Oh My Gosh!!! I Just Found Out I Am Up For Writing Awards at Goodreads! OMG! This is BIG!!!

I am so stunned! I can’t believe it! I am up for several awards at Goodreads! This is too good to believe! Goodreads! WOW!

You might need join the MM Group then CLICK RIGHT HERE, type in “M/M Romance”. You will then need to click “Join Group” and wait for approval.!!

First I am up for Favorite M/M Author! I can’t believe it! OMGosh! You can find the nominees for best M/M Author by CLICKING RIGHT HERE!!

Then I am up for Best Hurt/Comfort for my novel Hound Dog & Bean! WOW! I sooooo love that book! Find the nominees for Best Hurt Comfort by CLICKING RIGHT HERE!!

My Christmas Story “Grumble Monkey and the Dept Store Elf” is Nominated for Best Humorous MM Story at Goodreads! OMG!

Please check it out! You might have to join the group first, but hey! I totally missed that I was up for something! I am so happy I am in tears! OMGosh!!! A Goodreads Award! OMGosh!

You can find the nominees by CLICKING RIGHT HERE!!

I am SOOOO excited!

AND NOT ONLY THAT! But “A Taste of Honey” is up for Best Anthology!

Please check it out!

You can find the nominees for Best Anthology by CLICKING RIGHT HERE!!

Soooooooooo happy!

BG Thomas

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The Novel Approah Reviews; A Taste of Honey

So I am very happy to see this review of my anthology “A Taste of Honey” by Kathie at The Novel Approach. All you have to do is read to see why I am so happy. I’ve got a swelled head. Thank you, Kathie!

You can find the original review by clicking Right Here or check out the review the blog The Novel Approach by clicking Right Here. You’ll be glad you did!

The Novel Approach

In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.

Review:

I am intrigued by the bear culture. I want to know more! When B.G Thomas first announced on Facebook that he was putting together an anthology about the Bear culture, I was excited and made sure the day it came out I ordered a paperback copy . I usually read all my books by way of ebook, mostly because I get them faster. Instant Gratification! But this book I wanted to savor.

The cover is amazing and can only be fully appreciated in book form, two bearded men kissing, and if you look close one has just a touch of gray in his whiskers. Just gives me chills, it’s so sexy. I compare it to when you take pictures with your digital camera, you take a lot of pictures, but you only print the best ones. This book is one of the best!

B.G. Thomas is one of my favorite authors, so I knew the stories he picked would be quality writing and touch on many different kinds of bears within the culture. I am happy to report he did just that.

From Historical to Science Fiction, the stories told here touched on a lot of different genres and “types” of bears. Mr. Thomas writes in the introduction that it’s hard to explain just what a Bear is. He goes on to say that the bear community is a rich and varied culture that continues to grow and change. I would describe this collection of stories the same way. Rich in plot, colorful in character development, and very satisfying to read. B.G. Thomas did a great job picking these fourteen stories, and I hope, as a reader, we get another collection soon!

Rating: Four Stars
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Buy Links:
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ARC Review: A Taste of Honey by B.G. Thomas & Anne Regan (editors)

To say I am pleased with the review ARC Review/My Fiction Nook did on “A Taste of Honey” would be an understatement. I am so pleased. Especially coming from such a prestigious blog. You need to check the blog out if you aren’t already familiar with it and you can find it by CLICKING HERE. You can also find the original posting of this review by CLICKING HERE.

Enjoy! I know I did!

My Fiction Nook A

You know what I like? Anthologies with blurbs that list each story with a mini blurb attached. This particular anthology doesn’t have that, so I’m going to do it for you, the readers. You’re welcome.

Author B.G. Thomas, who along with Anne Regan is the editor of this anthology, starts things out with his personal story of coming out bear. Like many men he doesn’t live up to the gay standard and had a hard time connecting with men when he first came out. Eventually he discovered his place amongst the bears. It’s a great introduction to the anthology but what I liked most about it was this statement:

[T]he one thing [bears] have in common is we aren’t hung up on what most of gay culture, or the world for that matter, qualifies and quantifies as hot or sexy. We are beautiful and sexy in our own way….Because that’s what being a bear is all about. It’s more than size. It is accepting ourselves and each other for who and what we are.

I love that. It’s something I hope we can all relate to – man, woman or bear. Mr. Thomas is the author of Summer Lover.

Truck Stop by Christopher Hawthorne Moss 3.5 stars

Cleve and Sully are recent veterans of WWII. Sully’s a truck driver who frequents Cleve’s Gas and Grub. They get to know each other better when a snow storm hits the area, trapping them together. Anything about war veterans seems designed to make me teary-eyed and this story is no different. Moss is the author of Where My Love Lies Dreaming.

Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye 3.75 stars

Neil is a geeky, skinny guy (naturally) who lives with his sister and helps take care of her three children. Imagine his joy one day when three studly bears move in across the street. However it’s Brett, the biggest bear of all, who captures his interest. Another sweet and funny story from the author of The Blinding Light.

Life’s Tiny Surprises by Tara Spears 3.25 stars

Mac is celebrating his 30th birthday alone at his favorite Italian restaurant. Mac won’t be lonely for long, however as twinky waiter Jerrod has quite the crush on him. This is a very sweet story with a definite HEA. Tara Spears is the author of The Darker Side of Trey Grey.

The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain by Michael Rupured 2.5 stars

Two men meet in Washington DC and immediately get down and dirty. One looks like Kevin Sorbo with a lot more hair. Not my thing but there is an interesting paranormal twist. Michael Rupured is the author of Happy Independence Day.

Just Breathe by John Genest 3 stars

The Valentine’s Day after losing his boyfriend, Will has to take an overnight CPAP test (study for sleep apnea). His night gets a lot more interesting when his sleep technician, Les, turns out to be the exact type of bear he likes best. Extra credit for making me tear up at one point – also, whoever thought of finding a date during a CPAP test? John Genest also has a story in Tales from the Den: Wild and Weird Stories for Bears.

Barefoot by Lillian Francis 3.5 stars

Finn volunteers at a homeless shelter and has a crush on Sam, who works at the local supermarket where Finn finds cheap food. There’s a major misunderstanding which would’ve been annoying in a longer book, but was pretty cute in a short story. Also nice was the British setting. Lillian Francis is also the author of Lovers Entwined.

Golden Bear by G.P. Keith 3.25 stars

Norm’s roommate’s gone, leaving him all alone in a big house when a storm hits Toronto. Things start to look less lonely when Norm meets Hydro worker (and bear cub) Winston, who may not be as straight as Norm thinks. This is a sweet story about body image and the nature of attraction. G.P. Keith is also the author of Out in the Back Woods.

Banyan Court by Samuel Scott Preston 3.75 stars

Dan, a 60 year old professor, returns home to Hawaii for a vacation where he meets Hank, a 30 year old surfing instructor and Iraq War veteran. Can Dan overcome his insecurities to accept Hank’s love? I found the vulnerabilities of both characters moving. Samuel Scott Preston also has a story in the anthology Dr. Feelgood.

The Bear at the Bar by J. Scott Coatsworth 3 stars

Dex is everything a gay man is supposed to be – beautiful, built and hairless where it counts. He’s also an arrogant jerk. After nastily turning down a bear at a club, imagine his surprise when he wakes up in a bear’s body the next morning. I liked this story although at least one action after he switched bodies still bothered me. Still, a great start for who I believe is a first time published author. You can find J. Scott Coatsworth on Facebook.

Amped by Zoe X. Rider 4 stars

Toby is 20 years old and not quite out, maybe not even entirely out to himself. He’s drawn to Wolf, a hot sounding and monosyllabic older man who he often sees at punk clubs (is that what you call them? Clearly I have no idea what I’m talking about). Not something I’d normally read, there is some drug use, but just so well done. I really enjoyed it. Zoe X. Rider is also the author of Puncture.

