A word if you will? A More Perfect Union and a little something by Scott!

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A More Perfect Union

 

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Blurbs

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.

But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say, “I do?”

Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was a right they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.

To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself, and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.

 

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

Lucas Arrowood is walking to school on his first day of kindergarten when he meets Dalton Churchill—a boy who stops and helps him tie his shoe. He knows from that moment he is going to marry that boy one day.  “Boys can’t marry other boys,” his mother explains, but that doesn’t stop Lucas. He knows what he wants.

He and Dalton become best friends—and then, no matter how much he resists, Dalton falls in love with Lucas. Dalton’s very conservative family can’t accept that their boy loves another boy, but finally Dalton stands up for love and for Lucas. Still, he declares he won’t marry Lucas until it is legal everywhere. He hates the “Commitment Ceremonies” gay men have. They aren’t the real thing. Why bother?

So Lucas waits for his day. The day same-sex marriage finally becomes legal and he can be joined forever with the love of his life.

 

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

 

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

When Jay and Wallace first meet at an LGBTQ group, they have no idea they’ll be dating six years later. In fact, they quickly forget each other’s names. But although fate continues to throw them together, the timing is never quite right. Finally they’re both single and  realize they want to be together… but now they can’t find each other! With determination and the help of mutual friends, Jay and Wallace can finally pursue the relationship they’ve both wanted for so long.

It’s only the beginning of the battles they’ll face to build a life together.

From disapproving family members all the way to the state legislature, Jay and Wallace’s road to happily ever after is littered with obstacles. But they’ve come too far to give up the fight.

 

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

Living as an open, loving gay couple in the rural South isn’t easy—even today.

When Jeordi and Tom move in together and come out to their families, Jeordi’s family does not take the news especially well. When yelling doesn’t work, they send in one sibling after another to try to separate the couple. When that fails, they call out their pastor to help Jeordi see the error of his ways. But Jeordi’s love for Tom is greater than anything they throw at them.

When an accident sends Jeordi to the hospital, his family goes too far when they try to keep Tom from visiting his partner. Jeordi and Tom are determined to do everything in their power to gain legal protection so this can never happen again. But when a bigoted county clerk refuses to issue them a marriage license, Jeordi decides a big, bold effort is called for, which is precisely what he sets in moVon so no one can ever separate him from Tom again.

 

Excerpts

 

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

“The first time Lucas Arrowood saw Dalton was on his way to his first day of kindergarten. His mother was walking him to school, he was very excited, and his right shoelace was flopping, untied.

“Baby,” said his mom. “Let’s sit down and try to tie your shoe.”

He looked up at her, excitement temporarily quashed. He couldn’t do it. Couldn’t tie his shoe. And he was supposed to be able to. His mother had tried to show him how—over and over again—but he couldn’t get the laces to go where they were supposed to go, and it just fell apart. He couldn’t do it. If his teacher found out, would they make him go home? Would he have to wait until next year? That would be horrible!

“Hey, you can do it. It’s easy!”

Lucas gave a little jump, turned around, and sighed as he looked into the narrow dark eyes of the most beautiful human being he had ever seen.

“Want me to help?” the boy asked, flipping his mop of dark brown hair out of his eyes with a toss of his head. “I taught a bunch of kids last year when I was in kindergarten.”

A bunch of kids hadn’t known how to tie their shoes? That perked up his ears. Lucas looked up at his mother.

She smiled. “Do you want him to help?”

Then he realized something. He did want the boy to help him. He thought he would do anything the boy wanted him to do, even ask his mom to take the training wheels off his bike (which was a big scary because he was afraid of falling and getting hurt!).

“Sit down,” said the boy, pointing to the landscaping wall along the sidewalk.”

Lucas sat.

“What’s your name?” asked Lucas’s mother.

“Dalton Churchill. Like Winston Churchill. Only it’s Dalton.”

He smiled, and Lucas knew Dalton was the most beautiful boy on the planet.

“Who’s Winston Churchill?” Lucas asked.

Dalton shrugged and got down on one knee before Lucas. “I don’t know. I think he’s a minister. Okay, now, first you pull your laces up and then cross them over, like this.” Dalton demonstrated.

“I can tie a knot,” Lucas said, wanting very much not to look like a complete dope in front of Dalton. Then he frowned. “It’s the other part I get mixed up on.”

“That’s cool,” Dalton said, tying the knot. “Okay…. So here’s the tricky part. First you make a loop and stick it up so it looks like a tree—see?”

Lucas nodded. He wasn’t sure the upward turned loop looked much like a tree, but he wasn’t going to tell Dalton that.

“Then you take the other lace and wrap it around the bottom like this—like a dog running around the tree.”

Lucas smiled. “My neighbor has a dog. His name is Super Mario.”

“That’s a great name,” Dalton said, laughing.

Then he finished showing Lucas how to tie his shoe.

“Wow,” Lucas said.

But then Dalton untied the shoe.

“Hey!” cried Lucas.

“Now you do it,” Dalton said. He nodded. “You can. I know you can. Easy.”

Lucas wanted to yell, “No, I can’t!” but he quite suddenly knew he could not disappoint the pretty boy with the beautiful eyes. He sighed. What had Dalton said about a tree? He made a loop with one of the laces.

“Just like that, but the other one. Unless you’re a southpaw.”

Lucas looked up through his own dark bangs. “Huh?”

“Southpaw means left-handed.”

“Oh!” Lucas giggled. “I’m not.”

“Tree!” Dalton ordered, brows knitted together.

So Lucas made a loop with his shoelace.

“Yes!” Dalton said with such enthusiasm Lucas would have thought he’d ridden down to the corner and back on his bike without training wheels. He laughed and then thought about dogs running around the base of trees. A moment later, Lucas had tied his shoe. His mother clapped.

“Yes,” shouted Dalton. “I knew you could do it, Lucas.”

Dalton walked the rest of the way to school with them. But even better, he also promised to walk Lucas to school the next day.

 

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Monday, September 27

There was only this moment. This place. Alex holding Gio’s hand, gently because of the burns on the back of Gio’s arm and hand. The sounds of the breathing machine came in regular soft sighs.

The little green box held in Alex’s other hand–and all it symbolized between them.

All their life together had shrunk down to this moment, this place, this plea. “Please wake up, Gio. Amore mio, svegliati.”

Sunday, September 12. Two weeks earlier

Alex was late getting home, and he was in a foul mood from the long, difficult day at work. One of the properties he’d made a bid on had fallen through, and another client had all but called him a bald-faced liar.

He was looking forward to getting home, taking a long hot shower, then crawling into bed.

Alex was startled to find a whole meal, complete with wine and candles, laid out on their dining room table. Gio must have spent the whole day cooking.

