Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Dangerous Knowledge

Book News:

Literary gay erotic story The Beginning of Knowledge is now available at Amazon US, Amazon UK and All Romance Ebooks. It also gained a review this week at Brief Encounter Reviews who say:

"This isn't a romance. The sex is not tender and romantic; it's bloody and violent with a strong dose of self loathing from Alan. It is, however, very well written and, as a study of Alan, torn between desire and reason, it's well worth reading."

Many thanks to Jen for those comments.

Not to be outdone, the paperback collection of the whole Delaneys series, The Dangerous Delaneys and Me, is now available at Amazon US.

Meanwhile, gay comic romance Who Moved My Holepunch? gained a 4.5 star review at Reviews by Jessewave who says:

"I particularly liked the warmth and kindness that both men show throughout the story; this infuses the hot sex with individuality, which of course makes it even more effective. As I read this book I just found myself continually smiling and it left me feeling both amused and nicely content."

The book also gained a 4 star review at Goodreads, so many thanks to all commenters for your thoughts on this story.

Gay thriller Maloney's Law received a 4-star review at Mrs Condit Reviews, and says:

"This book is disturbing on many levels. What has happened to Paul in the past, what happens to him in the present, and what will happen to him in the future are all brought to light in a tale of life, death, blackmail, murder, corruption and so much more. It's a good read."

Ooh and my comic short story about love in a dictionary, Candy and Catharsis, gained a 4-star review at Goodreads, so I'm thrilled about that.

Finally in this section, over at the UK GLBTQ Conference 2013 blog, you can find out all about my secret liaison with Dr Who and if I do really wear a teapot on my head. Enjoy!

Life News:

It was a great relief this week to see the House of Commons pass the proposed Gay Marriage bill - phew, that's a result! It was the highlight of my week, I must say. I can only hope the House of Lords shows the same common sense, justice and equality, but I can't say I'm hugely confident in that respect. Oh well, time will tell, eh. In the meantime, I thoroughly enjoyed the speech of Mike Freer MP which is well worth a listen.

The blog setting out the 31 Arguments Against Gay Marriage (and how to destroy them) is also spot on and very wonderful indeed. It was bliss to read.

This week, I was finally well enough (hurrah!) to go and see Star Trek Into Darkness - in my stylish 3D glasses, naturally. My dears, we loved it. A brilliant film, I've already pre-ordered the DVD and I can't wait for the next one.

My attempt at cake baking this week was Whisky and Sultana Cupcakes. They turned out a bit messy, but very tasty indeed. And I had the added joy of having (ah, it's a hard life ...) to lick out the whisky icing bowl at 10 in the morning. Really, it's the only way to start the day.

For most of today, K and I have been busy in the garden, planting up yet more flowers, including rudbeckias, zinnias and whatever else needing getting into the soil, really. Only the dahlias and nicotine plants, and a few bits and bobs, to go now. And what a glorious day it's been - couldn't have asked for better weather.

All this sun has meant our azalea has burst into life, and the earliest of our three rhododendrons isn't doing too badly either. What with that and the fact that the horses (with the foals from last year) have arrived for their summer in the field behind the garden and it's pretty damn idyllic right now.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding Children's Author

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Glyndebourne and gardens

Book News:

I've finally given up hope of pesky Eternal Press/Damnation Press ever stirring themselves to give me back the rights to literary gay short story Painting from Life. So I've republished it myself with a lovely new cover (which is far better than their one, bitch bitch ...) on the Kindle.

Here's the blurb:

Painting from Life is a short story about an artist who discovers that his muse is not at all what he expected. Indeed, love is never what you think. When a painter goes beyond the degree of intimacy that provides the connection between him and the older man who is his newly-discovered muse, he is forced to undergo a re-evaluation of the true meaning of love.

There are a couple of reviews about the story you might find interesting:

“This short story is haunting, intense, and unlikely. At just about 15 pages, the author has delivered a stunningly gripping story about an artist and his obsessions ... the artist slowly and inevitably becomes the sole caretaker of an older man, Peter, while using the man as a model for his work that is only now gaining success. The author manages to use just a few words and descriptive phrases to convey intensity and emotion that is clearly felt ... The implications and subtle meaning go far beyond the obvious and continue to resonate well after the short story is done. Crisp, vivid prose works incredibly well with vibrant characters all uninhibited by the short length. For those that enjoy a fabulous short story that truly makes you think and leaves you wondering well after it’s done, I highly suggest Painting from Life. The themes of art, death, obsession, love, selfishness, and need are all played out beautifully in this complex and complicated story.” (Manic Readers)


"More emotions are evoked in this short, haunting story than many longer works I’ve read in recent months. It gets classified as a love story, or a GLBT piece in many places I’ve seen it discussed, but I’m reluctant to so easily define it. The relationship between the painter and Peter, the elderly man, isn’t nearly that cut and dry ... Nothing sexual ever occurs, but the narrator finds energy and passion in his work with Peter as he never has before. Peter, in turn, cannot bring himself to characterize their relationship as anything familial ... The give and take between the two satisfies needs in both of them ... The complexity of the relationships is served amazingly well by the lyrical, edgy prose. It offers just the right amount of clear, original detail to paint a picture with words, without getting excessive or too artsy, and intrigues me into pursuing more of the author’s work. Strong, original voices are like gold. This one pays off.” (Book Utopia Reviews)

If you fancy a short intense read, then do feel free to pick up a copy at Amazon UK or Amazon US. Many thanks indeed!