The Bear Next Door by Jack Byrne 3 stars

Bryce has a crush on his neighbor, Rob. Just as their new relationship is going well, Bryce sees Rob with another man. Can their relationship survive a Big Misunderstanding? This was a pretty cute story that takes place on a ranch in Australia. Normally the Big Misunderstanding plot point would annoy me, but it’s fine in a short story. Jack Byrne is also the author of The Billabong.

The Bear Fetish by John Amory 3.5 stars

Robert’s a closeted, New York corporate lawyer visiting Albuquerque on business. First in need of food and then in need of a strong drink, he wanders into a club on Bear night. There he meets artist Louis. Can Louis teach Robert to be more open and less guarded? This is a charming story that also deals with Louis’s Zuni background, which I enjoyed. John Amory also has a short story in Please Don’t Feed the Alligators.

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Getting Over Yourself by Robert B. McDiarmid 3 stars

Bill has recently been dumped for an adorable twink. His friends arrange a trip to Palm Springs in the hope that a good screw will help his moping/bitterness. There he meets Arthur, who may be of great help in that department. This is a funny story but it’s put together oddly. It starts in the present, jumps back to Bill’s vacation, jumps back to Bill’s roommate, then jumps forward to the vacation. I had to go back to the beginning before deciding that it wasn’t a romance, but a story about Bill getting over a past romance. McDiarmid is also the author of The House of Wolves.

Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale With a Very Hairy Ending by Edmond Manning 4.25 stars

This is a wonderful story and I feel like an idiot trying to sum it up in one sentence. Nevertheless…this is the story of Tyler, a young man in Chicago, pursuing a hot bear with the help of his friend Derrick. There! Now you know. This is my first Edmond Manning read and I will be coming back for more. Manning is also the author of Filthy Acquisitions.

My average score for this book doesn’t quite reach 3.5 stars but I’m defying mathematics and rounding up to 4 stars. Some stories are better than others (naturally), but they’re all enjoyable. And I just love the idea behind this anthology. Listen, I love pretty boys and hot men – I love muscular, hairless bodies with brooding bedroom eyes. But I get tired of seeing them or reading about them over and over and over again. There are all different types of bodies and all different types of men in this book and I enjoy reading about each and every one.

Rosa’s rating:
My Fiction Nook Four Flowers

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones and Words Can Also Harm Me

Originally posted in Love Bytes: Same Sex Romance Reviews

When I discovered the MM Romance genre I near went out of my mind with excitement. For most of my life I wanted to be a writer and for a big chunk of it, I gave it a shot….

Sort of.

I would start tons of stories, but could never finish them. Mainly because I was writing what I was told would sell. The problem was, I wasn’t really interested it writing what would sell. I wanted to write what I know. Gay men.

I tried and tried to write fiction with heterosexual “heroes” and it just didn’t work. I can’t write believable het men. And the women who would read what I was writing would let me in for another disappointment. I wasn’t writing very good straight women either. They said my secondary characters were fine. They liked them. A lot. But when I tried to write female heroes, deeply get into their heads, their hearts, my characters just weren’t very real women.

And I had one I was so in love with involving the Hindenburg!

You know, I thought all I would have to do is write women as gay men with women’s bodies. I knew what it was liked to fall in love with a man. That was all that would matter, right? Easy, right?

Wrong. Because to my surprise I found out that gay and straight men have a lot more in common than you would imagine. I couldn’t just write a woman as a gay man “trapped in a woman’s body.”

When I found the MM Romance market I squealed for days. I started writing very soon, and since then I’ve sold around twenty-five short stories, novellas and novels! Not too bad now that I am writing what I know.

It was SO exciting to write about gay men! And I could use the genre to really express what it is like to be gay, to think like a gay man, to be attracted to men, to have sex with men…. I could write about gay culture. I could write about the experience of being gay and growing up in a “straight” world.

