Friday, 24 March 2017

Review of Beauty and the Beast


I took the kids to see the live action Beauty and the Beast, or rather they agreed to accompany me, because Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney animation and I bribed them. It was a lovely movie, but... there is definitely a but.

There are many good things about this movie, not least the gorgeous set and costumes. I loved the songs including the additional ones. Of the characters, we loved the Beast (even more so, since I discovered Dan Stevens performed the whole thing on stilts), Gaston and LeFou. I loved the CGI for the wolves but the teapot and cup freaked me out. My biggest disappointment was Emma Watson. I have much respect for her but she has no charisma as Belle. None. Nada.

The gay moment. If this hadn't been mentioned it would have been a blink and you miss it scene. However, I did watch, and LeFou carried it off beautifully. I would love a more honest gay character, but if this creates a daft boycott, anything else would get the One Million Mums really riled up.

What did this production teach me? Just how much they were all spoiled brats. This cartoon sums up how I feel.

https://onsizzle.com/i/there-goes-the-baker-with-his-tray-like-always-there-2067843
I never really appreciated just how unlikable and manipulative all the characters are. Belle does nothing but whine about her life and everyone in the village. The villagers hate anyone 'other'. Lumière and all the castle staff are just trying to manipulate Belle to break the spell. I liked the Beast. At least he was an honest asshole.

I was a little disappointed. I think I'll watch the cartoon again.


Have you read Frankie & Al?


Frankie & Al 


Buylinks: 


Ebooks: Dreamspinner | Amazon

Print (anthology): Dreamspinner | Amazon

Audiobook: iTunes | Audible | Amazon

Dumped by his boyfriend, Frankie Mason goes out with the girls, gets totally trashed, and ends his night by falling in front of a taxi. He’s rescued by a man with beautiful green eyes who takes care of him until he’s put into an ambulance. Frankie curses himself as he realizes he doesn’t have the man’s phone number. Still in pain a few days later, he is dragged out to a club only to be saved by Green Eyes once more. This time, he isn’t letting the man go.

Unfortunately Frankie has to attend a team-building exercise, nicknamed Womb Weekend, organized by his company. Al is working so he doesn't mind, until he discovers who the team leader is. Al has a lot of explaining to do!

Frankie Series

Excerpt


Dawn had arrived with a pale pink-and-blue sky, and thankfully no rain. Frankie decided to walk home, relaxed and full, and ready to sleep. At this time of the morning, he could cut off a few minutes by walking through the station concourse without negotiating hundreds of tourists.

He stepped off the curb, and after that, he wasn’t sure what happened except his world spun crazily out of control. He heard the sound of a car horn, and Frankie was thrown off his feet, only to land on the ground, an excruciating pain in his hip.

What the fuck?

“He just stepped out in front of me. You saw that, didn’t you? He didn’t look at all. He was probably after a score.”

Frankie opened his eyes and glared at the man standing over him. “Thanks for your concern, arsehole, but I’m not a druggie. Give me your phone number, address, and insurance details,” he said brusquely. At least, he aimed for brusque rather than weak and feeble.

The man sniffed and vanished out of sight. Frankie contemplated getting up. On the other hand, the ground was comfortable and he had nowhere to be.

“An ambulance is on its way. You have a habit of getting into trouble, don’t you?”

Frankie turned his head to deny the charge and was fixed by the most beautiful green eyes he had ever seen. “Take me home,” he said and was rewarded with a smile from the man.

“Huh, a faggot. Might have known.”

The driver was really getting on Frankie’s nerves. “Give me the details and then you can get lost.”

A hand squeezed Frankie’s, and Green Eyes said, “Give me the details. You can talk to the police and I’ll look after my boy here, before he gets into any more trouble.”

“Frankie,” Frankie said.

“What?”

“My name’s Frankie.” Frankie gave a melting smile to the nice man with dark hair and gorgeous green eyes. Then he glared at the driver. “That’s Mr. Lawsuit to you.”

“Listen, you little—”

Green Eyes sighed. “How the hell did you manage to get to adulthood, Frankie? The ambulance is here, thank God.”

Frankie was really pleased because fuck knows the pain in his hip was hurting like a bitch, and no one seemed to give a shit about him, and his mum would wash his mouth out with soap and water if he kept swearing, and….

His brain shut off as Green Eyes kissed him.

“What the…?” he said faintly.

“You were talking again, Frankie. It seemed the best way to shut you up."

