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lomax61 last won the day on February 14

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About lomax61

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    Brian Lancaster (published pen name)
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    Hong Kong
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    Writing, hiking, socialising, keeping fit, sleeping.

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  1. “Parce que c’était lui, parce que c’était moi.” I read CMBYN after a recommendation from a writing buddy back in 2015 around two years before a movie version was announced. This friend described the book as Aciman’s exploration of the stickiness and ecstasy and transcendence of fullblooded, devoted, naked human desire. The description almost put me off. And if I’m going to be perfectly honest, I had to start the story a couple of times, found the adolescent voice of Elio difficult to tune into initially, the affected ennui and indifference that Timothy Chalamet pulls off so beautifully in the movie. But I respected my writing buddy’s opinion, and am so glad I persevered because this is a most incredible love story—yes, a eulogy—and is easily in my top 10 favourite gay romances of all time. As always, if I like a book, I usually go back and read the story at least a couple more times. And this is one of those rare ones where I catch something new each time. When the movie version was announced I was torn because some stories do not translate to the big screen, but on the other hand, I liked both main actors announced to play the leads. Although for me, it’s Elio’s father in both the book and film, who stays with me, the heartfelt fireside chat in part four that Michael Stuhlbarg delivers so beautifully. Should Aciman have included HIV and homophobia? The remote location in Italy felt like a safe haven from the rest of the world. Moreover, I’m not sure this would have been the same story, had Aciman included these elements. Have you read the follow up, Find Me? I have not, and am in two minds whether I want to, after reading the very mixed reviews.
  2. lomax61


    The worst you can imagine. I have to work. Not only that, I have to wear one of those suit things, and polish my shoes and actually meet people in person. I am not sure I remember how so wish me all the best. I feel sure at some point, I'm going to freeze, stop speaking and moving and simply hold up a sign saying 'poor connection'.
  3. lomax61


    Fleming immediately set about tending to the flogged man whose pain was no match for his humiliation. Khraxwall’s strained features dissolved into relief when Brathay led Fleming into the room, taking a step away and excusing himself. Mrs Sturridge stayed on to assist, reducing the chill of the buckets of seawater with hot coals. She also provided a leather strap for the man to bite on before Fleming poured the saline liquid liberally onto the bloody flesh. One of the kitchen helpers, a young g
  4. lomax61


    Once most of the older Sjin-Shatir had departed—the entertainment over—Brathay and Fleming spent another half hour in the springs. Dnan invited them both to sample an ice-cold plunge pool before returning swiftly to the hot. Since he had arrived at the keep, Brathay's mind and body had never felt so awake and alive. Only as he relaxed back in the hot pool did he notice other etchings around the chamber, one in particular on a far wall, of what appeared to be the coastal village with a reasonably
  5. Apologies for the shameless self-advertising, but the book I showcased here called Any Day which has been extensively rewritten was released generally on 5th October 2021 by Pride Publishing. Links to the book are as follows: Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/any-day Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/any-day-brian-lancaster/1139998005 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09CD27X9Z/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2
  6. lomax61


    Somebody’s paying attention, @drsawzall. You might even pass the quiz at the end of the story…
  7. Thank you for that lovely comment, @gdh. This is a multi-layered story and something new for me, so your endorsement is very welcome.
  8. lomax61


    Hi @84Mags, I love reading the speculation in the comments section. As you have already surmised, Fleming has been told to help Brathay all he can. And Leonmarkh’s plight is not Brokerman’s only reason for sending Brathay’s to this remote location. He too would have been curious about the unique scar/birthmark. I have held back on downloading Brathay’s childhood, but am currently writing a later chapter when this comes to the fore. I read the Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin in my youth and the book had a huge effect on me. I wanted the Sjin-Shatir to be both simple and advanced, if you know what I mean? Simple in the way they live, but advanced in terms of their biological evolution. Keep the excellent comments and speculation coming. More to come next Friday. Brian
  9. lomax61


    Brathay barely slept. For a full hour he had stayed behind to placate Mrs Sturridge. Yes, the kitchen was and would remain her domain. Of course her approval would be sought for any meal he proposed—his already doubtful reputation would be the only one tarnished if he served up anything inedible. And if by some miracle he came up with a triumph, they would share in the praise. By the time he had finished, and she felt grudgingly satisfied that he had not come to usurp her role, he felt drai
  10. The act of finishing writing a book is so momentous that I respect any author who manages to get that far. If they’ve also done the legwork of getting published and marketing (or self-published, and done a good job of redrafting and editing) then I am never going to give someone a 1 star review. If it’s dreadful, I would rather not review at all. I have been known to give low reviews when the gay characters are inauthentic and unbelievable, or if the story feels contrived or unrealistic. My problem is that I read MM romance and fiction from the perspective of a living, breathing gay man, and forget that we were never the intended audience. Does that mean the concept of Queerbaiting does not apply? (Discuss, lol). These writers are creating a fictionalised world in which usually masculine men (policemen, sportsmen, detectives, firemen, soldiers) have romantic feelings for another man and the setup plays out a sexual fantasy on the page for their female readers. Conversely, a lesbian friend tells me that a significant proportion of lesbian fiction is written and read by straight men. The key for me is whether it’s done well. That’s why I love writers like NR Walker, Sabrina Bowen, River Jaymes, and, to a lesser extent, Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban, because they research and write their characters realistically. Maybe that’s also why gay male authors like Brad Boney, J F Smith and Marshall Thornton, who (IMHO) truly understand and create believable gay characters, are often passed over by female readers of gay romance, because they include all aspects of gay culture, warts and all. I’ve downloaded EPIC, by the way, and am already halfway through Blood and Milk, and loving the storyline. N R Walker has a real knack for taking you to another place, the way she did in the Red Dirt series.
  11. I agree wholeheartedly with your review, although I would struggle to give this more than 2 stars. I bought the book straight after finishing HIM and US, both of which have become firm favourites. Fortunately, at the same time as downloading Top Secret, I stumbled upon Sabrina Bowen’s solo effort The Understatement of the Year, which in my view is far superior. I finished Roommate last month and agree it’s better than Top Secret, but still not her finest work.
  12. lomax61


    Happy to find his own way back to his chamber, Brathay treated himself to an unsupervised scout around the courtyard. Instinctively, something did not sit right. Having identified two unused features of the keep he felt sure there had to be more. Decorative moonskulls? Whoever heard of such a thing? And surely previous Watchmen would have left behind instructions? Why had none been provided? He shivered. As the day had waned, a distinct chill invaded the air seeping into his bones, partly down t
  13. lomax61

    Tennis Tandoori

    Thanks for reading. I still get notifications about this story, which has been completely rewritten and restructured. The way I see the ‘plaster’ comment is that someone who has spent time in a country tends to pick up local expressions. I know my UK born friends living in the US or Australia use expressions that make me do a double-take.
  14. lomax61


    Heart of Black Ice is a work of fiction fantasy. The story is set in a pseudo medieval fantasy world with its own history and rules, and during this chapter Khraxwall refers to water mills being used back in his home country of Braggadach. Black Ice Bay is in a remote northern location and has very different climatic challenges. The main reasons for the oversight are that the chain of wardens are not efficient at passing on instructions to each other, the keep is currently woefully understaffed, and they are unfamiliar with Cordatogan engineering.
  15. lomax61


    Hi @travlbug, Plumbing designers are crazy in all worlds. In my new apartment, the landlord installed a faucet in the bathroom without any indication of which way is hot and which cold. Add to the fact that hot water takes ages to arrive and I’m getting used to either freezing cold showers or being scalded to death!
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