JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

Paul Alan Fahey Is Among The Living Today To Discuss “Too Long Among The Dead”, And There’s A Giveaway


Too_Long_Among_the_Dead_400x600[1]Thank you, Lisa, for having me here today. Really do appreciate this opportunity to talk about my new release, Too Long Among the Dead, a gay, contemporary, paranormal romance.

Too Long Among the Dead is a departure from my Lovers and Liars novella series. For one, it’s novel length by E-Age standards, and two, it explores the realm of the paranormal—a totally uncharted territory for me, but a story I’d been thinking of writing for some time.

Before attempting this book, I’d never written anything long enough to be considered a novel—unless you counted my dissertation. (Please don’t count that. :)) And, to be honest, writing a novel absolutely terrified me. Here’s why.
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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Anais Morgan, Backlist Book Bump, GayRomLit, Hayden Thorne, Jordan L. Hawk, Nikka Michaels, Paul Alan Fahey, Rain Carrington, Taylor V. Donovan

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had an outstanding week. We’ve got another fun-filled seven days coming up, with more guest posts, interviews, giveaways and reviews to come.

Here’s what’s on tap for the week ahead.

MondayTaylor V. Donovan kicks off the week on the Hearsay Blog Tour

And Kris Jacen drops in as well, with a guest article about con etiquette

TuesdayHayden Thorne drops back in for a visit to promote her new book Wollstone, and she’s also offering a giveaway

WednesdayAnais Morgan is our guest today with a guest post and giveaway

ThursdayJordan L. Hawk stops in for a Countdown to GRL visit and to chat a bit about the latest book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, Necropolis

FridayNikka Michaels is our guest on her Lip Service Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway

SaturdayRain Carrington is our guest with a Backlist Book Bump and giveaway

SundayPaul Alan Fahey is here with a guest post and giveaway for his latest novel Too Long Among the Dead

And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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A.J. Corza, Chris T. Kat, Dreamspinner Press, GotYouCovrd, J.M. Snyder, JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – This Week’s Topic – Different Types Of Art To Choose From



Book covers come in all shapes and sizes, all colors and textures. Book covers are a window into the author’s soul, a little glimpse of what is to come, and the artist who creates the cover is just the mouthpiece of the author.

Book covers can be paintings, drawings, photographs, collage, and most often these days, photo manipulated, or Photoshopped, for the laymen. It pretty much depends on what the author wants done, what their personal vision is. More often than not, the authors don’t tend to have a set vision for the cover because their mindset is more about the broad strokes of a full story. A cover artist certainly takes the entire story into consideration but tries to narrow that focus to one specific idea. Let me tell you, it’s really hard sometimes to do that. Trying to distill 300 plus pages of detail into one cover without overcrowding or muddying up the works takes talent and skill.

I feel for the authors out there, though. Thinking and eventually accomplishing your goal of writing a book, then actually moving on to publishing a book is a feat in itself, but then…gah, the cover? What sort of cover do you want? If you’re a lucky author going with a publishing company, generally you get assigned an artist. Tthey show you three or so mockups, you choose and bam, you can relax your brain. Freelance authors aren’t so lucky. Their choices are: ask a family member or friend (if they’re lucky enough), doing it themselves, or going out into the world and finding an artist.

If you choose to do the latter, that’s when the real fun begins. It’s a lot like finding a new dentist, painful in every way. First you go to Google, then you type in book cover artist, and then you get buried beneath the virtual onslaught of artists there are. As I said before all shapes and all sizes.

One such type is Collage:

It’s the same exact setup as your everyday craft store collage. Find pics that fit and slap them together. Well, you’d think that, wouldn’t you? But any person that does collage knows that you can’t do that at all. You have to have an eye for color, for shape, and mainly for form, otherwise you just get a huge ol’ mess that turns people off rather than encouraging them to buy. Both of these covers for Paul Alan Fahey were done by J.M.Snyder and are great examples of the collage feel. Both covers are clean, concise, and a unique melding of pictures. Especially Bomber’s Moon, which definitely has more of a cut out quality to it but manages to be interesting without looking like a 7th grader cut out a photo that they liked and stuck it on a cover. Even the lighting that hits each picture in a different way still manages to look cool and to convey a really different, distinctive feel. It somehow, to me anyways, makes it almost feel three dimensional, especially with the black sky.

3D Modeling is another route an author can go, and this cover done by Zathyn Priest is a perfect example of 3-dimensional artwork. Lots of color and motion fill the entire cover. You can practically feel the warmth that must be coming off the dragon’s skin. Did I mention I’m a huge fan of the dragon? 3D really gives the impression that both the man and beast are going to wander off the cover and nip you right in the tender regions, doesn’t it? I’m pretty much digging it myself. Especially since I can’t even begin to tell you how much time goes into creating 3D art. I took a class in it when I was getting my A.A., and it was not what I would call even in the realm of easy. Hell, I had a bitch of a time getting a ball to look right, let alone a dragon and a man. I honestly can’t recall if I’ve seen any other artists out there doing 3D work on book covers, but if this is the sort of art that gets you excited, we know of at least one artist now, don’t we?

Then of course there is photography. The saying that a picture can speak a thousand words is too true, even if it’s only the opening gambit on a 1000 page treatise about the mating cycle of a cricket. You can learn so much from one photograph if you just take the time to look. Especially if they are used such as they have been on this cover. Look at the subject closely: doesn’t his face speak to you of a life fully lived? He wears his time on this earth in the creases on his cheeks and the pinched line of his mouth. Don’t his eyes convey a certain curiosity mixed with inherent knowledge that brings about a clarity of view from living that life? (And yep I just used up all my 20 dollar words for the day) Doesn’t that make you curious also?

Painting is another way to go. Whether it’s a full line sketch, airbrushed into full blooming beauty such as The Wolf and His Diva written by Chris T. Kat artwork by Paul Richmond, or a combination of photography plus airbrushing, such as the cover done by Ravven for Born in Flames by Candace Knoebel. Painted covers can be stunning and beautiful and can make you just want to jump into that cover and travel to that world. They can make you yearn to meet the man looking so sweetly at the squirrel, or the fiery redhead half covered in dragon scales. The beauty of an artist that can paint/sketch/or combine either element with photography? They can pretty much make anything your little heart could desire.

The question is, though, as an author, how do you choose? And there’s no easy answer for that. You have to go with what your gut tells you, but always, always remember that what you love may not be what the masses will respond to. Your covers are the first introduction to your buying public, and it is absolutely imperative that you take them into consideration. If you have a cover that no one cares for, who’s going to buy the book? So be wary, gentle authors, and don’t skimp on quality. The only one that you will hurt in the end is yourself.

Have a great day and may the good books be with you!

All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.

Check me out on Facebook @: https://www.facebook.com/ajcorza

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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

There Are Mixed Blessings To Be Found In “A Christmas In Kent” by Paul Alan Fahey



“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” – Agnes M. Pharo


Paul Alan Fahey has followed up his latest novella in the Lovers and Liars Wartime series with Christmas in Kent, a delightful little holiday coda that’s as cozy as a fire in the hearth and as merry as the holidays could possibly be in World War II England.

