Friday, October 29, 2010

Grant Wood: A Life by R. Tripp Evans

"...Give a child a piece of paper and he will not ask questions. He will make drawings. This will not mean he is queer..." Grant Wood, 1930

You may not know the name Grant Wood , but chances are you do know his iconic painting American Gothic. The famous portrait of a man holding a pitchfork, standing next to a woman with perhaps one of the dourest faces around, is used over and over again to convey the very heartland of America. Wood was known as the “Artist in Overalls” and was hailed by many as one of America’s most famous regionalist artists. In an era where artists were subjected to questions as to their manliness, especially if they assumed European artistic characteristics, Wood was skillfully able to give the American art world just what they wanted, a truly Ameican painter.

The irony here is that the man the public thought they knew, and who was profiled as being rather plain and ordinary, was neither.  In truth, he was a rather complex man who skillfully hid his real self, not only from the world, but more often than not, from  those close to him. Wood, the son of a stern, larger than life Quaker father, was a also a closeted homosexual, and this "secret", and his reflections of life as he felt it, found a means of release in his paintings. Since Grant Wood: A Life (Knopf,2010) is truly the first biography of Woods to be accomplished without objections from his sister Nan, R.Tripp Evans is able to reveal things that heretofore had only been gossiped about. 

In this thoroughly engaging biography, Tripp Evans, an art historian and college professor, reveals Woods, the man, by referencing his life through his art. Starting with his first works as a child, conceived while in the family's cellar, Wood displayed a creative bent that would make otherwise mundane objects or common subjects the stuff of wild imaginative exploration. As he matured, his pictures often conveyed disquieting images that revealed fantastic stories,especially if you take the time to look more closely. It is by revealing these wonderful details and back stories that Evans makes this biography transcend the routine recounting of a life, and makes it a real page turner.

Although American Gothic might be the portal by which you can most readily enter Wood's world, it is through the many other works illustrated and discussed in this volume that you begin to know the man more completely.

For instance, take a look at the painting From Bohemia (1935) where all the figures are without eyes, or the portrait of his Mother, Woman With Plants (1929) wearing a broach that pops up elsewhere, or the extremely fascinating Parson Weems' Fable (1939) which depicts the young George Washington with the exact same head that appears in the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait. The book is filled with wonderful color and black and white illustrations of these and many more works, so the treat is truly yours. The only frustration you may have is wanting to see the paintings as they hang in a gallery. So, read the book, and make it a point to find them. I know you'll want to.

As you read this fascinating account of an often misunderstood man, you will also discover more of the real  Grant Wood by learning about his extremely close relationship with his mother and sister. This trio know as "we three"  not only protected Wood from life's cruelties, but always nourished his creativity.You will also learn a great deal about American culture at the turn of the century and into the 30s, and  I bet you'll respond like I did, and keep saying to yourself, "I never knew".

Whether you're an art aficionado or just plain curious, this book will truly open your eyes. Don't hesitate. Get yourself a copy of Grant Wood: A Life as soon as you can. Tripp Evans also has a web page you can visit for more information about the book. Go to .  Enjoy

If you want to hear my recent interview with R. Tripp Evans, follow this link: and scroll down to the show dated 10/21/10

Next week I 'll be reviewing Linda Morganstein's My Life With Stella Kane. Until then-keep reading, and when you've finished the book, pass it on.

Robert Jaquay, The Gay Book Guy, for

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay

"When we were little Mom read a book aloud to us. In it kids could be who they are. William could have a doll and you didn't have to marry a prince." from Free to Be You and Me, Jamie Davidson

As I write this review, we’ve just ended our annual celebration of  National Coming Out Day.  Unfortunately, we are also mourning the deaths of several gay teens who felt that being gay is harder than staying alive.

Little did I know as I was searching for the next good read, that I would find a book that seemed to be written for this particular moment in time. It is called The Perfect Family(Bold Stroke Books, 2010) and the author’s name is Kathryn Shay.

In the world of stressors, coming out to family and friends is monumental. If you've gone through it, it is one of the hardest things ever. Add to that the difficulties facing young people who are trying to find their place in the world, especially in a high school setting, and you have all the ingredients for something to go awry.

When you start to read The Perfect Family, you are introduced to a family whose life seems to be almost picture perfect. They are just ending a vacation together, and upon their return, they'll resume their lives as usual. Every member of this tightly knit group not only care for each other, but trust each other completely. There are no secrets, or at least everyone thinks that.

Jamie, the youngest son is extremely popular at school, and has lots of friends.  He finds himself attracted to other boys, and wants to believe it is ok. Although he wants to share this with others, he's not sure how.

Luke Crane is a jock, and plays on the football team with Jamie's brother Brian. Nothing about him says gay, but after a few times in each other’s presence, Luke indicates to Jamie that “we have more in common than you think.”  I mean, this was a daydream when I was in high school. Jamie has clearly found his opportunity to be who he is.

Love follows quickly, and the boys decide to go on a date. Because of the family's belief in telling the truth, when asked who Jamie is going on a date with, he tells his mother about Luke. Maggie, his mother, tells the father, but knows his religious beliefs will be in conflict with his son sexuality. Jamie eventually tells his brother, and although the news that he is gay is unexpected,, Brian is angry at him for not telling him first. And so it goes.

Kathy Shay takes her story and develops it smartly, building the tension, but never to the point of overload. This is Jamie’s story, to be sure, but this is also the story of a family in turmoil. Each member has issues of their own to reconcile, and although the process is painful and slow, the outcome, we hope, will be good. The story also depicts the intolerance and blindness created by religious dogma, the loss of friendship, and the way families can be torn apart by a misunderstanding. It's a full bag.

In talking with the author, I was told about the genesis of this book. Although it is a work of fiction, she has a gay son who came out to her in much the same way Jamie does. In writing this novel, Karthryn Shay not only pays tribute to the power of love and understanding we’d like to think everyone possesses, but to the importance of being yourself, regardless of the pressure to conform. I thank her for writing this book, as I know it will help change the way people feel.

You owe it to yourself to read this book, for its message is very powerful. If you know a parent, friend or a teen who is struggling with this issue, recommend or give this book to them.

Listen to my chat with Kathryn Shay by going to

Next up I will be reviewing Grant Wood by R. Tripp Evans. I will be chatting with him as well, so check for details.

Until next time-take a cue from the Gay Book Guy, and read a book then pass it on.

Robert Jaquay,

Monday, September 13, 2010

All Lost Things by Josh Aterovis

What an absolute pleasure it is to begin a new book and have it totally absorb you, gnaw at you when you put it down, and urge you to pick it up again so you can find out what happens next.  This is what I experienced while   reading Josh Aterovis’ splendid mystery All Things Lost (P.D. Publishing, 2009). 
I learned about Josh's book via this year's Lambda Literary Award nominations. All Things Lost was one of the five finalists for Gay Mystery, and although it did not win the award, it is a book that begs to be talked about and read.
Beginning with Bleeding Hearts (P.D. Publishing, 2002) Aterovis introduced his readers to Killian Kendall, a gay,  amateur teen age detective with a knack for solving crimes others can't. He is a wonderfully likable character, and his "less than professional" approach to a crime is all a part of the fun we have while reading.
All Things Lost is the third installment in the Kendall Mystery series.  If you haven't read the previous books, don't worry. This is a stand alone book, and Aterovis sets the stage for us in its early chapters by bringing us up to date with all that has preceded it. You won't be lost for a minute.

When the book opens, Killian and his “brother” Kane are in a car accident. The other driver is a man named Shane Novak, and when Killian learns that he is a private detective, it takes Killian no time at all to approach him for a job.  Novak has heard of Killian's reputation as a “super” sleuth, and decides to hire him as an apprentice. The partnership that develops is terrific, with a wonderful teacher-student dynamic at play.  

Killian and his lover Asher have had a falling out, and are no longer together. Feelings are still strong however, and when Asher befriends a strange young man named Caleb, Killian is driven to find out what that relationship is all about. Caleb is dark and mysterious. He is also a young man who has been terribly abused by his hateful father, or so he says.
The mystery starts with the sudden death of Caleb's father in a house fire. It is immediately deemed suspicious, and when the father's charred body is discovered, it is determined that he was murdered. Caleb becomes the prime suspect, and Asher asks Killian to help prove his innocence. The plot now thickens.

Once this story line is established, this books takes off like the wind. We follow Killian's process of determining who the real killer is, and his path is filled with delightful twists and turns. To make the book even more fun, the author adds a special ingredient to the plot by dipping  into the realm of the supernatural. 

We learn that Killian is a Sensitive, meaning, he can communicate with the dead. Not only does he see his dead friend Seth, who assists him in solving the mystery, but he has a run in with a ghost, who, we learn, is seeking his help. Just what for is yours to discover.

The good new is, nothing ever seems hokey. The author engages you with well drawn characters, a nice tight plot, and he takes the time to have things make sense. When the plot draws to its action-packed conclusion, we are immensely satisfied. 

Because this book deals with older teen characters, it feels at times like a young adult novel, but that is not a bad thing. If I were wearing my librarian hat, I'd certainly recommend it to younger readers, especially with the positive portrayal of its gay characters. That being said, if you are a veteran mystery fan, whatever your age, you will be very pleased with the quality of the story, and the way the mystery is laid out. All Lost Things is a top notch mystery that will keep you coming back for more. I recommend this book highly. 

If you are interested in learning more about this exciting author, you can follow this link to his web page: I will be talking with Josh on one of my upcoming MyQmunity Gay And Lesbian Book Talks, so check the MyQmunity web page for date and time.  I will be chatting with Josh this Saturday, October 2 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Tune into the MyQmunity Gay and Lesbian Book Talk by going to

Until next time, find a good book to read-and then, pass it on.
Robert Jaquay  

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Above Temptation by Karin Kallmaker

“For to tempt and to be tempted are things very nearly allied... whenever feeling has anything to do in the matter, no sooner is it excited than we have already gone vastly farther than we are aware of.”-Catherine the Great

When you pick up a book by Karin Kallmaker, you can count on several things. It will have great characters, a terrific plot, and usually just enough romance in it to keep you wanting more. It is no surprise to me that Karin Kallmaker has been dubbed the “Queen of Lesbian Romance".  She delivers a consistently good read, and never lets her readership down. She has written over 30 books and has a devoted following. Her books have won the Lambda Literary Award and Golden Crown Literary Society award. She is also committed to publishing exclusively in the lesbian market, and has been a driving force in this market's success. The bottom line is that she writes very good books.

Her latest novel, Above Temptation (Bella Books, 2010) is yet another winner. One of this author's trademarks is giving her readers complex characters that pop out of the page and into your "reality" the minute you meet them. You learn about the things that make them tick, and thus, you care about them. It has been said that her protagonists are “the kind of indestructible and talented women we all dream we could be”. In her acknowledgements, the author dedicates the book "to all the women who set out every day to right wrongs in the real world..." With that point of view, you know from the very start that this book will offer you something very special indeed.

In Above Temptation, she tells the story of two women who work in a fraud detection agency called Sterling Fraud Investigations. Kip Barrett is an investigator who is known for her extraordinary diligence and  ability to sniff out even the most obscure elements of a case. Even though she knows she is good at what she does, she never relaxes her standards. However, in a very short while,  the challenge of a lifetime is coming her way.

