Cleis Press, Michael Bracken, Neil Plakcy

How “Soaring” Took Off – A Guest Post And Giveaway From Michael Bracken And Cleis Press

268149_2261498423256_6153149_nI’m just old enough to have been born when there were only 48 United States, and the world I was born into is not the world I live in today. Society is changing—too fast for some of us, not fast enough for others—and things that were once taboo, hidden behind locked doors and spoken of only in hushed whispers, are now displayed in public and are part of our common discourse.

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is one of those changes, and when editor Neil Plakcy asked me to write a story for Active Duty, an anthology of erotic stories about the repeal’s impact on the military, I knew I wanted to be a part of his project because of the subject. Continue reading

4.5 Stars, Carina Press, Reviewed by Lana, Vanessa North

A Man Is Done Keeping Secrets In Vanessa North’s “High and Tight”

“The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you’ve just told them.” ― Rachel Maddow

Title: High and Tight

Author: Vanessa North

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 81 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Pilot Adam Walker has had one great love in his life: Harris Kingston. But twelve years ago, when he accepted a scholarship and joined the Navy, he chose duty to his country over love. Their on-again off-again relationship was never more than private joy, a frustrating fact of military life.
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Self-Published, Smashwords, Thaddeus J

“The Sol of Jupiter” Is Love In The Time Of DADT

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ― Ernest Hemingway

BLURB: Turner Michaels is an idealistic junior enlisted communicator that wants nothing more than to successfully execute his duties. After being transferred to a light armored reconnaissance unit in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the young U.S. Marine starts to feel a bit overwhelmed and out of place from his usual role of support – that is until he is reunited with his old friend Jace Sozio. Reconnecting with one another is simple, but neither of them could have imagined the intense yet awkward attraction that would grow between them. Though admitting these feelings to one another poses a dilemma for the men, as neither wants it to threaten their close friendship. Taking things to a whole new level raises a number of other questions as well. First and foremost, would their peers accept them, or would they have to forever hide their relationship? And admitting their true feelings for one another is easier said than done. Their harsh supervisor is demanding and makes life miserable for the pair, and they also have a number of very good (though sometimes annoying) friends that make them question if they even need enemies. But with the help of their family and inspiring leaders the two will discover that loyalty and support are stronger than bigotry and misperception. Proving that the Corps indeed is a sacred brotherhood where men can trust one another with their very lives.

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Dreamspinner Press, SJD Peterson

A Salute To SJD Peterson’s “Beyond Duty”

“Whether black or white, male or female, active or reserve, gay, bisexual, or straight, we are all Marines. What we share in common goes deeper than any superficial differences.” — SJD Peterson

Beyond Duty the novel started off as Beyond Duty the short story. It was originally written as part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s “Love Has No Boundaries” series. Each short story is based on a photo submitted by a reader. The photo for the original short story was of two beary men with tattoos wearing only cammo pants. I kept that photo front and center in my brain while reading the novel version of Beyond Duty. Not just because they are my “type” (which they totally are!) but also because they both perfectly match the characters physically described and how I would imagine them to behave emotionally in the book. They look tough, as though they believe that showing emotion would equal showing weakness.

Beyond Duty is the story of Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones. They are two career Marines and have been lovers for most of their twenty-two years of service. Their retirement from duty comes right as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is officially repealed. They will both finally be free to be gay and to be Marines. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

After living in a relationship with forced lengthy separations and no acknowledgement of it actually being a “relationship”, Mac and Gunny are both apprehensive about how their lives, both individually and as a couple, will change upon DADT’s repeal and their retirement. They realize that they are in love, but don’t know how to define that love outside the confines of the Marines.

With varying degrees of success while coming out to their families, they decide to make a grand gesture of support for all gay and lesbian men and women in the armed forces. In honor of the repeal of DADT, the grand gesture is to be carried out at their public retirement ceremony.

Saying much more would give away too much. I fear I may already have done so. I am a fan of SJD Peterson’s writing. Beyond Duty has reinforced my fan girl status. The sex is hot, made even hotter by the perfect men on the cover and the way they match the physical descriptions of the characters. I find I enjoy picturing scenes from books I am reading more if the men on the cover actually match the characters in the book. This is rarely the case.

The apprehension Mac, but especially Gunny felt about whether living a forever with Mac, was palpable. I wanted to hug that big tough Marine and tell him to just look into Mac’s eyes. He would be able to see that Mac was feeling the same insecurities.

I have heard that the transition from military life can be very difficult on the serviceman and everyone around him or her. In this case, SJD Peterson throws an extra curve into the adjustment. Gunny and Mac, who have been actively serving their country while secretly being lovers for over twenty years, have a bigger hurdle of adjustment to overcome. She presents the hurdle and shows us how gracefully and heroically it can be overcome. Strongly recommended.

Reviewed by: Tina

You can buy Beyond Duty here: