Category Archives: Non-GLBT Fiction

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Last Days of Summer
Author: Steve Kluger
Genre: coming of age, baseball
URL: Amazon
Price: US$13.99
Other Information/warnings: language, child prodigy, racism (period)
Summary [from the publisher]:

Last Days of Summer is the story of Joey Margolis, neighborhood punching bag, growing up goofy and mostly fatherless in Brooklyn in the early 1940s. A boy looking for a hero, Joey decides to latch on to Charlie Banks, the all-star third baseman for the New York Giants. But Joey’s chosen champion doesn’t exactly welcome the extreme attention of a persistent young fan with an overactive imagination. Then again, this strange, needy kid might be exactly what Banks needs.

My review: Continue reading Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

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My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park
Author: Steve Kluger
Genre: YA
URL: Amazon
Price: $16.99
Other Information/warnings: het (teen) relationships, gay (teen)
Summary [from the publisher]:

Dear Anthony:
I appreciate your recent interest, but I’m not accepting applications at this time. Your letter will be kept in our files and someone will get back to you if there is an opening. Thank you for thinking of me.
Respectfully,Alejandra Perez
P.S. It’s not “Allie.” It’s “Ale.”

Meet T.C., who is valiantly attempting to get Alejandra to fall in love with him; Alejandra, who is playing hard to get and is busy trying to sashay out from under the responsibilities of being a diplomat’s daughter; and T.C.’s brother Augie, who is gay and in love and everyone knows it but him.

My review: Continue reading My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

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Honolulu by Alan Brennert

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Title: Honolulu
Author: Alan Brennert
Genre: Historical Fiction, Hawaiiana
URL: Amazon
Price: US$24.95 (hardcover list price)
Warnings: Some violence
Summary (from the publisher): Honolulu is the rich, unforgettable story of a young “picture bride” who journeys to Hawai’i in 1914 in search of a better life. Instead of the affluent young husband and chance at an education that she has been promised, she is quickly married off to a poor, embittered laborer who takes his frustrations out on his new wife. Renaming herself Jin, she makes her own way in this strange land, finding both opportunity and prejudice. With the help of three of her fellow picture brides, Jin prospers along with her adopted city, which is growing from a small territorial capital into the great multicultural city it is today. But paradise has its dark side, whether it’s the daily struggle for survival in Honolulu’s tenements, or a crime that will become the most infamous in the island’s history.

With its passionate knowledge of people and places in Hawai’i far off the tourist track, Honolulu is most of all the spellbinding tale of four women in a new world, united by dreams, disappointment, sacrifices and friendship.

My Review:  Continue reading Honolulu by Alan Brennert

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Hold the Dark by Frank Tuttle – review

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Hold the Dark
Author: Frank Tuttle
Genre: Fantasy/horror
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $4.50
Other Information/warnings: Gore, violence
Summary [from the publisher]:
Demons in a feeding frenzy drive the world-weary Markhat to the brink…

A Markhat story.

Quiet, hard-working seamstresses aren’t the kind that normally go missing, even in a tough town like Rannit. Martha Hoobin’s disappearance, though, quickly draws Markhat into a deadly struggle between a halfdead blood cult and the infamous sorcerer known only as the Corpsemaster.

A powerful magical artifact may be both his only hope of survival—and the source of his own inescapable damnation.

Markat’s search leads him to the one thing that’s been missing in his life. But even love’s awesome power may not save him from the darkness that’s been unleashed inside his own soul.

My review: Continue reading Hold the Dark by Frank Tuttle – review

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Mouth of the Lion by Lily Richards – Review

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Title: Mouth of the Lion
Author: Lily Richards
Genre: Literary Fiction
URL: Casperian Books
Price: $15.00
Other Information/Warnings: Drug use, violence, explicit sex, cutting
Summary (from the publisher):
The narrator of Mouth of the Lion is James Sheahan, an occasional writer and steady drug user driven by equal parts ritual, atheism, and Catholic guilt. James hasn’t talked to his youngest brother Micky in years, and his exchanges with his oldest brother Patrick are shouted across transcontinental phone lines, but he does care for his middle brother Luka, who is camped out on the living room floor together with a vagrant teenager. Until now, James’ problems have revolved around a dealer eight hours late for an appointment and a girlfriend he despises, but things are about to come apart at the seams. As spring turns to summer, Luka embarks on a quest to drag old skeletons out of the family closet and James has to confront secrets and lies: his family’s and his own. Mouth of the Lion is a novel about the ties that bind and two brothers’ obsession with changing the immutable.

