I got a wonderful four-flute review of “A Spirit of Vengeance” from Singapore Sling over on Cocktail Reviews!
Josh, an artist, comes home from an exhibition and learns that his lover, Kevin – also an artist – has been murdered in the home they share with Josh’s actress sister, Kat. The killing appears to have been done by a homophobic gang, but the police can’t find anything to go on.
While he’s coming to terms with his grief, Josh hears Kevin’s voice and feels a wind blowing around him indoors. Kevin urges Josh to catch his killers and get revenge. At first Josh thinks he’s gone crazy, but soon Kevin is coming to him in dreams that feel very real. Kevin reveals that Oscar, his agent, murdered him when Kevin started to suspect Oscar of defrauding him.
Can Josh find a way to unmask Oscar as the killer – or will listening to the advice of a ghost lead him and Kat into danger?
This novelette had a most interesting premise. The opening was powerful, full of raw emotion as Josh struggles to deal with Kevin’s death. The ghost story begins tentatively, with Kevin’s spirit at first so full of rage that he scares Josh. Kevin’s frustration with his new spirit form and his desperation to make Josh believe what’s happening is both sad and touching.
Josh is a likeable hero, numb with grief yet still able to reach out to his sister, Kat, and share in her small triumphs. His longing for Kevin is one of the driving emotions in this story, and his fear of letting go and losing Kevin forever is very moving.
Ms Benedetti gives the reader a different yet satisfying story. My only complaint is that I wish there’d have been more of it – this could easily have been a novella!
This is so awesome, I’m going to be beaming for days!
I just posted a new column on Romancing the Blog. This time around I’m talking about an issue brought up during a discussion on Torquere’s Yahoo group regarding the reasons why the editor-in-chief of Ace and Roc thinks there’s no print market for m/m romances. She’s just repeating the party line which is passed around the New York publishers, but it seems to me that the basic premise behind that party line — that women won’t buy m/m romances because they want to insert themselves into the story in the heroine’s place, and since m/m books don’t have a heroine there’s no part for the reader to “play” — is deeply flawed. If it’s impossible for the (presumably female) het romance reader to enjoy an m/m romance because there’s no female protag, that implies that it’s impossible for anyone to enjoy reading a book where there’s no same-gender protag. Am I the only one whose eyes cross at that particular piece of logic…? [squint]
Aside from the fact that most of the m/m romances being sold right now — in print as well as e-pub — are purchased by women. [cough]
Anyway, I’m collecting data from readers — come give me your two cents’ worth. 🙂
[ETA: Comments turned off because of spam]
Beth Anne at Joyfully Reviewed wrote a review of my Holiday Sip, “The Joy of Exchanging Gifts.” She said:
“Anthropologist Lowell, is studying the Enknopans, and though he’s made a good friend of Tiklup, Lowell is excluded from an Enknopan ‘turning year’ celebration because of the Enknopan restriction on outsider’s participation. To participate or observe, one needs to be related to one of the Enknopans.
To show no hard feelings for the exclusion, Lowell tries to share his Santa tradition by leaving a surprise gift for Tiklup, in a traditional Santa method. Only issue for Lowell is the architecture of the Enknopan homes. No windows for Santa, so Lowell uses the ‘house’s smoke hole’ and becomes stuck in the chimney. As Tiklup and his friends return and discover Lowell’s predicament, a delightfully sexy gift exchange commences all taking place while Lowell is still stuck in the chimney.
Do you ever just laugh out loud while reading? The Joy of Exchanging Gifts had me alternatively laughing out loud and then just plain giggling for the naughtiness. I know it’s a Nice Sip, but for me, Lowell and his friends are just plain naughty, in a very nice way! The Joy of Exchanging Gifts is a hilarious, fun, sexy off-world read!!”
Thanks so much to Beth Anne; I’m glad she enjoyed my story. 🙂
I had a new column go up on Romancing the Blog this morning, this time on worldbuilding. I’ve been heavily into science fiction and fantasy since I was small and this has always been one of my favorite topics. 🙂 Head on over and let me know what you think.
Building Your Own World
I’m hanging out over at Literary Nymphs this weekend, along with most of the other Torquere writers. Come over and say hi! The chat is running both days; I’ll be around for a bit this morning, and probably late tonight and then on and off all day tomorrow.
Also, the contest in my writing blog ends tonight at midnight, so head over and enter! Free books! Gift certificates for more free books! 😀
So I was having a hard time getting WordPress to upgrade — first there was no option to do so (the database had lost the flag saying I’d installed in the first place), then when that got fixed, the upgrade didn’t want to take. I got all the right messages and e-mails saying it’d been done, but the dashboard page was still grouching at me to upgrade, claiming I had the old version. [headdesk]
I went back and forth for days on it with customer service at Dreamhost, and it finally got straightened out. Thanks to Chih and Jason for plugging away at it until it gave up and behaved. 🙂
I just posted a new column on Romancing the Blog. This time I’m talking about the lack of any indication in romances, particularly erotic romances, of just what the sex-to-story ratio is. It makes it tough to know just what you’re going to get when you spend your money; just because you like explicit sex doesn’t mean you want the books you read to be 80+ percent sex scenes. It’s not about limiting what’s published or complaining that there’s not enough of “my” kind of book out there, but rather about giving readers the info they need to find the books they’ll like. Come read, and tell me what you think.
I have a contest going over on my writing blog. You have to do a bit of work to enter, but prizes include some books and a gift cert for Fictionwise. Come play!
I have a new column up at Romancing the Blog. This one talks about the Amazon Kindle and the number one reason I don’t think it’s going to take the market by storm any time soon.
It’s my turn on the Advent Calendar over at Torquere — you can read my story “Catching Courage,” which is a sequel to “Chasing Fear,” here. Things have improved a little since Halloween for Emilio, but not as much as he’d like. Now it’s New Year’s Eve and they’re spending it with Martin’s family, which always makes Emilio hunch into his shell whether it’s logical or not. Can he convince his gut of what his head already knows?
Includes a free bonus recipe for tres leches cake, although not, unfortunately, Abuela Sandoval’s recipe. 😉
All the other Advent pieces are still available through the main Advent page.
Also, my novelette “A Spirit of Vengeance” is on sale for 15% off here through January 2nd.
Happy New Year, everyone! [wave]