The Blight by Missouri Dalton

Title: The Blight
Author: Missouri Dalton
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 192
Characters: Noah/Neiren, Emrys, Sakari, Hannah/Heulwen
POV: First person
Sub-Genre: fantasy, mmmf
Kisses: 3


Noah Abbott isn’t crazy, but most people think he is. When he was younger, Noah saw a something that still haunts his nightmares. A walking monstrosity like a giant made of swamp land — a troll. Ever since that day, his life has been controlled by his fear of the things he sees. He’s stuck in a rut, working in a box factory after getting out psychiatric care. He gets a hand up when Christian, fellow deviant, decides to take their relationship a step further.

Noah can’t imagine his life changing any more than that, until he meets Hannah Regent, a girl who can see the goblins and trolls too. Trouble follows fast for the new friends, as the troll from Noah’s past rears his ugly head again and Noah’s lifelong question, why me? is finally answered. Noah’s not human, never has been. He’s an elf, and there’s a war going on that he’s in the middle of whether he likes it or not. With fellow elf Hannah, and the timely aid of the goblin king, Noah is about to set off on a real adventure.

He’s just not sure he’s the hero in this story.


This was a fun novel to read, it reminded me of some kinky D & D roleplaying I’ve done in the past. The dialog was snappy and the action fast paced. The characters were interesting, though the relationship in the blurb didn’t pan out.

If you like fantasy and a horny little elf (and who doesn’t?), then this is a book for you.

Reviewed By: Dawn


Torquere Author: Missouri Dalton

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Missouri, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Well, I’ve lived all over the place. I love to travel, which really inspires me to write. I’m an college graduate who made the mistake of majoring in the Arts (yes, with a capital A).

What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?

My first published book isn’t the one I consider my first. My first book is still sitting in a drawer awaiting editing when I’ve finally managed to scrub the horror of it from my brain. My first published book, The Grave Watchers was written in 2010 and published in 2011. Much to my surprise, I must add.

When did you start writing m/m romance? What about this genre interested you the most?

I never really started writing m/m romance per say. I think I really just happened to write books where there were men falling in love with other men. I never start out a book thinking, “Hm, how can I get gay romance in this?” I get an idea and I start writing, if my main character turns out to be male and gay, well, he just is.

How long did it take you to get published? How many books have you written thus far?

I’ve been trying to get published since I was thirteen. I was enamored with the fact that a girl my age had been published a few years prior to me and was convinced I could do it to. I made a lot of mistakes, and I learned a lot. I’ve written about a dozen “complete” manuscripts with dozens of half finished ones littering my computer hard drive. I have a terrible habit of attempting to work on five or six projects at once and only finishing one of them.

Do you write full time?

I do not currently write full time, but I hope to be able to make that leap soon.

Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?

My mother read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to me while we were camping in England. I remember it was raining and we roasted marshmallows. There were peacocks on the campsite and I wanted to find their eggs.

That was the first time in my life I really considered what it was to tell a story. I think I’ve been trying to tell them every since. I have to say, this was a profession that chose me.

On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?

Well, I wake up around one in the afternoon (I’m a terrible night owl), make breakfast and get a cup of good English tea. Difficult to find in the States but I manage to hunt down a fairly comparable brand. After breakfast I settle in at my computer and re-read a few previous pages and then jump in.

I have to have noise, music or a TV program, going while I work. I take the occasional break for research (Which can get very off track. I love research). I break for lunch and mental health. Try to do some drawing or crafty stuff. If the weather’s nice I take a walk, get the mail.

After lunch it’s back to the computer and then way into the wee hours of the morning until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer and fall asleep. Probably not the most efficient way to write.

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

I try to write through these days, I used to revise as I went along and found I agonized over every sentence, really slowing the pace. After doing my first Nanowrimo, I broke myself of that habit.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

I write freely. Plot comes to me as I go along. If I get the plot really heavy, I’ll outline it. The outline is more like a guideline, however, it can and does change as things I didn’t expect to happen unfold.

What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?

Extensive. If I’m working with any city I’m unfamiliar with I get right in there and start doing research on city history, landmarks, cuisine, colloquialisms, etc. I can get caught up in the research a bit. I tend to research as I go and occasionally will wait until the second draft until doing the research I need. I’ll put notes on various sections to remind myself and then add in things as I do revisions.

How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line?

I know there’s a portion of myself in every character. That sarcasm is completely me, but I try to make every character different. Mostly though, they manage to do that on their own. I’m very organic when it comes to character creation in that manner. I try to leave the personality of friends out of it. I name characters after friends, but rarely do they show up in my work.

How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read? Do you write straight through, or do you revise as you go along?

Depends on the person. My beta reader gets it pretty raw. My editor gets it after that, and after three or four more edits the audience gets it. I’ve always been very comfortable letting people read my raw drafts. Criticism is something I have no problem with.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

I don’t think of it so much as writer’s block, but as a lack of fuel. Sometimes the brain runs out of gas and we have to stop and refuel. Read a new book, watch a movie, tv, etc. That’s what gets me past it.

When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel or experience?

I just hope they get some good laughs out of it.

Can you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?

1. It is a business.
2. You have to be open to change.
3. You have to work. Really work. This is a job and you have to treat it like one.

Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?

All of the above. I sometimes get a title first, sometimes I go through a dozen titles, sometimes I’m at the end of the book, or one page in. I never really know when I’m going to get a title for a book.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

Dark. Definitely. Though also light on occasion. I love sly humor. I love old black and white comedies, witty British crime movies and snarky cartoons.

What is the most frequently asked Missouri Dalton question?

Where’s the on screen sex?
Yeah. Sorry. I don’t write it.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on some YA stuff, as well as the follow up to The Grave Watchers, and book three in The Night Wars series.

What was the best piece of advice you’ve received with respect to the art of writing? How did you implement it into your work?

A novel is like a relationship. That first page is the first date, you don’t give everything away on the first date, so don’t give it all away on the first page either. You wouldn’t dump your life in someone’s lap right off the bat, would you?

I never show my hand in the first chapter. I keep a lot of things close to the chest now. Some things have to be presented right off the bat, but I’m big on keeping secrets in my books.

When it comes to promotion, what lengths have you gone to in order to increase reader-awareness of your work?

Well, I have Facebook and Twitter, working on a website, I have a blog, Goodreads, Shelfari… And at the end of April I’ll be attending a convention to do promotion.

I also donated a copy of The Hanged Man’s Ghost to a local library.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?

I read, a lot. I also draw and paint and do crafty things. I am constantly looking at how other writers and artists present ideas. It’s important to see how your peers work.

What kind of books do you like to read?

Contemporary fantasy, high fantasy, urban fantasy, YA fantasy, Middle grade fantasy… I think there’s a theme here… Oh, I also enjoy reading research materials.

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

I’m a certified art conservator and intermediate bookbinder and manuscript illuminator.

Where did you get the idea for the stories you write?

Everywhere. I’m always getting ideas for new stories, old stories. I have notebooks full of stuff.

When it comes to the covers of your books, what do you like or dislike about them?

I like all of the covers I have right now. The Grave Watchers is a little, “Oh my god, ROMANCE!” but that’s okay. The colors are great. I think the artists have done a great job.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I love drawing, watercolor painting, restoring books, making doll clothes, knitting, crocheting, cross stitch…crafty stuff in general, reading and baking. I love baking.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

The Night Shift, which is the follow up to The Hanged Man’s Ghost is tentatively scheduled for May 2012.

New writers are always trying to glean advice from those with more experience. What suggestions do you have for new writers?

Never stop writing. You have to write a whole lot of crap before you get noticed, and no matter what, you just have to keep writing. And don’t be afraid to let people read what you write. You will not get better until you take criticism. I know I didn’t.

What future projects do you have in the works?

The follow up to The Grave Watchers, a book called Sleeping on the Job, which will be a Night Wars book and follow the story of Simon Murphy, as well as a couple short stories in the world of the King’s Dog. One called Keeper, I’m working on now which is from the POV of Germaine and hopefully will shed some light on the events of The King’s Dog.

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?!/MissouriDalton

Could you please share your favorite excerpt(s) from one of more of your stories with us?

The Hanged Man’s Ghost

The driving skills of Detective Jack Winchester have never been in contention. It is the manner in which he applies those skills I find disturbing. I also have my suspicions that he made a deal with the devil to always find a parking space when he needs one.

But I can’t prove it.

“So…it’s a yoga studio.” I stared at the glass and metal monstrosity that was Modern Gym. Part of it was weights and treadmills, at least, the first floor was, and the sign above the very tan receptionist’s desk had the second floor labeled for yoga and meditation.