Glad tidings of great joy have befallen the little family that will continue to grow through the loving ties that bind them all together, not only by biology but by the unconditional acceptance of Leslie and Edward and the love they must hide from the rest of the world.
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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

“A Manx Tale” Is Mystery And Danger Between Lovers And Liars In Wartime



“There is no traitor like him whose domestic treason plants the poniard within the breast that trusted to his truth.” — Lord Byron


Blurb: Caroline and Cyril have recently wed and are honeymooning on the Isle of Man, a glorious spot in the middle of the Irish Sea marked by picturesque villages, rocky cliffs, and bracing winds. Caroline is immediately drawn to the island’s history of rampaging Vikings, tales of mermaids and legendary kings, and the friendly inhabitants with quaint superstitions and proverbs. In no time, she falls in love with her surroundings.

But unexplainable events unfold, convincing her sinister forces are at work. Part by accident and part by design, Edward and Leslie join the couple, and together they must identify a turned British agent, retrieve a top secret document, and learn the true meaning of the phrase, “It all comes back to the camps.” Will logic and reason prevail, or will a bit of magic and island whimsy save the day?
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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

Paul Alan Fahey Talks “Lovers & Liars” And Would Love To Give Away A Book


A_Manx_Tale_400x600TNA: Hi, Paul, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, interests, odds and ends things that make you, you.

PAF: Hi, Lisa, I’m so glad you asked me to be here. Wow. That’s an interesting question. Hmm. What makes me, me? I guess part of who I am came from the way I was raised, a kind of a nomadic existence in the 1950s. My mom was a single mom and during those times it wasn’t cool to be raising a child alone without a father, 2.4 brothers and sisters and a cat or dog that didn’t shed. We had the dog, a little Maltese poodle we both loved dearly and who traveled with us during those years, but unfortunately, he shed. :)

I was the first in my lower middle class family to get a college education and that was mainly due to my grandparents who helped us when Mom had difficulty finding a place to live or gainful employment. After college, I joined Peace Corps and spent almost five years living and teaching in Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia. When I was 13, I wrote my first storybook about a train that toured African game parks. So I guess it was kind of prophetic that I ended up in the land of thirteen months of sunshine—if you don’t count the two very heavy rainy seasons.

Until I retired, I taught adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and emotional problems in two community colleges in California, so I guess you could say my love of diversity continued on in my professional career and played a large part in what friends I made and what job choices I made.

I’ve been writing fiction for the past twenty some years, so I’m kind of a newbie, having only a stack of some very boring and sleep inducing professional journal articles under my belt up to that point. Oh, and a master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation, but they really don’t count as writing. (Please yawn here.) I started writing fiction when my mother passed away. It seemed to be the only way I could deal with my grief by making up worlds where I had control over what happened to the characters. Then of course, being gay and living through the worst of the AIDS crises in the mid-1980s did a number on most of us, so I imagine those terrible times contributed to my need to control the world around me since we had absolutely zero control over AIDS. I guess, like everyone else, I’m the sum total of my experiences both good and bad.

TNA: Do you remember when the writing bug hit you? Do you remember the first story you wrote that you allowed someone to read for something other than a school assignment?

PAF: The book about Africa was a 7th grade English assignment so we can’t count that. I think my writing experience was jumpstarted in Africa by what I was seeing and experiencing daily. I wasn’t’ one to keep a journal, but I did write air grams home every week to my mother, grandmother and to other relatives but not to close pals my age. (I remember being a loner in college, mainly because I had to commute such a long distance from our home on the San Francisco Peninsula to college in the city, so I didn’t make a lot of friends easily.) But in the weekly air grams, I chronicled the unique events of the day: my teaching, the students, the trips I made to East Africa, Egypt and the Middle East on vacation, and the general unrest in the country. At that time I was stationed in Asmara, Eritrea, a part of Ethiopia via His Royal Majesty’s say so. (Most Eritreans hated Ethiopians and Haile Selassie.) In later years I would write more about these times either in short memoir or through fictionalizing the characters and the events. I wrote many short stories with my mom in mind, a sort of freewheeling sprit not unlike the fictional character Auntie Mame. My mother was very much like her. If we ever had two nickels to rub together, we’d laugh at our bills and rush off to a late night movie. That’s another thing: movies and books. I grew up on some of the great films of those years and today still spend hours watching them on DVD and incorporating some of film technique into my fiction writing. I also love live theater. (When I was four, Mom took me to see Mae West in a live production of Diamond Lil. I must have been the only child in the theater.) So for hobbies and loves, movies, books and theater are all tied together.

TNA: Who would you say was your biggest supporter when you started writing creatively?

PAF: I’d have to say a writing instructor I had in the 1990s. I enrolled in a writing class at Cal Poly. My instructor, Ingrid Reti, was so excited about the process of putting words together in unusual and striking ways, and was so supportive and accessible to her students, that in later years we became great friends. Ingrid was the kind of person who always asked you first what YOU were writing and never spoke about herself or her work, even when she published her poetry books or her gorgeous coffee table book, Steinbeck Country—she was an expert on all of his novels and short stories. She also never spoke about her background as a young Jewish child living in Nuremberg during the worst part of the Hitler years or her terrifying journey to England on the Kindertransport. We discovered all these things after her death from her daughter.

TNA: If you had to choose, which of your books would you say you’re the most proud of?

PAF: I’m very proud of our nonfiction anthology, The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, & Moving On. (It’s a 2013 Rainbow Award Finalist.) Proud because I was handed this project by a much-admired writer and essayist, Victoria Zackheim. Victoria edited the wildly successful anthology, The Other Woman, and asked me if I’d like to edit the gay companion, The Other Man. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity then immediately wondered if I’d be up to the challenge since this was a new experience for me. I was terrified I’d let her down, afraid that the book wouldn’t see a publisher and…well, you get the idea. But then I started contacting writers and asking them to contribute and it was amazing how positively they responded. Along the way I met some wonderful writers like Christopher Bram, author of Gods & Monsters, Armistead Maupin and Edmund White, as well as the playwrights, Charles Busch, Mart Crowley, and Christopher Durang, and the list just went on and on. If this was my Andy Warhol 15 minutes, I can tell you it’s lasted three years throughout the process of getting the book published and it’s still going on with the promotion. So, yes, The Other Man would have to be the highlight of my writing and editing experience so far. It’s been quite a ride.

TNA: Those of us who don’t write tend to picture authors sitting down at the PC and effortlessly laying down a story start to finish. In correcting that misperception, what would you say is the most difficult part of the writing process?

PAF: I can tell you for me it isn’t effortless. Far from it. To begin with, I’m not a writer who writes every day. My husband, Bob, and my kids—read shelties here—are really my world and writing is somewhere down the priority list after them. I know this isn’t the typical response from writers who often say things like writing is my life, or there isn’t a moment I’m not writing, or I’ve been writing since birth. That just isn’t me, and won’t be at any time in the future.

The biggest challenge of being a writer for me is dreaming up a story that I think readers will like. And that takes time, especially when I’m working with the same characters in a series that spans several years. Characters who grow, change, do unpredictable things, and talk to me constantly and tell me what they are happy doing and what they absolutely will not do. I know it sounds schizophrenic but they call the shots most of the time.

So back to the process. When I begin a story I do a lot of thinking first. A lot of what-if-ing. I don’t want to bore anyone here but this, in brief, is what I do BEFORE I start writing. I write my novellas, especially the books in the Lovers & Liars Wartime Series in three acts. First I want to know the specific setting and how the story begins. Then I want to know the event at the end of Act I that shifts the action and moves it into Act II. If I can figure out the ending, that’s great. If I can figure out the major turning point that swings the story arc into Act III, that helps me tremendously. Of course this short outline is not fixed in stone. I often shift turning points and events as I write, but I try not to start until I have most of these story points down. If I can come up with the book’s theme, that’s truly a bonus, and I try to layer it into each scene through metaphor, dialogue, motifs, etc.

