Blog Tour | Past the Breakers

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Summer’s on the horizon, and so is the release of Past the Breakers. My first novel follows a hauntingly handsome pro surfer and a down-on-his-luck chef as they try to co-exist in a quaint little beach house in a sleepy coastal town. Grab your Ouija board, wax your surf board, and join the séance on my blog tour!

(Links added as soon as available)

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway starting May 8th.

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Past the Breakers | Now available for preorder

 

My first novel is now available for preorder ahead of it’s May 15th release. I’m so happy I’m finally able to share this story after nearly two years in the making. Be sure to reserve your copy today!


Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


PasttheBreakers_FINALCasey North lost everything when his restaurant burned to the ground: his hopes, his dreams, his reason for living. With nothing tying him to LA, he packs up and moves back to his hometown of Land’s End. He takes up residence in a beach house and attempts to shake the depression he’s fallen into after his life collapsed. There’s just one tiny problem: the ghost haunting his kitchen.

Myles Taylor wasn’t always trapped in the Between. One minute, he was about to propose to his boyfriend of five years as they sat out on their surfboards, and the next, he woke up on the beach to find his long-dead uncle walking toward him. After his shock fades, he must learn to navigate his new reality as he searches for a way to move into the Great Beyond. But first he must deal with the man who’s invaded his territory.

With Myles tied to the beach house and Casey unwilling to leave it, the two must learn to cohabitate as the lines separating them begin to blur. They grow closer than either expected, but what will become of them once Myles finally escapes the Between?

 

Movie Review | Shelter (2007)

HEA movie review

Shelter

I wanted to love this movie, but instead, I’ve found myself only liking it.

When I began scouring the internet for movies to put on my Happy List, I ran across this one many times. It has amazing reviews on Amazon, and I haven’t heard a bad thing about it. When I discovered it was a surf movie, it rocketed up to the top of my must watch list. All anyone needs to do is take a quick look around my website in order to understand why that is.

I am a little obsessed with all things beaches and oceans, and obviously hot surfers falls under both of those categories. I’ve seen the movie Blue Crush at least a hundred times. The scenery alone in that movie is exquisite. Of course it is; it was shot in Hawaii. Which is one of the reasons the first viewing of this movie left me less than satisfied. This is mostly my fault. My expectations going in were way too high for an indie film. But it’s good that I recognize this.

Shelter pic

                 Click for Amazon

I’ve since rewatched this one several times, and it’s grown on me each time. There are many things to love about it. I absolutely adored Zach. He’s the main character, and the movie follows him as he deals with coming to terms with his feelings for his best friend’s older brother. A bit of a cliche, but sometimes those are good.

Zach’s family life is rather sad, and a big chunk of the movie is him juggling work and helping his sister raise her 5 year old son, Cody. I found myself relating to Zach rather closely because of all this. He has essentially put his life and dreams of going to art school on hold to help his sister, who would rather spend time with her child-hating boyfriend than her son, which means Zach’s had to step up in a big way. Add in his sister’s homophobia and things get a little rocky.

I suppose the title refers to Zach finding shelter from his home life in Shaun’s arms. But this is where things get a little frustrating for me. I wanted to like Shaun. I really did. He’s an extremely positive, nice, caring, understanding, patient, and uplifting guy. The problem is all of this made him feel too perfect to me, like he was just a prop for Zach’s self-discovery and betterment, and I didn’t like that at all.

I also thought the chemistry was very lacking between them, and that includes the kissing and love scenes. Most of their interactions read like friends not lovers, and I struggled with the believability of their relationship because of this. I suppose some of it can be “explained” away with Zach’s inexperience and his unwillingness to step out of the closet, but there was just something missing here for me.

I have a lot of weird, conflicting feelings about their relationship that I don’t want to get into. Yes, there is a happy (for now) ending after a bit of angst, but even that left me kind of unsatisfied. It’s just… well, bottomline, I have trouble buying them as a couple.

