Tag Archives: anthology

Stallions and Ice by Stephanie Hecht

                Review by Michelle

TITLE: Stallions and Ice

SERIES: Unconventional in Kansas City Anthology 

AUTHOR: Stephanie Hecht

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January17, 2017

BLURB: Part of the Unconventional in Kansas City anthology!

Sometimes you have to climb a mountain to see the future.

While Brandon loves to go and watch his friend, Nichole, at the American Royal every year, there is no way that he is ever going to climb on a horse. His feet belong on the ground or the ice. As one the of the players of the local minor league team, the Wichita Thunder, all he dreams about is someday moving up to the major leagues. That is, until he meets Nichole’s brother, Ethan.

Ethan grew up in a family that has always been in the rodeo circuit. There was no question that he was ever going to be anything else…until he’s sidelined by seizures and can no longer ride. Then he meets Brandon and he begins to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, his life isn’t over.

Will decades of tradition tear the men apart? Or can they can overcome all their obstacles and be together?

REVIEW: I have to admit that because this book was so short my expectations were very limited. I was sure I would not be able to connect with the characters. I mean how could you when the book is barely over 50 pages. Well, I’m happy to say I was wrong.

Brandon, a goalie on a hockey team, goes to see his best girlfriend compete at the Rodeo. Of course since Brandon is gay it’s no hardship for him to be around all those cowboys. He meets up with his friend Nichole, who comes from a large family of rodeo competitors. All of her siblings compete until recently. Some type of unknown illness is preventing the youngest, Ethan, from riding. The minute Brandon and Ethan meet sparks fly. The attraction between the two young men is mutual and instantaneous.

I immediately fell in love with Ethan. He’s so sweet and cute, but he’s not the most confident after the breakup from his last boyfriend. Now, he can’t compete due to his illness.This is a quick story that is easily read in one siting. The story immediately drew me in and it turned out to be an endearing read. I can easily say that I wish there had been more to their story. I really enjoyed it!.

RATING: ???.5



Pride Publishing 


Grand Adventures Audiobook by SA McAuley

Dreamspinner Presents  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5318

GrandAdventuresAUDMed 2Blurb for the Anthology

On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.

The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric.


Teeny Tiny Blurbs:
(Audio chapters)

3-Prologue by Brandon Witt, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Touching explanation of the book, the situation with TJ and Eric and blessings for the future.

4-An Unexpected Thing by John Amory, Narrator Peter B Brooke
Established lovers travel to Seattle and find unexpected kindness.

5-The Twinkie Ignition by J.E. Birkm, Narrator Nick J Russo
A super cute story about a guy who never had a birthday party and how his amazing friends give him one – after they set fire to a bunch of Twinkies!

6-Simple Desires by Tempeste O’Riley, Narrator Aaron Pickering
This is based on her previous stories, but is a stand alone.

7-What You Will by Tinnean, Narrator John Solo
Another snippet from the author’s previous works.

8-Air (Roads #1.75 million) by Garrett Leigh, Narrator Finn Sterlin
A trip with Ash and Joe to the park.

9-Object of Care by Zahra Owens, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Flynn and Gabel and a kitten.

10-Water Under the Bridge by Mia Kerick, Narrator Nick J Russo
A sweet story about two young lovers and a bridge.

11-From Fantasy to Friends by CR Guiliano, Narrator Aaron Pickering
A man goes back to college and re-visits a fantasy about a straight professor who turns out to be gay.

12-That Place Across the Hall by C.C. Dado, Narrator John Solo
A really cute short story about a guy who falls in love with his neighbor.

Josh has a (typical-for-him) one-night-stand-guy in his apartment when someone (his June Cleaver-eque) neighbor bangs on his door to invite him to a party for one of the other tenants. John isn’t a joiner. He has tattoos. He sleeps around. He doesn’t do relationships.

Brandon is all about relationships and has “fancied” John since day one.

The brief meet and greet at the party leads to a complete change in John’s thinking and Brandon manages to capture the heart of the lone wolf.

13-Mistaken MD by Phoenix Emrys, Narrator Peter B Brooke
Two people meet over a stethoscope.

14-When Friendship Becomes More by Sophie Bonaste, Narrator Nick J Russo
Two friends find love on a camping trip.

15-The Exhibition by Andrea Speed, Narrator Finn Sterlin
A short story from the Infected series Roan and Dylan.

16-Holding Court by Cardeno C, Narrator Peter B Brooke
An older guy has a one night stand and years later finds out there are still fires burning between the two lovers.

17-Cops and Comix by Rhys Ford, Narrator John Solo
A cop falls in love with a nerdy comic store owner after discovering a dead body coming through the ceiling.

18-For Dear Life by Mary Calmes, Narrator Nick J Russo
A GFY short story of a divorced man and his best friend. (Warning some sad stuff too.)

19-Witness Protected by Dawn Kimberly Johnson, Narrator Finn Sterling
A US marshal falls in love with someone destined for the witness protection program.

20-Fall Train by Jaime Samms, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Finding love on a train.

21-Stripped by Shae Connor, Narrator Peter B Brooke
Finding love on Valentine’s Day … in a strip club!

22-Stalking 101 by Moria McCain, Narrator Aaron Pickering
Cute story about finding a hot construction guy.

23-Under the Full Moon by Ellis Carrington, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Love between a vampire and a werewolf who were never supposed to be together.

24-Isle of Waiting by Sue Brown, Narrator Finn Sterling
A short story with the characters from the series.

25-An Atheist and a Yoga Instructor Walk into a Bar by Rowan McAllister, Narrator John Solo
A funny blind date story.

26-Last First Kiss by LE Franks, Narrator Peter B Brooke
A hard story about love and loss.

27-The Jogger by KC Burn, Narrator Finn Sterling
Danger forces a shut-in out in the open and together they find love.

28-Kid Confusion by Madison Parker, Narrator Nick J Russo
Funny story about penises and TJ and Eric.

29-Tomorrow by John Goode, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
A short story about the importance of communication in a relationship.

30-A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness by Amy Lane, Narrator John Solo
Super sweet story of an angel playing cupid in a Starbucks.

This is a great book to listen to because each “chapter” is it’s own short story, perfect for when you only have a minute here or there and don’t want to get involved in a full length novel.

The narration is all the guys we’ve come to love from The Falcon Sound company who we’ve met reading our favorite books: Peter B Brooke, John Solo, Nick J Russo, Finn Sterling, Andrew McFerrin.

These are the authors we all love, some writing snippets from their series, some coming up with something completely new. Each story is complete in itself, and all very touching and well written.

I really loved these short stories and was amazed at how so few words can tell such big stories and move you so deeply.

Of course, it also helps that this book helps out two such amazing guys, TJ and Eric!

I highly recommend this book and it’s audio version.

(I purchased the book for review and received the audio from the publisher for an honest review.)

5 of 5 hearts



A Taste of Honey by Anne Regan (Editor), B.G. Thomas (Goodreads Author) 

Dreamspinner Presents



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 realmen 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


(From Previous Site)

So Just What is a Bear – BG Thomas
This is a very sincere prologue with a touching personal story that really sets the tone for this anthology. The basic theme about this entire, delightful book, is body acceptance, loving who you want, being who you are, and stop fighting against what “should/could be” and accept what is.

Truck Stop by Hawthorn Moss
A 1949 love story about a man who runs a truck stop, finding love with a guy who really never would have identified as gay if it hadn’t been for a freak snow-storm and the right man to show him how wrong sterotypes could be. Very sweet.

Bear Chasing – Renae Kaye
A full story involving a small gay “chaser” who didn’t know that’s who he was. When some Bears move in next door it’s instant attraction that leads to something very sweet and tender. There’s even some pretty hot sex, too! Excellent and a full story using a minimum of words.

