Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Holy Communion by Mykola Dementiuk

Reviewed by Dorien Grey

Those who read purely for pleasure, who look upon books as similar to opening a window on a pleasant Spring day, will not be likely to read Mykola Dementiuk’s starkly overcast “Holy Communion” (Synergy Press, 2009). Those, however, who see books as a way to explore all aspects of human nature and the human soul may find exactly what they are looking for within the pages of this far-from-the-mainstream tale. It follows one nameless seven-year-old boy—there is not a single proper name in the entire book—in the seven days leading up to his first communion. The dark and underlying irony of the book is that this emotionally and physically battered young soul should have no need for communion: he’s already lived his entire short life in purgatory. To read it is rather like peeling an onion; removing one layer reveals another.

It may never be made into a musical, but it does sing a complex song to those willing to hear it.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bashed by Rick R. Reed

Reviewed by Jim at Rainbow-Reviews

BOOK BLURB:Three haters. Two lovers. And a collision course with tragedy.
That October night, Donald and Mark had no idea their lives and love were about to be shattered by fag bashers, intent on pain, and armed with ridicule, fists, and an aluminum baseball bat. Bashed charts the course of a journey that encompasses suspense, horror, and ~ ultimately ~ romance.

BOOK REVIEW:Walking home from a leather bar through a relatively safe part of Chicago, two men are brutally attacked and beaten by three punks. One of the victims, Donald, is hospitalized. His lover, Mark, is dead at the scene.

So begins this gripping and chilling story of one man's struggle to survive the death of his partner after they were gay-bashed.

The author, Rick Reed, lets us see the aftermath through the eyes of not only Donald himself, but his sister Grace, trying to bring him comfort and solace, Walter, a neighbor wanting to be more than neighborly, and Justin, Walter's sixteen year old nephew who was one of the three responsible for Mark's death.

With great skill Reed gets inside the heads of these people bringing their darkest thoughts and fears to the surface, and forcing us to share Justin's weakness and paranoia. Reed might have been trying to portray Justin in a sympathetic light, but I ended up hating him more than Ronny, the one who wielded the baseball bat that ended Mark's life. Justin's sniveling guilt racked persona mixed with his obsession for the older Ronny's moronic behavior makes for a very unlovable teenager.

Reed doesn't hold back on the kind of anonymous sex Donald prefers when he is finally able to start putting his life together, but his hook up with Walter gives him more than he thought possible. The paranormal theme Reed introduces with Mark, Donald's dead lover, is interesting and pivotal to the story, but to dwell on it here would give too much away. Suffice to say that the climax of the story had me on the edge of my seat ~ a real white-knuckle ride!

I read somewhere that Rick Reed has been dubbed the Stephen King of gay horror ~ not a bad comparison ~ but unlike King who can sometimes go into endless and often pointless detail, Reed's writing is stylishly simple, yet at the same time gritty and realistic.

Beyond The Reef by A.J. Llewellyn

Reviewed by Jayhayboy at Romance Junkies

received Five Bloue Ribbbons

Tony Kaven gets a job in one of the most beautiful places on earth with one of the most egotistical actors on earth. He finds himself not only surrounded by people who are unsure of what will happen with their jobs but, he finds that after dark – you never know what’s happening behind closed doors and with whom.

This brings him to his biggest problem and in the spirit of being on the mystical Hawaiian island, he prays to the gods to bring him a man who will not only make him happy, but who will also love him for all that he is.

Beyond the reef is fantasy come to life – at least for Tony. With his more than average size, he is self conscious of how people sees him and have issues with the fact that he is lonely and miserable because of it.

When he calls on the gods to give him his one wish – he forgets that sometimes what you wish for you just might get. And Tony has more than his work cut out for him with the man of his dreams, not only is he perfect, but he brings out all the unpleasant emotions in Tony that he doesn’t like about himself.

Messer Llewellyn has taken us back to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands with this wonderful location driven book; with lots of historical detail, he has delve into the best of the island and created a tale that will have you never wanting to leave. He’s also shown us his wonderful style by taking a very insecure man and finding the perfect man for him to love, and be loved for himself in return.

Once again my hats off to Messer Llewellyn; BEYOND THE REEF is a great read.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Holy Communion by Mykola Dementiuk

Fantastic and Informative Read
5 Stars

Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD for Synergy Press

This was one of the most informative books I have read about sexual abuse, the Catholic Church and growing up in a gay-lesbian world.

The author, through his own prospective gives readers hidden information that goes on in a life of absent parents, first sexual encounters and not trusting those who should be guiding us.

I found the author’s words were passionate and compelling. Many do not understand this world and are not forgiving of those who have this life. Although I have had many discussions with individuals who choose this life, never have I thought about how it comes to be.