Tamara Sterling is the out of the closet, high profile CEO of the company. Like Kip, she is very good at what she does, and also observes extraordinarily high  professional standards. It is her job to make sure that everything runs smoothly, and she does this very well. Also like Kip, she is unaware of the personal conflict she is about to face. Yes, each of these women are "superwomen", but they both are missing one significant thing in their lives, and that is someone to love and care for.

Under ordinary circumstances, these women would have little to do with one another, but something is happening within the company, and Tamara “hires’ Kip to investigate. Large sums of money are being taken from the company and are being transferred to bogus accounts. It is Kip's job to find out who is doing this. The caveat here is that this must be a stealth investigation, as any knowledge of it will send ripples throughout the company.

Soon into the investigation, Kip starts to have her doubts about Tamara, as her investigation starts to indicate that she could be the prime suspect. This is not only an ethical dilemma but a personal one, as we soon discover the fact that there is the hot romantic coal of attraction burning beneath the surface of both women. What will Kip do as she struggles with temptation and is torn between her call to duty and her emotional needs? What will Tamara do? 

This book is also a thriller, as the two women are forced to go "under cover" and seemingly subvert their usual ethical standards in order to find the culprit.  The potential damage to them professionally and personally is great. We follow the details of the investigation, which are thoroughly given, and, like in any good mystery, join the search for truth.

What Kallmaker does so nicely here, is integrate the sexual tension between the two women seamlessly into the ongoing story line. As the tension mounts, so does our desire for something good to happen to these two women. We feel their struggle, and want a happy ending. Will we get out wish? Ah, dear reader, that's not for me to reveal.

Don't hesitate to discover this talented author's gift for storytelling in Above Temptation. This is an exciting read, with lots of action and a yummy romance.  I bet you'll become an instant Kallmaker fan, if you're not already.

To hear my conversation with Karin Kallmaker about how she got started, and why she writes and a lot more, just click the blogtalk link!

Listen to internet radio with myQmunity-Book Talk on Blog Talk Radio

Next week I will be reviewing All Things Lost by Josh Aterovis. This book was a finalist for this year's Lambda Literary Award in the Best Gay Mystery category. 

Until then, happy reading.

Robert Jaquay,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What We Remember and The Road Home by Michael Thomas Ford

I first met Michael Thomas Ford soon after the publication of his very popular book of essays called Alec Baldwin Doesn’t Love Me.(Alyson, 1997). I found him to be witty and charming, as well as a damn good writer. Little did I know at the time that he was at beginning of what has become an extraordinary career?

Ford has published over fifty works for Young Adult and Adults, and seems to spawn new ideas for books rather quickly. Not only does he excel in the gay romance genre, but writes horror books and mysteries as well. He has also added his take on the Jane Austen craze, with the publication of  Jane Bites Back (Ballantine Books, 2009), and has a soon to be published work about zombies called Z (Harper Teen, 2010).

What We Remember (Kensington, 2009) was recently awarded the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Mystery, and it is a book that is wonderfully told and cleverly plotted. What starts out feeling like yet another domestic drama quickly turns into a mystery that keeps us guessing until the very end.

In the other work I am going to talk about, The Road Home, there is a mystery as well, and one of the characters says “mysteries need to be solved”, and another answers, “not always…isn’t it enough that we’ve figured it out?”

It is with the figuring out, as well as finding out what drives the characters to do the things they do, that makes this book as enjoyable as it is. Of course the mystery is fun to solve, but what we get in addition makes it an even more compelling read.

What We Remember tells the story of two families, the McClouds and the Derrys. They have been brought together through marriage and friendship, and the interweaving of lives is a significant theme here.

When the story begins, we learn that Dan McCloud, who was a police officer in Cold Falls, NY, has been missing for 7 years, and is presumed dead. He sent his wife a letter indicating that he was sick and was going to commit suicide. Although no one really knows for sure, the family and others have moved on, with various degrees of success.