TNA: The Lovers & Liars Wartime Series is set in World War II England. How much research has gone in to writing the series?

PAF: I have to do a lot of research in the thinking stage before I write. I also have to do a lot of rechecking as I’m writing because it’s so easy to introduce elements into a story that are either a bit off or wildly inaccurate. As an example, I had a specific English village in mind for Caroline’s cottage in the first book in the series, Bomber’s Moon. I did quite a bit of research online and looked at photos from the 1940s to get the details right. Yet in the second book, Weep Not For the Past, I mistakenly ran a river through the town when there wasn’t one. Up to that point I was ready to name the village, but realized I’d best keep it generic if I didn’t want to run into trouble somewhere down the line from UK readers familiar with that area in Kent. (So for now, Caroline’s cottage is unnamed and somewhere in Kent.)

Two books have been great references for Lovers & Liars in terms of “getting it right.” One is Sarah Water’s brilliant wartime novel, The Night Watch, about women in love with other women and working as ambulance drivers during the London Blitz. The Night Watch got me thinking about gay men and their relationships during this very repressive period and in a country that sent homosexuals to prison at the least provocation. What was life like for them? Of course living as a gay man through the 1950s and 60s in a sexually repressed America gave me quite a bit of empathy to start with, but The Night Watch was the inspiration for the series, sort of the other side of the coin.

The Timetables of History, a huge reference that lists practically every aspect of each year from ancient times to present, was invaluable in the writing. For example, for the 1940s, I not only discovered the critical war events for that year but also what people were reading, what movies they watched and the songs they sang. This type of detail made the period come alive for me and also suggested some fun and interesting bits for characterization and dialogue that added to the atmosphere of the times. Anyone who is a writer of historical fiction should grab a copy of this indispensible resource.

TNA: What is your favorite sort of story to write, contemporary, historical, or do you like dabbling in all sub-genres?

PAF: Most of my early fiction was contemporary lit and written from the female point of view. But I think during the past few years, I’ve truly found my writing niche in gay historical romance, especially within the WW II period. Given that I was born during WWII and my father and stepfather both served in the military—one in Europe and the other in the South Pacific—I must have come by this obsession naturally.

TNA: Do you still, even now, feel nervous when you submit a new manuscript for publication? Is there still that fear that it won’t be accepted?

PAF: Absolutely. I love working with JM Snyder at JMS Books. She is the ultimate professional and I respect her tremendously. But I always worry she might not like the next book in the series. So far, that hasn’t been the case, but I’m very neurotic in that respect. Being a fallen away Irish Catholic and superstitious to the hilt doesn’t help much either. I was born a worrier and I doubt I will ever break this habit.

Along with this initial fear that no one will like what I’ve written—I’m talking readers here as well—my other hat as an editor often kicks in, and I try not to send anything in to my publisher unless I feel it’s properly edited and the ms is the best it can be. So, yes, I worry all the time about getting my work published. (People who know me well know I worry about everything so thinking someone will hate my work fits in nicely with who I am. )

TNA: What are some of the primary qualities you’d say all of your MCs share?

PAF: I think mainly it’s having a sense of humor. I’m so glad you asked me this question, Lisa, because the one thing I want to convey to the reader is that my books are not heavy reads full of misery and sadness. True, these were terrible times of unbelievable horror, yet the British soldiered through the war in such an incredible way that I try to use humor to lighten the atmosphere when the characters are together. One thing I love doing is getting the dialogue as right as I can. And it’s interesting how much humor my characters find in these scary situations. Again, they talk to me on a regular basis once I start a novella, and I just follow their lead. If Caroline and Cyril, while honeymooning on the Isle of Man, want to have a silly conversation about fish when the atmosphere around them is full of danger and intrigue, I go with it. If my characters end up on a lonely coastline in the lantern room of a lighthouse with German bomber planes headed their way, there’s always time for an intimate, playful scene between the male lovers.

TNA: Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite? If so, who and why?

PAF: It would have to be Caroline hands down. I identify closely with her take on the world. She’s carefree but not careless. She accepts Leslie and Edward as lovers and welcomes the couple into her home without a second thought. She’s not judgmental but kind and understanding, and above all she enjoys a stiff drink and, well, stiff other things, too. She’s tough when she has to be, but sophisticated and witty in dealing with friends and foes alike. In some ways, she reminds me of my mother. Not such a stretch since many of my characters, including the male ones, are composites of my freewheeling mom and myself. I don’t need a psychiatrist to tell me that.

Caroline’s the most fun to write and she seems to be taking center stage with greater frequency in each subsequent novella I write. I’ll have to talk to her about that some day. Right now I’m having too much fun with her.

TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?

PAF: I just finished a Christmas story, A Christmas in Kent, out December 8th from JMS Books. The story continues the Lovers & Liars saga. Here’s a teaser:

“December 1941. Caroline, Cyril, Edward, and Leslie are home for Christmas from their recent exploits on the Isle of Man. On the surface all seems right within Caroline’s world, yet there’s something bothering her that can’t be ignored much longer. Christmas in Kent will indeed be full of surprises.”

I’m in the thinking stages for the next novella in the series. It’s now 1942 and the story will have our cast of characters somehow involved in the plot to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, “the blond beast,” who was one of the prime architects of Hitler’s final solution to exterminate the Jews.

TNA: Where can readers find you on the Internet?

PAF:

Author website

JMS Books

Twitter

Facebook

A_Manx_Tale_400x600TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from A Manx Tale with us?

PAF: You bet. Here’s a chapter that sets the mood and tone of the piece. Caroline and Cyril are honeymooning on the Isle of Man. What really got me interested in this particular setting was the fact that during the war, the British interned “suspected enemy aliens” in neighborhood camps around the island. Once I knew that, I was off and running.




Excerpt from A Manx Tale (release date: November 3, JMS Books.)

Chapter 2: What We Know About People

Cyril took Caroline’s hand as they ran across the green, mainly to avoid the harsh winds blowing in from the sea. Tummies full from a dinner of kippers—a local specialty at The Black Dog Inn—the pair decided on a leisurely walk before bedtime. Caroline had never had kippers for dinner, only breakfast—being the well brought up English lady she was—but nothing could match the Manx kippers served fresh from the sea and smothered in butter. In a very short time, she’d grown to crave them.

The couple had gone some distance when they came upon a large neighborhood square consisting of several blocks of houses surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by sentries. This was Hutchinson Internment Camp, one of the many such places scattered about the isle. Since the beginning of the war with Germany, the camps were deemed necessary “in defense of the realm and in order to detain anyone suspected of being a danger to the public safety.”

“Listen,” Caroline said, grabbing Cyril by the arm and stopping him from moving on. “Is that Bach?”

“Sounds like it. A violin for sure.”

“And notes from a piano,” she said. “It’s coming from one of the open windows. “Wish we could get closer, take a look inside. If only—”

“Uh—huh. That’s the reason for the barbed wire, love. It’s to keep them from getting out. Not us from getting in.”

“I know,” she said. Caroline brushed his cheek with one of her long, lacquered nails. She loved the lean look of his face, the longish dark hair touching his coat collar, even his beaked nose lent him character and made him quite sexy. Even if it does remind me of that chap who plays Sherlock Holmes in the cinema. “Have I told you today how much I love you?”

“About every hour on the hour.”

She nudged him in the ribs. “Don’t press your luck, fella,” and then she pulled his face to hers and kissed him.