Other nice book news this week is that gay paranormal story Martin and The Wolf gained a review at ARe Cafe, which I'd not noticed before. They say:

"Martin and The Wolf by Anne Brooke is a gracefully written paranormal novelette that takes a fresh perspective on the werewolf legend … The story's appeal lies in those fascinating disconnects where Lucas's aggressive wolf personality causes him to stand out from the camouflage of his courteous but reserved British countrymen. Even better is the first-person narrator Martin's puzzled but unflappable acceptance of Lucas." 

Gay comedy Tommy's Blind Date gained a 4-star review at Goodreads, and another gay comedy, Who Moved My Holepunch?, was reviewed at Top 2 Bottom Reviews, who say:

"Who Moved My Holepunch? is an easy, fast paced story with fun characters and a good story line … Read the book! Recommended."

Many thanks indeed to all readers and reviewers who take the time to publish your comments - I'm very grateful, that's for sure.

Life News:

I've given up with my new village dentist rather, and this week went for a second opinion concerning my recurring toothache (really, my dears, crying at the dining table because eating is just so ruddy painful is not a healthy state of affairs, no matter how many times the first dentist said I needed to "let it settle down", ho hum). The Godalming dentist seems very nice and much more willing to actually take the pain away, rather than give me more, well gosh. Anyway, I'm now on a week's supply of strong antibiotics and I have to say it's truly amazing to have a mouth that's almost pain-free. It's like a minor miracle, I can tell you. I just hope it lasts once the drugs stop on Tuesday ...

This weekend, K and I have done a lot in the garden, planting at the back to fill in the current gaps we have there. So the sunflowers, zinnias, sweet williams, snapdragons, fuchsias, to name but a few, have all gone somewhere, and we've potted on the dahlias as well. There's more to be planted, but we need to wait for the late bluebells to die off before we plant on top of them. I don't want to rip out the bluebells just yet as they're all doing so well. The garden is really starting to come alive with flowers - oh and the early rhododendron is beginning to bloom, and the azalea is all but out, hurrah.

This week's cake is the one held over from last weekend when I was too ill to bake. So it's an Orange and Almond cake, and very nice it is too.

Last night, K and I attended the first night of Glyndebourne and had a very good time indeed. Ariadne auf Naxos was very well done, though it's an opera I suspect you only really need to see once, and was about ten minutes to long in reaching the very nice and well thought-out ending. Still, a good time was certainly had by all, as they say. Plus I have to say how utterly stunning the Glyndebourne tulips are looking. I don't recall ever seeing them before as they've usually been over by the time the opera season starts, but honestly they're just amazing. I particularly loved the raspberry-ripple type tulips, and the beds of yellow and dark mauve ones, as well as the combinations of pink and white mixtures. A feast for the eyes indeed.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding Children's Author

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Aches and pains galore

Life News:

Um, I've been sick for most of the week, I'm afraid, so not much life news, or indeed any other news, apart from that going on. Mind you, K and I did manage between us to plant 150 plants in the front garden on Bank Holiday Monday, and lay a stepping stone path across the lawn, so it's not been all moaning and groaning and wishing for a suitably early demise, hey ho.

Since then, I've had galloping toothache and a pretty nasty cold/catarrh session. Managed a visit to my new dentist in the village (um, the one who's actually given me the pain in the first place, I have to say ...) who told me I needed to let it settle down to see if the pain carried on. Hmm, not too impressed then. Said dentist is also the one who's done something with my lovely husband's tooth and now he's in pain every now and again too (the first time he's ever had tooth pain in his life), so I can't really recommend them. I suspect unless a miracle cure takes place in the next day or so, we just ain't going back ...

Anyway, the slightly good news is that from Tuesday onwards, I've been wiped out by a bout of catarrh together with a bad cold so that seemed to put the toothache on the back burner, so I've spent 4 nights on the sofa doing a hell of a lot of coughing and crosswords. As you do. Last night I felt well enough to actually go to bed, but sadly that's meant the toothache has returned and rather worse than before. Eating takes an age, but I suppose it's one way to lose weight - as I get so bored with it all that I simply can't finish the plate. The other sad news is I was too ill to go and see the new Star Trek film we'd booked for in 3D(!) on Thursday night, and certainly too ill for golf or cake-making. Oh well. Much moaning in the marshes.

