Friday, March 27, 2009

Seeking Some Wicked Reviewing

The lovely, talented, wicked Jenre over at the Well Read blog (click on post title) has reviewed my newest Loose Id release, Seeking Something Wicked. She started out very naughty and ended up very nice. Well, actually, the naughtiness was kind of an inside joke and made me grin.

Jen is, I think, turning out to be one of the best reviewers of m/m fiction on the 'Net. She's a careful reader, thorough and articulate reviewer and, best of all, speaks her mind without ever resorting to snark or similar cheap shots. It's a personality thing, I guess, and I like hers very, very much. I'm still learning the ropes when it comes to GLBT fiction review sites; as I discover more that I find impressive, they'll get slipped into my Links o' Love in the lower portion of the sidebar.

Thank you, Jen. You made my day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

180° Reviews

Whenever I come upon something like this, it always throws me for a loop. How can two members of the same species and culture have such diametrically opposed perceptions of the same object? I cannot for the life of me explain this to myself. Does one person have exceptionally low standards or one have unrealistically high standards? Does one have a hidden agenda of some sort?

Sorry, don't mean to leave you in the dark here. I'm talking about two reviews of the same book. The book is Lessons in Desire by Charlie Cochrane, published by Linden Bay.

A reviewer at Jessewave's blog ( -- not one of Wave's regulars, so I'm afraid I don't know who he or she is -- raved about this book and awarded it five stars out of five, which qualifies the alleged novel for Desert Island Keeper status. (I say "alleged" for the reason mentioned below.) Yet, another reviewer at Uniquely Pleasurable ( totally trashed the book, in addition to claiming it's too short to qualify as a novel, and gave it two stars out of ten. I mean, this reader really, truly hated Lessons in Desire and described its "shortcomings" in detail.

Both, by the way, are highly regarded review sites for GLBT fiction, so it's not as if one is Mensa-certified and the other is the bastard spawn of Harriet Klausner.

Now, come on. I'm well aware that we all have different tastes, yada-yada, but personal taste can't possibly account for such disparate attitudes. I'm not sticking my toe in conspiracy-theory waters, believe me; I'm just utterly mystified.

Normally, when a book is either egregiously bad or stunningly good, there's some consensus among readers and reviewers. Each extreme has its own distinct earmarks. (That's how I feel, anyway, and I have three years toward my doctorate in English as well as two stints as an editor to back up my claim. I know shitty writing when I see it and I know stellar writing when I see it. Even though I'm largely incapable of judging my own work, I can assess somebody else's quite objectively.)

So . . . anybody have a possible explanation of how one book can go from solid DIK to smelly, shriveled sac in one mouse click?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Throwing the Perfect Wankfest

Seems like every couple of weeks (hell, maybe more often than that, but I don't get out much) a wild 'n' crazy go-round kicks up in Writer Land. Some people have a genuine flair for staging these kinds of things. I don't. So, of course, I had to make a study of them.

From what I've been able to gather, there are certain components essential to a successful Wankfest. Here's a bulleted checklist I've compiled. Should you ever want to launch your own Wankfest, just make sure you have the following:

  • Live Journal account. I really don't know why this is important, but it sure as hell seems to be. LJ is the preferred venue for Wankfests.

  • Attitude (and plenty of it). Now pay attention, because there's a difference between a mere rant and a Wankfest. Attitude in and of itself has many variations. Basically, there are "acute" or ephemeral attitudes, like the one I have this week because some virus has invaded my body (or the one you might have because your partner has been a complete dickhead or your computer is being difficult or your boss is a complete dickhead or your kids are acting up or your publishing company is rife with complete dickheads). Then there are "chronic" or permanent attitudes, which stem from fixed mindsets and the issues that trip our self-righteousness triggers. Acute attitudes usually result in mere rants; chronic attitudes are the true progenitors of Wankfests. (Of course, there are exceptions. With some people, the acute and chronic are inextricably linked.)

  • A worthy enemy or enemies. Well, duh, you can't work up and keep up a proper head of steam without someone or something out there stoking your ire. So choose your enemies well. Make sure he/she/it is good for at least a week's worth of wank. Wankfest attendees have short attention spans and lose interest if one trebuchet full of shit isn't quickly followed by another, even bigger hurl.

