All posts by Nancy Ferris

Nancy Ferrer is not a professional writer, though she believes it would probably be a lot more fun than the job she is doing now. She has always loved reading and enjoys a wide variety of books, particularly fantasy, horror, mysteries and young-adult fiction. She lives with her husband in a small house in a quiet little town with a great library.

Naked in the Rain by Eowyn Wood

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Naked in the Rain
Author: Eowyn Wood
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
URL: Crooked Hills Publishing
Price: US$ 13.95
Summary:
LOVE. SEX. POWER.

They seem like opposites: River’s a troubled teen who loves to fight; Brian is a piano prodigy who attempted suicide. But together they forge a bond beyond anything they imagined.

River and Brian run away with dreams of escaping their abusive homes and exploring the world. But reality hits as they wander the streets of Los Angeles: no money, no food, nowhere to go. Until they meet a stranger who will change their lives forever . . . .

Lured into a world of drugs, sex and power; a world of seductive beauty and terrible secrets. Can they escape? Do they want to?

My review: Continue reading Naked in the Rain by Eowyn Wood

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The Hired Man by Jan Irving

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: The Hired Man
Author: Jan Irving
Genre: Historical Romance
URL: Dreamspinner Press
Price: US$ 6.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Reverend Ian Kenyon knows the harsh sting of life and how a man can suffer a loss of faith. The death of his wife and newborn son shook him to his foundations, and he’s been drifting ever since. Bryn Morgan has returned home from prison to the only family he has—an abusive father who abandoned him to the law when Bryn was unjustly accused of rape. Still poor, lost, and shunned, Bryn searches for work, any work that will allow him to survive.

Reluctantly moved by Bryn’s plight, Ian hires the young man to work on his farm despite Bryn’s prickly, defensive nature. Soon Ian fears his growing feelings of grace and compassion might be something else, something more… heated. Whatever the cause, he knows they are impossible to pursue, because Heaven only knows what would happen if a man of God began to have forbidden feelings for his hired man.
My review: Continue reading The Hired Man by Jan Irving

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Night Shift by Red Haircrow

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Night Shift
Author: Red Haircrow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
URL: JMS Books
Price: US$ 3.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
To escape a troubled home, Jamie works the night shift at a department store with a rag-tag group of punks, war veterans, and bickering couples. He’s unsure what direction he wants to take in life until a mysterious new co-worker arrives.

With his long ponytail, faint accent, and quiet manner, Derrick manages to disturb or fascinate everyone, not just one pint-sized Southern boy who wants to escape from his boring life.

Jamie finds himself falling for Derrick, but the older man harbors a secret that threatens to come between them.
My review: Continue reading Night Shift by Red Haircrow

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Rating: 5/10 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
URL: Candlewick Press
Price: US$ 18.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
My review: Continue reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Target
Author: Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson
Genre: Young Adult
URL: Roaring Brook Press
Price: Out of print
Summary:
Why had the men chosen him? Savagely violated by two strangers, sixteen-year-old Grady West retreats into silence. Some hells just can’t be shared. Searing and powerful, Target shows that people can go through unspeakable things and emerge whole— and sometimes your friends can save you.
My review: Continue reading Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson

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Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood

Rating: 5/10 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Black Girl in Paris
Author: Shay Youngblood
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Price: Out of print
Summary:
Shay Youngblood’s debut novel, Soul Kiss, received accolades from reviewers and writers alike. The Washington Post hailed it as “intelligent and erotic … immensely engrossing and satisfying,” while The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called it “exquisite.” Tina McElroy Ansa described it as “extraordinary … lyrical, intimate, funny, unsettling, enthralling.” Now, in her second novel, Youngblood explores the endeavor of a creative coming-of-age, and infuses her story with the same mesmerizing, lush language and impressionistic style that won her so many fans the first time around.

Black Girl in Paris wends its way around the mythology of Paris as a city that has called out to African-American artists. Like James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Josephine Baker before her, Youngblood’s heroine leaves her home, in the American South, nurturing a dream of finding artistic emancipation in the City of Light. She experiments freely, inhabiting different incarnations–artist’s model, poet’s helper, au pair, teacher, thief, and lover–to keep body and soul together, to stay afloat, heal the wounds of her broken heart, discover her sexual self, and, finally, to wrestle her dreams of becoming a writer into reality.

Youngblood’s lyricism, as effortless as an inspired improvisation, and her respect for the tradition she depicts create a natural tension between old and new, reverence and innovation, and tell a story at once timeless and immediate.
My review: Continue reading Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood

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Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: Punkzilla
Author: Adam Rapp
Genre: Young adult
URL: Candlewick Press
Price: US $16.99
Summary:[from the publisher]
For a runaway boy who goes by the name “Punkzilla,” kicking a meth habit and a life of petty crime in Portland, Oregon, is a prelude to a mission: reconnecting with his older brother, a gay man dying of cancer in Memphis. Against a backdrop of seedy motels, dicey bus stations, and hitched rides, the desperate fourteen-year-old meets a colorful, sometimes dangerous cast of characters. And in letters to his sibling, he catalogs them all — from an abusive stranger and a ghostly girl to a kind transsexual and an old woman with an oozing eye. The language is raw and revealing, crackling with visceral details and dark humor, yet with each interstate exit Punkzilla’s journey grows more urgent: will he make it to Tennessee in time? This daring novel offers a narrative worthy of Kerouac and a keen insight into the power of chance encounters.
My review: Continue reading Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

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Tigers and Devils

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Tigers and Devils
Author: Sean Kennedy
Genre: Romance
URL: Dreamspinner Press
Price: [US $16.99]
Summary [from the publisher]:
Football, friends, and film are the most important parts of Simon Murray’s life, likely in that order. Despite being lonely, Simon is cautious about looking for more, and his best friends despair of him ever finding that special someone to share his life. Against his will, they drag him to a party, where Simon barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler — unaware that the athlete is present and listening.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, Victoria, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are deemed gods and treated as such – until they do something to cause them to fall out of public favour. Declan is suffering a horrendous year of injuries, and the public is taking him to task for it, so Simon’s support is a bright spot in his struggles. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other’s lives forever.

As Simon and Declan fumble toward building a relationship together, there is yet another obstacle in their way: keeping Declan’s homosexuality a secret amidst the intrusion of well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media. They realise that nothing remains hidden forever… and they know the situation will only become more complicated when Declan’s private life is revealed. Declan will be forced to make some tough choices that may result in losing either the career he loves or the man he wants. And Simon has never been known to make things easy – for himself or for others.

My review: Continue reading Tigers and Devils

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Rough Draft by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Rough Draft
Author: Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
Genre: Gay Romance/Erotica
URL: Torquere Books
Price: US $5.99
Other Information/warnings: explicit m/m sex
Summary [from the publisher]:
Grey and Paul were good friends in college. Good friends with privileges. But they haven’t been together in years. When Grey puts pen to paper and writes Paul a letter, he half expects it to be ignored. But Paul writes back and their old flame is rekindled.

Or is it? Has too much water gone under the bridge or can Grey and Paul reconnect and deal with the issues that took them in different directions after college?

Tune into this epistolary romance and find out!

My review: Continue reading Rough Draft by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne

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Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Down to the Bone
Author: Mayra Lazara Dole
Genre: Young Adult
URL: Harper Teen
Price: US$16.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Here’s what it means to be a tortillera.

It means you’re a girl who loves girls.

Which means you get kicked out of Catholic school faster than Mother Superior Sicko can say “immoral.”

Which means your wacko Mami finds out.

Which means you’re kicked to the curb with nowhere to go, and the love of your life is shipped off to Puerto Rico to marry a guy.

But this is Miami, and if you have a bighearted best friend and a loyal puppy at your side, and if your broken heart is still full of love, you just might land on your feet.

In a first novel as crazy, joyful, hilarious, and painful as your first love, Mayra Lazara Dole goes beyond the many meanings of tortillera to paint a vivid picture of a girl who gets kicked out of home only to find a new kind of family.

My review: Continue reading Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole

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