“Maybe we should cut this walk short,” he said. “I think I’m working up an appetite.”

“We’ve already eaten, silly.”

“I wasn’t thinking about food,” he said.

She jabbed him a bit harder in the ribs. “In time. In time. Just a few more minutes.” She craned her neck and looked upward to the second floor. “Someone has etched a bird in that blackened window. Such beautiful detail. Edward would appreciate the art here. And the music. I read in the local news that Hutchinson is known for its exhibits, concerts, and even theatrical productions. You’d never know it, would you?”

Cyril shifted his weight from one foot to the other, seemingly anxious to start home. “Well, they have to do something to occupy their time.”

“And that’s the point, isn’t it? Just marking time.” Caroline grew misty eyed and turned away looking out toward the green. “This is the view they see day after day. The wire fence, the street with people walking by free to do whatever they please, and then beyond the road the blasted sea. I’d go crazy.”

“Most probably, love, but you aren’t an enemy alien. Come on, let’s turn back.”

Caroline couldn’t let his remark go. Hadn’t she always spoken her mind? “I think it’s wrong, this whole internment program. It’s demeaning.”

“What would you do then, love?” he said. “Take a chance on letting people with connections to enemy countries roam our streets and plot against us?”

“No, of course not, but many of the detainees are Jewish and confirmed anti-Nazis. What harm can they do? They’ve left their countries for sanctuary and not to conspire against us. Many are even naturalized British citizens.”

“You’re only repeating propaganda, what oppressed people always say. Besides, it’s not what we know about people, but what we don’t know that would terrify us if we did.”

“Sounds like a quote from a boring philosophy professor past his prime, or maybe something you’d read in a fortune cookie.”

“In our business, we know people aren’t always what they seem,” he said.

“Yes. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. Sometimes I hate what we do in name of King and Country. All the lying and subterfuge. But I still think the practice of locking people away without any rights based on where they were born or—”

He shook his head. “I should know better than to argue with you. Besides, there are reasons those individuals are locked away, as you say. Someone thought they were a threat to our government.

Besides, they do have it quite nice. They all have their roles inside. Some are house leaders, cooks, and even orderlies who make their lives run smoothly. They have jobs in the camps based on life skills.”

“Right,” she said, “and they offer art classes, lectures, watch movies, and live the high life. It’s all one big game of happy families. Yes, husband mine, I’ve heard that government propaganda as well. They might as well be chained to the wall behind prison walls for all we care.”

“Thank you, Alexander Dumas.”

“You’re very welcome.”

“Listen, dear heart, little by little and once they’ve been vetted, we’ve started letting them out, sending them back to—” He fell quiet a moment. Then, “Are we arguing?” he asked. “Is this our first marital quarrel?”

“Could be.” She turned away from him and leaned back against the fence. “This just feels wrong. Someday—”

“Someday these policies will make sense, and we’ll be glad then we had them in place,” Cyril said. He pulled her toward him and wrapped his arms around her. “We need to go back. It’s getting cold.” The night had turned damp. A misty fog hovered above the sea and was moving in to shore.

“Cold, yes,” she said absentmindedly, wondering about one of the houses near the end of the block. “At least the others have some light peeping though. What do you make of that one completely in the dark?

“Probably unoccupied,” Cyril said. “Come on. Let’s get hopping.”

“Yes, you must be right. It just looks so…I don’t know. Forlorn,” she said, and shivered. “There’s a local myth about the fog. Want to hear it?”

“You can tell me about it later. Much later,” he said practically dragging her along.

“And you know something else?” she asked.

“No. What?”

“In my head I know you’re right. With so much hate and misery around us, we can’t afford to take risks. It’s just some of the internees don’t belong in there.”

“I know,” he said.

“You do?”

“Yes, but I still believe quite a few of them do…belong in there. For now.”

“Then why let me go on as I did,” she said, “especially knowing I would agree with you in the end?”

“It’s more fun when you get your dander up.”

“You, too,” she said. “Do you think it will lift its lovely head again any time soon—your dander, I mean?”

“I wouldn’t be in the least surprised.”

“I’m thinking a good old fashioned spanking is just what I need,” Caroline said, “in the privacy of our room, of course.”

“You know,” he said, “I was thinking the exact same thing.”

* * * *

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, A.J. Corza, Amber Kell, GotYouCovrd, Jennifer Wright, John Goode, Kol Anderson, Paul Alan Fahey, Poppy Dennison, S.E. Culpepper

And Now, A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week




Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to more fun in the coming days. We’ve got another busy week scheduled, filled with guests and giveaways and, of course, reviews galore! Here’s what’s coming up in the week ahead:




>>Monday – Kol Anderson will be our guest, with an interview and giveaway of his upcoming release, Soulmate.
>>Tuesday – Poppy Dennison is going to poppy in to share some of her most favorite GRL memories.
>>Wednesday – Paul Alan Fahey will be here on his “Lovers and Liars Wartime” Blog Tour, with the chance to win one of the first two books in the series.

A.J. Corza from Got You Covered will also be here, as always, with her Top Cover Pick of the Week.

>>Thursday – Jennifer Wright will join us on her “Finding Home” Blog Tour, with an interview and a giveaway – a lucky reader’s choice of a book in the Finding Home series.
>>Friday – John Goode is our guest, as he begins his writing series today with “Once upon a time…”
>>Saturday – Amber Kell will be here on her Birthday Blog Hop, with a great way to win a book from her bookshelf.
>>Sunday – S.E. Culpepper will be dropping by on her “Falling Apart” Blog Tour, with a chance to win any one of the four books in the Liaison series.

§§§§§§§§

And that wraps up our week here at The Novel Approach. Until next time, happy reading!

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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

Paul Alan Fahey’s “Weep Not for the Past” Is A Mystery Wrapped In History

Murder is easy if no one suspects you. – Agatha Christie

World War II is still going strong in Europe, and Leslie Atwater is still missing his lover Edward, though now for a very different reason than in Bomber’s Moon, the book that introduced Leslie, Edward, his cousin Caroline, as well as a cast of role players who each added personal tension to the already tumultuous landscape of a war-torn London.

Edward is on assignment in Africa, attempting to help reinstate the deposed Ethiopian Emperor Haile Salassie to power, while Leslie and Caroline are safely ensconced in the countryside, far from the danger of the German bombs that threaten to decimate an already crippled cityscape, but that doesn’t mean they’re far from peril of a different variety.

There is danger afoot in Weep Not for the Past, a cozy little cottage mystery that appears sedate on the surface but soon proves to be anything but when Leslie meets and befriends Evangeline Blake, wife to Hollis Blake, who works for the Ministry of Defense and is harboring a secret that may very well have driven his wife to drastic measures. Is it a tragic accident or murder most foul? Is it a wife on the brink, or is it a husband who is attempting to cover up his past that provides the motive for a crime? Those are the question that Leslie is determined to find the answers to, though finding the answers may not lead to justice.

