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March CSR Discussion Day: Second Chances by Meric Cotton

Have you taken a second look at @MericCotton's completed story if you read Second Chances once before? Or was this your first time reading it? Either way, this month's CSR selection was something a little different than the usual teen or twenties or even thirties fair. Sometimes life passes before we know it (How is it almost April already?) and things happen.... Make sure you share your thoughts about the story in the comments, but first, as always, my interview with the author first!    Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
** I make the bed when it absolutely must be made – usually after the sheets have pooled on the floor… If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do?
** Walk the dog … take a short horse-back ride … or maybe just play piano – though all of those are better for at least an hour J What brought you to the site?
** I was searching for somewhere to share my writing that often touches on gay/straight issues.  Mostly somewhere with other writers sharing the same.  Somewhere to grow my skill by interchange with other like-minded people.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
** As mentioned couple questions ago – spend time with the puppy.  Actually full grown, just loves to act like a puppy – reminds me to think young.  Can spend hours at the piano.  Right now recovering from shoulder surgery – so puppy gets most of my attention. What’s the first thing you do when you start to write a story?
** Hardest part for me seems to be that opening hook.  How to say enough without saying too much.  I’m sure I’ll anger my past English professors – but I almost never do an outline other than mentally. Is there anything you find particularly challenging when it comes to writing?
** Opening and closing.  Whether the book or chapters.  If there’s a break inside a chapter, that’s always been a challenge. Did something specific inspire you to write Second Chances?
** I lost my partner to cancer a few years ago.   I was actually thinking of a long “chapter story” kind of thing – not sure what got me to go with a married man in a straight relationship – but it seems to have worked. Did the characters or the plot come to you first?
** Story idea came first along with the main character.  Not really the full plot.  Certainly didn’t know where it would end when I started.  That came like half way into it. What do you think makes Second Changes stand out compared to similar contemporary stories?
** Awkward question … I read a lot of historical fiction or SciFi.  The thing that comes to mind might be the story deals with both straight and gay relationships for one character. Can you sum up this story in one sentence?
** A recent widower learns to follow his heart while keeping his mind and soul open to what life presents to him.

Cia

Cia

 

March Classic Author Excerpt: Kombat Kids by GhostRyder15

How's your schedule? Spring break looming for you? Or are you just looking to crash from all the harsh winter or summer weather and need a good reason to take a break? Well, once again we have another Classic Author feature to tickle your interest and catch your eye in case you missed this early author from GA's beginning days!    Kombat Kids is set in a place very familiar to me... the Pacific Northwest. Not far from the Columbia River, this is a region with a lot of rich plant-life, varied animals of all shapes and sizes, and so many outdoor activities you don't ever have to go inside if you don't want to! The perfect setting for this story. Add in the stellar snippet of the review from Myr on Monday's feature, which you can read here if you didn't see it, and I am happy to also get to share an excerpt of this story with you to showcase just what you're missing out on if you haven't read it yet. You can also download a copy of the graphic to add to your signature if you want to share how much you enjoyed the story!      To read more, click here. 

Cia

Cia

 

March Classic Author Feature: Kombat Kids by GhostRyder15

This time of year, I'm always hoping for some spring to warm things here in the north, and I'm sure the south is getting ready for some relief from their heat. Either way, the extreme swings and highs and lows are starting to level out... usually. Washington is a great place to enjoy this time of year, and if you read GhostRyder's Kombat Kids, you'll get a great glimpse at the wonderful settings his story has to share as he takes readers on a journey along with his characters as they learn to overcome problems facing them.      Length: 278,295 Description: The Kombat Kids belong to Unit One. Unit One was Started by James and Matt Bateman to give the local boys an option to the mostly homophobic Church run youth groups and the scouting programs. The Unit is located near the Columbia river in the South East Corner of Washington State and is made up of mostly gay boys and men. Members learn to cope with their own fears and problems during the first year and a half of the Units existence.   A reader said: Kombat Kids is an emotional rollercoaster of a story.  Tons of funny one liners.  A lot of deep dark emotional pits to fall in.  You'll laugh.  You'll cry.  You'll cringe.  You'll swear.  You'll grumble about some grammar issues.  But chances are good if you start reading it, you'll keep reading it.  ~ Myr     If you want to spread the word about GhostRyder15's story, download the graphic below and add it to your signature! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to see the excerpt I chose to share!

Cia

Cia

 

Featured Story: Lighthouses

Welcome to another Monday!  Did you remember to set your clocks forward an hour? It's time for a new story review, and this one is brought to you by Cole Matthews!  Enjoy!     Lighthouses: Volume One ValentineDavis 21 Reviewer: Cole Matthews Status: Complete Word Count: 67,960   Gayauthors is a great place for writers and readers for many reasons. There are lots of new characters, topics, engagements, love, folly, and fictional conflict providing us with a venue to communicate with one another.  We can explore relationships between people who are gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and many other points on the spectrum or rainbow of human affection. We can delve into what it means to define ourselves and to show our many perspectives.  
I think the best thing about Gayauthors is we love to experiment with different kinds of writing. While we enjoy our coming of age and coming out stories, we also try new avenues of fiction. There is a vibrant poetry-writing community here and lots of exciting genres from mysteries to fanfic to fantasy and sci fi, yet we aren’t limited by these choices, which leads me to a book by Valentine Davis21.  His experiment has made me think and wonder about what lies beyond.   Lighthouses’ Volume One tells the story of three couples who over time find a lighthouse that acts as a lodestone or magnet in their lives. These three couples have very different stories, but they occur in different eras and so we begin to see patterns even as the times change so radically.
We start with Judas and Duane in the present day. They are traveling to an island. Judas is a bit needy and Duane is happy to take care of him. Their back story begins to come out as Judas remembers:  
Something else is going. We’re not sure what is happening, but we get a glimpse when Judas has a visitor. This guest isn’t a flesh and blood one, but not really a ghost either.  Here is how Judas introduces Johnny and Thomas.  
Judas and Duane’s story pauses in a bit, and we are then introduced to Johnny, and the setting in 1959.  The young man was found with another boy and in those days, it was believed that something needed to be done. Johnny is being ‘treated’ and ‘helped’ to cure his ‘illness’.  
Johnny’s predicament is handled delicately. It’s obvious his aunt and uncle are trying to help, but it’s not working. That’s when we get a glimpse of the lighthouse again, and we meet Phillip Russo. There is something haunting and familiar about their meeting. It slides inside your brain and makes you squirm.  So much is going on, but we don’t know what.
And then we meet Thomas.
In 1929, Thomas was invited to the island to ghostwrite a biography for an accomplished man. He meets Agamemnon Angelopoulos, and something passes between them, and here is a taste of it:  
The story has interwoven links and themes that suggest things, hint, and let the reader wonder. What is the main story? Are all three couples the same people or are they drawn to an object that warns of danger?  What is the peril that binds these men?  Certainly, Thomas, Judas, and Johnny are connected but how?
Valentine Davis finished the story, but it’s not complete. He promises to revisit it in another volume, but what I love about this book are the questions it raises. I adore the characters who are fresh and flawed, open and yet bound to each other. They are struggling to cope, yet there is happiness and promise. You can feel hope right around the corner, even as you realize you just passed the corner filled with despair.
Read and savor the ideas and see where it takes you. This lighthouse is the calm within the storm of these men’s lives.    Category: Fiction   Genres: Thriller/Suspense, Historical, Mystery, Paranormal  Tags: mature adult, depression, abuse  Rating: Mature
 