Alex was late. He’d been delayed with his angry client, and to make matters worse, his phone had up and died halfway through the afternoon and he’d been without his car charger.”

“He was already annoyed when he walked in the door.

“Welcome home, amore,” Gio called from the kitchen.

“I had a hell of a day….” He caught a whiff of whatever Gio was cooking.

“Come sit down. I’ve got everything ready.”

The dining room looked like a Martha Stewart production of a telenovella Thanksgiving. “I’m sorry. I’m not really hungry. Things were the shits at work today.”

“Sorry to hear that. Have a seat.” Gio grabbed his elbow and urged him toward his chair. “Food makes everything better.”

Alex was starting to get annoyed. “Look, I’m sorry, but I’m not hungry. I just want to wash up–”

“That’s just the job talking.” Gio took his arm again.

“Knock it off! I’m not in the mood tonight.”

Gio looked hurt, but Alex plowed on, too incensed to stop.

“This isn’t some kind of June and Ward Cleaver relationship.”

“I just–”

“You have to let go of your stupid, unrealistic expectations of me and this relationship.”

Gio frowned. “That’s bullshit, and you know it. Just because you had a bad day at work, there’s no reason to take it out on me.”

He was right. But Alex couldn’t admit it. “Just leave me the fuck alone,” he said, grabbing his phone charger and storming out. He’d find somewhere else to sleep tonight.”

 

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

1999

Doug had seemed terrific when Jay first met him. He was funny, attentive, good in bed, and Jay’s family thought he was great. At family gatherings, that is—not in bed. They were living together in short order.

But after two years, things weren’t going so well. They’d moved to Dover, which allowed Jay to get back in touch with some of his college friends, but their relationship seemed to grow rockier by the day. They fought constantly, though Jay was never really sure what they were fighting about. They just didn’t… fit anymore.

But still he tried. Jay was nothing if not stubborn.

His ties to the pagan/Wiccan world had long ago faded away, since Doug thought that stuff was weird and creepy. In fact, his ties to anything outside the tech industry had pretty much withered to nothing. He worked long hours, during which he thought about nothing but computers and switches and routers. It paid well, and raises were frequent, so he was caught up in the game his coworkers played—pushing for promotions or transfers every six months to a year in order to get salary increases. Like his coworkers, he had an E*TRADE account and spent time between support calls attempting to build a stock portfolio. He had the sense not to gamble the small amount of savings he had, but it was a fun game to play.

But he was unsatisfied. He couldn’t quite put a finger on why until one Saturday, when he was sitting at Café on the Corner and his friend, Steve, happened by. Steve had been part of the medieval reenactment group Jay hung out with in college, and apparently he was still involved with them.

“Michaelmas is coming up,” Steve pointed out, referring to one of the large feasts the group “put on every year. “It’s going to be at the Unitarian Church. You should come.”

Jay couldn’t see that happening. He no longer had any of his medieval “garb,” and Doug was likely to turn his nose up at the idea of hanging out with a bunch of reenactors all day.

Jay said diplomatically, “I’ll think about it.”

“Well, at least stop by the monthly Wiccan group. Julie’s usually there, and Mark. A whole bunch of the old crowd. That’s tomorrow. Same place.”

It would be nice to see some of them. And Doug was working on Sunday. “That might be fun.”

“Are you still writing?”

He wasn’t. Jay had written a lot of science fiction stories in college, and he’d talked about getting published one day. But that, like everything else he’d enjoyed in those days, seemed like nothing more than a dream he’d once had, barely remembered.

This conversation was getting depressing.

“So,” he asked, trying to change the subject, “do you still sing?”

Steve grinned with excitement. “Yeah, man! My band is putting together our second CD. It’s gonna be awesome!”

The more he talked about his life, the more it became clear Steve was barely scraping by financially. But he was doing what he loved, and he seemed just as happy with his life as he’d been in college. Jay, on the other hand, had plenty of money. He had a career now, a boyfriend, a new car, and a nice apartment. He’d thought he was doing okay, but now he realized exactly why he’d been feeling so uneasy. His life had veered off course. In just five years, he’d lost touch with everything that had been fun and creative in himself. He was no longer Jay.

And he missed himself.

 

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

“When the front door of the trailer slammed shut with a loud bang, followed immediately by an animalistic howl of rage and frustration, Tom knew Jeordi was home. He snickered and shook his head.

“Hey, babe,” Tom called out. “I forgot this was the day you were going to visit your parents. It went that well, huh?”

One glance at his boyfriend told Tom all he needed to know. Despite the scowl and look of anger and frustration on Jeordi’s face, it only took one glance at the man to ignite the most sensitive parts of his nervous system (and everything connected to it).

He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Jeordi. He wasn’t handsome in the New York runway model sense, but was handsome in the real man sense. Jeordi turned heads every time he walked down the street, although he consistently missed the many glances people cast his way.

All Jeordi saw when he looked at himself was that he wasn’t tall, and he felt his ears were too big. Tom daily told Jeordi that he was the most studly man he’d ever known—and he quietly gave thanks that the man was all his.

Tom felt two strong hands wrap around his waist as he stood at the sink in their kitchen. Carefully setting down the dish he’d been washing, he leaned his head back against his boyfriend’s solid shoulder, brushing his smooth cheek against Jeordi’s fuzzy cheek—fuzzy not from a beard but from a strong five o’clock shadow the man dependably had every day by late afternoon. Jeordi hated it, but Tom loved it and loved rubbing one part or another of his body over the stubble.

“Love you, babe,” Tom whispered. “I’m glad you’re home.”

“Why?” Jeordi whispered into Tom’s ear.”

“Why? Why? Why do I keep subjecting myself to the same crap?”

“So, they didn’t throw their arms open and tell you they’ve joined PFLAG and ask for your advice on what to wear in the next Pride Day parade?”

Jeordi snorted. “Um, that would be a great big no.”

“What did they do this time?” Tom asked.

“Prayed—and then some. They tried to have some kind of healing service to rid me of the evil that had ‘grabbed hold’ of me, to quote my mother. They said they needed to cast the devil out of my body.”

“Oh, isn’t that special,” Tom joked.

“Not so much,” Jeordi disagreed.

“Was it just your parents?”

“Oh, no. That’s what made this one more frustrating. They had their minister there. He brought a backup minister—poor kid looked freaked out just being in the same room with a known homosexual. Don’t know what he thought was going to happen.”

“They upped the ante, I see,” Tom said.

“Oh, there’s more,” Jeordi said.

“More?”

“Hell, yes. They had some of my more uptight brothers there with them this time.”

“They succeeded in getting any of your brothers to be in the same room at the same time? How the hell did they swing that one?”