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Review of The Night Shift

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2477230/
Every so often I get a chance to crash on my friend, Jason's, couch and we watch movies and TV with gay characters. This week, he introduced me to The Night Shift. Although I predominately watch crime, I do enjoy medical shows, and this one was no exception. So far I've only watched six episodes. Enough to get into the characters, but not enough to get fed up with it.

Thoughts so far. 

I'm not American so I won't get into the morality of not treating patients without insurance.

I do like the characters, even if they are very predictable. The maverick doctor, the dour and penny pinching administrator who's a dick with a heart of gold, the ex who's got to keep the maverick in line, the sidekick doctor who's there to remind the maverick how to behave etc etc. There's the usual incestuous relationships and the patients of the week are varied and sometimes surprising (Second Chances).

The plots are interesting and the banter (if predictable) between all the characters keeps the pace going. I don't know enough about the medical procedures but they aren't treating cold and flu symptoms. It's done for drama and a touch of comedy (see the woman thinking she's having a relationship with Matt Damon).

As for the gay character, again, I've only watched six episodes so far. I don't know what happens in the future. I liked the fact he wasn't camp and he certainly wasn't perfect. His refusal to come out despite everyone telling him to rang very true. In fact, he was an asshole in Coming Home. And I still ended up in tears at the end.

I'm looking forward to watching more episodes in the future.

Procrastination for Creative Writers


I don't think I need to add anything to this. Tom Gauld has procrastination all covered.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Morning Report Flash Fiction


I wanted to write a little fanfic for my cowboys. I have been a fan of Simon and Luke from the first words many years ago.

Buylinks: 

E-book: DreamspinnerAmazon 

Paperback: Dreamspinner | Amazon

Audiobook: iTunes | Audible | Amazon

Bundle: Dreamspinner

Translations: German | French | Spanish | Italian:

I hope Dreamspinner won't mind me using one of their old graphics, but it is so appropriate.

~~
With thanks to Amy Leibowitz Mitchell

Simon Bryan wondered how a sane, rational human being, such as himself, could be stupid in love after fifteen years. Wasn’t it meant to die down to something comfortable; more like friends and less like two horny dudes wanting to hump each other at every opportunity? It’s not like he was waiting for the wanton lust to fade away, it’s just everyone else seemed to stick their nose in and suggest they should be more… more… sedate now.

Fuck that. Simon growled out loud because there was no one to hear him except his horse, and Del didn’t judge. He was a fucking cowboy, and if he wanted to throw his man up against the wall and remind him who was boss, then he’d do it. Frequently. Every day. Twice on Sundays if they didn’t have to host Pastor Noah’s growing congregation.

It wasn’t his fault the new hand stumbled in unannounced. Why the heck hadn’t Chuck warned him that Lost Cow’s foreman gave his morning report in a one-on-one, private meeting? The hand hadn’t taken kindly to discovering his foreman taking the boss from behind, and made derogatory comments in front of Luke’s momma. A bad move on his part. No one did that to her boys. He was off the ranch before lunchtime with a lecture about minding his manners, liberally sprinkled with cuss-words Simon didn’t even know existed ringing in his ears. Chuck swore he saw the man press down on his ears to relieve the pressure. Luke bitched about having to feed the chickens again, but he gave his momma a huge hug. She saved the lecture on locking the office door until later.

Simon eased Del into a trot. Just thinking about that morning made Simon hard. Not the hand catching them, but what they’d been doing. He pressed down on his denim-covered erection and prayed Luke would be ready for him.

He wasn’t a church-goer, unless he was forced into it by Noah and Momma, which was more often than he liked. But he only had to think about Luke to know that he was blessed. Somewhere along his life Simon had been given a stubborn, ornery, overly-possessive beautiful man to look after; to love, to fuck and to make a life with. He was blessed, although he’d never say that to Noah’s face. The pastor would never let him forget it. But Simon would tell Luke at the right moment, as they lay together, just the two of them.

He clattered into the yard with a sigh of relief and handed Del over to Tommy, who smirked at Simon’s obvious impatience. Simon ignored the smirk. Tommy and Noah were just as bad. He loped around the side of the main house and peered in the office window, not surprised to find Luke frowning as he stared at his laptop. Simon rapped on the window with his knuckles.

Luke raised his head at the knock, the frown smoothing away as if it’d never been there, and he leered at Simon. “Is it that time already?”

“Yep. Are you ready, boss?” Simon was ready and waiting to deliver.

“For morning report? Bring it on, babe, I’m always ready for you.”

Friday, 3 March 2017

Guest Post and Review of Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth

The Case of the Cover That Almost Was


J. Scott Coatsworth



Designing a cover for a new book is not an easy task. I've done a couple now myself, and it's tricky finding just the right model in just the right pose, and pulling the whole thing together to create a professional and compelling image that will sell your book.

