I'm a writer. I write m/m erotica. Kind of dark stuff, even though in real life I like rainbows and puppies and kittens. Not all at once though. That would be overwhelming.
This book was not what I expected...and sometimes that's a good thing.
There is much more emotional depth here than I had anticipated.
Who is the Muse anyway? Just another piece of art for the Dark Collector to own? That's what I thought. That's what the Muse thought, too. We were both wrong. In fact, the Dark Collector wants more from the Muse than that; possibly more than the Muse has it in him to give.
The Muse has been defined for so long by how others see him. They see him how Jeffrey painted him, at once incredibly intimate yet also still only an object. The Muse's refusal to let the Dark Collector use his name is at the heart of this. He is hiding behind his own objectification. The Dark Collector can pay for his body, but that's all he'll get. He won't get what Jeffrey had.
Actually, he might get more.
Read this. Don't be put off by the BDSM. The scenes are hot, and hardcore, but they're underpinned by such wonderful emotion that it's always about more than two bodies.
This isn't a HEA, because this isn't the end of the journey. This is just the beginning. More, please.
What's it with calling people cunts this week? Seriously, is there something in the water? Have screen caps!
When I clicked on the name, I got to:
I have no control over how much of a cunt *you* are, so I can't say how you'll read anything. I don't think calling me a cunt twice in two sentences gives you a very good start on not being an asshole, though.
What is it about a paperback that still feels more real than an ebook?
Is is the weight? Is is the smell? Is it the way that I can now stroke Brady's face without accidentally turning the page on my Kindle?
Whatever it is, you can now do it as well. Dark Space is out in paperback! You can pick it up here from Amazon.
Ah, this one was so funny...and also so smoking hot. But mostly funny.
The protagonist, Sam Beron, is a PI, a little like the ones on all those old TV shows he loves. He drinks too much, gambles too much, and his morals are swayed accordingly. He's street smart too...except when a pretty face hires him and Sam gets involved in something he knows he shouldn't -- tracking down a Borathian's missing human slave.
I thought this would be a darker read than it was, but no regrets! Because Sam was such a fun character, and I'd love to explore some more of Star City with him. I hope we'll get further instalments.
Sidenote: I loved that some things just didn't translate. Sam is a lover of old Earth culture, at least what he's learned from TV, and his many ittle cultural misunderstandings were fun, i.e. the living room.
My review is three simple words: What Sea said.
The rest of this is just rambling.
The blend of historical and paranormal/horror was absolutely seamless. Most of the time when I read a paranormal it's kind of meh. But the was one was so grounded in realism that it was all I could do not to seethe in sheer jealousy at the writing skills here.
That's a lie. I totally seethed in jealousy.
Also, I am now scared of birds.
How's this for brilliant entrance for a character: "There was a dead man on a dead horse at the edge of the field..."
I'm still seething here, you guys.
Read this. Immediately. It is perfection.
How often to we get so distracted by daily living, that we forget to actually live?
Only today I got this in an email from J.A. Rock: But how do you live right next to the Great Barrier Reef and never mention it?!
To which my answer has to be: Meh. It's some coral and some pretty fish. Seen one natural wonder of the world, you've seen them all.
Familiarity hasn't bred contempt, exactly, but it has bred a kind of shitty lazy attitude, and brings me, kind of, to something I was thinking the other day: Why have I never set a book where I live?
I live in tropical North Queensland, Australia. It has palm trees and oceans and reefs and rainforests and shit. People pay a lot of money to visit places like this. They buy postcards, and t-shirts, and, inexplicably, stuffed cane toads.
I think that it's about time I tried being a tourist in my own town, and saw it through fresh eyes. Because, guess what? It's kind of nice:
If you guys are wondering what brought this on, it's that J.A. Rock who is currently fighting the forces of Mordor in NZ, is heading to Australia in November. So yay!
I guess she doesn't just exist on the internet after all.
Also, I guess I should clean my house.
What a brilliantly written, well executed short story.
And it's free. This cements Lisa Henry's status as a very talented and versatile writer.
I want Miller's story next.....
The following discussion is spoilerish. I'm not giving away the specifics of the plot, but the content may still best be read after you finish reading it yourself.
What follows is an exploration of the power of one word.
After reading the story, I was surprised to find some reviewers referred to the ending as HFN (Happy for Now). Apparently “The Last Rebellion” was written to a story prompt which called for that.