Overall, I wanted this movie to be deeper than it was, to dive further into Zach’s head, and maybe even offer a glimpse into Shaun’s thoughts and feelings, but that didn’t happen. I think I might be spoiled after watching Free Fall, which I’m still madly in love with, so maybe my expectations were way too high all around for this one.

With that being said, this is still worth a watch and even a rewatch. Zach and Cody’s relationship will melt the coldest of hearts. The soundtrack is beautiful. Even though it’s not Hawaii, there are some nice shots of the ocean and surfing. And despite the lack of sizzle, the happy montage half way through makes me smile just thinking about it.

I’m almost furious that I don’t care that much for Shaun because I really enjoyed the rest of it… after my third viewing, after my high expectations had worn off, after I’d learned to appreciate it for what it is.

 4 stars, 7/10 would recommend


Do you have a favorite queer movie with a happy ending or one you’d like me to review? If so, let me know and I’ll add it to my list.

Release day | My Paradise Is You

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Happy release day to My Paradise Is You! I’m so happy with how this novella turned out, and I hope everyone who picks up a copy enjoys it as much as I do.

Become a castaway with Marc & Ian!myparadiseisyouorig_final_01


Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


When two very different men are stranded on a deserted island, will opposites attract, or will they end up killing each other—if the elements don’t get them first?

Marc Reed is an expert scuba diver and leads underwater tours of the infamous shipwrecks scattered around Bermuda. When a robbery forces him and his boss’s son—a man he despises on principle—to take shelter on an uncharted island, he might have to reassess his opinion of the spoiled snob.

Ian Blythe-Darcy II lives a life most would envy. He’s a trust fund kid being groomed to take over his father’s empire of hotels and resorts. But it’s not a life that matches what’s in his heart. He’s in the closet and engaged to a socialite he doesn’t love, but he’s about to get a crash course in being true to himself—and maybe learn money can’t buy happiness after all.

My Paradise Is You: Blog Tour

 

myparadiseisyou_fbbanner_dspAs spring approaches, what better way to shake off the winter blues than with two guys stuck in the most pristine of paradises. That’s what you’ll get with My Paradise Is You. The tropical setting of Bermuda is just what the scuba instructor ordered. So let’s dive right into the blog tour and get things heating up.

(Links added as soon as available)

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway.

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Movie Review | Free Fall/Freier Fall

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Introduction

Recently I’ve had the urge to venture out of my comfort zone a little and explore the queer movie genre. I’m not a huge movie buff, to be honest. I also have a touch of ADHD, so sitting still and concentrating on a full length movie is sometimes hard for me to do. For that reason, I don’t go to the movies often nor do I watch many at home, but I’ve heard good things about several films centered around LGBTQ+ characters lately, and I’ve decided to give some a go.

But first, let’s get real.

It’s no secret that the vast majority of queer films end in tragedy. A lot of times one of the main characters dies somewhere before the credits role. Other times the two love interests don’t end up together for various reasons. The last queer centric movie I watched was Brokeback Mountain, a film I could only watch once. Though I’ve been itching to try it again, maybe with less tears this time. (Good luck with that, Lucie…)

I can do angst, as long as the ending leaves me satisfied, but I think one reason I’ve stayed away from queer films for so long is because of their tendency toward the tragic. Those aren’t the kind of stories I particularly like to read or write. I’m a softy; I like fluff. I like to laugh and smile because the world is already dark enough without me having to grieve a string of fictional characters.

Luckily, I’ve gotten several recommendations for movies that have happy or happy for now endings, and that will mainly be my focus for what I hope to make a series. Most of them center on gay relationships, since that’s what I primarily write, but I’m not opposed to watching films that fall elsewhere within the LGBTQ+ umbrella.

With that being said, the first film I watched did not come from my Happy list.

Free Fall – Freier Fall

Free Fall is a German film starring Hanno Koffler and Max Riemelt, who some of you might know from the series Sense 8. I was minding my own business the other day as I scrolled through tumblr and saw a gifset about this movie, and for some reason, it just called to me. By the end of the day, I’d watched it twice.

I’m not really sure how to describe this movie, so I’ll just give a brief rundown of the plot before jumping into a meta about why I loved it.

