Finalist for the
Lambda Literary Award
BEST GAY MYSTERY 2015!
 
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   Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award BEST GAY MYSTERY 2016!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Review: The Whale, A Love Story

The Whale: A Love StoryThe Whale: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I remember a teacher asking me how I felt about Moby Dick and my answering her: "Well, mostly I feel like throwing it across the room, screaming 'When is something gonna happen?'"

Or maybe I didn't. Maybe I merely invented the exchange since it so neatly encapsulates my feelings for Melville's classic (which I haven't tried to reread in the more than quarter century since reading it in school). Also, I was not a particularly precocious child.

It's also how I felt reading Beauregard's slashfiction about the almost hook up of Herman Melville with fellow author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The idea of some sort of homosexual admiration (that sounds like a strange way to phrase it, but...) between the two is nothing startlingly new. I believe I first came across the supposition in Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A.. They lived near one another for a time and Melville did dedicate Moby Dick to Hawthorne, though after reading Beauregard's work one might assume HM was merely calling NH a big dick (and not in a good way).

Let me say up front--or maybe here in the middle--that I hated this book. I struggled to finish it and at one point (I believe it was the start of Chapter 16, which is entirely epistolary), I cussed out loud and nearly threw the book across the room.

It starts off neatly enough. Beauregard nicely sets the piece in its period. He draws the main characters well, and pencils in several background characters that are amusing. In fact, he describes everything in detail. I think several pages could be filled with nothing but the various flowers he feels compelled to name. Melville is handsome and a bit wild, Hawthorne is older, handsome but slightly reserved. Their eyes meet, they talk like two pompous hipsters in a coffee shop, they ride in a carriage with their shoes touching... But then we're subjected to at least a hundred and twenty-five pages of (in the author's own words) "tragic yearning" (pg. 119), as Melville (usually Herman in the text) struggles to write the manuscript that will (eventually) become synonymous with his name, while simultaneously longing for his beloved Nathaniel (usually Hawthorne for some reason) like an insipid sink mooning for her sparkly vampire.
The spirit of the novel is, in fact, neatly encapsulated in this sentence from the beginning of chapter 12:

"…Herman settled into a stable pattern of work, which nevertheless failed to bring him peace of mind, as he spent nearly every waking moment pining for Hawthorne." (pg. 130)

So, if I disliked the book so much, why did I rate it 4 starts? Because it's very well written, and seems well-researched (I'm no expert on either man). And I firmly believe my own pissy preferences shouldn't take precedence over the talent, skill and scholarship of such a work. Would I have preferred that if Beauregard was going to accept the premise the two men felt more than a platonic affection they had acted on it (at least once)? Sure. And I also wish he hadn't felt the need to recast a writer of some gravitas as Bella Swan. But it's his slash not mine.

I can't recommend it, but I can see that it is a work of merit.




View all my reviews

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pink Lemonade Blog Tour Prize Winner Announced!

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The Pink Lemonade Blog Tour is Officially Over!
05/17/2016: The Purple Rose Teahouse
05/18/2016: The Novel Approach
05/19/2016: Rick R. Reed Reality
05/20/2016: Meg Perry Books
05/21/2016: Jon Michaelson's Murder Blog
05/22/2016: Charlie Cochrane's Blog

The breakdown for the autographed copies of the two Declan Colette books was as follows:
The entries (all commentators were entered, except for hosts on their own sites)

I then generated a random number based on the number of entries:

The winner is Aussie54/Gaycrow/Anonymous (who statistically had the best chance!)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gay Noir

Here's a fun new tumblr site.

Gay Noir.



Check it out!

The site is moderated by the author of


which also looks cool.

Here is the blurb:

The year is 1949. The East End of London is still recovering from the blitz. Fitzgerald O’Sullivan is a young man with romantic notions of living like an impoverished writer. In an attempt to escape his past, he abandons his life of privilege and rents a room in the East End. There he meets Roy Parker, a chirpy Cockney with a working-class charm. Roy asks Fitz to write a story about how he saved the lives of two Jewish ladies during the war. What follows is a far-fetched tale filled with lies and exaggerations. Roy is obviously a fantasist, but he is also an irrepressible charmer and Fitz becomes infatuated with him. But Fitz doesn’t know that there is a kernel of truth in the tale he is telling. When the body of a Jewish woman is fished up off the coast of Kent, the real story slowly begins to unfold. Fitz soon finds himself embroiled in a world of theft, deceit and murder. The Deluded is a noir thriller in which nothing and no one is what it at first seems to be. It is a dark tale of love, bitterness and vengeance set in the chaotic aftermath of the Second World War.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cheap as Beasts Named Lammy Finalist

The finalists for the 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced yesterday. Cheap as Beasts, the first Declan Colette mystery, was included! I had to take a 24-hour breath before posting this.



I'm very excited and proud and hope that a few more people might read it as a result (we live in hope). A caveat, all the reporting I've seen lists the author as Jonathon Wilson. That's not my name! Oh, well, honestly, they can say Johnny Appleseed wrote it as long as they get the title right!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dan Phillips Christmas Songs: Keep Feeling Christmas


I'm a huge fan of Dan Phillips, even though I know next to nothing about him, except that he used to post lots of great Christmas songs "re-imagined".

Here is Keep Feeling Christmas!

You can find more of his Christmas music HERE.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Another Krampus Night!



I didn't scour the internet for more pics of Krampus. (If you're interested and missed them a few years ago, HERE is my collection I wrangled previously.)

And HERE is a link to my Christmas Story "Krampus' Christmas Wish" which is a sequel to "A Hundred Little Lies."

And, finally, here is the trailer to the movie which opened yesterday.




And, in case you need to know more about Krampus, here is a video "about" Krampus.