“Don’t know. Must have been one hell of a bribe. They, of course, brought their wives, I guess to show me how a good strong Christian heterosexual marriage works. They pissed me off so much I slipped and asked Beau how he could take part in something like that when he’d been off screwing half the women in the county. He didn’t appreciate it. I guess his wife didn’t know he was a hound dog she needed to keep on a tighter leash.”

Tom stopped what he was doing and dropped his head back, deep in thought. “Hmm, your brother Beau would look damned good in a collar—and naked,” he said. “Now, if you maybe added a blindfold, put him on his knees with his hands cuffed behind his back—now that’s just freaking hot. Maybe I should call his wife and give her a few suggestions. How do you think she’d take that? I’d be doing it strictly to help her out since I doubt she’d ever come up with an idea like that on her own. And of course I’d need to be there to help her, you know, to consult.”

“Don’t go there,” Jeordi warned with a chuckle. Beau was beautiful, but unfortunately he knew it and wasn’t at all opposed to spreading his beauty around to any and all women who’d have him. “At least that got the two of them out of the whole ritualistic crap my mother had planned for the weekly visit.”

“Two down, ten to go,” Tom said.

Tom turned around and wrapped his arms around Jeordi, kissing his neck. “I love you, babe,” he whispered into Jeordi’s ear as he held tightly to his man.

“I’m so glad you do. My family certainly doesn’t.”

“Oh, they love you. They just don’t understand it because the playing field has changed since you came out,” Tom said.

 

Buy Links, Etc

Dreamspinner eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7854

Dreamspinner paperback:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7855

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30304246-a-more-perfect-union

 

Author Bios

 

B.G. Thomas

B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous little dog. He is lucky enough to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.

B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.

In the nineties, he wrote for gay magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. Gay men are what he knows best, after all—since he grew out of being a “practicing” homosexual long ago. He submitted a story and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the stories have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of stories!”

“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bgthomaswriter

Website: https://bthomaswriter.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4053647.B_G_Thomas

 

Scott Coatsworth:

Scott has been writing since elementary school. After leaving writing for twenty years, Mark, his husband, told him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Mark and Scott have been together for twenty four years. They met at the Pacific Center, an LGBT center in Berkeley, California, in 1992. They dated for two weeks, and then Scott moved in with Mark, and the rest is history. They run their own business together, study Italian, and are almost never found apart.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

 

Jamie Fessenden

Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple of short pieces in his high school’s literary magazine, but it wasn’t until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie published his first novella in 2010, and has since published over twenty other novels and novellas.

After legally marrying in 2010, buying a house together, and getting a dog, Jamie and Erich have settled down to life in the country, surrounded by wild turkeys, deer, and the occasional coyote. A few years ago, Jamie was able to quit the tech support job that gave him insanely high blood pressure. He now writes full-time… and feels much better.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamie.fessenden.7

Website: https://jamiefessenden.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4476044.Jamie_Fessenden

 

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy met his husband Dan thirty-four years ago during a Sunday service at MCC in Washington, DC when a hot, smart man sat down beside him. Due to a shortage of hymnals they had to share.  The touch of one hand on the other in that moment was electric. Sparks flew that day. Though neither had planned it, they spent the day together followed by the night.  From that day, for more than three decades they’ve rarely been separated, each finding in the other their soul mate.

In the District of Columbia, where they lived, marriage became possible in early March 2010.  The minute it happened they were in line to get a marriage license, only to be stumped because the license required the name of the person who was going to marry them. There was such a sudden rush of same sex couples wanting to get married that the office already had a two-month backlog before an appointment could be secured.  Since they weren’t at all convinced that the Congress wasn’t going to step in and do something stupid to take away this right, they started calling everywhere to find someone who would marry them. It might be legal, but finding someone to marry them was proving to be a challenge.

When an article appeared in the newspaper telling of a small, local United Methodist Church that had decided to go against general church policy because marriage equality mattered deeply to them, a conversation started.  After a series of emails and phone calls, suddenly they were seated with two retired UMC ministers who were willing to risk it all to do the right thing.  A few days later, license in hand, surrounded by a handful of friends and their best dog, Shadow, they were finally legally married.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michael.murphy.9250

Website: http://gayromancewriter.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450548.Michael_Murphy

 

A word from Scott….author-coatsworth-j-scott

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

I also wanted to be (in this order) an astronaut, an astronomer, and a rock star.
I didn’t have the discipline to go through all the physical training it takes to become an astronaut.
I found out how much math was required to be an astronomer, and that was out too. I just wanted to look at the stars.
And my voice changed when I turned 14, and I didn’t have the vocal range to pull off the whole rock star thing. Or the guitar.
So I became a writer.
I wrote a whole novel, reworking it three times over a few years in my early twenties. Then I sent it off to ten major publishers, ready to be given the acclaim I felt I was due for my amazing writing skills.
Then the first rejection came back. And the second. And the third. And finally, almost a full year later, the tenth.
I quit.
But as anyone who is a writer can tell you, it gets in your blood. You’re a writer because you have stories to tell, not because you  want to make a quick buck. Because, let me tell you, if that’s your motivation, you’re in the wrong field.
I came back to it a couple times over the next twenty years, but never managed to make it stick.
Funny thing, though. I had this idea that I wouldn’t really become successful at my writing until I reached my forties, when I had a little more life experience to work with.
Two and a half years ago, I was just about to give up again. I was moaning to my husband about once again being me derailed, when he set me straight. He said “the only one who can keep you from writing is you.”
Damn.
But he was right. So I rededicated myself to my craft. I wrote and submitted a story to every open Dreamspinner anthology in 2014. And eventually someone bit.
BG Thomas picked up one of my stories, “The Bear at the Bar”, for the “A Taste of Honey” anthology, and he kicked off a string of publishing successes that continues to this day.
So when he asked me to write a story for the forthcoming “A More Perfect Union anthology – stories about the road to marriage by married gay men, I leapt at the chance.
The resulting story, “Flames”, is one of my favorites, but the other three authors, BG Thomas, Jamie Fessenden, and Michael Murphy, all turned in stellar entries too.
I hope you enjoy them all. And if you want to be a writer, don’t give up.  You never know when your time will come.

Michele reviews: A More Perfect Union

squarePublisher: Dreamspinner Press
Authors:
B.G. Thomas
J. Scott Coatsworth
Jamie Fessenden
Michael Murphy
Length: 104K / 350 Pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 6/26/16

 

Blurbs

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.

But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say, “I do?”

Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was a right they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.

To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself, and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

Lucas Arrowood is walking to school on his first day of kindergarten when he meets Dalton Churchill—a boy who stops and helps him tie his shoe. He knows from that moment he is going to marry that boy one day.  “Boys can’t marry other boys,” his mother explains, but that doesn’t stop Lucas. He knows what he wants.