  • Like-minded allies. It's tough to be the only person on your side. You need homies. Homies will cover your back when you're away from the computer and out dealing with those RW forces that have made or helped make you ornery to begin with. Homies (cynics call them "suck-ups" or "sock puppets") will also reinforce your sense of moral rectitude, which in turn contributes to your . . .

  • Stamina. A Wankfest is essentially a war of attrition. You must be able to hold out longer than your opponent(s). You must be able to fling the conclusive glob of really stinky shit when your enemy least expects it and isn't ready with a comeback. This amounts to having the last word, and it is the last word that (you can only hope) will stick, so to speak, in attendees' minds.

CAVEAT: Based on my observations, Wankfests can be like crack. Stage them sparingly. If you attend them, pop in and out without drawing too much attention to yourself, lest you end up being affiliated with one side or the other. And, if you're an author, always remember:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When Shifting Goes Too Far . . .

The result can be something like this:

The male equivalent of vagina dentata (which, I assume, would be penis dentata). Oh yeah -- the perfect foil for the magic hoohah. Chew me up and spit me out, baby!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Beautiful gay man the next American Idol?

He freakin' better be.

I'm almost ashamed to admit this ("almost" is about as good as I can ever do in the shame department), but I tuned in "American Idol" tonight. Even though I rarely watch TV, it was a go-to-town day for us, which meant I was worthless when it came to doing anything remotely productive. (If I don't start writing first thing in the morning, and I have other crap to tend to, I don't write . . . unless I'm on a super roll.)

So anyway, I haven't paid much attention to this show in three or four years. The talent has been derivative and less than stellar, and Paula Abdul gets on my nerves something fierce. But tonight JLA was watching some program with motors in it on the main screen, so I wandered into the bedroom and came upon "Idol" on the little--and I mean little--set.

Same old tripe, for most of the two hours. Then, BAM, contestant #11 came on. Adam Lambert. Pretty, 27-year-old man from Los Angeles. I got the impression he was gay but certainly wasn't sure, since the dweeby host didn't announce, "Here's our gay contestant, Adam Lambert."

Damn! Boy blew me away. Incredible voice and stage presence. Really, truly incredible. Rocked the judges, too--every one of the nine or however the hell many they now have. And I thought, Son of a bitch, now I have to watch this shitty show for the next ten weeks just to hear this one guy sing. Son-of-a-bitch.

Turns out the fearsomely talented Adam is indeed gay. (I checked out some sources, because I hate making false assumptions. It's something that does deeply embarrass me.) Oh, how I hope he takes it all. Imagine an openly gay man winning American effing Idol! Too, too cool.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Great Erotica Riddle

M/M/M/F, M/F, M/M, M/M/F, M/M/M, M/F/M/M, Menage, Voyuerism

I swear, I did not make up that content notation you see above. That's copied and pasted from a book review.

Wouldn't you say the "menage" and "voyeurism" at the end are, uh . . . superfluous?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Y'all gotta read this hilarious review!

Click on the post title to read a Dear Author review of a book offered by a fairly new e-pub. Oh lord, the excerpts had me gasping for breath! (Please note that the link might take you far down the Comments list to the most recent ones; just scroll up the page to start from the beginning.) Honestly, if you need a good laugh, this is the place to go!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


The long-awaited, much-anticipated (by me) sequel to Looking for Some Touch was released today and is now available at Loose Id. Seeking Something Wicked is Book 2 of the Utopia-X series. The itchy-in-the-pants and love-befuddled Coven of Three must identify, track down, and neutralize a truly bizarre female mutant who shares the philosophy of Templeton the Rat from Charlotte's Web: "Good things come to those who find 'em and shove 'em in their mouth."

By the way, Ridley Barron, one of the book's main characters, doesn't look like the dude on the cover. He looks more like the Prince of Persia -- if you can ignore the Prince's flamboyant outfit and focus on his facial features. So keep that in mind if you read SSW. (I wonder how many other writers get this goofy over how their characters are portrayed on covers. Really, I worry about myself sometimes.)