My Review: Continue reading Mouth of the Lion by Lily Richards – Review

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Dead Man’s Rain and The Mister Trophy by Frank Tuttle – review

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ Title: Dead Man’s Rain and The Mister Trophy
Author: Frank Tuttle
Genre: Fantasy crime noir 🙂
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: Dead Man’s Rain – US$3.50, The Mister Trophy – US$2.50
Other Information/warnings:Violence
Summary [from the publisher]:
Dead Man’s Rain
Can a haunted man help the dead find peace?
Markhat is a Finder, charged with the post-war task of tracking down sons and fathers gone suddenly missing when an outbreak of peace left the army abandoned where they stood. But now it’s ten years on after the war, and about all he’s finding is trouble.

This time, trouble comes in the form of a rich widow with a problem. Her dearly departed husband, Ebed Merlat, keeps ambling back from the grave for nocturnal visits. Markhat saw a lot during the war, but he’s never seen anyone, rich or poor, rise from the grave and go tromping around the landscape. But for the right price, he’s willing to look into it.
As a storm gathers and night falls, Markhat finds darker things than even murder lurk amid the shadows of House Merlat.

The Mister Trophy
All the finder Markhat wanted was a beer at Eddie’s. Instead he gets a case that will bring him face to fang with crazed, blood-craving halfdead, a trio of vengeful Troll warriors, and Mama Hog’s backstreet magic. Plus, the possible resurgence of the Troll War.
All right in his own none-too-quiet neighborhood.
Through the town of Rannit’s narrow alleys and mean streets, Markhat tries to stay one step ahead of disaster. And ignore Mama Hog’s dire warnings that this time, the head that rolls could be his own.

My review: Continue reading Dead Man’s Rain and The Mister Trophy by Frank Tuttle – review

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Moloka’i by Alan Brennert – review

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ Title: Moloka’i
Author: Alan Brennert
Genre: Historical Fiction, Hawaiiana
URL: Amazon
Price: US$11.16
Warnings: None
Summary (from the publisher): This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai’i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place–and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then on day, a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i.  Here her life is supposed to end — but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.

My Review: Continue reading Moloka’i by Alan Brennert – review

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Without Wax by William Walsh – review

Rating: 7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 
Title: Without Wax: A Documentary Novel
Author: William Walsh
Genre: Literary Fiction
URL: Casperian Books
Price: US$15.00
Additional Information: Explicit sex, explicit sex talk, non-traditional structure.
Summary (from the publisher): Interweaving traditional narrative with consumer profiles, faux interviews, court depositions, and a film script, Without Wax is a fictional biography that provides an intriguing glimpse into the adult entertainment industry.

My Review: Continue reading Without Wax by William Walsh – review

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The Tea House by Paul Elwork – review

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: The Tea House
Author: Paul Elwork
Genre: Literary Fiction, historical, coming of age
URL: Casperian Books
Price: US$13.50 (currently on sale for $10.00)
Other Information/warnings: None
Summary (from the publisher): Emily Stewart has a secret. So does her brother, Michael.

Thirteen years old, precocious and privileged, the Stewart twins are just beginning to learn the power of secrets. But what starts as a game among their small circle of friends soon grows out of control; Emily and Michael’s secret spills into the adult world, where secrets can be deadly.

The Tea House is a richly evocative tale of coming of age in early 20th century America. With period detail and deep compassion, Paul Elwork delivers a suspenseful novel that delves into the intricate truths lying at the very heart of families.

My Review: Continue reading The Tea House by Paul Elwork – review

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