My ex with the yoga thing hadn’t gone to a gym like this. His gym had been conveniently located one floor up from his apartment that was all part of a renovated cannery.

“It’s a monstrosity,” Jack confirmed. “These places aren’t gyms. My gym doesn’t have mirrors.”

“Your gym is in an old car garage and run by a guy called Spider.” I gave him a look. “I don’t know that you can talk.”
“You can’t say he’s a bad fitness coach though.” Jack flexed one arm. “I beat you in the ring, last I checked.”


He snorted. “You wish.”

The receptionist was talking on the phone in a voice that I was fairly certain was near the limits of the human ear.
“Miss?” Jack waved a hand in front of her face. “I’m looking for — ”

She held up a hand to silence him and continued to yammer away about her yorky’s delicate digestion.

“Miss, I’m with the police.”

Still nothing.

I gave Jack a look and then reached over the counter and pressed down on the button, hanging up on whomever she’d been chatting with. She gave me a look that would have killed a lesser man.

“Hi.” I grinned. “I’m Fynn, this is Jack, and we’re detectives investigating a homicide. I need to talk to Jason Campbell. Where is he?” After which I showed her the star dangling around my neck.

“Uh…he’s upstairs in the Shangri-la room. But there’s a class going on right now.”

“That’s okay, I’m sure they’ll understand that murder comes before yoga,” Jack said. “Thanks so much for your help.”
We headed up the stairs, I took them two at a time just to prove to Jack I was still in shape and beat him to the top with a grin. “Ha.”

“That proves nothing. You get back in the ring and we’ll talk.”

“Maybe I will.”

He snorted. “I’ll believe that when I see it.”

We headed down the hallway the stairs opened onto and found the Shangri-la room about halfway down. I put on my cop face and gestured for Jack to go first. He opened the door and I followed after him.

The room was occupied by about fifteen very limber young women currently engaged in bending their bodies to resemble pretzels, and a man at the front of the room. Behind him was a raised platform where sticks of incense burned, giving the place an odor of musky herb over warm bodies.

The man had a sheen of sweat over his tan skin. I noticed lean muscles, and the tight shorts he wore gave a clue to the reason for the amount of pretty faces in the room. He wasn’t bad looking, but there was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way.

I tugged at the collar of my shirt and suddenly wished I wasn’t wearing so many layers.

It was kind of hot in there.

The man gave us a look. “I’m sorry but we’re in the middle of a class…”

“Jason Campbell?”

“Well, yes — ”

“Detectives Jack Winchester and Fynn Adder, we need to ask you a few questions about the murder of Jessica Yates.” Jack flipped open his wallet to flash his star. “Why don’t we talk in the hall?”

“Uh…okay. Ladies, take five; I’ll be right back.” He smiled reassuringly and followed Jack and me out into the hall, closing the door firmly behind him.

“You and Ms. Yates dated, correct?” Jack asked.

“Yeah, like four months ago. It’s old news.”

“Why don’t you let me be the judge of that,” I said. If this was the guy…well, I wasn’t all that sure if he’d make it to the station in one piece. “What caused the breakup?”

“Jessica wasn’t willing to share me,” Jason said. “I told her I couldn’t be monogamous, and she freaked out. She threw a bottle at my head. I had to call the cops.”

“Where were you the night before last, around four a.m.?” Jack shouldered in front of me ever so slightly.

“I was giving a private lesson at my apartment,” he said smugly. “I have three witnesses.”

“I suppose that’s a cute little code for fucking your students?” I raised an eyebrow.

“Maybe. I can even give you their names. We were occupied until sunrise. Dawn greeting is very cathartic.”

“Right.” Jack pulled out his notepad and a pen. “Write down the names of your tryst partners and the best way to contact them.”

Jason wrote while Jack stared at him.

“Here.” He practically shoved the notepad back into Jack’s hands. “Can I go back to my class now?”

“Of course,” I said. “But don’t leave town.”

Jason sneered at me and then stormed back into the yoga class.

“Well, I think his chi is off balance.”

Jack rolled his eyes. “We can’t really hold him on anything you know.”

“I don’t like him.”

“That’s not a crime.”

“It should be. Who else are we talking to today?”

“Well, I think we’d better call his little playmates. Let’s make sure that alibi is legit. If it’s not, we can arrest him for interfering with a homicide investigation.” Jack’s grin was positively feral. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of it.

