know for book two. That being said, Himiko: Warrior not only continues Matt’s and Pietr’s relationship but also goes into a little more detail as to why the aliens are on earth in the first place. Their reasons are interesting and explain the urgent need the Himiko have for wanting to communicate with humans, even though their way of going about it is on the harsh side. The reader will see just how these harvestings affect the humans when Matt and Pietr return to Matt’s home. While both men expect a few problems they are both surprised by the reactions of Matt’s friends. They weren’t the only ones as I wanted to smack them for their behavior, especially Jones. Not only do Matt and Pietr have the increasing hostilies between the humans and Himiko to worry about but also the growing instability they notice in the Assessor, the Himiko leader on earth.

Readers will find much to love about this story. The continuing romance between Matt and Pietr with its many ups and downs, as well as the intrigue surrounding the Himiko leader will keep the reader entertained until the last page.

Reviewed By: Lydia

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The Quarterback Secret by Ruth Sims


Title: The Quarterback Secret
Author: Ruth Sims
Publisher: Cheyenne Publishing
Pages: 120
Characters: Ben Reis and the “Pride Pack”
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: YA Mystery
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

Set in the mid-1990s, The Pride Pack is a group of teenagers who band together to help each other out in a time before teens were equipped with cell phones, when homework was done in a notebook rather than on a laptop, and when gay-straight alliances were nothing but a pipe dream.

Athletics remain largely homophobic environments. How will his teammates react if 16-year-old baseball pitching star Ben Reis admits he is gay? And so he mostly lies about his sexuality even when he is with the Pride Pack at the local gay and lesbian community center. All that may change however as the result of his falling through a sinkhole into an unknown cavern and learning THE QUARTERBACK’S SECRET…

Review:

The Quarterback’s Secret is the third book of the Ruth Sims’ Pride Pack series, although it is the only book of the series I’ve read so far. It reads fine as a stand-alone, though I’m now certain I will go back and read the preceding two stories.

Ben Reis is the protagonist in this particular story, and he is a closeted gay teenager. He is the star pitcher of his high school baseball team and harbors a secret crush on his best friend Andy. Both boys attend the school’s gay support group because they “want to support their gay friends”, but neither of them admit to being gay themselves.

While Ben and Andy are skipping class one afternoon, Ben falls into a sinkhole and ends up stranded in a cave. When the Pride Pack comes to rescue him, they discover the skeletal remains of missing person from thirty years prior. A mystery ensues.

I enjoyed the story, and it had a bit of a Scooby-Doo feel to me. It was not intense and nail-biting, but it had a sinister villain (a bit exaggerated), and the team of teen detectives were a bit quirky. Some of the details within the story were a bit of a stretch for me, but overall it was an enjoyable read with a great message.

I applaud Sims for this effort. I think it’s awesome that she is mainstreaming her gay characters in a manner that does not make an issue of their sexual orientation. I think this sort of book would be a welcome read to kids of any orientation. As an adult, I definitely liked it. Great job, Ruth… I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Reviewed By: Jeff

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Angel by Laura Lee


Title: Angel
Author: Laura Lee
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Characters: Paul and Ian
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his religious duties by rote. Everything changes the day he enters the church lobby and encounters a radiant, luminous being lit from behind, breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with life. An angel. For a moment Paul is so moved by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees and pray.

Even after he regains his focus and realizes he simply met a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction for the young man, which puzzles him even as it fills his thoughts and fires his feelings. Paul has no doubt that God has spoken to him through this vision, and Paul must determine what God is calling him to do.

Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul’s ministry but put him at odds with his church as he is forced to examine his deeply held beliefs and assumptions about himself, his community, and the nature of love.

Review:

Paul Tobit is a widowed, middle-aged minister of a mainstream denomination who is still coping with some personal grief issues after his wife dies from cancer. One day a beautiful young stranger shows up at the church, and Paul thinks that he may be an angel. Come to find out, the visitor is twenty-four year old Ian, a troubled alcoholic who is attending an AA meeting.

Eventually Paul and Ian connect, and Paul reaches out to help the young man. Ian goes into an alcohol rehab clinic, and afterward moves in with Paul at the parsonage. When Paul learns that Ian is gay, he has to confront his own prejudice and face the feelings that he is beginning to have for his house guest. A romance ensues, and the couple are then faced with the challenge of keeping their relationship secret lest an unforgiving and judgmental congregation find out the truth and expel them.