Paul Alan Fahey has penned a short scene sliced from the whole cloth of the Bomber’s Moon series, with the very genteel English feel of a PBS Masterpiece Mystery, a diverting little story with a bit of amateur sleuthing which shows that even while there was indeed a war going on, life could continue to throw about its share of twists and turns amidst the effort to hold on to some semblance of normalcy and to keep the home fires burning.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Weep Not for the Past here:

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Allen Mack, Austin Bunn, Chuck Willman, David Pratt, Erik Orrantia, Felice Picano, Glen Retief, Jason Schneiderman, Jeff Mann, Jeffrey Ricker, JMS Books LLC, Lewis DeSimone, Mark Canavera, Paul Alan Fahey, Perry Brass, Philip Dean Walker, R.W. Clinger, Rob Byrnes, Rodney Ross, Tom Mendicino, Wes Hartley, William Henderson

Who Is The Other Man? We Have Twenty-One Men Here Today To Tell You, And There’s Also A Giveaway

Touch. By touch we are betrayed and betray others. – Wallace Stegner

Monogamy has been rather fluidly practiced over the centuries, the shape of it changing with the times and the attitudes of each generation. And let’s face facts; there was a double-standard for a very long time, a time when it was not only socially acceptable for a man to have both a wife and a mistress, if not mistresses, but was also, whether by lack of choice or indifference, tolerated by the wife. Of course, there was also a time when there were laws in place that forced men to marry for the sake of social conformity, while keeping their male lovers a well guarded secret. As a matter of fact, there are stories in this very collection that clearly bear witness to the reality that in our ever progressing times, we’re not so very far away from those years of enforced denial.

How many conflicting and complementary cogs are there in the behemoth machine we call relationships? Monogamy and infidelity, commitment and betrayal, loyalty and deception. Trust and love and sex and an emotional bond are all part or parcel to the arrangements we forge with each other when that initial attraction transforms into the instinct to connect with another human being on something more than a physical level. We willingly enter the fray and in that moment, with so much on the line, we become a locus of and susceptible to temptation. And whether we succumb or resist can be the difference maker in the bargain we’ve struck to love someone and to be loved in return.

Is monogamy a natural human state, or is it a concept which sounds lovely in poetic theory but is not practical in the reality of interpersonal relationships? Is there a thinly drawn boundary line between sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity? We all know sex and emotion are mutually exclusive propositions, so once we’ve committed ourselves to someone, can the physical line be crossed without betraying the emotional bond forged with a partner? Are their certain acts, kissing, for example, or being with someone else more than once, that, if they are subtracted from the equation are capable of warding off the consequences of infidelity? Or is cheating, cheating? Is there a difference between an excuse and a reason and, if there is, does that difference matter? These are just a few of the many things I reflected on while reading The Other Man, and the conclusion I came to is that monogamy is a personal practice and relationships are as unique as the people involved in them. There isn’t a set of one-size-fits-all rules to accommodate every relationship, but one thing I learned for sure is that everyone ought to be sure he’s on the same page of the story before a twosome becomes anything more than that.

The twenty-one men who’ve shared a brief segment of their lives in this confessional collection—whether the author was the Other Man, suffered the fallout of the Other Man, or overcame the Other Man to go on to have a fulfilling and long-lasting relationship—each have offered stories that are honest, sometimes even brutally so if my tears were any indication. There were stories that made me laugh out loud, stories that provoked examination of my own thoughts and feelings about monogamy, and throughout the entirety of this book that I absorbed in a matter of hours, I applauded the generosity of each author for sharing his memories, some that I’m certain were painful to revisit.

Husbands living a double-life, HIV and AIDS changing the landscape of sexual liberation, falling in love and falling out of love, attempted suicide, drug abuse, witnessing the wreckage of friends’ relationships, and coping with the reality of being an outsider in one’s own relationship—these images are each present in many of the stories in this collection, but there is more here too; here there is also affirmation that monogamy is not always the fulcrum of longevity, but that it’s communication and communion which are the key.

The crux of more than a few of these stories was often not a case of “the one that got away” but, rather, was a case of “the one I never truly had,” and they each resonated with me in their own telling. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, or guilty, in these glimpses of lives and loves, and sometimes losses, but the names are all that have been withheld from the reader. They are candid, sometimes poignant, and always resonant with personal truths the tellers of these tales have shared with the reader, which, in all honesty, made me feel like the “other woman” in their relationships at times.

Each author has resurrected a part of his life and shared it so openly that I couldn’t help but wonder if, at some point in the not so distant future, there will be a man out there who reads one of these essays and thinks to himself, this is me on the page, and begins to remember that time with fondness or regret.

I loved this book as much as I’m willing to admit without seeming mildly insane. I can’t recommend it highly enough, if for nothing more than it might just make you feel a little and think a lot.

You can buy The Other Man here:

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As part of this feature for The Other Man, Paul Alan Fahey has generously agreed to participate in a giveaway of an E-copy of the book to one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment, including your email address, on this post and you’ll automatically be entered in the contest. All entries must be received by 11:59pm Pacific Time on Thursday, June 6, 2013. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on June 7th.

When I finished reading The Other Man I couldn’t wait to ask Paul if I could invite all the participating authors to answer a single question that niggled at the back of my mind while reading this book: “How difficult was it to write your essay, considering the thoughts and feelings involved and the fact you were sharing them with strangers?” I’m so thrilled each of the gentlemen agreed to reply; the following are their responses.

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“I wasn’t worried about revealing my past to readers. I was more nervous that I portrayed the world of Off-Off Broadway showcases harshly or unsympathetically. I also worried about portraying unsympathetically a former lover who is no longer alive to tell his side of the story. So I tried to be hard on myself, too, perhaps to compensate!”—David Pratt, author of “Way Off.”

“For my contribution not so much…although, now that I’ve been asked, I do come across in it as a little too covetous. Watching a friend, once coupled, become a single, and getting a vicarious whiff of those possibilities, probably put my nose more out of joint than I realized. He kissed handsome strangers impulsively. I cleaned litter pans dutifully.

He was still dancing at last call. We debated if Happy Hour would keep us out too late.

A brand-new boyfriend will leave the room to break wind. Your life partner proudly pre-announces his fart. Wow. Thanks for asking. I want a divorce.” —Rodney Ross, author of “And Then There Was One.”

“All writing when it’s published is shared with strangers. The readers of our essays in The Other Man are not so much strangers as new friends who are only just getting to know us. Telling our new friends what happened is what we were intending when we were writing it all down. So, it’s all good.” —Wes Hartley, author of “Three’s A Charm.”

“It was very difficult for me to write about the incident that I included in The Other Man: it touched on some extremely sensitive areas of my life, some of them stemming, I have finally realized, from my early childhood and later adolescence. As a writer, I had thought about some way to use this material, but always skirted around it. The Other Man was a way to open it up and deal with it.” —Perry Brass, author of “A Pitiless Love.”

“It was somewhat difficult, in particular because I didn’t want to hurt my present partner’s feelings. On the other hand, he already knows a great deal about my complicated past, and I’ve already published some memoir and quite a few poems about that adulterous affair, so I really had very little left to hide when I wrote “Thomas.” —Jeff Mann, author of “Thomas.”

“Publishing memoir is hard, because you are putting yourself and your loved ones out there in the world, dirty laundry and all. I have hurt many people’s feelings over the years by exposing the truth in print, and that has been tough. Writing memoir isn’t emotionally difficult at all, no matter how traumatic the memories. The challenges are all literary and technical. People struggle to believe me, but I say over and over again, at the computer keyboard I am a writer, not a therapy patient!”—Glen Retief, author of “The Rival with a Thousand Faces.”

“Writing my essay was actually quite easy, though our story has a happy ending that’s lasted 13 years. It’s one of our favorite stories, but one we only share with people we know very well. Going public with the story was fun—we figured the statute of limitations had expired on any hurt feelings.” —Jason Schneiderman, author of “The Hat Prize.”