The author herself has admitted the ending is ambiguous.
It all hinges around the two letter word: “it”
“Rho never saw it coming.”
But what is “it”?
Is it a positive outcome, something good happening in his life?
Or is it, his death?
Either outcome is possible and neither is "correct".
It’s the question of which the reader chooses that becomes interesting.
Pronouns have power. Our editors urge us to eliminate “it” from our manuscripts purely because of this ambiguity. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve pointed this out when editing or beta’ing.
Most times, the author knows exactly what the word refers to, but because of other nouns used nearby, that may not be as obvious to the reader who has to pause and work “it” out.
Sometimes, the author may wish to leave this ambiguity in place, like I suspect Lisa Henry has done here.
Both variants can lead to sequels. In one, the couple would have to find ways that they can be together even though they are on different sides of a conflict.
In the other, the survivor may come to regret his action and over time change and hopefully even find ways to redeem himself, learning his lesson that there are no winners in war.
The case can be made for both interpretations. Studying the text, analyzing character’s dialogue and inner thoughts. Hints can be seen if you want to see them.
What it does expose is how much of the reader’s own personalities, experiences and wishes go into their interpretation. Those who want a happy ending will sometimes ignore the bits that don’t fit into this box. And vice versa. Is it the glass half full/glass half empty divide? Is it readers looking for or expecting a certain grittiness of a particular author?
Even though this is a gay fiction short story, I believe it is just as worth studying on these lines from an academic literary point of view. There is no reason why mm romances have to be light and fluffy. No reason why authors can’t test boundaries and try different literary styles. As long as they know what they are doing and why they are doing it.
I’d like to think there are enough intelligent readers out there to appreciate a story based on its craft and style as much as the plot and characters.
I’d be interested in hearing from other readers. What’s your take on that line? What does “it” stand for?
Access 32 of the reviews in multiple ways.
The writing is quite lovely, and the characters are well-drawn. The chemistry between Ash and Pete was great.
Side note: I loved Pete's job. He's a paramedic. I loved how he was sleep deprived, short tempered after night shifts, and sometimes went to such unbelievably shitty jobs that they stuck in his head for days or weeks. Because sometimes you're coasting along in life, and then the sheer realisation of how fucked up people can be to one another hits you right there in the guts...
I think though, that I was let down a little by the plot. There seemed to be some big coincidences at play here, that really didn't ring all that true.
But guess what? I read this after a night shift, so I was not feeling terribly forgiving.
Like I said though, the writing is wonderful, and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series (if there is one!) .
Which I hope there is, and I hope it is about Joe. I couldn't quite figure out where he fitted in, but I liked him. :)
A while ago, I mentioned to my co-writer J.A. Rock that I had no idea what s'mores were. A while later, I got a parcel full of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. And ILLUSTRATED INSTRUCTIONS.
Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, J.A. Rock's Field Guide to S'mores.
(Tip: While reading, play "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor in the background.)
Okay. So time for some news!
Firstly, the awesome Heidi Belleau and I have signed a contract with Riptide for our m/m novel set in post-apocalyptic Dublin. It's called The King of Dublin, and it's heavy on the violence and the non-con. Why is it that the most violent and depraved things are also the most fun to write?
The King of Dublin is about Darragh, who journeys from his home village in Cork to Dublin, and gets tangled up in the gangland wars and power struggles of the self-proclaimed King of Dublin, and with the king's pet slave, Ciaran. Hilarity ensures. No, wait, I don't mean hilarity. I mean bloodshed and trauma.
In other news, Dark Space will be coming out in print soon from Loose Id! Yay! I'm always so happy when trees die on my behalf.
And in other, other news, if any of you guys are on Twitter and have been following J.A. Rock and me, you might have noticed our fairly aggressive fights about spelling, bears, and confectionary. This is because in Mark Cooper Versus America, our hero Mark is constantly banging his head against the wall of cultural misunderstandings.
Well, in the course of writing Mark Cooper Versus America, I might have thrown in a line about having to try everything once...even s'mores. And then I confessed to J.A. that I had no idea what s'mores actually were. And the more she tried to explain, the more confused I got. WHAT THE HELL IS A GRAHAM CRACKER?
Last night I got home from work to find a parcel waiting for me. It contains:
4. a book about avoiding bear attacks
...and handwritten (and illustrated) instructions on how to make s'mores.
Guess what I'm doing this weekend?