God damn it. Why does he have to be straight?

“I — I’m hungry. Let’s get lunch before we start making phone calls.”

“Sure. Chinese okay with you? There’s a place just around the corner from here with really good spring rolls.”


Jack tucked his notebook into his pocket and gave me a sharp look. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I just really don’t like that guy.”

“Okay.” He started to head down the hallway, and I stood frozen for a moment. Sometimes Jack made me feel like a high school kid with his first crush on the captain of the lacrosse team. Timmy Mullins…a lazy smile crept across my face. Just him and me in the locker room after the championship match.

I shook my head. Why was I thinking about that? I gave myself a mental slap and hurried after Jack.

Torquere Author: Missouri Dalton

Title: Hanged Man’s Ghost
Author: Missouri Dalton
Publisher: Torquere Books
Pages: 276
POV: 1st Person
Sub-Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Kisses: 5+


Detective Fynn Adder is embarking on the case that will change his life forever. The ghosts of murder victims are leaving him clues, his drinking problem is out of control, and no matter how nepotistic the Chicago Police Department might be, there are some forces his family’s reputation can’t save him from.

Just a few years ago, Fynn’s longtime partner Robert was murdered and the case went unsolved. As he gets deeper into a new investigation, it becomes apparent that somehow the two cases are connected. To make matters worse, it’s clear to Fynn that forces beyond this world have come into play.

Forces like Internal Affairs agent Daniel Voight, who’s determined to make dirt stick to Fynn any which way he can. The only real bright points in Fynn’s day are when he’s with Jack, his unfortunately straight partner. Fynn is going to have to pull himself together–because if the dead don’t kill him, his family will.


I chose this story for a couple of reasons. I love men in uniforms, so I’d take a good cop story any day. I also like paranormal stories, though I usually stick with the werewolf/vampire stuff. However, sometimes a book does not always live up to its blurb and I was really hoping this would not be the case with Hanged Man’s Ghost. In this story’s case, it far outshines the blurb.

Fynn pulls you in right away. He’s a troubled soul fighting to stay above water as he tries to get a handle on his drinking problem, the murder of his past partner, and his growing feelings for his current partner. To top it off Fynn and Jack are assigned a murder case that seems to be leading straight to Fynn. It’s hard to tell whether or not there is a connection between the two men, other than working partners. Yet as the story unravels their relationship changes and the author does a wonderful job making that transition seem believable.

Although this story is wonderfully written, and one I will re-read again, it is also hard to review. The reason for that is the mystery that is woven throughout the story. This part of the story has so many twists and turns, most you will not see coming, that it is hard to say anything without giving too much away. Many times throughout the book I was shocked by what was happening and totally loved the ending. To be honest when I finished this book the first words out of my mouth were, “Holy Crap”.

Many might wonder were the paranormal factor comes into play. The author handles that factor very well, in fact if you spook easily be prepared to have your socks scared off. I truly loved this story and hope the author plans to revisit these two again.

Reviewed By: Lydia
Buy Link

Torquere Author Interviews and Reviews

I’m very excited to announce that Top2Bottom will be spotlighting authors from Torquere Press beginning with Sean Michael on the 11th of June. We will have not only reviews of their chosen stories but interviews too! This is very exciting for us and I hope you’ll come daily to see the new author we will have under the hot lights.

Shifting Steam An Anthology From Torquere Press

Title: Shifting Steam
Author: Edited by Lorna Hinson – Rowan Benjamin, Missouri Dalton, Ekaterina Morris, Lydia Nyx, M Raiya, Lynn Townsend, and Emory Vargas.
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 209
Characters: Various
POV: 1st and 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Anthology/Paranormal/Fantasy/Steampunk
Kisses: 4


Steampunk and shifters? Do they even go together? Of course they do. Steampunk is all about the possible, the magical and the otherworldly. Shapeshifters are all about bending the idea of humanity into new shapes. Combine them, and you get Shifting Steam.

The stories in Shifting Steam pave the way for a magical journey through space and time to alternate realities, where anything is possible. From dragons to birds, from Victorian era expositions to secret laboratories, these stories explore what happens when man meets beast in a world of airship captains and fantastic creatures. Whether it’s a Jekyll and Hyde style beast, a wolfman who would rather not be a wolf, or a man who wishes he could fly, every kind of creature gets its day in the steampunk sun. Step into the world of Shifting Steam and let it transport you to a sexy, fantastical new universe.