Life’s Tiny Surprises – Tara Spears
A big brute of a man thinks life for him is to be solitary when along comes a former student, now fully grown, but still quite tiny, with a big heart. The two hit it off and it seems as though love will surely follow.

The Bear Kin of Snowbird Mountain – Michael Rupured
A funny modern fairy tale of a man/bear descended from ancients who finds his true love on the streets of DC. Another full story with an epilogue and all.

Just Breathe- John Genest
A sad, essentially widowed man goes in for a sleep test in order to qualify for a life saving CPAP device. There he meets someone who can appreciate him for who he is and really understands where he’s coming from.

Barefoot – Lillan Francis
A misunderstanding between a scruffy looking man who works at a shelter and the manager of the local supermarket almost halts a budding romance, but when the two figure things out, more than love happens and a compassionate set of hearts is truly rewarded.

Golden Bear – GP Keith
A sweet IT guy offers a cup of cocoa to a city-worker during an ice storm and the two start a relationship that looks like it could definitely last a lifetime.

Banyan Court – Samuel Scott Preston
An aging Classics Professor travels to his homeland of Hawaii and dares to learn surfing for the first time at 60. His surf master turns out to be an old soul in a younger body and the very, very moving story that follows will have you crying and sighing.

The Bear at the Bar – J. Scott Coatsworth
Another story that uses a few words to create a full and rounded story about a vain “gym bunny” who ends up realizing that there is more to life than just how you look. A distinct nod to “Freaky Fiday” with a grown-up, gay twist.

Amped- Zoe X Rider
A short story about a night at a concert where a big ole bear and a newly minted gay boy find that they might have more in common than they thought.

The Bear Next Door – Jack Byrne
A sweet youngish rancher falls for the hard-headed older bear next door. A few misunderstandings keep them apart, but when the two finally clear the air, a sweet love remains. Another full story written is few words.

The Bear Fetish- John Amory
Fetish in this sense is an artifact, not a kink. Robert meets Luis in a gay bar on a business trip to New Mexico. Luis shows Robert how to lighten up and get in touch with his true self and the two show hints at maybe something more than a one night stand.

The Do-it-yourself guide to getting over yourself – Robert B. McDiamid
When a terrible break up makes your friends send you on vacation to “get over yourself” what do you do? Well, you read a self-help book to do just that. The book and the man catch the eye of a coveted bear at the same resort and the two find common ground that could lead to something more permanent.

Hunting Bear: A fairy tale with a very hairy ending- Edmond Manning
A funny story written in the style of a fairy tale about a twink named Tyler who falls for the unattainable Bear, dubbed “The Great White Bear” because no one ever seems to catch his attentions. With the help of his amazing best friend Derrick, Tyler manages to snare a date with the Great White Bear only to realize that maybe, it was someone else he really wanted to be dating all along. This is another full story that manages to incorporate an epilogue.

All of these stories, all of them is 6 out of 5. Some of them are little more than snippets in the life of their characters, others are fully formed stories that tell a complete tale, but all of them are deeply touching.

As a woman, I am used to male characters mostly being pretty self-confident and not overly body conscious. However, these stories show a painfully different story. These are guys who – especially in the stereotypical world of gay love – don’t fit in. They are big, hairy, ungainly, and not at all what you think of when you think “gay man”. Unless… you know about bears. Then, they fit right in. And what a wonderful world to have available to you! These guys let it all hang out and are proud to be who they are, and offer no apologies for their looks. In fact they revel in it. How liberating!

I was deeply touched by the pain in so many of these stories, it really drives home the point that in our world so much of our self-esteem is wrapped up in our vision of what constitutes “physical perfection” and just how damaging that is.

I loved everyone of these stories and will warn you ahead of time that many will bring tears if not outright bawling.

I highly recommend this book and give it 6 of 5 hearts.