March CSR Feature: Second Chances by Meric Cotton

Holy moly, it's already March! How's the weather where you are? We all know we'd rather be reading, no matter if it's warm or hot or cool or cold, so how about we enjoy this month's CSR featured story instead of worrying about all that outdoor junk. LOL This month there's something about the sadder side of love that called to me, and I couldn't help but think of @MericCotton's story, Second Chances. Give it a read!    Second Chances by Meric Cotton   Length: 23,552   Description: Can life start again after losing the person you expected to be your partner for life?   A Reader Said: Loved this story!!  I did not expect this ending at all!  I’m not sure what I thought would happen, but I’m glad he’s taking a chance to find happiness for a second time!  Thank you! ~mfa607   Don't forget to come back with your thoughts during the CSR Discussion Day on Monday, March 25th! 

Cia

Cia

 

Improve & Encourage #15: Solcar

Hope everyone has had a good month so far. We're getting closer to wrapping up the Improve & Encourage feature. This month we have a critique on Carlos Hazday's story Solcar. Let's take a look at Parker Owen's critique!   Solcar Carlos Hazday   Critiqued by: Parker Owens   Please give us a short summary of the story you chose.   Solcar, once a High Lord of Star Clusters and a member of the Council engaged in a proscribed act. He made love to a human. He is sentenced to suffer for five thousand years; the story tells us of them.    What do you see as the strengths of the story/poem?   What makes this story so good to me is the depth and variety of the many kinds of love described in the story. A broad picture of love and relationship is described; some wonderfully innocent and happy, some painfully poignant, some delightfully quirky. Carlos is excellent at putting this reader right into a scene. There is an immediate idea of place in almost every phase of the story. One can see, hear and sense what the characters experience so much of the text.   What do you see as the weaknesses of the story/poem?   Carlos is such a strong and compelling writer, and this was his first posted story. That was enough to hook me. On the other hand, as this is a sci fi/fantasy story, I found myself wanting a more concrete look at the world and universe he had built for it. Because Carlos is so good at giving us visual and sensory descriptions to bring the reader fully into a scene, those sections dealing with worlds beyond earth lacked the usual color and taste of those taking place on Earth. Of course, that may have been intentional.  For me, another difficulty I encountered was tracking the many swift changes of scene. These were necessary to the plotline, and I understood them better after a second and third reading. However, a casual reader might get confused.   How do you think the story/poem could be improved?   The one thing I’d suggest would be to consider helping the readers understand – see, taste, touch and experience – the universe as the High Lords do. This is a very tall order. These beings do not think or sense as we do, and believe themselves to be on a much higher plane. Yet building their world a little more vividly would make these creatures more dimensional and comprehensible.   What was your favorite part? (scene/sentence/etc)   This is like asking which of the jackpot dollars you like best. So much of this story is about love and loss, yet Carlos paints each portrait in ways to make the reader smile. I particularly liked the chapter devoted to the man who followed his dream into Major League Baseball. Here Carlos deftly crafts a picture of a simple, uncomplicated love, and the tears that flow when it must end.  

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

February CSR Discussion Day: Down a Darkened Path by Ronyx

This month's story announcement for the CSR Book Club was Down a Darkened path by Ronyx. An experienced hand at writing, this GA Classic Author knows how to write a story that sucks in readers and keeps them reading as you can tell through many of Ronyx's works. This story was no different, based on the thoughts a lot of readers' thoughts. I know I enjoyed this story despite the sometimes troubling events and sad scenes, the redemptions and ending held true to my hopes for the characters.  But what did you think? Make sure you share your thoughts at the end of the interview!    Who do you like best, Jerry or Tom?  Jerry. I’m extremely allergic to cats. LOL. Besides, Jerry was the smart one.   If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? I would take, Shadow, my twelve-year-old flat-coat retriever for a walk. Because of his advancing age, I know he won’t be with us too much longer, and I love to spend time with him.   What's your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there? My den (or as some would say- my man cave.) Everything I need is here. I have a large screen television, a computer desk and a comfortable leather sofa. It is where I do all my writing.   Do you have a favorite quote about writing or reading? My favorite quote deals with education (which involves writing and reading.) At the end of my story, Reggie’s Journal, after Reggie struggles for months to complete a weekly journal, the teacher rewards him for doing an excellent job. He also writes the comment: The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Very insightful comment about growing up and seeing the world through a different perspective.   If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be? I wish I would have started writing sooner. I had thought about writing in my teens, but I lacked self-confidence. When I was about sixteen, I wrote the first few chapters of a story, and it still remains hidden in the bottom of a drawer. It wasn’t until many years later that I threw caution to the wind and attempted to do what had always been a dream. I’m forever grateful that I did. It was the beginning of an amazing journey. I’ve made so many wonderful friends over the past twelve years through the Mustard Jar, Codey’s World and Gay Authors.   How much research did you need to do for Down a Darkened Path? I didn’t need much research. I had never considered writing a story with a blind main character. One night I received an email from a college student who told me he was blind. He asked me if I would write a story about a blind person. At first, I told him I didn’t think I could because I had never known anyone who was blind. However, a few months earlier, my nephew was involved in a serious car accident. He was a passenger when the driver lost control and plowed into a bridge abutment. He almost died. He was in the hospital in critical condition for days, and after a month he was moved into a nursing home for rehabilitation. As a result of the accident, he lost his left eye. Several months after he returned home, he was attacked outside his apartment by two men who tried to rob him. He also was engaged to be married, and his fiancée decided she couldn’t handle the situation and left him. For those who have read Down a Darkened Path, you can see the similarities of incidences in the story and my nephew’s life. I was able to take a tragic personal event and incorporate it into the story. My nephew is happy today, and he has adjusted well to the loss of his sight. In the story, I wanted Troy to accept what happened to him and live a happy and fulfilling life with Jayden.   You wrote a scene where the characters tried to learn some empathy for your main character by experiencing sensory loss in a public place. Was that something you did for your writing process? Not directly. When I was in college, I took many psychology classes. In one of the classes we did a trust exercise where we were blindfolded and led around the campus for an hour by another student. We were required to do several sensory experiments. I used that learning experience and applied it to the story.   This story has several very emotional scenes. How did you handle writing those? As I discussed earlier, this story was written from a personal experience. Probably the most difficult was writing the hospital scene directly after the accident. Tony (my husband- it was his nephew) rushed to the hospital when we received a late-night phone call. At first, he was not expected to live. The engine of the car was pushed into the passenger’s side, and his lower body was crushed. He also hit the windshield which resulted in the loss of his eye. He was in intensive care for a week, and he managed to show improvement after several weeks. The sorrow that night was very intense and emotional. We also visited him in the nursing home when he was recovering, and he talked about some of the depression he was experiencing. It was difficult because he was only twenty-two at the time, and he had such a bright future ahead of him. Today, he still suffers from bouts of depression.   Do you have a favorite scene in the Down a Darkened Path? I love the ending! I think it is one of my best. I admit tears flowed down my face when I wrote about Troy singing, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” What better inspiration than to end a story: “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high. And don’t be afraid of the dark.”   What is one thing you would like to share with us about your current or upcoming stories? I took a hiatus from writing for three years. In 2015, I lost my twin sister. She was in intensive care in three hospitals for ulcerative colitis. I visited her for three months as her health continued to deteriorate. She passed away two days before our birthday. Fortunately, I had just finished my last story, Other Sinful Things. After her death, I lost my passion for writing, and I stopped. I never intended to write again. I had also written twenty-two full-length stories, numerous short stories and a two-act play (which has never been published.) I was literally burned out. During the past three years, my readers have been wonderful. They have waited patiently for me to write again. Occasionally, someone will email me with words of encouragement. Two years ago, an administrator wrote and asked me if I would consider posting my stories here. Interaction with the wonderful GA members has also helped motivate me. Last year, I attempted a new story, Dancing on a Star. It has been difficult trying to write again. Several times I even considered deleting the story. It’s been a struggle, but I am beginning to approach the end. I’m not posting regularly because I don’t know when I might experience a slump. However, I have always promised my readers that I will complete any story I start. Dancing with a Star will be completed. I hope that it contains the quality of writing my readers have come to expect. If not, I hope they understand.

Cia

Cia

 

February Classic Author Excerpt: Terran Confederation: Jeremiah by Myr

This week's feature is a much older story but one I hope more interest in will prompt Myr into writing more. Who wants to join me in getting some more psi-corps? The banner feature was on Monday if you want to download and put the banner in your signature to share the story as one of your favorites!    Myr's story is a short one, but I still chose a longer excerpt. There's a good glimpse into Jerry's character here, but it doesn't really give anything away about the story's events to come. Myr does share some tantalizing tidbits about just what might happen in the future.    If you want to read more, click here. 

Cia

Cia

 

February Classic Author Feature: Terran Confederation Jeremiah by Myr

February is a short month, and I've picked a short story to go along with it. This is actually one of my favorites of Myr's stories, so I hope getting a bunch of new eyes on it will help get him to write more. Jerry is an interesting character, and there's a lot more to be told of his story!      Length: 7,832   Description: Jeremiah Declan Samuels has been in the Terran Confederation Spaceforce since his unusual birth. Those years of training are about to pay off as he leaves Earth to go to Europa to learn Jumping.   If you want to spread the word about Myr's story, download the graphic below and add it to your signature! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to see the excerpt I chose to share!  

Cia

Cia

 

Featured Story: Holding Back

It's Monday, and with the start of a new week, it's a good time to take a look at a story that you otherwise might have missed.  I hope you enjoy Puppilull's review of Holding Back by Thorn Wilde.     Holding Back Thorn Wilde   Reviewer: Puppilull Status: Complete Word Count: 58,185   I can willingly admit that I’m sort of conservative and careful how I spend my reading time. I simply don’t have enough time to read and enjoy all the great stories that have been published, here on GA or elsewhere. This, of course, means I probably miss out on stuff, but other aspects of life need attention as well.   Choosing what to read is an ongoing process, and I’m mostly going with “nope”, which is difficult but necessary. A sort of rule I have is no fanfiction unless I know the story. Simply because I doubt it would give me anything. This is not without exceptions, but generally it’s a no from me.   So, why am I telling you all this? When one of my favourite authors here, Thorn Wilde, started publishing a fanfiction on Deadpool and Spiderman my initial reaction was as expected “no”. I have not read those comics, and I’m not a great fan of the movies, even though I’ve seen one or two. My conclusion was I’m not the intended reader.   Still, knowing how much I enjoyed Thorn’s other stories compelled me to take a chance. I can tell you I am so happy I decided to tag along.   Since I have much less context than anyone actually knowing the comics, my impressions and reactions perhaps come from a different point of view. To me, this is a heart-warming story of two people taking that chance on love and lust (with a generous side helping of kink, so beware). Sure, there are bad guys, violence and intrigue suitable for a tale of two comic book characters, but the focus is firmly on Wade and Peter and their journey together.   Wade is such a beautiful mess, with the voices in his head fighting it out to keep him on the straight and narrow or simply follow his instinct and wreak havoc. He has good reason never to trust anyone and when things get rough or emotional, he bails. Peter is from a very different background, with a clearer sense of self. When meeting Wade, he sees the world is perhaps not as black and white as he initially thought. To follow them as they grow is one of the better love stories I’ve read in a quite a while.   The writing is fast paced, which suits the story, and it’s laced with a sense of humor to keep you giggling. Still, Thorn sneaks in so much deep emotion, so don’t be surprised if you end up a little teary-eyed at times. And did I mention there’s kink? Yup. This story does not shy away from exploring some less common (?) areas of sexuality. So proceed with caution, if you are of a sensitive nature. If you are like me, curious of all matters of the flesh, you’ll have a glorious time.    Category: Marvel Crossovers   Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Romance  Tags: young adult, bisexual, anal, fetish, crime, fighting  Rating: Mature

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

February CSR Feature: Down a Darkened Path by Ronyx

Hard to believe it, but it's already February! This month we have 3 weeks to read the CSR selection, and it's a longer one. Good thing @Ronyx helped me pick his feature for this read, and it's one that was popular with readers so you might have already read it! If not, with the number of comments and likes, it's sure to be a read that will pull you in. In following with last month's feature of a different sort, don't go into this expecting the same old storyline! As always, the Discussion Day will take place on the last Monday of the month, February 25th.    Down a Darkened Path by Ronyx   Length: 76,436   Description:  Troy Neal has it all- good looks, smart and talented. A classmate, Jayden Henderson, finds himself struggling to survive a dangerous life when he is sent to live with his aunt and cousins after the sudden death of his mother. Late one night, when Troy's car runs out of gas on a dark, deserted street, fate brings them together. Can they survive a disturbing journey down a darkened path filled with insurmountable obstacles? Warning: Before you begin reading, you should be aware that this story centers around a brutal and violent event involving the main character. Several scenes in this story may be upsetting and disturbing to some readers.     A Reader Said: I highly recommend this well written story. There are parts of this story that are unpleasant, but they were handled carefully. The characters are believable, and I quickly came to care about them. The dialogue and the feelings of the characters seemed realistic. Now that all the chapters are available, this will be one of those hard to put down kind of stories. Thanks to Ronyx for sharing this story.  ~ JeffreyL   Don't forget to come back and share your thoughts on the Discussion Day on Monday, February 25th! 