He and Dalton become best friends—and then, no matter how much he resists, Dalton falls in love with Lucas. Dalton’s very conservative family can’t accept that their boy loves another boy, but finally Dalton stands up for love and for Lucas. Still, he declares he won’t marry Lucas until it is legal everywhere. He hates the “Commitment Ceremonies” gay men have. They aren’t the real thing. Why bother?

So Lucas waits for his day. The day same-sex marriage finally becomes legal and he can be joined forever with the love of his life.

Michele’s thoughts:

I have to say that I fell in love with these two characters from the moment they appeared on the page together. Little Lucas is such a doll! He is straight out inquisitive and innocent. What does a six – seven-year old know about being in love, or loving another person? He swears his love for his new-found friend, Dalton and he doesn’t care what the world thinks of boys loving boys or that society won’t accept them as a couple, a married couple. All he knows is that he wants to marry Dalton. One day. The writer leads us on a life long journey with these two characters, we see them grow up and become men, we’re privy to their very private moments, like what teenage boys do when they gather together for a sleepover…We see these boys take their first drinks, kiss girls during a game of spin the bottle and how Lucas feels about it. All of his young life he loved Dalton, period. However, we also see how he sees Dalton, as this is told in the third limited POV, and what Dalton does or acts in Lucas’ mind. We see the struggle Dalton goes through into his adult life once he admitted that he too loved Lucas. He’s disowned by his parents over his love for the other boy. We see the strength of Lucas through a family scare with his mother, who is his closest ally. Then they go to college, they move in together and we’re taken on a journey throughout all of this. Love at its purest moment. I loved this story. The flaws to make these characters are there. The plot is so very believable and the writer did a splendid job with his deliverance of this story. The love we feel from Lucas to Dalton, then from Dalton to Lucas. In the end Lucas gets what he’s wanted for most of his life, and so does Dalton. They are an adorable couple and I love the story.  Five kisses!

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

Michele’s thoughts:

Just wow…this story here grabbed me by my wrist and took me on a hell of a journey that made me laugh, cry, and cheer. J. Scott did a marvelous job with the plot, characterization, settings, all of it. This writer nailed it to a T! This story took place in Tucson, AZ., and that’s where I live! In reading this, I felt as if I was with these guys every step of the way and that’s one thing I love about reading stories that are based on where I have been or where I’m at. I could see the desert sky, feel the monsoons, the hospital, all of it. Even the streets! So, beyond that, we meet Alex, and Gio two characters who are as real to me as you are. They have faults, though Alex more than Gio. Alex has a bit of a temper issue going on when the story started. He had a bad day or week at work and he did what all spouses and other halves do..take it out on the one’s we love…and wow, does Alex do a bang-up job of that. He even pissed me off. I was reading and saying, “Oh, poor Gio! He went through all that trouble of making a wonderful home cooked Italian dinner for his man and he gets yelled at over it?!” Yet, while I say this, you must remember that we all have done this very thing. We are all guilty of this action. I don’t care what anyone says. Alex stormed out and stays gone all night, gets drunk, wakes up in a hotel room..ALONE and he’s met by the worst day of his life. His lover, his boyfriend was in a fire and ended up in a coma. OH my HELL! The heartbreak as Alex fell apart. It was horrible. In a good way! I mean the writer did such a fantastic job with getting in Alex’s head and explaining how he was feeling to me. The heaviness in his heart, the guilt, all of it, I felt for him. And Gio, bless his sweet innocent adorable heart, he was stuck in a coma and the writer took a step out of any writer’s comfy zone and wrote this in the 3rd POV. We got both of the characters, not just one! So, when it was Gio’s turn we saw him alone in a void it seemed, and each time Alex was with him in the hospital and spoke to Gio, reminding him of all the things they did together, a piece of that ended up with Gio in the void…like for instance, they went to Mexico one year and ended up buying a huge bed that they fell in love with. Alex had it shipped to their place in Tucson and in Gio’s void that bed ended up with him, so he had something to sleep on. Then there was a stuff U of A wild cat named Devin that Gio also had with him. Wait till you read that part! This whole story is so meaningful and it teaches us not to take our loved ones for granted. Never leave in anger, never go to sleep without saying I love you..and most importantly, this story shares with us the pains that unaccepting family members can inflict upon others if they can. And wow, Gio’s mom does a hell of a bang up job there…poor Alex. I mean sure I was upset with him for doing what he did but I couldn’t hate him or even stay mad because he did what we all have done after all. Every single night Alex sneaks in the hotel because Gio’s mom forbid him from seeing her baby son, and he sneaks out before she turns up to sit with her baby. No one should have that power over people in love. I really didn’t like her but I got why she did it but still I didn’t like her. It’s our job as parents to accept our children period. Love is love but she is very religious and didn’t accept that part of her son, and well you can imagine. It’s heartbreaking! Marriage is so very important for different reasons, so are wills. Give this one a read! I promise your eyes and heart will weep.  Five plus kisses!

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

When Jay and Wallace first meet at an LGBTQ group, they have no idea they’ll be dating six years later. In fact, they quickly forget each other’s names. But although fate continues to throw them together, the timing is never quite right. Finally they’re both single and  realize they want to be together… but now they can’t find each other! With determination and the help of mutual friends, Jay and Wallace can finally pursue the relationship they’ve both wanted for so long.

It’s only the beginning of the battles they’ll face to build a life together.

From disapproving family members all the way to the state legislature, Jay and Wallace’s road to happily ever after is littered with obstacles. But they’ve come too far to give up the fight.

Michele’s thoughts

This story here is probably the only one where I wanted to strangle the author. These characters are so well done, so well written, their story line so true to life, that each time they met up they lost touch and since I knew they were supposed to be a couple, the writer kept dropping bombs between them, keeping them apart!  It’s really a good story that focus’ a lot of the truth of things when it concerns how families disown their gay sons, how those men keep moving forward in spite of it. These men take part in the rights of LGBT people. The right to marry, the right to have a say so over each other, the right to even buy a home together. They take us on that long journey they experienced and dare us to not feel. If you don’t feel for them when you read this story, perhaps you don’t have a heart? I mean, the pains, the hopes, the dreams, even things most straight people take for granted, are fought for by this couple. They are incredibly patient, I’ll give them that, but thinking of the past, back before laws were set in place, they didn’t have a choice but to be patient. We are on this rollercoaster of their lives and though it takes years for them to finally live together it’s worth the wait because the writer keeps you very entertained with the characters real life issues that are faced or were faced prior to the President giving EVERYONE the right to marry…This story here is the one that takes you through the pains of love and the joys. I hope you enjoy it! Five kisses!  characters.

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

Living as an open, loving gay couple in the rural South isn’t easy—even today.

