Thursday, 21 June 2018

Recent Release: Say You Will by Alexis Woods

Title: Say You Will
Author: Alexis Woods
Genre: LGBT, Romance and Relationships, Pure Romance - M/M, Adult
Published: 4th June, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-78645-226-9
Length: 12,500 words approx.

Three years ago, Darren Goldman had no idea the man he met on his first day of work in a new town would become the man he'd been waiting for his whole life. With Ace's birthday approaching, Dare sets out to do the impossible: surprise his boyfriend with a party and a proposal. 

"Can't be done," they said. "Never work." "Don't bother." "Are you sure you want to do this?" 

He'd prove them wrong. He was sure of it, until he wasn't.

* * * * *
Editor's Review
I'm a huge fan of series. I love getting totally immersed into a new world like ours but maybe once removed - an alternate form of ours, perhaps, where the characters are people as real as you and me.

It goes without saying that, as an editor, working on the subsequent instalments in a series isn't work at all when I'm as desperate as other readers to find out what's been going on while we've been away.

And so, Say You Will arrived in my inbox. Well, it didn't. Alexis and I collaborate via GoogleDocs, which is a lot of fun, especially as the version I receive from Alexis is very clean - grammar/punctuation-wise; this story, like the previous stories in the series, has on-page sexy times.

Those who've read Southern Jersey Shores from the beginning will know that each story focuses on a specific couple but always with the same cast of characters in the background. It began, in Opening Day, with Aaron and Darren (or Ace and Dare), and it is these guys we revisit in Say You Will.

Dare's a man with a plan, and a secret, and a lot of stress of his own making. I loved the glimpses of the Dare we first met - his uncertainty and vulnerability - because in general he's much more dominant (in and out of the bedroom).

While he's doing what he's doing, we get something of a virtual tour of the setting, and I have to say, the description is just beautiful - enchanting and vivid.

The ultimate treat for me, however, is the Easter Eggs for those of us who've been lucky enough to read ALL of Alexis Woods' stories. If you haven't, you should!

And the cover! This is my favourite cover in the series - my favourite cover this year!

Say You Will reads as a final instalment, and we're discussing a 'box set' of the six stories in the far? I feel like I've had a very satisfying fill of Southern Jersey Shores happy-ever-after, but I certainly won't complain if this isn't the end.

Say You Will is a contemporary M/M romance by Alexis Woods, book six in the Southern Jersey Shores series, released June 4th, 2018.

* * * * *
About the Author:
Always an avid reader and colorful dreamer, it was only a matter of time before taking pen to paper, oftentimes literally. I sing under my breath, tap my toes and swing my hips, much to the delight of my coworkers and friends. I’m a firm believer in every song tells a story and every story has a song, so each story I write has a song or theme, oftentimes both, behind it. I freely admit that becoming a romance author is the best mid-life crisis a girl could ever have.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Recent Release: Returning to the Land of the Morning Calm by Hans M Hirschi

Author: Hans M Hirschi
Language: English
Published: 21st May, 2018
Publisher: Beaten Track
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-78645-203-0
eBook: 978-1-78645-204-7
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: LGBT, History, Romance and Relationships, Contemporary Fiction, Family and Friendship

Martin is eighty-four years old, a Korean War veteran, living quietly in a retirement home in upstate New York. His days are ruled by the routine of the staff, but in his thoughts and dreams, Martin often returns to the Seoul of his youth, and the lost true love of his life. Two close friends urge him to travel back to search for his love. What awaits Martin in Korea, more than six decades after he left the country on a troop transport back to the U.S.?

Returning to the Land of the Morning Calm is a story of friendship, love and family, in all its many shapes, across time, generations and cultures.

Editor's Review:
I recall reading somewhere (in Hans's newsletter, I think) that Returning to the Land of the Morning Calm originally started life as a short story about Martin - the octogenarian main character - and I can see why that simply wouldn't have been enough to do justice to this character's journey, nor to take us on that journey with him, from the USA to South Korea, twice in a lifetime.

It's the closest I'm getting to visiting Seoul, and that's OK. As is always true with this author's stories, I learn so much about cultures I've never (nor, likely, will ever) come into contact with. From the round-the-world tour in The Fallen Angels of Karnataka, to a trip to the northernmost reaches of Sweden in Last Winter's Snow, Hans takes us to incredible places, and is thankfully endowed with the talent to depict those locations, the people, the food, the smells, the literary form.

So there's the location and cultural elements, a rich context that is both backdrop and foreground to Martin's 'love story' - his love of Korea, its cities, people and food - and his love of Ji-Hoon, told through retrospective chapters interspersed with Martin's present-day situation as what my (82-year-old) mother-in-law calls 'an elderly' in a retirement home. While Martin seems happy to spend the rest of his days looking at the same four walls, his new friends have other ideas. Not content with sharing Martin's experiences vicariously, they somehow persuade him to take the trip back to Seoul, which is astounding, now I think about it, because Martin's set in his ways and doesn't shy away from telling people (nurses included) what he does and does not want to do...which leads me to conclude that perhaps he'd spent a fair bit of the sixty years since he left Seoul wishing he could go back.

Yes, I'm still thinking about the story now, three weeks after it was released and at least a month since I read it (I love that part of my job - reading the final story before it flaps its wings and takes flight for the first time). This is a novel that will appeal to many different readers - those who enjoy travel, those who appreciate a love story, those who appreciate well-researched settings - in other words, a story pretty much everyone will enjoy.

Returning to the Land of the Morning Calm is a novel by Hans M Hirschi, available in paperback and ebook formats.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:
Photo: John O’Leary
Hans M Hirschi has been writing stories since childhood. As an adult, the demands of corporate life put an end to his fiction for more than twenty years. A global executive in training, he has traveled the world and published several non-fiction titles as well as four well-received novels. The birth of his son provided him with the opportunity to rekindle his love of creative writing, where he expresses his deep passion for a better world through love and tolerance. Hans lives with his husband and son on a small island off the west coast of Sweden.