With the sudden discovery of his body, all evidence indicates that he was murdered, and his oldest son James becomes the prime suspect. The arresting officer is the son of Dan’s best friend, and is James’ brother in law. Of course this creates tremendous tension within the families. Did James do it? Who else could it have been?

We discover, as we read on, that the key to unlocking the mystery is less about the how than it is about the why. What We Remember is told by alternating the past and the present, a device that reveals a great deal about the why.

Perhaps the most interesting character in the book is Dan’s youngest son Billy. He is the gay brother, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and is clearly the black sheep of the family. That being said, he is the one whose memory is the most reliable. He is the one that brings this story to its stunning conclusion. To say any more would spoil the mystery.

This book is an engaging and fun to read page turner. You get a lot more than you might expect, and that is a good thing. I recommend it highly.

The Road Home (Kensington, 2010) tells an entirely different story, containing the familiar elements of Ford’s very popular Last Summer and Full Circle. Yes, this has all the ingredients of a gay romance, but it is much more. This is a book about an inner journey of self-discovery and the life changing decisions that occur as a result .

Photographer Burke Crenshaw is forced to return to his family home in Vermont as a result of a serious car accident, which happens on his 40th birthday. As a result, Burke is not only confronted with his past, but is given the opportunity to reflect on his future. Just what is he going to do with his life?

While there, Burke meets Will, who is the son of a man Burke had a crush on in high school. Will becomes Burke's companion, and eventually they have sex. Burke is conflicted, not only by the age difference, but with the realization that Will is at odds with confronting his sexuality, considering the societal price he feels he would have to pay. After all, Burke is comfortable with himself..or is he?

Ford adds  a wonderful cast of characters to the story. There is a deliciously dandified gentleman named Gaither Lucas, a woman named Lucy, who is Burke's father's companion, and a librarian named Sam. All of them add a rich texture to the plot, making it fun and exciting. There is also a delightful segment devoted to the Radical Faeries, which is enchanting and magical.

Burke rediscovers his passion for photography and happens upon a curious mystery as a result of some old Civil War prints. There is a bit of a ghost story here as well, which is one of the things which made this book even more of a page turner for me. So you see, this book has a lot of things to offer, all the while giving you the opportunity to think about your own life. What a bargain!

I so loved this book, that it made me want to go back and fill myself full of Michael’s previous works, and I think you will too. So, which ever one you start with, you won't be disappointed.

I spoke with Michael on the MyQmunity Gay and Lesbian Book Talk show, and, as I mentioned above, he is preparing to launch yet another offering, a young adult book called Z. Call it a book about zombies, and like the others, you'll find out it's about a lot more.

Listen to my chat with Michael by following the link from the MyQmunity Arts Facebook page, or going directly to

Next week I will be reviewing Karin Kallmaker's Above Temptation (Bella Books, 2010

Until then, happy reading.

Robert Jaquay,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photographs of Claudia by KG MacGregor

"There are always two people in every picture; the photographer and the viewer."
Ansel Adams

KG  MacGregor has been writing for several years now, and her books have garnered many awards along the way. She won the Lambda Literary Award for Women's Romance with her book, Out of Love, and has received several Golden Crown Literary Society awards as well. Her most recent work,  Photographs of Claudia (Bella Books, 2009) is her 13th novel, and one that carries on her tradition of finely crafted story telling.

 Photographs of Claudia  is first and foremost a love story, one that will move you, excite you, and have you eager to find out what will happen next. It has wonderfully drawn characters and caricatures (notably the future mother-in-law) populating its pages. In a section about the book on her web page, KG MacGregor indicates that some of the characters in this book are drawn from real life, and although it is not necessary to know this as you read, it is evident that her characters mean a lot to her.

This novel's central character is Leonora or Leo Westcott. She is an accomplished photographer who has learned her trade from her father. Although he is dead, it is clear that Leo honors him ever time she works behind the camera. One of her points of pride is that she learned the techniques of creating masterful pictures well before the age of digital photography.

