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Bloodmoon by Mike Shade

26 Mar

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Mike Miller is content with his life. After his grandfather died and left him the family farm, Mike is content to live by himself and continue the family business: raising dogs. But, sometimes, he gets an itch for something more than country life. He gets an itch for something spicy.

 

Thus he finds himself one night at the Spanked Kitty, a city bar that caters to anything you could desire. There, Mike meets Steven Pierievoda. Tall, pale and long fingered, Mike finds the man incredibly sexy and feels desire building in him.

 

From the bar, they go to a hotel where they indulge in a steam night of hot sex. But there’s only one problem: Steven is a vampire. He feeds on Mike during their sexual interlude and finds himself, days later, not hungry. Normally, he feeds at least once a week. But after dining on Mike’s blood, he doesn’t need to.

 

Deciding he needs to find Mike Morris, he tracks him down at his family’s farm. There, they re-ignite their passion from the previous night. Steven also makes a vow: to find out what it is in Mike that stops his hunger that made his blood so filling. If they had to experience passion, blood and lust in the quest for an answer, what of that?

 

That just makes the deal all the more sweet. But each of them is hiding a deep, dark secret: Steven is a vampire and Mike…is a werewolf. Stevens duty is to himself and Mike’s is to his pack but the two species have been at war with each other for decades.

 

Can two star crossed lovers look past their differences and indulge in the forbidden? Or will they ignore the love that begins to bloom between them and remain forever alone? Only their hearts, and their blood, can decide.

 

Bloodmoon is one hell of a novel. I’ll admit that when I started it, I figured it would be just your average gay vampire romance. The market is flooded with vampire erotica and I worried at reading another book cut from the same cookie cutter. I needn’t have worried. Bloodmoon is fresh and throws quite a few delicious twists into the old vampire genre.

 

Giving the book a gay Romeo and Juliet feel to it was pure genius. It gave the characters depth and feeling that would otherwise not have been present. Mike is perfect as the small town boy who dreams of better and bigger things and Steven is the perfect exotic lover. The two, both strong individuals, compliment each other beautifully.

 

Shade writes with a depth that is surprising in Vampire/Werewolf fiction. Normally, the characters are lifeless cardboard cut outs that prance around the page for our amusement. Instead, Shade gives us deep, knowable characters that rip through the pages for our enjoyment. Steven if hilarious and funny and several of his comments made me laugh out loud during the reading of Bloodmoon. Mike is more than he seems, not just the simple country boy, but a leader hiding dark secrets.

 

I flat out loved Bloodmoon. It’s probably one of the better fantasies that I’ve read. It has depth of story, depth of character, blood, lust and lots of steamy hot sex. What’s not to like? And this isn’t your average fairy tale. It was enjoyable, surprising, funny and, oddly enough, heartwarming.

 

For a good time had by all, pick up Bloodmoon. You won’t be sorry! This is one novel you won’t want to end. And when it does? You’ll want to read it all over again!

 

Reviewed for The Gotta Write Network. You can find their site by clicking here.

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Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger

2 Mar

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Everyone remembers their first love. The one who woke their heart, the one that made their breath stop. The one that made your heart beat. The one that got away. What if you could have another chance at that love? Would you take it?

It is 1978. Travis and Craig attend the same finishing school, though they are in different crowds. Travis is the school nerd while Craig is the school jock. They go in completely different circles until fate brings them together. While working on the play Brigadoon together, they spark something inside each other.

Soon, the two of them fall in love and begin to explore everything possible about the other person. They decide, that summer, to rent an apartment in the city so that they can be together. What follows is the most wonderful summer of either of their lives, but all good things must come to an end.

They are each going to different colleges: Travis to UCLA and Craig to Harvard. They know that at the end of the summer, it will be goodbye. Though they write to each other at first, the letters soon die out and they lose contact with each other.

Flash forward twenty years. It is now 1998. Craig is a lawyer with his own firm and Travis is teaching history at his alma mater. Craig is living with his boyfriend, Clayton and Travis is still searching for love.

He begins to think back to a summer he has never quite forgotten; to the boy he first loved. Doing something completely uncharacteristic, Travis decides to go on a cross country trip to find Craig and let him know that he is still the man of his dreams. He breaks into Craig’s mother’s office to find Craig’s address and then he is on his way, with help from his best friend Gordo, a wise cracking waitress named A. J. and even Clayton.
When you’re in love, it’s impossible to stay apart for long…

This is one of the best books I have ever read, period. My run down of the plot doesn’t even begin to describe “Almost Like Being In Love”. Not even close. Much like his previous bestseller, “Last Days of Summer”, “Almost Like Being In Love” is told in a series of narrative, checklists, journal entries, emails and letters that give the book a fast pace and a wonderful sense of charm.