Marc’s life goes into a state of free fall when he develops feelings for his male police partner, Kay. Torn between the life he knows so well and the exhilaration of this new adventure, Marc finds his world rapidly spinning out of control.

The movie is from Marc’s point of view, but it doesn’t give much indication of his sexuality before he meets Kay. He does tell Kay he was a one-off during an argument, but I’m not quite sure I’d consider it a gay-for-you film. Even if Marc was straight right up until Kay entered his life, or very straight leaning, I see sexuality as a spectrum and something that can change over time, so I like to think this is what happens to Marc during the film.

He doesn’t really have a label though. He denies being gay to both his girlfriend and Kay, but I do like the idea of him exploring his sexuality and maybe realizing he’s somewhat bisexual. At the same time, I think there is much more to attraction than just gender, and maybe in this case, it’s more about the person Marc fell in love with than Kay’s gender.

I loved this aspect of the movie, the fact that Marc’s sexuality is left up to interpretation. I don’t feel like he needs a label at this point. We are only offered a small glimpse into his life, a short sliver of time, so I think it’s very reasonable that he doesn’t necessarily have everything figured out by the end of it. It made things feel very real for me in that regard.

Like I mentioned earlier, the film is German, so I had to watch it with subtitles, but it didn’t bother me because Marc and Kay have so much chemistry that they hardly had to talk at all. A good chunk of their relationship takes place in silence and through subtext, sooo much subtext. The second viewing gave me a much deeper understanding than the first because I spent less time reading the subtitles and more time watching them communicate nonverbally.

Nonverbal communication is something I absolutely love in my romances. The ability to carry on entire conversations, to be so in tune with your partner that words don’t need to be spoken to convey emotions, is what I live for in on-screen relationships. And this movie is ripe with that. It is a testament to the actors that they are able to illicit so much emotion through simple touches and looks.

The love scenes are made even more powerful and moving because of this, but I doubt anyone will be disappointed in them aesthetically. Every kiss is amazing, hot yet somehow tender, and absolutely how I aim to write my own kissing and love scenes. And even the one love scene we get with Marc and his girlfriend Bettina is heartfelt and emotional.

Honestly, I cannot say enough good things about this movie. I’ve watched it again since the first two viewings and will probably watch it quite a few more before the announced sequel arrives. It’s already one of the best movies I’ve seen in years, and I have a feeling it might be a tough standard for other movies to live up to.

I will give a brief warning for homophobia (one character in particular is a huge bigot), drug use, and obviously infidelity.

TL;DR Free Fall is an emotionally packed rollercoaster that hit me right in the feels, some of which I’m still not over. It even made me cry at one point, something I rarely do at movies, Brokeback Mountain not withstanding. All in all, it’s a beautiful yet somewhat tragic love story that is left unresolved, which is all I’m going to say about the ending other than I was strangely satisfied with it despite the fact it’s not on my Happy list. Bring on the sequel!

5 stars, 10/10 highly recommend


Do you have a favorite queer movie with a happy ending or one you’d like me to review? If so, let me know and I’ll add it to my list.

My Paradise Is You – Now available for preorder

myparadiseisyouorig_final_01My DPS World of Love novella is now available for preorder ahead of it’s March 1st release! I’m super proud of this story,  and isn’t the cover just gorgeous? Bree Archer does amazing work. Be sure to reserve your copy today:

Dreamspinner Press

When two very different men are stranded on a deserted island, will opposites attract, or will they end up killing each other—if the elements don’t get them first?

Marc Reed is an expert scuba diver and leads underwater tours of the infamous shipwrecks scattered around Bermuda. When a robbery forces him and his boss’s son—a man he despises on principle—to take shelter on an uncharted island, he might have to reassess his opinion of the spoiled snob.

Ian Blythe-Darcy II lives a life most would envy. He’s a trust-fund kid being groomed to take over his father’s empire of hotels and resorts. But it’s not a life that matches what’s in his heart. He’s in the closet and engaged to a socialite he doesn’t love, but he’s about to get a crash course in being true to himself—and maybe learn money can’t buy happiness after all.