When Jeordi and Tom move in together and come out to their families, Jeordi’s family does not take the news especially well. When yelling doesn’t work, they send in one sibling after another to try to separate the couple. When that fails, they call out their pastor to help Jeordi see the error of his ways. But Jeordi’s love for Tom is greater than anything they throw at them.

When an accident sends Jeordi to the hospital, his family goes too far when they try to keep Tom from visiting his partner. Jeordi and Tom are determined to do everything in their power to gain legal protection so this can never happen again. But when a bigoted county clerk refuses to issue them a marriage license, Jeordi decides a big, bold effort is called for, which is precisely what he sets in motion so no one can ever separate him from Tom again.

Michele’s thoughts

This story here is the shortest one I believe and it’s just too sweet. I mean, look at the blurb. We step into the relationship on page one and we’re kept there until the last word, the last moment and I enjoyed every moment of it. We can feel their love for one another and feel the hate from Jeordi’s mother! Oh that woman! I wanted to just slap her and tell her to mind her marriage as well as she minds her son’s business. I mean, these two men are living in a trailer, they don’t have oodles of money, but they have what matters the most. Love. And one day on his way to work, Jeordi is hit by a car while on his bike in the rain. He’s taken to the hospital and his family is called, but not his lover. Jeordi asks his mother and nurses, even the doctors over and over where Tom was and no one would pay him any attention. Now, he’s very hurt, he needed something along the lines of a hundred stitches, talk about bad road rash. Here I was thinking here we go, he’ll fall terribly ill, it’ll require a hospital stay and Tom will have no damn clue because Jeordi’s family doesn’t approve of him being gay. Well, Jeordi surprised me and he surprised Tom too, as well as his nosy mother. He stood up to her telling her no one was going to keep his lover away from him ever again. They go on a lovely journey together and end up in Washington DC where the meet a few amazing people who help them in so many ways. Even Jeordi’s brother who was shocked about his brother’s sexuality stepped up to the plate and did something that Tom and Jeordi will never forget. I think he’s my favorite character! It’s a wonderful cute story and I give it five kisses!

Okay, so overall I loved these stories because they all dealt with true life events and what could happen, what has happened, and will not happen any longer thanks to every one being given the rights to do what they should have been given a long time ago..the right to marry regardless of the sex of the person they love. The battles these couples face are true to life, in each case. Usually when one takes ill a family member will step in and decide to kick what they don’t approve of out. They don’t stop to think about the person lying in those beds or how they feel about their other halves, the families don’t care. It’s actually so sad to know that people are being kept apart over hate. That bothers me the most. I hope these stories give other men and women the strength to overcome their fears of marriage and take that step if just to protect their other halves from the hate that can be tossed at them by ugly family members who will never get it. I love the plots, the messages, the steps taken to get these guys where they wanted to be. Married to the men they love more than life itself. Sure, each of these stories has an issue or two but those are nothing when we’re looking at the big picture. That’s love.

A note from Michele about A More Perfect Union’s authors.

Dear, J. Scott Coatsworth,

I’m writing this letter to you to thank you for being persistent. If you hadn’t of taken the time out to find me, I would have missed out on the stories within that anthology. In that, I would have missed out on some amazing characters and I wouldn’t have  read your story, or felt the hurts and the joys, or seen the happenings, none of it. I would have missed talent and true love all rolled up in one book.

Remember when you first contacted me about reading the anthology? I think I said that I didn’t review any more and that Gabbi would find a reviewer and let it go…then you found me again…(Let me say that I’m shocked you know who I am to start with. LOL!) And you asked if anyone had reviewed the anthology yet. I honestly didn’t know because Gabbi takes care of that stuff but I contacted her anyway to see if anyone had selected this book. I had a feeling no one had, we’re very thin right now with reviewers, and when she told me that we are swamped (not shocked.) with a bunch of books and very few reviewers I felt bad. I could feel that excitement by you via FB messenger…So, I took a step I stopped taking some time ago.

See, I stopped reviewing sometime ago. It’s not to say I quit reading because I haven’t, but I don’t read anything sent to us at T2B anymore. I retired to be honest. However, I didn’t think you knew that. And guess what? I’m glad you didn’t. I’m thrilled you stayed on top of it and basically pinned me in the corner over a review….Truly I am.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into here…I didn’t pay attention at the beginning…Remember when I said, “Okay, I’ll see if I can get Roxy to do it?” Well, she’s swamped and couldn’t do it…I sorta put a “time” limit on this one  because I didn’t want to let you down.  I hate to let anyone down actually and that’s part of the reason why I decided to stop reviewing.  So, moving on…Yes, I had Gabbi send me the file and read all of the stories.

Boy oh boy. Here’s what I didn’t know. I had NO idea this was an anthology! I’m serious I didn’t. I didn’t because I didn’t read the blurb or the email. I just downloaded the file and opened it and HELLO…

I don’t want to say I came out of “retirement,” to start reviewing again but I did for you and I’m glad I did. These stories are so much more than stories. They are true words written by each of you and those words came from your hearts, from your very lives. While they are fiction, there is truth behind them, all of ’em. All of you-the authors-are so very talented, incredibly gifted, right out  amazing guys. Humble, each of you. It’s hard to find guys like that in this day and age. I see so many people stuck on themselves they can’t see beyond the tips of their noses, that includes women too. But you all, you all have it going on and I’m thrilled to have gotten the chance to help you all out, even if it’s just by a review.

So, without further blabbering on my part, here you go, Mr. J. Scott Coatsworth, because you asked me for it. I don’t do this type of thing for just anyone anymore….And B.G. Thomas, Jamie Fessenden, and Michael Murphy, this includes you all too…Stand tall, be proud, smile, and remember, we may not know one another, we may never meet in person either(I have met you, Jamie) but you have my respect. I love you without knowing you, the real you’s because you’re truly super sweet men. You are all truly wonderful people and I’m thankful to J. Scott for standing up and bugging me to read this. If he hadn’t, I would have missed out and who knows…maybe we wouldn’t have had a moment to do this review up.

OH! And I want to say: CONGRATS! on your marriages! All is as it should be….I hope that one day I can find the true love each of you have found.

 

author-coatsworth-j-scott author-fessenden-jamie author-murphy-michael author-thomas-bg authors

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We, at Top 2 Bottom Reviews & More, wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the people who were taken too soon. Our prayers to the survivors, to all who have been hurt by the hate of a madman.

We are a strong ally of the LGBT community and we are heartbroken over the tragedy that took place in Florida. Words can’t express our sadness. We cry for everyone who was there, for their loved ones. We fight to understand the reasoning behind this, for the senseless killing, but we don’t have the answers, nor do we get how humans can live their lives with so much hate in their hearts.