Cia

Cia

 

Improve & Encourage #14: Bliss

Well, we're getting closer to wrapping up the Improve & Encourage feature. Working toward that goal, today we've got a critique on CassieQ's story, Bliss.  If you missed out on the opportunity to sign up for the Improve & Encourage feature, don't worry, there are other features available for you!  Let's take a look at what Mann Ramblings had to say about Bliss.   Bliss CassieQ   Critiqued by: Mann Ramblings   Please give us a short summary of the story you chose.   Logan is preparing an elaborate evening to celebrate his anniversary with his husband, Connor. Unfortunately, a severe bout of influenza has complicated the plan.   What do you see as the strengths of the story/poem?   One of CassieQ’s strengths is her ability to write characters and scenarios filled with legitimacy. At no time did I ever feel like any of the story’s moments “couldn’t happen.” You can empathize with Logan’s efforts to save the night to his own detriment because he’s determined to make it a night to remember. Real people do this.   What do you see as the weaknesses of the story/poem?   It’s rare that I find something that I can call an actual weakness in one of CassieQ’s stories. The only thing I can see as a weakness is the ending. Not because it’s written poorly. It’s not. It flows well and tells another part of the character’s histories. The fact it’s written as a flashback (which in and of itself is not a flaw) completely in narration that takes us away from Logan and Connor’s intimate conversation and never comes back to them. It makes the short story feel slightly unfinished for me. This is less of an issue than it sounds really. LOL   How do you think the story/poem could be improved?   I would love to see the flashback turned into a revelation through conversation mixed with narration. That way we’re not pulled away from their wonderful interaction and we can just get more of it while we learn of their background and competitive natures.   What was your favorite part? (scene/sentence/etc)   Logan’s attempt to not ruin the night with his illness even as Connor starts to try and seduce him resonated with me. In my 20s, I missed 5 New Year’s Eves in a row by coming down with the flu, including staying home while my partner at the time went out.(I insisted, and he came back early.) So Logan trying to hide his condition reminds me of some of those times and strikes home CassieQ’s ability to make believable and likeable characters.      

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

January CSR Discussion Day: Fun with FanFiction by Laura S. Fox

How's your 2019 shaping up? I can't believe the first month has already passed, and here we are at the first CSR Discussion day! Who checked out this month's fanfiction story by @Laura S. Fox that was featured? I heard the word... "hot". What do you think? Make sure you share your thoughts in the comments below along with any questions you might have, but first, mine always come first! Here's the interview I sent Laura with all the in-depth, probing questions I'm known for!   Have you ever gone out in public, realized your shirt is on backwards, and just don’t care? I wish I had that level of ‘I don’t give a damn’. Unfortunately, I’m quite self-conscious once I realize that something is wrong with my clothes. It’s best that I don’t realize if that happens. What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know? Maybe that I’m – almost – 5.2? I hope my writing gives people the impression that I’m taller, lol. Also, that I actually had IT as my specialization in high school. Don’t ask, my family thought I could be a mathematician. I got decent grades in math, and it felt like victory whenever I solved some tough equation. But I loathed all those times when I couldn’t. Did you like to write in school? I didn’t write anything close to something that could be called a story until 25-26, except for compositions that were school assignments. Although I’ve always loved stories and books, and I got good grades in literature classes, it just didn’t cross my mind I could write. I was imagining stuff in my head, sometimes very long and winded, but I wasn’t putting anything on paper. Long story short, my husband made me do it. Do you have any favorite quotes from a famous author? When I was younger, I loved those quotes that expressed some kind of cosmic truth. But then I grew up a little and realized cosmic truths don’t really matter that much. So I happen to find quotes that are more specific or focus on details that refer only to an individual or a specific situation or an era to be much more interesting. Samples at hand: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice) “What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them. All his reverence and all his fondness and all the leanings of his life were for the ardenthearted and they would always be so and never be otherwise.” (Cormac McCarthy - All the Pretty Horses) What’s the best part of being an author? For me, it’s the freedom of imagining anything you want. You can create something that didn’t exist before, and that feels liberating. To some people, writers – and other creators – may look a bit like lunatics in that sense of ‘what are you doing all cooped up inside all day long? You’re not living your life’ kind of thing. But I believe it to be a sort of escapism that’s hardly equaled by anything else. What do you think makes up a good book? It must be the capability to make you suspend all your beliefs and delve in without one look back. If an author manages to help you escape reality while you’re reading their work, the topic doesn’t even matter that much. What’s the key to that specific ability, I’m still trying to find out. How did you get interested in manhua? If I were to talk about 19 Days in particular, it happened because it kept popping on my Tumblr feed. But, in general, manhua, manga, and manhwa – which are just Chinese, Japanese and Korean terms for comics – came into my life via Boys’ Love stories, and yaoi. First, I watched some yaoi anime, simply by accident, then I progressed to reading comics, and I also got into slash at the same time, and it all sort of rolled down from there, just because of the love for the love of boys. I just found the stories coming from Asian creators to be funny, interesting, even intense and dramatic, compared to anything else I had ever read before. Fanfiction isn’t posted often on GA. What’s the biggest difference to writing fanfiction versus original fiction for you? I think it must be the fact that it is somewhat easier to write fanfiction. You have all the characters, their motivations, even settings, already made. You’re practically playing in someone else’s sandbox. When you write original fiction, however, you need to be careful not to slip, and make your own characters sound OOC. Keeping things consistent is a real challenge for original fiction. Do you have a favorite scene in Nude Pics Please? If you had to sum up the story in one sentence, what would it be? It all started with a naughty pic.

Cia

Cia

 

January Classic Author Excerpt: The Falcon Banner by Topher_Lydon

Here we go again, another day, another author feature! We hope you guys enjoy getting a glimpse at some of these favorite stories from the past that kept readers enthralled in earlier days of the site. This nearly 200k story is a perfect example. Monday's graphic teaser should've whet your appetite, now let's see if I can hook you in completely with an excerpt.    There is a LOT of drama going on in this story... but that's because the story starts off with a bang and the hits keep coming. You get a good look back at the action and an idea (though, omg, a run at the gate is crazy!!!) of what is to come with this excerpt. And, of course, Topher's stellar writing style and clean editing.    If you want to read more, click here. 