I am an amateur cover designer, and I am in awe of folks who do this for a living.

For Skythane, they asked me who I wanted to design my cover for my first full-length novel. I found two folks I really liked, and ended up with the amazing Anne Cain, whom I liked for the beautiful layered looks of her covers.

Late last month, she sent me her first draft, and I was too scared to look at it. I mean, what if I hated it? I know how I react when someone hates my stories.

So I waited for an hour before I finally, nervously opened the email. I needn't have worried. It was absolutely fricking gorgeous.





We changed the background and a couple minor details:




With a couple more minor tweaks:









We had a wonderful “final” cover. In fact, it was one of the easiest cover design process I’ve been through to date, and the final cover was everything I wanted it to be.





Then the word came down from management that it was far too similar to another existing sci fi cover, and that I would have to give up both my font and cover model.

I cursed. I cried. I told Mark "I knew it! It was too damned easy." Anne tried another model, whom I absolutely hated:




And then I set about finding another guy to grace the cover. In a couple hours, I had him. He was perfect--dark, broody, with an attitude--maybe even better than the first one.

But life has a funny way of sucker punching you when your guard is down.

I showed the new model around, and one of my writer friends pointed out what I had missed. The new guy was the EXACT SAME ONE as the other cover that had been the root of the problem in the first place. And not just the same model, but the same actual shot. The designer had changed the hair, but once he told me, it was obvious.

I guess I have a type. *grin*

In the end, though, it worked out. I got to keep my original model, but we had to change the color, font and composition of the cover.




We made a few final tweaks, and viola, we had the final “final” cover.





I think the last version is even stronger than what we had before, and Anne was a pro throughout.
It doesn't matter how you get there, just that you end up with a gorgeous cover in the end, right.

I can't wait until we do book two.


——————

My new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines my love of sci fi and secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!


Sue's Review: I always look forward to a story from Scott and Skythane is no exception. It is a beautiful, complex tale of a world unknowingly on the brink of cataclysm. The two main characters, Jameson and Xander, are brought together, and flung into a race to save Oberon. There are secrets and politics, beautiful men and wings. The world-building has complexity and structure, and the characters have pasts which overtake them. The humour and awkwardness between the two men gives it humanity. Both are changed; by the situation and each other.

I really enjoyed Skythane and look forward to the next book in the series. Now please.

5 stars and highly recommended.


Blurb:

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.



Excerpt:

Rain hit the plas and ran downward in little rivulets, separating and rejoining like branches of time as the storm whipped itself into a frenzy over Oberon City.

Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.

His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.

The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.

A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….

He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.

Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.

The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.

For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.

When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.

“You’re still here.”

“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.

Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.

The man frowned. “I thought—”

“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”

The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.

I really have become a bastard, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.

He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”



Buy Links Etc:


Dreamspinner - eBook:

Dreamspinner - paperback:

Amazon - kindle:

Amazon - paperback:

Barnes & Noble – paperback:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/skythane

iBooks:

Goodreads:


Author Bio:





Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him "the only one stopping you from writing is you."

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories - some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth









Sunday, 19 February 2017

Blinded Date 2 - Second Date by Chris P. Rolls


Blinded Date 2 - Second Date

Written in German, a new gay romance by Chris P. Rolls - available as ebook and print

Buylink: Amazon

English
Not only a small handicap, but his special whishes make it difficult for Sirius to find a suitable and lasting partnership. Although he works in a special gayclub, the "Blinded Date", with the slogan: "Everything goes, nothing needs."
For beeing honest when finding a watch, he is rewarded double: Not only with the finder's fee but with a free membership at "Blinded". Suddenly there are new possibities. Does Sirius manage to conquer his self-doubts and capture the man of his wet dreams?
Each book contains a new pairing in the "Blinded Date"

German:
Nicht nur ein kleines Handicap, sondern auch seine besonderen Wünsche, machen es Sirius schwer, dauerhaft einen geeigneten Partner zu finden. Dabei arbeitet er in einem ganz speziellen Gay-Club, dem "Blinded Date", in dem: "Alles geht, nichts muss." Für seine Ehrlichkeit beim Abgeben einer gefundenen Uhr wird er doppelt belohnt: Neben dem Finderlohn, bekommt er auch eine Gratismitgliedschaft im "Blinded" und plötzlich eröffnen sich ihm neue Möglichkeiten.
Schafft es Sirius die Selbstzweifel zu besiegen und den Mann seiner feuchten Träume zu erobern?