But I got a little surprise. The people who were beta-ing and editing my work—mostly women—didn’t like a lot of what I was saying! It wasn’t the writing so much they were objecting to. It was the gay man’s experience of discovering they couldn’t be straight. What I mean is this….

When I would have a character talking about the sex they he’d had with women, he would say something that I have heard from almost every single gay man I’ve ever known, met, read or corresponded with. That being held by a woman felt more motherly, while being held by a man was powerful and exciting and loving and safe. That having sex with a woman felt somehow “wrong.” That the sex was unfulfilling, that even kissing a woman felt wrong (I am not talking about a friendly kiss), let alone being naked in bed with woman. That when he looked at a woman naked, for some strange reason that he couldn’t understand, it was like there was something missing.

To my shock, women told me that they felt that I was telling them that there was something “wrong” with them. That the writing made them feel criticized and attacked and what I was writing was hurtful.

I was staggered. How did they get that idea I wondered? How had I so grossly miscommunicated? And damnit! I’m a writer! If I can’t communicate my ideas, then how was I going to be a writer?

I told them I didn’t think there was a single thing wrong with women, and that there was nothing “wrong” with their bodies or anatomy. I explained that I was trying to write about the shock gay men feel when finally loosing their heterosexual virginity—which pretty much every man on the planet wants to do. How shocking it is when they didn’t like it—or at the very least, couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. Because damnit, a man is supposed to like sex with women. They’ve listened to their buddies talk about “chicks” all their lives. And how this can start years of gay men hating themselves because they aren’t like other men.

I remember myself deciding that after a year long semi-relationship with a woman that the only explanation their could be for my not liking sex was that no one really liked sex. I reasoned in my confused state that what was really going on was that there was this big social and cultural “joke” being played on us all, and that no one liked sex (not men or women) and everyone was afraid to admit it due to the possibility that they would find out that they were the only one that didn’t like it. They didn’t want to be humiliated if they discovered that other people really did like sex.

Then one day I had sex with a man.

OMG! I remember just the kiss! We were walking down this stairwell and suddenly he turned around and kissed me!

OMG! WHAM! POW! ALAKAZAM!!! BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!

Fireworks! Explosions! Volcanoes erupting! Waves crashing on the beach!

My knees turned to rubber and my legs almost went out from under me. My heart began to trip-hammer in my chest. I felt dizzy. I felt faint.

It scared the shit out of the guy who had just kissed me!

And that was just the kiss! I would blush WAY too much if I told you about the sex a few hours later.

And then? Well I knew then! People really did like sex. They just had to be having sex with the right sex (for them).

But when I would write about such experiences in my essays and stories, instead of my betas understanding what I was saying—which is that some of us really are gay and it’s not a —what people HEARD was that I was saying that there was something wrong with women. No matter how I tried to explain it, I was hurting or insulting someone and I didn’t know why.

That was until this last year.

This last year I was thrilled when I got the chance to edit my first anthology. I had pitched the idea—an anthology about bears—and they not only liked it but let me co-edit it.

We got about eighty submissions and something happened that really surprised me. A huge percentage of the stores had a similar theme. That theme being that the bears in the stories hated being “fat.” That many of them hated themselves and couldn’t even look in a mirror. That the story was about them having to learn that they weren’t ugly just because they were…well, fat!

So many of these stories were about men thinking they were fat. Or the story would be about a man, who only likes HUNKS, coming to the realization that fat men were okay if you looked in their hearts and ignored their FAT bodies.

And it would get to the point that every time I saw that world fat (or similar words like “overweight” or “obese”) it got so that word got bigger and bigger until it felt like the Hollywood sign.

The message I was getting was that….

YOU’RE FAT, BG THOMAS!! YOU’RE FAT FAT FAT FATFATFATFATFAT!!!
aaaa
I felt slapped. I felt hurt. I felt like I was being pointed at and there was some not-so-quite whisperings about, “Look—look at that guy over there…. See him? He’s FAT!!