Cia

Cia

 

January Classic Author Feature: The Falcon Banner by Topher_Lydon

Welcome to 2019 and the first of our Classic Author features! This month I've another oldie but goodie, Topher_Lydon's epic, The Falcon Banner. This science fiction series had quite a following, and if you haven't read it yet, you're really missing out.      Length: 182,459   Description: A lone man picks up a battle standard cast down three hundred years before. beginning a journey that will lead him to find the lost fleet, and a forgotten ship at the edge of nowhere. Darien Taine must accept his role, guiding his crew on the long road to free their people from Amsus tyranny. Uncovering along the way the sins that led to humanity's downfall, and reforging alliances long thought forgotten. Three hundred years of slavery, of persecution and of tyranny are at an end.   If you want to spread the word about Topher_Lydon's story, download the graphic below and add it to your signature! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to see the excerpt I chose to share!

Cia

Cia

 

Reviews Revisited (2014-2018)

Reviews Revisited   To start the new year off, the review team thought that we'd take a look at all the reviews posted since 2014. There were a lot of wonderful reviews submitted by readers and by the review team. Reviews for stories that were part of the CSR or are no longer found on site have been omitted.  If you're curious about the review and would like to read it, simply click on the date and the link will take you to the review. Don't see your favorite story on the list? Consider writing your own review and submitting it. If you are interested in doing a review for the blog, contact @Timothy M..   A huge thank you to Timothy for taking the time to compile the list. 2018 January 8th: Classic Author Special Review - The Review Team January 22nd: Confide/ant by Sasha Distan - Lisa February 12th: Shifter by Skinnydragon - Puppilull March 12th: Predator/Prey by Parker Owens - Spikey582  April 9th: Travelling Home by podga - Timothy M. April 23rd: Boy story: The road taken by Rip Skor - Puppilull May 14th: Button by Cole Matthews - BlindAmbition June 11th: The Lilydale Leopards by Graeme - Timothy M. July 9th: How the Light Gets In by Duncan Ryder - Parker Owens July 23rd: Blood of the Neko by Craftingmom - LitLover August 13th: Losing Kevin by Ronyx - BlindAmbition September 10th: Pour Me Another by K.C. - Spikey582  October 8th: The Web by MrM - Puppilull October 22nd: Never Too Late by northie - Timothy M. November 12th: Twelve Gays of Christmas by Iomax61 - Puppilull December 10th: The Hollow Hills by Valkyrie - Cole Matthews December 24th: Favorite Christmas Story Special Review - The Review Team   2017 January 9th: Circle of Hell Stories by Sasha Distan - Puppilull January 23rd: Joined by Blood by Renee Stevens - Aditus February 13th: Secret Admirer Special Review - The Review Team April 10th: Hypnotic by Cia - Litlover May 8th: The Navigator by Cynus - Timothy M. May 22nd: Unforgivable by LitLover - Spikey582 June 12th: A Healing Heart by Lilansui - Puppillul July 10th: Rule #3 by CassieQ - William King July 24th: Premium Stories Special Review - The Review Team August 14th: Alex and Zach by Greg_A - Aditus September 11th: 9/11 by Mark Arbour - Timothy M. October 9th:  Morningstar : The Malaise by Headstall - Wicked Witch October 23rd: Miss Silver Pretty-Pink Toes by mikiesboy - AC Benus November 13th: Personal Banking by Refugium - Puppilull December 11th: Famous Barr series by AC Benus - Timothy M.   2016 January 18th: Toy Soldiers by Dabeagle - Valkyrie February 15th: Trouble Plus Trouble by Palantir - Timothy M. April 18th: MetaBattles by JohnAR - Defiance19 May 9th: Red Running Shoes by Aditus - Timothy M.  May 23rd: Song and Dance by Headstall - Litlover June 20th: Thaw by Puppilull - Timothy M. July 11th: A to Z by Parker Owens - Aditus August 8th: The Alliance by VVesley - Puppilull August 22nd: About Carl by Diogenes - Timothy M. September 12th: NaPoWriMo by Mikiesboy - Aditus October 10th: Shapeshifter by metajinx - Puppilull October 24th: MetaDeaths by JohnAR - PKCrichton November 14th: Nature Wrath Anthology Special Review - The Review Team   2015 January 19th: The English Year by Jwolf - Timothy M. February 16th: Dangerous Impulses by Greg_A - Cia March 16th: Leaving Club Leo by C James - Renee Stevens March 23rd: Meta by JohnAR - Timothy M. April 20th: Savory, Bitter and Sweet by Percy - Timothy M. May 18th: Gaymer by Dabeagle - Renee Stevens June 20th: Denn's Mobile Circus by Twisted_Dreemz - AC Benus July 20th: Bound and Bound: The Curse and the Captives by AC Benus - Valkyrie August 17th: MetaOrigins by JohnAR - Puppilull August 24th: Future Imperfect by Bill W - Atruefan September 21st: Prophylaxis by Rambling Robin - Timothy M. November 16th: Confounded by Andr0gene - Timothy M. November 23rd: MetaShadowlands by JohnAR - Litlover December 21st: Kissing the Dragon by lomax - Timothy M.   2014 January 20th: No Room In The Lodge by Joann414 - LJH (Louis Harris) February 17th: Burden of Secrets by Cia - Comicfan March 17th: Roommates by Krista - LJH (Louis Harris) March 24th: The Lake by Dolores Esteban - Joann414 May 19th: Geeks by CassieQ - Cole Matthews June 16th: Memoirs Of A Child Of The Past Century by Old Bob - Percy June 23rd: The Matchmaker is Grounded by Dark - Renee Stevens August 18th: The Game by Nephylim - Joann414 September 15th: Empath's Kiss by Andrew Todd - Renee Stevens September 22nd: Judas Tree by AC Benus - Timothy M. October 13th: Joined by Blood by Renee Stevens - Cia November 17th: Imprint by Hermit in the Cave - faxity December 8th: Misunderstandings by BigAKHorton - Timothy M. December 22nd: Gay Whales by Graeme - Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

January CSR Feature: Fun with a Fanfiction Story by Laura S. Fox

Welcome to 2019! The Can't Stop Reading book club continues, and this winter month drags on without a holiday and with so many facing a post-festivities let down. So let's have some fun with fanfiction story by @Laura S. Fox titled Nude Pics Please! She shares some information and backstory on the original Chinese comics this is based on in her story note, so make sure you check out all the info! So enjoy the story and come back to catch my review with Laura and share your thoughts on this 23k novella on the last Monday of the month, January 28th.    Nude Pics Please! by Laura S. Fox   Length: 23,019 Description: To give a little bit of context for anyone who didn't read the manhua, the characters starring in my little fanfiction piece here are He Tian and Mo Guan Shan, two boys who are sort of in a cat and mouse game. This story starts after He Tian sends Mo Guan Shan a dick pic to tease the guy. The characters are aged up, so they are in their last year of high school and of legal age.   A Reader Said: Great story! Really enjoyed reading this.  ~ Ricknc   Don't forget to come back and share your thoughts on the Discussion Day on Monday, January 28th! 