That attack hurt in so many ways. How do we even begin to wrap our heads around what has happened? It seems with each step forward, there’s five backwards.  This is why it’s so important to be there for one another. To hold and hug each other. Stand proud and strong because backing down isn’t an option. Instead we will stand beside you and shout it out, we’ll love more, hug more. We’ll all be hand in hand to show the haters that we are and will always be stronger than they will ever be. They need guns, bombs and haters on their side. All we need are one another. Lowering our standards isn’t an option, so we’ll show them just how strong we are, as a team.

The thing is, we will win every single time. We have something a lot more powerful on our side. We have each other and we have the desire to show that love will win every time. Gay, straight, bi, I don’t care what you identify as, you have allies all over the world, and we all stand proud, and we’ll be loud, and we’ll continue to live our lives unashamed of who we are. Stay strong.

I’m your ally and I am proud.

Michele and the Top 2 Bottom crew.

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Hunted by Claire Thompson – a story fans demanded yet Amazon refuses

Here’s the book Amazon refused to publish. It’s NOT MM but it IS written by Claire Thompson, a known MM author.

hunted-750

HUNTED by Claire Thompson

Brand New Dark Erotic BDSM Book — Banned by Amazon

*****Your fantasies should never be censored!*****

You’ve been asking for a new dark erotic tale from Claire Thompson, and I have delivered! Hunted is my latest release – a sexy, edgy abduction tale too hot for Amazon to handle! In spite of Amazon’s refusal to distribute this hard-hitting erotic drama that takes the reader on an intense but deeply satisfying erotic journey, this book is available for sale at Romance Unbound Publishing, iTunes,  Excitica and  Smashwords for only $2.99! Hunted is a powerful tribute to the strength of the heroine, who finds romance, an HEA and vindication at the end of her erotic journey.

I know you want to support indie authors and publishers, even when our work isn’t always available at the huge, inscrutable monolith that is Amazon. Despite their Goliath-size status, they won’t stop authors from creating and offering the work our fans demand. They won’t stop you from reading what you want to read.

Please support this grassroots effort to reach readers of dark erotica who enjoy testing their erotic limits and taking a wild ride. You can get the Kindle/mobi file, as well as epub and pdf, at Romance Unbound Publishing. It only takes a few minutes to create your account. I am appealing to my readers and fellow dark erotica authors to spread the word, and share this post on all your social media! Let us all support creative effort without fear of censorship. When the box has become too confining, it’s time to leap out! Check out my latest release, too hot for Amazon, but just right for my fans!

 

Here are the buy links.

Romance Unbound http://romanceunbound.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=82

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hunted/id1111855025?ls=1&mt=11

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/635437

Excitica http://www.excitica.com/index.php/hunted-claire-thompson.html

 

Couple playing sexual and domination games

Blurb:

“Your former life is over. Your apartment will be emptied, your car disposed of, your life erased. You are now the property of Pirate Island, to be used and enjoyed as we see fit. Your life is quite literally in our hands.”

Mara Stevens jumps at the chance for a job at a new premier resort on the North Carolina coast. All she has to do is fly out to the private island and get through one more interview. Unfortunately, what should be a shiny new career opportunity turns into a living nightmare.

Upon landing, she learns the truth. She’s been taken to serve as a plaything to the owners and their chosen guests—high-powered, dangerous men who see her as nothing more than their sexual toy to use and abuse at their whim.

With no escape possible, Mara is forced to submit to the training and discipline of a sadistic taskmaster—or suffer the consequences. Good girls are rewarded; bad girls are punished—severely. Deep into her harrowing journey of forced sexual servitude and submission, Mara becomes prey for The Hunt. Naked and alone, Mara must summon all her courage and cunning, drawing on the indomitable spirit that still secretly burns inside her.

 

male hand holding black leather whip

 

Mara dropped her hand and took a step back. “What—” she began, confusion and shock twisting in her gut.

A second man, maybe thirty-five, with thick reddish-brown hair cut a little long, fine, aquiline features and brilliantly green eyes interrupted her. “Let’s see her naked.”

“What?” Mara cried again, the word bursting from her mouth in a sharp, incredulous bark. She looked wildly between the four men, who all regarded her with nasty smiles. She took another step back and turned toward the sliding doors, a vague but urgent idea of escape forming in her mind.

Ronaldo stepped between her and the doors, blocking her way. She whirled back toward Wallace, her heart pounding so loudly she could barely hear her own voice over its beat. “I’m here for a job interview. What is this? What was that man talking about?”

Wallace continued to grin his ugly grin. As if she hadn’t spoken, Wallace turned to the third man, a younger, more muscular version of himself, with the same mop of curly hair, though without the silver, and the same close-set, shrewd gaze. “What do you think, DJ? Did your sister find us a live one?”

The younger man nodded, his small eyes narrowing. “Oh, yeah,” he said fervently. “I like Alex’s idea. Let’s see her naked.”

Mara swayed, dizzy with shock and fear. This couldn’t be happening. She had to get out of there. She had to get help. Her cell phone was in her briefcase outside in the cart. She would call 9-1-1, but how would they get to the island? She didn’t even know where she was!

Wallace gestured toward Mara with his chin. “Go ahead, boy. Let’s see the goods.”

DJ jumped eagerly to his feet. As he stood, he pulled something from his cargo shorts pocket and flicked it open with a snick and a flash of silver. Terrified, Mara took another step back, bumping against Ronaldo. Strong arms reached from behind, hard fingers digging into her shoulders.

DJ moved closer, the switchblade gleaming in his grasp. “Relax, baby,” he said, his eyes glittering with malevolent lust. He grabbed the front of her dress. “You’ll be fine as long as you stay still.” She couldn’t have moved if she’d tried, caught in Ronaldo’s firm grip. With his other hand, DJ drew the tip of the knife down the fabric, which parted with a ripping sound.

“Oh my god,” Mara whispered, breathless with shock as Ronaldo pulled the torn dress from her body. DJ slipped the cold blade between her breasts and yanked it forward so the bra, too, fell open. Mara nearly fainted as the knife slid beneath the elastic of her panties and ripped them easily from her body. She sagged against Ronaldo, too terrified to make a sound.

Wallace leered at her with a wolfish expression. “Excellent breasts. Long legs. She looks strong. She’ll give the guys a run for their money during the next hunt.”

The hand was lifted. “That’s correct. Will you try to run away again, Mara?”

“No, sir,” Mara said with conviction. I won’t try. Next time I’ll fucking succeed.

“Good girl.” He pulled her to her feet and peered into her face. “Punishment is over. Sit on the couch. Would you like some water?”

“Yes, sir,” Mara replied.