“Writing about our earlier days was fun—then came the betrayal. Not to over-dramatize, but bringing back those memories was like stoking the embers of long-dormant emotions: shock, pain, anger, humiliation. The flames receded again, gradually and with some effort.” Allen Mack, author of “Just Wally and Me.”

“I had to take a step back and review my notes from the many extreme hours of therapy.

Such reflections of those mind-and heart-splintering sessions broke me while writing the essay. Tears were shed during the construction of numerous sentences. At moments I couldn’t believe a stainless-steel scalpel had almost severed me from the man I had truly fallen in love with. A special someone I am still with today.” —R.W. Clinger, author of “In the Brokenness of Summertime.”

“That wintry night in Chicago was fairly easy to recall, even with the passing years and the fact I was pretty inebriated through most of it. The hardest part was coming face to face with that clueless, hedonistic kid I was at the time. Some years ago, I took a stab at writing a much shorter piece about this incident, and it was subsequently published in a Canadian journal—I figured no one knew me up there. Now older, and a bit wiser, sharing who I was back then didn’t seem such a big deal. —Paul Alan Fahey, author of “Where Are You Going To?”

“It was difficult, but mainly because it was ten years ago, and I had to sift through my journals and old emails to recall specific details and what I was feeling at the time (luckily, I’m a pack rat when it comes to correspondence). Of course, I’ve changed the names (or in some cases omitted them entirely) and vagued up the details a bit, but the core experience is still there. And if I worried too much about what strangers think, I’d probably never set down a single word, fact or fiction!” —Jeffrey Ricker, author of “What If.”

“This essay was, by far, the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. No question. At the same time, it was a wonderful trip (for me) into the past and a lover I was much more compatible with—on every level. This made the experience both heart-warming and gut-wrenching, often at the same time. But this was an important essay for me to write; it was time, after all these years, to get the truth out and “free myself” from the feelings of guilt and longing that have haunted me for more than two decades.” —Chuck Willman, author of “Turbulence.”

“It was an extremely difficult piece for me to write. I have had several brushes with infidelity in my life, but I chose to write about the hardest one to see if I could scrape the marrow out of the experience and make it hurt less. It didn’t work. I wrote the piece in one day—sitting on the terrace of a friend’s penthouse apartment—writing and rewriting and rewriting until I had said everything I needed to say. Then I promptly drank a bottle of red wine by myself and cried myself to sleep. The next day hurt no less, and the story hadn’t been expunged. But at least the story was out into the world for others to comment. There is no relief in that fact, but there is a lifting of shame.”—Mark Canavera, author of “Complicity.”

“Frankly, I agonized over this essay. I’ve published several autobiographical pieces before, but this one was different. My essay in THE OTHER MAN details a part of my life that I’ve discussed with very few people. I’ve come to terms with that period and have long since forgiven myself for the mistakes I made then, but writing about it is another story. I’ve exposed things about myself in the past, but when it comes to other people I’ve usually hidden behind the mask of fiction. I’ve changed circumstances, created composite characters, moved settings around. That’s one of the great things about fiction: you get to rewrite your life. What made writing this piece so hard was the sense that I was publicly breaking a confidence with “Nathan” (the pseudonym I use in the essay for my partner in “other man” crime). For people who knew us both then, Nathan’s identity will not be hard to decipher. I haven’t spoken to him in 20 years (if you read the end of the essay, you’ll know why), and I don’t know whether he ever told his partner what was going on between us. I would hate for this essay to be the way he finds out. Even though it’s all long in the past, I suspect that reading this would hurt both of them. When all is said and done, though, the writing of this piece was somewhat healing for me. And having it part of this collection also helps: it shows me that I’m not alone, that there are many others who’ve gone through similar experiences. As with all my writing, there’s also the hope that by discussing this publicly, I might help someone else who’s going through the same thing right now. If I’d had this collection in front of me 20 years ago, I might have acted differently and saved myself a lot of grief. Maybe now I can do that for someone else.” —Lewis DeSimone, author of “Last Tango in Cambridge.”

“This is the first time I’ve really written about my partner who died a while ago. He was my soul mate, which is rare in life to find. And we had a decade and a half together. So I really have no complaints. I never knew how to write about him at all, it seemed like such a large and complex subject, and so I haven’t done so in the past. But approaching him and our relationship from this particular angle was really helpful for me and it opened all those years as a subject. I don’t know if and when I’ll write about him again, but I’m glad to have gotten something in print about him.” —Felice Picano, author of “The Child.”

“Yes, writing my story was hard. Looking at my reflection in the mirror of the past is difficult—I made some ugly, unfortunate mistakes. I have to learn from my errors and accept my humanness in all its imperfection. I have faith in others’ ability to do the same.” —Erik Orrantia, author of “Ballad Echoes.”

“Not difficult at all for me, but my partner of many years is a much more private person and was a bit squeamish about my shouting from the rooftops that I spent three years prowling the dirty book stores of North Carolina. At least it was before phone cameras and Instagram so there are no photos.” —Tom Mendicino, author of “Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, Is Entirely Coincidental.”

“My essay began as a series of one-page letters written for one person. Only after I realized that all I had left from that relationship—of that person—were the letters did I realize that they needed to live somewhere other than on the page. Putting the essay together was like excavating what I couldn’t—or felt I couldn’t—say out loud. Sharing the story with strangers is easier than thinking that nothing good will come from the experience other than the changes it created in my life.” —William Henderson, author of “You Without Me.”

“One of my favorite writers Paul Monette has this line, “Everyday, when I sit down to write, I try to write more honestly than the day before.” All the essayists I love and admire—from Monette to Edmund White to Anne Lamott—seem to be able to do that, without turning their pages into confessional taffy. So “Husbands” wasn’t hard to write. I started taking notes on all the experiences half-way through because I knew I wanted to explore them. I don’t write to say what I think as much to find out what I feel, and the mysteries of the piece were genuine riddles for me. The hard part is being honest without utter self-involvement. And the trick there, as another teacher of mine Adam Haslett told me, is “sometimes language can solve things.” —Austin Bunn, author of “Husbands.”

“It’s always scary committing the truth—or at least the truth the way you see it—to paper, especially when revisiting an unpleasant part of the past. But ultimately I found the experience to be cathartic. On reflection, I realized that a lot of good came from the bad.” —Rob Byrnes, author of “A Brief History of the Divorce Party.”

“I started this piece some years ago when I was actually still in the middle of another phase of the relationship/affair. Partly because it was fresh and I wanted to capture my thoughts and feelings on it in the moment. But even more because writing about it helped me process the experience from the distance usually provided by character and story. I didn’t care about strangers reading it at all. The only person I’ve ever been scared about reading it was the object of my affection, the subject of my story. Now that I think about it, I also wanted documentation of it just so I could never forget that yes, this one time, there was a guy, and I was in love.” —Philip Dean Walker, author of “The Other Side Of The Game.”

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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

In Which Laughter Sometimes Is The Only Medicine – Your Mother Should Know by Paul Alan Fahey

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it. – Bill Cosby

Between the days of April 29 and May 4, 1992, Los Angeles, California burned as the worst display of human aggression and mob mentality in recent years wormed its way into the American conscience via mainstream media. Looting, rioting, beatings, and senseless killings all took place over the course of those long days more than twenty years ago, when the LAPD was both under the microscope and behind the eight ball trying to reclaim peace and order among its citizens. It was a time when Rodney King and Reginald Denny became the names and faces of a city under siege.