Don’t be mistaken, she has developed her own skills admirably, and has plenty of work to do, but she does not have the recognition she deserves. One of the challenges she is given by her friends is to advance herself by applying to a special workshop for studio photographers. They feel she needs to put herself out there. This is a competitive process which  requires a complete portfolio of her work, and she will need to find a suitable subject.

Leo is so committed to her craft that she seemingly has no time for a relationship. She resides quite comfortably with her cat Madeline, and her days are filled with assignments.. She does have wonderful friends, who, like friends are wont to do, would like to see her happily involved with someone. However nice this might seem, the time never seems to be right for her.

Leo first encounters Claudia Galloway quite by chance, while she is on a job photographing school children. Claudia is doing an internship with Leo’s friend Sandy, and exhibits this remarkable ability to have the children under her care behave while other children don't.  This impresses Leo, but what impresses her more is Claudia herself. It is evident, as her friend Sandy is quick to point out, that  Leo has been smitten by this woman.

What follows is the story of a relationship that is cautiously and lovingly developed. Claudia appears to have  no issues with Leo’s sexuality, and, in fact seems to feel most comfortable with her and her friends, even more than her own. Their friendship/relationship develops, and soon Claudia  becomes the model Leo uses to develop her portfolio. Mind you, it is Claudia that suggest this!

One of the things that keeps Leo from pursuing Claudia is that Claudia is engaged to be married. Her fiance is particularly hateful, and obviously wants Claudia to follow him wherever he goes. However, as she and Leo become closer, it is quite evident that Claudia is struggling, not only with her pending marriage, but also with her desire to be able to be her own woman.. The good news is that it is quite evident that a major shift in self awareness is taking place within her, and rather than anguish over it, she follows her heart to find out what it is she really wants out of life.

One of the nicer qualities this book possesses is its pacing. Although our wish to have something happen between the two women accelerates as they get to know each other better, nothing really happens until the time is right. This is a love story that wants to have a happy ending, but, to the author’s credit, we’re given a few twists and turns to keep us guessing. As with any good romance, are hearts are always wanting the best to happen.

The book also deals with the photographer’s craft, emphasizing the relationship between the subject and those who will view the work once completed. It is certain that the author researched this aspect thoroughly, and you are bound to learn something new from Leo's sessions with Claudia. I know I did.

Since this is the first KG MacGregor book I’ve read, I am going to recommend you start with this one. If you find her writing and her storytelling as fine as I did, then you’re in for a treat. There are twelve books before this one, and a new one on the way. She is best know for her romances, but she has also delved into the area of suspense. No doubt they are exciting reads as well.

To learn more about this engaging author, you can go to her website

To listen to my conversation with KG
Listen to internet radio with myQmunity-Book Talk on Blog Talk Radio

Next week I will be discussing a delightful book by author Michael Thomas Ford, What We Remember (Kensington, 2009). This book won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Mystery.

Until then, happy reading

Robert Jaquay,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Blue Moon Cafe and Tales from the Sexual Underground by Rick R. Reed

In 1764 a novel was written by Horace Walpole called The Castle of Otranto. With the publication of this work a new genre was born; the Gothic novel. The book was also written in the literary and artistic period known as the Age of Romanticism. This was a time when artistic sensibilities were often primal, and authors, as well as other artists, wore their hearts on their sleeve Many times these works included characters that showed fear and apprehension towards life and their surroundings. In short, they were exquisitely sensitive individuals, and were often out of place in the world they lived in. These works were often highly romantic as well.

Over the years this genre has taken on many hues, and one of them is that of the paranormal romance. One has only to watch an episode of True Blood or read any of the “Twilight" books, and you know that this type of thing is extremely popular.

Now, although we as GLBT folks can find a certain sense of fulfillment by imagining ourselves in these predominantly straight situations, we no longer have to do so. Fortunately for us, there are authors among us who have taken up these themes and situations and infused them with decidedly gay colors, usually with exciting results.