Alex walked over to a small refrigerator set below a counter and returned with a bottle of water. Mara accepted it and drank deeply, grateful for this small gift. Alex sat again beside her, speaking in a matter-of-fact tone. “I am going to conduct an assessment of your penchant for erotic pain. A certain segment of our guest population enjoys indulging in the fine art of sadomasochism. We at Pirate Island take pride in the ability of our girls to handle whippings, bondage, erotic torture, humiliation play and whatever else pleases our guests with this particular predilection. Tell me,” he continued in a conversational tone, “do you have any experience with BDSM?”

Whippings, bondage, erotic torture…

The words whirled in Mara’s mind. This couldn’t be happening. She rocked back and forth on the couch, her fingers digging into her upper arms as she stared blankly at the ground. “No,” she moaned, not in direct answer to the man’s question, but because her mind refused to give his words credence. “No, no, no, no.”

“Sir.” Alex spat the word, making Mara jump. She looked at him, confused. He rose from the couch and stared down at her. With a disgusted shake of his head, he commanded, “Stand up.”

Slowly, Mara got to her feet. “You’re still in denial,” he said. “You need a dose of reality.” He gripped her arm and pulled her toward a door set into the side wall. “Let’s go into the playroom.” Opening the door, he pushed her through. Stepping in behind her, he flicked on the lights.

Mara stared, open-mouthed, as she took in the equipment scattered through the room. A gynecological table had been placed in the center, chains and leather straps hanging from large eyebolts along both sides. A large wooden structure in the shape of an X stood against one wall, cuffs hanging at the four corners, a leather strap at the center. On the wall Just behind the cross hung a series of whips of varying sizes and shapes, as well as several riding crops and canes. There was a chair that resembled an old-fashioned barber chair, again with straps and chains attached strategically on the arms and legs. Another chair had a large hole in the seat, a porcelain bowl set on the ground beneath it. A large dog cage sat in the corner of the room, a thin blanket on the floor of the cage. The only piece in the room not designed to terrorize was a loveseat set against the wall opposite the X cross.

“Please,” Mara blurted involuntarily, trying to pull away from her captor, “don’t make me go in here.”

“It’s for your own good,” Alex purred, his voice deeper since they’d entered what could only be called a torture chamber. He pushed her forward into the room. “Bad girls like you, disobedient, willful girls, can only become good, proper submissives through extensive training. What kind of trainer would I be if I just threw you to the wolves, as it were—if I let those guests have their way with you without first preparing you, teaching you?”

Mara’s knees buckled and she sank to the ground. “Please,” she cried. “I’m so afraid. I can’t do this. I just can’t.”

Alex lifted her, forcing her back to her feet. “Calm yourself,” he said gently, wiping the tears from her cheeks. “Your reaction is natural, but the sooner you accept your situation, the better off you’ll be.”

 

 

I don’t know about you but this one here sounds yummy~ Step out of the box and give it a shot…you never know…

Out of the box

 

Amazon is at it again! The we sell everything, anytime; everywhere giant of the world has decided to ban more books. –shaking head- They go out of their way to be sure that the items they allow listed or list themselves follow their policies. I think.

Sex sells. That’s a given and it has since the beginning of time, so why can’t we write it and sell it without being hassled. OH! It’s because we take it a step further. We add elements that burn virgin eyes and blow virgin minds up. The thrill of a great BDSM with added non-con, is a hard one to sell in this day and age. YET…a shitty told one with dead characters took the reading world by storm and Amazon hopped on that bandwagon. Go figure. We add plot, we flesh the characters, we have the HEA ending and nothing is left unanswered. YET…

I can probably go on for days about that but I’m a writer and a reader first, so I’ll focus on that area. Amazon is playing big daddy by not allowing certain taboo FICTION stories to be uploaded onto their site to be sold to the reading audiences. Fine. It’s their site, it’s their call. Their rules and not much we can do about it. Sure, we can gather together, get a petition going, share it on all media sites and keep telling your followers to sign it and share it and some will. Most won’t. It’s reality. It really is like fighting a losing battle but one worth fighting.

We have the freedom of speech on our side. As a general public that is. According to the constitution anyway. BUT, apparently, when it comes to FICTION stories, we are shut down even before the public is even aware of what’s going on. IF Amazon says no to a story chances are, that story, even if it’s available elsewhere, won’t be seen. It’s the truth and again, that’s Amazon’s fault…or ours? We did make that site what it is today. So, in short, Amazon is taking our freedom to speak, (in books that is.) Away from us once more.

Now, let me make one thing clear. I understand their reasons. I do. Because let me tell you. I have seen some of the things that wannabe writers try to and have successfully published there. Some sick minded people in the world, that’s for sure. They wrote/ write about really twisted shit that will mess with one’s mind for days, weeks, maybe years. I won’t even get into the poor editing (it’s actually non-existent.) The missing plots, the one dimensional characters with sick twisted ideas, the missing settings, and the holes in the plot, and I can go on and on here, but I won’t. You get the idea.

However, on the flip side of that are the successful writers who have many followers due to the many amazing stories they create, the ones which are edited with well thought out characters who are very dimensional, where the settings drag you in and make you a part of the story even if you’re just watching from the sidelines, that writer has talent. Their talent outshines the twisty wicked ones who did manage to screw things up for them on sites like Amazon.

They, the twisted ones, focus on rape, murder, gore, blood, more rape, rage, madness, and on and on. Without a plot at that. So, we had innocent readers who like to explore outside of the box and read something a bit more daring. They ended up with a twisted story and went ape shit on Amazon. Who was at fault? The writer was to start with. Then Amazon for allowing it to be published before they realized what was happening. I mean, I’m a self published author. I love control over my stories so that’s why I do it my way…I don’t do it because I’m trying to hide things that a publisher won’t publish had I selected that option. . I have nothing to hide. But, those other sick so-called writers did and they messed things up for people who write on the edge, out of the comfy box and for ones who like to read those type of stories. I’m also a responsible writer. I warn the reader beforehand so they aren’t surprised. Twisty idiots didn’t.

 

A friend of mine, Claire Thompson has been fighting with Amazon on and off for years over her stories. They get a kick out of banning her stories and have done so once again. Claire is one hell of a talented artist and I admire her in many ways. She dabbles in MM and FM fiction that is BDSM…Not that fifty shades of shit business either. It’s REAL BDSM. She knows it, she lives it, she is it. She also loves to write out of that safe box and her fans actually beg her for more. BEG for more edgy reading material! AKA: Taboo erotica. She adds non-con for her readers…not in a sick twisted way either. She does it with class. She has her Dom’s and her subs down to a T. She knows how to get inside their heads, inside our heads and feed us our inner most fantasies. NOT all of you of course. I know we all have different interests and that’s what makes us all amazing. But to be slapped across one’s face for daring to write what many want to read, is an insult.