Cia

Cia

 

December CSR Discussion Day: House of Storms by Geron Kees

This month's featured CSR story was Geron Kee's The House of Storms. Did you catch the feature at the beginning of the month featuring it? There were a lot of positive thoughts urging readers to check it out! If you did, make sure you share your thoughts below in the comments, but first, as always I pumped this month's author with all sorts of questions during an interview, so check that out!    Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? I make my bed.  Or rather, we do.   If you were an animal, what would you be? A porcupine. Even a tiger will not mess with a porcupine. And porcupines know it!   What's your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there? My home office-library. I write here, and I read here.   If you had to only work on one project for the next year... what would it be? That's a tough one. I have a folder of unfinished stories, that were interrupted by one thing or another, and to which I just never got back to. If the contents of the folder could be taken as a single project, I'd like to finish those tales.   Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Deadlines. I use a lot of my free time to write, and there never seems to be enough of it. I tend to no longer write entries in anything that has a specific date for which the work is required. If you are referring to the mechanical aspects of writing, I feel fairly comfortable with that. Mostly, I just wing it!   Were the Hardy Boys a childhood favorite of yours? I found them very quickly after coming to The States at age 9. My dad had a large library in storage at his parent's house, which was reclaimed when we moved here. I think my dad has never parted with a single book in his life. He had most of the Hardy Boys series, and they were the editions published in the forties, before they were abridged in 1959. The Abridged editions are patently inferior to the originals, and I was able to get a really good dose of the best of that series.   Your characters use fun time period slang, like “the gas”.  Was it easy to sprinkle in time-period specific phrases or did you find modern slang creeping in? If there was any accidental modern slang in the story, no one pointed it out to me. I generally research anything that I am unsure about before adding it to one of my stories. That said, we all have some 'fake' facts in our heads - things we think are true, but aren't. Those sorts of things can get into a tale under the guise of a fact I feel certain of, and then just prove to be wrong later. But, again, no one said anything, so I hope I got it right.   Do you have a favorite scene in The House of Storms? Actually...I kind of smile at the scene where the power is out at the hotel, and then comes back on, and Frank and his boyfriend, who are holding each other in their room, and Joe and his boyfriend, who are doing the very same thing in their room next door, turn and spy each other through the open connecting door between rooms. Neither brother knew the other was gay until that point. Great pair of detectives, huh?   Was there any red herring or detail readers didn’t pick up in the mystery you wish they would have? I don't think there was any discussion on the clues, so I actually don't know if people missed things or not. There were a few red herrings, but I kept them to a minimum. Hardy Boys stories tended to telegraph a little bit of what was coming, and I did the same, so I am not certain how much of a surprise the ending was to readers. As a boy, my general reaction to having the bad guy revealed at the end of a Hardy Boys story was, "I knew it!", rather than, "Didn't see that coming!" I think most readers simply had their suspicions confirmed at the end of my version, too.   Can you sum up The House of Storms in one sentence? If it was as fun for readers to read as it was for me to write, than I consider it a successful tale.

Cia

Cia

 

Improve & Encourage #13: The Tollbooth Operator

Hello all, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  It's hard to believe that the year is nearly over, and it's been such an exciting year. For today's blog, we're going to start wrapping up one of our previous blog features. The Improve & Encourage feature was a fun one to do, but it's time to move on to a new feature. With that in mind, I'm working on getting the final few Improve & Encourage posts and it will be complete in the near future. Today, to help get us started, we have a critique by @aditus of The Tollbooth Operator by @Timothy M.. Enjoy!   The Tollbooth Operator Timothy M   Critique by: aditus   Please give us a short summary of the story you chose.   Frankie lived all his life in a gated community. Like his father, he works as their tollbooth operator and lives in a tiny cottage attached to the booth. Residents and colleagues like him for his work ethic, friendliness, and helpfulness, even though some might think him slightly odd. Every day he unwavering follows a strict set of routines. One of those routines proves to be very helpful in a criminal investigation; as a result, Frankie has to step out of his comfort zone and leave his home for the first time.   What do you see as the strengths of the story/poem?   The Tollbooth Operator originated from Cia’s newsletter Grid & Dice game. Timothy M. had to write a flash fiction piece from: A neurotic tollbooth operator hides in an inner city one-star no-tell motel because: "Fuck, they saw me!"   When I read this combination it made me grin at first, then I was tremendously glad I didn’t get this particular challenge. I found it difficult to think of any ideas for this prompt. Timothy however, obviously didn’t have a problem with the task, or so it seems after having read the story.   Usually we learn about a character by observing them while the story unfolds —not this time. We get to listen in as Frankie recaps why he has to hide from criminals and how he feels about it. I loved this. It’s a sneaky way to show us how uniquely his mind works and what an extraordinary and strong person he is. Timothy developed an engaging tale around him and gave it a nice twist by cleverly using Frankie’s quirks. On top of that, he somehow managed to include the one-star no-tell motel because “Fuck, they saw me!” without it being awkward or forced. Unbelievable!   What do you see as the weaknesses of the story/poem?   Obviously Frankie is not your run of the mill character. There are only hints at what makes him special. I liked this, but I found the just hinting a little overdone. A small piece here, a description there, emphasizing certain quirks, detailing unusual needs and routines.... At some point, I was  thinking ‘Okay, I I got it.’ But this is admittedly just nitpicking.   How do you think the story/poem could be improved?   That’s easy, with writing an end that doesn’t feel as if the author ran out of time! Or at least by adding a part two.   ‘I was hoping this open-ended finish would leave you in a state of mind similar to Frankie's, so you'd feel the uncertainty and what now?’   Sorry, that didn’t work .Well, not with me. I’m greedy. I want an ending for this unusual, quirky story written by the author himself and not cobbled together by my inadequate brain. Pretty, please? You can do this so much better than me, Tim!   What was your favorite part? (scene/sentence/etc)   I loved how Frankie handled the reporters. It showed that he isn’t a push-over. It was an important realization for my understanding of him.   And then there is Detective Kasumaki. Let’s whisper his name together with Frankie and hope the author finds it in himself to write a little something more.  