One such author is Rick R. Reed, who has written a wonderfully chilling horror tale called  The Blue Moon  Cafe (Amber Quill Press, 2009). Not only will this little gem chill your heart, but it will make it beat a bit faster due to its highly romantic elements. And it doesn’t stop there. This is not the romance of unfulfilled desire, where lovers just seem to miss the opportunity to connect over and over, but it does have a sexual tension that will keep you wanting to intercede. It is a highly erotic tale as well. That being said, the sexual elements serve to enhance the work, and never overshadow the super story that is being told.

The place is Seattle, the time is the present, and something horrific is happening to gay men. It is August, and the moon is full. The first character we meet has no name, but it doesn’t take us long to find out that it is not a man. We experience a stalking and a brutal murder through the eyes of a killer on the prowl. This is decidedly creepy. As the scene ends, we are psyched for what will follow. What is it? Could it be a werewolf?

The next character we meet is Thad Matthews, an unemployed gay man, who after a day of mundane chores, decides to get out and try a new restaurant, a place called the Blue Moon Cafe. This handsome, ginger haired guy is also unattached, so going out also means being every ready for that elusive chance encounter with another man. I guess we all know what that's like.

Soon after entering the restaurant, he meets Sam, an intriguingly seductive man who is  dark, hairy, and, exceedingly handsome. They meet, they flirt, and they have sex (all in good time by the way). Nothing is hurried here, as this is where a wonderful romance takes hold.

Everything should be perfect, but it’s not. Sam is reluctant to commit. Thad is hurt but determined to give Sam his space. We meet another character named Jared, and now we have the makings of a interesting love triangle. Yummy stuff, right?

As the mystery develops, the brutal  murders continue to happen. The beast has been seen, and one of the people who sees him is Jared! It doesn’t take long for us to start to wonder, along with Thad, if there is some connection between Sam and the murders? Sam and his family disappear during the full moon, and that is when the killings take place. Even though we sense what is happening, we are really never sure.

As with any good horror story, we are carefully lead along, and we become detectives trying to solve the mystery. The plot twists and turns in such a way as to keep us off guard After all, isn't that what we love about horror stories? The added bonus here is the love story. It is a wonderful one, as well as hot. No wonder Thad has a hard time trying to let Sam go.

What Reed possesses is a true gift for writing a good story that keeps you fully involved. He writes very well, and it is obvious that his way with words and images has not only made him successful in this medium, but will keep you coming back for more. If this is your first Rick Reed book, or one that you've been waiting for, don't miss it.

Moving now to his Tales from the Sexual Underground (mlspress, 2010), we really have an opportunity to experience Rick Reed at his literary best. His prose is smooth, his images precise, and his sense of humor, even when the topic is hardly funny, is refreshing and well placed.

These “tales” come from a weekly column which appeared in a weekly entertainment magazine in Chicago called Nightspots. As he says in his intro to the collection, “I wanted to write about people who were not just out, but out there, people who lived their sexual lives in ways most of us could only imagine…” He is true to his word.

Most of the sections are short, and cover things like: Cyber Infidelity, Craigslist,  The Truths and Myths about being a Slut, and several segments about the dynamics of being HIV positive. Depending on your bent, as well as your sense of humor, this collection will keep you reading just to see what’s going to happen next. There are serious moments, but mostly everything is told in a witty gay style that will have you laughing more than not. Although this is a departure from his usual fare, these stories give a terrific insight into the world of an author, and to the gay world in general., especially in Chicago.  I recommend it highly.

Listen to my conversation with the author, Rick R Reed, called "the Stephen King of Gay Horror". Just click the link below.

Listen to internet radio with myQmunity-Book Talk on Blog Talk Radio

Next week I will be talking about best-selling Lambda Literary and Golden Crown award-winner KG MacGregor and her new book, Photograph's of Claudia.

Until next time, happy reading.

Robert Jaquay,