Philip Noland and his mother have been traveling back and forth to L.A. for his mother’s cancer treatments, but little did they know that upon this particular arrival, they were in for an unexpected adventure, when a wrong turn off the freeway lands them in the very midst of a battle-torn neighborhood to fend for themselves. So how could they ever have suspected, then, that out of that darkness would come light in the form of a young boy named Ambrose, who becomes the spark that brightens an otherwise bleak night?

Your Mother Should Know sounds like it should be a very heavy book, doesn’t it? But I can tell you it’s very much not. Though the setting is undeniably dismal, the verbal sparring between Philip and his mother brings laughter to what is otherwise a really unfunny situation. And guess what? They survive. I couldn’t help but love Philip’s mom for her spunk and her strength and her desire for nothing more than to see Philip happy before she breathes her last, doing her level best to drive Philip a little bit crazy in the process. And happiness, that’s something that seems more like a possibility than a wish when Philip meets Ambrose’s father at the hospital on that fateful night.

Your Mother Should Know is a relationship book, but not at all in the romantic sense of the word. This is a book about the bond between a mother and son. For Ambrose, it’s a book about taking that bond in whatever form he can find it.

It’s a book about the inevitability of loss and the way in which love and guilt and the weight of responsibility plays out in that singular bond, when role reversal means the son becomes the caretaker to the parent. It’s also a book about survival, the sort of survival that means we all find the strength to go on in spite of life trying its best to knock us down. And it’s a book that contrasts the worst with the best in all of us.

It’s difficult to say whether the plot of this short story is driven by the characters, or whether the characters drive the plot. Either way, it worked for me.

You can buy Your Mother Should Know here:

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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

Bomber’s Moon by Paul Alan Fahey

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.” – Winston Churchill

World War II London was a place of suffering and sacrifice, a place where the strength and character of Great Britain was not exemplified only by those who fought on the front lines but also by those who remained in the city to fight the good fight, to stand strong and to be the backbone of a country, and it is in this place that Leslie Atwater is sifting through the dust and ashes of a life lost to the most brutal and unforgiving of enemies—Death.

A tragic accident robbed Leslie of a life kept secret by necessity but made rich by the love he shared with Edward Bridger. It was while Edward was on an assignment for The Globe that he lost control of his car, and it was at that moment that Leslie’s life went up in flames. But as much as it may have brought an untimely end to Leslie and Edward’s romance, this is far from the end of their story.

A quite strength, unarguable courage, collective sacrifice, and a clear and present danger was a way of life for the British during the Blitz. It was time of blackouts and rations and nightly air raids, when at any moment homes might be razed, neighbors and loved ones might be lost. It was a time when Wardens shepherded their flocks into underground strongholds with little more than a hope and a prayer that it would be enough to see them through. Not only has Paul Alan Fahey captured the mood and atmosphere of this time in history in Bomber’s Moon, but has also woven around it a story of intrigue and espionage and treasonous acts in which the cowardly choose sides, but only when they believe they can choose the winning one.

Just when I thought I had the plot figured out, the author threw in a lovely twist that took the story from a game of clues to one of discovery and deception and danger for Leslie. It’s a story of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. The problem with that, however, is that in wartime, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the two.

Bomber’s Moon is the story of a romance that refused to perish in one of the most unromantic times in modern history, and is one I enjoyed very much.

You can buy Bomber’s Moon here:

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Abigail Roux, Aleksandr Voinov, Amelia C. Gormley, Amy Lane, Andrea Speed, Anyta Sunday, Astrid Amara, Ava March, Beau Schemery, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Carole Cummings, Charlie Cochet, Cornelia Grey, Dani Alexander, Diana Copland, Eden Winters, Edmond Manning, Elyan Smith, Ethan Day, Ginn Hale, Hayden Thorne, Heidi Belleau, J.C. Lillis, J.H. Trumble, J.P. Barnaby, Jennifer Cierra, John Goode, John T. Fuller, Jordan Castillo Price, Josh Lanyon, Joshua Martino, Kaje Harper, L.B. Gregg, M.J. O'Shea, Maria McCann, Marshall Moore, Mary Calmes, Missy Welsh, Nicole Kimberling, P.D. Singer, Paul Alan Fahey, Piper Vaughn, Rhys Ford, S.A. Reid, The Year In Reviews, Violetta Vane, Z.A. Maxfield

2012 – A Year In Reviews

Well, it’s that time of year again, the time of year when we all wonder where the days and weeks and months have gone, the time to reflect on some of the great books we’ve read throughout the year, the time of year I scratch my head and wonder if I’ll ever live long enough to read all the books I want to read (The answer? Pfft. No.), the time of year I wonder how the flip I manage to read as many books as I do in an entire year, and then wonder how I’m supposed to compile a list of favorites that doesn’t include more books than some people read in a year’s time. Top Ten? Piffles. I can barely pick the top ten in a single sub-genre, let along manage it for an across the board list. So, do I get a little creative in my selection methods? Probably. Is it honest? Definitely. Do I feel badly for leaving some amazing books off my list? Certainly. But I have to draw the line somewhere. ::sighs:: And for that I apologize to all the very deserving authors out there who should be recognized and celebrated for their brilliant work.

Quite a few of the books that made my list this year weren’t even published in 2012; that’s just when I finally got around to reading them. ::slow:: There is one book, however, that was published in 2012 that has managed to make me do something I’ve never been able to do in three years of putting together a year in reviews list: name a top pick for Best Book of the Year. Yep, that’s a first for me.

And since I’m always looking for the “next great read”, if there are books you’ve read this year that didn’t make my list, leave a comment and share so I can add it to my ginormous reading pile. :)

So, without further ado, here’s my list of Favorite Books of 2012:

Category One: Best Contemporary by a New To Me author

1. Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
2. A Reason to Believe by Diana Copland
3. Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

*Honorable Mention: Inertia and Acceleration by Amelia C. Gormley*

Category Two: Best Contemporary by a Favorite Author
1. Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux
2. Sidecar by Amy Lane
3. Acrobat by Mary Calmes

*Honorable Mention: The Rare Event by P.D. Singer and One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea*

Category Three: Best Historical – 20th Century
1. Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov
2. Protection by S.A. Reid
3. Roses in the Devil’s Garden by Charlie Cochet

*Honorable Mention: Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper

Category Four: Best Historical – 19th Century or earlier
1. As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
2. When the Music Stops by John T. Fuller
3. The Affair of the Porcelain Dog by Jess Faraday

*Honorable Mention – His Client by Ava March

Category Five:Best Young Adult/Coming of Age (Contemporary)
1. End of the Innocence by John Goode
2. Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trimble
3. How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

*Honorable Mention – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz*

Category Six:Best Young Adult/Coming of Age (Fantasy and/or Historical)
1. The 7th of London by Beau Schemery
2. The Winter Garden and Other Stories by Hayden Thorne
3. (In)visible by Anyta Sunday

Category Seven:Best AU/UF/Fantasy
1. Infected: Shift by Andrea Speed
2. Mnevermind 1: The Persistence of Memory by Jordan Castillo Price
3. A Token of Time by Ethan Day

*Honorable Mention: Irregulars by Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale & Astrid Amara*

Category EightBest Short Stories/Novelettes – All Sub-Genres
1. Clouds’ Illusions by Hayden Thorne
2. Bounty Hunter by Cornelia Grey
3. Zones by Elyan Smith
4. Portside by Elyan Smith
5. The War at the End of the World by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
6. Same Time Next Year by Eden Winters
7. Tinsel and Frost by Eden Winters
8. Oscar’s Soul by Missy Welch
9. Singing Alone by Jennifer Cierra
10. The View from 16 Podwale Street by Paul Alan Fahey

Category Nine: Best LGBT Non-Romance
1. Fontana by Joshua Martino
2. The Infernal Republic by Marshall Moore

Category Ten: Best Series – AU/Fantasy
1. The Wolf’s-own Series by Carole Cummings
2. The Rifter Series by Ginn Hale
3. The Infected Series by Andrea Speed

Category Eleven:Best Series – Mystery/Suspense
1. The Cut & Run Series by Abigail Roux
2. The Cole McGinnis Mysteries Series by Rhys Ford
3. The Romano and Albright Series by L.B. Gregg

Category Twelve: Best Series – Erotic/Kink/BDSM
1. The Dark Soul Series by Aleksandr Voinov
2. The Bound Series by Ava March

Category Thirteen Best Series – Contemporary
Tied for First place: (Seriously, I can’t choose)
1. The St. Nacho’s Series by Z.A. Maxfield
1. The Johnnies Series by Amy Lane
1. The A Matter of Time Series by Mary Calmes
1. The Tales From Foster High Series by John Goode



And now….