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

Christmas Story Special Review

Well, it's Christmas Eve. Hope everyone is ready and if you celebrate, hopefully Santa visits you tonight. Make sure you're in bed early! To help you get into the holiday spirit, we asked the review team to pick some of their favorite Christmas/Holiday stories and write a short review. If you haven't already read these stories, they are definitely worth checking out. And maybe, if you have an extra moment or two during a lull in the festivities, leave the authors a story review!  Now, I'm going to leave these with you as I finish with the preparations for Baby J's very first Christmas!   Merry Christmas from the Gay Authors Staff       Last Christmas
Comicfan Reviewer: Parker Owens
Status: Complete
Word Count: 10,821   There are so many good things to say about this story, I’m not sure where to begin. That’s probably why it’s a favorite Christmas tale. For one thing, it’s about healing, a theme toward which I naturally gravitate. The central character, Frank, has suffered traumatic loss after traumatic loss. Tragedy and misfortune have taken so much away. He’s changed his profession from trainer to artisan; now he ekes out a living selling the products of his hands.  He’s numbed by it all and seems beaten down by life.
Yet something stirs inside Frank when Chris walks into his store.
We see a friendship unfold and something potentially wonderful begin to flower for Frank. What warms the heart is watching Frank thaw, seeing him reclaim himself from his pain. The reader can cheer him on, willing Frank to see what ought to be plain.
Of course, isn’t that an experience common to so many of us? We miss something splendid and incredible right under our noses, just as Frank does. Fortunately, he finds the courage to reach for that very thing, only to see it become something far more fantastic than he expected.    Category: Fiction   Genres: Fantasy, Romance   Tags: gay, love, brothers, holiday  Rating: Everyone     Meeting Santa Wildone Reviewer: Puppilull
Status: Complete
Word Count: 3,287   Christmas… The time for cheer and goodwill toward all. However, the sweetness of the season can put you in a foul mood, just for being too much and sometimes fake. If this happens, I would prescribe an antidote in the form of Meeting Santa, a story devoid of Christmas coziness. It revolves around a man hellbent on proving Santa exists, and he has some big plans for the jolly, old man if or when they meet. Anticipation builds throughout the short story and your curiosity will mount for every paragraph. With a few, well selected lines, Wildone outlines his main character, a man who is rather bitter. Instead of letting the injustice of life paralyze him, he’s taking action. As an added bonus, the story will teach you quite a bit about what preparations and equipment are needed for a trek to the North pole.   Category: Fiction   Genres: Adventure   Tags: mature adult, no sex, modern, holiday, christmas  Rating: Mature     Muscle Bear Santa
Carlos Hazday Reviewer: Timothy M.
Status: Complete
Word Count: 2,992   If you like stories with lots of banter between hunky guys, Muscle Bear Santa is the perfect choice. Plus the banner will probably make you wish for a Christmas Night visit from this special Santa – or any night he’s free. Enjoy the warm feeling of spending time with two great guys who care about each other and people around them.   Category: Fiction   Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance   Tags: young adult, adult, gay, north america, light-hearted, christmas  Rating: Mature     Rudolph's Tijuana X-mas Mann Ramblings Reviewer: Renee Stevens
Status: Complete
Word Count: 5,599   I kind of forgot how twisted this tale really was until I re-read it for this review blog. We all push the limits sometimes, and Mann Ramblings is no exception, which he clearly shows in this little tale. A moment of jealousy, peppermint schnapps, a riot, and a scandal that ruins Christmas send Rudolph far from the North Pole to escape the chaos. Sounds a bit messed up, right? Well, that’s because it is. I guarantee that after reading about Rudolph’s Christmas, you won’t look at Santa, Rudolph, or the elves in the same way as you did previously. At least, that’s the general consensus among those who have already read Rudolph's Tijuana X-mas. Mann freely admits that brandy may have been involved when he wrote this little Christmas tale, though he claims that was the only mind-altering substance involved. Regardless, this little tale will have you shaking your head and laughing out loud from the first word to the last.   Category: Fiction   Genres: Comedy, Fantasy   Tags: mature adult, celebrity, 20th century, holiday  Rating: Mature     Santa's Little Helper craftingmom Reviewer: Blind Ambition
Status: Complete
Word Count: 5,674   The true spirit of Christmas is often lost in the commercialism and capitalism that we so often see during the holiday season. Christmas is a time to share with family and friends. A time to cherish past memories. More importantly, Christmas is a time to give of your time and heart. Craftingmom reminds us of these simple things in Santa's Little Helper, as we see the unfolding story of Chase. An innocent, bright-eyed child asking the mall Santa for a larger car to sleep in. How will Dean, Santa's aide, provide a little spirit and hope to Chase and his father Tony? This is a heart-warming story that represents the true magic of the holiday. A reminder of compassion, love, and empathy. Humanity at its best!   Category: Fiction   Genres: Drama   Tags: child, young adult, gay, christmas  Rating: Everyone     The Sweater
Valkyrie Reviewer: Aditus
Status: Complete
Word Count: 1,152   For Dean and Tommy everything starts with a joke, which then becomes their first Christmas tradition. Add another family member, and some more well-loved rituals and routines, and you have an amazing Holiday season to look forward to every year. Until everything changes and the bliss of the past seems to be out of reach.    Their daughter Ashley thinks she has found the solution. By gift-wrapping the joke that started it all, she hopes to free all the beautiful memories locked away, and pave the way into a hopeful future. On a personal note: I couldn’t help buying an unbelievably kitschy novelty mug, big enough for the first portion of much needed coffee on Christmas Morning.    Category: Fiction   Genres: Historical, Romance   Tags: holiday, christmas  Rating: Mature     Since this is the last review for the year, I just wanted to take a moment to thank the review team. You all are awesome, and I so appreciate your hard work and the time that you have spent providing me with reviews for the blog. I look forward to working with all of you in 2019!  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and the absolute best in the coming year. Thank you, again.

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

December Classic Author Excerpt: Someday Out of the Blue by LittleBuddhaTW

Did you catch Monday's feature of this month's Classic story, Someday Out of the Blue by LittleBuddhaTW? We shared the ad and a graphic you can add to your signature, plus a glowing review from a fan. If that didn't convince you to read the story, how about this excerpt below?    I picked this excerpt because I wanted to point out all the drama this poor guy is going through. And, while most teenagers think they have a lot to shoulder under or face burdens that feel super dramatic and heavy, Connor really does. But, like so many other teens, he thinks he has life under control. He can handle it. He knows what's best... or does he?    Want to read more? Click here. 

Cia

Cia

 

December Classic Author Feature: Someday Out of the Blue by LittleBuddhaTW

Well the year is nearly over, but we have one last feature for 2018 for readers to enjoy from our Classic Authors. This story features some of readers' favorite themes here on GA: coming of age, first love, and jocks/geeks themes.      Length: 223,509   Description: Connor Matthews, a shy boy who comes from an abusive family is accidentally hit in the head by a lacrosse ball one day, which leads him to meet Ryan, an attractive redhead, and his younger brother, Toby. Connor gradually learns to come out of his shell, but not without some traumatic experiences along the way.   A Reader Said: Without a doubt one of the best stories I've ever read. ~BadBart   If you want to spread the word about LittleBuddhaTW's story, download the graphic below and add it to your signature! Make sure you come back on Wednesday to see the excerpt I chose to share!