Shadow of Kenfig by Lynn Townsend
The Cormorant by Emory Vargas
The Shores of Loch Mor by Missouri Dalton
Origin by M. Raiya
Nine and Fifty Swans by Rowan Benjamin
Mr. Black and the Expo by Lydia Nyx
Affliction by Ekaterina Morris


Fans of paranormal and steampunk should find a lot to love in Shifting Steam, a collection of short stories, wildly imaginative, filled with all manner of shapeshifting men, from werewolves to birds to dragons to the description defying mysterious.

The infernal devices of the steampunk worlds blend seamlessly with the fantastical creatures of the authors’ imaginations, creating a collection of stories that transports the reader through the impossible and into the realms of the incredible, from sea to sky in sailing ships, to the cities where coal and steam ruled.

Beauties and the beasts they loved told their stories and drew me in as I absorbed each tale, sometimes being left to hang, wondering whether the lovers would find a means to their happy ending but always absorbed by the way in which the authors carried me along on the journey.

Reviewed By: Lisa


Torquere Books Charity Sips Blitz

Title: The Book of Wisdom
Author: JM Cartwright
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: contemporary
Characters: Con, Stephen, and Jesse
Pages: 33
Kisses: 3.5


Con Danvers is not jealous. Uh-uh. No way. The fact that his lover is helping a young college kid with life issues doesn’t mean Con has to get all growly and snarky. Does it? Stephen Rydell wants Jesse James Callender to succeed in life — and being gay in a small West Virginia town hasn’t exactly given the kid a head start.

Catch up with the boys from A Change of Scenery five years on, as they host Stephen’s protégé for the summer.


If you’re looking for a sweet short story that has all the elements of a good engaging story line, I think you should give Book of Wisdom a shot. The story is about Con and Stephen and the young Jesse who has been recently accepted at the state college and how Con deals with his jealousy over the younger man and the attention Stephen gave to the young Jesse before he left for college before the story begins. I’m thinking this occurred in the first book, A Change of Scenery, which I didn’t get to read.

Jesse comes home for a visit, as Con and Stephen are the only people he has in his life who’ve been there for him and guided him after his family turned their backs on him. However, Con must deal with his insecurities that creep up when Jesse is around Stephen. Con believes Jesse has a crush on the older man, and the fact that Stephen laughs it off doesn’t set well with him. But in saying that they do come together and work as partners to advise the younger man especially when it comes to the matter of his heart and possible love interest.

The characters are introduced in the main story as mentioned above, and I didn’t get to read that, however, I wasn’t lost at any point in this story, so I will say this is a fine standalone. The story itself is easy moving, no angst to speak of, but wonderful sex scenes where two men know one another so well that they know what makes the other tick or tock.

Title: Family Values
Author: Alexa Snow
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 17
Characters: Tim and Marvin
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4


When Marvin and Tim go to Marvin’s family reunion, they’re nervous about their reception. After all, Marvin’s family has been less than accepting in the past. To their surprise, things turn out far different than they were expecting.


Imagine the intense build up you put yourself through when you know you have something coming up that you must do and it’s something you don’t care to do on any level, ever. We fear the unknown and avoid any situation we can that may present the unknown and that’s what this story is about. Due to the fact that prior family get togethers have been nothing short of kais, Marvin and Tim are what I like to call a hot mess. Expect the unexpected.

I enjoyed a glimpse into the thoughts of the character as anticipation rose and how they dealt with this in the days leading up to the actual reunion itself. Tension build up in this story was wonderfully done. And I like to compare the end as a burst of brilliant colors where everyone in the story and out can say: AHH.

Title: Fiends In Low Places
Author: Missouri Dalton
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 17
Characters: Simon and Gabriel
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 5


Simon Murphy, psychic and former thief is trying to rekindle the romance between himself and his FBI beau, Gabriel. The two of them have gone from being on opposite sides of the law, to the same side, to fighting over cases. At each step they’ve been drawn closer together and thrown apart over their constant fighting. Can a pizza date fix this mess? Or will the vampire mobsters after Simon ruin any chance Simon has of being with the man he really loves?