The beauty of this story is that it is unconventional in every way. It tackles several controversial themes including intergenerational relationships, homosexuality within religion, and the fluidity of sexual orientation. Initially Paul does not consider himself gay or even bisexual. I was impressed by the manner in which he discovered that love is love, and when this blessing occurs within one’s life, it truly is a gift from God.

There is no easy way to present a story about sexual orientation and religion. It seems no matter how the issue is broached, there will be someone who complains that the prose is “too preachy”. The novel did have a message, and if the reader allows her/himself to simply be swept away by the romance and by the intense emotion, the theme resonates. I was moved to tears throughout the story, and it reminded me of Brokeback Mountain. This is not to say that it is a light or easy read. It is heartbreaking actually, but very poignant.

Ian is my favorite character. He is so flawed and yet so beautiful. He’s cute and charming and self-effacing. I understood how Paul fell in love with him. I think I fell in love with Ian myself. I also understood the agony that Paul endured, trying to reconcile his own personal reality with the only profession he had ever known (and loved).

Of course, the villain in the story is homophobia, and it’s truly ugly. This aspect alone makes the book an emotional challenge.

This is an amazing debut novel—well written and edited, inspiring, uplifting, and thought-provoking. I don’t hesitate to recommend it highly. I would caution mm readers that the theme is quite deep and there are no graphic, intimate scenes. There also is not the typical HEA ending you’d expect to find in a classic romance novel.

Angel is a powerful story, one of the best reads I’ve enjoyed this year.

Reviewed By: Jeff

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By the Numbers by Chris Owen and Tory Temple


Title: By The Numbers
Author: Chris Owen and Tory Temple
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 188
Characters: Nathanial (Deuce) and Trey
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 3.5




Blurb:

The last thing Nathaniel, aka Deuce, expects to see when he gets home from work is his street jammed with fire engines and police cars. When he realizes that it’s his apartment building that’s on fire, Nathaniel can only think of one thing: his pregnant dog, trapped inside.

When firefighter Trey Donovan delivers Nathaniel’s unharmed dog to him, Nathaniel is exceedingly grateful. After all, it isn’t every day that he meets muscular, attractive rescue workers. Nathaniel manages to find out where Trey’s station is with the idea of saying thank you and offering him a puppy, but discovers that he and Trey have something else between them that needs exploring.

Trey, however, has responsibilities that could prove to make that exploration difficult. He has shift work to contend with. His seven year old daughter is a priority, plus he shares custody with his less than friendly ex-wife. Since Nathaniel is the new owner of one dog and six puppies, and doesn’t even have a place to live, he isn’t exactly in an ideal situation to explore a new relationship. Even if it is with a hot, handsome fireman.

Can Trey and Nathaniel find some common ground amid the yapping of puppies and Trey’s complicated family life?

Review:

By the Numbers, a cute story about two men named Deuce and Trey, brings together several winning elements which in theory should make for a winning romance novel. For some reason, though, the synergy just wasn’t there, at least not in my opinion.

I love jock/nerd themes, and who doesn’t love hunky firefighters? Add to this a cute, overly-smart kid and a batch of adorable puppies, and what more could you ask? I think that in a word, the answer is “conflict”. Whether we notice it or not, every story follows the same basic formula. There is a set-up, a conflict, and a resolution. In this particular book, the conflict was supposed to center around how Trey, the firefighter, made peace with his ex-wife and came out as a gay man. Nathanial, aka Deuce, struggled to find a comfortable role in Trey’s life which already was rather complex. Trey was already a fireman, an ex-husband, and a father; and Deuce was at first an admirer who became Trey’s roommate, and eventually his lover.

The conflict wasn’t gripping, and it was, for the most part, unnoticeable. I kept waiting for some big revelation to unfold or for a villain to emerge or a fight to ensue. But there were no surprises. What you read in the blurb is exactly what you find in the plot.