Tomorrow, now the cold/catarrh seems to be under control, I'm going to try another dentist in a totally different village to get a second opinion and see if they're in the business of taking pain away rather than giving me more of it. I don't think I'm being unreasonable in that expectation, my dears ... In the meantime, I'm using a fatal combination of whisky, dental gel, desensitising toothpaste and crying to get through. I can't really say it's been a good week. Ho hum.

Book News:

No writing has been done, but I've had a lovely 5-star review on Amazon US for biblical short story Dancing with Lions, and another 5-star review on Amazon US for gay comedy Who Moved My Holepunch? Many thanks to both readers for that.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding Children's Author

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Beginning of Knowledge

Book News:

My literary gay erotic story The Beginning of Knowledge is now available at Wilde City Press as part of the black-label erotica Charlie Harding Presents line. Here's the blurb:

When University administrator Alan Castleton meets temporary worker and talented pianist Luke Milton, he doesn't expect to become obsessed with the handsome young blond. But soon he is heavily involved in a passionate and angry affair, and exploring the dark shadows of his own personality in a way he's never encountered before.
The more Alan tries to break free from his obsession, the deeper it entangles him. The dangerous split between his reason and his sexual desires threatens his peace of mind and, when the crisis point comes, he must decide once and for all the kind of life he should lead.

Here's what Charlie himself says:

When two people meet for the first time sometimes there are sparks, sometimes irritation and sometimes the connection can't be defined. When personalities collide, restraint can go out the window, with darkest desires and sexual tension forcing us all to do things we never thought we would. This is one of those stories. Be careful, this tale might awaken things inside yourself that you never even knew existed.

Already the book has gained one 5-star review at On Top Down Under Reviews, where the lovely Karen says:

"I want more. The characterisations were terrific, the chemistry, for what it was, perfect, the sex was dark, nasty, erotic as sin … and I LOVED it. The Beginning of Knowledge is the most perfect title … This is one of my favourite Anne Brooke reads. I loved the dark eroticism and the excellent development of the characters. In such a short word count I felt like I knew both men well."

It also has a 4-star review at Goodreads. Many thanks indeed to both reviewers for their comments.

In addition, gay thriller Maloney's Law also gained a 4-star review at MM Good Book Reviews this week. They say:

"Wow, just wow! The more I read Ms. Brooke's books, the more I'm coming to the conclusion that this author picks her characters right from the corner of the street. In this book too, she has made an extremely great job with her protagonists. But it's not just them. Every single character here is unique. I couldn't stop thinking while reading this story that each and every one of them pulses with life. They are true if not real and able to evoke too many emotions from the reader."

Gosh, thank you!

I'm also utterly thrilled to say that, after years and years (aeons, I tell you!) of being out with a variety of small publishers, bisexual thriller Thorn in The Flesh has finally received its first official review from Open Book Reviews, who say:

"The plot twist is off the charts! I can't say more or it would be too obvious. I will say this, Thorn in the Flesh is emotionally stirring, dealing with circumstances that most of us will never understand. I began the story not having much respect for Kate. By the end of the book, I felt as if I'd been to hell and back with her. Despite never having been in Kate's circumstances, the story made me think about my own life and where I am currently. I recommend the book to everyone."

Thank you and thank you again!

And, not to be outdone, my biblical short story collection The Betrayal of Birds was briefly at No 61 in the Amazon US Christian short story charts, so that was all very jolly.

Life News:

The BIG news of this week is that my lovely husband was mentioned by name in the review of the Elstead play performed a couple of weeks ago, in one of our local papers, the Farnham Herald. The lovely Helen Riddy who wrote the review said he gave "a thoughtful, understated and comedic performance." Hurrah! Naturally, I am now the world's biggest and loudest Husband FanGirl Wife and doing a heck of a lot of shrieking, while poor K hides in the garden and tries to ignore me. I'm already planning his world tour, don't you know ...

This week, Spring is continuing to get well and truly settled in. We've seen a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Nuthatch on the bird feeder, along all the other usual visitors, so that was wonderful. Plus we've also seen our first Orange Tip butterfly of the season in the garden, where we've been planting out our foxgloves, poppies and petunias. I'm hoping for a lot of colour this year, that's for sure. And there's still plenty to be done.

Yesterday, I baked a Chocolate Sponge Cake, which has turned out rather well - probably because I had to use my special Husband Food Mixer (and no, that's NOT rude - steady on, people ...), as my electric mixer is still broken. So it's really more him than me, I must say. I could get used to having these helpful kitchen servants, you know ...

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
Lori Olding Children's Author