The comedy value alone in this short story brought it from a 4 kiss read to a 5. It takes talent to pull of a story in the 1st person to start with, then it takes more to know when to add the comedy and not overdue it. Missouri Dalton hit this one smack dab perfect. I found the character Simon simply adorable, he’s witty, he’s intelligent, and he’s a psychic who used to be a thief. The story is told in his POV and he is in love with Gabriel, who works for the FBI. As the blurb states they used to be on opposite sides of the law, now they are on the same side, Simon just goes about things differently, especially when it comes to Vampires. See, he works for the agency who deals with the supernatural side of things and mostly Garbiel doesn’t approve of Simon’s ways.

These two men have been an on and off again item, they love and hate each other, and over a pizza date they realize it has to be one or the other, they can’t go on as it is. Simon in the meantime locates a Vampire and follows him to the bathroom where he does what he does and then tries to hide it from his partner who is waiting on him in the restaurant. The whole set up, the way Simon goes at it, the way he looks at it and tells us about it, simply awesome. I truly loved this story and would love to read more about the couple.

Title: Four Years On
Author: Nicole Wilkinson
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 22
Characters: Jason, Kale
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary/Urban
Kisses: 4


Jason thought he’d left it all behind when he went to college: the family who couldn’t accept him, the boyfriend he might have outgrown, the small town with even smaller minds. The past, however, catches up to him on the day of his graduation, when Jason is set to give the valedictory speech. Thanks to his new boyfriend Kale’s meddling, this might just be the closure Jason needs, for better or worse.


This is truly a cute story about a young man who basically ran away from the small minded people in the small town he grew up in, leaving his boyfriend behind with them to escape the pains and looks. However, four years later, that certain past caught up with him, and on the day of his graduation he’ll see not everyone sees or thinks with a small mind where love and family are concerned.

Title: Happy Hour
Author: Bella Leone
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 28
Characters: Bodie and Eli
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4


After a light, flirtatious conversation about what makes a good beer, Bodie invites Eli back to his place to try some real brews. After a few different beers, the boys loosen up and are in confession mode. All their embarrassing tidbits come out, making for fun and silliness, like surfer Bodie coming out of the musical closet, to the ginger cowboy’s delight. Will there be more to it, or will friendship be enough


I love when a story can pull me in on the very first sentence and keep me there until the end of the journey and this little piece did that for me. It’s a cute short romp of a tale about a southern born man living in the big city and the man he meets, Bodie, who makes or creates beer for a living. Eli is from Texas and quite a ways from home, and the man he meets who changes his life forever is Bodie. Theirs is a sweet romance where respect and love go a long way.

Title: Hard Choices: Thanksgiving
Author: Winnie Jerome
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 26
Characters: Todd and Shane
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4


In this sequel to “Hard Choices”, Todd brings his partner Shane over for Thanksgiving. As things go from bad to worse, poor Todd wonders if the situation will ever get better. Can he convince his family to leave well enough alone?


Sometimes the blurbs for the stories don’t match the story itself and it proves true in this case. This story is so much more than what you’re told in that blurb and if I were the type to only take the blurb into account before selecting this to read, I would have missed out on a hell of a story with some amazing characters. While the blurb does mention a bit of a struggle for Todd to bring Shane home for Thanksgiving, it does not mention how Todd, who is now a teacher, saves the life of a young boy by sharing his own past with him. Truly, a heartwarming story that should be shared and read.

Title: My Boyfriend Has a Scar
Author: M. Raiya
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 24
Characters: Gage and Kyle
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Modern Contemporary
Kisses: 4


A gay teen’s worst nightmare is to be caught in the act by someone who disapproves. Gage snaps under his conservative father’s fury and bolts, fleeing school, the family farm, and his shy, quiet boyfriend, Kyle. Ten years later, a violent thunderstorm brings the two together again. Can weathering the storm mend the damage?


For as short as this read it, it sure does a number on you. We have two boys, who as teens in school were the best of friends and lovers, until one fateful night when they were caught fooling around in the barn which pushes Gage over the edge causing him to flee everything he knew and loved. For ten long years he stayed gone, he headed to Hollywood where he was sure he’d become famous. Things didn’t go as planned as another fateful night stole his youth and looks. He decides to head home, his pride wounded only to end up in the arms of his long ago boyfriend, who never once gave up on them or their love. Very nicely done with a touch of angst with well written dialogue and awesome scene setting made this a definite worthwhile read.

Reviewed By: Michele