Pre-Order Summer Symphony

It’s my pleasure to finally announce that Summer Symphony is available for pre-order from Amazon. This has been a long and difficult road into a subject that hits men and women in their core: the loss of a child.

In essence, this book is a love story, but it is also a challenge to the misinformed perception that men do not grieve when a child is lost through miscarriage, or in this case, a stillbirth. The sheer lack of information I found during the research phase of this book only attested to how pervasive this viewpoint is. It is my hope that readers will find a reality within this book that they may not have considered before, and that they gain an understanding that men do grieve, even when they try to hide it behind the facade required of them by society.

Pre-Order from Amazon

Summer Symphony by Brandon ShireMartin Zoric had vivid dreams of fatherhood, of a small hand pressed to his, of pink dresses and girlish laughter. Then his wife had a stillbirth and his world fell apart.

He listened to the unwanted apologies, stood by his wife as was expected of him, and kept his façade strong and firm for the entire world to see.

But does he have the strength let go and really grieve?

When Ren Wakahisa landed in Croatia he was hoping to escape the cultural pressures put on him to conform. His family wanted him to forsake love for duty. They viewed his happiness as secondary to familial prosperity.

Does he have the courage to be who he wants to be? Or, will he yield to their wishes?

Summer Symphony is the story of how two men find their answers and what they learn about strength, and grace, and the endurance of love.

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A Father’s Grief

There’s a stigma in many cultures about how men are supposed to grieve. This stigma is no more conspicuous than when it comes to a father’s grief over a child lost to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Summer Symphony by Brandon ShireCommon sentiments concerning male grief are age-old and deeply ingrained across many societies: Public tears are not condoned, and if they are permitted, it is only in the quietest moments of solitude, and then, only in the short-term. Grief should not interfere with work, with family, with supporting the spouse in her grief. Public displays of grief are unmanly.

Too often these outdated sentiments are based on the assumption that a father’s grief cannot be compared to the mother’s. The emotional attachment created through pregnancy with a mother and her child cannot be disputed. There is a physical bond which occurs prior to a child entering the world and only a mother can know what that feels like. [Read more...]

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It’s Erotica, so it’s … Badly Written?

Welcome Todd Young to the blog with an excerpt from his latest, Naked.

Todd Young’s first book, Corrupted, was released in 2010. Since then he has published five other titles, most recently, Angel, a companion to the “beautifully psychotic” Subject 19. His work sits on the borderline between gay erotica and m/m romance.

Essentially, I’m writing erotica, but I want it to be as engaging as any other type of fiction. I don’t see any reason why a book should lack in terms of storyline, characters, theme or any other aspect merely because it contains sex, as though this in itself were some reason to deem the book unworthy.

While my stories are sexual fantasies, rich in absurdism, I work hard to imbue them with a deeper meaning and a quality of unexpectedness. I’d like the reader to close the book with the sense of having read something worthwhile.

Naked, my shortest book, is my current favorite. I’m pleased with it’s complexity and the way the plot is revealed. As one reviewer put it, it’s “creepy and deeply unsettling.

In this scene, Leigh has broken into a strange house.


Naked by Todd YoungThe staircase creaked. Leigh slid along the drywall, his head turned toward the light spilling onto the staircase from the window on the landing. As he neared the second floor he squatted, and then climbed a little further, spread-eagled on his hands and feet.

He lifted his head and peered through the banisters.

No one — on this side of the hall at least. The staircase rising above his head blocked anything that might be lurking at the foot of it.

But the music sounded as though it was coming from the attic. Definitely from the attic, Leigh decided, as he stepped onto the landing and stood with his back against the window. [Read more...]

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LGBT Music Monday – Shura – Touch (Video)

Based out of London, I really couldn’t find much on this artist, but… love her work on this. Check it out. You can connect on Facebook.

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Second Chances

Welcome award-winning novelist and short story writer, Nathan Burgoine, to the blog with some insight into his writing. 

On the Run

When I wrote my first novel, Light, there was a bit of recurring feedback from some of the readers who knew my short fiction that made me smile: “I wasn’t expecting to laugh.”

That’s probably fair. I have a reputation for bittersweet when I write short fiction; my first published short story, “Heart,” continues to be one of the stories I get the most feedback about from readers (and mostly about how it made them cry). In short fiction, I like to explore the theme of second chances – and second chances generally require someone to mess up something the first time around.

So, when Light hit the shelves and people started to laugh (which for the record is exactly what I was hoping for and boy was I a wreck waiting to find out if I could be funny or not) I was very pleased. Kieran the telepathic and telekinetic gay massage therapist was a very unlikely superhero who managed to deliver the chuckles I’d hoped he would, even as he fumbled his way into saving the day.

After Light, I’d intended to go back to short stories for a while, but I got a request from Jerry L. Wheeler that was too good to pass up – he was putting together a collection of four novellas with a theme of pursuit, chasing, or tracking down, and wondered if I’d consider submitting something.

[Read more...]

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Honest Reader Reactions to Bad Books

Here’s the flip side of  Authors Honest Reactions to Bad Book Reviews post. This one is for the readers, because, let’s face it, authors are human and they make mistakes too. And yes, sometimes a book needs a fecking DNF review. It’s all in fun, so enjoy.

Authors, listen up. (Culled from thousands of reviews around the web.)


1. Labelled Erotic Romance/Fiction

But the sex be like. WTF?!
[Read more...]

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The Public Performances of David Pratt

I asked author David Pratt to stop by and talk to us about which one of his own books was his favorite and explain why. I’m sure you’ll find his choice as fascinating as I did.  ~B

My Movie by David PrattMany thanks to Brandon for inviting me onto the site today, and thanks to all of you for taking a moment to read what I have to say.

Brandon asked me to talk about my favorite book. That was going to be a tough choice. Then he clarified that he meant my favorite of my own books. That would be even tougher! I mean, Bob the Book: who can resist that sweet face? And my new novel, Looking After Joey: who can resist that… everything!? Plus, logically you want to promote your most recent. And a porn character stepping off the screen into someone’s life? Doesn’t that make great copy? But then, so does a novel where the major characters are all gay books. [Read more...]

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Honest Author Reactions to Bad Book Reviews

Political correctness and good PR suggest that writers take criticism in a number of ways, none of which allow them to vent their often honest feelings about bad reviews. So, in good fun…this one is for writer’s everywhere. (And yes, we have one coming for readers.)

Disclaimer: Before I get another author behaving badly badge, these were taken from 1000’s of reviews I’ve gone through in 20-odd genres. So if you think I’m picking on you, well, maybe I am. Or, you can just have a laugh at the ridiculousness that has become the back and forth in reviewing books in this day and age. It is all meant in fun.

Want to know what readers think? >> Honest Reader Reactions to Bad Books

1. The tongue wrangler

S/he just goes on and on about how bad your book was when ten or twenty sentences will do just fine. We get it. You hated it.

2. The nonbeliever

[Read more...]

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Pale Blue – LGBT Short Film

A college kid struggling to find the courage to be who he really is.

Pale Blue from Tommy Oceanak.

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LGBT Music Monday – Eli Lieb

Openly gay Eli Lieb with his new song, Zeppelin. Destined to be a summer classic.


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