Hot n Horny in the days before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

I asked acclaimed gay novelist  Elliott Mackle to stop by and tell us about his Captain Joe Harding historical romance series. Several of my own fans pointed me in his direction and nominated the books for a 2014 LGBT Book Gem so, here he is, as requested. 

Welcome Home frontcovI’ve said elsewhere that my Captain Joe Harding series is based on four years of Air Force service during the Vietnam era. That’s essentially true, but with reservations. For instance, each of the three novels includes at least one fatal plane crash. During my time in uniform I never witnessed a crash or even a serious mishap. I was a food service officer, not a pilot or air traffic controller.

But most officers, then and now, are assigned what’s called ‘additional duties.’ Among mine, at a Strategic Air Command bomber base in California, was occasional duty as a Disaster Control or Safety Officer. My tasks included driving down three miles of runway, and twice that of taxi way, sometimes at night, checking to make sure no parts had fallen off an aircraft. The potential to damage another plane was real and serious–as happened later, in 2000, outside Paris, when a Continental airliner shed a piece of metal engine cowling that damaged, and doomed, an Air France Concorde taking off right behind it.

I was trained to inspect flight lines, missile sites, maintenance areas and alert facilities, and to investigate and report on problems such as outdated fire extinguishers or incomplete training records. If an accident occurred, I knew to take charge of rescue operations until a higher-grade or better-qualified officer arrived. [Read more…]

Homosexual Life in New Hampshire 1720

Now here’s the question for you: What was life like for a gay man in 1720? Morgan Cheshire‘s book, Solemn Contract helps us explore and answer that question. Her book was nominated by readers as a 2014 LGBT Book Gem.

Solemn Contract - Morgan  CheshireSolemn Contract began life as an image I had of a young man in his thirties; he was handsome in the Celtic way with dark-hair and blue eyes, wearing a white shirt.  Nothing unusual in that except he was a blacksmith and spent his day with smoke, soot and fire, shaping metal like Wayland Smith of legend.

I had no idea about his background, when or where he lived, or anything about his character – was he good or was he not so good – so I ignored him and wrote about something else instead.  However, he kept bothering me so much I decided to work on his character.  He acquired a name, William Middleton; because of his work he was physically strong and I decided he was a good guy, fair-minded and intelligent.  To make William’s life complete I now needed another character with as strong a personality but a different set of skills and so Jem Bradley came into being – teacher and an amateur botanist. A complete contrast to William, Jem was slightly built with brown hair tending towards auburn. [Read more…]