Cia

Cia

 

Featured Story: The Hollow Hills

Welcome to another Monday!  While Monday's might be the start of your work week, there is also a bright spot, at least on THIS Monday. Today we have a review from Cole Matthews on Valkyrie's in progress story, The Hollow Hills. Just a reminder, if you'd like to bring some attention to a story that you're reading, you are more than welcome to write a blog review for it!  We do have a review team, but we also welcome reviews from members outside of the review team. If you're interested in reviewing a story for the blog, please message @Timothy M. to sign up for an available review slot.   The Hollow Hills Valkyrie Reviewer: Cole Matthews Status: In Process Word Count: 86,114   Writers dream in stories. We fantasize about scenes, conjure characters to people them, and fill their fictional lives with events and emotions. That’s what a writer does to create a truth of their own. Readers indulge in a writer’s fancy, digging deeply into the words and images conveyed. A reader interprets a writer’s words and the characters come alive.  At least that’s what happens when reading a story like “The Hollow Hills” by Valkyrie.   This is Valkyrie’s introduction of the story to the reader.   This story centers around The Hollow Hills - a horse farm in Vermont - and Galen and Joshua. Galen moves to New England after breaking up with his boyfriend and meets Josh. Their relationship is anything but easy, with many obstacles standing in their way. When tragedy strikes, they need to learn how to redefine their lives and live with the after-effects.   The story seems pretty straight-forward.    It’s not.   Galen and Josh both have rich personal histories. Each man’s past affects their actions and reactions. These characters are steeped in pain, happiness, love, and fear, and they struggle to make their lives better.    Surrounding these men are other characters, both loving and deeply flawed. They provide the kind of contour and texture that makes both men feel like people we know.    In fact, I can identify with these guys personally. They are that real.   The story is called “The Hollow Hills,” which is the setting for this drama. However, Valkyrie has managed to make this horse farm another actor in the story. The ranch is the place where Galen and Josh meet and interact, but those interactions take on a greater meaning as the farm becomes a protector.   The horses too, are integral parts of the story as both men learn to heal with their help.   So far, I’ve only described the setting, the story outline, and the theme. The story is so much more, so let’s take a look.   Here is an excerpt from the first chapter, from Galen’s perspective.   Galen’s past is still part of him.  He’s struggling with the loss of his partner, Jamie, and yet he’s not alone. The man has a cousin, Liam, who is there for him like a brother. Jamie left him therefore Galen is dealing with waves of self-doubt and a crisis of confidence. He’s determined to move on though.   Then, Galen meets Josh, and feels a striking attraction. Josh has a boyfriend, but that doesn’t prevent Galen from experiencing an interest in him. And vice versa.   In chapter four, we begin to see the world through Josh’s eyes. Let’s take a peek.     Josh also has a past filled with love and disappointment that he carries with him. His boyfriend, Roger, is a person he believes is good for him. The thrill of being around Galen is tempered by his love for his partner.    Josh’s housemate at the ranch is Alannah, who can’t stand Roger. She’s a warm, no-nonsense woman, and something makes her view their relationship critically. What could that be the reason?    You’ll have to read the story to find out.    “The Hollow Hills” is written in first person from Galen and Josh’s perspectives. It’s set in modern times and I would characterize it as a novel. It contains some very disturbing content, so if you avoid stories with violence or depression, this isn’t the book for you. Valkyrie is finishing the last couple of chapters so it will be complete shortly. If you want a moving, emotional story you can sink your teeth into, you will enjoy “The Hollow Hills.”    It’s worth the wild ride.  Category: Fiction   Genres:  Drama, Romance  Tags: adult, rape, animals  Rating: Mature

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

December CSR Feature: The House of Storms by Geron Kees

Can you believe it's already December?  Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you. Cia has been super busy, but luckily for me, she'd already chosen the December CSR, and now it's my turn to help her out!  Hopefully in between all your holiday activities, you'll be able to find time to read this story, set in 1948!  The discussion day will finish out the year here in the blogs, and will be on December 31st!  If you haven't read anything by Geron Kees yet, now is a great time to start!  Hope you enjoy and we look forward to seeing you on New Years Eve to discuss The House of Storms.   The House of Storms by Geron Kees   Length: 56,882   Description: It's 1948. Teens Frank and Joe Dane, sons of nationally famous private detective Ben Dane, are enjoying their summer vacation. But then their dad asks them to come along on a little trip up the coast, to a tourist town where strange things have been happening...and the boys are off on a mysterious case with two friends in tow. Events take an immediate turn for the worse as it soon becomes obvious that someone is out to stop the investigation...someone willing to use any means at his disposal to win! An homage to the Hardy Boys adventures that some of us read as kids, except that in this one, the boys are...um, well...you'll see.   A reader said:  Didn't know anything about the Hardy Boys - maybe they never made it across the pond. However, that didn't detract from my enjoyment of this story that moved along at a rapid and, at times, very tense pace but also with an amazing amount of detail. Indeed it is a magical story! ~Ivor Slipper   Don't forget this month's Discussion Day will be Monday, December 31st.   

Renee Stevens

Renee Stevens

 

CSR Discussion Day: Sumeru by Dolores Esteban

Did you have a chance to read Dolores Esteban's science fiction story, Sumeru featured in this month's CSR? What do you think? Is the truth out there? More than we know or is it all just a bunch of bad t-shirt, retro hat conspiracy theory claptrap? Hmmm... how about you check out the story and find out? Or share your thoughts below if you already did! But first, enjoy this interview with Dolores Esteban!   Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.   If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? I would probably read an online article. Thirty minutes is not a long time.   What’s one location you’d love to go to research for a story? I'd travel back in time to Ancient Egypt or Ancient Sumer.   We share a love of science fiction, it seems. What do you like best about writing the genre? I love to create new worlds, visit places in space and explore unknown things.   Do you have a favorite science fiction story that you’ve read (online or published)? The Songs of Distance Earth by Arthur C. Clarke. I loved the novel.   In Sumeru, the crew is supposed to travel to a planet in the constellation in Scorpius. Is there a special reason you picked that constellation? No special reason. I picked the constellation probably because it contains deep sky objects.   How about the meaning behind the name of the spacecraft, “Shiva”? Shiva is a Hindu deity. I read articles on Hindu mythology. The texts inspired me to write Sumeru. The Vedas, texts originating in ancient India, contain concepts that are similar to concepts from modern science. That's the background of the story. Scientists learn from the texts that extraterrestrials visited Earth in the past. They send a ship to the aliens' system of origin to investigate. The spacecraft is called Shiva because of the Hindu texts that revealed the ancient truth.   Did you like trying the infographic style of Sumeru as a plot device or do you find a more classic story format flows better for you as a writer? I started the story three times in three years. The first two attempts were plotted as classical stories and they failed miserably. I changed the approach and tried the infographic style. It worked out for the story Sumeru.   Do you have a favorite part of this story? I actually like the whole story. After several failed attempts, I was happy when I had finally managed to finish the story.   In a reply to a review on the last chapter, you said you like to ask questions. Are you pondering any deep thoughts lately that have prompted any new story ideas? I read about coherent quantum states and quantum decoherence. A very interesting topic. I've just started a science fiction piece. Quantum states are an element of the story. The writing so far is a mess. I jump between scenes. Definitely no coherence in writing. LOL. The editing process will be a pain.

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