There was a bit of role-reversal that occurred within the story. Initially Trey was the hero when he rushed into a burning building and rescued Deuce’s dog. Deuce seemed to be a nerdy computer geek who lacked social skills. As the story unfolded, the characters arced, and it appeared that Deuce was actually the confident one while Trey struggled with some insecurities.

I did love the puppies in the story, but the author at times seemed more focused upon them than upon the mm romance. The fire station was interesting, but the author included more details about the day-to-day operation and about the equipment than I really cared to know. The ex-wife was presented in a very negative light, and I was a bit uncomfortable with the anti-woman tone or subtext that the author seemed to present.

The strength of the novel was the love story itself. The way the characters were brought together and how they subsequently discovered their attraction to each other, was really touching. The sex was well-written and very steamy.

Overall, I like the story and the characters. It’s a lighthearted read and a sweet romance. The intimate scenes are hot, and for this factor alone, the book will be appealing to many readers. Written by two amazingly talented authors, the book is sure to be embraced and loved by many fans. For me, it was not my favorite, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.

Reviewed By: Jeff

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Dark of the Moon by Laura Baumbach


Title: Dark of the Moon
Author: Laura Baumbach
Publisher: MLR Press
Pages: 63
Characters: Harley, Matt
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

Recovering from a near fatal injury, vampire Harley Scott just wants some peace, quiet and a long night filled with darkness. The wilds of icy Canada sounds like the best place to make that happen– if he can make it past blizzards, werewolves, and — oh, yeah, a death squad of fellow vampires on his trail.

Review:

(This is a previously released book)

Dark of the Moon is a story about a vampire who is badly injured and in need of protection from a group of vampires who are out to destroy him because of his injuries. Harley was your everyday average vampire…um…prostitute. He’d jump from one john to the next seeking mainly blood from them as he fulfilled their sexual needs and one night something went terribly wrong when one of those johns decided to use Harley as the star in his very own snuff film.

After that incident he finds himself in a world of hate and pain, merely existing until he encounters a handful of humans who take him under their wing to get him to safety. Not to say they knew he was in trouble, I just think they were decent men helping someone out. Harley ends up in a small town, in a bar where he meets Matt, the sheriff and things heat up here very quickly.

We get to see how lively Harley is and how it takes a hell of a um…man to get him to see everything in a different light so to speak. He also learns the meaning of real love, how a pack protects its own, and how to trust once again.

This is a well told story, with a lot of Harley doing a lot of thinking in the pages. You get to know and understand him and his frustrations, and feel for him, cheer him on, and Matt as well. Matt is just…awesome. If you missed this story the first time out, don’t pass it up this go around.

Reviewed By: Michele

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Layover by Elizabeth Coldwell


Title: Layover
Author: Elizabeth Coldwell
Publisher: X-cite
Pages: 67
Characters: Cal, Justin
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

A gay erotic novella by best-selling author Elizabeth Coldwell. Flight attendant, Cal, knows he’s dropped lucky, spending a 26-hour layover at a luxury resort on the beautiful island of Aruba. And that’s before he meets Justin, the gorgeous and deliciously kinky resort manager. So when a tropical storm grounds the plane, and lets him spend more time in Justin’s company, he’s sure he’s truly found paradise. But will his new-found happiness be snatched away when the time comes to return to England?

Review:

If you’re looking for a cute erotic story, then you’ve come to the right review. Layover is just that. A cute short story about flight attendant Cal and what happens to him on a layover in Aruba, of all places.

The story begins with the crew in the air and Cal watching two young lovers having a time of things in their seats near the back of the plane. Fantasies fill Cal’s head making things a tad-bit uncomfortable for him or should I say how his uniform fits him in a certain area. Something he can’t take of until the plane is set down and he is alone in his room at a resort where the crew is spending their layover.

There’s a colorful cast of characters who help to bring this story to life and one of those being Justin, the manager of the resort who Cal takes a liking to very quickly. So much so that their first night they more or less find love. The second night they find themselves victims of a hurricane and the next we see a bit of D/s action going on with the two. The author went into great description of the resort, of the beach, even a few of the locals Cal met while with Justin.

Overall a cute story with saucy bits and pieces. Even a masseuse who delivers happy endings. The ending is a HFN, so if you’re looking for HEA, this isn’t it. Or just perhaps the author is hard at work on their next adventure?

Reviewed By: Michele

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