Because we are allowed to glimpse their world through their journal entries and emails, etc, the characters are vividly drawn and instantly human. Anyone can identify with the characters in these pages. Anyone who has ever loved will love this book.

It’s touching, wonderfully funny and actually made me cry in a few places when I remembered my first love. This book is also laugh out loud funny. I’m serious. I’ve seen that tag line on books often enough and usually I’m disappointed. I don’t even giggle. “Almost Like Being In Love” made me laugh so hard at one point I cried and snorted so loud at one point, I think I gave my cat a heart attack.
What did I find so funny? You’re going to have to read the book to find out.
What else can I say? It’s that good, you won’t be disappointed. Read it, and remember the good times.

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer

2 Mar

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Built on a Native American burial ground in Seattle in the early 20th century, Rose Red was to be a Queen among houses. Built as a wedding gift by John Rimbauer for his wife Ellen, Rose Red claims a victim even before the foundations are laid.

A foreman is shot to death; his death would only be the first, however and would be far from the last. People begin to disappear. First a maid, then another woman. Ellen knows there is something wrong within the walls of Rose Red. Sukeena, Ellen’s maid, knows there is evil within the walls too. She is an African witch woman and knows the face of evil. Ellen keeps a diary to document the events surrounding Rose Red.

It becomes her confidant and the stuff of nightmares. Wanting to find answers for the strange goings on in her house, Ellen hires a medium to hold a séance. John Rimbauer scorns this event, but it changes Ellen’s life forever. The medium receives a message from the house, from Rose Red. She tells Ellen that as long as the house continues to be built, Ellen will never die.

Preparations begin the next day for new wings to be added to Rose Red. Strange things begin to happen in Rose Red. There are noises at night time; rooms exist where no room existed before. As more people continue to disappear, Ellen can’t quite get over the idea that the house seems to be building itself. Then someone is found dead. More dead bodies follow, always men. Women only disappear in Rose Red.

Men are killed savagely. With each new death and disappearance, Ellen’s world is plunged into turmoil. She knows she must stop the force within the house before something else happens. She is too late; Rose Red has taken her daughter.

For those of you who don’t already know, “The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer” was actually written by Ridley Pearson as a movie tie in for Stephen King’s three part, six hour miniseries “Stephen King’s Rose Red” that aired in 2002. Stephen King has this to say on his web site:

“Now it can be told–the actual author of The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is suspense novelist (and Rock Bottom Remainder bass guitarist) Ridley Pearson. Ridley did a great job–I couldn’t have done better myself…”

If you haven’t seen “Stephen King’s Rose Red,” I urge you to do so as it is the epitome of the modern haunted house movie. One would think a movie tie in novel would be an awful rewrite of the story with no depth behind it or anything worth reading.

I held back on picking up the book for so long as I was afraid that the novel would be found lacking when compared to the movie. I was happily surprised to find that I was very wrong indeed.

The novel was written as a companion to the movie. In fact, it explains more within its pages than the movie does. Several things in the movie are left without an explanation. There are explanations a plenty of the haunting at Rose Red within the diaries pages. There is even a web site that relates to the diary and the miniseries.

There are pages of the diary that are only published on the web. Apart from being part of a brilliant multi-media advertising campaign, “My Life at Rose Red – The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer” is an incredible, beautiful work.

It examines the power of fear and what happens when someone is pushed to far. It takes a chilling look at the human condition and the stresses of the unknown. What was surprising were the subplots of the novel. Ellen is a young woman in a terrible marriage. There is also the issue of lesbianism between Ellen and her maid Sukeena; Ellen examines her budding sexuality and tries to find herself, even while she is struggling with the evil that is going on around her.

The novel is more about personal discovery than anything else. It takes a look at what scares us, what torments our dreams. It is a beautiful, darkly gorgeous novel and can be read on its own apart from “Stephen King’s Rose Red.”

Even if you don’t watch the movie, read “My Life at Rose Red-The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer.” It will leave you breathless and in awe of the beauty found in the dark. Just make sure you always bring someone with you into the darkness…you may be liable to disappear.