I felt as if the author were talking to me and giving me more insight into his world and thoughts. The passion in his voice talking about all who had taken advantage of him and at the same time the feelings he felt while trying to figure out who he was were quite informative.

It is quite interesting in how we seek what we want most – love. I have recommended this book to my Psychology students so they have a better insight into this world. We all seek love and attention, and if we don’t have the correct information, we make bad assumptions.

The author gives us answers to so many questions and an insight into his world. I felt it must have been a great journey of searching and putting his life in perspective.

Hanalei Moon By A.J. Llewellyn

Five Angels - Reviewed by: Whitney for Fallen Angel Reviews
Hanalei MoonGabriel Loe is a rising star in the world of professional surfing. It doesn’t always pay the bills, but he has a shot at the world championship title, which should bring in some cash. He also has a boyfriend whom he adores and an interest in a start-up surfboard company. When he heads out to catch some swells on his favorite beach, his mind is full of the upcoming world championship to the point where he miscalculates a couple of big bre aks. He gets tossed around and banged up, but he expects that sort of thing to happen occasionally. No big deal, right? What he doesn’t expect when he drags himself out of the water is to find out that he has lost twelve years of his life.

Now something of a local celebrity Gaby finds himself fending off reporters as he recovers from his injuries in the hospital. Everything has changed for him, and it’s not for the better. He finds that his boyfriend has married a woman and now wants nothing to do with him and that his so-called partner in the surfboard industry has swindled him. The only positive side to this is that he still seems to have the affection of an old lover, Pono Morrison. Pono never gave up on him – not for a dozen long years – and now he offers his love and support unconditionally to Gaby.

As Gaby works to clear up the mess that his life has become, he begins to see who his real friends have always been. And he also comes to realize that with this beginning come new opportunities and a new outlook on love.

With Hanalei Moon: The Ace of Swords, A. J. Llewellyn has given his readers another chance to experience the magic of the Hawaiian Islands. This story references the tarot card Ace of Swords, which connotes rebirth, new beginnings, and understanding life after a period of disillusionment. Mr. Llewellyn has done an excellent job keeping this story in the spirit of that card, because the main character, Gaby, undergoes such a rebirth when he emerges from the ocean after twelve years. Although he is initially devastated by what has occurred, he is soon able to look back on his previous life and see who his friends were and who was possibly just using him. Although this story is not especially long, it is filled with well-developed and colorful characters. The heroes are extremely sympathetic and are also just plain nice. Definitely people that you would want to know and perhaps even hang out with while listening to their stories. The antagonists, while they are not especially evil, will definitely elicit a boo and a hiss or two, and we hope that they’ll get their just reward at the end. In all, Hanalei Moon is a jewel of a story and is filled with the love and zest for life that are typical of Mr. Llewellyn’s work. Bravo.

Black Point Revisited by A. J. Llewellyn and D. J. Manly

Five Angels - Reviewed by: Teresa for Fallen Angel Reviews

Black Point Revisited by A. J. Llewellyn and D. J. Manly is a homoerotic contemporary romance. Thomas and Matt are two very happily newlywed men who are romance authors. Matt is still relatively a new author, but Thomas writes under the pseudo name Rose Carter. As the last book ended, one of Thomas’s books was chosen to become a movie, and Matt who is also working for the movie studio is over all in charge of the production. Matt and Thomas were having the most spectacular honeymoon up until they left their dream house, Black Point, to pick up Matt’s family. They got back on track with a little bit of experimental sex that fulfilled their wildest dreams, but soon family intruded on their wedded bliss. Don’t get me wrong, they enjoy Matt’s family, but his parents, one toddler and Matt’s twin and husband do tend to intrude on their privacy. Matt’s niece Daphne is your typical on the go, loving toddler who brings laughter and joy to everything that she touches, even Thomas who swears he never wants children. Matt and Thomas decide to go to the nearby island of for an overnight trip, but things don’t exactly go as they plan when a shark attack occurs causing Matt and Thomas to spring to the rescue. Things are not always perfect in paradise when family misunderstandings happen causing dissention and stress to the newly m arried=2 0couple. Will Thomas and Matt find a way to overcome life’s difficulties to trust in their love for each other?

Mr. Llewellyn and Mr. Manly have continued their series with this incredible addition. The love between Matt and Thomas is both beautiful and very erotic. The Hawaiian setting adds to the exotic ambience and the visual descriptions bring the story alive for the reader. It was interesting to watch the interactions between all Matt’s family members. Even through all of the fighting, you know that they love each other under all of these difficulties. Matt’s mother is the ultimate mom trying to make everyone happy even going overboard which causes more complications. I hope there will be more books about the lives of Matt and Thomas. Thanks go to Mr. Llewellyn and Mr. Manly for another story that shows that life can be more crazy than fiction.