romance

Starving Review: Savagery and Saviors by Ken Hollern

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Savagery and Saviors by Ken Hollern (Amazon, Goodreads)

You have to respect chefs who have the tenacity to focus on real-world problems with their literary cuisine.  Savagery loads up this recipe, though, with the genocide in Darfur combined with child kidnapping, sex slavery, and human trafficking from the United States.  Are these spices too heavy and too far apart to mix well or do they blend together nicely?

Before we find out, let us cry out the Starving Review creed from the highest mountain:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible

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Starving Review: Flawed Gods by Angela B. Mortimer

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Flawed Gods by Angela B. Mortimer (Amazon, Goodreads)

It’s a new year and that should, of course, bring new experiences to the dining room.  So that is where Flawed Gods comes in.  You see, Gods is something a bit unlike any other book I’ve read in the past.  Yes, it could fit into the sci-fi recipe folder and there’s certainly romance and, arguably, erotica overtones.  But there’s quite a bit more to this recipe than that.  Flawed Gods is more than a title, it describes the essence of the flavors infused in this meal.  While this promises to make it a unique dining experience, does it make it a GOOD one?

Before we find out, let us take up the book of the Starving Reviewer and recite the rules of the review:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible

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Writing Is A Bad Habit: Love is Love a.k.a. All Flavors of Romance

Merry Christmas Eve, friends!

The holiday rush left me away from the keyboard yesterday, but I’m not one to shirk my responsibilities.  Here we go, then, with this week’s Writing Is A Bad Habit, to talk about romance in writing.  More specifically, I want to talk about the ins-and-outs of writing a non-heterosexual romance, that is to say a LGBT, and any other letters you can add to that, romance.

To someone that is purely heterosexual, this may seem like a difficult thing to do.  Maybe you feel uncomfortable with the concept or perhaps you have a fear of being offensive to others.  Either one may motivate you to avoid the topic entirely, yet this isn’t the best way to approach it, especially in a world that is coming to grips that these alternate sexualities are as healthy and valid as normal, straight sexualities.

This may seem hard, but there is a simple trick to dealing with the core matters of the relationship in such cases.  Here it is …. get ready for it!

The secret is … it’s just like any other kind of love and romance.  No, really, trust me, I know this first hand.  As a non-heterosexual person myself, take it from me and my time talking about these things with friends of every sexual persuasion.  There is nothing, at the romantic level, that is different or unusual about non-hetero love and relationships.  It is, in all essential purposes, the same.

Now, the real potential trip-ups can come in if you decide to explore past the romance to the societal and cultural issues that can come up from such romances.  For a well-rounded, realistic story, you may have to add considerable dollops of cultural elements and biases to your story.  Still, this isn’t any different from exploring other themes of societal prejudice.  Would you feel comfortable writing about racial issues, class divides, or biases and prejudices based on differing nationalities?  These are no different than dealing with issues of sexual discrimination.

What I want to conclude with is that you shouldn’t feel, if you are a heterosexual, that you can’t include non-hetero romance in your writing.  Simply treat it as any other romance you may write; it is in the end no different.

Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

Monday Musings: A Title And A Blurb a.k.a. The New Book Matches On!

Good morning, friends!

My title-less new book, due to be published sometime in January, now HAS a title!  It will be The Songstress Murders, the first of hopefully many Inspector Redmane Mysteries to come!  Also, I’ve sketched out my first draft of a book blurb.  To be honest, I am horrible with these (I find it mind-wracking to compress something so complex down to a little blurb) but I’m open to thoughts and input!

Here it is:

The Walled City is the wonder of a world reborn, five cities stacked one atop another. The only thing that stands between the normal Folk and the criminals that would prey upon them is the City Watch. Cue Junior Inspector Vela Redmane, lover of life and the lovelies, yet serious about her work as a detective, who finds herself in embroiled in one of the weirdest murder cases ever seen in this place of magic. Murder by pleasure, warring gangsters, mysterious mages, and a singing golem are just the start of Redmane’s troubles. The most complicated part of all? The roots of love, tangling Vela with both her top suspect and the sorceress who holds all the answers!

Book News: It’s Rough, But Done!

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Good news, everyone!  The first draft of my next book, the as-yet-untitled fantasy mystery LGBT romance drama set in a post-magical-apocalypse with film noir and cyberpunk overtones *gasps for air*, is finished.  Now the trek of revision, beta input, editing, titling, and cover art remains!

Still, I really hope to get this out sometime in January, then immediately proceed to the next book of The Push Chronicles.  Oh, if the paragraph above catches your fancy, contact me via e-mail (jbgarner58@gmail.com) if you’d like to be part of the beta reading crew.

Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

Monday Musings: One More Sneak Peek For The Road! a.k.a.Exactly What It Says

It’s been a busy week here at Starving Author LLC and it promises to be even busier this week!  However, I promise not to leave you good folk hanging, so let’s start off the week with the final sneak peek (of this first round) of my newest novel, still really needing a title!  You can read the first Sneak Peek here and the second here.

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Monday Musings: You Deserve a Sneak Peek Today!

Yes, things have been rough lately.  Holidays, work, more work, large objects to my face (glasses go boom!), and more!

Still, though, the words have continued to pour from my pen.  My latest novel WiP,  the fantasy mystery romance post-magical-apocalypse film noire tale with some cyberpunk influences that I did a first sneak peek of HERE, is rapidly winding to the conclusion of the first draft.  I’ve had some wonderful alpha readers urging me on and calling me out when they need to, and I feel really good about this.  So, with that said, how about we get a little bit more, something to wet your appetite for what’s to come.  Remember, this is still the rough first draft with only minimal editing.  Still, I think you might enjoy it!

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