Finally, it comes down to my choice for Best Book of 2012, which goes to the brilliant and beautiful King Perry by Edmond Manning. I can say, with all honesty, I’ve never read a book quite like it in my entire life. Simply put, it is the reason I read and read and read, because every so often I find a book that leaves me both speechless and wanting to shout its praises from the rooftops at the same time. If you haven’t read it yet, do. Soon. Like maybe right now, soon. :)


Now it’s time to get to work on adding to my list for next year!

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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

Today’s Free Book At JMS Books is Paul Alan Fahey’s The View From 16 Podwale Street

https://i0.wp.com/www.jms-books.com/images/theviewfrom16podwalestreet.jpgIf you’re a fan of short fiction, if you’re a fan of historical fiction, if you’d like to believe that from the tragedy that was the genocide of the Jewish people during World War II, some semblance of happiness was achieved by a fortunate few, then go right now and pick up the Rainbow Award Winning (Best Lesbian Historical) The View From 16 Podwale Street.

It’s FREE today, only at: https://i2.wp.com/www.jms-books.com/includes/templates/apple_zen/images/logo.jpg

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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey, Small Gems

Two Small Gems From Paul Alan Fahey

“I’m not different for the sake of being different, only for the desperate sake of being myself.” – Vivian Stanshall

Paul Alan Fahey offers two very different LGBT short stories in Boys Will Be Boys and The View from 16 Podwale Street, but there’s one thing they both have very much in common: they are both stories about what it means to be labeled “different” within a social order that won’t settle for anything less than uniformity and conformity.

The View from 16 Podwale Street is a story set against the backdrop of pre-World War II Poland, just as it’s beginning to appear imminent that Germany and her allies will become the aggressors in Hitler’s bid to dominate Europe. It’s the story of Elwira Malinowska and her companion/lover Raz Zielinska, and the dangers that may face the two women in the coming months and years, as with hindsight as our guide, the reader knows full well the unfathomable horrors suffered by the men, women, and children who didn’t fit into the basic scheme of the Nazi ideal.

This story is very much about the looming danger, but is also very much about how difficult it was for Elwira to accept that danger and all that it could mean for her country. It’s a story of the taboo of two women who are a loving and committed couple, but is also the story of Elwira’s affliction and what it might mean to her if Germany succeeds in its campaign to cleanse the world of people who were born imperfect in its estimation. It is a subdued and subtle story about fraud and fraudulent friendships and the way the tides turned neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend. And the way in which fate has a way of balancing those betrayals.

But perhaps best of all, it is a story that has a happy ending for Elwira and Raz, set in a time when there were no happy endings for many millions of people.

Buy The View from 16 Podwale Street here:




Boys Will Be Boys—especially teenage boys deep in the throes of discovering who they are and what they want—is the story of Phillip Noland, a freshman at St. Sebastian’s Catholic School for boys, a place where the rules don’t seem designed to help the students avoid Hell as much as they’re designed to prepare them for an inevitable trip there.

St. Sebastian’s, ca. 1958, was a place and a time about which, many decades later, Phillip can reminisce. It was a place where rules were specific (“At all times, keep your hands out of your pockets,” because pocket hockey is apparently a one-way road to perdition.), and the consequences of disregarding the rules were done at the students’ peril. It was also a place where Phillip was branded an outcast and bullied for being queer. It was a place where his first kiss happened with a boy, a boy known to the reader only as Smith, and a Jewish boy, no less. It was a place where a memory was born and forever imprinted on Phillip’s heart as something special, something much better to hold on to than all the others, because it was a memory of unconditional friendship and the memory of a common bond in a place Phillip knew he didn’t belong.

Boys Will Be Boys is a story of faith versus free will and, in some ways, at least from my perspective, is also a brief glimpse into the conflict between the literal interpretation of The Word and the truth of human nature and how Phillip took charge of his own choices.

If you like character driven and introspective stories that often read more like personal memoirs than short fiction, Paul Alan Fahey delivers it in both of these pieces.

Buy Boys Will Be Boys here:


About The Author: Paul Alan Fahey (1944-) created and edited Mindprints, an international literary journal for writers and artists with disabilities, at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. He retired in 2008. During his tenure, Mindprints made Writers Digest’s “Top 30 Short Story Markets” list for two consecutive years. His writing has appeared in Byline, Palo Alto Review, Long Story Short, African American Review, The MacGuffin, Thema, Gertrude, Kaleidoscope, and in several other literary journals and anthologies like A Cup of Comfort, Somewhere in Crime, My Mom is My Hero, and Writing on Walls. His monthly online column at Coffeehouse For Writers focused on writing advice.

Paul is a six-time winner of the Lillian Dean Writing Award for short stories and nonfiction at the California Central Coast Writer’s Conference. He is the author of THE VIEW FROM 16 PODWALE STREET, BOYS WILL BE BOYS, WHEN THE RIGHT ONE COMES ALONG, BOMBER’S MOON, and the soon to be released anthology of personal essays, THE OTHER MAN, from JMS BOOKS.

You can find Paul on FACEBOOK, AMAZON, GOODREADS, and TWITTER.

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JMS Books LLC, Paul Alan Fahey

Small Gems – When the Right One Comes Along by Paul Alan Fahey

“It’s so easy to fall in love but hard to find someone who will catch you.” – Unknown

When the Right One Comes Along is a short story that begins in the mid-80s, when AIDS was just starting to make the transition from obscure illness to public health crisis, when a young boy named Ryan White was fighting for the right to attend public school, and Rock Hudson became the first celebrity to succumb to the disease. It was a time when fear of all the unknowns of the virus and how it was transmitted caused a backlash of panic and extreme measures to attempt to slow down the spread of the illness. It was a time when it was believed a mere kiss could be potentially fatal.

This is the story of Philip Noland, who loses his best friend Jonathan, then begins to fear he too might have AIDS when the night sweats and trembling of his stress and anxiety put the fear in him because they so closely resemble symptoms of the disease. But in spite of that fear, Philip is also a man who is still very much looking for love and someone to share his life with, though looking and finding leads Philip into a relationship that ends in a heartbreaking way but ultimately leads him to The One who will stand beside him for many years to come.

Orson Welles once said, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” Had When the Right One Comes Along ended any sooner, it would have been regarded as a tragic romance, but Paul Alan Fahey kept Philip’s story going just long enough to give him his happily-ever-after, which, in the end, is the best we can ever hope for.

Buy When the Right One Comes Along HERE.

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