I knew better. I knew that wasn’t what the writers were saying. I know that a lot of men, including myself, even had to go through such experiences—to learn to love themselves. These were legitimate stories.

But it still felt like some kind of overweight version of misogynism.

These writers weren’t talking to me. They were writing a story. But what I was hearing was—Hey BG, it’s okay that you’re overweight, we love you anyway.

And quite suddenly I understood why it was that some women felt like I was attacking them personally and why they felt I saying there was something “wrong” with them.

We are human. And sometimes we feel attacked, even if it isn’t true. We still feel that way and feelings aren’t always logical.

I don’t know what effect this revelation is going to have on my writing because I still want to be honest. I still want to write about what it is like to be a gay man. I still want to write about my feelings. I still want to tell people what it is like to grow up feeling different.

But believe you me I am going to give what I write a lot more thought.

In the meantime, let me tell you something. I don’t think there is anything wrong with women. They aren’t “missing” anything. I don’t feel like men are better than women. HELL! Almost all of my friends are women and pretty much the best friends I’ve ever had were women!

So please please pleasepleaseplease! Don’t ever think I am saying any of this when you read anything I’ve written. And I am going to try and figure out a better way to express myself.

Let me know if I figure it out?

With much love,
BG Thomas

PS: If you’re interested in checking out “A Taste of Honey,” I hope you’ll give it a peek. You can find it at Dreamspinner Press RIGHT HERE or Amazon RIGHT HERE!

And remember, Leap and the net WILL appear!
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Another Great Review of “A Taste Of Honey” at Multitaskingmommas Reviews!

I am thrilled to once again present another great review for “A Taste of Honey”—this one from Multitaskingmommas Book Reviews. It makes me so happy to see that this anthology has been well received. Very happy indeed. Who knows? Maybe Dreamspinner Press will consider doing something else like it? I know I would be more than willing to take on the challenge!

Reviews and such

Here I am again, reading another anthology. Getting addicted here…. This time, it’s about bears as edited by by Anne Regan and B.G. Thomas, the latter having given an introduction that not only prepares the readers, giving them a glimpse of what to expect, but also subject same readers to have a giggling fit. Great intro!

Bears. Lots and lots of bears. Even bears that are not bears like otters and koalas.

As such, when it comes to anthologies, expect to read a variety of stories that differ in both plot as well as writing style. Some are sure hits and some are sure misses – but that would really depend on the reader, not the author. To each their own and each one wrote something that gives enjoyment. So yes, there is something for everybody here.

There are fourteen stories here but not all of them struck a chord in me. Here are the ones that did, not listed in order of preference.

Truck Stop by Christopher Hawthorne Moss I would probably say is the sweetest of all the stories here. It was not what I expected but it more than satisfied the romantic in me.

Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye is a funny, romantic, sweet and highly informative story about bears. All I can say is WOOF! Ms Renae and now I can smile happy 😀 This was a good one – and it’s an Aussie tale too so that made it better.

The Bear At The Bar by J. Scott Coatsworth was a real surprise. It was thought provoking and served as a huge lesson. This was really good!

The Bear Next Door by Jack Byrne. Now this was a great romance. I really love Erotic Older Heroes and reading one where the whole story just gels perfectly with all of the elements in and accounted for in just a few words? Just perfect!

The Bear Fetish by John Amory is a May-December romance that maaaay just extend to New Year or further. This has a potential for a much longer novel and I would really love how Robert’s and Lusio’s relationship would play out.

Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale with a Very Hairy Ending by Edmond Manning has a fairy tale feel to it but with a twist. The search for The Great White Bear is on the go. How it ends is surprising for love may just be hiding in the bushes right beside Tyler.

That is my list, but I know each reader will have their own opinions. Recommended to take to bed.

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Check out the blog Multitaskingmommas Reviews! I like it a lot! I think you will too. You can find it by CLICKING HERE. You can also find the original posting of this particular review by CLICKING HERE.