It’s not right to Claire, it’s not right to her readers. Amazon really takes things one step too far, all the time. I wrote this because there are other ways to buy what you want to read. You can look on the author’s websites, their media pages, and they’ll guide you. They write for them and for you, please find them and support them away from the giant of Amazon. If they don’t wanna, they don’t haveta, but we want, and we should have.

Here’s a (tiny) list of publishers who do publish edgier stories. Not the fluffy ones we have too much of…IMO…I don’t do fluff, and that’s not a secret or anything new. I do like the edgy darker stuff and that’s where I’ll spend my money…not on Amazon. I don’t even have a Kindle! I refuse to follow the masses in that way. I own an E-reader but one that allows me to load what I want. I guess we’ll go ahead and call it… Safe Taboo Fiction. That would be a great publisher name! Safe as in NO incest, no sex with minors…NO sick twisty shit either.

 

Romance Unbound Claire Thompson actually IS her own publisher. She has an amazing editor and cover artist as well. Here’s her site. Buy there and she gets to keep her royalties. A note from Claire. Romance Unbound Publishing is a part of a groundswell of authors who are taking a more active role in the creative and financial direction of their writing careers. After publishing over forty novels in both print and ebook, I decided it was time to take control of my own destiny. With the help of dedicated beta readers, freelance editors, my cover artist and webmistress, I have achieved more success and creative freedom than I ever dreamed of! Please stop by my publishing site and check it out! Love, Claire

Forbidden Fiction– this is actually my favorite site. I read a lot of stories published by them.

Fantastic Fiction– is the mama bear to Forbidden.

Blushing Books– New site to me but they do publish the naughty and ARE on Amazon! They pay well too…looks like they have really great stories. I pointed you to the GLBT section.

A1adult-Looks naughty! I’ve never seen it but they do publish the taboo erotica stories.

Smashwords– It’s a fight of the fittest there but they’ll let you publish.

I wish I had the time to scour the internet for more but I don’t. If you know of any, please feel free to contact us and we’ll add a list to our classified page.

If you yearn for more, let the writers know so they can keep going knowing they have your support. And if you look, they don’t charge a bundle for a book.

 

P.S.- When I say Taboo I don’t mean incest on any level or sex that involves minors in any way…I have limits. Those are mine.

Roxy Reviews: Lynn Kelling’s Arctic Absolution

darker/edgier psychological romances

Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon is seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. He tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart—not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance. But temptation entangles them as the malicious ghosts of Jaye’s past returns to haunt their every step. Jaye’s ghosts are bad enough, but the demon from Dixon’s past is real enough to put both of their lives in danger.

Author: Lynn Kelling

Publisher: Fantastic Fiction

Buy Link: HERE

 

 

 

 

Roxy’s Thoughts

If I had to go the traditional route and use the kiss or star system, as so many do, then I’d give this one a solid nine!  Talk about an author, that’s right, I said, author, because this lady, Lynn Kelling did indeed earn the right to be considered an author and not just any writer who thinks that writing a story and adding sex scenes on every other page makes their work worthy of anything above a three from me, is asking a lot, or would that be thinking a lot? Whichever. Lynn Kelling and her publisher have earned the title of Must Have’s by Roxy.

Lynn broke so many of the MM readers “safe rules,” and I can’t be happier. She has two incredibly flawed characters who have faced many difficult challenges in their lives, even when they find one another. You know what I mean? Many a writer have a flawed character until they meet their forever love and suddenly they become strong and happy, end of story. Well, NOT with Ms. Kelling and her characters. These guys have to work for their HEA and they work hard, very hard and that is what makes this story stick out in good ways.

Rules broken you ask? Well, here’s a bit for you:

Rape! OH NO SAY IT ISN’T SO! (Hide your eyes! It’s written and it’s part of the plot and it’s explained via the characters memories and how he felt, they felt, as both of these men were raped by other men and they are NOT afraid to admit it and they aren’t hiding it, and the author has them bring it up and has them work it out as a team, so on and so forth. I get that rape is a yucky topic and no one wants this, not even in play, it’s disgusting and belittling, it’s illegal, it’s wrong, it’s taxing, it’s all of it. And many readers can’t read it, can’t think it, can’t abide it, and won’t have it in their stories-and I respect that to the nth level but…yes, I said BUT- there are many readers who do not mind reading about it IF it has something to do with the characters personalities and why they are the way they are and how they fix who they are and move forward from that is what matters. That’s what makes a story or breaks it. I mean it’s not like the author has a character running amok and raping others and gets clean away with it and it’s not approached or acted upon even unto the ending of the uh…story? Then that’s where I’ll have issues with the writer and the publisher but fact is, this story had to have what it has in there to show the scars the men have, and how they, through mental strength and their love of one another, overcame their plights.

Murder? Oh yes, funny that murder doesn’t bother us as much in a story as rape does. I guess because rape takes our rights away as individuals…but gotta remember this is a FICTION story and though it may have happened in real life, it didn’t happen to the real guys, because umm..they’re characters. To the real people who this has happened to, I hope that they are okay and are finding a way to move on and a way to face their demons, just like the author has her characters do. Such as murder. Not to say one should go and murder the rapist but I’ll just cover my eyes, OK? Rape is nothing to laugh at and I’m not doing that, but killing of another person is really bad as well. BAD! Shameful and oh so never coming back from that, or rape come to think of it but snuffing out the life of another human is hell wrong. On many levels.

Well, let’s just move on okay? We have these two very lifelike men who have had intense situations thrown at them in their lives and how they met, and what happened. It’s not a fluffy fufu romance this! No way. It’s hardcore and right up my alley. I mean, a young man who looks like a kid still is stuck in prison for killing a prick who tried to gut him, literally, is living on his own in the wilds of Alaska without a penny to his name and newly out of prison, and then we have the other who is a policeman and also has devils of his own to conquer, who meet one cold night when the younger man tries to steal staples: as in bread, canned food, things to eat..and he didn’t even hold anyone up with a gun. He was starving and needed food and since he didn’t have a job, or money, and newly out of prison, he had no choice but to steal. Enter the hot cop who tackles the guy to get the food back to the store owner, only for him to end up buying all of it and then some, for the other man who he finds an odd attraction to.

We have these men who each have difficult situations to overcome and I have to say, they do so, well, very realistically. I can imagine that if I were one of them, what I’d do. Even big bad cops have inner turmoils and demons to face about who they are and what they allow in their personal lives….and then the younger man who was in prison has to learn how to stop giving a voice the very dame demons in his head, the ones who keep him sleeping in a closet, or huddled in a corner of his room and then applaud him for being the strong one that the cop needs him to be. Talk about well written and completely interesting set of men…these are them.

Lynn did a fabulous job and I’m in love with her characters. I can’t wait to read another one…so, I’ll just go and do that now.